How To Choose The Right Granite Stone For The Bathrooms In Your Home

granite bathroom

Bathroom renovations take a lot of planning, and if you have decided to use granite for the counters, then it is important that you learn how to choose the right granite for your project.

Since there is an abundance of granite options available, you’ll probably find it overwhelming when trying to decide which one to buy. Bathroom counters don’t take as much of a beating as those in a kitchen do, so it is mainly expense, style, and a few other things that need to be considered, such as:

  • Luxury — choose a finish and color that will give your bathroom that luxurious look you’re aiming for
  • Practicality — make sure that the granite you choose will be able to stand up to splashes, soaps, toothpaste, chemicals, and hot items such as hair dryers, and still stay looking good
  • Matches perfectly with existing finishes — choose a color and style that works well with the existing colors, floors, fittings, and wall tiles

 

Choosing a Countertop Layout

Although there are several different countertop layouts that are popular with many people, it all depends on the size of your bathroom, as to what your options are.

In a small bathroom, for example, a single wall granite countertop is ideal. Although it takes up the least amount of space in a small area, the granite stone itself that will give the bathroom that luxurious look and feel. For larger bathroom renovations, countertops could be custom-made to suit the owner’s particular needs.

Granite can be used in many areas of the home

Although the majority of people think of kitchen and bathroom countertops when anyone mentions granite, there are many other places where it can be used in the home, some of them being:

  • Fireplace mantles and surrounds — granite stone is exceptionally heat-resistant, so it is an ideal material to use for fireplace mantles and surrounds. Not only that, but the beauty of the material will make your fireplace a real conversation piece in your living room, and will also create a warm and inviting atmosphere for your friends and family to congregate.
  • Backsplashes — these features are extremely popular these days, with both interior decorators and homeowners, especially those who want to give a kitchen that modern look. A granite backsplash on the wall behind a stove, not only makes it a focal point in the kitchen, but also makes it easy to clean the splashes and spillages that will inevitably happen.
  • Tiling — granite tiling is an excellent choice if you want a surface that is very different and looks good. They can be used on the walls or floors in bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas of your home, and the natural pattern of the material will ensure that each surface is unique.

 

Although granite is an extremely popular material used by many people in kitchens, bathrooms, and elsewhere in their homes, there are other stones that can be used too, that are equally as beautiful, including:

  • Quartz – one of the hardest and most abundant materials found in nature
  • Marble — elegant and exceptionally beautiful, marble can be adapted to suit all styles
  • Concrete — not only used these days in the construction industry, concrete is incredibly durable, relatively eco-friendly, and can be cast into any required shape, size, and style.
  • Lava stone — being a natural volcanic rock, lava stone is able to tolerate high temperatures and distribute heat evenly, which gives it the edge on most other stone kitchen counter tops.

 

Besides being durable, granite countertops, as well as those made from other types of stone, are extremely functional, beautiful and unique, and a great investment for any home.

How Window Tinting in Colorado Springs Can Save you Money

residential window  3m film installIf you own a home and you are thinking about doing window tinting in Colorado Springs CO, that might be the best decision you ever make with regard to saving money. Here are just three ways in which putting in window tint can help keep your money where it belongs – with you!

No Need to Change the Glass Panes

With window tinting by High Country Window Tint, you’re saving the expense of putting in special glass panes in your windows. A lot of insulation glass types are expensive and not exactly wallet-friendly. In addition, window tinting is a relatively simple process that can be done in just a few hours with little inconvenience.

Energy Usage is Reduced

Using the right tint film can save you hundreds of dollars or more every year. A high percentage of the energy used to cool or heat a room is lost through glass windows, and tinting them can reduce a significant percentage of that wasted energy. More efficiency means more savings. Additionally, tint film also reduces ultraviolet radiation, which is harmful to the skin and can cause cancer and other conditions.

Privacy is Enhanced

The third benefit is not so much in terms of money as it is about privacy. But then again, what price can you put on privacy? Darkening your windows will give you a less-lit interior that is more difficult to look into from the outside. There are also special types of film that are intended specifically to afford the maximum privacy possible. You may not want you windows looking like the one-way mirrors in Hollywood interrogation rooms, but there are several choices that you can review and pick from. The company that will do the window tinting service in Colorado should be able to give you more information about these

Your service provider will also be able to calculate how much you’ll be saving upfront and on an ongoing basis.

