One pro who isn't sold is master plumber
and carpenter Tim Carter, who also writes the syndicated
newspaper column "Ask the Builder." Carter
says he doesn't like the way it sounds when you walk
on it, and it's tough to replace a section if it gets
One recent advance in the hardwood
laminates is the advent of having the underlay attached to the boards. Underlay
usually comes in rolls; it has to be put down first before the floor is laid.
As an alternative, try using rolls of cork as an underlay, Carter says. "That's
what they've done in Europe for years."
This is Wilson's area of expertise and personal passion. He's currently
doing a major project at his own house that includes a dual-level deck with an
outdoor kitchen and -- no, this is not a misprint -- a brick bread oven.
of the innovations he's seen recently is in underdeck fastening systems that eliminate
nail or screw holes on the surface of the deck. "They come with a clip or
a metal fastener," Wilson says. "Some look like a plastic biscuit. Some
fasten under the deck, and some fasten between the boards. "
other major improvement, he says, is in the area of water-based deck sealers.
It sounds like a contradiction, he admits, since sealers are meant to keep water
out, but that's just what they do. One new sealer, Thompson's Advanced, can be
applied to damp wood, which means that a homeowner could clean and seal a deck
in a single day.
As an aside, Wilson -- a paid spokesman for
Thompson products -- says it's easy to clean and treat a deck as a DIYer. All
you need is some deck cleaner, a plastic garden sprayer and a stiff bristle brush
for the cleaning, and a paint pad and some deck sealer for the second step. "People
are used to using brushes and rollers, but I use a paint pad and it works great.
You get really nice, even coverage. I took one of those deep baby-wipe containers;
it's the perfect size for a 7-inch paint pad."
If ever there were a friend of the DIYer,
it is duct tape. If love covers a multitude of sins, duct tape covers a multitude
of mistakes. But, according to the pros, it doesn't stick very well to porous
surfaces, such as brick, stucco or rough lumber. While we are attempting to refrain
from product endorsements of any kind, we kept hearing about Gorilla
Tape by the makers of Gorilla Glue.
Glue has expanded its whole product thing, come in and kicked butt on duct tape,"
Carter says. "They have a tape out that is so much stronger than traditional
So we did a Web search and found
references of independent, very scientific testing by people who stuck it to things
that they shouldn't have, such as hoods of cars, and nearly ripped the paint off
trying to remove it. People were suggesting it as alternatives for clamps in wood
shops and listing it as a Christmas gift idea for the guys in your life. About
$10 a roll for 35 yards, it's a lot more expensive than regular duct tape, but
we were sufficiently impressed to provide a mention, for which we have not be
compensated in any way.
|-- Posted: April
12, 2006 |