Floors can be a challenge to install, maintain and change. Questions regarding the installation, maintenance and repair of carpets, tile, wood and other materials go here.

7,912 Questions

Is it safe to steam mop hardwood floors?

No! Under no condition should a wood floor be steamed mopped!

Wood is extremely prone to bubbling, swelling, and warping with exposure to water over time. There are products that state they are safe to use on "sealed" wood. The flaw in that statement is the idea that your entire floor is sealed.

If your floor is a prefinished floor as most are today, each board came separate. As you staple/nail them into place there is a small space left. The tops of the board are polyurethaned but the sides are not. As the steam is pressed into those spaces your floor will be permanently damaged in time.

A site finished floor where you have sanded bare wood and applied the polyurethane in your home has the same issue as above. Once the seasons change the boards begin to shrink in winter causing the polyurethaned to break in between each board. These spaces are not large and you many not be able to easily seem them while walking across. But these steam mops will allow water to make its way between the boards.

Regardless what a product states, do not use these on your floor. Bruce, Armstrong, Hartco, Tarkett, and Thomasville all state they void warranties on a floor that has water damaged caused by seam mops.

Please see attached link.


Hardwood can swell with the steam from the mop. Even if the top of the boards are polyurethaned the floor is still able to get wet.

As your floor expands and contracts with the humidity in the air, polyurethane will have tiny cracks in between each board. This allows water to make it way onto the floor.

No, a steam mop should never be used on a wood or laminate floor. The steam leaves to much water on the floor, even "sealed" wood flooring. Also, the humidity causes the wood to expand and then retract every time you use it.

Wood and laminate manufactures void your warranty if you do use and damage your floor with a steam mop. Surely a manufacture knows their product best!


How do you clean syrup off hard wood flooring?

A large bottle of pure sugar cane syrup broke on the kitchen floor. I am not sure exactly the type of flooring, but it is a ruddy red color like brick but smoother tiling. I don't think it's terribly delicate.

My first mistake was mopping with soap. That seems to have spread the disastrous mess to new levels. I have also hand scrubbed with a degreaser and mopped again with water. It is still incredibly sticky, like to the point where if you walk on it with flip flops you will not make it very far.

Sticky or oily substances are difficult to clean up. You've already done, it but wipe up the worst of the mess with a dry paper towel. Then, I suggest a two-bucket method. Wipe the floor with a rag moistened with water from the first bucket, wipe the floor, rinse it out in the second bucket. Do a portion of the floor, empty both buckets, start again. There is just no easy way to get the last of it up and this may require repeated efforts. If you have a floor cleaner, use tepid water rather than hot.

Acids and Bases
Concrete and Cement

How do you use muriatic acid to etch concrete?

For anyone interested in the TRUE HCl concentration of muriatic acid (sans WIKIfication) simply google "muriatic acid msds" and you will see that, while the concentration varies by manufacturer, it generally ranges from 33-40%. Furthermore, even if you order HCl by name from a chemical supply house, you order by concentration, usually some reagent grade, with fuming HCl starting at ~40%. No hardware store in the world sells 100% HCl for etching concrete.

DANGER / SEVERE HAZARD -- Muriatic Acid IS UNDILUTED (100% concentration) Hydrochloric acid.

Wear Eye and face protection, acid resistant gloves, rubber slicker suit, or be VERY careful as Hydrochloric acid is highly corrosive and can instantly burn holes in your skin and tissues, and right through all woven clothing.

When diluting ANY acids, it extremely important that you NEVER ADD WATER TO ACID, as the reaction between the two will result in an "explosion" throwing acid instantly in all directions.

The PROPER method of diluting acids is to very SLOWLY pour the concentrated acid into a larger volume of water.

For an additonal "layer" of safety, do not pour the acid from a large and heavy container, as it is more difficult to handle and control. Pour the needed amount of concentrated acid into a smaller, acid resistant, container which will be easier to handle and therefore control the pour rate.

When using baking soda for neutralizing acid residues, be VERY CAREFUL to NOT ALLOW the baking soda to contact the UNDILUTED ACID as the resulting reaction can be explosive!

