Ask Danny | Ep. 7: Talking Tile With ‘That Tile Chick’

Ask Danny | Ep. 7: Talking Tile With ‘That Tile Chick’

Danny Lipford and Shannon Yodice, That Tile Chick
Danny Lipford chats with Shannon Yodice, a.k.a. “That Tile Chick” in this week’s episode of The Ask Danny Podcast.

On this week’s episode of “Ask Danny,” Schannon Yodice, also known as “That Tile Chick” on Instagram, has all the answers to your tile questions. 

Schannon is a tile contractor who specializes in tile installation and design. She worked on tile projects part-time until August 2020, when she took the leap of faith to go into setting tile full-time. Since then, she’s grown her social media into her own business.

Read on to learn more about all things tile.


Exposed wood plank subfloor
Very rarely is it OK to glue tile directly to a wood subfloor. (joshuaraineyphotography, Getty Images)

Flooring Matters

Can you glue tile directly onto a wood subfloor?

That Tile Chick: Technically, you can do it, but you have to have a certain thickness and the joist spacing needs to be correct. It’s not recommended.

Always use an uncoupling membrane over a wood subfloor, like one from Schluter Ditra.


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Tile installed over ceramic tile
This beautiful, marbled tile was installed right over ceramic tiles. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Tiling Over Ceramic

Can you install tile over existing ceramic tile

That Tile Chick: It depends. This is where people can get confused. Some say it’s fine to do so while others say no. 

Here’s a good rule to follow: The tile you’re installing is only as good as what it’s stuck to. 

So, if you are setting new tile on top of ceramic tile that’s in bad shape, your new tile installation will likely fail. 

If the ceramic tile has a solid base, like it was set mud bed, and there aren’t any cracks or loose tiles, you can probably tile over it. But, you have to prime it with a product made for tiling over tile. I use Mapei ECO Prim Grip. Roll on two coats, and always follow the instructions. 


Patio with outdoor tile
Durable porcelain tile is best for the outdoors. (stevecoleimages, Getty Images Signature)

Tips for Outdoor Tiling

What are your tips for installing outdoor tile?

That Tile Chick: Always use porcelain tile. It’s much more durable than ceramic, so it won’t crack as easily.  

If you are in an area prone to freeze-thaw, you must use a thin-set mortar or an adhesive that is rated for outdoors. Not all adhesives are rated for outdoors, so if you use one that isn’t, your tile could pop up from the surface.

Prep the surface well. Many outdoor surfaces, like concrete patios or porches, are sloped away from the house, so you won’t get a truly level surface. Fill in any dips or low spots with a concrete patching compound so water doesn’t pool under the tile.

Use an anti-fracture membrane, like RedGard Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane. It’s like liquid plastic that protects the surface from cracking and transferring to tile. 


cleaning tile grout with a grout sponge
Cleaning grout takes some time and patience. (OwensPrice, Getty Images Signature)

Cleaning Grout

After grouting tile, what are some tips for easy cleanup

That Tile Chick: I like to use what I call the two-bucket system. One is the “clean bucket” and the other the “dirty bucket.” Here’s how it works:

  • Fill two buckets with water
  • Wet your grout sponge in one bucket, and wipe up the excess grout
  • Then, wring your dirty sponge into the other bucket to rinse away the grout
  • Rewet your sponge in the clean water bucket, and repeat

It’s near impossible to have no grout haze while grouting, especially with acrylic and epoxy grout. However, this method will alleviate that. 

Once the grout is dry, use a grout haze remover. I use Bostik Blaze Urethane Grout Haze Remover

While we’re on the topic of cleaning grout, here’s a tip you should know: When cleaning any tile surface, always use a pH-neutral cleaner, like ZEP Neutral Floor Cleaner or Bona Cleaners for Stone, Tile and Laminate Floors.

Because grout is porous, bleach and vinegar will eat away at it over time and also leave a film that will attract dirt. 


