The power of renovation! TM

Tips and advice

To help you in all your projects

  1. Epoxy grout or ordinary grout
  2. Laying a hardwood floor
  3. Joining mosaic tiles
  4. When laying a carpet
  5. Laying a carpet
  6. Installing subfloor panels
  7. Laying tiles
  8. Laying tiles
  9. Laying tiles
  10. Using a belt sander on flooring
  1. Revarnishing a floor
  2. Hiding a scratch on a hardwood floor
  3. How to remove vinyl tiles
  4. Patching a vinyl floor
  5. Grouting ceramic floors
  6. Installing a floating floor
  7. Installing a floating floor
  8. Ceramic tiles
  9. How to remove ceramic tiles from a wall

1 : Epoxy grout or ordinary grout :

Epoxy grout is more durable than other ordinary grouts and prevents stains from forming on ceramic tiles, joints and seals.

2 : Laying a hardwood floor :

When laying a hardwood floor, it may be useful to measure the width of one board and to add 3/4 of an inch to this measurement. Then, using a chalk line, to draw a line corresponding to the total measured width parallel to the laid board; this line will serve as a guide so boards will always be set in a straight line.

3 : Joining mosaic tiles :

When laying mosaic tiles, sometimes seams between the different pieces are still noticeable when laid because of wider gaps between the tiles. A simple method of correcting this problem involves removing a few pieces of the mosaic tile and allowing the backings to overlap with each other and therefore lessen the width of the seams.

4 : When laying a carpet :

The very first step to laying a carpet is to draw a scale plan of the surface to be covered so as to define a cutting plan as well as the placement of the various carpet pieces. You can then calculate the number of feet to cover and limit losses.

5 : Laying a carpet :

Carpets are available in widths of 12 feet and 15 feet. Please allow an extra 3 inches for each piece to permit straight cuts at the seams. You should also allow an extra 6 inches along the sides of walls.

6 : Installing subfloor panels :

Before installing subfloor panels, temporarily place several 2 by 4 inch planks around the room to provide expansion room for the panels.

7 : Laying tiles :

When laying ceramic tiles of different thicknesses, apply the adhesive directly to the back of the thinner tiles to create a level surface. Check with a square to make sure the surface is uniform.

8 : Laying tiles :

When laying tiles, avoid using a worn trowel as it could leave a lot of residue on the surface.

9 : Laying tiles :

When laying tiles, spread adhesive on a surface width you know you can cover in ten minutes so that the adhesive will not have time to dry before it is covered with tiles.

10 : Using a belt sander on flooring :

Before you try a belt sander on your floor, it is advisable to try it out first on a piece of plywood to learn how the tool functions and how to control its use.

11 : Revarnishing a floor :

It is much easier to revarnish a floor than it is to sand it down and completely refinish it. Make sure you use a buffer fitted with 150 grit sandpaper to remove marks and imperfections as well as to roughen the surface so that the new coat of polyurethane will adhere well.

12 : Hiding a scratch on a hardwood floor :

Be sure to select a stain in a colour similar to that on the floor and dilute it by half; you then add stain as needed until both colours match perfectly.

13 : How to remove vinyl tiles :

Use a hair dryer set to low; the heat will help soften the old vinyl tiles and make them easier to remove.

14 : Patching a vinyl floor :

You can use a piece of vinyl tile lifted from another area such as behind a cupboard or beneath the refrigerator or stove to patch a bare or damaged area in vinyl flooring.

15 : Grouting ceramic floors :

Using a light coloured grout is not recommended in high traffic areas as even if you apply a sealer, the seams will be difficult to keep clean.

16 : Installing a floating floor :

When you wish to install a floating floor and the existing floor is not straight, it is advisable to use self-levelling cement which offers a good chance of correcting the problem.

It is necessary however to check product packaging to see how much correction is possible because if your floor is very crooked, it might be preferable to use cement and cement glue or to make a false floor in manufactured board products to get a level surface. This is however more arduous and more time-consuming work.

17 : Installing a floating floor :

The first step in installing a floating floor is to choose in which direction you wish the floorboards to be arranged. If you wish to make the room look longer, place the floorboards according to length.

On the other hand, if you want to give a warmer, more intimate look to your room, install the floorboards according to width.

