Beautify Your Kitchen with Mosaic Wall Tiles

Written by: Quick Home Tips

Mosaic Tiles for kitchen, Mosaic Tiles for kitchen.

Are you tired of wiping down the painted kitchen walls behind your stove and sink? If you own an older home like I do, you probably don’t have a back splash or something on your walls to serve as a buffer between your paint and your spills. Every time I wipe down my walls, it seems like the paint gets thinner and thinner. Mosaic tiles are one of the best ways to go when deciding on a solution for this problem. Not only is mosaic wall tile functional and serves to protect your walls from kitchen grime, but it can be absolutely gorgeous and really enhance the décor of your kitchen.

Mosaic tiles come in different materials nowadays. There are metals, steel, and glass mosaic tiles. With glass mosaic tiles, you can choose from an endless selection of colors and shapes in order to create own pattern that will reflect your own personal style. One of my friends chose mosaic tiles in the colors of her favorite college sports team in order to show her loyalty as a fan.

Mosaic wall tile is pretty easy to install yourself, but if this process makes you nervous, you can always find local contractors willing to install it for you. Sometimes you can find a better selection of glass mosaic tiles online and many of those suppliers offer you free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount. Online suppliers can offer a larger selection because they’re not limited by the size of a bricks-and-mortar store with a small space for mosaic tiles.

Improving Home With Feng Shui

Feng Shui – an ancient Chinese aesthetic system that uses the laws of geography and astronomy to improve a person’s life through receiving positive energy. In Feng Shui terminologies, energy is referred as qi or Chi. Qi means air, or gas that rides with the wind and gets entrapped by water. It is believed that the Chi can improve a particular aspect of a person’s life by activating it through elements and locations favorable to the Chi. The concept of Feng Shui has in existence since time immemorial, which has been passed on from generations to generations. Many environmental scholars have found this practice to be true in many cases; thus integrated it in some traditional practices to promote good life.



Now, Feng Shui is practiced more at home using the Bagua grid. The grid represents 9 important aspects of human’s life namely, career; travel; creativity and children; love; reputation; wealth; family and health; and wisdom. Since it is a grid, it is consists of 3 columns and 3 rows, representing each area called “gua.” The center box of the grid is the fulcrum, which represents the health area and is energized by the element of Earth and the yellow color. Underneath the middle box is the career, which is represented by the element of Water and the black color. Above the middle box is the reputation box, represented by the element of Fire and the red color. To the right of the career box is the People/Travel box that is represented by the Gray or Silver color. Above it is the creativity/children box that is represented by the element of Metal and the white color.  Above the creativity box is the love box represented by the pink color. On the left side of the career box is the wisdom box, which is energized by the color blue. Above it is the family box, which is energized by the element of Wood and the color green. Finally, above the family box is the prosperity box, which is known to be represented by the color Purple.

To use Feng Shui in improving a home, the whole layout plan of the house must be fit in the grid so that the layout, arrangements, decorations and colors will be replaced or changed according to the grid. The Bagua grid doesn’t change. It works when the aforementioned colors and elements are placed in exact order or locations mentioned in the grid.

Home Improvement Tips

Here are some home improvement tips for the bedroom, bathroom and patio.



Bedrooms are important part of the house as these are where family members rest and sleep. Sometimes, when a bedroom doesn’t seem to be inviting anymore, it must need a makeover. To redo the looks of a bedroom, it requires rearranging furniture and adding or subtracting objects. The bed is the basic subject for improvement. A saggy and too small bed may not be good for a growing person anymore; thus needs to be changed. Now to change a bed, it is necessary to consider the life-span of the bed, the size and the style. There are beds that could last for 10 years or more. Buying this kind will save money in the long run because homeowners do not need to change beds every 2 years. The size depends on how big the person is using it or how many are actually sleeping on the bed. Of course the style matters as it should complement the whole layout of the room.




Bathrooms should be clean and neat all the time as this is where molds and bacteria first develop. The first things that are normally changed in a bathroom are the curtains, mirrors and other decorations that set the mood and theme of each bathroom. Also, water and lighting systems are changed too if needed. Normally, when a household is cutting on the utility bills, all light bulbs are changed to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or energy-saving lights.


The patio is the place where small retreats, meditations and barbeque parties are normally done. A home may not have a patio; thus when a need to have one is seen, a construction is done. To build a patio, it is necessary to consider the use of the facility. For example, if patio will be used more for evening parties, it should be built with closures as protection from the rain. Otherwise, an open deck will already be enough.

