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How To Choose A Fireplace or Heating Stove For Your Home

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Before deciding the type of fireplace that would be best for you and the model that you would like to own, keep in mind some of the following points:

Guest post today from Active Paving – providers of patios Dublin for many years.

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A fireplace is an added bonus to your home and in some areas a necessity, especially if you live in colder northern climates. Perhaps you do not have a fireplace, but it sounds like it would be a great improvement you would like to have in your home.

THE RIGHT KIND OF FIREPLACE FOR YOUR HOME

If you are considering the addition of a fireplace to your home, then the first thing you need to decide is which kind of fireplace would best suit your home.

Natural gas inserts and freestanding stoves help to not only keep your home warm, but also burn cleaner and help maintain indoor air quality. Despite today’s high natural gas prices, these sell better than wood burning fireplaces and create less outdoor pollution problems.

Gas fireplaces, gas inserts, and pellet stoves are popular among today’s consumers in providing efficient zone heating. When you think about these types of fireplaces as a supplemental heat source, you will see utility bills drop, due to the fact you do not have to keep the thermostat set as high as you would without it. A natural gas fireplace can efficiently heat up to 1,000 square feet of living space in your home.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR FIREPLACE CHOICES

Before deciding the type of fireplace that would be best for you and the model that you would like to own, keep in mind some of the following points:

* Masonry wood burning fireplaces can lose up to 85% of their heat through the chimney. They are also considered to be high polluters of the outside air and create problems with air quality and cleanliness in the home. Gas fireplace inserts can be installed in almost any existing masonry fireplace. Masonry fireplaces also come in a wide variety of styles and designs.

* Other factors that should be considered are the climate you live in, the location of your home, and the age of your home. Also consider the construction of your home, as well as the amount of heat that is required to keep it warm.

* If you are thinking of purchasing a fireplace for zone heating, consider gas fireplaces, gas inserts and pellet appliances. It is recommended to purchase gas fireplace units with an A.F.U.E. (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating.

* Direct vent gas fireplaces are required to be kept close to an outside wall. They require air from the outside to feed the flame, while relatively cool gases are exhausted through a wall mounted or roof vent.

* Vent free fireplaces do not require outside venting. This kind of fireplace is not recommended in newer homes, because they can produce condensation within the home over time. These are also open fireplaces that do not have doors on them.

* Class B vents are required for conventional gas fireplaces. The Class B roof vent flue helps carry away hot combustible gases and most have operable doors.

* Pellet appliances are free standing stoves or fireplace inserts that burn wood based pellets made mostly from compressed sawdust. These are mostly used for zone heating and were designed to use waste wood produced by manufacturing companies. They are a highly efficient way to burn these waste wood products that can be purchased in 40 lb. bags. These pellet appliances can be designed to burn alternative fuels including corn and grains. One benefit of pellet fuel is the ability to lock in fuel costs at the beginning of the fall and winter seasons.

IN CONCLUSION…

So if a fireplace sounds good to you and you are looking to save money on high energy costs, a fireplace or stove could be a good investment. Just remember to take into consideration your location, preference and lifestyle. If you make the right decisions now, you will enjoy your new fireplace or stove for many years to come, without the regrets that many people face after they have made a ill-informed decision.

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How To Choose A Pot Rack For Your Kitchen

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The stylishly decorative and practical hanging or wall mounted pot rack might just be the storage space solution and energy saving kitchen device for you. This article provides 8 great tips on how to choose the pot rack that is right for your kitchen.

Guest post today from Active Paving – providers of patios Dublin for many years.

pot rack, hanging pot rack, kitchen pot rack

Do you want to free up some kitchen cabinet space and have your pots and pans hanging from a pot rack within easy reach? And do you want to have your cookbooks, cooking oils, and your basil and thyme herbs displayed neatly on a wall mounted pot rack as well?

Then the stylishly decorative and practical hanging or wall mounted pot rack might just be the storage space solution and energy saving kitchen device for you.