18 : Ceramic tiles :

Some ceramic tiles are fitted with tabs on their sides which serve as spacers to automatically define grout joints. Should your tiles not have these tabs, use strips of plastic spacers to maintain alignment of the tiles.

19 : How to remove ceramic tiles from a wall :

Use an iron to heat the tile (place a towel beforehand between the iron and tile). Then gently release the tile with a scraper and remove.

Insulation / moisture
  1. Check humidity levels in the basement
  2. Water and mildew stains
  3. Bruits de plomberie

Insulation / moisture
1 : Check humidity levels in the basement :

In wintertime, depending on the weather of course, it is good to air out the basement from time to time for about 2 to 3 minutes. A relative humidity greater than 60% causes condensation on water lines and perhaps even dripping and therefore requires the use of a dehumidifier.

It is also recommended to cover cold water pipes with insulating sleeves when necessary.

Insulation / moisture
2 : Water and mildew stains :

To remove water and mildew stains on paint, use a solution of bleach and water. (4 parts water to 1 part bleach).

Insulation / moisture
3 : Noises in the pipes :

You can reduce noises in the pipes by wrapping insulation around the intake pipes, ventilation pipes and especially vent pipes in the walls.

  1. Cutting pieces of trim of 12 feet in length or more
  2. Finishing off panelling and wainscoting
  3. For a clean cut
  4. Cutting a concrete panel
  5. Baseboards
  6. Hiding nail holes on painted trim
  7. Hiding nail holes on stained trim
  8. Materials and renovations
  9. Installing trim
  10. Drafts and woodwork trims
  11. Decorative trim (Ogee) for an OUTSIDE corner
  12. Decorative trim (Ogee) for an INSIDE corner

1 : Cutting pieces of trim of 12 feet in length or more :

When cutting pieces of trim measuring 12 feet or more, it is preferable to support the piece along its entire length so that the weight of the piece does not interfere with the accuracy of the cut.

2 : Finishing off panelling and wainscoting :

Some varieties of trims and baseboards were created especially for use when finishing off panelling and wainscoting; they have already been rabbeted (notched) and so fit easily over the edge of the panelling or wainscoting.

3 : For a clean cut :

When you wish to cut a thin segment of board without tearing or damaging it with the saw, simply affix it to a piece of waste board and cut the two boards together.

4 : Cutting a concrete panel :

Use a square and a knife with a carbide tip for cutting a concrete panel.

5 : Baseboards :

Be sure to cut baseboards slightly longer than necessary and then try them out before correcting the length as you can easily shorten them as needed.

6 : Hiding nail holes on painted trim :

Before applying the last coat of paint, fill nail holes with latex or putty and, when dry, rub with a damp sponge to erase all traces of filler.

7 : Hiding nail holes on stained trim :

Fill nail holes with putty using the same colour as the stain on the wood.

8 : Materials and renovations :

It is always wise to order from 5% to 10% more materials when planning renovation work so as to compensate for any losses or errors.

9 : Installing trim :

Using a nail gun is ideal for installing trim as this tool barely touches the wood which can be easily broken at the seams.

10 : Drafts and woodwork trims :

Just as electrical outlets let cold air in when not properly insulated, woodwork trim can also have gaps which allow cold to enter. To prevent this happening, simply caulk the trim with a workable compound which is either transparent or of the same colour as the woodwork.

11 : Decorative trim (Ogee) for an OUTSIDE corner :

Remember that when cutting a section of trim for an outside corner, either to the left or to the right, the bottom part of the trim must be SHORTER than the top part.

12 : Decorative trim (Ogee) for an INSIDE corner :

Remember that when cutting a section of trim for an inside corner, either to the left or to the right, the bottom part of the trim must be LONGER than the top part.

  1. Drops of paint on windowpanes
  2. Oil paint or latex paint: How to tell
  3. Repaint oil painted surfaces with latex paint
  4. Painting stairs
  5. Cleaning paintbrushes and rollers
  6. Cleaning paintbrushes and rollers
  7. Bristles hardened by oil paint
  8. Selecting a good quality paintbrush
  9. Selecting a paint roller
  10. How to remove loose fibres from a roller
  11. Paint storage
  12. How to store paintbrushes and rollers without washing them every day

1 : Drops of paint on windowpanes :

Do not use paint thinner to remove drops of paint on windowpanes; let the paint dry thoroughly and then simply remove the drips and drops with a glass scraper or a razor blade.

