How Bamboo Flooring is Made – Edmonton Renovations

Bamboo is an environmentally friendly flooring option that is beautiful and dependable. Bamboo is a renewable resource in that it reaches maturity in as little as three years, rather than the decades it takes for most hard woods to mature. Bamboo is actually a tall, tree-like grass that grows all over the world. What follows are the steps typically taken in the manufacture of bamboo flooring.

Obviously, the first step in making bamboo flooring is to harvest the bamboo. Bamboo grows all over the world, so this could happen anywhere, although if the bamboo is intended for flooring it probably comes from renovations edmonton.

After harvesting bamboo, which usually takes place in three to six years, the bamboo’’s outer layer of green skin is removed and the logs, or technically stalks, are sliced into long strips. These strips are also called “fillets.” The strips are then cut into a width appropriate for the particular flooring being produced. In many cases, the next step is a darkening process. The bamboo strips will be steamed under pressure, which helps bring out a more robust color. Unfortunately, the steaming process tends to soften the bamboo, making it more susceptible to scratching and damage. For this reason, darker bamboos may not be good choices for flooring in highly trafficked areas of a home or business.

The bamboo strips will then be graded for quality. A bamboo flooring manufacturer will often sell its lower quality bamboo to other companies for use in discount flooring. It is sometimes, but not always, the case that heavily discounted bamboo flooring is derived from these lower quality bamboo strips.

In order to lock in a certain degree of moisture, the strips are then dried with a kiln, prior to final milling. Moisture content is a very important component of a wood used for flooring. Bamboo that has too much moisture may shrink and show gapes in the flooring. After drying, the strips are glued together to form wider strips, or planks. The planks are then hot pressed to permanently bind the strips together.

The planks are then milled to form the final hardwood flooring pieces that can be assembled together to form a floor. Bamboo floor planks often incorporate the traditional tongue and groove system for installation, although there are some popular alternatives.

Excess bamboo resulting from the milling work described above is used to create a different type of flooring called “strand-woven bamboo flooring.” Another name for it is “distressed bamboo flooring.” This type of bamboo flooring is made by laminating the excess bamboo with some type of adhesive. The material is then pressed under great pressure. The resulting product is then milled and finished, resulting in a wood flooring plank that looks much like any other.

Bamboo is rapidly gaining popularity as a flooring choice for homes and businesses. However, you may find wide differences in the quality of bamboo flooring from one retailer to the next. It is advisable that you acquire a sample before making the investment. Assuming you are buying from a retailer of high quality products, you will be amazed at the beauty and utility of your new bamboo floor.


How to Choose Vinyl Floor Tile – Home Improvement Canada

If you are looking for an economical way to put new flooring in a room, vinyl floor tile may be the answer for you. You have several points to consider when making your tile selection.

First, do you want self-stick tiles or ones that requiring glue? The peel-and-stick type are easier and less messy to put down. However, they are also more prone to curling edges and loosening.

Next, what size of tile do you prefer? You can get planks that resemble hardwood flooring. Tiles are often found in one square foot sizes. There is also an 18-inch size. Each size can lend a different look to the room. Also, the 18-inch size will have fewer cracks for liquids to get under and to peel up later. The one-foot size or planks may be easier to handle when laying the tile, however the bathroom renovations calgary.

What patterns do you like? You can find many different designs. Some are simulated to look like hardwood flooring. Others may look like various stone floors. Still more are solid color. These can lend themselves to interesting designs where you alternate tiles of different colors or maybe use a different color tile to edge the room or highlight a focal point. You can also find other designs such as florals.

What is your price range? While your first instinct may be to go with the cheapest tile, this probably isn”t your best option. Vinyl tile vary in thickness and durability. If you are putting the tile in a very light traffic area, you may be able to get by with cheaper tile. If you have pets and/or kids or lots of foot traffic, then you will want to get a floor that will hold up to the abuse.

Where are you planning to put the tile? Bathrooms and kitchens tend to be high-moisture areas. In this case, the tiles that require gluing may work better since the self-stick tiles may loosen over time. Tiles coming up can also be a concern in areas that are below-grade such as basements. In fact, vinyl tile may not be the best choice for such areas.

