LAYING MOSAIC TILES ON FLOORS SPEEDILY

When laying mosaic tiles, follow the same basic procedure as that for laying ordinary floor tiles. Remember, however, that the side of the mosaic sheet that is not covered with paper is the back-not the front – of the mosaic.

Apply adhesive to the floor and. Before laying the tiles, grout the backs of the sheets well. Clean off any excess grout and lay the tiles – grouted face down – tamping them firmly into position. Be sure to leave a gap between the sheets the same as that between the individual tiles. Remove excess adhesive and then fill any gaps around the edges of the floor. After the sheets have set. Soak the paper and then peel it off. Finally, grout the gaps between the sheets.

RESURFACING A BATH WITH ENAMEL PAINT

When resurfacing a bath, always use the paint manufactured for the purpose. The job will take about five days, during which the bath must not be used.

Rub down the surface thoroughly – first with glasspaper and then with wet-and-dry paper. Clean the bath and wipe it dry. Fit tins or plastic beakers under the taps to catch any drips. Then brush on a thin layer of undercoat. When this has dried, brush on the first top coat – as thinly as possible – and leave it for a day. Work from the bottom up. Then apply a second top coat, this time leaving it for two days. Keep the bathroom well ventilated, as the fumes of the paint can be dangerous.

Finally, fill the bath up to the overflow with cold water and leave it for a further forty-eight hours.

DEALING WITH CRACKS IN PLASTER

When filling cracks in plaster which is to be painted, mix a little of the chosen colour with the filler to help it blend in with the paint.

USING EP°XY RESIN ON A MORTISE-AND-TENON

When gluing mortise-and-tenon joints with an epoxy resin, apply the hardener to the mortise and the adhesive to the tenon. This procedure is particularly useful if a number of joints are being glued at the same time. As the setting-process begins only when the two parts of the glue are mixed together. It allows more time to fit the joints.

DEALING WITH DAMP WALLS

One hint to remember if dampness appears along a stretch of wall above a skirting board is that it may be caused by the plaster simply having come away from the wall. The moisture-content of the air in the gap created – which need be only the thickness of a cigarette paper – condenses when the heat of the room works its way through the plaster.

Cut back a 60cm 2ft square area of damp wall and apply a new coat of plaster. Leave it for a few weeks. If it stays dry, cut back the remainder of the damp wall surface. And replaster. If not. Cal1 in a professional to check the damp course.

FILLING CRACKS IN CEMENT-RENDERED WALLS

Mix equal parts of cement and fine sand to fill small cracks in cement-rendered walls. Work the mix with water until it has the consistency of a thick paste, and then work it into the cracks with a firm brush. Smooth down, if necessary.

SELECTING CERAMIC TILES FOR EXTERIOR USE

When buying ceramic tiles for use outside, make sure the tiles have been treated to make them frost-resistant. This process, which is usually carried out during manufacture. Seals the porosity of the clay so that any moisture within the tiles cannot expand when frozen and crack the glazed surface.

REPAIRING VINYL AND LINOLEUM FLOORING

To repair a worn or damaged area of linoleum or vinyl sheet flooring-patch a new piece into the old. Lay a square of the replacement material over the damaged area. Allow for a generous overlap and make sure that any pattern is matched exactly.

Tape the square to the floor covering and. Using a trimming-knife and a straight-edge, cut through both the patch and the floor covering. Remove the cut pieces and scrape away any old adhesive from the floor.

Check that the patch fits the space, trimming it with the knife or giasspapering the edges, if necessary. Then apply adhesive to the underside of the patch and. To help the patch adhere, weight it down while the glue is drying.

KEEPING COURSES LEVEL WHEN LAYING BRICKS

When building- a brick wall, it is vital that bricks are laid both level horizontally and evenly vertically. Start laying- the courses by building both ends up first and then infilling-. During the first stage, regularly check that the vertical alignment is exact by holding a spirit level against the bricks, or. If the wall is too high for this to be accurate, use a plumb line.

When infilling, use two L-shaped corner blocks and a line to check the horizontal alignment. To make each block, screw two small 50 mm 2 in cubes of softwood on to one side of a larger block of the same thickness, leaving a gap between the two smaller blocks.

REMOVING SELF-ADHESIVE TILES

Some mirror and aluminium tiles are self-adhesive – fixed to a surface by sticker pads, usually positioned behind each corner of the tile. To remove such tiles without damaging the surface or leaving part of the pads behind, drop lighter fuel behind the tile and over the pads. Allow the fuel to soak into the pads for two or three minutes before removing them. Then clean the surface.

Hammer a nail halfway home in the back of the larger block.

To use the line, tie one end to the nail on one of the blocks. Pass the line through the gap. Position this block at one end of the wall. Pull the line taut and attach it to the other block at the opposite end. Again passing the line through the gap and winding any excess line around the nail to keep it taut. By doing this the tension of the line will hold the blocks in position.

Lay the bricks so that they are approximately 19mm away from the line. If the line is any nearer the brickwork, it can snag-on the surface and cause even a short course of bricks to be as much as 6mm out of line. Repeat the procedure, course by course, up the wall.