How To Select The Right Thickness For Your Kitchen Countertop

To decide about the thickness of your granite countertop, you should consider the usage of the area and the style you want to give that area as well as installation. If you plan to have a natural stone kitchen countertop you have the choices of it being marble, quartzite, sandstone and granite.

We are listing below some tips that will help you in deciding the thickness of your kitchen countertop if it’s any natural stone.

Standard Thickness

The basic natural stone countertop comes in 2cm and 3cm thickness. If you want your countertop to look thicker than this then by building up the edges, a thicker look can be achieved.

As the kitchen is the focal point of any home, it’s always a good idea to make it exciting and unique. When using granite as your countertop, 3cm thickness is usually enough as far as durability is concerned. And for quartzite, being more durable, 2cm thickness can do the job.

Budget

The countertop cost depends on its size. The more material it takes to make a countertop, the more it will cost. It is a myth that the 2cm countertops are less expensive. Although the material cost is less, the 2cm countertops usually cost the same with all the handling and installation cost. 2cm slabs require more attention and care to avoid any damage. Marble tops are even more prone to damage as it is a softer stone. 2cm thick countertops are supported by a 3/8” plywood deck to increase its strength and resistance.

Area Consideration

What is more prevalent in your area? The answer to this question will not only help you decide about what you choose for your kitchen countertop but also it can affect the resale value of your home. If you decide to have a natural stone countertop, the resale value of your home will increase. The thickness also varies from area to area. In Canada, the west coast usually has 2cm countertops while in the other areas 3cm countertops are preferred.

Styling

Choosing a quartzite countertop can offer you a lot. It can take so many styles and colours. It can look like granite or marble while giving a concrete feel. But these possibilities don’t mean that any manner will work in any home and with whatever thickness. Some kitchens, for a subtle look, can look their best with a thinner sleeker countertop.

Counter to this situation. Some kitchens can look more beautiful with a waterfall side and a built edge.

In our opinion, 3cm thick granite countertops are best for the kitchen because of their stain resistance and strength. Granite slabs can have substantial, seamless edges. This gives them a higher value, and they are best suited in a high-utility environment like a kitchen. There is another benefit of using a 3cm thick countertop in the kitchen, and it can hold out against overhang clearances up to 12” with either decorative or hidden supports. This is great for an eat-in kitchen with bar stools along with the cabinets.

Edge Style

The edge of a kitchen countertop is, usually, a straight edge with slightly rounded or eased corners to avoid the sharp line. But there are other options available depending on the thickness of your countertop. Here are so many style possibilities like bullnose, Dupont. Ogee, half-bullnose etc. Some of these styles look better with a thinner edge while some look great on a thicker border. 2cm countertops can offer decorative styles like Dupont and ogee. These styles will give your kitchen a more formal look. On the other hand, a 3cm countertop can provide a beautiful bullnose which can make your kitchen counter more appealing to look at. So, many of the ornate, stacked edges require a thick countertop to create glamour and drama, while simpler options can use any thickness.

Choosing the thickness of your kitchen countertop seems like a simple decision to make, but it could be one of the most critical decisions. The right thickness decides the pricing, resistance to chipping and breakage and also installation method. Therefore, make sure you do not overlook the importance of this. Consult with granite companies Potomac to learn more about countertop designs and thickness.

What Are Black Granite Countertops And Why You Should Choose Them

Granite kitchen countertops are available in a lot of variants, on the basis of color, texture and veining. Today, we will be talking about black granite and its benefits as a countertop material.

What Is Black Granite?

Black granite is one of the many variants of normal granite stone. It is a darker, more elegant version of a normal granite slab. Think of black granite as a view of a dark night sky on your countertop. Black granite has black talc and mica in it, which imparts it deep and beautiful black color. The veining in black granite is light in color and it looks like an array of stars spread across the granite.

Black granite countertops are available in two main types: matte finishes and pearl finishes. The more popular among the two is the pearl finish, because it has a lustrous appearance to it and it looks great in kitchens. The contrast of a light and muted kitchen with dark granite countertops is amazing and woos people every single time.

Why Should You Choose Black Granite?

Black granite is a great option for people who are looking for some change in color in their light-colored kitchen. It is just as good as simple granite and has the same durability and strength as a normal slab of granite, but the black color of granite adds to the beauty and mystery of the stone. The stone looks amazing not just on kitchen countertops, but it also goes well in bathrooms as fixtures or sinks.

