Split image of a laundry room with luxury vinyl tile flooring and a furnace filter in front of a furnace
Hear our flooring recommendation for high-traffic areas and pointers for picking out a furnace air filter. (3 Echoes Content Studio/knowlesgallery via Canva.com)

    Hour 1

    Tune in to hear how staging your home can help it sell faster, pointers for picking out a furnace air filter and more.

    How Staging Can Help Your Home Sell Faster

    Staged office set up for  working from home
    Staging a guest bedroom as a home office can help sell a home by showcasing the versatility and functionality of the space to potential buyers. (PC Photography via Canva.com)

    Are you having trouble selling your home?

    A recent study by the National Association of Realtors has found that staging is more important than ever.

    As the real estate market slows down, homes are staying on the market for longer, and buyers are becoming pickier. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure your home is staged to perfection to attract potential buyers.

    According to the study, 83 percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home.

    Plus, 44 percent of buyers were more willing to walk through a staged home they saw online. So, it’s clear that staging is essential for catching the attention of potential buyers.

    Don’t know where to start? The study found that the most critical rooms to stage are the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. However, it’s important to keep the whole house tidy and organized.

    Decluttering and depersonalizing can also go a long way in making your home more attractive to buyers.

    Remember, the longer your home stays on the market, the more likely you are to receive lowball offers. So, invest in staging your home to increase your chances of selling quickly and for the price you want.

    To learn more, check out this blog post from the National Association of Realtors. 

    Read: Tips to Stage a Home for Sale and Attract Buyers

    Pointers for Picking a Furnace Air Filter

    New filter for a furnace being replaced
    Having a quality furnace filter is essential to ensure that the air circulating throughout your home is clean and free from harmful particles. (knowlesgallery via Canva.com)

    A homeowner says: “My local home improvement store sells furnace air filters that range in price from $4 to $40. I’m confused about which one to buy.

    “Is there a real difference that justifies the higher price and can you provide some direction on which type is best?”

    First, you’re not alone. The hardware store has a range of filters at a wide range of prices. If you’re not an expert, you won’t know which one to get.

    There is a lot of difference in opinions on this among contractors, but in my experience here’s what I’ve found — an electrostatic filter is what you need. This will cost you about $10-12. Go ahead and buy a case of these things and change them every three months.

    An electrostatic filter is a middle-of-the-road product that, I’ve found, is the best value.

    While the big pleated filters are nice and you only have to replace them every six months, if your system isn’t set up to handle this type, it does take a bit of reconfiguring of your ductwork. 

    Whatever you do, don’t listen to the guys who say to buy the cheapest air filters just because, they say, the thicker ones will put a strain on your motor. That’s not correct. An impacted dirty filter will put a strain on the motor, but a filter will not do that if you keep it clean. 

    The reason you want to spend a little more money on a better filter is that it does a better job of removing dust, odors, allergens, and pet dander.

    Quality filters also have a higher MERV — Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values — rating, which means they’re more efficient and better at trapping airborne particles. 

    Read: How to Change Air Filters

    Hour 2

    Hear how to fix squeaking hardwood floors, our flooring recommendation for high-traffic areas, a fix for cracked grout and more.

    How to Silence Creaking Hardwood Floors

    View of a shiny hardwood floor
    Friction between hardwood floorboards and the subfloor produces a squeaking sound. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    A homeowner recently had a three-quarter-inch hardwood floor installed in his bedroom. The flooring itself is beautiful, but there’s a common problem he’s observed since the installation — and it’s resulted in a lot of frustration.  

    “The contractor did not nail the flooring down enough; now it squeaks and creaks when you walk on it. Is there anything that can be done about that to stop the creaking?” he asks.

    One quick solution, although not permanent, is to use baby powder. Simply spread it into the cracks between the floor boards, and it can cushion the floor a bit and reduce the squeaking.

    However, and I can’t stress this enough: it’s not a permanent fix.

    If you have access to the subfloor from below, via a crawlspace or basement, a better solution would be to drive screws up into the flooring to tighten the boards.

    Then, put thin shims over the joists where there might be some space. This will help to stabilize the boards and reduce the movement that causes the squeaking.

    If you can isolate the squeaks, a more discreet solution is to drive trim-head screws through the face of the wood into the subfloor below to slightly recess the board.

    Then, find some putty to match the wood to cover the nail head. This should be done in a scattered fashion and not overdone.

    Read: Gluing Vs. Nailing Hardwood Floors

    Flooring Recommendation for High-Traffic Areas

    View of a laundry room with luxury vinyl tile flooring
    Luxury vinyl flooring is built to resist scratches, scuffs, and stains, making it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas like laundry rooms. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    A homeowner asks: “Can you recommend a good, easy-to-install DIY flooring? We have a pretty active-use area in our house, and we want to replace the carpet.”

    Luxury vinyl flooring is what you want. It’s become immensely popular over the last few years — and for good reason.

