Bathroom Hardware – Making The Most of Old Stuff

Austin 4Today we’re looking at renovating an old bathroom on the cheap. We want to make the most of this very important room in the house, just like we did with the kitchen, but we don’t want to break the (very small) bank in the process. So just like with our older, outdated appliances, we put a little elbow grease into them and got them working just fine again (with a bit of help from our friends at Appliance Masters of course! We can do the same thing with our bathroom hardware.

There is nothing wrong with this stem whatsoever so all I am going to do is replace the flat washer and the ring and put some new, what are they called? Packing, this is graphite rope or graphite string, its rubberized and I’m going to pack it inside and put the ring back on, I’m going to show you how to do all that stuff so now we either have this with us and if we don’t then we got to take all three of these pieces to the hardware store, so I’m going to back to a trip to the hardware store, okay so we’ve got everything we need, we have the replacement washer and the ring that we’re going to apply and so we have everything here with us that we need so let’s go ahead and get started, I’m going to go ahead and take this apart, take this off and put this to the side, now what I did was I went to a local hardware store and got what we call a pro valve pack and it’s got assorted flat washers in there.

old Bathroom HardwareI just so happen to have the fitting that I need so I got the new washer and I’m going to put this in, now again, take a look at this, this should fit in here exactly, okay? So it does then what I’m going to do is put that original screw and put it back in and I’ll tighten that up real quickly. Okay that is set and….by the way you don’t have to bear down on this whatsoever, just take it and get it finger tight, if you will, so what I’m going to do is to just go ahead and take a Philip screwdriver and screw it in like so, again when you tighten anything, you ought to go clockwise, so that’s done, don’t have to use any force in that whatsoever.

The next thing I’m going to do is to put the ring around this section here, it goes around the screw so you got to be real careful and just kind of roll it on, so now it’ll fit like so, alright? Then what I’m going to do is to put this back together and again it doesn’t turn clockwise, this is different, on this one It turns….to tighten this up, you probably go clockwise, but easily to unscrew and things like that, because see I’m going backwards, this is, this is the end that goes inside towards the wall so I’ve got that and that’s a good fit there, good seal, and so we’re good there, next thing I’m going to do is apply the packing that goes inside here and so what I’m doing here is just using what we call graphite valve packing and…you take this out, it’s kind of a rubbery feeling, it does stretch, does have some elasticity to it.

I’m just going to feed this in a little bit, wrap it around a couple of times and I’m going to go ahead and pull on it and let it stretch, that way it will fit inside, I’m just going to go around probably about three times there, okay? Now I’m going to take the cap here, push this in, unscrew this part here, hold everything, pack it in there and if you need to, you can take a screwdriver, kind of just take it like so and literally pack it in, okay? And screw that in like so, okay? And I’m having to unthread this a little bit where it will pack as a need, you have to do the best you can by hand first and then take your tools and tighten up this section right here and this section right here.


Backsplash Installation – Part 2

Continuing on from the first part of this article where’ we’re installing a mosaic tile backsplash in the kitchen…

finished backsplashOk so we got those full tiles on, now basically we are going to use a piece of the tile trim, the metals on the end, I already have one on that end so that will be the position that we are going to stop so at this point now, it’s going to be just as easy for me to cut some of these pieces all apart, the different sizes and put them in one by one as opposed to try and cut out the plug in out of one of these sheets. If you are using some square tiles, four by fours, six by sixes, two by twos whatever then you will be putting them on individually anyways and just cut them to fit around in electrical.

One thing with the electrical, with this style, the decor style of plugs and switches, you not only need to… if I can move this out of the way… you not only need to stay away from the hole in the box where the mounting screw for the receptacle or switch goes but you also need to stay away just below that where the mounting screw for the cover plate goes through. If you look right here, here is the mounting screw that goes in the box, right below this spot here is the little white screw that you will mount the cover with and you can actually see where that screw is indented the dry wall right here so you need to make sure that you don’t put any tile on those areas at all otherwise, you are going to have a hell of a time getting your switches in and also getting your covers to mount on there.

Just stay out of those areas. As long as you are close to that, just under it, the cover will cover the space anyway so you have to get up close and cover it. So if I just move these a little bit out of the way, I am going to put some mastic on the back, I have already figured out my position for this so I am just going to stick it on the wall right now so it’s… so I just put some mastic on the back of it like I did with the tile and I will just push it into position. Clean off a little bit of that excess so it doesn’t dry before we get to that. So this mastic is water based so you can simply clean it up, don’t leave it too long but you can clean it up with some warm water to get it off.

