Architectural Art Tile Custom Tile :: Ceramic Tiles :: Glass Tile :: Granite Tile Mon, 12 Oct 2015 23:49:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 5 Home Improvement Tips that will Increase the Energy Efficiency in Your Home Tue, 25 Feb 2014 19:26:51 +0000

As energy bills continue to rise, more and more homeowners are trying to find ways to make their house more energy efficient. Below is a list of five home improvement tips you can use to lower an energy bill, and make your home more energy efficient.

Install Solar Panels

As solar panels become more effective and less costly, the break even point for homeowner’s continues to decrease for these devices. Government tax credits for going green also make it a wise choice for homeowners who are looking to become more self-reliant for their energy production. While not cheap initially, the installation of a solar system can significantly cut down on your monthly power bill, and it is also a big plus for the environment.

Have an Audit Conducted on Your Home

If you are concerned about energy efficiency, it makes sense that you would want to know what areas you are currently deficient in when it comes to efficiency. An energy audit is a great way for you to find out what areas will return the most efficiency for your money, and it should be the starting point for most of the projects that you conduct around your home. The professionals that come through your house to do the audit also have a lot of good ideas for what would help your home. Some of these could be: window treatment ideas, where to place insulation etc..

Replace Your Old Light Bulbs

While it is now illegal to sell incandescent light bulbs, it is also not a good idea to have them in your home for your lighting needs. These bulbs use up to 75% more energy then LED bulbs, and they do not last for nearly as long.

Install Insulation

Having the right amount of insulation for your home will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Too little insulation requires you to run your AC or heater non-stop, and it is a big waste of energy. This is a relatively simple fix that can yield large returns.

Buy EnergyStar Appliances

These appliances are highly-regarded and they use a fraction of the energy that other appliances normally consume. They are readily available and are a great choice for any homeowner looking to increase energy efficiency. Since many appliances are on continually, this may be one of the largest sources of savings available.


This list of five tips is just the beginning, and there are countless other ways that you can make a home more energy efficient starting today.

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5 Must Have Accessories For Every Modern City Apartment Thu, 20 Feb 2014 16:05:03 +0000

It is very easy to fall into the trap of a lackluster apartment. It is also easy to turn that ho-hum home into a vibrant living space. Some tweaks and a few new accessories are all it takes to brighten up an apartment without spending a fortune. Here are some quick buys that fit any personal style and budget.



When it comes to decorating, pillows work great as the finishing touches to any taste. No matter the shape, color or style, pillows are versatile enough to go anywhere in an apartment. They are relatively inexpensive as well, which is great when shopping for flare on a budget. They also add a plush factor which can breathe warmth and life into a room.


Hidden Storage

Whether someone lives in the Rice Village apartments or the Hubert, storage holds the key to an organized home. Find furniture with dual purposes like futons that have storage compartments or window benches with pullout baskets. In a studio apartment, use a freestanding shelf to separate rooms and create extra storage space.


Floating Shelves

Not only are they sophisticated, but floating shelves also keep books and other small objects off the floor. Use these shelves to display artwork, family photos, or dishes for a room’s decorative finish. Some shelves even double as drawers to keep important items like keys and wallets safe.



Make use of window ledges by including a vibrant plant. Plants can be used as center pieces or cute table decorations. Creating a miniature spice garden adds pizzazz to both decor and meals, especially in the city. Even try getting creative by hanging small plants in glass orbs or old light bulbs.


Hanging Pot Rack

Hanging pot racks make sleek kitchen focal points while keeping cookware organized. There are tons of styles for every taste, as well. Hang a single rung pot rack over a window or a larger grate over a kitchen island. Some pot racks even allow for lights to be installed inside of them.


Try adding some of these extras to that apartment for some wow factor. When planning a room, look at the whole space to put its full potential to use. Other than installing them properly, there are no rules regarding an addition and its style. Remember to make a space stand out by finding the happy medium between current trends and personal touches. Any apartment can be a functional, fashionable fortress with a few well-placed accessories.

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Four Small Things That Can Lead To Big Problems In Your Home Wed, 22 Jan 2014 23:01:40 +0000

For homeowners with a habit of putting off routine maintenance, small problems may quickly lead to larger issues when left unattended. By addressing simple issues before they begin to escalate, homeowners can save time, headaches, and a considerable amount of money.