Possible origins of pot racks

The idea of hanging cookery pots in the kitchen may have originated from the 17th century practice of using an arrangement of links and hooks or trammels to suspend, raise or lower cooking pots in a fireplace to control cooking temperatures.

Up to the 15th century, most wealthy European homes had spacious kitchens with several adjacent anterooms, including whole rooms just for storing pots and pans and other utensils. However, it would not be surprising if poorer families with less spacious kitchens used pot racks, either in the form of tripods standing on the kitchen dirt floor or hooks hanging from the ceiling or wall, to store their pots and pans and other utensils.

How to choose a pot rack for your kitchen

1. The first question to ask is “Where do I want to put my pot rack?”. If you are going to put it on top of a kitchen island, for example, then you will probably need a pot rack hanging from the ceiling. If you are going to put it against the kitchen wall, then you may need to have the wall-mounted shelf type variety with a grid.

2. If you are going for a hanging pot rack you have to know how tall your ceiling is. Most pot racks are designed to fit 8 or 9-foot ceilings for easy access to cooks of average height. However, households with shorter cooks or taller ceilings need not despair. Most pot rack stores, whether online or down the road, carry a wide range of chains or extension hooks to solve the situation.

3. The next question is: “Do you want to match your pot rack to your kitchen’s decor?” For example, if you are going to hang your pot rack in a modern kitchen above a built-in kitchen island with stainless steel countertops, cooktops, ovens and dishwashers, then a stainless steel pot rack might be best for you.

However, if you are you are going to hang your pot rack in country cottage style kitchen next to oak timber cabinets and coffee black kitchen appliances, then a black hammered steel pot rack might be a good match.

4. And equally important is “How do you want the pot rack to look?” If you want a more modern look, then the clean lines of glistening stainless steel may be your best bet. If you are going for the antique look, then the decorative swirls of brassy copper may do the job.

5. What type of material do you want your pot rack to be made of? Do you want the country elegance of oak or natural cherry? The practicality and durability of painted or powder coated hammered steel? Or the sleekness and strength of stainless steel?

6. What size and shape do you want your pot rack to be – rectangular, round, oval or square? This may be dictated by the number of pots, pans and other cooking utensils that you want to fit in as well as the kitchen space that you have available.

7. Do you need additional light? If the pot rack is above a cooking and food preparation area, then you may need pot racks that come with downlights to illluminate as well as add ambience to your working space.

8. And last but not least, how much do you want to spend for your pot rack? A quick comparative shopping on the internet will reveal that sales abound and that:

– For a budget of $50 you can get a lovely powder-coated wall-mounted pot rack in bookshelf style to put your pots and pans as well as your favorite plant and recipe book side by side.

– A budget of $150 can get you a hanging stainless steel oval kitchen pot rack with grid.

– For $359.97 you can get a modern styled Oneida lighted pot rack with center grid and two downlights.

– And if you have $2000 to spare you can get a pot rack used by professional chefs in high tech stainless steel and with two rack levels that provide more storage and hanging space.

But if you are someone who does not own a lot of pots, loves the hunt and a good bargain and have $4.95, you can go to Ebay and get a pre-loved black wrought iron pot rack that attaches to the wall and holds 5 pots. That’s a start.

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How To Choose A Set Of Sheets For Your Bed

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If you’ve been sleeping on the same ratty sheets for years, it may be time to trade them in for crisp, new sheets. While many people are hesitant to buy new sheets because of the cost of a good sheet set, they really aren’t that expensive when you realize that you will be using them 365 times each year. Besides, clean, comfortable sheets don’t just look great; they actually can help you sleep better.

When you are choosing a set of sheets for your bed, the first thing you s…

Guest post today from Active Paving – providers of patios Dublin for many years.

bed sheets

If you’ve been sleeping on the same ratty sheets for years, it may be time to trade them in for crisp, new sheets. While many people are hesitant to buy new sheets because of the cost of a good sheet set, they really aren’t that expensive when you realize that you will be using them 365 times each year. Besides, clean, comfortable sheets don’t just look great; they actually can help you sleep better.

