A stunning display of springtime tulips takes some pre-planning. Plan the tulip bed in the fall, plant the tulip bulbs carefully and follow a few special tulip growing tips for a tulip garden that will bloom in the early spring.
When to Plant Tulip Bulbs
Since tulips flower in the early spring, they should be planted in the fall. Tulip bulbs need to have a cold, dormant period in order to develop and flower successfully in the spring. According to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Services, spring-flowering bulbs, like tulips, should be planted when the soil temperatures are less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 16 degrees Celsius. Depending on location, this could be anywhere from late September to November.
How to Plant Tulip Bulbs
Clear the flower bed where the tulip bulbs will be planted of all old vegetation. Small tulip bulbs, like those of the miniature tulip, should be planted to a depth of five inches. Larger tulip bulbs can be planted six to eight inches deep. Place the bulbs in the soil with the root end down. Space the bulbs three to five inches apart. Fill in the holes with loose soil and water the planted tulip bulbs thoroughly.
Tulip bulbs are susceptible to damage from moles and other rodents. To keep rodents away, plant several garlic cloves throughout the tulip bed. The Dutch Bulbs and Tulips website also recommends that tulips be planted in well-drained soil. Avoid overly wet soil since that could result in the tulip bulbs rotting or being vulnerable to fungi.
After the tulips have bloomed, resist trimming the foliage back. The bulbs continue to grow and gain energy from the foliage for the next few weeks. Dutch Bulb and Tulips suggests that the foliage and seed pods be cut back three weeks after the tulip flowers have died.
Some controversy exists over whether or not tulip bulbs should be removed from the ground for summer storage. Many people choose to leave them in the ground with good results. Some gardeners prefer to remove the bulbs and replant them in the fall. If the gardener chooses to remove the tulip bulbs from the soil, it’s recommended that be done six weeks after the foliage has been cut back. Brush off any extra dirt and store the tulip bulbs in a cool, dry location in vermiculite until it’s time to plant them again in the fall.
Tulips are an early spring flower and are a beautiful addition to a flower bed. Remember to plant fall bulbs for a spring garden.
Fleas are never welcome house guests. Whether they arrived by way of your pets, your guests, or as hitchhikers on your clothes or shoes, fleas can be a nuisance. They multiply quickly so it’s important to take action at the first sign of a flea. Following are some tips to de-flea your home, your pets and yourself – without the use of harsh chemicals or toxic sprays.
7 Nontoxic Flea Control Tips
Wash everything. Wash pet beds, any pet linens and your own linens if your pets spend any time on, in or near them. Fleas lay their eggs everywhere, so destroying their environment will greatly help to reduce the flea population in your home. Fleas drown in water so it’s important to wash all fabrics and upholstery early and often.
Bathe your pets. Bathe your pets regularly to help get rid of fleas. No special shampoo is needed – since fleas drown in water, a gentle, non-irritating pet shampoo will do the job.
Vacuum. Vacuum your carpets and rugs, especially around any pet beds. Vacuum or wash the pet beds or blankets as well to pick up fleas and flea eggs. Once you’re finished, be sure to empty and dispose of the vacuum bag immediately. For canister vacuums, empty and wash the canister.
Use a flea comb on your pets. This will comb out the fleas from their fur.
Stick it to ‘em. Use adhesive tape to catch any fleas you see, then stick the tape down on them so that they can’t jump away. You may want to take a roll of tape, tear off a few inches, and wind it, sticky-side up, around your wrist for a handy flea trapping device. When you’re through, dispose of the tape.
Try a lemon rinse.Mother Earth News reports that a lemon rinse on your pet’s skin is a natural way to help repel fleas on your pets. To make the rinse, toss slices from one lemon into a pint of very hot water. Allow the lemon to steep overnight, then remove the pulp by straining. Take the cooled lemon water and sponge it onto your pet’s skin, allowing it to air dry. Repeat the treatment daily for best results until conditions improve.
Talk to your vet about a flea prevention method for your pets. It might not help now, but a prevention method will help save you and your pets from future flea outbreaks.
Fleas can be a nuisance, but by taking just a few steps, you can eliminate them from your pets and your home easily and safely.
Many houses have 8 to 10 feet of land on one side or the other between the house and the property line. Garden homes or town homes often have a narrow, fenced plot of ground in the front or back. These areas can be challenging to landscape because the space has awkward proportions, and sunlight may be scarce if there are adjoining houses. Proper planning and experimentation with different plants and gardening techniques can create stunning gardens in these often under-utilized areas.
Narrow Space Landscaping Ideas
Espalier a Tree or Shrub
This space-saving method of training a tree or shrub to grow flat against a wall or fence adds a classic, old-world touch to a small garden without using up valuable ground space. Espalier designs may be casual and free flowing or structured and formal according to taste. Slow-growing plants such as sasanqua camellia keep pruning to a minimum and make ideal plants for espalier. Fruit trees are popular choices for this technique, but they require a considerable time commitment. Boston or English ivy, climbing roses and wisteria are also suitable for espalier and may be easier to manage than a shrub or tree. Once the plant is established in its pattern, only routine pruning is necessary to remove stray stems or branches.
To learn how to espalier a tree, check out this article from Oregon State University
Plant Columnar Trees
Columnar trees are tall and narrow. They do not spread the way other trees do. For this reason, they are useful in small spaces. There are a number of choices available in deciduous and evergreen varieties. Deciduous varieties such as columnar hornbeam, Dawyck purple beech and columnar oak have dense winter habits. Evergreens such as incense cedar, Italian cypress, Hoops blue spruce and columnar Scotch pine provide year round foliage. A row of columnar threes looks spectacular against a wall or when used as a privacy screen.
Once larger elements of the garden are established, add perennial and annual plants. Choose hardy plants that are tolerant of varying light conditions and that do not require excessive watering. Aspidistra, the cast iron plant, and Liriope muscari are two such plants. Both come in green and variegated varieties and add interesting color and texture to a garden. They are not fussy about light or water and grow well in most USDA planting zones. Both are useful as foundation plants or borders.
Small evergreen shrubs such as dwarf azalea, arborvitae and English boxwood are excellent additions to a diminutive garden. They are easy to grow and can be kept small with minimal pruning. Use them as foundation plantings or borders.
