How to Stain Concrete: Adding Color to Cement Surfaces

 When deciding on flooring the homeowner now has several choices, you can use a more traditional flooring such as hardwood or tile or you can use concrete for a unique flooring. The advice below may seem straightforward, but it is following the directions and being diligent that provide the best results.

  1. Make sure the surface on which the stain will be applied is clean, free from unwanted defects, stains and markings and ready for coloration. When adding any translucent color to anything, the pattern and colors of the substrate will show through. It’s similar to applying a wood stain to a piece of wood with knots and wood grain. Concrete stain can actually highlight and intensify the variations found in the concrete — natural as well as man-made blemishes and markings.
  2. Use manufacturers’ color charts as a guide only. Because acid stains react differently to each type of surface, it is imperative to do a sample on the actual concrete or surface that is going to receive the treatment. The methods and timing for the sample installed should be the same as how the rest of the surface will be stained. Even though you may encounter variables during the onsite sample, it’s still the best way of predetermining how the stain will react with a specific substrate.
  3. If all concrete were the same, an exact application procedure could be developed. But that simply isn’t the case. Acid staining is as much art as function. You must understand the application technique as well as how much stain to apply. The installer’s experience and the skill level play an important role when choosing an acid-stain finish.

Potentially great jobs can turn into disasters because of improper application methods. Too little product won’t give complete coverage, nor will it etch the surface sufficiently to deeply deposit the color. Too much product can cause unwanted puddling and pooling, causing those areas to have too much color.

If you use the scrubbing method, remember to scrub with a natural flow and pattern. Otherwise, mop lines and obvious swirls may appear.

  1. Removing residue and neutralizing the surface is key to the success of an acid-stained concrete finish. Residue from the acid etching must be removed, and the surface should be neutralized to ensure proper adhesion of the sealant or coating system. Before it’s sealed, the surface is still subject to staining and damage at this point. Take care to thoroughly wet and neutralize the entire area to avoid boot prints, splashed residue marks and other man-made unnatural blemishes.
  2. Once the concrete is sufficiently dry, apply a sealant coating. Although the sealant is usually the last stage of installation, it must be done right; an improperly applied sealer system can show roller lines, leave lint and debris in the finish, or delaminate or flake off the surface. Experienced professionals can choose and apply the right sealer for the job, using techniques such as spraying, cross-hatch rolling, back rolling and buffing (in the case of a wax finish).

A lot of work goes into a stained concrete finish, and practice makes perfect. If you hire a professional, choose someone who has the skills that match the level of difficulty of the job at hand. Visit past work and talk to some of the former customers.

Even if you hire the best acid-stain concrete contractor in your area, his abilities will depend on the surface he’ll work with. It may not be possible to completely hide and blend in color on a badly stained and damaged concrete slab. The concrete slab is the decorative concrete artist’s canvas, so it must be kept clean and free from stains, spills, paint and other flaws. That will ensure that the finish will be everything you hoped for when you chose to use acid stain as a finish.

How to Buy a House with Bitcoin

You’ve seen it on the news, the interwebs and some of your friends may have even invested in it. But what is bitcoin exactly? Long answer short, it’s a cryptocurrency which does away with a central bank and uses encryption techniques to regulate funds. No third party is involved, so buyers and sellers can make transactions directly. Soon you will be able to use bitcoin to remodel you kitchen, bathrooms and homes.

How Does It Work?

Bitcoin is an internet-based, decentralized payment system. Each user has an anonymous address, and you can trace every bitcoin’s transaction history. It uses blockchain technology, a database that co-exists in several locations and is shared by the community. This structure makes it incredibly resilient because there is no central point of failure that can be attacked. If certain nodes of the network are attacked successfully, the other nodes in the network can adapt similarly to the human immune system adapting to a new virus.

How Is It Taxed?

Taxes depends on the country. In the U.S., the IRS stated they consider it property, and every transaction needs to be calculated as a capital gains tax. There are services out there to simplify the process.

How Do You Purchase?

You only need one thing — for two parties to agree on the transaction. Enthusiasts are purchasing a wide variety of items with their bitcoins, from pizzas to real estate.

