Thursday, July 16, 2009

How to Remove Linoleum from Concrete

In order to save a few bucks, we decided to take out all the old linoleum from our bathroom in preparation for our tile guys to come out. I have a new found respect for crews that do demolition work.

In researching how to go about doing it, I couldn't find anything good online that actually showed how it is done. We made a few mistakes, so we want to pass on what we learned to save you some time.
First, cut the linoleum in 6-8" strips with a utility knife.

Use your knife and pull up a corner of the strip and start pulling. The papery bottom of the linoleum and the glue will be stuck to the slab.

Pour boiling water on what's left. (be careful here and go slow so you don't splash boiling water on yourself) Let it sit for about 10 minutes (turn off any ceiling fans). You can put an old towel over the poured water to keep it warm longer.

While it is still warm, use a Razor Floor Stripper (see picture below)to take everything off down to the concrete. You might have to repeat the boiling water process another time to get all the glue off. After all the paper is off, when you pour on more boiling water, the glue turns a milky white and you scrape it off.

A little tip here. We found a dark gray/black substance on top of the slab. We thought it might be glue and got really frustrated because it wouldn't budge. It wasn't glue but a leveling substance they sometimes put on the floor when the original slab was poured a little crooked. DON'T TAKE IT OFF.
Work on only a little part at a time and don't get frustrated. It takes a while. Take breaks so you don't get too exhausted.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Creative Solution to Cover Half-Circle (Arched) Window

(update to this blog entry - JCPenney no longer carries RediShade. I found it at Lowe's Home Improvement stores.)
We've lived in our current home for 10 years. During those 10 years I have endured the sunlight streaming in through our half-circle window in the kitchen right into my eye at the breakfast table every morning. The thought of having to special order an expensive custom fit shade wasn't something I was excited about. We have other more important things that our money needs to be spent on.

However, with our current home improvement kick, I was inspired to take care of it. I did a little research on the Internet trying to find something at Wal-Mart or Target that would cover this window inexpensively. I found nothing.

I finally relented and went to the JCPenney website and found something that worked. It was on sale this week for $30 so I was thrilled. I went in to my nearby store to special order it only to find out that I had to go online and order it. However, the sales lady pulled me aside and showed me a temporary shade called RediShade. She told me how to purchase the straight shade, trim it so that it fit across the bottom of the window and then bring up both ends to the center, pull off the adhesive strip and stick together to make the half-circle. The best part: It was only $7.99! I was practically jumping up and down! As you can see, it worked quite well and I never have to endure sun in my eyes at breakfast again!

The RediShade website shows an Arch window shade, but our JCPenney didn't carry it. The solution suggested by the saleslady worked perfectly. Another cool feature: you can customize your shade to coordinate with your room. I'm happy with the white color as it looks nice with my existing blinds. I feel blessed to have found such an inexpensive solution to cover this window. This is another way God blesses us financially. It isn't always a mystery check that comes in the mail, sometimes it is with unexpected savings that we are blessed.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A lesson of love in the mall

I walk in the mall twice a week for exercise. Usually a friend and my husband join me and we walk and talk. It's great exercise and lets me catch up on everyone's week. I noticed a while back that there was an elderly man walking the mall and pushing a wheelchair with a severely disabled person inside. I didn't know the story there, but I was curious. I continued to see the man week after week. A few days ago I ran to the restroom without my walking companions. On the way back, I saw the man and flagged him down for a moment and introduced myself.

He told me his name was George and he was pushing his son Jonathon. He said Jonathon enjoyed the outing to the mall. He also said he and his son got out twice a day to exercise. Now Jonathon is a tall man who is clearly in his 20s or 30s. How George, a frail elderly man, manages to get him into the wheelchair, I'll never know.

Jonathon constantly drools and doesn't obviously respond to any questions. George doesn't do this for the stimulating conversation.

Many people in the mall stare at the sight of the old man and his drooling companion. I tell you, it is the most beautiful sight in the world. This gentle man loving his son. George, you are my hero.


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