Consider ground cover plants such as ajuga, which comes in several attractive variegated types, or one of the creeping junipers to add a low, textural element to beds.
The addition of a garden seat, an arbor, an attractive old gate or a small water feature can create an appealing vignette in a narrow space. An informal path of stepping-stones is both useful and decorative, especially when it leads the way to a scenic, albeit small, setting. A vintage bench beside a splashing fountain creates a restful ambiance and provides a place to enjoy a cooling drink and a moment of contemplation. Birdbaths, birdhouses and small statuary are appropriate for small gardens.
Narrow gardens can become very special places. Think of New Orleans’ famous alleys and courtyards, many of which are nothing more than tiny slivers of land wedged between buildings with little room for planting. Undaunted, French Quarter gardeners pack climbing vines, foliage plants and flowers into every nook and cranny. The result is calculated, horticultural chaos, but no one would ever think of these delightful retreats as anything less than charming.
Bathrooms can be a haven of relaxation, however if mildew is growing, counters are overflowing, and hair and dust balls line the floor, the idea of lingering in this room is not appealing.
Even if the idea of a clean bathroom is appealing, the idea of a three or four-hour cleaning regiment might not be the motivation needed to complete the bathroom’s spring clean.
Instead of trying to complete the cleaning project in one day, spread the chore over several days in 15-minute segments.
Daily Bathroom Cleaning Schedule
The first day
Clean out any drawers, cabinets, or closets in the bathroom area. Usually items are found that are unnecessary, outdated, or no longer used.
Throw away or recycle any material, products, or linens that fit one of these categories.
The second day
Take items off of the countertop and decide what should be kept, thrown out, or recycled.
Try to store most items in the drawers, cabinets, or closet in order to eliminate the clutter.
If it is too hard to get rid of everything off of the countertop, then purchase organizers to keep the clutter contained and eye-appealing.
Don’t put anything back on the counters until the next day.
Make a note of what is used the next morning to complete the morning rituals, and then use that as a way to make the final decision of what goes or stays.
The third day
Clean mirrors from top to bottom, scrub countertops, sink(s) using an old toothbrush to clean around faucets and tight corners.
Clean toilet inside and out paying special attention to bottom of bowl all the way to the floor.
Clean bathtub, being careful to remove mildew from shower doors, walls, and corners.
The fourth day
Wipe down outside of all cabinets.
Use damp cloths to clean light fixtures, remove cobwebs from walls, and clean baseboards.
Vacuum and mop floors.
The fifth day – Enjoy the sparkling clean bathroom.
Bathroom Cleaning Tips
Mildewed shower curtains – These can be sprayed with a mildew remover, but usually it is better to simply replace the liner since these are fairly inexpensive.
Soap scum on shower doors – Orange Glo Cleaner sprayed onto a clean dry cotton rag works well to remove light soap scum build up. If there is a thick layer, then first use a soap scum remover spray with a no-scratch pad. After removing wipe with Orange Glo cleaner which will serve as a barrier between the shower doors and soap to help alleviate additional future build-up (use once a week for best results).
Prevent Mildew – Always use fan when taking a shower, leave shower doors open, and wipe down shower or bathtub after each shower.
Depending on the size of the bathroom, this four-day cleaning schedule can be completed in about an hour, so this project could be completed in one day. However, for those who hate to clean, an hour of cleaning is not appealing, making it easy to procrastinate. For larger bathrooms, large closets, or lots of drawers and shelves, the 15-minute segments may have to be increased to accommodate the additional space.
However, using the four-day project schedule helps keep the load lighter and doesn’t seem as overwhelming. The shorter time frame makes it more likely that the job will be completed.
When planning the deep clean, it is important to look at the week’s schedule. If several evenings are already planned, then put it on the calendar so that meetings or events don’t interrupt the commitment to make the bathroom more user-friendly and germ-free.
One should be aware that plants properly placed in our landscapes can save both energy and dollars. As you plan your landscape or add to an existing landscape, consider locating plants where they will save energy and money. Windbreaks have long been used on farms to help divert wind and control conditions. Even in the home landscape, a small planting to divert the wind can be beneficial. Evergreen plants placed to the north or northwest of a home to break the prevailing wind can reduce heat loss and fuel consumption.
Where adequate space is available, several rows of trees may be used. However, in a limited area only a few are still helpful, although less effective. Where adequate space is available, the ends of a windbreak should extend 50 feet to each side of the area to be protected. A windbreak is effective for eight times its height, so even before the plants become as high as your house they will provide beneficial effects. Pines can be used for windbreaks, but because they tend to get thin at the base, a combination with junipers or other denser evergreens makes them more effective.
Even though the evergreens we plant along the front sides of our homes are usually considered for appearance only, they actually create a dead air space between them and the wall which provides added insulation and wind protection. The Japanese yew is one of the best plants for foundation windbreak planting. All large evergreen trees should be restricted to the north or west sides of the home. However, in addition to their winter wind-breaking ability, the summer breeze coming through evergreen trees seems particularly cool and refreshing.
The deciduous trees that lose their leaves each fall are best suited for planting on the east, south and southwest of the home. Large trees are especially useful for Rome temperature control when located on the southwest corner of the home. In this location, a large tree or several trees shade the home during the hot summer afternoon and reduce energy consumed for air conditioning. Even without air conditioning, trees in this location still make the home more comfortable.
A tree shading the sides or roof of the house will be seven times more effective in reducing heat in summer than pulling heavy drapes over the windows while the sun is shining on them. As water evaporates from the leaves of the trees, a natural cooling also occurs. Large trees, such as red oak, sugar maple, ash or cypress might be considered for this purpose. After the leaves fall, the sun’s rays warm the walls during cold weather. Where there is no room for large trees to shade the west or south walls of a home, vines either climbing directly on the wall, or on large trellises can also be used to shade the wall and help reduce energy consumption.
Use vines that do not keep their leaves all winter so winter warming by the sun’s rays will be beneficial. Some possible choices are Boston ivy and Virginia creeper to cling to walls, or wisteria and bittersweet to twine on trellises.
