Exploring Wood Flooring Options For Your Bathroom Remodel

If you’re looking into new flooring options for you’re your bathroom, you’re probably thinking about some kind of ceramic tile or vinyl. However, there are tons of flooring options that will work for the wettest area of the house—including hardwood.

You might be thinking, “Wood floors in a bathroom? Are you insane?” However, hardwood floors in bathrooms are becoming more and more popular for homeowners. They have the following benefits:

  1. They are better for those who want a smooth, seamless floor that suits the entire house.  Homes that accommodate people with wheelchairs or walkers will enjoy the traction that wood floors provide, and will not miss the slight tripping hazard that comes from changes in flooring from room to room.
  2. They are warmer. Those who don’t want to invest in a floor heating system for their ties might simply choose an option that retains heat more naturally—hardwood.
  3. They are eco-friendly. If you choose hardwoods that are made from sustainable growing plants, like bamboo, you can know that your home is beautiful and functional, while also being better for the environment.
  4. They are less likely to crack or break. While a great choice for bathrooms overall, tile floors have a downside– they always have the potential to crack under pressure, or when something heavy is dropped on them. If you can’t find a matching tile to replace the old one, you’ll eventually have to redo the floor. While wood can be damaged, scuffs and gouged can be buffed out and refinished.
  5. They are safer for kids and the elderly. Tiles and even vinyl can mean a tough fall should someone slip in the bathroom. Wood is less slippery when wet, but it also absorbs shock more easily, especially if you choose a softer wood, like pine or cork, for your floor.

 If you choose wood floors for a bathroom, moisture will be your enemy. You will need to take certain precautions:

  1. You’ll need to dry the floor immediately. Some people step out of the shower and let the tiles catch the moisture, allowing it to evaporate. However, this is not the best practice for any flooring, especially wood.
  2. You’ll need a few extra layers of finish. The varnish on your floor is what keeps it from getting scratched. Your contractor should add a few more layers, especially around the tub and toilet, just to give an extra moisture barrier.  For best water-repelling properties, choose an oil-based finish. It will smellier at first, but it will protect your wood longer than basic acrylic finishes. 
  3. Your bathroom should have a window and a good ventilation fan. Without good ventilation, your bathroom becomes a sauna every time you take a shower. The high humidity can cause wood floors to swell, and will eventually shorten their lifespan. Running the fan and opening the window during bath time will remove this risk.
  4. Fill cracks with epoxy or plastic-based wood fill. Some types of hardwood, like that reclaimed from barns, have natural gaps and holes. These can be left unfilled when you use hardwood in a bedroom, but they need to be sealed off when you’re installing hardwood in a bathroom setting.
  5. Look into the right wood. Engineered wood is a type of hardwood has a plywood-like base, and was specifically designed to handle higher-moisture conditions, like those found in basements.  Bamboo, even engineered bamboo, holds up really well to moist conditions

With these tips in mind, your bathroom floor should last a long time. Talk to your bathroom renovations contractor or a wood supplier today about the best types of wood for your bathroom and family. You may find that wood is the best choice for your family—not tile. 

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5 Ways To Decorate With Your Leftover Ceramic Patio Tiles

Ceramic tile is durable, cost effective, and easy to maintain, making it a great choice for your patio floors. You may end up with leftover ceramic tiles after your contractor is finished installing your new patio flooring, but it doesn’t have to collect dust in the garage. Here are five ways you can decorate your home with those leftover tiles:

Create a Kitchen Backsplash

A great way to add some color to your kitchen without taking away from the counter space is to create a backsplash along the counters using your ceramic tiles. You can line the entire countertop if enough tiles are available, or choose specific areas to cover such as:

  • Over the oven.
  • Behind the sink.
  • The section behind your appliances.

It is also possible to create a backsplash for the fridge by covering the wall behind it with your tiles so they protrude out around the fridge when it’s in place.

Add Some Depth to the Bathtub

You can quickly and easily enhance the look of your bathtub by lining the top of it with your leftover ceramic tiles. Alternatively, you can create a tile centerpiece on the wall of your bathtub stall of just about any size. Consider framing the tub faucet or showerhead to add some pizzazz.

