Eclectic Homes

Repairing an Interlocking Floor

Among the benefits of the interlocking wood or laminate flooring is it is usually not ripped down, making repair less of a challenge compared to traditional hardwood or pasted flooring. Occasionally it’s important to mend an interlocking flooring if the timber suffers wear and tear over time, like warping in warmer, more humid temperatures, or splitting age. With the right tools you’ll be able to fix almost every problem that comes up with time, maintaining your flooring in high-quality condition for a long time to come.

Loose Planks

If you’re up against a laminate interlocking flooring installed in a floating format, the tongue-and-groove system utilized to lock the pieces together isn’t glued or nailed down. Instead, the pieces are stacked against each other and the snap-together components hold everything in position. Over time, there’s the possibility that these pieces may jar loose with heavy foot traffic. A rubber mallet is the only tool required to resolve this issue. Begin with the very first piece where you notice something loose, and tap the upcoming adjacent piece tight against the initial one using a rubber mallet. Work your way from that point, tapping each following piece tight using all the one at the row previous until you reach the wall. You might need to remove trim pieces on one end of the ground to access the ends of the laminatefloors A tough rubber tapping block using a sloping end helps prevent damage to the boards.

Wood Putty and Caulking

If your flooring have started to crack with age or drying out, then there’s an easier alternative than repairing a piece, provided the cracks are minimal — less than 1/8 inch wide and never growing with time. Locate a matching color of wood putty and use a putty knife or your finger to press wood putty down to the cracks. However, putty is only a temporary fix and isn’t helpful in cracks which are continually growing. The best choice is to wait at least six months after a new floor installation or after you first see the cracks appear to make sure they aren’t likely to grow anymore, which is a symptom of the underlying motion problem. Another option, and also a more flexible alternative, is a polyurethane caulk. Once you realize the cracks are not moving, use your preferred filler to topically fix the issue.

Removing Individual Pieces

Most flooring professionals speed replacing and removing individual pieces in an interlocking floor to be one of the most difficult facets of flooring repair, especially if you’re up against an interlocking hardwood flooring that is also nailed down. First, cut the center out of the slice you want to remove using a jigsaw or rotary tool, which gives you distance to disconnect the two halves in the rows on either side. After disconnected, then slide them into the center where you eliminated a section to generate space, then remove the pieces and clear from the person department.

Re-installing Individual Pieces

After removal, a replacement piece needs to be re-installed, and there’s very little margin for error because the smaller you cut the slice, the more of a difference there will be after it is installed, which may lead to loose pieces in the surrounding region. The replacement piece needs to be cut tight to fit, making getting it back in hopeless unless you cut off the tongue from one end of the slice, thus only interlocking with one border when you install the replacement piece. Alternatively, cut the slice slightly tight, remove the the tongue and groove from either side, and slip it into place using glue. You will find a variety of glues useful in this setting to help hold the piece in place, plus you are able to face nail it using finish nails for extra security and strength, countersinking and capping the nails using wood putty to hide the patch.

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Tropical Style

What Needs to Be Added to the Soil in a Butterfly Garden

North America is home to about 750 species of butterfly. A butterfly garden will help pull them to your home’s garden, adding sparks of living color to your plants as well as the air around you. Before you start planting your butterfly garden with herbs, shrubs and flowers, prepare the soil properly to decide on a strong foundation for a healthful, butterfly-friendly landscape.


A number of the plants that are common to a butterfly garden thrive in soil that’s well-draining and rich in organic matter. Compost provides exactly that, helping to boost the soil construction, add nutrients and improve the way that water moves through the dirt. For best results, add 3 inches of compost into the butterfly garden and then mix it into the top 8 inches of dirt. This helps maintain your butterfly garden healthy and growing all year.


