Welcome to Bob Vila
- Painting >
- How To: Remove Paint from Tile
How To: Remove Paint from Tile
Longing to uncover an original surface or get rid of unsightly drips? Apply one of the three tried-and-true methods here.
It’s entirely possible to remove paint from tile, whether you’re simply hoping to banish some accidental splatters or discover a wealth of vintage beauty beneath a prior paint job. The exact technique for how to remove paint from tile depends on the extent and tenacity of the paint you want to be rid of—just bear in mind that if the tiles’ glaze has cracks, flakes, or webbing, that any attempt may very well worsen the damage. In that event, consider removing the paint with Method 3 for best results and then refinishing the tile with one of various quality products or kits available. Whichever course you choose, you have a shot at restoring that tile to its pristine state and be looking great for years to come.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Razor blade
- Dry, clean rags
- Heat gun
- Plastic scraper
- Dust mask (optional, unless removing lead paint, when a mask is required!)
- Citrus-based paint stripper, or other conservation-rated paint removers suited for use on glazed surfaces
- Rubber gloves
METHOD 1: SCRAPE IT OFF
If you’ve been a bit careless during a paint job and need to get rid of splatters, try this method first. Should dried-on paint prove stubborn, however, move on to Method 2. Of course, if attempting to scrape spots in place for decades, wear a dust mask—don’t take chances with potentially hazardous lead-based paint.
Starting in an inconspicuous test area first, hold a razor blade at a 45-degree angle and carefully scrape paint off the tile using a short, firm but gentle stroke. If paint comes up without harming glaze, proceed with confidence. But if you feel or notice any glaze cracking or flaking off, skip to Method 3 in order to best preserve the tile beneath.
Dampen a clean rag with water and wipe the tiles clean. Scrape and wipe till all splatters are gone. If some splatters don’t come off, tackle them with Method 2.
METHOD 2: HEAT AND SCRAPE
A heat gun can help loosen dried, cured paint. Again, with any paint that could pre-date 1978, wear a dust mask for safe breathing as you work.
Work in a small area of about a square foot at a time. Heat the tiles while constantly moving the gun in order to avoid scorching a spot, and continue until the paint feels soft and tacky.
Holding a plastic scraper at a 45-degree angle, remove paint from tile, starting from an outside edge and working your way in. Often, it will lift off quickly in satisfying strips! Be patient when in tricky areas like corners.
Periodically wipe the surface clean with a water-dampened clean rag. Repeat the heat-scrape-wipe procedure until all paint is removed.
METHOD 3: PAINT REMOVER
Use paint remover on stubborn paint or damaged tiles that you plan to refinish. To purchase the most effective product, tell your hardware store professional the type of tiles and glaze you have; if you’re unsure (or don’t have a sample to show), a citrus-based paint remover is the least likely to damage glazing while still removing paint from tile. For tiles more than 20 years old, ask your retailer for a conservation-rated paint remover for glazed surfaces. Whatever paint remover you use, ensure that your working area is well-ventilated before by opening windows and operating fans.
Clean painted tiles with household cleaner or a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water. Then wipe with a water-dampened cloth to neutralize the surface. Don your goggles and gloves before you proceed.
In an inconspicuous area, test the tile’s ability to handle the paint remover. Using a clean rag, liberally apply paint remover as recommended by the packaging and let sit for the recommended dwell time.
Scrape off paint with a plastic scraper held at a 45-degree angle. Wipe clean with remover after scraping. If there’s no damage to the glaze, proceed for the remainder of the tile. If there is glaze damage, you can continue but will need to refinish the tiles.
When the paint has been removed to your satisfaction, clean the tiles with warm soapy water and dry with a clean rag.
A Note on Grout
If grouting was never properly sealed, it may be a challenge to remove paint between tiles. Try scrubbing grout with a citrus-based paint remover and a toothbrush, then wipe clean per product recommendation. Repeat several times until you achieve the desired result, but if you’re stymied, you have two options: painting the grout with a specialized paint, or re-grouting. If you successfully remove all the paint stain from the grout, consider re-sealing to protect the lines from future damage.
- Storage >
- Genius! The DIY Dog Feeder that Doubles as Storage
Genius! The DIY Dog Feeder that Doubles as Storage
If you’re still working like a dog to keep Fido full during the day, try your hand at this DIY dog bowl stand to curb your canine’s cravings and reclaim your closet space.
Pet parents know that there isn’t ever a great place to store bulky bags of dry kibble. Closets are typically already too cramped to fit a food supply, and the dry food’s smell could attract an infestation of rodents out in the garage where it may go unnoticed—not to mention wastes energy hauling the heavy bag to and from the bowl. Fortunately for space-starved pet owners, home improvement guru Glen has just the thing to take the frenzy out of feeding time. The part-time vlogger and full-time home automation systems designer translated his passion for home improvement to the small screen with his dual-purpose DIY dog feeding station that combines the storage and serving bowls into one compact cabinet. Using only plywood, a drawer track, and an underbed storage container, you can recreate Glen’s results at home to restore order to dinner time.
