Hosts: Tom Kraeutler & Leslie Segrete
(NOTE: Timestamps below correspond to the running time of the downloadable audio file of this show. Text represents a professional transcriptionist’s understanding of what was said. No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. ‘Ph’ in parentheses indicates the phonetic or best guess of the actual spoken word.)
BEGIN HOUR 1 TEXT:
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: Call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT with your home improvement question, your do-it-yourself dilemma. If you’ve started a project and got stuck, remember our motto: anything worth starting is worth starting over with us. 888-666-3974.
Coming up today we’re going to talk kitchens. It’s probably the room that you might spend the most time in but if it’s not set up right it could be giving you a pretty major workout. We’re going to have some design tips to help you save all that lifting in just a bit.
LESLIE: Plus, are the dings, dents and scratches in your hardwood floor starting to make them look pretty bad? Well, let’s put the positive spin on this. Why not focus on what looks good and make them charming instead of fretting over the negative? We’ve got a fun, creative idea – painting floors – that can really turn around the look of that tired hardwood.
TOM: Now, you know, there are folks listening right now, Leslie, saying …
TOM: … ‘Painting a floor! Oh, no!’
LESLIE: Not for everyone.
TOM: Why would I want to paint my beautiful hardwood floor.
LESLIE: It’s not for everyone but if you’re crafty, creative, looking for something different and very personal it’s for you.
TOM: Alright, and also ahead, one of the most popular outdoor projects is installing a paver patio or even a paver driveway. These are kind of like putting together a big jigsaw puzzle. They’re a very fun project. We’re going to have some tools, some tips and some techniques that are going to make paving any surface that much easier.
LESLIE: Ah, and here’s the prize that could actually make it easier. We’re giving away the Ryobi AIRgrip Pro-Cross laser level. You can’t stick it to a wall in that project but you can certainly draw out a laser line so you know everything is perfectly straight and square. It’s worth 70 bucks but it goes for free to one lucky caller.
TOM: 888-666-3974. Let’s get right to the phones. Who’s first?
LESLIE: Barbara in South Carolina’s dealing with an oven issue. What’s going on?
BARBARA: Hi, Tom and Leslie. I discovered when I was fixing Christmas dinner that I seemed to be burning everything …
BARBARA: … and finally determined that my thermostat on my oven was broken. And I’m pretty handy with everything and replaced the eyes (ph) and so forth. Is there any way I can replace that thermostat?
TOM: You absolutely can. It’s not that terribly difficult to do. The key here is getting the thermostat part itself. I’m going to recommend a website called RepairClinic.com and on that website you can actually first select the brand of oven and then you select the type of part. You’d select thermostat. And it sort of drills you down into the exact part that you need and some of these thermostat parts are, you know, pretty expensive. I was looking on their site and it looks like anywhere from like four to 30 bucks for a thermostat and they’ll actually give you the step-by-step instructions on how to do it yourself; whether it’s electric or gas, they’ll walk you through it.
LESLIE: And that’s good because those instructions are specific to your type of oven, so you’ll really be skilled in tackling this.
BARBARA: OK, that sounds good. Thirty dollars doesn’t sound bad at all.
TOM: No, it’s cheaper than …
BARBARA: I was expecting even a bit more.
TOM: Cheaper than hiring someone to do it.
BARBARA: I know and then I priced a new oven and I’m – I mean a new stove and I’m talking about like $1,500 or something so that sounds great.
TOM: Well, if you really want a new stove, Barbara, then you can use this as the excuse. OK?
BARBARA: OK. Thank you so much.
TOM: (overlapping voices) (chuckling) Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: You know, Tom, when my husband and I lived in a rental apartment in Queens I was wondering why – you know, I’d bake an apple pie and like the crust would be like burnt in five minutes and the pie would be raw.
LESLIE: And like cookies were charred and, you know, things were just going totally bananas. And one day I opened up the stove – you know, I had it set at 350 and opened up the oven door and it was so hot it singed my eyelashes off.
TOM: Oh, no. (chuckling)
LESLIE: And let me tell you, it took a long time for them to grow back to normal. But …
TOM: Yeah, because without the thermostat working right it’s just on all the time.
LESLIE: Everything – it was like at 500.
LESLIE: I made a turkey in like an hour. Like it was crazy …
TOM: Oh, man.
LESLIE: … and you know, it was the simplest repair but what a disaster.
TOM: You can definitely do it yourself. Barbara, good luck with that project.
LESLIE: Cal in Pennsylvania needs some help with a tiling project. What’s going on?
CAL: I’m retiling my kitchen floor and when I took up the old floor I realized it was mounted on previous linoleum which was on top of particleboard. And what I’m looking to do is properly install tile without tearing up the particleboard and I want to get back to almost exactly the same height as possible.
TOM: Now, is the old tile directly on top of this linoleum that you uncovered?
CAL: Yes, with thinset or some sort of …
TOM: OK, mm-hmm.
CAL: … adhesive.
TOM: And did it seem it stood up OK? Like it didn’t crack or move or become loose? Was it pretty solid?
CAL: There was one cracked tile. These were …
TOM: Right, right.
CAL: … six-inch tiles or eight-inch tiles. There was one cracked tile. It was cracked when I moved into the house three years ago and I don’t know what …
TOM: Well, listen, one cracked tile is not much to worry about. While it’s not technically the correct thing to do, your best bet is probably to put tile right back on the surface that you took it off of and to add some glue and to use a thinset material or a thinset adhesive and try to reglue right to that vinyl floor again. Now, if it held up the first time it’s probably going to hold up the second time.
