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Cement Boards Over a Slab

Using Cement Boards Over Concrete Slab Construction

It seems that ceramic tile installation has an abundance of myths that pop up all too frequently regarding Do-It-Yourselfers on “help forums” and DIY websites. So-called tile experts offer advice and opinions based on, well… I’m not sure what some of the comments are based on or where some people get their (mis)information to tell you the truth. I want to address the subject of installing cement board products over a concrete substrate.

It is imagined by some that products like Durock, Hardibacker and others can be used to fix imperfections in the surface of concrete or to override a previously painted or sealed concrete surface. Installing tile over painted or sealed surfaces is usually not good practice. Read More

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Concrete Control Joints & Cracks

The Behavior of Concrete Slabs With Control Joints and Cracks
by A. Kester

A lot of architects, contractors, and even engineers, do not have a good understanding on the behavior of concrete slabs-on-ground (SOG). I am just one structural engineer and these are my thoughts based on my research and experience. I have worked with concrete slab construction my entire career, and have done a lot of investigations of cracks and settlement damage to SOG, and have a pretty good general understanding of them. This is a review of the subject and I hope it helps people in the flooring industry in dealing with different types of slabs with control joints and cracks. Read More

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Computer Security for The Floor Pro

Computer Security for Flooring Pros
by Nick Arrera

There’s More To Flooring Than Just Floors

Part of being a floorcovering professional is the office work. Every one of you reading this obviously has a computer and odds are 99% of you use it for work: invoicing and bookkeeping, compiling price lists, writing business correspondence and research on the Internet. Some of you feel you are adequately protected from the dangers of hackers and viruses. A few of you do not concern yourselves with such matters. Only when there’s trouble do you wonder what happened. Here is a short course on computer security that can help protect you, your computer and your business data from theft or damage. Read More

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Tile Over Vinyl Flooring

Ceramic & Stone Tile Over Vinyl Flooring
A Raging and On-going Controversy in the Flooring Community

In The Old Days…

Back in the early days of the first home improvement Advice Forums for Do-It-Yourselfers on the Internet, less than a decade ago, it didn’t take long to find out that if you were to choose a subject such as this (ceramic or stone tile over vinyl) and rub two tile installers together you could in no-time create fire. If not a raging flaming beast of a fire then at least plenty of smoke. This type of fire and smoke is hard to extinguish because in the minds of some long-time installers, for them to follow this advice would mean changing everything they had been taught by their mentors and fathers and grandfathers and godfathers. For some, these methods mean change and we all know how humans resist change. So, for this reason, this is not directed at any of the long-time professional installers in the flooring community. No sir, instead it is directed toward the Do-It-Yourselfer that is seeking sound advice from an experienced installer that has (trust me) “been there, done that”. You will find this ongoing argument everywhere on the help forums that you go to seek advice. Read More

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Hand-Scraped Hickory Steps

Custom Made, Hand-Scraped Hickory Steps

A customer I previously made a fireplace mantle for ask me if there were stair treads to match his hand scraped Hickory hardwood flooring. I knew I could make hickory steps but wasn’t sure if I could get the hand scraped look. Festool and Makita have planer blades for hand planers to give the “look,” but for one set of stairs I can figure something else out. I will also be opening up a portion of one wall of the stairwell so the steps run past the wall and have a capped end.

If you do hardwood flooring, you may see this as a great way to add custom business and more profit. I’ve done many sets of steps in my career, so this is not new to me, but the “hand scraping” part of it is a first. Read More

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Patching Vinyl Floors

A small repair for the professional or do-it-yourselfer

View larger images in the “Patching Vinyl Floors – a Photo Essay” in a new window or tab.

I have not seen an older vinyl floor, in my more than 3 decades in this business, that hasn’t sustained some kind of minor damage. Many of the dings, nicks, burns and tears go unrepaired and then they multiply. Repairing small damage to a vinyl floor is relatively easy and I have always felt that a moderately capable do-it-yourselfer could accomplish it. But it’s surprising how many DIYers will tackle larger, more complicated tasks and not attempt patching their vinyl floor. What is even more surprising is to see the repairs done by professionals. The seams split, corners curl or the patch looks like it was outlined with a Magic Marker.

This how-to will guide the home handyman (or woman) or the pro in the successful repair of today’s sheet vinyl products sold for residential use. It’s a method I have employed for many years — long enough for me to see how it looks 5, 10 and even 15 years afterward. I believe a patched vinyl floor should not be seen. Of course, if you use a brand new scrap to patch a well worn area, you will see a difference in the luster, texture and clarity of the design. But the patterns and/or grout lines should blend so that when the area has received some traffic, you will not be able to notice the patch. Read More

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Patching Vinyl Floors, a Photo Essay

Patching Damaged Glue-Down Sheet Vinyl Floors

This is a step-by-step guide to repairing damaged sheet vinyl flooring. Click a picture and follow along during an actual job of patching a vinyl floor. Read More