Monthly Archives: March 2016

You must use this idea that hardwood floors is the right one

However, caring for them can be a challenge. After years of use, your hardwood flooring can become scratched. But, you can make them look like new again without fully-replacing-them.

If you like to DIY and have time to patiently take care of your floors, this project could be right for you. Here’s how to refinish your hardwood floors.

Costs to Refinish Hardwood Floors

Depending on the type of wood used, care and the installation method, hardwood flooring can last up to 25 years or more. Refinishing damaged hardwood floors will ensure that your floors last a lifetime. The average cost to refinish hardwood floors is $1,455. This cost depends on the area that is being refinished and the amount of wear and tear on the wood. Keep in mind, if you’re doing it yourself, you may need to factor the costs of renting a sander and other materials you may not already own.

Refinishing Considerations

When taking on this project, it should not be done hastily. There are many decisions to make that can impact the way your floors look and last. Here are a few questions to consider.

How Much Time is Needed? 

Refinishing hardwood floors is a time-intensive project. Many of the materials used will take hours to fully dry, making this project longer than a weekend DIY. If there is carpet or vinyl covering the wood, you’ll need to factor in removal time. Additionally, if you plan on changing the stain of your floor, more time should be factored into applying the new stain.

What Kind of Stain & Polyurethane Should Be Used?

Changing the stain color of your floor is possible, but will require a heavier sanding process. The stain you choose when you’re refinishing can drastically change the look of the room and appearance of the wood. Know what kind of wood your flooring is made of before moving forward. Some woods don’t take to stains as well as others. Oak has the most variation of stain options, while harder woods, like walnut and maple, tend to look best left natural.

Polyurethane comes in two varieties; water-based and oil-based. Water-based is quicker to dry and leaves a clear finish, likely best for a wood you want to naturally show off. Oil-based will give the wood an amber color and takes longer to dry. Remember that floor finish is specific to flooring. Furniture finish will not work here.

What’s the Condition of the Floor?

In some cases, wood flooring must be replaced rather than refinished. Refinishing hardwood floors can only be done a few times, so know how many times the floor has been finished before you sand the boards too thin. Any damaged boards should be repaired and floors with water damage should not be refinished.

Additionally, if you have engineered hardwood floors, leave this to the pros, as the layers of wood could be damaged if not done correctly. This DIY project should only be done if you have solid hardwood floors.

Materials Needed

  • Random Orbital Sander (Rental)
  • Handheld Sander
  • Detail Sander
  • Hammer
  • Dust Mask
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Plastic Sheets
  • Course Grit Sandpaper
  • Medium Grit Sandpaper
  • Fine Grit Sandpaper
  • Buffing Screens
  • Sealer
  • Polyurethane
  • Vacuum
  • Dry Mop
  • Paint Brush
  • Roller & Extension Pole
  • Optional: Stain

Step 1: Prepare the Room

Before starting the sander, you’ll need to clean and clear the room. Remove any furniture and repair any damages. Make sure the floor is clean before starting to sand, sweeping and vacuuming the room. When you begin sanding, debris is likely to travel. Cover any vents and openings with plastic sheets and painters tape so the dust does not leave the area. Cover any trim with painter’s tape as well, to ensure you don’t get any unwanted finish on them. Once the room is clear, you’re ready to begin sanding.

Step 2: Sand the Floor

Before beginning this process, wear a dust mask and goggles to protect yourself from sawdust in the air. Using a handheld and detail sander, sand the perimeter of the room starting with a course grit sandpaper. Make sure to properly sand all of the corners and oddly shaped areas of the floor, so the finish is sure to stick.

When the perimeter is completed, begin with a course grit sandpaper on your random orbit sander. Be sure to begin moving once the stander starts, as standing still can cause permanent damage to the floor. You should begin to see the old finish leave the floor. Follow the same back and forth pattern running the width of the room. When you move to your next stroke, overlap a few inches on the sanded area, so you’re sure to cover the whole floor. Vacuum and dry mop the floor to pick up any excess sawdust.

This step must be repeated two more times. The second time with the medium grit sandpaper and the final time with a fine grit sandpaper. Complete this by using your buffing screens to buff the floor. When the process is finished, your floor should be smooth to the touch. Clean the whole room for any sawdust that may be on walls, window sills and fixtures.

HOw to design retile your shower

Nothing in the home lasts forever, and since the bathroom is the most trafficked room in the home. Retiling a shower is a project one must consider.

Existing tile can only be cleaned so much. Many choose to revitalize their bathroom by retiling the shower. It can be a lengthy and sometimes timely project, but those who do bite the bullet almost always agree that it is well worth it.

