Friday, November 18, 2011

Which Grout is Best?

Do-it-yourself tiling projects are pretty straightforward, even for the non-handy home adventurer. With the right tools and a little patience, you can create tiled entries, dress up a bland countertop or create a new section of flooring.

When it comes to indoor floors and walls, it's easy to update small or large spaces. Before you begin, you'll need to decide how far apart the tiles will be. That determines the type of grout you'll need.

--If the spacing is 1/8 inch or less, unsanded grout will work fine – as a general rule.
--Larger spacing requires a sanded grout, which creates a strong cemented bond.

Using sanded grout in smaller crevices can actually weaken the bond and cause cracking.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Cabinet Knobs Not So Safe

Those simple knobs on cabinet doors can be a real hazard. Innocuous little rounds, they're easy to grab with no sharp edges or places to catch fingers. However, those little devils can catch a lot of other things – things that could bring small appliances crashing to the floor, or worse yet – cause a major snag for humans."

They catch on electrical cords, including blow dryers and curling irons.
They catch on robe sleeves and even reach out to snag the inside of a shirt placket.

Think about children racing around the kitchen or bath area. Or senior adults pass by and catching a loose sleeve. Dangers lurk in odd places.

Enclosed handle styles are actually a safe choice and an inexpensive way to add a new measure of safety in the home. They may be a bit more difficult for arthritic hands, but they won't be the cause of burns from a hot curling iron, either.

Simple fully enclosed cabinet handles – not knobs or bar styles – are best.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Fridge Panels – Digitals Take a Hit

Digital panels are common on refrigerator doors. They're also the most vulnerable part of major appliances. So say those in the know (meaning delivery people who aren't doing the selling). It's a fact, when homes take a power hit, voltage spikes find the ice and water dispenser to be a soft spot.

If you find your digital fridge panel is down and out after a hit:
-Turn off power at the breaker box.
-Wait at least 30 seconds.
-Turn it back on and all should be back to normal.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fridge Deliveries – Just Say No to Copper

Ordering a new refrigerator is an iffy deal at best. It's not an appliance you can test drive, after all. Buyer reviews are always helpful, but the balance seems to weigh in the negative for most brands these days.

If you're not too handy and happen to have copper tubing installed for water and ice dispensing, you can forget about an assist from the delivery folks. They're instructed to handle only plastic tubing. For one, there are fewer risks – plastic is bendable. Copper is not. It can easily break with a sudden, even light, twist and stores/delivery services are not going to take that risk. However, if you're willing to make the hookup yourself before they have everything else checked out, you should be OK. The conscientious delivery people will stick around to make sure there aren't any links from your handiwork.

On the other hand, make a note to switch out that copper for plastic the next time a plumber is in the 'hood.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Handy Dandy Extra-Long Light Bulb Changer

Now, here's a tool that could be a real lifesaver for anyone who has high ceilings. It's an extendable light bulb changer that can grab onto any size bulb. No more ladders and no more precarious angles against walls for those towering ceiling lights. This is truly an accessory everyone should own, especially senior adults and those who live by themselves. These are great time-savers, too, as there's no ladder lugging.

The Handy Imp loves the Bayco brand changer. It comes with two different extractors for broken bulbs and three grabbers for various sized bulbs, including floodlights. Use it indoors and outside to extend your reach up to 11 feet. Even if you have to stand on a smaller stepstool or the first few rungs of a ladder, it's still safer than climbing to precarious heights.

Put the Bayco light bulb changer on your shopping list for the ones you love - and for yourself. Be sure to get the package with attachments (even if you don't need them now) for the best deal.