Is Cork Flooring Right For Your Kitchen?

cork floors

Homeowners searching for flooring suitable to the unique demands of the kitchen environment have an ecological option to hardwoods, waterproofed stone or rubber tiles. Natural cork is harvested from the Quercus Suber tree widely grown in Mediterranean countries.

While prime cork bark is utilized for wine and champagne bottle stoppers, the remainder is blended with glue and compressed into soft, serviceable floor tiles. Cork tiles are colored with natural pigments and dyes baked-in during the manufacturing process, offering a range of hues in alternating light and dark patterns. The longer cork is baked, the darker and more vivid its shades.

Cork may also be stained to any custom shade you desire, then sealed with polyurethane finish. Your kitchen is a room where you’re nearly always standing up. Cork’s cellular structure produces a soft surface that’s warm and resilient underfoot for comfort. Its shock absorbing properties are also a better choice than stone or ceramic in a room where fragile objects like cookware, plates and glass may be dropped.

The inherent insulating properties of cork effectively absorb sound and reduce kitchen clatter. Unlike carpeting or porous stone, cork does not harbor allergens, bacteria or dust and can be kept clean with simple damp mopping. Environmental concerns increasingly influence consumer decisions and cork flooring offers unique green properties.

Unlike hardwood from trees that are cut down and require up to 30 years to regenerate, cork bark is stripped from groves of living trees which are left intact and standing for regular bark harvests every nine years. Unfinished or pre-finished cork tiles can be installed over sub-floors of wood or concrete or in many cases over your existing floor, depending upon the material and condition.

Cork may be refinished as required and most signs of accumulated wear and tear removed if the process is carried out according to manufacturer’s instructions.

The Top Five Carbon Monoxide Home Detectors

carbon monoxide detector

Every home should be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector, but you need to choose the right one. There are two different types of these the first being plug in and the other being battery operated.

Often, any First Alert monitor will be looked at as being a good deal for your money. This in turn leads to a person being instantly drawn to this model for their needs.

The First Alert co615 is looked at in the industry as being one of the better deals for the amount of money you will spend. The reason is that this is a plug in type of monitor and will not have to have its batteries changed on a regular occurrence. The monitor is able to be adjusted to allow for the amount detected to be closely monitored to ensure persons overall safety.

The next model – the Kiddie KN COPP-B is not a plug in type of monitor; it is instead a monitor that operates on the use of batteries. While this is not as advanced as the previous mentioned model, it still has a lot of potential that it can give a person that needs to have a product that delivers the best of the best in the way of results for a person.

The First Alert Onelink detector will be a great purchase decision that will give a homeowner the peace of mind that they are seeking out in the way of helping to make sure that they are not in danger of being a victim of the silent killer. There are several modes that will help a person to monitor their home safely.

For a person that is on a budget, the Kiddie COSM-B is a great value for a person that is not looking to spend a lot of money on their monitoring needs. Taking a page out of the book of cheaper is better; you are able to get a quality item for a fraction of the price.

Care and Cleaning of Your Cork Flooring

cork flooring

Cork flooring throughout your home is a great option when you want a unique, durable and eye catching type of floor that has a distinctly different look and feel when compared to other types of flooring material. The proper and routine care of your cork flooring will help it look good at all times and last a long time.

The best way to help prevent a buildup of dirt and debris on the cork flooring is to routinely run a vacuum cleaner over the cork flooring. This removes all dust and dirt from the floor and is helpful in maintaining the integrity of the floor. You can then clean the floor, for a deeper cleaning, with a solution of mild dish detergent and warm water. The soapy mixture can be applied using a cloth or sponge mop to the entire cork flooring to restore the luster of the floor and remove deeper set dirt.

You need to make sure to avoid using harsh chemicals or steam cleaning of cork flooring, as both can damage the floor and high heat steam can even lead to fiber shrinking which could cause the floor to buckle and separate in areas.

The simplest way to care and clean cork flooring is through vacuuming and mild detergent hand cleaning to help make your floor look clean and thus help to ensure your flooring lasts a long time in your home as routine maintenance is essential in protecting your flooring investment and cork flooring does require a special touch as the natural materials need to be cared for properly.

What Do You Do With Uneven Subfloor?

uneven flooring tips

Many homeowners who have purchased an older character home will find themselves asking the same question: What do you do with uneven subfloor?

When preparing a floor for refinishing some subfloors are easy to recover and others just don’t give you an inch. If after peeling off the old flooring or carpeting, and then scraping the subfloor you find that your floor is uneven and you don’t know what to do about it. Here is a couple of tips to get you squared away. Pun intended.

