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Home and Garden

The Advantages of Wooden Flooring

The popularity of wooden flooring is increasing, and rightly so. In addition to giving the space a sense of permanence and a touch of elegance, it comes with many other advantages over other types of flooring.
The following are the benefits of having a wooden floor installed in your space.
 

Durability

Wooden floors can withstand high volumes of traffic because of their natural toughness. They tend to wear out slower than other types of floors, meaning that they don’t need frequent replacement. A wooden floor can last a lifetime if it is well maintained.
 

Easier to Clean and Maintain

Compared to other flooring materials, wood is perhaps the easiest to clean. For instance, you require less effort to wipe off a stain from a wooden floor than you would need to clean a carpeted floor.
Wooden floors are also better hygienically.  It is difficult for mould, pests, and other allergens to thrive on wood. This makes such floors ideal for keeping pets and for people suffering from various allergies. Carpets may also trap unpleasant smells, whereas wood usually generates a delightful aroma when polished.
 

Affordability

Traditionally, wooden floors were associated with the wealthy. This is no longer the case. Advancements in technology have made it possible to produce wooden floorboards that are available at affordable prices.
 

Flexibility

If you opt for a wooden floor, you will have access to a wide assortment of designs and finishes. Wooden floors also make it easier to install underfloor heating which is gaining popularity in modern homes.
 

Timelessness

Another advantage of wooden floors is their timeless appeal. Unlike carpets, tiles, and linoleum, wood doesn’t go in and out of fashion. A testament to this is the long time in which wooden floors have graced homes. Also, you can easily refresh the appearance of a wooden floor after years of use by simply sanding and sealing.
 

Eco-friendliness

Wood requires less energy to process than other popular flooring materials such as tiles. This translates into lower carbon emissions, which contributes to environmental conservation. Also, most of the timber used in making such floors is sourced from carefully managed forests.
Furthermore, wood decomposes naturally when disposed of correctly. Other materials such as tiles and vinyl take time to decompose and thereby pose a danger to the environment.
 

Value

According to real estate agents, properties that have wooden floors sell twice as faster than houses with other types of flooring. This shows that wooden flooring increases the value of your house as well as its appeal to potential customers.
 

Elevates Moods

You might find this surprising, but several expert studies have discovered that wood can elevate your mood by suppressing stressful emotions. It also contributes to overall wellness by regulating heart rate and reducing blood pressure.
 

Comfort and Warmth

Stone and tile floors might be as easy to clean as wood, but the latter is better because it offers natural warmth and comfort.
 

Economy

As mentioned earlier, a properly maintained wooden floor can last for over 100 years. This means that you won’t have to worry about replacements after the first installment. The initial costs might be expensive than carpets and linoleum, but the longevity of wood means that it is the most cost-effective type of flooring available in the market.
 
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Home and Garden

Are you thinking of changing your energy provider?

Energy prices are always raising, so it is a bonus having the option to change energy providers. The only detail that amends when you switch energy providers is your payment. There should be no change to your connection and electricity provision. A different energy provider tenders only the house, but the grid infrastructure remains the same.
 

Why change the energy provider?

Moving into a new property remains the widespread reason to switch the energy provider along with numerous other reasons for the change or switch. Some of those reasons could include

  • You want to save money.
  • Refunds of solar electricity.
  • Sustainable energy sources.
  • Customer service issues.

 

Time taken for change?

This can now be done through online adhering to the changing digital and business world. This simple process eliminates the time consuming paper work and other similar workings. As a general rule of thumb, the change of whole process might take up to three months. Since suppliers only read the electricity meter every three months. For the new provider to get an accurate reading, this time frame is vital. Nevertheless, if you are in a hurry, you can apply for a special meter reading from your provider and go for an express service to make the change.
 

Eligibility to switch

Energy providers of occupants of Victoria, New South Wales, ACT, South Australia, and Queensland are capable of switching energy providers. It is unfortunate to say that residents of Northern and Western Australia are not able for this facility.
 

Exit the existing contract?

