Keep Kids Safe with Foam Pad Floor Mats

No matter how attentive parents are, it’s inevitable that at some point, a child will take a tumble. Most people recognize this as a fact of life, and for parents who are rational enough to understand that they can’t hold their child’s every second of the day, there are precautions that can be taken to help minimize the severity of accidents as a child grows.

One of the best ways to guard a child from an accidental injury is a foam mat. Made of closed-cell foam, play mats are rigid enough to offer firm and stable surfaces for crawling or walking, while still possessing enough yield and cushioning to protect a child if they do fall or stumble. Floor padding foam is incredibly versatile and can be found in thin sheets that are easily rolled up and put away when not in use. They are also made as interlocking tiles that can be built into a custom-size area that is easily taken apart and stored. Foam flooring is almost exclusively made of water-resistant foam, and is occasionally covered with hard-to-stain fabric. This makes upkeep of these materials incredibly easy. Most water-based inks can even be washed off these closed-cell foam mats. This also lends them to quick and easy sanitizing -always important, but vital during cold or flu season.

In homes dominated by hardwood flooring, foam pads are an excellent way to keep kids safe without having to permanently mask the aesthetics you enjoy. Areas can be padded for play, and then rolled back up and put away, returning a room to the way it was previously. If you’re looking for a way to let a child grow and learn independently while still doing your best to keep them safe, firm but cushioning closed-cell foam floor mats are a smart addition to your home.

How Foam Products are Re-Used

If a mistake is made in the production of some consumer products, an entire batch or order may be tossed out, and with it, all the invested money. With foam products however, even the biggest mistakes can be salvaged by repurposing the product. In production, mistakes become shredded foam that gets used in comfort filling. Even at home, if a product is damaged, like a foam mattress or sofa cushion, it can still be reused as something like packing foam or serve a million other uses. This degree of versatility makes foam one of the most easily re-used materials on the market.

Companies that produce many different foam products from bulk forms used to be faced with substantial amounts of remnants that were too small or oddly shaped to be made into a new product. Back then, remnants went right into the bin, and the only re-use of these materials was from the occasional customer requesting to pick out a few pieces of scrap for a small project.

Today, foam manufacturers yield nearly zero waste foam, due to shredding machines. The foam filling used in pillows, bean bag stuffing, or carpet underlayment is produced from unusable scrap left over from other projects. While some may turn up their nose at the idea of comfort foam being “scrap,” this method actually guarantees that customers are getting high-quality materials. The remnants used to make shredded foam filling are trimmings and runoff from luxury products like mattresses, acoustic foam, and packaging. That means the shredded foam is comprised of materials with enough quality to be a premium end-product. The only thing that changed is it simply had the misfortune of being on the other side of the cutting blade.

Even in-home scrap foam can be repurposed. An old mattress can be made into arts and craft supplies, protective padding during a move, or for packaging for items in storage or the mail. Couch cushions can be cut down and used to make DIY throw pillows or even wall-protecting pads behind paintings and framed mountings. The re-usability of foam is one of its greatest benefits, and one that helps people directly, whether it’s in the form of a store-bought shredded foam pillow, or a DIY project from salvaged materials at home.

Choosing the Right Hoist for the Right Job

When a contractor begins a new job, two things will cross their mind; how to complete the job on time and how to prevent accidents along with worker safety. By implementing the proper tools, such as various types of hoists, including the wire rope hoist, both of these issues can be addressed in one fell swoop. Unfortunately, sometimes safety can be put at risk with the goal of saving a buck or two. However, there are other options of devices to use which can still be cost effective while continuing to offer safety. Even using hoist accessories, with the hoist trolley being an example, there are many low cost solutions available that will fall within the established safety parameters.

One thing to take into account is if your hoist will be used to transport materials, workers, or both. If people are being transported, then a personnel hoist must always be used. However, if a contractor is seeking to transport both workers and materials, then the volume of people versus the volume of materials must be closely examined. Truth is, if you will be dealing with large quantities of both, you may want to consider using two smaller transport systems rather than a single large one. For both safety considerations and budget, it might be the better way to go.

In addition to serving both the employee and materials, consider the height and weight requirements of the job at hand. By taking this all into account, you may have the better chance of saving both lives and money in the process.

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Keep Gutters Clear with Reticulated, Porous Foam

Cleaning the gutters ranks at the top of the list of worst household chores for many people. Between the precarious heights, climbing up-and-down the ladder, and the disgusting debris you have to shovel out, it would be hard to find somebody who enjoys the task. But despite the hassle it is to maintain them, having gutters still outweighs the annoyance of cleaning them, since they drain standing water off the roof, direct runoff away from building foundations, and keep sand, dirt, and debris away from decks and sidewalks. Because of the necessary burden gutters carry, many products have been introduced to reduce the maintenance required to keep them working. One of the newest, most affordable, and easily installed is a foam gutter insert made of reticulated, draining foam.

