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Showing posts with label diy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diy. Show all posts

Thursday, April 12, 2018

4:48 AM

Top 10 Most Useful Websites for Homeowners


Top 10 Most Useful Websites for Homeowners 

Top 10 Most Useful Websites for Homeowners
Tile Excellence offers DIY hints and how-to's. We thought sharing some other professional home makers and designers would be a nice addition. Here the author has collected what she felt was the TOP TEN useful websites for homeowners, much like the links we have on our LINKS page to help consumers with the tough stuff, like how to clean cat urine out of grout lines! Hey, it's life. Hope you enjoy. Let us know! Diana Smith, AskTileExcellence 

1. Home Fair -www.homefair.com

Home Fair provides city reports, school reports, salary calculator, cost of living standards, and a multitude of other useful tools and information for a new homeowner, or any person looking for more information tailored to a specific location.

2.How to Clean Anything Clean Anything www.howtocleanaything.com

The name says it all. When you own a house, you have multiple rooms, and possibly a yard, to keep clean and up to sanitary code. This site gives great, specific tips on all kinds of cleaning tasks.

3,. Etsy.com, an Independent Marketplace - www.etsy.com

Sure, there are countless other stores to find home goods and appliances, but if you're looking to add a handmade or vintage touch to your home, check out Etsy.com, an online marketplace where you can shop for all things vintage and handmade, from artwork, pottery, clothing, furniture, gifts, and more,

4. FreeCycle - www.freecycle.com

Freecycle is a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. Search for where you can donate those clothes you don't need and those old pieces of furniture you don't have room for, to someone else who can use them.

5. AC Doctor's Energy Calculator -http://www.acdoctor.com/cooling_calculator.php

Ever wonder exactly how much energy you are using (and paying for)? AC Doctor's online Energy Calculators help you determine what effects high-efficiency cooling and heating solutions can have on your finances and your environmental footprint.

6. Heating Oil Shopper - www.heatingoilshopper.com

If you're like a vast majority of homeowners, you're probably not only looking for ways to save money on home energy spending but also how to do so with the least harmful impact on the earth. Home heating oil is both a cost-effective and eco-friendly home energy option, and Heating Oil Shopper makes it easy to find how to upgrade your home to heating oil.

7. Insurance Finder - www.insurancefinder.com

Owning a home is a large, and expensive, undertaking so it would be crazy not to ensure your home and any other valuable items that you own. www.Insurancefinder.com makes finding and comparing insurance options as easy as pie.

8. Epicurious - www.epicurious.com

One great perk of owning a home, rather than perhaps a small apartment, is having a full kitchen where you can cook up a storm. Epicurious is one of the best resources for delicious meals you can make in your new kitchen.

9. Stepcase Lifehack - www.lifehack.org

Stepcase Lifehack is a great website covering technology, workplace productivity, home productivity, habit-forming, and other tips for a more efficient lifestyle. This is a must-see for new homeowners embarking on the new and exciting (and daunting) world of home-ownership.

10. House Directory - www.thehousedirectory.com

If an empty house could talk, what would it say? "Decorate me!": that's what we think. House Directory searches more than 3500 sources for home furnishings for your home, and it is conveniently categorized into appropriate and easy-to-navigate topics, such as Kitchen's & Tableware, Bathrooms, Artwork, Lighting, Fabrics, and more.

Friday, March 30, 2018

9:50 PM

From tile to masonry transition stone work and how to build a masonry pond

Tile to Masonry Transition Stonework

How to Build a Masonry Pond

If you've been following tile excellence blog for some years now, maybe you've felt comfortable and tried your hand at doing some tile work. If you've successfully done some tile work then stone and masonry work will be easy. Tile has straight lines and precise cuts needing  a lot of careful planning to keep it straight and clean.  Natural stone on the other hand is more like a jigsaw puzzle without straight lines and an abstract pattern. Its installed with concrete like tile and leveled flat in the same way, just no lines to keep straight and an all natural stone finish.  I built a Koi pond in my backyard from concrete with stone around the edge and a brick paver patio around it.  Here's a series of pictures, taking you through, step-by-step so you can DIY

Click on my Facebook Page to see the pictures from start to finish! Then build yourself a Koi Pond!

Here's other masonry and stonework I've completed and posted here for your pleasure 

I have always created these blog posts to inform  and educate folks with confidence and info so as if you have it done or do it yourself  you will know what it takes to get it done. As always I am available for you to ask questions get advice to get it done! 

