How to clean different porcelain floor tiles

porcelain floor tiles

Porcelain floor tiles are one of the simplest forms of flooring to clean in a house or workplace. To keep it clean and clear of dirt and stains, all you need to do is sweep or vacuum it at least once a week. While porcelain is very simple to clean and preserve, it is not completely impervious to these strong stains and other pollutants. Therefore, how do you clean floor tiles? In this post, we’ll walk you through the stages involved in cleaning various varieties of porcelain floor tiles.

Cleaning Porcelain Floor Tiles of Various Types

Tiles That Are Not Polished

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  • Sweep and vacuum the area prior to cleaning to remove any loose dirt.
  • Clean the floor tile using a floor tiles cleaner and hot water. Allow the mixture to rest on the floor for about 5 to 10 minutes. It is critical to immediately remove the solution to prevent it drying directly on the surface. learn more about floor tiles cleaning at https://www.hgtv.com/lifestyle/clean-and-organize/how-to-clean-ceramic-tile-floors
  • Scrub the cleaning substance with an abrasive pad or a nylon-bristled brush to remove difficult and tenacious stains. If your floor tiles area is quite modest, a little brush scrub would suffice.
  • Rinse the floor well with clean, clear water to remove the cleaning solution. This may be accomplished with a mop or a vacuum cleaner.
  • Allow the whole floor area to dry naturally.

Polished Ceramic Floor Tiles

  • Sweep the floor to remove any dust or grime that has accumulated on the surface. Following that, sweep up any remaining loose dirt.
  • Mop the floor tiles with a light cleaning solution to give it a lovely shine. The solution or detergent must be used in a proportion of 50% less than what is used to clean an unpolished porcelain tile floor.
  • Rinse the cleaning solution away with clean water.
  • Wipe the floor area dry to bring out the sheen and luster of the surface and to avoid the formation and settlement of water stains.

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Textured Tiles

  • Sweep and vacuum away loose debris from the textured porcelain floor tiles. To efficiently clean the floor tiles, begin sweeping in two directions with a soft-bristled broom. After that, suction out any leftover particles using a vacuum cleaner.
  • Clean the floor with a neutral cleaning solution and hot water mixture. Allow it to settle for about 5 to 10 minutes on the surface. Following that, begin cleaning the floor in two separate ways using a brush. learn more about natural cleaning solution by clicking here
  • Thoroughly clean the floor by rinsing it with clean, clear water.
  • To keep the floor shining and clean, scrub and mop it at least once a day using a light floor cleanser.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Porcelain Floor Cleaning

  • Never clean porcelain floors with ammonia or any bleach-acid solution. These materials have abrasive qualities and may degrade the surface, causing the grout color to alter.
  • Avoid cleaning chemicals that include oil-based detergents, wax cleansers, or sealants
  • Avoid cleaning substances that involve dye or coloring.
  • Don’t forget to install mats at entrances to keep more dirt off the floor tiles.
  • Avoid using steel wool pads for cleaning since they may cause damage to the floor and rust spots in the grout.

