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5 Benefits For Loft & Garage Conversions

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Aside from the boosted living space, the positives of Derby loft conversions or Walsall garage conversions aren’t always obvious. In this article, we’re going to take you through the top 5 benefits that you can reap from converting your unused space into something more practical. Read on to find out more.

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1) Boosted house value

If you own the home that you’re living in or are still in the process of paying it off, a garage or loft conversion will add a serious chunk to your house value.

When the time comes to sell, you’ll be able to set the asking price significantly higher than it currently is, because you’ve got an additional room or two to offer to potential buyers. In most instances, you’ll be looking at a 20% price increase, which is a lot of money regardless of the current size of your property.

 

2) More space
If you’ve done it before, you’ll be more than aware that, while exciting, moving house is a massive hassle.

By converting your loft or garage conversion Birmingham, you’ll add much-needed space to your home that’ll give you some extra room to breathe – especially if you’ve got young children.
3) Reduce the need to upsize

Some of us love the family homes that we grow up in and are reluctant to move when the space gets too small. With loft and garage conversions, you can put wasted space to use and reduce the need to upsize to a new property.

If you’ve got a young family, this will save uprooting them to move to a new area, too. They’ll love being able to stay in the home they grew up in for longer, as well as not having to face the risk of potentially moving schools.

 

4) Boost your energy efficiency

No matter which way you look at it, climate change is happening and we’ve all got to do our part to reduce its impact. On the plus side, this will also help to save you money.

If you’ve got an older property, the chances are that the insulation isn’t as good as it could be. By converting your loft and garage space into extra rooms, you’ll be able to reduce your energy wastage and increase the savings you’ll make as a result. On top of that, you’ll end up with extra living space that you can repurpose as you see fit.

 

5) Make working from home easier

With the increased flexibility that employers are offering their staff, it’s getting more and more common for people to work from home for part or all of the week.

By getting a loft or garage conversion , you’ll be able to create a dedicated living space that you can use as a home office. A home office that’s separate from everything else will ensure that you can keep work life and family life separate.

Reasons To Convert Your Garage

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Convert your garage with http://www.tcleonard.co.uk and enjoy the extra space on the ground floor without reducing the natural daylight into other rooms. One of the major benefits of a garage conversion is cost. Converting your garage is more cost effective than moving to a new house, and is becoming much more popular. The cost of building a full extension or converting a loft is much more than a garage conversion.

loft conversionsA standard single garage conversion with http://www.tcleonard.co.uk is approximately 150 sq ft. and that’s too small to fit a family saloon (and be able to open the doors!) but that’s a lot of extra living space if you convert it as an integral part of your house. The perfect solution may lie in a ‘part conversion’ where typically the front or rear of the garage might be retained for storage whilst the rest of the garage is converted into a useable room.

How much do garage conversions cost?

A basic conversion will cost around £850-£1,150* per square metre – if the walls and floor are stable, there is a watertight roof, and the ceiling height is sufficient to leave around 2.2-2.4 metres of headroom after building up the floor by 15cm above external ground level. If the structure is attached to the house, rather than integral, and needs structural repairs, it may be more cost-effective to demolish and replace it.

Design fees range from £1,200-£2,500, plus £300-£400 for a structural engineer. A typical single garage conversion (18 square metres) would cost around £17,100-£23,900, and a double (36 square metres) £31,300-£43,300, plus VAT, depending on personal specifications.

Typically, garage conversions will cost more if the original structure is unsound. If you are going to spend a lot of money stabilising the building, knocking the original garage down and building from scratch might be cheaper.

Another factor to consider when costing garage conversions with http://www.tcleonard.co.uk is the perceived value that it will add to your home. Check the value of houses in your area, if there is little off-road parking, homes with garages might be valued higher than those without. Unless the added space is vital, don’t run the risk of reducing the value of your own home.

Partial garage conversions should cost less, but not by much. Fewer materials will be needed, but services, such as electrics and plumbing, will still have to be installed and budgeted for.

Planning permission for garage conversions

In the majority of cases, the work involved in converting a garage will be classed as permitted development. However, if you live in a Conservation Area, a location where development can be restricted to protect the appearance of the surroundings, or on a new estate with strict guidelines, it’s worth checking what’s allowed.

