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Believe it or not, carpeting is one of the biggest contributors to indoor air pollution. One of the commonest health problems in a house is allergies, and carpets are practically a perfect environment for dust mites, molds and mildew.
Not only that, but the modern wall-to wall carpeting in today’s houses are made of synthetic fibers dyed and treated with chemicals (fungicides, soil repellants and pesticides, anyone?) and bonded to synthetic backing with chemical glues. All of these materials release hundreds of Volatile Organic Compounds as they age, in a process called outgassing. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can be mutagens, irritants and carcinogens. Not the ideal thing to have in your home, to say the least.
Carpet also attracts and retains all that you and your family members track in to the house from the ground outside- dirt, lead dust found in flaking house exterior paint, insects, bacteria, lawn and garden chemicals and other unhealthy debris. Not to mention food crumbs, hair and dead skin particles.
Getting a wall-to-wall carpet 100% clean is nearly impossible (ever rented one of those steam-cleaners to clean your carpet and cleaned the same area over and over, each time seeing more dirt come out?) and trying to clean causes its own problems. Vacuuming stirs up airborne dust and mold spores. Shampooing can leave a damp carpet encouraging more mold growth and even the shampoo may have irritating or even toxic chemicals added.
At the other end of the floor covering health spectrum is ceramic tile. It is made from natural clay materials fired in a kiln. A tile sealed with non-leaded glaze is impervious to mold and bacteria and is well tolerated by chemically sensitive people.
Ceramic tile is bonded to the base flooring using low-toxicity thin set mortar, and can be grouted with home-made, additive-free grout. 2 parts dry, clean sand mixed with 1 part Portland cement can be prepared and added to water to form a slow, damp curing grout.
Although a ceramic tile floor can be expensive up front, due to the labor-intensive installation, they are very durable and long-lasting if properly maintained, and can be considered as comparatively affordable in the long run.
This is a custom shower done in Hakatai Classic Series Color Oak Blend. This beautiful tile is both durable and inexpensive. With a tone of solid colors and blends you cannot go wrong with this series. Easy to install and cut anyone could install!
Many styles and finishes for cabinet hardware are available. Each variety is designed to accompany popular styles while maintaining a beautiful look over time. Some of the most popular finishes today will be discussed here.
Some finishes are more commonly used today on cabinet hardware than others. Satin or brushed nickel is one finish known by two names. In modern kitchens, it is popular finish because it mimics steel. Since modern is one of the most common styles right now, this finish used quite often. While it is not too different from stainless steel, it offers more variety of styles because the finish can be achieved on variety of metals. In fact, the most common metals given this finish are brass and zinc. Oil-rubbed bronze is another finish which is implemented mostly on brass or zinc. This finish is used to apply an Old World look or something more contemporary modern. Some of the variations of oil-rubbed bronze seem to have an amber or copper undertone. Others appear dark brown or nearly black.
Polished finishes are used to create a different feel. Polished brass was once, a decade or so ago, one of the most popular finishes. Zinc polished brass is kept from tarnishing by having a lacquer sealant applied to it. Applications include bathroom accessories, faucets, cabinet hardware and door hinges. Polished chrome is used to create an Art Deco appearance. This finish has a silver-polished mirror finish lasts a long time because it hardly ever tarnishes. With this finish, like all polished mirror finishes, finger prints will show easily. Wiping them off is simple, however, and easily returns the metal to looking new.
Antique finishes give cabinet hardware a traditional look. Antiquing brass is quite a process. The hardware is coated black and then brushed, creating the appearance of aged, antique brass. Without a lacquer, the product would tarnish, so after being brushed, a lacquer is applied and then the product is baked. Antique copper is another popular finish. Finishes like antique copper are making it possible to have contemporary designs completed with a traditional finish. It is another finish that is commonly applied to brass or zinc. To create this look, the cabinet hardware is dipped in a copper flash, plated black, and brushed to create the antique look. While countless other styles are popular and available today on cabinet hardware, these options provide a good starting point to look at.
This is a bathroom picture featuring Hakatai Classic Series in the Ficus Color. Using a bold color in a room can add the extra pizzaz to your design and make it look INCREDIBLE!
We are pleased to introduce a new series from BMKA Stone which is a Stone and metal Mosiac. This mosaic is compromised of both polished and tumble marble and a brushed aluminim tile. It is the latest edition to BMKA Stone line which is absolutley beautiful!
When designing and selecting materials for your new kitchen backsplash, consider functionality along with beauty. Maintenance is a turnoff for many homeowners. Once installed, they want it to take care of themselves. Materials such as ceramic or porcelain tile, stainless steel, glass and stone can be crafted into beautiful backsplashes that require little or no maintenance. Altering how an older backsplash appears or designing one from scratch serves as a quick and efficient method of brightening up your kitchen without extensive work.
When selecting a kitchen backsplash, it is important to consider the kinds of fixtures, not appliances, you have in your kitchen. Since the appliances will be replaced over time, they are less essential to bear in mind. The fixtures, being more permanent items in the kitchen, are important to remember. A tile or tint of glass may match a paint color in the room, but if it clashes with the finish on a light or cabinet door fixture, the work will not look professionally done.
A desirable aspect concerning the use of tile as a backsplash is the large selection of colors, sizes, shapes and textures that are available. You could even request a custom painted tile job to match any design theme you have or want in your kitchen. Also, tile is easy to install and clean. Multiple experts of design suggest that if you have a tiled floor then you should choose the same tile for your kitchen backsplash in a smaller size. This simplifies things if you have trouble making design decisions. Similarly, if you have a natural stone countertop, continuing the counter up the wall makes a simple, consistent backsplash in your kitchen. Stone does require occasional resealing, but the small amount of maintenance is made up for in the beauty of stone. For country kitchen styles, metal backsplashes work very well. Fixtures in the room should be noted when selecting appropriate metal tiles so they do not clash with one another.
Trendy choices are available, as well. Stainless steel backsplashes create a modern, sleek look in your kitchen. This might be one case where considering the appliances could be important. Stainless steel refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers are common and in style. Stainless steel backsplashes act to compliment these appliances. One fresh design trend used everywhere these days, including kitchen backsplashes, is glass. It is often a good decision to install glass tiles to extend all the way up to the cabinets from the counters. Glass is easy to maintain and is scratch resistant. With the numerous choices on the market, you should find no limitations in selecting just the right material and style for your kitchen.