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Patios Dublin

PDD1 Laying Vinyl Tile The Right Way

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1444

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Vinyl Tile is still one of the best floor coverings to choose for kitchens and bathrooms. Ceramic tile is great, but the cost to have a professional install it can be prohibitive. The answer, vinyl tiles installed by you. You will save a lot of money you can use toward other home improvements you want to do.

Vinyl tile is also a great choice for other reasons. There are some beautiful choices of both style and color. There are so many different patterns and colors to choos…


home improvement, do it yourself, diy, home projects, home repair, remodeling, flooring, vinyl floor

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Vinyl Tile is still one of the best floor coverings to choose for kitchens and bathrooms. Ceramic tile is great, but the cost to have a professional install it can be prohibitive. The answer, vinyl tiles installed by you. You will save a lot of money you can use toward other home improvements you want to do.

Vinyl tile is also a great choice for other reasons. There are some beautiful choices of both style and color. There are so many different patterns and colors to choose from that you will want to take your time in choosing something that will enhance the beauty of your kitchen or bathroom.

In addition to that, vinyl tile is much better than linoleum for practical reasons. With a linoleum floor, one accident and the whole floor is ruined basically, because it is all one piece. When you buy vinyl tile, you buy extra squares. If an accident ruins one or two tiles, you replace them.

In this article I will help you learn how to install your own vinyl tile floor with confidence. I m going to teach you the old school way of laying this beautiful floor covering. I call it old school, because I learned from tile layers that had been doing it for years before I started.

First, we need to start with the basics. I don t know what is on the floor where you plan to put down vinyl tile, so I m going to show you what our preparation goals are. We want a nice smooth surface to lay our vinyl tile on.

Some people will tile over existing tile. This can be okay, but it is not the preferred choice. To do this right, you need to remove whatever flooring is there now, until you are down to either a smooth cement or wooden surface.

If there are cracks and valleys or unleveled surfaces, they need to be filled and smoothed out before we can start laying your vinyl tile. On cement or wooden surfaces, you can use cement to fill in and smooth the surface. You can also install plywood over the existing floor to achieve the surface your vinyl tile needs. You caulk in all the joints after installing the plywood. You can use Durok as well.

The goal, as I said before, is to have a smooth surface before you begin to lay vinyl tile. Otherwise, your tile will crack wherever pressure is placed on the tile over existing rough areas.

Now, buying the vinyl tile you want is next. There is self-adhesive vinyl tile that is very inexpensive. However, remember you get what you pay for. The adhesive on these tiles is not of great quality and you will be replacing them often. They are usually very thin as well, so they are easily damaged.

The thicker the vinyl tile, the more expensive and durable it is. That is the rule of thumb. Choose vinyl tile that has about 1/8 thickness or above and you will have a floor that will last a long time. So choose your style and color wisely. It will be with you awhile.

Now, the tools you will need are next. You will not need a tile cutter. That isn t the old school method. Using a tile cutter is tedious and slow, and your edges will never be tight. You will need a good razor knife, a small butane torch, a trowel with teeth along one edge for applying the adhesive, some old rags, and some mineral spirits.

A lot of experts will tell you to always begin in the center of the room when laying any kind of tile. However with kitchens and bathrooms, this is not always or even often the best method. Starting at one wall and working toward your cabinets is much better, because most of your tiles that need to be cut will be under the edge of the cabinets and not seen.

Starting along one wall, trowel on your adhesive, making sure there are ridges by using the toothed edge of your trowel. Do not go too far away from the wall as you will be laying tile there and don t want to have to reach while doing so.

Let the adhesive dry for about 15 minutes so it s very sticky. Lay your first tile at the corner and continue to lay a row, making sure you keep your tiles aligned. As you get to the end of your row, do not worry about the area that is left over where a whole tile will not fit in. We will take care of that last. However, remove the adhesive from that area so it won t dry before we get back to it.

The adhesive you applied should have gone just a little further out than the row of tile itself, so now you have a row, with a little adhesive area waiting for the next row.

Now start back at the beginning. Apply a little more than a row s width of adhesive, let it dry, then lay another row of tile, again making sure you align the tiles with each other so your lines are straight..

Once you have done the entire floor except those areas where a whole tile would not fit in, let the floor dry until tomorrow. Do not allow anyone to walk on the floor. The adhesive takes time to dry.

Now, once the adhesive is dry, we are ready to do the cutting in portion of your vinyl tile job. You should be able to walk carefully on the tiles without moving them by now. If not, you may have used too much adhesive and will have to wait longer, until you are sure it is dry.

