Ask This Old House TV // Season 9 // Episode 11

Ask TOH | Stair Runner Repair, Digging Tools, Recessed Lights

General contractor Tom Silva helps an old friend repair the loose carpeting on his staircase. Then, landscaping contractor Roger Cook shows host Kevin O'Connor several different types of shovels and other tools for digging. Afterward, Kevin heads to Pasadena, California where he and a local electrician help a homeowner install recessed lights in a kitchen ceiling.

Repairing loose carpet on a staircase

Tom helped a homeowner who recently tripped on a loose piece of carpet on his staircase. The carpet was held in place with a "tackless" strip, but the nails holding the tackless strip to the wooden stair tread had become loose. To repair the carpeting, Tom reattached the tackless strip to the stair tread with ring-shank nails and stretched the carpet back over the tackless strip with a special carpet tool called a "knee kicker." Tom then reinforced the tackless strips on the remaining stair treads using a pneumatic stapler.

Where to find it?

Tackless strips and tools for installing carpet can be found at most home centers.

Shovels and other Digging Tools

Roger showed Kevin some essential digging tools including pointed spade shovels, pick axes, and iron digging bars.

Where to find it?

High quality digging tools can be found at home centers and landscape supply stores.

Installing Recessed Ceiling Lights

Kevin and electrician Charles Vargas helped a California homeowner install recessed lights in his kitchen ceiling. The homeowner chose LED lights, which are much more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent lights. With the old fluorescent fixture removed, Charles cut round holes in the ceiling for the new fixtures. He then ran 14/2 non-metallic sheathed cable (also called "Romex") between all of the new fixtures and connected them to an existing switched cable in a junction box in the attic.

The expert installation was performed by:

Charles Vargas
B&M Electric
310-372-2545

Charles installed 6-inch IC remodel housings (model number H7RICT) manufactured by:
Halo (Cooper Lighting)

Charles installed 6-inch LED recessed lamps and trim (model number P8071-2835K) manufactured by:
Progress Lighting
864-678-1000


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