stone floor Stone flooring is favored flooring among households and property owners looking for flooring that fuses style and durability. Whether the flooring is made from slate or marble, natural stone flooring is always classy, naturally cool and great addition in warmer climates.  And since stone flooring can come in a variety of materials and colors especially marble, the choice of natural stone flooring provides homeowners with an opportunity to explore a variety of home styling. While the availability of stone types will excite many homeowners, it is also a source of issues and frustrations. Deciding on the specific type of stone flooring can be a daunting task, thus it pays to be armed with the basic details to make an informed shopping experience.

Popular types of stone flooring available

While granite is a popular stone material for homes, keep in mind that this stone type is often selected when working on bathrooms and kitchen. When it comes to flooring materials, you can’t go wrong with marble, limestone and travertine. Marble is a porous material and can work in areas where class and sophistication matter. This stone material comes in tiles or slabs, and available in different colors depending on the area where these were sourced. Quality and hardness also vary, depending on where these were quarried so it’s best to ask the supplier if the stone flooring can handle the task. Another popular option is limestone, cited for its earthen and natural appearance. Compared to other natural stone, there will be little color variation among limestone tiles and slabs. To address its rough surface, limestone tiles and slabs can be sanded or it can be machine-tumbled to give it that dated or worn look. While these two natural stone materials are great additions inside your home as flooring, it also poses some maintenance challenges. Marble and limestone are naturally porous, thus it’s critical that these should be sealed every few years.

Use natural stone sealers as part of maintenance program

Deciding on natural stone flooring is a serious investment that requires appropriate knowledge and continuous maintenance. If possible, it’s best to work with professionals who can supply the right natural stone flooring. Installation should be done by professionals as well since careful attention should be focused on the substrate, the surface where the stone flooring will be installed. A critical step in installation (and even maintenance) involves sealing the stone flooring. Sealers are used during installation and used as part of a maintenance program. Products like 511 Impregnator Sealer fill the spaces between minerals and crystals, thus making the stone flooring effective against stains and water intrusion.

Maintaining natural stone flooring may be labor-intensive but the value it brings to your home is something that can’t be denied. It adds a natural and sophisticated touch inside your home, and can even boost home value provided its installed and sealed properly.

If you are Greek, or if you love Greek culture, then why not add some fun home décor items that showcase the beauty and fun of Greece? Here are some ideas.

  1. Greek Road Signs. The aluminum blue signs that grace the roadways in Greece feature Greek and English letters, and they look great as home decor items. Quirky and bright, these cheery replica signs will add a cheery touch of fun to any room.
  2. Greek Name Signs. Not sure you want a road sign? Why not pick a customized sign that shows your name in Greek letters? This would also make a fantastic personalized gift for any of your loved ones.
  3. Greek Picture Frames. Throw in a touch of Greece with customized picture frames that showcase your name in Greek lettering. However, you can also get the engraving done in several other languages if you prefer.
  4. Greek Drachma Cork Coasters. These coasters look like ancient Greek coins. You can protect your wooden surfaces in style!
  5. Now that you have the right coasters, why not get personalized Greek mugs to put on them? Choose from red or blue customizable designs.
  6. Greek Magnets. These engraved wooden magnets will really make your fridge pop! There are several designs to choose from, or get your name or message engraved in English, Greek, or other language that uses English letters.

You can find all of these Greek home décor items and more at kantyli.com. Make your home exactly how you want it- show off your heritage!

When it comes to properly painting or staining your home proper brush care is extremely important. Old paint can not only ruin your brush but it can also mix with new paints that you are working with throwing the color off. When you first get a new brush it will work perfect and you can keep it working that way if you take the time and follow these easy to follow steps.

The first thing you will want to do when you go to clean your brush is run it through running water. When the brush first goes under the running water it will become discolored from the excess paint left over from your project. You’ll want to keep it there until the water turns back to it’s normal color. This should take care of most of the paint that is in the brush.

