Useful tips for Cleaning Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring can be easily mistaken for traditional wood flooring, but it is much easier to look after. Once installed, regular care can keep it looking good for a long time. Cleaning bamboo flooring is a simple task, as you will see from the tips that follow.

As far as daily maintenance is concerned, cleaning bamboo floors for kitchen can be done with a dust mop. Try to avoid dirt, dust, pet hairs etc. from settling on the bamboo floor. You can either use a soft broom to sweep the floor clean or even vacuum it with a soft bristle attachment. If there are any foot print marks, this can be removed with a damp sponge and mopped dry immediately.

Once a week, the bamboo floor can be cleaned with a solution of white vinegar and warm water in a 1:4 ratio. As you clean each portion of the bamboo floor with the solution, pat it dry with a soft towel. Don’t let the solution stand on the floor for too long as it can damage the bamboo.

In case anything spills on the bamboo floor accidentally, do not ignore it as it can permeate into the wood and stain it forever. The best way to avoid this is by having soft dry rags handy so that you can quickly soak up the spill. After that, the damp area must be patted dry to ensure that all the liquid has been removed.

In case the spill happens to be viscous and thick, wipe it off to remove the mess. Then take a barely damp rag and clean the area to lift off as much of the mess as possible. Do not scrub the area since you will end up working it into the surface of the wood, resulting in a stain. Now dry the area with dry paper towels or rags.

Bringing Back the Shine

Cleaning natural bamboo flooring is not complicated, but over time, you might find that the shine can wear off the floor. To restore this lustre, first clean the bamboo floor and then buff with an electric buffer once in eight months or a year, depending your bamboo floor. You can rent the electric buffer. This will let you keep your bamboo floor looking good.

Some Tips for Easier Maintenance

Some areas of your home may have more foot traffic than others – For example – the doorways of your house. Such areas can be covered with throw rugs that will keep the dust and dirt from being ground into the bamboo flooring. If you have furniture that has metal caster wheels, make sure you get rubber padding for these. In fact, fix a piece of felt to the underside of your furniture legs that meets the floor to protect it from getting nicked. Scratches and cuts can easily collect dirt.

With the above tips, cleaning bamboo floors can be a simple process, so that you can be proud of your floor for a long time.

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Let Your Kitchen Lighting Transform Your Kitchen

When we talk of kitchen design or décor, kitchen lighting must be given plenty of attention. With the wide choice available in the form of decorative, recessed and accent lighting, the only problem is to select the ideal one so that your kitchen looks perfect.

Kitchens are not just places where meals are prepared – most families enjoy gathering in the kitchen. Some people like to entertain their close friends in the kitchen. With the kids also opting to do their homework here, kitchen lighting needs some careful planning so that you create the right atmosphere in this cozy room.

The type of lighting you choose will be influenced by the size of the kitchen, the color theme and cabinet finish, and the location of the windows and doors, the amount of light needed to see inside the cabinets and other storage.

Choosing the right type of lighting mainly involves identifying those areas of the kitchen where you want lighting. Specific areas you might consider are:

*The range or cook top

*The sink area

*The island in the kitchen

*Under the cabinets

*Kitchen counter

*Breakfast/dining area

*Children’s’ work area

If the kitchen lighting layout is not planned properly, even the smartest kitchen that has the best cabinets, appliances, fixtures and fittings can look dreary. Gone are the days when even grand spacious kitchens had just one bulb hanging from the ceiling.

Today, there is wonderful choice available so that you can choose the right type of illumination that is easy to install and provides the kind of light you want.

Kitchen Lighting Styles

With the stunning choice of decorative as well as utilitarian lighting to choose from, transforming your kitchen into a delightfully bright place is not at all difficult. You can select from decorative pendant lighting, chandeliers, light fixtures decorated with colored glass, special paper, materials like wrought iron, stainless steel, wood, etc.

The latest trend is to go for energy efficient lighting if you are environmentally conscious. Apart from the style of your lighting, you will also want to think about the color effect you want to produce so that you have the right atmosphere. Let’s look at different types of kitchen lighting to get a better idea of how to choose the right style.

The general lighting in the kitchen would be called the ambient lighting, which you will use for most activities. Track lighting is ideal for this, so that reflected light is used for various areas.

