Dont Let Pets Damage Your Flooring

gfmngdnmdOne of the downsides of pet ownership is the wear and tear they do to your home, and no aspect of your home takes a bigger beating than your flooring. If you’ve noticed that your hardwood or tile floors are looking dull and scuffed, or that your carpet is a few shades darker than when you had it installed, there’s a good chance Fido is at least partially to blame. The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take as a pet owner to help localize and prevent pet damage. And even better, there are number of flooring products and maintenance solutions out there that make it possible to enjoy man’s best friend and beautiful floors at the same time.

The Single Most Effective Solution (And It’s the Easiest!)
If you’re concerned about the damage your pets might be doing to your flooring, the best thing you can do is limit their access and activity when indoors. Make certain rooms (especially those with at-risk flooring) off-limits to your pets with baby gates or closed doors. Also, designate “pet areas” in the

Creating the Perfect Place for Your Kids

djfkjyfDesigning kids rooms can be a real challenge. Your kids want a room that is all fun—from the choice of colors right down to easy toy access. You, on the other hand, need that space to be easy to keep clean and well organized. Don’t fret. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind as you put together your kids room so that it ends up being a place both you and your children can appreciate!

Themes and Colors
When choosing colors for your child’s room, there are a few things to consider. For starters, resist the desire to go too cute. Choose colors that are fun and lively, but also think about what your child will want their room to look like a few years down the road. If you don’t, you’ll likely find yourself calling the painter back in to cover up designs that a “big kid” will find too babyish when they get older. Also think about including a fun theme, such as farm or zoo animals. Nothing beats a good barnyard scene or animal safari when it comes to creating a

Accordion Doors Open Up Options

sHBRhbrThe most interesting concept behind accordion doors is that they are rarely used as actual entryways and exits. Most of the time, these folding barriers are used as temporary walls or partitions. Though they can certainly be used as traditional opening-and-closing entryways, they are most often found between rooms due to their light construction, easy fold-away storage option, and their interesting, wood design.

However, these products now come in a large variety and offer many different possibilities to homeowners and businesses which have been using them to effectively open up or close off large spaces in order to suit daily, individual needs.

Dividing the Space
There are many unique places where you could install an accordion door, and whether you own a business, work in an office, or own a home, these devices allow for a lot of versatility when it comes to both separating and sharing a space.

Closets: If you have unsightly closets in your bedroom or in high-traffic living space, these creased partitions are a great way to quickly cover-up the mess without all the extra expense of traditional doors.

Degradation of Trichloroethylene Contaminated Soil by Zero-Valent Iron Nanoparticles

The remediation of contaminated soils is becoming an increasing environmental problem with serious implications. More specifically, soils contaminated with hydrocarbons represent one of the most difficult challenges for remediation experts. Some treatment and clean-up techniques of oily shorelines may include washing or manual removal; often these methods depend on natural environmental processes that act on the oil. Physical in situ shoreline treatment methods include mixing (also known as tilling or aeration), sediment relocation (or surf washing), and burning. Chemical and biological in situ shoreline treatment methods include the use of chemical agents to alter the physical or chemical properties of the oil as well as use of nutrients to enhance bioremediation. Natural recovery, or natural attenuation, is an in situ response option that allows the oiled shoreline to recover without intervention.

Trichloroethylene (TCE) or TCE clean up is often categorized as dense nonaqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) for its low aqueous solubility and greater density than water. Once released into the subsurface environment, TCE will distribute between soil and water. Yet, soil-sorbed TCE can be slowly released back into groundwater, rendering TCE a long-term threat to the environment and human health [2, 3].

It is well known that soil sorption can inhibit

Warmer Flooring

One of the great things about being home is that you can kick off your shoes and relax. You want to be comfortable, but you can only enjoy the comfort of going shoeless when your floors are at a reasonably warm temperature. There are many ways to create warm floors. Radiant flooring is the most noticeably consistent choice, but basement ceiling insulation and even some well-placed rugs might do the trick. Whatever you choose, keep in mind warm floors are about more than just warming your feet. Warm feet means the room air temperature doesn’t need to be nearly as high. It will prevent a stuffy feeling in your rooms and save on energy costs.

Radiant Flooring
Radiant flooring can actually heat your whole house. By installing a heating system under your floor, it will not only create warm floors, but heat will radiate to the walls and air above the floor. Electric cabling or water tubes (hydronic heating) are the most popular forms of radiant flooring. With an inherently cool surface, tiling is the surface most homeowners feel has the greatest need for a subsurface heating system, but radiant flooring can work under any floor.

