Questions tagged [materials]

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17
votes
13answers
3k views

What kitchen counter material would you recommend and why?

What are the pros and cons of various kitchen counter top materials? Granite Corian Concrete Laminate Quartz Silestone Other
17
votes
10answers
47k views

What is better for a roof, plywood or OSB?

While watching the builders next door do their thing, I became curious with their technique to install plywood on edges neighboring the next townhouse, and OSB for the rest (which for these narrow ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What should I keep in mind when building my house myself?

I inherited a piece of land and want to build a house on it. Nothing fancy: one floor, 2-3 rooms. Since I don't really have the money :D to build it "in one go", I'm going to build it over a longer ...
11
votes
11answers
29k views

Which material should I use for a whiteboard that would erase easily?

I saw some DIY tutorials recommending to use tileboard to make a cheap whiteboard. I had a piece lying around, and tried some dry-erase markers on it. Turns out they don't erase well at all when ...
9
votes
4answers
114k views

What type of screw is the most resistant to rust: galvanized, stainless steel, or deck screws?

How do the following screw types fare in an outdoor (wet) long-term application? Galvanized screw: Stainless steel screw: "Deck" screw:
8
votes
7answers
59k views

What should I use for a sandbox bottom?

I'm building a sandbox for my three-year old. It will probably sit on the deck, so it needs some kind of bottom. Ideally, we should be able to move the sandbox around the deck. Is it necessary for ...
7
votes
6answers
25k views

How to prevent mold in stored joint compound

Joint compound comes in larger containers than I need. I have had this problem for years where storing opened but unused joint compound leads to mold growth, usually starting within a week or two. I'd ...
6
votes
2answers
44k views

What are the pros/cons of using porcelain over ceramic tile in a bathroom?

I'm planning on tiling a bathroom floor and a walk-in shower (including the ceiling). I haven't looked into pricing yet, but I've heard that porcelain would be a better, yet more expensive material to ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What do the letters mean in sandpaper grading?

I have a set of sandpapers that has the following papers: 60 AN 100 GB 120 DN 180 FB All have the marking S/C/W/P paper T9 C Closed. These are all paper sheets. I know that the number is the grain ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Does RTD in plywood mean “Rated” or “Resistance Temperature Detectors”?

Lots of plywood at Home Depot have the letters RTD in the title, with no further detail. Many of these have multiple user questions of the form "What does RTD mean?" Answers seem to be split 50/50 ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the silicone-like coating on CREE LED light bulbs?

I recently bought some CREE LED bulbs, the kind pictured below, and while they are the same shape as glass incandescent bulbs, they seem to have some sort of cloudy and sticky rubber coating, as if ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

What's a high R-value insulation material alternative to dimensional lumber

Years ago I read somewhere about a building material described like this : a composite/synthetic material (not wood) available in traditional dimensional lumber sizes (e.g. 2x4) rigid enough to have ...
5
votes
2answers
503 views

How can I build a lamp like the one I saw in the store?

My Fiance and I were walking through Target to find a lamp for the corner of our living room. We saw this one that we kind of liked But the price was way too high and the panels were too small. I ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

What kind of material can I use to cover a window to keep the cold out?

I have a small window in my bathroom that is high up near the ceiling. It's pretty useless, but since the bathroom is always really cold I think it is letting cold air in. I'd like to prove this ...
4
votes
2answers
923 views

Is there a dust-free alternative to gravel for an indoor Petanque Court?

We are considering constructing a Pétanque court in our office. The typical finished playing surface is sand, gravel, small pebbles or sometimes shell. We need a dust-free material so that when ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Screwing into the underside of countertop - can it support a little weight?

We have a space with a wide countertop set up in a space that functions as a workbench. There are no cabinets underneath. Instead, you can pull up chairs to it. There are computers there and it ...
4
votes
2answers
11k views

What are the differences between wood and composite shoe molding?

