Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Non Slip Maintenance of Honed Interior Marble

by: Edward Green IICRC inst
By Edward Green IICRC inst

A honed finish is a satin surface with relatively little light reflection. It is specified for floors, thresholds and other locations where the presence of water might make a polished finish slippery, or where heavy traffic would wear off the polished finish.

As a rule, honed finishes are more susceptible to soiling than polished finishes, because a honed surface is slightly more porous and absorptive than polished finish. However, the honed finish is easier to restore because it will sustain harsher cleaning efforts.

Normal maintenance of honed finishes involves as-needed washing with clean water and mildly abrasive cleaners, which retain a pumice-type finish, while the cleaners remove soils. There are thick liquid cleaners and chlorine-bleach type scouring powders commercially available.

The marble should be wet with clean, hot water. Then using a mildly abrasive alkaline cleaner and stiff bristle brush, wash in overlapping, swirling strokes. Suds can be left to stand for several minutes to permit the bleaching agents to work on the stains and dirts. Rinse thoroughly and dry with cotton, cotton flannel, burlap or chamois skin. Wipe well to avoid streaking.

If further cleaning is required, use a special treatment or make a paste to the consistency of syrup using a mildly abrasive alkaline cleaning powder if necessary. Rinse thoroughly and dry.

The products for the maintenance of Honed Marble and all other stone is available from

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About the author:

Edward Green owns and operates the highly successful Marble Master Ltd company. Marble Master specializes in Restoration and Refinishing of all types of natural stone and consultancy services to Architects, Restoration Companies and Interior Designers.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Home Improvement: Ceiling Fans

by: Shaan Randow
Ceiling fans come in a wide variety of styles and colors to match any homeowners interior design wishes. They come with and without lighting. Three to five blades. In colors of black, white, brown, made of wood, covered with animal print fabric or styled with carved leaves.

Ceiling fans have come a long way since the industrial revolution where they were dreamed up by sweating factory workers. These workers attached wooden or metal blades to the overhead whirling shafts that were used to drive the machinery they worked on.

Ceiling fans are a great way to keep cool in the summer on those nights when you don't have to run the air conditioner. Ceiling fans are much less noisy and obtrusive than box fans that sit on your floor or in your windows. And, you know that heat rises, right? Well, in the winter months running your fan on low and in reverse speed will bring down the heat that accumulates up in at the ceiling, helping you to feel warmer.

Before you purchase a ceiling fan you'll need to consider the blade sweep. You don't want to overwhelm a smaller room with a ceiling fan that's too big, but, you also want to make sure that the ceiling fan will be able to displace enough air to cool you off in a larger room. Another consideration before purchasing a ceiling fan is the length it will drop from the ceiling. A home with an 8 foot ceiling would probably use a three inch down rod for a ceiling fan, and a room with a fifteen foot high ceiling would need at least a one foot down rod, up to a five foot down rod. It is suggested that you have at least seven feet of clearance from the floor to avoid accidents.

Installing a ceiling fan yourself is a fairly easy job for most do-it- yourselfer's. There are many online sites available to help you if you have any problems or questions.

About the author:
This article courtesy of

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Installing a Home Theater

by: Kenny Hemphill
Thinking about system? You’re not alone. Home theater is one of the fastest growing areas areas in home entertainment and the advent of DVD recorders means your set-up can now be entirely digital, without an inch of video tape in site.

Installing a home theater is a big decision and requires careful planning. Luckily there are a number of resources around to help you and you needn’t be a technical expert or a hi-fi buff to get the job done.

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make before you set about installing a home theater is whether your going to dedicate a whole room to the theater or whether it will share a space with a lounge, dining room, or office. Having a dedicated room allows you to position seating and speakers in the optimum position and you can seriously consider a projector and screen without it looking as out of place as it might in your living room.

Obviously budget is another consideration and this will dictate which equipment you buy initially and what you save for another day. As a bare minimum you’ll want a DVD player, widescreen television, and a surround sound audio amplifier and speakers. We’d recommend opting for a DVD recorder like this one from Phillips, or this from Panasonic. They’re obviously more expensive than a DVD player, but will give you much greater flexibility. And don’t forget to budget for cabling, its a very important part of installing a home theatre and one that’s often overlooked.

You’ll also want to think about the interior design of a dedicated home theater room and of course the seating is all important. You’re going to spend hours and hours watching movies and the last thing you need is uncomfortable seats.

About the author:
Kenny Hemphill is the editor and publisher of Master Home Theater Design (, a website which provides information, articles, and tutorials on issues and products related to getting started with Home Theater.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Marble Floors and How to Maintain Them

by: Edward Green IICRC inst

For honed marble used as traffic surfaces, care should be taken to prevent accumulations of liquids or other materials that result in safety hazards and staining. Regular daily mopping should be performed. Floor marble is any honed finish that is used as a traffic surface. These surfaces should be mopped and scrubbed in a manner that will not leave a hazardous slippery film.

