DIY Carpet Cleaning

Carpet Cleaning can be a hassle but if you have kids and pets then you’ll likely being doing a lot of carpet cleaning throughout the life of your carpet. Professional carpet cleaners can be expensive and if your carpet is constantly getting spilled on and then you won’t be wanting to pay for someone to clean them all the time. There are many tips and tricks out there that will help you be able to save some money and make your carpet just as good. The biggest help is by taking preventive measures and then if something does happen, cleaning it the correct way.

Vacuum!

Regular vacuuming preserves the life of your carpet. The longer you go without vacuuming the more impacted your carpet becomes with dirt, hair, dust and the like. These unwanted friends in your carpet are magnets for spills and stains. The more you vacuum the more agitated your carpet is causing the dust and dirt to settle less on it. To keep these nasty things out of your carpet for when a spill does happen, take the time to vacuum your carpet at least 2 times a week. This will help to prevent stains from getting embedded into your carpet.

Scotchgard

Scotchgard is a preventative care that will help when spills happen. Scotchgard helps to protect your carpet from stains by forming a protective sealer. When applied it needs to be raked thoroughly into your carpet to disperse it all over and deep into the fibers. This protective layer prevents stains from becoming deep. It holds it at bay on a surface level for the stain to be easily cleaned up. This can be done once a year. When doing so make sure to follow all the instructions for the best results.

When All Else Fails

Now that you have taken preventative measures for your carpet, when a stain does happen it’s time to clean. There are certain steps that will produce the best results. Make sure that you test the cleaner on a small piece of carpet first. Then when cleaning it be sure that you use the least amount of cleaner possible and follow the cleaner instructions. Different stains will call for different cleaners. Don’t think that the all-purpose stain cleaner will be the best for every stain. This means that you’ll have to research. No matter what cleaner you use, be sure not to scrub the carpet because it will unravel the carpet strands.

Carpet cleaning can be tricky. It is possible to clean your carpet and keep it looking beautiful. The most effective way to keep stains out of your carpet is by taking preventative measures first. Then when a stain happens you’ll have half the battle already fought. Home Improvement Steps is here to help you with all you home needs while saving the dollars in your pocket. For more Home Improvement Steps be sure to look at our blog.

Different Types of Interior Paint

There are quite a few different types of paint that you can use for the rooms in your house. There are six specific types you can use in your home-making it look like new.

Starting from the shiniest paint—gloss paint is used on interior walls. Many prefer to use it on woodwork because of the high shine. Because of the shine, this type of paint shows all the imperfections on the wall. With gloss paint you will need more than a single coat to get full coverage and a few hours between coats to let the paint fully dry. Using fans towards the walls will help speed up the drying process.

Semi-gloss paint is most commonly used on trim around the house. Semi-gloss is also often used in kitchen and bathroom walls. It’s apt in these settings because it is easy to clean with just soap and water. Semi-gloss is nice because it can achieve a satisfactory covering in a single coat. This type of sheen has less shine than the gloss paint but is still shiny.

Eggshell paint has a little less shine than the semi-gloss and is quite subtle. Because the shine is more subtle it doesn’t highlight the imperfections as much. Like the semi-gloss sheen, a single coat can be quite sufficient for your walls.

Satin paint is a beautiful sheen. It is not very shiny and is a low, soft sheen. A satin finish is wonderful for when you need to clean the walls regularly. Even though the satin paint is not shiny, it does show all the imperfections of your walls. Therefore, if your walls have many imperfections it is not recommended to use this type of sheen.

Matte Enamel is like matte (mentioned next) and is more durable than a matte finish. With matte enamel paint it is easy to clean and does not need to be retouched often. This paint is great for families with small children. It is popular for kitchens because of the need to wipe the walls from cooking marks and scuff marks.

Matte is the most common for interior walls. There is no shine in the matte. This type of paint is excellent for walls in the home and the ceilings. With matte, it takes more than one coat to get a solid color that the previous color does not show through in some areas. It also covers the imperfections on the walls well. Matte paint can be easily marked but most marks can be removed by a damp cloth. It does need to be retouched the most regularly of all the types of paint.

