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Remodeling

Different Woods From Europe

We tend to use woods more from North and South America and Canada, but where else do woods come from? I know a large amount come from Europe, but what woods exactly come from Europe and what are they used for?
Why don’t we start with the hardwoods of Europe, we have (European) Ash, (European) Walnut, (European Sycamore) Maple, English Brown Oak, (European) Beech, (European) Cherry, (European) Plane, (European) Boxwood, (European) Poplar, (European) Horse Chestnut, (European) Sweet Chestnut, (European) Pear, (European) Holly, (European) Hornbeam, (European) Lime, and (European) Willow. Wow that was a mouth load!! These are all European hardwoods that are only native to Europe.
Then there are the Birch, Elm, and Black Locust, these are also hardwood trees in Europe but they are native to both Europe and North America. Birch is used for general timber and plywood, Elm is used often for furniture, and flooring and Black Locust is used primarily for poles, architecture, and furniture. And just as I listed them Birch, Elm, and Black Locust that is the same order of color, Birch being the lightest, Black Locust the darkest and Elm right in the middle.
Now, down to what each of the European native woods are used for, some are very similar so this is where I will section them off for you, as there are soooo many European woods. Beech and Maple are very similar and very important woods in Europe, they are both very hard and durable to wear and tear, and they are also both pale/cream to golden/ivory in color. They are used to build furniture, boats, make hardwood flooring, and also used in making musical instruments. Another extremely important wood of Europe is Oak, which is similar in color to the Beech and Maple just a bit darker, this is also used in furniture and flooring but also for stairs, windows, and doors.
As far as the European Ash, Plane, Boxwood, Poplar, Horse and Sweet Chestnuts, Holly, Hornbeam, Lime and Willow they are all very close in color all ranging from a pale/cream to a light golden brown at darkest. Also, they are all woods grown native to Europe but used for only minor wood projects in the country, like for decorative furniture, veneers, crafting, utensils, musical instruments and sports equipment. Walnut, Pear and Cherry are all a bit darker in color than the others are, these range from the golden coloring to deeper reds but are also used for only the same minor projects in Europe.
As for the softwoods of Europe there’s Larch, Yew, Spruce, Western Hemlock, Silver Fir, and Douglas Fir. All of these softwoods grow in North America as well as Europe except the Silver Fir which is native to the UK and the Larch which grows in North and Central Europe and Russia. These woods tend to be used more for floorboards, plywood, decorative veneers, packaging, and basic construction; these softwoods are not near as durable as the European hardwoods are. Another popular use for many of these softwood trees are to be cut down and decorated as holiday Christmas trees, take a look around and you may notice you have one of them in your own home for the season.…

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Remodeling

Underfloor Heating and Engineered Wood Flooring – What Conditions Are Necessary?

All homes have their own indoor climate which is determined by factors like the amount of moisture in the air (humidity), the temperature, the type of heating and the amount of ventilation. In a comfortable home with slight humidity variation through the seasons, wooden floors react by expanding and shrinking. During warm, humid weather wood expands. During dry weather wood shrinks – this seasonal movement is a normal characteristic of wooden floors and it never stops, regardless of the age of the wooden floor.
This movement of the boards can be significantly reduced by proper acclimatisation and by keeping temperature and humidity levels as even as possible throughout the year. Flooring machined with a bevel will show less evidence of movement than a square edged material.
Indoor air quality is greatly influenced by the temperature and relative humidity of the air, with a relative humidity of between 45% and 60% considered to be the most healthy and pleasant. However, central heating and dry winter air can combine forces to reduce indoor humidity levels to below these recommended levels. The more intensively you use central heating or underfloor heating, the dryer the air becomes and this has a detrimental effect on everything in the house – people, furnishings and floors.
The moisture content of the timber flooring needs to be in equilibrium (i.e. balanced) with the humidity levels of the air in the room. The optimum relative humidity (RH) of the air in a room with timber flooring should be between 45-65% – certainly not lower than 40%. This ensures minimal shrinkage and expansion of the timber.
Following installation, the floor temperature should only be raised very gradually from a low starting point. Ideally, the floor should be a consistent temperature throughout with no hot spots. Large rugs can lead to a build-up of heat and consequent damage to flooring – they should either be removed or selected for compatibility with underfloor heating.
We recommend that you buy a hygrometer and a programmable humidifier / vaporizer and keep a close eye on humidity levels, especially during the cold, dry winter months so that the humidity level does not drop below 40% RH. Relative atmospheric humidity should be maintained between 40% and 65% using the humidifier if necessary.
Temperature control is also important. No timber likes to be over heated and baked dry. The recommended temperature in a room with wooden flooring is between 18 – 24 degrees Celsius – with an absolute maximum surface temperature of 27 degrees Celsius.
The above recommended optimum relative air humidity and temperature levels should be observed at all times. Please look at our website for further information – particularly the facta and figures box on the underfloor heating page (see addresses below).…