Maintaining a Clean and Shiny Floor

  1. While larger is not always better, it is definitely easier. Floor tiles that are larger in size are considerably simpler to install than those that are little. Larger tiles are often used in bathrooms, but they also work well in kitchens and other spaces. Because the smaller 1x1s will take longer to set, consider a simple design.
  2. What you are unable to perceive will do you harm. Without a level subfloor, no installation will be successful. Self-leveling subfloor material performs well and is simple to install for the do-it-yourselfer. Additionally, plywood or cement backer board may be utilized, but regardless of the material chosen, the subfloor should be at least 1 inch thick “thick to provide a professional finish.
  3. It’s as simple as 3-4-5 to square a space. A 3-4-5 triangle is the optimal approach for squaring a room. Measure 3 feet against one wall, 4 feet to the room’s center, then join the two lines with a 5-foot line to form a triangle. Use 6-, 8-, and 10-foot lines if the space is bigger. If it is less than 18″, 24″, or 30″, use 18″, 24″, and 30″ “‘. All lines should be marked off by snapping a chalk line along the measures.
  4. Find a way to make the most of a bad circumstance. Not only can thin-set hold floor tiles in place on the floor, it may also compensate for slight subfloor faults. There are a variety of thin-sets available for various types of tile, but for ceramic tile, a latex modified thin-set is recommended. Water is all that is required for latex modified thin-set. Bear in mind that you should only combine what can be dispersed or utilized within an hour; otherwise, the work will become quite difficult. Additionally, there is a premixed thin-set that is better suited for wall tiles. It is more adherent, and the floor tiles will not move as much. With thin-set, you can always add a bit more on one side or subtract a little on the other to level the subfloor.
  5. If you’re looking to save money, rent a wet saw. Renting one saves you time and aggravation. Unless you have an ideal home with ideal rooms, you will need to trim the tiles. The time saved by correctly cutting all of the tiles will quickly pay off. Wet saws are reasonably priced and are often available at any home supply shop.
  6. Avoid rushing into a bad job. Always take your time and work in a limited area to ensure everything is completed properly. Each high-quality tile installation is the result of an installer who opted to take his time. Even if you are working in a tiny area, take your time laying the floor tiles.

Final thoughts

The tips mentioned in this article will assist you in cleaning floor tiles easily.

Read this before installing those bathroom tiles

Read this before installing those bathroom tiles

As one of the most utilized rooms in your house, it’s worth investing in your bathroom tiles design. However, how can you ensure that this area blends ageless beauty with top-notch functionality?

Today, we’re sharing the ultimate bathroom tiles purchasing guide, full of practical advice and design ideas to help you make the most of your space, no matter how little.

Materials

Practically, some materials are better suited to locations like the bathroom, which receives more moisture than most other rooms. For example, stone bathroom tiles are attractive and rustic, but they are likely to be chilly underfoot. If you want to use this sort of material in your bathroom, you should consider purchasing a huge rug for the winter.

Porcelain bathroom tiles are elegant and luxurious without the high cost of other tiles. Porcelain tiles are strong, resilient, and look great in any bathroom.

Colours

Colors may set the ambiance in your bathroom, so think about your family before you start. In busy houses, where the shower is the most utilized fixture, consider designing a simple, functional area that is as convenient as feasible for busy families. In this case, cool blue or grey bathroom tiles will do.

For houses where a lengthy soak in the tub is the highlight of the day, a more peaceful and ambient design may be preferred. These colors may help establish the ambiance for a quiet and peaceful environment.

If you often change the color scheme of your bathroom, utilize white bathroom tiles for the bath and shower. In this manner, you may modify the room’s design whenever you choose, utilizing the neutral tiles as a foundation.

Sizings

Choosing the right tile shape and size can help you make the most of your bathroom. Smaller bathrooms may benefit from big bathroom tiles. Fewer grout lines provide the appearance of a bigger surface area.

Bathrooms are a terrific area to experiment with rectangular metro bathroom tiles if you’ve been thinking about doing so. These colorful tiles are ideal for creating a functional feature wall in the shower area. You may also use hexagonal or mosaic bathroom tiles on your walls or floor. Smaller tiles produce more grout lines, which may make this area look ‘busy’.

Pairings

While your bathroom’s flooring is important, so are the accessories, furniture, and fixtures you pick to go with it. If you want to create a rustic decor with wood-effect tiles, try natural wood cabinets and bamboo accessories. For a more contemporary and elegant style, go for white drawers and cabinets with lots of beveled mirror accessories.

Consider the type of blinds or voiles you want for your windows and their colors in relation to your overall theme. From shower curtains to bathmats, color can help you create a bathroom that appeals to both guests and family.