These ingenious devices can either be placed in the ground or attached to a fixture. They charge their individual batteries during the day, in sunlight. At night, they illuminate, providing dim but comfortable lighting which is sufficient for garden paths or footpaths leading to or around your home. During the summer, a full day’s charge can keep these lamps powered until sunrise. In the winter, the shorter charging period means the lights will only be on till about 3 in the morning. But that’s okay, because you’ll be fast asleep.
On the up side, these lamps consume absolutely no power from your house’s mains. Meaning lower electricity bills. Furthermore, they are individual units, meaning no wiring is necessary. Also, some of these lamps have a green design, meaning it is made of recyclable material.
It is not true that all water features are a waste of water. Traditional water features are. But eco friendly water features are not. Eco friendly water fountains incorporate a number of notable features. Firstly, they waste less water. Most fountains which spray jets of water tend to lose most of the water to evaporation. Eco friendly fountains, you will find, allow water to flow down a surface – thus reducing the effects of evaporation. Secondly, they are solar powered and energy efficient. Therefore they require no mains electricity to run.
The biggest concern with water features is that they are not eco friendly because of the wastage of water. The solution is simple and straight forward: collect rainwater. Simply put a receptacle, a bucket or similar container, at the end of your roof gutters. It is advisable to put a sieve over the receptacle to prevent large particles from entering the water. If you want something that has a decorative appeal, try using a big jar or vase in place of the pail.
The water can also be used for other household chores such as washing the car, watering the plants or cleaning the driveway. However, be sure to prevent mosquito from breeding in the water as dengue fever, carried by certain breeds of mosquito, can be fatal.
Whether you are installing ground covers or planting a new flower garden, soil preparation is often a major hurdle. Not only do you have to eliminate weeds and/or lawn grass, but you also need to spread organic matter over the site and dig it in along with other soil amendments. Spreading compost and digging it into the soil is a major workout, and is great exercise, but it can be very bad for your back. By planning ahead and waiting a few months between preparing and planting, it’s possible to eliminate most of the back-breaking work.
No-dig Supplies and Scheduling
At the very least, you’ll need a pile of newspapers and a pile of mulch such as shredded bark or bark chips to use this method. If your soil is extremely clayey, compacted, sandy, or poor, add a generous supply of compost and even some topsoil to the list. Watch the weather, too. You are going to be spreading newspaper, so select a day when it isn’t too windy. Use this smothering method any time, but you’ll need to plan on waiting several months before planting. Smother a bed in midsummer for fall planting, for example, or in fall for planting the following spring.
Start by marking the boundaries of the garden bed you are installing. Use stakes and string, or outline it with a hose. Step back to examine the size and shape, then adjust it if necessary. If you already have a fairly clear idea of where the new garden is going to go and what shape it will be, you can also skip this step and just start dealing with the weeds. Just be sure to check the shape of the final garden and adjust it if you need to.
If there are tall weeds or grass on your site, set your mower to as low a setting as possible and cut them down.
The goal is to spread a thick layer of newspapers topped by a thick layer of mulch. The best way to accomplish this is to spread the newspaper in sections using scoops of mulch to keep the newspaper from blowing away. A layer of newspaper 8 to 10 sheets thick will eliminate lawn grass and most weeds. Use a thicker layer if you have especially vigorous weeds on the site. You can also use cardboard, but that will take longer to rot, making the interval between mulching and planting longer. Use only the sections printed on uncoated (not shiny) traditional newsprint. (Recycle the glossy advertising sections.)
Lay down a section of newspaper, then toss a shovel full of mulch in the center to hold it down. If there is enough wind to cause the newspapers to flap around, temporarily flatten them even further by spraying them with water from the hose. Continue laying down newspaper sections and weighing them down with mulch until you’ve covered the entire site. Be sure that the newspapers overlap one another so they cover the site completely.
When spreading, you can simply use folded sections of newspaper (about 11½ inches by 22½ inches) or open up the sections (23 inches by 22½) to cover more space with each section. You may find it’s handy to open up all the sections of the newspaper you’re going to use and stack them before carrying them out to the garden. Then count out eight or ten sheets to spread at a time.
After covering the site with newspapers weighed down with piles of mulch, cover the rest of the site with a 3- to 4- inch layer of mulch. Then leave the site for at least 3 months before planting.
You can improve any garden soil—completely organically—using this method. Mulch alone works fine on a site with acceptable soil, but plan on adding more layers if you want richer conditions for your plants. Adding additional organic matter is also a great idea if dry shade is a major problem in your garden. Start with a layer of newspaper, then top it with any of the following: topsoil, compost, well-rotted manure, chopped leaves, or other readily available organic matter. You can make the layers as thick as you like. A garden mulched really thickly is often called a lasagna garden. To give the garden a finished look, top the site with mulch. Then just wait.
The majority of weeds underneath all that newspaper, mulch, and organic matter will simply rot. If you do see weeds, either pull them or rake back the mulch, cover them with more newspaper, then replace the mulch. Another thing that happens during this process is that beneficial soil organisms like earthworms begin to stir up the layers. They’ll take organic matter down through the newspaper layer, and bring up soil from below. Keeping the pile well watered hastens the process.
The end result is lovely weed-free garden soil that’s ready to fill with flowers, ground covers, or other treasures you would like to grow. What better use for newspapers that need recycling?
When it comes to home improvement plans, bathroom renovation projects are usually at the top of the list. Bathrooms get renovated more often than the other rooms, because it is the most frequently used room in the house. Bathroom renovation is not only when you want to sell your home. A renovation project can increase the value of your home and improve the quality of your life. It also gives you a comfortable bathroom where you can be relax and refreshing yourself. It can be a boring task, but a little planning could help your life much easier later on. In this article, you will learn how to transform your old bathroom to its new look.
9 things to take into account when choosing a new tub
How much space do you have?
Today bathtubs are also designed to accommodate two people instead of just the more common bathtub for one. They are larger simply because they are roomier. Homeowners should consider the available space in their existing bathroom first before selecting an option to purchase a two-person bathtub. If the inclusion of a tub this size cuts down on the roominess of your bathroom, you might want to opt not to purchase it.
How much money can you afford to spend?