When you are choosing a set of sheets for your bed, the first thing you should do is take a look at your mattress. If you have a standard mattress, you won’t have any problem finding sheets that fit. However, if you have an extra long twin mattress or a very thick full, queen, or king size mattress (such as a pillow top), you will need to look for sheets made to fit these mattress types.

The next thing you should consider is what type of material you like to sleep on. Standard cotton, flannel, jersey, satin, and silk sheets are all readily available.

About Standard Cotton Sheets:
1. Standard cotton sheets are cool in the summer. They breathe well, which is especially important on hot nights, since this prevents you from feeling sticky and sweaty.
2. Cotton can be quite soft. Look for sheets with a high thread count. A thread count of 180 or 200 means the sheets will feel rough, while 400 count sheets feel as smooth as a baby’s skin.
3. If the sheets are pure cotton, they may shrink after several washings.

About Flannel Sheets:
1. Flannel sheets are great for winter use. You don’t have to spend an hour warming up your bed before you feel snuggly and warm.
2. Flannel sheets are rarely a good choice for warm climates. They do hold heat.
3. Flannel can pill up with extended use, so be prepared to replace your cozy sheets every few years.

About Jersey Sheets:
1. If you enjoy the comfort of a t-shirt, you will love these sheets. They are very comfortable to sleep on.
2. Jersey sheets are lightweight and may not last as long as some other sheet types.

About Satin Sheets:
1. Satin sheets are a favorite for people who want a bit of romance, but that silky smooth finish is a bit slippery. You may need to frequently tuck your top sheet back in.
2. Satin doesn’t breathe well and can be quite uncomfortable to sleep in during the warmer months.

About Silk Sheets:
1. Silk is just as romantic as satin. These sheets can also be a bit slippery.
2. Silk is a natural material and breathes well. Silk sheets are comfortable to sleep on year round.
3. Silk is fragile and needs special care to keep it from shattering.

Once you decide on the material you prefer, you are ready to shop for a sheet set. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color and pattern. After all, no one has to know that you have sheets with a wild design underneath that sophisticated navy blue bedspread.

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How To Choose A Shelving System

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Shelving provides one of the most efficient methods of maximizing storage space. Shelving systems vary, from simple, single shelves supported by fixed brackets to fully adjustable units.

Guest post today from Active Paving – providers of patios Dublin for many years.

Shelving System

Shelving provides one of the most efficient methods of maximizing storage space. Shelving systems vary, from simple, single shelves supported by fixed brackets to fully adjustable units.

Shelving can be designed to blend in with the style, character, and shape of a room, or even to function as a decorative feature. Always make sure that the materials you use are strong enough to bear the load.

You can obtain shelves in a large range of woods of different thicknesses and in a variety of finishes, as well as in certain types of glass. The simplest shelf supports are non-adjustable track system.

Once you have decided on the shelving support system that you need and have chosen the most appropriate shelving material, you will need to support objects that may be heavy to the wall.

Whether you are putting up fixed brackets or an adjustable system, make sure that you secure the shelf support safely to the wall, and take care to hung the shelves so that they are perfectly level.

Always use hardware that suits the structure of the wall. A range of metal and plastic anchors, as well as bolts with spring clips, is available for securing screws or a bracket to cavity walls.

When mounting lightweight shelving on a cavity wall, use anchors made of plastic or metal. Most have wings that expand against the wall within the cavity. Select the size of bit recommended by the anchor manufacturer. Mark and drill the holes. Insert an anchor, and drive home the screws.

The most flexible type of shelving and one that is ideal for storing objects of various sizes, such as books, is a track system. Making a set of shelves entirely for display purposes gives the opportunity to design a tailor-made, highly decorative unit.

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How To Choose A Tool Box

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You’re working on your car out in the garage. You need a wrench and a Phillips screwdriver. You start to dig through the tools lying on the counter. You browse through the tools scattered on the floor. You wish your tools were organized like a well-oiled machine, but they’re not. You add them to your shopping list of things to buy. Sound familiar?

