Home Decorating

Advantages of Kitchen Granite Countertops

Kitchen granite countertops are created by nature and fashioned by man are a beautiful, durable and cost effective choice for kitchens and baths. The term granite comes from the Latin root word granum, which means “grain.”

Granite is often imported from Europe, Africa, Brazil and other regions of the world rich in natural stone. Granite is an attractive natural stone that will add color and warmth to your kitchen. Granite is an extremely hard material that will not blister, scratch or crack.
The hardness of granite is rivaled only be the hardness of diamonds. In fact diamonds are used to cut and polish granite.

Over the last 10 years kitchen granite countertops have become popular with homeowners, after first being popular with designers for decades. Granite is available in hundreds of colors, from various shades of white to browns, reds, greens, blues, and black. The most popular tones are brown and beige.

As well as being hard kitchen granite countertops can take hot items, like pots and pans, and is very stain resistant to hot grease and oil if it is sealed with a silicone-based impregnator. It can easily be cleaned and cut for a basin. Granite has a cool polished surface that makes it an excellent surface for rolling out pastry dough. The polished finish of granite will not wear off.

Kitchen granite countertops are unique because no two pieces of granite are exactly the same, therefore granite provides an interesting design element and adds certain richness and texture to your kitchen not found in other surfaces. Kitchen granite countertops can create a brilliance and elegance that is only found in nature. Granite adds a personality and character to kitchen countertops that is unsurpassed. Kitchen granite countertops have a natural beauty that is capable of complementing any tone of wood or style of cabinets.

It doesn’t matter if you are planning a new home or remodeling an existing kitchen, with granite kitchen countertops you can be sure that you will add to value of your home.

Kitchen remodelers and home builders have experienced a boom in the demand for kitchen granite countertops. Although it can be more expensive to put in granite countertops, they remain the odds on favorite choice for more upscale homes, since they keep their value better than most home improvements

The investment you make in kitchen granite countertops should pay you back at least three times what you invested. If you are selling your home you will find that home buyers wanting kitchen granite countertops will be willing to pay more for your home than if you have ceramic tile or plastic laminate.

Planning out your kitchen granite countertop first involves selecting the right granite color. You should concentrate on the most popular colors. Even though granite tones are usually neutral, you may find that a certain color goes well for your kitchen design.

If you are replacing the old countertop material in your kitchen with granite, carefully diagram all the measurements for the granite installer. If installing new cabinets is part of your kitchen remodel ask the granite fabricator what they recommend for cabinetry.

Since you are using such a superior product as granite, you should think about the right type of sink to go with your new kitchen granite countertop. You should definitely consider going with an undermount stainless steel sink, as opposed to an overmount sink that would be difficult to clean around.

In addition to getting the right kind of sink installed, it is also important to select the just the right faucet to go with the sink. A stainless steel faucet would go well with the looks of a rich kitchen granite countertop.

The next important area is upgrading your cabinet hardware. The handles and knobs should also be of high quality in order to provide good accent to the overall look of the kitchen. Even if you are not replacing the cabinetry having high quality hardware with make those cabinets and the whole kitchen
stand out.

So in planning your kitchen remodeling, just remember that kitchen granite countertops will make a provide a world-class addition and increase the re-sale value of your home.

Choosing a Good Contractor

When it comes to home repairs or home improvements, many people find themselves at a loss because they are either unable to complete the needed repairs or they simply do not have the time. In either situation, the best thing to do is to hire a professional contractor. But, what qualities should one look for in a contractor and how can you be sure that he/she will be the best person for the job? These are common questions and should be answered prior to hiring a professional contractor.

Below are 9 tips that will help guide you through the process of selecting the best man, or woman, for the job.

1) Before hiring a contractor, find out how long they have been in business. It’s best to look for an established company and make sure to check out their reputation with the local Better Business Bureau for any outstanding or unresolved complaints.

