Design Tip – Travertine

Home buyers still appreciate travertine. It’s elegant and has a crisp, clean look. Travertine can be a challenge to keep clean however because it is porous. It’s important to seal the travertine – a couple of coats – to make it easier to clean. Otherwise, polishing powders, and such, can accumulate in the holes. Travertine is great for floors, but not as good an idea for highly used countertops.

5 Move-In Problem Solvers for Less than $5

Courtesy of This Old House & RE/MAX, here are 5 inexpensive (well down right cheap) ways to fix some common problems:

1. Are you putting several holes in the wall and still the painting is not straight or at the right height? Get an Ook Shield hanger for $4.98 at The rubber adhesive backing lets you stck the hanger directly to the wall, eliminating the need to first mark the spot with a pencil or a grimy fingerprint. Then just hold the picture steady and lean back for a look. To adjust, pull off and restick the hanger, then hammer in the wall.

2. Have you scratched up and ruined the finish on your fridge from trying to remove stickers with a razor blade? A ScrapeRite blade has a flexible plastic blade. It’s sharp enough to remove adhesives, caulk, and paint from windows and appliances but not so sharp that it will scratch such delicate surfaces. A 5-pack costs $2.99 at

3. Can’t read the size on the drill bit any longer? The Easy Guage is a curvy plastic tool that tells you the diameter of a drill bit so pilot holes are never too big or small. Just insert the bit through the widest opening in the center and slide it down until it fits snugly beneath a marker. Voila! $4.95 for a 5-pack at

4. A cabinet leans, the table tips, the clothes dryer rocks? Matchbook size vinyl wedges used by plumbers to level wobbly toilets support up to 500 pounds, and they don’t degrade in damp areas like wood does. A 6-pack of Wobble Wedges costs $2.99. Get them at the

5. Has all the caulk dried up in their tubes before you get the chance to use them again? The old mail-in-the-hole trick preserves latex caulk for a few days. To save it for a year, put one of the Little Red Cap covers over the tip instead. You can also use them to cap glue, chalk, and anything else you don’t want leaking into your toolbox. 35-pack costs $4.89 at