It may be time to invest in a new tool box. Tool boxes come in such a wide variety and price range that it is best to estimate …

Guest post today from Active Paving – providers of patios Dublin for many years.

toolbox,box,storage,home,car

You’re working on your car out in the garage. You need a wrench and a Phillips screwdriver. You start to dig through the tools lying on the counter. You browse through the tools scattered on the floor. You wish your tools were organized like a well-oiled machine, but they’re not. You add them to your shopping list of things to buy. Sound familiar?

It may be time to invest in a new tool box. Tool boxes come in such a wide variety and price range that it is best to estimate your needs before you shop around.

Using Your Tool Box

How often will you use your tool box? If you will be using it sparingly, a small plastic box may be all you need to keep your tool clean and all in one spot. If you are an amateur mechanic, however, and will be frequently using your tools, purchasing a large steel tool box or case may be necessary.

Number of Tools

How many tools will you needs to house in your tool box? For a basic set of hammer, nails and screwdrivers, you won’t need much space. On the other hand, if you have air tools, meters, timing lights, screwdrivers, sockets and wrenches, you will definitely need a tool box large enough to separate and organize all of the different tools.

By using a larger tool box with multiple roller bearing drawers and removable trays, you will be able to spend more time working on your repairs than looking for the appropriate tool for the job.

Key Locking Tool Box

What type of security measures do you require on your tool box? Whether you have small children you need to keep away from your potentially dangerous tools or worry about losing an expensive tool, you should consider how you would keep your tools safe. Older or less expensive tool boxes may require a pad lock. Most small tool boxes, however, come with a lock and key. More expensive tool boxes have self-locking drawers for maximum security.

Tool Box Storage

Where will you keep your tool box? Will it be in the basement or a safe corner of your garage? Will you need to transport it often or keep it in the bed of your truck? Answering these questions will help you decide what type of material your tool box should be mad of. Steel construction is heavy duty and long-lasting, but it is going to be exposed to hot and cold temperatures and other weather conditions, polypropylene may be a better choice because it is durable, tough and won’t rust.

Once you have answered these simple questions its time to start looking at various tool boxes to decide which would best fit your needs. Deciding factors may include what accessories you would like included with your tool box, the color and style of the tool box and the tiered designs available. Do you prefer a baked enamel finish, polished steel or a rugged tough plastic? Do you need your tool box on coaster so you can move it as needed?

Ultimately it comes down to buying the tool box that meets the majority of your needs for the least amount of money. Shop around for the best prices and you will enjoy your investment for years to come.

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How To Choose Awnings For Your Home Or Business

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Before, awnings just served as protection from the sun and rain for houses. But now, awnings are included as part of a house’s or building’s architecture not only for its primary purpose, but also to add charm and create a statement.

If you are still unconvinced about the architectural beauty of awnings, you might want to have them installed for the following reasons:

* It protects the window frames from the rain, sun and snow. Most window frames and windowpanes are mad…

Guest post today from Active Paving – providers of patios Dublin for many years.

awnings,awning

Before, awnings just served as protection from the sun and rain for houses. But now, awnings are included as part of a house’s or building’s architecture not only for its primary purpose, but also to add charm and create a statement.

If you are still unconvinced about the architectural beauty of awnings, you might want to have them installed for the following reasons:

* It protects the window frames from the rain, sun and snow. Most window frames and windowpanes are made of wood. We all know how wood responds to environmental changes. Even with sufficient wood coating and polish, wood deteriorates faster when exposed to the harshness of the weather conditions.

* Your house may have a porch or a patio and you have some furniture there, where you relax as you read a book or have a cup of coffee with your friends. Such furniture, regardless of the material, wears out faster when exposed to the sun and rain.

* When it’s raining, you normally keep your windows shut, blocking fresh air from coming in through the windows. If your house has awnings, during rain showers, you can keep your windows open and still prevent rainwater from getting in.

