Top Trends in Hardwood Floors #1023172

  • Transcript

    TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And we are enjoying a beautiful fall weekend in our neck of the woods. I hope that you are, as well. I love this time of year. The air is so crisp, you could smell the pumpkin spice, you could smell the apples. You know, it’s just that special time of the year and it doesn’t last too long, right? It seems that we have these beautiful days and they last for a week, two weeks and then a big storm comes in, blows all those leaves off the trees and it’s officially winter.

    LESLIE: It does happen fast.

    TOM: But while it’s here, you need to enjoy it. And we’re going to help you do that by taking care of your home this hour. You’ve got to help yourself first, though: pick up the phone and call us with your home improvement or décor question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Or post your question online to The Money Pit’s Community page at

    This hour, we’re going to talk about all the choices you have for flooring. There’s just a ton of choices out there. It used to be pretty straightforward, right? You had kind of hardwood or carpet or vinyl. But now you’ve got light woods and dark woods and distressed woods and wide planks and skinny planks. We’re going to take a look at the hottest trends and the latest styles of hardwood and wood-look flooring and help you figure out what’s perfect for your home, just ahead.

    LESLIE: Plus, it’s been one of the worst hurricane seasons in recent memory, with two major hurricanes hitting just days apart. And it goes to show you guys just how important it is to, well, as the Boy Scouts say, “Always be prepared,” especially when it comes to making sure you’re never out of power. We’re going to have tips, just ahead.

    TOM: And also ahead, if you’re worried that your home could have toxic mold, typically you’d need to hire an inspector to come to your house, take a sample, send it to a lab and then wait for days for the results. Well, now there’s a new way to test for mold and it takes only five minutes. We’ll share those details, in just a bit.

    LESLIE: Plus, if you call in with your question, right now, to 888-MONEY-PIT or post it to The Money Pit Community page, we’re going to toss your name into The Money Pit hard hat for the Mr Beams Home Safety and Security Lighting Bundle, which will brighten up all of those dark, autumn-y corners of your home.

    TOM: Yep. It includes the Security Light, the 360XT Spotlight and the very cool UltraBright Ceiling Light, which is perfect for closets or porches or patios.

    It’s a package worth 110 bucks. Going to go out to one listener drawn at random. Make that you. The number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    LESLIE: Bret in Rhode Island, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    BRET: We have the 1890s Victorian home in Wakefield. Gut rehab. Put in an 8×14 master bath in with Frank Lloyd Wright Arts and Crafts-style tile in it. And the shower in the corner, that’s a step-in shower. And over the last eight years, because of – plastic floor of the shower wasn’t supported. It started to crack from the flexing. And I’m not sure how I can take care of those cracks without ripping out all the tile around the lip of the plastic floor of the shower.

    TOM: So, there is one way to do it. And it’s not real pretty but you can do it this way. And that is that plastic base is made of fiberglass and you can use a fiberglass-repair kit and basically cover the split area with a fiberglass patch. And essentially, that means you’re going to put down resin and then you’re going to put down fiberglass itself and press it into the resin. Once that dries, you’re going to put down more resin and then more fiberglass in. You’re going to kind of crisscross it and essentially, you’re going to build up kind of a patch across that crack.

    Now, of course, that’s going to be painfully obvious but maybe you don’t care about that. Maybe you’re thinking, “I’d rather have it just be patched and watertight than have to tear out the tile.” Because yes, replacing that kind of shower pan will require that you remove that tile around the first 8 to 12 inches all the way around to be able to get that pan out.

    BRET: Yeah, I’m not sure that it’s fiberglass; I think it might be just hard, molded plastic. I got it at a big-box store.

    TOM: The only way to try to repair it is with a fiberglass-repair kit. And you can pick that up at an auto-parts store. It’s like a body-repair kit. And essentially, it’s just those two things: it’s basically the resin itself and the fiberglass material. It may be some – it may have some sandpaper with it. But you’ve got nothing to lose; you might as well try it.

    I did it once in a house that I owned – bought myself a year before I got around to tearing out the shower pan – and it worked great.

