Various Types of Home Flooring Provide Many Options For Today’s Homeowner

As a home owner looking to add value and appeal to your home it is often a wise decision to look into and investigate new flooring. A new floor in any room will certainly change the environment, add warmth, take on a new look, and add to your investment. A change may be exactly what you are looking for and of course add to the quality of any room. There are many Various Types Of Home Flooring that may be the perfect answer to building a new floor. With so much of these flooring available as a do-it-yourself project you will find that it is relatively inexpensive to add new flooring and at the same time add to the enrichment of your home as well as increase the value of your investment.

One of the most popular types of flooring on the market is vinyl plank flooring. This will provide your room with the beauty of a hardwood floor with none of the pain and expense of real hardwood. You must realize that putting in a real hardwood floor takes money and a contractor. It is not a project for an amateur carpenter. This flooring gives you the beauty of hardware with the design and comfort of hardwood but is easier to clean, install, more durable, and only costs a fraction of the real stuff. It is available in rolls and strips and is easy to install by yourself.

If you are looking for flooring that is high tech you should consider an engineered floor. An engineered floor is layered to provide durability, insulation, and the beauty of hardwood. At the core is a hard wood with a veneer clued on to it to create the design and look of real hardwood. It will not warp, swell, or split apart like hardwood floors that are subject to moisture, heat, cold, and wear and tear. This flooring is engineered to provide beauty and stability that will last for years.

Unfinished hardwood flooring is another option for constructing a new floor in your home. This is all natural solid wood flooring that is cut right from the tree in long thin strips. It can be stained in any color or left untouched for a natural wood effect. It is most likely the most expensive option because you are dealing with a solid wood floor. It is also the most difficult to install. You will need professional help with a project like this. Among the most popular choices is red oak flooring. It provides a natural beauty unlike any other hardwoods that are available. These Various Types of Home Flooring will provide you with many options for your own home.

Three Great Reasons to Install Hardwood Flooring in Your Home

If you are thinking about installing new hardwood flooring in your home, there are some good reasons to do so. New wood floors add beauty, character, warmth and value to just about any home. If you are not sure whether you should replacing your existing floors with hardwoods, here are a few great reasons to install hardwood floors in your home.

First of all, hardwood flooring is one of the features that many prospective home buyers actively seek out when shopping for houses. Homes with well maintained hardwood floors can often command higher selling prices and sell faster than houses with wall to wall carpeting. If you are looking for a way to increase the value or salability of your home, the addition of hardwood floors makes for a good upgrade.

Second, hardwood floors are highly compatible with many tastes and styles of home decor. Hardwood flooring is versatile enough to look fantastic with modern styles or fit right in with a more classic style as well as complement anything in between. You also have the option of sanding down then staining your floors to give them a whole new look if the mood strikes you or if a major decorating change warrants it.

Last but not least, hardwood flooring is also extremely durable and can last for many years when cared for properly. Wooden floors are not immune to scuff marks or scratches, though, so you will want to use floor protectors with all of your furniture. Routine maintenance is fairly simple, requiring periodic sweeping or a quick vacuuming with a more thorough cleaning done using a wood floor cleaner from time to time.

You should be aware that while there are a number of good reasons to opt for hardwood floors, price is probably not going to be one of them. Buying, installing and maintaining hardwood flooring can get expensive and present a challenge. That said, hardwood floors can be considered a lifetime investment. They are extremely attractive, they add value to your home, they are easy to clean and they can last a very long time, all of which can make new hardwood floors a good enhancement on which to spend your hard earned home improvement dollars.

Using Under-Floor Heating to Fulfill Your Home Heating Needs

Under-floor heating has come a long way since the hypocaust days in ancient Rome with their furnace rooms supplying hot smoky air under tiled floors in Roman villas and baths. Nowadays the process is a little more high-tech and has more easily controlled results.

The modern radiant heated floor was invented by Frank Lloyd Wright, an American architect after experiencing the traditional Korean version which uses hot air from a kitchen fire. Wright’s version uses pipes with hot water running through them instead of air channels to heat the floor but there is a modern version available now that uses an electric system as well.

