Color Of The Month …. Onyx Carmel

Carmel onyx is quarried from a dyke quarry in Azerbaijan, Turkey. This unique stone is found in a thin layer about three feet thick. The blocks are quarried horizontally in order to cut large cross-cut slabs. For millions of years, intense heat and pressure have fused together the quartz crystals that make up this delicate stone. A special quality of onyx is the transparent portions of the slab that, when back lit, will allow light to pass through, illuminating the stone.

Onyx is one of the softer and more fragile stones in the industry and is prone to scratching. Therefore, after installation, careful maintenance of the slab is highly recommended. Due to the qualities of this stone, the slabs are book-matched, in which slab one and slab two will be cut and polished to create a mirror image of each other. These are then kept in sequence which allows for a consistent flow in pattern. During the polishing process, an epoxy resin is applied to the surface of the slabs to fill in any natural pits, cracks or fissures that may exist in the stone. This does not affect the durability, maintenance or beauty of the slab. It is possible for some of the more minute pits that are too small to effectively hold the resin, to reopen during other finishing stages. However, this will not detract from the overall quality or appearance of the stone. Finally, a mesh backing is adhered to the back of the stone to ensure safety while handling and fabricating the slab. As a natural stone product, it is recommended that this be sealed to extend its longevity.

 

Keeping hardwood floors looking beautiful is easier than you think.

Keeping hardwood floors looking beautiful is easier than you think.
No matter what the setting, the good looks and durability of hardwood floors can be maintained with minimal effort. It’s simply a matter of proper care and maintenance.

The American Hardwood Information Center, in conjunction with the National Wood Flooring Association suggest the following care and maintenance guidelines to keep hardwood floors looking beautiful today, and for years to come. Here’s how to begin.

General Maintenance Guidelines
All hardwood floors should be cleaned regularly to remove dirt and grit from between the floor boards. Avoid using a wet mop which can dull the finish. Instead, sweep with either a dust mop or broom that features exploded tips, or vacuum the floors using a vacuum with special hardwood floor attachments or one with the beater bar turned off.

Wipe up any spills immediately, using a soft, dry or slightly damp cloth, starting at the edges of the spill and working toward the center. Allowing spills to remain on hardwood floors could damage the finish, as well as the wood.

Avoid walking on hardwood floors with sports cleats or high heel shoes in disrepair. These can scratch the finish, or even dent the floor. Placing felt pads on the bottom of furniture legs will also minimize scratches.

Further minimize scratches by placing scatter rugs at all entrances to help keep small stones and debris out. But choose wisely. Scatter rugs with rubber backs can discolor wood floors. Special rug mats can be purchased from a wood flooring retailer that will protect the floors from discoloration.

General Maintenance Guidelines
Knowing which type of finish applied to protect the hardwood floor is important. Different flooring finishes require different kinds of care, so if or when in doubt, contact the flooring manufacturer or a wood flooring professional in your area.

There are three major types of wood flooring finishes available – surface finishes, wax, and acrylic impregnated – and the experts at the National Wood Flooring Association, www.woodfloors.org, stress that using the right maintenance products will protect and prolong the life of the floor.

Surface finishes, also referred to as urethanes or polyurethanes, are practical and very popular. They remain on the surface of the wood and form a protective coating that is water-resistant, durable and requires minimal maintenance.

For cleaning purposes, use products recommended by the flooring manufacturer. If the floors were finished or refinished on site, contact the installer. If neither is known, use a generic hardwood floor cleaner which can be purchased at a retail flooring store. Never use wax-based or petroleum-based products on a surface finish floor, as they will damage the finish.

Wax finishes soak into the wood, harden to form a protective penetrating seal, and when needed, are maintained with additional thin applications of wax. Only solvent-based waxes, buffing pastes or cleaning liquids made specifically for wax-finished wood floors should be used.

Use cleaning products, available at retail flooring stores, made specifically for wax finishes. Follow the directions carefully to determine how long the cleaner should remain on the floor. Once the floor is clean, apply a new coat of wax to restore luster.

Acrylic impregnated finishes are injected into the wood to create a super-hard, extremely durable floor. These finishes most often are used in high traffic areas of malls, restaurants and other commercial settings.

Cleaning an acrylic impregnated floor depends on the finish. If the floor has a urethane-based finish, follow the same procedures suggested for surface finished floors. If the floor has a nonurethane-based finish, use a spray and buff system, as recommended by the manufacturer.

Don’t hesitate to investigate

It pays to be knowledgeable. Proper care and maintenance will protect and prolong the performance of hardwood flooring for a lifetime, and even longer.

Outdoor Kitchen

 

An excellent choice for outdoor kitchen countertops, floors, and other heavily used surfaces

 Outdoor Kitchens: The Joy of Eating Outside
Last week’s granite bar post got us thinking: outdoor kitchens are a pretty nice deal if you can swing it. For every homeowner or homebuyer, outdoor entertaining is a must have in their households.And new trends in design are aiming precisely to open-air constructions of rooms that usually have an indoor concept, entering the kitchen. What most designers and homeowners around the world are discovering is that an outdoor kitchen can be both functional and attractive, not to say original.
A sit down and dine outdoor space.
“The outdoor kitchen is not an area looked at as a ‘work’ space, but it is a place to express hospitality and creativity – and to enjoy family and friends”, said Barbara B. Berry, sales associate with Downing-Frye Realty.