For the frame of the dog feeding station, Glen cut a single plywood sheet into the panels for the back, sides, top, and bottom—all just large enough to accommodate the underbed storage bin of kibble that will go inside—and assembled them into an open-front box using a power drill and screws. Rather than attaching the front panel to the box itself, it connects to a drawer slide that glides along tracks installed in the cabinet interior. Give the front a tug, and it pulls forward to expose the secret stash of dog food ready to replenish the bowls at meal time.
Thanks to the depth needed in food storage drawer, food and water bowls (which were dropped into cutouts made in the top of the DIY dog feeder using a jigsaw) are now at the perfect height for medium- to large-sized dogs to chow down around the clock. But, cat owners, take heart: You can make shorter cuts to make the feeder feline-friendly, too! As a result, it’ll just have a smaller drawer for food storage.
Glen finished the feeder with some trim, contrasting coats of white paint and dark wood stain, and a sleek cabinet pull for quick access to the kibble stashed out of sight. And although your canine is sure to fall in puppy love with the appetizing outside of the station, one last detail on the inside makes this piece particularly fetching: A battery-powered LED light that automatically switches on when the door opens, and shuts off when it closes, making early morning and late night refills as easy as possible—for you and for Fido.
FOR MORE: DIY Creators on YouTube
All of the Best Hands-on Tutorials from BobVila.com
Get the nitty-gritty details you need—and the jaw-dropping inspiration you want—from our collection of the favorite projects ever featured on BobVila.com. Whether your goal is to fix, tinker, build or make something better, your next adventure in DIY starts here.
- Green >
- Bob Vila Radio: Why You Shouldn’t Trash Leftover Tiles
Bob Vila Radio: Why You Shouldn’t Trash Leftover Tiles
Thanksgiving dinner means leftovers, and the same goes for home remodels. If you've got an extra stack or two of tiles, put them to work with one of these "grout" DIYs!
When you take on a tiling project, it’s always a good idea to buy about 10% more than you’ll need for the job—just in case you make any mistakes while the project is underway. Still, that could leave you with a few extra tiles after you wrap up that bathroom remodel. Before you throw them away, consider turning them into free home décor with one of these easy projects.
Listen to BOB VILA ON LEFTOVER TILE or read on below:
In the kitchen or bath, create an accent wall, a doorway surround, or a scaled-down backsplash behind the sink. And if you want to give your builder-grade cabinets a boost, removing the doors and tiling the back panel is a low-effort way to add color and personality—without breaking out the paint. Depending on how much have left, you can also top off a kitchen island or table to make the surface more durable and kid-friendly. Tile can even add polish to an otherwise plain fireplace.
Outside your home, use those leftovers to redo an old wooden planter box. For even more curb appeal, glue a trio of tiles to some scrap wood and paint on your house numbers to make an eye-catching address marker. They also make show-stopping borders for a garden walkway, fire pit surround, or an outdoor barbecue area.
Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!
- Tools & Workshop >
- Buyer’s Guide: Flashlights
Buyer’s Guide: Flashlights
If it’s time for a new torch, learn the basics of bulbs, beams, batteries, and more before heading to the store. Then, read on for our top picks to get the right light to suit your needs.
Battery-operated, hand-held flashlights have been around since 1898 and have come a long way since. These household must-haves—crucial in power outages, helpful for late-night security checks, and valuable when trying to find something under the bed—are not only brighter and more dependable than ever, they’ve also become more compact and lightweight. So whether you need a beacon for your bedside table, glove compartment, utility drawer, or emergency kit, here’s all the info you need to find the best flashlight at the best price.
MAKING SENSE OF FLASHLIGHT PACKAGING
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) rates flashlights by their light output, battery runtime, beam distance, and beam intensity. When browsing the flashlight aisle at your hardware store, you’ll notice that every package bears a series of ratings. Understanding what these ratings mean is key to locating the best flashlight to meet your needs.
Light Output. You can still find a few flashlights with incandescent, krypton-type bulbs, but the vast majority of today’s models feature LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs that produce brighter beams over greater distances. The amount of light a flashlight produces is measured in “lumens.” A flashlight producing 25 lumens is sufficient for reading a book under the covers, while 200 lumens will illuminate the corners of an average size yard. Need more? Flashlights with over 1,000 lumens are available; just don’t aim them toward your neighbor’s windows at night!
Beam Distance and Type. Flashlight packages tell how far the beam will go and what sort of beam it is—both important considerations. The distance a beam will shine is given in meters. For instance, a beam distance of 200 meters is equal to just over 650 feet. There are also two types of beams. A “flood” beam lights up a wide area, while a “spot” beam produces a narrower stream of light that travels a greater distance. Some flashlights allow you to toggle between a flood beam and a spot beam as needed.
