The Basics of Hardwood Flooring

In the present worldwide economic situation, it is an advantage to know the basics of a product before investing in it. One of the things that people really want quality for is in their home construction or renovations. Most people plan for a long time before building their dream home, that’s why it pays to research about the product first before purchasing it.

Flooring is always included in a home construction checklist. People nowadays want both quality and comfort. One of the trendy things to install in a home is hardwood flooring. Hardwood flooring adds warmth and character to a room. The natural characteristics of wood add visual appearance and depth that other types of floors can only try to duplicate. Understanding hardwood characteristics, maintenance, and quirks is an advantage in finding the right flooring for your home.

Various wood species have unique characteristics and appearances. The grain pattern in the planks is determined by the species and how the wood is cut. Finish in Place, or unfinished hardwood, is the most basic type of hardwood. Available in different widths and sizes, this type of hard wood flooring is installed first before it is sanded and urethane-finished. This is good for those who want rough floors for their forest cabins or vacation homes.

Interesting Flooring Layouts with Carpet Tiles

If you want to render a lasting impression to your home dcor, flooring is one area which you must not ignore. In fact, creative flooring solutions achieved with the help of carpet tiles are not only cost-effective but also change the way your home interiors look and feel. Let us take a look at a few designer flooring layout ideas.

Entrance: The entrance of a house decides where your guest will step into. Therefore, the flooring must be well demarcated. You can use light colour tiles in warm tones with darker tiles along the borders of the hallway to add a distinctive look to your home entrance. Living room: Mosaic flooring lay outs are most popular in the living room area. You can choose from a variety of colours and patterns of modular tiles to achieve a vibrant look. Choose cool colour tiles in shades of white, blue, purple and green if you have a smaller living area and warm colours such as orange, red and yellow for larger spaces. Bedrooms: bedrooms must look warm, cosy and inviting. Therefore, for bedrooms you can choose warmer colours of carpet tiles with thin, hand painted style borders to give a Spanish finish. For the kids’ rooms, you may choose tiles with bright colours and patterns to add a fun element to the overall design and dcor. Study: For a place as serious and meditative as the study, tiles which look like a wooden finish are the best. They not only add to the elegance of the place but also have a unique appeal of their own. Choose wooden colours and rich shades of brown colour tiles. Kitchen and dining area: The kitchen and dining area can either have similar style of tiles or different ones. Plain carpet tiles in soft colours and with minimal design look the best in kitchen. However, if you wish to have different tiles in the dining area, choose dark tiles to create an impression of a border to divide the two areas. Bathrooms: To render a relaxed feeling, bathroom flooring needs to be relaxing too. Choose light colour tiles that will catch light and exude a glow while you relax in your hot tub or spa. Balcony: You can mix and match different styles and colours of tiles in the balcony to create a vibrant flooring effect.

Here’s hoping that these tips will help you choose the most suitable carpet tilesthat will give your home dcor a unique appeal.

Cellular Shades And Other Window Treatments Proven To Save Energy Costs

With the rising costs of fuel in the United States people’s wallets aren’t only taking hits at the gas pump, but they are also taking hits on their home or apartment utility bills. However, there is good news for the energy consumer. The United States Department of Energy has reported that window treatments such as cellular shades can reduce energy waste and therefore energy costs by some 20 percent each year. The average family can save around $325 per year on energy costs by using energy efficient window coverings.

Nowadays you have to save as much money as possible to pay for the rising costs of fuel, says Harry Delp, an expert on window shades and window treatments. It only makes sense to install shades that have been proven by the United States Department of Energy to save you money.

Not all window coverings are created equal in their ability to reduce energy consumption and waste. Window Quilts are the most energy efficient but have functional styling limitations. Bamboo blinds, wood blinds, and mini blinds offer varying degrees of insulation, but without some kind of privacy liner attached the insulating value offered is minimal.

Domestic Energy Assessors Help Homeowners Show the Energy Efficiency of Their Homes When Selling

There is a new breed of professionals who you will get to know about now when you start out to sell your home. They are called Domestic Energy Assessors and are out now in England and Wales performing a brand new service.

The role of the Domestic Energy Assessor is to produce Energy Performance Certificates for inclusion in Home Information Packs. If this is complete news to you then just think of these as being certificates, like those you see on new fridges, which will provide A-G ratings on the energy efficiency of a home, plus advice on how to make further energy savings.

Energy Assessors will use their in-depth knowledge and practical understanding of the thermal performance of your home to judge on the thermal energy efficiency of properties.

Nashville’s Best Vinyl Replacement Windows. Energy Efficiency

A new national survey notes an interesting return to aesthetics being more important than energy efficiency in the consumers decision making process with regards to vinyl replacement windows. I believe there are two reasons for the shift. First, there may be some level of expectation that most products provide enhanced levels of energy efficiency because of the governments stimulus tax credit. Many manufacturers, because of the stringency of the requirements, scampered to find products that qualified. The other reason for the change is that the higher end consumer, who previously considered vinyl a lesser quality product and would only look at high cost wood and clad windows, now, because of the economic realities, are ready to look at vinyl as a lower cost, more energy efficient, alternative. Aesthetics have always been a driving force in that customers decision-making process.

Vinyl windows have been around for over thirty years, realizing more and more acceptance from consumers for various reasons. Many focus group studies have been undertaken by various manufacturers and one of the most interesting things that has been learned is that the one main thing that consumers that have otherwise loved their vinyl windows didnt like was the fact that they had to give up glass viewing area. Unfortunately, most manufacturers dont talk about that issue with the customer because of structural decisions that have required their vinyl extrusions to be big and boxy, leaving the customer to notice it only AFTER their windows are installed and too late to make a change. One of the reasons that so many products have big, bulky extrusions has to do with the increased necessity of energy efficient mainframes to meet Energy Star guidelines. Some manufacturers have made the investment in products that, in essence, allow you to have your cake and eat it too.
One of the interesting things about vinyl is that it shares a couple of properties of steel. One of the properties is that every 90 bend in vinyl increases its structural integrity. Many of the bulky, boxy mainframes available use many 90 bends for structural strength, but this increases the overall bulk of the product. The aesthetics conscious consumer is looking for a product that combines looks structure and energy efficiency.

One rarely discussed difference in products is the variations in the white color. Most customers that have white trim have painters white. Many manufacturers, including some that have some of the lowest advertised prices, still use the original white vinyl color, which has a blue or black tint to it. Again, this typically is not discussed at the time of purchase and is only discovered after the products are installed, too late to make a change. Make sure the home improvement consultant matches their white to your white.