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Granite or quartz: What’s better for new counters? Answers to your household questions

If you have ever wondered how to fix chipped grout or when the best time is to stain your deck, today is your lucky day. TODAY contributor Lou Manfredini stopped by Studio 1A to answer viewers’ home questions.Q: I need to clean and stain my deck. Is fall a good time to do this and what would be temperatures to avoid?Fall is a terrific time since temperatures are milder and that will allow the st

If you have ever wondered how to fix chipped grout or when the best time is to stain your deck, today is your lucky day. TODAY contributor Lou Manfredini stopped by Studio 1A to answer viewers’ home questions.

Q: I need to clean and stain my deck. Is fall a good time to do this and what would be temperatures to avoid?

Fall is a terrific time since temperatures are milder and that will allow the stain to cure more slowly. Keep in mind that the deck must be pressure-washed and then sanded. You can then apply either an oil-based semi-transparent stain if the wood is in good shape, or you can install a latex product that will fill the cracks and give you a non-slip painted surface. 

Q: I have cracked and chipped grout in my shower. Do I need to re-grout the entire shower? Or can I just apply a sealer to the areas?

No, you do not need to re-grout the entire shower. Simply scrape away the loose grout and then apply a pre-mixed grout in the same color. Use your finger to fill in the empty joins and let it dry overnight before you use the shower.

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Q: We’re building a new home. Should I use granite or quartz countertops?

Today

There are lots of choices for countertops. Solid surface tops like Corian offer a very durable and nice-looking product. Quartz tops have the look of real stone but are non-porous and give you that shiny stone aesthetic. Real granite offers you unique patterns that add real style to a kitchen. The bottom line is that this is a personal choice and all will perform well when taken care of properly.

Q: Please help! How do we get rid of stink bugs? We live out of the country and they are invading our house.

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These really do stink, smelling often like a pungent coriander odor. Commercial sprays and powders are available, but you can also spray them with warm water and dish soap. They breathe through their outer shell and the soap clogs the tiny little holes. Good luck!