Exotic Wood Flooring Types

There are many different types of wood flooring, some common others you’ve probably never heard of. Each type of wood has its own unique characteristics and will respond differently to its environment over time. You need to know what your choice of wood will look like in the long term, some changes might be a lot different than you expect and will not go with your style and decor.

You need to educate yourself about each species of wood and its particular characteristics before you begin shopping for it. Some wood types are not as durable as others, so to be sure you are going to be happy with your floors in the long run you need to have realistic expectations to begin with.

There will be variations in your wood flooring. No type of wood is completely uniform unless it is manufactured that way. The more natural the wood type you choose, the more variations you will see once you floor is installed. Choosing an exotic wood flooring type is becoming more and more popular because of the statement it makes about a person’s taste and style.

These are generally imported from South America, Australia, the far East and Africa. Using these wood types for flooring requires that you be well informed as to the wood’s appearance, stability, and hardness and how they react when used in the HVAC systems found in most homes. Be sure the type of exotic wood flooring you choose will work with your home’s environment before ordering and be sure to buy from a reputable importer to avoid be ripped off.

You should always choose your wood style by looking at real samples. Viewing color and grain in photos or online is not reliable enough for you to judge.


This article was submitted to this blog by Mighty Oak Flooring and Construction.

Winter Roofing Repair or Replace

Why repair/replace? It’s not for nothing that when we think or talk about home, we tend to use the expression “a roof over my head.” Let’s face it, with a damaged roof, it’s not much of a home. It’s a box. And it’s a box with its lid partway open, a box that’s exposed to wind, rain, and snow, and that can leave your family and belongings exposed. Waiting to repair a small problem leads to bigger problems later. And roofing during cold weather has its own issues.

You still want to wait? Consider this: winter puts a serious strain on your roof. There’s the sheer weight of the ice and snow. Think of the strain of shoveling wet snow, and then multiply the weight of that shovelful by the amount on your roof and you get an idea of how much of a strain it puts on even a good roof. When you’re dealing with a season that has multiple snow events, or snow followed by sleet or freezing rain, and you’re putting that load on a roof that’s not up to snuff, you’re looking at a potential recipe for disaster.

If the shingles are seriously worn or loose, the weight of ice and snow will lead to issues not only with the shingles, but also the plywood, and even the beams underneath. Even ice by itself can cause issues. Remember, water expands when it freezes, so ice in the loose parts of your roof — under shingles and in seams — can act almost like a crowbar, with the expansion causing small issues to be magnified. All of that snow and ice has to go somewhere when the spring thaw comes, so if you had a minor leak before the winter, you stand the chance of a major one once the weather turns warmer.

Timing is critical: Besides the issues posed by the weather, undertaking roof repairs in cold temperatures poses its own set of risks. At Roeland, we strive to provide for the safety of your home at all steps in the roof replacement process regardless of the weather. We also need to provide for the safety of our crews. Safety issues can arise even in fair weather, but when you’re working in freezing temperatures, those issues are compounded. Bear in mind as well that the materials we use (especially wood and asphalt roofing shingles) are prone to expansion and contraction depending on the temperature, which means that a roof installed in the cold may act differently when the weather’s warmer. In addition, cold temperatures cause asphalt roofing shingles to become less flexible, or even brittle, making them more difficult to work with. In addition, one advantage to roofing in warmer weather is that the heat of the sun causes asphalt shingles to bond, which leads to a tighter seal. If you’re roofing in the winter, you’re losing part of the benefit of your new roof ’til the sun is higher in the sky and able to act on the roofing shingles in a way their designers intended.

At Roeland Home Improvers, we take great pride in our work. We certainly wouldn’t work any less hard on a roof that was repaired in cold weather than we would on one done in the warmer months. However, we’ve got thirty years’ worth of experience, and by now we know a thing or two about what works best (and when). Waiting ’til winter to repair or replace your roof can lead to materials not working as intended (at best), or premature failure (at worst). Don’t wait on this.

A Better Refrigerant For Air Conditioners And The Environment

Most air-conditioners and heat pumps sold around the world use a refrigerant called R-22. Emissions of R-22 are considered by some experts to be a significant factor in depleting the ozone layer that protects animals and people from harmful rays from the sun.

Families now have the choice to ask for an air-conditioner or heat pump that uses a more efficient and environmentally friendlier refrigerant called 410A or R-410 when buying a new system for their home.