Installing a system for warm flooring

Floating Floor Hardwood without the Hassle

A floating floor is a hardwood floor installed by gluing the floor planks together instead of gluing or stapling them to the subfloor. Since a floating floor doesn’t need a specific type subfloor underneath it, it frees you up to install hardwood floors in areas where they previously weren’t an option. You can install them over vinyl or ceramic flooring or in areas of high humidity where traditional hardwood floors have a tendency to warp and crack. If you’re looking for the great look of these floors without the expensive costs of traditional wood flooring, installation challenges and limitations, then a floating hardwood floor is exactly what you’ve been searching for.

Floating Floor 101
A floating wood floor is installed in almost exactly the same way as a laminate or engineered wood floor. Constructed of a core layer of plywood or hardwood with layers of hardwood veneer as the “wear” (or top) layer, these planks are manufactured in tongue and groove style and are usually glued together over a layer of foam padding. If that sounds too challenging for you, new varieties of floating wood floor are now being manufactured that are “glueless” and can be clicked together upon installation. To

Making Your Natural Stone Tile Flooring Green

Not surprisingly, stone tile flooring is a naturally green building material. It’s moisture resistant, lasts a lifetime, and releases almost no harmful byproducts into your indoor air. There are steps you can take to make your stone tile flooring installation even greener, however, and if you’re up for a larger remodel and a little more planning, a stone tile floor can easily be part of a larger green remodeling plan to reduce energy use in your home. Here’s what you need to know about stone tile flooring if green is on your radar.

Going Green with David Johnston
HomeAdvisor understands that it can be tough for homeowners to wade through all the “green” remodeling information out there, which is why we’ve teamed up with green remodeling expert David Johnston to provide you with the best, most accurate, green remodeling advice we possibly can. Johnston is the founder of the green consulting firm What’s Working, Inc., the author of multiple books on green remodeling (including the Nautilus Award winner Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time), and he’s an expert on green tiling projects and working with natural stone. Here’s a green guide to installing stone tile flooring in

The Importance of Air Duct and Vent Cleaning

Duct cleaning is one of those tasks that it’s easy to forget about. Since ducts and vents are often overlooked, many homeowners might not even remember the last time they had them attended to. The fact is, however, that duct and vent cleaning may have health advantages, and might even reduce your energy bills and extend the life of your forced air system.

Vent and Duct Cleaning and Indoor Air Quality
One thing to consider when you’re thinking about vent and duct cleaning is the fact that indoor air quality is decreasing. This is due in part to the popularity of high-efficiency windows, doors, and increased insulation that reduce the amount of air transfer between inside and outside. Though these fixtures are great when it comes to reducing energy costs and making a room more comfortable, they are often not supplemented with any additional ventilation, causing pollutants that enter the home to remain inside instead of leaking out through drafty windows and gaps.

The verdict still isn’t in on whether or not duct and vent cleaning is going to improve indoor air quality in every situation. Though there is literature out there to support either side of the debate, we do know

Information about Home Heating Oil

Home heating oil is one of the more reliable and efficient methods on the market for keeping your inside temperature comfortable. It’s also one of the more controversial and understandably so. Like nuclear power used for commercial energy purposes, home heating oil tanks are potential ticking bombs that are almost entirely benign if the right installations are made and the right precautions taken. The controversy stems from the fact that when residential oil tanks do fail, they cause all kinds of environmental problems. The fact that the limited supply of crude oil is always in the news doesn’t help the perception of heating your home with oil, either. Still, for many homes, (especially ones that are already heating with oil) this heating fuel makes the most sense.

Home Heating Oil Tanks
Notorious for their leaks, home heating oil tanks have gotten a lot of flak over the years (some of it justified, some of it not). Older tanks made from steel are susceptible to rusting and catastrophic failure. The problem is, these tanks rust from the inside out; you may have little or no warning that your tank is about to fail. A qualified oil tank inspector can help determine if

Forced Air Heating Systems

One of the most common central heating systems, forced air heating systems are present in nearly 35 million American homes today. A forced-air heating system draws the room air through duct work to a furnace, where the air is filtered and heated. The warmed air is then blown back into the rooms through other duct work. The system’s duct work is usually metal wrapped in insulation to help keep in heat. In some cases, flexible duct work is preferred.
Note: If you’re thinking about replacing pre-existing duct work with your new heating unit, you should have the duct work inspected and tested for asbestos.

Forced Air Heating System Options
It goes without saying that not all forced air heating systems have the same performance standards. The first thing you need to decide is how much you’re willing to spend on your heating installation and what your priorities are. Noise level, energy efficiency, comfort level and overall convenience are all important considerations that can vary widely between different heating units.