    One of its biggest advantages is its durability. Unlike hardwood or carpet, it can handle heavy foot traffic without showing signs of wear and tear.

    It’s built to resist scratches, scuffs, and stains, making it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas like hallways, entryways, and kitchens.

    Another great feature of LVF is its water resistance. This makes it particularly useful in areas like bathrooms, laundry rooms, and mudrooms, where spills and moisture are common.

    Cleanup is a breeze, as spills can be easily wiped up without worrying about damage to the floor. And with its ease of maintenance, you can keep your luxury vinyl flooring looking great with regular sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming.

    Luxury vinyl flooring is also available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and styles, making it easy to find an option that fits your decor and personal style. Whether you’re a fan of the classic look of natural hardwood or the sleek, modern appearance of concrete, there’s a luxury vinyl option that’s perfect for you.

    Lastly, luxury vinyl flooring is a relatively affordable option, which is great news for homeowners on a budget who still want a high-quality flooring solution.

    So, if you’re looking for a flooring material that can hold up to the demands of your busy home or commercial space, consider luxury vinyl flooring for its durability, water resistance, ease of maintenance, style options, and affordability.

    Read: Best Vinyl Plank Flooring Guide: Types, Pros, Cons (2023)

    A Fix for Cracking Grout

    Cracked grout in between tiles
    Floor movement can put pressure on the tiles, causing them to shift and create cracks. (IcemanJ via Canva.com)

    A homeowner is completely taken aback by a persistent problem with cracked grout on their kitchen tile floor.

    The crack appears to be concentrated in the area where an addition was built before the current owner purchased the property.

    Despite attempts to fill the crack with a wet filler, the grout continues to crack and deteriorate, especially during Minnesota’s harsh winters. 

    Now, she asks: “Is there anything or way I can fix this without cracking again?”

    If you’re dealing with cracked grout on your kitchen tile floor, it’s likely due to some flex in the floor system below.

    Since this home is in Minnesota, it probably has a traditional wood frame floor, which tends to have more flex than a concrete slab.

    But don’t worry, there’s a solution!

    If your tiles aren’t cracked, the first step is to clear out any existing grout and replace it with a flexible grout caulk that matches the grout color. This will allow for thermal expansion between seasons and prevent cracking. You’ll need to apply the caulk carefully, making sure to fill the entire grout joint.

    Next, focus on the area with the most cracks and give it some time — at least a year or through a season — to see if this solution works.

    If it does, then tackle the rest of the kitchen. Remember, patience is key when it comes to fixing cracked grout.

    Best New Products

    The added mobility of a cordless brad nailer can help you save time and increase your efficiency. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    Ryobi Cordless AirStrike Brad Nailer

    If you watch the Today’s Homeowner TV show often, you’ve seen Chelsea use cordless brad nailers a lot. They’re great because there’s no need for compressors, hoses or gas cartridges. Well, Ryobi has just made their 18-Gauge Cordless AirStrike Brad Nailer even better.

    It’s the lightest cordless brad nailer in its class, so you won’t wear your arm out using it. It also has a 45 percent smaller nose for tight spot access while it sinks up to 1,900 nails per charge.

    There is also a tool-free depth of drive adjustment that allows for the proper setting of nail heads and the easy-to-use adjustment dial regulates air pressure speed for optimal performance.

    Plus, the jam-release is also tool-free to make clearing jammed nails simple.

    Listen to learn all about this Best New Product! 

    Find the Ryobi Cordless AirStrike Brad Nailer at The Home Depot.

    Watch: RYOBI’s 18-Gauge Cordless AirStrike Brad Nailer — The Ultimate Tool for On-the-Go Nailing!

    This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product from these links, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

    Simple Solutions

    Joe Truini drilling a plastic hook into a board
    PVC pipe is an affordable and easy DIY solution that can help keep your garage or garden shed organized and your tools within reach. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    Handy Hang-It Hooks — Make a handy holder for push brooms, rakes, and other long-handled implements from two plastic pipe supports. Buy two designed for holding 4-inch-diameter PVC pipe; they’re just the right size to hold most tools. 

    Watch: How to Use Pipe Hangers to Hang Tools in Your Shop

    Upcycling a plastic milk jug into a sprinkler-topped watering can is an eco-friendly and neat way to hydrate your potted plants while reducing plastic waste. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

    Plastic Jug Watering Can — If you’ve got an empty one-gallon plastic milk jug, here’s an easy way to upcycle the jug into a watering can for plants. Just drill three or four evenly spaced, 1/8-inch-diameter holes into the plastic cap, creating a sprinkler top. Now you can very easily and neatly water potted plants, with fear of overwatering. And this tip comes in handy when a plant might be slightly out of reach. Just give the bottle a little squeeze and shoot the controlled water streams directly onto the plant. 

    Watch: How to Upcycle a Plastic Jug for Watering Plants

    Further Reading

    Editorial Contributors
    Danny Lipford

    Danny Lipford


    Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

    Learn More