Electric under-floor systems are most often used not was a primary heating source but as a secondary source, particularly in bathrooms with tile flooring.

The benefits of under-floor heating are many. Under-floor heating is more energy efficient due to the spread of warmth through the entire floor instead of just from a hot air vent or baseboard heater. You can utilize more of the space in your home if you have under-floor heating because you don’t have baseboard heaters or vents needing to be kept free from furniture as well. Homes with under-floor heating always have warm floors, eliminating the incidence of cold feet in the winter time.

While under-floor heating can be more expensive than more mundane forms of home heating, they can save a homeowner a lot of money in the long run. An under-floor system doesn’t need to be heated to as high of a level of temperature to make the residents of the home as warm as with a standard heating system so it also doesn’t need to work as hard. An under-floor system that uses water pipes, called a wet system, can also be used in reverse so that they bring in cool water in the summer to bring down the temperature inside when it’s hot.

Due to the difficulty in repairing one of these heating systems, some homeowners have shied away from installing under-floor heating. However, while it is true that an under-floor system can be difficult and costly to repair, it is especially important to note that such repairs are virtually unheard of when using these systems.

For the purpose of simplicity, it is probably easier and cheaper to install an electric under-floor system in an existing home than going through the involved process of installing the water pipes and heating system of a wet system in an existing home.

Don’t let the scope of a project like this keep you from installing an under-floor system in your home, even if you just try it out in one room to start; you may just find that you love under-floor heating so much that you want to install it in every room of your home!

Attracting Buyers With Wood Floors – Adding Beauty and Value to Your Home

If you were looking to sell your home, why would you bother to go to the hassle and expense of installing a hardwood floor?

Well, consider how prevalent wood floors are in new houses. The new house market is full of freshly built homes with modern hardwood floors instead of carpeting. This reflects the trend to long lasting flooring and healthier home environments. Wood floors don’t out-gas chemicals to the air in your home or hold dust mites, pet hair, or mildew. Wood floors hold their value better than other types of flooring and they’re made from renewable resources.

There are two types of wood floors that you can choose from, engineered or solid wood. Solid wood planks are one continuous piece of wood the whole thickness of the flooring. Due to the nature of wood grain, solid wood planks cannot be used in areas prone to dampness like below-grade rooms or bathrooms. Engineered flooring has thin slices of wood layered and glued together to make a strong sandwich of wood that resists warping due to moisture. As a result of this strength, engineered floors can be used in below-grade rooms.

Both engineered and solid wood floors can be purchased as either unfinished or pre-finished. Unfinished wood floors require staining if you’re looking to change the color of the wood, sanding, and finishing with a sealant. This is a big dusty job and the biggest reason why it’s preferable to install a pre-finished wood floor if you are renovating. Pre-finished flooring of either type is cheaper and easier to install because once the flooring is in you can move back into the room right away. Each strip of flooring comes with multiple coats of finish applied in a controlled factory environment.

There are three main styles of wood floors to pick from as well, parquet flooring and the more popular plank and strip flooring. Parquet flooring is composed of wood tiles made of pieces of wood that form a pattern. This results in a geometric design much like a quilt pattern. The more commonly seen plank and strip floors are composed of long pieces of wood usually running all in the same direction across a floor. Plank flooring is wider, usually three to eight inches wide, whereas strip flooring is made up of strips that are three inches or less in width but can be glued together to make a wider piece for ease of installation.

With the myriad of colors and styles available it is easy to add a beautiful wood floor to any decor. Whether your home style is country or classical, there is a wood flooring that can boost your home’s appeal to buyers.

Find Your Alternative to Expensive Woods in Cork Flooring

The choice of flooring is crucial for interior decoration.

Modern home owners are not content with the design and quality of the typical flooring products – today’s environmentally conscious consumers want to build a green home with eco friendly products.

That does not mean they are ready to compromise on the grounds of aesthetics or durability.

So the modern consumers are on a constant look out for the flooring solutions that are beautiful to look at, comfortable to walk on and easy to care for.

Cork flooring can be the answer to all these demands of the modern home owners and it even offers more!