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Remodeling

Form Meets Function In Decorative Concrete

Concrete has moved far beyond foundations and garage floors. This durable, versatile, and environmentally friendly material can be used to create stunning concrete flooring, counter tops, and sinks, as well as decorative elements both inside and outside the home. Decorative concrete can be made into almost any shape, and enhanced with a wide variety of colors, textures, and surface designs.
There are several reasons to consider incorporating decorative concrete into your home renovation project.
Style
Decorative concrete can look modern, traditional, rustic, formal, or anything else you can imagine. You are truly limited only by your vision and creativity. Take a look at the amazing array of concrete colors and textures available. Custom pieces can blend seamlessly into a design or stand out as a focal point.
Durability
It’s generally no surprise to learn that concrete is a strong, long lasting material. It can withstand the wear and tear a busy and active household subjects their home to. Concrete is also easy to clean helping you maintain a safe environment for your family.
Budget
While decorative concrete can transform the look of a home, it can also be amazingly affordable. Create a beautiful custom patio for an outdoor entertaining area at a much lower cost than laid stone, with significantly less maintenance required as well. Add an epoxy coating to a garage floor creating a whole new space without a large investment.
Whether building a new home or renovating an existing property, decorative concrete is an excellent choice for creating a look that is unique, attractive, and will last a lifetime. Explore the options for concrete counter tops, flooring, sinks, and much more, and imagine what your home could become.…

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Remodeling

How Much Money Can I Save Remodeling My Bathroom?

There’s a big difference between remodeling your bathroom and doing simple home repairs. Simple home repairs can often be done by someone with limited skills in the construction business. bathroom remodeling is a completely different story.
If you’re planning on doing your own bathroom remodeling, because you’re serious about saving some money, you should at least have some experience or knowledge about home improvement projects. If you’ve read any of my articles in the past, you know that you can go down to your local library and check out some books on home remodeling.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, you need to learn how to do it and that’s not very difficult. With a few bathroom remodeling books and all of the great home repair videos available today, it can make a world of difference for any home improvement project.
Now for the good stuff, how much money can you actually save on your bathroom remodeling project? Hundreds if not thousands of dollars and I’m not kidding. The money you save in labor can be spent on upgrading bathroom fixtures or can remain in your bank account.
You’re not paying a contractor big bucks, to work on your job. You’re paying a contractor big bucks because of the knowledge and skill they have acquired remodeling bathrooms. Most home improvement contractors have secrets that they’re not willing to share with homeowners or other contractors. These secrets make all of the difference in the world and are extremely valuable, because they usually save the contractor time.
If you could learn all of these secrets great, but if you can’t, you could still save a lot of money on your bathroom remodeling project by checking out a few books from your local library or purchasing them at your local bookstore. If you’re interested in saving a lot of money on any home improvement projects around your home, books are an excellent source of information.…

