Types of Hardwood Flooring: Which is Best for You?

As manufacturing processes continue to improve and chemical treatments become more effective, the cost of hardwood floors goes down. Today, there are a variety of styles of hardwood flooring for homeowners looking to add some charm to their home. 

However, some homeowners are unsure about what type of hardwood floor to choose. Traditional solid wood flooring was once the only option, but now engineered surfaces can provide greater stability at a lower cost. The type of flooring that should be chosen is completely dependent on the wishes of the owner and in what capacity the floor will be used. 

Solid Wood Flooring

Solid composite wood Backyard Deck are planks of wood usually 3/4ths of an inch thick that are hewn from a single piece of lumber. They can be made from a variety of woods, including oak. These floors were used in all homes with hardwoods before the invention of engineered floors. They must be nailed or stapled to a wooden sub floor because glue would not withstand the shifting the wood does in different temperatures. 

This kind of Garden Floor is attractive, but it has some restrictions. The wood is susceptible to moisture and temperature. The wood expands and contracts based on the weather. This can cause cosmetic damage to the floor if it was not properly installed. The installation techniques used with solid planks also means that they can not be put directly over a concrete foundation. Also, they require more maintenance than engineered floors.

Solid wood flooring comes pre-finished or unfinished so the homeowner may choose which shade of stain they would like. Solid hardwoods are very resilient to refinishing, so the homeowner can change sand and re-stain them many times. They are also likely to add more value to the home overtime because of this.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Plastic Decking Lumber is made up of layers of hardwoods glued together with other materials like laminates. However, one should never mistake an engineered floor for a laminate. Laminate floors do not contain any solid wood and often sound hollow. Since engineered floors are covered with a strip of solid wood, they look almost exactly like a solid wood floor. 

These floors can be installed over concrete, because they can be glued in place. Some new types of engineered floors have snap-in systems that allow a floating floor to be put in without the use of glue or nails. Since the grain of the different layers of wood is runs in opposite directions, an engineered plank is also more stable and less susceptible to splitting. 

The composite flooring also uses less wood than solid floors, so it usually costs much less. It also comes finished or unfinished, but it cannot be refinished as much as a solid wood floor because it is possible to sand through the veneer.

Acrylic-Impregnated Wood Flooring

Acrylic-impregnated wood flooring is made of hardwoods injected with sealants and stain. This makes the wood very durable, but impossible to refinished. This kind of floor is rarely used in private construction.

Concerns about Hardwood Floors

Though hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to a home, recently some have been concerned that they are a frivolous use of slow-growing woods. Solid wood floors, especially, require the use of older and larger trees in order to produce a viable product.

Some notable alternatives are laminate and cork floors. Laminate uses wood byproducts and other materials to create a solid faux-wood surface, but many complain that it is noisy and easily damaged. Cork floors are durable and come from faster-growing trees.

Bamboo flooring has quickly become one of the most popular alternatives. The bamboo plant grows at a fantastic rate, so the source of the floor is renewed every year. The wood is also known for its resistance to moisture and damage.

Making the Right Decision

There are many factors a homeowner needs to consider before they choose their flooring. One of the first considerations is where the floor is going to be placed. Rooms with heavy traffic and moisture may spell disaster for a solid wood floor. 

Another factor is the home’s d�cor. Solid wood may be a better choice for specific stains and colors. Also, floors can come in long planks or parquet squares. The pattern one lays their floor in may greatly affect the look of the room.

The most important factor to decide on is cost. Overall, engineered floors will cost less. There are also extra costs like installation or finishing to budget for. A more expensive floor might come with a better warranty or installation price. Carefully weight these factors before choosing a new floor.

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What Goes In To A Composite Door?

Composite doors may be foreign to some people, most homes haven’t even gotten around to looking into UPVC window frames and doors when suddenly a newer, more impressive material comes out, or should that be materials?