Above all, read the instruction, That Tile Chick says!
Above all, read the instruction, That Tile Chick says! (Jupiterimages, Photo Images)

Most Common Mistake

What are the biggest mistakes homeowners make when installing tile?

That Tile Chick: Not reading instructions. Every product out there has a data sheet that will tell you its limitations. This gives you factual information, not opinions. 

Always follow manufacturer recommendations — they’ve created the product, tested it and know its limitation. 

I’m going to listen to them over someone on YouTube. It’s great to get an opinion but always double-check with the manufacturer. 


Black cat
When doing home improvement projects, always keep an eye on the cat. (bakan, Pixabay)

Watch Out For Pets

That Tile Chick: I work a lot in other people’s homes, and in those homes, people have pets. I love animals and interacting with them while I work, but you need to keep an eye on them. 

We were working on a shower in a home with a cat. Keep in mind, when you’re working on a shower, you’re typically opening up a subfloor to remove plumbing. 

When we were done for the day, we put a piece of plywood over the opening so the homeowner’s children wouldn’t accidentally fall in. 

The next morning, when we removed the plywood, out came this black blob. The cat was trapped in the subfloor overnight! 

It was a wake-up call for me as a contractor. As much as I love animals, I couldn’t imagine being responsible for harming them. 

Learn more about Schannon Yodice, “That Tile Chick,” on her website and see her projects on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.


Further Reading


Ask a Question! (Podcast)

Ask a question and we could answer it on the “Today’s Homeowner Podcast!” We also may use it on our nationally syndicated radio broadcast or on todayshomeowner.com.

Backyard Paradise: Open Floor Plan for the Great Outdoors

Backyard Paradise: Open Floor Plan for the Great Outdoors

This week, we’re in Charlotte, North Carolina, to create a beautiful outdoor area for our Backyard Paradise contest winners.

Courtney Claugus was selected as the lucky winner of our Backyard Paradise contest, so we’re giving her and her husband Adam’s backyard a makeover with help from our friends at Quikrete and Pavestone.

Read on to learn about some of the projects we tackled. 


Pavestone Avant XL paver patios in greystone
These large, gray linear pavers complement the Claugus’ contemporary home. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Build Two Paver Patios

Two is better than one! And in this, case, two paver patios offer more space for outdoor living! 

We designate one patio for seating and another for dining — like an open floor plan for the great outdoors.  

Crews from Quikrete, Pavestone and a local construction company build the dual patio setup. The first patio extends from the existing concrete patio, and the second is on the other side of the house. 

Worker uses compacter to compact paver base for a patio
Paver base provides a solid foundation and also raises the pavers to be even with the concrete patio. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

They first lay out the footprint for the patios, then add four inches of paver base to establish the foundation.

Level running over paver sand
Leveling the paver sand ensures an even patio surface. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

After compacting the paver base, they add one inch of paver sand, then use a level to make the surface even.

Worker laying Pavestone Avant XL pavers
Workers use a string to ensure the lines stay even throughout the length of the patio. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

The patios are built with Pavestone’s Avant XL pavers. These large, 16-by-16-inch patio stones have the look of large format plank pavers. The false joints on the gray pavers create clean lines, so they go well with Adam and Courtney’s contemporary-style home. To add some line variety, the crew rotated each paver to create crisscrossed lines.

Paver patio border edging
Smaller pavers create a border around the large pavers. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Once the large pavers are laid, the crew marks a line where the border will begin and cut it with a concrete saw. Then, they lay the smaller border pavers in a soldier course pattern. 

Brush pushing sand over paver patio
Just like grout color matters when laying tile, paver sand color makes a difference on a patio. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

The last step is filling the joints. We use a granite screening to complement the pavers as well as the house’s color. for fine. 

Stepping patio stones next to a concrete slab and flower border
These matching pavers create stepping stones to unite the two patios. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

After the patios are complete, we place a few pavers between them to create stepping stones, so the two are united.


