Q&A / 

Podcast Another Avenue To Share Tips

damage hardwood floor

Jill’s kitchen hardwood floor was damaged by a leaking dishwasher. I talked to her on the phone sharing tips how to fix it. (C) Copyright 2018 Tim Carter

AsktheBuilder Podcast - Sharing Tips

My wife Kathy thinks I’m nuts. I talk to people on elevators. Talking to strangers is interesting to me and I believe that’s one reason I jumped at the chance in 1994 to host a two-hour call-in home improvement radio show in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Each week, homeowners would dial in and ask me for help. I thrived on the back and forth friendly conversation and the challenge of answering their questions live on the radio. The show lasted for twelve years and then I hung up the headphones - so to speak.

A month ago, a very good friend of mine reached out and said that I should get back in front of the microphone, but offer the helpful service to homeowners all over the USA. “Tim, it’s time for you to start your own Ask the Builder podcast,” he said.


AsktheBuilder Podcast

CLICK this image and listen to the first call on the podcast. I talked to Jill about how to repair wood kitchen flooring, and possibly installing an inlay border as an option. Copyright 2018 Tim Carter

Podcasts are on-demand radio. You get to listen to whatever audio content you want on your own terms. There are thousands of different free shows about every possible topic out there. You can download them into your smartphone, tablet or computer.

I launched my podcast just three days ago, and it was a blast. It’s only about 30-40 minutes long and the first one included two phone calls and a self-depreciating story about myself. The narrative describes a particular mistake I made years ago and how I learned from it. You’ll discover how to save time and money with each story no doubt!

The first call on the podcast was with Jill. She had a throw rug in her kitchen in front of her dishwasher. That’s fairly common. My wife and I have one in front of our kitchen sink and it’s wide enough that part of it extends in front of the dishwasher.

Jill’s dishwasher developed a very tiny leak. The rug, however, kept the leak hidden from her because she wears shoes in the house and never felt the slightly damp rug. When she picked up the rug to wash it as she normally does, Jill saw the damaged hardwood floor.

The issue is the hardwood floor extends into other rooms of the house and she didn’t want to replace the entire floor. What a job that would be! Jill wanted to know if there was an easier fix.

I suggested to her that she might think about cutting out part of the kitchen floor in front of the dishwasher and other cabinets and install a decorative border back away from the cabinets about 18 inches.

A simple strip of wood that’s a different species would look fantastic to outline this area. My aunt was a nun and I remember as a small child going to visit her at the convent each Sunday. In the magnificent old home where the nuns lived, the hardwood floors all had borders at the edges of the rooms.

One benefit of installing a border and then new flooring between the border and the cabinets is that if there’s a leak again, just the flooring inside the border has to be replaced. I say this assuming the leak is caught in time.

You may be interested in my second conversation with Greg. He and his wife are building a new home in San Tan Valley, Arizona. It’s a suburb southeast of Phoenix.

They both love the look and feel of hardwood flooring, but the builders in Arizona discourage it. The houses there are built on concrete slabs and installing traditional 3/4-inch-thick hardwood presents significant challenges. The builders promote large-format porcelain ceramic tile.

Greg wanted to talk through his options and I laid out the pros and cons of each flooring. Not only is the extra cost of hardwood an issue in that marketplace, but the probable lack of skilled labor to install hardwood is also a reason the builders don’t like to offer it.

Their new home is going to have an open floor plan, that’s a change from their current layout, and Greg thought that they had to stick with one tile across the entire home.

I suggested he visit some large tile showrooms and find one that has large areas of tile installed where you can see the flooring. I know of at least two stores like this where he’d be able to see tile floors that have both borders, medallions and complimentary tile touching one another.

My thought was he could introduce stunning border tile to set off different sitting areas in the rooms. What’s more, different tile can be used in different areas to create a mood or to help compliment furniture or cabinetry in a room.

The story I shared about myself was titled, Humidity and the Black Goo. It was a somewhat comical tale about my first time slathering blacktop sealer on a driveway.

I did this with a friend of mine, John, as part of a way to pay for my college tuition. John and I would paint houses in the summer in Cincinnati, Ohio. But on this day, we found ourselves sweating as we brushed on the black stew.

Mother Nature, however, ruined part of our work. It wasn’t funny at the time. If you’re interested in listening to this podcast or all future ones, go to AsktheBuilder Podcasts I’m convinced you’re in for a treat!

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