So I have got that stuck on there. Now what I need to do is fill in some of these rows so this bunch of tiles that I have is not only three different products, it’s also three different sizes as far as width and I don’t know how many lengths so there is a lot going on here, this one is a little more difficult to deal with because you have got so many choices, that one broke. Now you have to figure out what tiles are going to work where, what cuts you need to make and glue them individually onto the wall, so I am just going to keep working with that a little bit and that way I can show you how to cut them as well so this one will work just as a full tile.

grouting a tile backsplashSo just put some mastic on the back and stick it in the wall just like so. Now our next role is one of these little bit narrower types of tile so you kind of look at your pattern too, this one is pretty random so you try not to get in my case, try not to get too many colors. They are similar side by side, so this one’s going to have to be tucked, I’m just going to take a jiffy marker and you can either measure it or just hold it up there where you want it to be and put a marker line on it.

I’m going to come down here to my snap cutter and just line that up with a little scoring wheel on here and score the surface like that and then it’s got this foot here that just when you lean down you just push slightly down on it, it breaks the tile to a clean cut. Now that kind of fabric mashes on the back so you just have to cut it with a glass tiles that marker marked if it’s left on there, we’ll just wipe it off and put my factory end up to the end of the factory tile that is already on the wall, make sure I’m not on the way of where those screws are going to be, it looks good.

Put a little bit of mastic on there, these little tiles are a little tougher to work with, get them all in your hands, slide into the position you like, double check those holes and that one is there so I could just work my way up there all the way to the top and same thing out to this end. Now going back here I’ve got some full rows and both rows are this, it’s kind of up under the edge of the counter there, it’s maybe difficult for you to see but really it’s just the same process of what I just did down there by the plug in.

Just putting some mastic on, there’s nothing to cut around here for a little ways so I can just move them on, get my…no use in different sizes, get the joint staggering like that and just keep with my way along that. So that’s what I’ve been doing with these pieces that are left over, I’m kind of using them as strips for using them to get the strips out of that I need to finish the rows, best thing is that you cut a part pretty easily, it’s not a big issue to work with.

I’m just going to do a couple more here and I think that’s pretty much all you need to know for this….trying to keep the tiles clean as I can so there’s less to deal with cleaning it up before finishing. So that snap cutter that I was showing you, that’ll work for pretty much any type of tile, what it won’t be that good for or actually any good for at all is if you had some square tiles or some type of bigger tile like maybe it’s four by four just for an example and you need to cut a corner out of it like to go around say a plug-in or something, this cutter is not going to do that.

You’re going to need either a grinder with a cutting blade in it or you’re going to need a wet saw. So this snap cutter is really only good for straight cuts, we’re going completely across the tile so that’s the basics on installing a tile backsplash, lot of the principals are the same in installing any kind of tile on the wall other than if you’re in a wet area, you will definitely want to use a motor instead of a mastic but if you’re in a kitchen like this where those tiles aren’t constantly getting wet, the mastic is just fine.

So I think that’s the main thing, remember turning your power off once you’re all done, you can put the plugs and switches all back in like once it’s all grouted and put your covers on and everything should be good.

Installing a Tile Mosaic Backsplash

Installing a Tile Mosaic BacksplashToday we’re going to be looking at how to install a tile mosaic backsplash.   I have already started some of it here yesterday actually, and I am going to finish this last little bit here. So the tile we are using is basically a twelve by twelve tile and we are going to end up cutting it to make it work for what we want to do.

So you can see in this particular tile, we have got various different materials in it, there is glass, there are stones, couple of different stones in there, some stainless panels as well so there is a little bit of everything in this tile. So basically you just start by determining what the best fit is for how you are going to need to cut the tile, this tile is attached, it’s all little individual pieces bit it’s attached to what’s a mesh backing so it’s really easy to cut, I just need to determine where I am cutting it, must be the same as these pieces, I am going to cut it here.

So just take your utility knife, stick it in between the rows and just cut that mesh off. Now this one, we are cutting a few rows out of it, it just didn’t work for the space we had and we are reusing some of those pieces to fill in so I am just making up my pieces here. Typically, if you weren’t working with a restricted height, you would just cut that tile in half or use the full tile and go ahead with it but we had a height restriction there so we had to modify the sheets a little bit to make them work so this will just simply interlock with the last piece you left off and you can see I have got rows above that yet.

So in this case, all I was doing was cutting the appropriately sized tiles off of the strips that we took off from filling in those last two rows just to make it work out for what we wanted. So to begin, I am going to be using some glue, adhesive to put these on because we are not really in a wet zone and by that, we are not in a shower, we are not in a bathtub, we can use this.  But, you shouldn’t use it in a shower or a wet zone like that because this will just promote mould growth so you definitely don’t want to use it there but on a backsplash application, it will work just fine.

