Fall is upon us . Many are happy while others may be approaching it with dread. Those sad and down trodden are individuals that suffer through a frustrating condition called allergies. While the falling leaves are beautiful and bring an array of beautiful colors to most, it brings these individuals the frustration of sneezing, sickness and so many other discomforts due to mold. For allergy sufferers, making minor changes and renovations to their homes externally and internally is a necessity.
As time goes by, trends come and go. Green kitchen appliances slowly morphed into stainless steel. Tile backsplashes fade in the background as slabs take the forefront. Even the main purpose of a kitchen has reached an entirely new level. Oftentimes you may even find an area in the kitchen that can be used as a workstation using your laptop and charging stations for your mobile devices. Fully functional bars have also been installed, adding more of a reason for gatherings to ensue in the kitchen. Mudrooms and laundry rooms have made their way offset to most kitchens making it convenient for multi-taskers complete their daily chores better than ever. With so many trends taking over the common kitchen, it’s always good to keep up and possibly apply them to your own home.
Did you know that the fastest growing flooring type is SPC or Stone Polymer Composite flooring? Most homeowners are trying to go as green as possible for their renovation options. Countertops and flooring are now being manufactured with composite materials. I know what you are thinking….every inexpensive piece of furniture that you have ever bought or put together built from composite has fallen apart and there is really no longevity. But that was in the past. Composite countertops and flooring are truly the wave of the future.
Plywood was never really an appealing material to work with. However, in recent years, many designers have adapted the material as a creative muse. Builders are also thinking of innovative ways to use it in their own designs. Rather than only being used in unfinished work spaces, or simply as subflooring for kitchen, bathroom or whole house renovation; you’ll see plywood in completed projects.
The economy may be keeping a lid on spending, but when it comes to flooring, it’s driving trends. That’s because today’s cost-conscious consumer is more demanding of value than ever.
There’s definitely been a shift from spending to savings. But that doesn’t mean consumers aren’t buying flooring: it means they’re looking for value and comfort. They might not be moving up right now, but they’re still into feathering the nest.
Green design is a science, not an art. Some principles apply across the board, but many measures will depend on your home’s age, construction techniques used, building codes, local climate (temperature and humidity) and the land on which your home sits. If you’re going to get serious about green, you’ll want to do a lot of research and eventually some testing. To help you along, we’ve provided this list of recommended resources.
American Lung Association Health House
Since 1993, this program has educated homeowners about indoor air quality and its impact on health, particularly asthma and allergies. The website provides an indoor air quality checklist, tip sheets on issues ranging from lead to radon, home maintenance guides and other information about creating a healthy home.
Begun as a utility-based energy-saving program, Earth Advantage now also addresses sustainability and home performance for Oregon and Washington states. The site includes an interactive quiz to see how green your home is, information on mortgages that reward green homeowners, and a design resource center that provides green recommendations, how-to info and products for each room of your new or existing home.
Looking to build or remodel a home in the Southeast? Born in Atlanta for new single-family homes, the EarthCraft House green building program has spread to multifamily existing homes, and throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. EarthCraft offers education, training and guidelines for builders, but homeowners can benefit from the knowledge, as well as a list of EarthCraft House builders, remodelers and communities.
Energy Efficient Rehab Advisor
Based on the information you plug into it — age of home, location and type of project — this interactive tool recommends specific energy-efficient, healthy, durable and sustainable improvements, such as adding insulation or using low-flow faucets. Information on costs and savings is included. The tool is based on information from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Recommendations are based on averages and computer models, but it’s a good starting point.
To earn Energy Star qualification, homes and products must meet strict criteria for energy efficiency set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. The website offers lists of Energy Star-qualified products such as dishwashers, refrigerators, clothes washers, lighting fixtures and ceiling fans; information on tax credits, special offers or rebates; home improvement tips; and a database of builders, developers and home energy raters who can help you build an Energy Star home.
If you are still looking for more ways to go green during a remodel, head to PlumbTile and ask one of our expert employees. They will be able to help you find the perfect ways for you to incorporate your green fingerprint into your home.
The questions on most people’s mind are two things: How do I reduce my energy bills and how do I reduce my carbon footprint? Going green can be achieved with going weith all natural material in your tiles. Natural wood such as cork and stone tiles offer very beautiful choices but if you are more into the exotic look, consider coconut, pebble or teak mosaic tiles. And if you want to go 100% green you can purchase tiles made strictly from recycled materials. Continue reading
The bathroom is full of harsh chemicals and high rates of water consumption. We need to find better ways of conserving our natural resources and cutting down the use of such chemicals. Why not start in the bathroom? There are quite a few ways in which you can go green in the bathroom. Continue reading