Things to consider when renovating bathrooms

We all have a time in our lives when we need, for whatever reason, a little extra help and care and perhaps a few more facilities to assist us in the bathroom. This extra help may be for a short time or perhaps a little longer.

Bathing is an integral part of our lives and retaining our dignity and independence in the bathroom is paramount.

There are many issues to consider when creating a bathroom for someone at home who requires additional help, be they very young, someone with a disability, or the elderly and infirm.

Inclusive design

With increasing numbers of people having a disability, bathroom manufacturers are increasingly aware of the need for inclusive design products.

Inclusive design is about ensuring that products work for all ages and abilities without sacrificing design flair and style.

With careful planning and the right product there is no reason why your new bathroom cannot meet your every aspiration.

As you consider the design of your new bathroom, consider the needs of other family members and visitors. Also consider your bathroom’s physical structure since some elements such as doors, windows and radiators cannot be changed easily. Use the help of a professional to put your ideas into practice.

Wheelchair users may find the use of a wet room, low level entry threshold shower tray or a ramped entry to a conventional step-in shower more beneficial. Factors such as accessibility, space and budget will have strong influences on the solution adopted for a installation.

The choice of bathroom product available will encompass every conceivable design element from the smallest to the most opulent of bathrooms. With careful planning and the right product there is no reason why your new bathroom cannot meet your every aspiration.

Right Product

Choosing the right product is important to ensure your needs and those of your friends and family are met. The right product will be dependent on several factors, including the extent of ability, the location of bathroom and the requirements of other users.

Things to consider

Bathroom or cloakroom doors

Ensure that bathroom or cloakroom doors are wide enough to take a wheelchair. Also check that the door motion will not impede the movement of a wheelchair or walking frame.

 

Flooring and shower tray surfaces

Ensure slip resistant surfaces are used to minimise the risk of slips and trips.

Grab rails

Additional support to assist movement in the bathroom can be achieved using grab rails. These are available in various finishes and colours to co-ordinate with your bathroom design. For the visually impaired rails should be installed with high contrast colours to make them stand out from the surrounding wall finishes and furniture. Grab rails need to be firmly fixed and load bearing.

Heating

When installing radiators think about giving additional space around them to allow for movement and to decrease the risk of touching the hot surface. Better still think about installing low surface temperature radiators or high-level heating.

Low level bath

Consider installing a bath with low sides to help access. Also consider using a bath hoist or transfer chair with motorised vertical movements to assist in entry into the water. Walk in baths, with doors allow for much each access too for those less confident climbing over the bath rim.

Shower enclosure and tray

Think about installing a shower enclosure which has been specially designed to suit all the users of the bathroom. Half-height shower screens or freestanding enclosures, 360° hinges or combinations of fixed, hinged and sliding panels integrate best into the existing bathroom layout. A low-level shower tray or a completely level access tray, a ‘wet zone’ or a full ‘wet room’ should be considered.

Storage

Think about positioning shelving and storage units at heights which are easily accessible. But take care not to block access to the washbasin for someone in a wheelchair.

Tap and showers

Consider replacing conventional taps and shower controls with lever operated controls for easy operation. Install a thermostatic control to decrease the risk of scalding or consider a shower which can be operated remotely. For the visually impaired, use shower controls that are operated by touch buttons with tactile coding or illuminated controls for easy identification.

Washbasins

Some are designed with a central ceramic support – the pedestal – which provides a convenient cover to the trap and pipework below. Pedestals can prevent impact from wheelchairs and hide pipework from view. Some washbasins are ‘wall hung’ and need to central pedestal support and these make access very easy indeed.

WC

Think about installing a ‘wall hung WC’ for improved access and manoeuvrability and ease of cleaning.

Toilet seats

Some specialist seats are designed to offer increased height. Others offer additional thigh support.

Load bearing

Bear in mind that some people with disabilities need to use the fixtures in a bathroom to lean against or to hold themselves upright. The washbasin, WC and bath should therefore be very firmly fixed against load bearing walls. Speak to your installer and product manufacturer for more advice.

