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28 votes
Accepted

Will adding another layer of plywood improve shed floor bouncing?

Normal plywood has the wood fibers in its outer plies oriented along the 8 ft length of the plywood. There exists specially marked plywood that defies this convention, but from your photo it's clear ...
popham's user avatar
  • 10.4k
22 votes

Does hardwood floor REALLY need an expansion gap?

When an irresistible force meets an immovable object, in this case you get floor buckling. It's been observed in practice countless times. Feel free to repeat the mistakes of others, or learn from ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
20 votes

Orange material in grout lines - need help to identify

Looks like schluter ditra waterproofing membrane. Amazon describes it: This universal underlayment specifically designed for ceramic and stone tile eliminates the main cause of cracking in your ...
Kris's user avatar
  • 4,555
19 votes
Accepted

Sanding down or staining floor tiles possible to alter design?

Ceramic tile has none of the properties of wood. It cannot be sanded or stained. Tile has a top layer that is very hard, the "glaze". It is the layer that has the pattern and color. Sanding ...
RMDman's user avatar
  • 30.9k
17 votes

Why can't you install larger floor tiles without thinset/adhesive?

Let's assume your floor is really, totally, flat - to some absurd degree of precision. Guess what! Your tiles are not. They are nominally flat, but have slight deviations due to the realities of ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
16 votes

Filling in a sunken living room to level of other floors

One way to raise the floor, and possibly the most reasonable cost wise, is to install what I would call sleeper joists sitting the top of the existing subfloor and than add new subfloor covering over ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 65k
16 votes
Accepted

How should I refurbish a concrete slab with a rough surface?

This surface isn't a result of poor workmanship. It has been severely degraded, either by overwatering, a faulty mix, or chemical damage. This is why you see so much aggregate (and aggregate pockets). ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
15 votes

What is this pipe coming out of the basement floor?

In a basement, galvanized pipe like that could have been a pipe feeding oil from an underground tank to an oil heater that has long ago been removed and replaced with something else. I had one like ...
JRaef's user avatar
  • 15k
15 votes

Can anyone tell if this floor joist damage was from termites or wood rot?

The black color indicates wood rot caused by moisture. Termites would be dry and the wood would be the same color with tubes eaten through the center.
RMDman's user avatar
  • 30.9k
14 votes

Is mosaic tile a poor choice for a bathroom floor?

Mosaic tile is not a poor choice for a bathroom floor. Mosaic tile is harder to install than regular tile. Harder to cut, harder to lay out evenly, and harder to level. Find someone who is able and ...
jay613's user avatar
  • 39.4k
14 votes

Is mosaic tile a poor choice for a bathroom floor?

Mosaic tile looks nice, but it's HARD to clean. Mosaic tile has FAR more grout lines than large tile, and grout lines are MUCH harder to clean than the tile itself, both because the grout lines are ...
DavidBooth's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

How do I go about repairing/redoing this uneven and damaged basement concrete floor?

The best solution would be to break it all up and re-pour a nice monolithic reinforced slab. That's also expensive and a lot of work, so you might want to consider attempting "not the best" ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
13 votes
Accepted

How can I remove cured expanding foam from floorboards?

I'd try scraping before sanding, using a razor blade scraper or a furniture scraper -- a slightly more targeted tool.
keshlam's user avatar
  • 29.5k
13 votes

How should I refurbish a concrete slab with a rough surface?

Grinding is an option. Many home stores rent them out for a modest fee similar to the one shown below from Home Depot. If the surface doesn't have a lot of aggregate, the grinding would go fairly easy ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 81.7k
12 votes

What is this pipe coming out of the basement floor?

This could be: water waste gas oil for furnace radon system remnants (unlikely) but the earlier ones used metal pipes other The picture is pretty clear, this pipe was installed when they poured the ...
DMoore's user avatar
  • 49k
12 votes

How should I refurbish a concrete slab with a rough surface?

Unless you're married to the concrete look, I would consider doing a resin surface over that. I suppose you could even do a clear resin if you like the concrete look. You can even coat old and new ...
Huesmann's user avatar
  • 3,645
11 votes
Accepted

Should I use an orbital sander or a belt sander for sanding a section of varnished floor?

I've got both types of sanders and I use the belt sander when there is a lot of wood to be removed and the orbital sander when the amount of wood to be removed is small. You have a little better ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 81.7k
11 votes

Why can't you install larger floor tiles without thinset/adhesive?

Thinset is required for several reasons: Thinset will fill any voids to provide an even support of the tile, regardless the tile's irregulariy or the floor's unevenness. Glue or thinset will ...
P2000's user avatar
  • 16k
11 votes

How should I refurbish a concrete slab with a rough surface?

Floor leveler For example, Davco Lanko-133. It flows freely and is largely self-leveling. It can be 1-25mm thick which will be more than adequate. It is relatively expensive compared to other concrete ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 380
11 votes

How can I improve insulation on a lower level floor without modification?

Carpet/rug pads will add some insulation value. The math of insulation is such that throwing rugs over as much of the floor as possible (use small washable ones for potentially wet areas like kitchen ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
10 votes

How to laser-level close to a surface

That's actually the way one normally does such things, and has been since before there were lasers, other than one normally uses a rod rather than a tape for more consistent results. You establish a ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
10 votes

Floor Joists Knot

It always happens and was a total miss by the framing crew. But, unless you're springy upstairs it's not really a problem. The adjacent joists will assist just fine for normal empty area loads above. ...
Iggy's user avatar
  • 10.3k
10 votes

Sanding down or staining floor tiles possible to alter design?

What you see as messy, I see as surprisingly realistic, just imitating a different species than your third picture. If you really, really want the yellow tone of the second picture, as if the wood had ...
keshlam's user avatar
  • 29.5k
9 votes

Can I overlay lumber perpendicular to floor joists to raise the floor height?

I would say that the main issue with putting down boards like that is cupping or bowing of the wood especially since this is a high moisture area; that's dirt beneath the joists, right? Look at any ...
MonkeyZeus's user avatar
  • 16.6k
9 votes
Accepted

Floor supported by nails, is it structurally sound?

imho I would be adding joist hangers to those joists. The nails may had luckily done the job so far - perhaps due to not many people being in the room at once or it's lightly used. Something like this,...
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 27.7k
9 votes

Is mosaic tile a poor choice for a bathroom floor?

No. Mosaic tiles can be an excellent choice for a bathroom floor. The 2x2 octagon/dot kind of tiles are popular in bathrooms. More often than not those types of tiles are especially suited to bathroom ...
gnicko's user avatar
  • 5,605
8 votes
Accepted

What should base kitchen cabinets sit on top of? Why? Why not?

Always an interesting choice. Most new construction puts cabinets on the subfloor. One of the reasons for doing this is to avoid damaging the new floors during construction. Floors are one of the last ...
shirlock homes's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Heating basement floor with water heater

Adding hydronic radiant floor heating is a lot more complicated than you could imagine. To do a system for a bathroom running off of a domestic water tank, in operation for potable water requires all ...
Joe Fala's user avatar
  • 6,374
8 votes

How to laser-level close to a surface

A good ol' scrap block of two-by does nicely. Just set your laser 1-1/2" above your slab height and kick the block around as you work. This doesn't work for ceilings, of course, but hopefully you ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
8 votes

What is this pipe coming out of the basement floor?

I have galvanized natural gas pipe in my 1950 Metro Detroit house. If it's not oil, it could be gas going to the original furnace location. I can see a bright spot in the floor where something stood ...
Troy Foster's user avatar

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