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Should I Choose My Cabinets or Counter First for a Kitchen Renovation? October 4, 2014

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A kitchen renovation can be an overwhelming process. You have dozens of choices to make from the color of the cabinets to the finish on the hardware. And all these choices have to begin somewhere, often with one of the biggest – the cabinets or the countertop. Choosing one first over the other is not going to have a monumental impact on your final design. But yet, you may be curious to know how choosing one may impact your selection of the second.

There are many choices on the market for both cabinet designs and countertop materials. From formal and ornate cabinets to smooth and contemporary surfaces, it’s possible to design a kitchen with any look or style you’re after.

The key is to create a cohesive design that looks like it pulls together. And you may be surprised to find that selecting either a cabinet or a counter will limit your choices in the other. Why? Because some designs naturally gravitate toward other, matching materials.

Take the example of the selection of a traditional, formal cabinet door for your kitchen. An arched panel and a glazed finish would be to high of a contrast with any of the smooth, uniform counters on the market. The contrast would not work in the finished design. This type of cabinet door works best with flecked stones like light-colored granites and marbles.

This works the other way as well. Begin with a wild and colorful granite that you fall in love with. You’ll find that it does not match well with ornate and formal cabinets, but would work better with a simple slab or shaker door.

The best way to go about making your first decision is to try to determine the theme you want for the kitchen. Once you’ve made this determination, move toward the cabinet or counter. Make sure you feel would make the best statement in the space; the rest of your decisions will follow on their own.

How Can I Tell if I Have Asbestos Floor Tile? September 20, 2014

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If you have old vinyl or linoleum tile in your home, and you want to replace them with something more up to date, make sure you check for asbestos first. Asbestos floor tile was frequently installed in homes from the early 1900s through the 1970s and ’80s. Asbestos tile cannot be easily removed, and are usually encapsulated and covered with a new material to update them safely. If you suspect your floor tile of containing asbestos, the only way to know for sure is to have a laboratory test done. There are several indicators to look for in the floor, however, that can help you make the determination without expensive testing.

Color

The color of your floor tile may be an indicator that it contains asbestos. Most asbestos tile was either black or a very dark color such as maroon or dark green. Unfortunately, color is not always a reliable indicator; sometimes the asbestos isn’t in the tile itself but in the adhesive. So you could have a white or seagreen tile that doesn’t contain asbestos, but with an adhesive that does. If a missing tile enables you to see the adhesive, asbestos adhesive is usually black in color. Do not remove a tile to check without professional assistance.

Size

The size of your tile may also be an indicator of asbestos. While asbestos tile can come in several different sizes, they were most commonly produced in two sizes: 9 inches and 13 inches, with some companies producing a 12-inch tile as well.

Keep in mind that tile sizes are nominal. This means that the manufacturer may have called a tile 9-inches when in reality it is 8-7/8 inches. Therefore any vinyl or linoleum tile from the era known to produce asbestos tile that measures around 9 to 13 inches in size may contain asbestos.

Play It Safe

If you suspect any tile in your home of having asbestos do not attempt to remove it, scrape it, nail through it, or in any way agitate it. Instead, cover it with new flooring or call for professional assistance.

What’s the Best Way to Arrange Pictures on a Wall? September 10, 2014

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Whether you’re creating a gallery wall, or you just want to hang a selection of family portraits, it can be difficult to know exactly how to space them. Moving back and forth, eyeballing and using a ruler and level are all impractical methods at best. For a faster and easier way to arrange your pictures, try this trick instead.

Get a roll of butcher paper and cut a piece – or several pieces – that will equal the size of the wall where you will be hanging the pictures.

Take your frames and lay them right on top of the paper, arranging them the way you want them. Use a ruler to spread them out evenly around the area. When you get the design exactly the way that you want it, take the time to snap a photo of the finished design. You can refer back to this when you are hanging the pictures so you don’t forget the arrangement.

Once your picture is taken, trace the outlines of each of the frames onto the butcher paper right where they are. This creates your template for how they will hang on the wall.

Flip them over and measure down and in from each side until you find the hooks on the back of each frame. Mark each traced frame on the paper where its hook is located.

You can now tape your butcher paper onto the wall, raising or lowering it until you find the right spot for the pictures. Leave the paper in place while you drive a nail right through the paper into the wall at the location you marked for the hooks on the backs of each frame.

Now all you have to do is tear the paper off of the wall; your nails will remain behind in the perfect locations. Hang your pictures in the same pattern you arranged them in on the paper to get a perfect picture gallery each and every time without having to move, re-nail, guess, or eyeball the space.