Black granite is, sometimes, also used in the manufacturing of sinks and bathtubs, which look so beautiful that words cannot describe its elegance and beauty.

Just changing up the color of your granite with the help of a countertop contractor can add so much difference to your entire layout. The room looks new and improved, and it is just due to a small change in the color of your countertop.

How To Maintain Black Granite?

Black granite is just as easy to maintain as any other granite countertop. It can be easily cleaned with some soap and water and a clean and soft microfiber cloth. It is very easy to maintain and if you take care of it properly, then granite will last you a very long time. One drawback of black granite is that it does collect dust over its surface. So you do need to clean it every day. As it is a dark color, it shows dust a lot.

Also, you should not cut anything directly on top of any granite surface, because it can show a lot of scratches and on black granite, it looks more visible, because on top of black granite the scratches look almost white. So, in this regard, the black granite has to be dealt with a little bit of care. Other than these few things, black granite is highly durable and it is a strong material which can withstand heat and a lot of impact as well.

Can I Use Black Granite For Any Room?

As mentioned previously, black granite is not just good for kitchen countertops, it can be used in bathrooms, kitchen islands and dining tables as well. It is a very versatile material which can add a lot of character to any room you install it in. For installation, it is best if you hire someone professional to do the work for you, because the granite blocks are extremely heavy and you cannot easily install them by yourself, so having a helping hand is good in this case.

It is also very cost effective as compared to other countertop materials. It is a cheaper version of granite. So, it is in the reach of everybody. Sinks and bathrooms made with accents of black granite look extremely beautiful and they add a lot to the room. Changing up the color of your countertop or fixtures can add a lot of change to your room. This is why black granite is so popular nowadays.

There you have it! Who would’ve known that black granite is such an amazing material for countertops? It is one of the most stylish countertop materials out in the market. So, visit a granite installer Reston and tell them you need black granite.

How To Make Your Dishwasher Energy Efficient

A dishwasher is one of the more power hungry appliances in your home, and so it makes perfect sense to want to cut down its energy and water consumption. But how? Would you need dishwasher repair for that? Here are ten tips you can follow to make your household dishwasher more green.

Make Sure To Wash All The Dishes Of A Day In One Go

Instead of running the dishwasher again and again for washing just a few dishes every time you have a meal, wait until you are done with all eating for the day. By that time, your dishwasher will be fully loaded and it will take just one run to wash all your dishes for the day.

Make Sure To Choose A Washer That Is Energy Star Compliant

These modern dishwashers have to comply with standards set forth by the energy star committee which ensures that the dishwasher, or any other approved appliance for that matter, use only as much energy as required and minimize wastage.

Go For Natural, Chemical Free Dishwashing Solutions

When going shopping, make sure to look for a dishwashing agent that is phosphate free and biodegradable, because when the water from your dishwashing appliance goes down the drain, you want to make sure it is not harmful to the environment and can be easily recycled.

Save Water By Skipping The Pre-Rinse Before Loading

Today dishwashers are powerful enough to clean any dishes without needing to be pre-rinsed. Wasting your time, energy and most importantly all the water for pre-rinsing before loading dishes in the washer serves little purpose, and you can completely skip this practice.

Dial Down The Temperature On The Thermostat

Your dishwasher is already connected to your hot water line so using the heating element in the dishwasher to warm the water again is pretty redundant. Keeping the thermostat at a consistent 120 degrees will save you ample amount of energy.

Avoid Using The Built-In Drier In Your Dishwasher

Modern dishwashers are also equipped with a dryer that is used as an electric heater and fan to blow hot air over the wet dishes, thereby drying them so they are ready to use. All of this of course uses a good amount of electricity, and the same thing can be achieved by just leaving the dishwasher door open overnight so they can dry off naturally, ready for use in the morning.

Do Not Invest In A Model That Is Too Big For Your Needs

If you live by yourself, there is no need for you to invest in a dishwasher that can hold 60 dishes at one time. Go compact, as these are not just energy efficient, they are a lot less costly too, and are perfect for washing all your days worth of dishes.

Use As Few Dishes As Possible To Avoid Wasting Water

You can also cut down the amount of energy and water used in washing your dishes by using less dishes to eat. Instead of using three separate dishes for a multi course meal, just use a single dish with modest portions of every course. As a bonus, this will also help you maintain a healthy diet.