Now, let s cut it in. Go to where your first row that ended with a little space left over. Apply some adhesive to that area, plus on the floor, along the wall where you are going to put in your cut pieces of vinyl tile. Let that dry, just as you did before for 15 minutes.

Now, take a full vinyl tile, matching it up with your tiles already on the floor at the bottom, lean it at an angle to the wall. Let me explain so you are sure to understand. You place the tile against the edge of the last tile in the row as if you were about to lay it down, but just let it lean against the wall at whatever angle it has to.

Now, you will need your razor knife and your small butane torch. Be careful with the little torch that you don t burn anything, please. If you are not comfortable with handling a small torch, this method is not for you.

Place the fingers of one hand on the top of the tile along the wall with very slight downward pressure. Wave the flame of the torch back and forth across the center of the tile about where you would like it to bend. Don t let the flame linger on the tile to melt it. Keep a distance so it only gets heated up.

As it gets hot, the pressure from your fingers will begin to push the vinyl tile downward, bending it into place. As soon as the tile is bent to the point where it is flat against the floor and the rest against the wall, set down your torch, pointing it carefully away from anything or anyone, and take your razor knife and cut along the bend right at the wall. It will cut like butter.

Now that tile fits perfectly to the contour of the wall. It also, because of the light pressure you applied as you pressed it down, has tightened up that entire row, so the vinyl tiles will not separate later. This is a floor that will last a long time and answers the problem of the tiles separating later.

Continue that same process for each row and everywhere the tiles need to be cut in. Then clean up. You are now an old school master at laying vinyl tile!

One last warning, as I said before, if you are not comfortable using flame, you should go ahead and use a tile cutter. It may not be as tight, but you can still do a good job with it without endangering yourself. This article was intended to pass on an old school method I learned and have used to lay many beautiful tile floors that lasted for years. I hope that by passing it onto you, the old way will not be lost.

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Patios Dublin

PDD1 Lawrence Bedding Collections and Ensembles

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271

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Lawrence bedding is a well known name in the bedding industry. Based in Montreal Canada, Lawrence bedding has been offering quality bedding since 1948. Lawrence has developed a reputation for providing exceptional value and cutting edge designs.


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Lawrence bedding is a well known name in the bedding industry. Based in Montreal Canada, Lawrence bedding has been offering quality bedding since 1948. Lawrence has developed a reputation for providing exceptional value and cutting edge designs. Their unique modern luxury collections are generally designed to be themed around a specific line of patterns. Some of their current collections are detailed in this article.

Maison de Vie collection is a group of chic, contemporary patterns that are quietly sophisticated and casually elegant. This collection ranges from minimalist, zen inspired patterns like Evolution and Silence to bright funky geometrics such as Crossroads and Verve.

Sky Collection This bedding collection inspired by the beauty of the sky includes the aptly named haze, sunset, and twilight collections.

Suite Couture is Lawrence s most luxurious collection. Featuring rich brocades and fine silks this collection will satisfy even the most discriminating individuals. The Bourbon street ensemble has a comforter made with a wide ruby red and bronze damask stripe which is accented by a woven diamond design in the bed skirt and shams. Dharma is an Eastern inspired red and plum jacquard pattern. Finally the Grandeur Collection is a magnificent aqua and cream damask pattern.

Bretton Manor is an affordable grouping of fashionable bedding. Here you will find classic plaids, patchwork quilt designs, southwestern patterns, and floral collections.

The New York Market collection is a new line of bedding which made its debut at the spring 2006 Market Week in New York City. This promising line includes an exciting new pattern called Cachet, which is an Asian inspired asymmetrical patchwork design in lavish shades of goldenrod and charcoal.

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Patios Dublin

PDD1 Lawn Furniture Cushion Replacement- Transform Your Furniture Cushion Today

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419

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Does your outdoor teak furniture look old and outdated? Thinking about replacing it? Before you dump your outdated lawn furniture, think about getting new, colorful cushions to give your old furniture a new, updated look.

Lawn furniture cushion replacement not only enhances the style of your outdoor furniture at a fraction of the what replacement furnishings would cost, but it also makes your outdoor furniture extremely comfortable to relax on. The plush seat of the cushio…


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Does your outdoor teak furniture look old and outdated? Thinking about replacing it? Before you dump your outdated lawn furniture, think about getting new, colorful cushions to give your old furniture a new, updated look.