Then comes task lighting, like the type you see in kitchen cabinet lighting. Small sources of light placed overhead also form task lighting and these are used to light specific tasks. This is commonly used in closets, cabinets, pantries etc.

To enhance the looks of the kitchen, you can use decorative lighting. Down lighting is used for its energy efficiency and bright clear light.

Lighting systems like low voltage kitchen track lighting , monorail lighting is flexible. These can be bent in different ways to enhance lighting around a particular object or area. A combination of ambient, task and decorative lighting can be used to define the personality of your kitchen.

Kitchen Lighting Trends

Most kitchens either have casually elegant lighting design that are stylish and chic, yet comfortable, the conventional kind that is not so opulent, and the contemporary lighting focuses on function, is modern and without frills.

Homes are getting larger, which means larger kitchens; energy saving compact florescent lamps is preferred. These in turn need larger fixtures to accommodate them. Today’s kitchen interior designers feel that to get the best kitchen lighting, the lighting design must incorporate more than one source of light for a balance.

So if there is one main overhead light, it must be supported by appropriately positioned task and accent lighting to avoid shadows. To get lighting that is just right, the present trend is dimmer switches, with lighting control systems that can save energy, make lamps last longer, yet provide great lighting.

Low voltage bulbs, CFLs and LEDs are energy efficient kitchen lighting and are widely used for good quality lighting. Pendant lighting is preferred to recessed fixtures.

Kitchen Lighting Ideas 

After you have decided which areas of the kitchen need to be specially lit, the type of lighting can be chosen. For instance, when it comes to your cooking range or cook top, you might want to consider energy saving fluorescent lighting or a recessed down light. Over the sink area, track lights will give you sufficient light to do the washing.

You can combine track lighting and recessed lighting along with under cabinet lighting to achieve perfect lighting for the countertop, so that you have a work area with absolutely no shadows.

Sometimes there is a glare caused by the lights, which can be avoided by mounting the lights to the back of the cabinets. If you have a breakfast area in the kitchen, you most likely use the area for reading too – so go for an overhead light. There is a wide choice – with chandeliers, flexi track lighting, decorative pendants, etc. that you can use with dimmer switches to create the effect you want depending on the purpose. The best thing to do is combine ambient, task and decorative lighting for the ultimate kitchen lighting plan.

There are more than one hundred respected manufacturers in the market and lighting contractors and retailers can suggest the right lighting fixtures based on what type of lighting you plan to use.

Rating/reviews

There are excellent online retailers of various discount kitchen lighting products who not only feature great choice, but also provide you with valuable information to help you make the right selection.

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The Kitchen Sink

The kitchen sink is the hub of activity in most kitchens. It is a fixture shaped like a bowl or basin that you use for washing hands, utensils and food.

Sinks require faucets that can provide cold and hot water and a drain to get rid of the used water. The look you want to achieve, combined with choice of material is only the beginning of the decision-making process in selecting your ideal kitchen sink.

Recent trends show preference for the professional, traditional and country style in equal measure.

Styles and Materials

Among the most popular materials in kitchen sinks is stainless steel for its easy-to-clean property. If you have a tile or solid surface counter, it is easy to install under mount sinks for easy cleaning. The next best preferred material for kitchen sinks is solid surface as it is easy to customize, stain and scratch resistant. Solid surface sinks can be quickly under mounted or surface mounted and you can also make personalized designs that can be decorative or utilitarian.

There are porcelain kitchen sinks that are loved by most people, just for their looks. These are quite long lasting, and you can opt for one of cast iron. Colour choices are quite abundant. These can also be under mounted or surface mounted and come with a host of features.

Among the more cost-effective options are the enamel kitchen sinks. Less durable than other options, enamel comes in a variety of colours an also needs careful maintenance.

Soapstone is a recent development in kitchen sink material that is easy to look after and available in a range of colours. Those who like the antique look for their kitchens also often use copper and brass.

There are the heavy granite and fireclay sinks that are durable. You get kitchen sinks made of quartz resin composite materials that look exotic and are cost effective. Lightweight, yet durable, these are available in a several designs and suit many kitchen décors.

