New Bathroom Flooring for a Renewed Look

In terms of the size of your bathroom whether it is large or small, the floor occupations a lot of it's space. If your bathroom really has no major needs, but it just has a case of the blah's, maybe you should consider laying a new floor.

Bathroom flooring materials come in natural stones, laminates, man made materials mimicking stone, wood laminates and vinyl. They all have their good and bad points.

Natural stone, gives an opulent air to a bathroom and is often a willing flooring material for remodeling. Natural stones can be very durable, but they are expensive, and they do have special cleaning and maintenance needs.

The man made materials are also on the high end. They are very durable, but periodically require professional maintenance.

Wood laminates are less expensive than natural stone and hold up fairly well. Wood laminates need to be installed exactly as directed by manufacturer when installing in a bathroom. Be sure, at time of selection, your supplier knows this wood laminate will be installed in a bathroom. All laminates are not alike.

Vinyl flooring can be the least expensive depending on your selection. There are also some more expensive vinyls. Vinyl can be a good choice for a bathroom because it holds up well in the moist environment, and is easy to clean. Some of the newer vinyls are very attractive, feature texture, and are often hard to distinguish from real tile. Vinyl is also easy on the feet.

When you install new flooring materials in a bathroom, read what the manufacturer recommends for cleaning and for maintenance. I have conducted some mystery shopping, and gotten a lot of misinformation about the special needs of some of these materials. Good sales people know their product, and the there are the others …

There is such a wide variety of cleaning products today, and some of them very good. But they are not created for all surfaces. Do read the labels before applying a new cleaner. It may not be right for your bathroom flooring or surface. …

Interior Design Advice

When it comes to home improvement, there are a number of factors that come into play when designing your dream home. There are so many little decisions to make, and so many projects to be completed, it can be overwhelming. By the time it’s over, you’ll need to book a trip with Travelocity to deal with the stress. However, I think we can all agree that it’s worth it once you see your perfect dream home come to life before your eyes. Now, all you have to do is figure out what perfect looks like to you. Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling.

First and foremost, consider using a theme in your home. A theme can give your home a unifying feeling that ties the whole home together and brings your whole home to life. One example of such a theme is an oceanic theme. Such a theme would start with a palette evocative of the ocean, so you’d want to use colors such as a greens and blues like teal, seafoam, and cyan. Then, you’d want to add on theme decor, such as seashells, anchors, vintage diving gear replicas, nauticals stars, and more. You can also use posters, paintings, and photos that are on theme to complete this picture. Keep in mind that you don’t have to commit to a single theme across your whole home. You could do a unique theme for each room, a single themed room, or anything in between.

Another way to create your dream home is consider the flow of your living space. Go into your living room right now, or if you’re using your phone or a laptop to read this, just look up, and look at the space between the furniture as a series of invisible pathways. Your goal when designing your new dream home is to make those pathways as easy and care free to navigate as possible. After all, you don’t want to navigate a labyrinth every time you need to get to the bathroom. So, make sure to maximize the efficiency of the paths from room to room and from one point of interest to the next within a room for the utmost enjoyment of your space.…

How to Maintain Sliding Windows

Sliding windows are beautiful additions to any home. However, they also require quite a bit of maintenance to keep looking their best through the years. While different types of windows don’t require such an intense cleaning schedule, sliding doors need a lot of attention and upkeep lest they become streaky and unmanageable. But figuring out how to keep your sliding windows from getting smudgy doesn’t have to be a daunting task. If you’re trying to find the best way to keep your Renewal by Andersen and sliding window frames from looking filthy, here are a few tips for maintenance.

Clean the Tracks

When you go to clean your windows, your first instinct might be to start with the window glass. But before you even think about tackling the glass itself, you’re going to have to get deep into those tracks if you want to start really making a difference. Your sliding window’s tracks accumulate a ton of gunk even over the span of a few days, let alone a few months. If you want to get really deep into the tracks and clear out any buildup, use a small tool like an old toothbrush and a bit of gentle cleaner to scrub away debris. Once you’ve scraped off a good amount of gunk, remove it with a paper towel and go back over the area with a sponge to pick up anything that’s left.

Clean the Glass

Now that you’ve tackled the tracks, you’re ready for the glass. Using window cleaner and a gentle sponge, work your way down in even strokes. Always start at the top to allow the water to drip downward, and try not to dry your window with any hard, scratchy material. Dry gently and don’t be stingy with the Windex. In fact, for the best possible clean, you might want to go through this process a few times, being careful to dry your window gently with each cycle.