Battery Runtime. With more intense and powerful light output comes the need for longer battery runtimes—after all, a high-lumen flashlight won’t do you much good on a weekend camping trip if the batteries run out in two hours. The more powerful the beam, the more quickly the batteries will drain. Fortunately, many flashlights today use rechargeable batteries. They cost a bit more than disposables but will save money over time if you use the flashlight frequently.
Waterproof Ratings. The abbreviation “IPX” (for Ingress Protection) denotes that a flashlight will resist moisture and water, something to check for if you plan to take your torch on adventures where it might get wet.
• A rating of IPX-4 means the flashlight should be okay if gets splashed by a little water.
• A rating of IPX-7 indicates the flashlight should survive being submerged for up to half an hour.
• A rating of IPX-8 indicates that the flashlight will still be operable after being submerged for up to four hours.
THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST
After thoroughly comparing flashlight reviews from consumers and publishers alike, we’ve rounded up three of the most highly-rated models available today to help you find the best flashlight for all of your needs. Check out the top picks:
Streamlight ProTac HL ($73)
Ranking among Wired.com’s top choices for compact flashlights, the Streamlight ProTac HL packs a ton of features into a pocket-sized powerhouse. Made of impact-resistant anodized aircraft aluminum, it weighs less than 6 ounces, measures only 5.4 inches in length, and comes with a canvas holster. Its adjustable light output lets you crank beam intensity all the way up to 600 lumens or tone it down to a discrete 33 lumens. The ProTac features a no-fumble, push-button end-switch for easy on-and-off operating. At full beam intensity, the ProTac operates for approximately 1.5 hours before needing to recharge its lithium batteries; at its lowest output, batteries will last up to 18 hours. Satisfied buyers on Amazon.com give the Streamlight ProTac 4.5 stars for its super-bright light and small size, making it a great flashlight for evening walks. Available on Amazon.
NITECORE P12 1000-Lumen Waterproof Tactical Flashlight ($72)
Patterned after military and law enforcement gear, the NITECORE P12 1000-Lumen Waterproof Tactical Flashlight wins top honors from Outdoors Magazine for its powerful beam that illuminates up to 232 meters. It comes with an IPX-8 waterproof rating and a tough, military-grade body. Its side-oriented power switch doubles as a battery life indicator. At maximum intensity, the NITECORP’s rechargeable batteries last approximately 1.5 hours; reduce the beam to 70 lumens and battery runtime can last up to 28 hours. Among its best features is the ability to strobe an S.O.S. signal in emergency situations, and an included car-charger for recharging on the go, earning the NITECORP an impressive 4.3 Stars from Amazon buyers. Available on Amazon.
DEWALT 20-Volt Max Lithium-Ion LED Flashlight (starting at $39)
From a manufacturer well-known to DIYers, the DEWALT 20-Volt Max Lithium-Ion LED Flashlight earns a 4.7 star ranking by Home Depot buyers. This quality multipurpose flashlight weighs in at 9 ounces and measures 7.5 inches long, with a comfortable pistol-grip, and its 110 lumens is ideal for illuminating your yard at night. Yet perhaps its best feature—making it the perfect flashlight to stow in a toolbox—is a 120-degree pivoting head and stand-up base that let you direct the light where you need it (such as at under-sink plumbing) while leaving both hands free to work. A 20-volt max 3.0 Ah lithium-ion battery and charger, both sold separately at $99 each, are required—but if you own other battery-operated DEWALT tools, the batteries are interchangeable, so you’ll have nothing else to buy. Available at The Home Depot.
- Storage >
- Genius! The Foldaway Fix for a Clunky TV
Genius! The Foldaway Fix for a Clunky TV
If you need your Netflix but hate the look of your turned-off TV, try this out-of-the-box solution to transform an old dresser, ottoman, or chest into a foldaway entertainment center.
Dedicated DIY-ers like Allison Allen know that fixing one design problem often causes another. When Allen, the blogger behind Deuce Cities Henhouse, fit her bed frame cozily in the far end of her narrow bedroom in order to regain floor space, the extra-long space meant that a television lining the wall opposite her seat in bed would be yards and yards away. Since she and her husband loved their late-night shows, the fix had to be functional and beautiful. Puzzling out the best placement for the TV—without adding visual clutter to the calming space she’d worked so hard to create—was proving to be a problem.
Luckily, the solution was already in her bedroom, in the unlikely form of a beat-up credenza. Allen rejigged the cheap IKEA cabinet with a hinged top so that it could lift to reveal a TV for hours of entertainment and fold down come time to sleep, read, or work from home. She began the conversion by removing the old particle board top and replacing it with a sturdy piece of pine cut to size and secured it with screws. The DIY TV stand’s clever foldaway feature utilizes a piano hinge attached to half of the lid’s lower edge, along with a TV mount and locking supports to hold the unit open. Finding the right placement for all that hardware required a lot of trial and error, and Allen admits that she “thought about scrapping it a dozen times.”
