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LIVING
August 29, 2008 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Question: We just had a beautiful backsplash of 2-by-6-inch white iridescent glass tile installed. Our contractor began using white grout, which really takes away from the beauty of the glass tiles, so we have postponed completion. Do you know if or where we can purchase clear grout or substitute with another material that is clear? Considering demolition of the old kitchen began in January and the renovation is almost double the intended budget, we don't want to cut any corners now. Answer: At a mosaic-tile Web site, www.mosaicartsupply.
LIVING
September 12, 2008 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Question: I'd like to know how to clean grout in the bathroom - some of it has gotten dark. Have tried different things like bleach, but it does not seem to help keep it nice in the long run. Answer: Try oxygenated bleach (a product such as OxyClean), which is nontoxic and thus can be left sitting on the grout for a long period to do its job, probably after scrubbing it in with a toothbrush or something small enough to get between the tiles. The bleach comes in both powder and liquid form.
NEWS
June 30, 1991 | By Denise Breslin Kachin, Special to The Inquirer
Artist Isaiah Zagar was patiently showing his young assistants how to apply bright blue grout over a tile-and-mirror masterpiece they had been working on for days. "You just make sure you get the grout in all the crevices to give the mural an even look," Zagar, a 52-year-old artist from Philadelphia, told his eager entourage. Each assistant, wearing rubber gloves to protect small hands, began to spread the grout on the bath-house wall at Coatesville's Ash Park. Though kids at other camps might spend some summer mornings making a dish of tile pieces for mom, the children at the Brandywine YMCA in West Brandywine are working hard to create a mural for all the residents of Coatesville to enjoy.
REAL_ESTATE
September 11, 1988 | By Al Carrell, Special to The Inquirer
We are going to redo the bath and are thinking of using glazed ceramic tile on the walls. Is this a do-it-yourself project, and if so, can you help us get started? Tile is one of those do-it-yourself projects that almost always comes out looking as though you hired the pros to do it. It is durable and practical. The first step is to get a good subsurface. Many pros prefer using cement board, which is nailed down like wallboard. It doesn't expand or contract and, most importantly, doesn't disintegrate if it gets wet. Most cement board has a rough side and a smooth side.
NEWS
May 20, 2011 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
  Question: When we had our kitchen remodeled about 11 years ago, we had a ceramic-tile floor installed. The floor is very durable; however, the grout is about one-eighth of an inch below the surface of each tile. Little did we know that this space would become a trap for collecting spills and debris of all sorts. Can we fill the remaining area with grout to eliminate this problem and make it level with the surface? Answer: I would say no. The rule with grout lines is to have them all at a consistent depth of at least halfway down the thickness of the floor tiles installed.
BUSINESS
December 25, 2012 | By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Columnist
What do shopping-center development and grout cleaning have in common? His name is Robert M. Hill. Not that the president of Retail Sites L.L.C. in Maple Shade has spent any time tackling the detestable chore of scrubbing between the bathroom tiles in his Moorestown home. "Not any more than the typical American male," Hill said of his cleaning involvement. But his Grout Gator is headed for mega-exposure - most likely, next month - on QVC, to be pitched by a guest host who estimates that he has sold between $75 million and $80 million in home-improvement products over 13 years of appearances.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2015
Q: I had tile laid in my upstairs bathroom. Unfortunately, the floor is a little springy in this spot, and the grout just crumbles. I have had the floor redone, but the same problem occurred. Is there a more flexible grout that could be used? - J.W. A: How frustrating! I love tile and stone, particularly in bathrooms, but tile really does need a solid backing. I'm surprised your tile installers didn't point that out to you in the first place. It doesn't make these installers look very good, and probably doesn't make you feel comfortable with the rest of the installation.
FOOD
February 6, 1991 | By Morris and James Carey, Special to the Daily News
Q. I plan to put ceramic tile on the floor in my bathroom. The floor is a concrete slab that is covered with linoleum. Can I put the ceramic tile directly over the linoleum, or should it be removed? What do you recommend to fasten the tile to the floor and what kind of grout should I use? A. While we have seen ceramic tile installed over existing sheet vinyl on a concrete slab, we strongly suggest you remove the vinyl before installing the tile. This will help to ensure the bond between the tile and the substrate below is strong and durable.
LIVING
January 5, 2007 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Question: We have no insulation under the floor in our crawl space, and I have heard different versions of the best way to go. I heard that batts (installed under the floor) could get damp and moldy and keep the area damp, and that this might attract termites. I also fear that this space would become too cold and the water pipes would freeze. We now have old rugs in the living room above and the dining room. I want to remove them and just keep the hardwood floors, but without insulation these rooms would be too cold.