Lawn furniture cushion replacement not only enhances the style of your outdoor furniture at a fraction of the what replacement furnishings would cost, but it also makes your outdoor furniture extremely comfortable to relax on. The plush seat of the cushion allows you to sink deep into the seat and not even realize that you are sitting on a hard bench or chair.

If you are looking for lawn furniture cushion replacement, then, you can choose the pattern of the cushion according to the ambiance outside. For example, if you have rose bushes in your garden, then you can replace your cushions with a fabric that has rose patterns. Also, you can accentuate the crystal water of the pool with the cushions in blue color.

As you can see, choosing outdoor teak furniture and its cushion replacement is a personal decision. Usually, the choice of one s furniture not only reflects his/her lifestyle but also enhances the interior and exterior of the home.

Therefore, to bring variety to your outdoor teak furniture, you can have a number of stylish as well as quality replacement cushions to compliment your outdoor teak furniture. These replacement cushions are available in numerous trendy fabrics with matching cords. You can get them custom made or made by the manufacturer.

Most of the custom made replacement cushions are prepared keeping in mind the requirements of the customer. These quality cushions are extremely durable. Most of them are created with a premium polyester fiber. This fiber passes through the thermal bond process. Consequently, it results in the comfort and its ability to withstand the vagaries of nature.

Additionally, it doesn’t matter if the corners of these cushions are square, round knife or euro, each corner of replacement cushions is stuffed by hand. You may also get self-covered buttons also in some of the varieties of replacement cushions.

Replacement cushions are available in more than 200 different hues, textures and patterns. All the three primary functions of the cushions i.e. durability, comfort and support are provided by these cushions.
All these replacement covers are non-allergenic, non-poisonous, odorless and impervious to mildew. Therefore, there is no fear of its being worn out or crumbled. You will enjoy the classic, clean, and crisp look of these replacement cushions for many years to come.

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Patios Dublin

PDD1 Lawn Care Maintenance For Mere Mortals

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517

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Though everyone likes to see their lawn in an enviable condition few are aware of the basics of lawn preparation and maintenance. Planting the seeds, spraying for the weeds, and watering your lawn, all look simple but proper maintenance of a good lawn is no simple task. To some, lawn care is serious business – reading every bit of the literature that they come across and going for a serious lawn building exercise that may make this interesting past time a rudimentary daily ro…


lawn care, lawn mowers, weed control

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Though everyone likes to see their lawn in an enviable condition few are aware of the basics of lawn preparation and maintenance. Planting the seeds, spraying for the weeds, and watering your lawn, all look simple but proper maintenance of a good lawn is no simple task. To some, lawn care is serious business – reading every bit of the literature that they come across and going for a serious lawn building exercise that may make this interesting past time a rudimentary daily routine.

Lawn care and maintenance is more of an enjoyable past time rather than a core activity. Consider these basics of healthy lawn care. While talking about lawns the first thing to consider is mowing. The frequency of mowing, the growth of the grass, and the lawn movers are all integral part in deciding a good mowing habit. Quite often small opening up of the soil leaving more space for the lawn to breathe would accelerate healthy growth of the grass. The lawn is to be sufficiently watered especially during large dry spells of summer to sustain the growth of the grass. Lawns need a good supplement of a proper mix of fertilizers with adequate nitrogen phosphate and potash.

If we go a bit technical, lawns require more than one annual feed. The feed for the summer need contain a nitrogen rich fertilizer where as an autumn feed should be rich in phosphate and potash with an adequate supplement of worm killers and disease resistance. For watering, the coolest time of the day, either in the morning or in the evening is advisable, the frequency being once a week.

A good lawn care management program includes proper weed control besides appropriate mowing and application of fertilizers. The basic mowing lesson includes use of sharp blades and regular mowing from March to October. Care should be taken not to move the mower backwards and forwards. In the case of new lawns, the first thing to be considered is to prepare a smooth and level ground by a tractor and box blade. As regards sowing the seeds they need spread in two directions preferably with a rotary spreader. The seeds are to be planted around thirty days in advance. Depending upon the temperature the seed suitable for hot season or for the cold spell may be selected. A healthy lawn requires more or less an inch of water during a week. Further aerating in spring is considered best for the lawns. The recent trend in the lawn care is the use of the organic fertilizers. These are environmental friendly and harmless to the plants. Literature on organic fertilizers is plentiful on the market. The cost of the organic fertilizers is almost the same that of the chemical fertilizers but the benefit stays longer.