    BRET: OK. It’s a great idea. We’ll give it a try. Thank you so very much.

    TOM: Good luck, Bret. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Wendy in Georgia, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    WENDY: I have two drafty doors and we opted to use the peel-and-stick foam insulator.

    TOM: OK.

    WENDY: And it didn’t work that well. And it just created more of a gap, it seems like. It just didn’t work at all and I’m just wondering what kind of solution can we use instead of the peel-and-stick fill-in stuff.

    TOM: So, when you say the peel-and-stick foam, do you mean when the doors close, you get drafts that come through them and you use the peel-and-stick weather-stripping?

    WENDY: Yes.

    TOM: Do you want to operate these doors in the wintertime?

    WENDY: Mm-hmm. Definitely.

    TOM: And what kind of doors are they? What are they made of? Are they metal doors or are they …?

    WENDY: It’s a metal door.

    TOM: So it’s an old, metal, sliding-glass door.

    WENDY: No, it’s a regular door. It’s just – and it goes out to our patio but it’s not a wood door. It’s made of metal.

    TOM: Oh, it’s a metal door. It’s a regular metal door.

    WENDY: Yes.

    TOM: Are the drafts coming in around the sides and top of the door or are they coming under the door?

    WENDY: Under the door and on the side, right where the door locks.

    TOM: If the door is out of alignment – in other words, if you close the door and it doesn’t evenly strike the jamb all the way around – it’s going to be almost impossible to get a seal from that type of weather-stripping. It’s got to strike the weather-stripping and then compress it a little bit to give you the seal.

    Now, I would take a look, very carefully closing that door – open and close it from the outside – bringing it to where it just starts to touch the jamb and see if it strikes evenly all the way around. If it doesn’t strike evenly, then you need to adjust the door. And that’s usually done by moving the door jamb one way or the other to get it to basically hang better so that it will strike evenly.

    In terms of the door at the bottom, the door saddle might be replaceable. Or in the alternative, you could do something that’s probably even easier and less expensive – is you could put a door sweep on the bottom of the door.

    Now, a sweep attaches to the face of the door and it basically goes right down to the floor. It looks kind of broom-like; it has bristles that are really tight together. And that actually will help a lot of the breeze that’s coming through and under the door.

    WENDY: OK.

    TOM: And then, of course, you could always go with a storm door and that’s another way to approach the whole thing, OK?

    WENDY: That sounds perfect.

    TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show.

    What’s on your fall fix-up to-do list? Well, post your home décor or your home improvement question on The Money Pit’s Community page at Or give us a call, 24/7, to 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Just ahead, if you love hardwood floors, there’s never been more beautiful and durable options to pick from. From light hues to dark stains and distressed textures and wide planks, we’re going to have tips on how to make the best choice for your design tastes, in today’s Flooring Tip presented by Lumber Liquidators, next.

    Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Are you trying to fix up your money pit? Well, we are, too. Let us help. Call in your home improvement or home décor question, right now, to 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.

    LESLIE: And hey, here’s another great reason to reach out by phone or posting on our Community page: we have got a great prize to give away this hour. We’ve got up for grabs the Mr Beams Home Safety and Security Lighting Bundle. Now, that’s going to include a Security Light, a 360XT LED Spotlight and the very cool UltraBright Ceiling Light. It’s a package worth almost 110 bucks.

    Now, the lights are super bright. I’m talking about 300 lumens, so you can really light up those large areas, closets, showers, sheds, pantries, all those dark spots where it’s really difficult to get a light into. Plus, you don’t need an electrician, so it’s really amazing. And it’s got a great diffuser on the end of all of the light fixtures, so you really get a wider coverage area, about 300 square feet. And it really does light those areas well.

    Best part, again: you don’t need a pro to install them; they’re battery-operated. And the batteries can last about a year if you figure they’re only coming on 8 to 10 times a day which, truly, will light up all your areas for many, many years to come.

    Check it out at It’s a great prize package.

