Cork Flooring as a Durable, Renewable Building Material

Since it’s a natural product, cork flooring is available in a wide range of colors and patterns. Like granite used for countertops, this is one of its appeals; no two installations look the same. It may be as dark and deep brown as chocolate or as light tan as oak or poplar.

Another quality that recommends it is its density. The cellular structure of cork is quite different from hardwoods used for flooring. Rather than being rigid and unforgiving, it has more of a “spongy” feel. This not only gives it a cushioning effect, but also allows it to absorb rather than transmit sound. The cushioning effect makes it a great choice in areas where people spend a lot of time on their feet working, such as in kitchens.

Types of Cork Flooring Materials Available

The two most common types are tiles and planks. Whichever type the homeowner chooses to install, it is important to avoid the “bargain basement price” materials. Tiles work well when the goal is to achieve a desired pattern, similar to wood parquet floors. One advantage that tiles have is that if any damage occurs over the life of the floor, replacement is easy. For this …

Read more

Exotic Hardwood Flooring: Teak Floors in Home Décor

Hardwood floors are available in multiple woods, tones, patterns and plank sizes. For the homeowner who desires something out of the ordinary, and a floor that will change with its environment, teak floors are the perfect option.

The Nature of Teak

Teak is a tropical hardwood tree in the lime family. Teak trees are extremely large, growing up to 40 meters in height.

The presence of natural oils in the teak wood make it a wonderful option for floors, decks and furniture, as it is weather proof, pest and termite resistant and extremely durable. Even unfinished, teak wood can last in interior or exterior applications for many years.

The color of the wood is yellowish brown, and is prone to darkening when exposed to direct sunlight. This makes it a wonderful product for homeowners who love unique products; the teak will change and deepen in color in areas of the home with lots of natural light, while staying lighter in areas of shadow. This creates a unique floor, perfectly adapted to the home.

The grain of teak is coarse, uneven and straight, giving the floors a lot of variation and movement. This makes teak a great option for homes with …

Read more

Hardwood Floor Medallions Bring Beauty to Flooring

Installing a wooden hardwood floor medallion can add beauty and tasteful decoration to an often overlooked part of a home – the floor.

It is an easy install if you have the right tools and gusto to get the floor looking intriguing and gorgeous. Floor medallions have become quite a popular decoration for hardwood floors and they are not expensive. Floor medallions can display a central decorative theme for the house or even a family crest that is custom made. Have the same medallion in the center of the floor in every room. You have no limits when it comes to your hardwood floor medallion.

Step 1

Before the medallion is installed it must be allowed to adapt to the humidity levels of the home. Store the medallion in the room it will be installed in for 24 hours ahead of time. It will warp if it is not given time to assimilate before it is glued down.


Step 2

Make a card stock or plywood template out of the shape you are using for your medallion. The medallion could be any shape so be careful to choose one that is makes it easy to match a hole in …

Read more

Hardwood Flooring Guide and Review

Hardwood and engineered wood floors can add value to a structure. Wood floors will retain their beauty and last a long time if properly maintained. It’s to the advantage of consumers, considering hardwood flooring, to be aware of the negative and positive aspects of different hardwood floor choices. It’s important for consumers to know how to properly maintain a wood floor.

Consumers can access Information about different flooring choices, and find flooring reviews, on consumer websites. The ConsumerSearch (CS) website publishes reviews about hardwood flooring and flooring choices. A link to the flooring site is under “Sources” at the end of this article. CS is a consumer service from About dot com. The website publishes reviews of products such as lawn mowers, car tires, and air conditioners based on owner reviews and expert opinion.

Hardwood Wood Flooring vs Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors are solid planks of milled wood. The most popular floor hardwoods are listed on the U.S. Hardwood Manufacturers Association (HMA) website:

  • Oak: Red and white.
  • Maple: Hard.
  • Ash.
  • Hickory.
  • Pecan.
  • Walnut.
  • Cherry.

Hardwood flooring can be purchased in several thicknesses, and the 3/4 inch is the most popular. The 3/4 inch flooring is normally nailed to a …

Read more

5 Home Improvement Ideas in Budget to Revive the Charm of Your Home

You have always dreamt of having your own house. Once you have it, you have to take the best care of it. You have to maintain your house at a regular interval so that your house lasts longer and you can create lovely memories in it. To renovate your house you need effective home improvement ideas. Now, if you want to renovate the entire house, it will be quite a pricey decision and also time-consuming. If you are running tight on budget or you want to cut the cost of renovation, you can start from a portion of your house at a time and then go for the next part. How to go for home improvement without crossing your budget?