The type of lawn care depends on one s budget. One can afford to spend thousands of dollars should the lawn making is taken as a serious hobby. If, on the other, hand one needs a well maintained lawn to spend a few hours with family and friends the same may not cost much.

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Patios Dublin

PDD1 Landscaping Ideas for Your Home

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667

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Landscaping your home is improving the characteristics of the surroundings for aesthetic or practical use. Home landscaping will be easy for you since you know very well what needs to be improved.


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o what is home landscaping really all about? The following report includes some fascinating information about home landscaping idea you can use, not just the old stuff they used to tell you.

Landscaping your home is improving the characteristics of the surroundings for aesthetic or practical use. Home landscaping will be easy for you since you know very well what needs to be improved.

Home landscaping is no different than any other kind of landscaping. It is natural for people to want their home to look as fab as it possibly can, who does not want the kind of yard that the whole neighborhood is envious of? And he beauty of home landscaping is that it does not have to be hard and much of it can be done by you. All it will take a it a little elbow grease and some time to spare and you can design your own home landscaping design quickly and easily.

The first thing that you need to do is to sketch your home s floor plan. From there you can create various designs that will suit your taste. It will be easier to scale your drawings if you will use graph paper to sketch your floor plan.

There are even products on the market that will help you to find the best home landscaping idea out there. You can choose to use home landscaping software for one. These programs can be a great help to you as you are trying to figure out what will suit your home and yard the best. With these types of programs you will get to see a few different layouts and options are always good when trying to narrow down your choices.

If home landscaping software programs are not for you, then you can try doing a search online for some wonderful home landscaping ideas. It is important to do plenty of research before you start your own home landscaping so that you keep the number of mistakes made down to a minimum. If you do make a boo-boo, don t worry about it, any thing can be fixed.

Before you start your home landscaping you will need to also look into any gas lines and electrical lines that may be running through your yard. You cannot afford to hit any of these things, not only can it cost you a bundle to fix, it can also be very dangerous. Hitting an electrical line with a metal shovel could put an end to all of your work, your life too.

Once you begin to move beyond basic background information, you begin to realize that there s more to home landscaping than you may have first thought.

You will also need to find out about zoning restrictions that could affect your home landscaping. In some places you cannot have trees too high and even some fences are not allowed. Find out these kinds of things before you start your home landscaping work and you could save a lot of time and money.

Other things that you need to consider when landscaping are:

A well-planned backyard drainage system can prevent those wet areas
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The composition of the soil and its quality affects the types of greenery that you can plant in your backyard.

Check which parts of the house and yard have appropriate sunlight. This also determines where you can place furniture and plants.

Look at your yard from the inside of the house when designing it. You can appreciate the beauty of your yard from inside your home

Ask yourself: How big is the planting area?

How long will it take to finish your redesigning project?

Make the design functional for the whole family. Each part of the house should be designed based on who uses that area the most.

There s no doubt that the topic of home landscaping can be fascinating. If you still have unanswered questions about home landscaping, you may find what you re looking for in the next article.

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Patios Dublin

PDD1 Lamps Are Decorative And Functional Too

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Many people don’t think twice about the lamps and lights in their home. When you’re trying to spruce up your decor though, or creating a brand new decorating theme, one of the best places to start is with lamps… because they can be both beautiful and functional at the same time.

Here are several popular types of lamps to consider when decorating a room in your home:

Table Lamps – Table lamps are wonderful for both decorating and functionality. They come in a variety o…


lamps, lights, lighting, decorating, decor, home decor, lamp decor

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Many people don’t think twice about the lamps and lights in their home. When you’re trying to spruce up your decor though, or creating a brand new decorating theme, one of the best places to start is with lamps… because they can be both beautiful and functional at the same time.

Here are several popular types of lamps to consider when decorating a room in your home:

Table Lamps – Table lamps are wonderful for both decorating and functionality. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, and can really accent specialty decor pieces you might already have. Small table lamps are quite decorative when sat upon a stack of hardback books, and large table lamps make great centerpieces for greenery, knick knack arrangements, or keepsakes.

You’ll want to be careful not to overwhelm small, dainty tables with large, bulky, overbearing lamps though. A solid rustic wood table would easily carry a large wood table lamp, but a small victorian-style side table would do better with a delicate-looking tiffany or hurricane table lamp.

Floor Lamps – Floor lamps are excellent for adding both additional light and style to various areas of your home. I particularly like them in reading areas. Place a nice comfortable chair or divan in the corner for instance, away from the walls a bit, then place a decorative floor lamp in the corner space behind it. This will create a cozy, inviting feel to the space while also providing extra light for reading, writing, or knitting.

