Laminate VS Hardwood? You Decide

deck-cleaning-and-maintenance-rockfordHomeowners have a lot of choices when it comes to flooring. Solid hardwoods are still an enormously popular choice, but laminate flooring has come a long way, and some consumers prefer the benefits of synthetic materials. Consumers have a lot of choices when it comes to flooring and companies like can help. Solid hardwoods are still an enormously popular choice, but laminate flooring has come a long way, and some consumers prefer the benefits of synthetic materials.

What’s the major difference between solid hardwood and laminate flooring?

Hardwood floors are an excellent choice for any part of the home, except for bathrooms due to the high moisture.  Hardwood flooring comes in two basic types: solid wood planks or engineered planks. The solid type is made from a single piece of timber that has been milled to a uniform size, and they do not contain a core or underlying layer.

Advances in production techniques make it easier for manufacturers to turn out high quality flooring that looks like real wood. Engineered hardwood floors, sometimes called laminate hardwood floors, are manufactured by laminating several individual layers together, but it’s still considered a hardwood floor because the surface layer is a thin slice of real hardwood veneer. The difference is that the visible textured layer is not real wood, but a high quality image of wood, or other natural texture, that is stuck on to the substrate or underlying core layer.

What are the benefits of laminate flooring?

Laminate has a benefit over hardwood because it’s constructed with built-in tongue and groove joints that make for easy installation with no need for messy glues or adhesives. It is also factory pre-finished, which means that it can be used the moment it has been laid in place.


What are the benefits of solid hardwood?

Solid hardwood is much more durable than laminate. They can be sanded and refinished with the same results and it can easily last more than 50 years.

There are also advantages to finished and unfinished hardwood. If you want to match the existing woodwork, you may wish to go with unfinished so it can be stained to blend in. However, prefinished also has some great benefits: longer finish warranties, uniform stain application, and a cleaner environment. Also, the direction the boards are laid make a difference; diagonal boards make the room appear larger, but you’ll need more material.

How do you clean and maintain hardwood floors?

Hardwood floors require little maintenance and cleaning is easy. Periodically mop them with a product that is safe for urethane finishes, and don’t use oil- or ammonia-based cleaners. Always blot spills and spots with a damp cloth as soon as they happen. For tough spots, such as paint, markers or lipstick, use mineral spirits on a clean white cloth, then wipe with a damp cloth. Wood goes through a natural ageing process called patina. Sunlight can also accelerate this condition. Moving area rugs or other items that may cause this effect from time to time is recommended.

How does pricing and installation vary?

The price of hardwood flooring depends on the species of tree and the application, and usually starts at £5.50 per square foot. Installation time will vary depending on the square footage, finish and if installing engineered or solid hardwood floors. If installing a prefinished hardwood floor, you can move your furniture back the same day.

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Things To Consider When Planning A Kitchen


In this project we give you a run down on things to think about when planning a new kitchen including the layout of your new kitchen, servicing such as pipework and electrical points, decoration, ventilation, suitable flooring and also very importantly the quality of your new kitchen units. When it comes to a new kitchen with, the layout is the most important thing as you will want to make the best possible use of the existing kitchen space you have available. Additionally it is important to plan the placement of any appliances as moving pipework and electrical sockets can add additional cost.

Kitchens with and bathrooms are the major projects undertaken in the home, unfortunately, they are usually the most expensive also!  Kitchens on the other hand, are not usually such a straightforward proposition…There are thousands of suppliers, with thousands of new-fangled gimmicks and the confusion surrounding a replacement kitchen is horrendous.

Basically, there are two types of kitchen. The free standing kitchen, using Welsh dressers, kitchen chests and shelves etc, gives a lovely “old style” informal feel but carries the drawback of not completely utilising all the available space sometimes. A fitted kitchen can be designed (either in flat pack or custom built) to occupy every available inch of space in the kitchen, and lets face it, that’s what most of us need!

There is little benefit here in talking about the shape of the room for an ideal kitchen. You are probably using the existing kitchen with a desire to revamp. The most basic kitchen design should use the triangle theory between Cooker/hob, fridge and sink. Keep the distance between them small and incorporate worktop between them wherever possible to allow food preparation and somewhere to place pots etc before the next operation in the cooking procedure.

Try and keep all existing plumbing and electrical points in operation. These two trades are the most expensive to employ and the most difficult to DIY. Look for a waste receptacle that can be incorporated into the design, a free standing bin is horrible, takes up space and rarely matches the decor. Work out, in advance, the best location for your foodstuff, cutlery, crockery, pots and pans, books, etc. It will help you plan the position of the cupboards and drawers.

