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ASK THE HANDYMAN / JOHN MORELL

Word in Garage Tiles Is Heavy-Duty

August 28, 1993|JOHN MORELL

Question: I would like to tile my garage floor for appearance' sake, but I'm not sure what kind of tile to use, considering it has to support the weight of a car. Any suggestions?

J.F.

Yorba Linda

Answer: "For that kind of use, you'll need a heavy-duty tile," says Gloria Richey of Tile Importers in Anaheim. "They should be at least one-half-inch thick to handle the weight of a car. Pavers are often used for that kind of application, although they have to be properly sealed to protect them from being damaged by leakage from your car. It's not unusual to see a garage tiled; usually it's done along with the driveway. Just remember, the key is (to) make sure the tiles and grout are sealed before you pull the car in."

Q: We're going to be putting a slate floor in a couple of our bathrooms that have wood subfloors. In order to do the job right, we'll have to lay Wonderboard before doing the slate. This will raise the bathroom floors more than an inch. How do we make the carpeting meet that height?

T.R.

Newport Beach

A: "You could raise the level of carpeting with some extra length of tack strip," says carpet installer Rodger Brooks of Buena Park. "At the doorway where the new floor and carpeting meet, clean the area out and hammer one strip on top of the other. Make sure there's enough padding under the carpet. If there's not, you could add a piece. After the tack strip is in, you'll need to use a carpet kicker to stretch the carpet and fit it into place."

Q: We have three window air-conditioning units, all of which extend over planters. While they're being used, condensation falls from them and waters my plants underneath. Is this water OK for that kind of use?

D.E.

Brea

A: "If you're worried about the quality of the water, it's fine," says Ted Blanke of Central Plumbing & Heating in La Habra. "Condensation is just the byproduct of cooling process. Hot air is removed from the house and it's cooled, and in the process water is created, and it drips away from the unit. Condensation can be a problem if it's eroding the soil underneath the air conditioner and damaging plants. You can make a gravel bed into which the water will fall and keep your plants safe."

Q: I need to remove some old wallpaper from a bathroom, and I've been told that a solution of vinegar and water will take it off very quickly. Is that true?

W.O.

Stanton

A: "Vinegar and water will work better than just plain water; however, the thing to remember is there's no easy way to remove wallpaper," says a spokesman for Tustin Paint Mart. "Vinegar breaks the surface tension of water and helps break down wallpaper. You may get better results from a wallpaper remover. This is mixed with water and does a better job of breaking up the paste than vinegar. Steam is effective on wall coverings that aren't plastic-coated. If there is a protective coating, you'll need to score the surface of the covering to let the steam penetrate."

Q: When I brushed some of the trim while painting the exterior of our house, I found drip marks where the paint dripped down. I was very careful and tried not to brush the paint on too thickly. How can I prevent this from happening?

F.F.

Santa Ana

A: "It sounds like the paint may be doing what's called 'sagging,' and you shouldn't see this happen with a good quality paint," says Barbara Brobst of Hal's Paint & Decorating in Fullerton. "Modern paints are able to hold firmly to properly prepared surfaces. When using a brush, make sure you're not spreading the paint too thickly. You should just be able to apply a smooth stroke. As soon as you feel it's dry, re-dip it and go over it again to cover areas you've missed. Keep looking for areas where the paint may be thicker than normal and brush through them."

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