Wall Lamps & Lights – Lighting used on the wall varies in style. There’s recessed lights which are helpful and decorative in kitchen areas or bathrooms for instance, and there are wall sconces which are wonderful for adding warmth and ambiance.

For a unique and different look, try creating a wall arrangement using wall sconces instead of candelabras or candle sconces.

Picture Lights – Picture lights are used primarily to highlight pictures and artwork in your home. These work similar to spotlights by focusing the majority of their light on the artwork. Most are very decorative, and they come in a variety of styles to match whatever your decorating theme might be.

Oil Lamps – Oil lamps can still be bought in many places today. Some are replicas, meaning they don’t actual burn oil to create light, they simply look like the oil lamps of old. Others actually do have a wick and can burn oil. Most people use the actual oil burning lamps for decoration only, and you can even buy colored oil to fill the lamps for an additional decorative touch.

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Patios Dublin

PDD1 Laminating Machines For Home Use

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Take a look around your office or school and you ll see evidence that a laminating machine has been at work. Why is it that laminating machines have become so popular anyway? The answer to that question is as easy as comparing a piece of paper that has been laminated with one that has not. There are no wrinkles, folded corners or smudges on the laminated piece. Just the fact that paperwork can become more durable and better looking is reason enough for most homes, schools and…


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Take a look around your office or school and you ll see evidence that a laminating machine has been at work. Why is it that laminating machines have become so popular anyway? The answer to that question is as easy as comparing a piece of paper that has been laminated with one that has not. There are no wrinkles, folded corners or smudges on the laminated piece. Just the fact that paperwork can become more durable and better looking is reason enough for most homes, schools and businesses to put a laminating machine on their must have list.

What s The Difference?

It s obvious what the difference is in the final product of a laminating machine, but comparing the machines themselves is a little trickier.

There are different types of laminators each with the right qualities for different sized jobs. For example, the photo laminator is a small, compact unit that sits on a desk top. The thermal heating process is contained within the machine so the exterior remains cool. This is idea for photos, IDs, badges, business cards, or anything smaller than about 4 x 6 .

The next size up is still a sheet fed type of laminator. This can protect cardboard and thin paper alike. The sheets and the feeder are larger, up to the size of legal sheet of paper. It is quite versatile even if you have smaller papers to laminate. To save time and money, you can place all of your items between the sheets of plastic and feed them through all at once.

Objects grouped together on a sheet laminator of this size can be trimmed to size immediately following the laminating process. Be sure to leave at least an 1/8 of plastic around the item so the seal isn t broken.

The largest type of laminator is often found in schools or busy businesses that handle lots of paperwork needing protection. This oversized office equipment is quiet, but can heat up. It is usually contained in a room away from the desks, just like the large copy machines.

Unlike sheet fed laminators, these large scale machines use big rolls of laminating film. They are inserted like a cartridge on one end of the machine and replaced after several of continuous feet of film has gone through the machine. These are great machines for oversized projects. The width of up to 3 or 4 across is the only limitation. Therefore, it is the perfect machine for extra long banners or for placing papers continuously end on end for efficient production.

Laminators For Sale

When you are ready to buy your first laminator, consider carefully what you will use it for. If you are purchasing one for your business, think a little bigger than your immediate needs. You may save more time and money in efficiency that will quickly repay your investment.

For home use, consider if children will be handling the laminating machines. In this case you will want one that stays cool to the touch.

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Patios Dublin

PDD1 Laminate Wood Flooring and the Benefits over Traditional Wood & Ceramic Tile

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320

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Laminate wood flooring is a great option to typical hardwood floors and ceramic tile. One great characteristic about laminate flooring is that it is scratch resistant and more durable than real wood while providing a similar look to real wood.


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Laminate wood flooring is a great option to typical hardwood floors and ceramic tile. One great characteristic about laminate flooring is that it is scratch resistant and more durable than real wood while providing a similar look to real wood.

Due to the ease of installation, laminate wood flooring can be installed without the use of a contractor. This means that you save a pretty penny on installation fees since you can easily do it yourself.

Laminate wood flooring comes in a variety of different colors and textures, mainly in the range of yellows, reds, and browns.

Laminate wood flooring also comes in a variety of prices. This of course, depends on many factors such as color and texture. However, if you are looking to buy in bulk you can save money. Builddirect.com, for instance, offers a number of high-end laminate wood floor brands at different prices. Prices can vary in laminate wood flooring. A large portion of laminate flooring can range anywhere from about $0.80 to around $1.60.

