Caulking Your Bathroom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Kitchen and Bath, Tile, Tips

One of our clients recently mentioned that she had a water leak. It started in her bathroom but ended up causing a huge damp spot on her dining room ceiling. She has a tile shower and somehow a leak developed. To spare all of you the same headache, here is some information to prevent this from happening to you.

If you have tile shower walls, there is a very good possibility that a leak could develop between the tile and the tub. As your house moves (a natural process that occurs in every home), a hairline crack can occur that allows water to get into the joint. Once water gets in, there is no telling how much damage can be done.

Caulking between your shower walls and tub prevents leaks and reduces mildew buildup. Removing old caulk and recaulking joints between tiles and your tub is an annual bathroom maintenance job. You heard that right – it is an annual job.

There’s another good reason to recaulk. If you’ve tried to remove the black mildew stains from caulk, you know the blemishes are often stubborn and unyielding. That’s because the stains are often behind the caulk, between the caulk and the wall. The answer, of course, is to remove the caulk, kill the mildew, and then replace the caulk.

Removing the caulk isn’t as hard as it appears. There are commercial  products that can assist you with the job. These products are specially formulated to soften caulk for easy removal. After the caulk has softened, remove it with a putty knife. Clean the joint area with paint thinner and then wipe it down with a clean cloth. Kill mildew with a mixture of bleach, water and powdered laundry detergent. (NEVER use any detergent that contains ammonia with bleach as this can create a dangerous gas). Place these ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray the affected areas and then rinse well with water. Use your blow dryer to dry the area. Now you are ready to reapply some caulk.

Apply tub and tile caulk into the joint and smooth it with your finger, an old teaspoon, or a caulking spreader. Immediately remove the tape by pulling it out and away from the freshly caulked joint. Be careful not to touch the caulk. Let it dry. If you don’t want to take the risk and try this on your own, definitely ask a professional.

Not only will your shower look better, but you are also preventing leaks and future water damage.

 

Cleaning Your Refrigerator

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Hints and Advice, Kitchen and Bath, Tips

What is the most neglected and least cleaned item in your kitchen? Is it your refrigerator? Your countertops and floors get wiped down and mopped on a weekly basis, but how often do you spend time cleaning the fridge? We depend on it to safely store all of our foods. Unfortunately, the refrigerator takes a lot of abuse; we stuff it full, forget about leftovers, and leave spills to clean up later. Then, we complain when there’s even the slightest unpleasant odor. Find out all the steps you need to know to clean your refrigerator.

  • Empty the fridge – Toss any old or expired food into the trash. Remove the food that is still good to a cooler with ice to keep it safe and cold while you clean the remainder of the refrigerator.
  • Remove drawers – Take out all removable drawers and shelves and set them aside. Drawers and shelves that are made of metal or plastic can actually be washed with hot water and dish soap right away, but glass and ceramic pieces need to gradually warm up to room temperature before being washed with hot water to prevent cracking and breaking.
  • Wipe down the inside – Use a clean cloth with hot water and a mild detergent like dish soap. Work from top to bottom to prevent dripping on surfaces that are already clean. Rinse cloths thoroughly and/or use multiple cloths to insure cleanliness. Pay special attention to the bottom crevices and back of the refrigerator where spills tend to migrate. Finally, wipe down the interior doors. Take a clean dry cloth and carefully dry the inside.
  • Clean shelves and drawers – Use warm water and dish soap to thoroughly clean shelves and drawers. Wipe them dry with a clean soft cloth.
  • Replace the food – Put the food back into the refrigerator. Now is also a good time to wipe off any jars or containers of food that may need it, like a sticky jelly jar or a crusty salad dressing lid.
  • Clean the outside – Starting from the top, wipe down and clean the exterior of the refrigerator using hot/warm water and a mild dish soap. If you have a stainless steel refrigerator, check the manufacturer’s suggestions.

Finally, we received this housekeeping tip from one of our customers – Instead of tossing small glass jars into the recycling bin, peel off their labels, scrub the glass clean, and keep them around to use for storage. Not only is it easy to see what you have in your fridge, but glass containers also trap smells that might otherwise permeate the refrigerator.

What Makes a Flooring Products ‘Green’?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Green Flooring, Product Education, Tips

Due to a growing awareness of the effects of global warming, many homeowners are now supporting the idea of going green by using materials for their home and flooring products that are good for the environment.

So What Makes a Flooring Product ‘Green’?

· Renewable Resource. If the flooring is made from material that is easily renewable, then it is considered an eco-friendly flooring product. An example of this green flooring is bamboo. Bamboo takes just 5 to 6 years before it matures so it can be harvested repeatedly for many years. Cork is also a flooring product that is a renewable resource, as it is made from the bark of a cork oak tree, and nothing is harmed in the manufacturing of cork floors.

· Made from Recycled Materials. Recycling is another method that can help save the environment. Instead of throwing away old material, which adds to our landfill problems, recycled items can be recycled and put to good use. Reclaimed wood flooring that is taken from old homes, barns and buildings for demolition, create a rustic feel giving your home a unique look.