The first real estate transaction was a single-family home in Austin, Texas. The seller wanted the bitcoins converted to dollars, so they used BitPay, a global bitcoin payment service provider, to complete the transaction. Bitcoin’s value fluctuates every day, so the risk is on the buyer’s side since the seller agreed to a fixed dollar amount.

The pros of buying real estate with bitcoin is that once everything is signed, the transaction completion time takes 10 minutes to a day depending on network congestion. Think about that for a second — no need for the banking system. You can pay for the house, the realtor and anyone else at the same time.

However, make sure you trust the second party if you’re thinking of buying into real estate. If you want to reverse the transaction due to any litigation, then you need both parties to be compliant. Bitcoin transactions are not reversible.

You can’t buy a house with a mortgage payment — yet. Ethereum, a cryptocurrency similar to bitcoin, is one built on making smart contracts. I envision having open-sourced mortgage contracts that parties would interface rather than using the traditional contract. Smart contracts are self-enforcing mediums, so no third party is necessary once the mortgage contract is cryptographically signed.

How to Store Cleaning Supplies

Let’s face it: Cleaning isn’t most people’s idea of fun. And cleaning your kitchen and bathrooms can be equally painful. But there’s also no reason to make it harder than it has to be. Take some of the pain out of household chores with these tips for keeping cleaning supplies sorted and at the ready.

  • Safety first.Above all, wherever you store your cleaning supplies should be well out of reach of small children and pets. If you don’t have a high shelf or lockable closet, use safety devices, such as drawer and cabinet straps, to ensure that little fingers or curious paws can’t get to hazardous materials.
  • Pick one spot for cleaning gear storage.That way, you won’t have to go from room to room tracking down toilet cleanser or wood soap. Also, don’t stack bottles and cans so deep that you’ll have to burrow through them to find the particular solution you’re looking for.
  • Keep a portable caddy or two next to the supplies.Fill it with what you need to clean a given space. In addition to cleaning solutions, include a stock of rags, sponges, scrub brushes and more. Alternatively, you can make a caddy for each area of the home (kitchen, bathroom, etc.) and grab it as needed.
  • Designate a place for larger cleaning tools.Vacuum cleaners, steam mops and other big items can go in a spare closet, the pantry, the garage or the basement. The exact spot is less important than keeping them all together so you can put your hands on them whenever you need them.
  • Make sure everything is clearly labeled.Keeping solutions in their original containers is always ideal, but if you decant them into all-purpose spray bottles or jugs, use a permanent marker or labeling tape to identify them. For example, you don’t want bleach getting confused with plain water!

 

Need help finding cleaning supplies? Easy, head over to PlumbTile, where our expert employees will be able to point you to all of our favorite cleaning supplies that will leave your home feeling squeaky clean. They will be able to answer any and all questions that you may have about the cleaning supplies. Besides… what’s better than a clean home?

How To Remove Black Mold

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Black mold can be an insidious problem for homeowners, potentially leading to a costly removal process and even a host of health problems. Kitchens and bathrooms can be affected the worst because of the moisture in those rooms. But by learning how to get rid of black mold safely and effectively, you can protect the health of your family and the value of your home, without breaking the bank.

Removing black mold is a step-by-step process that requires patience, an investment in protective gear and black mold removal products, and, of course, the courage to brave dark, cramped spaces inhabited by toxic fungus.

First, you must remove the source of any moisture from the affected area. If any leaks or persistent condensation aren’t alleviated, the mold will likely reappear after removal.

Next, seal any doorways or other openings leading to other areas of the home, place heavy plastic over them, then seal the plastic in place with duct tape. If there are outdoor openings in the room, place an exhaust fan near them to help remove mold spores from the room.

Wear a respirator or a facemask rated for black mold spore protection, and cover arms, legs and hands to avoid contact with mold spores. Use soap and a sponge to remove visible mold. If the moldy area is dry, lightly spray with water, as this will reduce the incidence of airborne mold spores during cleaning. Next, use commercial black mold removal products, which can be found in most hardware or home repair stores, to disinfect the moldy areas, in addition to any adjacent areas. If you use bleach, make sure it won’t discolor the material or surface. Place all sponges, equipment and other materials used in cleaning in a heavy duty garbage bag, and if possible, remove the bag through an nearby exit as opposed to the main house, to avoid distributing mold spores.