Remove the Frame

Before cleaning your frame, you’ll want to make sure it’s properly and safely removed, sashes and all, from the casement. Be as gentle as you can when removing your frame, taking out the sashes and loosening the appropriate screws in order to get an easy grip on the framework. If your window sash is secured by caulking or other old weatherstripping material, take a moment to remove the excess with a scraper before proceeding.

Clean the Frame

After the glass is cleaned, the hard part begins. When it comes to cleaning your window’s frame, you don’t have to be quite so gentle. Using steel wool and an appropriate cleaner to scrub away any spatter or dirt will help restore your window’s frame to its original splendor. If you’re working with a sensitive material, be sure to use a gentler cleanser. For instance, don’t use wood soap with aluminum, and go easy on harsh chemical cleaners if you’re working with treated wood or other sensitive frameworks. When replacing the frame, be wary of smudging the …

Perennials Vs Annuals – What Are the Advantages of Each?

If you are a new homeowner, planting your flower gardens, bushes and trees are something you thought about from the time you first looked at your new home. You probably have a picture in your mind of what you want your flower gardens to look like.

There are pros and cons to perennial plants or flowers and annual plants and flowers. Those that are perennial will come up year after year, and usually cost more. Annuals are often planted as seeds and nursed into full flowering plants that require weeding and need to be re-planted each year.

You might decide to plant a combination, but those that have little time to work in the yard always choose perennial, because they practically grow on their own and don’t require much more than cutting them back at the end of the growing season. Typically, the flowers aren’t as vibrant as annuals, but there are some perennial plants that can bloom all season and be beautiful and vibrant, such as roses and day lilies and includes seasonal flowers such as daffodils, tulips, lilac bushes, peonies and daisies.

Annuals cost very little, if you plant them from seed. If you want uniform placement, you might consider starter plants to give you instant color and give them an advantage over the weeds. They are cheaper plant initially, but they require more work, such as constant watering, weed pulling and dead-heading. For those that like to garden, they may not mind this hobby. You can find a wide variety of annuals and for those on a budget, annuals are the choice.

The main advantage to perennials is that they can easily adapt to weather conditions and are hardier than annual plants. They are normally planted once, but bloom year after year. Some perennial plants only bloom every other year and newly planted perennial plants may not bloom the first year or two. You have to carefully consider placement, since it is harder to transplant them, once they have taken root. The other great thing about perennial plants is that you can add a few plants a year to your landscape until you get all of the color you want. It is considered a landscaping investment, when it comes time to sell your home.

With annuals, the main advantage is the varieties and bright colors you can get. The affordability is another factor and you can change the look of your landscaping every year, to something different. The main disadvantage is that they are not as hardy and the growing season is not as long as perennials, in most cases. If you have an extremely hot and dry summer, or if fall comes early, your plants may die. Because they aren’t as hardy, you may need to consider whether you have a sprinkler system and placement can be helpful in keeping them alive.

When analyzing the pros and cons of perennial plants versus annual plants for your garden, it might be best to make perennial plants a …

Things You Need To Know If You Are Taking Up Organic Gardening

Organic gardening is very popular these days but many people are afraid to dip their toes into it. The thought of starting a garden can be intimidating for many people, due to the fact that it is not something a lot of people are familiar with, and it does seem complicated. Read through this article and you can gain better insight on what it takes to start and grow your own organic garden; it’s not as hard as it may seem.

Avoid rose mildew. This fungus affects many types of roses, especially in wet weather, when days are warm and nights are cold. Small gray or white spots will appear on the plant, forming a felt-like down. Shoot tips are killed and buds fail to open. Don’t plant roses close together – they need good air circulation to avoid mildew. Spray any affected plants with fungicidal soap.

Key to any garden activity is using the right tools. While having a shovel is essential, so are other tools that work best with your garden size. For smaller gardens, short handled tools work best, for larger gardens longer handled hoes and spades work better. Make sure you keep a sharp edge on your tools for easier work.

You can test the viability of your seeds by soaking them overnight. Drop them into a container of water and keep them in a dark place for a day. Check the location of the seeds. If they sank to the bottom, they are usable. If they float the top, they may be dead.

Add some earthworms into your garden soil. Earthworms are great in tunneling and loosening up the soil, giving the roots of your plants plenty of air space. They help make soil that is rich in nutrients by breaking down dead plant materials. Earthworms are a much better solution for your garden than commercial fertilizers.

There are several all-natural ways to keep pests out of your garden, including certain plants. Slugs who want to enter a vegetable garden, for example, can be repelled by a simple border of marigolds and onions. Wood ash used as mulch helps repel pests as well when around shrubs and trees. These methods are environmentally-friendly and mean you do not have to resort to harsh chemicals.