Take a moment and think about what you’ve most liked and disliked in your heating system in the past. Are you easily irritated by noise? Do you hate seeing that utility bill every

Things You Need to Know about Geothermal Heating

1. Geothermal Heating is Already a Reality
Though you might not see hydrogen-powered cars rolling through your neighborhood in the next year, geothermal heating is one technology that is not just available, but growing in popularity., an online resource linking homeowners to contractors in their area, reports that requests for geothermal heating system installations have increased by 266% since last year. In fact, the U.S. government’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Consumer’s Guide estimates that, “There are approximately 50,000 geothermal heat pumps installed in the United States each year.”

2. Geothermal Heating is Affordable
Sure, the initial investment in a geothermal system is more expensive than a conventional heat pump. However, this investment pays off over time. In the same EERE document, our government suggests that the additional costs are returned to you in energy savings in 5-10 years.” This means that not only will installing one of these systems be a benefit to the environment, it will eventually benefit your wallet, too!

Note: Homeowners are becoming more environmentally conscious every year. If and when you decide to sell your home, having an eco-friendly heating system in place might be a big selling point for prospective buyers!

3. Geothermal Heat is

Kiddie Covers and Tubs for Tots

In some instances, having kids means thinking about things on a larger scale. There are concerns about a child’s well being now, and in the future, that open our eyes to issues that were hard to see before they came along. Around the home, though, there is a definite scaling down of household objects from clothes to utensils and furniture. Keeping a child comfortable and healthy is a big job, but the tools used to do so are decidedly dainty.

Child Bath Suggestions
When children are very small, turning a sink into a child bath is a common practice. A sink is practically made for a baby’s size; and the hose attachment on many sinks can be very useful while bathing your little one. Children grow, however, and eventually you’ll have to make your way to the bathtub. In a large space like that found in most tubs, child bath safety is a big concern. Babies are very fragile, and will require constant attention around even a small amount of water and all those hard surfaces.A child bath bench or chair can help keep small kids secure amidst all that water and slippery soap. Similar to a car seat, they are

Trundle Beds for Fun and for Space

Trundle beds bring back memories of childhood for most people. Some children’s rooms had bunk beds, others had trundle beds, and for the rest, the guest or little brother slept wherever you could find space. Trundle beds are a terrific alternative to both bunk beds and forced guest rooms (you’d rather have a den, right?), and they are no longer just for small children.

History and Use
Trundle beds, also called truckle beds, are stacked beds. One bed is raised, and the other rolls underneath. They are named for this very feature, for the trundles, or casters, that are attached to the feet of the lower bed so that they can be rolled out when needed. The beds originally were designed for servants, actually, who slept next to their employer to be close at hand. Although you might consider holding onto that bit of information when your child’s friend or younger brother are using it.

A Wide Variety of Trundle Bed Models
Originally, trundle beds were small—the top bed was a twin, the bottom was slightly smaller. For this reason, they tended to take the place of a twin set in a small room for a pair of brothers or sisters. These

Romantic Home Enhancement

As summer arrives, the birds and bees take flight and love is in the air. Every couple knows it, which is why June weddings have becomes so popular: the season itself exudes romance. This also makes June a month full of anniversaries. But what are you going to do to celebrate? Another boring bouquet? One more box of chocolates? All those presents feel done to death. So instead, why not actually do something for each other? Create something that both of you can enjoy together? Home renovations may not seem like the most romantic gift since they’re so practical, but if your wedding is around the corner, a romantic renovation could relieve some stress about the impending nuptials. If you’re already married with children, you may need to build a romantic getaway in your house. Or if the kids have already flown the coop, you may need to spark things up a bit, and nothing reignites the passion like a romantic home enhancement.

Surviving Romantic Remodels
Remodels are tasks you can share and enjoy together. You’re literally building a home, and a relationship, with one another. So whether you do it yourself or hire a contractor, nothing forms a better bond

Exterior Doors The Easy Way Out

A home’s entry door is one of the first things people notice about a house. Its color, style, and condition are a big part of how a property looks from the outside. A stylish, well-maintained exterior door can set a house apart from those around it.

An exterior door has the tough job of keeping the outside out and the inside in. It is regularly pelted by precipitation, baked in harsh sun, and dusted by wind and dirt. Since the entry door is the first door visitors use in a home, it’s a good idea to make sure it works as it should. These exterior doors are exposed to more harsh conditions than their interior brethren.

If an entry door is made of wood, it is likely to swell, shrink, and bow over time. This will cause the door to stick at times, and at other times leave room for a draft. The best way to prevent this is to make sure that your door is properly sealed before it is installed. If bowing is already present, a good storm door can eliminate drafts (if installing a storm door, be careful to make sure that it hinges on the same side

Mirror Doors and Tile

A mirror alone is simply a tool to view our surroundings or ourselves. In the home, though, mirror doors and mirror tile are a way to enhance the look of our space. If you are happy with how your home already looks, why not double your pleasure with some well placed mirrors?