Do you want to match a pattern? Some tiles have obvious patterns like stripes. Others may have arrows indicating which side is up, but the pattern isn’t as obvious. Getting a pattern to line up can be tricky and may not look good if your room isn’t square and your striped tile emphasizes that fact.

By taking the above considerations into account, you should be able to select the best vinyl tile for your floor.

entry way

8 Ways to Spruce up Your Entryway – Renovations Canada

Probably all of your really good friends and neighbors always knock on the back door, but when strangers approach your house they go to the front door. So your front door is really where you make your first impression on anyone new visiting your house. Take a stroll up your front walkway to your front door. You may be surprised what you find.

Clean – Clean your doorway. Cobwebs never make a good first impression, unless you are a vampire and it is Halloween! Too often when we enter our home through a garage or back door, the front doorway is forgotten. If you never use it, make a point to enter your house through it occasionally just for a spot check.

Fresh Paint – Make sure that the paint on your door is fresh and not peeling or chipping. When you are repainting your front door consider giving it a bold, new color like black or red for a little extra drama in your curb appeal.

New Hardware – If you have had the same doorknob and doorknocker for twenty years; maybe it is time for a change. If you love your existing hardware consider refurbishing it, and then add your house number in big, shiny letters to your entryway for a fresh look.

Decorative Wreath – It is extremely easy to simply hang a wreath on the front door for instant seasonal decoration. It can be something as simple as branches and dried flowers in the autumn, an herb wreath for the springtime, flowers for summertime, and of course holly and berries for wintertime.

Stained Glass – Consider updating a plain glass door with a new, stained glass panel to add beautiful color and interest to your door. If stained glass does not appeal to you then consider some of the beautiful beveled glass panels available today to add a spark of new life to your front door.

Front Porch – If you are lucky enough to have a front porch, then use it. Make the entryway to your porch inviting. You can soften architectural lines with potted plants or hanging baskets, but take care to leave walkways unobstructed.

Doorknob Hanger – If you do not want to display a wreath on your front door, consider a doorknob ornament. Frequently children artwork is perfect for this purpose. In the absence of artwork however, a simple batch of dried flowers tied with a decorative ribbon will put your signature on your front door.

Light – Check your front light to make sure it still works especially if you normally enter and exit your house through the garage. Make sure your front light fixtures are in good repair, and make sure that they give off adequate light so that your visitors can travel up your front walkway without risking injury. You may also consider updating your light fixtures to give fresh new look to your entryway.


Understanding How a Flat Roof Works – Home Improvement Canada

Historically flat roofs have been used mainly in the Middle East, the American southwest including other places where the climate is arid and dry and drainage of rainwater off a house roof is not of great concern. As opposed to a sloping roof that is pitched at an angle a flat roof is flat with a more or less horizontal layout. In fact is not totally flat but usually incorporates a slight slope that is roughly equivalent to 1 percent of the run of the roof to aid draining water from the roof into gutters/drains located at the lower side of the grade.

Although sloping roof designs have been preferred in the US in the past flat roofs are fast gaining popularity because new technology has enabled a reduction/elimination of the disadvantages associated with flat roofs in cold climatic conditions that allowed formation of ice dams that blocked free flow of water off the roof making inhabitants suffer roof leaks as water pooled on the roof. An inherent advantage of a flat roof is that it is easier to inspect as compared to a sloping roof.

The flat surface reduces dead space, which is common to sloping roofs and creates usable space that can serve as a terrace garden or open outdoor space to be used as a relaxing area or for other activities. Low construction cost is another advantage attributable to flat roofs. They also lower costs for constructing upper floors in the house. Flat roofs allow the most efficient use of urban space, cater to energy savings and offer architectural freedom to conveniently cover complex architectural plans.