What kind of unevenness are we talking about? If it is left over material from the last floor then you still have some scraping to do. If you have created some holes in the floor from over scraping or from soft sub floor, then you may want to use a leveling compound. If you’ve done your level best (pun intended) and you just can’t get the floor level, than ask yourself what you expected to see on this floor when it’s finished. If you have removed a vinyl floor and want to put down a vinyl floor in its place, then they’re really is no substitute for getting the sub floor perfect. Old glue and flooring remnants even sawdust and woodchips will show right thru a vinyl one piece floor. This would be the worst option for an unlevel floor.

If you want to use tile then the rule of thumb is that anything that is below the tile, will show through, eventually. This includes cracked concrete and unlevel floors.

Both carpets and laminate floors come with padding and if you are covering nastiness on your subfloor then these options are your best bet. Get the thick stuff because depending on what your leveling issue is. Bare feet will be able to feel an uneven floor through Laminate or carpet. Most importantly, there is a point of no return. When you absolutely have to, replace the subflooring.

Top Five Home Office Desks for Multiple Monitors

dual-monitors-best desks

Computer monitors take up a lot of desktop surface space. Finding the best desk for your individual needs is crucial in maintaining a productive work flow. Below are the top 5 home office desks for multiple monitors.

1. Single Surface Desks
The most common form of desktops in the home office are single surface desks. Although single surface desks aren’t the largest of desks, they are the perfect match for simple dual-monitor setups. This is also the perfect desk for the budget conscious.

2. Extended Single Surface
Just like the single surface desk, the extended single surface desk is very popular for multiple monitor setups. This is the type of desk which is great for those who have not only a multiple monitor setup but also many peripherals such as musical keyboards and sound control boards.

3. Dual Surface Desks
With a dual surface desk there is literally double the surface space of a single surface desk. However, dual surface desks should be very carefully chosen. Often times dual surface desks can have limited space, if not chosen with great caution.

4. Height Adjustable Desks
The benefits of having a height adjustable desk don’t end with the ability to adjust in height. Most adjustable desks are also built much wider than normal single surface desks. Height adjustable desks aren’t very expensive, either!

5. Custom Built Desks
Although the option of hiring a private constructor may be more expensive than buying a prefabricated desk, it is a great option for individuals with in-home studios, or those who just have a larger than average monitor setup. Another benefit to having a custom built monitor desk is that you as the buyer will be in total control of the entire project. Everything from materials used to the total dimensions of the desk will be in your hands.

flatscreen tv wall mounts

You just bought a flat screen TV and now you are deciding if you are going to use the stand it came with or if you are going to go with the ultimate space saver, a wall mount. If you are going to go with a wall mount there are a few options that you will have.

Going with a trusted brand is a must when looking for the right wall mount. You want to protect you investment, and yes when a flat screen TV costs as much as they do they are investments. You may also want the wall mount to have functionality. Wall mounts can move in many directions. They can swivel, tilt or they could not move at all. If you are looking to have multiple viewing angles than it is wise to go with a swivel. They come with a higher price tag, but the convenience is worth it.

Cheetah wall mounts are widely regarded as the leader in secure wall mounts. They offer a variety of styles and are very affordable. And because they are made up of very few moving parts, the wall mounts are a cinch to put together right out of the box.

Another leader in flat screen TV wall mounts is VideoSecu. They offer the same amount of options as Cheetah does and their prices are almost the same. A third and well made brand of TV wall mounts is MountIt! They offer almost double the amount of choices as the other two brands, however they come with a higher price tag.

When looking for a wall mount be sure to go with one that is going to last and fit your needs. Protect your investment and enjoy your flat screen television.

How to Make a Pullout Sofa Bed More Comfortable


A pullout sofa bed normally has a very thin mattress. Because the mattress is so thin, the metal construction of the bed’s support is felt through the mattress and this makes for a very uncomfortable night’s rest. The following methods list the most effective way to make modern or rustic sofa beds more comfortable.

1) Add layers to the mattress before anyone lies on it.
2) Use a liner between the mattress and the springs.
3) Combine both 1) and 2) to offer the most comfortable mattress.

By adding layers of padding to the mattress, it becomes softer and more supportive. Add a layer of textured foam and then an extra thick mattress pad on top of that. The layers of padding will make it impossible to feel any of the inner workings of the mattress mechanics. Add these layers just before putting on clean sheets and offering the bed to guests. The extra thickness may prevent the bed from closing back into the sofa. Remove the extra layers before folding the bed back into the sofa.

The layer of foam may be sufficient to provide the comfort needed if it is at least 5″ thick or more. If the foam is thinner, try adding a heavily quilted mattress pad as well. The extra polyfil in the pad may feel even softer than just adding a foam liner.

