Thursday, October 30, 2014

Updating Your Bathroom With Ease

Aside from the kitchen, the bathroom is the busiest room in the home. When you first design your bathroom, you might put items in there that everyone will like. After time, you might get tire of seeing the same decorations and accessories. You can update your bathroom accessories by making a few simple changes that will make the room look like new. 

Small Steps
The first thing you need to do is remove all of the hardware. Changing the colors and shapes of the knobs on the cabinets or the toilet paper roll will make a big difference. It might be something that people have to look for when they go in the room, but it will help with the aesthetics, especially when you add other details.

Showering Away
One of the things you can do to change the look as well as add something functional to the room is adding a shower bar. This should be placed in an area of the shower where everyone will be able to reach it if needed. White is a good color that will blend with the other decorations and accessories, or you can add something elegant, like chrome or brass, if you plan to change the tile or paint in the room.

Room For Racks
When your updating your bathroom accessories, take into consideration the amount of space you have. If the room is small, racks on the walls can give space that you didn't think you would have for towels, washcloths and other toiletries. A rack that goes over the back of the toiler is a common addition, or you can install a small rack on a wall to hold necessities that you use on a daily basis like shampoo, conditioner and soap. Wooden crates can be placed in a corner to hold toilet paper rolls and bath towels that are rolled.

Examine the room so that you know what you have to work with before you start updating. Change the colors and the styles of hardware to start, then add your own special touches.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What is a Cast Stone Mantel?

A cast stone fireplace mantel is a shelf made of cast stone. Cast stone is a form of concrete masonry composed of different types of sand, crushed stone, Portland cement, different types of gravel and water called cast stone. The coloring of this masonry product is due to its mineral pigments. Cast stone is often used as a substitute for other building materials such as limestone, slate, granite, keystone, bluestone and other building stones. Because of its versatility, it has been used as a building material since the middle ages. Cast stone is manufactured to simulate natural cut stone and cast stone mantels have a wide range of styles to fit any home; from classic and traditional to contemporary.

What are the Benefits of Cast Stone Mantels?
There are several benefits of a cast stone mantel.

  • A cast stone mantel is affordable. It is one-third the cost of limestone or other natural stone mantels
  • They come in a variety of styles and designs to match your home. Cast stone mantels have a wide range of styles to fit any home decor.
  • Cast stone mantels come in a variety of colors.
  • They can be cut to fit any size fireplace.
  • Cast stone mantels are durable and will last many years.

How are Cast Stone Mantels Made?

Cast stone mantels are made to order to fit the size dimensions of the customer's fireplace as well as their style preference. The shelf is constructed from a reusable stone cast frame. The concrete is cured in the mold in a controlled environment lifted and covered in thin cast sandstone finish. Once the finished mantel is made, it is shipped to the customer to be installed and enjoyed.

See our selection of reasonably priced cast stone mantels.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Why buy unfinished cabinets?

For those homeowners who're involved in new home construction or an extensive renovation project, creating the ultimate dream kitchen is an exciting part of the process. As exciting as it might be, however, it's often a strain on the budget. For homeowners who don't want to comprise the quality of materials or design, unfinished cabinets provide the perfect solution.

Why buy unfinished cabinets? Homeowners should consider the following points when asking themselves that question.

Cost Savings

It makes sense that unfinished cabinets cost less than their finished counterparts. When homeowners are determined to purchase a particular style of cabinetry, their budget will certainly have an effect on the final decision. If purchasing unfinished cabinets means being able to install products that offer the most value, the choice is really very simple.

For those homeowners who are comfortable with applying finishes on their own, the savings in labor will serve to reduce costs even further.

Custom Finishes

Budget aside, the freedom to choose custom finishes is another reason for discerning homeowners to choose unfinished cabinets. For those customers with very specific design criteria, it's often difficult to find cabinetry with the exact desired finish.
Whether the homeowner applies a custom finish on their own or they contract a professional, the end result is cabinetry that helps make a dream kitchen more of a possibility.

