Home Improvement

Trenchless Pipe Replacement: Underground Pipe Replacement With Minimal Digging

Trenchless Pipe Replacement: Underground Pipe Replacement With Minimal Digging
By Juanita Swindell

The drain pipe that runs beneath the ground if often subjected to several harsh elements without us being aware of it. While you can insulate the pipes inside homes to ensure they do not freeze up during winters, the ones that run underground are often neglected as we are unable to see them. However, they are also constantly in contact with underground water, mud and several other chemicals found beneath the surface. This makes them exceptionally susceptible to early rusting which can make them brittle and cause breakages.

Getting the underground pipe replaced used to be a real nightmare. Replacement often involved extensive digging of the gardens, driveways and everything else that was found over the area where they lay. However, this inconvenience has now become a thing of the past thanks to trenchless pipe replacement.

What Is Trenchless Pipe Replacement?

As the name suggests, it involves underground pipe replacement that is accomplished without digging long trenches in the ground. If you feel this is the name given to some kind of glorified drain repair that would clog up again in a few months after the whole process then you are going to be pleasantly surprised. This is a process that actually involves a new pipe installation underground. However it is accomplished without extended digging, as the new pipe is run through the old one.

How Is It Accomplished?

It is accomplished by the means of a heavy duty pulling unit, pulling cable and a brand new underground pipe. Two small pits are dug at the starting as well the ending points of the region where the relining needs to be done. A new pipe is fed through the entry pit while the exit pit has a pulling unit installed that is capable of pulling great loads. A pulling cable that is run through the new pipe and a cone breaker is fed through the entry pit to the exit pit where it is attached to the pulling machinery. The cone breaker is used to blast through any clogs in the old pipe and the new one is then pulled using the cable through the old existing line.

What Are the Advantages?

Drain repair is a great option for an underground drain, however there comes a time when no amount of repairing can get the job done and a replacement becomes imperative. This is where this new technique really helps in getting the job done with minimal disturbance.

The technique is also a highly economical preposition and the total cost incurred actually comes out cheaper when using this trenchless method as addition overheads of rebuilding lawns and driveways are easily avoided. The extensive disruption of day to day activities also does not occur as this is a fairly fast process which is accomplished by digging just two 24 by 36 inch pits.

The next time you encounter a clogged or corrugated underground pipe, fear not the plumbing repair work is going to be a breeze with the modern no dig technology.

Liberty Plumbing and Septic is a great plumbing service provider who can take care of all your plumbing repair needs. Also check out our new page on Trenchless Pipe Replacement.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Juanita_Swindell/682332
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The Mechanics Behind Slab Leaks

The Mechanics Behind Slab Leaks
By Juanita Swindell

Slab leaks, also known as under-slab leakages, are more common than most people realize. The majority of the population likes to believe that their homes are their castles, and that they are safe and sound when in their homes. There are many things that can go wrong even at home, however, and having your house slowly sink into the ground is one of them. Houses sit safely at ground level because, even though they rest on top of relatively soft soil and dirt, a concrete slab foundation is laid as the very first step in the construction process, spreading the weight of the house and preventing it from sinking into the dirt. Adding water to the mix of dirt and soil below a house can, however, cause the land and the house on it to sink.

What Actually Happens When A Leak Occurs

There are a few factors that can cause under-slab leakages, and the severity of a particular leakage depends on the cause as well as the resulting type of foundation movement.

One common cause of under-slab leakages is soil shrinkage. Soil naturally contains water and that water helps to give the soil volume. When that water is removed however, the soil will collapse in upon itself, as some of its volume has been removed. Such moisture removal can happen under slabs in specific spots due to the presence of peculiar sources of heat that remove the moisture from those specific spots of soil.

The above mentioned heat sources include furnaces operating to keep the interior of a house warm and pipes transporting steam. These heat sources dry out pockets of soil, removing parts of the support for the foundation slabs. This is not a particularly important factor when it comes to causing leaks outright, but it is a contributing factor.