After you run the water through the brush you are going to want to inspect it for dried up paint. Left over paint will ruin your bristle. The will stick together preventing you from being able to lay a nice even coat on your project. To get this old paint off you will want to use a wire brush. The wire will be able to break up the chunks of paint without pulling out the bristle. Many of the brushes that are made for this job come with a small puddy knife on the top that you can use in removing paint from the metal part of the brush.

Once you are done removing the paint you are going to want to dry the brush. Putting it away soaking wet can cause the bristles to clump together. This will destroy the line up the brush has throwing off the amount of paint that the brush sucks up. The assists way to go about drying a brush is to hold it between your hands and spin it back and forth. After a few minutes of spinning the brush you will see the water droplets lessen until they stop coming off.

paint brushBy using these tricks you’ll be able to expand the life of your brush. Besides the paint or stain that you are using, the brush is the most important tool you will use. Keeping your brush in good condition will make sure that you made a sound investment in a tool that can tackle any job that you have to do.

deck stainWhen you are a home owner there are always a million things that can go wrong. It can seem at times that there is never a shortage of tasks that need to be done. One thing that can really do some damage to your home is rot. Rot eats away at every part of wood that your home has and not only decrease your homes over all value but it can also make parts of your home dangerous to go on or into.

The good thing about rot however is that it is fairly easy to combat. The first thing you will want to do is seal any wood surface that is going to be exposed to the outside elements. There are many types of sealers on the market and most of them are easy to put on to the wood. For the most part you just need a normal paint brush or a sponge brush to put an even coat on. Sealing the wood parts of your home is the first step to making sure rot doesn’t destroy your home.

Sometimes the rot can hit before you have time to put the sealer on. Once rot has set in and starts to destroy wood there is very little you can do outside of cutting out the destroyed wood to make sure it doesn’t spread. If the rot starts on a deck it won’t take much for it to spread to the siding of your home or into hard to reach spots. This is why it is important to take steps to stop rot from setting in before it can spread.

Rot is something that no home owner wants to deal. It can spread fast and make you lose money either in repairs or in the overall value of your home. Decks that are suffering from extreme rot can cause serious injury if someone steps on a board that is rotten there is a very high possibility that they will fall through. Taking steps early and investing in the right tools, such as wood sealer and a brush, can save you money and a headache.

Staining wood is common, but why exactly do we do it? Here are the main benefits of staining your wood floors, decks, wooden fence, furniture, and other wooden objects in your home.

Protects Against Rot

Wood, like all organic materials, eventually rots if you don’t protect it. Staining furniture prevents your beautiful wood from rotting away. Since you cannot reverse the rotting process, it’s best to stain and coat your wood right away so there’s no opportunity for rot to start. Staining also protects against termites, mold, mildew, and other things that affect organic materials.

Blocks the Sun

After a while, the affects of the sun on wood become visible. It degrades the appearance, and also compromises the structural integrity of the object. For outdoor wood, such as decks, window trim, railings, doors, and outdoor furniture, this is especially important. Staining the wood slows sun related damage.

Waterproof

Although any furniture can stand to be waterproofed, waterproofing is especially important for your deck or any outdoor wooden objects. It’s also a good idea to waterproof indoor surfaces that may come into contact with water (from spills or leaks), particularly floors and kitchen tables. If you do not waterproof your wood, then water will not harmlessly flow off of the wood and damage will result.

If you are looking for a high quality stain to protect your wood, try ewoodcare.com.

wood cleanerWhen you go to either refurbish an old piece of wooden furniture or even giving your deck a new finish, the first and most important step you are going to want to do is clean the surface of the wood. Old paint and dirt will interfere with the paint or stainer you decide to re-coat it with. Instead of having a nice smooth finish, you’ll have a bumpy and rough surface that will not last. The good thing is this is one of the easiest jobs you can do by yourself.

