Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Adding a Shower Stall

Photo taken from KHI gallery
Most people prefer stand up showers over bath tubs for a number of reasons. Taking a shower is so much quicker than spending time soaking in a tub; on average showers use less water than baths; shower stalls take up less space and in turn make your bathroom look bigger; and showers actually

make you cleaner than baths because the water and dirt is running past you and down the drain.
Bathroom remodeling projects tend to have a high return on their value. Homeowners who plan carefully and choose the right shower stall for the bathroom can feel confident that they have made a good investment for the home. In addition to a great return on the initial investment, shower stalls offer convenience for homeowners and their guests, and safety for the elderly.  A master bath can become a luxurious suite with the addition of a separate shower stall.
When cleaning your shower stall, try this homemade solution courtesy of TLC:
  1.  Mix 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 gallon of hot water. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and work in a well-ventilated area when using this powerful solution.
  2. Apply it to the walls of the shower with a sponge, scrubbing with a brush if necessary, to remove all the scum.
  3. Rinse well with clear water and wipe dry.

To keep your shower stall clean, follow these guidelines:
Photo taken from KHI gallery
  • Keep mildew from taking hold by wiping shower walls with a towel after each shower.
  • If the shower area is subject to mildew, periodically spray it with a mildew inhibitor and disinfectant.
  • Leave the shower door slightly open to allow air to circulate; this will discourage the growth of mildew.
  • Remove hard-water deposits on shower enclosures with a solution of white vinegar and water.
  • Glass shower doors will sparkle when you clean them with a sponge dipped in white vinegar.
  • Add 1 cup liquid fabric softener to 1 quart warm water, and use to loosen and clean soap scum from shower doors.
  • Mix 1 part mineral oil with 4 parts water in a clean, empty spray bottle. Spray on soap scum and dirt in your shower or tub. Wipe off with a sponge.
  • Remove water spots on the metal frames around shower doors and enclosures with lemon oil.
  • If the grout or caulking in your shower breaks away where the walls join the tub or shower floor, recaulk immediately to prevent water damage.
  • Never use harsh abrasive powders or steel-wool pads.
  • Coat the tile walls of your shower with furniture polish to prevent soap scum buildup and water spots.
  • Clean mineral deposits from a shower head by removing the head, taking it apart, and soaking it in vinegar. Then brush deposits loose with an old toothbrush. Clean the holes by poking them with a wire, pin, toothpick, or ice pick.



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Simple Tips to Unclog a Kitchen Sink

If your kitchen sink ever got clogged, you know what a nightmare it can be. You don't necessarily have to use concentrated chemical cleaners to unclog your sink; it can be done inexpensively with items found right in your home. Before running to the store to get those harsh cleaners, try some of the tips below to unclog your kitchen sink.
Hot water
If it’s grease that’s clogged your sink, try pouring extremely hot water down the drain. The hot water will break up the clogs in its way, as it travels through your pipe. You can also try a mixture of 1/3 cup of vinegar and 1/3 cup of baking soda. First, pour the baking soda down the drain followed by the vinegar. As the two components starts mixing, it will fizz out, breaking most of the stubborn clogs in its way.
Once you have poured down the ingredients, immediately plug the drain with a cloth or a drain plug. This will prevent the foams from escaping too soon. Allow the solution to fizz thoroughly for at least 30 minutes before pouring hot water on it. This will clear the drain from retaining any residue foam or clogs.


If your sink is still clogged after using the baking soda and vinegar solution, try using a plunger to remove the remaining clogged up material. The vinegar solution will loosen up any particles stuck in the drain and by using a small plunger you can further clear the clog. Be sure to use plunger wide enough to cover the sinkhole.
Try applying petroleum jelly on the rim of the plunger and fill the sink with enough water to cover the plunger cup. Cover the top end of the plunger with a towel for better grip. Press the pump directly on the sinkhole and pump repeatedly until the clog clears. This will mostly clear the particles clogging your sink. If you still find your sink clogged, it is time to call in a professional.
Chemical drain cleaner

A quick and efficient way to unclog a drain is through chemical cleaners. Buy a bottle of chemical drain cleaner from the local grocery shop; follow the instructions given on the bottle precisely. Make sure to put on your safety gloves and to keep the room well ventilated before using any chemicals around home. Refrain from using plungers while using chemical cleaners, as the sprinkle of caustic chemicals can splash back on your hands.