If in doubt, apply for a certificate of lawful development from your local authority at a cost of £86. Do remember, the removal of permitted development does not rule out the potential of a garage conversion, but you’ll need to ensure the design is sensitive to the setting and apply for full planning permission, which costs £172 in England. Listed properties will need listed building consent, too.

How Metals Are Used

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No kitchen instrument or style of cookware has quite the same vocal, enthusiastic community as cast iron. They write books about cast iron. They write love letters to cast iron. They sing the praises of the metal with a religious fervour, and they want to convert you. Since you’ve come here to learn how to clean cast iron, you’re probably already a disciple. Cast iron does have some unique properties, some of which we’ve listed below.20941822216_0bf2fe3619_k

  • It can withstand extreme heat, making it ideal for frying and sautéing.
  • It also distributes heat with perfect uniformity, preventing hotspots and burns. This also helps for making crusts and baking in the oven.
  • Because of its seasoning, cast iron is also non-stick
  • Cast iron is porous, and these pores are sealed with cooking oils. Not only does this create the non-stick surface and prevent rust, it adds flavour and verve to your food.

You wouldn’t use a driphos metal pretreatments  to clean your kitchen equipment, but you might choose to use them to clean your medical equipment if you were in a hospital or a dentist. So how do you clean this wondrous metal? Well, cleaning cast iron is different. The dishwasher is out of the question. Soap is frowned upon. Don’t be alarmed: the heat of cast iron cookware will kill any germs. Read below to learn how to clean cast iron – a versatile metal, well-suited for both professional kitchens and campfires.

  • Never use a dishwasher to clean cast iron. One drawback (a minor one) of cast iron is that it rusts easily. Once your cast iron skillet, Dutch oven, kettle, griddle, or other cookware develops rust, you’ll have to strip the cast iron’s cherished seasoning to get rid of it
  • To clean cast iron, you’ll need salt, cooking oil, and your stove. Many cast iron enthusiasts will insist that water and soap are never needed for regular cleaning. Instead, they rub their cookware with salt and then put it over a low flame to evaporate any moisture from cooking.
  • Lastly, apply a very thin layer of cooking oil all over the cast iron with a paper towel. This will prevent rust and protect the seasoning. It is best to clean cast iron when it’s warm; just like our skin, heat opens the pores in cast iron and helps it to release food and built up fat.
  • Store cast iron cookware in a cool, dry place. You don’t want to remove rust and re-season often – the seasoning grows more precious and flavourful with age. Keeping your cast iron cookware in a cool dry place, and using it often, will prevent rusting. If your cast iron piece has a lid, place a paper towel inside to absorb any moisture that may accumulate. If you don’t have much room, the oven is a great place to store your cast iron.

Just don’t forget that it’s in there when preheating the oven for dinner!

Tax Debt: Ways To Deal With It

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16335044079_93f589bbc2_oIRS tax debt is a serious financial issue that should be quickly addressed. An Offer in Compromise is a settlement on your IRS debts so organising this is very important. If you have a tax debt from past years or have already done your taxes for this year and expect to owe money, you can always find a solution. The solution is not to ignore the debt and seeking the right advice from companies such as platinumtaxdefenders.com will help you on your way to tax debt freedom.

Don’t be ashamed to seek help; that’s exactly what it is there for! Finding the right attorney to help you on your case is part of the whole solution to your tax issues so get dialling today. Although the IRS has only ten years to collect on a tax debt, it has many very powerful tools at its disposal during those ten years and it can really take the stress off of you if you just deal with the debt now and fast than leave it. Possible solutions can include personal loans and savings, arranging instalment agreements to arrange a payment plan for your tax debt and an offer in compromise. If you owe an IRS tax debt, the best solution is to borrow funds or use savings to pay it. Better to pay that in full and repay a loan company or rebuild savings than have a blemish on your credit.

By paying the full balance when it’s due, the amount you owe will be much lower than if you request one of the IRS payment options, which will include penalties and interest. If you borrow against your home to pay the IRS tax debt, the interest you pay may actually be tax deductible. Be careful when considering drawing on a retirement fund to pay the debt as it could very well lead to additional taxes being owed. Check with a professional and the retirement plan administrator whenever you consider taking money from a retirement plan.