Cork flooring comes with the unique benefits of insulation from both temperature and noise. It will pamper your feet with its quiet, soft and warm touches.
Its natural qualities can be summed up as elastic, anti-static, sound absorbing, insulating, and anti-allergenic.
Cork naturally resist the attacks of mold, mildew, even insects like termites and hence ideal for the persons who suffer from allergy and asthma.
It looks fashionable and complements just any décor or blends with any styles of furniture.
The toughness, water resistance and abrasion resistance features make the cork flooring ideal for both residential and commercial establishments. Thus you can use it everywhere at your home including your child’s room, kitchen, or bathroom as well as in the public buildings such as schools, hospitals, restaurants, hotels, shops and offices.

After reaping all of these advantages, it makes you proud to be an environmentally conscious, politically correct twenty first century consumer.

Why is cork flooring regarded environmentally friendly? Cork flooring production requires no cut down of cork trees; only the bark is peeled that is also without destroying the tree. The bark grows back within nine years, ready to be harvested again.

Cork flooring adds class and style to your home décor but without a price tag to make your heart miss a beat.

You will get quality cork flooring at a very affordable $2.50 s/f. For the premium brands you have to spend $8.00 s/f or more.

Cork floors are generally categorized into the following price ranges.

Under $3.49
$3.50 – $4.49
$4.50 – $5.49
$5.50 and Above

Popular brands

The world of cork flooring may appear as mind boggling, if you do not make your home work properly. Here are the names of some of the cork flooring brands having the highest internet presence:

APC Cork Floors
BHK Glueless Cork Flooring
Eurocork Cork Floor
NovaCork Flooring
Parador Cork Floor
Westhollow Cork Flooring
Woodstock Cork

Keep an eye out for the right finish

These days, most of the popular brands of cork flooring come with factory pre-finish with a top coat of tough UV acrylic. This gives the flooring a better finish and also speeds up the installation process.

Some manufacturers use water based finish. While flooring with water based finish makes a ‘greener’ finished product, it may not be as long lasting as the UV coated flooring.

If you want to do up your home in a true tree hugger’s way, consider installing cork flooring at your home; you will soon develop a habit of walking barefoot just to get the soft warm touch under your feet.

Home Security Systems – Where to Cut Costs and Where Not

Going with a home security system to protect your house and property is an excellent decision, however, deciding you want one can be a much easier decision than figuring out how to finance such an expense! The cost of technology today, even top technologies that will most effectively protect your family and home is more affordable than ever. However, with the economy still sagging its shoulders many families are having a hard time which part of the budget to shave those extra dollars off of. The simple truth that most of the home security companies don’t want you to know is that price does not necessarily equal top security at home. There are many factors that go into deciding what kind of system will best fit each individual homeowner’s situation, and sometimes the best system is one that comes at a far lower price. To get an idea of where you might be able to cut costs, and where you never should, take a look at the list below.

DO cut on: Installation costs whenever possible. If you are installing a wireless system, or a simple alarm unit, there is really no need to hire a professional to do what you will be able to figure out in a matter of minutes or hours!

DON’T cut on: Installation! While sometimes it’s okay to let installation costs slide, if you are working with a wired system, or one that has sensitive or delicate parts, or even just parts that must be calibrated like a video surveillance system, it’s never a good idea to set up the system on your own unless of course that is your area of extreme expertise! Not only do you run the risk of breaking and thereby ruining the system by your own error, but of compromising its functionality from day one and giving your family a false sense of security.

DO cut on: The cost of installing sensors on every single door and window of your home, unless you live in a particularly dangerous neighborhood. Most of the time, sturdy door and window locks on upper stories are sufficient, as long as they are used properly! In the majority of residential burglaries, by far, the intruder enters through a ground level door or window (like the front door) due to the human error of leaving the door poorly locked, or unlocked! A policy of always having locked and/or secured upper story doors and windows means your first floor home security system can really do its job.