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Remodeling

Space Planning For Your Bathroom Remodel

When upgrading your bathroom, the first and most major factor is the dimensions of the space. Have you got the space for a bathtub plus a separate shower cubicle? Just a bath tub and a shower fitting above it? Or if you don’t have the space for the two do you prefer simply a standalone shower? The massive choice on the market could be confusing but also really exciting as almost nothing is as good as a new bathroom with shining white fixtures and sparkling chrome extras.
Selecting new bathroom sinks to integrate within your new bathroom design isn’t as simple as you may think. To begin with you must choose if your sink will be freestanding or fixed into bathroom vanities. And then there’s such a lot of choice aside from the typical white ceramic sink. You’ll find hammered copper sinks which can look attractive and dramatic, particularly with the appropriate bathroom illumination. And then there are numerous types of delightful vessel sinks, that are positioned atop vanities or a bathroom counter.
An important accent for any bathroom is a mirror. A complete wall of mirrored tiles these days seems dated and wrong; however you’ve got a wide range to choose from. On one side of the range are very elaborate bathroom mirrors in the Venetian or Rococo style and at the other are absolutely plain mirrors, in rectangular, square or round forms. An elaborate mirror might look magnificent in a chic smart modern day bathroom.
One factor that can totally change the way your bathroom looks is the bathroom lighting. If you are having your bathroom completely redesigned you might like to add recessed lighting built into the walls or ceiling. Or to give a large bathroom the Wow! factor how about a crystal chandelier? You can combine this with coordinating decorative sconces for an opulent effect. With a small bathroom a full chandelier may well be overpowering however you can achieve a similar impact on a more compact scale using chandelier style lamp shades together with dangling crystal droplets for all the style but not having the risk for tall family members.
An important aspect to note while redesigning your bathroom may be the demands of all of the different people who will be using it. If it’s to generally be your main family bathroom and you’ve got children, then this style and design must be suitable for all of them. In particular, there may be little point in putting in a huge bath if most of the household prefers a standalone shower. For those who live by yourself or the bathroom you are designing is the master bedroom ensuite then you can please yourself over the style and design, bathroom furnishings and accessories.…

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Remodeling

Bathroom Fixtures

More than likely, you will want to replace your bathroom fixtures during a bathroom remodel. When it comes to bathroom fixtures, you have a wide range of choices, depending on which area of the bathroom you’re working with. To assist you in choosing the best fixtures for your bathroom, we’ve put together some helpful information Faucets for the bathroom are available in a huge variety of shapes and styles so you can be assured of finding exactly what you want. In addition, many faucets are offered with matching bathroom accessories such as towel bars or robe hooks for the bathroom. The main point to consider when looking for a new faucet is whether you will be replacing the sink or keeping the existing one. Depending on the sink, you may or may not be able to use a specific faucet, since the sink may need to be drilled to accommodate the new faucet. It is also strongly advised that you select a faucet cast in brass, copper or another high-quality material as they will generally last longer. To minimize the chance of a leak, you may also want to consider choosing a faucet that uses a washerless design.
In addition to the faucet, it is also crucial to put some thought into the bathroom sink if you don’t have a lot of space in the bathroom. You can free up space in your bathroom if your sink doesn’t need to be installed into a vanity or counter. When it comes to sinks, there are several different types to choose from. Drop-In is a common sink type that is installed with the edges of the sink resting on top of the bathroom counter or vanity top. Undermount is a popular alternative to the drop-in type this sink type is installed below the level of the counter. It is easier to clean and more attractive than a drop-in sink. Vessel is a innovative sink variation that places the sink bowl on top of the counter. The bowl is generally made from glass, china or other attractive materials.Pedestal. The sink is mounted on a pedestal rather than a counter, allowing space to be freed up around the sink and helps to conceal the plumbing under the sink behind the pedestal. Wall-Mounted is much like the pedestal design, a wall-mounted sink frees up space around the sink although the plumbing is exposed underneath.
In addition to the sink and faucets, there are a wide range of options available to customize your shower to meet your needs and wants. If you simply want to replace your showerhead, there are many attractive options available including low-flow showerheads that will allow you to conserve water, or you might wish to implement a handheld showerhead, allowing you to easily wash your hair or hard-to-reach places. One other great option that has become popular is the rain shower – this design places the showerhead on the ceiling and simulates the feel of showering in the rain or under a waterfall.
While it may not be as exciting as the rest of the bathroom, the toilet is another area to consider during a bathroom remodel. In particular, you may want to consider a toilet that is a bit higher than the normal height for a toilet, which can be more comfortable for most people to sit on. Toilets also come in wall-mounted or floor-mounted designs as well as a range of classic and modern looks. If you’ve got a particular color scheme in mind for the bathroom, you can even get a designer toilet in a color that matches your bathroom.…