Porcelain or Ceramic Tiles That Look Like Wood

Porcelain or ceramic tiles that look like wood are not a new trend. Tiles that look like wood have always been available but they have reached new levels of popularity in recent years because new technology has meant the overall finish now looks a lot more realistic than it used to.

This can be a fantastic solution for people who feel they don’t want to commit to purchasing a full wooden floor which can be difficult to maintain and may not always suit the environment. It is also often a cheaper alternative to wooden flooring which is fantastic if you want that natural look, but you’re on a budget.

Ceramic or porcelain tiles are also much more durable than wooden tiles so you don’t have the issue of chips or dents and you don’t have to awkwardly ask friends to remove high heels when they come over either.

Are all the benefits completely true?

There are some key positives that aren’t entirely relevant to wood look floor tiles so it’s always worth exploring all your options before you commit, thinking it’s your only choice.

The three main advantages of; better underfloor heating, cost effectiveness and easy maintenance, and the fact it’s easier to find the size of ‘plank’ you want, are largely debatable.

Ceramic or porcelain wood look tiles are fantastic for underfloor heating systems but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve the same result with a wooden floor, you just have to select the right type of natural wood. And it is true there is an extensive range of tile widths and lengths available to choose from, but the natural wooden floor market is growing and offering more selection than ever now.

In regards to the cost, it really does vary depending on what type of finish you want. While some tiles will be much cheaper than wooden floors, higher quality designs may well come in at a higher price than natural wood floor tiles.

The easy maintenance benefit is definitely true as there is a huge selection of surface specific cleaning equipment and products on the market which make it easier to maintain. However, there are also now a lot more products available to help you maintain wooden floors so, the difference between the two is marginal.

Is it for me?

Whether you want to invest in ceramic or porcelain tiles, or opt for a real wooden floor you’ll have a lot of considerations to make. The climate of your home will affect which floor is most suitable for you as well as how you use the room you want to put the flooring in. Ceramic tiles are fantastic in the summer months but some people hate having them in winter because they stay cold. Wooden floors feel warmer underfoot, but don’t deal with certain environments very well and also have the potential to swell or shrink, as well as potentially suffering from infestations.

The best thing you can do is decide what look you want and then prioritise your practical needs. You can then look at all your options before making a decision. There are lots of innovative and unusual designs of porcelain floor tiles that look like wood flooring so it’s worth doing your research. With so many companies creating beautiful tiles for this trend, you shouldn’t struggle to find something you love.

Home Improvement Tips to Save Energy

Whether you’re looking for ways to improve the way your home looks or to make it more energy efficient, it’s always best to find out how to do it right and get the most out of your time and money. These home improvement tips can show you how to start saving energy right away.

1. Use energy saving lamps instead of incandescent bulbs. Energy Star qualified light bulbs such as CFLs use 75% less energy than traditional bulbs.

2. Check your heating and cooling system, including the furnace, air conditioner, and heat pump). Be sure to seal your ducts. Leaky ducts make your heating and cooling systems less efficient and you’ll end up with higher utility bills. You can save up to 20% on energy with this home improvement tip.

3. Purchase and install a programmable thermostat. This will let you automatically adjust the temperature at your home when you are away.

4. Check the weather stripping around your windows, doors, garage, etc. Make sure your home is sealed and insulated to reduce heating and cooling costs.

5. If you’re in the market for replacement windows, install Energy Star labeled windows. Energy saving windows can dramatically lower your utility bills.

6. Is your refrigerator more than 10 years old? It’s time to get a new one. Refrigerators (and freezers) account for a substantial share of your electricity bill. An Energy Star qualified refrigerator
uses 50% less electricity than an old, conventional model.

7. When it’s time to replace your washing machine, replace it with an Energy Star compliant model. You will be able to use 50% less water and up to 70% less energy. Whenever possible, wash your clothes with cold water.

8. Here’s another home improvement tip that doesn’t cost much. Use curtains, blinds and drapes to help you save energy and money. In winter, open the blinds, drapes and curtains in the morning to let the sunlight in. Close them at night to help keep the warm air in.

9. Landscaping can improve your home’s looks while saving energy. Shrubs and trees in strategic locations can protect your home from frigid winter winds and block out the hot summer sun.

10. You won’t have to invest a lot of money for this home improvement tip but you’ll get a lot of savings in return. Purchase a hot water insulation kit from your local home improvement center and wrap it around your water heater. You’ll save on water heating costs.

11. Consider installing your own renewable energy system. A solar or wind energy system can help you reduce your utility bills.