Ultimately, under-slab leakages are caused by existing leaks. Put more accurately, severe leakages are the result of minor leakages. Minor water leaks can be caused by any number of events, including any that mechanically affect the underground pipes. Even small leaks will cause water to enter the soil, wetting and compacting it, so that the soil beneath a house begins to move downwards.

Whereas previously, the soil provided an even and solid surface on which the foundations of the house could rest. Once leakages start occurring, that surface is slowly worn away, and soon the foundations are resting on shaky ground. As the soil sinks, so does the house. The problem, however, is that the house does not sink in an even manner, with just some parts of the house where the soil beneath the foundations has been compacted, some parts of the house will sink while other parts remain at ground level. This imbalance can cause serious mechanical damage to your house.

Immediate Response

When you see indications that there might be slab leaks in your house, you should not waste any time in calling for a plumbing service. With the proper expertise and know-how, even underground water leakages can be repaired relatively quickly and painlessly.

If the symptoms of slab leaks are appearing in your house, such as damp spots on the carpeting or on the floor itself which simply cannot be explained by water falling from above, then you most likely have subterranean leaks to deal with. The plumbing experts at Liberty Plumbing And Septic are well-versed in dealing with such problems. Call them today and leave it to them to have your house repaired in no time at all. Also check out our new page on Slab Leaks.

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What You Should Know About Sink and Faucet Repairs

What You Should Know About Sink and Faucet Repairs
By Juanita Swindell

Sink faucets that are installed in washrooms and the kitchen are usually very heavy-use fixtures and over a period of time are likely to spring a leak or even break down. The internal parts are made of rubber and tend to wear out. The o-rings and the washers are the first ones to go, the seats come next and in some cases the stem may need replacement as well. The resultant leaks may come from the joints and the water will leak out onto the counter.

Do Not Delay Sink and Faucet Repairs

Most people tend to postpone fixing a leaky faucet. But that is a definite waste of water and today it is more important than ever to do our bit for the environment. Apart from this, it's always the hot water tap that tends to leak sooner than the cold water one. This is because the hot water affects the rubber washer and it wears out faster. A leaking faucet indirectly adds to your energy costs as well.

How To Repair A Leaky Faucet

A simple leaky faucet does not need any specialized handling and you can easily fix it yourself using the following steps:

• Detach the cap from the faucet and remove the handle as well. The top cap can be pried off easily from the handle with any screwdriver. Now unscrew the screws that hold the handle down and take it off the faucet. The packing nut can be unscrewed with an adjustable wrench.

• Now pull the stem away from the body of the faucet with needle nose pliers. You will see the seat washer (rubber disk) right below the stem. Now unscrew the brass screw and remove the seat washer from its place.

• Before you replace the washer just file the stem a little. Smooth out all the protruding edges that you see.

• Now fix the brass screw back in place.

• Reassemble the handle as well as the cap. Insert the handle into the faucet and secure it in place with the original screws. Place the decorative cap on top and fix it firmly into the handle piece.

This is a simple job but there might be times when you do not have the tools or the time to attend to it. Call in a plumber and get the job done. Fixing a leaky faucet or replacing a sink will take just about an hour to fix.

Liberty Plumbing and Septic offers all kinds of plumbing services. They handle sink and faucet repairs in an efficient and timely manner. Also check out their new page on Sink and Faucet Repairs.

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Understanding Septic Tank Backup And How To Deal With It

Understanding Septic Tank Backup And How To Deal With It
By Juanita Swindell

Have you suddenly woken up to a clogged drain or backup in the toilet? Septic backup can be caused due to a number of problems and it is often difficult to diagnose the reason for this backup on your own. But don't sit back and hope for the problem to go away on its own because it could mean that your entire septic system is damaged in some way and it may require immediate attention.

Before you try to find the reason for the backup, you should also know how to recognise the backup or any other problem with the system. An unpleasant smell inside your house or near the location of your tank is one way to figure out if something is wrong. You should also look for gurgling noises in the flush or back-ups in the plumbing.