It's nice if you ask  HERE ON THE BLOG  so others can learn along with you, but if need to, you can always call me direct  chris 978 471 9127

completed pond with pavers


shot of pavers installed


a natural stone border around the pond


pavers and stone border


large koi fish in the pond


my dog junior helping me lay pavers


paver outline ready to fill in field


 making cuts just like you would tile


pavers and stone on the right side of the pond


pavers around tree

garden tub with stone work on the front


natural stone shower floor


more river stone shower floor


stone archway above garden tub


Friday, December 25, 2015

11:22 PM

Do it Yourself [DIY] Backsplash Secret Techhniques

A tile backsplash is one of the quickest easiest ways to improve your kitchen without spending an arm and a leg to get it done. There are certain pointers and techniques that I've learned over 30+ years of tile installation that will make the job more manageable.


The first consideration is the tile you pick out;  it makes all the difference in the world. Remember a kitchen backsplash is a "right in your face" kind of tile installation . You will see it many times each day and it's the first thing seen by anyone who ever goes into your kitchen, Make sure you pick out a tile that  compliments your  d├ęcor. If you plan on doing the [DIY] tile yourself it's probably a good idea to keep it simple.


There are some extraordinary glass tiles available at Home Depot or Lowes for great prices or online.  Be aware If you shop at a tile store the designers there tend to market/push more intricate tiles and more complicated iinstallation designs. As you add to the intricacy of the design then you also add to the complication of the installation. Subway tile is about the easiest installation out there and some pencil strips of color  all along on top of a  row of tile is a nice simple custom installation yet still uncomplicated. 4 inch by 4 inch tile in squares with some deco tiles added in also is a non complicated colorful installation. Each of these tile installations require no spacers because they are self spacing tile and use unsanded  grout. Glass mosaic tile has some complications in cutting the material and it would be advantageous to pick out a glass tile that will require at least cutting as possible. 1/2 inch squares or 1 inch squares usually fall close enough to corners and under cabinets that little cutting is necessary . When installing a backsplash I would recommend using Thinset concrete and not a adhesive because of clean up and grouting issues. Just remember thin set is concrete and  ALWAYS wash it off your tile before it dries or tomorrow you will need a chisel.


There  is a secret I am about to share with you now about glass tile installation that makes all the difference in the world because of the nature of the material. Some glass tile is transparent and you can see right through it. Other types of glass tile are  very,  very thin and it is impossible to thinset the tile to the wall without getting thinset in all the joints of the
and hampering grout coverage.


The info I am about to give you I have NEVER shared publicly before and Is a method I figured out on my own some years ago.  When installing glass tile I always  use unsanded grout  and I get a shade darker grout than what I want as a finished color. NOW here it is:

Using white thinset mix the grout color into your thinset and color your thinset to your grout color the ratio would be about 2 parts thinset to 1 part grout .



You could also do this with acrylic paint coloring your thinset to the desired grout color. Then your transparent tile shows behind the tile and any thinset bleeding through the joints  with thin tile will cover with grout. I've been installing glass tile in this manner for many years and have had great success as you can see below .

Marble Mosaic Picture Framed Backsplash
Marble Mosaic Picture Framed Backsplash

6”by 6” Tile Picture Frame | Hand Cut 3” dots

6”by 6” Tile Picture Frame | Hand Cut 3” dots

Pencil Trim Marble Picture Around Marble Mosaic

Pencil Trim Marble Picture Around Marble Mosaic



Glass Subway Tile with Diamond Design

Glass Subway Tile with Diamond Design

Flower Marble Backsplash Behind Stove

Flower Marble Backsplash Behind Stove

Glass and Marble Tile Backsplash

Glass and Marble Tile Backsplash

4 by 4 Tile with Glass Tile Mosaic Tile

4 by 4 Tile with Glass Tile Mosaic Tile

Custom Glass Tile Countertops with Colored Thinset

Custom Glass Tile Countertops with Colored Thinset

 Rainbow Glass Mosaic Tile

Rainbow Glass Mosaic Tile


Flower Design Marble Tile Backsplash

Flower Design Marble Tile Backsplash

3 ft by 6 inch Tile with Design Strip Custom Backsplash
3 ft by 6 inch Tile with Design Strip Custom Backsplash

Teardrop Glass Tile  Cut at Every Straight Edge

Teardrop Glass Tile  Cut at Every Straight Edge

Glass Tile Fireplace With Colored Thinset Used to Grout this 90 sq ft of Tile

Glass Tile Fireplace With Colored Thinset Used to Grout this 90 sq ft of Tile

Glass Tile Centered Backsplash with Travertine Border

Glass Tile Centered Backsplash with Travertine Border

Glass and Travertine with Marble Pencil Border with 45 Degree Angle Cut

Glass and Travertine with Marble Pencil Border with 45 Degree Angle Cut

 Mother of Pearl Glass Backsplash

Mother of Pearl Glass Backsplash

Rainbow Multi-Color 1” Glass Mosaic Tile

Rainbow Multi-Color 1” Glass Mosaic Tile

I hope this info on backsplashes has been helpful to you and as always I'm here to field any questions you have to help you out   thanks  Chris