It’s a good idea to use a carpenter’s pencil to draw an outline for your tiles so they’re installed exactly where they need to be the first time. This will minimize the chance that you’ll have to take the tiles down and reattach them in a different location.

Frame Some Office Wall Art

Using a piece of heavy-duty cardboard as a canvas, you can mix and match your leftover ceramic tiles to create your own wall art. Leave a border at least an inch in width so you can frame the art, although you probably won’t be able to frame it in glass. Wooden, plastic, and ceramic frames without a front surface works best. The frames will need a strong back to support the weight of the ceramic art. You may even want to superglue the cardboard your ceramic tiles are adhered to on to the back of the frame for optimal safety and support.

Spruce up Your Fireplace

Make your fireplace look brand new again by attaching your ceramic tiles around it. Ideally you should cover the fireplace’s hearth, the face, and the interior chimney. But if you don’t’ have enough tiles to cover that much ground, create a patterned design with them that covers the most surface space possible. If a particular part of the fireplace, like the hearth, is in noticeably worse shape than the rest of the fireplace, it may be worth using all your tiles to cover just that space instead of trying to space them out.

Cover a Table Surface

Instead of throwing out an outdated or worn end table, make a new surface for it by covering it with ceramic tiles. Break the tiles into small pieces and then superglue them on your table like a puzzle, or simply frame the edges of it and cover the middle with a piece of thin wood.

You can also use a tile cutter to create unique shapes to fit into your table design. Don’t be afraid to create multiple layers on the surface by stacking your tiles in the middle or on the corners. If you end up cutting and stacking your tiles, make sure to sand their edges until they become dull.

You don’t have to do any of these projects yourself – ask your contractor, like Star Tile Co Slate Tile,if they can help you do them before they clean up from the patio flooring project they’re already there for. 

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Having An Enclosed Deck Built? Keep It Protected In Style With These Décor Ideas

Having new enclosed decks built is a great way to extend your living space that can be used as a porch or a sunroom, creating a comfortable outdoor experience. To keep your new enclosed deck looking fresh and new throughout the years, it’s a good idea to decorate your outdoor space protection from the outdoor elements in mind. Here are a few ideas to help get you started:

Paint the Surface

Painting your new deck not only provides an effective seal against moisture buildup and a solid barrier from sun damage, but it can positively affect your mood while you spend time in the space. Here are some awesome options to consider:

  • Use red to raise energy levels.
  • Encourage happiness with hues of yellow.
  • Bring down your blood pressure with shades of blue.
  • Incorporate purple to add a touch of elegance.

Use two coats of paint on your deck and finish things off with a clear sealant to make it shine and to keep the paint from chipping when it is walked on. If your enclosed deck will not be insulated, it’s a good idea to use paint that is designed specifically for outdoor use as it can handle the outdoor elements better than the kind you’d use for interior walls.

Incorporate Throw Rugs

A fun way to protect your new decking and to add some flair to your space is to incorporate throw rugs. They’ll insulate the floor and keep the space warmer, making it easy to spend time there during morning and evening hours when it tends to be cold outside.

Look for a high stitch count for optimal insulation and deck protection – a thin rug with a high stitch count will perform better than a thick one with a smaller stitch count. Wool rugs offer excellent insulation protection, but they do require cleaning on a regular basis to maintain a fresh look. Other viable options that don’t require a lot of care and maintenance include acrylic, nylon, and cotton.

You can use one big rug to cover the majority of your deck, but you won’t see much of the deck once it’s in place. If you want to show off your deck, use a series of small throw rugs in front of seating and in the middle of the space so some of the decking is visible throughout.

Hang Some Shades

Installing honeycomb shades in front of windows or screens in your enclosed deck provides protection for your floor throughout the year and for yourself while you spend time in the space during daylight hours. New honeycomb shades keep UV rays from penetrating your skin, your furniture, and the decking. They also help to keep moisture out of the space and from building up on your floors.

And you can even count on your honeycomb shades to reduce noise penetration from outside areas of your space. Choose light colored shades so that sunlight can still filter through them when they’re closed. This will eliminate the need for using electrical lighting during the day, which can save you some money on your monthly energy bills.