If you prepare your taxes before the deadline and realise you will be owing the IRS tax, you can file for an extension of time to pay. Depending on your individual circumstances, the extension can be anywhere from thirty to one hundred and twenty days. Pay as much as you can early to reduce the late-pay penalties and interest owed. Filing an extension will protect you from the late filing penalties which are severe. If you are experiencing financial hardship or other personal hardship like illness or a loss of financial records due to natural disaster, the IRS may grant a temporary delay of payment of your tax debt. In some cases, penalties may also be waived, but interest usually applies. You must contact the IRS to request the delay and the sooner you do this the sooner you can be helped. There are a lot of ways to get help when you encounter a tax debt and if you act quickly you can get this help sorted out long before any major penalties are handed to you.

5 Reasons To Hire An Interior Designer

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It’s something to think about if you haven’t already done so. Hiring an interior decorator is a smart decision if you’ve invested a good bit of money into your home and want to be able to showcase it to look its best. Decorators truly serve a purpose for everyone. Whether you have no idea where or how to begin to decorate your home, or whether you have an idea but need help tying pieces together, or you simply haven’t the time to execute your style and desires due to your busy day to day schedule. It’s this that should show you that you need an Hertfordshire Interior designer.

Toss aside the idea that interior decorators are only for the rich and famous or those with so much money that they don’t know what to do with it all. In reality they save you a great deal of time and money and headache medicine!

1. Save Money.

It might sound strange that hiring someone to decorate your home would save you money since you have the additional fee of the designer, however, hiring a designer can help you to avoid costly mistakes that will not only help you save money but can increase the value of your home.

Hertfordshire Interior designer

2. Professional Assessment.

A designer can give you a professional assessment of your situation, that will will lead to a solid plan of action. The order of things in a design plan is key in determining what can be repurposed or should be edited. This will not only effect the budget but help you to spend it more efficiently.” A designer offers an extra set of eyes, but these eyes are trained to see and notice things that you may not.

 

3. Budgeting and Planning.

A designer can keep you on budget and save you time and effort. A designer knows where to go for resources for everything related to your home. This will save you endless amounts of time researching products, brands and prices. A designer will have all this readily on hand, and should he or she not, will spend the time researching so that you don’t have to.

4. Liaison

A designer will be able to build “a stronger bridge between you and your architect or contractor early on and can head off design misses in your overall plan. This is crucial in managing time and money. Also designers are trained to think about things we may overlook. “It’s so important that the lighting and furnishing needs are addressed before construction. If your living room sofa is floating in the middle of the room you want to make sure you have the proper placement for floor outlets.”

5. Wide availability of resources.

There are things available to designers that are not available to the general public in terms of connections, resources and general merchandise. By culminating these resources designers can  help to make your space look more collected, unique and pulled together.

Fitting A Kitchen

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Instead of paying hundreds (or even thousands) of pounds to have your new kitchen fitted by somebody else, why not fit it yourself?

Fitting A Kitchen

Most competent DIYers have the ability to do this kind of work, and if you fall short of all the required skills, you can bring in the specialists that do kitchen fitting berkshire as and when required.

To completely fit new kitchen fitting Hertfordshire you need to be a competent DIYer, with good skills in carpentry and a good knowledge of electrical and plumbing work. If some of the work needs to be carried out by a plumber, (Gas Safe registered for gas work – use this site to check your engineer) joiner or an electrician then these are costs that need to be considered.

Even with these costs you can save a lot of money fitting the kitchen units yourself. I was recently quoted around £1500 to fit a basic kitchen and the quote excluded plumbing and electrical work so there are great savings to be made with DIY.

Fitting a new kitchen isn’t a ‘two minute job’ and requires a lot of tools :-

  • Battery drill / driver plus wood and masonry drill bits
  • Electricians screwdrivers
  • Power / pipe detector
  • Claw / lump hammers
  • Bolster chisel
  • Spirit level
  • Pliers
  • Side cutters
  • Pump pliers
  • Saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Tape measure
  • Sealant gun
  • Square
  • Marker pens

Don’t forget safety equipment such as goggles, face mask and gloves. If you are using 240volt power tools use an RCD protection device.