* When you are watching TV or using the computer, you usually have the windows shut, or the curtains or blinds down to reduce the glare. If awnings were fitted, you wouldn’t need to block natural light from the rest of the room since the awnings will reduce the glare on the monitors positioned near the windows.

* A major effect of having awnings, according to a study, is that it can reduce summer heat increase by 65% for windows facing south, and 77% for windows facing east and west.

So if you are now convinced that you would like your house or your building to have awnings, don’t just go out there and get one. There are things that you need to consider.

* Material

The most commonly used materials for awnings are outdoor fabric and aluminum. Those made of outdoor fabric come in a variety of color and shapes; however, these require more maintenance than aluminum ones.

Those made of aluminum are sturdy and require less maintenance. These awnings, however, have limited design and color options.

* Angle

It is recommended that for windows facing east or west, the size of the drop should be 65-75% for the best efficiency. For a window facing south, the drop can just be 45-60% since less coverage is needed, as the sun has a higher angle from this direction.

* Side panels

Side panels may alter the architectural feel of the awnings. Side panels are also beneficial in adding coverage in a different direction.

* Stationary, Retractable or Freestanding

Roll-up and retractable awnings allow you to permit the sun to shine into the house during winter.

Retractable awnings are also good for patios or decks. These awnings have a mechanism that allows it to be extended as far as necessary.

Retractable awnings can also have motors and switches for ease in retraction. Some also have sun and wind sensors to automate the retraction.

Retractable awnings are not for heavy rains, high winds and snow, though. So make sure these are properly protected from such weather conditions.

Freestanding awnings may also be used for patios, decks or terraces. Business establishments, as these also double as an advertisement, usually use these.

* Size

Small awnings are used for their decorative effect. If you would like to maximize the protective function of awnings, choose the bigger ones.

* Style

The most popular styles are traditional with closed sides, traditional with open sides, dome style, double bar standard, waterfall, quarter barrel, gable walkway and semi-circular entrance.

To check the most applicable style for your house design and the direction of your windows, consult an architect.

* Color

Apart from considering what color goes well with your house or establishment, if possible, choose a light-colored awning since it does not only block direct sunlight light other awnings, but this also reflects sunlight. By doing so, it lessens the amount of heat that comes in.

Also to minimize the heat that comes into the house, make sure that there is a gap between the side of the house and the top of the awning to prevent the heat on the awning to be transferred to the house.

Keep these tips in mind when consulting your architect while designing your house or business establishment.

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How to choose contemporary Rattan weather proof Garden Furniture

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A unique incite to a new range of waterproof rattan garden furniture to be released in the UK for spring 2006

Guest post today from Active Paving – providers of patios Dublin for many years.

garden furniture, patio furniture, teak garden furniture, outdoor furniture

In today’s market place there is such a wide range of contemporary garden furniture available. Here’s some advice for helping you choose the right furniture for your garden or patio area.

If you’ve decided that you want to be a the cutting edge of garden furniture design then there are 4 options available in style and materials used for the contemporary look rattan garden furniture.

Hot out this year is the plastic rattan garden furiture which is both appealing to the eye and fully weatherproof. There is no need to pack away this furniture as winter closes in, it can simply be left outside all year round. It give a very modern look and feel to your patio area whilst giving a quite a high level of comfort. Rattan furniture is available is around 30 different colour shades, but it’s worth while check on the actual guarantee on the fading of the rattan due to the UV rays of the sun. German manufactured plastic rattan has the highest non fading guarantees usually of around 5 years, whereas some of the plastic rattan manufactured in the Far East is only guaranteed for around 1 year. This is an important point worth check when making a purchase.

Most plastic rattan will have an alloy frame underneath, which is again fully weatherproof and very light weight. If you intent to store the furniture set during the winter months, remember to check whether the chairs are stackable as this will save you a considerable amount of space.

