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Super Handyman: An easy-to-clean vinyl ‘rug’

In high-traffic areas, rugs can be used to protect the flooring underneath. You can purchase a rug or two, but you also can make your own. And since cleaning the rugs is going to be a continuing chore, why not make your “rug” from a scrap of vinyl flooring? Check dealers for scraps and remnants that you can use. You can make your rug look more like the real thing by drilling some holes around the edges and adding some tassels made of twine or cord. It will be super easy to clean, and when it wears out, it will be easy to replace.


Q: I need your help. I am trying to remove a vanity sink from a weird bathroom setup. It has three rooms, and the end rooms both have sinks. I want to remove one of the sinks and turn this “room” into a closet. How can I seal up the water and drain lines? – G.H.

A: Check your hardware store or home center for supplies, and install caps over the drain line and the water supply lines. Make sure your connections follow your local code requirements. You might wish to make these connections in a way that will allow you to reinstall a sink later. But if you don’t think you will ever use these lines again, make your connections behind the wall and patch the drywall over them so they won’t show.

Tips from readers

My son and I installed a birdhouse in the yard last weekend. It sits on top of a metal pole that we set into concrete. To try to keep it in place better, we drilled some holes near the base before setting it into the concrete. The thinking was that the concrete would work its way through the holes while still wet, and then would set up around them for a more secure setting. It seems to have worked, and should be there for many years to come. – R.S.


I installed some really nice shelves and drawers in my closet. It was a fun project and quite an upgrade from the white, wire shelves that were originally there. I installed the old wire shelves in my garage. They do a great job there, and the fact that they are wire makes it easy to use hooks to hang things from them. They offer great off-the-ground storage for a lot of our off-season stuff. – S.T.


We planted trees in our yard when we bought our home, and now they are huge. We even got a letter from the city telling us that we needed to cut them back a little. We didn’t have a pole saw, but we created one from a handsaw tied to a long pole. It was not pretty, but it worked great. – B.C.

A super hint

When you need to get a nut started with your wrench and it’s hard to hold in place, try putting a little tape across the top of both. Once you get it started on the bolt, the tape will release.


Having just completed a sink repair, I wish I had used this tool! The RIDGID Basin Wrench has some new features that make it a super tool. It has an onboard light to make a dark area (does it get any darker than under a sink?) a little easier to work in. It automatically comes on when it’s dark, and shuts off when it’s light. The T-handle pivots 180 degrees to get to even the hardest-to-reach areas, and can be removed in order to use a standard ratchet bar for more leverage. It also extends up to 17 inches and has a heavy-duty, rust-resistant spring for a tighter grip.

To find out more, go to or visit your home center.