The type and model of a bathtub that you purchase will determine the price range that you can expect to pay. The standard tub is by far the least expensive tub. The more features or custom designs that you add to a bathtub, the more expensive the bathtub will be. Whirlpool tubs are more expensive than standard bathtubs. An air-jetted bathtub is more expensive than a water-jetted bathtub. Soft bathtubs and claw-footed bathtubs are also more expensive than standard tubs.
Do you want a jetted tub?
If you think that opting for a whirlpool tub is an easy decision, think again. You will still be faced with deciding between air jets and water jets in the tub. Air jets are quieter than water jets. Plus, with an air-jetted bathtub, the bather can enjoy a bubble bath, bath laced with scented oils, or a bath that is generously filled with sea salts. Water jetted tubs on the other hand do not offer the same possibilities.
Additionally, a bathtub with water jets will provide stronger more vigorous bursts of water, while an air-jetted bathtub will present weaker bursts of water. Alternatively, water jets are fewer in number than air jets in a tub. Since the models vary, it’s important to take notice of the placement of the jets within each particular model of jetted tub.
Do you want a hard or a soft bathtub?
The hard bathtub is the least expensive of all of the models. It is also the one that you find in the homes of most people. This type of bathtub usually fits into the corner of the bathroom, sits upon the floor, is rectangular in shape, and is available in a limited assortment of colors. It is also going to require a bath pillow if you intend to lounge for any period of time. On the other hand, a soft bathtub mirrors most of the above characteristics. Soft bathtubs are rectangular in shape, sit upon the floor, fit into the corner of most bathrooms, and are sold in a small variety of colors. The biggest difference is that this type of bathtub has soft cushioning and a non-slippery surface to offer to its occupants.
Will a specific tub hurt the resale value of the home?
Today’s bathtubs are available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and more. Homeowners who are considering purchasing something out of the ordinary should also consider the impact such a decision could make on the resale value of the home.
Is your electrical up to code for the model of bathtub that you are getting?
Some of today’s more deluxe bathtubs require electrical wiring. Homeowners should always check to ensure that their existing electrical set up could support any new acquisition to the home’s furnishings
Does the color blend in with the décor of your bathroom?
Although the color of the bathtub might seem to be a minor concern compared to some of the other issues, it could quickly become a major one. If the color of the new tub does not blend well with the existing décor of the bathroom, you could be looking at some expensive remodeling costs.
How will you dispose of your old bathtub?
Disposing of an old bathtub can be difficult for some individuals. You need to discuss the removal of the old bathtub with the company from whom you are purchasing the new one. Will they take it away for a small fee? If removal is not part of the service, even for an added fee, then you need to investigate your other options such as checking with your trash removal company and scrap yards.
What type of repairs are you going to have with a particular tub?
Obviously, the custom designed bathtubs will be the most expensive to repair. A claw foot bathtub has exposed pipes, making plumbing repairs a relatively simple task. The jetted tubs will be the most expensive to repair, especially since electrical wiring is part of the package.
Tools You’ll Need to Replace a Bathtub
Phillips and Flathead screwdriver
Channel lock pliers
Shower stem socket wrench
How to Install a Bathtub
Before removing the tub, shut off the water supply. If the bathroom doesn’t have a separate cutoff valve, turn off the water to the entire house.
Open a valve at a lower level in your home to relieve any remaining pressure in the lines.If you don’t have a lower level, flush the toilet, and turn on 2 other faucets in the house.
Tub drains have different components that first need to be removed, so procedures on this step may vary. The one here has a stopper that unscrews, allowing you to access the drain flange at the bottom of the tub.
Use a tool designed for tub drain removal to remove the drain flange
Use the screwdriver to disconnect and remove the waste and overflow valve cover on the side of the tub.
Remove the tub spout since this will be on a portion of the wall you’ll be cutting away. Some spouts have a setscrew that holds them in place. If you don’t find one, your spout should just twist off by turning it counterclockwise.
To disconnect the drain, you need to gain access to the underside of the tub, either from behind the wall or through the ceiling or floor below the bathroom.
Use a pair of channel lock pliers to disconnect the pipes below the tee where the drain and overflow valve meet. If your fittings on your bathtub drain are galvanized steel, you may need a penetrating lubricant like PB Blaster to loosen the joints first.
Once you’ve loosened the nut connecting the drain pipe, unscrew it the rest of the way by hand and lift out the entire section.
Cut out a section of drywall approximately 6 inches above the tub on each of the three sides. To make repairing the wall easier, measure a standard distance up from the top of the tub.
Use a straight edge to mark a guideline all the way around. Cut along the line with a drywall saw and remove the section between the line and the tub all the way down to the studs.
Clear everything away so you have access to the screws or nails attaching the tub flange to the studs.
Remove the screws or nails all the way around the top and sides of the tub with a pry bar. Also remove any trim moulding from the sides of the alcove.
Cut away any caulk between the tub and floor with a utility knife.
Safety: You need a helper for these next few steps.
One person should lift up the front edge of the tub, while another slides a couple of 1 x 4s underneath it to get it off the floor.
Slide the tub out of the alcove using the 1 x 4s as skids.
Remove any stringer supports left on the wall. The stringer is the crosspiece that supports the edge of the tub.
With the alcove now exposed, clean the area and remove any nails or debris that’s left over.
How you dispose of the old tub will depend on the type it is. Cast iron tubs should be broken up with a sledgehammer. Because of the sheer weight, do this in the bathroom so you can remove the tub in sections.
All other types of bathtub material are relatively light. The tub can be removed whole as long as you have some help. Steel, composite or fiberglass tubs can be cut up with a reciprocating saw. Porcelain over steel tubs should be disposed of whole.
Make sure the subfloor is level, and if necessary, use a leveling compound to even out the surface.
Many tubs have a sound deadening and leveling pad on the underside, and this pad needs to rest fully on the subfloor.
Use your helper to carefully set the tub onto the skids and slide it into place in the alcove.
Once it’s in position, check to see if the tub is level, and if necessary use shims to even it out.
Take a pencil and mark a reference line on the studs all the way around on all three sides. After doing this, take out the tub and set it aside.
Since you’ve already marked the top edge of the flange on the studs, you’ll need to allow for the height of the flange to install the stringer.
