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Renovation House

VOC Free Flooring

VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. These are carbon based chemical compounds that vaporize under pressure. You may have seen or heard the words,” low VOC’s, or no “VOC’s describing different floor coverings, underlayments, and or adhesives. VOCs cannot be seen by the naked eye. They also aren’t detectable by odor as they don’t smell. But they are extremely hazardous to your health! Side effects are headaches, coughing, pneumonia, fatigue, asthma attacks, and have been linked to several others.
You may ask, “Where do VOCs come from?” Some options, like vinyl flooring, are made up of them. In wood flooring products like bamboo and laminate, VOC’s usually come from the adhesives or other additives. In such cases, it is possible to find VOC free products, so long as the manufacturer has not used VOC-emitting glues or finishes. With regard to plywood subfloors, there are alternative materials you can use, or you can investigate sealants to keep the gases from escaping into your living area… Wow, what a big risk it would be to have this in your home!
VOC’s are commonly found in most flooring materials, dry cleaning solvents, paint thinners and gasoline. Whether you know it, or not, VOCs pollute the air inside your home, causing poor air quality. If it seeps outdoors, it’s likely to damage groundwater and soil. These are very important factors to remember when you are shopping for flooring for your home. Make it a safe place for you and your family always read the labels for VOC free, or low VOC contents.
Carpet is a good example of high VOC exposure. Within the first few days of carpet installation it holds bacteria, and dust. A suggestion would be to keep your house well ventilated, open windows and doors during installation to lower the VOC’s.Other examples are Cork, Bamboo, and Vinyl flooring. All of them use some type of adhesive to install, it is a must to read your labels to check the VOC level, or use water based polyurethane. An alternative would be to use recycled hardwood flooring. This is actually a good “Green” way to go; otherwise they would be left to rot. Why waste wood that adds character to your home and is also VOC free?
Reclaimed wood flooring offers a truly distinctive choice when it comes to wood floors. Reclaimed and recycled wood reduces the demand for new wood and helps to conserve our forests and moderate the potential impacts of incremental logging upon the environment. Using recycled or salvaged wood is a socially and ecologically responsible decision. Hardwood flooring does not collect dust unlike carpet; this alone will cut down the VOC level. It is a quick fix with a dust mop, and you are dust free. This makes it a very healthy and logical choice for your flooring needs. The quality and life span of using solid wood out weighs carpet, or any laminated flooring option by a long shot. By sticking to low VOC, or VOC free flooring options you can remove the worries, and risks, leaving you with a clear mind knowing you have taken a step towards securing your family’s health.…

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Basement Renovations

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

One of the best types of flooring is hardwood flooring that enhances the beauty of the interior of a house and adds style and attraction. It is one of the top used flooring systems because its material will lasts for many years and it is easy to clean. Using a vacuum cleaner is a most common way to clean the wooden floors but there are also some more good ways to clean hardwood floors. It is not at all a difficult task to clean hardwood floors but it is important to know the correct techniques in order to do it easily and quickly.
Following are some of the best ways of cleaning hardwood floors:
It is claimed by many experts that washing a hardwood floor with water is the simplest and easiest way and it usually does not cause damage to the wood. But you have to make sure that the floor should not be wet for a long time after cleaning. It should be dried out sooner rather than later. If there are holes or aberrations on the flooring, the water should not be allowed to go into these holes so it cannot start destroying the wood.
The floor ideally should not be made too wet or the water should not be splashed on the floor. In its place a mop could come to salvage. A wet mop would be a good option to have the dampening effect on the floor. It is important to remove the dust and debris before pulling the mop on the whole floor. Use a broom if it is manageable to clean off the dust or a use a vacuum cleaner.
Using a mixture of vinegar and water would also prove very helpful in cleaning hardwood floors. It is quite convenient and easy to do and it provides a great shine and cleanness to the floor.
Cleaning hardwood floor with wax also required at regular intervals to give shine to the lacquered floors. But some people tend to use it too many times, which is undesirable because it would mean spending a lot of wax to remove later.
There is also another effective way to clean a hardwood floor which is to boil some water and dip few black tea bags in it. Wait for the water to cool down and then dispense it in a cleaning bucket, take a mop, squeeze it and clean the floor.…