Other smaller points worth checking are that the feet have rubber or plastic mounts on to stop your timber patio deck being market. If the table has a glass top this should be made of toughened glass and also needs to be removable so that it can be cleaned easily if food or drinks are spilled.

If you intend leaving the garden furniture set outside during the winter but want to prolong the life of the set, find out whether covers are available either from you retailer or a specialist garden furniture cover retailer.

Plastic rattan is set to be one of the biggest contemporary garden furniture products of this season, available in May different colours and designs. Remember that you should first works out exactly what sized set you want before making a purchase. Two things should be taken into consideration, firstly the size of your family and likely number of guests you will be entertaining and secondly the area you will be filling with your furniture set. You should allow ample room around your garden furniture both for people to freely move around and for accessories such as parasols and patio heaters to be placed.

Also consider whether or not you will want a parasol for the centre of the table and check that the table has the necessary sized whole.

Once you’ve taken all these factors into consideration and done your homework you are in a great position to buy your ultimate dream rattan contemporary garden furniture set, getting it right first time.

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How To Choose Curtains Or Blinds For Your Home

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The curtains or blinds of a window can make or break the interior design of any place, whether a house, an office or even a restaurant. Curtains and blinds can make homes look sophisticated and feel comfortable. It is thus important that people have an understanding of the importance of choosing the right curtains or blinds for their windows.

A change in the curtains or blinds of a window can make a difference in the total atmosphere of a home. Homeowners who are in a tigh…

Guest post today from Active Paving – providers of patios Dublin for many years.

window coverings, curtains, blinds

The curtains or blinds of a window can make or break the interior design of any place, whether a house, an office or even a restaurant. Curtains and blinds can make homes look sophisticated and feel comfortable. It is thus important that people have an understanding of the importance of choosing the right curtains or blinds for their windows.

A change in the curtains or blinds of a window can make a difference in the total atmosphere of a home. Homeowners who are in a tight budget can fix up their windows and they can already get an instant change in their interiors at lesser cost.

Curtains and blinds are both aesthetic and functional because they keep the privacy of a home while improving its interior. It also keeps dust and prying eyes away from your home.

The type of curtain that should be placed in a window should match the interior design of a home. A classical home design calls for silky window curtains that can add elegance to the home. However, homeowners who prefer country style interiors should opt for curtains with flowery or other designs depicting the outdoors or the countryside.

The choice of curtain should also be influenced by the type of room where such curtains would be placed. A girl’s window can be decorated with dainty curtains while a man’s bedroom can be decorated with a no nonsense curtain that matches the color preference of the room occupant.

There various curtain designs to choose from depending on the preferences of the homeowner. There are unlined curtains; hourglass curtains and no sew curtains. The homeowner can also choose form a variety of colors and design for the curtains.

However, a homeowner can choose the right curtains but ruin the overall effect if the window is left dusty and unkempt. It is important to keep windows clean and free of dust before adorning them with curtains or blinds. It should be noted that curtains can attract dust and other allergens so better make sure they are regularly replaced and washed,

For those who have allergies, the best way to decorate windows is through the use of vinyl blinds. Vinyl blinds are not as susceptible to keeping dust as long as they are wiped with a clean cloth daily. Like curtains, there are various types of vinyl blinds to choose from. There are vertical blinds and there are horizontal blinds. You can also have your windows fitted for the exact blind size.

Whatever kind of window treatment you choose to install, make sure that it serves its purpose, both functional and artistic.

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How To Choose Fine Linens For Your Home

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Nothing changes the look of a bedroom quicker than a fresh set of bed linens. If you have a bathroom “en suite” it’s also easy today to find coordinating bath linens to match the bedroom linens. Today it’s fun to mix and match linens, and many designers have their own design lines that mix florals with stripes and geometrics. Choosing fine linens for your bed and bath can be initially costly, but as with any purchase of quality made items you will enjoy fine linen sheets and …

Guest post today from Active Paving – providers of patios Dublin for many years.