DO and DON’T cut on: Extras. If you live in an area where there hasn’t been a flood in, well, ever, then don’t go for flood protection! However, a house fire can be devastating and even deadly, so all homeowners should include that in a good, worthwhile home security system. If you spend a lot of time away from home, or have children or teens that spend time at home while you’re away, a monitored home security system might not be an extra, since you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that security professionals are always just the touch of a button away. However, if you live in a busy house with many adult occupants, constant comings and goings might make a monitored system impractical and annoying. Correctly and thoroughly analyzing your real security concerns is the best way to go to make sure you’re not cutting, or adding on, in the wrong places.

Wireless Surround Sound Home Theatre – Top 5

If you are looking for a new home theater then you definitely need to get the wireless surround sound home theatre. This new type of audio electronic innovation from Chinese engineers is currently one of the best selling on audio market, because it gives a new feature which leads it in front of other home theater systems. The new main feature is wireless speakers, the speakers of theater system that are connected to the main station with wireless, so forget about cables and wires which make your home look a mess, now you will have a clean floor home without cables which will also look more stylish. Here you will see which are currently the top 5 products selling on the net.

Like any other wireless products wireless surround sound home theatre does not need any cables or wires to be connected. I suggest you buy the system not only the speakers because then you will have problems with connection. You have many different system types from 5.1 surround system, 6.1 to 7.1 surround system. Currently one of the best and top selling are 5.1 and if you read on you will see which are the top ones to purchase. There are many quality brand products like: Sony, Panasonic, Creative Labs, Samsung, Bose and others. Choice is yours! In the pack of 5.1 surround theater system you will get 4 satellites, 2 front wireless speakers and 2 rear wireless speakers, then 1 center speaker and 1 sub woofer, with a station where you can play CD, DVDs and USB.

Price for such audio electronics are really cheap. With the sound quality and wireless feature that they provide the price range from 200$ up to 1990$, but the 300$ ones are quality enough as they are the currently top selling ones. If you want a quality sound then paying 300$ is enough!

Here is the list of best wireless surround sound home theatre:

Samsung HT-Z310T 5.1 Home Theater Surround Sound SystemWireless
Creative Labs GigaWorks 550W 5.1 System
Panasonic SC-PT760 5.1 Speakers 1000 Watts
Sony DAV-HDX275 Bravia 5.1 1000 Watts Wireless
Bose Lifestyle Wireless Surround Link

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Tax Season and Home Improvement Projects: It’s a Great Time to Do Something Great for Your Home

Tax season is on, and the annual migration of hard earned cash back into our pockets is on its way for many Americans expecting a tax refund this year. And for many, the refund could mean a few extra thousand dollars in their pockets. As a matter of fact in 2012, the IRS had issued 59.2 million refund checks totaling $174.4 billion. Using those numbers, the average refund check is about $3,000. So with this new influx of cash coming, what to do with it usually becomes a topic for debate for taxpayers. One suggestion, if you’re not paying bills this year, use it to build value.

As a homeowner, your home is probably your most important asset, and using this year tax refund to refinance the mortgage at today’s low interest rates could present a responsible opportunity to spend your cash wisely. Low interest rates might not be here in the future, and the 2013 tax rebate can help you pay for the hefty closing costs associated with a refinance.

If you are happy with your current rate, making the investment in your living spaces could also greatly improve various aspects of your life. From increasing the value of your property to improving the quality of your life, and even lowering energy costs, taking on home improvement remodeling projects with refunds can stretch those tax dollars a lot farther than a weekend at the mall.

When considering a home improvement project, keep in mind that even a humble investment can go a long way. From smaller projects such as replacing a front door or painting your home, to larger projects such as kitchen and bathroom remodeling and even flooring, home renovations can offer a satisfying, value driven spot to put the little extra cash into.

A few other ways you might consider spending your dollars if your home is not at the top of your list could include investing in you. From paying down debts, starting or increasing an emergency fund to protect you and your family from a financial emergency, such as a lay off at work, to investing in your health, making value driven decisions should be the common theme across all your considerations. So if you are waiting for that extra money from the IRS, whether it’s a little or boat load, remember to spend it wisely, as recent history has taught us that no one ever knows what the future may hold.