Composite is defined as being a mixture of numerous materials; this is how composite doors are produced, by mixing a number of different materials together the ultimate door has been produced using materials such as wood, foam and UPVC to gain the many advantages that each component has but also filtering out the problems that material may have presented in the past.

For instance wood Security Fence is a material that responds to the weather, when it gets wet if untreated can cause the wood to rot and will need regular maintenance such as sanding, treating and painting in some cases throughout the year as well. UPVC was introduced as it was a more resilient material that requires very little maintenance; in fact most people are able to restore the colour and appearance from simple wiping their doors down with a damp cloth.

UPVC also has the added benefit of pockets of air being held within the door itself, these chambers increase rigidity and act as valuable insulation to help keep the warm air inside your home from being chilled by the cold air outside. UPVC though may have been easy to break into as some test found that some doors had ‘weak points’ where if the right amount of pressure was applied then a hinge or lock could be damaged, even quarter panels knocked out allowing the burglar access to your home.Ornamental Fence.

With composite doors the base of the door sis often a heavy wood to ensure that if outer layers are somehow penetrated there is still a heavy and thick wooden base to get through. Surrounding this wood is thick insulating foam that helps to retain the heat in your home and all of this covered in a strong and resilient GRP skin made from a form of fibre glass that can be coloured to suit your tastes and runs deep enough so any knocks or scratches are unlikely to pose any lasting damage.Composite Floor.

Around the edges composite doors have UPVC edging to increase the heat saving credentials even further as well as being mouldable for a wide range of locking mechanisms from hook points to dead bolts built in to your door. Composite doors are fast becoming popular with many more advanced and unique designs available including doors with windows and other features.

Tips For Properly Storing Seasoned Firewood

How can you be sure that you have enough firewood for the winter? Plan well in advance. Freshly cut and split logs are never recommended for burning because of their considerable moisture content; only seasoned firewood, which has an ideal moisture content of 15% to 20%, will provide you with an efficient fire that produces low emissions. According to the Wood Heat Organization, properly seasoned firewood has been "cut, split, and stacked…in the early spring and [left to] stand in the sun and wind all summer." Wood that is stacked in a single row, rather than stacked in back to back rows or thrown into a pile, allows for more air to circulate and more moisture to evaporate. Prepared in this fashion, firewood can be ready for burning in six months, but it never hurts to reserve the wood you cut and split this year for next year’s winter fires. 

Properly storing your seasoned firewood is a matter of significant importance, and there are a number of ways this can be accomplished. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when deciding where and how to store your seasoned firewood.Composite Decking Products.

Convenience and Insect Deterrence

Seasoned firewood to be used during the upcoming winter should be easy to retrieve, but storing logs against an outside wall of your home is not the best approach. Firewood invites insects and other pests, and if logs are stored next to the house, pests can enter your home or cause damage to your home’s exterior. Some of the best, most convenient places to keep your seasoned firewood are next to a fence or next to the shed or other outdoor storage building. If you find proof that your firewood has become home to insects or other pests, do not give into the temptation to douse the firewood with pesticides because burning these logs will produce toxic vapors that can be harmful. Composite wood decking.

Protection From Moisture

In order for firewood to burn most efficiently, it should be kept dry while being stored outside. If you have extra space available inside your outdoor shed or storage building, then firewood can be kept dry there. Otherwise, a simple tarp can cover your firewood to prevent it from soaking up moisture from rain or snow. Tarps are low in cost and can be fastened down quickly and easily to prevent them from blowing away. If your stack of firewood is in a location on your property that cannot be seen by passersby, then choosing to cover the stack with a tarp will not damage your home’s "curb appeal."

Elevation and Air Circulation

If stored directly on the ground, firewood can absorb moisture and attract pests. Storing your firewood in a sturdy Firewood Rack will keep your logs elevated, promote air circulation, and deter pests and wood rot. A Firewood Rack can be made by hand from wood, but a rugged tubular steel-framed Firewood Rack is easy to assemble, will not rust or rot, and comes in several different sizes, so you should have no problem finding the most suitable one to fit the space in which you will store your firewood.Composite decking.