Price

Creating an enviable interior can be costly, but with Tiles and Bath Co, you can keep costs low and quality high. When you purchase from us, you get beautiful tiles without the costly price tag. Buying inexpensive bathroom tiles doesn’t have to mean getting low-quality materials – and whether you’re tiling the walls or the floors, for a small or big bathroom, contemporary or classic, you’ll be able to discover your ideal match.

From reimagined classics to new and energizing ideas, these are the bathroom tiles experts and homeowners love right now.

1. Welcome the new Japandi

Cool, relaxing color palettes, organic materials, and a minimalist aesthetic define Japan’s interior design.

Bathrooms will be flooded with this relaxing design in 2022 if this appeals to you.

Japandi bathroom design ideas give the ideal solution to hectic lives both inside and outside the house.

In short, this useful but attractive bathroom décor style may help you relax after a long day at work or provide a nice change of scenery in your work-from-home area.

Get the look with sandy, beige bathroom wall and floor tiles with a tactile matt texture. These will look great with raw wood, bamboo, stone, and organic materials.

For the ultimate relaxation retreat, add low lighting, simple décor, and indoor plants.

2. Enjoy the beauty of both worlds

Like Japandi, bringing the outdoors in isn’t a new idea.

As a trend, transterior bathroom design is becoming increasingly popular, opening up these normally concealed chambers to the wide outdoors. No one can bathe outside in the UK, but you may create a natural feel indoors with the correct bathroom décor choices.

Lower-ground bathrooms may benefit from large glass external walls that provide a close-up view of the surroundings. Inside, earthy neutrals, wood, and stone abound.

Optimizing vistas and using natural textures are the same guidelines for upper-level bathrooms.

Extending windows to give in more light or installing Velux windows to let in more sky.

Textures include hewn stone tubs and sinks, unpolished wood, and rustic stone bathroom tiles. This will capture the spirit of the style while adding practicality and sustainability. Visit https://andyshowto.com/2021/11/30/simple-and-effective-ways-to-select-good-bathroom-tiles/ to read about Simple and effective ways to select good bathroom tiles.

3. Accept the shadows

Currently, more homeowners are experimenting with vivid colors.

Bathroom tile’s interior design trends have shifted to dark tones like black.

With the latest take on black as a bathroom shade, you don’t have to be terrified of the dark in 2022.

Black is the main and anchoring color in modern black bathrooms, but not the only one. The addition of various colors and textures softens black, giving it a layered look with a luxury edge.

Making sure black is prominent but not overpowering is the key to this bathroom style. Choosing a few crucial design components in black might help achieve that layered impression.

Black statement bathtubs and vanity units contrast nicely with matt black wall tiles and a delicate, warming neutral like blush pink, peach, or beige.

To create a mixture of deeper colors and textural contrasts, utilize strategically placed black elements like taps, towel rails, shower screens, and mirrors.

This chic, sophisticated and tactile combination will transform your dark bathroom into a relaxing spa sanctuary.

Simple and effective ways to select good bathroom tiles

Simple and effective ways to select good bathroom tiles

The bathroom is one of the rooms in your house where you will spend most of your time. You want to create a welcoming area that you’ll like spending time in as you begin your day or prepare for bed. Choosing the ideal bathroom tiles is a critical step in bathroom design. The procedure might seem daunting, and it’s easy to get mired down in information and possibilities. Consider the following critical recommendations for selecting the ideal bathroom tile and designing the bathroom of your dreams.

Determine Your Budget

Budgeting is the first step in every tile flooring project. This technique immediately eliminates any tile that is out of your price range and narrows your bathroom tiles flooring alternatives. Determine a budget for the design or remodeling of your bathroom and determine how much of that budget will be spent on bathroom tile.

When it comes to the best bathroom tiles design, money may be a huge cause of concern. Avoid unneeded frustration by establishing and adhering to your boundaries. Provide a budget to your contractor or sales representative and ensure they adhere to it. They should only offer you alternatives that are inside your budget to streamline the tile picking process.

