The Difference Between Hard and Soft Woods in Kitchen Remodeling

The main difference between using hardwood for remodeling a kitchen and softwood is either the presence of porous material or the absence of porous material in the wood. Hardwoods are different sizes and shapes and also porous. Softwoods don’t have pores, but have veins instead. Now hardwoods are more resistant to different types of damage such as dents and scratches. But some softwood can be harder than hardwood; for example, balsa, which is considered a hardwood, is softer than yew, which is considered softwood.

planksWhen putting down flooring, either hardwoods or softwoods can be used. It depends on what you want to pay, your taste in wood and what goes with your décor. Hardwood is a higher cost than softwood will be though but with Hardwood there is less maintenance. So if you use softwood; as an example, it requires more maintenance to keep the floor looking like new.

The whole key is proper floor installation. If installed properly and with the stained applied correctly, even an inexpensive floor will look expensive. However, if the workmanship is shoddy, then it doesn’t matter how much the wood costs; the floor will just look bad.

Now, in cabinets, the wear and tear is on the cabinet doors and the front of the drawers where the utensils are, and they wear regardless of the type of wood. Putting the utensils in and out scrapes even the hardest of woods over time. Also, fingernails will scar wood where you grab the knob or door handle on the cupboard. All this activity will scar the wood and wear down the finish regardless if your wood is hard or soft. One way to make the cabinets more durable though is to make sure the finish on the cabinets is heavy and dense. The heavier and denser the finish is then the more durable. Then they’ll be able to stand up to every day wear and tear.

It all comes down to what you want in your kitchen for storage or otherwise and what pleases you aesthetically. But if you only choose the wood for your kitchen based on its durability instead of how it looks, you may end up being very unhappy with the outcome.

What Causes Wood and Laminate Cabinets to Bubble

If you are noticing bubbles in your wood or laminated kitchen cabinets, you have a problem. When these materials age, they are affected by changes in the temperature, humidity and act up if they’ve been damaged. These changes can cause the laminate to pull away from the wood base that it’s been glued to. The thing to keep in mind is that because veneer is actually pretty brittle and delicate, this can turn into a serious problem pretty quickly. So when the veneer is loose from the base, it can start to chip and split and your cabinets quickly becomes shoddy looking. These changes can also cause blistering, which are little bubbles underneath the surface of the laminate. These bubbles need to be fixed pretty quickly too before they begin to worsen. So how can you fix blistered or peeling cabinets? Below are some instructions you may find useful:

  • First get a razor blade and then along the length of the bubble cut a slit.
  • Take a toothpick and yellow carpenter’s glue and apply a bead to the toothpick. On the underside of the veneer where the bubble was pulling away from the underlying wood, spread the carpenter’s glue.
  • Next, gently and lightly press the veneer against the wood where the glue is applied. If any glue seeps up through the slit wipe it away with a cloth. Also put a piece of wax paper over the veneer on the area that you repaired.
  • To keep veneer tightly pressed against the wood until the wood dries, place something heavy against the spot. If the bubble is on the edge or close to the edge of the cabinet, get a clamp and a flat piece of wood. Place the piece of wood on the wax paper and then clamp it down firmly in place. This will also work if you can’t place something heavy directly on the patch. Let the patch dry overnight.
  • Next morning, remove the wood and wax paper from the patch and sand the area with fine grit sandpaper, lightly. Then apply either wood oil or varnish on the surface with a clean rag, let the first coat dry and then apply the second coat.

Repairing bubbles in your cabinets isn’t difficult; it just takes time and patience.

How Lap Pools Improve Health

A lap pool is usually about 50 feet in length; is long, narrow and has a rectangular shape. If you have a shallow residential lot or a narrow one, this type of pool is perfect for you. This type of swimming pool is built to be used mainly for health and fitness in the privacy of your own backyard.

lap-pool-constructionSo how does a lap pool improve your health and fitness? Well, by swimming in a lap pool you can do aerobic exercise without the harsh impact on your muscles and joints. This is especially helpful with older people dealing with arthritis or some other type of joint injury. Using a lap pool will also help to increase your strength and your muscle tone as well as giving you improved flexibility. Additionally, exercising daily will help you control your weight and manage weight loss. Plus; last but not least, it will help to lower your stress levels.