Reasons for Septic Tank Backup

Why are you suddenly getting back-up in your toilets and drains? The most common reason is sludge in the pipes. This can occur if you haven't maintained the system or got it cleaned regularly.

The septic tank may also have broken pipes or a tree roots may have got into cracks in the wall. There may also be other problems like inadequate bacteria or too much grease that has collected somewhere along the line.

How to Deal with Septic Tank Problems

Even if you are tempted to open the system and take a look at it, don't! A septic system is very complicated and it can be very difficult to fix if you make a mistake. The best thing to do is to call a professional to take a look at what is wrong. If you are lucky, it may just be a small problem but even these problems need to be fixed professionally and immediately so that they entire system does not get damaged in the future.

Some common solutions to these problems are:

• Repairing broken drain lines. This can be done by a professional who has a camera that goes through the system and finds the break. Some of them may even use a dye which is sent through the pipes to find the break. If you have a broken pipe, get it replaced immediately and ideally ask for a fibreglass pipe because it lasts much longer than the old concrete or steel pipes.

• Cleaning the tank. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your tank is essential to prevent a number of problems. If it is not pumped or cleaned regularly, tree roots may form cracks in the walls or mud and dirt may build up causing a blockage. The drain field may also have too much solid waste stuck in it. This needs to be pumped regularly so that the drains don't get clogged and backup doesn't start to appear in the various outlets.

Liberty Plumbing and Septic is located in Lakeland, Florida. This team of professionals offer all kinds of plumbing solutions, bathroom remodelling services and septic services for both residential and commercial properties. All these services are conducted by reliable professionals at an affordable price. Also check out our new page on Septic Tank Backup.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Juanita_Swindell/682332
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The Best Way to Repair a Faucet

The Best Way to Repair a Faucet
By Juanita Swindell

Faucets are an inseparable part of any home and they are put to use almost every single day. Thus keeping the faucets in a working condition is important. Numerous issues can plague faucets. Sometimes they leak while at others they might make a noise.

In some cases, it might be possible to repair or fix them but at times it may become imperative for you to replace them altogether. Faucet repair becomes an important part of bathroom maintenance. A dripping faucet is one of the most common plumbing problems and one of the easiest to fix as well. Despite this, many people end up ignoring it and the issue only worsens over a period of time.

The Cost Factor

This also means additional costs and regular maintenance can resolve issues such as these. Apart from the money that you will have to spend on a new faucet, keep in mind that when you leave a leaky faucet unattended, you also end up wasting money in water. The other aspect is that water that any waste from a hot-water faucet will add to costs and you also pay for heating up water before it leaks into a drain.

Steps for Replacing a Faucet

Generally, a water faucet can be fixed simply by replacing the washer or repairing the seat. You have to follow some basic steps, regardless of which type of faucet needs to be fixed:

Turn-off the water supply and remove the faucet handle that is held to the main section of the faucet. This is held in place with a small screw and might have a plastic button or disc that has to be unsnapped.

• Now remove the handle and take a look at the faucet assembly. Use an adjustable wrench to remove the packing nut. Now twist out the spindle or the stern.

• Remove the screw that holds the washer. You can use a penetrating oil to loosen the nut if required. Examine the stem and the screw and replace it if necessary.

• Replace the old washer with one of the exact specifications Hot water faucets need special washers and the ones that are used for cold water faucets will tend to get over-expanded and will not suit the purpose.

• Now fasten the new washer to the faucet stem and reinstall the entire assembly in the reverse-order that you removed it in.

• Reinstall the handle and then replace the disc or the button. Turn-on the water supply and then check the faucet for leaks.

If you are unable to fix the faucet yourself, call in a plumber and have it replaced. You should also check if there are any other leaky faucets in any of the other bathrooms and have them fixed as well.

Call Calvert Handyman [http://www.calverthandyman.com/] for any kind of Bathroom Maintenance. They will help you with fixing leaky faucets as well. Also check out our new page on Bathroom Maintenance. Also check out our new page on Bathroom Maintenance [http://www.calverthandyman.com/BathroomRemodeling/BathroomMaintenance.aspx].