Take the height and measure that same distance below the reference line on each stud. This new mark will serve as the top edge of the stringer you’ll install.
Cut a 2 x 4 the length of your tub, and use deck screws to attach it to the studs on the new reference marks.
To put in the drain, turn the tub on its side and install it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Take a bit of plumber’s putty, roll it in your hands and place it on the underside of the drain flange.
Position the drain shoe on the underside of the tub, and screw the drain flange into the threads. Tighten it down completely with the drain tool and remove any excess putty.
To connect the overflow valve, place the rubber gasket onto the overflow elbow, and position it behind the tub.
Attach the cover plate inside the tub to the overflow elbow and gasket behind the tub.
Connect the overflow pipe and drain pipe with a tee where the two meet.
Install the drain strainer onto the flange.
Carefully move the tub back into place. As you do, make sure not to disrupt the drain assembly you just attached. When it’s in position, the flange should rest on the stringer that was just installed along the back wall.
Make sure the drain and overflow plumbing coming out of your tub is aligned with the rough-in drain outlet in your bathroom.
Connect the pipes together and tighten them down snugly, but don’t over-tighten.
Before securing the tub, make sure the top of the flange lines up with the reference marks you established earlier. If it does, go ahead and attach the tub flange to the studs with roofing nails. Secure the flange on all three walls, as well as the sides of the tub. (Do not drill the flange. Instead use the head of the fastener to hold the flange down.)
With the tub in place, finish off the wall with drywall and paint.
Reinstall the baseboard and finish moulding around and in front of the tub.
Reattach the spout.
When renovating your bathroom you may run into wood that has been damaged from old water leaks, if you do properly fixing the wood at that time is important, this post will explain how to fix rotted or spongy wood.
Choosing Your New Toilet for the Bathroom Remodel
While remodeling the bathroom, there are plenty of homeowners who choose to have their old bathroom toilet replaced with a new one.
Should you be needing a new bathroom toilet, there are a variety of important factors that you will need to consider. One of the factors is the other remodeling which is being undertaken. If you are planning on remodeling the rest of your bathroom, you will want to make sure that you pick a bathroom toilet that will complement the rest of your soon to be newly remodeled bathroom. Having everything match, from the toilet to the floor tiles, is truly one of the most effective ways to create a beautiful bathroom.
In the United States, most of homes have a standard toilet in them. Standard toilets are another way of describing traditional model toilets. Most standard model toilets come in white and they are, well, simply standard. If you happen to be remodeling the bathroom on a budget, you will be able to benefit from the purchase a standard model bathroom toilet. Standard bathroom toilets tend to be known as being the least expensive of all bathroom toilet models. While you might be shopping with limited funds, you may also be shopping for the best toilet around. When that is the case, you may be searching for something different, say something a bit more stylish. In that case, you will be able to discover it, with a little bit of research.
7 Tips to Choosing the perfect toilet
The shape of the toilet bowl: The main choices here are an elongated bowl and a round front bowl. The round front tends to be two inches shorter, and works well for smaller spaces. The larger elongated front is more comfortable and sanitary, since there is less drip on the toilet.
The toilet size: There are lots of choices, with different lengths, widths and heights. Make sure you measure the space available for the toilet to ensure a comfortable fit. You also need to consider the rough-in space, which is how far the center of the toilet bowl is from the finished wall, since this limits the size of the toilet.
The size of the toilet trapway: The trap way is that part of the toilet that through which the water and waste exit. The minimum standard allows waste with a diameter of 1 ½ inches to pass through. You may want to consider looking at a larger trapway to minimize clogging problems.
The flushing system: In the US, by law all toilets must have a 1.6 gallon tank to conserve water. However, you do still have some choices.
o In gravity fed toilets, the weight of the water from the tank pushes the waste through an S shaped trap way, as the siphon that is created empties the bowl.
o With pressure assisted toilets, air in the tank is compressed as it fills with water. When flushing, the pressurized air pushes the water more strongly into the bowl, resulting in a better flush. Disadvantages, though, include greater noise, expense and difficulty of repairing.
One or two piece toilets: Two piece toilets are more common and inexpensively priced, and have a separate tank and bowl which are connected when the toilet is installed. One piece toilets have 5 or six parts that are seamlessly connected into one piece. They tend to more stylish, more expensive, easier to clean, and smaller, making them ideal for smaller spaces.
Maintenance features: Some toilets have features designed to make it easier to take care of them. For instance, Toto, an innovative Japanese manufacturer, has SanaGloss, a ceramic glaze which prevents bacteria and mold buildup, making the toilet easy to clean. American Standard has its EasyClean feature. Kohler has an insulated liner for some of its toilet lines, preventing moisture build-up on the outside of the tank due to condensation.
Appearance: while a toilet needs to work well, it also needs to look good in your bathroom. Fortunately, today’s toilets come in a huge selection of colors and sizes. Bear mind, though, that choosing a color other than white can significantly add to the toilet’s price. One approach you may to consider is to choose a toilet that is part of a bathroom suite, thus ensuring that are the fixtures are in harmony.
When choosing a new toilet for your next bathroom remodeling project, it is important to be concerned with the appearance of a toilet, but it also important to be concerned with the cost of one. Although it is possible to purchase a standard toilet for only a few hundred dollars, you need to keep additional costs in mind. As you likely already know, bathroom toilets are heavy; therefore, you may need assistance getting your toilet into your home. Depending on where you shop, you may be able to get free delivery, but you should also be prepared for a small delivery fee. Also, if you need assistance with installation, you will need to keep installation costs in mind.
As you can see, there is a large amount of decision making that does into choosing your next bathroom toilet. Even though it may take a little bit of research and time, to find the perfect toilet, the results will almost always be worth it
Installing your new toilet
Most toilets are sold with the necessary gaskets, washers, and hardware for fitting the tank to the bowl. However, you might need to buy a few parts. Here is a list of what you need to complete this task:
Two 1/4″ bolts for bowl to flange,
20″ water supply with fitting at valve or floor connection.
Pair of channel pliers,
5 Steps to Installing Your Toilet
Shut off the water to the toilet, use a bucket and a cloth or a sponge to remove the water left in tank and bowl after you flush the toilet.