The other option is to separate the mattress from the offending metal support. Use a plywood sheet to cover the metal support and then add the mattress on top. It would be difficult to store a plywood sheet big enough for a full-size mattress, so you need to be crafty and construct a folding plywood liner. Make sure you cut the plywood in three equal horizontal pieces held together by two strips of two inch wide heavy weight muslin. Glue each strip on the two edges of plywood panels until you have a folding plywood panel that you can lay on the metal bed support to shield the mattress from the metal support’s digging impressions.

The last solution is to try adding foam, an extra thick mattress pad and a plywood liner. The night’s rest is sure to be comfortable with all these precautions used. No matter which method you utilize, the mattress will offer a much greater improved comfort level.

how to hang art

Pin It

Artwork can be a great way to enhance the aesthetics of a home. While artwork can add to the appearance of many rooms, it’s important to understand how location can impact the look of art. A poorly placed piece of artwork can detract from the appearance of some homes.

Artwork should be centered around the height of a person. The middle of a piece of artwork should be visible at eye level. This will help ensure a comfortable and pleasant viewing angle for many people.

Some types of artwork may look better when grouped. Great looking modern wall art by the same artist can be placed in a vertical column. When creating a column of artwork, it’s important to ensure that all the artwork is centered about five feet from the ground. This helps ensure a beautiful and even appearance.

Some artwork may have an odd shape. It can be challenging to install artwork that is over-sized or misshapen. For these pieces, it’s important to ensure that they blend well with other art on a wall. This can be accomplished by matching the density of other artwork on a wall. A large piece of artwork can be offset by several smaller pieces of art.

It’s important to avoid placing artwork above eye level. This can create an awkward or poor appearance in many homes. Many homeowners will place artwork on stairs significantly above eye level. While this may seem convenient, it will ruin the overall appearance of a home.

Some artwork can be incorporated at lower levels where people will be sitting. While it may not look good to have a piece of artwork at a sitting height, it’s possible to incorporate a longer piece of art at a mid-height. This will ensure good viewing angles when standing and sitting.

Always install artwork in a way that enhances the appearance of a home.

The Best Type of Lighting for the Dining Room


When it comes to restructuring the lighting output in the rooms of your home, there are several things to consider. Furthermore, you will have to come to the understanding that various rooms require various lighting styles and set ups. This particular article will primarily deal with the ideal lighting conditions and set ups for your dining room.

This is one of the most important rooms of your home. Many people do not fully appreciate the kind of family time that can occur in this room, and part of that time is necessary under the appropriate lighting. Consider some poor light systems that you might have experienced, where there might have been either too much light or too little.

For starters, your table in the dining room is the centerpiece of the entire room. This is something that the lights and the other furniture should accentuate. This is often done through the use of a suspended light or lamp that comes down from the ceiling above the center of this table. Often, for the traditional four seat table, this is optimal lighting for meals. These are called pendant lamps, and are ideal in the dining room.

You need to consider, however, two crucial elements: the size of the room and the size of the table within that room. Sometimes the suspended light is not something that is ideal or even feasible. Depending on the size of the room, you might consider optimally placed standalone floor lamps that can be tastefully shaped to provide the best source of coverage light.

Fixed lighting sources are also a good option, but they can prove to be more expensive and trickier to install. You might have to consult an electrician or qualified professional to run fixed lighting sources throughout the walls of the room, but this has a unique and very Victorian appeal.

So the question also becomes, what do you think looks the best? Furthermore, what is it that you can actually afford for this lighting solution? When you are able to determine both of these answers, you should be able to seriously look at what might work best for the room you are illuminating.

How Do Mr. Clean Magic Erasers Work?


Anyone that has kids can testify to the fact that they often go crazy with crayons, markers, and the sort – writing on walls and every other surface imaginable. Well, for the last couple of years, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers have been around to clean up the mess, but how do they work? The little known secret behind the magic of Mr. Clean Magic erasers is a material commonly called melamine foam. Add a little water, and you can be rid of all types of stains around the house. Stains that other products can’t clean.

The technical name for the foam is called Formaldehyde-Melamine-Sodium bisulfite copolymer, and it has mild abrasive properties that are able to clean stains but not strip the surface that you are cleaning. Because this material is a foam product, it tends to take the shape of whatever you are cleaning. For instance, molding on the wall, the pores on your refrigerator door handle, and the grooves in grout.

This product is considered to be a non toxic product, and the only health hazard the federal government recognizes with them is ingestion. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers can be used time and time again, however with each use the foam pad wears down a little, so they do not have unlimited usage. If the foam reacts with the surface that is being cleaned, it may leave a residue. This inconvenience is easily remedied, just wipe away the residue off of the surface with a little water.

Even though the foam appears to be, and feels soft, the fibers that are inside are very strong, and work much like a fine sandpaper would. This is the secret to how Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work.