Here’s the Only Checklist You Need to Lay Ceramic Floor Tile

Okay, it’s time for your next home improvement project. This time it’s going to be ceramic floor tile. Determined to do it yourself and save? Only problem is where do you start?

Installing tile flooring is a very rewarding project for three reasons. First, you get that feeling of satisfaction of a job well done. Buy a few new tools. Learn a few new skills. Bleed a little. It’s great. Hey it’s hard in many lines of work now to point to what you’ve done. Here’s another chance to actually build something that you can see and use.

Secondly, it looks great when you’re finished! Nothing you can add to your home adds much more beauty than tile surface. Ceramic tile and natural stone surfaces add a luxury look of warmth and luster. The look can’t be beat.

Finally, you’re making a small investment in the biggest investment you’ll likely make, your home. This is one of those long-lasting investments that you can use as it increases the value of your property. Adding stone or ceramic tile to your home, makes it easier to sell as well as more valuable.

The only way to get projects finished around the house is to put together a detailed list of everything required to get the job done. Otherwise, you’ll end up making many runs back and forth to the store and you’ll never get done. You really need to know every tool, part and piece you need to get the job finished. The time you spend on your project list will be a great investment that will save you time as well as money too.

For installing ceramic floor tile here’s a list to get you started.

1. What are you installing the ceramic tile flooring over? Make sure it’s solid and not bouncy. Often a layer of cement board is the best underlayment for tile. Put it down first using special cement board screw.

2. Your chosen tile. Maybe the hardest part of a tile project is choosing the tile. Get about 10 percent extra to allow for trim and breakage.

3. Get thinset or whatever adhesive you choose. Check with the tile suppler on the recommended adhesive.

4. Tile saw. The tile saw is a must for most jobs. you may want to rent one. YOu also need tile nippers and a cutter board is helpful sometimes too.

5. Grout. Get sanded or unsanded depending partly on the grout line size. What about colors? The choices are endless since you can get them custom mixed.

6. Trowels. You’ll want notched trowels. The notches are for regulating the adhesive thickness. You’ll probably want a small margin trowel and maybe another one or two.

7. The best way to mix thinset and grout is with a mixing attachment and a drill. Now this is heavy duty work, so make sure your drill can stand the strain. Don’t forget the mixing attachment. It’s a big stirrer.

8. Rubber grout float. This necessary tool is used to spread the grout into the grooves between tiles and then to smooth and level the grout.

9. Miscellaneous supplies such as tile spacers, tape measure, a chalk line, buckets, sponges, gloves, goggles. A rubber mallet is a plus as is a carpenter square and a level too.

Laying ceramic floor tile yourself is a satisfying project. The toughest part may be gathering the right materials and tools. Once you get everything together the actual installation is a step by step process. It’s a process that’s similar no matter what the tile project.

You can get access to video tutorials showing the professional tricks for installing ceramic floor tile for a fresh new look. Al Bullington invites you to visit http://InstallingCeramicTile.net for more ceramic tile hints.

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist for Do-It-Yourselfers

Early spring is a good time to check your home for normal wear-and-tear and to look around for damage caused by the harsh winter. Here’s a checklist of home maintenance items that can be reviewed in a weekend. If you discover any problems, it’s a good idea to take care of repairs now before they become big ticket items.

1. Check roof and gutters — Interior water damage often originates at the top of the house on the roof, so grab a ladder and check your roof for missing or broken shingles. While you are up there, inspect flashings and joints around chimneys and skylights. Bring a bucket with you to scoop out leaves and branches that are clogging gutters and valleys and finish by flushing gutters and downspouts with a garden hose.

2. Inspect attic for leaks and water stains – Not all roofing problems are visible from the outside, so go in your attic and inspect the underside of the roof and rafters for leaks or water stains. If you see evidence of leakage, wet that section of the roof with a garden hose and check the attic again for drips. To monitor a suspect area in the attic, setup a water sensor alarm that will alert you of new leaks. DIY-ers may be able to handle simple roofing repairs with caulking or by replacing a few shingles, however, consider calling a professional roofer if you need to replace the entire roof.

3. Examine siding, trim and decking – Over time, painted and finished wood becomes weathered and worn and can suffer from water damage. Take a walk around the house and examine all of the woodwork for peeling paint, moisture buildup and wood rot. Replace rotting wood and repaint or stain as necessary.

4. Check basement for water – Spring thaws are a major cause of basement flooding, along with poor lot drainage, blocked gutters, clogged downspouts, and cracks in the basement floor and walls. Inspect your basement for signs of dampness and make repairs immediately to avoid future problems. If your basement is prone to flooding, it should be equipped with a sump pump to draw water out of the basement and pump it far away from the foundation.  A water alarm and flood sensor will alert you via an audible siren and/or a phone call of water in the basement before extensive damage is done. 

5. Seal doors and windows – Do a visual inspection of all windows and doors. Look for air leaks around doors and windows and for places where caulking has become brittle or loose. Also check for cracked windows and torn screens. Recaulk joints, replace broken windows, and repair ripped screens.

6. Service air conditioner (A/C) – Spring is the best time to service your air conditioner, before the first heat wave strikes. If your home has window A/C units, clean the filters and coils of dust and debris to ensure optimal performance. Central A/C systems should be inspected by an HVAC professional before the cooling season begins; however, there are regular maintenance tasks that DIY-ers can perform themselves, including changing filters and cleaning the condenser and evaporator. To save on cooling costs, replace your old thermostat with a programmable thermostat that will automatically raise the air conditioning temperature when the family is out of the house or sleeping.

