Bathroom Cabinet & Vanity Tips

Custom cabinets help give this bathroom a first-class remodel.

10 Smart Remodeling Tips From Amy Matthews 10 Photos

Ready to tackle a home improvement project? Before you begin, learn how to add the most value for the least money and avoid costly mistakes from Amy Matthews.

8 Expert Flooring Tips from Amy Matthews

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Amy Matthews shows you how to choose the right flooring for your needs, install it like a pro and protect it for a long-lasting investment.

Lay Your Floors for Strength

For aesthetic reasons, many people choose to install their floorboards lengthwise across the room. But when you're deciding which way to lay your floor, be sure to run it perpendicular to your joist. This will make your floor as strong as possible and will prevent warping or separating in those pieces in the long run.

Start With a Level Surface

Before installing any type of wood flooring, it's important to make sure your subfloor is level. If there are voids underneath the floorboards, the floor will squeak. This floor was leveled with sand and topped with a rubber underlayment made from recycled materials.

Lay a Subfloor If Needed

If you plan to glue down your floor, the only preparation needed is to level the floor. But if you want to nail down your floor, you need to lay a subfloor. Be sure the total thickness of the flooring plus the plywood is enough to receive the nails.

Consider Floating Floors

Floating floors are inexpensive and easy to install – no nails or glue needed. They're also a great option if your old flooring might have asbestos in it. The boards can be installed right on top of your old floors, saving you the cost of calling in the pros to remove the asbestos.

Stick to Your Adhesive's Directions

When gluing a wood floor, check the drying time for your particular brand of adhesive. Work in small sections so you don't spread more adhesive than you can cover before it dries.

Try Engineered Wood in Damp Areas

Ideal for basements and other areas where moisture might be an issue, engineered-wood flooring consists of a top layer of real wood attached to multiple, thin layers of plywood or fiberboard. Depending on the thickness of the veneer, engineered wood can be refinished once or twice.

Always Test Your Stain

When it comes to staining, wood is unpredictable. Before covering your entire floor, test the stain in an inconspicuous area or on a sample piece of wood to make sure you are satisfied with the color.

Protect Your Floors

When staining wood floors, keep in mind that the stain is not a protective finish — it only adds color or tone to the wood. Applying another layer of protective coating or polyurethane will protect your investment in the long run.

26 Sweat Equity Quick Tips 26 Videos

Amy Matthews shares 60-second tips for water features, fire pits, backsplashes and more.

Outdoor Water Feature 01:00

Amy Matthews explains the process of building an outdoor water feature.

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About the show

Can you increase the value of your home by $10,000 in just two weekends? Sure you can, thanks to DIY Network's Sweat Equity , a show dedicated to helping you determine which home improvement projects will return the most bang for your buck. Is it better to install new kitchen cabinets or just reface the old ones? Are granite countertops really worth the cost? Should you put more money into the bathroom or your kitchen? Licensed contractor Amy Matthews and her team of DIY Network experts help homeowners tackle these projects themselves, giving tips and techniques for building equity every step of the way. With the knowledge you gain from this show, and a little bit of sweat, you can increase the value of your home — and the enjoyment you get by living there.
Season 9, Episode 2

Equity Upgrades

Amy and Tony Carr's 3-level home has an appealing layout and a great location on a cul-de-sac. But its cookie-cutter construction means it won't stand out to potential buyers. They don't plan to sell anytime soon, but they want to add value to their home while making the space more comfortable for their large family. They must decide if they're going to focus on interior upgrades to give the home some pizzazz, or invest in bigger ticket items like new windows or a roof.

Friday
Aug 7
4:30am | 3:30c
Season 9, Episode 3

Tuck Under Family Room

Mat & Leslie Edstrom had a few good reasons to buy their 1930s home with a big lot 8 years ago. The property has an outbuilding that Mat could use as a studio for his photography business, plenty of acreage for exterior shots and a charming house that they could continue to upgrade for their needs. Now that their two young boys are 'tweens', they need more space for the kids and want to turn the tuck under garage into family space with a mudroom/TV area & pool table area. As they expand the space to join with the existing basement, they upgrade the gym, laundry room and part-time bedroom. The budget is $35K and they plan to do as much as possible in order to stay on budget and hopefully pocket an equity boost.

Saturday
Aug 8
4:30am | 3:30c
Season 9, Episode 4

Hollywood Regency Kitchen

It's a good thing that Jen & Jason Armstrong are handy because their split level house needed some love when they bought it. The apartment style laminate cabinets in the kitchen and outdated everything sits like a big eyesore in the middle of the house. The plan: To give the entire space a "Hollywood Regency" style to glam it up. On tap: Custom armoire style cabinetry, which will immediately give it an elegant look. We'll install wood flooring in both the kitchen & great room area.. Innovative magnetic leather floor tiles will surround the new kitchen island, giving the space a soft texture on the feet. Waterfall granite countertops, updated appliances, and LED lighting will finish off the new space, giving it just the right amount of glamour. Hopefully they'll not only get an awesome kitchen, but a nice bump in equity.