Well, we’re glad she didn’t! Replicate this deluxe DIY TV stand from a credenza or other similarly-sized piece with enough space to tuck in your TV—like a dresser, trunk, or ottoman—and you can marathon all of your favorite shows without straining to take in all the action. And if you’re worried about tripping over exposed cables, copy Allen’s approach and route any cords through the back of the credenza and under the bed before plugging it in. After you’ve worked through these detailed plans once, getting your fix of television is as simple as lifting the lid.
FOR MORE: Deuce Cities Henhouse
All of the Best Hands-on Tutorials from BobVila.com Get the nitty-gritty details you need—and the jaw-dropping inspiration you want—from our collection of the favorite projects
ever featured on BobVila.com. Whether your goal is to fix, tinker, build or make something better, your next adventure in DIY starts here.
- Kitchen >
- 5 Easy Ideas for Better Kitchen Ventilation
5 Easy Ideas for Better Kitchen Ventilation
Reduce toxic emissions, stale smells, and stuffy air in your cook space with a combination of these techniques.
We commonly think of the kitchen as a comfy, cozy zone and “the heart of the house,” but according to a recent Department of Energy-funded study, cooking with a gas stove as little as once a week regularly emitted levels of pollutants that would be illegal outdoors. And gas isn’t the only concern: Electric stovetops and even toasters create nitrogen dioxide, a toxic by-product of combustion. No wonder experts say improving kitchen airflow should be a “public health priority.” Fortunately, proper range hood use and other simple measures can see toxicity levels drop by more than half. So breath easy and employ these techniques to bring better kitchen ventilation—and, more generally, healthier air—into your home.
1. Use Range Hoods Properly
To mitigate odors and improve air circulation, plus trap particulates from burned food and greasy cooking, turn on the range fan at the start of cooking—not midway through or afterwards. Improving kitchen ventilation also requires homeowners be conscientious about the maintenance that keeps a range hood functioning efficiently, including changing the filter regularly. How often depends on how much and how heavily you cook, but a minimum of once annually is recommended. And if you notice excessive grease build-up, punctures, warping, or corrosion on the filter, clean or replace it immediately. Metal mesh and baffle filters can be removed and cleaned with dish soap and a wire brush; other filters are disposable.
2. Control Grease with a Splatter Screen
Minimizing grease in the kitchen can reduce airborne, breathable particles and keep cooking smells at bay—and it all starts with a splatter screen that has a carbon lining to absorb odors. This inexpensive problem-solver is available at kitchen and cooking supply stores everywhere and won’t take up valuable space in smaller kitchens. While many are dishwasher safe, all it takes is a sponge and hot soapy water to hand-wash this wise air quality tool.
3. Operate Fans Effectively
Fans are musts for kitchen ventilation if your space lacks a range hood. A wide range of window fans are available—some with three fans in a single unit and the option of reversible airflow, too—but a basic box fan can do the trick. Fit a sturdy, square-edged fan into a kitchen window, closing the window to sit snugly against the top of the fan and blocking any additional gap with a bundled towel or other “stop-gap” solution. Be sure to position blade direction so that the fan will blow fresh air into the room while sucking stagnant, smelly air out. If you don’t have a kitchen window, open windows in nearby rooms and bring a fan into the kitchen, positioning it in your doorway, facing out, to suck air from the kitchen. Consider an oscillating fan with an ionizer feature to aid air purification: The oscillation moves the air better, and the ionizer filter traps allergens.
4. Invest in an Air Purifier
Range hoods aren’t regulated, and some only filter as little as 15 percent of particulates. Air purifiers, however, are government-rated, and hospital-quality HEPA-filtered models clean over 99.7 percent of particulates above 0.3 microns in size. If you’re cooking with gas, or suffer from asthma or other cardiovascular ailments, look for an “MCS” HEPA filter to remove “multiple chemical sensitivities” and station it in your cook space in order to improve kitchen ventilation. To ensure that the unit you buy can handle the volume of air in your space, figure out the room’s square footage (multiply length by width) and then check manufacturer’s specifications.
5. Open Windows
Of course, opening windows adds fresh air to a house, but it’s how you do it that will most impact airflow—and, during meal prep, improve kitchen ventilation. Ideally, keep interior doors open, and then open a combination of windows and/or exterior doors to create a draft. This way, you ensure the air doesn’t just enter your house, but moves through it to push stagnant, polluted air out.
Ultimately, fresh or filtered air is the best way battle bad airflow in any kitchen, so avoid the temptation of simply spraying “air fresheners” to mask odors—these products actually raise pollutant levels without addressing the underlying cause.
- Tools & Workshop >
- How To: Use a Stud Finder
How To: Use a Stud Finder
Master this tool and technique, and you can rest assured that whatever you wall-mount—mirror, television, or shelves—won't be going anywhere.