Using a pair of channel pliers, or a small pipe wrench (8″), remove the nut where the water line fastens to the ballcock valve under the left side of the bottom of the tank. Next use a small crescent wrench, remove the two 1/4″ nuts holding the bowl to the floor flange. Remove old toilet. Remove the water line from the valve or fitting at floor or wall.
Now you are ready to install your new toilet. Put the two 1/4″ bolts in the side holes of the flange with the bolt head in the flange. Put some of the old wax at this spot to hold the bolts straight up and across from each other. Put new wax ring on flange, flat side up if tapered.
Set new bowl only straight down so it centers on wax ring and both bolts come through holds on each side of bowl. Sit on bowl facing wall until your weight puts bowl flush with the floor. Put metal washers and nuts on bolts and tighten until snug. Do not over-tighten as you can crack the bowl. Tighten these again after toilet is completely installed and filled with water.
Next put 2″ rubber gasket on tank where it sets on the bowl, put rubber washers on bolts provided under the bolt head so they will be on the inside of the tank. Pick up tank and set on bowl over holes in bowl where bolts go through. Sit on bowl facing wall. Put bolts on from the inside of the tank into holes in bowl, put on metal washers and nuts and tighten. Hold tank level and tighten so it brings tank down level. Use a large screw driver inside tank and a crescent wrench or end wrench to back up nut under bowl. Tighten with screw driver. Hook water supply to tank, turn on water, check for leaks, and snug up the bolts holding bowl to floor. If there is a space between the back of the tank and the wall, put a spacer of sort there to brace tank. A piece of wood or hard rubber works fine.
Maintenance for Your New Toilet:
At least twice a year clean out the inside of your toilet tank. When cleaning the toilet tank, turn off the water, flush toilet once, add small amount of cleaning detergent inside tank to water remaining and use a cloth or brush to clean. Also clean out holes under toilet seat and rim of the bowl as well as the 3/4″ hole in the bottom of toilet bowl. Replace rubber tank ball at this time if needed. Maintaining your new toilet will keep the plumber away and reduce your plumbing bill.
When it comes time for you to choose bathroom cabinets you have a lot to think about; you not only have to choose bathroom cabinets with a style that you like, but you need to choose cabinetry that is going to make your bathroom functional. You also need to consider the size of the cabinets, the materials the cabinets are made of, and the theme of your bathroom design. Here are some tips for making the act of choosing cabinets for your bathroom a bit easier.
First, you will want to define how many cabinets you want and the size of the cabinets you need. Do you want a base cabinet, a medicine cabinet, a standalone cabinet, or a combination of all of the latter? Figure out where you plan to install or place a cabinet in your bathroom and measure the area so you know the dimensions of the bathroom cabinets you require. You not only need to know the height of the cabinet you need, but you will have to measure the depth of the cabinet area too.
In terms of style, you have a lot to choose from; bathroom cabinetry includes closed cabinetry like medicine chests, recessed cabinetry, wall cabinetry, and base or vanity offerings. You can also get bathroom cabinets that are open and that have a lot of shelving. Standalone offerings include linen cabinets, towers, and storage cabinetry too. You will need to reflect on what you plan on storing in your bathroom now and in the future. Do you want cabinetry for medicines and personal items? Do you want cabinetry for your linens and towels? You should think about these issues as you shop.
Bathroom faucets come in various colors, styles and shapes. There is something out there for everyone. You may be interested in the stainless steel, most traditional look. But, do not over look the other options out there too such as the brass and brushed nickel versions. Even chrome is a good choice for a faucet in some homes. To find the right one for your home, consider the benefits of choosing one over the other. There are many things that can help persuade you one way or the other.
All about Stainless Steel Faucets
The most traditional and probably the most common bathroom faucet is that of stainless steel. These are long lasting products that will provide you with a blend of materials, namely steel alloys and chromium. These are the least expensive of products and offer a wide range of looks as well. The benefits of this product are simple. They will last a long time because they do not rust. They are easy to clean. They match virtually any décor that you put them into. You never really need to do any updating of the metal. On the other hand, there are some negatives to think about too. For example, bathroom faucets made from stainless steel are often the most likely to show fingerprints on them. They can be scratch, which can lead to rusting in those locations. They can become dull in appearance, too.
All about Chrome Faucets
Another option for faucets that you have is chrome. Chrome is actually created over solid brass fixtures that have a process called electroplating done to them. The coloring of chrome is the same silver from your stainless steel, mostly. They are affordable options and you will find that some of the more high end, fancy versions are expensive. There are many benefits of investing in chrome for your faucets. For example, they do not scratch and therefore do not rust. They also are going to last you a long time without showing too many signs of aging. Chrome will show water spots but they can easily be cleaned off. If you over clean the chrome or use abrasive chemicals on it, it can become dull over time because of chrome finish will wear off.
All about Brushed Nickel Faucets
Yet another option for faucets is brushed nickel. This is one of the newest products out there and is made by electroplating which is done over the top of solid brass. There are many options to consider in styles because they are so popular. What’s more, there is a range of pricing including affordable products. The benefits of this product are that they do not show scratches and fingerprints are easily hidden. They do not tarnish over time. The downfall that they have is that the plating can wear away over a long period of time.
Choosing the best bathroom faucets means to consider all of these options carefully.
Once you have selected the right faucet, replace it yourself following this guide
Tips to Choose the Right Bathroom Sink
Bathroom sink comes in very wide variety of shapes, designs, colors and price range. It could be daunting task to buy one if you have not prepared yourself in advance. Here are some tips to prepare you in choosing the appropriate sink for your bathroom.
The very first thing you need to do is to decide your limitations. To decide your limitations, you need to set budget. Like I said before, sinks comes in every price range depending on the quality and design. Deciding budget helps you in choosing the appropriate sink that matches the theme of your bathroom within your limit.
Decide which type of sink you want to buy. There are so many different type of sinks available like Pedestal sink, console sink, wall mounted sink, basin sink, vessel sink and utility sink. Each sink has his own characteristics and benefits. Choose one which can be easily installed in your bathroom.
Bathroom sinks comes in a very wide variety of materials. There are glass sinks which are being made with glass. Then there are stainless steel sinks, ceramic based material sinks, enameled cast iron sinks and solid surface material sinks. Decide which material sink works best in your bathroom.
