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Kitchen Cabinets & Flooring



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What Questions Should We Ask Before Putting In A Laminate or Hardwood Floor?

Posted by xtian984 on April 27, 2015 at 3:35 PM Comments comments ()

You know, in our world, we seem to ask the right questions after we have installed whatever we want – too late right? A proper floor isn’t just about what will look good; it is also about our uses for that same floor! What about the importance of being able to clean that floor easily?

Usually, the first thing I consider when I am thinking of installing a new floor is the cost – is the cost suitable for my budget? I am not just thinking of the floor here; but if you must buy felt pads for under the chair legs, or any other stationary piece of furniture these costs must fit into your budget as well so they must be considered before the point of sale. Little things such as felt pads can add up to more than expected.

The first thing to come to mind is that you must know what you are shopping for e.g., solid wood floor or engineered floor? Which one would serve your purposes better? Both of these floors are environmentally friendly so the main decision is where do you want to install this floor?

Solid wood flooring can be used anywhere but the basement of any home or building – concrete and solid wood flooring doesn’t match. Engineered floors are more dimensionally stable and can be nailed or stapled to a wood subfloor or a concrete slab.

An engineered wood floor is still 100% wood that can be re-sanded and re-finished, just not as often as other varieties of real wood floors.

As to the species of your floors, that depends on your own personal style and desires. Light floors (ash or maple) generally make a room more open and airy; medium floors (hickory and oak) make a room cozy and warm while the dark floors (walnut or mahogany) make a room appear more stately and refined. Every wood species is rated by hardness and durability as rated by the Janka Scale – ask the salesperson about the Janka Scale (this is very important and is and is very important to know this based on the traffic you will have on this floor).

In my experience, you should always buy more flooring than you need due to the fact of a piece of flooring put in incorrectly and/or matching colors for a fix-up later.

There are some myths around that say pets may damage your floors, you can’t sweep the floor anymore with a broom, shoes will hurt this floor and I can go on and on, but I won’t. As for the pets damaging your floor, just like you cut your nails on a regular basis, your pet’s nails should be cut on a regular basis as well. As far as not sweeping the floors with a broom, do you really think that a solid wood floor can’t be swept? Floor manufacturers wouldn’t be in business very long if people were unable to sweep their floors. I do recommend that you vacuum your floors once a week to get all that dust that you can’t get with the broom, but feel free to use a broom anytime. Yes, certain shoes will hurt or dent your floor, but unless you want to hear the staccato of those heels on the floor, you won’t be wearing your shoes in the house anyways.

If you are unsure of yourself, visit the professionals at G-Wood Flooring in Saskatoon.  Their main motto is to please the customer and feel good about their sale.  If the customer is not satisfied, this Company is not satisfied either.  Call or stop in at 832B Cynthia Street in Saskatoon, or call 306-974-5330 Monday through Friday from 9am to 5 pm - you won't be sorry!



MDF vs. Plywood Cabinetry

Posted by xtian984 on April 6, 2015 at 1:00 PM Comments comments ()

Kitchen cabinets are not an inexpensive investment and they seem to take the abuse from everyone in the world. Someone is mad – they slam the kitchen cabinet doors, we all set things down on top of the kitchen cabinets right? Quality kitchen cabinetry seems to pick up the dust and dirt which ca be wiped off and the kitchen cabinets once again look brand new.

When we think of MDF vs plywood cabinetry, keep in mind how each of these materials will affect the strength and appearance of your cabinets so that you can choose the kitchen cabinetry that is right for you.

Medium density fiberboard and plywood are among the most common types of sheet wood used for kitchen cabinets. MDF consists of very fine wood fibers and glue joined together under pressure to form a strong bond. Plywood is made from layers of wood veneer and glue. In the case of plywood, each layer is oriented perpendicular to the previous layer for added strength and stability.

To me, it is common sense reasoning that cabinets constructed from plywood are a higher quality than those manufactured with MDF. Both plywood and MDF offer tremendous strength for your kitchen cabinets, but plywood features greater stability and better resistance to moisture. It is common knowledge that MDF is more susceptible to moisture-related damage, including swelling and delamination.

MDF does offer a smoother surface than plywood – if you want painted cabinets, choose MDF. Plywood generally won’t look as smooth or polished when painted, and is best used with a veneer finish rather than using paint or stains.

