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i am havin my 3bed hse repainted and 3bedrooms papered with feature wall and hardtex ceilin skimmed. shud a decorator prepare walls n ceilings. also shud any money be exchanged before the job.e

I am having 3 bedrooms papered with one feature wall but most of the walls are lumpy sum with small dents in am also having 4 internal door painted a staircase stripped an repainted and handrail varnished what is prep for this. also havin various finishin with mastic to bathroom on tiled floor and walls again i just need to mke sure i dont get a bad job done as i have done previously many times. any advice to help me make sure i select a decent decorator/builder so that the materials are correct etc would be much apreciated

Ymaz_92 15th Dec, 2011 Painting & Decorating
5 Answers u9

Best thing to do is discuss with each decorator at the quotation stage what they will be doing to prepare and give a high finish,
Ask for their advice on what is best practice, Ask what materials they will be using and can they provide receipts if the costs are included in the quoted price.
It is difficult to say what preperation is required without seeing the property.
If you ask the right questions and make the decorator aware you want to achieve a high end finish, you can determine whether or not the tradesmen will be suitable for the job,
If a deposit is required , I ask for no more than the cost of the materials i am buying , Also i would not take any of this until the 2nd day into the job at the earliest , that way you have a days labour out it plus your materials so you should never be out of pocket in reality. It is unreasonable for a customer to expect the decorator to pay out of his own pocket for your materials, you will no doubt save money anyway as we get our materials at trade prices rather than retail price.
Hope this advice helps, and dont be afraid to ask questions.
Good luck,

OTT Property Services 16th Dec, 2011

can you fix plywood to a concrete floor and then tile onto it?

I need to bring a floor level up 9mm, the floor is concrete and didn't know if u can fix plywood to it and then tile on top of that, if its possible what would be the best way to fix the plywood down? Thanks

Ytommyf 5th May, 2012 Tiling
2 Answers u2

Self level screed is the best option,
Ply board has its own downfalls and its still going to be difficult to level the floor without any movement from the ply.
Get Deep base Latex screed available at wickes for a reasonable price and sets in 3-4 hours,
Leave overnight before tiling, Away you go.
This is not a difficult task so please dont be put off by it, Plying the area will no doubt cause you future problems.

hope this helps,

OTT Property Services 5th May, 2012

what to do with an old yorkshire stone kitchen floor- restore/clean /seal?

I'm replacing my kitchen and lifted up the old lino to find an old yorkshire stone floor- must have been part of the original feature of this victorian terrace. the floor is dusty and dirty and the grout has deteriorated. otherwise the flags look in good condition ( one of them is broken in the centre).
what would be the best way to restore/ clean them, relay and seal them so they are suitable for use in a kitchen ( so water/stain resitant)? Can they be polished or made smoother?
alternatively if i cant do this cost effectively i will have to tile over them- but I want to do it in away that doesn't damage them.

I'll be grateful for any advice. Thanks

Ysid001_47 1st Jun, 2011 Flooring
3 Answers u1

Certainly wouldnt be lifting these up with the intention of relaying, this always brings up problems,i would give them a good clean up with a scourer/buffer machine, make a repair to the broken flag with a similar coloured grout.
I would seriously consider a regrout but that decision would rely on the outcome of buffer, finaly sealing is a must with any natural stone, good luck.

OTT Property Services 3rd Jun, 2011

What is the best solution for a damp bathroom wall that we would like to tile?

The wall next to our bath has had the water leaking in through the grout from our shower which has lead to the wall being soaked under the tiles. We have removed the tiles and are drying the wall out at the moment. It's important to note that we are unable to cut out the damp sections of the wall and replace them as the wall seems to be made out of some kind of chipboard, which is about 6 inches thick with no hollow section inside. We have put a small hole into the wall with a screwdriver to look for the hollow section inside but the screwdriver just cam out the other side (our bedroom).
We are currently using a dehumidifier and heater alternatively to dry out the wall, which seems to be working well, but now we need to know exactly what steps to take from here. We have been advised to PVA the wall once dry, followed by applying Marine plywood and then tiling, but we would like to know if we can use normal plasterboard instead, what sealing measures we need to take to the wall before we put plasterboard up, and what sealing measures we need to take to the plasterboard before tiling.

Thanks all

Ybillielouisea 28th Dec, 2011 Tiling
6 Answers u10

There are a number of different ways you can do this , each one has its pros and cons.
One word of advice from me would be dont try to cut corners by doing a ''cheap fix''.
I wouldnt use marine ply, there are better products on the market now, products made for this very purpose, aqua-panel, Hardibacker or marmox boards are a wise choice.
There isnt a problem using plasterboard but you would need to use the moisture resistant type, then tank the area anyway so its false economy.
Without seeing the job its difficult to say exactly what is going to be the best option for you , so get a couple of trades in, ask for their opinion and make an informed decision.
This is a common problem but easily solved with the right know-how and equipment,
Good luck

OTT Property Services 28th Dec, 2011

Hello Gary,What issue are you having? Is it the haze your having an issue with?
Looks like a dusty residue left on the tiles after sponging and cleaning?

