Transforming Older Homes Into Today's Style

Why Custom Solid Floors Are Great For Kitchens

There are few better investments than installing new hardwood floors in your kitchen. Of course, not all hardwood floors are the same. They are available in a range of different sizes, styles, finishes, stains, wood types and price ranges. The most expensive wooden floors are those that are custom installed and made out of solid planks of hardwood. The cheapest floors are the engineered hardwoods that can be bought at most home improvement stores and installed by the consumer. These are convenient, but here are a few reasons why you should consider investing in custom, solid hardwood floors for your kitchen.

Added Durability

For many, the most attractive thing about custom floors is that they are made out of real, solid, thick pieces of wood. This means the floor is sturdier. A thick hardwood floor is much quieter than a thin, engineered floor. It can also help with insulation between your upper and lower floors (if it is being installed upstairs).

Added Style and Adaptability

Engineered floors usually have a laminate with a faux finish and texture. This texture never looks as good as the genuine article. The laminate looks a bit like plastic since it is shiny. Custom hardwood floors are stained with traditional clear coats. This highlights the natural grain and knots in the wood for a much more authentic look. Some hardwoods like cherry, maple and oak have especially rich textures that look great on a floor.

One of the best features of custom wood floors is that you can change the stain many times. You can sand off the top layer of your old floor and apply a different stain when you want to update your floor. The ability to change the stain on a custom floor is one of the best selling points. Laminated hardwood floors can never be refinished. The top layer of engineered hardwood is too thin to be sanded down. If you want to change the color of your engineered floor, the only option is to invest in a completely new product. If you like to frequently update or remodel your kitchen, custom floors are clearly the better option for you.

As you can see, there are many great reasons to invest in custom wood floors in your kitchen. If you can afford them, they are clearly superior to engineered floors in many aspects. They will add more value, uniqueness and durability to your kitchen.

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How To Repair Chips In Porcelain Lined Bathtubs

If you own a porcelain-lined bathtub, you may be dismayed by the presence of chips that have left ugly dark or rusty depressions in the finish. However, the good news is that you can repair these chips yourself without much expense or difficulty. Below is how you can accomplish this task and get an old tub looking good again:

Tools and materials needed

  • Angle grinder or rotary tool
  • Grinding wheel or head
  • Trisodium phosphate powder
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Auto body filler
  • Putty knife
  • Epoxy primer
  • White epoxy paint
  • Small foam brush
  • Clean rags

Step-by-step procedure

1. Remove any rust or chipped edges – with an an angle grinder equipped with a grinding wheel or a rotary tool and grinding head, remove any accumulations of rust from the chipped area. In addition, grind away edges that are uneven or flaking, so you will have a smooth surface with no sharp edges.

2. Clean the chipped area – mix a solution of one-half cup of trisodium phosphate powder with one quart of hot water and use a rag to apply it directly to the chip and surrounding area of the tub. This will remove any residual oil, soap or other substances that inhibit adhesion of the body filler. Rinse the chipped area with clean warm water to remove any trisodium phosphate residue and allow the site to air dry.

3. Apply body filler to the chip – with a putty knife, apply a thin layer of body filler to the chip. Be sure to spread it flat and outward slightly beyond the boundaries of the chip itself. Shape the filler to match the surrounding lines and allow it to dry overnight.

4. Remove extra filler and shape the repair – once the body filler has dried, use a piece of moistened fine-grit sandpaper to remove the excess filler. Be careful when sanding the transition areas between the chip and porcelain finish to avoid flaking. If you discover any flaws in the repair, repeat step 3 and 4 until you obtain the look you desire. Wipe down the site of the repair with a clean, damp cloth to remove sanding dust.

5. Apply primer – with a small paintbrush, apply a thin coat of epoxy primer to the site of the repair and its surrounding area. Allow the primer to dry, then apply another coat to the same area. Permit the primer to dry overnight before painting.

6. Paint the chipped area – once the primer has dried, paint the primed area with white epoxy paint. Use a foam brush to keep brush strokes at a minimum, and keep the coat very light. Allow the first coat to dry, then apply a second or subsequent light coats to the repair, so the paint is blended with the neighboring porcelain.

If you’d rather have a professional do the job for you, contact a bathtub refinishing company like Tub Solutions Inc.

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To Replace Or To Reface Your Cabinets? 3 Things You Should Consider First

When you decide to remodel your kitchen, you’re faced with a lot of choices. Not only do you have to choose your style, your materials and your contractor, you have to browse for new furniture and select new decor. The sheer number of decisions that have to be made before the first swing of the hammer can be overwhelming. The decision that has perhaps the most impact on the end result is the decision to replace or reface your kitchen cabinets. If you’re even entertaining the idea of refacing your cabinets, there are a few things you should consider first.