Choose Your Colours

Bathroom tiles come in an infinite variety of colors and designs. Have a mental image of how you want your completed creation to appear. While you do not need to know the specific tile, choosing a color scheme is a good place to start.

If you’re unsure of which colors to use in your bathroom tiles flooring, look for inspiration. Examine samples on Pinterest, visit showrooms, or hire an expert designer, such as those at Westside Tile and Stone. You may combine styles that appeal to you and choose the colors that best reflect your intended appearance.

Recognize the Effects of Size

Bathroom tiles, like colors, come in a variety of sizes. Tile flooring is available in a variety of sizes, from small one-square-inch tiles to enormous tiles measuring several feet wide. Bear in mind that the size of the tile has a significant effect on the design and feel of your bathroom. If you’re dealing with a limited amount of area, big tiles may be the ideal solution. They have the ability to make a place seem less crowded and more open. Large tiles have a continuous surface that is not broken by as many grout lines, which may provide the illusion of a bigger area.

If you’ve fallen in love with a smaller tile, you may mix and match the sizes of your bathroom tiles to create unique and intriguing patterns. By interspersing smaller tiles with larger ones, you may add interest to your bathroom without making it seem crowded.

Restriction of Tile Types

You may fall in love with six distinct varieties of tile and seek to include them all in your room. Recognize that choosing an excessive number of different types of bathroom tiles flooring might make your bathroom seem crowded and chaotic. This is particularly true in smaller spaces when the many colors and styles battle for attention.

A decent rule of thumb is to stick to three distinct tile kinds. You may integrate a variety of different kinds of bathroom tiles while still maintaining a coherent aesthetic. On the other hand, using just one kind of tile flooring might create a dreary or monotonous atmosphere in your bathroom.

Choose Your Accents

If your bathroom has an accent item, you should keep it in mind while choosing a tile. You may have a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture or artwork in your bathroom that must harmonize with your flooring to create a unified aesthetic. Additionally, you may use your tile flooring to create an accent.

Certain individuals prefer to add an accent wall into their bathroom design by using a different style of tile to attract attention to a particular region. Additionally, you may make “rugs” out of tile by using a variety of tile kinds in front of sinks or your shower. Your choice of accent item is entirely up to you. Simply keep in mind that one accent item is often plenty for a space as tiny as a bathroom.

Bear in mind the importance of cleaning and maintenance

It is important to keep in mind that regardless of whatever bathroom tiles you choose, you will need to clean them. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are suggested for moist areas due to their ease of maintenance. Stone bathroom tiles are more difficult to clean and are thus best utilized in areas of the bathroom that do not get as much water.

Bear in mind that grout has a role in cleaning and upkeep as well. Smaller bathroom tiles need more grout lines, which implies that grout cleaning is required more often. However, tiles with greater roughness or that integrate more grout may aid in preventing slippage.

Determine the Overall Feeling

How would you want to feel each time you enter your bathroom? The tile you choose for this room has a big effect on the space’s overall appearance and feel. Natural stone tile has a rustic, one-of-a-kind character. If you desire a spa-like ambiance in your bathroom, cool-colored glass tile flooring may be the solution. Subway tiles and neutral hues are always popular for a contemporary and minimalist aesthetic. Click here to read about Read this before installing those bathroom tiles.

Tiles and Bath Co can assist you in choosing the ideal bathroom tiles. Our Bathroom Tile Store’s professionals understand the critical role tile flooring plays in the overall design of your bathroom. Bathroom tiles are available in a variety of designs, colors, textures, and sizes. A knowledgeable designer can guide you through the tile choosing process and guarantee that your bathroom is precisely as you imagined it to be.

Final thoughts

If you’re looking to install bathroom tiles, this article will veer you in the right direction as regards selecting the right bathroom tiles. Feel free to go over this article again for proper grasping.