The majority of the plants grown in butterfly gardens really are blooms, because butterflies are drawn into the sweet nectar in the flowers. Examples include lavender plants (Lavendula spp.) , lilac plants (Syringa spp.) and daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) . And like most flower plants, the following butterfly favorites boom in fertile growing soils that encourage optimal plant and blossom production. Create the right levels of soil by spreading a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 flower fertilizer, in your butterfly garden prior to planting your flowers. For best results, use roughly 1/2 pounds of flower fertilizer for each 50 square feet of lawn, and mix it evenly into the top 6 inches of dirt.


Butterflies are sensitive to herbicides and insecticides, so restrict chemical usage as much as possible. Mulch will help lessen the need for substances because it helps control weeds, and consequently your use of weed killers. Because weeds also often act as the main host for various pests, mulching also reduces the need for insecticides. For the best weed control, apply mulch in layer roughly 3 to 6 inches deep. As a side benefit, mulch also helps conserve soil moisture levels to maintain your butterfly garden more constantly hydrated.


To keep soil health, reapply compost annually from the spring at a rate of 2 to 3 inches of compost, mixed into the top 8 inches of dirt. Following the initial 3 years of your butterfly garden, reduce compost rates to 1 to 2 inches. Reapply fluid each spring, and apply again in early summer when the butterfly garden is not growing as quickly as you would like. This secondary application ought to be spread at a rate that’s half as far as the spring rate.

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What Kind of Birdseed Won't Make Grass Grow?

Watching the antics of birds hopping on feeders and battling over seed is one of the numerous reasons to feed wild birds. Regrettably, if you choose the incorrect seed or don’t follow good feeding habits, then you may get a mess of weeds around your feeders. Birds know what they enjoy and will choose through seed mixtures to obtain what they want, leaving the discarded seeds to sprout. Choosing the proper seed may keep your garden tidy as you continue to feed your avian visitors.

No Waste Mixes

Most wild bird mixtures found in shops that don’t specialize in birdseed include an abundance of milo and millet. When some birds such as juncos and sparrows love millet, a number of other species will choose through, attempting to get to other items in the mix. Few birds eat milo. Since the birds choose through the mix, millet and milo fall to the floor and will eventually sprout into grass-like weeds. To avoid this, see a shop that specializes in wild bird food and decide on a mix specially designed for that which the birds in your area favor. The food may cost more, but considerably less will make its way to the earth to become a weed.

Sunflower Chips

Sunflower chips are hulled sunflower seeds which are chopped into bits. With the kernel hulled and chopped, the seed won’t sprout. Sunflower chips make an excellent feeder alternative since they’re one of the greatest seed choices by a variety of birds such as jays, woodpeckers, finches, grosbeaks and chickadees.

Cracked Corn

Cracked corn is composed of dried corn that’s split into bits. Unlike whole kernels of corn, the bits of cracked corn can no longer sprout. Jays, doves, quail, sparrows and even ducks are attracted to feeders which have cracked corn.

Nyjer Thistle

Though it appears to be a weed, nyjer thistle isn’t the standard thistle with the purple blossom that gardeners attempt to keep out of their yards. Nyjer thistle is a small black seed preferred by birds such as finches, juncos and pine siskins. Quality nyjer thistle is typically heated so it won’t sprout. In case a few plants do sprout, they seldom grow to a mature plant in North America.

Feeding Tips

Feeding your birds sensibly helps reduce seed waste and therefore can help control any likelihood of grass or other weeds growing under your feeders. Utilizing a bird feeder with a seed-catching tray under helps capture any discarded seed before it hits the ground. Providing one type of seed in each feeder can keep birds from picking through mixtures to come across the kind of seed they enjoy. In addition to seed, set out fruit, suet and hummingbird feeders to attract a wide selection of wild birds.

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Eclectic Homes

The way to Connect a 3-Prong Stove Cord

When you purchase a new stove, you may be surprised to discover it was not provided with a power cord. Due to changes made to the National Electrical Code in 1996, stove manufacturers have no way to know if you have a three-prong or four-prong socket installed at your home, which means you have to install a cord on your stove to match your socket. Joining a three-prong cord to your stove is not much different than joining a four-prong, but a three-prong cord is not color-coded, which makes it a bit more complex.