So when you swim, it not only increases your fitness level; but it can, when combined with healthy eating help you to lose weight. Additionally, when you are swimming laps, the resistance you encounter is 12 to 14 percent greater than if you performed the same exercise out of the water which is great for added strength. Also as you swim laps daily, by improving your stroke you can increase your speed which will burn more calories. Now if you want to build up your lower body and increase the flexibility in your ankles, try using swim fins. Swim fins will help you to increase your speed and in a shorter time you’ll be able to swim more laps too.

If you decide that a 30 minute workout is perfect for you, you’ll need to divide the 30 minutes by how long it takes you to finish a lap. This will tell you how many laps you’ll need to swim to make the 30 minute quota. Plus, if you work at increasing the length of your strokes and how often you stroke the water, this will let you travel through the water faster. You will find yourself swimming more laps in a shorter amount of time.

Owning a lap pool can help you increase your stamina, lose weight and get your health back on track.

How to Care for Wood Cabinets in Dry Climates

Although many people worry about their wood cabinets in their kitchen becoming damp from humid conditions, some people have concerns about too dry conditions. Now extremely dry conditions can cause wood cabinets to crack. Insert panels in the doors can shrink which will cause the panel edges to be exposed. This exposure will be noticeable against the finished parts of the panel and door.

IMG_2732Also because kitchen cabinets can be made from solid hardwoods and veneered plywood which is blended together, they need a certain amount of moisture. If the necessary moisture isn’t present, joints will become loose and the veneer will peel. The cabinets will start to deteriorate and become rough to the touch. At that point, the cabinets will need to be replaced. But you can avoid that by replenishing dry cabinets with natural products which will help to replace the flexibility and finish on the wood. So below are some steps you can follow which will help your cabinets shine like new:

  • First get a soft cloth and saturate it with lemon oil. Then thoroughly wipe the cabinets inside until it looks wet. If you’re having trouble getting the lemon oil in the corners, squirt it directly in the corner and then wipe.
  • Next, take the saturated cloth and wipe down the doors. Make sure you get the top and bottom edges plus the front and back of the door. If the panels are raised or profiled, you can squirt the lemon on directly on the area and then wipe it off. If you see any dry places, squirt the lemon oil on it and wipe it off.
  • Then wipe over the face of the cabinets, the edges and any other exposed areas you missed. The cabinets should look wet and shiny. Let the oil soak in overnight.
  • The next day, wipe over everything again with the lemon oil. Don’t restock the cabinet until 24 hours have passed. After that, once a month reapply the lemon oil for a three month period and one time a year after that.

Even in a dry climate, your cabinets can still be beautiful if maintained correctly.

Creating an Energy Efficient Home with New Windows

Energy efficiency is on most people’s minds because the cost of heating and cooling homes is so high. People often focus on home improvement projects like purchasing energy efficient appliances and upgrading their heating and air conditioning systems. These purchases can help lower costs significantly, but the savings will be much more significant you also eliminate the energy leaks in your home.

windowsOne of the best investments you can make is replacing your windows. Old windows allow a significant amount of cool or hot air to escape. This means your furnace or air conditioner has to work harder to compensate for the energy leaks.

Installing energy efficient windows can save you hundreds of dollars each year. Older windows typically aren’t tightly sealed and allow air to escape. When you walk by older windows, you may notice a draft or the curtains blowing slightly. This is a sign your windows need to be replaced if you want to cut down on energy loss.

When you approach home improvement projects, you should consider the amount of the investment and the benefits it will provide over the long term. Some projects are merely surface details, but energy efficient home improvement projects offer you more in the long run. New, tightly-fitting windows can reduce your reliance on your heating and air conditioning systems. Window screens are a great option for allowing ventilation in the home and keeping bugs and other posts out of the home.

New windows are a long-term investment in your home. They not only benefit you while you live in the home, they also increase the house’s value if you to decide to sell. Buyers will appreciate energy efficient options. Updated windows are also available in more styles than older types. You can choose decorative designs and features like sliding windows, pull-out windows and other styles. A variety of window borders colors are available. You’ll also find that new windows lock tightly which provides extra security for your home. These personal touches will make your home even more attractive to buyers down the road.