Space

Always ensure that there is space to move around. You should consider the space required for the movement of a wheel chair or a for a person using crutches or a walking stick.

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Tips on saving energy in your home

Here are some free ways to save energy:

Turn your thermostat off in the summer and in the winter and leave it alone. With each degree decrease on your thermostat in the winter you can immediately see a 3 percent to 4 percent decrease in energy use.

You can help your heating and cooling system run more efficiently by keeping air vents clear of obstructions such as furniture, curtains, pictures and rugs.

You can make sure your ductwork for your heating system is properly sealed. Holes in the joints of the ductwork can cause outside air to enter your home. Your heating and cooling bills will increase by as much as 40 percent with these defects in your system.

You can make sure on sunny days to open curtains and shades to let the sun warm your home naturally instead of turning on the heat.

If you have a fireplace in your home, make sure the damper of the fireplace is closed when you’re not using it. This will keep cold air from coming down the chimney and into your home, and it also will reduce warm air loss from your home.

You can dress warmly indoors, and this will allow you to set your thermostat a few degrees lower and still stay comfortable inside your home.

You can keep your curtains and shades closed during the summer, especially on the east and west sides of your home so you don’t have to use the air conditioner as much.

You can avoid using your appliances that give off heat during the hottest times of the day in the summer, and this will give your cooling system a break, and it wouldn’t need to work that much harder. Do your cooking, washing and drying of clothes in the morning or in the late evening, when the demand on your cooling system is less.

You can use a ceiling or area fan in the summer, and they will make the air feel up to six to 10 degrees cooler. You can use fans only if you are in the room, because running the fan doesn’t lower the temperature; it just makes you feel cooler.

These options cost money but will save energy:

You can install low-flow shower-heads and faucet aerators. You probably will not notice the difference in water flow, but these fixtures can reduce water consumption by up to 50%.

You can install double-panel replacement windows. They will reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer dramatically.

If your home was built before 1978 make sure your attic, walls and floors are properly insulated.

If your water heater is more than seven years old, chances are it’s wasting energy. Today’s water heaters are much more efficient, saving you energy and money. So, I highly suggest replacing it if it is older than 7 years.

You can save by having your heating and cooling systems professionally serviced yearly to keep them running at top efficiency.

You can make sure the caulking and weather stripping around your windows and doors are in good shape. If the caulking is dried or cracked or the weather stripping is damaged or peeling, replace the old material with new material.

You can put weather-stripping and insulate your attic hatch or add a thermal hood to cut down on cold or hot air loss.

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What’s Cooking with Kitchen Ranges?

Kitchen ranges are considered the focal point of the kitchen – after all, most of our nourishment through cooked food originates from here. It is therefore crucial to select the one that serves you efficiently, safely and has all the features you would use.

Thanks to the surge in industrial cooking appliances, many manufacturers are now offering a variety of kitchen ranges for domestic use and it is mind boggling to find almost limitless options in features, in addition to choose in colours and size.

Just to take a glimpse at what you can expect from a kitchen range here are some of the features:

*Clocks and timers

*Computerized baking and roasting switches

*Burners in a variety of sizes and heat intensity

*Variable temperature broilers

*Griddles

*Woks

*Grills

*Microwaves

*Ventilation hoods

It is obvious that it is worthwhile to look at what is available before you make the final decision. Some people prefer to go in for a separate oven and cook tops that fit flush into your countertop. Next, comes the decision between fuels – electric or gas?

It used to be believed that gas was good for cook tops and electric for ovens. But with recent developments in design and technology, either of these fuels can be equally good choices. Depending on which part of the country you live in, you would go for the fuel that is more economical.

Styles

Kitchen ranges can be either gas, electric, or a gas-electric combination.

Electric Ranges

Electric kitchen ranges are popular with most people since they are economical and electricity as a fuel is available almost everywhere.

Electric ranges can be of two types – the ones with coil burners and smooth top type. With the coil burner, the coil is located just above the range top.

It is considered easy to repair or replace when required. You can use a variety of cookware on these ranges. On the down side, because the coil is exposed, food spills can be messy to clean.

