Saturday, November 24, 2007

Kitchen Floor Project

Here is a pic of my new linoleum kitchen floor tiled with easy-to-install linoleum tiles. It was a $100 project, give or take, for my small kitchen.

The toughest job was preparing the floor by removing the old linoleum. The top layer of linoleum peeled off fairly easily. However, the paper backing and the glue remained "stuck" on the concrete surface. That required scraping. I found that soaking the residual paper backing and glue with some water and a rag, allowing it sit about a minute and then scraping assisted in getting rid of all that gunk.

There was also some effort in clearing away the old caulk along the baseboards. After that was cleaned I prepared the floor by painting on a primer designed to help with the adhesion of the self-stick tiles. It was Henry brand 336 Bond Enhancer - Self Stick Tile Primer. It is described as "A specialized Liquid Latex Primer for preparing surfaces for self-stick tile and flooring adhesives." I found it at the nearby Lowe's. It was watery milky stuff. Not too bad to apply, though. The package recommended a roller. Since it was a small room, I just painted it on with a brush. (Make sure you have your windows open for proper ventilation.)

Laying the tile was the fun part. The tile linoleum product is from Home Depot: 12" tiles by Traffic Master (Home Depot's in-house brand). The color is "Beige Slate." Since my kitchen is small (only about 60 sq ft needed for the tile-able area.). I only needed two boxes of 30 tiles, plus a few spare, which are sold individually for 99 cents at my local Home Depot.

I first mapped out the tile pattern on the living room carpet so I was sure not to repeat any patterned tiles. The room is an odd shape with angled cabinets and a nook for the refrigerator and stove so I had to use my best judgment when determining where to work from. The tile manufacturer recommends making a chalk line of the center intersection point of the room. I ended up lining up one of the tiles with the edge of the cabinet that is just to the left of where you enter this small kitchen.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Insulate Your Garage Door

Here's an easy project that I tackled in October: insulating my garage door.

The obvious advantage is improved insulation of the garage, making it cooler in summer and warmer in winter. I have found it also helps deaden some of the street noise of passing vehicles.

I went to Lowe's for my supplies for this project. I decided NOT to buy the pre-packaged garage door kit(s). Not only was that kit more expensive, but it would have made a less precise finished product. Instead I bought 1.5" thick Insulfoam R-Tech Expanded Polystyrene in 2' x 4' sheets for about $3.50/sheet. I measured each panel and the polystrene was cut with a JIGSAW (not a utility knife) for a crisp, tidy cut. This is key for a no muss, no fuss job. The thickness was a purrrrfect snug fit for my garage door frame. With some of the scraps I was even able to frame around the windows. The center panels between windows were held in place with some scraps of industrial-strength Velcro that I had available, and some "T" (sewing) pins attached at an angle to the base panels (see close-up picture).

From the Insulfoam website:

"Insulfoam provides you with one of today's most recognized exterior wall insulation underlayments, Expanded Polystyrene R-Tech. R-Tech is a film-faced product designed to be a durable, lightweight, rigid foam panel that adds significant long term R-value insulation to your walls. The Film facing front and back minimizes waste caused by accidental board damage and helps to keep the board intact despite minor breaks. R-Tech is easy to handle, cut and install without the difficulties of foil or paper facings and glue. Excellent resistance to moisture for lasting retention of insulating performance."

This project was just $45 for a two-car garage door, and took an afternoon to complete.