How to Choose the Right Stone for Your Counters

If you want a truly durable, high-quality material for your countertops and elsewhere in your home, look no further than granite stone. It has a sophisticated appearance and you can find it in a wide variety of colors and patterns. You are sure to love your kitchen counters with granite.

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Black Granite

This is among the most popular options. It is made up of microcline, quartz, and feldspar. For this reason, it is incredibly rare to find a solid black piece of granite. If you are looking for something textured, this is an ideal choice.

White Granite

A true white granite stone is almost impossible to locate due to its chemical compositions and the striations in the stone. However, you can find ivory quite easily.

Gold Granite

Any kitchen that has striking metallic tones would do well to have either a gold or copper granite stone in it. The bright color is set against gray, white or black. It is sure to make the room appear warmer.

Azul Granite

If you would like a complex option, this granite of mostly blue tones is perfect. It is a rather popular color, especially for counters.

Rose Granite

Rose also is a rare color for granite. They can be warm with white and yellow, or give off a dramatic look with gray and black tones.

Important Matters to Consider with Granite Countertops

kitchenThere are several considerations to make when choosing which type of granite to have in your kitchen. Think about the color of the walls, cabinets, and how big the room is. Another thing to keep in mind is whether or not you plan on selling your home in the near future. If you intend on selling, you may want to go with a conventional option.

If you go to look at a selection in a showroom, you should bring along samples of what your cabinets, floor and walls look like to see what works well together.

Patterns of Granite Stone

Granite is available in either solid, marbled, or speckled varieties. Though it can be tempting to choose a marble stone immediately, you should avoid this if you have a small kitchen. The busy pattern will make the room appear even smaller.

Speckled or marbled options are excellent in larger rooms with a basic color and design scheme. A lighter color marble granite looks a great deal like real marble. Speckled granite gives off a dramatic appearance.

Bathroom

Granite is amazing for the bathroom sink counter. It will hold up well even with extremes in temperature and a fair amount of weight placed on it. Guests are sure to find it to be an impressive feature.

Fireplace

You can add in granite edging to your fireplace, or for the mantle. It is beautiful when set against rich wood. This is perfect when you are looking for a more traditional style.

Bedside Tables

Even if you only have a small touch of stone in your bedroom, like on your bedside table, it is enough to offer an elegance and beauty. A granite top table with bronze will be a treasured piece of furniture in your home.

Enjoy Lava Stone

Lava stone is an alternative that is similar in many ways to granite. It is durable, sustainable, non-porous, and resistant to extremes of temperature. The stone is attractive and favorable due to the fact that it can be glazed and comes in a large array of colors.

No matter which type of materials you select for your kitchen and house in general, you will express your unique style. Do adequate research and determine which is right for your needs.

Carpet Cleaning Care for Your Beach Home

Carpet Cleaning ExpertsCarpets generally accumulate a lot of sand and dust over time. As such, they require regular cleaning to prolong their lifetime, improve indoor air quality, and improve the overall cleanliness of a room. One of the most effective processes of cleaning carpets is the hot water extraction carpet cleaning process. Here is a detailed look at this process:

A Detailed Look at the Hot Water Extraction Process

Of all the conventional carpet cleaning methods, the hot water extraction process is the only method that qualifies as “deep cleaning.” All the other methods fall under the category of “light surface cleaning” because they are not capable of removing soil or dirt particles buried deep inside the fibers of a carpet. As such, most professional carpet cleaners recommended the hot water extraction carpet cleaning process. This process involves the use of hot water to clean a dirty carpet. In order to generate a steady stream/supply of hot water, companies that provide this service use equipment designed specifically to heat water, pump it to a designated endpoint, and power vacuum/suction system that extracts dirt, dirty cleaning solution, and moisture from the surface of a carpet.

The cleaning process starts with a carpet cleaner spraying a solution of hot water and cleaning detergent onto a dirty carpet. A preconditioner may be applied onto the surface of a carpet to loosen dirt 10 to 20 minutes before the actual cleaning begins. After this, the cleaner uses pressurized hot water spray to force dirt out of a carpet, which in turn is sucked via the vacuum slot near the water sprayer. In most cases, the hot water extraction process involves a push-pull stroke. This means a carpet cleaner makes both rearward and forward thrusts. During the rearward thrust, hot water is injected into the carpet and extracted via the suction cup fitted at the front. On the other hand, the backward thrust extracts soil/dirt particles and excess moisture from the carpet.

To speed up the drying time, a rug cleaner/cleaning expert can repeat this push-pull stroke without pressing the water lever. Depending on factors like temperature, airflow, and humidity levels, a carpet cleaned in this manner can take anywhere from 8 to 24 hours to dry. You can accelerate the drying time by turning on air conditioning or heating system.

