Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Light Sockets

I've been learning a lot about recessed lights lately. We've had some replaced and we're having a few more replaced shortly. I wanted to tell my electrician that I wanted something with a standard size light socket, but I didn't know the technical name for that. Today, I happened upon the Edison screw Wikipedia page. Apparently, there are only a few standard U.S. socket sizes: E12 (candelabra), E17 (intermediate), E26 (standard), and E39 (mogul). The E26 is far-and-away the most common size. E12 and E17 are used in specialty fixtures and E39 is used for street lamps and other high-output lamps that you're unlikely to find around a home. My electrician said that the RL trim will fit a PAR30, which is a flood-light size---the E26 is such a common socket that he didn't even think I'd be asking about it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Interor Walls: Drywall versus Blueboard

Until recently, I didn't think there was much difference between different types of interior home walls except for the really old styles like lathe-and-plaster. We recently had some plaster work done by a very nice guy by the name of Michael Gogliormella. He explained to us the difference between drywall and blueboard:

  • Drywall is meant to be (primed and) painted. After it is attached to studs, joint compound is used to smooth-out the gaps.
  • Blueboard is not a final surface---a layer of plaster must be applied (and allowed to try) before it can be (primed and) painted. It is good for bathrooms because the plaster creates a waterproof seal between the interior space and the blueboard.
Here is a discussion which provides more comparison between drywall and blueboard. One thing worth noting is that it is possible for an amateur to install drywall that is on-par with professionals given some practice and plenty of time. The same cannot be said for blueboard/plaster since plaster has a short working time and is not easy to apply and smooth. Also, blueboard has a special outer-layer for adhering to plaster. Once plaster is applied to blueboard, it cannot be removed without damaging the blueboard.

It's a bit annoying that there are two different names for wall construction styles. In the past, I've mainly heard the term "drywall" used for any sort of modern interior wall. But, Michael balks at that term and says he would never use it for blueboard/plaster. Is there a better term for interior walls besides "drywall"?

P.S. I've wondered what is the right term for people who install and seal driveways. Checkbook uses the term "pavers". I've also seen signs for "sealcoating".