Ask This Old House

Find more information on Ask This Old House episodes, or more information on products and services you saw on Ask This Old House.

Ask This Old House does not endorse any product or service mentioned within this Web site.

Season 6 Show Descriptions

Showing results for "Season 6"
Scan the episodes below and select "more" to get information on products or services you saw on that episode.

Episode #626
Rebuilding a toilet tank, Lawn Watering, Building a simple bookcase… more
Episode #625
Installing a water pressure reducing valve, Choosing the best types of grass seed, What is it?, Installing crown molding on kitchen cabinets… more
Episode #624


Original Air Date: Week of March 13, 2008

This special episode is dedicated to the life and work of tile expert Joe Ferrante. Joe worked on many projects for This Old House and Ask This Old House over 20 years. This episode begins with Joe helping a homeowner replace a broken bathroom tile with a new tile that matches the existing color. Next, up in the loft, Joe shows host Kevin O'Connor some different ways to cut ceramic and stone tile using both hand and power tools. Finally, Joe helps another homeowner install a kitchen backsplash using translucent glass tile.

For more information about Joe's life and work, please visit:
www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20160108,00.html

Replacing broken tile

Tile expert Joe Ferrante showed how to replace broken tiles above a bathroom sink without damaging the surrounding tiles. The existing tiles were about 30 years old, but Joe was able to find replacement tiles that matched in color. Joe started the repair job by carefully chiseling out the old, broken tiles. With the broken and loose tiles removed, he took a pair of nippers and removed the “tabs” on the new tiles and smoothed the edges with a rubbing stone. Next, Joe mixed up some thin-set mortar with a latex additive. He then applied the thin-set to the substrate and “back-buttered” each tile before pressing it into place. Once the tiles were in place, Joe applied grout into the spaces between the tiles using a rubber float. After 10 minutes, Joe cleaned up the excess grout with a wet sponge and the repair was complete.

Where to find it?

Joe determined the manufacturer of the original tile by examining the “ribbing” pattern on the back of each tile. With the manufacturer identified, he was able to match the color exactly.

Adhesive, grout, tile and tiling tools can be purchased at your local home center or tile store.

Cutting ceramic and stone tile

Up in the loft, tile expert Joe Ferrante shows Kevin some tricks and techniques for cutting tile. He first shows how to use a carbide-tipped pencil and nippers for scoring and cutting tile. He also shows a dual-grit rubbing stone that is used for smoothing rough edges on ceramic tile. Joe then shows a scoring and snapping tool, which consists of a sliding wheel and an adjustable fence for making perpendicular or angled cuts. He then shows how to make an “L-cut” around an electrical outlet. For this, Joe uses an electric wet saw made especially for cutting tile. The machine is similar to a table saw used in carpentry. A reservoir of water helps keep the diamond blade cool and reduce dust. Joe then shows how to make circular cuts in tile using a cordless drill and a tungsten carbide-rimmed hole saw made especially for tile.

Where to find it?

Joe showed a tile-cutter that features a sliding cutting wheel, an adjustable fence, and a fulcrum for snapping the tile. It is manufactured by:

Superior Tile Cutter, Inc.
1556 W. 134th St.
Gardena, CA 90249
310-324-3771


The Superior Tile Cutter is available from several suppliers, including:
www.tiletool.net/Superior_Tile_Cutters.asp

The electric wet saw is manufactured by WorkForce (model#THD550). It costs about $90 and is available at The Home Depot (www.homedepot.com).

Tile Nippers (model #32015) and other tile tools are manufactured by:

Q.E.P. Co., Inc.
1081 Holland Drive
Boca Raton, FL 33487
866-435-8665
www.qep.com

The ceramic tile hole saw (model #356) is available from:
Beno J. Gundlach Company
211 North 21st Street
P.O. Box 544
Belleville, IL 62222
618-233-1781
www.benojgundlachco.com

Joe also showed a stone for smoothing rough edges on tile. These stones are made of various abrasive materials and are available at your local home center or tile supplier.

