All about Refinishing Hardwood Floor

It is actually rather easy to refinish a wood floor – if you pay attention to what you are doing. To sand the floor, you need a drum sander and possibly a belt sander which can be rented at your neighborhood Home Depot or hardware store. They can help you figure out which machines you need to rent, what kind of sand paper you should buy and also can help with the type and amount of stain and finish for the floor. You might also want to get some dust masks and plastic to section the room off from the rest of the house. Fine particles of dust will get everywhere – even if you section off the room, but you may be able to minimize the impact on the rest of the house.

The most important part of refinishing your floors is learning how to control the sander. The key to running the sander is to make sure it keeps moving at all times, otherwise they are simple to use, although a bit hard on the ears. If you stop in 1 spot, you will probably get a big gouge in your floor. Equate it to using an iron on your clothes – if you stop in 1 spot too long you’ll burn a hole. The sander is similar since it creates a lot of heat, keeping it in 1 spot can burn or dent your floor.

You do need to be careful with the sander as it is self propelled. When you first start it up, make sure you hold on firmly. Don’t be afraid of the machine but make sure you maintain complete control. Relax, after a few spins, it may even start to seem like fun.

After the old finish is removed, you need to apply the stain and new finish. Think of this as the same as doing your nails – first you remove the old finish, then basecoat, color and topcoat. Sometimes you don’t want color on your nails so you skip that part. In your floor you might also skip that part (the stain) but you still want to use a finish to protect the floor.

When selecting a finish you can pick from an oil based or polyurethane (water based) finish. When selecting an oil based finish you will need to decide if you want a satin, gloss or semi gloss finish. It’s probably best for you to use satin on a hardwood floor as it will help hide any flaws in the wood and is much more pleasing then a bright shine Using oil based finish is better for wood floors as it casts a warm amber glow. Water based, on the other had dries quicker and resists yellowing.

Install Vessel Sink

A vessel can be installed sitting on the countertop (“above counter mounting) or it can be sunk down up to a third or even half of its height. Some vessels are actually a hybrid of a drop-in style sink and a vessel – i.e. they are designed to partially sit above the countertop.

For an above counter installation, you will need a hole that is large enough to accommodate the drain assembly. This is the plumbing hardware that allows the sink to drain the water. If the bottom of your vessel is flat, then the installation is straightforward. The only thing we would recommend is a bead of silicone under the sink and around the edge to prevent water on the countertop from working its way underneath the vessel. If the vessel has a rounded shape – as with most glass vessel sinks – you have two options. You can either use a vessel mounting ring (sometimes these are provided with the sink) or you will need to provide a mounting hole directly in the countertop.

Mounting rings for vessel sinks can be easily found at most home centers or online. They usually come in several finishes that you can match to your faucet and drain. A vessel mounting ring elevates the sink from the countertop and helps with the stability and seal of the sink.

Due to design considerations, a mounting ring is not always desirable. If you want to mount the vessel directly into the countertop, you will need a hole that is at least 3″ in diameter with a beveled edge in the countertop material to accommodate the shape of the bowl. You may want the hole to be more in the range of 5″ – 6″ if the vessel is larger for stability. Use clear silicone to provide cushion and stability when mounting the sink. If you want to lower the level of the sink you can simply enlarge the hole. The larger the hole, the more stability you will achieve in the installation. To experiment with the size of the hole, use a piece of cardboard. Start with a smaller size – say 3″ – and work your way up. This will give you a visual as to how far down the vessel will be relative to the counter throughout the size range that you choose. Be sure to keep the height of the faucet you have chosen in mind when making these decisions.

Whichever mounting method you use, you will want to install the drain in the vessel before installing the sink to the counter surface. Drains for vessel sinks come in two basic configurations. Does your vessel have an overflow? If so, you will need a standard drain. However, most vessel sinks do not have an overflow and will need a “vessel style drain”. Vessel drains come in many different styles and finishes. These drains do not have a “pop up” assembly. Some are referred to as “grid drains” (referring to the “grid configuration” on the top of the drain). Grid drains were designed to let the water flow out of the basin but catch larger objects from heading down the drain.

A special caution for glass vessel sinks. If you are installing a glass vessel, be sure to provide a cushion between the glass and the counter. This can simply be a bead of silicone or you may want to line the hole in your counter with a small piece of rubber material. In addition, be sure that you don’t over tighten the drain assembly. Hand tighten only and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The breakage we see with glass vessels is usually associated with an improper installation of the drain.

Luxurious Laundry Room

Put these items in your laundry room and feel the difference!

-a few plants

-adequate shelving

-a rug or piece of carpet to stand on

-an ironing area

-large folding table


-framed art or prints

-a pretty dish to catch clutter and extraneous pocketed items

-a trash can (continually clean the lint from the dryer)

-GOOD LIGHTING, lamps, etc.!!!

-laundry sorters

-a bulletin board for laundry codes

-decorative tins/boxes for laundry detergent and soap

-laundry baskets

-a clothes line

-a rolling cart for extra supplies

If you can, put the laundry room on the same floor as the bedrooms. A laundry chute is an amazing laundry room organizing tool. It so much easier to streamline the laundering process with these two luxuries!

Portable Air Compressors

In recent years, the sale of portable air compressors hit a high mark and then gradually decreased. Some experts believe this is due to the fact that they were new contraptions that got a good running start, but over a few years lost their appeal. This is changing as we have advanced the technologies. Another reason that sales are on the upswing is because of the housing boom. With all of the new housing developments and new homes being built across the United States, there is plenty of work in store for portable air compressors.

Portable air compressors have the same functionality as standard, traditional air compressors. They usually have tanks that hold up to eight gallons and have the same safety devices intact. The advantage of these offspring of other air compressors is obvious: the ability to transport them from job-to-job. Portable air compressors have wheels that can roll the compressor and are often more lightweight than industrial models.

When buying a portable air compressor, as with the purchase of a traditional air compressor, look for models that are certified by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). These models have been tested for quality and safety and are the only ones available that guarantee quality workmanship. An air compressor certified by the ASME will have a label or sticker located somewhere on the unit; parts and accessories should have this label as well. It is illegal in some states to buy or sell air compressors that are not certified by the ASME. Keep in mind that not all portable air compressors are created equal.