Plant a Couple Trees

Planting a couple deciduous trees around the exterior of your enclosed deck space will keep it cool during the summer and warm during the winter. They also add charm and incorporate natural elements into the space. Not to mention, planting trees in your yard may very well increase your property value by up to 20 percent. Plant them along the sides of the deck that get direct sunlight during the day, making sure to place them far enough away that if a branch falls off, it won’t hit the roof.

Just one or two of these options will help to keep your deck in tip-top condition throughout the years so you don’t end up having to deal with chipping, rotting, and sun damage.

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All About Geothermal Energy

When it comes to renewable energy, many people think that the term relates to wind farms and tidal barrages alone. However, one of Canada’s most potent sources of renewable energy is actually right under your feet! Geothermal energy involves harnessing the Earth’s massive amount of heat energy, and turning it into power that can fuel your homes. If you’re guilty of dismissing geothermal energy, read below to find out what it’s all about! 

Methods Of Extracting Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy can be divided into two different types based on extraction method.

Geothermal Power For Direct Heat

Geothermal energy for direct heat use comes directly from hot water aquifers – collections of rock strata that contain high temperature water at significant depths. The heat from this water is ideal for use in local heat networks, and the water can even be cooled for further use through absorption chillers. Over time, the water stored in these hot aquifers will replenish, meaning the extraction and supply of this energy source is 100% renewable.

Deep Geothermal Energy

Deep geothermal energy differs from the direct heat source above as it does not make use of pre-existing water for heat energy. Rather, cold water is pumped deep into the rock strata from a borehole and is then heated up as it moves through the igneous rock layer. This hot water is then redirected to the surface through another borehole and can then be used for heat extraction or driving a production turbine.

One of the main advantages of deep geothermal energy lies in its continuous potential. With direct heat, the water must replenish fully before production can begin again; however, deep geothermal energy uses manmade pumps to drive the water into the rock, meaning it can be used continuously. This offers energy producers the unrivalled potential of a solid baseline energy, which can then be “topped up” by direct heat sources.

Advantages Of Geothermal Energy

In addition to its continuous potential, geothermal energy offers a number of advantages when compared to its competitors:

It’s Great For The Environment

As with all renewables, geothermal energy does not use fossil fuels to make power. In addition to this, geothermal plants are mostly emission-free, and they do not spoil the landscape like wind farms might.

It’s Extremely Reliable

As mentioned above, deep geothermal energy has the potential to generate a constant base load of power. This potential isn’t dependent on environmental factors like solar and wind energy is – it is readily available all year round. As such, geothermal energy can be used to give a reliable energy output as part of an energy mix.

It Doesn’t Require Regular Maintenance

Some renewable energy sources such as tidal and wave power require regular inspection and maintenance to ensure the equipment is generating electricity at an acceptable efficiency. This is because these sources of energy make us of many moving parts that rotate in response to the external environment. However, geothermal plants have very few moving parts, and these parts are typically offered good protection against extreme weather. As such, plants can generate continuous energy without the need for regular checks and repairs.


As with any energy source, geothermal power has a few drawbacks that may cause concern to production companies:

High Investment And Planning Costs

The main issue with geothermal energy is that it requires a large amount of land from which to draw heat. Not all land is suitable for this purpose, and energy companies may find it difficult to obtain planning permission for some sites.

Significant Amount Of Research Required

From the sites that are suitable for geothermal energy extraction, not all will generate enough electricity to render it sustainable. There is a large amount of research and testing that is required prior to installation to ensure that the geothermal plant will be profitable for years to come. As such, the research and development stage can take a significant amount of time, which can be a turn off to some companies. 

Despite these drawbacks, energy companies would be making a very bad decision to dismiss one of Earth’s most potent resources. If a good planning strategy is adopted, and companies are willing to invest in the installation of this technology, it can be an extremely lucrative source of energy for many years to come. 

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Nearly two years ago, I began working at home. Like me, many people are choosing to end long daily commutes in favor of working in the comfort of their own homes. However, this decision sometimes causes problems. For instance, some houses don’t contain a separate home office. Therefore, you might need to spread your laptop and other work items out on a kitchen island, a dining room table, or a couch. If you’re struggling to make a new telecommuting career work, consider hiring a general contractor to build a home office addition for you. On this blog, you will discover how to choose the dimensions of a home office addition.

February 2017
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