Hot Water Extraction versus Steam Cleaning

Unlike the hot water process, steam carpet cleaning involves the use of steam, meaning water must be heated until it transforms into gaseous form. The hot water extraction process is ideal for extracting dirt that has burrowed deep down into a carpet. Steam cleaning may not achieve the same level of dirt removal. It is worth noting that this cleaning process is also suitable for upholstery cleaning. Finally, the hot water extraction process has faster drying times compared to steam cleaning. There are several reasons why this is so. To start with, the powerful vacuum/suction systems used in this process extract up to 95% of moisture from carpet fibers. As a result, there is little soapy residue that could hamper drying. Secondly, hot water cleaning is more eco-friendly because it does not generate dirty air or excess humidity that circulates indoors.

Conclusion

One of the most effective carpet cleaning methods is the hot water extraction cleaning process. It involves spraying pressurized hot water mixed with a detergent on the surface of a dirty carpet. After this, the same machine extracts the dirty cleaning solution, soil/dirt particles, and excess moisture. It is also worth hiring a professional to handle your furniture cleaning because using a damp piece of cloth to wipe dirty surfaces may fail to remove all the dirt that has accumulated in joints.

Post Hurricane Home Restoration

beach homeThe beach life is great and very relaxing when the weather is enjoyable, but when disaster hits and can be very devastating for everyone in the community. I have spent my entire life growing up near the ocean and I love everything about this life style. I don’t ever intend on living anywhere else other than the beachside and I’m will to incorporate the risks of flooding due to water surge, tropical storms, and hurricanes. Recently, we had a hurricane hit our are and we took a hard hit when it comes to water damage. Our house is on stilts, but the water surge and pounding waves were so high that we had water rise up around 2 feet above our lower flooring. We were definitely in store for some serious water damage restoration throughout our whole house.

Be Prepared

Lucky for me, I already had some non-puncture waterproof gloves and boots to do a little prep work for restoration. I also had purchased a wet vac and had a water pump about a year ago so I could remove any water  from the scene. To remove further water after the clean up, I had borrowed a dehumidifier from one of my friends inland.

Let’s Get Started

To begin, you must gear up with your gloves and boots and start pumping out any still water in your home. When that is done, make sure to use your wet vac to pick up any extra water  that has seeped into your carpeting. You will then want to remove your baseboards in the affected areas and start carefully pulling up your carpets. There are sharp tacks and nails beneath so make sure not to cut yourself, hence the non-puncture gloves and boots. You must also make sure not to tear the underside of the carpet if you plan on re-installing it back into your home. Take your carpets outside to dry and spray them down with an anti-microbial spray that slow down the growth of mold and fungus. We must make sure the carpets are clear any traces of water before we put them back.

The next step is to start removing the padding that has been soaked underneath. You can toss this stuff as you will be installing new backing when everything has dried. If the drywall is damaged, you will have to remove and replace that as well. You can usually just replace the sections that were emersed in water. By opening up the drywall, you are also allowing more ventilation behind the walls to further prevent mold growth.

Now we can place the dehumidifier and let it do its job. The more de-humidifiers you have, the faster this process will go. There are moisture testers you can buy that will tell you how much water resides behind a wall or beneath the floors.

Finishing Up

beach viewYour water damage restoration efforts are almost complete. Now that everything is dry, we must put everything back together. Depending on your home improvement capabilities, you may want to hire a professional. However, if you’re up for the job, here’s what to do. First, we must replace the drywall that was damaged and replace any insulation that was removed. We will then lay down new padding followed by the restored carpet. Last, we will re-install the baseboards if they weren’t damaged and presto. Your water damage restoration is complete. Enjoy and remember to always be prepared.

Hidden Beach Home Hazzards

beach-homeWe love our beach homes.  They provide us a great escape from the rest of the world and allow us to relax in peace.  Although, as much as we like to think about how perfect our vacation home is, they still need proper maintenance in order to remain our great escape.  I live in Phoenix AZ and own a beautiful beach house near Sand Diego, so getting out there to do proper maintenance is sometimes hard to do.  Now, I know escaping to the beach to do house work is the last thing on our minds, but it still needs to be done.  Things like gutter cleaning, power washing, and even air duct cleaning.