Don’t Forget About Your Roof


One of the most overlooked elements in any home is the roof. Most homeowners however, will tend to ignore its condition until a problem develops. Routine maintenance, and annual inspections will help to prevent small problems from becoming emergency repairs.


Power washing the surface, keeping gutters clean, and making certain that valleys and areas around flashing are free from debris will go a long way in preventing major issues from developing. When heights are a concern, a roofing contractor or gutter cleaning service is well worth the investment.


Siding, Porches, and Decks


Much like a roof, the exterior of any home is subject to the elements and should be power washed on an annual basis. Mold, dirt, and other debris that promote the deterioration of traditional wood siding should be eliminated in order to extend the material’s service life. Once exterior surfaces are clean, trim and siding may be primed and painted where trouble spots are evident.




The plumbing in any home is constantly subjected to hard water and debris that makes its way into drainage systems and supply lines. For homeowners with hard water, corrosive deposits in and around fixtures, and in supply lines, will simply speed up the process of deterioration.


Something as simple as having a Burlington plumber flush the hot water heater on an annual basis will help to avoid premature replacement and emergency service calls. Homeowners should also keep an eye on backups that only seem to be get worse over time. Toilets that aren’t performing properly or drains that work slowly should be dealt with before a major backup and water damage result. A professional such as Plugged Piper Drain Service may even use specialized equipment to keep drains clear and working properly.




Homeowners who rely on heating and cooling systems should have cleanings and inspections performed annually. Overlooking something so simple as routine service on a furnace may result in expensive emergency calls, or puff backs that fill a home with oil and soot.


Simple maintenance in any area of the home will save time, money, and a great deal of discomfort. Small problems will never fix themselves, and should always be dealt with head on.

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New Years Resolutions: 5 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home! Fri, 10 Jan 2014 18:33:42 +0000

It’s January, and you know what that means. People are getting organized and taking control of their lives and their homes. For most people, their biggest investment and asset is their home. Increasing the value of your home, even if you don’t plan on selling, can improve your quality of life and create a more harmonious atmosphere for your family. Here are five easy ways you can increase your home’s value.


A new coat of paint can increase the value of your home almost exponentially. If you live in an older home that hasn’t been updated in a while, you might be surprised at the transformation a coat of paint can make. Beige or tan walls with a white ceiling and baseboards are suggested to make rooms look bigger while adding a warm, calming effect that stark white walls can’t give.


Reducing clutter is great for your home and your family. Clean out the garage and attic, give away anything that’s unused, too big or small, or age-inappropriate. Repurpose or “upcycle” things that are broken . Find a place for everything, and put things in their places.


Keeping up your lawn and adding some easy decorative (or even food) plants will increase your home’s curb appeal. Stick to local plants that will thrive in your area’s climate without too much watering, food, or upkeep. Don’t overdo it–if you’re new to gardening, stick with plants that are not too complicated.

Create Storage Space

This goes hand-in-hand with organizing. If you have storage space, use it. If not, create some with garden sheds for sale at your local home improvement store. Some of these sheds are pre-fabricated and very easy to set up. They take little maintenance and can create space for your extra things so you don’t clutter up your living environment.

Update Light Fixtures

Replace old, worn-out or unsafe light fixtures with newer ones that match your home’s style and decor. Using energy-saving bulbs can save money and having fixtures that are compatible with the newer bulbs will increase your home’s value over time. Be sure to check the wattage limits before swapping out bulbs.

You can find these small upgrades at your local home improvement store, or you can check out for garden sheds that will match your landscaping style and your budget. Cleaning up, organizing, and improving your home are all excellent ideas for starting off the new year right.

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Remodeling a Home? Five Basics You Might Forget to Look At Wed, 04 Dec 2013 16:12:17 +0000 Most homeowners dream big when it comes to remodeling. After all, everyone wants their home to be a playhouse. However, even though you might want that hot tub in the backyard or a tiki bar out by the pool, unnecessary and extravagant renovations don’t do much to increase the resale value of your home. Below are five basic remodeling tips you might have forgotten to think about that will add value to your home.


Whether you have your current floors refurbished or if you decide to install hardwood floors, remodeling your floors can give you a 75 percent return on your investment. Hardwood flooring is a popular trend in new homes today and offer an alternative to faded out and worn carpet. Adding hardwood floors brightens up rooms, while making them appear larger.