You must notify your current energy provider and inform them about your intentions to change before starting a new contract with the new provider. You might have to pay early exit fees depending on the agreement with your current energy provider. It is advisable to contact your current energy provider and be knowledgeable with your existing contract and your exit clauses. They will guide you through the exit procedure. Early exit fees are often a flat payment.
 

Bottom line

Switching energy provider is a significant decision. Choosing a new provider might look simple and it is a serious judgement. It is not easy to make this decision alone. Therefore, always seek professional advice if you think you need more support on the right information. Be very thorough with your current deal as well the new provider you are hoping to go with. This way you can avoid any surprises in the future.
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Automotive

A Thorough Cleaning

Some people religiously clean their cars almost every chance they get. Then there are the rest of us who go about our lives without giving our cars that much thought. It’s not always bad; however, if your car hasn’t had a deep clean in a while, it might be time to take her to the car wash for proper cleansing. This is especially important if you are someone who has a long commute every day. Whether you are doing to cleaning or getting a professional to do it, there are few steps you want to follow:
 

  1. Inside and Out

When taking your car for a deep clean, make sure you think about both inside and outside. There is no use in only having the outside washed and polished when the inside is a big mess.
 

  1. Turn Up the Pressure

Make sure that the people who clean your car use a pressure washer to get rid of any dirt and grime that will be difficult and tedious to remove otherwise. The pressure should not scratch or scuff your car during the cleaning process.
 

  1. The Wheels

Your wheels also need a good scrubbing now and then. A lot of dust and sand gets stuck beneath the rim, and this needs to be flushed out so that your rims live a long and happy life.
 

  1. Vacuum

Vacuuming the seats and carpets will make sure that any crumbs and dirt stuck in little crevices will be removed. Preventing ant and other insects from making your car their home.
 

  1. Shampoo

Having your seats and carpets shampooed is also very important. It will prevent any mouldy smells and sticky messes from prevailing in the confines of your car, leaving your car smelling brand new.
 

  1. Don’t Forget the Boot

This is one area in a care that is at times overlooked because we toss in our groceries or gym bag and go on our way. Having your boot vacuumed should not be left at the wayside as dirt and grime can also easily build up here.
 

  1. Windows

Windows should be cleaned thoroughly, not just wiped down. You will notice the difference right away.
 

  1. Deodorised

If you are a smoker or spilt something in your car, it’s safe to say it probably doesn’t smell too fresh. Having your car deodorised by professionals is a sure fire way to get rid of any bad smells that may be lingering in the confines of your car.
 

  1. Detergent Exterior Wash

It’s all good and dandy when you have your car pressure washed, but it still needs to be washed with a good detergent. This will get rid of any sneaky, grimy spots that the pressure washer could not get rid of.
 

  1. Chamois Dry

The chamois will make sure no dust or particles stick to your car as it is dried off.
Cleaning your car can be a tedious and time-consuming job, especially if you are strapped for time. Taking it into the professionals for some proper TLC is a good option when you would rather sit and sip some coffee, while the pros sort out your dirty vehicle. They have the equipment and the knowledge to get the job done right. Or why not find a service that come to you?
 
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Home and Garden

Why is Marble a Great Choice For your Kitchen?

Everyone seems to agree on the elegance and status of marble. It has such rich associations that a single marble trinket bowl elevates your space. Internet searches will give you mixed messages about the stone, so what’s the real truth about marble in kitchens?
The most common use (both in bathrooms and kitchens) is backsplashes and counters. Some ambitious builders will use marble for the bath-tub or sink. Conservative types will restrict it to details and accessories. It could be a marble mirror frame, a small washbasin, a mini-fountain, or a decorative border in the shower cubicle. You could also opt for marble flooring tiles.
Marble is a hard, durable stone that resists heat well. This makes it good for countertops because they won’t crack under hot pots, pans, and plates. They also won’t be damaged by heat from your cooking surface. One thing marble ‘fears’ are sharp, pointy, or heavy objects. (Like stilettos, or metal-footed furniture). So in high-traffic areas like living rooms or office spaces, marble floors are often protected with strategic rugs and felt furniture pads.
 

