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Advantages of the Use of Engineered Wood Flooring

The Best Oak Flooring from a Family Business
Beautiful wood flooring gives ambiance to a room. For many years now, natural oak flooring has been the primary type of wood flooring in use across the world. It not only looks good, it is also hard wearing and stable. However, it has various limitations. It changes with weather and moisture, sometimes swelling and at other times contracting. A much better option to use would be engineered wood flooring. It looks just like oak wood and lasts as long as natural wood.
Engineered wood flooring is made by gluing a layer of solid oak onto multi-laminate plywood. The plywood should be 10 layers and 15 mm thick. Each layer is glued in opposite directions. The solid oak is then glued onto this plywood and should be 6 mm thick. Strong, efficient glue is applied to give a strong bond and proper adhesion. The result is attractive, natural looking flooring that is more stable than regular wood flooring. It is impossible with a good quality engineered floor after it has been fitted to be able to tell if it is a solid oak product or and engineered product.
There are numerous advantages of using engineered wood flooring. Its stability gives it minimal movement, if any, unlike solid oak flooring. Regardless of change in temperature, the flooring remains in position. Unlike natural oak, it is non-porous and does not soak in moisture; it does not swell nor does it require an allowance for expansion when laying it in place like solid oak does.
It is easy to install. One can use different patented methods of installation, which take a shorter time than it takes installing solid flooring. It can be installed as a floating floor, a nail-down floor or a glue-down floor. For floating surfaces, a tongue and groove system locks the planks together. With this method they can adjust in size freely with humidity and temperature change. Some people even take their engineered flooring along with them when they move house, as it does not attach permanently to the surface when fitted as a floating floor.
Similarly, engineered flooring is easier to repair. It is easily sanded in areas where dents and scratches may appear. When buying engineered wood flooring, one should only purchase the flooring with a 6 mm wear surface allowance so that during its working life it can easily be re sanded and finished if required.
Engineered wood flooring can be used in rooms with light moisture such as basements, kitchens and bathrooms. It can also be used over radiant heat systems such as underfloor heating. Natural wood flooring is unsuitable in such areas as it shrinks, buckles and cups-up. Engineered flooring on the other hand is resistant to all these and wears quite well if you purchase a quality product from the right company.
It is environment friendly. Plywood is made from softwood, which is plentiful and quickly replenishes due to their fast growth. It is cost effective too, as the boards are wider and longer; this means one uses fewer boards than natural wood flooring requires. It is easy to clean and is largely stain resistant.
The greatest disadvantage of engineered wood flooring is that it has fewer refinishing options if you purchase a low grade material that so many outlets now seem to sell. Only flooring with thicker top surface as mentioned above can be refinished with re sanding. If you purchase a cheaper 3 or 4mm top surface material exercise extra caution when sanding so that the veneer is not removed. We would always advise that you stay away from this type of product if you want a quality job that will last a life time.A�…

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Do It Yourself Kitchen Renovation: Planning for Function and Beauty