Always remember safety comes first, check before starting work where the services are in the kitchen, use a power / pipe detector to check for hidden live cables and water / gas pipes before removing the old kitchen units, drilling holes or chasing out walls.

Fitting a kitchen – Plan the layout

To plan your new kitchen layout start by taking measurements of the kitchen area.  When you have finished it is worthwhile double checking your measurements to save a lot of future problems.

These are some points to consider with your layout :-

  • The sink unitis usually positioned under a window.
  • Sink units and hobs should not be positioned too near or on a joint in a worktop.
  • Washing machines and dishwashers should ideally be positioned near the sink as this will reduce the amount of plumbing required.
  • Hobs require space on either side for pan handles.
  • Extraction units should be installed either near, or preferably on, an outside wall.
  • Don’t ‘box in’ any gas appliances as they require good airflow for correct operation and safety.
  • Are the existing services in suitable positions for your new kitchen layout, i.e. sockets and switches should not be positioned above hobs or cookers.
  • Will the new kitchen be user friendly and practical?
  • Wall units and the base units below them, should where possible, be the same width, so doors and handles line up.
  • Sockets should be around 150mm from the finished worktop to allow room for the plug top flex, they can of course go higher, if you know the size of tiles you are going to use, it is in my opinion easier to tile if the socket(s) are on the tile line.

Before you carry out any electrical work in the home check out the building regulations on the Government or local authority website specifically the Part P regulations  andElectrical safety in the home. Although I am aware of the current rules it is worth reading the latest regulations as they have been updated in the past.

Any gas work will require a Gas Safe registered plumber!

Flooring That’s Great For Your Home

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Today’s selection of hard surfaces can be overwhelming and includes hardwood, laminate and tile. For the average consumer, eight to twelve months go by from the time they decide they want a new floor to their final purchase date. Spending just a fraction of that time learning about various options can ensure they will enjoy their beautiful investment for years to come. Homeowners should consider the characteristics of the individual product and the rooms involved before making their purchase. Companies like arcflooring.co.uk can really assist you with this.

Hardwood flooring20

Hardwood flooring is known for its timeless beauty and durability. It increases home value and adds warmth and character to any space. Recent strides have been made in factory-applied finishes, including the addition of aluminum oxide. The durability of this material adds years to the wear warranty. Though the finishes address surface wear, consumers should still consider the hardness rating when selecting a species for their home. Hardwood flooring is susceptible to denting, so the higher the hardness rating the better in very active rooms. Most exotic hardwoods have very high ratings and are excellent choices for rooms that house a pool table, a piano or other heavy furniture that would damage softer woods like pine or maple. One thing to keep in mind about exotic wood flooring is that the light-sensitivity and a visible darkening of the floor can be witnessed over just six months. Area rugs should be either moved from place to place over this initial oxidation period or temporarily avoided to allow the floor to darken uniformly.

Laminate flooring

For active families concerned over possible damage to hardwood floors, modern laminates are a great option. Far removed from the earlier styles, new laminate floors have texture, color and grain variation with bevelled edges to make them look more like real wood. Since the surfaces of laminates are made exclusively of non-porous aluminum oxide, they are warrantied for stain, fade, wear and moisture. The fade-resistance of laminates can be important in rooms with many windows and makes it possible to install one room at a time without worrying about future color match.

Laminate moisture warranties usually cover only surface spills, so keep in mind that water is an enemy of both laminates and hardwood, doing severe damage in the case of a flood or plumbing leak. The proper cleaners evaporate quickly and should always be used to avoid adding moisture to the floor. Neither hardwoods nor laminates are typically warrantied for scratches, though laminates are more scratch resistant. A matte finish makes surface scratches less visible than a hi-gloss hardwood floor. Warranty instructions for either flooring option recommend felt pads under furniture and the use of rubber wheels rather than plastic or metal-wheeled casters.

Tile flooring

Because of the potential for damage due to plumbing leaks, consumers sometimes opt for tile in kitchens and bathrooms. Ceramic, porcelain and stone tiles are available to suit any decor.

Ceramic tiles are either red-clay or white-clay bodies with a baked decorative glaze on the surface. This glaze has a PEI, or hardness rating, of one to five, with five being the hardest. Residential floor tiles require a rating of three or better and ratings of four or five are usually thicker and baked at a higher temperature, making them more durable.