Beauty and longevity

In the kitchen though, large appliances (like your fridge, oven, dishwasher, or cooker) are stationary, so there’s no harm of scuffing your marble floor. Kitchens are often humid, because of all that heated moisture from food and drinks. So between vapour and acid products, it doesn’t seem like marble belongs in the kitchen. Fortunately, you can fix that with the right finish. Start with a good seal – which should be re-applied every year or two.
Sealing fills the tiny holes in marble (it’s a porous stone). This prevents moisture from seeping through your marble surfaces and rotting what’s beneath. It’s also a form of low-scale sterilisation, because bacteria, germs, and other pathogens can’t get into the stone. It’s a crucial factor because your counters handle food frequently, so marble surfaces reduce chances of contamination and upset tummies. At the same time, it protects the surface from acid damage.
 

Seal it in

Acid products react with marble by staining, corroding, or etching. Your floors and counters will have grating discolouration and possibly some depressions as a result. Sealing prevents this, though in cases of stains, you can apply an overnight poultice to remove unsightly markings. Also, while marble works well with heat, it doesn’t conduct or absorb the temperature rise. So even in deepest summer (or after a gruelling bake-a-thon), the stone remains cool to the touch.
As a result, it lowers the entire kitchen temperature, making it more comfortable for you. Also, despite its porosity, marble has a low-slip rating while wet. That reduces accidental falls on moist kitchen surfaces, whether it’s a spill from the dishwasher or steam from the cooker. Plus, for added protection, you can further finish your marble walls and floors. Polished marble is more slippery and shiny, so avoid it in the kitchen. Opt for honed marble instead in a neutral shade. Its matte finish means any stains or etching will be less visible.
 
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Home and Garden

What’s the Type of Your Lounge Leather

Popular leather types and why we love them

Leather comes in many shapes, sizes, and forms.
Do you know what leather is anyway?
Leather is basically the byproduct of tanning animal raw hide to make it more durable and pliable.  Cowhide is the most common, but leathermakers all over use different types of mammals and reptiles.
Upholstery is a common use for leather, because even outside of leather lounges and seating, the seatbacks of cloth furniture are often leather too.
In furniture picking, decision making can simply become overwhelming as you have to consider material selection, style, “if it’s a fit or not”, and a host of other factors.  While the process can be intimidating, choosing leather can narrow things down a great bit; however, there are several types of leather to consider.
Choosing the type of leather will boil down to a few things like usage or desire of the appearance, even budget.
Let’s take a look at some of the popular leather types available on the market today.
 

black leather sofa
black leather sofa – source: http://decoholic.org/

Full Grain Leather

Full grain leather in most expert’s opinion is the finest of all the leather types.  It is also the strongest and most durable due to its composition.  Full grain leather is composed of vertical fibers that not only make it the most resilient.  The fibres also prevent this type of leather from being punctured, cracked, or peeled.
These qualities make full grain also the most expensive, as the hides used undergo precious tanning and processing to make the fine leather.  Full grain leather is difficult for manufacturers to buy and work with from a processing perspective which increases costs that they have to pass on to consumers.
Another unique quality about full grain is how the hide will feature markings that could potentially depict an animal’s life.  You will sometimes see scars or bites or even wrinkles.
Choose full grain leather when you are looking for the leather to last a life time.
 

Top Grain

One of our other favourite leather types would be a nice top grain construction.  Top grain is the second “top” layer, because of the removal of the outermost hide.  The removal of this hide allows for a more workable, thinner leather thus allowing for less processing and cheaper manufacturing costs.
While other leathers feature imperfections and nicks from the animal’s life, top grain is smooth and sleek.  The rough top layer is sanded away giving the material an even texture and uniform appearance.
This smooth layer comes with a price as removing the strong outer hide reduces the strength of the leather, making it easier to puncture and tear over the time.
Top grain is finished with a coat that will protect against stains of the like but this coat diminishes the breathability of the material.
Top grain leather, especially in seating furniture, is extremely popular due to its appearance and comfort.
 

leather lounge
leather lounge – Source: http://www.rmz-me.com/

 

Nubuck

Nubuck is a form of top grain as it has not been processed completely but has still been brushed so the leather fibers create a soft smooth velvety surface.  Nubuck is similar to suede but much stronger and thicker, and even more expensive.
True to its name, nubuck originated from elk and has strong properties because it is made from the outermost layer, just sanded over.  Because nubuck is made of the outermost layer, timilar to full grain, one can see the blemishes and imperfections of the hide.
It is quite common to stain and dye nubuck which makes it a popular furniture choice due to the range of colors you can have.