Plumber's snake
One of the tried and tested ways to clear clogged drains is using a plumber's snake. A plumber's snake is nothing but a coiled wire that is attached to a crank. With the help of the crank, the coiled wired is inserted into the pipeline and pulled out quickly; the process is repeated continuously until the wire breaks up the clog as it moves. 
To avoid any future clogs, try cleaning your sink regularly and avoid dumping any fibrous materials or remaining food items down the sink.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Kitchen Flooring

Homeowners must be careful when selecting a type of flooring material for the kitchen as they typically host a great deal of traffic, and moisture is also frequently present. When you’re ready to shop for a kitchen floor, you’ll find that there are several choices. Here are some great choices to consider, along with some of the pros and cons of each.

Sheet vinyl flooring is one of the most common choices for a kitchen floor because it is very resistant to spills, grease and dirt as well as water. This type of flooring is easy to clean and comes in a huge variety of patterns, styles and colors to choose from. It’s also one of the less expensive flooring options. The sheets are available in 6-foot or 12-foot rolls and therefore show very few or no seams after installation. This also makes it very easy to change floors if you renovate your kitchen.

Some disadvantages to vinyl sheets are the wear and tear that it is prone to over time and from a resale value, it may lack the appeal of some of the more expensive floor options.
Kitchen renovation done by KHI
Vinyl tiles have similar qualities to sheet vinyl but are individual tiles. They are water resistant, easy to clean and inexpensive. A great advantage to having vinyl tiles is that if damage occurs you can easily change the tile without replacing the entire floor.
One thing to keep in mind with vinyl tiles is the dirt-catching seams you end up with. Also, from a resale standpoint vinyl tiles have one of the lowest overall appeals.

Ceramic tiles are one of the best choices for a kitchen floor. In addition to being completely waterproof, they are very durable and will stand up to all sorts of abuse. Ceramic tile comes in a wide variety of sizes, colors and pattern choices. You can also mix different types or colors of tile to form patterns, borders or even pictures. Quality ceramic tile floors are very popular and will add to a home’s resale value.
Mixing different types and/or colors of tile
to form patterns adds style your kitchen.
Though ceramic tiles do have some downsides, the downsides seem to be a matter of personal preference. For example, tile is the hardest and coldest of the floors to walk on. This can be offset to some degree by adding an area rug and if you want to really warm up the floor, you can have radiant heating installed underneath
the tiles (for more informa-tion on electric radiant heating contact Kruse Home Improvement). The other issue that some people may have with ceramic tiles is the grout lines, which are a little harder to clean than the tiles themselves. This can be minimized by using larger tiles with small grout spaces between them, and by making sure that the grout is sealed after installation.

Laminatefloors have become more popular in the kitchen. There are dozens of patterns and colors and they are usually designed to closely resemble other popular flooring materials such as wood, tile or stone. The floor has a “spring” to it which makes it one of the softer and more comfortable floors to stand on. A well-selected and well-installed laminate floor can add to resale value.
One thing to keep in mind if choosing laminate is that if there is a lot of traffic in your kitchen and chairs or bar stools are present, the laminate can be prone to scratching. Laminate also requires specific cleaning products for best results and longest life, and may not stand up to a lot of water over time.

Hardwood floors have become a popular
choice for kitchens.
Hardwood floors have found their way into the kitchen due to the recent advances in the quality of polyurethane finishes that wood has. Although some people are still a little leery of hardwood floors in the kitchen, the floor is beautiful, durable and compliments pretty much any style of kitchen. Hardwood floors can also add to the resale value of your home.

Hardwood flooring requires proper sanding and finishing to look good and to hold up in the kitchen and therefore is typically not a do-it-yourself project. It also has some of the same drawbacks as laminate, requiring special cleaners as opposed to simple damp mopping, and is prone to scratching and damage from excessive water.

For questions on kitchen flooring call Kruse Home Improvement
at 860-877-0775.