Nothing changes the look of a bedroom quicker than a fresh set of bed linens. If you have a bathroom “en suite” it’s also easy today to find coordinating bath linens to match the bedroom linens. Today it’s fun to mix and match linens, and many designers have their own design lines that mix florals with stripes and geometrics. Choosing fine linens for your bed and bath can be initially costly, but as with any purchase of quality made items you will enjoy fine linen sheets and towels for years to come.

True linen, which is stronger than any other natural fiber has actually been dated back to the stone age. It has also been found that the linen wrappings from Egyptian mummies are still pliable, thousands of years later. The more linen is used the softer it becomes. It can absorb up to 20% of it’s weight in moisture before it feels damp and air drys quickly. An Irish linen tea-towel can last five to seven or more years, depending on the amount of use. Linen will dry and shine your glasses superior to that of cotton or any other blend. Flax linen is also non-allergenic.

When choosing sheets for your bed you will want to keep in mind thread counts. The higher the thread count the more luxurious and smoother feel the sheet will have. High thread count sheets are also more durable than sheets with low thread counts. High quality linen sheets can last up to twenty ears. As mentioned above, linen sheets will soften with use.

When looking for blankets for your bed you may want to choose a wool blanket for winter and a thermal blanket for spring, summer and fall use when there tends to be warm and cool nights. Thermal blankets are comfortable in warm weather. Wool which can be very light weight and dense is also extremely warm.

Flannel sheets come in all types of colors and designs and are favored by many for comfortable cold weather sleeping. 100% cotton well made flannel sheets will “puff up” after washing feeling softer with each washing.

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How To Choose Laminate Flooring For Your Home

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Laminate flooring is relatively new to us in the U.S. Laminate flooring has been used for years in homes and businesses in Europe. Laminate flooring is a hard flooring surface which is actually layered during manufacture. A laminate floor consists of a top wear layer, which is generally aluminum oxide, which is very long lasting, a print layer which is the pattern of your choice (hardwood or ceramic), an inner core, and a backing, which are fused together. The choices availab…

Guest post today from Active Paving – providers of patios Dublin for many years.

Laminate flooring is relatively new to us in the U.S. Laminate flooring has been used for years in homes and businesses in Europe. Laminate flooring is a hard flooring surface which is actually layered during manufacture. A laminate floor consists of a top wear layer, which is generally aluminum oxide, which is very long lasting, a print layer which is the pattern of your choice (hardwood or ceramic), an inner core, and a backing, which are fused together. The choices available in laminate flooring today are astounding. Laminate floors can be made to resemble almost any other type of floor surface, with the most popular being hardwood and ceramic tile.

Many manufacturers today offer laminate hardwood flooring, which is hard to tell from the real thing. However, care is where laminate flooring is king. Laminates are extremely durable, however care must be taken not to let them get over wet as some paper backings are not as durable as others. Some manufacturers will not cover laminate flooring that is installed in a bathroom.

Laminate floors are what installers consider “floating flooring”. Unlike vinyl or linoleum laminate floors are not attached to the sub floor. Laminate floors come as tongue and groove plants which are fastened to each other with adhesive. Depending on the under layer of flooring some laminate floors can be installed right over existing floors of wood, vinyl, linoleum or tile. Laminate flooring cannot be installed over carpeting.

Most major floor manufacturers today carry laminate flooring, such as Armstrong, Pergo, Mohawk, Mannington and Bruce.

As with choosing any flooring for your home there are general considerations; what is your interior scheme? Do you want a light floor or dark floor? Light hardwood flooring is generally used in more relaxed and country atmospheres, where dark colored hardwood flooring is used in more formal homes. Patterned flooring that has grains or other types of shading will not show dirt as quickly as solid flooring will. Dark floors will make a room look smaller, light flooring will make a room look larger.

Laminate floors are very easy care. As always you will want to read the manufacturers instructions. Generally they only need a vacuum and slightly damp mopping. Do not over apply water which can seep through the cracks in the floor and behind baseboards and cause damage. Laminate flooring does not need any wax or floor finish applied to it.