Most standard sheet wood products emit formaldehyde and other fumes due to the adhesives used during manufacturing. These same fumes can contribute to respiratory irritation and illness and they release gas into the home over time. Unfortunately, MDF emits the greatest amount of formaldehyde gas.

At this time, Consumer Reports recommends choosing plywood for cabinet boxes, drawers and doors. While MDF is acceptable for shelves and cabinet boxes, MDF mounting strips should be avoided because they don’t offer the same strength and support as plywood.

I would suggest looking for combined core plywood in order to enjoy the best features of plywood and MDF. If you go with a combined core plywood, you will get the core made of layered woodpiles for strength, with layers and MDF on the surface for optimal smoothness.




So, Can You Please Tell Me how to Judge a Cabinet´┐Ż??s Quality?

Posted by xtian984 on April 2, 2015 at 6:25 PM Comments comments ()

As we are all aware, most of the time, production cabinets do not match the quality of homemade cabinets, but they do offer consistency. Usually stock cabinets are manufactured with demanding tolerances to ensuring quality. Sometimes, in the writer’s opinion, with the sophisticated equipment in use today, the quality of manufacturing is sometimes superior to what some small cabinet builders can offer.

Make sure that the hinges are adjustable and find them if the style is hidden – ask questions. Have you ever the saying, “No question is a dumb question”.

One advantage in buying stock cabinets is that you can inspect them and shop around before you buy. Have you ever heard of “not all kitchen cabinets are made the same”; that statement applies in this case.

The cabinets that are too marked down are marked down for a reason in my opinion. Watch for photo-simulated wood grain, paper-thin laminates, low quality or mismatched woods and haphazard joinery.

Make sure to check the drawer quality – dovetail joints indicate excellent construction.

Study the drawers paying attention to the details of the joinery, the quality of the inner surfaces, the fit of the pieces and how well it glides in its tracks. Is the drawer on high-quality ball-bearing extensions, moderate quality rollers or cheap plastic rollers? Make sure to check to see how far the drawer extends out.

Check the cabinet doors for proper fit and ease of action. Check any edge banding around the perimeter for workmanship. Pay attention to see if the hinges are adjustable and how far these doors will swing open.

Usually when buying stock cabinets, the customer pays upfront, this makes the inspection more critical than ever because once you get your cabinets home and installed, you won’t have another chance to complain about flaws in the design or workmanship.


Will Mineral Spirits Remove the Finish From my Engineered Hard Wood Floor?

Posted by xtian984 on April 2, 2015 at 12:15 AM Comments comments ()

In some cases, this can be a safe and effective way to clean stains from your engineered hardwoods.

But (there’s that little word with a thousand meanings again), you want to be careful not to remove the finish.

Let me tell you about the meaning of the term “engineered hardwoods”. The product consists of a thin layer of genuine hardwood flooring that is glued or bonded to a manufactured surface, such as plywood. This construction drastically reduces the cost compared to traditional hardwoods.

One of the drawbacks to engineered hardwood floors is that due to the layer of actual hardwood being quite thin sometimes, engineered hardwoods cannot be sanded down and refinished the way that traditional hardwoods can. For this same reason, stain removal from engineered hardwoods can be problematic.

Because the top layer of engineered hardwood flooring is real wood it can be stained in the same manner. One of the most common cause of stains on hardwood floors is liquid. These liquid stains can be from leaks, spills, pet stains, or other causes. If liquid is cleaned up quickly, it is harmless, but if it is left on the floor for a period of time, liquids can permanently stain engineered hardwood floors.

Stains can be incurred while installing. Glue and wood dust are common causes of stains on engineered flooring. If too much glue is used to adhere the engineered hardwood to the concrete floor, it can bubble up through the seams of the flooring and be difficult to remove.

Other materials such as paint or nail polish, shoe treads, or furniture legs can also stain hardwood floors. Even the UV rays of the sun can lead to discoloration and staining of engineered hardwood floors.

The best mineral spirits for cleaning hardwood flooring is the traditional variety, not including special descriptions which can be purchased at hardwood stores, home improvement stores or paint outlets.

Please bear in mind that all mineral spirits have harmful effects if inhaled or ingested.

The writer suggests that before trying to use mineral spirits to remove the stains from your hardwoods, you should first test them in an inconspicuous area of the floor (inside a closet).

Mineral spirits generally do not remove the finish from an engineered hardwood floor. You should apply the mineral spirits with a clean, soft white cloth. Using a white cloth will allow you to see immediately if any finish is being removed from your floor. If you notice that the cloth is stained with the finish of the floor stop immediately.