REAL_ESTATE
April 10, 1988 | By Al Carrell, Special to The Inquirer
We have decided to keep the ceramic tile in our bath but would like to regrout it if possible. Can you tell us if this is easy enough for the do-it- yourselfer? The only hard part is removing the old grout. Lay a dropcloth under the work area to catch the mess. You have to be careful not to scratch the tiles or adjoining fixtures. Try a couple of different screwdrivers until you find the best one for the job. A pointed can opener also works pretty well. Tools for removing old grout are available in stores that sell tile.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2015
Q: I had tile laid in my upstairs bathroom. Unfortunately, the floor is a little springy in this spot, and the grout just crumbles. I have had the floor redone, but the same problem occurred. Is there a more flexible grout that could be used? - J.W. A: How frustrating! I love tile and stone, particularly in bathrooms, but tile really does need a solid backing. I'm surprised your tile installers didn't point that out to you in the first place. It doesn't make these installers look very good, and probably doesn't make you feel comfortable with the rest of the installation.
REAL_ESTATE
August 10, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Q uestion: My townhouse is built on a slab, and I have ceramic tile in the kitchen. A few of the tiles have chips where items were dropped. Is it possible to have the ceramic tile removed and replaced with vinyl? This is not a job I would do myself; I would hire a professional. Just looking for some ideas and what the pros and cons might be. Answer: I'm glad you will be hiring a professional, because I've seen so many botched jobs by amateurs. It can be done. I assume the tiles are in a mortar bed on the slab.
NEWS
June 16, 2013
Jack Grout A Legacy in Golf Blue River Press. 320 pp. $24.95 By Dick Grout, with Bill Winter Reviewed by Carl B. Everett   Most golfers who witnessed the glory days of Jack Nicklaus can tell you that the architect of his powerful, fairway-eating swing was Jack Grout. And that alone is enough to secure Grout's place in golfing lore. But there was more to this exemplary man than a sweet swing and a knack for teaching golf, and his son Dick, with help from journalist Bill Winter, introduces him in Jack Grout: A Legacy in Golf . Jack Grout saw virtually every American professional golfer of note during the 1930s and 1940s, including the emerging young Texas pros Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 16, 2013 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Question : I live in a condo and recently had my carpet pulled up, plywood put down, and then tile on top in my master bath dressing room. After six months, the grout in the upper area began to crumble and came out. The tile man came back and re-grouted the area. He does not know why it is happening; there was no water leakage. Now it is happening again in the same area. The tile man has 25 years experience and came highly recommended. Can you offer some advice? Answer: I'd probably blame the plywood used as the underlayment.
BUSINESS
December 25, 2012 | By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Columnist
What do shopping-center development and grout cleaning have in common? His name is Robert M. Hill. Not that the president of Retail Sites L.L.C. in Maple Shade has spent any time tackling the detestable chore of scrubbing between the bathroom tiles in his Moorestown home. "Not any more than the typical American male," Hill said of his cleaning involvement. But his Grout Gator is headed for mega-exposure - most likely, next month - on QVC, to be pitched by a guest host who estimates that he has sold between $75 million and $80 million in home-improvement products over 13 years of appearances.
NEWS
July 15, 2011 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Question: The contractors who installed my tile floor six months ago left a haze of grout over the tiles and I'm unable to remove it. Answer: Removing grout haze from a tile floor as the work is in progress is one of the keys to a job well done, and it seems that your contractors didn't care. I've installed several tile floors over the years, and the Hometime video I watched 200 times in the late 1980s stated clearly that if you removed the haze as you worked on the floor, clean water and a clean sponge were all that was necessary.
NEWS
May 20, 2011 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
  Question: When we had our kitchen remodeled about 11 years ago, we had a ceramic-tile floor installed. The floor is very durable; however, the grout is about one-eighth of an inch below the surface of each tile. Little did we know that this space would become a trap for collecting spills and debris of all sorts. Can we fill the remaining area with grout to eliminate this problem and make it level with the surface? Answer: I would say no. The rule with grout lines is to have them all at a consistent depth of at least halfway down the thickness of the floor tiles installed.
LIVING
September 25, 2009 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
A couple of weeks back a reader asked me about painting bathroom tile a different color instead of spending thousands of dollars to replace it. As I always hope, many of you wrote in with recommendations based on your experience. I'll share a few. Marilyn Harris of Hatboro and her husband are the second owners of a house built in the 1940s. They bought the house in the mid-1970s, and the bathroom had pink and maroon tile set in a concrete base. The tile was "in good condition - except for the color," she says.
LIVING
January 23, 2009 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Question: My wife and I are thinking of building a home. One of the things we are having trouble figuring out is what is going on with the costs of building materials. I look online, and the only thing I can find is average lumber prices. I can't find anything for vinyl, roofing materials, tile, granite or drywall. It seems there is no tracking of them that gets published. In these times, when most things are coming down in price, I am curious to see whether the cost of building a home is coming down, as well.
LIVING
September 12, 2008 | By Alan J. Heavens INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Question: I'd like to know how to clean grout in the bathroom - some of it has gotten dark. Have tried different things like bleach, but it does not seem to help keep it nice in the long run. Answer: Try oxygenated bleach (a product such as OxyClean), which is nontoxic and thus can be left sitting on the grout for a long period to do its job, probably after scrubbing it in with a toothbrush or something small enough to get between the tiles. The bleach comes in both powder and liquid form.
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