Ideas / designs

Kitchen sinks come in four different mounting designs. They are the drop in, under mount, apron, and tile in types. With drop in or top mount kitchen sinks, the sinks are dropped into a pre-cut hole in the counter top, with the edge of the sink resting on the counter.

Tile in mounting is used with tile counter tops. These sinks have a rectangular edge and the top of the sink is on level with the countertop. There is a line of grout here. These are relatively easy to clean, and you can wipe your countertop into the sink smoothly.

Under mounted kitchen sinks are where the countertop sits on top of the sink. So there is no rim or edge. The apron mount sinks are also called farmer’s sinks and are mostly found in country style kitchens. Here the sink is set into a countertop. You can see the front of the sink.

In terms of form, you would need to consider the size of the sink, the number of bowls, orientation of the bowl and tapings. Most kitchen sinks are about 22 by 30 inches in size with two bowls about eight inches deep.

You can also get larger sinks and you can select the appropriate size depending on the size of your countertops. There are single, double and triple bowl kitchen sinks available. Most people use the double bowl variety with an integrated drain board.

Bowls come as side by side or in a different orientation. While installing, you need to look at the position of the sink drains as well.

Trends

The built-in drain boards for kitchen sink designs are the most preferred and can be fitted onto all countertops. Kitchen sinks also come with a drinking water filter and these are often concealed in the kitchen faucet.

Under mount kitchen sinks are the most popular in kitchen sink mountings and this fits almost all kinds of kitchen décors. Most of these under mount sinks are with granite, concrete, stone and glass tile countertops.

Manufacturers / Brands

Among the well-known kitchen sink brands are Elkay, Kohler, Blanco, Kindred, Swanstone, Whitehaus and Moen. Elkay is known for stainless steel kitchen sinks, both commercial and residential. They make clip on sinks that are easy to install. Kohler and Moen are other leading manufacturers that make stylish kitchen counters.

Rating / Reviews

It is worthwhile to browse around and read the reviews and ratings of the different makes and types of kitchen sinks to help you decide on the one that will work best for you.

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Keeping Your Home Cool In Summer

Summer weather is both unpredictable and ever changing, while we’ve seen some warm weather we’ve also seen quite a bit of rain. Despite the fickle nature of the weather it can be undeniably humid at times, bringing muggy and sticky temperatures into the home – something no one enjoys.

It’s worse still if you have to put up with your home turning into a greenhouse during summer. Direct sunlight can cause homes to spike in temperature and this can result in health issues for the elderly and the very young, so it’s important that you keep your home as cool as possible. To aid you in your efforts this summer we’ve got just a few tips to help you out.

Close Your Blinds

Think about it, your windows are made of glass, so when the sun shines on your home on a nice day it essentially acts like a greenhouse. With homes becoming better insulated for the winter it means there are fewer ways for heat to escape in summer. Closing your blinds will prevent direct sunlight from warming rooms up to unbearable temperatures. If you don’t have blinds or you simply don’t want to block out all the sun then try installing slatted wooden shutters for your home.

Grill Your Food

It’s not as if we need more of an excuse to get the braai out at the first sight of the sun but just in case you did here it is: grilling food produces less heat than your oven or stove. Getting some much needed sun outside is better than trying to cook a full roast dinner in the sweltering temperatures. By doing this you remove the heat from your home and reduce the overall temperature for when you do go back inside.

Crack The Windows At Night

While opening your windows in the daytime will be of no help, you can make the most of the cool nights by cracking your windows open when the sun goes down. You’ll hopefully sleep better if your bedroom is at a better temperature, just make sure you only open them at a crack as leaving windows wide open might make you vulnerable to thieves.

Cool Your Body Down

Whilst cooling the house down will help everyone, cooling your own body down will make you more comfortable on a personal level. There are several things you can do, including taking a cold shower, running your wrists under cold water and using cold flannels on your forehead when your lie down or sit in a reclining position.

Install Air Conditioning

The most obvious tip of all for cooling your home is to have air conditioning installed. While it might seem excessive to have this done when we only get a month or so of hot weather, it can also been seen as an investment for winter if it has a heating option. The harmful HCFC’s which used to be in refrigerants have now been made illegal, so you can put aside your worries about the environment too.

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