The best way to do this would be to put a tile backer, but you’re concerned about the height and I understand why. And of course, you want to avoid going any deeper on the tear-out.
But since it worked the first time, I think it’ll be OK the second time. I would caution you, though, to not use a very wide tile. Because wide tiles are more unstable and if there’s any flex in that floor or anything that’s uneven, you’ll get more cracked tiles. But if you stick with something in that eight-inch area or smaller, that you had, I think you’ll probably be OK.
CAL: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit. Give us a call with your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whenever that pipe breaks we are there for you at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Up next, tips to turn those old hardwood floors into a charming and welcome part of your home once again. We’ll tell you exactly how to do it, next.
ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Aprilaire, makers of professionally-installed, high-efficiency air cleaners. For more information, go to Aprilaire.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: 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: Give us a call right now with your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT and if the plan works, as predicted, two things will happen. First you’ll get your answer and secondly you’ll get a chance at winning a great prize because we’re giving away a Ryobi Pro-Cross self-leveling laser with AIRgrip. AIRgrip allows this laser level to cling to walls and surfaces without leaving a mark. So it’s got lots of great features including horizontal and vertical and intersecting laser beams and it’s going to help you make sure your home improvement projects come out on the straight and narrow. It’s worth 70 bucks but it could be yours if we talk to you on the air this hour. The number again is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now, if you win that prize and you like this next idea, it’s the great tool for you because you can use it to help layout a perfect pattern for your painted floor project if this is something you’re into. I’m telling you. It’s not for everybody but those of you who are adventurous to try, it could really look beautiful.
We’re talking about painting your hardwood floors. Especially if you’ve got a hardwood floor that’s really looking worse for the wear; it’s pretty beat up, you could take the time and refinish it and revarnish it and do everything that you need to and start from scratch and have a great opportunity to keep that hardwood floor looking great, or you could sand them down just a little bit and paint them. It really gives your home a nice cottage-y sort of seashore kind of feel if you go with beachy, washy sort of colors. Or you could paint a border around your floor just for some interest. Even if it’s just a stencil border or even you know how inlaid wood floors sometimes have a key pattern around it? You can mimic that with paint. So you don’t have to go crazy or you can a full harlequin pattern on the floor. It’s totally up to you.
If you’re really feeling adventurous, pick up some nice stencils or do some research at a rug store and paint a replica of a beautiful rug on your floor. The ideas are endless. Look through magazines. Get ideas from all over the place. If you’re feeling courageous you can have your hardwood floor looking beautiful and charming in a weekend’s work.
TOM: 888-666-3974. Soup to nuts and floorboards to shingles, call us right now with your home improvement question.
Let’s get back to the phones.
LESLIE: Roger in Dallas Fort Worth calling about a deck question. What can we do for you?
ROGER: I have cedar on my deck. Should I stain that or put a clear coat over that or not?
ROGER: Or just leave it natural? Stain it?
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, I would seal it.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Well you should do something.
ROGER: (overlapping voices) I mean I’m putting like a clear coat …
LESLIE: You want to definitely put something on there because you need to protect it from moisture, from sun damage. So anything – and that’s personal preference whether you go clear coat or whether you go a solid stain or whether you go a semi-transparent stain. It’s totally up to you for the aesthetics but you definitely do need it to help protect your investment.
ROGER: OK, well thank you.
TOM: Thanks so much, Roger.
LESLIE: Mary in New Jersey has a question about moisture in the basement. What’s going on?
MARY: We were looking at a new house in northeastern Pennsylvania …
MARY: … which we both loved. Went back one day after a snowstorm. Went into the basement and midline above grade in the basement on a poured concrete wall was a lot of moisture. It was almost like somebody drew a line around and it was wet from midline up. Some places were – obviously looked like water.
TOM: Mary, what’s causing that is condensation. The reason you didn’t see any moisture from the midline down is because the soil on the other side of that wall acts as an insulator. But when the wall is fully exposed it’s going to be super cold. There was probably a lot of humidity in the home at that point in time and so what you saw was condensation on the outside wall.
Once the home is heated; once the basement is heated or at least if there’s a dehumidifier in there then that’s not going to happen anymore. That’s not something I would worry about.
MARY: OK, and it was on the inside wall even – and I was just trying to get – somebody told me it was a common problem but nobody could give me an idea of what excesses would be.
TOM: Well, if it’s – you said it’s a solid concrete wall. Those are very, very structurally stable walls. If you’re not collecting water on the inside I wouldn’t worry too much about it, but again, if you dehumidify the basement, then that’s not going to happen anymore. It’s a simple problem because of the exposed wall being so cold.
LESLIE: Well and also, like Mary had mentioned, you know, there was a substantial snowfall, so you’re dealing with a lot of moisture right up against the home’s foundation walls. So you’re going to see that moisture wicking through the concrete just because of that moisture and the snow sitting right there.
MARY: And as far as buying a new home, this would not be a big concern or considered a structural flaw?
TOM: No, it wouldn’t be to me but before I bought a new home I would have the home inspected …
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Inspection.
TOM: … by a professional home inspector.
LESLIE: Even if it’s new.
TOM: You can find one by going to the website for the American Society of Home Inspectors, Mary. It’s ASHI.org. ASHI.org. Those guys are the cr