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 Tankless Water Heaters     Tile Flooring     Tools     Vinyl Flooring     Warranties



1. HOW EFFICIENT ARE TANKLESS WATER HEATERS?: Don’t assume that tankless water heaters will be more cost effective or efficient that your old reliable hot water tank. It takes a lot of BTU’s to fire up a tankless heater, and often, contrary to the hype, you will not see any appreciable change in your heating bill. A rule of thumb is, if you are changing to a tankless heater for the benefit of “endless hot water” then go ahead. If your motive is to save money, then save your money.
2. TANKLESS WATER HEATERS MAY REQUIRE AN UPGRADE IN YOUR GAS LINE: Depending on the model, some tankless water heaters may require you to upgrade your gas line. Don’t assume your existing line will be adequate.
3. ELECTRIC TANKLESS WATER HEATERS REQUIRE LOTS OF POWER: Electric tankless water heaters may be less efficient than their gas counterparts, and will require a huge breaker (usually 50 Amps). So do not assume you can add an electric tankless heater without checking into the capacities of your existing electrical panel.


1. SETTING CERAMIC TILES: When setting tile, the thinset mortar occasionally pushes up between the tiles. If you wait for the mortar to harden a little, this can be easily removed without displacing the tiles.
2. SETTING TILE ON TILE BACKER BOARD: Tile flooring should only be set over a concrete or PVC backing board or mat. The standard for floors is ½” concrete backer board.
3. SETTING TILE OVER WOOD SUBFLOORS: Tile flooring should only be set over concrete or PVC backer-board. The backer-board should be laid with mud/mortar over the subfloor with building paper laid down first. You should think about what is underneath the tile floor. If the subfloor is in an area where it is likely to flex inordinately, say in the middle of a large span between support beams, it might pay off to reinforce the subfloor or to recess it and pour a 2” layer of concrete.
4. MUD-SET SHOWER PAN: This picture shows the proper way to install a mud-set shower pan. Note how the outside edges of the liner are built up with mortar to keep any water that reaches the liner draining. Also note how the liner is run up the outside wall about 6” or so.


1. SELECTING A SPIRIT-LEVEL: When purchasing a spirit-level, don't assume it will be perfect. Check it against itself on a nearby vertical and horizontal surface.


1. CUTTING VINYL FLOORING TO AN IRREGULAR TUB FACE: One good way to cut a vinyl floor to an irregular tub face or other difficult bath or kitchen feature, is to make a cardboard template. By holding a carpenter pencil against the face of the tub, you can make a near exact template on a piece of cardboard and then transfer it to the vinyl.

2. MAKING AN EXACT TEMPLATE TO CUT VINYL FLOORING: To make an exact template when cutting a vinyl floor, one way is to mark the floor with an X/Y Axis and then make all your measurements to the Axis lines. Then, on the back or front side of the vinyl sheet make a similar X/Y Axis and transfer your measurements to the vinyl.



1. A CAUTION ON CONSTRUCTION WARRANTIES: Warranties on cars and appliances are a little more straightforward that construction warranties. Construction warranties are often so narrowly worded they are of no practical use. For example roofing material warranties will often specify installation by licensed professionals and/or application in a professional manner over adequate substrates.

2. CONSTRUCTION WARRANTIES: Construction warranties usually limit the rights of the consumer, and more often than not just repeat what State law already provides.   





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