Fixing Squeaky Floors Under Carpet

Squeaky wood floors under carpet is an annoying problem with an easy, DIY solution. It’s not necessary to have to pull up any of your carpet to fix, and with just a few simple tools you can easily fix this problem in an afternoon. Floor squeaks are caused by gaps between the sub-floor and the floor joists which have separated over time and can be fixed by simply reattaching that sub-floor back to the framing. The trick, however, is to not damage your wall-to- wall carpet and to locate where the joists in your floor are located.

Tip: Cut a 6″ or 8″ piece of wire coat hanger to attach into your drill. You can use this to locate the joists under your subfloor without damaging your carpet. Once you locate a joist, mark it off with tape.

Tip: If you go beyond 16″ left or right without hitting a floor joist, it may mean that you are drilling in the direction that the floor joists run. Change direction and try going perpendicular.

Once you have found a joist, you will take your screw and turn it by hand to create a small hole in the carpet so that when the drill is used, that it does not ‘catch’ the carpet. Rotating the screw in a circle within the hole will help make the hole larger.

Tip: Hold sub-floor down with your knees as much as you can to make sure that it is as tight as possible before driving the screw.

Tip: Stop driving screw once screw head reaches top of carpet. Using a pair of channel lock pliers, twist screw side to side and front and back until screw pops off.

Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Before starting your hardwood refinishing project – first, take care of any repair work that you need to. These might be areas that get heavy traffic, have exposed nail heads, stains, holes, missing quarter-rounds or thresholds, and any squeaks.

Tip: For fixing high traffic areas that have worn finish or stained. You may need to use a chemical cleaning agent to fix the staining.

Tip: To fix holes in the floor, you can use oak plugs and sand into place. You may have to drill the holes to make a bit larger to fill with wooden plugs. Use a little glue to secure in place. Line up grain in plug to grain in floor as best as possible and then tap into place. Sand flush once glue is dry.

Tip: For exposed nail heads, pound them down into place far enough so that filler can be placed on top. Be sure tap nails 1/4″ into place at same angle they were put in, and make sure to not cause any further damage to the floor. Fill nail holes by using saw dust from sanding and some white glue. Mix to consistency of toothpaste. This will ensure the best color match.

Rent a floor sander for your sanding work. Tool rental is a great option rather than buying tools. Be sure to pick a sander that will be a good choice for your particular project. Change sanding discs as often as needed, starting with a rougher grit to remove the finish. Next, use a medium grit for a smoother finish and then progress to a finer grit. You may have to use a smaller sander to get into the corners that the big sander doesn’t. Once sanded and patched, floor will be ready to apply your stain and/or finish.

Tip: Make sure room is well ventilated when applying stain/finish, and also wear a mask for additional protection. Start finish along edges first and then use a floor applicator pad to apply finish with the grain.

Installing Laminate Flooring

Installing laminate flooring is a great cost-effective way to add value to your home. With a few simple steps, installing the new flooring is a breeze and is something that almost every do-it-yourselfer can handle.

The first thing that must be done before you ever install new laminate flooring is to thoroughly review the manufacturer’s installation instructions and these instructions will very from one manufacturer to another. The installation of your laminate flooring should be the last thing worked on in the room to avoid accidental damage to your new floor.

Before you install your flooring, you will need to remove the old flooring and check to see if the flooring needs any leveling. Using a thin-set mortar to fill in low spots. If you are installing over a concrete floor, it will be necessary to install a moisture barrier to keep the floor dry.

Tip: Let your packages of laminate flooring acclimate in the room for at least 72 hours before installing so that the floor doesn’t expand or contract with temperature after installed.

Tip: When your laminate flooring does not come with a pre-attached underpad, you will want to lay a separate underpad before installing.

Make sure you thoroughly inspect your boards for defects before installing and order 5-10% more flooring than you actually need in case there are damaged boards or defects.

Tip: To allow for the new flooring to expand and contract, you will need to insert expansion gap spacers along the perimeter of the flooring.

Tip: Stagger the board and maintain an 8″ for each board

Add molding and transition pieces last and enjoy your new floor!

Easy Way to clean your sanded grout

Is dirty grout diminishing the look of your tile floor? Grout, especially in ceramic tile floors and bathrooms, collects dirt and grime. Sealing grout can help to keep it clean, but it’s important to get grout clean before sealing it annually. There are many methods for cleaning grout and some depend on the type of tile you have. Before spending money on an off-the-shelf grout cleaner, try a grout cleaning solution that can be made by using basic household supplies like baking soda, ammonia, and white vinegar. Watch this episode of 60 Simple Seconds for a simple method of cleaning grout. Mix these to prepare a cleaning solution:

These items are for use on ceramic or porcelain tile only.

Scrub in the cleaning solution, wait 15 – 20 minutes, and then scrub again.

Rinse and mop your floor.

How to Lay a Floor Tile

Installing your own tile can save you allot of money. The staff a GNH will help you get all of the materials to accomplish the job.

Preparing for the tiles to be installed is the most important part of installing a great tile floor The first step is to install a solid level subfloor, using cement backer boards. If the subfloor is not installed properly, the grout or the tile itself will crack. Lay down the cement board using as many full sheets as possible, and stagger the boards for stability. Cut partial sheets when necessary with the circular saw after measuring and marking them with guides. Secure the cement boards to the floor/subfloor with screws.