OTT Property Services 12th Jan, 2012

New Paint has cracks appearing over Gyproc Easi-Fill

I recently painted two coats on my bathroom ceiling that measure around 2500mm by 2000mm. This is when I had filled an area where an old ceiling rose light had been before I moved in; which left an indentation about 20mm deep. This was filled in using 2 coats of Gyproc Easi-fill, left to dry completely. I fine sanded this in between the coats of Easi fill and over the last coat using an electric light weight sander.

I then applied a PVA mixture to the patch and left to dry before I did a paint test on the patch using some previous left over paint of the Dulux Light & Space, and fine sanded using an electric light weight sander.

I then applied a first slightly thicker coat of Dulux Light and Space in absolute white on Tuesday evening. I looked at on Wednesday and it looked good apart from a slight faint paint patch around the area that had been filled.

I have just done the second today, again slightly thicker than the first coat to try and get the paint around the patch to be even with the thickness of the patch. I came back to see if it had dried and it has cracks in the paint that look like as though it is peeling away where it has been patch with Easi-fill and feathered out.

I really don’t want to do a third coat of paint, as I have used one whole 2.5Ltr tub on this one ceiling, where as previously 1 tub of 2.5ltr went on 3 ceilings!

I am contemplating of going back to my previous old ideas, before somebody advise me filling in etc, of getting a round mirror tile drilling a round hole big enough for a new light fitting connection to fit into and fixing it all to the ceiling. Trouble with the Easi-fill patch, is that it has been feathered out, and now measures around 40X40sq, so it’s trying to get hold of a mirror tile wide enough.

I have also filled in my Kitchen ceiling with the same stuff and applied PVA, test painted and lightly sanded where an area where an old fluorescent fitting had been taken down. This looks fine with the paint. I haven’t started painting the whole ceiling as of yet, as this was going to be my next ceiling to do.

Having looked at the bathroom, I’m finding it hard to crack on, as my motivation is slipping away because I can’t seem to get past this ceiling. I have my kitchen, lounge, bedroom and landing and stairs to do also.
I really don’t know what to do, although work needs to get done asap.

Please can somebody advise.

Yshamy1 11th Apr, 2013 Painting & Decorating
3 Answers u1

Difficult to say the exact reason for the failure on the paint without seeing what you did exactly however there is a pretty failsafe way to sort the issue.
Going on what you have explained in your description i presume you applied the filler in stages as recomended by the manufacturer. I have a feeling you probably didnt prepare the surface prior to applying the filler which has caused it to shrink and crack slightly, Also the pva prior to painting isnt the way to go.
How i would proceed now is to remove any flaking paint as much as possible, if there are any minor cracks within the filler apply fine filler and sand over to provide a smooth surface. Apply Zinnser BIN (Available at b and q if you dont have a merchants close by). Allow to dry , usually an hour tops, then apply your top coats to finish.
Obviously without seeing the issue its difficult, but if you use the zinsser i think you should be fine.
Hope that helps.

OTT Property Services 12th Apr, 2013

Patchy Kitchen Ceiling

Our kichen ceiling is concrete with a plaster finish. After painting this initially with a washy coat of Dulux Kitchen + and then a full coat, we are left with some area's with a smooth finish and some with a patchy appearance. We have tried using a brush on these area's and the patchiness is slightly better. Does this mean we will have to keep painting over and over these areas with a brush?..

We have rollered the ceiling with a short pile and all our other ceilings are ok.

What would cause this problem?.

Ybper 11th Aug, 2011 Painting & Decorating
3 Answers u1

You can get a dulux product called /stain Block Plus,
give the ceiling a coat of this prior to painting your desired colour,
quite expensive but is tried and tested!
If you have just had your ceiling plastered there may be areas which have not fully dried yet which can cause the patches, ao maybe the plasterer was abit happy with his trowel and gave a polished finish in some areas which makes painting difficult, other reason can be as you have a concrete ceiling is there damp getting through??
Best method would be , get a pole sander, give the ceiling a reasonable sand over , paint with the dulux product mentioned above then over this with your desired colour,
Should solve the problem.

OTT Property Services 12th Aug, 2011

self drilling screws with the rubber washers on possibly??

OTT Property Services 12th Aug, 2011

there is no problem leavin the gap so long as its no bidder than 4mm,
the gap will then be concealed with sealant so would be able to see it anyway.
If you tiling onto a wooden floor the gap would be a must anyway!

OTT Property Services 22nd Aug, 2011

Do I need to remove existing render before externally insulating?