Plumbing Systems

Plumbing

If you are using well water, have the local health department test it for purity, color, taste, hardness, and mineral content. This will determine the need for softeners and purifiers. Be sure you’re well is far enough from the proposed septic field. Check with the local health department and building department for requirements. If you have municipal sewer and water, you need not concern yourself about purity, but may still need a softener.

Your plumbing system is governed mainly by code and all you need to do is pick out the fixtures. Be sure your plumber is licensed, bonded, and insured. If you are looking for a good source for your bathroom tapware suppliest you can check this link https://tileandbathco.com.au/collections/tapware

In some localities, there may be other choices allowed by code. If local codes permit, we use PVC piping for drains and waste materials because of its low cost and corrosion resistance. Since PVC is fairly flexible it must be well anchored to the framing of the house. Make sure all drains are vented and have traps.

For potable, (drinkable), water, however, copper with lead-free solder is the only thing we use. The only exception is the pipe running from the shower faucet to the showerhead, where we use steel pipe to provide rigidity to the showerhead. Be sure there is an air chamber installed at each fixture. This will eliminate the knocking and rattling of pipes when a faucet is turned on or off.

If you have a basement, you will probably need a sump pit with a pump installed. This may not be needed if there is a walk-out basement or if for some other reason the grade is below the basement floor. The pump should be located in the place where water tended to collect when you first excavated the basement. If you anticipate any drainage problems at all on your property, both an interior and exterior drain tile should be installed along with the footings. They should drain into a suitable outlet or a sump pit. Two pits and pumps may be required.

I believe it is a good idea to install a battery-operated backup pump in the same pit as the primary pump. Electrical power seems to have a habit of going out when you need it most, during a storm when your sump pump is needed most. Adjust the secondary pump to a higher level so it will only run when the primary pump fails.

Some Home Designs Styles To Fit Your Needs

Home Designs

Selecting A House Designs Style

There are many home design styles to choose from. Some sketches of the more popular ones are shown here noting their main distinguishing features of the house designs. This should help you to narrow your search for the perfect house designs considerably. You can also combine features for something more unique or contemporary in your house designs. You should take into account the neighborhood you are building in, and the styles already prevalent. Remember to think about re-sale.

The size of house you need and the size lot that you have must be considered here. It is more economical to build up (2 stories) than to build utilizing more real estate. If your lot will not accommodate the space you need in one story, you may not have any choice but to build a 2 story home.

You must also consider whether you want a basement. Dollar for dollar, you will get much more square footage from a basement home than other house designs. The downside is dampness, especially in low-lying areas, and the fact that you will have more stairs to climb and more tiles and bath accessories to use. If you cannot resolve potential flooding problems, I would not recommend a basement home. On a sloping lot, however, a walkout basement becomes feasible for a very economical, prime living space! The split-level home designs also lend themselves to a moderately sloping lot.

You will also have to take into account the view, the proximity of your neighbors home, and any other issues that are unique to the building site, such as the elevation of the foundation in relation to the elevation of the street.

Georgian Home Designs, Maintains symmetry and has a columned entry, Equally spaced windows, and doorway trimmed with carved wood Sometimes wood siding faces north and brick faces south

Cape Cod House Designs, Maintains symmetry and has dormers, Usually built from wood and has shutters

French Colonial Home Designs, Mansard or hip roof usually stone exterior southern Colonial House Designs, Maintains symmetry – large columned entry, Usually brick with carved wood on the porch

Saltbox and Garrison Home front view. Both maintain symmetry but the saltbox house omits to detail, They are usually built from wood and have shutters

Saltbox Home side view, Garrison Home side view Timber detailing

English Tudor House Designs, Unsymmetrical layout, Built with a combination of stone, stucco, and timber

Ranch Home Designs 1 story with large overhangs and low pitch roof

Spanish Colonial Home Designs. Usually 1 story – Low pitch roof Made of adobe or plaster with arches and iron window grills

Country House Designs, Usually 2 stories with a wrap-around porch Very little detail

Dutch Colonial House Designs Maintains symmetry, has dormers and a Gambrel roof

Dutch Hip Roof Home

This is a basic ranch style with a Dutch Hip on the gables

Shown are some very simplified full building floor plans which are how the building would look if it were cut down the center. There is usually at least one with every set of blueprints, many more on complicated buildings.

