Keeping Hardwood Floors Clean

Hardwood floors are such a good idea. Carpets can hold dust and mites. This is even more important if someone in the house has respiratory issues. But they are not without a downside. Hardwood floors can look dirty if not cleaned properly. The natural oil on our skin leaves visible figure prints that can be seen across the room (and maybe by your neighbors).

But do not fear. You have options for keeping everything clean. All of the major home cleaning supply makers have developed products to help  stainless steel clean. But you have some great DIY options.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts

Don’t wax a wood floor with a urethane finish

Do use cleaners that won’t leave a film or residue

Don’t use ammonia cleaners or oil soaps on a wood floor — they’ll dull the finish and affect your ability to recoat later.

Do use a professional hardwood floor cleaner to remove occasional scuffs and heel marks (just spray some cleaner on a cloth and rub the stained area lightly)

Don’t wet mop or use excessive water to clean your floor (wood naturally expands when it’s wet and can cause your floor to crack or splinter).

Do clean sticky spots with a damp towel or sponge

Do minimize water exposure and clean spills immediately

Until Next Time,

Mike,

Chicago Kitchen Remodeling

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Keeping Stainless Steel Clean

Stainless Steel Appliances seems like such a good idea. Their design is a stark change old painted aluminum look that dominated appliance design for decades. But here is what they do not tell you on HDTV or the DIY network. Stainless Steel Appliances get very dirty very fast. The natural oil on our skin leaves visible figure prints that can be seen across the room (and maybe by your neighbors).

Chicago Kitchen Remodeling

But do not fear. You have options for keeping everything clean. All of the major home cleaning supply makers have developed products to help  stainless steel clean. But you have some great DIY options.

Baking soda mixed with liquid dish soap can make a good paste to gently rub on stains. Be sure to rinse the stainless steel surface thoroughly, and towel dry. If the stains still remain you can try vinegar. Remember to thoroughly rinse and towel dry.  If that still does not work, it is time to get some Pledge.

Until Next Time,

Mike

Chicago Kitchen Remodeling

Induction Cooktops, The Good and the Bad

I came across this interesting review of Electrolux Icon 36″ Cooktop. The reviewer is pretty upfront that she is a long time believer in gas ranges. After years of cooking with gas, she seems ready to make the switch:

Induction cooking is THE safest method of cooking, the most energy efficient way to cook, perhaps the fastest method and certainly the most understated in terms of aesthetics. These features are compelling reasons to seriously consider induction cooking. I have the utmost confidence in Electrolux Icon as a brand, based on my clients having purchased Electrolux products over the years and being very pleased with the products…and I hear feedback.

It is nothing if not a glowing review. It does not really talk about the downsides of induction cooking. She is a designer and a cook, so it is likely that she has high end cookware. If you have ceramic or aluminum you are out of luck. Induction only works if you are using magnetic materials. There is anther issue with induction cooking. If you have large or unusually shaped pots, the auto dection in the elements will not work correctly. So that Canning pot or large cast iron griddle can go in the closet.

A big selling point for induction cooktops is that they are more energy efficient. However, the DOE say that cooking only uses around 2.7% of a household power use. That include the oven, cooktop, microwave, etc. Any savings you get front an induction cooktop is going to be marginal.

Some people prefer induction cooktops. They are quite safe and very fast. But for me – they lack the charm and classic lines of a gas range.

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The Case for Custom Cabinets

When you are getting ready to remodel a kitchen some of the biggest decisions you have to make are related to the cabinets. Do you reuse the current frames and only replace or repaint the doors – or do you start completely from scratch. If you are on a tight budget or the fames are in bad shape the decision is an easy one.

When it comes to installing custom cabinets in a kitchen here are some things to keep in mind:

  • How do you use your space?
  • Do you integrate small appliances into the custom design?
  • How does the design work with your cooking patterns?

Each of these questions will impact how you design your custom cabinets.

Understanding Energy Efficient Windows

It is not something people think about when renovating a kitchen. Having energy efficient windows are important for a house, but they can have a direct impact on a kitchen. Kitchens generate a lot of heat on their own. Having inefficient windows could cause a kitchen to becoming increasingly hot as heat from outside radiates through the glass.

So how to energy efficient windows work?

Energy efficient windows work 4 ways

  1. Conduction: Energy is transfered directly through the frame
  2. Radiation: Energy radiates through the glass
  3. Convection: energy hitting the glass heats or cools the air on the other side of the window.
  4. Leaks: Old or poorly installed windows let air through seals.

Energy efficient windows work by mitigating these four problems. Many types of windows use a multi-pane construction. between the pains are mix of gases. This works to reduce energy lose via radiation and convection. Window frames are built from material with low conductive properties. Finally, properly installed and upkeep will reduce leaks.

Residential Windows

Updating a Kitchen Adds Value

I came across this link this morning:

Recent statistics prove kitchen remodels are one of the best investments you can make in your home. A national average, midrange remodel costs about $21,695 with a resale value of $15,790 and a cost recoup of 72.8 percent, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2010-11 “Cost vs. Value Report.” Kitchen updates, in fact, fall in the top five best things you can do for your home from an investment standpoint.

If you are on the fence about remodeling your kitchen it seems like the investment will go a long way to increasing your homes value.

Welcome!

Hello! Welcome to my new blog about kitchen design. I will be posting news, how-to’s and guides to information about kitchen remodeling.