2) Always make sure that a contractor is licensed to work in the state in which the work is to be done. The best way to find out about your state’s licensing procedure is to contact your local building department and/or consumer protection agency. If your state requires that a contractor be licensed, always ask to see a contractor’s license prior to hiring him/her for the job.

3) When considering potential contractors, ask for a list of recently completed projects that are similar to the one you are in need of help with. Hiring a contractor that is experienced in projects similar to yours will help to ensure that all goes smoothly and that the job will be done correctly.

4) Be sure to ask your contractor, prior to the commencement of work, whether or not the job will require any type of permit. All permits must be obtained before the actual work begins, when required, or the homeowner may face a fine. It is best to discuss who will be responsible for obtaining permits, either you or the contractor, in the beginning.

5) Always ask for the name of the individual who will be in charge of the project, often called a supervisor, and the names of those who will be working on the construction crew.

6) Once you are familiar with the supervisor, ask him/her about their crew. You will need to know whether or not they are trustworthy and make the decision as to whether you want them working on/in your home. Will they need keys? If so, you need to know that they are honest and can be trusted near your family and/or children.

7) Every professional contractor should carry a certain amount of insurance coverage, including personal liability, property damage and worker’s compensation. You will need to request copies of all insurance certificates and confirm that they are current before work begins. Do not do business with a contractor who cannot provide this documentation as this may result in your being held liable for any injuries and/or damages that occur during the project.

8) Always check with the contractor’s references before deciding to hire him/her for your project. This is important for all of the obvious reasons and will give you an idea as to their work ethics and end results.

9) When you and your contractor come to an agreement on payment terms, get everything in writing and have the agreement signed and notarized. All parties involved should have a copy of the agreement for future reference.

Kitchen Granite Countertops

Concrete Cleaning Equipment



Pressure Washer Concrete Cleaning Equipment
By Lance Winslow

Cleaning concrete is tough and there is an easy way and a hard way. There is one thing you need to understand when you are pressure washer cleaning concrete; the concrete cannot always be made to look brand new again after it has been stained. You can always get stains lighter or bleached but completely removing it is very difficult, sometimes you get lucky, but if you are looking for perfection, chances are you will be underwhelmed. So when talking to customers let them know up front and explain this to them otherwise they will be asking for a job that just can’t be done unless the entire concrete slab is ripped up and re-poured.

Let’s talk about equipment that is needed for this type of work. Remember safety is always important when working with a pressure washer. Some times there are chemicals involved in cleaning some stains. Thus, you should always use some type of eye protection. Also, when you are using chemicals you need to wear jeans to protect your legs. Chemicals made for concrete are very strong and should not be toyed with. Would a person rather work with dry feet or wet? It is recommended that you get rubber waders or some type of rubber boot. They will keep your feet from getting wet and keep them from getting burned by the 250 degree water.

Orange cones are also important to have for this job. These help make people visually aware that you are there if you are in a high traffic area or where there are a lot of contract workers at say a newly constructed house that needs the concrete cleaned. This makes everyone around you safe and you are helping prevent accidents. Of course you are going to need a Hydro-Twister for this job. You can technically do the job with a wand but it will take a lot more time and water, not to mention you can cause streaking if you are not using even strokes across the slab of concrete. Most of the new hot water pressure washers have an option of a hydro twister type unit but if you don’t have one and or you need a second unit we recommend that you go to buy one. When buying a hydro twister buy the larger of the two. There my be only a 5 inch difference in surface coverage but it is well worth it when you are trying to save time without cutting corners.

Kitchen Countertop

Should You Hire a Professional to Remodel Your Kitchen?

Are you a homeowner who is looking to have your kitchen remodeled? If you are, you likely already know that you, literally, have an unlimited number of options.  In addition to what you would like remodeled and how you would like everything to look, you can also choose how your remodeling gets done.  While a large number of homeowners make the decision to do their own kitchen remodeling, there are others who choose to use the assistance of a professional.