They show ceiling heights and treatments, a number of risers to the stairs, the thickness of walls, floors, ceilings, and roofs, depth of foundations, structure, total height of the building, etc. If completely detailed they are very informative and also show interior elevations including trim. At this point in the planning stage, they only need to help you determine the house style you will build.

House Floor Plans Layout

House Floor Plans Layout

Planning House Traffic

Planning floor traffic through your home can greatly increase convenience. You will have to take into account how your house is situated, the view, terrain, size, etc. The traffic flow will never be perfect, but try to follow as many of the floorplans guidelines below as you can. Shown is a very simple one-story floor plans layout with floor traffic flow arrows. Your floorplans layout may not be this simple but you’ll get the idea.

bullet The distance from the garage to the kitchen of the house is direct and short.
bullet The foyer is centrally located and convenient to all parts of the house.
bullet All bedrooms are close to a bath.
bulletFew rooms of a house have floor traffic planned through them.
bulletPay attention to space relationships. (Dining room in relation to the kitchen).
bulletTry to separate the living room from the kitchen of the house if there is a family room.
bulletIt is usually advisable to locate the laundry near the kitchen of the house so you can do laundry while working or relaxing in the kitchen.       
bulletIn recent years it has become quite common to locate the laundry on the second floor of the house, near the bedrooms of the house.
bulletThere should be a closet near all entry doors of the house.

If you are planning single-story floor plans in your house, it is cost-effective to have the plumbing fixtures share a common wall whenever possible as they do in baths 1 & 2 above. Plumbing walls should be built with 2×6 rather than 2×4 to allow room for the plumbing lines. If planning two-story house floor plans, or a basement with a bath, try to line up the plumbing wall with another plumbing wall above or below, or at least get them close.

Room Sizes

Following are some minimum and recommended room sizes for floor plans. The Federal House Authority recommends at least the minimum. Of greater importance is that your furniture will fit. Use paper cutouts of your furniture to lay on the floor plans. Perhaps a better idea is to buy a plans kit which may include miniature Styrofoam cutouts of furniture and other items to actually build yourself a model of your home.

There are low-cost computer programs available for the home PC user. While the developers claim the software is easy to use and design floor plans with, I have found that it takes more time to learn the use of the software than it would take to draw floorplans by hand or build a model of floor plans from a kit. The vast majority of people I know that have tried them have given up in frustration and have used another alternative to design their house plans.  learn more about flooring ideas at https://tileandbathco.com.au/

If you expect to design more than one set of floor plans, however, these programs may be worth the time to learn them, and they can be fun.

bulletBedrooms – Minimum 100 sq. ft. – recommended 125 sq. ft. with at least a 4-foot closet 2 feet deep – recommended 6 to 8 feet. Placing a closet on the interior wall will provide a noise barrier between rooms. (Larger closets are very desirable.)
bulletBathrooms – minimum 5 feet by 7 feet – recommended 6 feet by 9 feet with 2 lavs. Powder rooms can be 4 x 4½ feet.
bulletLiving Room Plans – minimum 150 sq. ft. – recommended 250 sq. ft.
bulletDining Room Plans – minimum 120 sq. ft.
bulletFamily Room Plans – minimum 220 sq. ft.
bulletKitchen Plans – see Kitchen and Bath page

Home Mechanical Considerations

Home Mechanical Considerations

Mechanicals are defined as plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems. They all have a great deal to do with the comfort of a home and should be taken very seriously.