Before you start cleaning the wood surface you are going to want to make sure you have all the right tools to get the job done. You will need a cloth, puddy knife, sandpaper and a cleaner or paint remover. If you are lucky the only thing on your surface is just simple dust which you can easily wipe away. If however, you find old paint stuck to it or any other kind of stain you’re going to have to use the knife, sandpaper and maybe the cleaner.

The puddy knife will easily remove any piece of old paint that is peeling off. All you have to do is place the edge of the knife under one of the paint flacks and scrape it off. Once you have the majority of the flake off you may find that part of it is still stuck to the surface. Using the sand paper you can smooth this down to match the surface of wood. If you are worried the sandpaper may damage the piece of wood paint remover may take a little longer but it will remove the old paint without damaging the surface in any way. The sand paper can also be used to smooth out any rough patch you spot. Using both the sandpaper and the cleaner you will also be able to remove any bits of mold that have formed.

Prepping wood surfaces may not be the hardest or longest task when it comes to refurbishing projects, but it will make a world of difference on how good a project comes out. Dirt, paint chips, and mold are all things that will throw off a sleek look and could very well limit the life span of the paint or stain.

Standoff systems require drilling glass. Most people are unsure of how to drill glass or acrylic panels, and this restrains them from using standoff systems. However, it is relatively easy to drill glass and acrylic. Many different types of drill bits exist, some specifically made to drill glass, others for acrylic panels.  Any time you attempt to drill glass, ensure that the proper drill bit is used. Any attempt to drill glass with a drill bit not designed for the purpose will damage the panel, usually resulting in shattering. Acrylic panels are more forgiving and harder to cause irreparable damage to.

Mistakes are usually hard or impossible to correct, and can be expensive, so drill glass only in specified places and make holes exact in size, so that studs used to secure standoff caps to standoff bases are not loose in the holes, as any jarring impact against the glass panel may cause the glass to hit the stud and shatter.  If you are unsure of how or where to drill glass, take your glass to a professional and them take care of it for you. When creating floating counter-tops, glass should be tempered, and it is impossible to drill glass that is tempered, so glass should be the last thing made for your standoff system.

For those that wish to drill glass themselves, there are a few simple rules to remember and follow. Anyone who wishes to drill glass should use a core drill bit, which is the most common type of glass drill, or other bit specifically designed for the purpose.

Follow rpm recommendations for your particular drill bit or your attempt to drill glass may result in damage to the glass and/or bit. When attempting to drill glass, always use coolant. Many coolants exist, specially formulated to prolong the life of glass drill bits. If no coolant is available, water may be used. However, water will not preserve the drill bit for as long as coolant.  Also, when you drill glass it is important for the drill bit to not be allowed to ‘walk’. For this reason, a guide may be purchased to restrain the drill bit in its designated location. A circle of the proper size cut into a piece of plywood will also serve as a guide when fastened onto the drilling surface. Do not attempt to drill glass unless you are using a guide.

Standoff systems may seem complicated, with the necessity to drill glass and knowing where to mount standoff systems, but they are in truth very straight-forward. Some glass shops that craft and drill glass will also install it, so it may not even be necessary for you to take the risk of doing it yourself, unless you wish to.No matter whether used in a commercial or residential application, to display artwork, advertisements, or create floating counter-tops, standoff systems are an integral part of modern decoration.

The patio is always considered an ‘extension’ of the living area of a family. Family activities and gatherings often spill into the patio or the property’s pathway when the activities start to grow, or when these activities require a larger space. And in some residences, the patio or pathway also serves as the parking space for vehicles and other machines often used by the household. In short, the patio is one overworked area of the property and it’s normal that over time, the pressure it received will be manifested in different forms including cracks on the patio or pathway. Cracks and damages on the patio are eyesores and can affect the curb appeal of your property. As soon as these cracks are noticed, it’s critical to assess the damage and proceed with appropriate repairs accordingly.