That professional is often commonly referred to as a contractor.  One of the best ways to determine whether you not you should use a professional contractor is to examine the advantages and disadvantages of doing so. As you may have already assumed, there are an unlimited number of benefits to having your kitchen remodeled by a professional. Perhaps, the greatest benefit of a professional kitchen remodeling job is the end result.

In almost all cases, you will find that a professional remodeling job is better than one that is performed by someone without experience.  Although it may sound easy to replace the lighting in your kitchen or your kitchen countertops, you will find that it isn’t always as easy as it sounds.  Instead of taking the time to learn, a large number of homeowner automatically turn to a professional contractor. Speaking of time, you will also find that time is another advantage to using a professional contractor to remodel your kitchen.

Since professional contractors are experienced at what they do, they will not only produce quality work, but they will also produce it in a relativity short period of time.  Since the average homeowner is unfamiliar with the ins and outs of remodeling, in general, it often takes them longer to complete any home improvement projects. While this may not necessarily be a problem, it can be if you are pressed for time or if you are on a deadline.  If you are, you may be able to benefit immensely from using the services of a professional contractor.

Safety is another advantage to using a professional contractor to get your kitchen remodeled. Whether you are interested in remodeling your whole kitchen or just focusing on a particular part of it, such as your kitchen cabinets, you will find that it is quite dangerous to remodel your own kitchen, especially if you do not know what you are doing. Depending on the particular remodeling project in question, you may need to use sharp tools, such as box cutters and saws.  One little slip and instead of working on your kitchen, you could be spending the rest of your day in the emergency room. While professional contractors do make mistakes that can result in injury, those injuries rarely occur.

Although it may seem as if you can only benefit from using a professional contractor to remodel your kitchen, there are also disadvantages to hiring the services of one. One of those disadvantages is the cost.  Since professional contractors are good at what they do, they often charge for it.   The amount of money that you are charged will all depend on what type of remodeling you want done and the individual or company that you are looking to work with.

The good news is that you may be able to develop a payment plan or arrange for financing, as long as you have a positive credit score.  Another disadvantage to having a professional remodel your kitchen for you was also mentioned above as an advantage.  That is the end result.  Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether or not an individual or company that claims to be professional really is.

Before agreeing to work with a particular contractor, either an individual or a company, you are advised to ask for pictures of their previous work and you may also want to speak with past customers.  This will help to ensure that your professional kitchen remodeling project turns out the way that it is supposed to be, professional.   As you can see, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages to using a professional contractor to remodel your kitchen.

Perhaps, the best way to decide what you should do is keep the above mentioned points in mind and then think about your needs.  If a professional contractor can offer you what you are looking for then it may be a good idea to use one.

Six Bathroom Remodeling Tips

bathroom remodeling tipsEveryone needs the bathroom; you, your family and your guests. So spending some time and money remodeling your bathroom helps influence guests and increases your home’s value.
Bathroom remodeling means anything from replacing fixtures and a fresh coat of paint to a complete renovation and extension. So if you are considering a bathroom renovation, you need to first consider these few points to maximize your project’s potential.
1. Budget
Renovate your bathroom according to your budget to avoid falling into debt. Go to the local hardware shop, make some comparisons and strike some good deals. You can save money buying and storing the necessary tools and materials at a sale.
2. Amount of space
Some prior planning like eliminating some walls and making compartments for showers helps save bathroom space.
3. Present condition
The extent of the bathroom remodeling depends on the bathroom’s existing condition. You needn’t spend much if giving the tiles a thorough bleach cleaning, adding lights and waxing fixtures makes your bathroom look like new. You however need to make some major changes if the bathroom is too drab and failing apart.
4. Usage
It’s better creating separate areas for the toilet and shower if you have a single bathroom for the entire family. This way one person can take a shower while another uses the toilet table.
5. DIY or professionals
If you are new at DIY, its better you take things easy as you don’t want to cause problems doing unknown tasks. It’s better hiring professionals you can afford if your bathroom needs some wiring, plumbing or tiling work to be done.
6. Future plans
It’s not worth spending too much on your bathroom renovation if you may be selling your home soon. The bathroom just needs to be clean and functional, and doesn’t need a new Jacuzzi!
Your bathroom renovation is so much easier and less stressful once you keep all these points in mind. It’s only if you enjoy the remodeling process will you enjoy spending time in your new bathroom!
Find out more about bathroom remodeling and the great pieces you can add to your home at http://bathroomwarehouse.com.au