1Bust out some protective clothing and a gas mask. Have a good supply of fresh water on hand in case you need to rinse any body parts.

Be very careful with muriatic acid; it's 30% hydrochloric acid, and is fairly hazardous.

If you only want to barely 'etch' a slippery concrete surface, it is best to dilute the acid with water, as acid straight from the bottle tends to be very aggressive with any concrete surface, and can badly damage the surface very quickly.

For a deeper etch Pour the substance where you want to etch the concrete and spread it out with a nylon broom. let it sit for a half-hour. Wash it thoroughly with the hose after.

I have used a small hand held spray bottle set to a fine misty spray, and skipped the 'rinse' step altogether with very good results.

'Baking Soda / water solution' is an acid neutralizer, and can be used around most landscape with safe results.

>>> Get used to the process FIRST. Buy a few cement blocks, bricks, or slabs that you can throw away. Different concrete blends, strengths,... react differently. New and old concrete of the same formula will also react differently. An new slab poured next to the exact same mix from the same company in an old slab will be different due to moisture content and curing time).

Good luck.

- tapalmer99@aol.com

#3, You follow the MFG directions on the product as with anything.

You use Ammonia to neutralize.

Concrete and Cement

How many yards of concrete will cover 500 square feet at 4 inches thick?

a 'yard' of concrete means 1 cubic yard volume (1 yd * 1 yd * 1 yd).

This is 3 ft * 3 ft * 3 ft = 27 ft3

4 in = (1/3) ft

Your coverage of 500 ft2 * 4 in = 500 ft2 * (1/3) ft = (500/3) ft3 166.6667 ft3

so (166.66667 ft3 ) / ( 27 ft3 ) = 6.1728395 yards of concrete

Answerthats way too difficult for my simple brain try this

sq' x 0.0031 x # of inches

500 sq' x 0.0031 x 4= 6.2 yards

Okay lets make it simple .... I dont even understand there answer . Okay... multiply your length and width so lets just say 10' x 50' = 500 sq ft then take 500 and then divide it by 81 (81 is 81 sq ft witch is a yard of concrete at 4 inches) = 6.1728395 so if ordering concrete you'll need 6.25 yards to complete your project.

Home Improvement

What is the full form of IPS flooring?

Fullform of IPS Flooring is Indian pattern stone flooring.

Building and Carpentry

How many tiles for 4X4 bathroom floor?

16 12" x 12" tiles

*This presumes the given room size is exact and there are no cuts required. If there are cuts required for a toilet flange for example, best to allow for breakage. A general rule of thumb is to allow 10 - 15% waste for straightforward installs.

Painting and Staining
Concrete and Cement

Can you paint concrete with wood stain?

No. It will definitely leave a "stain", if you will, but it will come off with use. A specially formulated compound must be used that bonds with the concrete. See your local Home Depot or Lowes. It's not cheap.

Home Improvement

Can you lay a new sub floor over an existing one?

Yes. But problems will arise with door clearances, stair riser heights, and other areas. With problem areas it is best to remove and replace.

Home Improvement

What is the correct wax seal for a toilet flange that is flush with the floor?

I usually use the thickest wax ring I can find with the plastic funnel thing embedded in it. If it's a little too thick, the extra wax will just squeeze out a bit underneath the toilet. Sometimes its necessary to double up on the ring (use two - one with the funnel one without) to make a good seal on a flange after installing a thick (tile) floor in a bathroom which I kind of assume is your issue.

If the closet collar is even with the top of the finished floor, no amount of wax will stop the water from coming out. It may not happen right away, but it sure will. One way to fix this problem is to attempt to raise the closet collar so that it will rest on top of the finished floor. Another way is to buy a closet collar extension. Either way the toilet will be held to the floor and the wax ring should then seal tight.

It depends... The advice above is good however if you have one of the newer "Super Toilets" such as the Toto Drake or Am Std Champion the outlet hole on these are enlarged and you should not use the wax rings that come with the plastic horn. The plastic horn will actually get pinched by the larger outlet and be squeezed into an oval shape that will actually cause clogs.