How to choose the best contractor for your home improvement needs

yourhomeimprovementChoosing a good contractor can be difficult and require a little bit of research. Here are some tips to help you select the best contractor for the job.

Educate Yourself – You should have a basic understanding of the work you need to be complete. This will give you the confidence and the knowledge to question the contractor and make sure that he is meeting your goals. You should make a list of the equipment and raw materials you will need with estimated costs. This would mean that you will be able to figure out if you are being overcharged on an estimate.

Check contractor references and past experience – Ask your contractor for references in the form of companies he/she has done work for. If the contractor finds it difficult to communicate with you, it is best to look into finding another contractor, in order to avoid any misunderstandings.

Consider hiring a ‘Green’ company – Homes that are made using recycled materials are known to be cheaper and use less energy. Check for a “green” company in your area and request for an estimate.

Read contractor reviews – Search for contractors who advertise in the Better Business Bureau, National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). You can also have a look at their website to look at any pictures of work they have completed.

List questions that the Contractor must answer – Make a list of questions that you want the contractor to answer.


How to Handle a Dispute Over Construction Materials

construction-bricksWhen there is a dispute in construction, work can stop altogether while both parties attempt to hash out the problem and recoup losses. First, construction consulting services should determine whether a claim is worth pursuing, then measures should be taken to expedite the claim and seek resolution.

Whatever the case, avoid trial at all costs! Trial is an expensive endeavor, and you’ll quickly find your bills adding up just to try and recoup your losses. You may have to hire a construction expert witness, pay court fees or find yourself subject to a ruling that goes against your interests. With this advice, you’ll be ready to handle any construction dispute as quickly as possible.

Determine if the Claim is Worth Pursuing

A construction claim analysis will show whether the claim is worth pursuing, and the answer is pretty simple. If you stand to lose significant sums of money fighting a claim, either through work stoppage or attorney’s fees, it’s not worth the cost of pursuing the claim. It’s ideal to recoup all losses, which is why documentation is crucial to successful claim resolution.

Failing to provide proper documentation might lead to mediation, where both parties attempt to sort out what happened and come to a conclusion benefitting everyone.

The end goal is to avoid trial, which usually leads to longer work stoppages as both sides settle their dispute. Work can rarely continue without some kind of resolution, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to settle disputes as quickly as possible.

Lyle Charles specializes in construction claim analysis for commercial and residential projects of any size or budget. Contact Lyle Charles to learn more about settling construction disputes.

How Fire Safes Work

house-fireFire safes are designed to protect their contents from the actual heat of a fire as well as the less obvious potential of damage from the water which will usually be used to extinguish the fire.

They are constructed of two metal sheets, usually steel, that sandwich an insulating material. This insulating material also contains a hydrate which releases water vapor as it is heated by the fire. This release of steam helps to protect the interior of the safe from heat much the same way that perspiration keeps people cool.

There are strips of material where the door meets the body of the safe that are designed to melt at specific temperatures. This seals heat and water out. As the insulation releases steam, some of the steam is vented to the interior of the safe. Specially designed and strategically placed vents release some of this steam to the outside while maintaining positive pressure in the interior to further protect against heat and water.

Fire safes are rated by the number of hours they maintain an internal temperature below 350 degrees while subjected to an external temperature of 1550 degrees. Many AMSEC safes are rated for two hours.

Some safes are designed to withstand fire and burglary. There are many economical tl 30 safes (they resist attack with hand tools for 30 minutes) that offer one hour of fire protection. Used safes are another economical option.

First Security Safe sells high security safes through their Los Angeles location, and online at the First Security Safe website.

Causes of Short Term Vacancies in Construction

short-term-vacanciesShort term vacancies can cause a serious problem for any construction project, and it’s important to come up with a contingency plan on how to deal with these types of unplanned events. Construction is very much a business where time is money, so be prepared to hire construction & turnaround services as needed to fill in some of these gaps. As you’ll soon learn, accidents and departures can be triggered at a moment’s notice.


By far, injury is the most common cause for a dispute and ultimately a work stoppage due to short term vacancies. Injuries can happen to anyone, it’s a myth that only the ground crews are prone to problems. A project manager could be surveying the site when an injury occurs, leaving an important vacancy in upper management that could be filled by a construction consultant.