Feasibility

First, you have to consider whether or not it’s even feasible to reface your existing cabinets. For it to work, you have to be happy with the current layout of your kitchen and the amount of cupboard space you have. If you’re dissatisfied with either, this option is not for you. Next, you must consider the condition of your cabinets. If yours are made from pressed wood and are warped, bubbled or falling apart, you can’t reface them. However, if you have solid wood cabinets that are in great condition, it may be an option for you. 

Cost

A cabinet refacing project takes approximately 2 to 4 days to complete and costs an average of just a little over $6,600. The cost for replacing your cabinets with stock cabinets, the pre-assembled type that you pick up at your local home improvement store, is approximately $4,000 to $5,000 for a small kitchen. Semi-custom options cost anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000, whereas custom cabinets can cost up to $20,000. As you can see, the cost for refacing your existing cabinets is much more reasonable. This is especially true if you can only afford stock or particle board cabinets but your existing cabinets are solid wood. 

Options

If you have high-end tastes, you can still satisfy your expensive appetites with cabinet refacing. A wide range of finishing options are available, ranging from plastic and laminate veneers to real wood veneers. You can also select from a wide variety of high-end hardware. Basically, if you see your dream kitchen on a showroom floor or in a magazine, you can probably recreate the look in your home by refacing your cabinets.

There are several factors that you must consider before having your cabinets refaced. Always be sure to weigh the pros and cons of any construction project before deciding to go forward. For more information, talk to a company like 3 R’s Construction Management LLC.

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Three Synthetic Choices To Replace Your Worn Wood Decking

If you have an old worn out wood deck, you may want to replace the decking with synthetic materials. Many choices of materials that can give your deck the look of wood with durable materials. These can be vinyl, composites or even metal decking systems. These materials can give you a surface that will not weather as much as real wood. Here are some of the choices you may want to consider for synthetic materials:

1. Metal Decking Systems For A Long Lasting Deck

Metal decking can be one of the most durable choices you have to replace the old wood materials. There are many different types of metal decking systems, which include dry deck systems that can allow you to finish areas beneath your deck. There are also metal decking systems that have a wood grain finish on them, which can make your deck look like real wood. You will also be able to choose from a variety of different colors if you want to have a look that is a little less traditional. One thing about metal decking though, is that it can easily be scratched and dented, which may require a little maintenance, such as touching up paint.

2. Vinyl Decking Systems For An Affordable And Durable Deck

Vinyl decking is another great choice if you are going to be replacing wood. Vinyl is a very durable and affordable material. It also comes in a variety of different styles and colors. If you want your vinyl decking to last longer, you may want to treat it with a UV protective cleaner to ensure that it does not deteriorate with exposure to sunlight. There are also dry decking systems available in vinyl materials if you want to add finished space or dry storage beneath your deck.

3. Composite Decking For Durable Decks With An Attractive Wood Look

Composite decking is another great choice for replacing wood decking. It is very similar to wood decking products because it is usually available in boards and fastened the same way as treated lumber. It is also made out of timber waste from mills and recycled plastics and rubber, which makes it a great choice for green materials. You will also find different styles available, including tropical wood designs that look like real hardwoods, but can cost a lot less.

These are some of the materials that you may want to consider using to replace your wood decking. If you want an attractive and durable deck, contact a remodeling contractor to get what you need to revive your deck.

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Spend A Little More On These Essential Home Purchases

If you are looking to update your home, whether for cosmetic reasons or to actually increase the value, consider purchases that are worth spending a little more on. Not all splurges are worth it in the end, unless there is an area rug or sofa you have had your eye on for a while. The following splurges are purchases that are not only great for the style of your home, but can actually increase its value.

Window Treatments

Window treatments are one of those home purchases that is worth spending a little more on. While they don’t typically increase the value of your home since it is just cosmetic, you might entice homeowners if you have custom-made treatments that you keep on the windows when you sell the home. For example, if you skip the cheap vinyl blinds and instead have windows covered in custom hardwood or bamboo blinds, that can be very impressive to buyers who like this style of window treatment.

Bathroom Upgrades

Another area of your home that is worth the splurge is your bathroom. Bathroom upgrades that cost a little more tend to be worth it because it increases your home’s value considerably. Potential homeowners love to see updated bathrooms that add something extra other homes don’t have. For example, instead of having a standard bathtub and shower combo, consider adding a deep soaking tub or a standing shower with a rainfall shower head. Install high-quality tile flooring in place of the laminate flooring and install granite countertops for added luxury.