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Why Do You Need To Use Septic Tank Risers?

Why Do You Need To Use Septic Tank Risers?
By Juanita Swindell

Septic tanks help dispose of the dirty water from the house and purify it. However, for a septic tank to function efficiently, it must be maintained properly so that you do not have to suffer from clogged drains and a leaking plumbing system. Septic tank risers will help you have easier access to the area so that you can keep a check on it when necessary and also locate it easily.

Different Types of Septic Tank Risers

A septic tank riser will vary in size depending on the size of your tank. You will usually need one that is between six inches and twelve inches long with a diameter of twelve to twenty-four inches. If the container is buried deep underground, these devices may have to be stacked on top of each other.

There are three kinds of risers that you can purchase depending on the material that is used to make them.

The first and most basic option available is a concrete riser. This is usually quite heavy and it can be a little difficult to install. Concrete also suffer a lot of wear and tear so you may need to replace it often. This means that even though it is the cheapest option in the market, in the long run you may end up spending more because you will have to replace it more often than the others.

The other two options are PVC and Polyethylene risers. These are a lot more durable and they look better than the concrete ones. They are also lighter so it is easier to get them fitted to the tank. During their installation, gaskets are used in order to seal them. This makes the lids fit more securely and it prevents outside matter from getting inside the area. PVC and Polyethylene is also non-reactive to other chemicals so they don't get damaged easily and you will have to replace them very rarely.

Why Get a Riser?

A septic tank riser has two basic functions. First, it helps you locate the area. Even though this may not seem important, locating the container can often get difficult, especially when it is buried deep underground. In fact, building regulations now make it compulsory to install these accessories for all septic tanks that are located in the premises of the building. The other important function is to help you lift the lid of the container. Since these tanks are fastened securely and held down by steel screws, it can get very difficult to lift the lift without a riser. In fact, some risers are even made with structural ribs so that frost does not build on them and they can be used easily during all weather conditions.

Liberty Plumbing and Septic services offer all kinds of plumbing solutions for commercial and residential properties. Right from unclogging drains to septic tank installation and maintenance, these highly experienced plumbers ensure that every leak disappears and the entire plumbing system functions smoothly and without a problem. Also check out our new page on Septic Tank Risers.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Juanita_Swindell/682332
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What Home Spy Camera Do You Want?

What Home Spy Camera Do You Want?

Many regular homeowners want a spy camera to protect themselves from thieves and burglars. Another reason is that they may want to spy on some of their family members. Such homeowners usually do not know exactly what they want and need.

There are so many (maybe even too many... ) options on the internet so a newbie could easily get lost in the online spy world. In this article, we'll try to find out what are the options on the internet and what home spy cameras should you choose.

Outdoor Spy Cameras

If you want to protect your house from the outside, then outdoor spy cams would be your best shot. Of course, they'll be quite obvious and people will see that your house is secured. That's actually one of the reasons to put a spy camera outside. It will let burglars know that your house is protected and they'll less likely want to intrude.

If you're thinking about an outdoor camera for your house, then you'll want to consider a few options. Is it weatherproof or waterproof? If you'll use it outside, then make sure that bad weather won't break it. Also, you should think about night surveillance. Your outdoor cameras should be infrared so it could capture view in the night.

Wired spy camera will be harder to install, because of the wires. You might need to call a professional to drill the holes in your walls and place the wires conveniently in case you don't know how to do that. Wireless cameras are much easier to install outside. They don't require any cables, but you'll still need to mount them on walls or under the roof somehow. Wireless CCTV camera transmitters and receiver will do the rest.

That's very basic information about using home spy cameras outdoors. Now, let's see if you'd prefer using such cameras indoors.

Indoors Hidden Cameras

Spy cameras inside the house are also used for security purposes. In case burglars sneak in the house, your home spy cams will detect the burglars and record their moves. There are even home security systems that have alarm functions built-in.