How Pre-Treatments Are Used For Metals

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We often pre-treat certain elements of the home and in industrial cases, we pre-treat in medical equipment and aerospace equipment. We also pre-treat for paint before metals. A high-quality conversion coating is essential for the durability of painted metal goods. The process of applying an inorganic conversion coating to a metallic surface involves removing any surface contaminants, then chemically converting the clean surface into a non-conductive, inorganic conversion coating. Conversion coatings increase the overall surface area and promote adhesion of the subsequently 20941822216_0bf2fe3619_kapplied organic film. In addition, conversion coatings change the chemical nature of the surface, which increases corrosion resistance.

It is these two functions, increasing surface area and changing the surface chemistry, that serve as a base for preparing the substrate material for paint finishes. There are a number of driving forces in the pretreatment industry today with quality, cost and the environment being the most predominant. While these aren’t new issues, the pretreatment industry has responded to the needs of finishers by creating technology to address each of these requirements. In understanding the complete manufacturing process, including paint formulations, application equipment and regulatory impacts, it’s possible to address each driver simultaneously. Companies like envirotech-europe.com supply solvents and cleaning solutions for metals. The conversion coating chemistries predominately used today are either zinc or iron phosphate. There is movement to replace these technologies with new types of phosphate-free or very-low-phosphate metal pretreatments. The new-generation technologies have been commercialised by many vendors over the past several years and are rapidly becoming industry standards. Regardless of the chemistry, conversion coatings are used to promote adhesion and improve corrosion resistance. Depending on the conversion coating and the desired performance, the conversion coating can be applied at a number of points in the process.

Before the first coat of powder ever gets applied, you have a decision to make: “How are you going to prepare your metal?”. To get the best powder coating results, the surface you will be coating must be clean. Depending on the quality and type of metal, there are different levels of cleaning and pretreatment to consider. You should also account for your customer’s requirements and how long the part should last in the field. First, determine what you’ll be coating the most often. If you are coating sheet steel, for example, you will usually only need light oil cleaning. Angle iron or castings often need sand/shot blasting to remove scale and surface rust. Aluminium is prepared differently than galvanised or regular steel; the oxidation layer of aluminium must be removed, which requires certain chemicals that provide a good etched layer for paint adhesion. Identifying which type of cleaning is right for your process is the first step in long-lasting, quality results.

The most common types of metal cleaning are:

Blasting. Blasting with sand or shot is a great way to clean up metal scale, laser scale, rough welds, or heavily rusted steel. Blasting is also used to strip off previously coated metal for refinishing. While blasting smooths out a lot of surface defects in raw metal, it does not fully clean the metal of oils or other contaminants. However, blasting does create a more adhesive surface for the powder coating after the part has been cleaned of residual soils.

Washing. Pressure washing, dipping, or automatic washing (with a soap specifically formulated for the soils specific to your fabricating process) are the most effective ways of cleaning the metal prior to the next finishing stage. Steam cleaning or hot water helps break down the oils and can reach difficult spots or gaps in the surface. Detergent is the best way of cleaning metal of oils, waxes, polishing compounds, or other substances that will prevent the powder from sticking to the metal.

Wiping. Solvent wiping is another way to clean up the metal of surface oils and contaminants, but it is an inaccurate way to clean. Since the part is manually wiped with rags, the rags can become saturated with the oil you are trying to remove.

Advantages Of Being An Interior Decorator

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Many creative jobs require a talent for creating beautiful things like music and art, but decorating requires the ability to know which beautiful things go well together in a space. Becoming an interior decorator is a smart career choice for creative types with a clever color sense, smart space planning skills and an appreciation for chic design styles. Take a peek at the perks of being an interior decorator.

Creativity Pays

Making a living can be difficult for artistic types struggling to sell artwork or land a recording deal, but interior decorators work in a creative career that pays. While you’ll still have to deal with more mundane tasks such as balancing budgets and arranging installation schedules, the bulk of your workload requires you to be a visionary who can see beyond the décor that already exists in a space. Decorators with timeless-interiors.co.uk get paid to flex their imagination while making over interiors.furniture-802031_960_720

Ditching Construction Troubles

An important distinction to remember is the difference between an interior decorator and an interior designer. To become licensed, interior designers go through extensive training that allows them to get involved in the designing and redesigning of a space’s architecture. As a result, interior designers are involved with interiors during the construction or remodeling process and must battle to keep builders on schedule. While interior decorators might make minor changes to a room’s interior, such as replacing doors or changing out trims, they are mainly hired to decorate existing spaces. Working with existing architecture means you won’t have to hassle with construction crews.