Make Sure To Keep The Dishwasher Away From The Fridge

Your dishwasher expels heat from its radiator fins on the back which can hinder the working of your refrigerator, and force it to use more energy.

Only Run Your Dishwasher During Off Peak Hours

In many places around the world, the electricity company charges different rates for unit consumption during the peak and off-peak hours in a day. This is a good way to save on utility bills.

There is no denying the fact that washing dishes by hand will almost always be greener than using a dishwasher. But the appliance exists for a reason, and that is to provide convenience. Should that come at the cost of environmental degradation? We don’t think so. If you follow the above tips, there is no reason you cannot enjoy the benefits that having a dishwasher brings without imposing on earth’s natural resources.

Moreover, to keep your dishwasher using less energy, make sure to maintain and repair it from reputable appliance repair Springfield experts.

The best patio materials to choose from

As far as patio materials are concerned, patios are built of one of the few common materials. Basically, what your patio contractors do with these materials will decide the overall look and vibe of your outdoor patio. In case you happen to take help from a professional masonry company, chances are the company will be experienced enough. Otherwise, you may be taking a lot of risk.

When it comes to the choice of patio materials, personal expression and preference plays the most important role. However, with that, other things that must be considered include the budget, size of your outdoor patio, the availability of materials, and the patio’s location.

In this regard, you must also check your local building codes. By knowing these beforehand, you will be able to avoid the setbacks, down-times, and a possible loss of money.

A patio materials guide for you

In case you are having difficulty in choosing the right patio materials, do not worry! We are here to help you out.

Concrete

It is difficult to find a material that is just as adaptable and versatile as concrete. Concrete is very common patio material because it is time-tested. It is made using a combination of gravel, water, cement, and sand. Furthermore, concrete has a range of different options other than just brick.

In case you use good forms, concrete is easy to mold and can change itself to any shape possible. With that, concrete is also very easy in maintenance and is quite durable. In this regard, the overall finish of concrete will be stamped, smoother, scored, painted, brushed, and colored.

Bricks

Bricks are considered to be a timeless option. They are made by firing a range of different materials with clay mixtures inside a brick kiln. They are extremely sturdy and tend to last for a long period of time. Basically, brick patios result in a very classic and neat look that is suitable in a range of architectural styles and landscapes.

In fact, a big number of outdoor patios employ bricks with other materials such as concrete in order to create some diversity.

In this way, bricks are suitable for both rustic landscapes and formal landscapes. The most popular brick patterns are running bond, jack-on-jack, and herringbone pattern. Just take a look at all of these patterns and choose the one that suits you the most.

Flagstone

Flagstone is yet another popular choice of homeowners. It comes in a wide variety of stone mixtures and colors, which depends on your area of living and quarries. Basically, flagstone comes in large slabs that are 1 to 3 inches in thickness and can be identified with their irregular shape.

Since it has a roughened surface, this material provides great traction when it is wet. The most common type of flagstone includes limestone, sandstone, bluestone, and quartzite.

As far as flooring on patios is concerned, flagstones are at least 1 and a half inches thick. These thick slabs are laid on a bed of sand or soil. In case thinner slabs are being used, they are placed on wet mortar or concrete in order to prevent the possibility of cracking.

Ending note

The above mentioned three materials are the most common in patio construction. In fact, all your local patio builders Long Island will suggest you choose one of the above three due to better availability and affordability. Of course, there are many high-end luxury options also available. However, for an average house-owner, these options play out just well. It is hard to go wrong with any of these, and this is why they are so commonly used.

What Are Jute Rugs And What Are Their Pros And Cons

When you hear the word jute, the picture and texture of rope and a jute bag would surely pop up in your mind. But jute has a broader meaning and purpose than just being used for a rope. Jute is extensively used in rugs and people love to buy them from their favorite rug stores.

How Is A Jute Rug Made?

The jute is extracted from fibers of a jute plant that is found in Asia and needs hot and humid conditions for survival. The fibers extracted are extremely durable and hence used in ropes, burlap fabric and also rugs of all shapes and sizes. What you may not know is that along with being highly durable jute is also a very soft material.

Your assumption that jute has a very scratchy and rough surface because of the rope is completely wrong as jute rugs are very plushy and soft to even walk barefoot on.