Lead time is one factor you do need to consider aside from price when purchasing wood laminate flooring. You could see backorder times ranging anywhere from 1-8 weeks depending on quantity and the style you choose. If you desperately need to refloor parts of your house for an upcoming event, you may be able to arrange something with the seller.

If time is not a factor for you, you may consider having the shipper ship the laminate flooring with the cheapest (slowest) shipping method. Due to the size and weight of laminate flooring, your shipping prices will not exactly be cheap. In order to save some money on shipping costs, you may find yourself waiting several weeks for delivery. However, you can save up to 50% by scheduling a slower delivery time. Be sure to check with the seller before making any purchase in order to find out what option is right for you.

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Patios Dublin

PDD1 Laminate Hardwood Flooring What Is It And Why Is It So Popular?

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Laminate hardwood flooring is very good quality flooring, and not so hard to lay


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Laminate hardwood flooring is very versatile flooring that gives the appearance of having hardwood flooring without the expensive price tag. Although laminate flooring does look like hardwood, it is not made of solid wood. It is called engineered hardwood because it is made from several materials bonded together under extremely high pressure. It is easy to lay and care for and when you step on it, it is almost like you are floating. This is why laminate hardwood flooring is also called a floating floor.

You can learn how to lay laminate flooring very quickly. Once you see the first few planks of the flooring going together, you can complete the rest of the job on your own. You can install Quick Step laminate flooring on just about any room of your home. However, it is not recommended for use in bathrooms, mudrooms or any other room where there could be an excess of moisture. The extra water could damage the flooring meaning you would have to remove and replace one or two planks of the laminate flooring.

If you are looking at how easy it is to learn how to lay laminate flooring, you will also learn about the advantages of Quick Step laminate flooring. In contrast to solid hardwood, laminate hardwood flooring is about half the cost. It is easy to install and there is no finish or refinish to worry about. Installing laminate flooring doesn t need any nails, but you can choose to glue it to the subfloor. Another advantage of laminate flooring is that you can lay it down on virtually any type of surface, except, of course, carpet. It is suitable for installing on top of concrete, wood or vinyl. All you have to do is to make sure the floor underneath is level before you start to lay the planks.

When you ask the flooring retailer about how to lay laminate flooring, you will get several different instructions about how to prepare the floor beforehand. You do have to make sure the surfaces is free of any dust or small pieces of dirt that might work their way up through the laminate hardwood flooring. You also have to check to make sure the subfloor is soundproof and that it is level. Often people who have installed the Quick Step laminate flooring report that there are squeaks when they step on it. This is not the fault of the laminate flooring, but because the floor under it was not properly levelled before they started to lay the planks.

You do have to take extra care when you install laminate hardwood flooring over radiant heating. You have to read both the instructions for how to lay laminate flooring and the instructions regarding the radiant heat before you start. When you plan to lay laminate hardwood flooring in your home, you don t have to open the packages until you are ready to start.

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Patios Dublin

PDD1 Laminate Flooring plenty of designs

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321

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One of the greatest advantages of laminate flooring is the sheer selection of different patterns you can have on it.


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One of the greatest advantages of laminate flooring is the sheer selection of different patterns you can have on it. While real wood flooring comes in one look that is, wood laminate can have almost anything on it. It is, after all, just a picture printed on a piece of fibreboard, and it s not difficult to get photos of different materials, even very exotic ones.

Wood effect floors are obviously the most popular, but they don t necessarily have to be natural-looking wood. Many people go for wood-effect floors in odd colours, such as blue or black, or ones that fit together to make a big picture that would never occur in nature.

After wood patterns, the second most popular thing to have on laminate is stone. Stone-pattern laminate can be surprisingly convincing if it is well printed and put together, and gives your home a great old castle look and feel. You don t get the uneven surface of stone, but then again many people see that as an advantage over real stone and the floor doesn t get really cold in the winter, either!

Ceramic is another popular option, especially when it has been fitted with a damp-proof membrane for use in bathrooms and kitchens. It recreates the look of a tile floor, but without the dangers of slipping when it gets wet, or the tendency of tiles to collect dirt and other nasty things in the cracks between them.

But there are plenty of designs that are more unusual than this far too many to list here, in fact. The best thing to do is to go down to your local laminate flooring showroom, where they will have a whole range of products, from the realistic to the simply ridiculous. Once you realise that you re no longer limited about what your floor could look like, it can be very liberating from a design point of view.