Remodeling your kitchen can provide up to 80 percent return on your investment depending on what you do. Updating your appliances and counter tops add to your home’s appeal and improve your home’s marketability. Most of the other rooms in your home are more plain and installing brand new beautiful wooden cabinets can make a big difference in the look of your home. Newly remodeled kitchens help distinguish your home from the rest of the housing market and increase its value.


When your older appliances no longer work adequately, like your water heater, it’s advisable to have a professional gas water heater repair specialist come and look at your water heater and either repair it or replace it with a new one. Most homeowners simply replace their appliances, but the truth of the matter is that appliance repair can save you time, money and stress as well as adding value to your home.


Renovating your bathroom is a great way to add value to your home. Adding new fixtures, paint and tile can do a lot for your bathrooms. Keep in mind that even though you might like a claw foot bathtub or shower stall, not every prospective buyer likes the same thing. Always keep this in mind before you completely renovate your bathroom to your own preferences. A little color is good, but stick with an accent wall. Although pink or blue toilets and bathtubs were popular in the 1970s, you’ll want to stick with white fixtures for a modern look.


One major complaint that most homeowners hear about their home is the lack of closet space available. If you remodel your bedroom or add space to your bedroom and hall closets, you can keep your home from being one of those in the small closet club. Additionally, you will keep those buyers looking for plenty of closet space happy. Be careful when choosing space. You don’t want to cut significant space off an already small bedroom.

Once you start a few small remodeling projects like the ones above, you will find that you have added an immense amount of value to your home, and prospective buyers will certainly be looking at your home when you list it on the market.

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6 Ways To Spice Up Your Rented Bathroom And Make It Feel Like Home Thu, 24 Oct 2013 00:10:16 +0000 When you decide to sell up your home and head for pastures new there is sometimes a stage in between where you have to rent some short term accommodation. Not everyone can just step into their new home. That’s fine. It’s not the end of the world. Still, it can get quite annoying when things are not how you like them. If you’re staying in this place for a few weeks you want some things to be a little homely.

Especially the bathroom. Anyone can sleep on someone else’s bed. It will have fresh sheets on top and as long as it’s comfortable you are happy. A bathroom is different. It’s where you are at your most vulnerable. When you have no clothes on and have to wash. It’s important the bathroom is different. Short term accommodation is never up to scratch, so let’s see what you can do.

Add some storage space

You don’t want to have all your toiletries scattered around the room. Keep everything the same as before and have it all nicely tucked away. The easiest way to do this is by buying some cheap storage shelves that everything can sit on. It’s going to make life a lot easier for you.

Change your light shade

How many bathrooms do you go into and they have the most horrible light shades? It will literally take you about 2 minutes to change and it will make the place look nice. Just store the current one in the cupboard. It will only take you an extra 2 minutes to change back when you move out. Simple.

Use new curtains

You might not even have any when you move in. If you do they will most likely be horrible and not the color you’d like. It’s a big feature in any bathroom and will bring color to the room, so you may as well change them as soon as you get there. Again, just swap them back before you go.

Decorate the tiles

Now I’m not saying you should go out and buy fresh new tiles and have someone change them for you. Apart from the fact it’s completely unnecessary, it’s just plain stupid. But you could always buy some easy-stick stickers with some nice designs, which you can put on and whip off quickly.

Take some nice towels

Everyone always loves their own towels. They are always just the right kind we enjoy. Ones you get in rented accommodation are usually terrible. If you don’t take your own it means you are going to hate getting dried every day. Maybe you can live with it, but you don’t need to if you don’t want to.

Add some color

The bathroom will probably all be the same color. Something I bet you won’t like very much. A simple way to fix this is by adding some color to the mix. Easy ways to do that are shower curtains or bathroom rugs. A rug is probably a good idea anyway for when you’re stepping out of the shower.

Weston Markley authors blogs for PortaCo, Inc.,manufacturers of hydraulic tools and equipment for constructing energy efficient buildings. He is also an expert on hydraulic tools for building and home construction.

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Too Much Clutter? 7 Tips To De-Junk Your House Wed, 23 Oct 2013 21:26:01 +0000

One of the best ways to free up extra space in your home is to get rid of stuff you don’t need or aren’t using. If you think you need to get rid of some stuff or just need to free up some more space, try these seven ways to move it out of your house.