When hanging heavy mirrors, bracing large furniture, wall-mounting a new television, or erecting shelving, you need to start with the sturdy support of a 2×4 wall stud. Sure, nailing into drywall alone may be sufficient for hanging light wall art, but these fasteners can cause the wall to crumble if weighed down too much—not like the wood studs that exist to hold up drywall. There’s too much at stake to be less than 100 percent certain of the location of the stud’s center. Why risk a kitchen shelf loaded with dishes or baking supplies crashing down at any moment because you miscalculated where to place the fasteners? Fortunately, stud finders are practically foolproof and even easier to use than the old-school stud-finding methods,which can come in handy in minor situations. Read on for how to use a stud finder for a worry-free wall-hanging project.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
- Stud finder
- Tape measure
Before You Begin
Get to know the kind of stud finder you picked up. Is it a magnetic stud finder or does it read the density of the wall? A magnetic stud finder will read screws and nails behind the wall, but whether or not these are dead-center still requires some guesswork. If your project is valuable or heavy, it’s best to use a center-finding density-reading stud finder that will show the edges of your studs. No matter which type you pick up at the home improvement store, how to use a stud finder doesn’t change—only the information is displayed differently.
Decide where you roughly want to hang your item. Know where the top should be and how far down it requires mounting. This is the height at which you want to search the wall for studs. Remove any nearby wall-mounted photos or other partly-metal objects that could interfere with readings on a magnetic stud finder and set them aside for now.
Ensure your stud finder batteries are fresh and functioning, as weak batteries can greatly distort readings. Also check to make sure the flat side of the stud finder (where you’ll see the contacts and usually some felt to protect the wall from scratches) is clean of debris and dust.
Studs are typically either 16 or 24 inches apart, so you’ll be looking for a stud somewhere within a two-foot span. Hold your stud finder flat against the wall, about 1 foot left of where you ideally want to drill.
Turn it on. Usually this is done with buttons mounted on the sides where you grip the tool. Now press a button to calibrate the stud finder; when the tool stops flashing or beeping, then it’s ready to go. (Check your manual for exactly how your stud finder is calibrated, as it varies.)
Slowly slide the stud finder to the right, horizontally, while keeping the unit flat on the wall.
When the stud finder alerts you to a stud—via a beep or flashing light, depending on the finder in question—retrace the last few inches with the unit, to double-check where the alert is occurring.
Mark the correct spot with your pencil. If you’re using a center-finding stud finder, you’ll be shown where the edges of the studs are. Mark each edge so that, when you go to drill or hammer into the stud, you’ll know where dead center is.
Don’t accept this alert as the end of your journey; instead, continue searching for the flanking studs 16 to 24 inches away from the initial mark following steps 3 through 6.
Even though your tool indicated that it located a stud right where you need it, a stud finder can signal false positives when there is metal piping or flashing or brackets within the wall. Make sure your alert wasn’t a false positive by also locating the studs on either side of the one on which you plan to mount your mirror, television, shelf bracket, or other heavy item.
Mark their locations upon finding them, and then measure. If, in fact, they are 16 or 24 inches apart, then you’ve found your center stud. Now you’re ready to hammer or drill as needed. Proceed carefully and precisely, and you’ll have no regrets.
- Contests & Give-Aways >
- Enter Bob Vila’s Great Holiday Give-Away from hayneedle.com TODAY!
Enter Bob Vila’s Great Holiday Give-Away from hayneedle.com TODAY!
Enter today and every day in December for your chance to win a prize package of your choice from hayneedle.com!
The holiday season has officially arrived, and people everywhere are hoping to ring in the new year with new stylings for the home. But while modern appliances and brand-new furniture can improve a home’s aesthetic and functionality, they can set a homeowner back thousands of dollars. That’s why we’ve partnered with hayneedle.com to give away four home-gifting prize packages during the month of December!
Today and every day this month (starting at 12:00 p.m. EST on November 30, 2016 through 11:59 a.m. EST December 31, 2016), enter Bob Vila’s Great Holiday Give-Away for the chance to win one of four prize packages from hayneedle.com!
Hayneedle.com is a leading online retailer for home furnishings and décor offering thousands of brands and millions of products for every space, style, and budget. This month, we’re giving away four prize packages from hayneedle.com valued at approximately $1,000 each. The packages fall into four different categories: Elegant Home, Grilling Guru, Exceptional Entertainer, and Outdoor Enthusiast. And the best part? With every entry you submit, you get to choose which prize package you’d most like to win.
- Elegant Home Package: Explore the wide range of home furnishings available at hayneedle.com when you win this incredible prize. If you’re the lucky winner, you will receive a $1000 shopping spree on hayneedle.com to spend on any of their fine products for the home.
- Grilling Guru Package: Consider this prize pack the crown jewels of the backyard cookout. The winner of this prize will receive a Traeger Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill, which retails for $999.99. The durable and powerful grill features a Digital Pro controller, large cooking space, and 6-in-1 cooking capabilities (grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and BBQ).