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Health and Medical

Losing Weight with Boxing Versus Running

Running and boxing are both great ways to lose weight. Both disciplines provide a cardiovascular workout that is great for burning calories and shedding excess weight. If you ask me, running is a bit one dimensional and doesn’t offer the varied workout that boxing training may.
Don’t get me wrong, running three times or more times a week will give a great workout although it can be quite monotonous. Whereas boxing is a diverse multi-faceted workout that will burn fat, improve cardiovascular health, build strength and agility. Boxing incorporates a variety of different exercises, completed in three minutes’ sessions that mimic the time of a round in the boxing ring.
In this post, we compare the workout and health benefits of boxing versus running.
 

Boxing

A training session at the boxing gym includes a variety of different cardio drills such as jumping rope, shadow boxing, burpees, bag work, and pad work. The high tempo of jumping rope makes it an excellent way to burn calories and strengthen your legs and arms. If it’s good for Rocky, it must be good for the people.
Shadow boxing is like real boxing accept you don’t have a partner. It’s usually done in front of a mirror so you can keep an eye on your footwork and posture. Boxers do shadow boxing to improve their speed, agility, and footwork. Believe you me; it’s a more of a workout than it sounds. After three minutes you’re ready for a break. Shadow boxing bring the heart rate up, burns calories while strengthening your core and limbs.
Burpees are a high energy aerobic exercise that incorporates core strength training as well. You start in an upright position, then jump down to a squat, bounce back to a push-up, back to a squat then leap into the air and repeat. The exercise lasts for three minutes or until you run out of steam. You can imagine the level of fitness that three minutes of burpees requires. It not only strengthen your body, but it’s also great for shedding weight.
Bag work and pad work are also done in three-minute rounds. Working the bag, or the pads, gets your whole body moving as you bob, weave, and jab your way to fitness. Like many of the drills in boxing, bag work will increase your strength and stamina. After a month of boxing training, you will notice the weight flying off and you will have muscles where you never thought they existed.
If you do fancy yourself a bit of a wizard on the bag, you might want to get in the ring and spar with a partner to test your skills. A training session will usually end with the option to do some sparring. It’s not compulsory of course, and some people go for the workout.
Sparring in a controlled environment is a great workout. Your adrenaline will be pumping through your body as you face up to your opponent. It requires a medium level of physical fitness so you might want to wait a few months before jumping into the ring. Always remember that you are there to help each other and not hurt each other.
 

Running

There is no doubt about it, and running will burn the fat right off your body. With a range of health benefits including cardiovascular health, strengthens your muscles and bones. The beauty of running that it involves very little equipment to get started. All you will need is a pair of running shoes, and you’re ready to umm… run. Running or a treadmill or the same path can get monotonous so you might want to mix your routine up by running in the great outdoors. If you’re going to increase the level of your workout, you can always try running up hills.
One of the only negative aspects of running is that it can be quite hard on your joints and feet because of the impact on the lower body. If you do experience joint pain, you might want to give it a miss and find an alternative such as boxing training which is a lower impact workout.
 

The Calorie Count

The number of calories that you burn during a boxing session or running session are very similar. Harvard researcher found that a runner who weighs 83 kilograms will burn 400 calories on a thirty-minute run. A boxer skipping rope will burn 444 calories in a thirty-minute session and 400 calories in a thirty-minute sparring session.
Both exercises will burn calories around the same rate. The best thing about boxing is the variety of different drills that work your whole body and will increase your core strength. For me, boxing is the clear winner of the showdown for those reasons.
 
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