Again, wet with hot, clean water and then lightly sprinkle an abrasive cleaner (i.e, chlorine bleaching type household scouring cleanser) over the wet stone, or put 1-2 handfuls into a pail of 2-3 gallons of hot clean water.

Using a scrubbing motion, mop the marble surfaces with this solution (or with hot clean water if you are sprinkling the cleaner directly on the stone). Rinse with clean hot water and dry with mop or cloths. Power scrubbers can also be used for the procedure.

Often it is also desirable to protect special interior areas and to enhance the coloration of
Honed marble in areas where a polished finish is not practical. In such cases sealers may be applied after the marble has been cleaned. This minimizes maintenance and prevents staining - especially around toilets and urinals in restrooms or in food preparation areas and busy building entrances.

Sealers should only be applied to clean interior marble. Always follow the manufacturer's directions for proper application. Terrazzo sealers are excellent for this purpose. So are silicone based stone sealers.

In all cases sealers should be made of a clear, hard finish type suitable for traffic surfaces and definitely non-yellowing. Do not use soft finish waxes, paste wax or resins. These coatings can collect dirt and grit. Some acrylic-base liquid floor waxes can be used in place of permanent sealers, but may give limited life.

The products for the maintenance of Honed Marble and all other stone is available from

About the author:

Edward Green owns and operates the highly successful Marble Master Ltd Company. Marble Master specializes in Restoration and Refinishing of all types of natural stone and consultancy services to Architects, Restoration Companies and Interior Designers.

Friday, September 11, 2009

An Introduction to Roman Shades

by: Jimmy Sturo

Roman shades are a simple and practical window treatment to accent a room or to provide privacy from bright sun or noisy neighbors. A Roman shade is a piece of fabric that is mounted at the top of a window. The fabric is pleated such that when the Roman shade’s string is pulled, the fabric folds up in regular intervals. Not only does it look better than a boring plastic shade, it uses less fabric than other window treatments making it a cheaper alternative to ornate window treatments.

Classic Roman shades have overlapping folds when the shade is lowered, but more different treatments do exist. Flat Roman shades have no folds when the shade is lowered. These shades, when made with sheer or light fabric, can soften bright southern lighting into a subtle, soothing light. A more elaborate sunburst Roman shade has extra fabric at the bottom, which is folded into a half-sunburst. These cheerful shades are perfect for breakfast nooks, in the kitchen, or in a young girl’s room.

Roman shades can be made at home or purchased. Making your own Roman shade will be an exercise in mathematical patience. The fabric must be fitted to the window, and the hooks to draw the Roman shade up must be placed at regular intervals. Patterned fabrics are more challenging because the patterns should not clash when the Roman shade is raised. Roman shades for sale only need to be installed and come in varieties an amateur may find to difficult to make. For example, some stores like JC Penney, sell cordless Roman shades perfect for houses with small children. Roman shades for sale come in hundreds of fabrics or even made of wood. The least expensive Roman shades start at around $30. Interior designers can also make Roman shades just for you, but these will be more expensive than store-bought or homemade Roman shades.

Visit home improvement stores or search online for Roman shade ideas, instructions, or even to purchase Roman shades perfect for your home.

About the author:
Roman Shades Info provides detailed information about bamboo, fabric, discount, and custom Roman shades, as well as advice on how to make Roman shades, and more. Roman Shades Info is the sister site of Shutters Web.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Creating a Faux Stone Finish for your Walls Using Old Newspapers

by: Pamela Cole Harris
Love the look of stone but you can�t even afford the rocks in your head? (That�s a joke, son!) If you have old newspaper lying around, you can have the look of stone you love � inexpensively! Here�s how:

1. Paint the wall with a cote of white latex enamel. It is best to use low-luster enamel with a sponge brush applicator (available at most discount stores for around $1). Let the paint dry to the touch.

2. Choose a flat earth-tone or neutral glaze using a clean sponge brush. Apply the glaze in random strokes over one-half the surface.

3. Repeat this step with a darker glaze, but leaving small random areas unglazed.

4. Next we wash! Apply a white wash in some areas and a earth-tone wash in others. Again, the more random the better!

5. Fold an old newspaper in half and then in half again. Place it flat against a small part of the wall and press. Lift and repeat in another area. Each time you lift, more glaze will be removed.

6. Turn the paper in different directions to help blend the colors into random patterns. Fun, huh?

7. If you feel that one area needs more color, spread glaze on the newspaper and press it flat to the desired area.

8. Repeat the process until you are satisfied with the look. Leave some light and dark spots in the pattern.

9. Let the paint dry. (Don�t watch it - it�s deadly dull!)

10. Finally apply more white wash to the entire surface. Soften the colors by dabbing with a clean cotton cloth.

11. Allow the paint to dry once more. (I didn�t say this process would be exciting, did I?)

The look you will achieve with this technique will mimic the depth, color variations and rough look of more expensive stone tiles. Not bad for a little paint and some old newspaper, right? Now go out there and dab!

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