Whether it’s the scope of work, changes to the project or delays in supplies, disputes can cause serious problems on site. It’s important to fulfill any construction claims management as soon as possible so work can continue. In some cases, it may even be more financially wise to accept an event as a loss and move forward. Every situation is different, but underestimating disputes quickly leads to lost money for all parties involved on a project.

Final Thoughts

Short term vacancies are not easy to anticipate, but they are easy to fix. Make sure you have crews on standby, and consult with more experienced consultants to help fill in the gaps. Sometimes, creating a better safety policy is all that’s needed. Evaluate your operation and look for gaps where these short term vacancies might create major problems.

Lyle Charles is a construction consultant with more than 40 years of experience in commercial construction, and a specialty in communicating with business decision makers.

Successfully Navigating a Claim as a Consultant

construction-consulting-servicesOne of the primary drivers of business for construction consulting services is claim management. Claims are fairly common in construction, and companies will use consulting firms that can quickly handle a claim. Your job as the consultant consists of three phases: identify the type of claim, gather documentation to complete the claim, and advise the client on next steps.

Identifying the Claim

Some of the most common construction claims involve personnel, but others involve shortages and work stoppages. If a refinery hires construction turnaround services, for instance, and the crew is late in their work versus the initial assessment, it’s usually going to be a claim related to work stoppage. The crew itself may have a personnel claim to file if their failure was the result of contractors not showing up on time.

Gather Documents

The backbone of any claim is the documentation, so you have to be careful in proving your case. Make sure you have receipts for the client’s purchases, and work orders documenting their side of the work. Look for key documents that prove what your client was asked to do, what actually happened, and within what time frames.

Advising the Client

In some cases, mediation or even trial may be the best course of action. You can step in as a construction expert witness at that point, to help argue the claim, or recommend a mediator for the client to consider. Remember, the client will be legally bound to abide by the outcome so your reputation is staked on these types of decisions. Carefully assess your client’s chances of winning a favorable verdict if he must move forward to recover losses.

Lyle Charles is a construction expert witness with 40 years of experience navigating construction claims, and assisting businesses of all sizes to resolve claims quickly and efficiently.

Key Terms That You Should Know When Replacing Your Couch Foam

There are numerous factors that need to be considered when purchasing new foam.

couch-cushions-with-pillowsSo you’ve at long last chosen to replace your old, exhausted couch cushion filling with some fresh out of the plastic new foam. After each and every cushion is down to the last straw, you’re at last deciding to make the decision to make some changes to “Mr. Dependable” after a lengthy run. Currently, there are a variety of useful terms that you should become familiar with, for example, thickness, ILD, and other comparable estimations, before you purchase some new couch foam. This guide will help you locate the right type of couch foam to meet your standards.


Density is the measure of air that is found in foam and is likewise a key property to consider while picking your new custom foam cushions. Density is normally expressed as weight in pounds per cubic foot. In this way, the higher the thickness, the more solid the foam will be.

Indentation Force Deflection

Indentation Force Deflection alludes to the non-abrasiveness and immovability of the foam. This estimation refers to the number of pounds it will take to pack the foam. Case in point, if a foam piece has an ILD estimation of 40, it will take approximately 40 pounds of weight to indent it. ILD values normally run anywhere between 30 to 70, and have a rating from medium delicacy to firm. Additionally, take note that a few foam pieces are known as high-strength foams, which allude to how rapidly the foam piece will recover its shape after use. Make certain that you experiment with the foam piece before you buy it. You won’t just get an idea if whether or not it works for you, but you’ll also get a feel for the material as well.

If you are in need of new cushions for your couch, visit The Foam Factory for some of the best deals on the web!

Advisors to Experts: How to Hire Support Staff in Construction Projects

A successful construction project with structural steel will require that you have the support staff necessary to make sure that your project is done right and on time. The most important support services are those who make sure that your project is also carried out safely and legally, says construction consultant Lyle Charles.

The Right Advisers

Construction advisory services are needed as early as possible in the planning stages. Advisers will identify the risks associated with the project and will provide advice on how to mitigate these risks. These services also assist in planning, the most important part of any construction project.

Structural Steel Consultation

When constructing high-rise buildings, structural steel is an essential component. To make sure that your proposed structure will be structurally sound, your firm must hire a structural steel expert. When selecting an expert, find out which projects he or she has been involved in and how long he or she has been in the industry.

