Watch Full Episode

In this episode, we update a 15-year-old living room with new surfaces to give it a modern, slightly formal touch.

  • A new fireplace gives the room a warm, comfortable feel.
  • Replacing the old white carpet with new wood floors adds a touch of formality.
  • Removing the light trays opened the space up.
  • Old wallpaper gave way to faux-finished ceilings that accent the dining and foyer areas beautifully.
  • New tile in the foyer really made a difference and added to the formal feel with the darker inset marble accents.


Deadlines are something you really hate to hear when you’re a contractor. Thanks to Hollywood stereotypes, the contractor is always faulted for never being able to meet a deadline. Of course, the real culprit is often material delays, change orders, or Mother Nature. In this case, though, I didn’t envy Danny at all. His deadline was imposed by Mrs. Lipford! Sorry, Danny, no excuses, just get it done and on time!

All kidding aside, tread lightly when expecting iron-clad deadlines on any remodeling project. If you must impose a deadline on your contractor, consider Murphy’s Law when setting the deadline date. It is very rare for any job to proceed without a glitch somewhere. Keep a realistic attitude and understand that your contractors will do everything they can to complete your job in a timely manner.

Wallpaper Removal

Seriously, do you really believe Danny stripped all that wallpaper off himself? Danny had more fun spraying the solution on the walls right over us as we removed the paper. At one point, we ran out of the wallpaper removal solution, so he filled the sprayer with hot water and vinegar and started spraying again without telling anyone. The smell was very unique!

We have a lot of fun when we tape these segments, but this brings up a great tip. Hot water and vinegar really is a superb alternative to purchasing a removal solution. The vinegar will break down the enzymes of the adhesive. So, as long as you can tolerate the tangy smell, I would recommend using that instead of paying money for a chemical solution.

If the paper is really stubborn, only then would I consider going to the expense of using a wallpaper steamer. Honestly, if you let the vinegar solution saturate the area, and not touch it for 10-15 minutes, and continue to wet it down, the sprayed-on solution will do most of the work for you.

Backer Board a Must

Most people are aware of this, but there are still some of you out there (you know who you are) who install ceramic tile directly over a wood subfloor, such as the surface we had on the step-down into the living room. As you can see in this episode, we covered the step with the cement backer board first.

Never, and I will repeat it for emphasis, never install tile on a wood floor without first installing backer board! A wood floor will expand and contract and crack the mortar joints as well as crack the tile. The backer board will act as the necessary barrier to prevent that from happening.

Other Tips From This Episode

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini: Tablecloth Drop Cloth

Vinyl tablecloths, like the ones usually used on picnic tables, make great drop cloths. These tablecloths are tougher than plastic sheeting, and if you put the vinyl side face down, they won’t slip on hard flooring the way canvas drop cloths do. If you have carpet, no problem, just put the vinyl side face up. Even if you have to buy a vinyl table cloth they’re cheaper than drop cloths. (Watch Video)

Best New Products with Danny Lipford: American Standard Speed Connect Faucets

Replacing a bathroom or kitchen faucet just got a lot easier. The new speed connect system from American Standard requires fewer installation steps and only four parts, allowing you to install a faucet in a fraction of the time. Since the drain stopper is preset and pre-assembled, adjustments aren’t needed during installation. Speed connect faucets are not only easy to install but inexpensive as well.

Around the Yard with Tricia Craven Worley: Stepping Stones

There are many different types of stepping stones to choose from for your yard. Whether you use brick or flagstone or pavers, you’ll want to match the surface to the architecture of your home. Stepping stones are an inexpensive way to create a path through your garden or yard – a lot less expensive then pouring concrete. To install stepping stones, layout the stones on the ground, and outline around them with a shovel. Remove the stones, and dig a hole following the outline. Add a little sand to the bottom of the hole to help level the stones.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for 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,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

Learn More