    TOM: Mr Beams delivers surprisingly bright light anywhere. That Home Safety and Security Lighting Bundle going out to one listener drawn at random. Make that you. Anyone that calls before Monday actually qualifies for this, so call us now at 888-MONEY-PIT or post your question to The Money Pit’s Community page at

    LESLIE: Ralph in Pennsylvania is on the line with a heating issue. What’s going on?

    RALPH: I have a flat roof on my house, right? And it’s one room that, I guess, when they built the house, they planned it to be a garage? And I’m using that room because it’s really nice but I can’t get it to heat up for some reason. It seems like the – it’s like a draft coming in there. And I can’t get the room warm at all.

    TOM: And how are you heating it? What’s the heating system look like for that particular room?

    RALPH: I don’t have heat in that room.

    TOM: But you say you can’t heat it up. But how are you trying to heat it up?

    RALPH: Oh, I don’t want to – I own one of those ammos (ph) heaters: you know, the stoves?

    TOM: So, you’re using a portable heater and you’re not – it’s still – it’s not warming up. Is that your – is that the situation?

    RALPH: Correct.

    TOM: A couple of things. First of all, garages are essentially the exterior of your house. And so, if they’re not built to contain heat, then they’re going to be very difficult for you to do just that. You mentioned it has a flat roof, so you don’t have a lot of access to that roof space where you could add insulation.

    The walls. Are the walls insulated?

    RALPH: Yes, they are. It’s actually – the garage is actually attached to the house. It’s like part of the house. There’s a big door, actually.

    TOM: So this is part of your house but it’s not part of the central heating system for the house?

    RALPH: Correct. Correct.

    TOM: Yeah. See, I really think you need to have more BTUs in that space, as well. So, I don’t think you’re getting enough heat out of this portable unit. How is your – how is the rest of the house heated? Oil? Gas? Electric? What?

    RALPH: Oil.

    TOM: Oil, OK. Hot air? Forced air?

    RALPH: Correct.

    TOM: Is there an opportunity to extend the heating system ducts – supply and return – into that area that was formerly a garage?

    RALPH: Yeah. I think that’s where – maybe that’s what I have to do. I don’t know. But it – my problem is, actually, that I feel a draft. Even if I take out the plates on the floors and whatnot, on the outlets, I can feel air coming through there.

    TOM: Yeah. So you’re going to probably have to do some comprehensive draft-proofing.

    So, look, first of all, you need to extend the heating system into that. If it turns out you can’t or it’s not going to deliver enough heat, the least expensive way to heat that room would be by to add – and just in this room – electric baseboard heaters. You could have these permanently wired in and run off a thermostat and even run off a clock thermostat so that when it really gets very cold, you could use this to supplement the heat in that room. That’s the least expensive way to add additional heat to that space.

    In terms of the drafts, yeah, you need to start attacking those drafts in all the ways you normally attack them. You want to try to identify them. If it’s coming in around the outlets, then you add gaskets behind the outlets. There’s foam gaskets, very inexpensive, you can put in that go under the cover plate and will cover that area. If it’s coming around the windows, you may need to weather-strip those windows or caulk the windows. You want to attack those one at a time.

    And the roof above that you said is a flat roof, is that roof insulated, as well?

    RALPH: Yes, it is.

    TOM: Well, then, it sounds to me like what you want to do is seal off the drafts and add additional heating to that room the easiest way you can. I just don’t think you’re getting enough BTUs in there with the space heater, OK?

    RALPH: OK. Thank you very much.

    TOM: Well, it used to be that plain, unfinished oak was pretty much the norm for hardwood floors, right? I mean it was installed when the house was built and then it had to be stained and finished and over and over again, right? You have to keep repeating that process. But today, there’s dozens of durable choices available in hardwood floors, from light hues and dark stains to those that have distressed textures and even wide planks. So we’ve got some tips on how to make the best choice for your home, in today’s Flooring Tip presented by Lumber Liquidators.

    LESLIE: Yeah. First of all, let’s talk about the colors. Now, light flooring can brighten up your home with clean design. Colors like natural maple, ash, whitewash, even other light flooring stains are not only going to conceal dust and dirt – which, hey, we all love that – but it can also make your space feel larger and brighter. It’s a good trick.