So there are a couple of different ways you can do it, you can take your time with the appropriate trial and apply it to the wall and start sticking your tiles on. Because I was leaving off last night, I didn’t want to get any on the wall that was going to be… I didn’t want to have any left in trying to clear these areas because I knew I was going to stop last night and not finish the job so I am just applying it on the back of the tile and I will just continue doing that here today for the amount we have left.

Kitchen Backsplash InstallationSo make sure you have your tile cut right, how you wanted. Simply take some mastic and apply it on the back of the tiles. So you are just rubbing it on there, try not to force it down, we are obviously putting it on the back side but try not to force it down into the grope line joints because then you will have more cleaning up to do to get it out of there so you have space for the grout. So I am just dabbing it onto the tiles as much as I can and then I will just go across… stroke it out so it’s leaving some ridges. I am sure you can see the ridges I have there on the mastic. Ok so once I have it, I will just take it up to the wall, the general area that I am going and stick it on the wall, I want to push every individual tile on there, if you have a rubber… float for doing grout or whatever, you can use it to press this all on and then just slide your tile on way or the other to get your grout lines where they bud into the last one to space out the amount you want.

Looks like I can get one more on here before we are going to deal with that plug in and switch so I will stick that one on. I am just trying to make sure every tile has mastic on it, work your way along there, I find that when you are in a tight space like this, it’s easier to put it on the tile as well, then you are not getting it over the counter top or another area on the wall that you don’t want it. So I will just put it on here, like that. Ok so I have pulled the plug ins and switches out, turned the breakers off, just for safety so if I touch something, I don’t get a shock.

Fixing Damaged Hardwood Floors – Part 2

Now we’re just going to continue on from our first part of fixing this old, damaged hardwood floor.  If you missed the first part, you can catch up on it here.

Fixing Damaged Hardwood Floors 2Now I’m just going to get this all cleaned up and then we’ll cut our next, our new piece of flooring, I’ll show you that one it’s all done and how to install. Okay so we’ve cleaned this all up, we’ve vacuumed it all out, we made sure that we didn’t have any woodchips down underneath here and we also cut out the paper that was underneath there, there will usually be some kind of underlayment paper type product under there so we cut that out so they are glue can glue right to the old subfloor, I’ve manufactured a piece of flooring to go in there.

Now the flooring normally, oh yeah here’s a piece here, this is what it normally would look like. So you have your grove on two edges and your tongue on two edges, now we need to cut some of that off in order to be able to get it in because we obviously can’t get it all fit together like a puzzle like it was before. So in this case, I left the grove on this one edge but it actually cut everything else off, I cut the grove off of this end and I actually cut this edge on a babble you can see there.

So I cut off the tongue that was there and also babbled the piece so it will tip in there a little easier and I slightly babbled this end as well when I cut it to length, now this particular flooring has a slight babbler on each edge and that’s why you kind of see the little bit of grooves here. So because this piece was cut out of a longer piece of stalk, I’ve got a factory end here but I didn’t on this end so I babbled that in like I said and I slightly sanded this edge to give it a babble again and you can steam it or color it so that it blends in with what you did.

Fixing Damaged Hardwood FloorsI actually just took a felt jiffy marker and just put a line there so it creates a shadow and it won’t look any different than any of the other joints. So now something else I did, I added these two pieces of tape on here and really those are just handles to help me get it out if I need to get it back out of here, once you go so far, it’s not going to come out with these handles but if I just drop it in there and need to readjust it or something, I can usually pull it out with these pieces of tape and I just simply cut them off after.

So I am going to do just a bit of a dry fit to make sure it fits in nice. So I need to kind of tip it at the right reaction, get everything lined up and down in the right spots here, there we go, okay. So it looks like it’s going to go, I don’t want to pound it in cause I don’t have any glue under there but I look like my length is good, width is going to be snug but it usually is, so I am going to pull that back out, I can actually take these off cause there’s no going back at this point, I’m just going to make it fit so I’m going to use some construction adhesive right on to subfloor cause we won’t be able to nail this one after, we could face nail it if we needed to.

But generally the glue itself will hold things together quite well. I’m just going to squeeze a little bit under the edge of this backboard since it won’t be held down quite as good as it was before, give it a little bit extra, so that’s lots of glue under there and I’ll just get my piece in there, now usually with most adhesives, that construction adhesive, it’s nice to be able to put your piece in and pull it back out, just for a second to let that gas off but we’re not going to have that option in this case, it’s just got to go in once and that’s going to be it.