Installing glass tile on a kitchen backsplash

Tile expert Joe Ferrante helps a homeowner who wants to install tile on a kitchen backsplash. The homeowner has selected a type of tile made up of 2x2 glass squares attached to a 12x12 mesh backing to make installation easier. Before they install the glass tile, they remove the existing ceramic tile using a small prybar, a hammer, and two scrapers. Joe gently taps along the edge of each tile to remove it in one piece. After all the tiles are removed, Joe scrapes the adhesive off the wall with a scraper. He then mixes up some thin-set mortar and uses it to smooth out the irregularities in the wall. Once the first layer of thin-set is smooth and dry, Joe lays out his tile and measures where he'll need to make cuts. For setting the tile, Joe mixes more thin-set and trowels it onto the wall. He uses a straight-edged trowel instead of a "notched"one because the notches will show through the glass tile. Joe then applies the tile to the wall. Near the window, Joe uses a flush-cut saw to notch the window stool so he can slide the tile behind it, which is easier than trying to cut the tile to fit neatly around the window stool.

Where to find it?

Glass tile supplied by:

Tile Showcase
291 Arsenal St
Watertown, MA 02472
(617) 926-1100
www.tileshowcase.com

Joe used thin-set mortar manufactured by Laticrete (www.laticrete.com).

Episode #623
Overseeding a lawn using a slice seeder, Viewer tip, Preparing a home for sale, Finding and fixing a mysterious plumbing leak … more
Episode #622
Installing granite steps, Choosing "Keyless" Deadbolts, Replacing polybutylene water piping… more
Episode #621
Installing an old full-mortise lockset into a new door, Installing a pellet stove, Non-Gasoline Lawn Mowers… more
Episode #620
Building a soccer goal with PVC pipe, Building stilts, Building a sandbox… more
Episode #619
Increasing attic insulation, Installing landscape lighting, Replacing an old kitchen faucet… more
Episode #618
Installing a Water Softener, Installing fiber-cement siding … more
Episode #617
Improving a lawn, What is it?, Water Supply Piping… more
Episode #616
Replacing a leaky skylight, What is it?, Repairing a 3-way light switch… more
Episode #615
The ATOH crew repairs a smelly dishwasher, transplants a rosebush, changes a circular saw blade, and plays another exciting round of What Is It?… more
Episode #614
Installing thermostatic radiator valves on hydronic radiators, What is it?, Making a refrigerator fit into an opening that is too small, Viewer tip… more
Episode #613
Installing a vinyl fence, Installing an epoxy coating on a garage floor… more
Episode #612
Determining landscape grades, What is it?, Seeing inside walls, Repairing a bathtub drain that won't hold water… more
Episode #611
Improving front steps with bluestone, What is it?, Installing a propane kitchen stove… more
Episode #610
Diverting storm runoff to a "rain garden," What is it?, Refinishing a wood floor … more
Episode #609
Picking a Christmas tree, What is it?, Safety equipment, Caulking a leaky window… more
Episode #608
Improving a muddy backyard, Choosing space heaters, Preventing condensation in a bathroom fan… more
Episode #607
Installing replacement windows, Heating water more efficiency, Home energy audit… more
Episode #606
Removing a dangerous tree, What is it?, Installing interior door trim… more
Episode #605
Repairing a jammed garbage disposer, What is it?, Stripping exterior paint, Drilling and notching in joists … more
Episode #604
Preventing floods, Removing and replacing foundation plants, What is it?, Fixing rotted wood with epoxy… more
Episode #603
Replacing a toilet flange, What is it?, Repairing cracked plaster, Viewer Tip… more
Episode #602
Carpentry squares, What is it?, Installing a patio using concrete bricks… more
Episode #601
Replacing a bathtub drain trap, What is it?, Repairing a cracked drywall ceiling… more