Affordable and Applicable Home Improvement

Everyone wants to upgrade and renovate his/her house in affordable way. Budget is the major factor of consideration. If your budget does not allow you to start major renovation projects such as adding new room or changing floor or alteration in room dimensions you can also go for less expensive affordable home improvements. Minor changes may results in remarkable difference in your home. With less expensive improvement projects you can improve your home and also save money for major renovation project. There are various styles available you can chose such as Victorian, country and modern. Now day’s modern style is most popular home décor. Due to popularity modern home décor has become expensive. But there are still some ways to upgrade your home in affordable way. You can take advantage of certain affordable home improvement tips for affordable home improvement.

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Affordable Home Improvement Tips
Affordable home improvement tips allow you to upgrade your home in less expensive way. Following are some affordable home improvement tips.

Use of Inexpensive Home Decorating Items
Use of inexpensive objects to decorate your home is the most easy affordable home improvement tip. You can use inexpensive home decorating accessories to make your house look impressive. Such accessories include curtains, fancy cushions and table covers that look compatible with the pattern and main wall color. This will make your room warmer and modern. Even a good family photograph at suitable place can add character to your room.

Paint
Paint is also less expensive and easy way to give brand new look to your home. You can select any color of your choice. You can use paint on old furniture, walls and floors to give new look. You can also create different designs with paint.

Mirrors
Addition of mirror to any place can make your room look larger than its actual size. It is best for small rooms. In larger rooms you can also use mirrors. Mirrors look great above fireplaces, beds, dressers and in bathrooms. It gives instant fresh look without making complete changes in every thing. It is also a useful and affordable home improvement tip.

Fabrics
Fabric is easy to use in different ways. You can use it in lot of creative ways. It is not necessary that you must buy new fabric to use. You can even use old fabrics in your house. Normally everyone has old table cloths and scarves in their homes. You can change the look of old furniture by simply covering it with cloth. You can also make pictures by covering canvas boards with beautiful scarves or cloth. This is very cheap way to add look as compared to buying expensive show pieces from stores.

Old Furniture
Another affordable home improvement tips is simply change the setting of your old furniture and give a fresh look to your house. This can be done by simply putting same furniture in other room with different theme. You can make your furniture look different by painting it with different color or by covering it with fabrics.

Stenciling
It is also a simple home improvement tip to make your room alive. Stencils are easily available. It can easily paste on the walls. You need to paint them and remove them. It will leave a nice and clearly defined design to add character to your room. It can also used on fabrics and furniture.

Photographs
Beautifully framed photographs are also good option for adding value to your room. It is very affordable home improvement tip for those who have limited budget to renovate your room. The only cost is framing of photograph. Photographs can give pleasant effect to your room.

Working with what you already have
Utilizing all the things you already have is also an affordable home improvement tip. Most people purchased decorating items that does not match with furniture you have. To solve this issue you must try to purchase things that are compatible with other things you already have.

Experts Share Some Helpful Tips In Home Renovations

When your family is growing in numbers, one of the best things to do is to renovate your home to accommodate your whole family without sacrificing comfort. Some families actually put their home out on the market and look for a bigger piece of property that the whole family can settle into. However, if you really want to preserve your home because you feel there is a sentimental value, you can actually stay put and have the house rebuilt to accommodate your family’s needs.

A lot of families settle for the second option which is home renovations. Most people who go for this option do so for a variety of reasons. Perhaps, they love their community and do not wish to live far away from their friends and relatives. Then there’s the issue of finances. Whatever your reasons are for opting for a remodel, whatever part of the home you want to have rebuilt, in general, renovations can be broken down into three steps. There are some tips that many home renovations experts recommend to those who want this option.

Set your budget first. You may have a few ideas picked up from browsing blogs or magazines. However, all homeowners must temper their desires with a realistic outlook which comes by factoring in costs, including those for materials and labour. When discussing kitchen or bathroom renovations, homeowners should consult their contractor regarding actual costs so that they can identify which items on their shopping list can be exchanged for a lower-priced alternative. It is really important to save enough money first before starting the renovations.

Once you are ready with the budget, finalize the designs that you want. With the homeowners’ inputs as well as the guidance of the contractor with regards to bathroom or kitchen renovations, homeowners can have their design fleshed out. At this stage, various drawings are shown to the homeowners, allowing them to envision what the final project will look like when it is finally turned over.

This can be a back and forth process wherein both parties volley their ideas until they reach a consensus on a variety of details, including the type of light fixtures to be used and what the colours of the walls would look like. Only upon the homeowners’ final nod can a firm quotation be given.

Lastly, keep your valuables safe. In some cases, families may need to temporarily move out of the home. However, when the contractor and his team are working on only one area of the house, some families stay and make the necessary living adjustments. Know more about this here.