Tips on When to Do It Yourself or Hire a Pro

Homeowner Kym Sigler wipes excess grout from the tile backsplash.
Homeowner Kym Sigler wipes excess grout from a mosaic tile backsplash.

Installing a Tile Backsplash

Many people think laying tile is overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. With careful planning and measuring, installing a tile backsplash, for example, can be a fun DIY project.

Begin by taking measurements of the space to determine what size tiles will work best and how many it will take to complete the project. For a backsplash, choose tiles that are designed for use on walls, which are thinner and lighter than floor tiles.

Next, lay out the tiles and, if needed, mark where the tiles will need to be cut. Try to avoid placing cut tiles in highly visible areas or leaving small slivers of tile on the end.

Now it’s time to install the tile. Apply the thinset mortar or mastic adhesive to the wall with a notched trowel. Place the tiles on the wall from the bottom up so they support each other’s weight. An alternative to traditional mortar and mastic is SimpleMat Tile Setting Mat. It’s a double-sided adhesive that instantly bonds tiles to the wall for quick and clean installation.

Finally, spread the grout over the entire surface using a rubber float at a 45-degree angle. After the grout has set a few minutes, gently wipe the excess off the tile surface with a wet sponge or rag. To simplify the process, use Fusion Pro grout, which doesn’t require a sealer to be stain resistant.

Watch How to Install a Ceramic Tile Backsplash for details.

Have your air conditioner serviced by a certified HVAC professional once a year.
Have your air conditioner serviced by a certified HVAC professional once a year.

Servicing the A/C Unit

Some things are better left to the professionals, and your air conditioner is one of them. While you should perform routine maintenance, such as replacing air filters and cleaning debris away from the condenser unit, a certified HVAC professional should service the unit once a year.

If it’s time to upgrade or replace your A/C unit, check Carrier’s Infinity series, the quietest and most energy efficient models they make.

Read Tips for Dealing with HVAC Pros for more info.