A guide to choosing wood flooring

One of the many great things about wood flooring is its ability to look amazing and meet all your needs in pretty much every property, from well established or period places to brand new builds.

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Making the decision

Wanting to install wood flooring is the easy part of the process, but with so many types on offer, it’s best to consider all the options and evaluate them based on practicality, budget and personal taste. Let’s look in more detail at the main types of wood flooring available.


Generally made from oak, maple, walnut or cherry trees, hardwood floors are at the top end of the price range, but also very durable and hard-wearing. A good choice for spaces with a lot of traffic, such as hallways, but they don’t do well in bathrooms and kitchens due to the moisture. Always keep your plans for home décor in mind when choosing hardwood floors, as furnishings will need to be worked around the colour and depth of the wood’s finish. Overall a decent choice for very busy households which are able to make a more substantial investment in flooring, and happy to choose décor to complement the wood.

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Engineered wood

Generally made from multiple layers of plywood and finished with a layer of natural wood, this may not be 100% authentic but it is very stable – http://www.idealhome.co.uk/dining-room/wood-flooring-the-essential-guide_1-74231. The top layer also supplies that attractive rustic look of wooden floors, complete with knots and uneven tones. Engineered wood floors are more robust in humid conditions than hard or soft wood floors, but are still not a great choice for bathrooms.

Laminate flooring

The most affordable option, laminate wood floors feature a photograph of wood manufactured onto a piece of plastic, which in turn is laminated onto strong fibre-board. Buy from a good quality supplier such as https://www.woodfloorwarehouse.ie/laminate-flooring.html for a high-end look which is both hard-wearing and extremely realistic. You can lay laminate anywhere in the house, but in bathrooms opt for the water-resistant fiber-board type over those made from chipboard.

Softer woods

Pine and beech are popular softwoods, being equally attractive but also cheaper than hardwoods. They can also be easily painted. They do need more attention though as both are scratch prone, and they are best avoided for bathroom floors due to the risk of warping.

How to Create a Sustainable Lifestyle by Going Lean and Green

It isn’t always easy creating a sustainable lifestyle in the 21st Century because everywhere you turn you are confronted with something electronic or synthetic. A sustainable lifestyle demands that you curtail your use of energy while avoiding synthetic materials in favor of organic alternatives. With just a few changes in your lifestyle and some tips on doing away with synthetics, you can lead a sustainable lifestyle, but be ready to think “lean and green.”


Begin with Electronics

One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is to avoid the prolonged use of electronics. Even those handheld cell phones need to be continually recharged, and this puts a huge strain on the power grid when combined with everything else you are running of the electricity in your home. Solar power is a wonderful alternative because you can convert to this renewable energy source in two distinct ways. You can either install solar panels on your home or you can use solar-powered chargers for all your devices. Until the time when the entire country has converted to renewable energy sources, it’s up to the consumer to avoid connecting to the grid whenever possible.

Make a Consistent Effort to Rid Your Home of Synthetics

Some people have found that it’s easy to find alternatives to synthetic products in the home by going at it one room at a time. Instead of using plastic storage containers in the refrigerator, for example, opt for glass storage bowls and jars. When it comes to the bedroom, replace all those microfiber sheets and linens with 100% cotton, or silk if you can afford it. Seek out merchants like SOL who make it a point to assure consumers that they are a company that takes sustainability quite seriously. The company’s slogan in their shop – SOL Organics: Change You Can Count On, tells you who they are and what their mission is.

As for Going Lean…

If you are thinking that going lean is all about saving money, you are only partially right. There are other facets to lean living and that would be to stress the three Rs. It is time to “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.” That’s about as lean as you can get! Reducing waste is a good beginning toward going lean, but that is not the only thing you will be reducing. Reduce the amount of electricity you draw (as noted above), reduce filling your home with things you’ll never use and are only taking up resources to manufacture. Reuse what you can and if you want to go a step further, hit the thrift shops for previously owned items. However, here is where you need to be careful to only purchase organic items or you’ve just counteracted the good you are trying to do for this amazingly wonderful planet upon which we all live and breathe.

The key takeaway here is that you can use less, and what you do use, make sure it is always going to be environmentally friendly. Avoid synthetics at all costs, seek alternative power sources, and if all else fails, turn them all off until you can find a renewable source of energy.

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Steps to Take Before Your Health Insurance Physical

When applying for your health insurance, you will need to visit a doctor’s office for a physical examination. There are many ways and steps you can take to help prepare you for your physical which will help you get lower rates on your health insurance. Here are some steps to take before your health insurance physical.