Sunday
Aug 9
4:30am | 3:30c
Season 9, Episode 5

Mudroom and More

Marc and Lisa Stingley moved into their 1980's rambler six years ago. Lisa's a die hard DIY'er so they've updated almost every room of the home. But now that the family has expanded to include their daughter Langston, the house is starting to feel a little cramped. They don't plan to move, and must decided if they're going spend money on high end finishes in the kitchen or build an addition connecting the garage to the rest of the house.

Monday
Aug 10
4:30am | 3:30c
Season 9, Episode 8

The Party Yard

Jared and Jane have created a comfortable vibe in their suburban split-level home. They love to entertain, but their big backyard is a bust: a tiny concrete patio, a chain-link dog run, and an elevated deck with no connection to the yard and storage tucked underneath. It all adds up to an eyesore. Our expert agrees: to bring this home up to the value of those around it, Jared and Jane have to bring the interior charm of their home outdoors.

Thursday
Aug 13
4:30am | 3:30c
Season 9, Episode 11

Easy Equity Kitchen

Kerry & Kate Hage are recently married... and when Kate moved into Kerry's 1960's bachelor pad rambler, she wanted to make it actually feel like a home. Kate has a laundry list of projects for the house... But the main priority is the kitchen. They are going for a cottage beach design with pebble tile, lots of bead board and light, bright colors. Since they are on a budget, they also want to do it all themselves and also plan to reuse the cabinetry.

Sunday
Aug 16
4:30am | 3:30c
Season 9, Episode 1

Slate-Rific Bathroom

Chris and Jen Reynolds have been upgrading their home--a 1970's ex rental unit--piece by piece over the last 3 years. However, with the recent addition of their baby son Jack, they plan on converting their empty basement space into a spa-worthy bathroom. Will they be able to complete the project for six grand and also get a boost in equity? But more importantly will they finish in time for Grandma Reynolds's visit from the UK?

Friday
Oct 2
7:30am | 6:30c
Season 9, Episode 4

Hollywood Regency Kitchen

It's a good thing that Jen & Jason Armstrong are handy because their split level house needed some love when they bought it. The apartment style laminate cabinets in the kitchen and outdated everything sits like a big eyesore in the middle of the house. The plan: To give the entire space a "Hollywood Regency" style to glam it up. On tap: Custom armoire style cabinetry, which will immediately give it an elegant look. We'll install wood flooring in both the kitchen & great room area.. Innovative magnetic leather floor tiles will surround the new kitchen island, giving the space a soft texture on the feet. Waterfall granite countertops, updated appliances, and LED lighting will finish off the new space, giving it just the right amount of glamour. Hopefully they'll not only get an awesome kitchen, but a nice bump in equity.

Friday
Oct 23
7:30am | 6:30c
Season 9, Episode 5

Mudroom and More

Marc and Lisa Stingley moved into their 1980's rambler six years ago. Lisa's a die hard DIY'er so they've updated almost every room of the home. But now that the family has expanded to include their daughter Langston, the house is starting to feel a little cramped. They don't plan to move, and must decided if they're going spend money on high end finishes in the kitchen or build an addition connecting the garage to the rest of the house.

Friday
Oct 30
7:30am | 6:30c
Season 9, Episode 6

Blank Backyard

Sabrina and Drew Ely supersized their living space when they left their 700 square foot downtown condo for a four bedroom home in the suburbs. This new construction home came in great shape, but the unfinished basement and backyard need serious shaping. Although the guest realtor feels finishing the basement will be the bigger equity bump, what these two really need is a backyard. They design and build a two level deck and lower patio, complete with high-end splurges and surround landscaping. In a community of boring backyards, this deck masterpiece will definitely stand them apart.

Friday
Nov 6
7:30am | 6:30c
Season 9, Episode 8

The Party Yard

Jared and Jane have created a comfortable vibe in their suburban split-level home. They love to entertain, but their big backyard is a bust: a tiny concrete patio, a chain-link dog run, and an elevated deck with no connection to the yard and storage tucked underneath. It all adds up to an eyesore. Our expert agrees: to bring this home up to the value of those around it, Jared and Jane have to bring the interior charm of their home outdoors.

Friday
Nov 20
7:30am | 6:30c
Season 9, Episode 11

Easy Equity Kitchen

Kerry & Kate Hage are recently married... and when Kate moved into Kerry's 1960's bachelor pad rambler, she wanted to make it actually feel like a home. Kate has a laundry list of projects for the house... But the main priority is the kitchen. They are going for a cottage beach design with pebble tile, lots of bead board and light, bright colors. Since they are on a budget, they also want to do it all themselves and also plan to reuse the cabinetry.

Friday
Dec 11
7:30am | 6:30c
Season 9, Episode 12

Wasteland Renovation

Brittany & David moved into their home just a year ago & only had to do a bit of decorating to make it complete. But, their backyard is a jungle. But, they plan to stay in their home awhile so they'd like to make the backyard a place for them to live - while also boosting their potential equity down the line.

Friday
Dec 18
7:30am | 6:30c

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