Today’s Homeowner Radio Podcast | October 8, 2022

This week, hear how to insulate around recessed lighting, plus the best options for vinyl floor underlayment. (3 Echoes Content Studio/psahota, Getty Images)


Hour 1

Hear underlayment options for vinyl plank flooring, a tip for insulating around recessed lights, and more.


Underlayment for Vinyl Plank Flooring

vinyl plank flooring with a cork underlayment
The proper underlayment for vinyl plank flooring will block out moisture and serve as insulation. (psahota, Getty Images)

Paul in Illinois wants to replace the carpet on the lower level of his tri-level home with vinyl plank flooring. This level is on a concrete slab, and the floor gets very cold in the wintertime.

He wants to know if he can put a quarter-inch or half-inch high-density foam board under the flooring to act as insulation between the concrete floor and the flooring.

“Will that cause problems with trapping moisture under that?” he asks.

Having existing carpet there will be a pretty good test of moisture accumulation. If you pull the carpet up and don’t see signs of moisture damage, he should be fine.

In terms of putting anything dense over the slab, any layer will certainly help insulate it a little bit. A quarter-inch underlayment, glued and screwed down properly, will work well, and some would even say it’s overkill.

Check with the vinyl floor manufacturer first. Some are very specific about what types of underlayment to use. Some will allow a very thin underlayment, no more than an eighth of an inch, and others don’t recommend one.

Vinyl plank flooring doesn’t have

Read More

Choosing Grout Colors: How to Find The Best Color For Your Tile

Kitchen stove and range hood with white tile backsplash
Light grout color makes this kitchen tile backsplash blend in seamlessly with the surrounding wall. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

With so many grout colors available, choosing the best one for your project can be challenging.

This post is sponsored by Custom Building Products.

Aesthetically speaking, one of the most important decisions when choosing grout is whether it will blend with or stand out from the tile.

Light grout between light tiles can make your installation look like a single uniform piece — ideal for minimalist design. On the other hand, contrasting dark grout with light tiles makes a bold statement.

To pick grout color based on the impact you want your finished design to have, consider the following:

In This Article


Multi-colored accent tile in white subway tile
Choose grout color based on the tiles’ style and design. (MultimediaDean/Getty Images)

Tile Design

Consider the tile’s characteristics and appearance. Then, answer these questions to ensure a successful installation:

  • Are the tiles patterned or do they have a solid color? With patterned tile, pick a grout color that best matches the tile edges so the pattern isn’t interrupted.
  • Are they natural stone or manufactured ceramic? For more contrast with natural stone tile, pick a darker color to highlight the dark veins.
  • If it is glass tile, is it transparent or opaque? White grout accentuates clear, iridescent and translucent glass tile.
  • Are there mosaic sheets or accents, and do they contain differently-colored tiles? Pick a neutral grout that works well with all the colors, or try a
Read More

Ask Danny | Ep. 15: Fire Safety Tips Straight From the Experts


October is National Fire Prevention Month, so this week, I’m chatting with Capt. Dwight Smith and Steven Millhouse with Mobile Fire-Rescue in Alabama about their top fire safety tips for homeowners.


Firefighters outside of a burning home
Once you’ve escaped a house fire, never go back inside to retrieve any items. (davelogan, Getty Images Signature)

Fire Safety Plan

How do you put together a fire safety plan?

Stephen: The first thing is to actually have a plan. Many don’t even consider it until an emergency happens. You want to have a plan in place especially if you have small children or elderly people living with you as well.

  • Know the sound of the smoke alarm.
  • Practice escaping the home safely.
  • Know your means of egress, whether it’s the nearest door or window if you have a multi-story home.
  • Let your children practice crawling. You can make it like a game to make it fun for them.
  • Have a safe meeting spot outside, whether it’s the mailbox, a big tree at the end of the driveway, or a neighbor’s house.
  • Get out and stay out. Don’t run back in for pets, photo albums or anything like that. Call 911 and let the professionals do their job.

Dwights: To expand on having children practice crawling, making it like a game also makes it a reality to them because it makes them familiar with what they need to do.

Direct them to feel on doors, and tell them if it feels hot, then they should go to the window.

Read More