Remove the hex-head screws holding the cover panel to the bottom back of the stove using a screwdriver or nut driver. Remove the cover to expose the 3 electrical connections on the terminal block.

Start looking for the circular opening at the sheet metal beneath the terminal block. Slide the horizontal ends of a strain-relief connector up through the hole, therefore the screws on the strain-relief connector are around the exterior of the stove.

Remove the 3 hex-head screws in the terminal block. Set the screws aside.

Slide the ring terminals on the ends of the three-prong stove cord up through the strain-relief connector. Line up the ring terminal on the stove cord’s middle wire with the middle screw opening on the terminal block. Thread one of the hex head screws through the ring terminal and into the terminal block hole. Tighten the hex-head screw.

Connect the stove cord’s right wire to the right terminal hole opening the terminal block. Connect the cord’s left wire to the left terminal hole opening the block. Use the hex-head screws to secure the left and right cord wires to the terminal block.

Tighten the two screws on the strain-relief connector to hold the three-prong stove string to the rear of the stove. Replace the cover and secure it using the hex head screws you removed above.

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Placing Central Air Conditioning at a house With Oil Heat Radiators

If yours is a home that does not have a forced air heating system, like residences with hot water radiator heat or wall registers, retrofitting a central air conditioning system can be a tough and costly proposition. In residences with forced-air heat ducts, you can install a central AC system and also spread cool air through the same ducts used for heating. But if your home lacks the heat ductwork, there are still ways to enjoy the advantages of centralized air.

Install AC Ducts

1 choice is to put ducts only for air conditioning. At retrofitting central air conditioning in houses with no existing forced air heating ducts, the evaporator coil and blower are installed in the loft area and rotating sheet-metal cooling ducts have been run into ceiling registers installed in minute- and also first-floor rooms. The condensing unit is installed outdoors, attached to the evaporator by sealed tube.

Duct Design

Normally, AC ducts for second floor rooms have been run across the loft floor and plunge down between loft floor joists to ceiling registers. In better than 90 percent of residences, air-conditioning ducts feeding first-floor rooms could be run down through second-floor closets to ceiling registers on the first floor. Most metal ducts are rotating, measuring 12 by 6 inches or 10 by 8 inches, so they don’t take up closet space.

Ductless Split System

Another choice is to install a ductless split program. In such systems, the condensing unit is set up outdoors, but feeds multiple evaporator fan components installed in numerous rooms. The evaporator units, installed one room, are connected into the condensing unit by sealed tube that carries the refrigerant. Every single evaporator has its own fan and thermostat, enabling you to set cooling levels separately for each room. These systems could be up to 30 percent more costly than traditional centralized cooling but are also good when you only want to cool specific rooms. Ductless systems that both heat and cool, are also available, which makes this a high-efficiency solution for complete climate control.

High-Velocity AC

You may also choose a high-velocity central air system. These systems utilize traditional heaters and evaporators but have a special compressor which distributes cooled air at high pressure and velocity through small, flexible, insulated ducts that can easily be run in which you want them, without having to rip out walls or ceilings. The insulated ducts are often as small as 2 inches in diameter, and also can provide cooled air to a room in up to 1,200 cubic feet per minute. The small ducts connect to curved chamber air outlets about 5 inches in diameter. Baffles in the ducts decrease noise.

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The way to put in a Roof Over an Existing Roof

Installing a new roof over an existing one, also called a *layover* or *nailover*, is frequently possible but not always the best choice. A correctly installed layover roof may look and operate and one installed after ripping the present roof and is typically more convenient and less costly. Although a lot of steel roof systems could be applied over an present roof, layovers are far more commonly done using asphalt shingles. **Pick a shingle style using the exact dimensions as those on your existing roof** to offer the best appearance.

Determine the Feasibility

Multiple layers of shingles may make it hard or impossible for the nails to penetrate the decking adequately, causing shingles to ignore or don’t seal properly. The additional burden of multiple layers may also be more than the roof facilitates could bear. Inspect your attic to get cracked or sagging rafters — a sign that a layover can cause much more damage. If you currently have multiple layers of shingles or signs of damage to your roof supports, you must prevent a layover. Some producers will not cover product failure if their shingles have been installed as a layover and some municipalities limit the amount of layers you may have.