Avoiding Legal Hot Water

Unfortunately, regardless of how much care and attention you put into your project, there may still be problems along the way that you will have to answer in court, which will necessitate the services of a construction expert witness. These experts will observe all stages of the construction process and will then provide exert testimony. The best way to find an expert for this purpose is to hire an attorney to assist you in all legal matters related to the construction of your high-rise building.

Five ways to add a dash of colour to your home

yourhomeimprovement aug 2016Adding colour to a home is a great way to give your home a fresh new look. Adding fun pillows or a rug are good ways to add colour, however if you’re on the lookout for a slightly bigger project, here are 5 such ideas.

Brighten up your bathroom – Blue is a great colour for bathrooms. If yours is white or beige add a blue laminate on to your bathroom vanity.

Add a little orange – Orange is a colour that adds warmth and brightness to a space. Add orange to your kitchen backsplash by changing the colour of the walls between your kitchen cupboards and shelving. If you have tiles instead, you can change the colour of your kitchen island.

Detailing – Contrasting colours like black and white can make a perfect modern mix. For example, you could create a feature wall with dark wall paper and place simple shelving for figurines or photo frames.

Mix your colours – Most of the time people play it safe and choose to mix only light and dark shades. Instead choose different pairing, such as orange and green or maroon and turquoise, for a unique colour pairing.

Add color to your cabinets – Cabinets are a good way to include additional colour. You can change the colour of your bathroom cabinets or for a larger project look at adding a bright colour to your kitchen cabinets.

7 Affordable decorating ideas

yourhomeimprovement july 2016Decorating a space sometimes can be costly. If you are on a budget and want a few quick fix ideas to refresh your home, here are a few tips that will cost you next to nothing.

The problem: Your room does not feel inviting – To create a more inviting space, gather pillows from around your home and place them on your sofa. Choose pillowcases that have complementary colours for a mismatched look.

The problem: You have low ceilings – Create the illusion of high ceilings by moving your curtain rods above the window frame. Make sure the curtains graze the bottom of the window or the floor.

The problem: You can’t put holes in your walls – If putting holes in your walls is not an option, place large mirrors angled against walls or on wall shelving.

The problem: Boring built-in book shelves – For those boring built in’s, add a bold colour to window seats with throw pillows. Look for predominant colours in your books for a colour pallette.

The problem: Furniture lines every wall – Furniture aligned at the edges of walls creates an unwelcoming living space. Instead place furniture in groupings to encourage conversation.

The problem: Boring displays – Placing frames or arrangements in even numbers is less pleasing for the eye. Instead go for objects in threes or fives to make your display interesting.

The Problem: A Tiny table – If you have a small table and want to give the illusion of size add a table runner.

Smart Steps for a Dry Basement

 photo Smart_Steps_for_a_Dry_Basement

Ask any homeowner with a basement about their biggest fear, and aside from a natural disaster, you’re likely to get plenty of people citing water damage and flooding. Basements are prone to this kind of problem for a couple reasons. The most obvious is that so much of a home’s plumbing and water flow systems run in and out of the basement. Their position below ground level also means they can be humid, and the way the surrounding land holds and handles water can play a role as well. Lastly, since basements, particularly ones that aren’t finished, are places we don’t spend large portions of our time, a minor issue can more easily become a major one, since these spaces go unchecked for longer in many cases.

Luckily, there are ways to avoid these issues; otherwise we wouldn’t have basements in the first place! The first is to make sure you have a quality, functional sump pump, and ideally, a backup power source for it, should it go out during weather or an outage. There are other, more set-it and forget-it type strategies you can implement as well.

One of the best, both for helping to prevent water damage, as well as offering energy conservation, is wrapping your pipework with insulation. While it helps treated water stay at temperature, in the winter, it can reduce the chances of freezing, bursting, and leaking pipes. Non-absorptive materials like closed-cell foam can help insulate while avoiding rot and mold issues from condensation or humidity.

Lastly, if you don’t go down into your basement on a daily basis, checking on it more frequently can save you an incredible amount of stress and money if you’re able to spot an issue while it’s still small, rather than going to get your Christmas lights and stepping into two feet of water.

Article submitted by The Foam Factory, an online retailer of thermal insulation materials, including a range of closed-cell foam that call be rolled, wrapped, and fitted around pipework.