To get your house painted and looking professional take a look at My Painter, LLC and contact them for a quote!

Carpet or Tile For Your Home?

Tile and carpet are very popular now. The question many ask themselves is which is better to go with, especially in the long run. Take a look at this table to help make your decision:

  Carpet Tile
Lower Cost  ×
Easier Cleaning  ×
Durability  ×
Versatility  ×
Comfortable  ×
Insulator  ×

From the table above you can see tile has many more pro’s than carpet does. Let’s break down the table above a bit. Tile costs less than carpet does. When stains occur or a spill happens, it is easier to wipe up on tile than getting a stain out of carpet. Tile is lasts longer than carpet does and can go through more wear and tear before it needs to be replaced or updated.

A con of tile is when anything besides liquid is spilled, such as glass, it can break upon contact on the tile. Glass is harder to break on carpet.

With tile one can change the color or kind of tile in each room and it can still look good and fashionable for today. You cannot do this with carpet. Once you choose a carpet for a floor it usually goes through the whole floor.

A pro of carpet is the comfort of it. Carpet is very comfortable to walk on and lay on. Carpet also acts as an insulator, warming the house more in the cold months of the year. Tile, unless the warming tiles, is colder to walk on during these cold months.

Carpet and tile are just two flooring options to choose from. There are more flooring options to compare but carpet and tile are just two of the popular flooring options.

If or once you’ve chosen tile, it can easily be cleaned by a professional company to keep it looking as good as the day you got it. Or if a tile cracks or becomes loose a professional company can fix that tile at a fraction of the cost of redoing all your tile-saving you money! A good company to look at for all your tile cleaning and repairs is The Grout Medic!

Decorating a Fireplace Mantel

The fireplace is a natural focal point in any room and is an ideal place to decoratively enhance in order to really liven up the room’s atmosphere. In any room where there is a fireplace, people automatically tend to arrange furniture to focus on the fireplace. The natural beauty and deep seeded connection between humans and fire make the fireplace mantel a place to display a home’s most treasured, symbolic items. If you’re on a time or monetary budget, the fireplace mantle is a great way to make an incredible impact in a room quickly and inexpensively.

Keep items proportionate to the scale of the fireplace mantel

Choose items that compliment the proportions of the mantel. If your fireplace is small, add decorative tiles, stone, or bricks to increase the overall size and install a fireplace mantel to fit the new dimensions. Most stately and decorative fireplaces are between 8 and 10 feet in width and about 5 feet high. Installing the mantel, bricks, and tile is a simple project that most people can do themselves after just a small amount of research.

Choose items the define the unique qualities of your family

Because of the significance of a fireplace mantel in a room, choose treasured items in your home that represent your family history, goals, and ideals. This may mean an antique item passed down through the family, artifacts gathered from family travels, or something symbolic like a decorative compass to signify your family’s unwavering pursuit toward an ultimate goal.

Sowcase your pictures

Pictures are a natural choice for decorating fireplace mantels for both their visual appeal and significance. Don’t worry about size or dimensions when choosing pictures; instead choose those that represent your most cherished memories. You can bring importance and stature to the pictures on your fireplace mantle by matting your photos in large frames that compliment the room. Adding matting to your framed photos creates more of an artistic look and feel, suited for a fireplace mantel.

Vary sizes and heights

One of the most important overall concepts to consider when decorating a fireplace mantel is to choose items of varying heights, shapes and sizes. Try to keep somewhat of a balance in terms of height. Candles and candlesticks that accent the color of the room are a great way to add height to your fireplace mantel design. Plants can also be an excellent way to add depth, dimension, and natural lines. An oversized vase with a full arrangement of real or silk flowers and foliage can quickly add color, natural beauty, and height to your mantel.

Decorating a fireplace mantel or adding fullness around a bare fireplace with a mantel is a cost effective way to make an incredible impact in a room’s appearance. The natural stately significance of a fireplace mantle makes it an idea place to showcase your most important memories, traditions, beliefs, and the goals of your family.