Another option is not to use wax seal at all. I have encountered many problems using wax seal ,it does not last long and it does not look nice. My option would be to use white, Prattley Putty standard setting. It seals water tight, goes very hard in 2 hours, easy to apply and it gives off a white, smooth very appealing finish.(Its Plumbers Cement)

*If you are attaching to a plastic Floor Flange, you would use a Kant Leak(which has the plastic hub installed with the wax seal) and use a hacksaw to cut a regular wax seal in half,still leaving it like a round donut. You put the Kant Leak on the flange, then mold the wax seal half on top of the Kant Leak. The 1/2 wax seal should be formed so when you put the toilet down it does not push into the center and down the drain. If you are putting the toilet onto a Cast Iron or Lead flange with a brass ring, DO NOT use the Kant Leak. Use one and 1/2 wax seals and do the same as I stated previously.

If the toilet flange is flush with the floor you are probably fine and would not need to use an extension kit to raise the flange. As long as your flange is in good condition and firmly secured to the floor below it you should be ok.

Home & Garden

What do you call a tapestry like rug?


Home Improvement
Concrete and Cement

Can you install hardwood flooring over laminate?

No, laminate is floating type of floor installed over an insulation pad.

Hardwood floor has to be nailed, stapled or glued to the subfloor.

If you do manage to install hardwood on top of laminate sooner or later your Laminate floor will expand due to high temperature or humidity and it will create gaps between hardwood planks.

Humor & Amusement

How do you clean human feces on concrete floor?

Remove the feces, wash the area with a good disinfectant in order to remove the cause. Use bleach afterwards. If the smell remains, perhaps there is a enzymatic spray that could be used.

Home Improvement

Can you steam mop vinyl plank flooring?

Check with the manufacture of the flooring, but the majority of manufacturers do not recommend steam on vinyl plank floors.

Home Improvement
Building and Carpentry

How do you fix a buckled wood floor?

First, make sure that the cause of the moisture has been corrected. Assuming the floor buckled due to moisture, first make sure that everything is thoroughly dry. The buckled boards will have to be removed, nails pulled and the boards replaced, as long as they haven't warped and are still straight. If the boards are not reuseable then new boards will have to be used. If the floor is still swelled, the last board to be installed may have to be cut down ("ripped") on a table saw in order to fit back in. If the flooring is tongue-and-groove, cut the bottom of the board off of the "groove" side leaving the top (or face) side uncut. Re-install the final board, face-nail it and fill the nail holes.

Home Improvement

Can you put wood flooring over ceramic tiles?

Yes, and it's important that the tile floor beneath is level and the tile is secure and in good condition. You may want to put some sound control material under the flooring so that echoing is reduced.

if you glue the flooring to the tiles fill in any low spots with leveling compound. If the wood floor is being glued to a slick tile surface, rough the tiles up a bit by sanding them to allow the adhesive to adhere better. If you plan glue your floor and do not want to grind the tile (to make it rough) you can use a special primer for tile or use floating method of installation. But anyway, make sure that you have perfect floor leveling. Also check how high will be your new floor after installation and compare it with other rooms close to this area. You should also consider the clearance under doors and possibly remove baseboards before installation.

Alternatively, you can also float the floor. Some hardwoods are clickable, and you can put an underlayment underneath, and then add the hardwood on top (clicking it together), similar to how you would install laminate flooring. If the hardwood is not clickable, then you could use a similar method and glue it at the joints.

Home & Garden

How do you clean an unsealed marble floor?

A scientific fact states states that marble adheres to saliva. The tongue is recommended in this situation.


Are concrete floors bad to do aerobics on?

Yes, concrete floors are not recommended for aerobic activity. You should have a floor with cushioning, such as laminate floor or a sports floor which is specific for high impact activities to minimize injuries.

Math and Arithmetic

How many 12x12 tiles needed for 399 sq feet?

If they are 12 inches x 12 inches then you would need 399 tiles.

