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Tommy tackles corner molding.

Tuesdays With Tommy: Corner Molding

Tommy MacDonald is a professional woodworker and the host of Rough Cut: Woodworking with Tommy Mac. In addition to being a whiz in the wood shop, Tommy has an extensive background as a carpenter and builder. In true DIY fashion, he even built his own house. Tommy is taking a little time out of his week to talk about some common DIY problems.

The Problem

Whether you're doing baseboard molding or crown molding in a room, inevitably you will have to address the corner. While there are a few molding experts out there who like to tout their ability to miter the 45 degrees and get the seam, well, seamless, Tommy stands by a better -- and more common -- approach.

The Answer

Tommy: You have to go with coping at the corner, all the way. The reason is this: although rooms are intended to be 45 degrees at the corner, they almost never are. When the walls are plastered and taped, they almost always go heavy in the corner, so you're never looking at a plumb job.

When you try to do the 45 degree miter cut and join the pieces at a corner that isn't 45 degrees, you get a gap and a seam that just looks worse and worse the farther away you get from a true 45 degree corner.

With coping, you get one piece in tight and then press fit the other. It's much cleaner and it won't look bad over time as the house moves, shifts and settles. You won't have this unsightly gap. It's definitely the way to go.

Join us next week for more DIY solutions from Tommy Mac!

Do you suspect problem drywall in your home? Act now!

Problem Drywall; Problem Solved?

A "final study" on the lingering problem drywall (aka Chinese Drywall) problem has just been released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The study provides guidance to homeowners who have problem drywall, specifically giving steps for replacing all the problem drywall, smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and electrical distribution components. The last category includes receptacles, switches, fusible-type sprinkler heads and circuit breakers, but not necessarily wiring.

Why all the electrical work? If you recall, the problem with problem drywall -- which can be detected by its tell-tale sulfurous smell -- is that it corrodes electrical wiring within the home's walls. Nasty stuff, that.

The study also features a previously-issued identification guidance section so homeowners can determine for themselves if they have problem drywall in the home.

So, problem solved? More or less, I'd say. It should be noted that, to date, the CPSC has received almost 4,000 reports from residents in 42 states who believe their health symptoms or the corrosion of certain metal components in their homes are related to problem drywall. The health piece concerns me the most. That and the thought of all those homeowners out there who are living with problem drywall and don't know it yet. I have to believe there are more than 4,000 homes with this junk.

Have you had to deal with problem drywall? Tell us about it.

AirGuard ceiling coating captures formaldehyde and renders it inert.

Armstrong Fights Formaldehyde With Ceiling Coating

Timing is everything.

On the heels of the announcement by the National Institutes of Health that formaldehyde makes the "known human carcinogen" list comes the unveiling of Armstrong's new AirGuard ceiling coating, designed to actively remove formaldehyde and other aldehydes from indoor air.

The coating is currently only available for commercial use but a residential application is in the works.

The coating gets applied to the back of ceiling tiles and converts naturally occurring and man-made formaldehydes into an inert substance that is permanently captured by the ceiling.

So the Cubicle Workers of the World can rejoice!

Great job, Armstrong. This is the kind of product we like to see.

Stay tuned as we monitor this space for the residential version of AirGuard.

Make sure your home doesn't have Chinese Drywall.

Problem Drywall Detection and Remediation Solutions

The National Association for Home Builders (NAHB) recently made available a new resource for builders, remodelers and homeowners on detection and remediation of problem drywall.

As many know, problem drywall refers to imported Chinese drywall that posed a corrosion hazard to electrical wiring in a home's walls and gave off a foul, sulfurous odor throughout the home.

We at Renovate Your World have followed the issue since it first reared its head a couple of years ago. Since then we've followed the emerging field of Problem Drywall Detection and Problem Drywall Remediation as well as the steps some lenders took to assist homeowners afflicted with Chinese Drywall.

This latest development reflects over a year of research, testing and analysis by the "Chinese Drywall Task Force," an NAHB-backed group of elite, renegade analysts rounded up from the labs across the world. Okay, the renegade part is untrue, but it gave a nice Hollywood ring to the project.

The culmination of the Task Force's work is this downloadable document: "Imported Problem Drywall: Identification Strategies and Remediation Guidelines." Use the information wisely. It could save your home's wiring.

Unfortunately for some, the remediation steps may very well be quite extensive. If your home was built between 2001 and 2008 and is found to contain problematic drywall throughout the home, total remediation is the "only viable option." Sounds extreme. That's because it is.

If you have suspicions that your home may contain the Chinese Drywall, take a look at the document and start with the identification process. It could save some headaches down the road.

Is your drywall safe?

"Problem Drywall" Off The Hook?

A CPSC-requested CDC investigation into 11 deaths of people exposed to "problem drywall" found no evidence linking the two.

For those who haven't been keeping up, problem drywall - aka "Chinese Drywall" and "contaminated drywall" - has been in the spotlight of the last couple years due to concerns of corrosion to wiring within the wall and a sulfurous odor discharge.

The issue gave birth to a few abatement options, at least one of which drew criticism for its whole-home fumigation-style tactic.

For a full review from the Interagency Drywall Task Force, go to www.DrywallResponse.gov.

The MUDDKING multi-tool.

The MUDDKING Drywall Tool: Man's New Best Friend?

I don't find myself doing a lot of drywall work, but I can appreciate those who do. It's laborious at best, and any corner cutting can show up later.

That said, it's small wonder there are new innovations meant to improve the life of a drywaller. The latest to come across my desk is the MUDDKING, described as first-ever drywall tool that does inside corners, outside corners, joints/seams and nail/screw holes. It's kind of a classic all-in-one

I haven't put hands to the MUDDKING yet, so I can't speak to its effectiveness. I friend of mine who frequently does drywall took a look at it and said, "Yeah, I'd buy one." Although he hasn't, yet.

I'm curious to know what an experienced drywaller has to say about the MUDDKING. Anyone out there using one now?

Would you choose Mosstile for your own home? Photo credit: Benetti Stone

Benetti Stone's Mosstile | Tile


This design concept by Italian company Benetti Stone brings the idea of green home décor to a whole different level. After all, why create a backsplash or tile your bathroom with stone, quartz, or ceramic when you can use a plant?

That's right—Benetti Stone's Mosstile is a tile made of lichen, mounted on an environmentally friendly resin base. Available in 12 natural colors, the lichen requires no pruning, watering or natural light, which means that by installing Mosstile, you’re basically installing a maintenance-free vertical garden inside your house.

What do you think about Mosstile? Is it a sophisticated and forward-thinking way of introducing plant life to your home? Or is it a little too eclectic for your tastes?

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