While the choice of paint or stain is a fundamental consideration, cabinet hardware is another finishing touch that homeowners will need to address. Selecting unique handles and pulls will not only help with customization, it will also help the homeowner to reduce the overall cost of their cabinets.

Why Buy Unfinished Cabinets?

Today's kitchens are much more than a space used to prepare meals. They're a social gathering spot for family and guests. For those homeowners who place a high value on their kitchen and what it represents, compromise is simply not an option. Purchasing unfinished cabinets allows homeowners to complete their ultimate dream kitchen without having to cut corners or settle for substandard materials and fixtures.

Friday, October 24, 2014

How to Clean Your Fireplace

Having a fireplace in the home is a real delight. However, that delight can turn deadly if a chimney fire breaks out. Chimney fires happen because creosote builds up in chimneys over time. Creosote is highly flammable, and homeowners need to clean their fireplaces regularly to keep them free of creosote deposits. Here is a guide on how to clean your fireplace.

Dress for the Mess

Cleaning a fireplace is a messy job. It is important to wear old clothes and gloves when cleaning it. It is also important to put down newspaper or a protective drop cloth to protect the floor that surrounds the fireplace from the soot that will be dislodged during the cleaning process. It is also a smart move to wear a dust mask to keep from breathing in the ash and soot that will be in the air while cleaning the fireplace.

Time to Brush

The best way how to clean your fireplace is to start by cleaning the chimney. Shine a flashlight up the chimney to look for soot deposits. Use a chimney brush to dislodge any deposits that are present. You will need to use long poles to get the chimney brush up high enough to clean the entire length of the chimney.

Scrub It Clean

Once all the soot is cleaned from the chimney, it is time to clean the fireplace itself. Use a shovel to remove all the ash from the fireplace. It is then necessary to use a scrub brush to clean all the ash and soot from the fireplace. Use a solution of six tablespoons of trisodium phosphate, one cup of chlorine bleach and a gallon of warm water. Using a scrub brush with this solution will allow the ash and soot to more easily come off the fireplace walls.


After the fireplace has been scrubbed well, use warm water to rinse it clean. The whole process will take a few hours to complete. It is easier to clean a fireplace when the job is performed regularly. A chimney should be cleaned at least twice a year to prevent dangerous creosote deposits from building up.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to Install a Fireplace Mantel

Fireplaces are popular architectural features in many homes. Whether the décor features a classic or a modern design, homeowners can install a fireplace mantel to enhance the elegance of the room. It can also create a focal point within the space. Mantelpieces are available in a variety of woods and finishes. It requires only a few tools to install a mantelpiece. These include a tape measure, a stud finder, a drill and a carpenter’s level. The mantel will be secured in place with liquid nail and screws.

Measure the fireplace to ensure that the mantle will fit around the firebox opening in accordance with local building codes. Use the tape measure to locate the center point of the fireplace and mantle. This will ensure that the mantelpiece is properly centered around the fireplace. Locate and mark the location of the studs on the sides and top of the fireplace.

Spread a drop cloth on the floor in front of the fireplace to protect the mantelpiece and the flooring. Lay the exterior side of the mantle face down on the drop cloth. Apply a bead of liquid nail to the reverse side of the mantelpiece. Turn the mantel upright and set it in place using the center point marks made earlier. Use a drill to pre-drill holes through the mantel and into the studs. Use the level to ensure that the legs are plumb and that the shelf is level before securing the mantelpiece to the studs with screws. Secure the mantelpiece in place with wood screws through the legs of the mantel and the underside of the mantelshelf. If attaching the mantel to a stone fireplace surround, use masonry nails instead of screws. Cover the screw or nail heads with wood putty. Allow the putty to dry before sanding it smooth and painting or staining it to match the mantelpiece’s finish.

Monday, October 13, 2014

What is a Gel Fuel Fireplace?