Flat roofs that invite regular pedestrian traffic are constructed more sturdily than those exposed to occasional foot traffic. The roof substrate of load bearing roofs is usually made from plywood panels that are 15mm in thickness where the joist spacing is not more than 480mm. 800 mm joist spacing would require 21 mm thick plywood. The face grain of the plywood is placed at right angles to the supporting joists with the long edges of the plywood panels laid in a brick bond pattern over the framing. Long panels are supported by nogging in the timber frame or incorporate tongue and groove edges allowing a continuous plywood surface over two spans.

The smooth flat surface created by structural plywood panels provides the most perfect base for the membrane overlays to be placed on top. The membranes are attached to the roof substrate using three different methods known as fully adhered, independent and semi independent.

Fully adhered membranes are attached completely to the surface, which should be very stable and have minimum flex. The membrane itself should be elastic and resilient to cope with any movement in the substrate. Bridging strips are used to cover the edging lines of the plywood panels in fully adhered systems. These strips are usually made from the membrane material itself. The fully adhered system has a higher resistance to foot traffic and is more stable in hot and cold contractions and expansions. It is also makes it easier to trace leaks.

Independent membranes are made to be non attachable to the substrate and are just laid on top. To prevent automatic adhesion under the heat of the sun there is a fiber veil on the membrane underside along with fiber backed base sheet membranes with open non-woven polyester on their lower side. These are usually used on concrete slabs or pre-cast concrete panels as they are ballasted with gravel and therefore heavy. It is difficult to trace leaks in this type of membrane attachment.

Semi-independent membranes are partially bonded to the substrate and are the best option in case of a less stable or partially damp bonding surface. The partial bonding is accomplished by adhesion through perforated vent sheet underlays or by applying adhesives partially in strips or certain areas only through trickle application of adhesives. Membranes that are fixed through flame bonding are partially flame bonded. This type does not require heavy protection and allows vapor to be diffused.

water damage

Tips On Preventing Water Damage To Your Home – Home Renovations Canada

There are a million ways in which water damage can affect a homeowner’’s property and cost them thousands in damages for cleaning it up. Water damage can be anything from a leaking hot water heater to a flood from a hurricane or major storm. Even moisture from a basement or crawl space can wreak havoc on a home. Here are some things to check in order to help prevent water damage to your home:

Check out your pipes. This is a very important thing to do to prevent any future issues. Be sure and check the basement and under sinks and in closets where water pipes are evident. Looks for leaking pipes and especially moisture and condensation on pipes. While some condensation is normal, a heavy amount is not. When in doubt, have a plumber check out your piping.

Replace old and worn out water tanks and water heaters. Water heaters tend to rust out over time. The worst part is that the rust happens from the inside which makes it invisible to the outside. It is always best practice to drain your water heater from time to time. If you are savvy enough, drain it yourself and pay particular attention to the color of the water coming out. If its rust color, then you may need to replace the heater. Same goes for water tanks, filtration systems,etc.

Check walls for cracks and repair them. cracks in walls can allow moisture to enter your home which can cause mold and mildew. Cracks tend to happen as a result of a settling. Over time, your house’’s foundation will settle somewhat and sometimes cracks can occur due to this natural process.

Roofing replacement. if you have a conventional roof system(asphalt shingles, flat roofing,etc.) then make sure you replace any damaged or worn shingles or flat roofing membranes. Shingles typically have a 15 year life span, so be sure and know how old the roofing is. Also make sure your home’’s gutters are debris free and fully functional. Also, make sure they are not leaking. A leaking gutter can damage the fascia board on your home and eventually find its way into your home. Many times the water is invisible and out of sight which, if left unchecked, can create a breeding ground for mold.

Windows, doors, skylights, and seals. Be sure and check all exterior doors and window seals for leakage. A good way to test a seal is to use a flashlight and shine it between the seal and the door or window frame. If you see light between the seal and the door frame or window frame, now is the time to replace them. Skylights are notorious for leaks. Skylights tend to leak a lot over time. Be sure and check the seals on them and remove any debris from the skylight from the topside. Accumulated leaf debris is a major cause of deterioration to skylight seals.

Take care of your home by doing preventative maintenance on a consistent basis. This can and will save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Waiting to fix the problem will only cost you money and time and can even lower your home’’s resale value.