Properly storing your seasoned firewood will guarantee that you can easily access it when you need it most without also sending an invitation to pests to invade your home. Proper storage will also ensure that your firewood stays dry while at the same time promoting air circulation. By following these simple tips, you will be sure to enjoy long-burning, low emission fires throughout the winter season.

Qizhen Wood is Prefered Over Composite Decking

What’s better, Qizhen wood, or composite decking? Decking manufacturers across the world will tell you different things depending on what they sell. However, there are certain facts that cannot be disputed when comparing these two decking materials. There are many benefits of building a deck with Qizhen wood. Qizhen offers the finest quality that wood has to offer. It is a cut above all other hardwoods. Qizhen wood is great for exterior residential and commercial uses, like outdoor furniture, decking, boardwalks and more. 

Qizhen wood is so highly regarded because of its exceptional beauty and its natural physical properties. Qizhen wood is very rich in color and appearance. It has a natural brown color, with some pieces displaying red and amber hues. When Qizhen is left alone, it will weather and change to a nice consistent light silver gray. A finish can be applied on an annual basis to hold Qizhen’s original color. Besides its visual appeal, it has the physical qualities that a superior deck should have. Qizhen wood is extremely strong, due to its tight grains and density. Because of the oils in the wood, it has the highest rating for resistance against insects. It is also resistant against rot, decay, moisture, weather and movement. It has a class A fire rating by the NFPA. Qizhen wood lasts much longer than most hardwoods, including redwood and cedar. It has been known to last up to 100+ years.Composite Wood Materials.

If you decide to use a hardwood that is beautiful and natural, choose Qizhen. If not, you can decide to go with something different like Composite wood. Composite wood is also used in many projects, most popularly decking. Because of the use of recycled plastics, many consider plastic decking eco-friendly. Manufacturers often position this product as a high end decking material. However, when you search for composite decking reviews, or complaints online, you will see recalls, and pictures of this product failing in many different ways. How can this be? Composite decking is a manufactured product, made up of a mixture of recycled materials and glue. These recycled materials consist of wood fibers and waste plastic. The plastic is actually a combination of high density polyethylene and PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which is known as a toxic plastic. Because there is a manufacturing process for the Composite materials, there could be quality issues. Composite decking is prone to rot, decay, mildew, mold and fungus because it is extremely porous and soaks up water easily. It is also affected by temperature, which means it expands and contracts with climate changes. These are just some of the few challenges people face when building a composite deck.Wood Composite Decking.

When it comes to building a deck, you want to use the most reliable product possible. Qizhen is a beautiful choice in quality decking. Avoid the hassles of Composite decking and use Qizhen wood on your next decking project.Decking Boards.

Choosing Between Laminate decking And Wood decking

Decking for your house, you can choose between laminate decking or wood decking. Both of these offer you options when it comes to having decks in your home that are easy on maintenance as well as easy on the eyes. If you want to update your home, then you should take a look at what is out there in the market today. One option that you may want to look at is laminate decking that looks like solid wood decking but is easier to put down as well as maintain. 

Wood decking is usually made of hardwood and needs to be installed by someone who knows the fundamentals of installing hardwood decks. A great deal of wood decking is made of oak as this is the one of the hardest of the wood decking options as well as the most economical. When you choose this type of wood decking, it is best to have basic carpentry skills as well as the ability to lay down the decking so that it lays flush to the Composite Decking Products. You will find that wood decking is a better alternate than wall to wall carpeting. 

Laminate decking is also another option when you are looking for decking for your home. Unlike solid wood decking, laminate decking is made of composite woods and is fully laminated. It comes in sections and must be glued down onto an underlay as well as a padding. You can purchase all of the materials that you need for laminate decking when you purchase this type of decking that comes in all different styles and colors to match the décor of your home. 