Give each family member a box to fill

Once a week, make everyone fill a box or bag with things they want to get rid of from their bedrooms. After a few weeks, everyone will be in the habit of doing this, and you’ll get rid of a lot of junk.

Hold a yard sale

Pick a date, then start gathering up stuff to put in the sale. You’ll make money, and you’ll be forcing yourself to de-clutter.

Consider a storage unit

Look for a Jackson self storage unit at If you have stuff you need to get rid out of your house but you still need to use it, this can be a good temporary solution.

Limit the paper coming in

Put yourself on registries to get rid of junk mail, and sign up for paperless billing. Keep mail confined to one area, and regularly gather up old lists, coupons, etc. and throw them away or recycle them.

Sell your old electronics

Everyone these days has a box or closet full of old cell phones, video game systems, TVs, and more. Pawn shops, charities, and online venues all accept used electronics. Sometimes the gadgets are recycled, other times they’re refurbished and resold.

Limit your kitchen gadgets

A lot of people have kitchen drawers and cabinets that overflow with stuff. Go through cabinet by cabinet and take out anything that you don’t use at least once a month. Make a box of specialty items that are used around holidays and keep it in a garage or storage unit. Sell or toss anything that you haven’t used in over a year.

If you haven’t worn it for a year, get rid of it

Closets tend to get cluttered with a lot of things that you think are going to comeback in style or that you’ll fit into again. In truth, items tend to hang or lay around for years. Instead, take clothing in good condition and sell it to a consignment shop. Use the money to buy yourself something that is in style today.

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Helpful Tips For Saving Money On Home Repairs Mon, 07 Oct 2013 16:29:38 +0000

Many homeowners decide to take on the task of performing repairs on the house personally. Home repairs can be costly if they are not done correctly and planned right. Some expenses are unavoidable. Others are not. Five tips will help anyone to save money on home repairs.


1. Stay Focused On the Repair


Some overambitious homeowners can turn a simple repair into a massive undertaking or renovation project. This can cause costs to spiral out of control as unexpected issues arise. Saving money on home repairs means staying focused on the exact work needed to fix a problem without overreaching into other areas.


2. Comparison Shop for Materials


Nearly all home improvement projects require some materials and supplies. Homeowners should always comparison shop for these items instead of just going to the nearest hardware store. Some retailers could have a sale or a coupon available. Some manufacturers offer rebates on specific purchases. Taking the time to see which retailers offer the best price will save money on home repairs.


3. Call Professionals When Necessary


Some home repairs need to be done by trained professionals. Garage doors are one example. The springs and cables can snap or come free and cause serious injuries that result in high medical bills. It is best to find a garage door repair expert as soon as problems are detected and before they stop the door from functioning. The experts can make all necessary repairs before minor issues turn into expensive emergencies. Calling professionals early will save money over time.


4. Ask Friends and Neighbors for Help


Some money can be saved on home repair projects by asking friends or neighbors for help. Friends might have extra supplies or specialized tools that will make it unnecessary to buy anything at a store. Neighbors are often willing to help when extra hands are needed to lift a new window frame or hold drywall in place. This will save money and make more home repairs possible.


5. Plan the Repair Carefully


Every supply and material that is damaged, unused or purchased in error is lost money. Saving money means planning the home repair carefully. The entire process should be understood. Measurements and precise lists of supplies should determine what is purchased. This will save money by preventing homeowners from buying unnecessary or incorrect items.


It is always important to leave a repair to a professional if there is any doubt about the process. Poorly done work can actually cause extensive damage that is costly to repair. Knowing when to call a professional for a repair is a very effective way to save money.


Author Bio: Tommy Mello owns A1 Garage Door Service in Phoenix, Arizona. He enjoys sharing garage improvement ideas and maintenance tips.

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Making Sure Your Home is Ready for Holiday Guests: 5 Foolproof Tricks Thu, 26 Sep 2013 21:32:08 +0000

An important holiday is coming up and everyone is coming over to your house. This is great for you because you don’t have to go anywhere and can hang out with everyone you care about inside the comfort of your own home. You may also feel stressed out because this also means that you have to make your home look and feel comfortable for everyone that is coming! Don’t fret, these tips will help you out.