Pavestone Rumblestone outdoor fireplace
The outdoor fireplace becomes the perfect focal point for this seating area. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Build Outdoor Fireplace

Every seating area needs a focal point, so we build an outdoor fireplace.

We use Pavestone’s Rumblestone Outdoor Fireplace Kit in Greystone. Before we assemble the fireplace, we lay eight inches of paver base, compacting it in layers, so we have a sturdy foundation.  

Building this fireplace is simple because the kit includes a set of color-coded drawings that detail which blocks go where on each step.

Rumblestone fireplace blocks with adhseive
The fireplace is held together just by the weight of the stones and some construction adhesive. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

We don’t need any mortar to build this fireplace because the blocks are held in place using Quikrete Advanced Polymer Construction Adhesive.

Wood mantel on a Pavestone Rumblestone outdoor fireplace
Pavestone representative Chris Claire found this wood mantel at his mother’s home. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Once the fireplace is built, we add a mantel using a recycled piece of wood. It softens up the hard edges of the stone and warms up the space.


Shade sail over paver patio and outdoor dining table
We install the shade sail hooks on the house slightly higher than the ones on the post so we can match the slope of the home’s roof. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Install Shade Sail

The paver patio for dining offers little shade, so we install a shade sail to make the area more comfortable.

First, we dig holes for our two 6-by-6 posts that will support the shade sail. We set wood posts in the ground using Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete, then surround them with pavers to match the patio.

Brush staining cedar wood plank
This stain matches the existing outside columns. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

To match the posts to the house columns, we stain pieces of rough-sawn cedar and wrap them over the wood columns. Before we nail the wood over the posts, we add some spacers to keep the cedar planks from bowing. Wrapping these 6-by-6 posts not only makes them look larger, but it also hides the cracks that are inevitable with solid posts. 

Danny Lipford drills a wood beam for a shade sail
The top horizontal beam unites the two posts. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

To join the two columns, we build a horizontal box beam with longer pieces of 1-by-8-inch cedar on the ground before we lift it into place.

Next, we attach two hooks to the top of the posts for half of our shade sail, then attach another two to the side of the house for the other two corners of the shade sail.

Then, we install those hooks slightly higher to give the shade sail a slope and match the angle of the roof. 

Watch: Installing a Shade Sail 


Danny Lipford and Chelsea Lipford Wolf with Backyard Paradise winners Adam and Courtney Claugus and their dog Kendrick.
Danny Lipford and Chelsea Lipford Wolf with Backyard Paradise winners Adam and Courtney Claugus and their dog Kendrick. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Post-Production Thoughts

Courtney and Adam had a nice backyard, but they didn’t have much outdoor living space to enjoy it. With just a small covered concrete pad and a couple of chairs, their outdoor entertaining well was pretty limited.

Backyard with small concrete patio
Adam and Courtney had a big backyard but little room for entertaining. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Now they have not one but two great Pavestone patios that offer plenty of space for entertainment. One is just the right size for outdoor dining under the cover of the shade sail we added, and the other offers a massive space to relax with friends.

backyard with two paver patios and a shade sail
By adding two paver patios, we’ve more than doubled the outdoor entertaining space in this backyard. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

The Rumblestone fireplace adds a focal point with loads of character and is bound to be very popular on those chilly nights. Plus, the large format pavers complement the contemporary home’s color and character.


Special Thanks


Other Tips From This Episode


Products Featured in This Episode

Patios

Fireplace

Shade Sail

Decor

Other items


Further Reading

Nexgrill’s Smart Grill Makes Grilling Easier Than Ever

Nexgrill’s Smart Grill Makes Grilling Easier Than Ever

If you upgrade to a smart grill, you can become a barbecue boss.

Read on to learn how new technology can take your grilling game up a level.


metal tongs picking up hot charcoal
Charcoal grills require constant monitoring to keep the temperature even. (Martin Bohac, Pexels)

The Downside of Traditional Grills

With charcoal grills, it’s difficult to maintain a steady temperature. You frequently have to add more charcoal to keep the heat at the temperature you need. 