Contemporary Style Corner Gas Fireplace

Corner gas fireplace

Corner fireplaces can be styled to fit exactly into the corner of your room and can occupy as much or as little space as you would want them to. If the fuel that will be used is gas instead of traditional fuels like wood, then the corner gas fireplace is the contemporary fireplace any modern home can think of in terms of décor and style as well as convenience and efficiency.

Contemporary style

Corner gas fireplaces are more contemporary in style. These fireplaces make use of gas fuels that do not require a conventional heath or foundation. They can be readily installed in any corner of the room. Direct vents that can be wall-mounted or let out through the roof are also used in this style. This means you do not need to have a chimney on the house as well. While a corner gas fireplace creates a warm ambience in the room, it also provides convenience in terms of cleaning and maintenance.

Things to keep in mind

While installing a corner gas fireplace, try and find easy solutions to the direct vents intallation. Also, corner gas fireplaces look very modern and stylish if they have a glass fireplace screen. You can style the fireplace to either fit into the corner wall or you could have a mantel over the fireplace depending upon the design and décor of your room. Since natural gas or propane, which are used in gas fireplaces, has an advantage over wood as a fuel that requires regular feeding, it is advisable to install a thermostat or a switch that can control the supply of gas to the fireplace.

Custom-built corner gas fireplace designs

Gas fireplace designs in a variety of models and styles are available with most fireplace and woodstoves stores. A corner gas fireplace that has a glass screen will give you a two-way view. This combined with a direct vent that takes the hot combustion gases out of the fireplace will make the room cozy and warm. Many fireplace-building companies have their designs on display at their stores or even on their websites. You can easily find one that fits your idea of a cozy corner at home.

Choosing Victorian Fireplaces for Your Home

If you also intend for your fireplace to be functional, then there are certain considerations of which you must be aware. Below are some tips and bits of advice for those considering adding or restoring a fireplace in their homes.

1. Do you have a chimney?

Without a chimney or vent, your fireplace is useless. When considering putting in a fireplace, be sure to have any existing chimney carefully checked for safety and fitness.

Not having a chimney is not the end of the world, though. There are many modern alternatives to a traditional chimney and flue, and most professional fireplace installers can find ways to work those solutions into an antique restoration.

2. What sort of fuel will you burn?

Wood burning fireplaces (often called ‘solid fuel fires’) are what most people envision when they think of a fireplace – but as early as the late 1800s, the landed gentry had begun to convert their fireplaces to natural gas fires. If your intent is to use your fireplace for more than just focal interest, a gas or electric fire may be a better choice than a solid fuel fire. Restoration experts can easily fit gas and electric fires into period fireplace surrounds.

3. What is the style of your room?

Antique fireplaces run the gamut in design from the rustic simplicity of Arts and Crafts design to the ornate carvings and castings of Victorian era surrounds and firebacks. If you’re striving for a true-to-history restoration, then research is your best chum. Your second best is the owner of the local salvage yard who, you’ll find, is a surprising font of knowledge about architectural details and differences.

On the other hand, thee is nothing that says you can only put an antique fireplace into a period home. The delightful drama and whimsy of an Art Deco mantelpiece can be the focal point of an otherwise sterile, ultramodern room, and the fussy detailing of a Victorian fireplace can provide a surprisingly warm and feminine touch to a rustic design. Don’t be afraid to mix and match styles.

4. Keep scale in mind.

More important than style is scale. Pay attention to the proportions of your room. An enormous wall-to-wall surround can easily overpower a small, close room and make it feel overcrowded, while a small, stately Edwardian hearth can be lost in a huge drawing room. Take into account the size of the room, the size of the wall on which the fireplace will be placed, and where other openings in the room are located. All of those things will have a bearing on whether your fireplace looks as if it was grown with the house or tacked on as an afterthought.

5. Follow your heart.

All the advice above notwithstanding, if you fall in love with a fireplace, you can find a way to make it fit. Follow your heart, buy the delicious thing, and then build your room around it.

6. If a full antique fireplace is outside your budget, consider bits and pieces.

One of the most effective ways to give a room a whole new look is to replace the surround on the fireplace. Remember that fireplaces are made of many pieces. The most obvious of these are the surround and the mantelpiece. A professional fireplace fitter can remove your existing fireplace surround and replace it with a style that is more appealing.