A Gel Fuel Fireplace is an excellent way to bring ambiance and warmth to either an interior or outdoor space. Convenient and beautiful, fireplaces that use gel fuel are safe, generate sufficient heat, are cost effective as an alternative heat source and allow consumers to save money while enjoying a touch of luxury in their living spaces.

What is a Gel-Fuel Fireplace?
A gel fueled fireplace works without a chimney and delivers suburb flickering flames. Flame is created by canned alcohol based fuel that lasts for a few hours at a time. Soot free and available in both traditional and contemporary design, these fireplaces combine the comfort of a wood burning fireplace with flexibility allowing owners to place the fireplaces wherever is most visually pleasing, including walls and external covered patio-areas.

Gel fireplaces should be combined with another heat source in colder areas to optimize comfort and warmth. Easy to attain, gel fuel can be conveniently purchased online or at many retail locations. Gel fireplaces should not be left unattended, like a traditional wood burning fireplace.

A gel fireplace can effectively bring a cozy atmosphere to a home both inside and out, and they are appropriate to use year round in order to add a touch of romance to any routine evening. Gel fireplaces are very affordable and units range from a couple hundred dollars and up depending upon style.

Free-standing, wall-mounted and table-top gel fireplaces are all available. The benefits of using a gel fireplace includes adequate, supplemental home heat, environmentally friendly fuel, easy installation, maintenance-free, high heat energy output, and stylish design. As an alternative to wood-burning and pellet stoves, gel fuel is an excellent way to incorporate a fireplace into any home, office or apartment lifestyle.

Gel fireplaces deliver real flame and genuine heat for around $1 an hour, making them a fantastic addition to any home. Fireplaces can use a single or several fuel canisters in order to produce heat quickly. The benefits of owning a gel fireplace make them both desirable and useful.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Three Reasons to Consider Installing a Fireplace Mantel Shelf in Your Home

A fireplace can be the perfect space for homeowners to cozy up during the chilly months of the year or while gathering with friends. While a fireplace can look beautiful in a living room or bedroom, they won't look complete until a mantel shelf is installed above. With the variety of hardwoods used, such as distressed cherry and pine, it's a good idea for an individual to look into all the benefits that come with installing a fireplace mantel shelf.

Frames the Fireplace and Makes a Great Focal Point

Fireplaces are an attractive part of any room, but they can be lacking without a mantel shelf above. In fact, many people go as far as installing a faux fireplace due to how well these elements can work in a home. With a mantel installed, the appearance of the fireplace can be altered drastically and the entire style of a room can be changed.

Hanging Stockings During the Holiday

When thinking of the holidays, many people get the vision of stockings hanging from a shelf. With a mantel shelf installed, it's easy to hang stockings so that the holiday decorations are complete. Since the shelf is positioned directly over the fireplace, it's easy to make this element a focal point in the room during the holidays since Santa visits through the fireplace.

Ideal Place for Decorations All Year

Even during the rest of the year, the mantel can be used for a variety of decorations. From picture frames to candles and even potted plants, the mantel can accommodate décor and accessories that can help enhance the appearance of a room. A surprising use of a fireplace mantel is a television that's been secured directly above or even mounted securely on the frame. This setup works best in a room with a large fireplace since it keeps the main attention on one wall.

With all of the uses for fireplace mantel shelves, it makes sense why so many homeowners are interested in this installation project.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

How Do I Replace a Fireplace Door?

For those who own a fireplace, over time the door on it will need to be replaced. That's because the door, especially ones made out of glass, tend to gradually become darkened by the heat. This of course takes away from the beauty of the fire. Thankfully, it's not hard to replace the doors on any fireplace.

For starters, before starting anything, the individual must make sure that the fireplace has cooled off for at least two hours and that the doors are cold. This ensures that no one will get burned in the process of replacing the door. Then, the individual must open up the door, using a pair of gloves and seek out the thumbscrew. This is typically located behind the upper corner of the door and framework. The thumbscrew should first be loosened counterclockwise by hand and then loosened with pliers.