These security systems (with or without spy cameras) have motion detection devices. These devices guard and when they detect something or someone moving, they'll turn on the alarm. It might be a sound signal, flashing lights near the house, both combinations; it might be an automatic phone call to you or your neighbors in case you're away, it might be an email to your PC or laptop. Such systems will warn you or your neighbors in case of burglary.

If you don't want to buy the whole system, you may manage with webcam and a PC. Webcams are pretty cheap. Software used to control cameras, which also have motion detection built-in are also inexpensive. Connect a camera to your PC, leave it online so you could connect to it and watch what's going on any time when you're away, and you have pretty powerful, yet cheap solution for basic home protection.

You may also buy a few wireless home spy cameras, which are connected to a VCR or DVR or PC. Multiple cameras are great if you want to secure every inch of your house. You couldn't do that with only one camera.

Hidden Home Spy Cameras

Lastly, you may want a home spy cam that isn't for security, but for spy and surveillance purposes. People use spy cameras in their houses to spy on their nannies, spouses to see if they aren't cheating, kids or guests.

In that case, you don't want you home cameras to be seen. So there are mini spy cameras used for this purpose. Such small cameras can be hidden anywhere, a baby toy, in a teddy bear, behind the book shelf, near the computer, etc... They can also be wired or wireless.

Or you may want to choose already made hidden cameras, meaning that they're already stuffed into some regular everyday objects. Such spy cams may look like lamps, flowers, books, speakers, clocks, mirrors and so on. You don't need to worry and think where to hide your cam in this case.

Well, there you go. Here are some options for home owners looking for spy cameras. If you've familiarized yourself with basic home spy camera information, you may want to go out and learn some more details about these surveillance gadgets online.

Author Bio
Are you looking for more information before buying a home spy cam? Or maybe you'd like to know more about DVR security system for home protection? Then head towards Vedosoft at:
http://www.vedosoft.com

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Are You Sure You Don't Need a CCTV Camera Monitor?

Are You Sure You Don't Need a CCTV Camera Monitor?

Surveillance cameras are one of the best ways to monitor and capture any illegal activity, such as shoplifting in stores or supermarkets, some fighting near schools, or robbery in the warehouse. But what's the use of spy cameras if you hove no monitors to see the view they transmit.

Monitors are very important when it concerns video capturing from CCTV cameras. Spy camera monitors vary in size and shape. They have different resolutions, may come in color or black-and-white, have audio options or not. So in order to get a good security camera system, not only you should look at the specifications of security cameras, but also at the monitors of spy cameras.

Of course, for basic surveillance needs, you may get away with a TV or a computer screen. However, for more professional (better image quality) surveillance camera view, you should consider a special security camera monitor.

TV Screen for Spy Camera View

Now some people decide to use their own TV for capturing spy camera view. It may be a good idea if you're not seeking to have a high quality image.

You see, spy cameras use a particular number of horizontal lines to present the image. Usually, black-and-white spy cameras have about 380 horizontal lines. Colored ones have about 330 or so horizontal lines. However, there are higher quality security cameras that use more horizontal lines to reproduce the picture.

Better quality may be achieved by purchasing 580 TV line black-and-white cameras or 460 colored TV lines security cameras. Now if you use a TV screen to represent the picture, you won't achieve high resolution image. That's because TV's have less horizontal lines than the spy camera can produce. So in order to get a quality picture, you need a better quality monitor screen.

Security Camera Monitors

Spy cam monitors offer much better resolution compared to regular TV's. You can find some monitors that handle 900 or 1000 horizontal TV lines. So you can be sure that the image quality you'll get will be maximum.

If you don't need very high resolution for gathering pictures, then you may go for a 330 or 400 TV line monitor. It will be cheaper, but will do the job. However, if the image quality is crucial for your surveillance needs, then think about better quality spy camera monitor that can handle 900 TV lines.