    TOM: Now, dark flooring, on the other hand, can actually add sort of a level of sophistication or luxury to your space. The darker stains, like ebony or dark walnut and also deep espresso, can be absolutely stunning, especially when you pair it with good design. And modern styles actually work particularly well when you’re showcasing light cabinetry or even furniture.

    LESLIE: Yeah, I do love a dark-wood floor.

    Now, here’s another new trend: it’s gray flooring. And that’s kind of that happy medium between light and dark. And it’s really become the new neutral in flooring choices because it offers a timeless backdrop for your home’s decor. You can choose from a wide range of tones of gray – light shades, dark shades – and even some that have a hint of blue. So it’s easy to set the tone for your own unique design style.

    TOM: Now, in addition, there are options available in the flooring texture and one of my favorites is this distressed flooring. Now, these floors are based on the unique characteristics of handcrafted hardwood floors. And they can really add a rustic charm.

    The floors are designed to kind of replicate that vintage craftsmanship technique, like wire-brushing or hand-scraping, to give the floor a really authentic look. And they come in a variety of styles and finishes and stains. They’re really pretty cool.

    LESLIE: Now, if you like a beautiful oil-finish look without the maintenance and the upkeep that comes along with it, you can consider matte flooring. Now, a matte finish, it really is great for hiding small scratches, dust, dirt. And it’s a smart choice if you’ve got a busy family.

    Now, a matte finish on a floor will provide the best of both worlds because it’s modern, it’s got a low-gloss style, it’s easy to maintain and it’s prefinished.

    TOM: Now, if you really want to go big in style, you ought to also check out the wide-width plank flooring. You know, these were almost impossible to find before when they were just made of real wood, because it’s hard to find woods in that width, right? But now they’re manufactured to be between 5 and 9 inches wide. They’re very trendy.

    The wide-width floors also help your space feel larger, more open. And they can offer a very rustic appeal. Plus, since more of the board is exposed, you’re also better able to see that natural grain and the character in the wood. So they really are pretty.

    LESLIE: And that’s today’s Flooring Tip, presented by Lumber Liquidators, where you can find a wide range of hardwood-flooring styles starting at $1.99 a square foot. From light hues and dark stains to distressed textures and wide planks, Lumber Liquidators offers the hottest trends and latest styles of hardwood and wood-look flooring.

    TOM: Available at Lumber Liquidators stores nationwide and online at

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’re going to remote Alaska where Lonnie has an igloo question. I don’t think we’ve ever talked about an igloo.

    LONNIE: OK. Well, we have the opportunity to purchase a monolithic dome, which is – it looks like an igloo.

    TOM: Oh, OK.

    LONNIE: And when we were touring it – it’s only a 20-foot in diameter. But they did have a dehumidifier inside. And on the outside, it had just been painted with a – like a vinyl paint. A thicker paint? And there were bubbles on the outside. And I took a knife and poked it and water drained out. So I’m wondering if there’s a condensation problem, especially for mold, and what it would take to remedy that.

    TOM: So what is this dome constructed out of? Is the entire thing concrete or what’s it made out of?

    LONNIE: It is concrete.

    TOM: Well, listen, you’ve got to have some sort of a system to try to manage moisture in a space like that. Because let’s face it, first of all, concrete is very hydroscopic. So, water that will get into that concrete at the base, where it comes in contact with the soil, it’ll draw up into the concrete surface and essentially saturate the entire thing. If there’s bad drainage, it can get worse. But I could definitely see how it would stay very, very damp.

    The moisture that you are seeing inside that paint is clear evidence of the fact that this structure is holding a lot of water. Now, it could draw it from the soil or it could just be from the humidity in the air that’s getting into the walls. So, it definitely has to be managed and it sounds like just a dehumidifier by itself may not be the answer. You might need to really have an HVAC pro design a system that could manage that moisture.