The best looking kitchens in the world can’t make up for poor planning. If the guiding principle of the “work triangle”–meaning the close proximity of the refrigerator, sink, and range–is broken, then the kitchen will always feel and look awkward. Functionality has to lead the plan, and a connection to the outdoors and nature can lead a great design. While a small window over the kitchen sink used to be the kitchen highlight, now large windows and glass doors leading onto the deck or patio is the norm.
If you are redesigning your kitchen within its existing footprint, then plan wide walkways. The pathways throughout should be at least 36 inches wide. Paths around the cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide if two people are cooking.
Place the refrigerator in a location accessible to both kitchen guests and the one or two cooks actually working in the cooking and cleanup areas. Also, keep the cook-top out of traffic areas so guests or children don’t accidentally catch handles and cause spills when walking through.
Keep the refrigerator, dishwashers, oven ranges away from the kitchen corners. You don’t want the doors banging into each other if they need to be opened at the same time. Also, to make kitchen cabinets fully functional, plan space for the door’s clearance and the best swing direction in your kitchen design.
If you can create a separate walk-in pantry, it frees up space in the kitchen that may be used for wider doors and windows that can look out at the rear garden view. This is especially helpful as at least one wall is lost to windows and a door and there’s less space for cabinets. One handy tip, if you do build a walk-in pantry room, include an additional stand-alone freezer. It allows you to keep your grocery budget in check by buying and storing lower-priced bulk items.
And, if you can, open up the ceiling and expand the kitchen upward. It adds a sense of spaciousness and can also provide upper cabinets for long term storage of rarely used items, such as large bowls and baskets.
Kitchen Islands
Peninsulas and kitchen islands do look wonderful and provide an awesome place to gather friends and family while cooking–or even a great informal place to eat. However, plan the wide pathways accordingly. You need at least 42 inches between the island and the surrounding cabinets and appliances to maintain traffic flow, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, and your local building codes. While the island might be one of the most desired items, if it’s not appropriate to the scale of the room, it won’t work for you or for your home’s value.
Additional cabinet space and a prep sink increase an island’s function, but think hard about adding a cook-top. The splatters, mess and smells it creates are a nuisance. And consider the ventilation, which is dependent upon the layout. Experts have tested and found under-cabinet and wall-chimney hoods, the type commonly used over ranges, are much better at capturing smoke and steam than the downdraft systems frequently put in islands.
The Open Floor Plan
Trends will continue for kitchen designs to open their floor plans to include an informal family living space, formerly called the “den.” It is now called the “great room” and is considered to be the most likely room to be included in new homes built in 2015, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ survey.
If you can afford to expand your kitchen renovation, then break down a wall or two and integrate the kitchen with an adjacent room or family living space to create your must-have great room feature. Therefore, when it comes to your design focus of connecting with the outdoors via large windows and glass doors to the deck, patio, garden or backyard, then let the idea expand to the design of the great room as well. However, while you are letting in the light and the view, it’s necessary to keep heated and cooled air from leaking out. Pay the added expense for windows and doors with extra insulating features like heat-reflecting low-E coatings or argon gas between glass panes.
Be Practical
Find the correct height and location for a microwave oven as it may vary from the standard depending on the height of the chef or the kids in the household. For adults, the standard is at least 15 inches above the counter-top level. For kids, a below the counter-top shelf setup might be more suitable. Also, consider how and where you use items as you plan the pantries and cabinets so you can eliminate wasted steps, like locating flatware drawers near the dishwasher for ease of unloading.
Be smart and don’t sacrifice …

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Helpful Home Cleaning Tips

Many families today are constantly hustling about, trying to make sure that everyone is where they are supposed to be for work, sporting events, music lessons, and a myriad of other activities. With all of the running around from place to place, it is easy to sometimes let regular maintenance slide around the house a bit. There are some simple things that you can do to help keep your home organized and clean without having to devote an entire weekend to it.
The first thing to do when attacking a house that has gone out of control is to get rid of as much clutter as possible. This usually involves at least one day of simply sorting through the items that actually get put to use and those that are simply taking up space unnecessarily. A good rule of thumb is to consider whether or not you have actually had a use for an item over the past twelve months. If the answer is no, and there is not any strong sentimental attachment, such items should be added to your collection of future garage sale items or a box that is destined for a local donation center.
Once the clutter is gone, start getting organized. Closets can be very useful for keeping things where they belong, but if people simply throw things into a closet, it defeats the purpose. Consider getting an inexpensive closet system or other organizational aid that includes plenty of shelves and an area for storing items on hangers. Some systems include special hanger attachments which allow clothes to cascade down in an arrangement that lets you see what you have without taking up a lot of space. Just adding something like this can save a ton of space.
For cleaning chores, look for ways to simplify your life. Making a small investment in a vacuum and steam cleaner combination such as the popular Shark Vac Then Sweep can save you valuable time that would otherwise be spend sweeping by hand and then damp mopping the hard surfaces in your house. Such devices also work well at getting rid of stuck on messes that sometimes result from spills on the floor. This eliminates the need to scrub the tough dirt by hand.
Finally, to deal with the chore of dusting, consider using the brush attachment that comes with most vacuum cleaners. This makes it easier to dust around ridges or uneven surfaces and also does a better job of actually capturing the dust. Many times, when people simply dust with a dry rag, all they really do is throw the dust into the air. The result is a room that is covered in dust again as soon as things settle.
There are many more small things that you can do as a homeowner to make the maintenance of your home a bit less of a burden. It may take a while to form new habits, but in the long run, doing these things can save you time and make life just a little bit easier.…

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Struggling With Your Roof? Try These Tips!