How to Retile A Shower

Retiling a shower consists of completely knocking out the existing tile and installing new tile. For those of you with larger showers, this is by no means a short project. However, before you can get started, you must first choose your existing tile, which I will get to later, and gather all your tools. The tools you will need to retile your shower are:

  • New tile
  • Utility knife, chisel or putty knife
  • Hammer
  • Sander
  • Scrub brush
  • Grout
  • Grout trowel
  • Mortar mix
  • Mortal trowel
  • Paint remover
  • Tile spacers
  • Caulk
  • Goggles
  • Gloves


Step 1: Remove Old Tile

First, remove the shower head and shower handle. You may need a drill or screwdriver. Then, cover the shower floors to prevent damage from falling tile. You can use multiple towels or cardboard.

Take your hammer and chisel and start from the bottom corner. Gently place chisel on side of tile and use hammer to push the tile out. Start gently. As you move on, you may have to use some real elbow grease to get these tiles out.

Some of the shower tile may chip, but your goal is to get each individual piece off by itself. As you move your way inside the shower, you may have to the use putty knife or flat bar instead of a chisel. Go across one row first and then move your way down. It makes the process much easier.

Once all tile has been removed, chisel off any remaining mortar as well.

Tip: Be very careful with tile along the wall and ceiling. Use your utility knife and make a cut along the top, bottom and side tile along the ceiling, floors and walls. Be very careful with these tiles. You don’t want to ruin the walls, ceilings, or floors.



Step 2: Clean & Prepare Walls

Before moving forward, you must get all walls smooth and flat. If you missed any mortar spots, chisel those spots off now. The wall needs to be smooth before you add any tile. An uneven wall makes for uneven retile.

Next, measure the width of one wall. Find the middle and make a vertical line from top to bottom. That center is where we will start.

Step 3: Retile the Shower

Before you begin, measure your wall and decide how much tile you need. Go to the store with this number in mind. This way, you won’t overspend and the store can cut some of the tile needed for the edges and around the shower fixtures.

Starting off, cover the bottom half of the wall with thinset mortar and spread it with your notched mortar trowel. Press down hard with your trowel. Make sure it’s clean and even throughout the wall.

Set the bottom row of tile in place starting at the center of the vertical line you drew earlier. Press the tiles into the mortar with spacers between them. Work your way to the sides, cutting the end tiles if you need. If you don’t feel comfortable cutting tile yourself, take it your nearest Home Depot as discussed earlier.

Step 4: Add Grout

Remove the spacers from the mortar. Spread grout over the walls from the top to the bottom, pressing it into the spaces with the grout trowel. Use a damp sponge to clean off any excess grout as soon as possible. Be persistent with cleaning. The grout could harden and stick to your brand new tile.

Grout all lines except the vertical lines along the walls and horizontal lines along the floor.

Let the grout set for 24 hours. Finally, caulk the vertical lines along the wall and the horizontal lines along the floor. Let grout and caulk set for 48 hours before using the shower.

For more guidance on grouting, including its costs, please see ourregrouting tile cost estimator.


Shower Tile types

Most of the time, homeowners go with the same tile they already had on their shower wall. Others like a new and refreshed look and end up with a new type of shower tile. The final decision depends on taste and of course, budget.

Nearly any tile type can be applied to a shower wall as long as it’s waterproof, durable and correctly installed. Tile types you can use for your shower wall include:

  • Ceramic Tile
  • Porcelain Tile
  • Stone Tile
  • Metal Tile
  • Glass Tile

While ceramic and porcelain tend to be most popular types of shower tile, stone is starting to gain steam. If you go with stone, there are various options, including:

  • Limestone
  • Slate
  • Marble
  • Travertine
  • Granite
  • Polished Stone


Tile Costs

Beyond looks, costs generally prove to be the biggest factor in choosing a shower tile.

Ceramic tile is one of the lowest-priced options on the market. Besides being extremely economical, it’s also very popular and comes in all sizes and shapes. Prices range from $0.49/sf of ceramic tile all the way up to $12/sf with the average being closer to $2/sf.

Porcelain tile, on the other hand, is much harder and more durable. While the installation cost is certainly a bit more than ceramic, when analyzing the lifetime value of its cheaper brother, porcelain oftentimes is the logical choice. Porcelain is available in styles that look very similar to natural stone and can be purchased glazed or unglazed.

Stone is a more expensive type of shower tile. As stated above, there are various types of stone tile and all would certainly bring a welcomed upgrade to a dated shower. However, their timeless look doesn’t come without a price. The average price of stone tile ranges between $3/sf and $12/sf.