    And in terms of the paint itself, you also have to choose a paint that is designed to stick well to concrete. You mentioned this is a really thick paint. We’ve seen a lot of paints out there that claim to be sort of almost like a liquid siding that are very thick. But the problem is that they’re not vapor-permeable, so they don’t breathe. As a result, everything stays underneath it and then when you see those bubbles and the water is just forming right there, it’s just going to continue to push that right off. And I imagine when it gets really, really cold, it’ll probably freeze and expand and crack that paint, basically making it worthless.

    So I think you have reason to be concerned. And I would definitely – if there’s a good, professional home inspector in that area that could look at it for you, that might be a pro to start with. But I definitely think you’re going to need to have an expert design a system that works for that.

    Typically, when you paint concrete, you want to use an epoxy-based paint that has really high adhesion and really strong durability. But it sounds to me like this paint that they used, in this case, was not that type of paint.


    LESLIE: Well, it’s been one of the worst hurricane seasons in perhaps ages, with two major hurricanes hitting just days apart, massive power failures and lots of destruction. We’re going to have tips to make sure you’re never out of power, after this.

    TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Well, it’s been one of the worst hurricane seasons in recent memory, with two major hurricanes hitting just weeks apart. And it just kind of goes to show how important it is to, as the Boy Scouts always say, “Be prepared,” especially when it comes to making sure you’re never out of power.

    LESLIE: Yeah. But it’s not just when hurricanes occur that we need to be prepared. There are winter storms happening all the time and even heat waves can knock out power. So, to get the perspective of a real meteorologist on what is causing all this crazy weather, we’re pleased to welcome Cheryl Nelson, an Emmy-nominated broadcast meteorologist with over a decade of experience.

    Welcome, Cheryl.

    CHERYL: Hi. Thanks for having me.

    TOM: So you broadcast out of Norfolk, Virginia on WTKR. So I’m betting you’ve seen your share of the storms over the last few years. What do you think is causing all this crazy weather we’ve been having?

    CHERYL: It’s so interesting that you mention that, because Norfolk floods so easily. You get a wind coming in off the Atlantic Ocean and we have street flooding and everything coming up through the drains. And to be honest with you, sea-level rise is really an issue for much of the East Coast. And in Norfolk, we really are starting to see that. And so, with the sea-level rise happening due to climate change, we are seeing some issues there and then down across parts of Florida, as well.

    TOM: The interesting thing about these storms is that, you know, folks did, I think, a pretty good job, as best they could, of getting ready for it. But now that the major hurricanes passed, all of a sudden we see a huge surge in generator sales, right, because of all the power failures? It’s just something that people don’t think about doing until they go through the suffering of not having power for days or weeks on end.

    I wish we could change that. And that’s one of the things I wanted to talk with you about, because you’re representing the Cummins Company and they make a pretty good standby generator. What are you hearing from folks around the country that are asking about this project?

    CHERYL: You make a very good point, because people never seem to think that they’re going to need a generator. They don’t think they’re going to use it until a storm like Harvey or Irma happens. And then they’re out, gosh, without power for days, weeks or even longer. And the Cummins QuietConnect Generator is a standby generator. I think it’s amazing because somebody comes and hooks it up to your house by – it’s done by a professional. And it goes on the second the power goes off and stays on for the duration of your power outage.

    And what’s great about this one is you can program it to determine how much you want to power within your house. So you don’t have to get something to power your whole house; you can get something a little smaller if you just want to power some of it.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s interesting. So you can really be selective quite easily to what you want to power and then not have the extra expense of such a huge generator.

    CHERYL: Exactly, yeah. And the generators, everybody things they’re so expensive but it just really depends what you want to do. And if you think about it, what happens when you are without power for a long period of time? You are losing money because you’re probably going to a hotel and you’re spending money there. Spoiled food, you’re losing money. You have emergency supplies you’re spending money on. And what if you get mold? That can be thousands of dollars. Or if your sump pump starts working – or stops working, rather – you can lose even more money.

    So, when you put all that in perspective, the generator really does not seem very expensive anymore.

    TOM: Now, one of the issues with standby power and generators is that it becomes impossible, if not extremely difficult, to find gasoline after a storm. And that’s what happens to folks that have portable generators. Do the standby generators from Cummins work on natural gas and propane, as well?