Up until a few months ago, I had never even though about my air ducts.  A close friend of mine actually had a small fire erupt in her washer and drier room due to all of the backed up lint caught in the vents.  This scared me into seeking a professional cleaning service to do a proper cleaning of my home.  I gave the Cook Bros Cleaning a call to do a thorough air duct cleaning of my home.  After having this service done, I felt so much safer knowing my home is protected.  But then I got to thinking; what about my lovely beach home? Could it be at risk for fire?  Well, I didn’t want to take any chances.  So I looked into getting a full cleaning done there as well.

Ask yourself, when’s the last time you did a proper vent cleaning of your beach home?  It could be more at risk than you think.  Think about it, when we’re at the beach, everything gets all sandy, which causes us to do a ton of laundry during our week or two-week stay.  This means we’re always running the dryer and more and more lint gets caught up in the air ducts.  This just spells a recipe for disaster.

Dirty vents aren’t just a huge fire hazard; they can also cause some major health problems too.  Our AC vents can collect nasty material that grows bacteria and eventually gets blown throughout our house.  Thankfully, the cleaner I hired informed me of all the risk and recommended regular cleanings in order to protect my home.  It’s recommended that you have a proper cleaning every 3 to 5 years.  Since we typically don’t spend much time at our beach home, you’re probably safe to stick closer to 4 or 5 years.

So remember, our beach homes aren’t just our paradise away from the world; without proper cleaning and maintenance, our vacation getaways can be dangerous health hazards. So please be sure to take care of your second home.

Sofa Vs. Water

Decorating at the Beach

Furnishing your beach house can be stressful for many reasons. First of all, peaceful towns located on the beach are often far away from any popular or high end furniture stores. In order to find exactly what you like, you will need to order online and have delivered to your beach house or go shopping around your hometown to pick out what you like. There are a couple of key elements to keep in mind when shopping for a home that will be doused in water and sand during the summer months.

Sofas and Couches

First of all, find a water resistant sofa. Initially, many families think “It’s okay, we’ll come in and shower immediately before sitting on the furniture.” When multiple people are spending time on the beach at the same time, they typically all come in around the same time. While waiting for others to shower, it’s convenient to sit on the couch and flip on the TV. You don’t have to worry about the mess and damp fabrics if you get a couch that can withstand the damage. Purchasing something stain resistant or water proof means people can go directly from a beach or pool to the furniture.

Rugs and Flooring

Next, visit a local furniture store to try out rugs. Wood floors can get damaged from all of the water and tiles get slippery. If you don’t have carpet flooring, it is important to have a large rug covering the space to absorb some of the water and prevent people from falling. One great place to buy rugs is Virginia Wayside Furniture. They have a great selection of different colors and styles to match any home- not to mention they have affordable prices!

The rest of your home doesn’t need special attention. Buy tables, chairs, and bedroom furniture that match your personal preferences. As long as your floors and couches are ready to handle some outdoor elements, you can be more flexible with the rest of your home.

Beach Home Improvement

Maintaining a Comfortable Temperature in Your Beach House:

beach houseBeach houses aren’t always just for the summertime. When owning a vacation home in a sunny state like Florida, you will most likely have house that is set up to keep you cool. There will be multiple fans, a good air conditioning system, and tile floors.

On the other hand, plenty of people own beach homes in states that go through warm summers and cold winters. In these situations, you have to make sure your home is designed to endure any weather condition. For instance, I live in Pittsburgh PA and own a beach house on the coast of Maryland. I like to visit my beach house in any weather because it is a peaceful place to get away from the business of Pittsburgh.  This means that the house needs to be comfortable in both the warm summer and cold winter months.

Two essential parts of staying comfortable in all temperatures is by making sure your HVAC system and windows are both up to date. The more smoothly these fixture run, the easier and cheaper it will be to keep your home a desirable temperature.

Windows:

If you are noticing drafts in your beach house windows, it’s probably time for replacements. Newer, energy efficient replacement windows have several benefits. They keep air from transferring in and outdoors, meaning you will not waste money on heating and cooling costs. They also keep sound outside for a peaceful experience. Additionally, many people sell maryland beachtheir beach homes down the road when they are tired of the upkeep or do not have the time and money to take frequent trips. In these situations, you want to make sure you do everything you can do to increase your home’s value in case you sell it sometime soon. People appreciate a house with strong windows that will withstand strong storms and ultimately enhance the structure’s appearance.