One other thing you should consider is color or B&W monitor. Of course, if your cameras are black-and-white, then there's no reason to use colored security camera monitor, right. But if you'll decide to use some colored cameras, then you might regret for choosing B&W monitor. Basically black-and-white cameras produce better image quality when compared to colored ones. However, in some cases, color cameras are irreplaceable.

Some monitors come with audio technology built-in. This means that a person sitting over the monitors not only can see what the camera captures, but also speak with the person near the door. For example, if someone is at the door or gate, you can see the person and say something to him using a built in loudspeaker. If the security camera contains audio too, you both can speak to each other from the distance. This is a great feature for security personnel guarding the territory.

Lastly, you may want a monitor that handles more than one camera at a time. If you're a homeowner looking for a monitor, then you may get away with one camera only. However, for larger companies, the ability to monitor many cameras at the same time is very important. Some CCTV camera monitors allow you to view 4 or even up to 16 cameras at the time using a split mode. Such monitors also allow you to switch from one camera to another, and even use a picture-in-picture view.

In Conclusion

Security camera monitors are relatively cheap. For a basic B&W model you can pay a little over $150 dollars. Better, LCD monitors may cost from $200 to $400 or little more dollars. It all depends on your needs.

If you want a color surveillance camera monitor that captures great quality view, has a built in audio equipment, allows multiple camera view, then you may perform a search on the internet and find the most suitable security camera monitor for all your needs.

Author Bio

Dan Crane, who specializes in security and surveillance industry, offers free tips and resources to homeowners and company managers about home security systems and advanced security camera systems for better home and office security and protection.

 

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Common Plumbing Repairs in Your Home

 

Common Plumbing Repairs in Your Home
By Juanita Swindell

When it comes to plumbing, the truth is that something or the other will inevitably go wrong with it at some point of time and when it does, it will take you by surprise and send you into a panic. Plumbing repairs are both very common and frustrating. However, with most plumbing issues there are usually some warning signals.

Drains choke, faucets leak and we just ignore them till the point the drain gives up, gets completely choked and you are left standing in a pool of water while you are in the shower. Or the kitchen drain might clog with all the debris that gets collected in it. The one way to avoid all this frustration is to keep a watch on all these little problems and never ignore them in the first instance. You can also buy a set of basic plumbing tools and learn how to handle some simple plumbing repairs.

Take a look at the most common plumbing issues that you might come across:

Dripping Faucets- this is a very common problem as the moving parts of faucets tend to get eroded and start leaking. Generally, replacing the O-ring helps and if that doesn't, the entire unit will have to be replaced. The one way to avoid premature damage is to handle them with care

Clogged Drains- Kitchen drains get clogged with food particles while hair and soap clog bathroom drains. Use extruders in the drains- that should keep most of the debris out and use drain cleaners on a regular basis.

Leaky Pipes- this is a common problem but not one that you might be able to easily fix yourself. Pipes are generally concealed in walls and floorings in most homes and leaky pipes can cause extensive damage to the various areas in your house. If you see a persistent damp patch on a wall or ceiling, call for a plumber and have it checked.

Running Toilets-This can be a very annoying plumbing problem that is generally accompanied by a low humming sound. The water from the flush keeps running into the tank even after it has been flushed. The ball, flapper or the chain in the flush tank may need to be replaced and a plumber can help you with that.

Leaky Water Heaters- The one effective way of dealing with this problem is to replace them. The water tends to leak from the bottom of storage tanks and this is one thing that cannot be repaired.

Apart from these issues, broken boilers and furnaces or new faucet installation and leaking toilets are all plumbing issues that might arise in your home at some time or the other. Keep the number of a reliable plumber handy to handle those emergency plumbing problems.

Liberty Plumbing and Septic can handle all types of plumbing issues. Keep an eye on leaky taps or clogged drains and never delay in attending to them. Also check out our new page on Plumbing Repairs.

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Floor Tile Size

Floor Tile Size  by Bob Urbanowski

Size matters when it comes to large format floor tiles. New ranges have recently been introduced to satisfy a demand for larger sized tiles. Large format tiles are popular because they are stylish, they can create an illusion of more space making a room feel larger, plus there is a modern chic feel to them. There are many different styles and colours available to suit most room colour schemes.

