How to Choose a Kitchen Worktop

It’s always great to look at the variety of worktops and what the advantages of them are. In this article we will like to look into 3 worktops and see how they compare with one another.

Stainless steel

When looking at a worktops it’s good to think about the use and the environment around it. If you have young children then you are more likely to take something more resistant.
Stainless steel is ideal for our OCD driven hygiene freaks. Its a great surface which can be cleaned very easily. The worktop is hard and the best thing is the easiness of the clean. Stainless steel does however scratch across time but none can deny it looks really good.

Hardwood

Best used: Always best used for our chefs and cooking maniacs. Its ideal for cooking purposes. Also if bought with water resistant quality then can become very handy in and around sinks and areas which deal with oil.

Best look: Best thing is it suits all kitchens. It looks greatif mixed with a few materials such as glass or stainless steel.

Upkeep: Maintenance of this is slightly harder. If something spills you have to be pretty quick to clean up otherwise it may leave a stain.
Sealing required: These hardwoods need to be painted with a special oil to start with and then one coat every month at least. This has to become a habbit otherwise you can say good bye to your hardwood.

Durability: Hardwoods can last a long time but you will have to apply that oil. Also dont use it as a chopping board or put a hot pan on it. These surfaces can get scorched very easily.

Flexibility and fitting: The best thing about hardwood is its flexibility to fit perfectly in any shape. Make sure the carpenter is correct though.

Granite

Best used: Used on surface worktops. The shiny glossy look has proved very popular in recent times.
Best look: Its a granite worktopsat its best. It suits every look, call it modern or traditional. The worktop has been described as timeless.
Upkeep: Maintenance out of all the surfaces is the best. Get a damp cloth and wipe away. Its that simple.
Sealing required: You would apply a sealer first time when putting it on and another one after 10 years.
Durability: Out of all the surfaces it is the best in durability. It can with stand heat and is water resistant. Wine and citrus must be wiped away at once though.
Flexibility and fitting: Granite again is very flexible. It is cut very easily into any shape or size.

A Look at Kitchen Bamboo Cabinets

Selecting wood based products is harder these days since we want to find products made from sustainable produced raw materials. What can bamboo do to fulfill these needs? Can it really work for your kitchen decorating needs?

One of the main things we have to consider when choosing a wood species for any wood product is how it looks in our home. While making responsible choices for the environment is attractive, it loses some of its appeal if the final result is no the look we had hoped for. But bamboo can come through with the look that your to create the aesthetic appeal you are looking for.

Bamboo is grown in many areas of the world, but like any harvested products some growers are more concerned with using a sustainable process, while others are just in it for a fast buck. Some areas like Costa Rica have a fairly good record for sustainability in the overall process of growing and cutting of bamboo. Bamboo can usually be cut when it is about five or six years old. It is a member of the grass family, so it will grow back quickly.

Bamboo wood products are quite hard, harder than many conventionally used hardwoods like oak. After it’s finished it has good dimensional stability as well, so the smooth functioning of your cabinet doors and drawers will not degrade over time. Bamboo is so hard that its nickname is green steel.

As you may expect, many retailers for bamboo products have locations in California. But this is not just a west coast idea, and as their popularity increases it is easier to find retailers in other major cities like Chicago and New York.

There are a number of companies that will fashion custom bamboo cabinets for your home. In addition there are manufacturers who manufacture modular cabinet units in sizes that will fit most homes, so you can get a custom look for a much lower cost.

Bamboo cabinets will be a featured part of your home decor. These cabinets are good looking, you can get them in a variety of finishes, and because the wood is durable they will last for a long time, yet they come from a sustainable resource, so you can minimize the impact on our environment.

Extreme Home Improvement Tips Hardwood Floor Installation

hardwood floor photoHome improvement can add that special something to your home environment, help you make use of your space and of course often add value. If your budget will allow, you may wish to pay for experts to come in and do the job for you. On the other hand you may be somebody for whom home improvement is an enjoyable and rewarding project to undertake yourself.

Of course some tasks are more difficult than others. For instance hardwood floor installation is not as straightforward as you think. Installing quality, durable flooring requires some preparation and if you choose to install it yourself it is wise to get as much support as possible. Many internet sites offer advice in detail.

Below are some brief, useful tips for hardwood floor installation:
Hardwood is a natural product and may have defects. When ordering wood check for defects, either natural or from the manufacturing process before buying. To be on the safe side order an extra 5 10% to allow for any overlooked problems.

Remember some urethane cured hardwood glues come with bond only warranties but there are glues that do not have moisture protection warranties. Check whether you need glue with moisture protection.
Ensure the site is structurally sound and completed before beginning work.

As hardwood is a porous material and will contract and expand, all attempts must be made to control the humidity of the room. Painted walls should be dry. Exterior drainage should be pointed away from the house. Wood should be delivered as early as possible before installation to allow it to acclimatize to the air. Although the product is engineered to withstand moisture, it is advisable to check moisture levels prior to working and consult manufacturers recommendations re: acceptable levels of moisture.

Ensure that you prepare for your own safety and the protection of the wood during installation. Protecting your eyes with goggles is a must! Use a back brace for lifting. Soft rubber pads or cushion knee pads prevent abrasions to the floor surface.

Wetting the painted area first before scraping it off will help to keep dust to a minimum. Wet paint causes less dust than flaky paint.

Open all boxes of wood before starting to lay the wood to check for defects but also insures you get a picture of the color and texture variation before you start.

Establishing your baseline and the direction of the floor is a crucial step. Be meticulous in using measuring and marking lines. Remember the longest outside wall gives the best visual effect.

Floor boards are initially laid using a “staggered staircase method i.e. 3 boards fitted closely together with boards 2 and 3 being 6 inches shorter than the first board and placed above the first board. To ensure the boards do not lose their tight grip use 3-M blue tape 2 inches thick to secure them and ensure that excess glue is cleaned off the boards and your shoes before you go on to add more boards. Being meticulous with details can make the process quicker and easier.

Professional installers recommend rolling the floor with a 75lb roller. The advantage of this often overlooked process is that you can quickly remedy any air pockets or hollow spots before the glue has dried and apply additional needed pressure to deal with them.

If you have taken the time and money to invest in hardwood flooring it is wise to make sure you take care and maintain this material. Common-sense tells you to keep the floors clean particularly from water, food and grease. Use only leading brand cleaner made for pre-finished hardwood floors and do not use polish or oil-based wax. Reduce damage to the flooring by using floor protectors underneath all furniture and avoid walking on floors with footwear that will damage it like stiletto heels. The above points are by no means comprehensive but are aimed at highlighting the small details to bear in mind when installing your hardwood flooring. When looking for extra support particularly on the internet, look for a reputable company who not only offer guidelines for installation but who offer a hardwood floor installation video online to help you do as professional a job as is possible.