Inspect the state of Your present Roof

The state of the existing roof is critical. The roof should be in sound condition without any unrepaired leaks. • Stand at street level and look for any dips or sags from the roof. This can indicate issues with the wooden deck or rafters supporting it. • Walk around the roof to find out if there are any places that feel soft or mushy. Soft spots are signs your decking needs to be mended or replaced. Whether there are a lot of soft spots, it is typically best to prevent a layover. • Look for shingles that have curled or cupped. You can trim or remove those shingles prior to applying a layover, however, your new roof will not be as even-looking and might have difficulties sealing properly.

Install Drip Edge

Drip border, or border steel, is a piece of steel that goes approximately 0.75 inch past the roof’s edge to channel runoff into your gutters. To install it, slide the flat, broad flange under the first row of shingles as much as it will go. Check to see that the bottom border is positioned over the gutter; if not, adjust the flange under the shingles until the drip edge is correctly positioned. Use a felt-tip marker to make a short line on the drip edge to signal appropriate position. Eliminate the drip edge and apply a thin strip of roofing cement at the very top border over the line you indicated and slide the drip edge back under the shingles into the mark you made. You may also use roofing nails to secure the roof edge.

Install Starter Strips

The first row of shingles is called a starter strip. You can either purchase starter strips or create your own by cutting shingles to dimension. To create your own, use the apartment, solid part of the shingles and a heavy duty knife knife to cut pieces that are around 5 inches wide. Place the top of each starter shingle firmly against the base of the shingle immediately over it and even with the eaves, then nail it into position. Use 1.5- or 1.75-inch roofing nails. Your second row of shingles must be cut to 10 inches wide. Butt these against the base of the old roof’s third row and nail into position.

Flashing and Additional Rows of Shingles

Flashing must be installed properly around elements, like vents or chimneys, that penetrate the roof, in addition to in valleys where different areas of the roof match. When doing a layover, the depth of the layers may make it hard to utilize any method aside from steel valley flashing. To install, line the valley with underlayment secured using roofing cement. Cut the flashing into 6- to 8-foot lengths to help prevent buckling following setup. Apply roofing cement into the rear of the flashing, then nail it into position, keeping all nails a minimum of 6 inches in the flashing’s centerline. The borders of the valley flashing should be under the new shingles. Continue installing the remaining shingles by butting each new row snugly against the base of the present row of shingles immediately above and nailing into position.

Finishing the work

Depending on the kind of shingles you’ve chosen, you might want to use a special sort of shingling substance, called *hip and ridge*, to cover the summit where your roof planes meet. If you are using three-tab shingles, however, you may cut shingles to produce your own. Use a heavy-duty knife knife to separate the shingles into thirds by cutting them at each tab. Mark the middle of each section and use a compass to mark 30-degree angles along the sides of each section from the end to the middle line. Cut along these marks to make a piece that looks like a trapezoid topping a rectangle. Folding each piece over the ridge and nail it into position. Nails must be set in the trapezoidal region formed by cutting the angles. Overlap each piece so the section without angles covers the trapezoidal location.

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Decorating Guides

Types of Flooring for Open Floor Plans

A home with a spacious floor plan — a living, family or fantastic room open into the dining and kitchen areas — generates a sense of massive space within the house when you choose the right flooring material. If you use different materials for each one of these regions, you interrupt the flow between rooms. If you must use a different material for the kitchen, avoid using contrasting colours between flooring choices; choose the shade of this flooring material for the kitchen that blends or matches together with the flooring material throughout the rest of the space.

Natural Stone

For any kind of open floor plan, to create the rooms transition to one another, choose continuous flooring. Butting a wood floor from the family area against a tile flooring in the kitchen jars the eyes at the transition — and it normally doesn’t look right. Because kitchens call for hardy, easy-to-clean floors, go with natural stone tile throughout the space, but choose materials that alternate colours, like slate tiles with separate tile colours that go from blues and grays to rust and beige with multiple colors in between. Well-placed area rugs add warmth to dialog or dining places in a house with an open floor plan.

