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The Latest Trends In Wood Flooring

The Latest Trends In Wood Flooring

Among the latest top trends in wood flooring are wider and longer boards; parquet-like patterns; and lighter, lime-washed woods, neutral gray tones, and dark woods.

Wider and Longer Boards

The long-time, popular trend of eliminating a separate living room, dining room, and kitchen creates a more open living space, but the numerous, traditional-width boards covering that space gives the floor a distracting, busy look. Wider, longer boards reduce the number of boards, reducing the number of bevels or edges, creating a smoother flooring look.

Dramatic Patterns

You may, however, want a more attention-grabbing floor. If so, create a pattern with your wood flooring, such as a herringbone. Sophisticated, detailed parquet patterns, complete with borders, medallions, and inlays, are also catching on with designers.

Lime-Washed Woods

Lime-wash, also known as pickling, is a white-wash technique that originated in Europe. Originally, high-end hardwood flooring was treated with a water and lime solution, but today, the aged, faded look is created with a less caustic liming wax that is applied to oak, ash, and other woods. The look is especially popular in shore homes, but it complements styles from rustic to formal.

Fumed Woods

Fuming adds a natural, aged, gray patina to wood flooring. With the controlled environment that is now possible, results are predictable, so, depending on the amount of fuming, patinas can range from a light, neutral gray to a deep charcoal. Additional treatments, applied after fuming, add color and depth. The fumed look, especially popular with white oak, highlights the natural grains and texture of the wood without overemphasizing them and provides an updated, attractive look that blends with numerous decorating styles.

Dark Woods

Like woods fumed to dark charcoal, dark woods and wood stains also make a bold statement. Walnut, oak, and cherry are popular wood choices. Jacobean and dark walnut stains complement traditional decors, while ebony provides a rich backdrop for contemporary styles. The warm look of reddish stains are increasingly popular, and a royal mahogany stain combines the richness of ebony with the warmth of a red tone for a sophisticated flooring look.

Other Noteworthy Trends

Two trends make hardwood flooring more practical for pet owners and parents — wire-brushed textures and low-gloss finishes.

With the wire-brushing, or wire-scraping, technique, the wire brush scrapes off the softer, top layer of wood, leaving the hardest wood and revealing more of the wood’s natural texture and grain. Scratches, scrapes, and chips blend into the wire-brushed texture.

Low-gloss floors emphasize the texture and color of the wood over the shine and also camouflage dust, dents, scratches, and footprints, making them easier to clean and maintain than high gloss floors.

These versatile trends provide hardwood flooring choices for everyone. For more information, you can visit the Fuse Flooring website.

Common Cracks in Brickwork

Common Cracks in Brickwork

When it comes to a brick veneer siding, cracks are some of the most commonly associated problems even though they will rarely be visible from the interior of houses. You might have once woken up to the unpleasant surprise of discovering a large vertical crack in your home’s brickwork. As such, you might be wondering how this came to be and how you can go about fixing such a problem. You are not alone in this since it often happens to large spans in masonry panels, and millions of homeowners have found cracks in their brick veneers. So take three deep breaths and relax since everything can always be repaired and fixed when it comes to brick veneers. We have provided you with some information below aimed at enabling a better understanding of how this cracks develop.

Settling: Usually appearing similar to steps or a staircase. These particular types of cracks typically move along the bed joint, stepping up by following the vertical joints. They are usually located near the end of walls and close to the corners. They can also appear in the weakest parts of the masonry such as next to quoins, an angle iron, or opening. This type of crack can be repaired quite easily once it stops moving, which makes it important for you as a homeowner to keep checking to confirm whether or not it has ceased running.Thermal expansion failure cracking: These types of cracks are vertical and usually positioned lengthwise along walls. Thermal expansion failure cracking is caused by the thermal heating of a masonry wall that lacks proper control joints. Brick veneers generally expand once the sun beats down on them as a result of heat and without proper control joints, cracks usually develop.

Expansion due to steel: This is a type of crack that commonly appears over openings on a wall. The embedded steel located inside the masonry with the aim of providing support typically heats up once exposed to the sun, an expansion that usually leads to heaving of the masonry. Although both the steel and masonry heat up and expand, steel simply expands at a much faster rate when compared to the masonry.

Leaning or bulging wall cracks: A wall might lean, bulge, or bow due to pressure exerted on the back side of that particular wall. At times, such walls appear like they are either sinking or leaning. One of the common reasons why a wall might develop cracks as a result of bulging, leaning, or bowing is an improper tying of a structure behind the wall. Unfortunately, this type of cracks indicates one of the most severe types of problems regarding walls, which means they require immediate attention. It is also important to take extra care when repairing this kind of wall defect.