As mentioned, there are thousands of units etc, try and choose a shell which uses 18mm carcass timber rather than 15mm. This may be MDF or chipboard, it matters not, but look for good quality doors and shelves. Look also for units that stand on adjustable legs. The installation of these is so much easier as very few floors are completely level. The hinges and drawer runners are also important. Make sure you test these on the display models. Door knobs and handles are easy to replace and relatively inexpensive. These can be changed on installation and can alter the effect of your entire kitchen. Another thing to bear in mind which makes a more usable difference is full extension drawers runners which allow the drawer to open fully, rather than the the 3/5ths or so of a cheaper option. They are usually at a premium due to the more complex double bearing runners from Germany, and only quality manufacturers will offer these.

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How to Use Pallets the Right Way

Many businesses these days rely on pallets to make sure that their products are duly protected when they are shipped out from their manufacturing facilities. Transporting goods for one point to the next has become a lot easier and safer to do since the products are going to be duly protected by the container. But it is important to remember that there are steps that should be adapted to ensure that one is indeed using these pallets the best way they should be.


Pallet design

Check at about how the pallet was designed before you will go ahead and use it for your operations. You will at to make sure that you are using it the way that it is supposed to. Remember that they do come in a wide variety of sizes and styles and shapes. The best that you can do is make sure that are able to for the ones that would suit the load and the transportation methods that you will expect to use them for. Manufacturer websites will always be able to provide you with this information. So, make sure that you will take note of such information.

Construction of the pallet

It is important to take the time to inspect how the pallets have been constructed the moment that they are delivered to you from You need to make sure that they are sound structurally and that they are constructed in a sound manner. You will be able to avoid those instances when you end up with pallets that have inadequacies in them if you will stick to the sellers that have been known for the good reputation that they have sculpted over the years.

Materials used for constructing

Generally, pallets are made from wood or from plastic. Most people would prefer to g for the wooden kind due to the fact that they are natural and environment friendly. Of course, each of these materials are going to have theirown sets of advantages and disadvantages, it would do one well to take the time to learn what these are, compare them, and then decide which option suits their needs very well.

Correct usage

A lot of people often forget that these are pallets that are designed for specific purposes. So, there are some that are meant to carry more fragile content and those that are designed for bigger and burlier products. It is encouraged that you do take the tie to identify the specific purposes that you are going to use them for so you c trust that at the end of the day, you will get to maximize its use and ensure that you are not going to end up endangering your products on their way to transport.

Weight limitations

Users of these pallets are advised to heed the limitations to the weight that they are able to carry too. Depending on their design of the pallet, there will always be a limitation to the amount of weight that it is able to carry and support. So, do remember that and make sure that you follow that to the tee too, to avoid unnecessary accidents.

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Benefits of a Wood Moisture Meter for Cold and Dry Season

Did you know that you just can’t use any wood for you to burn it? If you have a fireplace and a wood-burning stove, it is necessary to check for the forest that you want to use in getting warm of cooking for your meal. To compare the wood on a hot season, apparently, the wood is indeed scorched. However, on cold seasons, it is guaranteed that anything else is damped. That is why it is essential for you to check the moisture content to every wood that you have gathered in the woods. It is also not guaranteed that purchasing woods to the store has been reviewed by the business owner. Therefore, a useful tool to determine the moisture content of the wood is a must to use like at


A wood moisture meter is a great equipment for those who are using the wood burning stove or in an open fire. The purpose of a moisture meter is to determine the moisture content of the wood before using it for burning. Keep in mind that the result should be at least about 20%, regardless of any burning tools that you desired to use. There are three different kinds of wood moisture meter which are the pin-type, pin-less and the all-in-one moisture meter. Any of these meter scales can be used to read the percentage of moisture content in the wood. Testing the wood is very important and necessary by putting depth as you use the moisture meter.

Another reason for you to check if the wood is fully seasoned for usage is to avoid a significant amount of smoke while burning the wood. As soon as you have determined the amount of moisture content, it is in your quick judgment to decide which wood for burning is essential to use. Before any purchase, it is important that you check for any brand’s unique features of the item which is of significant impact to the environment by avoiding a cause of pollution. Other ways aside from burning wood with stove and open fire is the chimney. Imagine having fewer vent deposits because you have identified the wood that is proper for burning.

Indeed, it is a fulfillment if having to burn wood that does not affect the environment. To counterpart the discussion, if you happened not to use a wood moisture meter, here are the following comparison of burning wood without checking its moisture content.