7. Prepare for pool opening – For do-it-yourself tips on opening a pool, go to: A DIY Guide to Opening a Pool for the Season. If the job is too big to do yourself, call a local pool service company early in the spring to get on their schedule. Be sure to check with state and local governments to ensure that your pool and spa complies the latest pool safety codes (such as the 2007 Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act). Most towns require a four-foot+ tall fence with a self-closing gate and some municipalities also require a pool gate alarm as an additional layer of protection. For triple protection, safety guidelines recommend using both a pool gate alarm and a pool alarm to protect children who succeed in getting past the gate alarm.

With temperatures rising and daylight saving time returning, now is a good time to get started with this Spring Home Maintenance Checklist…and begin planning your Memorial Day barbecue!

Cathy MacDowell is a communications specialist with expertise in business-to-business marketing.  A freelance writer, she has written about a range of topics, including security and remote monitoring systems, home improvement, portable power solutions, real estate, and the construction industry.

The Ultimate Checklist for the Maid of Honor

As the Maid of Honor, you have one of the biggest roles to play in the wedding. The wedding planning process is hectic and full of details, so it’s your responsibility to aid the bride through all the ruckus and ensure that her big day goes as smoothly as possible.

To help you out, we’ve put together a checklist of responsibilities that you should be aware of.

Act As Head bridesmaid

The Maid of Honor is bridesmaid numero uno and is in charge of making sure all the other bridesmaids are organized, show up for events, and get everything they need. All the bridesmaids will turn to you in time of crisis, so be prepared!

Host a Bridal Shower And/Or Bachelorette Party

With the help of the other bridesmaids, host, plan, and set up a bridal shower or bachelorette party (possibly both). Typically, the costs are split between the bridesmaids, but the Maid of Honor is usually in charge of making sure everything gets done.

Buy Your Wedding Day Outfit

Being a Maid of Honor or bridesmaid is pretty costly, since you have to buy a dress and often shoes and jewelry, too. Some generous brides will offer to foot the cost, but that’s pretty rare.

Go Shopping With The Bride

Finding the perfect wedding dress is at the top of the list for most brides, so she’s going to need your help! Go with her as moral support and be the voice of confidence she needs.

Play a Huge Part in the Pre-Wedding Tasks

There’s a billion things to do before the wedding, and your bride will thank you profusely if you are there to help.

Play Hostess During The Reception

Help guide wedding guests to their seats, restrooms, and answer their questions. Make sure the caterers, DJ, etc. are all doing their job properly.

Give a Speech

As the Maid of Honor, you are probably very important in the bride’s life. The highlight of her big day would be to hear about how special she is to you.

Most Important of All: Have Fun!

It is a wedding, after all. So, after all your duties are done, kick off those stilettos and dance your butt off!

Alex Polazzo President/Founder-Director of Event Operations. Alex Polazzo was born in Clearwater, Florida – an area where hospitality reigned. His mother and father have over 50 years combined in the business which has made Alex a sheer product of the Industry. He started unofficially working security at the age of 12 helping out at his mother’s job. From that point on he mastered the art of every single position from Bar Back to General Manager.He’s got a knack for detail and a must for perfection. His customer relations skills are impeccable and no job is done until the client is beyond satisfied. He has worked with endless talent such as Britney Spears, WuTang Clan, Elton John, Snoop Dogg and Rancid just to name a few of the more than 250 celebrities Alex has worked hand in hand with.

Cleaning Kitchen Checklist

The kitchen is a special place for every woman. It is also probably the one room that requires a lot of cleaning to keep it comfortable and fresh. We have prepared for you some ideas how to get organised and follow the cleaning activities to help you keep your kitchen clean and healthy place.

What You Need to Do to Clean the Kitchen

The cleaning in the kitchen could be separated by the different surfaces and areas that need to be treated. You may clean the different categories each day.

Large appliances

This is probably the hardest part of the kitchen cleaning – to get the cooktop, oven, vent hood and the refrigerator cleaned. For every appliance you need a special cleaning product. The problem is that you keep and cook your food in those appliances and we would recommend avoiding harsh chemicals, as they are rarely completely cleaned. Check for some homemade cleaning solutions that could clean the oil from the cooktop and the oven. The refrigerator could be cleaned with water and vinegar mixture. For the vent hood you may use commercial cleaner as it is not in direct contact with the food.

Surfaces

There are many different surfaces around the kitchen and different materials. You need to use appropriate cleaning product for every surface to avoid damaging it. Make sure you clean the countertops and backsplashes, cabinets, faucets and sinks, cutting boards, dishwasher and floors.

Small appliances

The small appliances also need eco cleaning as you are using them daily to prepare your food. Find appropriate green cleaning products for the toaster, knives, microwave, coffeemaker, kettle, coffee and spice grinder, stand mixer, wooden utensils and garbage can.

Windows

The windows in the kitchen will need to get cleaned more often that the windows in the other rooms because of the temperature condense. After cleaning the windows make sure you clean the draperies also. See below how to take care of the fabrics in the kitchen.

Fabrics

You will have different types of fabrics in your kitchen – draperies, furniture upholstery, and carpets. The fabrics may get harsh stains from food and beverages. You need to use appropriate cleaning products to remove the stains and keep the fabrics clean and fresh. We would also recommend using professional cleaning services for the household fabrics at least twice a year.

This will ensure your carpets, upholstered furniture and draperies are perfectly clean and all the unpleasant kitchen stains are removed.