Before starting anything, be sure to open windows and take other steps to fully ventilate the area. Consider a face mask and gloves to protect yourself from the potentially harmful chemicals in mineral spirits. Always use a circular motion when applying mineral spirits. Once the stain is gone, the floor can be buffed to a shine.



The Proper Way to Clean Laminate Flooring

Posted by xtian984 on April 1, 2015 at 8:00 PM Comments comments ()

As we all know, most people choose laminate flooring for the ease of cleaning, plus, old school or not, everyone loves a shiny floor. Laminate is a very durable floor that comes in so many colors and styles that it is hard to imagine anything in place of laminate flooring. Laminate flooring can stand up better to constant foot traffic and the abuse that can be dished out from children and pets in the home.

In order to better understand the durability of laminate flooring, you should know how laminate flooring is made. You may not entirely believe this, but each piece of laminate flooring is made up of 4 different layers that are each individually produced. Before I tell you what is contained in each layer, I must tell you that each of these layers are put through a heat-and-press process that produces what we know as laminate flooring.

The bottom layer is moisture resistant and makes the floorboard stable; the core layer is made from fiberboard that has been fortified with resin (hardens this layer and increases its resistance to water); now the pattern layer is a photograph of a finish which is then printed on a thin piece of paper; and the last layer is a protective coating layer which consists of clean melamine resin. This last layer provides protection from moisture and damages such as scratches and stains.

I must admit that, at this point, the only layer you have to be concerned with is the top layer so that you keep your floors shiny and looking good as new.

Although this all may be very interesting, the only layer you have to be concerned with is this protective layer –once it is gone, you will see that you must replace this flooring. I am the type of person that likes to pay attention as to how my floors are treated. If I see a dent in my floor, I want to know how it got there in the first place.

I have 4 dogs and 1 old cat on my laminate flooring in my home, and I realize that unless I keep their nails trimmed, the nails from my pets can scratch my laminate flooring so I have become fanatical about trimming their nails.

Now, we must get realistic – common sense dictates that sand and dirt act in the same manner as sandpaper on your new laminate floor, so you must keep your laminate floor swept – at least once a day. If your floor is not swept regularly, this dirt will continue to be tracked around and will dull your laminate floor’s finish.

Some people would recommend throwing down scatter rugs down to avoid this dirt or sand; I don’t recommend scatter rugs. To sidetrack just a bit, when your laminate floor remains covered in one area, because the sun’s rays can’t reach that particular area or spot, your laminate floor will appear to be darker in that spot (where the rug covered the floor). However, I will strongly recommend removing your shoes.

If you are anything like me, when I feel any grit on the floor and I walk in it, I can find my broom so fast that it is scary!

You should definitely vacuum (avoid beater bars because this can damage your floor with heat or pressure marks) your new laminate floor at least once per week. After vacuuming, damp mop your floor being careful not to get your floor too wet because it can still expand. After damp mopping, dry with an old towel if possible.

If you require a deeper cleaning for your new laminate flooring, use only products that are recommended by your flooring’s manufacturer. Stay away from products that mop and shine because they will only leave a coating on your floor finish. Also, please remember to watch the wetness on your floor. Never use any abrasive cleaners or steel wool on your flooring either.

I have heard of some people using furniture polish on their new laminate floors so that can make their flooring shine like “new” again. This is not only an expensive and time-consuming route to take, it is also dangerous. Furniture polish would make that laminate more slippery than it is already, so by using this method, you may be responsible for someone falling on your “new” look laminate floor!

In my humble opinion, steam cleaning your laminate floor is not an option! You will run the risk of over-flooding the flooring, or you can set the steam cleaner to high so that the machine can wear down the finish on your laminate with the scrubbing setting that is meant for tile floors.

If you do insist on using steam cleaning on your laminate, make sure you are using it at the lowest setting and never soak your floor. If you see wet spots, wipe them dry immediately.

Last, but not least, I want to discuss the benefits of your laminate flooring. We all know that wood is timeless but we can’t all afford to install hardwood flooring, so laminate flooring is the perfect alternative in some cases. Whether you believe me or not, most people have a hard time telling the difference between hardwood floors and laminate floors.

Once laminate flooring is installed, laminate flooring has an average lifespan of approximately 15 years (if you maintain it properly). That gives you plenty of time to plan and watch for sales and for that matter, even save up for that hardwood floor you originally wanted.