Once you understand and begin utilizing the tips you have read, the thought of working on your own organic garden should not seem intimidating at all. It is relatively easy to have an organic garden, that you can show off with pride. Soon you can have fresh, environmentally-friendly fruits and vegetables on your table.…

Unique Kitchen Decor with Mosaic Medallions

Looking for something unusual for your new kitchen or renovation? Consider the practical beauty of handcrafted mosaics for a unique touch. Mosaic medallions set in your backsplash, walls, tabletops or floors offer the beauty of one-of-kind handcrafted works of art, and the practicality of wipe-clean surfaces.

Mosaic medallions come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, patterns and motifs, suitable for almost every kitchen design from sleek ultra-modern to warm classic designs. Mosaics can be made from a variety of material, including marble, slate, glass or combinations of materials. By nature, mosaics are composed of many, many pieces of these material fashioned into unlimited patterns and designs.

Dean Avey of Artisan Mosaics in Toronto points out that, "Our mosaics are created from thousands of tiny hand-cut pieces of marble.

Mosaic medallions or marble carpets offer unique flooring alternatives for kitchens and eating areas. Set in ceramic tile or hardwood flooring, mosaics create the feeling of area rugs in these high traffic areas. As opposed to rugs and mats, mosaics afford homeowners easy clean-up and eliminate tripping hazards. Like an area rug, flooring mosaics can help to delimit space in open concept environments.

Mosaic medallions can also be set in table-tops or breakfast bars, on walls and in frames as practical, unique forms of art for your kitchen and many other areas in the home as well. Whatever the application, mosaics will add a touch of distinction to your decor. …

Following A Plant Based Diet Is Easy With Home Gardens

Many people today are turning to a plant-based diet as an alternative to diets too rich in saturated meat products, junk food, and highly processed foods. In some cases, it involves spending more time in the produce section of your local grocery store, looking for fruits and vegetables that are grown organically and spending extra money on them.

You can follow a great plant-based diet in an even better way while growing your fruits and vegetables in your own home garden. If you live in an apartment, you can start a container garden in front of a sunny window. If you have a plot of land to turn into a garden you can go big with a garden filled with healthy fruits and vegetables. You can grow almost anything in a small garden so you have the spring, summer and fall to eat off your own land.

Vegetables Easily Grown At Home

Tomatoes lend themselves well to container gardening and can grow like wild in the good earth of your back yard. They grow and ripen all season long so you can pick what you need for sandwiches, salads, snacks, fresh sauces and even for juicing.

You can grow your own peas or beans in a container or in your backyard garden. They are rich in phytonutrients that have their maximum potency if you simply pick what you need and eat them as soon as possible; you have the greatest amount of healthy phytonutrients and antioxidants in the food shortly after picking them.

Peppers, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and greens like Kale are great options for a home garden and allow you to reach for healthy and super fresh produce all summer long and into the fall.

Your Home Garden

If you decide to have a back yard home garden, you need to decide if you want to grow organic foods or not. Organic gardening is the best possible choice because the food is grown without pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. This means no harmful chemicals exist with the food you pick and you can even eat them straight out of the garden without having to wash them extensively.

Grow a wide variety of foods that become ripe at different times of the season:

Radishes, for example, take only a few weeks to become edible and, after pulling them up, you have room to grow a row of something else. Most people grow tomatoes and some people grow carrots, lettuce, and potatoes.

Both potatoes and squash need the entire summer to become available for eating so all you need to do is to keep them weed-free and watch them grow. In the early autumn or late summer, you can dig up the potatoes and harvest the squash. These types of produce can be kept at room temperature or in a cool place for many months so you have instant winter eating from vegetables you grew in the summer.

Lettuce and other greens can be grown and harvested all summer long for the …

Maintaining The Exterior Of The Home

Before working on the exterior of the home, you should create a checklist of what you need to do and the materials that you need so that you’re prepared. There might be some jobs outside the home that are too difficult to complete on your own, so you could ask family members or friends for help or hire an outside company. It’s usually best to work outside in the spring and fall because it’s not as warm, allowing you to get more done for the following seasons.

Monthly Inspecting
You want to perform a few monthly maintenance tasks that will keep everything on track and working properly through the rest of the year. Clean the filters in the furnace or air conditioner, whichever you’re using at the time. If the filters are beyond cleaning, you should replace them. Clean the faucets, check for water leaks, and make sure the drains in the sinks and tub are in proper working condition. When you’re working outside, you should remove unwanted clutter and trim the shrubs and limbs that you can reach. Companies like Renew Crew of Castle Rock can clean and restore wood surfaces outside, such as the deck and patio. Companies can also clean sidewalks and steps that are made of concrete.