Durable Strand-Woven Bamboo

Strand-woven bamboo flooring can work in a kitchen — along with the rest of the house — because of its hardiness and resilience. Strand-woven bamboo is the most hard-wearing and durable choice for an open floor plan; only confirm the producers used eco-friendly adhesives in the process of creating the flooring. On the Janka hardness scale, strand-woven bamboo is more difficult than most American hardwoods, coming in at 2900, well over hickory, pine, maple as well as ash, which vary from 1290 to 1800 on the scale. Another benefit of bamboo is that it is an eco-friendly option.

Mediterranean Warmth

In a house with a Mediterranean, Tuscany or Spanish architectural influences, saltillo tiles in octagon or square shapes bring warmth to your continuous flooring. You can extend these tiles to outdoor patio areas to make a unified appearance between the interior and exterior living spaces in the house. Though tiles traditionally give off a cold atmosphere, saltillo tiles come in varying colors of browns, that gives your open floor program a warm, earthy foundation.

Low-Maintenance Aggregate Flooring

For open floor plans, you can’t beat the price and durability of the epoxy aggregate continuous floor compared with other materials. This flooring seems seamless and produces open places seem even bigger. Color and design options are nearly limitless, since you can decide on the shapes, sizes and also the colours of the aggregates from hundreds of options. The aggregate is made of small chips, pebbles and stones and is hand-floated over concrete or wood for a smooth effect, and also covered with an epoxy sealant. It allows for layout options that have such things as border colour changes and intriguing patterns in entryways.

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Decorating Guides

DIY Rustic Distressed Table

One nice thing about owning a distressed table isn’t having to worry about dinging or denting it. Distressed furniture has a look that brings design or country charm to your decor. And a desk — a secondhand-store locate or that old table from the attic — doesn’t take a lot of ability to get it to look great. As long as you start with a solidly built piece of furniture, then you can distress end, a kitchen or a coffee table and cover it with the finish of your choice very quickly.

Clean It First

It doesn’t matter what size table you intend to distress is the same — wash it. Dirt doesn’t while used and abused furniture that is distressed looks OK, and a filthy distressed table does not allow for the finish to correctly seal. If you’re planning to paint or stain the item, remove using a agent in a room that is well-aired, before you begin, or sand the old stain in places away. Eliminate and wash with a mild mix; rinse clean and wipe dry.

Paint or Stain It

A distressed table can be painted or stained unless you intend to leave its normal color to the table; then you’d skip the paint or stain stage. If you plan on using chalk or milk paint, primer isn’t needed by you, but if you’re planning to just paint it, cover it using primer. As the other layers will probably show through after painful, you can choose to add over 1 coat. You may also paint it a color that is dark and cover with milk paint that lets some of the areas that are darker to show through if you are finished. After painting, then wipe off a few of the paint before it is dry to give a look to it.

Distress It

The step that is painful may be the part of the project. You can distress the table by hitting it with a hammer, a heavy chain or scratch lines into it using a nail or other object along its upper and edges. Sandpaper also works to wear areas down, particularly if you’ve selected the appearance that is painted distressed. Of distressing you increase the table, the amount depends on your preference. However, be certain that you cover the side panels beneath the tabletop, if any, the entire tabletop, and the legs with quantities. You can’t really make a mistake with debilitating; the entire look is based on imperfection.

The End Coat

The finish coat protects the timber and the appearance you created. For a desk that is painted, use a paste wax to seal it. Rub on paste wax in motions; let it sit and buff to a sheen. For stained tables, make use of a polyurethane or varnish in a mattesheen or product, based on the way you would like it to look. Than once you use a low-sheen or matte finish, the high-gloss finish coat show more of these imperfections. Wear protective equipment and work in an area that gets a great deal of clean air when working with polyurethane and varnishes.

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