Assess the severity of damages on patio

There are two general approaches on how to repair patio cracks-choose a DIY approach through the use of crack repair fillers or work with professionals who specialize in wall and foundation repairs. Shallow and minimal cracks that don’t exceed 1/8 inch in width are best for DIY projects using commercially-available crack injection and fillers. For serious cracks or the replacement of patio or walkway in its entirety, the best option is to work with professionals who have the expertise and the materials to complete the repair tasks.

Work with appropriate repair materials

The approach and the choice of repair materials will depend on the patio materials used. Concrete is a popular material used in constructing patio and pathways, primarily due to its durability and cost-effectiveness. Concrete-based pathways and patios are easy to repair as well, and cracks can be sealed using commercially-available sealants and fillers. For serious and large-sized cracks and damages on the patio, a better alternative is to mix and pour concrete into the affected area.

If you have noticed that the stone or brick-based patio has sunk, then its best to remove first the stone steps or bricks and fill up the area with some soil or sand to level the ground. Once the ground is already level, you can now add the stone and bricks. An extra step that can be taken is patio resurfacing, which can help boost patio’s look and increase its protection against future cracks and damages.

Patio repair Whatever repair step is considered, its best to act immediately as soon as cracks and other signs of damages are observed.

Plants are a great decoration to add some life to your home or apartment. Not only will they help you make your space feel more homey but they also can improve the overall air quality without the need of buying expensive equipment. With plants you have a wide variety to choice from to compliment your style.

With most renters or home owners space can prove to be an issue. After a long day of working coming home to a house for a clutter or limited space can prove, at times, to be stressful. The cure for this when you have plants is simple, get yourself a macrame plant holder. This simple and inexpensive accessory can help you maintain your plants while helping you save space. They will also add a little more class to your current layout as well.

For many people who live in a more urban setting the notion of having an outdoor garden is, for most, just a dream. Just like the inside of the home or apartment, the outside can prove to have space issues as well. If you want to create a stunning outdoor garden macrame plant holders can also prove to be your answer. The knot work you find with macrame hangers makes them durable and able to withstand being outside without losing their integrity. The beautiful designs you will find worked into each piece will also make the outside of your place look unique and beautiful to those passing by.

Macrame is an ancient form of creating textiles through the use of knot tying. Each knot combination brings to life a piece of artwork that doesn’t just look nice but also has functionality to it. Skilled artisans for centuries have used various techniques to create stunning pieces of art as well creating simple yet effective tools from it. Today this method of knot tying is still popular with modern day artisans adding colorful patterns and various flairs such as beads to make each piece as unique and beautiful as they can.

deck stain tipsWhen you are a home owner there is never a shortage of work that can be done. One thing that you will have to keep an eye on is the condition of your deck. Decks are great outdoor spaces that are perfect when you are grilling or entertaining company. When you go to stain your deck there are a few things you will want to keep in mind during the prepping stages of your deck.

Mold

Mold is the enemy of home owners. Left unchecked it can not only destroy parts of your home but also have an overall negative effect on your health. Mold will also take over your deck. The climate of where home is, will have an effect on the amount of mold that can grow but, there are plenty of places this nuisance can get to and nest in.

To remove the mold you will want to use a fine grain sand paper or sanding block. These tools are the easiest and most effective tools. All you have to do is scrape off the mold colonies than apply a specially designed mold killer or bleach on top of it. Many people will use a power washer and just spray bleach afterwards, but there are some places, such as the underside of steps that using a power washer is either awkward or is unable to fit in this limited space.

Remove and Smooth Rough Spots

Before you can apply the stain to your deck you are going to want to remove any old paint and smooth out these places. A painters knife or three in one tool works best. Sometimes you may also find that on top of the old stain, there may be leaves and dirt that have filled in spaces or started helping in the deterioration of the deck. You can easily remove this using the same tool you used to remove the old stain.

These two steps are steps that are easy to overlook when you go to stain your deck. When you go to add your exterior wood stain to your deck, you want to have as clean and smooth of a surface that you can get. This will not only make it easy to evenly lay the stain on, but it will also reduce the amount of spots that won’t receive this long lasting protection.