Even with heat-efficient propane grills, you’re constantly monitoring your food so you don’t overcook it or burn it to bits. 

And with both, there’s no room for multi-tasking — the food requires your undivided attention. 


Temperature display on the Nexgrill Neevo 720 Propane Gas Digital Smart Grill
The Nexgrill Neevo 720 Propane Gas Digital Smart Grill maintains a consistent temperature throughout the grilling process. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

The Perks of a Smart Grill

The Nexgrill Neevo 720 Propane Gas Digital Smart Grill takes the guesswork out of grilling. It grills, sears and bakes with epic precision. 


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The state-of-the-art LED touch-screen control panel operates on a finely tuned algorithm that can maintain even cooking temperatures for hours. That means no more fiddling with knobs to maintain your grill’s internal temperature. 

Because it’s wifi-connected, you can remotely monitor and control your food temperature through the Nexgrill app equipped with NEX-fi.

All you need to do is insert the digital thermometer probes into your food and choose your temperature. Set the grill on a timer or have it will shut off when the food reaches the exact temperature that you desire. 

Now, you’re free to do whatever else you need! Prepare side dishes inside without having to walk out to check on the grill every few minutes. Or break free from behind the grill to mingle with guests. 

The Nexgrill app also offers recipes, grilling tips and a community to share your experiences with other grillers. 

Wi-fi not working? No worries! The Neevo 720 Smart Grill can also fire up the old-fashioned way — with no app or automation required. 


Nexgrill Neevo 720 Propane Gas Digital Smart Grill
Two side shelves offer added prep space. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

More About Nexgrill Neevo 720 Smart Grill

The Neevo 720 Smart Grill has just over 455 square inches of total cooking space, 44,000 BTUs of total cooking power, and a removable grease tray for easy cleaning. 

Preset modes include auto-warm and self-cleaning — just like your kitchen oven!

Two side shelves offer added prep space, and moving the grill around is easy with its two-caster and two-wheel configuration. 

Watch the video to learn all about this Best New Product!

Find the Nexgrill Neevo 720 Propane Gas Digital Smart Grill at The Home Depot.


Further Reading

Bench Plans: Stylish Garden Seating with a Plant Shelf

Bench Plans: Stylish Garden Seating with a Plant Shelf

Plant shelf/bench combo with free plans
This plant shelf/bench combo is perfect for patios and decks. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Free bench plans are now available for Tips for Today’s Homeowner newsletter subscribers.

This two-in-one seating option offers space for guests AND plants! No green thumb? No problem. Use the plant shelf as a countertop — it’s the perfect height to pull up a chair and set your drink down.

Subscribe to the Tips for Today’s Homeowner newsletter for the full plans.

Subscribe to our weekly Tips for Today’s Homeowner newsletter below (it’s free) and get the bench plans now! You’ll receive the latest Today’s Homeowner TV episodes, contests and giveaways, how-to tips, radio shows, podcasts, Best New Products and Simple Solutions.


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The plant shelf is wide enough for large planters. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

ABOUT THE PROJECT: We first featured this bench project on the Today’s Homeowner TV episode titled, “Expanding a Patio for Entertaining” in Season 24.

Homeowner Corrina Murray loves her plants just as much as she loves spending time in her backyard with her family.

However, her collection of container plants was cramping her outdoor entertaining space. So, we built her this bench that unites her love for both!

And now you can build the same bench with our plans. Enjoy!


Further Reading

Previous articleSnakes Could Be Hiding in Your Pool Noodles

Backed by his 40-year remodeling career, Danny served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for more than a decade. His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home – from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons.

Simplifying Summer Home Maintenance

Simplifying Summer Home Maintenance

Pressure washing a wood fence for summer home maintenance
A quick pressure wash will make your fence look brand new. (RoschetzkkylstockPhoto, Getty Images Pro)

Home maintenance is a year-round event, but some tasks just make more sense to do in the summer.

