Make sure your appliances aren’t being recalled.

Did you know that house hold appliances cause a large number of house fires? Consumers Reports Magazine wrote an eye opening article about how often appliances catch fire. Many of these appliances have been recalled but homeowners are unaware.

 

What can you do? You need to gather some information like model and serial numbers of each of your house hold appliances. Once you have gathered that information go to www.recalls.gov for recalls and what action to take if something you own is involved.

 

Its a good idea to keep a list and regularly recheck; because it can take years for problems to become evident.

 

Before You Buy Ceramic Flooring

So you’re considering ceramic tile for your floors? Excellent choice! Ceramic tile is a beautiful and durable product that dates back thousands of years. But before you sign any contracts or make any purchases, know this before you buy:

Do Your Homework

There is a defined step-by-step procedure for applying trim and decorative tiles to your ceramic tile floor:

1. Identify the room and its application,

2. Select the type of tile

3. Select the color and shade

4. Select the texture and size

5. Design a layout pattern and/or a decorative pattern

6. Select the grout color and type

Sticking to this process will help guarantee a smooth installation.

Terminology-Trims

Bullnose has one rounded finished edge to create a nice finishing touch. Sometimes it’s used as a substitute for a cove base.

Corner Bullnose has two rounded finished edges, enabling it to complete a corner.

Sanitary Cove Base has a rounded finished top like a bullnose to cover up the body of the tile.

Color

Many of today’s ceramic tiles are designed to look and feel like natural stone, emulating their rugged surface and color variations. These tiles are intentionally designed to show variations in color and texture, just like the real thing. Since the composition of a tile’s glaze can vary, different tile styles will also exhibit different gloss levels. Solid color tiles create a consistent look, but shade variation is inherent in all fired ceramic products and certain tiles will show greater variation within their dye lots.

Color Consistency

Color consistency or shade variation is typically listed on the back label of each ceramic tile sample with a low, moderate, high or random rating. What’s the difference?

Low Consistent shade and texture

Moderate Average shade and texture variation

High Extreme shade and texture variation

Random Severe shade and texture variation

You’ll notice color variations between a manufacturers’ sample and the same color installed on countertops, wall tile or ceramic floors.

The color of the clay available in a manufacturer’s geographic region determines the color of the body of a tile. Look at the tile to see if its color is red or white. The quality of a tile is more about the manufacturer than the color of the tile, itself.

Density

In the same way that the composition of glaze can vary, different styles of tile exhibit different gloss levels and surface textures. For example, in areas that get wet, like a shower or bathroom floor, the tile should have low moisture absorption and good slip resistance.

By moisture absorption, we mean that as the density of a tile increases, the amount of moisture it can absorb becomes less. Similarly, by tile density, we mean that as the weight or the density of the tile increases, it becomes stronger.

Here’s some terminology to help you decide:

Non-Vitreous Tiles absorb 7% or more moisture. They’re best suited for indoor use only.

Semi-Vitreous Tiles absorb from 3% to 7% moisture. They re best used indoors only.

Vitreous Tiles absorb less that 3% moisture. They are referred to as frost resistant tiles but can’t be used in exterior areas where freeze-thaw conditions might cause tile cracking.

Impervious Tiles have less than .5% moisture absorption. These tiles are frost proof and can be used outside or on building facades. If you have serious winter weather, these are the tiles for you.

Grout

Grout is usually mixed on site, but slight color variations can occur within different areas of the same installation. In fact, grout color can vary from the manufacturer’s sample you saw in the store. This is due to variations in temperature and humidity at the time of grouting. It’s also common to see grout variations when comparing the grout color in a tile floor with the same grout color on a tile countertop or wall.

When choosing grout color, it’s a good idea to select a color that blends in with the overall color of the tile to minimize the appearance of the grout. Though if the tile is installed in a high traffic area, then it may be wise to select a darker grout to hide dirt.

Exact layouts, types of grout and grout joint widths are determined by a tile setter at the time of installation. These decisions are governed by the actual size and shape of the tile you chose and the exact dimensions of the area to be covered.

