Crown Molding Caulk Cracking – Get It Done – Ask THE Handyman St Louis

I’ve recently noticed that the crown molding in my home has a gap at the top where it was caulked.  It hasn’t done this before.

After crown molding is installed, it is caulked at the top and bottom, to hide the gap.  Occasionally, this may need to be recaulked.  The changes in temperatures will cause the caulk to expand and contract, especially if this area is along an outside wall.  In addition, if the caulk has been there for a number of years, it just may be time to recaulk the area.

In some cases, if the gaps are minor, the caulking can just be touched up, or applied over the old caulk, without having to remove any of the caulk.  This makes the job much easier.  In applying new caulk, it is best to use a caulk with silicone, as it will stretch somewhat, helping withstand the temperature variations.  If your current caulk is white, you may not need to touch the area up with paint after the caulk is applied.  However, if the crown molding is a different color and the caulk was painted, you’ll need to make sure that you use a paintable silicone caulk.

If you have to remove the old caulk, begin by laying a drop cloth on the floor, then use a razor knife to cut the old caulk out.  Be careful not to cut into the drywall or the crown molding itself.  Once the caulking is out, you’re ready to add new caulk.  If you haven’t caulked before, a word of caution: apply a minimal amount of caulk when you begin.  Applying too much caulk (cutting too much off the caulk tube nozzle) will create a mess and will cause more work at the end, along with the job not looking professional.  After the caulk is applied, run your finger along the joint to smooth it out.  Although this may not be clean and fun, this finishing touch is what makes the job look good.

Let the caulk dry, and if needed, you’re ready to paint the caulk.  If you’re not great at painting such a small line, consider using an artist’s brush.  It can make things much easier and neater.

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Pedestal Sink – Get It Done – Ask THE Handyman St Louis

We’re considering changing our bathroom vanity to a pedestal sink. Is this possible without redoing the whole bathroom?

Good question, but the answer depends on several things.

Basically, most any bathroom vanity can be changed to a pedestal sink. However, there are definitely things to be aware of. First item to note is the flooring. Does the flooring (tile, carpet, etc) extend under the vanity? In most cases, it won’t, which means when you remove the vanity and install the pedestal, you’re going to have to deal with the floor repair. If it is an older home, trying to match the older floor tile can be an impossible task. If the bathroom is carpeted, you have a better chance of making a seamless repair, but this will have to be done by a professional. If the bathroom is small, it might be just as easy to replace all of the carpeting. If by chance your tile or carpeting does extend under the vanity, then you won’t have to deal with these issues.

However, if your walls are tiled around the vanity, in most cases the walls will not be tiled behind the vanity, which means you’re going to also have to deal with the wall repair, just like the flooring.

Be certain to measure the height of the pedestal you’re thinking about. If by chance you have a mirror just above the vanity, this could become another issue you have to deal with.

If the above issues aren’t a problem, you may be good to go, but there are still some things to think about. Your water supply valves which are under the vanity can sometimes be too far apart from each other, so that when the pedestal is installed, you can see these shut-off valves. Ideally, you want these valves to be about 6” away from each other, so that they are hidden by the pedestal. The same thing holds for the drain pipe. Sometimes the drain line isn’t centered in the vanity, which means that the drain won’t be directly behind the pedestal and will stick out like a sore thumb. Both of these issues can be corrected, but unless you know what you’re doing, it would be best for these to be done by a professional.

I hope I haven’t talked you out of your project, but you want to be aware of all of the issues that might come up. Many times, a small improvement such as this can turn in to a much larger job.