Of course, there are accessories like drip pans that take the worst of it and are easy to clean. If you choose a coil burner model you want to check out how easily accessible the drip pan is, in addition to how simple it is to clean.

With smooth top ranges, you can see a sheet of ceramic glass beneath which the radiant coils produce the heat for cooking food evenly. These cost more than the coil burner models. However, you would need to use flat-bottomed cookware.

Gas Cooking Ranges

A big advantage with gas cooking ranges is the ability to regulate heat. When you switch the burner off, it cools quite quickly. Gas ranges can come with electric ignitions that let you switch on the burner instantly. You get gas ranges with special burners, which are flexible, letting you handle some quick searing, boiling or simmering.

Gas ranges tend to cost more than electric kitchen ranges. If you want to install a gas range, you would need to arrange gas supply that could be LPG or natural gas and electrical circuit for operating the extra features. Gas ranges are more expensive to install than electric models.

Gas-Electric Combos

Gas-Electric combinations can bring you the benefits of both gas and electric ranges and naturally, cost more.

Trends

Considering that cooking ranges come loaded with features aimed at fast temperatures, personalized cooking settings, storage for hot and cold food and kitchen safety, look at some of the features sported by the latest models in the market.

Your range comes with programmable timing options so that you can pre-set your oven, starting or stopping the process from wherever you are! With this control in your hands, you can plan your meals. With the refrigerated cooking ranges, you can sequence the oven to cool, then bake and keep it warm.

The displays are all electronic touch pads that are easy to read. You can get models with safety features, which let you, control who can access your oven.

You can get ranges that accommodate a wide variety of cookware including turkey roasters and very big baking sheets in the oven. Some of the electric ranges in the market come with convection ovens that can cook almost 30% quicker than the regular ovens.

While the trend is to go for a range that has the maximum features, it is important to choose the ones you are likely to use the most.

Ideas/Designs

With all the design options in kitchen ranges you would need to look at size, type, capacity and performance to choose the best one for your kitchen. Here are the types you can expect:

*Freestanding range Probably the most popular choice, freestanding ranges are considered economical. These usually come with a cook top and an oven. Some can also come with a microwave or hood, a clock, timer and controls.

*Slide in range If you prefer an installation where the range is accommodated between cabinets, slide in ranges are for you. You would need to make sure that the wall behind the range is heat and moisture resistant.

*Drop in range These ranges are installed in a cut-out inside the cabinet, resting on the base of the cabinet.

Rating/Reviews

Choosing the ideal kitchen range for your home can seem tough, so it is a good idea to browse around to read customer reviews of the various models available. Each model comes with feature sets that suit different requirements.

For example, electric ranges suit some, while gas is more advantageous to others. While selecting electric ranges, it is preferable to go in for dual burners where you can use the appropriate sized flame depending on the size of your cookware, making them more energy efficient. Ranges with self-cleaning ovens are better as the energy usage is lower while cooking.

Manufactures/Brands

The most popular brands in the kitchen range market are Frigidaire, Whirlpool, Sears, Roebuck and Co., Bosch, Aga Ranges, Electrolux, Amana, Dacor, Jenn-Air, Kitchen Aid, GE Appliances, Kenmore, Maytag, Viking, etc. All these brands offer a wide range of models to choose from.

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Outdoor Kitchens – Optimizing Your Outdoor Space

Outdoor kitchens are becoming a rapid trend with the wide range of appliances and plans to suit every budget. Who doesn’t enjoy the aroma of a braai? The best part is – your outdoor kitchen can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it, depending on how much you want to spend and your imagination!

Setting up your kitchen outdoors can cost you just a few Thousand Rand’s if you are happy with a quality braai and grill with a storage cabinet and counter-top or much more for a full kitchen with a grill, a dining area, a fridge and a sink. In any case, you will never regret your decision to go for that kitchen out on your patio or deck where you can spend time with family or entertain friends.

Getting it all together

The type of kitchen you want will depend on your needs. Think about how frequently you intend to barbecue. How often do you want to eat outdoors? How much space have you got? Common materials used for the outdoor kitchen counter-tops are granite, stainless steel, brick, stone, stucco, tiled etc. If you enjoy a dry climate, you might consider using wooden cabinetry.