Some commonly used bathroom cleaners may not be compatible with all sink materials. Don’t just assume that the sink material you have chosen can be cleaned by any sort of chemical cleaner. Glass sinks are high maintenance sinks whereas wood sinks can be cleaned easily. Get detailed knowledge about care requirement of particular sink before buying.
Steps to Replacing Your Bathroom Sink
First, you must gather all the tools and materials needed to complete the job.
Tools needed to replace sink
Adjustable wrench or set of wrenches
Razor knife(cutting old caulk)
Seriously THAT is all the tools you’ll need.
17 Steps to Replacing Bathroom Sink
1. Go underneath the sink. Turn off the water. Loosen the collar nuts on the drainpipe.
2. Drain any excessive water, and then remove the drainpipe.
3. Loosen the nuts that hold the pop-up assembly in place under the sink using slip-joint pliers.
4. Unscrew the pop-up flange in order to free the assembly underneath the sink.
5. Remove the fittings that join the supply lines of the old faucet to the shutoff valves, using a wrench.
6. Repeat the steps 4-15 as explained above for replacing kitchen faucet.
7. Now, you have to install the pop-up assembly.
8. Push the pop-up rod down through the body of the faucet.
9. Attach the flat bar.
10. At the bottom of the new flange, use a little plumber’s putty to hold the tailpiece so that the whole assembly protrudes up through the drain hole in the sink.
11. Spin the ring to position the same with the tailpiece under the sink.
12. In order to secure pop-up housing in place, tighten the nut on top of the tailpiece.
13. Hook up the pop-up lever onto the flat bar in order to secure it to the pop-up housing.
14. Drop the stopper into the drain hole.
15. Replace the drainpipe.
16. Tighten the collar nuts.
17. Turn on the faucet and check for leaks.
Bathroom Flooring: Pick the Right Kind
There are many things that need to be taken into consideration when choosing the floor for your bathroom. You often go barefoot in the bathroom, for instance, so the feel of its floor is just as important as the way that it looks. Below, an overview of the most popular materials for bathroom floors is outlined for your convenience; a few key tips are included, too.
Make a Small Bathroom Look Larger with the Right Kind of Floor
Most people have to deal with bathrooms that are relatively small. There’s just no getting around it. However, there are ways to make a small bathroom look a lot larger. One of the best ways to do so is by choosing your flooring with care. A light-colored floor is one of the simplest yet most dramatic ways to give a small bathroom a much more spacious look and feel. Better still, use similar tones for the walls and the floor to create the illusion of a lot more space.
Why Ceramic Works Best
If you’re looking for a bathroom floor material that is affordable, attractive and easy on bare feet, you should make a beeline for ceramic. This type of floor material can include many unique textures and designs that go along with virtually any interior design scheme. Ceramic is wonderfully waterproof, too, which is a critical point when it comes to designing a bathroom – nothing is worse than stepping onto a damp, soggy floor. Ceramic tiles are available in a breathtaking array of different styles, sizes and designs, too, making it a snap to get the look that is right for you.
Vinyl feels great underfoot; it’s also very waterproof and a snap to maintain. Best of all, vinyl flooring is very affordable. A wide variety of different patterns and designs are available, making it a versatile and exciting choice for the bathroom. Put vinyl near the top of your list if you want to stick to a strict budget while still achieving a stylish and attractive look.
Some people believe that marble is the be-all, end-all in terms of bathroom floors. However, marble is a highly porous material; it is also very soft. What that means is that it absorbs and retains moisture with ease. In the bathroom, that can spell major trouble. As beautiful and luxurious as marble may be, it is generally not a suitable choice for the bathroom.
Why Carpeting isn’t Ideal for the Bathroom
While it’s fine to throw down a few colorful rugs in a bathroom, having wall-to-wall carpeting installed isn’t a very smart move. Carpet needs to stay as dry as possible; even if you are a stickler about not stepping onto your carpet with sopping wet feet, the moisture in the air will wreak plenty of havoc. While carpet feels wonderful beneath the feet, it just isn’t a practical choice for the bathroom. Invest in a few cute area rugs and leave the carpeting for other parts of the home.
Want Wood? Try Laminate Flooring Instead
The idea of a luxurious wood floor in the bathroom may sound great, but it is fraught with all sorts of issues. A wood floor must be impeccably installed in order to stand a chance in the bathroom, where moisture and standing water can destroy it in no time flat. Plus, wood must be finished in a precise way in order to make a go of it. If you’d like the look of wood in a material that can withstand the perils of the bathroom, laminate flooring may be for you. It is available in many wood-style finishes that will make your bathroom look amazing.
Hopefully you find this bathroom remodeling guide helpful. Here at All Around the House we are dedicated to total home improvement.
Please share your before and after bathroom remodeling photos in the comments.
Q: Landscaping is expensive! Is there any way to landscape my yard without breaking my bank?
A: The easiest way to save money with landscaping is to do it all yourself, where instead of money you invest sweat equity. A landscape built upon sweat equity is one in which the DIYer can be proud. The first step to landscaping on your own is to understand landscape design principles, and properly plan your layout.
Q: I have areas in my yard that are covered in shade and struggle to grow plants. Do I have any options?
A: Starting a shade garden is probably your only option. It starts as simply as choosing plants that grow in low light, like some ferns or ground covers, or there are many other options. Don’t be discouraged, just start slow and plan accordingly.
Maintaining a lawn can be rewarding, but also frustrating at the same time. During drought or with the summer heat, you might see your neighbor’s lawn looking greener and lusher than yours despite your everyday struggle. For this particular project, we do not only focus on watering tips but also on steps that are mostly cheap but can get the job done of keeping your lawn from turning brown.
5 Tips to keep your lawn from turning brown
#1. You need to mow with the season
As homeowners we do know that the ideal height to set lawn mowers is at 2 inches, this height will give just enough clippings to serve as protection, natural fertilizer, and give that cushion feel when you step on the grass. But during the dry season, the lawn should be cut in a height of 3 inches to block more sunlight and cover the soil from direct heat and too much evaporation. With higher grass, the soil is given just enough shade aiding in water retention, which in turn gives you a longer interval on watering and save a lot more money.