Your roof is the best defense you have against the outdoors. Therefore, proper maintenance is essential. Many homeowners make the mistake of letting minor roof problems evolve into really major ones. Maintain your roof well with these tips.

Look over your roof at least once per year. Spring and winter are times when damage is prevalent. For this reason, carefully monitor your roof during these months.

Never neglect safety precautions when working on your roof. A quick way to seriously injure yourself is to try to work on your roof in wet conditions. Keep a bucket underneath any leaks until you have improved weather and then go inspect your roof.

When fixing a leak, you must finish the job right to begin with. This means that it’s not a good idea to patch up the first leak you come to and stop there. Look at the whole roof and you might see that several areas are causing the leak.

Mow your lawn before the contractor comes to remove your roof. This helps make it easier to find nails that may hit the ground. Magnetic nail finders are also more efficient on short grass.

When hiring a roofing contractor, checking their background references is an absolute must. Once you have their references, give them a call and ask them about the value and quality of the work. You should take a look at some of the properties yourself. Swing past and take your own look.

Before you install new shingles, be aware of the materials used on your roof. Quite a few leaks happen due to improper installation, whether that be shingles that have cracked, nails that are too long, or something else. Be certain the shingles you are using are in good repair and all nails are of an appropriate length to really anchor the shingles to your roof.

Before you hire a roofer, ask what types of warranties he offers on his work. You’ll find that some contractors offer much better warranties than others. Obtain a written warranty with your estimate so that you’re in possession of all the proper information. This ensures there are no changes made to your terms later.

Always buy quality, name brand roofing materials for the best results. Even if you find cheaper prices, you should consider what you could end up paying if your roof wears out sooner.

Pay attention to details when selecting your roofer. A roofer that is punctual is one that you can depend on. Giving typed bids also looks professional. These qualities are important when it comes to a roofer.

Make sure you have a number of quotes before you hire anyone to do your roofing job. There are roofers out there who will scam people, and will squeeze you for every penny they can. To avoid becoming the victim of shoddy work or someone who will rip you off, make sure you compare fair market prices and know what you’re getting into first.

As mentioned earlier, your roof is very important in protecting your home and everyone living in it. Use the advice above to keep your loved ones safe year round. The work you put in will really pay off in the long-term.…

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How To Stop Pests From Destroying Your Home

No matter where you live, you don’t have to put up with pests. If you are having problems with pets, continue reading for advice about getting rid of them. If you start to tackle things now, you can have a pest-free home before long.

Are you having trouble with fruit flies returning even after taking measures to remove them? They may be living in your sink drains. Put a bit of plastic wrap across the drain for a while to determine whether or not fruit flies appear. If you find some, pour a little boiling water down the drain and then scrub it well. That will kill off the breeding cycle which was going on.

Research which pest treatments are allowed in accordance to your building codes and local ordinances. Spraying banned chemicals may backfire if you sell your house later on. Though this does not happen often, it does indicate a need to do your research.

New screens are a great way to keep out pests. Screens on your doors and windows can not only prevent flying insects from coming in your home, they can also help prevent other crawling insects from coming in, too. Fix any holes you find and replace the screens if they are damaged.

Seal all of the cracks that are in your home to control pests. These can often function as entry points for lots of pests. Sealing them up will give them no way to get in.

Do you have a mice problem? Try using mint. Mint around your foundation of the house will help, and it’s a perennial. Mice will not feel that your location is desirable. Mint leaves are a great way to make mice living in your home think twice. Fresh mint leaves work the best to deter mice since their smell is the strongest.

If you have a pile of recyclables you keep each week, be sure you rinse them out. You should take extra precaution to rinse out cans of soda, as they are filled with sugar. Be sure to clean out those soda cans before you put them in the garage or in your outside receptacle.

You may seldom see pests in lived-in parts of your home, but remember to inspect lesser used areas from time to time. Underground areas of your home may be infested with termites. Give your crawl space and basement a look over.

Store dry foods in plastic storage containers. Many dry foods come in bags and boxes, and insects can very easily get inside of them. Store your dry goods in tightly sealed containers as soon as you get home from the store. Using containers made from plastic can keep pests under control and extend the freshness of foods.

You should not have to live with insects or rodents, no matter what your current situation is. Use the tips you just read, and start working on getting rid of the pest. No one should have pests around them in their domain. Once you take control of your pest problem, you will be able to sleep much easier at night.…