- Exceptional Entertainer Package: Every host and hostess will relish the spoils of this prize pack. If you win this package, you will receive a Belham Living Jamestown bar cart ($399.99) with the following barware and accessories: a 17-bottle wine cooler ($107.99), a set of glasses ($30), Moscow mule mugs ($40.10), granite chillers ($35.99), a decanter with wine glasses ($69.90), martini glasses ($36.66), a stainless steel martini shaker ($29.25), a 6-piece kitchen and bar set ($79.99), a turntable ($99.95), a record storage crate ($29), a cheese board set ($41.81), and a glass decanter ($27.07).
- Outdoor Enthusiast Package: Spring and summer are only a daydream (and a couple snowstorms) away. Prepare for the coming seasons when you win this prize — a $1000 shopping spree to hayneedle.com to spend on porch and patio furnishings, and everything you need for an amazing outdoor retreat.
Enter today and every day in December to increase your odds of winning one of these four prize packages! To learn more about hayneedle.com, click here.
“Bob Vila’s Great Holiday Give-Away ” is open only to permanent legal U.S. residents of the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia. Void in all other geographic locations. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Contest Period for Prize runs from 12:00 p.m. (EST) Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 through 11:59 a.m. (EST) Saturday, December 31st, 2016. One entry per household per day on BobVila.com. Alternative means of entry for Drawing is available by faxing your name and address to 508-437-8486 during the applicable Entry Period. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. By entering, all entrants agree to the Official Rules.
- Major Systems >
- 3 Reasons Radiant Heat Has Never Been Better
3 Reasons Radiant Heat Has Never Been Better
Centuries of improvements have made this particular heating solution more responsive, accommodating, efficient, and even affordable than ever before.
As might be expected, the consistent comfort and high efficiency that are hallmarks of radiant heat didn’t develop overnight. But you may not know that it took centuries of innovations to get to the advanced technology we see today, one that warms homes better than any other traditional heating system and operates at least 25 percent more efficiently than forced-air systems, the most prevalent type of heating in the United States. The basic concept behind radiant heat is hardly new. It first appeared in Korea where shelters used a system called ondol, in which fireboxes and freestanding chimneys connected to smoke passages that channeled heat beneath strategically raised masonry floors. These stones absorbed the heat and slowly radiated it outward. Then, thousands of miles away, during the Roman Empire, homes of wealthy citizens adopted hypocausts—narrow chambers in the walls and floors—that were fed with warmth generated by exterior fires.
Radiant technology made its debut in the United States during the late 1930s, when famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright created homes that used hot water to heat floors. Since then, increasing numbers of consumers have been drawn to these systems. Today, radiant heating products deliver like never before, offering finely tuned, zero-maintenance warmth and providing a qualitatively different, supremely comfortable heating experience—one with three improvements that are particularly hard to ignore.
Though the general concept of radiant heat as we know it today hasn’t changed significantly, technological advancements in materials have significantly improved responsiveness. Early designs involved tubes that circulated hot water through thick concrete under the flooring. While concrete certainly absorbs and stores a considerable quantity of heat, its density and low conductivity made the heating process very sluggish, resulting in uneven heating performance and long wait times for warmth. And, because concrete takes a while to lose heat, it is difficult for homeowners to reduce temperatures quickly when the weather changes.
Though gypsum concrete systems are still installed today, they aren’t the only options available to homeowners. In fact, radiant heat’s performance improved greatly when more-conductive materials appeared on the scene—namely aluminum, which conveys heat 232 times more efficiently than concrete slabs. This metal heats and cools much more rapidly than concrete, allowing homeowners to adjust their systems on a moment’s notice, thereby eliminating discomfort as well as wasted energy.
Beyond speed of response, today’s systems can offer an unprecedented amount of control over not only when you need heat, but where you need it. Advances in technology have made radiant heat systems uniquely well suited to zoning, with which you can maintain different temperatures in different areas of your home. Dedicated thermostats for these “zoned” systems ensure that your bedroom, for example, remains toasty at night while you reduce the heat in the unoccupied areas of your home—further shrinking the energy bill that comes at the end of the month.
2. Design Flexibility
In the past, reliance on bulky concrete—combined with its uneven heating output—limited radiant-heat installations to rooms with inexpensive tile, stone, or concrete flooring. But with today’s heat-conductive aluminum panels, radiant heat knows no such bounds. Once you install a network of hydronic tubes during construction, you can cover those panels with wall-to-wall carpeting, decorative tile, or even patterned hardwoods. The aluminum is so conductive that the system can circulate heated water that’s 30 degrees cooler than the water that runs through concrete and achieve a higher degree of heat output and uniform temperatures. These lower water temperatures mean that even delicate flooring materials can be safely installed over the heated panels.