It’s Environmentally Friendlier. If your system ever leaks, the escaping refrigerant won’t contribute to ozone depletion! Why can’t R-410A affect the ozone layer? R-410A is not a CFC or an HCFC. It is called an HFC, or hydrofluorocarbon, and is made of hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon atoms. Because it has no chlorine, it won’t interact with the ozone layer once it breaks down.

You avoid the risk that R-22 could become expensive or difficult to get when your system needs to be repaired in a few years. The old refrigerant R-22 will be phased out along with other ozone depleting chemicals, and both supply and demand of this chemical will be significantly affected by current and upcoming regulations. By selecting an air conditioner or heat pump that uses R-410A, you will avoid the risk associated with purchasing a product that is destined to become obsolete.

R-410A systems can be more reliable than R-22 systems. R-410A air conditioning and heat pump are today’s “state of the art” systems, and utilize the most current technology available for efficient and reliable operation. The heart of every air conditioner or heat pump is the compressor, and newer systems are specifically designed to use R-410A refrigerant. R-410A can absorb and release heat more efficiently than R-22 ever could, compressors with R-410A run cooler than R-22 systems, reducing the risk of burnout due to overheating.

We all know that the first thing “to go” on an air conditioning unit is the compressor. All air-conditioning systems use an oil that circulates through the inside of the system to keep all of the parts well lubricated, just like the engine of your car. R-22 air conditioners use an oil known as “mineral oil” that has been used for decades. R-410A air conditioners use newer synthetic lubricants that are usually more soluble with the R-410A than the old mineral oils are with the older R-22 refrigerants. This means the synthetic lubricants and R-410A can mix and circulate more efficiently to keep the compressor and other moving parts lubricated, reducing wear and extending their life. Also, just as many new cars use synthetic oils because they are less likely to break down under high stress and heat, the new synthetic oils used in R-410A air conditioners are less likely to break down under extreme conditions.

R-410A offers some wonderful advantages, but it required the manufacturers of air conditioners to redesign their products to take advantage of the properties of the refrigerant. The reason why a refrigerant works is because it captures the heat from one place, and then releases the heat somewhere else. R-410A captures heat and then releases it better than R-22 did, so manufacturers have found that they need less refrigerant in an R-410A air conditioner than they needed in an R-22 air conditioner. Because there’s less refrigerant, they need less copper tubing, and often can use a smaller compressor. The bad news was that R-410A couldn’t be used in air conditioners that were made to use R-22, but the advantages for new air conditioners were too great to pass up.

It’s obvious that air conditioners manufactured for using R-410A are more efficient, more reliable, and may even be less costly then the older units that still use R-22. Compare the SEER or EER ratings and the ENERGY STAR rating to be sure.

Need more information? Check Scaran Heating and Cooling for more information.

Have You Left Your Bathroom Go Stale?

The bathroom. We spend hours each day in there. We shower there. We shave there. We perform other bodily functions there. If you look at an average day we’re in the bathroom several times at least. For a room that we spend so much time in how much effort do we put into decorating it? Almost none. Normally the bathroom is the very last place in the home to have any money spent on it. This is despite the fact that it may have visible water damage, a leaky sink with squeaky taps and a bath that is well past it’s sell by date.

Most people will quite happily leave their bathroom in a state of disrepair until they hear that guests are arriving. Panic sets in! That grubby bathroom that you don’t care about may now become public knowledge. Friends and family may get to see how you “really” live. But why let your life progress to the point of utter panic – and always at the last moment. Why not spend a little money and a little time and get your bathroom in order today?

You can choose to make this a DIY bathroom remodeling project if you have any skills in that area. If not then don’t take any chances by attempting the work yourself – hire a trained professional to complete your bathroom renovation for you. A word of warning though – make sure you educate yourself on the basic terminology and materials involved by reading a few home remodelling magazines or by asking friends who have completed similar redecorating projects themselves. You need to make sure the entire project is completed in as little time as possible – nothing worse than being stuck without a shower or toilet for days on end.

So where do you start? Well how about expanding the bathroom itself? Is there any square footage that’s not being used to its full extent? Can you knock through an existing wall and lengthen or widen your bathroom? This is the chief complaint of many home owners – that their bathroom is simply too small. Any extra space you can add to the room will benefit the entire house both in terms of usability and in overall value.