Unlike similar sponge foams used for comfort products like a foam mattress, reticulated foam is non-absorbent and allows moisture to drain through its form, effectively acting as a large filter. Debris is kept on top of the foam where it can be easily brushed or blown away, while water drains through the pores of the material and out the gutter. To accommodate the flow of water, these custom size foam forms are cut into a triangular wedge shape, so the top of the gutter is fully protected, while an open channel is left inside the gutter for the flow of rain water.

Foam gutter inserts are more affordable than many gutter alternatives and rarely require maintenance. Any debris that accumulates atop the gutter stopper either blows off or can be easily brushed away from the ground with a long-handled broom. At most, a single step-stool may be needed to have access to the debris. Installation is also a snap because of the flexibility of this open-cell foam. Sold in sections multiple feet long, they can be squeezed into the gutter, and then slid into place. If you deal with annoying, dirty, and dangerous gutter cleaning multiple times a year, consider adding foam gutter guards to help you stay off the ladder and in your comfort zone.

 

 

Comfortable and Affordable Ways to Improve Guest Room Bedding

The last thing you want for visiting friends and family is for their visit to be ruined by a terrible night’s sleep because of your guest room bed. However, if you’re like most people, splurging on a premium mattress doesn’t make sense when it’ll only be used a couple times a year. Fortunately, there is an affordable way to get the most out of an existing mattress and still give guests excellent comfort.

More often than not, a guest room mattress is where it is for one of two reasons. The first is it’s either the second-hand mattress of a child who has moved away from home, or from a friend or relative. The other scenario is that it’s a brand-new mattress you purchased for yourself, but found it didn’t fit your comfort needs, and was replaced. If these are how your guest room mattress came to be, you can avoid the cost of replacement by adding a cost-efficient comfort layer. Firm mattress pads offer cozy comfort to beds that are still structurally sound, but lack ideal comfort. Toppers are often made out of foam, most popularly from memory foam, but also in conventional and latex foam. With different grades and qualities, occasional-use foams offer substantial savings since they don’t have the same longevity as standard materials. This is acceptable though, when a mattress will only get a few weeks of use a year. Adding mattress covers can also increase comfort on a less-than-ideal mattress.

If every room in your home is spoken for, or you own a smaller summer cottage, you may not have enough bedding for visitors in the first place. For extra sleeping space, cots and air mattresses are great in a pinch. Foam toppers can be applied to these as well for comfort. This way, you can give your guests maximum comfort even in a pinch.

How to Easily Cut Open-Cell Foam

DIY projects are all the rage these days, as people realize they’re a smart way to save a few dollars and add a personalized touch to their home. With its versatility and usability, foam is a material that lends itself well to the world of DIY, whether it’s being made into a custom bed mattress, or for replacing an old couch cushion.

As with any DIY project, the most important step is the pre-work prep.  Projects involving foam make this step even more important, and one of the most important things to take care of in advance is making sure you know how to properly cut open-cell foam. Because of its soft and compressible structure, it can be difficult to get clean cuts without knowing the proper techniques and tools to use. Additionally, different foam types need to be handled uniquely when attempting cuts. For example, closed-cell neoprene should be cut in a different way with a different tool than a couch cushion material.

There are two basic ways to cut memory foam and other open-cell foam varieties if you want to achieve the best results, as well as one way to cut that may be tempting but is NOT effective. People occasionally think they’ve discovered a shortcut and squeeze and compress foam to let them cut through quickly. In actuality, this is the last way you should be cutting foam. The foam responds fluidly to pressure as you cut, and when released, leaves you with jagged, uneven edges.

As for the correct ways to cut foam, the easier of the two methods is using an electric carving knife; the same kind used for carving turkey. After carefully measuring and plotting the shape of your cutout on the foam, slowly pass the blade through the uncompressed cushion for easy, straight cuts. When using an electric knife, patience is key, because the slower you go, the cleaner your cuts will wind up.

The other method is slightly more labor-intensive, as it requires manual cutting with a serrated blade. This may sound overly difficult, but is actually very doable and can give you cushions as attractive as those cut with an electric knife. With a gentle sawing motion, start at the edge of the foam without compressing it, and slowly saw back and forth like you’re slicing bread. It’s important to always work on a stable surface that won’t be damaged by cutting. Also, use blades that can fully pass through a foam’s thickness so you don’t end up having to flip the foam and saw from the other side. Knowing these strategies is a key part in the preparation of a DIY cushion and can result in a beautiful final work.

Build Yourself a Perfect DIY Bed

With the popularity of the DIY project, you can do virtually anything yourself if you’re willing to invest the time and energy. Doing a project yourself rather than paying for the work can result in substantial savings over store-bought products, not to mention giving you the satisfaction of a job well done. One particularly simple do-it-yourself project that often gets overlooked is building a bed frame system.