If you run into a mold problem while remodeling, don’t worry. Just head to PlumbTile if you have any issues and our expert employees will be able to assist you and get rid of that pesky black mold that is putting a damper on your remodel. They will also be able to give you some tips and tricks to ensure that the black mold doesn’t make a comeback, which will make your house healthy and homey.

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

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Hardwood Floors: Basic Care

Speed up the cleaning process by first dusting the floor with a mop that has been treated with a dusting agent to pick up dust, dirt, and pet hair that might scratch the floor surface. For weekly or biweekly cleaning, vacuum with a floor-brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner or an electric broom. Do not use a vacuum with a beater bar attachment, which can scratch a wood floor’s finish. For quick dusting, use disposable electrostatic cloths, available at grocery and discount stores. Save money by using both sides of the disposable cloths.

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How to Remove Popcorn Ceiling

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Do you find popcorn ceiling to be unattractive? Do you want to remove the popcorn ceiling? There are several ways to alleviate this issue, you can use Styrofoam tiles or wood planks to cover it or you can scrape it off then paint or add a beautiful mosaic wall tile. Follow out step by step instructions and watch the ceilings transform.

Step 1: Prep the Room

Remove furniture from the space, or move it to the center of the space and cover with plastic sheeting. By laying down a drop cloth and plastic sheeting, you’ll protect flooring and furnishings from dust and debris and it will be easy cleanup after you’re done.

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How to Remove Wallpaper (The Easy Way)

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Let’s face it… if you buy a house with out of date wallpaper, chances are, that’ll be the first thing you want off of the walls. Before you apply paint, tile or a different wall-covering, you may have a little work to do. if you are lucky you will only have wallpaper in a couple of places, bedroom or bathroom; if in the kitchen it can be a bit cumbersome working around appliances. Removing old wallpaper is not that difficult, especially if you follow these simple instructions.

Identify your wall type:

  • Plaster: it’s found mostly in homes that are more than 50 years old. In plaster walls, wood lath is nailed to the wood-framed walls and covered with two or three coats of plaster. These walls are more solid and sound dull if you knock on them.
  • Drywall: It’s been used in homes for the past 50 years or so. Drywall is a sheet of chalk-like substance covered with a lightweight cardboard. These sheets are nailed over wood-framed walls and have a hollow sound when you knock on them. Drywall is more delicate than plaster, so you will need to be sure to not damage the cardboard facing when using a wallpaper scraping tool.

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How to Measure Your Kitchen

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Measuring your kitchen can seem a daunting task. Our handy step-by-step guide takes you through the process and identifies the various elements you’ll need to measure in order to get accurate dimensions.

NOTE: If you are remodeling, do not include in your measurements current cabinetry or other furniture that will not be kept, such as kitchen tables.

NOTE: All of your measurements should be in inches. For example, if you measure a wall that is 10 feet, write it as 120″

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How to Install Vinyl Siding

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Updating your home whether it is a kitchen or bathroom update or replacing that old siding the rewards can be tremendous. Siding it the first thing that anyone sees when they look at your home. Sometimes you aren’t totally in love with your siding or sometimes you just want a different look for your house. While it is always smart to call on a professional to do siding, if you are trying to save money and are willing to learn and keep adjusting your work, by all means install the vinyl siding yourself. Lucky for you, if you choose vinyl siding, you’ll be choosing one of the most durable types of home exterior cladding AND installation is fairly straightforward and an easy process.

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How to Prep a Wall for New Plumbing

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At some point in every home you will have to fix a leak or update the sink and fixtures in your bathroom or kitchen and that will require you to change the plumbing. If you live in a colder climate you might think about changing that old copper and pvc pipes for pex; pex expands in the cold to accommodate the weather which means no more busted water pipes. Replacing the pipes is a big job but with the right tools and plenty or prep you can be a DYI king or queen!
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