    CHERYL: Propane they work on or you can hook them up right up to your house, exactly, with the natural gas. So that makes it so easy because you don’t have to run out and get more gasoline, because it’s already powered up to everything connecting to your house. And that makes it so much more convenient.

    TOM: We’re talking to Cheryl Cummins – she is an Emmy-nominated meteorologist – about storm prep.

    So, Cheryl, aside from power and making sure that you’re good to go for backup power, what do you think is the most common thing that people forget to do when a severe storm’s coming, be it a winter storm or a hurricane or tornado or even a heat wave?

    CHERYL: I think they really forget about the fury of Mother Nature. And I know it sounds silly but if you think about it, when you have any type of storm, what are people doing? They’re outside taking pictures, they’re taking videos, they’re putting their lives at risk when really, they should be hunkering down in their house, especially if it’s a tornado warning or if it’s a hurricane. You want to be on that lowest level of the home, in a central room, and put as many walls between you and the outside as possible. But everybody wants to be a journalist these days and they’re all putting their lives at risk.

    So I think if they all have their disaster kit and they went where they were supposed to, a lot more lives would be saved.

    TOM: I’m going to ask you to fess up now: are you one of those crazy meteorologists that likes to stand with her back to the hurricane and broadcast when all hell is breaking loose outside?

    CHERYL: A lot of my colleagues are but I will tell you I don’t mess with Mother Nature.

    TOM: Yeah, you’re the smart one.

    CHERYL: I understand the fury. Exactly. I’m going to stay inside. I’m going to be looking at the computer models and the radar and I’m going to be doing that.

    TOM: You need a big fan and a green screen.

    CHERYL: Yes. I just don’t wear green, though. That’s all.

    TOM: Alright. Well, listen, Cheryl, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit and giving us some tips on backup power and just sort of weather in general. Have a great day.

    CHERYL: Thanks. You too.

    TOM: If you’d like more information on the Cummins Generator products, you can go to And that’s spelled

    LESLIE: Alright, Cheryl. Thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    Hey, are you concerned about mold in your home? Well, we’re going to have tips on a cool test that you can do yourself that can detect over 30 types of mold in about 5 minutes, when The Money Pit continues.

    TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where we make good homes better. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Call in your question, right now, to 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.

    LESLIE: Sylvia in Ohio is on the line and what’s going on?

    SYLVIA: Our carpet in our kitchen is glued down like 20 years ago.

    LESLIE: Did you say carpeting in your kitchen?

    SYLVIA: Yes, they used glue to put the carpet down. So my question is: how do we get it off the floor without tearing the whole floor out?

    TOM: What kind of flooring was it glued over? Is it hardwood?

    SYLVIA: No, just …

    TOM: Plywood?

    SYLVIA: Yes, uh-huh.

    TOM: Some sort of subfloor? So, really, you don’t have to get it completely off; you just have to kind of get it smooth so you can put whatever kind of flooring down you want to do over that.

    What kind of flooring do you want to end up with, Sylvia?

    SYLVIA: We want to put hardwood over it or on it.

    TOM: So, what you should do is get a citrus adhesive remover. There’s a number of different citrus-based adhesive removers. They’re not as caustic as some of the other adhesive removers. And what it will do is soften that adhesive. And your goal here is just to get any of the sort of the thicker, chunkier areas removed so that what you could do is put down another layer of plywood – an underlayment of plywood – say, like a ¼-inch luan or something like that. Then on top of that, you can install your hardwood floor.

    There’s lots of options with the hardwood floor. You can use engineered hardwood, which is thinner but very, very beautiful. And it’s more dimensionally stable and it would be probably a better choice for a kitchen. Because if you put regular hardwood down and you ever had a big leak, spilled a pot of anything, it will swell up and become damaged. But if you use engineered, it’s much more stable and resistant to any type of swelling when it gets damp or wet.

    SYLVIA: Oh, that’s great. Thank you.