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Choosing a Retirement Home

Upon retirement, you may wish to downsize your property to something more manageable with easier access. However, before moving out of the area in which you currently reside, consider the impact of leaving friends and family behind will have. It may be that you are moving closer to your family, however you will probably still have to make new friends and all such things must be taken into account.

Retirement villages

If it is a retirement village that you are considering, there are many benefits in moving to one of these. Retirement villages are purpose built to accommodate the elderly and will be designed to be safe and user friendly. The other residents will be of a similar age and you will still have your independence with the added security of a warden to give assistance when required. Most villages also have a good social life, exercise regime and will be close to local amenities. They also tend to be very secure and as a result have a much lower crime rate. Many will allow you to bring your pet with you as well. There is normally a service charge to be paid when you reside in a retirement village and there may also be terms and conditions regarding the resale of your home if and when you move on.

A downsized home

If you are choosing a house in an ordinary complex or estate, there are some points to consider. For instance, how close you are to shops, public transport, doctors and your family, all these being more important in your retirement years and are thus important aspects. Remember too to visit the area at different times of the day and evening so that you can get an idea of when busy or noisy times are likely to occur. Ask if there is a neighbourhood watch scheme in the area. These schemes help deter crime and also assist in keeping eye on elderly neighbours. Having your home here, means that you are in control of all expenses and you will have your own garden to do with as you please, but on the downside you lose all the advantages of a retirement village.

Easy access needed

Whatever properties you look at, do make sure that you have easy access to local services and that you are not going to be isolated. Find out about social events and activities for retirees, there may be a whole new social life for you to discover. Safety is paramount, particularly as we get older, so your new home should reflect this. It is probably a good idea to choose a bungalow or ground floor home as there will be less chance of falling or tripping on steps and stairs. Accessories such as hand rails in the bathroom are a good idea. Check the security of the windows and doors and find out if any fitted security lights and alarms are in good working order. Consider parking space, as even if you don’t have a car, your visitors may.

Finally, talk to friends and family, take some time to work out the costs and make a list so that you can consider all the pros and cons. Once you have all the facts, you can make an informed choice and have the home you really want.

Ethnic Home Design Ideas for Flooring

While designing a home one of the most critical parameter to be considered is the floor. The home design ideas for the floors have come up a long way and the traditional style floors are now being modified. People these days are now not only concerned with the durability but also need looks for their home floors.

Home Design Ideas and Tips for Floors

* Before installing one need to set the budget because there are floorings that are costly but some economical type floor ideas are also available. Depending on the amount of investment the type of fabric and installing charges can be easily judged.

* Another thing to be considered is the type and material to be used. People have been found using wood, tiles, granites, marbles, ceramics and many other fabrics for different sections of their home.

Popular home design ideas for the floors include multiple construction materials. The commonly installed floorings include:

* Hardwood type floors are one of those which are always in fashion. This kind of floor makes use of various types of hardwoods like oak, pine, cherry, maple, walnut and cinnamon wood. They are not only durable but also add a class and elegance to the home. Depending on the durability of different types they are being installed in bedrooms, living rooms, lobbies and even in kitchens and bathrooms.

* Installing the vinyl type floorings are another great flooring idea. Resilient type floors are not only being used for kitchens and bathrooms for their looks but also for the fact they are better in those humid conditions. The availability of these vinyl floorings in colors and patterns is making them popular world wide.

* Simple home design ideas of laying the granite floors is the latest trend. They are mostly being laid in darker shades of black in the living and bedroom room areas, but to give more spacious look white granite is an excellent option. Glossy and shimmery type granites are being laid in different parts to give a more elegant feel.

* Tiles are also a good alternative whenever an individual needs to install them in bedroom and living room. The ease of cleaning the ceramic tiles is making them a great flooring material.

* Carpets are another substitute to those expensive floorings. Lying down of carpets is not a new thing but is in practice since ages. They give a traditional look to the area alongside makes the place look beautiful due to their designing and color patterns. Laminating floors with various protective coverings will not only increase their durability but would also help in easy maintenance.

For excellent home design ideas people can get the best material from the market which can last longer and help to reflect a unique taste of the homeowners.