1. Clean Up

The first and most simple tip you should know is that your home should be completely clean when guests come over. Nobody likes to hang out in a mess. However, that doesn’t mean the entire house needs to be spotless. Keep the areas that everyone will be clean, which mainly includes the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. This could also include any connecting rooms.


2. Temperature

Whether it’s hot or cold during this holiday, it won’t matter how nice your home looks if your guests aren’t comfortable. You need to be able to balance out the temperature to a comfortable level. It is worth seeking air conditioning repair in Houston TX or getting that heater cleaned out so your guests can be as comfortable as possible.


3. Scents

The smell of your home is one of the biggest factgors in making your home comfortable for guests.  It can be nice to get seasonal candles or scents to place around your guests. Get something light and soothing that won’t overwhelm the room. Your goal with these scents is to comfort your guests, not choke them to death. Avoid strong potpourris and use calming essential oils instead, like lavender or eucalyptus.


4. Decorate

Want to make the holidays more exciting for you and your guests? Decorate the house to match the season or holiday. This could include warm autumn colors during the fall, or red and green for Christmas. Decorations can really bring the place to life, so don’t be afraid to go out of the box a little bit.


5. Music

Light music in the background can be quite comforting as well. Keep it very subtle and appropriate to the holiday. Your guests will really enjoy it and it will help if things ever get too quiet. Music can completely change the scene and it makes people feel much better and relaxed, so bring out the tunes and make this holiday season fun and special for everyone invited!

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The Most Popular Types of Wood Flooring that Homeowners Choose for their Homes Mon, 23 Sep 2013 19:15:09 +0000 Nothing feels warmer or looks more beautiful than a natural hardwood floor. The shine of the finish and the warmth of the wood both contribute to make a floor that is absolutely stunning. Unlike carpets, hardwood flooring never goes out of style. Even now, homeowners are using reclaimed wood from centuries ago to use in their homes.

A Whole New Look

Changing to hardwood flooring can turn a drab room into a brilliant experience. While most floors are often an afterthought compared to furniture and paint, the right hardwood floor serves to highlight everything else in the room. However, choosing what wood to use isn’t easy – you have to factor in both the beauty of the wood and its properties. Is it resilient to wear? What type of grain does it have?

To ease the pressure, here are a couple popular varieties:

Red Oak

Red oak is one of the most versatile and economical choices available . This species has an open grain that can easily be stained almost any color. Makes it a perfect choice for any style. A more traditional look than other species, Red oak is still the standard among hardwood flooring options. Its beauty and strength will never go out of style.

Maple Plank

Maple has a dense, subtle grain that helps create a more even and uniform look. If less variance is what you are looking for, Maple is the perfect choice for your home. It is one of the harder domestic woods available, making it a great choice for families. Its natural blond colors also help brighten up even the darkest of rooms. Giving you the feel of a larger, more open space.

Handscraped Hardwood Flooring

Handscraped hardwood flooring hearkens back to the 1800s when to refinish a hardwood floor, a single craftsman would get down on his hands and knees and literally scrape the surface of the wood in order to get a smooth finish. Naturally, this left scrape marks, which can still be seen in some reclaimed wood today. Sometimes grooves are left in the plank to give it a slight texture that mimic years of wear and tear.

Distressed Wood Flooring

One of the beautiful things about old homes and old floors is that they have character. Distressed wood flooring replicates this feeling by providing homeowners with wood floors that look worn and used. Scrape marks, chatter marks and wormholes are intentionally left in the plank to give it that Old World feel. The perfect floor if you have kids or pets. It will wear well down the road and help hide new “character” marks that may appear from normal everyday living.

Bamboo or Cork

As the environment becomes more and more of a concern, some people are turning to fast growing and renewable products like Bamboo and Cork. Both are readily available with virtually no impact on our environment. Take care in choosing your Bamboo products. Not all are created equal. We use strandwoven bamboo to ensure it is one of the hardest and durable products available.

Ordering Online

When you purchase hardwood from a retail store you will end up paying more. Retail stores act as a middleman. Purchasing products from a distributor then additionally marking it up. When you shop at Hardwood Bargains, you effectively cut out the middleman. We buy directly from the source and pass along the savings  to you.

Guy Ventimiglia is the Sales Manager for He has over 23 years’ experience in the flooring industry, and is an industry expert in all types of hardwood flooring. When he isn’t working at, he is enjoying time with his family skiing and snowboarding.

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