Next, holding the door, slide the upper edge of the door towards the middle part of the lintel, so that it can fully come out with ease. Here, the door should be able to be removed from the framework. Taking the new fireplace door , the individual should angle it toward the middle of the lentil. From there, the pivot-pin should be inserted at the lower corner of the outer door into the hole that's by the outer edge of the lower framework.

The upper corner of the door should be pushed toward the side framework located near the opening. The outer door edge must be lined up perfectly with the side of the framework for the best appearance. Then, behind the outer door, the individual needs to tighten up the thumbscrew in a clockwise fashion until the door is fully aligned.

For those wondering how do I replace a fireplace door, take comfort that this is a much easier process than most people think. In fact, by simply following the steps outlined below, individuals can replace their fireplace door all by themselves. In no time, the individual will have a new fireplace door that looks like a professional installed it.

Friday, October 3, 2014

What Are The Most Popular Paint Colors for Front Doors?

The front door is the entrance to the home, and is where the eye should be drawn to when someone looks at it. There are a few things to consider before a home owner paints their front door, such as the color and overall tone of the home exterior, as well as personal preference. With this in mind, what are the most popular paint colors for front doors?

Stand-Out Colors

Homes that have dark or dramatic exteriors look great with doors that have pops of color, such as a bright yellow, reds, or blues. The safest bet with these is to pick colors that aren't too obnoxious to the eye, but rather draw the eye in. If these colors are used for the door, however, it is best to stay away from color overload on the rest of the house. Refrain from painting the shutters in the same color, and make the rest of the exterior a more subdued color.

Natural Woods

Homeowners who want a more earthy feel to their home should opt into natural wood doors. While a tad more expensive, the look of the rich wood can often make the home feel more expensive to passers-by. A mix of dark wood and glass panes give off a more extravagant feel to the overall home.

Subdued and Light Colors

Sometimes the color of the front door can completely depend on the location of the home as well. Beach homes may prefer lighter, more subdued colors instead of the richer ones. These can create a light, airy, beachy feel that goes with the area. Examples of these colors would be an off-white, light blues, or sandy colors.

Another thing to consider when deciding what to paint the front door is the neighborhood. Looking at the surrounding houses can be a good indicator of which way to go. Also, some housing associations only allow certain colors, so homeowners who live in them should always check first to see if any rules are being broken. In the end, it is the homeowners decision, and the preference should go to him or her.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How Do I Install a Kitchen Island?

Installing a kitchen island is not only an aesthetic choice, but it is also a functional addition to any cooking area. An island is a great way to add additional space for food preparation and storage. Installing a pot rack over an island can help tie it all together. This type of DIY project is relatively simple to accomplish. But it's important to have the right tools and materials and to understand the basic installation.

Gather the Necessities

Deciding on an island style is the most important part of the process. Be sure it fits the original kitchen design and compliments the style. Once it's installed, it's pretty much in for good. Gather all the tools required for the job and take stock. They include:

Measuring tape
Power drill
Chalk line
Assorted screws
Bubble level
Nail set
Assorted nails
Wood putty

How Do I Install a Kitchen Island?

First, a location needs to be chosen for the island. This is typically centered between existing countertops. There should be a comfortable amount of space for movement around the island. It is important to line the frame up square with horizontal lines such as cabinets and walls. Taking solid measurements can ensure the best results. Once everything is square, trace the bottom of the island frame on the ground.

To mount the island to the ground, a toe-kick platform or four L-shaped two by fours should be attached flush to the inside of the frame outline. These cleats need to be installed using proper screws for the ground material whether it's tile, concrete or wood.

Place the island frame over the cleats and attach using finish nails. Use putty that is a similar color as the stain to cover the nail holes. Attach the doors and drawers to the frame and then hang a pot rack to help bring everything together.

Installing an island can add needed versatility to any kitchen.