DIY Kitchen Countertop Options

There are a wide variety of options when it comes to the kind of material you will use for your kitchen countertops.
If you are installing them in your primary residence, you may want to spend the extra money to ensure that the counter tops will last for many years. If you’re installing them in a rental unit you may not want to go as expensive as you would in your own home unless the more expensive counter tops complement the rest of the rental unit. Also, if you are doing the installation yourself, different materials require different levels of skill and different tools, so you may want to take that into consideration as well.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll explore some of the choices you have when it comes to installing new kitchen counter tops.

Granite

Granite is one of the most popular kitchen counter tops. You can also choose whether you will install a full slab granite counter top or opt for granite tiles, which are easier to install yet still gives you the rich look of a natural stone counter top.

While granite counter-tops are ultra-strong and durable, they are not moisture proof, so you will need to take care not to let liquid seep through the surface. Granite kitchen counter-tops are easy to care for and will last for many years if properly cared for.

Laminate

Laminate kitchen countertops are a popular choice for many do-it-yourselves because they are easy to install and are far more affordable than many of the natural stone countertops. They come in a variety of colours and finishes and are stain resistant.
They do not stand up well to heat, so you will need to use a trivet or pot holder before placing hot pans or dishes on the counter-top. They are an attractive option, and although laminate kitchen counter-tops will not last forever, with proper care they will last for several years and are easy to replace when needed.

Wood

For do-it-yourselves that like to work with wood, wood countertops are an appealing option. Since prices vary among the various hardwoods, you should be able to find the wood to make your kitchen countertop and stay within your budget as well.
Wood countertops will last a lifetime if properly cared for and are resistant to bacteria. Popular choices include oak, maple, mahogany, walnut, and cherry. While wood countertops offer a strong and durable solution to any kitchen, as with many kitchen countertops, extreme heat can mar the surface, so care will need to be taken to preserve the beauty of your new wood countertops.

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What you should know about LED lighting

As a designer knows, lighting is one of the elements of design that is used to complete a contemporary look in modern home décor.

Before you spare no expense on the type of lighting you want to use to create a sense of warmth and comfort in your home, you need to know about the different lighting products on the market. LED lighting products are one of them. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) have gained wide popularity over the years, and their market has steadily increased over to where more people prefer this type of lighting products.

The reason LEDs have gained a lot of popularity is that they are an impressive alternative to other lighting products.

LED products have been replacing incandescent or florescent lighting in both residential and commercial lighting areas. They’ve become favourable because they are very energy efficient, last longer, are reasonably smaller in size as compared to the others, and are dimmable to suit your mood. They also produce a relatively low amount of heat, have a low failure rate, they’re shock resistance, and are adjustable to low temperatures (as compared to the popular energy efficient lighting product, the compact fluorescent light bulb, CFL).

LED products are comparably less bright than other products on the market.

This is due to the fact that LEDS are able to produce about 80 lumens of light. Compared to other products, a standard 60 watt incandescent light bulb produces about 900 lumens, hence making a single power LED light 1/11 as bright as a 60 watt incandescent light bulb. As a result, to produce enough illumination, an LED fixture must contain groups of LEDs.

LEDs can be both coloured and white; red, green, blue and amber are among the most popular colours.

The colour produced by the LEDs depends on the materials that were used to manufacture it. For instance, an LED that is available in red was made from aluminium, gallium, and arsenic. White LEDs are made by covering a blue LED with a yellow phosphorus coating.

This type LED lighting can also be created by using red, blue and green LEDs placed in close proximity to each other.

Like all other light sources, the efficiency of LEDs is measured in lumens or watts. Warm white LEDs produce between 22-44 lumens, while cool white LEDs are more efficacious as they produce between 47-64 lumens. As compared, the average household incandescent light bulb creates 10-18 lumens, and compact fluorescent light bulbs produce 35-60 lumens.

For fluorescent light bulbs to function, they need ballast.

This is to provide a starting voltage and limits the electrical flow to the light bulb. LEDs also require an electronic power source that is similar. In regard to LEDs, this power source is usually called an LED driver.

The driver converts line power to the appropriate voltage and may also include dimming and/or correction controls.

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Texturing Your Ceiling

The look of your ceiling is something that is easy not to pay as much attention to, but it probably as noticeable as the way your floors or walls appear. The color and texturing of the ceiling can completely alter the look and feel of any room.

Ceilings are a great place to flex your remodeling muscles. There are so many colors, textures and strategies available for you to use.