2 : Oil paint or latex paint: How to tell :

Take a small rag or cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe a small spot in an unnoticeable area of the wall. If colour transfers to the rag or cotton ball, it's latex paint; if it doesn't rub off, it's oil paint.

3 : Repaint oil painted surfaces with latex paint :

A surface painted with an oil or alkyd paint can be repainted with latex paint; you simply need to prepare the surface properly by applying an acrylic primer which provides better adhesion.

4 : Painting stairs :

When painting stairs, it is recommended that you apply twice as much paint to the centre of the stair as it receives twice as much traffic wear and tear as the sides do and therefore the paint there wears out twice as quickly.

5 : Cleaning paintbrushes and rollers :

The type of cleaning you need to do depends on which stage of the job you have reached: if work is to be interrupted for only about an hour, simply immerse paintbrushes and rollers in water (latex paint) or in solvent (oil paint).

6 : Cleaning paintbrushes and rollers :

The type of cleaning you need to do depends on which stage of the job you have reached: if work is to be interrupted overnight, enclose rollers and paintbrushes in plastic wrap or aluminium foil and place them in the refrigerator.

7 : Bristles hardened by oil paint :

Simply immerse the hardened bristles in a pot containing white vinegar and simmer on the stove over low heat for about 10 minutes. Rinse the bristles thoroughly with water and then hang the brush up to dry completely.

8 : Selecting a good quality paintbrush :

A good quality paintbrush is pricey! It is always fitted with a sturdy metal ring that holds the bristles together much more tightly than lesser quality paintbrushes. Bristles should be tapered, with a well-cut slightly bevelled tip which facilitates the application of paint.

9 : Selecting a paint roller :

LFibre length varies on paint rollers: 1/4 inch (6mm), 3/8 inch (9mm) and 1 inch (25mm) fibre rollers are available. A 1/4 inch fibre roller is very effective on smooth surfaces whereas a 1 inch fibre roller is recommended more for uneven or rough surfaces. A 3/8 inch fibre roller is suitable for most paint jobs.

Note: A cheaper roller is not the most advantageous buy as it tends to leave fibres on the painted surface and is not washable or reusable.

10 : How to remove loose fibres from a roller :

Loose fibres on a roller can make paint application difficult and ruin the finish. To eliminate these loose fibres, first wrap the roller with masking tape and then remove it; loose fibres remain stuck on the tape when it is removed and that puts an end to loose fibres in the paint!

11 : Paint storage :

Store your paint canisters upside down. For however long they remain stored in the garage, the dry film which usually forms on the top of the paint will be at the bottom of it instead!

12 : How to store paintbrushes and rollers without washing them every day :

When tackling large paint jobs which can last several days, there is no need to wash paintbrushes and rollers every day; simply enclose them in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer.

  1. Safety First!
  2. Know your woods
  3. Sand first!
  4. Use pre-stain wood conditioner products
  5. Test first to avoid surprises
  6. Stir well
  7. Foam brushes versus bristle brushes
  8. Good light equals good work
  9. Before refinishing
  10. Eliminate dust!

1 : Safety First! :

Different products have different application and drying times and require different tools to be used.

It is therefore important to first read all instructions carefully and to practise safety first by wearing protective clothing–gloves and safety glasses–and, when using oil-based products, to make sure to work in a well-ventilated area.

2 : Know your woods :

It is important to know that different woods absorb stain in different ways: particleboards can absorb too much stain and veneers not enough.

There are also grades of wood to contend with (paint grade and stain grade) because, while stain can change the colour of a board, it can't change its grain. So, to put it briefly, ask questions when buying wood so you'll know what to expect.

3 : Sand first! :

Before applying stain to a wood surface, first make sure it is well sanded as nicks and scratches absorb more stain than a smooth finish will and will therefore stand out more when stained.

4 : Use pre-stain wood conditioner products :

Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner can seal irregular wood pores and help reduce the likelihood of blotchiness when stain is applied and absorbed.