If you have a large and bulky cabinet in your bathroom then replace it with a smaller model – normally these cabinets are just filled with crap you never use. If there are any shelves dotted around the room remove these also – again they’re normally just used to hold old soap and shampoo that you “liberated” from that hotel room on holidays. The last step then is to make the most of your window space by replacing any old heavy curtains with small roller blinds – whatever style best suits your bathroom. Just maximize your window space by avoiding clutter.

Color is very important in any bathroom. 90% of bathrooms are decorated using “cold” colours such as blue and very pale creams. Most people use blues because most bathrooms tend to take on an aquatic feel of some kind. The problem is that overuse of blue as a base color can actually make a room “feel” cold. Why not experiment with warmer colors such as yellow, orange and terracotta? These can make even the dingiest bathroom feel very snug and cozy.

The important thing is to create the bathroom you’ve always wanted – with no pre-conceived notions. Let your imagination and creativity run wild and create a bathroom that is truly you!


This article was submitted to our directory by Bathroom Contractor Match.  You can click to view their website.

Furniture Refinishing Basics For The Average Person

One of the most common means of furniture restoration is furniture refinishing. Refinishing furniture can breathe new life into pianos, tables, chairs, cabinets, bookcases, jewelry boxes and other items that have started to look a little bit worn.

With any furniture restoration project – and furniture refinishing is no exception – there are a few things to consider. First, you want to think about whether or not you can do it yourself. You may be thinking, “Why couldn’t I tackle furniture refinishing myself? All it takes is a few hours, some sandpaper and new stain.” While in many cases this is true, some furniture restoration should be left to the pros.

For example, piano refinishing isn’t the same as refinishing a jewelry box. Many large pieces – pianos, armoires – are far easier for professionals to restore and refinish. Another furniture restoration project that may be better suited for a professional is refinishing chairs. You may find that, for these projects, hiring a professional will cost less and take less time than if you were to do the projects yourself.

Another professional who you may want to consult before taking on a furniture restoration project is an antiques appraiser. While refinishing furniture you bought new can help give the piece more character or even help you to sell it for a profit at a yard sale, there are rare and collectible pieces of furniture that will lose value if they are refinished. When you’ve bought an antique dining room table, coffee table or cabinet, furniture refinishing could lower the value of the piece and you may want to look into a thorough professional cleaning instead.

If you are only looking at refinishing furniture that is newer or that has sentimental value, you may choose not to consult with a professional. In that case, it’s often best to get right into the project on your own.

To start your furniture-refinishing project, it’s often best to find a spot that won’t be noticed as a test site. In this spot – low on the back of the piece or on the bottom – you’ll want to start the furniture refinishing by removing a small portion of the current finish. Doing so will let you see what you’re up against and how hard will it be to remove the current finish from the furniture.

The answer to that question will vary some. Simple surfaces like a table will be easier to refinish than a cabinet with intricate corner work. Using a furniture stripper and a scraper will make it easier to remove a painted or varnished finish than merely using sandpaper. Once you’ve determined how to best remove the old finish from the furniture, the next step is to work outdoors (when possible) to remove the old varnish and paint.

Furniture refinishing, however, is not just about removing the old finish. Refinishing furniture requires stripping the old finish and then preparing the surface for a new finish by sanding the surface and wiping down the sawdust that sanding stirred up. Only after the surface has been prepared can you start the final step in this furniture restoration project: applying the new finish.

Refinishing the furniture, therefore, means knowing what the new finish will be. For some, the goal of refinishing furniture is to strip off color, get back to the natural wood and apply a clear finish that shows off the item’s natural beauty. For others, furniture refinishing is a matter of taking the wood to a darker shade – staining pine so that it takes on the color of cherry or mahogany wood.

Still others look at furniture refinishing as a chance to bring color to their table, desk, bookshelf or bureau. When refinishing furniture, many are likely to choose a colored stain followed with a topcoat of varnish for sheen. Another common choice people, who are looking for color, make is to select paint that matches the room or provides the contrast they are looking to achieve in their room.

Furniture restoration, after all, is a personal choice. Refinishing furniture gives you a chance to create a new look without going out and buying something new. For those inclined to take on little projects on their own, refinishing furniture can be a great way to spend a weekend – and have something to show for their time, for years to come.

This article was submitted to us by Kitchen Cabs Direct in New Jersey.