Anniversary Sale! September 3, 2014

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The Best Material for a Mudroom Floor August 29, 2014

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Mudrooms have undergone a tremendous transformation over the years. They were once the place where farmers literally left their muddy things. Now, they’re the place where families enter, store their outdoor belongings, and even organize personal items. Because the mudroom is often the main entryway in the home, the floor sees a lot of use. Mud, rain, snow, salt, and sand can all affect the floor over time, making it look stained, scratched, or just plain beat up and old. When choosing a new mudroom floor, it helps to find a material that holds up well to abuse, but that also disguises things like mud and salt stains between cleanings. After all, you want the room to look a lot better than its name implies.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain is one of the most indestructible materials on the market today. It doesn’t scratch, stain, chip, or require special sealers or cleaners. No matter what you track into your mudroom, this floor can take it. Look for a color-through body which has no glaze on top – glazes can get slippery when wet – and that comes in a variegated color pattern. Variegated colors hide dirt well so you can go longer between sweepings.

Slate Tile

If you want natural stone on your floor, look no further than slate. Slate has a lot of natural texture and color that hides dirt, provides a non-slip surface, and disguises scratches and stains. If your slate does happen to scratch, a little mineral oil will hide it and make it look as good as new again.

Flamed Granite

Another indestructible material to consider is flamed granite such as Absolute Black. Absolute Black granite is actually a Gabro – a very hard, dense stone that require no sealing. When it’s flamed, the weaker surface materials get removed, leaving behind only the strongest, hardest part of the stone. This finely textured material is non-slip and it won’t scratch or stain no matter what you do to it.

Complete Your Mudroom

No matter how you plan and organize your mudroom, pay special attention to the floor. By using a strong, low-maintenance material, you’ll help ensure that the mudroom more than lives up to its name.

What Is the Difference between Unfinished and Prefinished Wood Flooring? August 22, 2014

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When you begin shopping for new wood flooring for your home, you’ll run into a lot of different terms for the types of flooring available. One of these is unfinished versus prefinished flooring. The unfinished option is often cheaper than the prefinished floors, which may make you wonder which is better – are you getting a bargain with the unfinished, or is the prefinished really worth it? It helps to know more about both types of flooring before you make your decision to ensure you choose the right option for you.

Unfinished Floors

For many years unfinished floor planks were the only choice available. These floors need to be stained and finished as part of the installation process, often being sealed with some type of polyurethane coating to protect them and help ensure that they last. This means that while the floorboards may be slightly cheaper to purchase, you end up paying more for installation because they take longer to install, require more effort and need additional materials.

Due to the finishing process, you cannot walk on unfinished floorboards for several days, which often makes them the better choice for new homes, rather than existing ones where families currently live.

Prefinished Floors

Prefinished floors have a factory-applied finish coat already on them when purchased. This explains the slightly higher price than unfinished flooring. They are faster to install than unfinished floors, and can be walked on right away, which makes them the better choice for existing homes. Because the polyurethane has already dried and cured when you receive them, the floors release fewer VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into your home as well.

Prefinished flooring that comes from a reputable, quality manufacturer has an even, extremely-durable finish that often holds up longer than unfinished wood flooring. This can help ensure a longer lasting floor and potentially a longer manufacturer’s warranty against defects.

Please feel free to ask us any questions you may have about your wood flooring!  The staff at My Big Bob’s is happy to help you with questions about existing or future flooring needs.  

Floor Tile Patterns for Kitchens August 14, 2014

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Tile patterns make your kitchen floor come alive and take shape in ways that can complete your kitchen design. Depending on the tile you are using and what style of kitchen you’re creating, you can find a tile pattern that helps add the detail you need.

Tile Patterns for Traditional Kitchens

If you have a traditional kitchen, whether it’s formal or Country, a patterned floor can really add a level of interest that dresses up the whole room. Consider one of these patterns for the space:

Versailles Pattern: The Versailles pattern makes use of five different sizes of tile in rectangles and squares. It repeats itself over and over again and works best with natural stone and oversized tiles.

Cut Corners: By cutting the corners of your tiles where they meet, you can install an accent tile to dress up the floor. You can cut one corner per four tiles, two corners per four tiles, or all four corners on all four tiles. Accents can be made of decorative tiles, or by using a contrasting color.

Tile Patterns for Transitional Kitchens

The transitional kitchen is one of the more popular types of designs blending traditional and modern elements together. Try one of these patterns to fit the space:

Step Pattern: The step pattern uses two sizes of tile, but unlike the cut corner pattern all the tiles are left whole. Instead, the small tile is positioned at the upper edge of the larger tile so it “steps off” as it moves across the room.

Herringbone: Herringbone patterns traditionally have been made using mosaics or 3×6 brick shaped tiles. Update the look by using 12×24 inch tiles in a herringbone pattern for a new twist on a traditional idea.

