Masonry

Cleaning Travertine Tile

Tile comes in an amazingly wide variety of materials and colors. One popular choice for flooring and bathroom walls is travertine. It is a building material that has been used for thousands of years; in fact the Colosseum in Rome was constructed from travertine. Although it is durable and attractive, the softness of travertine (relative to other natural stones), and it’s rough, porous surface texture make it one of the more difficult stones to keep clean. Travertine tiles in a shower can be especially challenging.

Sealing

Hydraulic Cement

By definition, a hydraulic cement is any cement which hardens and sets when chemically reacting with water; this includes Portland cement. In actual use, however, the term is used to refer to cements which expand as they dry and are used to fill cracks and holes in cement structures. The type of cement being referred to is more properly called Calcium sulfoaluminate cement.

The applicable specification standard for hydraulic cement is ASTM C1157 / C1157M – 09 “Standard Performance Specification for Hydraulic Cement”, while the specification for rapid hardening hydraulic cements is ASTM C1600 / C1600M -08.

How to Cut Concrete

Nearly every construction project involves some form of cutting concrete. You can rent the necessary tools from many home supply centers. There are many different kinds of concrete cutting.

Concrete dust is potentially damaging to the lung, sinuses and eyes. Concrete dust also becomes corrosive and abrasive, and may damage surrounding finishes. The two most common dust control methods are wet cutting where the dust is collected in the cooling water and pneumatic devices that pull the dust away in an air stream.

Diamond Cutting Blades

Brick Driveway

Brick Driveway Edging IdeaA great job for the DIY/home enthusiast is to build a brick driveway. To withstand the daily pressure of being used as a drive the bricks used here are actually concrete blocks, that are available in a variety of colors and sizes with specially designed edging and cornerstones also being available; these edging and corner bricks are frequently in a contrasting color to the main brick-work. They can be arranged in a variety of patterns known as herringbone, angled herringbone, basketweave and stretcher bond.

Precast Brick Siding

Precast brick siding, whether you call it mortarless brick siding, brick veneer or just brick siding, it is all the same thing. There are different types, but the concept is basically the same. Precast brick siding is just about the same thing as a layer of thin bricks on the outside of your home.

While not quite as long-lasting and durable as regular brick, precast brick siding is a very good alternative to real brick and you cannot really tell the difference to look at it. Like bricks themselves, precise brick siding is fired clay. The brick siding comes in all sorts of earthlike colors that make it a highly desirable siding option for many home owners.

Pros and Cons