The optimal time to incorporate radiant heat is during the process of designing and building a new home, because at this stage of the game you have options that could save you both labor and building material costs. Industry leader Warmboard offers panels with 1-1/8-inch-thick plywood at their base, so they can serve as both your heating system’s “backbone” and the subfloor. If, however, you’ve already bought a house, radiant heat is still a viable option if you’re planning a project where you’ll be removing and replacing floors. Ultra-thin 13/16-inch panels can slip into your intended design without creating any ledges or height differences between floors that have radiant panels beneath and floors in an adjacent room that were left untouched in the renovation.
According to the Department of Energy, nearly half of a home’s energy usage is devoted to heating and cooling. Come winter, when homeowners tend to crank up the thermostat, you can expect that percentage (and, more generally, the energy costs) to spike. In many cases, you’ll also end up paying for more heat than you actually feel. Forced-air heat systems lose up to 25 percent of their efficiency through leaks at the seams of their lengthy ductwork, and then whatever heat does make it to the targeted space can be easily displaced through thermal energy loss. As a result, the furnace needs to work harder and longer to maintain the temperature set on the thermostat. In other words, you’re essentially paying extra every month to make up for your system’s design flaws.
Since radiant heat doesn’t rely on ductwork, this system maximizes energy savings by minimizing heat loss. Plus, by taking it easier on your furnace, you’ll likely save money on your heating bills and extend the appliance’s lifespan. Increased efficiency and consistent comfort means lower costs, and having more cash in your pocket is nearly always a good thing, especially during the holidays.
This post has been brought to you by Warmboard. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.
- Contests & Give-Aways >
- Official Rules: Bob Vila’s Great Holiday Give-Away
Official Rules: Bob Vila’s Great Holiday Give-Away
Bob Vila’s Great Holiday Give-Away (the “Sweepstakes”) is sponsored by Vila Media, LLC, Post Office Box 835, West Barnstable, MA 02668 (“Sponsor”). The Sweepstakes consists of four (4) random drawings. The Sweepstakes and entry period begins at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) on November 30, 2016 and ends at 11:59 a.m. EST on December 31, 2016 (the “Sweepstakes Period”). NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. MAKING A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. ODDS OF WINNING WILL DEPEND ON THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ENTRIES RECEIVED. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. ONLINE ENTRY ONLY AND INTERNET CONNECTION REQUIRED. AFFIDAVIT OF ELIGIBILITY AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY FORM MAY BE REQUIRED.
Open only to permanent legal U.S. residents of the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia. Void in all other geographic locations. Employees of Sponsor and its respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies and any other entity involved in the development or administration of this Sweepstakes, and their immediate family members or household members are not eligible to participate in or win the Sweepstakes. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any person who fails to meet the eligibility requirements or any person it determines, in its sole discretion, to be sufficiently connected with the Sweepstakes such that such person’s participation could create the appearance of impropriety. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means are void, and Sponsor expressly reserves the right to disqualify any entries that it believes in good faith are generated by an automated program or via scripts. Entries that are determined, in the sole discretion of the Sponsor to constitute advertisements, commercial messages, or “spam” will be disqualified and deleted. Void where prohibited by law. All applicable federal, state and local laws apply. No purchase is necessary to participate in the Sweepstakes.
To receive a complete list of winners or a copy of the Official Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Prize Fulfillment, Vila Media, LLC, PO Box 835 Barnstable, MA 02668. Specify winner’s list or rules on your request. The Winner will be notified by email, or in the case of alternate entry, by phone; Sponsor reserves the right to determine the method of notification. The Winner must claim their respective prize within twenty-four (24) hours after the date of notification of their prize. A Winner’s failure to respond to the prize notification within the specified twenty-four (24) hours will be considered such Winner’s forfeiture of the prize and an alternate Winner may be selected from the pool of eligible entries. If an entrant is found to be ineligible, an alternate Winner may also be selected from the pool of eligible entries. Sponsor reserves the right to ship prizes directly to the mailing and/or email address (as applicable) provided by Winners during their entry to the Drawings.
The prize for the four (4) Drawings held during the Sweepstakes Period shall be a prize package from Hayneedle.com. There are four separate prize packages: Elegant Home, Grilling Guru, Exceptional Entertainer, and Outdoor Enthusiast. The winner of the Elegant Home package will receive a $1000 shopping spree on Hayneedle.com. The prize for the Grilling Guru package is a Traeger Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill, which retails for $999.99. The winner of the Exceptional Entertainer package will get a Belham Living Jamestown bar cart ($399.99) with the following barware and accessories: a 17-bottle wine cooler ($107.99), a set of glasses ($30), Moscow mule mugs ($40.10), granite chillers ($35.99), a decanter with wine glasses ($69.90), martini glasses ($36.66), a stainless steel martini shaker ($29.25), a 6-piece kitchen and bar set ($79.99), a turntable ($99.95), a record storage crate ($29), a cheese board set ($41.81), and a glass decanter ($27.07). The prize for the Outdoor Enthusiast package is a $1000 shopping spree to Hayneedle.com. No transfer, substitution or cash redemption will be awarded in lieu of Prize. Limit one prize per entrant. Prizes shall be delivered within 30 days after the winner is verified. An entrant or winner may be disqualified from the Sweepstakes, and his or her entry may be deleted, if he or she fails to comply with each provision of these Official Rules, as determined in the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Participation in the Sweepstakes is at entrant’s own risk.