#2. Give water on schedule
Brown patches in your lawn can be caused by not having enough water in the root system, when these patches appear your lawn is basically telling you its thirsty. On another side, a brown lawn can also mean the grass is dormant, and not necessarily dead. If you do come home from a holiday and find your lawn mostly brown, before watering set a schedule which you would strictly follow. If you are not disciplined, watering on a poor interval can just add damage to the grass and would not really help them as you’re just adding stress to their dormancy. Make sure to set things on schedule and follow through.
#3. Look at the shading pattern
When part of the lawn is starting to turn patchy, it can also be caused by too much shading. Depending on your grass variant, there are grasses that do not do well on shaded areas and will only thrive on where direct sunlight is present. If you have a lot of trees or bushes extending their branches and stems, make sure to ask your gardener which grass variant is a feasible option. To help these patches turn back to green grass, regularly cut the branches of your tree where too much sun is being blocked. This will help light pass thru and reach the soil of your lawn.
#4. Do a health check of the lawn area
Apart from shaded areas and insufficient water, brown patches can also be a product of insects growing in your grass. Grubs, ants, and termites might create shelter on your lawn resulting in brown patches. Take a closer look and inspect the perimeters if there is any sign of insect growth, if there is then buy an insecticide specific to the insects growing in your lawn. Make sure to only spray or cure the area where they are settling as improper application of insecticides can damage your lawn further.
#5. Do not panic
When grass is turning brown, we become like parents who want to fix everything and make them live again. But the key to preserving the green is to not panic, and determine the cause first before action. Most homeowners think putting fertilizer, minerals, or even weed control is the best way to counteract the brown patches but it is really not the cure. A heat-stressed lawn when subjected to these chemicals can cause additional stress and ultimately leave your grass dying. As mentioned earlier, even watering when not done properly and on schedule can kill a lawn, so keep those fertilizers stored and use them for another time.
The actual key to preventing your lawn from turning brown is to have patience and be disciplined with its maintenance. Three basic things prevail: soil, water, and sunlight, but these three are not sufficient if the owner is not vigilant of the harmony the grass needs to grow healthy. We hope you enjoyed reading our article and that these tips help you in maintaining a green front yard in the summer. Please do not forget to share this article, and of course leave a comment down below if you have anything to share.
Landscapers often ask themselves “What to Plant in Pots for Summer”, and often the answer is easier than they imagine to build stunning summer flower pot arrangements. It is as easy as mixing Calibrachoa, Nemesia and Verbena hybrid flowers of pink, orange and yellow colors in one pot.
Gardeners, looking for beautiful potted plant arrangements filled with summer annual flowers, will like this recipe for mixing flowers together. Annual flowering plants like Calibrachoa, Nemesia and Verbena will bloom all summer. This combination of pink, orange and yellow flowers will need full sun, regular watering, balanced fertilizer and fresh potting soil to grow well all season.
A gardener can use a 16” or larger diameter container with at least a depth of 8”; choose three types of annuals that will thrive in the same environment and plant. Begin with one cultivar of each; Calibrachoa, Nemesia and Verbena, but if a larger pot is being planted consider using two or three of each. As the flowers and stems grow, the plants will intermingle creating a colorful collage able to last all summer.
Calibrachoa, Nemesia and Verbena each have trailing habits to some degree. However, Calibrachoa develops longer stems and in a container will easily and more dramatically fall off the rim of a pot. In this combination, Calibrachoa Superbells® ‘Dreamsicle’ is used for its clear orange color.
As with Nemesia and Verbena, Calibrachoa has limited hardiness, zones 9 – 11, which is why it is more often used as an annual bedding plant by gardeners. Another combination for a summer flowering annual container is Lantana with Calibrachoa. Lantana is a drought tolerant plant that will attract pollinators; it also grows as a shrub in very warm climates but as an annual in northern gardens.
The improved version of Calibrachoa Superbells® ‘Tequila Sunrise’ will have a less wild, more refined appearance. The coloring in this plant’s blooms is a mix of red, yellow and orange and salmon.
Lemon Yellow Nemesia
Nemesia is known to thrive in cooler spring temperatures but flowers less enthusiastically when the weather turns hot and humid. However, the Nemesia hybrid series called Sunsatia® has proven itself a reliable summer annual for pots. In this colorful container combination, Nemesia Sunsatia® ‘Lemon’ complements the orange Calibrachoa and pink Verbena.
Nemesia has a loose upright habit that is equally able to fill in gaps left by trailing plants or by vertical plants with stiff stems. Nemesia Sunsatia® ‘Lemon’ planted with a blue Lobelia will make a colorful hanging basket and Nemesia fruticans ‘Bluebird’ picks up the sapphire disk color of Osteospermum ‘Lemon Symphony’ in a container. Like Nemesia, Osteospermum needs very well-draining soil making a pot an excellent place for both to grow.
Pink Verbena Flowers
Verbena is an annual flower that loves hot weather and is very good at attracting hummingbirds to a hanging basket. The third warm colored flower used in the three-plant pot is pink verbena, which is next to oranges and yellows on the color wheel. Verbena Superbena® ‘Pink Shades’ grows big blooms that graduate from light to rose colored pink over time. Set in the middle of an in-ground garden, a container of Calibrachoa, Nemesia and Verbena annual plants will bridge the gap in any bloom sequence a sunny perennial bed may have.
Verbena Superbena® ‘Pink Shades’ is assertive enough to hold its own when planted with Lobularia ‘Snow Princess®.’ Still, in a large hanging basket, a ratio of one Snow Princess® to two or three Verbena plants will allow the pink flowers to shine through this more aggressive sweet alyssum.
Summer Annual Bedding Plants in Pots
An easy recipe for a summer flower garden is to plant three different types of annual bedding plants with colorful flowers in a pot. Annuals are favored for the variety of brightly colored petals from which to choose and the plants’ ability to bloom all summer.
Calibrachoa, Nemesia and Verbena are annuals that will look pretty on a sunny patio and require minimal plant care to keep the small garden looking healthy. Gardeners will benefit from the added value these annual flowers offer by attracting butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to the garden.