One of the largest sized tiles in stock at Tileflair (https://www.tileflair.co.uk/category-is-floor-tiles/) is the 1000 x 500 mm Maxima tile range. This size may be what your client is seeking, especially if size is the most important factor. But it is also important how you use it (the tile that is), the surface being tiled may not be able to support and cope with such a large tile. We class 600 x 300 mm tiles as large format, which may still create the desired effect. It is always best to double check if the surface you are fixing tiles to is suitable for the weight of the tile.

This significant increase of large format tiles has encouraged companies such as Rubi to adapt the techniques and tools used when laying down tiles to make the job easier...

Large format tiles do, generally, weigh more than normal tiles and, therefore, it is important to take some personal precautions. The use of a lumbar protector and knee pads will reduce tiredness and lower the risk of physical damage. Large format tiles and especially glazed porcelain floor tiles are more difficult to cut, therefore the use of a tile cutter specifically for this purpose should be used.

When laying down large format tiles, it is more difficult to reach all the tiles to correct levelling. In these cases, the rubber mallets with long handle will allow the user to reach easily those more remote areas (including those tiles already laid down) in order to retouch or verify their position and levelling.

Support and application of adhesive mortar: When laying down large format tiles, the base support must be a completely flat surface, because these materials must be laid down by using the "fine layer" technique (on occasions the "medium layer" technique). For this reason, it is necessary to use a notched trowel when applying the adhesive material. Normally, it is recommended to apply a double layer of adhesive mortar, however, if the tiles are going to be placed on walls the application of a double layer of mortar is essential.

Manipulation: Manipulation of tiles of great format is substantially improved by using DOUBLE or TRIPLE suction pads. Thanks to these tools, rectifying the position of the tile or checking the adhesiveness ofthe adhesive mortar is made a lot easier.

Alignment and joints: With the exception of rectified tiles, large format tiles normally present small dimensional variations however this can easily be corrected by using spacers and "T"-shaped spacers in the joints.

Levelling: Due to the large surface covered by each tile, the lack of level between tiles is a habitual problem when laying down this type of tile. In order to make this task easier RUBI manufactures the RUBI Tile Level, a new and quick levelling system, designed exclusively to be used when laying down large format tiles. The RUBI Tile Level allows the user to improve the levelling of the surface, avoid the movement of the tiles during hardening and make the process much quicker.

Specific adhesives are available for laying large format floor tiles, for example BAL Stone and Tile ptb. Large format tile adhesives (compared to normal adhesives) are thicker, stronger and more flexible to cope with the larger sized tiles and also allow for underfloor heating. Speak to your tile supplier for technical advice.

Other sizes of floor tiles are of course available. Popular floor tile sizes include 300 x 300mm, 333 x 333mm, 400 x 400mm, as well as modular floor patterns. Modular floor patterns can consist of 3 or 4 different sized floor tiles that fit together in a uniform pattern (usually 1 metre squared) that is repeated across the area of the floor being tiled. Modular floor patterns vary the grout lines and the different sizes of floor tiles add variation, creativity and style to the floor. It is a popular choice to have a natural stone or natural stone effect modular floor pattern in a country or rustic style kitchen. Other styles are available as well. It is common and useful to purchase modular floor pattern in a metre squared box, so that you do not have to calculate how many of each sized tile you require. All good tile shops or tile distributors will have modular floor patterns to give you and will work out how many tiles you will require for the area you are tiling. Examples of modular tile ranges at Tileflair include ST/ONE, Toscano, MarmiAntichi, Tivoli and Himalaya.

Bob Urbanowski works for Tileflair, who are experts in wall and floor tiles and have local stores and an online store. Tileflair has a range of kitchen tiles, bathroom tiles, floor tiles, wall tiles, mosaic, decorative, border tiles, ceramic, porcelain and glass tiles to suit all tastes and budgets.

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