Shopping for a Living

If you’re considering a career as an interior designer, at least a part of you must love to shop. Aside from arranging the floor plan and picking wall colors or coverings, a good portion of your time will be spent shopping for furniture and accessories to feature in the interior’s design. But don’t expect to spend your days strolling the local shopping mall; most decorators avoid the mass-market offerings at big box stores and instead focus on finding one-of-a-kind items. This means scouring the town for antique stores and specialty shops that stock unique, custom-designed pieces.

Client Variety

The complaint creative types have regarding standard office jobs is facing the same imagination-draining work day after day. This pitfall of the daily grind isn’t a problem for an interior decorator because, thanks to client variety, no two days are ever the same. One day you might be decorating the bedrooms and common spaces in a private home, and the next you’ll be taking on the interior of a hotel or a restaurant. And every client comes with her own ideas regarding colors and design styles. Some jobs you’ll be playing with shabby chic pastels and others you’ll be knee-deep in jewel-toned Moroccan decor. Even if you spend several years decorating only private living rooms, you’ll always have the challenge of varying space plans and changing client taste.

Flooring That’s Great For Your Home

Posted by on 2:31 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Flooring That’s Great For Your Home

Today’s selection of hard surfaces can be overwhelming and includes hardwood, laminate and tile. For the average consumer, eight to twelve months go by from the time they decide they want a new floor to their final purchase date. Spending just a fraction of that time learning about various options can ensure they will enjoy their beautiful investment for years to come. Homeowners should consider the characteristics of the individual product and the rooms involved before making their purchase. Companies like arcflooring.co.uk can really assist you with this.

Hardwood flooring20

Hardwood flooring is known for its timeless beauty and durability. It increases home value and adds warmth and character to any space. Recent strides have been made in factory-applied finishes, including the addition of aluminium oxide. The durability of this material adds years to the wear warranty. Though the finishes address surface wear, consumers should still consider the hardness rating when selecting a species for their home. Hardwood flooring is susceptible to denting, so the higher the hardness rating the better in very active rooms. Most exotic hardwoods have very high ratings and are excellent choices for rooms that house a pool table, a piano or other heavy furniture that would damage softer woods like pine or maple. One thing to keep in mind about exotic wood flooring is that the light-sensitivity and a visible darkening of the floor can be witnessed over just six months. Area rugs should be either moved from place to place over this initial oxidation period or temporarily avoided to allow the floor to darken uniformly.

Laminate flooring

For active families concerned over possible damage to hardwood floors, modern laminates are a great option. Far removed from the earlier styles, new laminate floors have texture, color and grain variation with beveled edges to make them look more like real wood. Since the surfaces of laminates are made exclusively of non-porous aluminum oxide, they are warrantied for stain, fade, wear and moisture. The fade-resistance of laminates can be important in rooms with many windows and makes it possible to install one room at a time without worrying about future color match.

Laminate moisture warranties usually cover only surface spills, so keep in mind that water is an enemy of both laminates and hardwood, doing severe damage in the case of a flood or plumbing leak. The proper cleaners evaporate quickly and should always be used to avoid adding moisture to the floor. Neither hardwoods nor laminates are typically warrantied for scratches, though laminates are more scratch resistant. A matte finish makes surface scratches less visible than a hi-gloss hardwood floor. Warranty instructions for either flooring option recommend felt pads under furniture and the use of rubber wheels rather than plastic or metal-wheeled casters.

Tile flooring

Because of the potential for damage due to plumbing leaks, consumers sometimes opt for tile in kitchens and bathrooms. Ceramic, porcelain and stone tiles are available to suit any decor.

Ceramic tiles are either red-clay or white-clay bodies with a baked decorative glaze on the surface. This glaze has a PEI, or hardness rating, of one to five, with five being the hardest. Residential floor tiles require a rating of three or better and ratings of four or five are usually thicker and baked at a higher temperature, making them more durable.

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