Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints (10)

What is tub re-glazing?

Re-glazing a tub (or sink or shower) does not involve re-coating with a new porcelain glaze. It is really not a new porcelain re-glaze. It is painting the tub with an epoxy paint which is not as durable. With regular use, the re-glazed surface quickly becomes decrepit. And guaranteed subsequent re-does will make it look worse and worse, until you quickly realize that you have to replace.

Why would I want a concrete mortar-bed as a tile foundation?

A concrete mortar- bed float used as a tile base is superior to Wonder Board, Hardi Board, Dura Board, Green Board, etc. because: 1) it is a waterproof surface unlike most boards which can get mushy and release tiles when wet, 2) unlike boards, a float is seamless which greatly reduces the possibility of the tile cracking as it can along the seam lines of the boards, 3) a float can be made perfectly straight and level allowing the tile to be set plumb and with a tight grout joint.

What is the difference between a tight and a wide ceramic tile grout joint?

It is the width of the grout joint that determines the type of grout which may be used. With a tight grout joint, under an 1/8 inch, un-sanded grout is used. Sanded grout must be used on joints 1/8 inch or wider. Sanded grout is much more difficult to clean.

Are there any toilets available that flush well with only 1.3 gallons of water?

Yes, there are some excellent flushing 1.3 gal toilets on the market today. I would be more than happy to recommend several to you.

What are some desireable characteristics of kitchen and lavatory sinks?

KITCHEN SINKS: An under counter sink installation is preferable for a kitchen sink. 1) Because in the kitchen it is necessary to wipe crumbs off the counter and into the sink, a drop in self rimming sink is not a good choice. An under counter installation is much more practical. 2) An under counter sink, if the sink gets damaged, is very difficult to remove without damaging/destroying the countertop. Therefore, a quality 18 gauge stainless steel sink is a good choice. Unlike porcelain sinks, it will never chip and is very hard to damage. LAVATORY SINKS: Self rimming vitreous china sinks are a good choice for a bathroom. 1) Under counter installations tend to develop an unsightly and impossible to remove black mold at the sink to counter join. As the join is above the water line in a self rimming sink, that does not occur. 2) Replacing a damaged, self rimming, drop in sink is usually possible without counter damage. 3) Sinks that show a rim are usually more attractive than under counter sinks. 4) Avoid porcelain clad steel and cast iron sinks as they tend to rust.

What is the difference between Type “M” and “L” copper pipe?

In domestic hot and cold water systems, Type L copper pipe should be used because it is thicker and is much more dependable. Type M is prone to developing leaks.

Why would I spend more money to buy stainless steel jacketed feeds?

Un-jacketed vinyl and rubber hose feeds commonly found connecting washing machines, sinks, and toilets to the wall valves in homes can herniate, leak at full force, and cause extensive damage to homes. Flexible hoses should always be the type that have a webbed stainless steel jacket to prevent this from happening.

Is using combination heat/fan/light fixtures a good choice?

Combination heat/fan/light fixtures generally perform poorly. They are often energy inefficient, loud and ineffective. Installing separate components is usually a better choice.

What are the characteristics of the common materials used for countertops in bathrooms and kitchens?

CERAMIC TILE: Most ceramic tiles provide a very durable surface. Tile surfaces do not require sealing. GRANITE: Granite provides a very durable seamless surface that once sealed will not stain or discolor. Natural granite is available with beautiful characteristics, like embedded crystals and a random pattern of movement. SYNTHETIC GRANITE: Synthetic granite is a mixture of granite and resin. It has a very consistent pattern and is as durable as natural granite. It does not require sealing. CORIAN: Corian is a man made marble and has a very consistent pattern It is softer than granite and tile but doe not require professional maintenance. It can be honed (scratches buffed out) with common household cleaners. SOFTER STONE: Travertine, limestone, and marble are soft and require regular professional maintenance. I do not recommend them for countertops unless you are prepared to have them professionally treated annually. PLASTIC LAMINATE: Plastic laminate sometimes referred to as Formica® is a moderately priced countertop material that is not used very much any more for kitchen or bathroom countertops.

What is the difference between face frame and Euro cabinets?

Most cabinets produced today are Euro style. Euro cabinets provide much more usable storage space than do face-frame cabinets because there is no wasted space between drawers/doors. Finger-pulls are not available for Euro cabinets. Knobs or handles are required.

NOTE: The above comments are opinions based on my personal experience. If you have any questions or any suggestions for items that should be in the “Helpful Hints” section, please contact me. Thank you, Mike Tenenbaum