When it comes to the repair of any structural issue regarding a brick veneer, your best option is to contact a contractor. Evaluate the walls of your home any time you are outside to ensure such defects do not go unnoticed for extended periods.

How To Identify Good Quality Outdoor Furniture

How To Identify Good Quality Outdoor Furniture

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In choosing your outdoor furniture, you must consider many factors to obtain the best quality furniture. Consider your materials, your comfort, and how the furniture is built.

Most metal, cedar, and all-weather wicker pieces can survive unblemished anything that nature throws at them. Colored items, however, fade, so it is best to save such for cushions and accent pieces. Cedar and pine are light-colored softwoods that age, like teak, to a silvery gray unless you seal or paint them. Cedar and pressure-treated pine last, but the best-quality wooden furniture is center-cut heartwood lumber with a consistent grain. Then, furniture with stainless-steel or zinc-plated screws is quality, as you can tighten the screws. Metal is prized for durability, versatility, and comfort. Usually, metal furniture is either wrought iron or aluminum, and aluminum is weatherproof. Resin furniture, while it is durable, cheap, and low maintenance, may blow across a yard in a storm.

Don’t omit to test for comfort. Sit in them to test them before you buy them. Ask if the seat height matches up well with the table height. Does the table allow room for everyone’s chair legs to come up under the table comfortable without entangling? Are the armrests suitably matched to the table height? Are they comfortable or meant for show? How about the char seats and backs? Are the chair seats roomy without dwarfing you? Can you lean against the back of the chair?

How the Furniture is Built
There are some extra tests that you should know to test for quality in outdoor furniture. In wood furniture, look for closely fitted joints. Check the evenness of the finish, and make sure that the whole set has been sanded thoroughly everywhere. In metal furniture, make sure the welded joints are neat and unobtrusive. The best joints have been smoothed and coated to match the rest of the piece of furniture. Paint should look uniform without drips, missed spots, or ripples. No sharp metal edges are allowable — not even under the table, as that is where knees touch. Nor should there be anything sharp underneath the armrest. Then, ascertain that any nuts and bolts are hidden or capped. Exposed fasteners must be made of stainless steel, as that metal does not rust. Also, check that individual pieces are rigid. Wiggle each piece; flexing is alright. Feel free to ask questions of the clerk if you do not feel that you have enough information.

Your materials, your comfort, and how the furniture is built. Examine these issues, and you will know all you need to find the perfect, high quality, unique match for your outdoor space. You can learn more by visiting Ace Peel Hardware & Supply.

What Is Your HVAC System Trying To Tell You?

What Is Your HVAC System Trying To Tell You?

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HVAC systems contain microprocessors that control the heating and cooling operation of the unit. As winter ends, flowers bloom, trees start to bud, and temperatures increase with the onset of spring going on to summer. In many homes, this often involves using air conditioning systems to enhance comfort.

Is your system faulty?
It is important for homeowners to look out for early warning signs of AC malfunctions. This does not only give you a better idea on whether to replace your air conditioning system, but it also prevents you and your family from having to live in discomfort during summer as temperatures rise.

A defective air conditioner can be a sign of compressor problems. A malfunctioning compressor can make the AC system not to start or function as required. The malfunctioning compressor will also make the AC to shut down abruptly. An HVAC system that emits little or no cool air could have a malfunctioning AC system. A defunct AC compressor can also cause the fuse to burn.

Power Usage
A faulty compressor can make the air conditioner use more power than usual even when the AC system seems to be operating normally. This may lead to high energy bills.

A defective compressor will make the air conditioner produce noises including clanking, banging, or buzzing sounds. The unit may produce “hums” but fail to start if the compressor is not in working condition.

Continuous Operation
AC systems contain contactors that control how the units power on and off. Contactors have two metal strings that can cause the AC unit to fail to shutdown when they interlock. In such cases, homeowners are forced to pull the plug or flip the breaker of their AC units to shut them down.

Failure to Start
A defective contactor may cause an AC unit to fail to start. If the thermostat of your AC unit is working but the system is not, it is probably because of a malfunctioning contactor. It could also be a sign of low electricity supply to the AC unit.

Sudden Shutdown of the AC Unit
An AC system with a faulty contactor will shutdown suddenly to avoid blowing the monitors or overheating. However, you may use the reset button on your air conditioner or heater to turn it back on. Be sure to observe the unit to see if it is working after the sudden shutdown. Call HVAC contractors if the unit suddenly shuts down again.

Freezing Up
Frost in the air conditioner is another sign of contactor problems. AC units often develop frost when they use maximum power for a prolonged period, which results in condensation inside the unit. In such cases, switch off the unit and allow it to defrost before you consider replacing it. You can learn additional information at Cozy Comfort Plus.