Sponsor shall not be liable for (1) failed, returned or misdirected notifications based on inaccurate information provided by the winner on the Drawings entry forms, (2) entries and responses to winner notifications which are lost, late, incomplete, illegible, unintelligible, postage-due, misdirected, damaged or otherwise not received by the intended recipient in whole or in part or for computer or technical error of any kind, (3) any electronic miscommunications or failures, technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions which may limit an entrant’s ability to participate in part or wholly in the Sweepstakes, (4) any technical malfunctions of the telephone network, computer on-line system, computer equipment, software, program malfunctions or other failures, delayed computer transactions or network connections that are human, mechanical or technical in nature, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from downloading any part of this Sweepstakes or (5) any warranty of fitness or merchantability of any prize or the function or operation thereof, which shall be the sole responsibility of the manufacturer of the prize. Sponsor does not make any, and hereby disclaims any and all, representations or warranties of any kind regarding any prize. Unless prohibited by applicable law, your entry constitutes your permission to use your name, photograph, likeness, voice, address (city and state) and testimonials in all media, in perpetuity, in any manner Sponsor deems appropriate for publicity purposes without any further compensation to such entrant.
By entering or accepting a prize in the Sweepstakes, the Winner agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and to conform to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. When applicable, the Winner (or, if the Winner is a minor, the Winner’s parent or legal guardian) may be required to execute and return to Sponsor within three (3) business days an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability and Publicity Release and relevant tax forms to be eligible for the prize or an alternate winner may be selected. Winner may be required to furnish proof of identity, address and birth date in order to receive a prize. By entering, an entrant agrees to indemnify, release and hold harmless Sponsor and each of its respective parents, subsidiaries and affiliated entities, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from any damage, injury, death, loss, claim, action, demand, or other liability (collectively, “Claims”) that may arise from their acceptance, possession and/or use of any prize or their participation in the Sweepstakes, or from any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, regardless of whether such Claims, or knowledge of the facts constituting such Claims, exist at the time of entry or arise at any time thereafter. Released Parties are not responsible or liable to any entrant or to any Winner or any person claiming through such Winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action, regulation, order or request by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action, regulations, order or request proves to be invalid), equipment failure, threatened terrorist acts, terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond the Released Parties’ sole control.
The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing, electronic or human errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes; (2) viruses or technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications or entry information, any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, failures or technical malfunction of any computer online systems, servers, providers, computer equipment, software, email, players or browsers, whether on account of technical problems, traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or on account of any combination of the foregoing; (3) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (4) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; (5) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Sweepstakes or the processing of entries; (6) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt or use or misuse of any prize; or (7) late, lost, misdirected, illegible, incomplete or mutilated entries or for theft, destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of entries. These indemnification and release provisions shall survive expiration of the Sweepstakes.
Persons found tampering with, abusing, or otherwise disrupting any aspect of this Sweepstakes, or otherwise attempting to defraud Sponsor, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and their entries will be deleted. If disqualified, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the entrant’s eligibility to further participate in this Sweepstakes and future promotions and sweepstakes of Sponsor or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates. Any attempt by an entrant or any other individual to undermine the legitimate operation of this Sweepstakes may be a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.
This Sweepstakes is strictly for promotional and entertainment purposes and may not be used in connection with any form of gambling. In the event this Sweepstakes is challenged by any legal or regulatory authority, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the Sweepstakes, or to disqualify entrants residing in the affected geographic areas. In such event, the Sponsor shall have no liability to any entrants who are disqualified due to such an action. Sponsor reserves the right to modify these Official Rules in any way or at any time. Sponsor reserves the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel or suspend this Sweepstakes should viruses, bugs or other causes beyond their control corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Sweepstakes. In the event any portion of this Sweepstakes is compromised by any non-authorized human intervention, actions of entrants, or other causes beyond the control of Sponsor which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, corrupt or impair the integrity, administration, security, or operation of this Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to suspend, modify, abbreviate or terminate the Sweepstakes without further obligation. If Sponsor elects to abbreviate the Sweepstakes, Winner(s) will be determined from all eligible entries received for Drawing(s) prior to the action or compromise giving rise to the suspension or termination of this Sweepstakes. In the event of cancellation, abbreviation or suspension, Sponsor shall promptly post a notice on the Sweepstakes entry page to such effect.
This Sweepstakes shall be governed by New York law. By participating in this Sweepstakes entrants agree that New York courts shall have jurisdiction over any dispute or litigation arising from or relating to this Sweepstakes and that venue shall be only in New York City, New York. The failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any part of these Official Rules is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, that part will be enforced to the maximum extent permitted by law, and the remainder of these Official Rules will remain fully in force.