Stop Smoking

If you can manage three months without any tobacco, you will legally be classed as a non-smoker. Being a non-smoker can make an enormous difference in your premium rates so try and work on stopping smoking in the months before your health insurance physical. There are many organizations and helplines that can assist you with stopping smoking so make sure you research into what route is right for you.

Changing Your Diet

Taking the time to analyze your current diet can help you think of appropriate measures to take to help you lead a healthier lifestyle and ensure you pass your health insurance physical. Cutting back on particular foods whilst incorporating others in your diet can make a significant difference in your blood test results. Always aim to follow a diet that is full of fruits and vegetables as well as lean meats and whole grains. Make sure to avoid any processed foods that are full of sugar and salt.

Limit Alcohol Intake

Another way to help prepare for your health insurance physical is by lowering the amount of alcohol you consume. Elevated levels of alcohol can show up in your blood work, so it is important that you try and consume as little as possible before your examination. Your liver is what is most affected by alcohol and as your liver function is typically tested during a physical, it is important that you keep your alcohol intake to a bare minimum.

Losing Weight

Even losing a small amount of weight of 5 to 10 pounds can result in you being placed in a lower insurance bracket. If you have a few months before your physical, this will be more than enough time for you to lose 1 or 2 pounds each week. To lose weight healthily, you will need to combine calorie restriction and moderate physical activity. Try and reduce your calorie intake by around 500 calories a day for you to be able to see noticeable results.

Getting Sleep

It is important that you get as much sleep as possible on the night before your health insurance physical. Having a lack of sleep can cause all sorts of problems such as increasing your stress levels which can affect your blood pressure levels during the examination. Try and aim to get at least 8 hours of restful sleep the night before your physical. Websites like Medical Health Insurance can give you more information on the types of health insurance available to you.

Implementing all the steps listed will help put you in a good frame of mind before your health insurance physical. If you need any more guidance or assistance, try and speak to others who have had their physical, so you can be more aware on what steps to take so your health insurance physical goes according to plan.

What To Consider When Picking A Tent For Your Next Adventure

The right tent can make or break your next adventure. That’s why you need to consider what’s really important when it comes to tent shopping. This guide should help steer you in the right direction.

Will Everyone Fit?

You don’t want to leave one of your companions out in the cold. Make sure to pick a  tent that everyone can easily fit in. The prime consideration is floor space. You should aim for around 25 x 80 inches for each adult. Children may be able to get away with 20 x 70 inches (or less).

This is made simple, as most tents, such as the Coleman Instant 6, list how many they sleep in their name. Of course, it still pays to be sure by checking the floor space measurement (known as the tents “footprint”).

Does It Feel Roomy?

While floor space is crucial, don’t forget about the tent’s geometry. If the walls are sloping inwards at a shape angle, then the tent will feel much smaller. Look for a model with spacious geometry: the more vertical the walls, the better.

Can You Carry It?

If you’re going to be doing a lot of hiking, then you don’t want to be lugging around a tent that weighs a ton. On the other hand, if you’re just going car camping, then it doesn’t really matter.

You can check a tent’s weight on the side of the box. Remember, there are three weights displayed. The gross weight is that of the tent and its packaging (you can probably ignore this figure). What you want to know is the lightest full set up weight (often referred to as the trail weight).

You will also see a fast pitch weight, which is that of the fly, footprint, and poles. This weight probably won’t matter unless you plan to do ultralight camping.

Will You Freeze Or Sweat?

If you’re going camping in moderate fall or spring climates, then you probably won’t need to worry about extreme temperatures. However, winter and summer are another issue altogether. Extreme sun can turn your tent into an oven, while ice and snow can freeze your socks off. To stay comfortable and safe you need to choose a tent model that can handle the elements.

If you’re venturing out into the cold then chose a four-season tent. Make sure it’s double walled and sufficiently insulted. Those going out on summer may want a single walled tent. The more windows and doors, the better, as they help with airflow.

Do You Have The Cash?

A good tent isn’t cheap. That’s why you should consider if you have the necessary funds. Shop around for the best deals but never sacrifice your safety to save money.

Final Thoughts

There are numerous tents on the market, which can make the decision difficult. However, the info in this guide should help you narrow down your options. Just make sure to consider all of a tent’s attributes before making a decision. Good luck with your next camping adventure!

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