Math and Arithmetic

How many 20x20 square inch tiles dose it take to cover 56 square feet?

The concept is confusing but the math is pretty simple...

  • Tiles are sold by the square foot not by the tile..
  • Measure the room & round up to the next foot, ie.. 11' 6" just write it down as 12'
  • If the room has offsets or halls, just remember to treat it like another room & do the length X width of each area. Then add them all up.
  • Box will tell you how many sq feet is in a box, so you are paying by the foot, but buying by the box........
  • Each 16X16 tile is 1.778 sq feet
  • 16X16 tile will likely be packaged in a box with 9-11 pieces per box..
  • Usually about 14- 18 sq feet per box depending on the makers preferences...
  • By way of example if your room is 12X12 that's 144 sq feet,
  • Divide the sq feet by how many sq feet in the box & you know how many boxes..
  • Add about 7-10% to make sure you have enough....
  • THE FORMULA IS : area divided by sq ft per tile ie 225 sq feet of 18X18 tiles would take 10 tiles....
  • 12X12 is DUH 1 sq foot
  • 13X13 is 1.174
  • 18X18 tiles are 2.25 sq ft per tile
  • 20"x20" tiles are 2.778 per tile
  • 24X24 tiles are 4 sq ft per tile

Soooo once you know the sq feet you need, add a little for waste & breakage & ooops cuts & you will have enough..

The fact that a good tile setter starts in the middle of the room & works out also means you may have a fair bit of cutting one all the walls but a centered look is much better and likely allows you to use the pieces up.

Home Improvement

Can you use mop n glow on pergo flooring?

You can but it isn't going to do much, laminate is designed to have a low luster/Shine and the mop & glow will likely look more streaky than shiny.. you are trying to shine a floor that isn't supposed to shine...

It will leave a heavy residue and make the floor look extremely dirty.

Math and Arithmetic

How many 18 inch by 18 inch tiles do you need to cover a 16' by 16' room and can you show me how to convert?

A foot is 12 inches, which means 18 inches is equal to 18/12 = 1.5 feet. However, 2(1.5) = 3 (which is the base of all integer answers to this), and 16/3 is irreducible, so we may not tile the whole floor with 18 by 18 inch tiles (only a 15' by 15' area). Note that it would be easier if the tiles were not squares, since flipping the tiles would make it more functional.

According to my calculation:

1feet = 12 inches

so 16' x 16' = 192" x 192" inch2 --> (16'x16')/(18"x18") = 113.78. Which means you need approximately 114 tiles to fill the room. This is only possible if you are able to cut the tiles, which is not a parameter in the problem.

Building and Carpentry

What is the diagonal braces between floor joist?

It is called bridging.


How do you repair hardwood floor from painter tape?

Assuming that the tape actually lifted the finish off the floor you will need to refinish or replace that board. The board will need to be sanded and a new coat of finish applied. If the tape has simply left a residue you should be able to clean the glue off with a gentle application of baby oil to soften the glue then a soap and a damp cloth to clean the oil.

Building and Carpentry
Math and Arithmetic

What is the average price per sq-ft for backsplash installation?

Labor Prices

Fees & charges change from town to town, region to region, the best ways I can suggest to find a good range is :

Run a short ad in Craigslist, that will likely get you someone hungry & maybe unlicensed so you will know the cheapest price.

Then call the local Home Depot or Lowes & ask what they charge if you buy your tile from them???

That will be the highest price in the market

Now you would have a good range & then its time to look for quality & references... a steal on tile or a great price on labor, can be VERY COSTLY if you give the job to a butcher..

My bet will be you will find someone on the low end at about $2 per sq ft & that the depot will be $6-8 bucks a foot after they do all the add ins...

Get it in writing...Never pay for it all upfront

Home Improvement

How do you fix a buckle in hardwood flooring?

Buckled hardwood is associated with excessive humidity.

I would suggest to get a dehumidifier and remove some moisture from the hardwood. It might take at least a week to so to see results.

If it's very isolated area and rest of the flooring is fine; that would be a water damage. Boards affected might need replacement.


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