Question: I recently had linoleum installed in our home and selected Armstrong Crown Corlon with a dull surface rather than Solarian with a shiny surface. The work was done by a licensed contractor who had been in business for 40 years. We are very satisfied with the work except for a problem in the kitchen.
Because the kitchen is quite large, the linoleum had to be installed in two pieces with a seam down the middle of the floor. The installer sealed the pieces with a glue that leaves a shiny line across the middle of the floor and is very noticeable.
In some places the glue extends one-half inch over the seam, in others one-quarter inch or less. It is a very uneven line and, I think, a sloppy installation. When we asked about it, we were told that it would wear off eventually. So far it hasn't.
Is there anything we can do to get rid of this unsightly line?
Answer: We took the problem to Donald C. Blake, assistant district manager, Floor Divison, Armstrong World Industries Inc. Blake says it sounds as if a seam sealer was used to join the two pieces of floor covering, explaining that a seam sealer is required for installing cushioned vinyl; however, seam sealer is not recommended for Crown Corlon, because it isn't cushioned.
So I'd start by asking the contractor if, indeed, he used a seam sealer.
Confirming that, Blake suggests that you go to an art-supply store and buy a fiberglass eraser, which he says is something like a heavy-duty typewriter eraser.
Lightly erase the shiny surface on the seam until it gets down to the dullness of the floor covering. We both caution you not to be too energetic with the eraser, which could, I suppose, damage the floor covering if too much muscle is applied.
IN THE MAIL: Hal Rubin, district sales manager for Dunn-Edwards Corp., writes that it is no longer necessary to etch galvanized roof flashing with vinegar before application of metal primer. He reports that Dunn-Edwards product 43-7 GALV-ALUM is a white, rust-inhibitive metal primer that will adhere to galvanized steel and aluminum without etching. He points out, however, that new metal still must be washed first with a solvent, such as lacquer thinner.
Drew Sasser, retail sales manager of Buena Park Lumber & Hardware, writes that his company is aware of the problem of do-it-yourselfers being hesitant about buying video tapes on home repairs because there is no way to preview the tapes. His firm sells a series of tapes that cover 30 topics, produced by Do It Yourself Inc., which he says is an expanded version of the public television series, "The Do It Yourself Show." Although the tapes are available for purchase at $19.95 each, Buena Park Lumber also rents the tapes for $3 a day, and if a customer purchases the material for doing the project, the rental fee applies to the purchase.
Today is the last day of the Orange County Home Improvement Show & Spa-tacular at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. Hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m; adult admission is $5, children under 12 free. Enter Gate 4 off Arlington Drive for free parking.