Both installation and operating costs can vary tremendously. To ensure that you get the most for your money, they should be determined while planning your home, well before construction begins. All of the mechanical trades are regulated by national, and/or state, as well as most local governing agencies. It is very important that your plumber, electrician, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), specialist be licensed, bonded, and insured.

How they install their respective systems is largely determined by the national and local codes. You must take care to coordinate their activities so as to avoid conflicts, and also to expedite the project.

While you may find a cheaper way to do something, they may refuse, citing building codes as the reason. They have good reason to not violate any codes as they could lose their license. You may want to check the codes yourself. First, find out which code applies to your situation. You can find this out from your local building department. It will usually be a national, and/or state code, plus some local ordinances. A good place to refer to them is at your local library. Do not let tradesmen tell you that some codes are not important and they can do it cheaper. While this may be true in some circumstances, codes are designed for your protection.

The plumbing system has the least flexibility of the mechanical trades. Therefore, it should be installed first, followed by the HVAC system, then the electrical, as it is the most flexible. Switching the schedules of these trades would be asking for trouble and extra expense.

These tradesmen are also a good source of information and advice. Since they are licensed, they should be familiar with all codes, regulations, and special circumstances for your area. As a matter of practice, they will make any necessary calculations to determine the system required for the size and geographic location of your home. You should confer with these trades while still in the design phase of your home.

Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning

Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning

(Commonly referred to as HVAC)

Solar Heating

Sunlight becomes solar energy when it is transformed to heat. No matter where you live, it may be practical to use at least passive solar heat. Solar energy can provide hot water as well as heat for the home. Passive is solar energy produced without the aid of any mechanical means.

These include, but are not limited to, south-facing glass, masonry walls, and solariums. These are relatively inexpensive and may fit in with your design. Active systems are more effective but can be expensive. They require solar collectors and storage systems. The collectors themselves require unobstructed southern exposure. Talk to your local building department and HVAC contractor to find out if solar energy is a viable alternative in your area. If your situation warrants further research, visit your local library.

Other Heating and Cooling Systems

The most widely used system is Central Forced Air. Both hot and cold air is forced through a series of ducts by a blower attached to the furnace. The air enters the living space through registers on the floor usually located near windows and doors. Heating and air conditioning use the same ductwork and blower. The central system can get its energy from natural gas, oil, propane, or electricity.

Today, natural gas is the most cost-effective, followed by oil. Keep in mind that the A/C condenser will still run on electricity in both cases, and electric bills can get quite high in summer. If you live in a northerly climate you will also want to attach a humidifier to the furnace. It will add keep the humidity at a comfortable level in winter when humidity levels drop dramatically in heated spaces.

An optional electronic air cleaner will help remove dust, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, tobacco, and cooking smoke more effectively than disposable filters.

Another heating system is hot water. Here the water is heated in a gas or oil-fired boiler and then circulated by pipe to radiators placed in the living space, or through coils that are installed into the flooring system. A separate air conditioning system would be required, usually window or through-wall units.

A heat pump is a good choice for a central heating and cooling system but only if you live in an area that does not drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit in winter. It is a very energy-efficient system and also uses the same ducts for heating and cooling.

Electric baseboard heat is another choice. It is inexpensive to install but very expensive to operate. It is most often used in apartment buildings because of the low installation cost, and because the tenant will have to pay the electric bill!

A zone control system requires one heating unit and one cooling unit for each room. The advantage to this is that you can heat and cool selected rooms to different temperatures, thereby saving energy by not heating or cooling spaces that are not being used at any given time.

The key to determining which system is best for you is to determine the operating costs of these systems in your area. Your friends, neighbors, and HVAC contractors can be a great help. You will likely find that one particular system is the most widely used and efficient for your area.

My choice would be a heat pump if the climate permitted, (20 degrees or above in winter). In colder climates, a gas-fired central forced air with a central humidifier attached provides great comfort and efficiency.