Watch the video to layout the tiles properly. Find the midpoint of the floor, then layout the tiles from the center to the walls. Adjust the layout so that the tiles bear the traffic, not the grout lines (straddle the traffic area). Leave a 1/4″ space for the grout using the plastic spacers. Mix the grout to the consistency of peanut butter. Use the notch trowel for tile adhesive (ask GNH what size groove to get). Create ridges of thinset adhesive with the notch trowel, quickly to place the tiles into the adhesive. With a rubber hammer or wood block, gently tap the tiles down into place. Use a level to test the alignment levelness of the tiles. Occasionally wipe the tiles to keep them clean. Let the tiles set for 24 hours.

Before grouting the joints, use stone sealer if you are installing porous slate or marble. Ceramic tiles do not have to be sealed. Mix the grout and put it into the grooves with the grout float and then wipe the excess with a moist rag but do not make it too wet. Finish the grout off with your finger for a smooth and finished look.

How to Measure for Tile

Looking to install a new DIY ceramic tile floor? By accurately calculating floor space, you can be sure that you won’t end up with not enough tile, or too much.

The easiest way to get an accurate measurement is to first sketch a rough diagram of the layout of your room (and indicating where objects such as islands might be). Next, divide up your sketch into squares or rectangles so then you can find the area of each by measuring the length and width and then multiplying, and then adding all the areas from each square or rectangle together for the total area.

When dealing with objects in the middle of the floor (like an island) – measure the length and width of the island and multiple to get the area, and then subtract this number from your final number.

Solar Attic Fan

Does your attic get hot in the summer? Looking for a solution to reduce energy costs? Learn how to keep attic cool by installing your own solar attic fan.

Solar Star offers a variety of solar attic fans to provide better ventilation in your attic, which will help lower the temperature in your home during the summer months. Solar powered attic fans don’t cost anything to operate, will save you money on your cooling bill, and are environmentally friendly.

Solar Star offers both roof-mounted attic fans as well as interior-mounted fans that can turn existing attic fans into solar-powered solutions. This DIY video shows the easy installation of a roof-mounted attic fan. But remember, safety always comes first when it comes to working on your roof!

Installing FOMO Products Handi Foam Insulation

The FOMO products Handi-Foam brand offer easy to use foam products are perfect for air ceiling structures, and the FOMO Work Smart program will help you identify the easiest most efficient way to use FOMO polyurethane spray foam products.

Tip: Safety is essential, no matter the size of the project, so always read the operating instructions before each use.

Tip: Make sure you have all the proper personal protective equipment ready for the job. Never spray foam without Nitrio gloves, safety glasses, and cover exposed skin. Avoid inhaling vapors and only use in well ventilated areas. For bigger jobs where 2 component spray foam is necessary, make sure all proper equipment is used as well as organic vapor respirator.

Consult material safety data sheet before using any FOMO products. FOMO products are professional use only and sold only through professional distribution.

How to Add Batt Insulation to your Attic

Adding batt insulation to your attic not only can save money on your heating and cooling bills, but it can also protect your home from running the risk of having ice dams form in the winter. Up to 45% of energy can be lost through an inadequately insulated attic – and with a few simple steps, you can install additional insulation yourself. Having a well-insulated attic will reduce your energy costs, keep your home temperature more comfortable, and add resale value to your home.

Most homes have only a mere 3-6″ of insulation, but it is recommended to have at least 12″ of insulation to help keep your heating and cooling bills down.

Tip: In Greene County NY, the normal recommendation for insulation in your attic is R-49, which is roughly 16″

Tip: If your attic already has insulation and you are adding more insulation, don’t use the kind with the paper vapor barrier as this can trap moisture between layers.

Once the cavities between joists are full, add your additional layers of insulation perpendicular across the joist.

How to Clean Vinyl Siding

If your vinyl siding has begun looking drab, dull and faded, clean it with a pressure washer. Learn how with these easy step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Weigh your Cleaning Options – You can rent a pressure washer from an equipment-rental center for $50 to $75 per day. Use a 25-degree nozzle for good coverage that won’t damage the vinyl siding.

Pressure washers generate very high pressure, so it’s essential to take safety precautions when using them:

Use both hands when holding the spray nozzle.
Don’t use pressure washers while standing on a ladder.
Never point the nozzle at anyone.

An alternative to using a pressure washer is to use a home-washing kit that attaches to the garden hose, but the kits aren’t as quick or as effective as pressure washers.

Step 2: Prepare to Clean – First, cover anything you don’t want the spray to hit. Cover lights and electrical fixtures with plastic bags, and secure them with duct tape. Cover any electrical outlets with plastic sheeting, and secure them with duct tape. Place drop cloths over any plants or shrubs near the house, and move any outside furniture away from the house.

Go around the house and check for trouble spots that are covered in mildew, mold or moss. To determine whether a trouble area is affected by mildew, apply a small amount of household bleach to the area. If it clears up, the problem is mildew. Pressure washers usually don’t remove mildew, so you’ll need to clean those areas by hand. Scrub off the mildew using a solution of 9 parts water and 1 part bleach.

Step 3: Spray the House – Attach a garden hose to an outside faucet, then attach the pressure washer to the hose (Image 1). If the pressure washer has a soap feed, mix a mild solution of water and detergent in a bucket, then place the soap-feed tube in the bucket (Image 2). Make sure the water is turned on, and start the pressure washer.

Begin spraying the house, holding the nozzle at a 45-degree angle. Work from the bottom up, and move across the siding from side to side at a steady pace. When cleaning around windows, hold the nozzle at an angle, and direct the spray away from the windows.

Rinse the siding with clear water. Work from the top down to prevent streaks.

Tip: Before returning the pressure washer, take the time to clean decks, outdoor furniture, playground equipment, the garage floor and even garbage cans. .