You will have the option of choosing from the following components:

*Grills & Barbecues – gas or charcoal

*Eating area with seating

*Counter top space to prepare food

*Storage cabinets

*A wet bar

*A fire place

*Oven

*Barbecue tools – hooks, tongs, spatulas, forks, utensils

*Refrigerator

*Sinks

*Power requirements – electricity, water, gas

Your grill will probably be equipped with adequate burners, a warming shelf, smoker, and other accessories.

You would need to get the lighting in place so that the main areas are well lit for safety. Track lights are a good idea for a bright cooking area. Remember to plan for lighting the pathways leading to the kitchen.

Usually setting up the outdoor kitchen is done on an existing patio or deck or around the pool area since it is much easier to gain access to the house, as well as amenities like gas, electricity and plumbing. Durability of appliances is something you want to look at since it is for outdoor use.

Ideas for Outdoor Kitchens

The main thing about designing your kitchen outdoors is the placement of the grill. It should be positioned in such a way that while cooking, the smoke should not blow straight into the faces of your family or guests. The cook must have easy access to the sink, countertop and refrigerator and outdoor kitchen cabinets. Of course, the colour scheme must match the décor of the rest of your home.

Outdoor kitchen cabinets are the perfect solution to storage for an outdoor kitchen. Not only can these cabinets put everything within your reach, bringing you convenience, but also make your outdoor kitchen look stylish and attractive. You can buy your outdoor kitchen cabinets in different styles and materials depending on your budget.

Outdoor cabinets must be durable and able to withstand the elements, staying strong and sturdy. The main thing is to find the right style and material to suit your needs. As such the process of making your selection is quite like choosing indoor kitchen cabinets. However, you need to pay a little more attention to the choice of material.

Outdoor Kitchen Cabinet Materials

The conventional favourite material for outdoor cabinets tends to be masonry or wood. Masonry cabinets are built with concrete or stucco and considered completely resistant to weather. But these have their shortcomings since concrete tends to look unfinished and crack over time. In addition, they need maintenance to ensure that dirt, mould and mildew do not settle in them.

Wood cabinets are easier to order and install and are also more flexible in terms of customization. They are also good looking, but do not match up when it comes to weather resistance. Also, wood, depending on the species, and the climate in which you live, can rot, warp, expand, change colour or just weaken.

You could consider stainless steel outdoor kitchen cabinets, as these are not only stylish and contemporary looking but also easy to maintain. You can just wash them clean. About the only issue is the higher initial investment, but the longer lifespan of the cabinets justifies the cost.

A recent trend in outdoor kitchen cabinet material is marine grade polymer, which is waterproof, resistant to stains, is easily washable and looks great. You get a choice of colours ranging from grey to white.

Outdoor Kitchen Cabinet Shapes

Depending the size and storage needs you have planned, the shape of your kitchen cabinet will also be influenced by how you will use your outdoor kitchen. You can combine single drawer, two and four drawer cabinets with single full height drawers so that your cabinet is sturdy and durable.

Design your sink cabinets with double doors and plan cabinets under your grill as well to complete the look of your outdoor kitchen cabinet. You can also add extra accessories like pull out tanks and trash drawers. If your outdoor kitchen is really big, you may want to think about wall cabinets, but you have to ensure that they don’t come in the way of the smoke from the kitchen.

If you already have a patio then it is easy to add the kitchen outdoors. Since it will be an extension of your living area it is only natural that you would look for the same kind of facilities.

You can get the entire kitchen, complete with the appliances, cabinetry, counter-tops, lighting and other things done by an architect. You also have the option of getting a prefabricated unit that will include your grill, storage and other essential accessories.

The grill island comes as a basic one, L-shaped and U-shaped. The U-shaped outdoor units with well-marked preparation and dining areas are very convenient as they put everything within reach for the cook. It is important to ensure that all electrical appliances are UL approved.