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Home Contractors

Benefits of Floor Tiles

Are you looking for an alternative to carpets or wooden flooring in your home or office? If so it is worth taking a look at floor tiles. Many people are now looking to buy floor tiles for their home instead of conventional flooring options such as carpet, as floor tiles are often much more durable and can make a wonderful change to the interior design of any room in your home instantly.
Not only will floor tiles give your room an instant re-vamp, but they are often more affordable to lay than other flooring methods, and very simple to lay also. In terms of appearance, when you choose a tiled floor the list of options is almost endless. This is because there are so many different styles, colours, patterns and sizes of available for you to choose from, therefore whether you are looking for something unique to make your home stand out, or just want something stylish you are sure to find it easily.
There are many reasons why homeowners, and those updating properties, are choosing to tile the floors in their home. Some of which include the fact that they are extremely durable. The reason for this is they are often made from hard-wearing materials such as ceramic or even luxury materials such as marble. These materials do not scratch as easily as other material can such as wood, and do not stain like carpet would if something was split onto it.
Floor tiles are also very comfortable. This is actually a common misconception, as many assume that tiles are too hard; however they are brilliant for ensuring your floor is level, and actually provide a relieving sense of sturdiness.
When you choose floor tiles, you will also find they are waterproof. This is a very convenient quality, as your tiles will not become damaged or marked when water hits them, unlike other flooring types such as carpet, which can become damaged when wet.
As floor tiles are waterproof it also makes them very easy to clean, which is another benefit of using floor tiles. You can quickly clean your floor tiles, either using a sweeping brush to get rid of dust or debris, or you can even choose to use a conventional vacuum cleaner for an even quicker clean. To further clean your tiles you can quickly mop your floor with warm water and floor detergent for an instant glisten.
Conclusion
There are many reasons why tiling a floor is becoming a popular option for those who want a different flooring option to wood or carpets. They not only come in many different styles and colours, but they are easy to clean and can often cost less to lay than traditional flooring options.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Different Kitchen Backsplash Options

The area between your countertops and the bottom of your cabinets draws a lot attention, and can be a focal point of your kitchen renovation. The backsplash is both functional and decorative and deserves a lot of consideration when you are designing your new kitchen.
The backsplash is designed to protect the walls from water, grease, and other cooking foodstuffs that can damage a bare drywall surface. The backsplash should be a minimum of 4 inches above your countertops, but for an elegant look, the entire area between the counter and cabinet should be covered by your backsplash material. The waterproof surface of the backsplash not only protects the wall surface from damage, but it also makes your kitchen more sanitary by limiting the growth of mold and mildew associated with waterlogged surfaces.
You have a wide variety of choices for your backsplash material when you remodel your kitchen. It is important that your backsplash choice complements both your countertops and cabinets to display a consistent theme to your kitchen. The backsplash should tie the design elements of your kitchen together, and if it doesn’t, the entire feel of the kitchen just won’t be there.
Using rough, natural stone tiles in earth tones will give your kitchen an ‘Old World’ feel. Combined with natural wood cabinets and slab granite countertops, your kitchen will have an elegant feel to it. For a more contemporary look a sleek, stainless stain backsplash coupled with clean, smooth faced cabinets and a Corian surface countertop will fit the bill. Hand painted tiles to create a pattern or mural on your backsplash will give your kitchen a country or Mediterranean feel. You can use the same material for your backsplash that you use for your countertop for a modern sophisticated look. Glass block, metal sheets, or even cork can be other options that you can use for your backsplash material. You can be as extravagant or simple as you want with your backsplash material and design. If you are on a tight budget, there are a couple of ideas that you should consider. A cheap way to provide the protection that a backsplash provides your walls is a waterproof, vinyl wallpaper backsplash application. If you want the look of any more traditional backsplash, you can install your backsplash on the wall behind your sink only, and not worry about the surface on the other wall of your kitchen, or add the backsplash to those walls as your budget allows.
With all the design choices available for your backsplash, you should consult with a kitchen designer, who will help you make the right choices for the feel you are trying to achieve with your kitchen remodel. They will be able to assist you with your choice of material and the installation through the contacts that they have established. While the installation of most types of backsplashes in relatively straightforward, and can be accomplished by most do-it-yourselfers, an experienced installer will ensure that you have a professional looking finish, and is usually money well spent.…

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Home Repair

Kitchen Cabinet Ideas – Affordable Ways to Give Your Kitchen a New Look

Every spring, most families find it the right time to also help their kitchen turn a new leaf. Hence, they try to think of a lot of kitchen cabinet ideas that would not be so expensive but still be able to implement some change to the overall look of the kitchen.
It is not kept from anyone that the cheapest way to do this is by just painting your old cabinets new. You must expect that through time, your cabinets may have built up enough amount of grease and grime that it would definitely need some thorough cleaning.
So one of the most effective kitchen cabinet ideas is to clean them first with an all purpose cleaner and give it some good amount of scrubbing. Then allow it to totally dry up. Before you start with the painting job, cover first all the other parts of the kitchen like the flooring, the countertops and other appliances for stain protection.
You can also settle for just giving your kitchen cabinets a brand new finish. Remember that refacing is a much convenient way to give your kitchen cabinet a fresh look. You can settle for the oak or maple finish if you want a traditional look since pine is a successful tool in bringing in a country feel to your home.
To change your kitchen cabinet hardware is also one of the most effective kitchen cabinet ideas that you can consider doing. The hardware in the kitchen can be found tarnished, damaged or outdated through time. This cannot usually be helped.
So if you would try to change the hardware, it can already have a new appeal. Just make sure that what you will get would still match and complement the original design of the cabinets and the kitchen. As a golden rule, remember always that dark toned hardware goes well with the light touches and finishes.
Another possible kitchen cabinet ideas is the replacement of kitchen countertops. If you still want to do this task yourself, then you can just simply resurface it with the use of some plastic laminate. This would even protect your countertop from the cuts that the kitchen knife can do each time chopping is done over it.
But if you have the budget, then do not hesitate to get someone to really replace the entire countertop for this would surely add aesthetic value not just to your kitchen but to your home.…