Many people choose textured ceiling strategies. They are a great way mask flaws, curvatures and drywall seams.

They can also add an element of ornamentation to what could otherwise be a plain ceiling. Textured interact interestingly with light and can also have the advantage of muffling sounds, especially when acoustical texturing applications are used. The difference between a plain and a textured ceiling in terms of appearance is immeasurable.

The addition of texture to a ceiling can completely change a room.

The actual materials used to produce textured ceilings are easy to create. It generally involves little more than mixing paint with other readily-available materials. You can find a variety of texturing “muds” at any hardware or interior design store.

As with so many elements of remodeling, ceilings are a “practice makes perfect” project.

You might get lucky on your first try and produce a fantastic ceiling. Your best bet, however, is to practice before you actually commit to applying a texture. You can try your hand at texturing by practicing on scrap drywall or plywood.

After you’re sure you have just the right plan for your ceiling, you can get to work.

Here are a few suggestions for texturing your ceiling.

First, you might want to try a pattern with a texturing brush. You’ll want to use a ceiling material that’s a little thicker than paint but that isn’t as thick as the mud you’d use for a drywall job. For this texture, you can use a roller brush.

However, you don’t really roll it on. Instead, you “stamp” it to the ceiling. After applying a first coat and allowing it to begin to set, you go over it again, using the same technique.

Second, you can produce skip trowel effect.

This pattern utilizing sand and dry wall mud. You mix the two together until it’s nice and thick. With this approach, you apply relatively light pressure. This allows your tool to skip over the material. After you’ve applied the mud/sand combo, you can go over it again (lightly) with the trowel.

Third, you can use a wallpaper or other heavy duty brush to create a circular pattern. You’ll want a fairly thick, but brushable, texturing product for this method. First, apply the texture using a roller. Then, go back over it, using your brush to create a series of circles. The end result is a series of attractive swirls.

As mentioned, there is a great deal of room for creativity with ceiling texture. Try using different brush, brooms, and other materials to create an effect that appeals to you. Play with color and adjust the consistency of your texturing product to assess different possibilities.

If you’re trying to breathe a little life into a room or are mounting an all-out remodeling project, don’t neglect your ceilings. Specifically, don’t overlook the possibility of producing a gorgeous effect with a textured ceiling.

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Renovating or remodeling kitchen countertops

There are many choices available to you when it comes to remodeling kitchen countertops. You can easily search the Internet for the various materials countertops are made of so we won’t go into that here.

Instead, this article offers tips to help you decide among all the various types of kitchen countertops available to you.

Cost

The cost factor alone may make your decision for you when it comes to deciding which kitchen countertop will be right for you. Laminate countertops are the most affordable while natural stone countertops are among the most expensive. Between those two extremes, you have a lot of choices.

However, once you decide on the material for your countertop, you should shop around to find the best deal. Prices will vary greatly and you might even be able to find a good deal on used varieties of the more expensive types so even if you are on a tight budget, don’t automatically discount the possibility of quality kitchen countertops.

DIY or Professional Installation

This is another area that is important to consider before you decide on the type of kitchen countertop you will purchase. While some kitchen countertops are relatively easy for do-it-yourselfers to install, others may require the services of a professional.

If you’re going to spend the money for a high end countertop, you want to either have it professionally installed or be sure that you can do the job yourself. Heavy and long countertops will at the very least require that you have someone to help you with the installation. In addition, before you start a project like this, ensure you have the proper tools or can get them.

Functionality

Here, you will need to decide how you will be using your kitchen countertop and what features you want it to have.

Is it more for looks or food prep? Do you envision the peninsula type of countertop that friends and family will gather around? Knowing what you want out of your countertop before you make a final decision will help you to narrow down your choices. Also, consider that some kitchen countertops are stain resistant while others stain easily. The same goes for heat.

If you’ve got a houseful of people who will be using the kitchen, are you concerned that hot items could get placed on the countertop? What if someone doesn’t use a hot pad before placing a hot pan on the countertop? If this is a concern, you might opt for materials that are heat resistant.

Do you want a kitchen countertop that is easy to clean? This is another area of concern that you will want to look at. For example, ceramic tile countertops are beautiful to look at and not nearly as expensive as the natural stone models but some users complain that the grout between the tiles is hard to clean and can harbor bacteria, which brings up another point; sanitation. If you’re going to be preparing food on this countertop, chances are you want one that will not harbor bacteria and will ensure that the area is bacteria free.

By assessing your unique needs you will be able to make an informed decision regarding which type of kitchen counter top is best for you.

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