I'm about to install shoe molding all over my house. I'm deciding between composite (I think it's PVC) and wood. They are quite similar in price. How do these 2 materials compare in terms of: ...
4
votes
2answers
13k views

Where can I get a threaded wooden/metal rod for an adjustable piano stool?

I want to make a height adjustable stool, like a piano stool, of the simple screw/rotate type, but I don't have a lathe (or anything like enough skill) to turn a thread in wood myself. Is there ...
4
votes
3answers
14k views

How should I build the walls for a tiny house on a camper frame?

I am preparing to build a tiny house on an old camper frame, and am looking for advice on how to build the exterior walls. I'm planning to use 2x3 wood studs at 24" o.c., with 1/4" plywood on the ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Wrapping fibreglass/ rock wool to seal in fibres in acoustic panels (bass traps)

I'm Making acoustic panels to treat my home studio and plan to use mineral wool or fibreglass insulation to do so. Likely Owen's Corning 703 or something marketed as safe insulation like Bradford ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Need to stop sound of rain hitting top of window AC

I want to silence the sound of rain drops falling on my window air conditioners by putting some kind of pad on top of them. (The sound is keeping me awake.) I also need to be very frugal right now so ...
3
votes
5answers
7k views

Why does it seem all new faucets are using braided hose instead of stainless steel?

I have been looking for a new kitchen faucet recently at all the box stores, and noticed that pretty much all pull-out/pull-down faucets are now using a black braided hose instead of a more rigid ...
3
votes
2answers
149 views

What easily obtained material would work best to protect my LCD screen?

I've got 18 month and 2 1/2 year old boys. I'm considering purchasing a TV, and I'm concerned about the occasional lapse in judgement. (e.g.: The odd toy being thrown at the screen in a fit of ...
3
votes
1answer
252 views

What is this soft plastic like material that has been added to the window, and how best to remove it?

The previous owner added this soft, plastic like material to the window frame and I'd like to remove it. I can get parts off with a knife, and when I do it is flexible and soft. I believe this is ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

What are the “rules” for connecting different kinds mains electrical wires?

Aluminum wires can't be connected directly to copper wires - otherwise the contact spot overheats badly, such connections should only go through steel connectors. I was rather surprised when I found ...
3
votes
1answer
284 views

How can I tell whether this roofing material is hazardous to tear down?

I've got this little building in my garden that needs to be completely removed to make room for building a real house. To keep costs down, I'll be doing most of the tear-down myself but I'm unsure ...
3
votes
1answer
955 views

Is this old basement floor concrete, grout, or something else?

What is the likely construction/material of the basement floor shown below? It's not very flat, and the surface appears sandy. It's almost as if some kind of skim-coat was applied to the dirt floor. ...
3
votes
1answer
250 views

Asbestos risk in my roof? What is this material?

I'm a homeowner in London, and have recently started losing sleep over something. Hoping somebody can shed some light! Our next door neighbours are having their roof redone, and some manner of ...
3
votes
1answer
363 views

How do I find doors of unorthodox sizes?

I have three doorways in close proximity to one another, and I want to replace the doors in them. Aside from one door being completely absent, the other two have numerous problems, including gaps at ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is this material on my interior foundation walls?

I have a poured concrete foundation. A portion of my basement is unfinished. It looks like a white plaster has been sprayed onto the foundation wall inside my house: I suspect spraying as there are ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

Material Identification: Bath tub front cover

While renovating a bathroom in a quite old house in germany, we removed the cover holding the tiles on the front side of the bathtub and could not clearly identify the material. It seems to be ...
3
votes
3answers
718 views

What types of materials should I consider when designing a bench?

I am building a dividing half-wall/shelving unit to separate my living room from entrance door. I am planning to put a bench on the side closer to the door (so me and my guests can sit down while ...
3
votes
3answers
202 views

What is this roof constructed from?

I am trying to answer questions about the construction of a roof and was wondering if it is possible to tell from the picture attached, and if so what the construction is? EDIT: The roof is difficult ...
2
votes
4answers
57k views

Is it OK for OSB3 boards to get wet during construction?