While you can easily put down laminate decking on your own, you may want to get a decking expert to put down hard wood decking. This depends upon your own carpentry knowledge as well as the tools that you have for the job. There are those who say that putting down hard wood decking is just as easy as putting down laminate decking. You will have to know how to miter corners such as the trim and the shoe for the bottom of the deck. This can be accomplished with a mitering tool that can be rented at a local home improvement store. Composite wood decking

One of the aspects that laminate decking has over wood decking is the fact that laminate decking is easier to keep clean and can withstand spills as well as water. For this reason, many of those who are looking for wood decking, or the wood Composite decking look in their homes will choose to have laminate decking for their bathrooms and kitchens, the two rooms where the most chances of water and spills can occur. Laminate decking is easy to clean up and can be cleaned with a damp mop as well as cleaning products that are made for this purpose. Unlike hard wood decking, laminate decking is easy to keep clean and can be mopped up without fear of warping. 

Understanding Renewable Energy 

Renewable energy is available in many forms. Solar, wind, biomass and geothermal are all forms of energy that can be used to power our homes.

According to the SEAI, “they offer sustainable alternatives to our dependency on fossil fuels as well as a means of reducing harmful greenhouse emissions and opportunities to reduce our reliance on imported fuels”. Furthermore, Renewable energy resources are constantly replenished through the cycles of nature – their supply will never be exhausted.

Fossil fuels, on the other hand, are finite resources. They will become increasingly scarce and expensive to extract and supplies will become concentrated in politically volatile areas of the world before reserves are finally exhausted”.

In 2008, renewable only accounted for 3.9% of total consumption in Ireland.

Homeowners can benefit from renewable technology. Switching to renewable can result in lower energy bills and less CO2 emissions.

70% of homeowner’s fuel consumption goes towards space heating and domestic hot water. There are renewable which can help alleviate against the high costs of this type of consumption. The following article will describe in more detail the different types of renewable available to homeowners today.

Biomass / Wood Fuel

Biofuel is a term used for biomass which has been prepared/upgraded to provide bioenergy. When plant material is burned for energy purposes carbon dioxide is released.

However, because plants absorb carbon dioxide during their life cycle, the net emissions of carbon dioxide are zero. In this way, wood is said to be carbon neutral.

Wood fuelled heating systems generally burn wood pellets, chips or logs to power central heating and hot water boilers or to provide warmth in a single room.

Examples of bio-energy burners include solid wood stoves, wood chip / pellet stoves and wood chip / pellet boilers.

There are two main ways of using wood to heat you home:

  • A standalone stove burning logs or pellets to heat a single room. Some can also be fitted with a back boiler to provide water heating as well.
  • A boiler burning pellets, logs or chips connected to a central heating and hot water system.

Purchasing Biomass Burners/Boilers

Consider the following points when thinking about purchasing a Biomass Burner or Boiler:

Modern wood-burning stoves are a huge improvement on the open fire for room heating. They convert 70 per cent of the fuel into useful heat. If you attach a back boiler, they can also help heat water and supply some radiators.

Automatic pellet stoves operate at 85 to 90 per cent efficiency. They spread the heat through convection, rather than traditional radiation, which means the room is heated more evenly and efficiently using a fan.

They are clean and easy to use, with automatic ignition and a thermostatic control. They have an integrated hopper, which automatically tops up the fuel. They generally hold enough fuel for one to three days operation. The ash pan needs to be emptied about once a month. It is also possible to add a back boiler to these.

Stoves are suitable for heating any room that has a chimney or a flue. If you are in a smokeless zone you will need to check the appliance before you buy.

If you want to attach a back boiler, you will need to check with your installer or plumber whether additional changes to your plumbing are necessary, especially if you’ve got a combi boiler.

Biomass boilers tend to be larger than the gas or oil equivalent. They also require about 6-7 cubic metres of space near where the boiler is sited to store the fuel (for an average size house).

You’ll also need to find out if there is at least one, or preferably a choice of, local fuel suppliers, as the cost of fuel varies according to the distance the supplier has to travel.

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