How to restore laminate floors

08/01/2014 7:00 AM

08/02/2014 8:16 PM

I have a laminate floor on which a liquid covering has been placed. Alas! Now it has smudged and spotted. I think I need to strip it back to the original surface. Suggestions for a product? I fear that anything too liquid will seep through the seams and raise the laminate surface.

Liquid covering is a primitive term for any finish: polyurethane varnish, old-fashioned varnish, wax, shellac and others I don’t even know about. Maybe you smudged and spotted it by walking on it before it hardened. At any rate, if the laminate surface is wood, sand it very lightly to get rid of those blotches and spots and apply two coats of a water-based polyurethane varnish. If it is some kind of plastic, clean it with a strong detergent.

Fighting flies

Just like clockwork every summer when it gets warm, I get a lot of black flies. This has been going on for at least four years. Some are small, but this year they are big. I kill six to eight flies a day, sometimes more. How can I get rid of them? They seem to stay by the kitchen window.

They might be ordinary house flies. Kill them and put up flypaper as well. Don’t use insecticides inside the house.

They could also be cluster flies, which tend to hang around windows seeking warmth. But appearing in midsummer is not typical of cluster flies, which are born and come out of the ground in late August. It’s a tough time to be born, because they must seek shelter soon to keep alive as the cold weather descends. So they stay warm by clustering on windows, especially in attics. Kill them as you would ordinary house flies. There is no magic wand.

Door dilemma

I want to replace my front door. I thought I could just buy a door, pop the pins, and put it in on my own. Not the case. I’ve been told that I need to buy a door and frame and that since I have side lights, I would need to buy the whole unit.

What is really necessary to replace, and tell me what would be a good, low-maintenance, weatherproof door to select. I now have a metal door with sidelights, and windows on the door have lost their seal.

You need to buy only a door. Ask for the Brosco catalog. It contains many kinds of doors, including wood, which is what you want. The proprietor should find you a wood door; it may come with things you don’t need, but that is OK. Be sure to tell the proprietor the exact size and thickness of the old door. And remember, the beauty of wood is that it can be trimmed to fit, if necessary.

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