Kitchen Upgrades

Upgrades in your kitchen are similar to those you complete in your bathroom. Get rid of the boring tiled countertops that look like they were installed decades ago and choose modern granite, marble, or stainless steel. These are more expensive than laminate, but you get the sleek look and increased home value to benefit from. Another countertop option is having a butcher block counter where you can cut and dice directly on the countertop. In the kitchen, some other upgrades include having a matching kitchen island with added storage and even a built-in oven if you have a larger kitchen. Add custom-made cabinets and re-do the flooring.

Flooring

Installing new flooring in other areas of your home increase the value just as much as in the bathroom and kitchen. If you have rooms with carpeting, consider either upgrading the carpeting or adding hardwood flooring. Hardwood is one of the most expensive flooring materials you can get, but it makes a world of difference.

Talk with remodeling contractors, like Creative Kitchen & Bath, to start your upgrades and increase your home’s value today. 

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3 Ways To Protect Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a great way to improve the value of your home and keep it looking classy. Many people prefer hardwood floors over other types of flooring because they are durable, never go out of style and keep the house feeling tidy and inviting. However, if you have hardwood floors there are a couple things that you need to do to ensure that the flooring is safe and in the best of shape. Here are a couple things you should do to protect your floors.

1. Avoid Wearing High Heeled Shoes

One of the worst things you can do for your floors is wear high-heeled shoes on them. In general, you shouldn’t wear any shoes in the house, since they can ruin all types of flooring, but for hardwood, shoes with a narrow heel are the very worst.

These heels, even if they have felt on the bottom, can scratch and dent the floor. Even hard-soled dress shoes for men can damage the floor. This is why you should have everyone take off their shoes when entering the house, and have a “no dress shoe” policy on the flooring.

2. Keep Pets Off The Floor

If you have lots of pets, hardwood floors may not be for you. Just like the heels on dress shoes will damage the floor, so will the animal’s claws. Their nails, both cats’ and dogs’, can easily scratch the floor beyond repair. This is why it is so important that you keep pets’ nails trimmed if you choose to have them in the house.

Second, any accidents from the animals can be damaging to the floor. You should be vigilant about house training the animals before they are allowed inside. Pet urine can discolor and ruin the floors.

3. Avoid Harsh Moisture Changes In The House

If you have hardwood flooring and you live in a humid climate, you should install a dehumidifier in the house. Wood is a living thing. It will expand as it gets wet and it will shrink as it dries up. This means that, as the climate changes, your floors will become damaged. If you are going to invest all of this money into the flooring of your house, you should take extra precautions to protect it by ensuring that the humidity in the home stays constant so as not to ruin it.

By doing these three things, you can protect your hardwood floors and keep them looking great for years to come. Contact a company like Westwood Flooring for more information.

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Inexpensive Kitchen Improvements

Many people want the look and feel of a new kitchen but just cannot afford to spend the thousands of dollars that it takes to get it remodeled. New countertops, cabinets, appliances, flooring and many other large ticket items can put the kitchen remodel out of the question. However, there are many very inexpensive ways that you can get your kitchen looking beautiful without breaking the bank.

1. Painting Cabinets. Cabinets can be a very expensive thing to replace in a home. Instead of trying to replace them, you can paint them. Perhaps you want to get rid of the brown wood look that the cabinets have and you want to go with white cabinets. With just a few gallons or primer and paint and a little bit of a time investment, you will be able to paint the cabinets a new color. This can change the entire look and feel of your kitchen. Of course, you can also have a remodeling contractor come into your home and paint them as well so they get more of a professional quality.

2. Adding a Backsplash. Something else that is relatively inexpensive but that can make a huge difference is adding some kind of backsplash in your kitchen. You can find some beautiful tiles for only a few dollars a square foot. You can either try to install it yourself or have a remodeling contractor do it for you. The new backsplash will add color and texture to the kitchen.

3. Change Lighting. Lighting is another way to enhance the look and feel of your kitchen. Perhaps you have some old fixtures that are outdated and do not provide good light. You can switch these out for recessed lighting or new fixtures. Recessed lighting can cost as low as $20 for a light which is very inexpensive and a great addition to the kitchen. A remodeling contractor can find a good electrician to do this for you so that it is done correctly. The new lighting can enhance the kitchen space so that it is more functional and more beautiful.

Of course, you can also buy new countertops, get new floors, change out your cabinets and buy all new appliances as well. This can be very expensive but can make your kitchen look beautiful. For those of you who are on a budget, doing these inexpensive improvements can make a vast difference and allow you to enjoy the space while not breaking the bank.

For professional remodeling services, contact a contractor such as Cornerstone Builders of Southwest Florida.

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