Read on to know more…

  • Install Kitchen Cabinets & Appliances

There are lots of things you need to keep in your kitchen. If you have a small kitchen, it becomes difficult to fit all the essentials over there. What you can do is to install kitchen cabinets. While building cabinets consider all the kitchen appliances that you need to fit in like microwave ovens, juicers, mixers and food processors. This will help in optimizing space and avoid last minute …

Read more

Omniroc Benefits, a Fiber Cement Fire Resistant Structural Panel

JamesHardi building products may be the best known siding, soffit, trim, and ceramic tile backer board, but Omniroc offers residential remodeling benefits.

Omniroc is a structural building material that is best known for being used in commercial buildings and industrial applications, but it is starting to make inroads into the residential construction market. Up until now, products like HardiPlank Lap Siding and Hardiebacker have reigned supreme, in part because that’s what the big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot stock.

In fact, Omniroc, Inc. has been around in the business for over 60 years. It’s a fair guess that they are beginning to look to the residential building market since local building codes are increasingly mandating the use of cement fiber board installed behind ceramic tile rather than traditional greenboard (moisture-resistant gypsum board).

A Green and Sustainable Building Material

These panels are primarily composed of mineralized wood fibers and Portland cement. The wood fibers are 23% scrap or repurposed wood products, which reduces the impact on the landfill and lessens the cutting, transporting, and processing of timber.


The use of these panels can be applies towards LEED certification, offering a maximum of 12 points. Having a LEED certified …

Read more

Architecture Beautifies Cities: Stop and check out the details on buildings when visiting Western Europe

Europeans have got it going on when it comes to architecture. Not only do they build beautiful, awe-inspiring structures, they also build them to last. In the U.S., it often seems, we quickly throw up an abomination of a building only to blow it up and start over a few years later (Seattle’s Kingdome, anyone?).

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of magnificent architecture throughout Western Europe – churches, universities, government buildings, etc. – but some of my favorite are the not-so-well known or even run of the mill versions scattered throughout cities. They might be apartment or office buildings, they are sometimes unrecognizable in their function, but fantastic in their beauty.

So, when touring through Western Europe, make sure to stop and smell the roses, or, in this case, gander at the buildings. Look at the details. North American buildings just don’t generally contain the unbelievable detail work that the older, European buildings almost universally possess.

Now, I’m no architectural genius (in the movie “Dying Young” when Campbell Scott’s character is pointing out the architects of different buildings to Julia Roberts character, I thought “who cares” and probably rolled my eyes), but I think just about …

Read more

A House Vs. A Home

A house will not be a home if it’s a mess – emotionally, physically, financially, or in any other sense you can think of. We have received a card on our anniversary that says, “It’s love that makes a house a home.” Very true, if we remember that love is not just a warm fuzzy feeling but also a conscious effort.
There are people who live in rented houses and say that since the house is not theirs, they do not feel like putting much effort in creating a home – and they don’t have one, as the result. They just have a place to live, shabby and unwelcoming. Very often, when they do get a house of their own, they do not turn it into a home either. Why? Because they are not used to taking the diligent care that making a home requires. On the other hand, I have known people who had lived in rented property all their lives, moving often, yet they managed to turn each one into a wonderful home. Their children have the warmest memories about growing up and fondly remember each of the many homes they had as kids.
A home is a …

Read more

Winter Fun at Home

My son is seven and like most seven-yearolds, he’s brimming with energy. As I write this, we’re deep into winter and though it’s been relatively temperate, Michigan winters can be aggressive. There will be days he’ll be home, stuck without school but also facing below temperatures outside which will mean playing outdoors for any real length of time would be uncomfortable and ill advised. It’s a good idea to have a game plan for days like this.

Every child will have different interests and some of these ideas won’t necessarily work, but they can certainly be tailored to suit their needs.

Craft Bins
This idea I credit to my son’s Mom. She’s collected plastic bins that she keeps either high in our son’s closet or in a lower, reachable shelf in the kitchen. The bins have holiday craft materials, but also just collections of glue, paint, construction paper, string, and quick kits purchased from bargain bins. The best time to collect these goodies is immediately after any holiday at stores like Michaels or Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts

After board games and puzzles have gotten a bit stale, it can be fun to have a Lego set handy that can …

Read more