5 : Test first to avoid surprises :

Always test your stain colour on an inconspicuous spot of your wood surface before proceeding with your project as the effect of stain on wood can be unpredictable.

6 : Stir well :

Always stir stains and finishes carefully and thoroughly as some of the ingredients in them can settle over time; simply shaking the can might not blend them sufficiently and will add unwanted bubbles to the contents.

7 : Foam brushes versus bristle brushes :

Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner and any stains can be applied with foam brushes, but it is far better to use a quality bristle brush if you want to achieve a smooth final topcoat finish.

8 : Good light equals good work :

For best results when staining and finishing a project, make sure you face the strongest light in your work area so that any runs, drips or missed areas will be seen immediately; also, make sure you always work in a well-ventilated area.

9 : Before refinishing :

When refinishing a surface, make sure you clean any oils or wax off the old surface and that you scuff it lightly with fine 220-grit sandpaper so the new finish will have something to adhere to when applied.

10 : Eliminate dust! :

Nothing mars a smooth finish like dust can, so instead of brushing dust away or blowing it up into the air, make sure you vacuum it off your project and workbench and then use a damp cloth as a final cleanup on the wood before either staining or topcoating it.

Hardware and Tools
  1. Router use and safety
  2. Using a laser level
  3. Using a new tool
  4. How to drive in a nail without splitting the wood
  5. Repairing screw holes
  6. How to loosen a rusted bolt
  7. How to prevent a saw from getting stuck in wood

Hardware and Tools
1 : Router use and safety :

Wearing safety glasses is very important when using a router. The speed of rotation of the bit is very high (rpm) and can propel wood chips at extremely high speeds.

Hardware and Tools
2 : Using a laser level :

When you wish to use a laser level, be sure to choose a central location for the laser from which the projected beam can reach all the walls included in the project. It is a simple way to accurately check the level of existing floors and ceilings.

Hardware and Tools
3 : Using a new tool :

When you buy a new tool, it can be very tempting to use it immediately but it is highly recommended that you first read the instruction manual, including all safety instructions. Take the time!

Hardware and Tools
4 : How to drive in a nail without splitting the wood :

It is simply a matter of flattening the tip of the nail slightly beforehand, that is to say, hitting the nail point to curl the tip slightly before hammering it into the wood. The wood will thus be less likely to split.

Hardware and Tools
5 : Repairing screw holes :

When a screw hole becomes too big and yet must still serve to set a screw, you simply need to insert small pieces of wood into the hole until it is completely filled. When this is done, it will be possible to once again set a screw in that same spot.

Hardware and Tools
6 : How to loosen a rusted bolt :

Simply pour a little vinegar on the bolt and wait for about 10 to 15 minutes before unscrewing it.

Hardware and Tools
7 : How to prevent a saw from getting stuck in wood :

Just smooth a little petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or beeswax on the blade before using it.

  1. Smoke detector batteries
  2. Smoke detectors
  3. How to remove pencil drawings
  4. Crazy Glued fingers

1 : Smoke detector batteries :

Select a date with a special meaning for you like, for example, your birthday or any other specific date to remind you to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors at the same time every year.

2 : Smoke detectors :

Be sure to place smoke detectors no further than 5 metres (15 feet) from bedrooms so that you can hear them even if the bedroom doors are closed.

3 :How to remove pencil drawings :

It is easy to get rid of pencil drawings that are often visible on walls and doorframes beneath a coat of paint; you simply need to wipe the area with a damp cloth on which you have applied a little toothpaste! Just rinse with clean water and you're done!

4 : Crazy Glued fingers :

Just soak your hand in a basin of warm water to which you have added plenty of dishwashing soap; this will be enough to soften the glue and un-stick your fingers.

  1. L'art de raviver une vieille causeuse
  2. La décoration murale
  3. Les murs en guise de toile de fond
  4. Transformer les armoires
  5. Look hôtel
  6. Rideau douche
  7. Coussins
  8. Miroir
  9. Coffre
  10. Tapis
  11. Cadre
  12. Cache-fil

1 : L'art de raviver une vieille causeuse :

Utilisez un jeté, une grande étoffe repliée, une nappe ou un châle pour camoufler les imperfections d'un divan ou d'une causeuse. Ceci offrira du même coup un effet douillet à un meuble et apportera du style à un fauteuil inintéressant.