  1. Chimneys are even smokier
  2. There is lower heat output
  3. There is a lesser chance for the word to burn and create fire.
  4. Glass of the stove is dirty which has tar and deposits of creosote
  5. A significant cause of environmental damage, especially the ozone layer
  6. It is potentially very corrosive and harmful in the chimney area.

The use of a wood moisture meter is, therefore, necessary for the assessment for timber, buildings, floor moisture content. Moreover, if you are going to use a green wood, its moisture is range scaled at about 30 to 60% depending on the kind of wood that you want to use.

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What are the benefits of hiring a professional drainage company?

Blocked drains are a common occurrence in many homes. There are simply times when pipes get clogged with various kinds of debris, they can also cause a lot of problems. Clogged and drains and broken pipes can cause sewage back-up. And when that happens, the stench can be horrible! During those kinds of situations, it would be beneficial to hire a professional drainage company. This kind of company could provide all sorts of services that can help you deal with your blocked pipes or clogged drains. Here are some the benefits that you can get from hiring an expert drainage company.


They fix all sorts of drains and pipes.

Whatever kind of problem that you may have with your blocked pipes or clogged drains, a professional drainage company should be able to deal with it. They could help with all sorts of problems you have with your pipes at home. They could deal with the pipes and drains in your bathroom, and they could even fix any problems with the drains in your kitchen as well. They could even drain and fix the blocked pipes you have got outdoors. If you have got multiple problems with your pipes and drains at home, you should hire a professional drainage company to come and deal with it. They will have the skills and training that is needed to help with those problems.

The cost is affordable.

And contrary to what you may think, hiring a professional drainage company is much cheaper than you would think. This is because they could actually offer you affordable prices on the repair and maintenance work that your pipes and drains would need. And since you would not have to pay for the equipment yourself, you would actually also save more money in the long run as well. If you want to pay for drain repair and unclogging services, you should know that you can easily afford it!

You get a guarantee.

Most drainage repair and maintenance companies will offer some form of guarantee on their services. So if you encounter any more problems with your drains or pipes, after they have taken care of it, they would come and deal with your problem right away. And since they are offering a guarantee on their services, you can get these additional services at no extra cost. You should find and hire a drainage company that actually offers some sort of guarantee on their services.

If you want to get all of these benefits, then you should hire a drainage company from this website, Check out that link to see the contact details of an extremely reputable drainage repair and maintenance company. They should be able to help you out if you have got a blocked drain at home. For example, if you have got a clogged pipe that is causing water to not drain, then you should give that company a call. They would be able to unclog that pipe, fix the drains, and even install a new pipe that would be less prone to getting clogged.

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Why Big Brother Is Important

8With the country the way it is at the moment, most of us are extremely thankful of the presence of CCTV shops, pubs, car parks and other public places. Now, thanks to easier installation and falling prices, it’s becoming an increasingly popular choice for security-conscious homeowners. It’s not for everyone though as although cameras can be bought on their own, they can be pricey! Cameras can be bought as part of a whole security package.

Costs can range from low to high for a vandal proof camera with a great night vision range. You of course also have to purchase equipment to accompany the camera, depending on which type you choose, such as connectors and a digital video recorder to store and view the footage. You can also buy dummy cameras quite cheaply as deterrents. CCTV is just one line of defence against crime and works best when combined with other measures, such as a burglar alarm, door and window locks, and gravel around the property and security lights.

Bear in mind that the measure you take have to be legal: there’s no requirement for Home Alone style prank set ups! Wired home CCTV systems are the most common and cheapest type of camera, where a wire plugs directly from the camera to the monitor. The downside is that the wires which includes the extension cables and connectors, can be difficult to install. With wireless systems, images can be transmitted using analogue or digital technology to your computer, tablet or mobile smartphone. Many smart security cameras link to an app that you can use to monitor your home while you’re out and about. Digital cameras are generally higher quality but more expensive.

Wireless systems can suffer a bit of interference from devices such as routers, cordless phones and microwaves and can be blocked by heavy masonry or metal objects. Your filming may also be interrupted if you lose your internet connection. Companies such as can advise on the right systems you should use for your home and if you are choosing to use CCTV cameras outside the home, make sure they are weatherproof – an international protection (IP) rating of six is recommended here. Wireless cameras are available but you’ll still have to run a cable to a power source. Position cameras where they cannot be tampered with, but can be accessed for maintenance and cleaning. You can buy vandal-proof cameras but these tend to cost more.

Indoor CCTV cameras come in three types: wired, wireless and power-line networked and these plug into your electrical sockets and transmit images to a storage device. Wireless cameras are not recommended inside the home unless the signal can be encrypted as anyone within range and using a suitable receiver would be able to view the images. CCTV image quality is linked to the size of the chip is uses and cameras with tiny chips also tend to be able to pick up less light, and therefore produce lower quality image so make sure you choose a camera with bigger chips for better image quality.