Pros of Jute Rugs

  • The first and foremost benefit is that jute is highly durable, so you should not be worried about wear and tear. It will last you for many years to come and is great for rooms with heavy foot traffic and households with small kids and pets.
  • Jute rugs are very affordable so you do not have to worry about a huge drop in your bank statement when decorating your house.
  • Jute rugs give your home an exotic and earthy appeal and look. The natural color of a jute rug is warm and earthy and many people prefer to keep the same tone in their homes. The natural color and effect of jute matches with almost every theme of your home and furniture.
  • If you are interested in jute with different colors then there are jute rugs mixed with many synthetic fibers to create different colors, design and patterns. So, you have a wide variety of jute rugs to choose from.
  • Jute rugs are easy to maintain as they just need to be vacuumed on a regular basis and also cleaned and wiped immediately after spills. So, they are very low maintenance.
  • You do not need to worry about mixing and matching patterns with jute rugs as it can blend with any sort of curtain, furniture or show pieces.
  • You do not need to worry about style and fashion with jute rugs as it is a versatile and timeless piece of rug that always stays in style.

Cons of Jute Rugs

Cons of jute rugs aren’t many but as with every other fiber, they are some things that you should know. Still the benefits will outweigh the cons of the jute rug.

  • Jute rugs are highly slippery and they may slip and flow here and there. If you have kids, they might slip due to running or even adults can trip with a jute rug. This problem has a solution as you can always apply an anti-slip pad or mat underneath the jute rug.
  • No matter how soft the jute rug is, 100% rug made from jute fibers has the tendency to be a bit scratchy. But if you buy a jute rug that is mixed with synthetic fibers then it will be very soft and plush.
  • Jute tends to shed its hairs as well but those can always be cleared up.
  • Jute does not absorb water in fact it lets it stay in its place. So it is a good thing and also a bad. Good as you will not face the hassle of drying the rug and bad because it is not a good idea to place the rug in wet areas of the house such as bathrooms or near the sink or kitchen.
  • Jute should be cleaned immediately after any spill or it will retain the stain of the spill. So, you should clean it on the spot with a wet cloth so there is no chance of stain.

Conclusion

Whether it is a theory or a fact but jute rugs generally get better with time. Many homeowners share their experiences that after some time, jute tends to become even more durable and become stain resistant and show least wear and tear. So, keep this small detail in mind too when looking for a new area oriental rug Vienna VA.

Why You Shouldn’t DIY Tree Removal

Trees give your house a natural aesthetic appeal, contribute greatly to the environment, have relaxing powers for your soul and also provide a shade to your house and for your children to play. So why remove a tree by hiring tree removal companies?

  1. Because it has become dead and is leaning to one side and posing a threat to the surrounding landscape, property and people.
  2. The roots of the trees are causing sewerage blockages or are interfering with the structure of your house.
  3. The trees are touching the electrical lines and wires and it can get dangerous.
  4. Maintenance has become impossible due to ample lawn debris.
  5. The tree branches are disturbing the neighbors.

Due to these reasons you think of cutting down your tree. After all, how difficult is it to cut down a tree? You will just need some tools and cut the tree and let it fall, easy right?

WRONG!!!! You should never attempt DIY tree cutting no matter what the problem is. Always call in the experts for tree removal. Tree removal is considered one of the most unsafe jobs in the world and do you know why? Read below to find out.

Gravity

You may have heard the theory that once something begins to fall there is no looking back. Same is the case with the tree. Once it begins to fall, you cannot stop it. Tree experts will make proper calculations and make a plan as to what angle the tree should be cut and where it will fall. But with a layman the fall can be miscalculated. It is cut at one angle and it falls on the other side where there is your house or a neighbor’s house.

The insurance will not even cover the costs. You cannot possibly judge the fall and you should leave it to the experts. The tree may also hit the power line and chances are you may get an electric shock or the whole neighborhood experiences power blackout.

Unsafe Equipment

Tree removal is not an easy task and requires the use of tons of tools of which the most important and dangerous is the chainsaw. The chainsaw is heavy and also can get out of hand for a person who is using it for the first time.

Tree removal professionals are capable of handling these tools as they are experienced and taught in this field. The chainsaw can get out of hand or the chain may get loosened and it may fall on someone or something or you may get badly injured during the process. You would also need other equipment such as ropes and crane and without these you are exposing yourself to a greater risk.

Decaying Tree or Trunk

Sometimes a tree becomes so decayed that it may fall anytime without warning causing a loss of property and lives. Tree removal experts will only understand the tree biology as when a tree has become completely decayed or is dead. Removal of a dead or decaying tree should be done as soon as possible. A decaying and dead tree becomes very weak and unstable and professional services are required for it. They may also arrange a crane to sustain the fall of a tree. So, a decaying tree should never be removed by yourself but the help of experts should be taken.