In the UK it rains, as you know. a lot. Is it OK for OSB3 boarding to get wet now and then during the construction of a building? or will it be completely destroyed like chip board or MDF (which ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is a screen used to sand drywall, but paper used to sand wood?

A sanding screen is comprised of small holes: A sheet of sandpaper has a flexible paper backing: Despite using different methods of abrasion, the abrasiveness of both products is measured in grit. ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What are my compact CNC milling machine options for stone carving?

I am looking for suggestions about a small and compact CNC milling machine to sculpt decorative figures in metal and stone plates. I have no experience with such machines (I once saw an industrial one ...
2
votes
1answer
160 views

What are these very heavy blocks found on my family's property?

I need help identifying these blocks found on my family's property, which was a 17th century farm house in Virginia. The blocks are 8.75" long, 4.5" wide, and 5" high and weigh 58 lbs.
2
votes
3answers
364 views

Why are “horseshoe” shims shaped the way they are?

Here's an example of the type of shim I'm referring to: They are sold marketed for various uses - tile spacers, leveling window or door frames, etc. They are non-tapered. Its not clear to me why ...
2
votes
1answer
595 views

What material is this in my 1950s home's walls? Is it dangerous?

I am renovating an old bathroom. It's in a house built in the late 1950s in Germany. I have removed the bathtub. The bathtub was built in a box, which had tiles on the outside and this black material ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

What's this tarry sheet under the tiles?

The tiles are becoming loose on the steps to my home and need to be replaced. As I pull some of them off I discovered this black sheet under the tiles. It smells tarry and has a texture between fabric ...
2
votes
6answers
112 views

How can I jack a steel post out of the ground?

Following on from this and this question I've got to the point where I am trying to "jack" a pole out of the ground. I had a spare 3/4" bolt that I thought would be strong enough but unfortunately it ...
2
votes
5answers
197 views

How should I deal with pine needles falling from tree onto roof? [closed]

I live in a 100 year old house with an addition on the back. We have a pine tree that is hanging over the addition. The roof and sky lights are leaking. The rest of the roof is ok. We want to just ...
2
votes
1answer
593 views

What are the differences between pneumatic nail types like “smooth” and “ring” for house framing?

I'm getting my material list together to frame a house and am a bit confused by all the similar looking pneumatic nails which all have a slightly different wording/features and different prices, ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Do the house plans contain the info about the material?

I'm planning to build a home addition and I'd like to know if the construction drawings will contain the information of what material the walls need to be built? I have some experience in building a ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I connect metal rods together crosswise?

I have some stainless steel rods of diameters such a 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" or so, and I want to connect them together in some cases cross-wise to make a lattice. In some cases it might be convenient to ...
2
votes
3answers
112 views

Timber Veneer Flooring?

We have existing polished timber floors, it is patchy (different parts of the house are floored with different kinds of timber) it also has a few gaps and holes. We are thinking of laying down some ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What material to use for replacing interior porch panels?

I really have two questions, both pertaining to the enclosed porch on the front of my house. The first is, what material should I use to replace the panels that are starting to warp (bottom of the ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

What's the procedure for diluting bitumen mastic with a solvent?

The can of bitumen mastic says I can add up to ten percent solvent to make the mastic easier to apply. Applicable solvents list follows. The problem is the mastic is so stiff tat if I put a stick ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to determine if a faucet is plastic or metal?

On the first picture below I am pretty sure the grip is made of plastic because it feels very light, when I lift it. On the second I have no idea. Question How do I tell if the grip of a faucet is ...
2
votes
3answers
76 views

Best practices for disposing of waste that is diluted in water? (paint, finishes/membranes, cement, dust/particles from wet saw, etc)

Usually I let waste dry up in the case of cement/paint, then throw away. But often times waste is diluted in water. Should I bag these up and then throw away? I do not want to put it down the sink, ...