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Concrete Driveway Repair Scams & How To Avoid Them

In life, there are always people who will try it on to take advantage of you. Karma will take care of them, but in the mean time you have to be vigilant about those who seem genuine but are actually the worst kinds of scammers. When your concrete driveway starts to crack, you have two options. You can wait for the damage to spread or you can call a concrete driveway contractor. There are fantastic and genuine companies out there like but then there are others that could be ‘rogue’ traders. If all you have is a hairline crack in the concrete, then your driveway is likely the victim of time and weather and an immediate fix may not be needed. If your crack in concrete changes widths along its length, and has high and low points, though you should call a professional in.4193335584_8fd3e492e4_o

There are unfortunately some unscrupulous contractors that count on homeowners’ desperation to fix their concrete. There are some things you should know before you go ahead with someone who approaches you for a fix so never agree to any kind of concrete work before getting at least three estimates from different companies. A company like would be a genuine company to help but others out there need to be compared against as you just never know. Get references and referrals and if you can see some of the work a contractor has done before you go ahead and book them, then all the better. For many homeowners, you’ll be enjoying a properly repaired driveway while someone less diligent has to search for a second repair contractor in as many months.

Getting a good quote for your concrete issues means setting up a system. So call a company like and ask when they can take a look – never accept an over the phone quote as they haven’t seen the job. When they arrive, ask what the quote covers and how they budget for any extras. If the contractor becomes defensive or says anything along the lines of ‘that’s just how it is’ get another quote immediately. Second opinions are invaluable in the business so if you ensure you get that extra opinion you can have a better idea of how a company works.

Companies uses a mix of cement and chemical binding agents to fill the cracks in your driveway or patio and minimise the chance of further breakage. Your concrete will never look as perfect as it did the day it was poured, and any company that tries to sell you otherwise is lying. It’s easy for the lie to come off as professional as you yourself will likely not be an expert! Real concrete professionals should be able to tell you what kind of crack you have – shrinkage, expansion, heaving, settling, overloading and premature drying are all common causes. A reputable contractor will also be able to tell you if your cement cracks are necessary and whether they occur along purposeful joints in the slab.

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Preparing Your Medical Instruments

Cleaning with precision is necessary for medical equipment but you have to follow the right steps before they can get to a place where they are cleaned en masse. You can find that solvents can be used from larger companies like for critical cleaning, but if you need a step by step guide to get you to the point of sterilisation, you’re in the right place!

Until recently, the most advanced sterilization technology was found only in large hospital sterilizers. There is now a growing demand for more sophisticated sterilization technologies in a variety of professions. By following a few simple steps, you can have clean, sterilized instruments that can be used in any medical situation. In this article, we are going to list for you how to prepare medical instruments for autoclave.3063516728_6e78d3d13e_b

  • Sort the instruments. Inspect every instrument as you sort to make sure it’s clean. Arrange the instruments based on what they’re used for and where they need to end up. Keeping them organised is essential because each instrument has a purpose. Make sure you know what your instruments are going to be used for next before you sort them.
  • Organise and wrap the instruments for distribution before the autoclaving process. If you wait until afterwards and open them, they won’t be sterile. Place instruments in pouches. Once you have your instruments sorted, you need to place them in sterilized pouches that can go into the autoclave. You should use special autoclave pouches designed to withstand the high temperatures of the autoclaves. The pouches have a strip of test tape that changes colour when the autoclave process is effective. Take each pile of instruments you sorted and place them in as many bags as necessary.
  • You shouldn’t have too many in a bag because it might hinder the sterilization process. Make sure that any instrument that can open, such as scissors, is left open when you put it into a pouch. The inside of the instruments need to be sterilized as well
  • Autoclaving in pouches is convenient because you can see the instruments you need when finished
  • Label the pouches. Once you have them locked in a pouch, you need to label each one so you and others will know what the instruments are needed for. Write the instrument names, the date, and your initials on the pouches. Seal each bag securely. If the bag doesn’t already have a test strip, attach one. This will show whether the sterilization was successful. You can now place the pouches in the autoclave.

Now you know how to autoclave your equipment, you can be ready for sterilisation. Medical instruments need to be meticulously counted and looked after, which will enable you to be able to track the equipment you use. Use the right solvents from companies like and you can’t go wrong. Operations cannot be performed with subpar equipment anymore – while that may have been okay when surgery was born, it’s definitely not okay now!

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