Height

When you are going for DIY tree removal you will obviously be working from a height. You may get unstable and fall from the height in the process. The tree removal initially requires cutting of the branches and leaves and then cutting the tree. You will need to take the equipment along with you to cut the branches and can mistakenly fall and hurt yourself badly.

If you leave the branches, leaves and other debris hanging on the tree, then these branches will hurt the surrounding property and people while falling as the branches will spread haphazardly and destroy the landscape in the process. Tree cutting services Maryland are equipped with all the specialized tools and they have the expertise of handling a tree, its branches and sustaining its fall without causing any harm to the surrounding properties and people, hence the work should be left to tree services.

Things You Should Know Before You Hire A Chimney Sweep

Your chimney may appear chimney absolutely fine when you inspect it from your attic or yard. Well, a chimney might appear in good condition from outside but you never know what’s inside? Actually, you cannot predict chimney’s health by simply examining it from outside. You need to hire a chimney sweep for professional inspection, cleaning and repair of your chimney.

Why to hire a professional chimney sweep?

If you want your chimney to properly escape the toxic gases and smoke coming from the fireplace out, your chimney should remain free from any sort of blockages. And to know whether your chimney is functioning properly or not, you will have to hire a professional chimney sweeper. There are many reasons for hiring a chimney sweeper, some of them are:

For professional chimney inspection

The chimney sweeps have tools and skills required for proper chimney inspection. Your chimney may look totally fine from outside, but professional inspection can unveil the anomalies of the chimney. These professionals know the error prone areas of the chimneys. They will bulge out the creosote buildup, cracks debris, bird nests etc. After scheduling the professional inspection, you will learn about the actual health of your chimney.

For fireplace and chimney maintenance

Regular chimney and fireplace maintenance is very much important. The unmaintained and unclean chimney and fireplace are really very unsafe. Both chimney and fireplace should be cleaned and repaired time to time to avoid any sort of fire hazard. If you keep on using your chimney and fireplace without maintenance, one spark can burn your entire premises.

For chimney waterproofing

Chimney waterproofing is another important aspect of chimney maintenance. Water can easily enter inside your building via chimney and result mold growth. The chimney professional can make your chimney waterproof by applying special sealant.  This sealant will protect your chimney from snow, rain and moisture. According to Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), hiring chimney sweep service is very important for safety of your home. Homeowners should never avoid chimney and fireplace maintenance. Also, DIY chimney maintenance is also required for keeping your hearth in the better condition throughout the year.

There is nothing cozier than roaring fire of fireplace on the cold winter days. But this fire can be dangerous for your home. Fireplace depends on the chimney for the ventilation of smoke and other by-products of fire. Regular maintenance of chimney is mandatory to keep your family warm and safe. Chimney maintenance is not an easy task. It requires proper tools and skills to inspect, clean and repair the chimney in an adequate manner. Thus, hiring a chimney sweep contractor is the best way of taking care of chimney maintenance.

Why is Chimney Repair so Important?

The main task of chimney is to draw gases and smoke away from the fire of the fireplace. This is not just for convenience, though. The fire smoke can contain harmful and toxic gases like carbon monoxide- colorless and odorless gas. This gas can cause breathing problems, and even death, if inhaled in large quantity. The other task of chimney flue is to keep heat away from building. If your chimney has cracks, heat can leak into the surrounding walls, and result in structural damage or even cause chimney fires.

Common Chimney Repair Issues

Chimneys should be maintained on the regular basis to prevent the creosote buildup. Creosote is a sticky substance released when woods logs are burned in the fireplace. This substance can congeal and build up on the inner walls of your chimney. If left untreated, creosote buildup can start chimney fire. Blockage in chimney flue is another chimney problem that requires immediate attention. It can be caused due to accumulation of debris that falls from above the chimney. Chimney clogging can obstruct with the ability of chimney to expel toxic gases that can leak into the house. Chimney cracks and holes should be repaired on an urgent basis to avoid expensive chimney problems in the future. The water, ice and moisture can easily entire inside your chimney through chimney cracks. The presence of moisture not only rots the structural components of your chimney, but also promotes the growth of mold and mildew inside your chimney. Hire chimney sweep service to avoid all the chimney and fireplace problems.