So I’ve got things lined up, I’m pretty happy with how things are going to fit, now I’m just going to take a piece of scrap and tap this down in there, you could use a rubber mallet as well just to maneuver it back in to the spot that it’s got to go and try not to damage any of the flooring around it, so I’ve kind of got this end started, this end is going to go, want to be careful that we don’t splinter the ends as it drops down in there as well, it’s gone.

So once that groove sets up, you’ll never really be able to tell that there was anything done to it, we’ve got a nice joint, both ends, looks just like it did before we pulled it out other than we don’t have that big split at the end of it. Okay so that’s the way I know of for getting that flooring out, it’s not the easiest thing to do, it takes a bit of a time but if you just go slow and are just real careful about not damaging anything else, you shouldn’t have too much problems. Obviously dry fit it like we did to be sure it’s going to go and just take your time.

Dealing With Damaged Hardwood Floors

cracked hardwood floorcracked hardwood floorcracked hardwood floorToday we’re going to be looking at dealing with hardwood floors – more specifically, fixing damaged flooring.  I have got a problem here with this hardwood flooring, we have got some damage to it, it’s actually cracked. Right here you can see it splintered out right there so it’s too far gone and we can’t just repair it so I need to cut that complete board out of there. It’s a little hard to tell now because I have got the tape on the surrounding area to protect it but this is actually one piece from there to there and here to here so what we are going to do is show you how to remove that piece and fit a new one in there and hopefully you won’t be able to tell we did anything.

So to start off, what I want to do is use some tape to protect the surrounding floor so I don’t scratch it or damage it because what we are going to do is I am going to drill a couple of three quarter inch holes really close to the ends of the new board or the old board and then I am going to take a circular saw and make about three cuts from end to end of the board. So I have got to run this all over the flooring and stuff like that so we are just trying to protect the surrounding floor so we don’t have a bigger area to fix then we already do.

One thing to be cautious of when doing this is not to cut too close to the edges of your board because there will be some kind of nails or staples underneath there so you don’t want to cut through them hopefully and end up getting a piece in your eye or something, we definitely want to be wearing some safety glasses and that’s a basic thing. So I am going to drill my holes, make my cuts with the saw then I will use a chisel to whittle away it to get the piece broken into two or three pieces and get it out of there.

repairing hardwood floorsSo anyways, I am going to go ahead and start. So one thing we want to be cautious of is not drilling too far so we want to get through this board and just slightly into the subfloor below but we don’t want to punch the hole right through. You can tell the difference, you will start to see some different material coming up then you know that you have likely gotten through to the sub floor. I should have brought the vacuum over to get rid of these woodchips, trying to keep the area clean so that there is less chance of scratching or marking anything up.

Move that out of the way, now I am going to make the cuts with the circular saw so I have set the depth of the blade about an eighth of an inch deeper than what the thickness of the floor is and I am going to make my cuts, I don’t want to cut past the ends of my board I am trying to take out or I will end up damaging the next piece so you have to be real careful.

We have obvisoulsy created a lot of dust. I am going to vacuum that up. Ok, so we have got our basic cuts made, we will see if that will be enough. So now what I am trying to do, because these boards are sealed on all four edges, everything is locked together with the surrounding pieces so what I am trying to do is get the centre of this board out of here so that I can pry the edges in and get them out of the groove.

So I am going to take a chisel here and hack this apart hoping to get everything to come free. Actually, I am going to drill one more hole in the middle here that should help. A couple of more holes will get things loosened up, right from the start. I am just going to use the chisel and try to get these pieces out to begin with.

Ok, so I have got the centre pieces out so now I have to get the very ends out of the groove that’s there and once I have that out, then I should be able to pry these two strips on the sides inwards so this is where you have to be really careful because you don’t want to pry up against the existing planks that you are trying to leave there so it takes a little bit of care.

I have got those ends out pretty easily, drilling that third hole really helped, I am going to try a red bar. Every time it takes a little bit of experimenting to see what’s going to work the best… getting this to move already, this will be the side… you wouldn’t know this if you put the floor down but for me, I know that this is the side that isn’t nailed so it will be easier to get out to start with. I might need to get this end off.

Ok so there is one side of the board off, now if we can get this other side to do the same thing we’ll be in good shape. So little by little, you just want to keep moving your way along here. So I’ll just continue along, you’ve seen me get one stapler already; I’m just coming up to another one right here which you probably can’t see. So I’m just going to work my way along until I get this out. Okay so you can see I’ve got the main part of the board out, I’ve got a staple here left and half a staple there and a whole bunch of splinters but you can see we haven’t damaged that floor, you got to be real careful about prying against it.