Truthfully, laminate flooring can be installed everywhere as long as you ask questions and have the proper uses and maintenance for it.

In the world of health, your lungs and your household work load will be grateful to you for installing laminate flooring. When someone suffers from asthma, COPD or allergies to dust among other things, the wall-to-wall carpeting you took out of your home was the biggest step of all to aid the sufferer of those above-noted health conditions.

In conclusion, good-bye to dust mites, dirt, pollen, dust and even bed bugs in some cases and in this case, good riddance to bad rubbish!


What is the definition of a "shaker door" style on a kitchen cabinet?

Posted by xtian984 on March 25, 2015 at 12:10 AM Comments comments ()

That is a good question and I think we all want the answer to that question! Let me try to explain some of the definitions that come to mind.

A Flat panel door has no decorative accents, only raised outer edges as a general rule of thumb. These kitchen cabinet doors are known for their clean lines and uncluttered appearance. The flat panel cabinet doors are usually associated with the modern contemporary homes, but also work well in traditional settings.

The shaker doors are the most common kitchen cabinet drawers. There are usually 5 pieces associated with the shaker door style. This is usually a simple, yet classic look and is made more for practicality rather than for decoration. These kitchen doors look good anywhere.

The Louvered doors are usually for a particular taste. The horizontal wood slats cover the front of each door and add distinctive flair to the door. All the above noted points aside, this louvered type of door are more expensive due to the intricacy of the design (installing wood slats takes more time). In my honest opinion, this type of cabinet door is excellent for areas needing ventilation and only if you enjoy dusting!

Beadboard is perfect for the homey cottage feel by giving a distinctive rustic feel to the finished product. The name, in itself, indicates an appearance of style which channels beadwork panelling. Usually, minimalists love adding a touch of flair with this look on the cabinetry, but in truth, this style adds a perfect architectural flourish to the basic kitchen cabinetry design.

Don’t forget the inset look which is engineered inside the frame of a cabinet door instead of on top which causes it to be costly, while at the same time provides a timeless look.

Last, but not least, glass doors can provide that little bit of extra décor to any kitchen and are considered to be accent doors. Usually, these glass doors are meant to show off wedding gifts, or special occasion dishes that are for display only (in most cases) and have no practical value in the home.

No matter which kitchen cabinet door style you decide on, this is intended only as a guide in order to teach you the pros and cons of each style – the rest is up to you. Your taste is what makes you distinctive; unique and it will reflect in your choice of designs in your kitchen cabinetry.

As to my tastes, I prefer to go with the shaker doors because I truly think it is a punishment to dust! Honestly, if I can get away from that dreaded exercise, I do so at every opportunity.

Based on the written words above, which kitchen cabinet doors do you prefer in your home?


Which Mirror Should You Use to go with your New Bathroom Vanity?

Posted by xtian984 on Comments comments ()

Okay, I have to admit that your brand new bathroom vanity is beautiful and the color matches the scheme of things in your bathroom. When I think about it, what size of mirror are you going to put on the wall? Where are you going to position it so the children in your household can see themselves in the mirror?

Truthfully, personally, I prefer a bathroom mirror that is about 2 inches smaller than the countertop. However, if you have a 60” long countertop, a 58” mirror would be stretching it a bit don’t you think? There I would advise you to get 2 mirrors.

Let’s get to the point here – that mirror should be purchased with your bathroom lighting in mind. Have you ever seen a mismatched pair of mirrors in a washroom? It is very memorable and not advisable from my standpoint at least. I would consider the color of the back splash, outlets, and whether or not you are going to put lights down each side of this mirror.

Personally, I love the oval mirrors in any bathroom; if they are positioned low enough, your children can see in the mirror as well as anyone else, but this gives a bit more flexibility as to the size of the mirror. The oval mirrors are ageless if you have a small frame or even a frameless mirror attached above your bathroom vanity.

The sides of any mirror should be 2 inches from the edges of the vanity and it should be equal on both sides. This mirror should be at least one inch from the top of your backsplash if possible. The reason I emphasize the frameless mirrors is simple – I am no good at matching the vanity and/or back splash with a mirror, so frameless it is to match my tastes.

Even though my own personal reasons may sound funny, I find that the frameless mirrors seem to give the appearance of ageless and classic beauty. I don’t find these types of mirrors to be more expensive than any of the others and I save myself a headache at the same time!

What would you match your bathroom vanity mirror to?