Our 4 Seasons of Homeownership Summer Checklist, which divides must-do tasks by the time of year, is a great way to stay on top of your home maintenance projects.

With help from our friends at The Home Depot, we’ve compiled this list of timely chores to keep your house clean and comfortable.

Listen to this special-edition Today’s Homeowner Podcast, and follow along below, to learn all about the top summer home maintenance projects!


Accumulair titanium mini pleat air conditioner filter
Changing the air conditioner filter makes your AC work better to keep you cooler. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

1. Change AC & Heating System Filters

Regularly changing your HVAC system’s filters is important because a dirty filter will slow down and strain your system. It should take about two to three minutes to take out your old filter and put in a new one.

Also, once your filter is out, go ahead and vacuum the cavity in case of dust build-up.


Shop vac vacuuming out an AC drain line during the home for home maintenance
Make sure to flush out the AC drain line to prevent damage. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

2. Flush Out AC Drain Line

Your AC drain line can get blocked with mold and mildew, causing its pan to overflow. Flush it with bleach twice during the summer, when it’s working at its hardest. 


Loose bottom rail on a step railing
Check your railings for any weak spots. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

3. Check for Loose Railings or Damage on Wooden Decks 

Changing weather can take a toll on your deck. Nails and screws can loosen during the temperature change and splinters can pop up once the heat rises.

Inspect and repair any damage to your deck so you can have some safe fun in the sun. Top it off with a coat of sealer to keep it protected all summer long.


Leaning fence resting on a tree
Fixing a leaning fence isn’t as complicated as it might appear to be. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

 4. Inspect Fencing & Gates for Damage

Look for rotting and damage and check your posts’ sturdiness. If any boards are warped, replace them with new ones.

Now is also a great time to pressure wash your fence and apply a fresh coat of stain.


Charcoal on fire on a grill
Keep your grill clean for a great-tasting barbecue. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

5. Clean & Inspect Outdoor Grill

Cleaning your grill will not take away any of your food’s flavor, but it will get rid of any nasty germs and fire hazards.

Whether you have a gas or charcoal grill, scrub away any drippings using aluminum foil and white vinegar.


Two rocking chairs on a brick paver patio
Regularly cleaning outdoor furniture extends its lifespan. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

6. Clean Outdoor Furniture

Regularly clean your outdoor furniture — especially if it’s wood.

Check for any loose parts or rot (if it’s wood). If you have cushions, be sure to wash them. In addition, if your cushions get wet from rain, be sure to hang them out to dry on a sunny day to avoid mold.

If you do this on a regular basis, it makes it a lot easier to keep everything clean.


A whitewashed brick fireplace
Your fireplace will be ready for winter if you have it inspected this summer. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

7. Have Chimney Inspected & Cleaned

Now’s a great time to have a professional inspect your fireplace and chimney because you aren’t using them during the summer. 

Plus, you’ll have more time for repairs if needed.


Paint peeling from wood siding
Scrape off peeling paint and put on a fresh coat for an exterior refresh. (mehampson, Getty Images)

8. Scrape Loose Paint from Siding & Trim

Boost your home’s curb appeal by freshening up siding. Scrape away any loose paint, sand if needed, then prime and paint on a fresh coat. 

If it’s an older paint, be sure to test it for lead as a precaution.


Row of windows in a sunroom
Clean your windows regularly so they sparkle. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

9. Clean Windows

Mix 1 teaspoon of baby shampoo to 1 gallon of water, or 1-1/2 cups of vinegar to 1 gallon of water, and wipe windows down with newspaper for a streak-free shine.

Involve family members and tag-team to speed things up! Have one person clean the windows inside while another cleans the outside. 


10. Pull Weeds & Add Mulch

Rake over brown mulch next to decorative grass
Mulch keeps moisture inside flower beds and inhibits weed growth. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Finally, summer blooms are burgeoning! Now is the perfect time to pull any weeds from garden beds and prevent further weed growth by adding 2 to 3 inches of mulch

Listen to this special-edition Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more summer home maintenance tips!


Further Reading