Try to locate your mechanical equipment where the noise of operation does not disturb the people living there. (Such as yourself!). It is also preferable to locate the water heater fairly close to the master bath, insuring hot water without waiting.

Your HVAC contractor should provide all materials and equipment necessary for these systems as well as venting ducts for bathroom fans, range hood, and dryer vents. Be sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured.

Fireplaces

Everyone enjoys a fireplace on a cold winter night. Your decision on whether to have one will probably be based on aesthetic appeal more than heating efficiency. Unless you have an ample supply of free firewood and live in an area that seldom gets below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, a fireplace will seldom pay for itself in saved heating costs.

A functional masonry fireplace and chimney should cost about $6000 for a single-story home. You can probably install a metal, wood-burning prefabricated fireplace with a framed chimney for about half that.

In either case, you can get gas-fired simulated logs, which are clean-burning, insect-free, have lower operational cost, look nice and you don’t have to chop wood. They also provide more heat because the damper remains closed. The only downside is that they are imitations.

Kitchen Layouts

Kitchen Layouts

A Few Thoughts on Kitchens

Below are some sample kitchen layouts. They have work triangles drawn between the sink, range, and refrigerator. In a convenient kitchen, the total length of the three legs of the triangle should not exceed 22 feet, and the dishwasher will usually be within the triangle, next to the sink.

You will notice that some of these designs are far more convenient than others. You will need to balance convenience with the overall design of your home. You should also try to leave at least 42″ between an island or peninsula and any other counter, and preferably 4 feet or more, especially if there will be an appliance door that swings into that area. There should be at least 3 feet of counter between the sink and the refrigerator. You can learn more about kitchen tapware choices at https://tileandbathco.com.au/collections/tapware

A built-in desk is a very handy item in the kitchen. A pantry is a necessary item.

A large island or peninsula with an eating counter is especially convenient if you have room for it. They are invaluable if you entertain a lot. In this case, you may find it helpful if your guests can access the refrigerator without disturbing the all-important cook.

It is desirable to be able to see where children are when you are in the kitchen.

Cabinets

You will never have too many cabinets in your kitchen! Towel storage is needed in or very near each bathroom.

When you have decided on the type of layout you would like, shop for your kitchen cabinets. Wherever you find what you are interested in, such as a home center or cabinet distribution outlet, their sales, and design people will be glad to help you design your kitchen, and usually your bathrooms also.

Many have computer programs set up so that you can see what your kitchen will look like and they can print them out for you, generally at no charge in the hope that you will buy their product. You do not need to commit yourself at this point, so try to find the best deal you can. You should not actually buy cabinets until you have room to put them in. Until the kitchen actually exists, you could conceivably change the size or shape of it for a variety of reasons.

You can go through this process either before or after designing your home. Most people will design their home first, and then take the floor plan to the cabinet outlet, where their design people will fit various cabinets into the space that is available. They will typically do the same for the desired appliances, whether they deal in them or not.

Of course, if you now decide you need a bigger kitchen, you would have to change the blueprints. For this reason, you may want to verify the size of your kitchen before laying out the rooms of your home design, by tentatively deciding on a cabinet layout first. Either way, the kitchen is the most used room in the house and should receive a lot of consideration in the planning stage.

Cabinets are typically manufactured in 3-inch increments, so you should not have a problem fitting them into almost any space. Because of the wide range of sizes available, and the many configurations, including corner units that you can use, it is seldom necessary to go through the extra expense of custom-built cabinetry.

Bath Facilities

The same consideration should be given to your bathrooms, especially the master bath. Not only will you use it daily, but if you should sell your home in the future, prospective buyers will give it close scrutiny, as they will intend to use it daily. In today’s market, a master bedroom with a private bath is almost considered a necessity.

When designing kitchens and baths remember to include an exhaust fan of the appropriate size for the room. These fans must be vented to the outside and not to attic space.

A final note for this page, do not order countertops until after the cabinets have been installed. Only then should they be measured and ordered.