Outdoor Kitchen Trends

Prefabricated units are quite popular as they can be customized to preferences. Some of these units feature an extra-large gas grill of stainless steel. The unit includes a rotisserie, storage, refrigerator, wine coolers, ice makers, etc. Some even have a portable fire pit and a box to hold the fuel where wood chips are used.

Modern outdoor units are made of weather resistant materials that can simply be washed to clean. Trendy materials are terracotta, concrete and stone veneers, with granite, stainless steel and wood for cabinetry remaining old favourites.

Ultimately, what you put together in your outdoor unit depends on specific needs and it is up to you to pick the necessary components. Apart from having the choice of adding options like a refrigerator, sink, etc. stone baked pizza ovens are becoming a hot trend.

Some of the best brand names in outdoor kitchens have everything you would ever need to set up your own. Since the trend is more towards a casual living style, most people design their outdoor cooking area in a way that they can really enjoy it – whether for partying, or just relaxing with loved ones.

 

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All you need to know about Kitchen Flooring

When choosing your kitchen flooring options some of the first questions you should ask are how much you are willing to spend, and what you expect from your flooring.

Are you looking at pure durability, or are you looking at something that will wear well, yet look great over the years? If you happen to have kids, you want to make sure that the floor is spill resistant. If you love to cook and spend substantial time in your kitchen, you want the kitchen flooring to be kind to your feet.

The ideal thing, of course, is to look for something that complements your cabinetry, your countertops, and your kitchen appliances, since the right kitchen flooring ideas can make all the difference in the world. We already know that the kitchen is a high traffic area, so its flooring must also withstand this traffic.

With the large number of online retailers and kitchen designers, it is easy to do your research and get familiar with all the variety of kitchen flooring materials. Once you do that you can better make an informed decision about whether you want your kitchen floor to be made of concrete, vinyl, tiles, wood, laminate, travertine, granite, etc.

If you want to go environmentally friendly, then you might be thinking of cork or bamboo. Read on to get an overview of what you can choose from.

The cost of material and installation apart, choosing the right kitchen flooring also needs to factor in how you will use your new floor and its durability. A variety of materials are available, ranging from vinyl tiles and sheets, linoleum, ceramic tiles, laminates and wood. Again, depending on where you live and the size of your kitchen, one option could be more advantageous than another.

A lot of thought must go into selecting your kitchen flooring as it can make a big difference in the way your kitchen looks. The wrong flooring could easily turn a well-designed kitchen into an average looking one while the right flooring can highlight your carefully chosen kitchen countertops, cabinets and appliances.

A tour of the model kitchens on display at these showrooms and a look at free samples of kitchen flooring materials can give you an idea of how it will look. When you select the right quality kitchen flooring you can enjoy a lifetime of durability combined with beauty.

Vinyl kitchen floor is universally popular, as are laminates. Most people look for flooring that can take plenty of wear and tear and if there are kids around, you might want to also consider resistance to spills. Flooring that is comfortable and durable is the aim of most homeowners.

Getting the right kitchen flooring options for your kitchen flooring will depend on your budget and lifestyle.

Here are some of the most popular flooring options you will come across:

Vinyl Flooring -this is cost effective and durable and you can get it in sheets or tiles and in different finishes. Most homeowners go for vinyl for its wide range of colours, patterns and designs. Vinyl kitchen flooring is quite common, and you can get them in sheets or tiles. These can be installed quickly and are easy to maintain. Vinyl is long lasting and ideal for those who are budget-conscious. Different qualities are also available in vinyl flooring. The higher end vinyl flooring comes with a layer of urethane to make them retain their shine. While vinyl sheets need professional installation, the tiles are relatively easy for anyone to install.

ceramic kitchen flooring

Ceramic Tile Flooring –these are also cost effective and sturdy. Tiles are easy to clean and maintain. Quite sturdy and attractive, ceramic tile kitchen floors are very easy to maintain. The stone type ceramic can give you a beautiful kitchen floor. Depending on where you live, the cost could vary. The stone ceramic tiles are sliced from boulders, so you might get that ethnic look with the flooring.