Traditional Mirror Door Placement
Nowhere in the home is a mirror door more useful than in a bathroom. This is the place where you brush your teeth, fix your hair, and (for some) put on makeup. While a mirror behind a sink is nice, it is often too far away to comfortably get a good look at what you’re working on close up. Having a mirror that is easier to access makes grooming a less time consuming process.Second to bathrooms in mirror necessity comes the bedroom. Having a mirror door in the entryway or mirror closet doors gives you a full view of your entire body, so you can always be sure you’re dressed to impress.Mirror Doors around the Home
Bedrooms and bathrooms aren’t the only places where a mirror door is useful. Since mirrors reflect the space that already exists, they can add depth to places that aren’t

Door Hardware Tips

The main question to consider when buying, installing, or maintaining any door hardware is to ask: How will it be used? In other words, what type of door is it being attached to (exterior, interior, front door, bedroom door) and what is its overall purpose (safety, style, utility)? Many times when something goes wrong with an entryway, homeowners blame the door itself. But a door is only as dependable as its components and most problems occur when the inner workings don’t match up to the exterior function. So when on the search for new door hardware, be aware of these 5 simple tips to help in your selection.

Safety First: Locksets are probably the most crucial part of any entryway. You always want your locks to be state of the art (keyless lock systems have grown in popularity) but more importantly they have to be durable. In other words, don’t go for high-tech models (keypads, card-swipes) if they require a lot of maintenance. If a lock isn’t reliable, then it’s worthless. For traditional exterior doors, go for a single cylinder dead bolt, which requires a key outside and uses a thumb-switch inside. If you have glass porch doors, then you may

Make the Most of Your Kitchen with a Food Pantry

There are few additions to a kitchen remodel that make more sense than a food pantry. A food pantry is simply an extra room or storage space dedicated to housing everything from cereal boxes to canned goods. And when it comes to saving cabinet space and making your kitchen a more convenient area to work in, a pantry can be an absolute godsend.

Food Pantry Design
If you are in the middle of a major kitchen remodel, or are just looking for a way to maximize space and increase organization, installing a food pantry is one of the wisest decisions you can make. Where a lot of homeowners go wrong, however, is in the conceptual phases of designing their kitchen pantry. Too often, the pantry is relegated to a cramped closet, out of sight and out of mind. While that might be your ultimate goal, incorporating a few more innovative designs and crucial organizers into your food pantry can be the difference between a dark, cluttered, storage area and an accessible and attractive kitchen addition.

Accessibility is Key
When designing a pantry, remember that you shouldn’t just be thinking storage. If that were the case, a closet stacked with shelves would do

Shockingly Convenient

Many people prefer the traditional flavor of gas grills, but electric grills are more convenient, more versatile, and often more cost-effective. The truth is that no grill is right for every household. If your home is powered by a coal-burning power plant, a gas grill is arguably more eco-friendly. The type of diet your household prefers will also play a big role for the best grill choice. Indeed, even if convenience isn’t your biggest priority, you can’t assume that an electric grill is an inferior choice until you’ve looked at all the options….

Electric Grills: Choices, Uses, and Types

  • Indoor Electric Grills: Big George Foreman has set the standard for tabletop cooking, and the Foreman grill family is now expanding. His first model revolutionized the indoor electric grill; the newer models offer even more. Current Foreman grills can be large enough to cook upwards of 5 burgers at a time and come with removable grilling surfaces, which help with cleaning. Outside the Foreman franchise, there are a number of other indoor electric grills that are quietly expanding the market. More like conventional grills, they do away with the “press” design and cook food one side at a time. People, who live in

Kitchen Remodeling in Chicago

Kitchen remodeling is one of the most popular home improvement projects in the nation for a very simple reason: it pays off. Not only does it make your home more functional, it adds value to your property in a way that few other projects can. In Chicago, kitchen remodeling is a fantastic choice when you’re looking to both increase efficiency and boost the desirability of you home, as well. When you look at the statistics, Chicago kitchen remodels are simply a better investment than other improvement projects in the area, and generally recover more of the initial construction costs in added resale value than similar jobs in other cities!

Minor Chicago Kitchen Renovation
In some cases, a property might not be best suited to complete kitchen remodeling. Chicago homes that are relatively old are extremely good candidates for a few minor upgrades. It is said that, in the world of real estate, upgrading something classic to fit in with modern living is one of the most profitable jobs you can enter into. By keeping many of the existing components of an older house intact, but increasing its function and adding a few contemporary items, smaller Chicago kitchen remodels are appealing to