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Laminates Take Shine, Respond to Soft Touch

ALSO: * Cracked floor tile; * Noisy freezer motor

July 18, 1998|JOHN MORELL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Question: Our dining-room table has a nice Formica-style top, but the shine has worn out in some spots. Is there anything I can use to bring back the shine?

B.L.

Laguna Hills

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Answer: You can try a hard furniture wax, but that won't completely take away the scuffed areas, says Gary Lillge of Crown Hardware in Newport Beach. The wax might help the top blend with the rest of the table. If that's not acceptable, cover it with a tablecloth or mat.

When cleaning laminated furniture, use something soft and nonabrasive. It's easy to scratch the plastic surface, and then it's difficult to bring back the shine.

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Q The previous owners of our house installed a nice ceramic tile floor in the kitchen. In one of the corners, a tile has cracked and is coming up. This type of tile is not available. Can I glue the broken tile together and then glue it to the floor?

H.H.

Yorba Linda

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A If the broken tile has a clean break, repairing it is the best plan; when a tile is old, finding a duplicate is difficult, says Gloria Richey of Tile Importers in Anaheim.

Use a strong, two-part epoxy to connect the broken pieces and give it at least overnight to dry. To reattach it to the floor, remove old mastic from the bottom of the tile and floor surface, then apply a tile glue and push the tile into place. Lay something heavy on the tile for 24 hours before walking on it.

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Q We have a 10-year-old refrigerator that works fine, but whenever we open the freezer compartment, the freezer seems to be running. Is this a sign that the freezing mechanism is going? If so, how is this fixed?

L.E.

Westminster

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A What you're probably hearing is the evaporative fan motor, which takes cold air in the freezer and pushes it down to the fresh food compartment, says Kate Rahm of Appliance Parts Supply in Fullerton.

Normally, this runs while the door is closed, and a switch turns it off as the freezer door opens. There may be a short in the motor that's keeping it on, or there could be a problem in the switch.

This shouldn't be a problem that could damage the refrigerator, but you could save electricity by having it fixed.

If you have a question about your home or garden, Helping Hand will help you find the answer. Send questions to John Morell, Home Design, The Times Orange County, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.

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