concrete kitchen flooring

Concrete Flooring -durable and long lasting. Concrete kitchen flooring is the kind that used to be considered rather boring, but not anymore. These days, you can get your concrete floor treated to look decorative. The best thing about concrete kitchen floors is the ease of laying it. Invariably most types of flooring have a concrete layer under them. The advantage is, they don’t heat up and they keep your kitchen cool. If you have underfloor radiant heating, then concrete is the ideal floor. To make the concrete attractive, it can be stained to get the look you want. Easy to maintain, you get get your concrete to look like tile, hardwood, slate or marble floors but without the related expense. These floors can even be laid without professional help. Once stained, the concrete floor is sealed with wax and sealant to make it get a good finish.

cork kitchen flooring

Cork Flooring -easy under foot and environmentally friendly. Cork kitchen flooring is another recent trend. Though on the expensive side, most people think it is worth every cent. It looks unique and can take the kind of finish you want. It feels good under your feet.

Cork also has antimicrobial properties, making it a good choice in the kitchen especially where you prepare food. Most families appreciate cork floors most when something is dropped on it and stays intact without breaking. For busy cooks, cork also helps cushion the feet.

laminate kitchen flooring

Laminate Flooring –This trendy flooring idea that is easy to install and is also durable. Laminate Kitchen Floors are among the most popular. These synthetic floors can be made to look like whatever type of flooring you want. Laminate floors are made with actual photos. Several layers of material with a tough plastic layer on top makes up a laminate kitchen floor. You can laminate over an existing floor. These floors are durable when installed properly.

bamboo flooring

Bamboo Flooring –this is a hot trend in kitchen flooring today for its beautiful looks and as a better option in terms of cost, to hardwood floors. Bamboo is strong, grows quickly, and is easily available. The bamboo kitchen floor is the hot new trend in kitchen flooring and is environmentally friendly as well. Cost wise, it is much less than hardwood, which is expensive. It looks beautiful and warm. Bamboo is a fast-growing grass that can be cultivated and matures in a much shorter time than other woods.

linoleum flooring

Linoleum Flooring -inexpensive and easy to install. One of the oldest types of floors, linoleum kitchen floors are made from natural ingredients like linseed oil, wood powder, pine resin, etc. These floors are very budget friendly and can be made in different finishes like matte and marbleized patterns to give it that nice retro look.

Rubber Flooring -durable and loads of options. Ask any chef and you will be told that rubber kitchen flooring is the best. Rubber flooring last long, are easy to clean and can take a rough beating. You can have them in the colours of your choice. For those who spend a lot of time in the kitchen, rubber flooring is comfortable on the feet.

Slate Flooring

Slate Flooring -beautiful and functional. Slate kitchen floorings are made of non-porous rock material and do not stain. Plenty of colours are available in this good-looking flooring, with the most popular being black, gray, rust, greens and maroons. Slate is also slip resistant.

Travertine Flooring

Travertine Flooring -durable and easy to install. Travertine kitchen floors are stone floors available in different colours and rough or smooth texture, depending on what you like. These are sturdy flooring material and can even withstand an acid cleaning. Italian travertine is considered good.

wood flooring

Wood Flooring –is very long lasting, although it needs maintenance. These are installed as strips, squares or planks and can be bought in different grains and colours.

Hardwood Kitchen Flooring – Hardwood kitchen flooring is the kind of flooring option that lasts a lifetime and looks cozy. Best of all, it goes with just about any décor. Wood floors can be installed as strips, planks or parquet squares and you can choose what you like in terms of colors and grain.

Kitchen floors tend to get lots of traffic and depending on what you choose might need to be replaced often. With the choices available today, you can find one that is both durable and looks good, lasting almost a lifetime.

Modern kitchen flooring trends

More and more people are opting for the natural look, going in for large marble or porcelain tiles where the grout lines are almost invisible. These colours are natural light earthy shades like beige and cream with a buffed finish. This kind of flooring is often maintained throughout the house.

Wood floors, especially the darker shades like cherry, walnut, mahogany etc are being used along with stone in many homes. Materials that complement each other yet contrast are being used.