2 : La décoration murale :

Procurez-vous des canevas de dimensions variées chez un détaillant spécialisé en matériel d'artiste. Utilisez des restants de peinture au latex selon les couleurs de votre décor et laissez-vous aller !

3 : Les murs en guise de toile de fond :

Pour habiller un grand mur ou créer un point focal, il est possible de créer des zones de couleurs. Cette méthode communément connue sous le nom de « color zoning » ou encore « color blocking » est souvent utilisée en décoration.

Pour créer une illusion de largeur dans une pièce trop étroite, il est indiqué de peindre les murs d'une couleur claire et le plafond d'une couleur plus foncée.

4 : Peindre des marches :

Il est possible de transformer une cuisine en peignant les armoires. On hésite parfois à peindre les armoires de bois naturel. Mais si elles sont vieilles, ternes ou désuètes, pourquoi cette hésitation ? Les produits de peinture disponibles sur le marché permettent également de peindre les meubles et armoires de mélamine.

Pour rehausser l'aspect des armoires, sans engager des dépenses majeures, vous pouvez changer les poignées et les pentures des portes d'armoires. En changeant ces ornements vous obtiendrez une transformation instantanée. Ces modifications sont peu coûteuses et faciles à réaliser.

5 : Look hôtel :

Pour un look hôtel, utiliser des serviettes blanches qui s'agenceront à tous les décors.

6 : Rideau douche :

Les rideaux de douches sont peu dispendieux et donnent le ton à la salle de bain.

7 : Coussins :

En plaçant trois ou quatre gros coussins sur un petit tapis, l'effet est instantané.

8 : Miroir :

Pour donner un effet de grandeur à une petite chambre, vous pouvez placer de grands miroirs sur les murs.

9 : Coffre :

Près du foyer, on peut garder un coffre ouvert pour y déposer les bûches ou le bois d'allumage. Le stratagème est chaleureux !

Au salon, on peut se servir d'un coffre comme table basse devant une causeuse.

10 : Tapis :

Pour l'entrée, le tapis doit être petit. Un trop grand tapis dans une petite entrée aura pour effet de faire paraître la pièce plus petite.

La dimension du tapis dans une salle à manger doit excéder de deux pieds celle de la table, surtout sur la largeur.

11 : Comment conserver rouleaux et pinceaux sans les laver chaque jour :

Un cadre ou une toile de grande dimension trouvera une place de choix sur le plus grand mur d'une pièce et mettra en valeur une pièce plus vaste.

Les cadres devraient être placés plus ou moins à la hauteur des yeux.

L'utilisation des éclairages appropriés permettra de mettre en valeur de belles œuvres d'art et optimisera l'effet d'un habillage mural.

Les petits cadres devraient être regroupés dans un agencement personnalisé.

Un cadre sera agréable au regard s'il est placé à plus ou moins 10 pouces au dessus d'un meuble.

12 : Cache-fil :

Pour dissimuler un fil, on peut appliquer un cache fil préencollé que l'on peindra de la même couleur que le mur.

Éco Attitude
Eco Attitude :

Les toilettes sont les appareils qui consomment le plus d'eau dans un appartement, posez des toilettes à faible chasse d'eau.

Les ampoules fluorescentes sont environ 75 % plus efficaces que les ampoules incandescentes et durent de 6 à 10 fois plus longtemps.

Même si les tubes fluorescents coûtent plus cher que les ampoules incandescentes, ils font économiser de l'énergie et de l'argent.

Installez des pommes de douche à faible débit et des dispositifs économiseurs d'eau. Achetez un climatiseur ayant une cote d'au moins 11 et affichant le symbole ENERGY STAR® pour des économies d'énergie et d'argent.

Recouvrez le chauffe-eau d'une couverture isolante afin que l'eau reste chaude.

L'achat des fenêtres est une décision avec laquelle on vit pendant 20 ans et plus. Ne prenez pas cette décision à la légère.

Les fenêtres et portes-fenêtres homologuées ENERGY STAR® offrent un confort accru : moins de bruits extérieurs et moins de condensation par temps froid qu'avec les produits traditionnels.

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