13 Best Reference How-to & Home Improvement

List Updated August 2020

Bestselling Reference How-to & Home Improvement in 2020


100 Things Every Homeowner Must Know: How to Save Money, Solve Problems and Improve Your Home

100 Things Every Homeowner Must Know: How to Save Money, Solve Problems and Improve Your Home
BESTSELLER NO. 1 in 2020
  • Reader s Digest Association

Black & Decker The Book of Home How-To: The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair & Improvement

Black & Decker The Book of Home How-To: The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair & Improvement
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2020
  • Cool Springs Press

Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining

Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2020
  • ABRAMS

How to Diagnose and Fix Everything Electronic, Second Edition

How to Diagnose and Fix Everything Electronic, Second Edition
BESTSELLER NO. 4 in 2020
  • MCGRAW-HILL Professional

Remodel: Without Going Bonkers or Broke

Remodel: Without Going Bonkers or Broke
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2020

Black & Decker Complete Guide to Wiring, 6th Edition: Current with 2014-2017 Electrical Codes

Black & Decker Complete Guide to Wiring, 6th Edition: Current with 2014-2017 Electrical Codes
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2020
  • Black Decker The Complete Guide to Wiring Updated 6th Edition Current with 2014 2017 Electrical Codes Black Decker Complete Guide

Nuclear War Survival Skills: Lifesaving Nuclear Facts and Self-Help Instructions

Nuclear War Survival Skills: Lifesaving Nuclear Facts and Self-Help Instructions
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2020

The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling, 3rd Edition

The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling, 3rd Edition
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2020
  • Used Book in Good Condition

When The Grid Goes Down, Disaster Preparations and Survival Gear For Making Your Home Self-Reliant

When The Grid Goes Down, Disaster Preparations and Survival Gear For Making Your Home Self-Reliant
BESTSELLER NO. 9 in 2020

Dare to Repair: A Do-it-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home

Dare to Repair: A Do-it-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home
BESTSELLER NO. 10 in 2020

The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair: 2000 Color How-To Photos (Black & Decker Home Improvement Library)

The Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair: 2000 Color How-To Photos (Black & Decker Home Improvement Library)
BESTSELLER NO. 11 in 2020
  • Used Book in Good Condition

Black & Decker The Book of Home Improvement: The Most Popular Remodeling Projects Shown in Full Detail

Black & Decker The Book of Home Improvement: The Most Popular Remodeling Projects Shown in Full Detail
BESTSELLER NO. 12 in 2020
  • COOL SPRINGS

Big Book of Home How-To P (Better Homes and Gardens) (Better Homes and Gardens Home)

Big Book of Home How-To P (Better Homes and Gardens) (Better Homes and Gardens Home)
BESTSELLER NO. 13 in 2020

Home Improvement Tips: Common Poured Concrete Finishes

Concrete finishes greatly affect the overall look of your concrete pour. Choosing the right on for the job will depend on your skill level, the function of the concrete, and the aesthetic you wish to create. Here are some of the main finishes and how they are created.

Steel trowel

A steel trowel finish is the preferred type for indoor uses. Perfectly smooth, it is carefully worked to produce a uniform finish with a trowel that can then be stained and sealed. However, homeowners considering this surface should be aware that a steel trowel surface can be slick when wet, so it is often inappropriate for large areas of outdoor use.

Wooden float

A wooden float finish creates a semi rough surface that provides enough traction for outdoor use. This finish is commonly found in most outdoor floors as it is easy to create as well as easy to clean. It is created with a float that smooths most of the surface of the pour, but does not create the refined, smooth look of the steel trowel finish.

Broomed Surface

A broomed surface is used when traction on the concrete is a primary concern. The concrete's rough texture is created by a metal or sometimes straw broom dragged on the surface before the pour has cured. Different patterns can be created by varying the ways that the broom is used, wavy and crosshatched patterns are common.

Rock salt

A rock salt surface looks like a steel trowel surface with tiny random pock marks. This finish is created for a unique look by sprinkling rock salt on the top of the pour and then smoothing it carefully with a trowel. After the surface of the concrete has begun to cure, the rock salt is washed away, leaving the distinctive marks on the surface.

Exposed aggregate

Exposed aggregate pours are considered some of the most beautiful concrete pours. Aggregate is carefully chosen for this type of pour to be placed on top of the concrete. The aggregate is pressed into the concrete and then power washed to remove any concrete residue on the aggregate's surface. The aggregate can be sorted by color and size and can be completely customized by the consumer. Exposed aggregate is commonly used around swimming pools, where it provides traction and durability as well as beauty.

Travertine finish

A travertine finish is used when the appearance of rough textured stone is desired. To create this look, concrete is poured and smoothed with a trowel. Then mortar is applied over the fresh pour and is worked with a trowel. The combination of the concrete and the mortar create a multidimensional surface that can be tinted before mixing or stained after the concrete and mortar has cured.

No matter which finish you choose, be sure to get in some practice before going to work on the final project. Concrete needs to be worked on before it cures, so keep in mind how long it will take you finish each surface. You may have to make multiple pours for a large project in order to have the time to create the perfect finish.

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