Even vinyl and linoleum are quite popular as they are as dependable as wood. Ultimately, the choice of our kitchen floor mirrors your taste, your budget, and your requirements. Going in for environmentally friendly flooring is the current trend.

Helpful kitchen flooring design Tips

It is not mandatory that your entire home should have the same flooring. After all, the kitchen takes a lot more traffic than other parts of the house, so you might want to think about that. Here are some design tips to choose your flooring.

If you go in for light shades in colour, your kitchen will look larger and brighter. Darker shades appear warmer and cosier.

Here the kitchen flooring’s finish plays a role as well. Glossy floors look spacious while matte finish can make your kitchen look compact.

For several small places with divisions, you can have the same flooring throughout for uniformity. Some kitchen floors have dramatic patterns while some are made in bright colours. Strong colours look good in smaller kitchens.

Kitchen floorings must be practical yet stylish, so you need to choose something that looks good as well as wears well.

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Stone Flooring possibilities

Stone flooring is truly unique. It is natural and easy to feel comfortable in.

It is beautiful, and it is often a valuable investment into your home. People have been using a variety of types of stone I their homes and in other buildings for centuries. It has long been considered one of the best investments that can be made.

While this may be true, you should consider how well it fits your own unique needs and style designs. For many, there is nothing better than falling in love with true stone flooring.

There are several types of natural stone flooring available on the market.

Granite Flooring
Slate Flooring
Marble Flooring
Travertine Flooring
Limestone Flooring

Each of these is a natural stone that is found in layers and layers of earth, dug up in quarries and cut, polished and prepared for use in the general marketplace. They are not manufactured.

Rather, they are all-natural products, which is why you are sure to see differences from one piece of stone to the next. No two pieces will ever match each other exactly. Much of the stone found today that is used for buildings and flooring comes from Spain, China, Italy, Canada, Mexico and the United States, though there is evidence of stone available in most other areas as well.
While it used to take years to form enough stone to make a palace floor, today, many types of stone products are readily available to be used within your home.

You can even find much of it available online or through your local home improvement store. Like any other product you may find, though, you do need to consider quality. Not all products are equally made and that can cause several problems for you if you do not know how to buy top quality.

There are many different options, so it is best to go and look at them individually.

You will find that granite is one of the most alluring options since it is the world’s hardest stone. The colours and striations found in granite flooring are amazingly beautiful. You may want to consider the rich marble flooring options available.

While more expensive, there is something majestic about it. Many like limestone because it offers a softer appeal than other types, but it is porous and needs protection. Travertine has been popular for some time, for its beauty and its slightly lower cost.

Each of these stone flooring options is readily available in many locations.

You can purchase it and install it yourself, especially if you can install tile blocks of the stone. But, with its weight and because of its price, do polish up your skills or hire a professional to get it just right.

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Adding Glass to a Front Door

Entry doors can be beautified with the addition of glass.

Front entry doors can retain their insulating quality if you install stained glass additions on top of insulated glass. Removal of the raised wood panels should be done carefully. You don’t want to cut into the flat surface areas of the door.

Not only will you add light and value to your home, but you will also get an avalanche of positive comments from friends, neighbours and anyone else who gets to see the finished product.

You can also add stained glass panels to a door. If you have a traditional six-panel door, you can completely remove the top four panels, the vertical stiles and the horizontal rail. The entire process will generally take less than one day.

Keep in mind that the building code mandates that the glass in doors must be tempered.

This is a safety feature that prevents serious injury in the event someone thrusts their head, hand or arm through the glass. Tempered glass does not break into shards that slice and spear; it’s the same sort of glass you have in the windshield of a car.

It is not as hard to accomplish this job as you might think. You will need a steady hand, a circular saw with a fine toothed blade, a sharp wood chisel, a hammer, a miter box, some small finish nails and a small quantity of decorative moulding.

Many of these tools you might already own. If not, you can rent the circular saw and purchase the others. The first thing you need to do is decide what kind of glass you are going to use.

To save as much as possible on your energy bills, it’s suggested that you install insulated glass in place of the solid wood panels. complications.

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