Tile Patterns for Modern Kitchens

Modern kitchens can still use patterns to bring some interest to the floor. Try one of these for a contemporary look:

Stacked Pattern: Rather than using a traditional off-set or herringbone pattern with rectangular tiles, try stacking them in rows. Use oversized tiles for the most modern look and create clean lines on the floor.

Strapping: With tiles coming in 1-inch by 24-inch lengths as well as 24-inch squares, consider strapping your tiles on the floor. Choose a 1-inch wide tile in a contrasting color to the main field and wrap each large tile in a thin strap of color for contrast.

 

No matter what your decision, the staff at Big Bob’s is happy to help you through the entire process!

Floor Styles For Various Home Tastes August 4, 2014

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Choosing your home flooring is one of the most crucial decisions you will make when renovating your house. Three important factors to keep in mind is maintaining a fluid design style, being mindful of your family’s lifestyle and ensuring you can afford not only the initial investment but also the long term maintenance costs. Below we have broken down types of flooring for each home style as well as the cost associated with maintaining each one.

The Modern Home

Many modern homes feature sleek innovative flooring ideas ranging from concrete to other alternative surfaces. For the minimalist, concrete is a popular option as it is quite versatile.  It can be polished to a shine or be stamped to create a faux wood finish. Concrete is also very economical, is fairly low maintenance and quite durable. A more sustainable alternative is rubber flooring, which is easy to maintain and can provide good insulation.

Cabin Home

Ideally a cabin home usually features wood flooring throughout. A great way to bring the outdoors inside is to utilize native woods, such as mahogany in Florida or pine in Colorado.  Reclaimed wood from older buildings is another wondrful choice for the environmentally conscious or budget minded homeowner. Maintenance for wood flooring is fairly high as upkeep includes constantly rebuffing to erase scuffs and scrapes as well as refilling gaps between the floorboards. Despite this, wood floors are a strong investment as they are offer good insulation, are hypoallergenic and have a low environmental impact.

Seaside Escape

At your seaside home, it is imperative to have flooring that is both water resistant and protects against the corrosive sea air. Based on this, many homeowners go with wood flooring. However, alternative materials such as bamboo are becoming popular in ocean homes. Bamboo flooring is an ideal choice as it waterproof, sustainable, very durable and has anti-bacterial properties.

Family homes

Family home flooring must be budget friendly, easily maintained and durable since many family activities often occur within its walls. As a result, most homeowners tend to use various floor types throughout the house. Bedrooms may have wood flooring to utilize it’s hypo allergic properties, stairs may be carpeted in order to cope with the high foot traffic area and the kitchen may be tiled to take advantage of the flooring’s waterproof properties. Those who live with pets must be conscious to select flooring that can resist scratches and scuffs.  Carpet and tile are great choices for these  homeowners.

Remember, selecting your home’s style and perfect flooring is a fun and creative process.   Being mindful of your needs and choices can make the experience delightful.  My Big Bob’s Flooring Outlet has a staff ready to answer any questions you may have on the subject.  Feel free to ask! 

What do you think? July 17, 2014

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What would you pick for your living room?

Bringing Home a Dog Soon? July 12, 2014

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A new addition to the family is a great event.  No matter if this new pet is a young puppy or a dog that has grown a bit, both the new dog and everyone in the home will fare better if your home is prepared before the four-legged homecoming.  Here are a few tips on making your home ready for Rover. 

 

Make a quick list

Before heading out for the shopping, a list is your best way to ensure that nothing is forgotten and you won’t need to make multiple trips.  This is a list of general items that will be useful for your new companion, although each dog will have a few specialized needs. 

  • A crate sized appropriately for your new friend (don’t forget that they will grow!)
  • Bedding such as a dog mat or dog bed
  • Chew toys made for your dog’s breed and size
  • Food and treats – consult your vet on the right choices here
  • Dished for food and water – make sure these are the right size!
  • Leash and collar
  • ID tags – talk to your vet about these as well
  • Baggies for collect and disposing of dog waste
  • Dog brush
  • Cleaners made for pet accidents

 

Pet Accidents

Preparing for the inevitable is a part of pet ownership.  Adjusting to new routines, new locations and new owners can take a toll on the habits of even the best-trained animal.  Keeping cleaners handy that are made for these inevitabilities will make the accidents a little easier to handle.  Vacuum more frequently to keep pet hair from becoming a problem and always use products that are made for pet stains and are approved by your carpet manufacturer.

 

Take the Time to Play

The responsibilities of having a new pet can seem like a lot to handle.  This is a great way for kids to learn and grow alongside their new friend.  But pet ownership is not all work!  Dogs and kids both need plenty of exercise and it is beautiful when they can do this together.  Backyard romping and family walks are a wonderful way for the whole family to interact with the new dog and become more active as well. 

 

Taking care of a few jobs with your new dog will pay off for a long time to come.  Remember that dog is man’s best friend for a reason!