· Made from Natural Products. Natural products are good for the environment, as they don’t emit harmful chemicals that can damage and pollute the earth and atmosphere. An example of flooring that is made from natural products is linoleum. Linoleum is made from linseed oil, pine resin, and cork which are not harmful to mother earth.

There are now many options available for green flooring. They are affordable, beautiful and most of all environment friendly. Go green!

Remember When…..

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice, Tips

Remember when you were a young boy or girl? What was your dream room? Perhaps it was something with castles, race cars, Disney characters, or construction trucks.  Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to give your child a themed room that they’ll enjoy?  Take a look at some these pictures below for ideas:

A place to escape into a book.

Under the Sea.

A boat bed for sailing away!

An amazing space room to venture into the galaxy!

Want to play cowboys and Indians?

For the princess.

Who said you can’t play with Legos on the wall?

These concepts can be used in bedrooms and play areas.  Did the room ideas inspire you? If so, how did they?  Take a look at our Design Resource Center for more ways to help you design your next room.

Bedroom Charm

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Tips

Tutus and ballet slippers can be inspiration for a charming and feminine bedroom, like the one seen here. Many girls, teens and even adults are drawn to the aesthetics and colors of the ballet world. Using this world as inspiration, a beautiful French style bedroom design can be achieved.

 

Ballet slipper pink is a pale and flattering shade of pink that can be used on walls, carpets, furniture or bed linens in a bedroom. It isn’t as strong a pink as others and can be mixed with whites and taupes for a subtle but sophisticated palette. The pop of the black of the tutu on the armoire door illustrates the power of a black accent or two in an otherwise pale and monochromatic palette. A little bit of black can be used as an accent on fabric, including French inspired toiles and stripes.

 

Curving lines of French designs are perfect for a ballet inspired bedroom. Like the long lines of a ballerina’s legs, the sweeping curves of scrolls and vines on the armoire add to the sense of feminine grace. Grace is a key description of a space inspired by ballet.  Along with soft pastels and a few black accents, graceful lines and forms lend themselves to a feminine and glamorous style. Cabriole legs on beds, nightstands and desks have a curving elegance that perfectly suit this style.

 

Wood floors can lend the feeling of a dance or ballet studio to the bedroom. Soft, fluffy area rugs can break up the hard surface of the floor.

Wet Pool & Dry Floors – Can You Have Both?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice, Tips

Do you enjoy having a pool in your backyard but worry about all that water dripping on your nice floors? If you were able to include a bathroom with patio access, you can use that as an airlock – having everyone shower, dry and dress before heading into the rest of the house. However, if you don’t have that available, there are other choices.

Putting in an outdoor shower can give you many of the benefits of a pool bath. If you can design some privacy in, people can shower, dry and dress before going into the house. This is a perfect opportunity to install a solar hot water heater. It will provide plenty of heat on warm sunny days when the pool is in demand.

Another option is simple management. Have everyone towel down and stay outside long enough to dry off before coming into the house. If you make sure to have nice patio furniture and cold drinks and maybe even snacks outside, this will not be a burden on family and friends. On warm days, 15 minutes or so will probably be the most that’s needed.

One solution will address the worst of the problem but it’s more than a bit of work. If you place washable rugs or folded towels outside the patio entrance and inside the house for seven or eight feet you will capture most of the drips before they hit your floors. Of course this involves making sure towels and rugs stay dry enough to work and get laundered regularly.

The best way to look at this situation and find solutions is with the help of the whole family. It’s best to talk together to determine what will work best for all of you. After all, you want to make sure that your pool is a source of fun rather than contention.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Design and Decorating, Tips

It’s obvious, right?!? The flooring just doesn’t work in this room. The cabinets are lovely – a light maple in a Shaker style. The black countertops and matching appliances provide just the right note of contrast. However, the floor gives the whole kitchen a dull feel. This room could handle either a dark or light tile. Even a black and white pattern would liven up the space. But this flooring choice doesn’t match the cabinets and yet doesn’t look different enough to stand out from them.

The other problem with this kitchen is the general lack of excitement. Imagine the space with a colorful backsplash done in glass tile. Right now the backsplash simply mirrors the white inside the glass-fronted cabinets. This demonstrates yet another opportunity to take this room out of the ordinary that was ignored by the homeowner.

When planning your kitchen, give some serious thought to what you can do to get your guests to look twice. A little imagination and creativity and you too can have a kitchen to remember, and without having to hire a cook that makes everyone nervous.

Replacement Floors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Century Tile Difference, Tips, Uncategorized

As you may know, we have had a tremendous amount of rain in our area. Many rivers, lakes and waterways have caused flooding conditions. Basements are like swimming pools. We are all just sick over the flooding that has occurred. We spoke to a woman last week who is saddened by the loss of many of her personal items….things that she can’t replace.

We want you to know that we are here to help make the replacement process for flooded floors as painless as possible.

On the bright side of things there are materials that can weather these unexpected conditions. Ceramic is a great solution. It durable, easy to clean and can withstand huge amounts of water, especially when installed on concrete. Ceramic floors can look like wood, marble and even granite. Consideration should strongly be given to ceramic as a replacement alternative, especially in those homes that are prone to water issues. Century Tile has new patterns arriving everyday and are ready to help with your replacement challenges.

Please let us know how we can help.