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Basement Renovations

How to Effectively Insulate Drafty Windows

Sometimes if you’re on a budget, or maybe not be the home owner, you might pay little attention to the poor insulation that you have to live with, disregarding the discomfort and higher utility bills. You might feel that you cannot afford to do anything, or do not need to do anything as you are just renting, but you really need to pay attention to the power bill, which you alone are paying for.
If you have a real problem with air leaks, you must insulate drafty Windows or you will be paying through the nose for the pleasure of conditioning the outside air. If you live in an older home with inefficient windows, over a period of time they will warp ever so slightly due to the outside temperature and the action of the sun and will not fit the space they were intended for. Often, you will not be able to see any issue with the naked eye, but understand that unless you insulate drafty windows, the issue will be ongoing.
Don’t hold your breath if you are asking your landlord to replace windows in your property, no matter how good a relationship you might have. You can insulates drafty windows yourself and you do not have to spend all your budget doing so.
If you buy a selection of purpose made draft stoppers, you can fix the issue of window drafts quite simply. These flexible products are designed to fit any opening, are made to last a long time and are filled with ground corn cob, so are great insulators. These draft stoppers will pay for themselves time and again.
You can fit plastic to insulate drafty windows, if you don’t mind taking on a fairly significant project and dealing with the end results. Don’t forget, that you might not be able to open these windows after you finish and this might be an issue when that beautiful spring weather comes around.
Clean your windows before you think about putting plastic kits in places or you won’t be able to reach them to clean afterward. As you put the kit in place, carefully and slowly remove the paper backing and try to avoid any wrinkles. A hair dryer will heat the plastic and cause it to shrink into place, providing you with the tight fit that you are looking for.
Professional double glazing panel work is very expensive and can be as, or more expensive than actually replacing the windows themselves. If you are very ambitious you can remove the old window frames and put sealant in place before replacing, but this is not for the average person to take on.
You can insulate drafty windows the old-fashioned way and be far more effective, especially if you have limited funds available to you. Window and door draft stoppers are just perfect at keeping the draft at bay and maintaining the correct internal air temperature.…

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House Improvements

Cut Costs Through Refacing Your Cabinets

If you’ve ever endeavored on a home improvement you know that the most important part is to have the right materials, the time, and plan to make an effective project. When you’re dealing with your home you don’t want to use the cheapest materials and cheat on time when you’re trying to increase the value of your home or just trying to improve the look of your home for you and your family. As you look into redoing your kitchen you want to make sure you have the best of all of these things. But most of us don’t have the money to pay a professional to come into our kitchen and tear it all out and put in brand new appliances, countertops, and cabinets.
Don’t worry if you can’t afford this because like the majority of us you can change the look of your kitchen just by refacing your cabinets and drawers. But again as you embark on the refacing project make sure you don’t go too cheap on your materials.
To determine if refacing is all your kitchen and maybe bathrooms need go through all the cabinets and drawers and do a thorough check. Check to see if the outsides are in good conditions without any chips or dents in the surfaces. Then you need to determine if you like the general layout of your cabinets. If you hate the setup of all your cabinets than you might have to think about investing into tearing down your current cabinets and reinstalling new ones into the arrangement that you prefer. But as long as you like the current arrangement then resurfacing your cabinets may be the better and cheaper way for you.
Go check out products and prices at your local paint store. They will be the experts dealing with paint and will be able to let you know exactly what you need and the best prices to do it. You may run a risk if you go to your large home improvement store because who’s to say the paint guy there isn’t from the home and garden department covering for someone who called in sick. You want to get the best advice from the most knowledgeable source and that’s normally at the paint store.
Refacing your cabinets through a new paint job is a project that you can do on your own. Get the supplies that the professional at the store recommends and get home and get to work. It may take a lot of sanding and primer to get the base going but by the end of your project your kitchen can look as good as new just by adding some paint to the surface of your cabinets and drawers, and it didn’t even hurt the bank too much.…