For people who are in need of a new bed frame and willing to try a relatively minor construction project, there are plenty of cost-effective DIY bed options that can be tailored to your degree of skill and aesthetic preferences. The simplest of all frame styles is a platform bed. In basic terms, these are nothing more than a large, flat board with holes or slits cut for airflow, placed on a supportive base. People have built these from little more than plywood and milk crates, though they can also be incredibly ornate and include nightstands and storage as part of the structure. They are the perfect framing and support system for a DIY project because you can accomplish your goal with either plenty of skill or no previous experience at all!

For people who don’t need a new frame and only want to replace a mattress, foam gives people the ability to turn raw products into a one-of-a-kind bed tailored to their preferences. Unlike innerspring or air beds, foam mattresses are able to be custom-cut, either into a single slab, or a combination of sheets for a blended, hybrid feel you can’t produce from a single material. Filling pillows to the fullness you prefer with your favorite stuffing is another way to have a customized, DIY sleep experience. Combining a custom-built frame, custom pillow, and a custom mattress could save you hundreds of dollars over a comparable store-bought setup, while giving you individualized comfort you can’t get from cookie-cutter stores.

Cost-Effective Acoustical Treatment Solutions

Despite its visible presence in many high-end recording studios and sound booths, much of acoustical treatment occurs on a smaller scale, in spaces like home theaters or basement studios. People want to achieve the clearest sound possible when listening to their movies and music, whether it’s their career or just a hobby they are passionate about. But just because an average Joe doesn’t have the treatment budget of a Los Angeles  recording studio doesn’t mean they can’t have a clear, crisp, and enjoyable listening space.

Fortunately, acoustic foam panels can improve the quality of sound of any space. Acoustical treatment foam, when manufactured into a convoluted/eggcrate pattern, creates two pieces of treatment in a single manufacturing run, making them incredibly efficient treatment products. They can be ordered in large, broad sheets and mounted in open areas to reduce bouncing echoes and reflections, or cut into smaller sections that get spaced out as needed. Their peak-and-valley surface design does an excellent job of diffusing sound, and the thicker the foam’s base, the better sound absorption it can offer.

It’s important to know that eggcrate foam treatment is different from the traditional eggcrate comfort products, because it is made with special acoustical properties. Additionally, proper acoustical eggcrate is made with fire retardants for safety. Eggcrate can also be wrapped in acoustic fabric to customize the fabric for cleaner looking panels. If it’s great sound at an affordable price that you’re after, acoustical eggcrate foam can be part of your solution.

Make Something Old New Again With Alternative Furniture

Just because they’ve become commonplace doesn’t mean everyone is satisfied with traditional home furniture furnishings like hard-backed chairs and heavy, over-sized couches. For people who are after something a little more flexible and unconventional, there are a surprising amount of alternative furniture products available to outfit a home the way you want.

 

One of the most iconic pieces of alternative furniture is the beanbag chair, even though they’ve gone through some substantial changes since they first became popular in the 60s and 70s. The little white pellets that used to be used for filling are now often replaced by more luxurious and plush open-cell foam that offers better longevity and resilience. There is more variety among open-cell foam types as well; unlike one-size-fits-all pellets, you can select a variety or density that meets your needs. You can even have a memory foam-stuffed beanbag. With these options, the substantial comfort and usability of bean bag chairs make them a top option in alternative furniture.

 

Similar in concept to the beanbag chair is a floor pillow, being stuffed full of soft cushioning foam. These cushions are often lower profile products though, and more solidly packed; much like an over-sized pillow rather than the taller, rounder bean bags. These are perfect for people who like to stretch out on the floor, re-arrange seating constantly, or want fun, comfy, and easily stored guest seating for visitors.

 

With their versatile utility, futons are another staple in the world of non-conventional furniture. Able to be used as a couch during the day for seating and a bed in the evening for sleeping, you can maximize space and make a quick transition from one setup to another. If you want to go in a unique direction with your home furnishing, these are just a few of the ways you can customize your space.

Why Pick a Memory Foam Mattress

Memory foam mattresses have been a hot topic since their introduction, featuring “space-age technology” and famous commercials. Granted, there’s a lot of hype about this material, but does it live up to such claims? Impressively, memory foam is one of those rare products that actually does meet expectations.

 

This temperature-sensitive material forms to the body of the person using it, softening around curves and contours as it warms from body heat. This creates an incredible amount of pressure reduction that minimizes circulation issues, giving you a personalized sleep surface every evening, whether you have an elaborate canopy bed or are squatting on a friend’s floor for the weekend. Some beds can cause pressure points which lead to tossing and turning, limbs falling asleep, or even numbness. With memory foam supporting areas like your lower back as it yields to higher pressure areas like the hips and shoulders, issues are negated, giving you peaceful sleep.

 

People describe their memory foam mattress experience like being enveloped in a cloud, as the visco-elastic polyurethane foam warms to their body and slowly cushions all their aches and pains with soft, supportive comfort. Memory foam is very versatile as a bedding material as well, coming in multiple densities, and can be cut into many sizes and shapes, from a mattress, to a mattress topper, to even unique accessories like a bed pillow or body bolster.