Fall Maintenance
There are a few seasonal projects that you can take on as well outside the home. Clean the gutters in the fall and spring. Make sure the gutter system is free of debris so that water will flow properly. Aerate the lawn in the fall and spread fertilizer and grass seed. Walk around the home to see if there are any cracks or leaks around the windows and doors. The fall season is a good time of the year to repair these issues so that you don’t lose heat in the winter. Your fireplace or furnace should be inspected to ensure that they are working properly. You should inspect the air conditioner in the spring for the summer season.

Spring Details
Examine the roof to see if there are any shingles missing or if there are any weak spots. When you performing home maintenance in the spring, clean the windows and examine the window screens. If there are any tears in the screens, try to replace them to save money, but if the tears are large and are close to the edges of the window, then it’s best to go ahead and replace them while you can.…

5 Great Health Tips to Give You More Energy

Fitness Levels

During the winter months we tend to get out of the habit of exercising. Spring time is a great excuse to renew that exercise time and get back into shape. This will also help to increase your energy levels. The key is to begin slowly and gradually. All you need is 15 to 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day. You do not even have to leave the house to do this as simple household chores or running up and down the stairs can give you a good workout.

Energy levels

We tend to cover ourselves up and hide in doors during the winter months. We also tend to use coffee and other caffeine drinks to give us a boost of energy. However, with the brighter and warmer days it is a great opportunity to get outdoors and catch a natural energy booster through the sun's rays. You can combine this with simple deep breathing exercises to re-energize you and get your blood flowing through the body. Begin by breathing in slowly for a count of six and then hold for a second and release slowly for a count of six. Ensure you breathe right down to the pit of your stomach.

Your Mental Well Being

As well as your body your mind plays an important role in regulating your energy levels. Therefore, it is important to keep it active and stimulated. If you are in the habit of crashing on the sofa and watching TV in your spare time this will lower your energy levels as most TV is not very stimulating. Break the habit by getting involved with activities that are going to use more brain cells. This can involve playing card or board games with family or friends.

Your Free Time

During the warmer and brighter days it is wise to make the most of outdoor activities. If you are to live by or close to the sea use a warm sunny day as an excuse to take you and the family to the beach for a picnic. The combination of being outdoors and breathing in that refreshing sea breeze will do wonders for your energy levels. You may also find that a day at the sea seems to make you sleep hardly at night.

The Food You Eat

What you eat plays an important role in how you feel and the energy levels you have. The foods to eat that will boost your energy levels are plenty of fruit, vegetables including salads, lean meats and plenty of water. …

Spring on the Cheap

Many of us are still grabbing jackets before we head outside, but there’s no doubt about it-spring is here! Whether you live in a high rise apartment or a cottage in the country, these tips will help you and your kids make the most of this beautiful season.

Instead of expensive plants, try this-

There’s no need to spend a ton of money at the nursery when you can just grab several packs of seeds for a few bucks. I remember when I was putting in my seed order from a catalog. I let each of my kids pick out a pack of seeds. My oldest daughter decided to try her hand at Curly-Q Cucumbers, seedless cucumbers that grow spirally. I didn’t think they would be able to grow, but I had to keep my promise and I ordered them just the same. Believe it or not, that summer, we had more Curly-Q Cucumbers than we knew what to do with. You never know what will happen with seeds-they are full of so much potential (just like kids). Go ahead and turn it into a family project and pick out seeds for everyone.

Instead of pricey greenhouses, try this-

When you are planting seeds, there is no need to buy expensive grow lights or portable greenhouses. I love saving the clear plastic covered containers from bakeries. These are the perfect little containers to start your garden because they are clear to enable the light to come in, but they are covered to protect them from the cold. If you have a sunny window, then you will have plenty of light for seeds to sprout.

Instead of peat pots or sprouting pellets, try this-

They may look inexpensive, but buying lots of them really adds up. Try my little trick of using cardboard paper towel or toilet paper tubes. Simply cut them up to lengths that are around two inches and fill them with potting soil. Rest them upright in a tray and use these babies to sprout seeds. Because they are open at the bottom, you can just plant them, tube and all, directly into the ground. The roots will grow out of the bottom and the cardboard is biodegradable. Wow! Cheap and eco-friendly-you can’t beat that!

Instead of an outdoor gardening plot, try this-

Okay, so not all of us have acres to grow our cutting flowers or organic veggies. If you have some spare containers, then that’s all you need. But don’t go purchase a bunch of pots at the nursery. You probably already have plenty around you. Perhaps you can put some drainage holes in an old wagon and grow some flowers or maybe you can find an old plastic bucket to grow some fresh tomatoes. Remember to rethink everything and get creative.

Instead of bottles of chemicals, try this-

No doubt about it, organic is the way to go! When you plant your little sprouts side by side, do some research on companion planting. When you …