    TOM: Oh, you’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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    LESLIE: Yeah, the first prize is a doozy. It’s a beautiful Milwaukee Tools 16-Drawer Tool Chest and Rolling Cabinet Set. Now, it’s filled with the 6-Tool M18 FUEL 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Combo Kit.

    TOM: I’ve got to interrupt you because I looked this up. It’s 5 feet tall.

    LESLIE: Geez.

    TOM: I mean it’s a wall of tool chest. It’s really amazing.

    LESLIE: That’s amazing. You get the tools and you get the place to store them, so you’ve got to love that.

    Second prize, we’ve got two of them up for grabs: the Husky 46-Inch 9-Drawer Mobile Workbench with Solid-Wood Top. Now, that’ll be filled with a 268-piece Husky Mechanics Tool Set. Ten third-place prizes up for grabs – the RYOBI 18-Volt One+ Drill Driver and Impact Driver Kit – and 25 fourth-places prizes, which is our book, My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure. So if you’ve got the tools, we’re going to tell you what to do with them. If you don’t have the tools, hope for first, second or third.

    TOM: Get the details now and enter at And hey, you can even increase your chances of winning because we have this cool share feature. If you post your entry after you enter, we’ll give you a special URL that’s just yours. You post that and your friends enter, guess what? You get five bonus entries for every one of theirs that they enter with. So, it really is a good opportunity for you to get a lot of entries and a lot of chances to win.

    There’s 40 prizes in this sweepstakes, so good luck and get to it, right now, at

    LESLIE: Well, if you’re concerned about the quality of air in your home and in particular, whether you’re breathing in mold, you typically would need to engage an inspector to come to your house, take a sample, send it to a lab. And then, sometimes, you’ve got to wait days for the results. Well, now there’s a better way to test for mold and it will only take about five minutes.

    TOM: Yep. It’s called the Healthful Home 5-Minute Mold Test. And it’s designed to detect toxic molds, like Aspergillus, Penicillium and Stachybotrys, which is that nasty, dark, green mold that can make people really sick.

    I love the fact that it is very easy to use. Everything you need is in the kit. You basically swab areas of the home that collects some dust. Then you put that swab in a small test tube where it’s mixed with liquid. And that liquid is dropped onto a test medium; it’s like a little card. And then five minutes later, the card shows you whether or not an unhealthy mold was found or not. It’s that easy.

    LESLIE: Now, this works even where you can’t see the mold. And it’s not going to report on everyday mold that’s not toxic. It will only alert you if that mold is unhealthy. So, this really allows you to do your own testing quickly, easily and discretely. And perhaps, best of all, if you do detect mold, Healthful Home offers free expert consultation that will help you determine the next steps you need to take towards making your home healthy again.

    TOM: The product is called Healthful Home 5-Minute Mold Test and it helps you find the mold before it finds you. You can learn more at

    LESLIE: Stan in Texas, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    STAN: I’m at the end of my – remodeling my house.

    TOM: OK.

    STAN: And installed the new dishwasher because after the remodel, we’ll put it up for sale. And when I put the dishwasher in, I noticed we started getting an odor out of the dishwasher that I didn’t have before.

    TOM: Hmm. OK. And this is a brand-new dishwasher?

    STAN: Brand-new dishwasher, yes.

    TOM: Well, I wonder what kind of nasty debris would have collected so quickly. But here is what I would suggest. There’s a product on the market that is a dishwasher cleaner. It’s made by a company called Glisten. And it’s called Dishwasher Magic.

    And it is quite easy to use. It’s essentially a bottle where you loosen the cap, turn it upside down and put it in your dishwasher as it if it were another piece of glassware to wash. And the cleaner comes out during the wash cycle and completely scrubs and cleans and disinfects the dishwasher. In fact, it’s the only EPA-registered dishwasher cleaner. And I’ve used it at my house and it works really well. And it was quite amazing how bright and shiny and clean and odor-free the dishwasher was at the end of the cycle.

    STAN: OK. That’s Glisten, right?

    TOM: Yep. Glisten Dishwasher Magic. You can find it in your local supermarkets and home centers. Go to their website at They have coupons there and a list of a whole bunch of stores where it’s available.

