Caulking: Caulking can be a messy job that results in what looks like a 3 year old played arts and crafts with your house. Not to worry, here are a few tips to help you out. Around glass or a finished surface, use painters tape on either side of the joint being caulked. This will save you time on clean up and it's ok if the process gets a little messy, if caulk gets on the tape you can peel it right up. For the "professional" look, wet your finger and run it down the bead to smooth it out and remove the excess, this will also work if you want to use a putty knife. Just wet the knife and run it down the bead. Using a putty knife to tool the caulk or window glazing may take some practice. Part of the blade will need to follow a flat surace to keep things looking good, every movement made or bump the knife hits will show up in the caulk. Also be careful not to remove to much caulk or it will be ineffective. Follow the manufacturers recommendations for proper adhesion and sealing. Happy caulking.
When sweating pipe in confined areas (near walls, inside cabinets, behind the tub) use a piece of galvanized 90 degree flashing. This will direct the heat and the flame away from combustables and, if sweating near a wall finished or not, drywall/paint. Don't use prepainted flashing as the paint may smolder or catch fire.
It's one of those lazy Sunday afternoons and I decided to do some research. I'm looking at ways to build radiused wall (walls with curves) and completely new custom shower systems. Like all things, construction materials are getting lighter and more composite, in a shower situation this is good. Traditional materials are subject to water and mold in a wet environment, but the new systems are impervious to water, at least in theroy. The ease of use has also improved over time. The new shower systems now have a styrofoam cored board covered in a water proof membrane and these can be used on concrete walls, cinderblock, and even over studs. Then the tile is installed the same manner using thinset. This foam is even structure to the point that benches and seats can mbe made out of it and installed in the shower. No 2x4 studs or concrete board, just lightweight styrofoam. For those that like warm floors, manufacturers even make a floor warming system to be used in conjunction with this light tile backing material. Although, a fire rating has not been established by the manufacturer, so maybe putting this off is a good idea. How does a radiused wall come into play? The foam board can be cut in such a way that it can be bent around a radius and therefore making your custom shower design a reality. So far I like Kerdi board and Wedi products for shower systems. There are not any local distributors of these materials, but regional contacts. So, if you are looking to get a high end design with cutting edge construction technology, what are you waiting for? I have requested price lists and catalogs and I am looking far anyone who is wanting to experiment.....
Craig Jones, owner of Property Serv LLC. My goal is to better educate the homeowner and to make Richmond a better place to live.