HVAC System:

Make sure the heating and cooling appliances are up to date. Even if you do not opt for an energy efficient model, new models are naturally more energy efficient and can save you some money. The initial investment of an energy efficient system may or may not be worth it depending how much time you spend in your beach house. For instance, I leave Pittsburgh Pennsylvania once a month to head to the house, so it made sense to upgrade my system. If I only went during the summer, I wouldn’t bother with my heating system.

How to Keep and Maintain a Beach House as a Senior

Senior Beach Houses

Too many seniors from West Hollywood CA are selling their beach houses on the coast. They either want a break from the hassle of taking care of the extra household, they need daily assistance away from home, or they could use the extra money. Consider keeping your house even if you can’t take trips there as frequently as you used to. It’s a great escape from everyday life and a change of scenery. beach house CA

Why Keep it?

Having a beach house in your golden years can be a great way to spend time with family and enjoy some fresh air and beautiful weather. Plus, there are plenty of leisurely activities. Fishing, walking on the beach, and lounging in the pool are relaxing ways to spend time by yourself or with friends.

If you feel too tired to cook or clean, hire a service for your short stays. You can easily eat at restaurants or have a chef come in for the night. Consider bringing family with you more often to help you with these tasks and enjoy spending time together.

How to Make Things Easier

When you are at home, you may have a service for senior care in West Hollywood. This would include having a family member, volunteer, or paid companion to come to your home and take care of the small activities, errands, and chores that you no longer have the capability to complete on your own.

At your beach house, you may be distanced from these amenities. Revamp your home or reach out to the community to make it easier to function. For instance, have handicap accessible bathrooms to make it easier to go on your own, even if you are capable. Installing railings ahead of time will make it easier when you actually need them.

beach pool viewYou could also install a lift chair to take you up and down stairs. Even if you have the capability, using a lift could help reduce fatigue and keep you more active in the outdoors where you would rather be spending time.

Aside from home improvements, look into senior care services at the beach. Chances are, there is something similar to what you use at home. If you currently rely on family, branch out and see if you can call a paid or volunteer service.

Beach houses are a great way to maintain social health, stay moderately active, and take some personal time. Don’t rush to sell it even if you are having difficulty keeping up. Consider the positives before rushing to your realtor.

Is It Time For a New Water Heater?

Water heaters tend to be pretty reliable, so we can forget that they don’t last forever. But every heater reaches the end someday; on average, that day arrives after ten to fifteen years. If you’re lucky, you’ll get at least that amount of reliable use out of yours. But someday, that heater is going to fail, and the more warning you have before this happens, the better. Here are some signs that your water heater may be nearing the end of its lifespan:

The most obvious sign that a water heater is failing is that it is no longer providing hot water. Fortunately, there are a couple of less serious potential causes for this. The circuit breaker for your heater may have tripped, so be sure to check it. Or the pilot light may have gone out. Most of the time, the pilot light can be re-lit without professional help; if you attempt this, be sure to reference proper instruction and follow it to the letter.

Some signs of an impending water heater failure can be found in the hot water itself. Does your hot water look rusty or taste metallic? Other factors may be at work. The source of the issue could also be your piping system or other appliances connected to it. If this is the case, then the issue will be present in cold water, too; unusual taste or appearance unique to hot water and not present in cold indicates that the heater is the problem.

Malfunctioning water heaters can also make unusual noises. This isn’t the most reliable method of identifying a problem, because any heater can make strange noises. Loud cracks and pops could be indicative of a more serious problem, or sediment build-up that can be easily drained and corrected. High-pitched whistling or hissing noises are a bigger concern – these can indicate a dangerous pressure-build-up. If you hear a hissing noise, you’ll want to call a plumbing repair technician right away.

Leaking water can also indicate a serious problem. While there are too many potential sources of leaks to cover here, you’ll want to check to be sure that the water you’ve found isn’t condensation. If the leak is legitimate, protect yourself from electrocution by turning off the power to the heater before inspecting it. Many external water heater leaks can be repaired by a plumbing technician; leaks from the bottom of the heater, however, generally indicate an internal leak that will require replacement.

Another way to gauge how much time your water heater has left is to find out how old it is. There’s usually some indication on the heater itself. What you’ll want to do is find the rating plate on your heater; these plates often display the date of manufacture. Of course, knowing the birth date of your heater won’t tell you when that heater will give out, but it will give you a better idea of how much longer you can count on it.

The best way to diagnose a problem with your water heater – and to solve it – is to contact a professional plumber. They can inspect your system and let you know if the issue is correctable, or if you need to plan for a heater replacement. The longer you can plan for that instance, the less painful it will be, so schedule a service call sooner rather than later.