Ask This Old House TV // Season 9 // Episode 10

Ask TOH | Radiant Heat, Drywall Corners, Wheelbarrows

Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner heat his newly remodeled kitchen by installing hot water radiant tubing underneath the floor. Then Richard, along with host Kevin O'Connor, landscaping contractor Roger Cook, and general contractor Tom Silva ask, "What is it?" Afterward, Tom shows Kevin how to apply joint compound to drywall corners. Then Roger and Kevin head outside for a few lessons on using a wheelbarrow properly.

Installing radiant heat in a kitchen

Richard helped a homeowner install radiant heating underneath a newly remodeled kitchen using PEX tubing and a new type of zone control and circulating pump.

Where to find it?

Richard installed ⅜-inch PEX tubing and Joist Trak aluminum transfer plates manufactured by:


Richard installed a new type of controller that functions as a circulating pump, mixing valve, outdoor reset control, and air vent.

HydroBloc (HYD-0100 Hybrid Mixing System)
Manufacturer: HBX Control Systems, Inc.

What is it?

The guys try to guess the intended purpose of an unusual-looking product.

Where to find it?

Tom showed a solar-powered device used to deter birds.

Solar Bird Repeller
Manufacturer: Bird-B-Gone

Mudding and taping corners in wallboard

Up in the loft, Tom demonstrated how to apply joint compound to inside and outside corners of gypsum wallboard. For outside corners, Tom prefers to apply joint compound over a corner bead with metal or plastic reinforcement. For inside corners, Tom prefers paper tape folded in half.

The following companies manufacture drywall trowels, corner bead, and tape:

Marshalltown Trowel Company


Joint compound and all types of inside and outside corner materials can be found at any home center.

How to use a wheelbarrow

Outside, Roger showed Kevin a few tips for using and maintaining wheelbarrows.

Where to find it?

Wheelbarrows and replacement wheels and tires can be found at most home centers and hardware stores.

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