Friday, August 29, 2008
This relatively new countertop material is a composite of rock aggregate (makes up 90% of its mass), resin and pigments. Engineered stone is sold under brand names called Silestone, for example and will commonly be referred to as quartz. Available in dozens of colors, it is non-porous and scratch-resistant. Because these stones do not contain fissures or veins, the strength of a slab may be more consistent throughout than that of natural stone. This consistency also makes seams easy to match.
Pros - Easy to maintain; resistant to stains, heat, scratches, and acid. Sealing is generally not required. Color is consistent throughout so scratches are less noticeable than with other materials. The most durable of all countertop materials.
Cons - Expensive; less natural looking than marble or granite.
A popular countertop choice because of its appearance and durability, granite is siliceous stone made from an extremely hard volcanic rock. It is available in a range of colors and is often flecked with bits of minerals that produce a salt-and-pepper look. There are two types: consistent; which has the same pattern throughout, and variegated; which has veins.
Pros - heat resistant, beautifully colored, each slab of granite is unique; good surface for working with pastry dough, since it doesn't conduct heat.
Cons - Expensive; requires regular maintenance, including periodic sealing, stains; can crack; can be tough on dishes and glassware; variegated granite pieces are hard to match.
Marble countertops are beautiful but because it is a calcareous stone, marble is softer and more porous than granite. Its permeability makes it susceptible to scratches, chips, and stains and its luster can be dulled if not properly cared for. Many homeowners choose to confine it to an island or baking center.
Pros - holds up well to heat; beautiful and luxurious; ideal for rolling out dough since it doesn't conduct heat.
Cons - Expensive; must be sealed to protect it from stains; requires regular maintenance; very soft so it scratches easily; Can be tough on dishes and glassware.
Stay tuned next week for information on the next three materials used in countertops...
Friday, August 22, 2008
ReVIBE Inc. believe's that living your best life involves not only a efficient and beautiful home environment, but achieving inner peace as well. If you follow even a few of the Dalai Lama's Instructions for Life you'll go a long way toward acheiving this goal.
- Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
- When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
- Follow the three R’s: Respect for self, Respect for others and Responsibility for all your actions.
- Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
- Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
- Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
- When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
- Spend some time alone every day.
- Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
- Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
- Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
- A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
- In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
- Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.
- Be gentle with the earth.
- Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
- Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
- Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
- Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Choose your décor, then your floor
Traditional Decor - Elegant, formal, classic lines and detailed finishing. Choose hardwood with distinctive grains and dark tones or exotic hardwoods such as mahogany, merbau, jatoba and cherry.
Casual Decor - Comfortable, cozy spaces that are charming and inviting. Look for mid-tone products with lots of texture and heavy grains.
Modern Décor - Monochromatic and functional with clean lines. Choose floors that will make a statement with color and pattern or subtle-grain floors to create a neutral pallet for these contemporary spaces.
Determine the function of your space
Active Spaces - Look for style and durability. Laminates are an ideal choice for high traffic areas such as family rooms and kitchens.
Relaxing Spaces - Medium to low traffic spaces where life still happens. Cork is a unique find; soft, warm and low maintenance. Look for corkfloors with bevelled edges and a leathered texture. Engineered hardwood is an excellent option, as it will not gap and will look beautiful longer.
Think outside the box
Flooring is a significant purchase. The cost of removing your current flooring and installation costs of new flooring can quickly add up and restrict your budget. Consider floor systems that can be installed right over your existing flooring.
Fall in love
Your home is a personal reflection of your style. Find a floor you love, before considering performance and functional elements. If you buy the floor you love, you’ll love your new space and that is the most important consideration of all.
- originally published by Torly's Flooring, July 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
- Your time is at a premium.
- You feel completely overwhelmed by the number of choices available.
- You have a couple of signature pieces but are unsure how to put everything together.
- You want to have quality work done, but don’t know where to turn for contractors, workmen, installers or other resources.
- You’ve already tried to decorate your home and have purchased a few items in the past, but they don’t work when you get them home.
- You and your partner can’t agree on anything.
- Your about to undertake a large renovation project and would like someone to help manage it for you.
- You’re not aware of the latest products, fabrics, or appliances that are available in the marketplace.
- You’re tired of buying things here and there but not having a master plan to put them all together.
- You want to have access to items you see in the home design magazines but they indicate they are “to the trade only”.