My property desperately needs insulation. Doing this internally is not really an option due to having a narrow living room (can't afford to lose the space). It has a solid, 460mm brick external wall, rendered externally with cement. The question is; can I insulate and clad over the existing cement render or do I have to take it off first? I can't find a clear answer on this. Thanks for your help.

Ybengalgreenwing 18th Oct, 2011 Insulation
1 Answer

Well the council have done been doing our local areas for the past year or so,
They used 50mm insulating boards directly over the render of their houses,
then re-render over the top of the boards,
This has been done on 200 + Properties , so I would say it isnt a problem,

OTT Property Services 19th Oct, 2011

can I put adhesive floor tiles over ceramic tiles in my kitchen

Yissaybon 31st Oct, 2011 Flooring
2 Answers

Would require screeding before laying the vinyl tiles,
Easy enough job,
Make sure you leave the screed to go off properly before laying the new vinyl tiles, Each screed has its own reccomendations so read the pack and follow the instructions.
Wickes have a very good product, Latex self levelling screed, goes hard in about and hour or two and only need to leave it 24hours before applying new floor.

OTT Property Services 14th Dec, 2011

What tool would you use to remove exisitng floor tiles and remove adhesive off of the back?

We had laid Riven slate floor tiles onto a concrete floor/screed or self leveller, (tiles 900x600) back in Sept 2011, the footage covered was 31 square meters. Flexible adhesive and grout used for concrete and under floor heating used. We noticed that some of the tiles sounded hollow when you tapped them/walked on them, but everything seemed fine and we thought nothing of it. At the end of January 2012, we turned on our under floor heating (water). Recently though we have noticed that 5 of the tiles, some half under the kitchen move up and down slightly if walked on or make a slight noise.

The tiler is coming back to rectify the moving tiles, he confessed in a telephone conversation that he dab and daubed the tiles onto the floor, from what I have read on the internet, this is fine for bathroom and kitchen walls, but to do this on a floor and with them being such big tiles, surely this is not correct???? Can someone please advise what tool would be used to bring some of the tiles back up? Is an angle grinder the only way? We have an open plan living room, dining room and kitchen (living area is adjacent to where the floor tiles finish the tiler put adhesive down the sides of the tiles too.

Also, what tool or method would you use to get the adhesive and grout off of the existing tiles, assuming they survive?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Ymarystans72 28th Feb, 2012 Tiling
6 Answers u1

I have had to take up quite a lot of tiled floors due to this exact reason,
Firstly , the tiler has made a huge error in laying the floor with the dot & dab method, This is amateur to say the least and will allways lead to issues such as this. In all honesty the only way to ensure the floor is upto standard is to remove the whole lot in my opion, Sounds drastic i know but do you think your tiler will come round again to remedy the next lot of loose tiles?? I think not.
One thing in your favour is the slate is pretty strong so you should, if care is taken, be able to lift the tiles and remove the majority of the adhesive, I would suggest initially trying to lift the tiles with hand tools (Bolster chisel & Hamme) to see just how easy the lift, if this doesnt work you will probably have to resort to a mechanical breaker method but great care should be taken with this machine, you can get carried away with it and end up cracking tiles.
To remove adhesive on the reverse of the tile use to start with an angle grinder , making sure you have a good hold on the tile itself or if possible place the tile onto a tile mat which will hold it as you use the grinder, use this method to remove 90-95% of the adhesive the remainder should be removed with by the hand tool method pre mentioned.

Finally, I would suggest checking over the subfloor, check the level accross the whole floor, and make sure it is suffiecently primed prior to re-fitting the tiles.
The slate tiles should also be sealed.... so should check this has also been carried out by the tiler. Flexible Adhesive and Grout should be used due to the underfloor heating.

All the above is purely my opion and im sure there will be other views as to best remedy the issues,
Hope you get it sorted.

OTT Property Services 28th Feb, 2012

Flag flooring

I have a 100 year old flag floor in one room of my house. Over the years the edges and corners have been broken or chipped away and there are quite a few large gaps between several of the flags. I would like to point between the gaps and seal the floor but not with some glossy varnish finish.
Any advice please?

Yandrew_781 31st Mar, 2013 Restoration & Refurbishment
1 Answer

Hi andrew,
Process for best outcome would be;
-remove equisting mortar from joints ensuring joints are clean and free from dust as far as possible.
-using a natural stone cleaner , such as lithofin or fila products, scrub the floor remove surface dirt, you will not get them looking new so dont try!! your just trying to remove as much surface debris and dirt as you can.
-allow to dry naturally.
-using a sponge apply lithofin MN stainstop, This will not alter the appearence of the stone much at all but will leave your floor easier to clean and not prone to staining.

Hope this helps,
Tom Knowles @ OTT Property Services

OTT Property Services 1st Apr, 2013
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