Once your tile has been laid and grouted, it’s up to you to guard all caulked areas against water damage. Grout may darken over time in areas with heavy water use.

Also, weather can cause surfaces adjoining the tile to expand and contract, causing the grout to crack and separate. Ain’t nothing you can do about it.

Leveling

No subfloors are perfectly level. Nope — not even yours. As a result, you may hear hollow sounds where your subfloor’s surface dips and ridges. But fret not. This won’t affect the integrity or installation of your ceramic tile. Hollow sounds are normal and aren’t considered a product or installation defect.

Cost

“Cost per square foot” is just one component of the overall price tag for ceramic tile flooring. Ask your installer to calculate the total cost of your floor covering project. Here’s what he or she may include beyond the cost of the ceramic tile, itself:

Furniture removal/replacement
Some retailers or installers may charge to remove (and then replace) furniture in the installation space.

Demolition/disposal of old floor covering
Unless your home is brand new, there’s probably an old floor covering that is going to need to be removed and properly disposed of.

Sub-floor preparation
Depending on its condition (after removal of the old floor covering), your subfloor may need to be prepped for ceramic tile installation.

Product delivery
Delivering your ceramic tile may not be included in the “cost per square foot” price.

Installation
There will most likely be a “cost per square foot” to install your ceramic tile flooring..

Materials required to complete the installation
Additional materials may be required to properly install your ceramic tile.

Ask your retailer to provide the manufacturer’s warranty and care guide for your tile.

Mirror Makeovers

 

While completing remodel projects, we were faced with the same dilemma. Locate and install the perfect framed mirror to comlpete the remodel.

Due to cost and inability to find the perfect size, our clients were forced to install an unsightly frameless mirror. We also quickly realized, existing home owners with frameless mirrors were out of options.

 

Most homeowners did not want to tackle tearing out an existing mirror, repairing the drywall, painting touchups and then locating the perfect sized framed mirror. All of these reasons were not cost effective.

 

This led us to start offering Mirror Mate. With over 65 styles to choose from, this product is The Solution to your Frameless Mirror.

 

Mirror Mate frames your existing mirrors with decorative frames. Your mirror does not have to be removed, no mess or tear out needed. This is a cost effective way to update, enhance and transform those large mirrors in your bathrooms.

 

 

How to Care for a Recessed Light Fixture

Lights are prone to get dim after prolonged exposure to dust and grime. For fixtures to be effective at lighting up a home, homeowners need to care for them with regular maintenance. Here’s a step by step guide on how to care for your recessed light fixtures.You will need:• a step ladder• damp cloth• dry, clean cloth

• a light bulb changing tool or duct tape for narrow trims

 

1. Turn off the lights you need to clean, and allow the bulbs to cool down before taking them out. Incandescent bulbs generate a lot of heat and can be harmful to touch. Compact fluorescent lights, on the other hand, are significantly cooler than incandescent bulbs, shortening the time you have to wait before you can hold them.

 

2. When the bulbs have cooled down, use a step ladder and unscrew them with your hands. For fixtures with a narrow trim, this could be difficult. In this case, you can use a light bulb changing tool, which is a pole that features an adjustable grasping mechanism on its end and allows you to get into the trim with ease.

 

3. In lieu of a changing tool, you can use a strip of duct tape and fold it back onto itself so that it creates a handle, with the adhesive side exposed. Insert your fingers through the opening and press your knuckles firmly onto the light bulb. The duct tape will stick to the bulb, after which you can unscrew it from the trim.

 

4. Wipe the bulbs with a damp cloth and alternately rub them with a dry one. Leave them out to dry completely before screwing them back into the fixture.

 

5. With the bulbs still out of the socket, wipe off dust and grime in the interior of the fixture. Unless the main power line has been turned off, never use a wet cloth in doing this, as it could lead to electrocution. When both the fixture and bulbs are fully dry, screw the lights bulb in.

Recessed lights, especially in the kitchen, should always be bright to ensure that tasks such as preparing meals and cooking are done more efficiently. Give the fixtures a thorough clean-up every once in a while to keep them in brilliant condition.