    STAN: OK. Appreciate it. I’ll try that.

    TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Want to make your kitchen a safe and functional place to make food prep easier? We’re going to have advice on how to do just that, when The Money Pit continues after this.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Give us a call, right now, on The Money Pit’s listener line at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.

    LESLIE: You can get matched with background-checked home service pros in your area and compare prices, read verified reviews and book appointments online, all for free.

    TOM: No matter the type of job, HomeAdvisor makes it fast and easy to hire a pro you can trust.

    LESLIE: Alright. But right now, you’ve got two pros that you trust right here. And we’ve got a lot of posted questions in our Community section, like one here from Karen in New Jersey who writes: “I’m interested in repairing some sun damage I see on my front door. Can you give me more information on how to sand and prep the door for varnish? For example, do I take the door off its hinges? Can I sand it or do I need a power sander? How long can I expect this to take?”

    Ugh. She’s got a lot of questions.

    TOM: Yeah, she does. Now, I presume, of course, this is a wood door.

    But I’ll tell you what I would do, Karen. And even if you don’t have another single tool in the house, I’d go out and I’d buy an inexpensive consumer-grade sander. Maybe a BLACK+DECKER, for example, or a RYOBI because you really do need to sand the door thoroughly. And the best way to do that is, in fact, to take it off the hinges, put it on a couple of sawhorses and then use that sander to go over the entire surface. It would be so worth it to have a sander to do that.

    Once you’ve done that, you can wipe off all of that sawdust and you can apply a couple of coats of marine varnish. I say marine varnish because it has a UV inhibitor in it and it’s much less likely to fade in that strong sunlight.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And you know what, Karen? It’s kind of an easy project. Because if you take it off and work on it one side a day, within a few days you’ll have that entire door done and it will be beautiful.

    TOM: Well, many of us will be spending more and more time in the kitchen as we get ready for the upcoming holidays and celebrations of all sorts throughout the rest of the year. And if you’re looking for a shortcut that can help ease that workload, Leslie has advice on how to create a kitchen that is safe and functional, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know, I really do love cooking for my friends and family. But there are several tips and tricks that I always keep in mind to make sure I’m working safe and smartly.

    First of all, you have to remember that raw poultry can carry Salmonella. And preparing it requires an extra step of disinfecting. So, you want to wash your hands often. Use a plastic cutting board, not a wood one because the wood will hold the germs in all those small cuts in the board’s surface. Now, for quicker cleanup, just flip the board over after poultry prep. Don’t forget, though, to wipe down your counter with a disinfectant afterwards.

    Next up, those heavy pots and pans can be tricky moving them from place to place. They do get heavy. So, when filling, you want to place the pot on the stove first, then add your ingredients. And if you can, get an extra-long hose for your sink sprayer so you can just fill your pots with water without moving them. Now, once it’s hot, you’ve got to move it anyway. It’s going to be tricky but at least let’s take half the battle away.

    Lighting in your kitchen. That is really key, as well. And that’s not difficult to do. There’s a lot of stick-on LEDs out there that run on batteries, so you can have under-cabinet lighting faster than you can stuff and roast a turkey, I might say.

    And finally, remember that half of all burns treated in the ER result from a scalding injury. So you want to set your home’s water heater to 120 degrees. And that will have you avoiding the water coming from the tap at a dangerous temperature.

    TOM: Smart advice. And today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word was presented by Jiawei. Safeguard your home and loved ones with the Smart Security Light by Maximus Lighting, the porch light redefined. Equipped with two-way talk, high-definition camera, 17-feet motion detection and a 100-foot – and a 100-decibel siren alarm.

    Coming up next time on the program, does it seem like your heat conks out in the middle of the winter, just like your A/C quits on the hottest day of the year? Well, when it comes to maintenance of that HVAC system, keeping it in shape will keep it from going kaput when you need it most. We’re going to have the seasonal step-by-step you need to know, on the next edition of The Money Pit.

    I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …

    LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.


    (Copyright 2017 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio file may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.)

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