Creating a Victorian Bathroom Look in Your Bathroom

Master Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Master showers Canberra homeowners covet are those that have high quality tapware Canberra bathroom supply companies offer. A master bedroom is never complete without a master bathroom. This should have the right bathroom that represents you and your partner in every way. It usually has a deep personal touch that is common in many day spas. The overall look and feel of your master bathroom is limited only by your budget and your imagination.
Having a customized master bathroom is the goal in many of today’s remodelling projects. Incorporate luxury and relaxation in your master bedroom with the following remodelling ideas: 1. Two individual sinks. Two vanities and sinks in your master bedroom allow you and your partner to enjoy your own given space inside your bathroom.
2. Ceramic tiles in the shower. As you may know, ceramic tiles are beautiful. In addition, they also ward off dust mites, humidity, and fungi. They are also effortless to clean.
3. Separate room for the toilet. Your master bathroom is more pleasant to use if you have separate toilet rooms or cubicles. This gives you the privacy that you need.
4. A large walk-in closet. It is a necessity for master bathrooms to have a large walk-in closet. The space it provides keeps everything organized, accessible, and displayed.
5. His and Her racks for towels. Since you have those individual sinks in mind, you should have “His” and “Her” towel racks as well.
6. A larger bathtub. You and your partner can have more opportunities for romance if you have a ready bathtub that can accommodate the two of you comfortably. All you need to do is add some aromatherapy candles and a bubble bath to get the mood going.
For more details about master bathroom remodelling topics, feel free to visit bathroomwarehouse.com.au. With the right concept, you can have the right selection of tapware Canberra bathroom owners select. In no time at all, you can acquire the master showers Canberra homeowners have on top of their list.

The Toxic Truth of Memory Foam

Many families swear by their memory foam mattresses, and it’s hard to deny that the material can offer impressive support, longevity, and comfort. However, what you’re probably not hearing from fans, manufacturers, and salespeople, is how there are some serious downsides to using memory foam. These aren’t just trivial concerns, but are valid points that could compromise the health of your family.

Let’s take a look at the dangers of memory foam, and how you can provide a safer alternative to your family.

Memory Foam is Made from Toxic Materials

Visco-elastic polyurethane foam sounds much less marketable than memory foam, but it’s a technical name that you should familiarize yourself with. Like many of the consumer and comfort goods on the market today, memory foam is a type of plastic. It is chemically treated to achieve the right consistency and amount of support, and before it can legally be sold, it is treated by chemical flame retardants.

The flame retardant used in the United States (where the majority of all memory foam mattresses are sold) is banned throughout the European Union. The particular chemical, PBDE, may also be a cause of hyperactivity and a trigger for ADHD. It’s no wonder that the material can’t be used in the EU, the world’s largest economy, so why is it still available on shelves in some countries?

Another major concern of the toxic chemicals in memory foam is potential breathing problems. Polyurethane is a respiratory irritant, and in young babies and toddlers it can cause breathing difficulties and pulmonary agitation.

Is There a Suitable Alternative?

Memory foam isn’t safe by any stretch of the imagination. Even with flame retardants, it can still burn, and the fumes that are released will be deadly, and they’re even environmentally damaging.

If you want to protect your family without sacrificing comfort, then it’s time to go for organic materials. Natural latex mattresses and pillows are the best alternative to memory foam, and they provide all of the same posture and comfort benefits that memory foam does. Latex comes from a renewable plant sap, and can be sourced through ethical farming methods that benefit the communities where it is harvested.

Without toxic additives, no odors, and a guarantee of safety for toddlers, teens, and adults, latex is undoubtedly the best solution for a peaceful and healthful night’s sleep.