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Kitchen Renovation

Green Kitchen: Tips For Going Green In The Kitchen

Today, we need to keep the environment in mind in most everything we do and that includes remodeling and building especially in the kitchen which is the room in the home that gets the most use. If you are either building a house that needs a kitchen design, or you are in the midst of a kitchen remodeling project, trying to be eco-friendly should be part of your plans. Here are a few green kitchen tips you might want to consider:
Cork, Bamboo or Recycled Flooring: When it comes to green kitchen tips, your choosing an eco friendly kitchen flooring can go a long way towards being green. Consider using a cork, bamboo or some other type of natural or recycled flooring product. There are a number of options out there, and most are very durable. The most readily available recycled flooring is a rubber flooring. These are made of 80 – 100% post consumer product including tires. Rubber floors are extremely durable and come in a variety of colors and styles. Cork and bamboo, while not recycled, both offer quickly renewable products that don’t require deforestation of millions of trees to produce these types of floors. Both cork and bamboo are natural products as well.
Reclaimed Wood Flooring: If you prefer an older, more traditional or even antique look, you might want to consider reclaimed wood flooring which will give you a traditional look in your eco friendly kitchen. This is exactly what it sounds like; used wood that has been removed from another house or building, then reconditioned and made ready to install in your home. For the rich warmth of aged wood, this product can provide the look without destroying more trees.
Eco-friendly Lighting: When it comes to going green in the kitchen, you should choose your lighting carefully. When you choose the lighting for your new or remodeled kitchen, you can use products that will keep to the green theme. First, look to the types of bulbs you will use. Fixtures that have CFL bulbs rather than incandescent bulbs use one quarter of the power. LED lights can reduce energy consumption by 80-90%. Lamps and fixtures that use LED lights are usually built exclusively for that type of bulb. CFL bulbs can be used in any fixture that accepts a regular incandescent bulb. In addition to artificial lights, also consider the use of skylights and sufficient amounts of energy efficient windows in your plan. By making natural light readily available in your kitchen, you can significantly reduce the need for artificial light sources, at least during the day. You may also want to consider solar powered options for lighting.
Recycled Counter Tops: One of my favorite green kitchen tips is recycled glass counter tops which are quickly becoming a popular product for use in kitchens. These glass counter tops are very durable, and have a variety of styles that actually mimic the look of granite and marble. They are a mixture of recycled glass with a concrete base, or resins that are non-petroleum based that can be used for safe and beautiful eco-friendly kitchen countertops.
Energy Efficient Appliances: One of the most talked about ways of going green in the kitchen is to by energy efficient appliances. When you are ready to outfit your kitchen with new appliances, be sure to look for appliances that are marked with the energy saver labeling. All large appliances are now energy rated, so you will be able to comparison shop for the most efficient ones out there.
Solar Power: While many people think that solar energy only comes in the form of a whole-house system that includes panels that cover the roof of your home, there are other options that can provide solar power for efficient applications that are much less complicated. Rather than taking on the large scale solar conversion for all your electric needs, you could consider a small solar system that runs your water heater to take care of all your hot water needs which can help add to your eco friendly kitchen design. These systems are compact, and designed to work exclusively on your electric hot water heater system. This type of system costs only a fraction of what a whole-house solar system costs, and can save you hundreds of dollars per year off your electric bill.
Once you have your new eco-friendly kitchen in place, there are a few things you can do every day to be more eco-friendly and live a greener life in your kitchen:
Use Fabric, Not Paper Whenever Possible: This goes for shopping as well as kitchen clean-up. When you do your grocery shopping, opt for fabric, reusable bags to carry home your purchases. This keeps literally tons of plastic and paper out of the landfills each year. Another fabric …

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Home Remodeling

Five Mistakes to Avoid in Kitchen Countertop Replacement

The impulse to start a renovation job in your house is often uncontrollable. One day, you’re content with things as they are; the next, you can’t stand the looks of something and you start planning the replacement job. It’s only natural to want the best for your home, but with kitchen countertop replacement, you will want to move slowly and make sure you have the right plan in place before you move forward. Here are the five mistakes to avoid in the process.
1. Moving too quickly. We humans have a tendency to lie back and then pounce upon a project with a full tank of gas. Instead of rushing into a kitchen counter replacement project, you would be far better served by spending 2 or 3 weeks in study alone, so you know enough about the different options. As you’ll quickly learn, there is far more to a countertop than a pretty surface and exotic texture.
2. Choosing a surface which cannot endure the rigors you require of it. One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is overestimating the durability of a countertop surface. Even the most exquisite materials are vulnerable to scratching and heat damage, so get a clear idea of what you can and can’t do on top of the surface you choose. In some cases, regular refinishing and sealing will be part of the maintenance necessary to maintain beautiful counters.
3. Miscalculating your budget. No matter what type of project you are getting into around the house, it is all too typical to underestimate the kind of funds you’ll need to complete the job. Be more of a careful, pessimistic accountant than an overly hopeful one. Even after you are finished and think you can call it a day, there may be added costs due to cleanup or finishing the countertop surface you have installed.
4. Outclassing the rest of the room. Thinking big with your kitchen countertops is a great idea, but you don’t want to outclass the rest of the room in the process. Try to take at most a small step up in quality with your choice in counters. On the other hand, if you want to point out a new direction for your kitchen, you can certainly start here and let the rest of the room get up to speed with subsequent projects. This move is inadvisable unless you are totally committed.
5. Falling in love with simplicity. If your budget is limited and you are thinking about the least expensive option in countertops, you could end up going with the simplest synthetic materials. Nonetheless, you could be much happier with tiles – and not spend much more in the exchange. The simplest isn’t always the least expensive, or the ideal solution for your home, no matter what type of budget restraints you are facing.…