To build or remodel a full scale outdoor kitchen, one must decide on a specific style to combine cabinets and backsplashes. Nowadays, with a blink of an eye, you can have a new and elegant kitchen in your backyard to enjoy what life has to offer. And don’t forget that your design will reflect your taste and needs.
Tiki hut style?
To have a practical and functional outdoor kitchen, be prepared to at least equip it with a refrigerator / freezer and a quality grill. Unlike a conventional kitchen, you don’t need to have all the appliances there.

Outdoor kitchens can give you multiple benefits. And the fact that guests and family will be more involved in the cooking is one of the best ones. Open-air activities always tend create collective bonds. The more relaxed everyone feels, the more enjoyable the experience will be, and the more often you’ll want to cook outside.
…or build it closer to the home.
Also, keep in mind that most of the delicious ingredients you love to cook with, such as fish or curry, are easier to prepare outside, due to the lingering odor they tend to emanate. When it comes to enjoying life, fresh air and sunny days, nothing beats the comfort of being in your own house. An outdoor kitchen can give you that advantage.

And what better setting for an ideal al fresco dining and entertaining year-round.

 

Marinated Thanksgiving Turkey

 

My family enjoys this turkey because it cooks up tender, tasty and golden-brown. The marinade flavors the meat very well. I like grilling it since it adds that tempting barbecued flavor.

Prep: 10 min. + marinating Grill: 2-1/2 hours + standingYield: 8 Servings10 150 160

Ingredients
•1-1/2 cups chicken broth
•2 cups water
•1 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
•2/3 cup lemon juice
•2 garlic cloves, minced
•1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
•1 teaspoon pepper
•1 turkey (12 to 13 pounds)

Directions
•Combine the first seven ingredients; set aside 1 cup for basting. Pour remaining marinade into a 2-gal. resealable plastic bag. Add the turkey and seal bag; turn to coat. Refrigerate overnight, turning several times. Cover and refrigerated reserved marinade
•Drain and discard marinade.
•Grill Method: Prepare grill for indirect medium heat. Tuck wings under turkey and place with breast side down on grill rack. Grill, covered, for 1 hour.
•If using a charcoal grill, add 10 briquettes to coals; turn the turkey. Baste with reserved marinade. Cover and cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, adding 10 briquettes to maintain heat and brushing with marinade every 30 minutes until meat thermometer reads 180°. Cover and let stand 20 minutes before carving.
•Conventional Roasting Method: Place turkey on a rack in a large roaster. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 3 to 3-1/2 hours or until meat thermometer reads 180°. Baste frequently with reserved marinade. When turkey begins to brown, cover lightly with a tent of aluminum foil. Yield: 8 servings.

Originally published as Marinated Thanksgiving Turkey in Taste of Home October/November 1995, p31

White Springs … Color of the Month


White Springs is quarried from a bedrock quarry in Espirito Santo, Brazil. Having a white background with burgundy and gray movement, this granite has beautiful, subtle character. It is possible to have some gold spots in this granite, which are due to oxidation of small amounts of iron in some of the blocks. During the polishing process, an epoxy resin is applied to the surface of the stone to fill in any natural pits, cracks or fissures that may exist. This does not affect the durability, maintenance or beauty of the stone. It is possible for some of the more minute pits that are too small to effectively hold the resin, to reopen during other finishing stages. However, this will not detract from the overall quality or appearance of the stone. Due to the qualities of the stone, the slabs are book-matched; meaning slab one and slab two will be cut and polished to create a mirror image of each other. These are then kept in sequence, which allows for a consistent flow in pattern. As a natural stone product, it is recommended that this be sealed to extend its longevity.

Origin
Brazil

Finish(es)
Polished

Dry-Treat

Dry-Treat manufactures innovative sealers for porous building materials, including natural stone, brick, pavers, tiles, engineering concrete and grout. Dry-Treat technology is different – Dry-Treat’s innovative impregnators penetrate much deeper and bond permanently inside the pores of the treated material, creating a substantial oil and water repellent barrier.
This substantial barrier, the Dry-Treat barrier, not only provides great stain protection, but is also able to protect from serious common structural damage caused by liquids, including: salt attack, efflorescence, freeze-thaw damage, spalling and picture framing and inhibits the growth of mosses and moulds in the pores of the treated material.

Dry-Treat Innovation
Dry-Treat began in 1991 as a premium developer of specialist concrete sealers for the civil engineering industry, to protect large concrete structures such as bridges, high rises and factory floors in harsh conditions, including seawater and alkaline soil. For over 2 decades, Dry-Treat’s team of engineers and chemical scientists have continued to develop unique sealers to provide premium protection for a wide range of porous materials, including natural stone, tiles, brick and paving.

The Dry-Treat Difference
Dry-Treat’s impregnating sealers are technologically different from commonly available silicone, teflon and siloxane impregnators. Our specially engineered molecules penetrate deeper into porous materials and bond permanently inside the pores, without blocking them. This creates a deep barrier of protection within the tiles, paving, natural stone etc, which not only protects against staining, but against other serious damage, such as salt efflorescence. Dry-Treat impregnating sealers stand up to cleaning chemicals, traffic, sunlight, and even commercial cleaning techniques such as high pressure hosing. We back our technology with written performance warranties of up to 20 years, when the sealers are applied by a Dry-Treat Accredited Applicator.

STAIN-PROOF Original™ – the world leading, permanent impregnating sealer developed by Dry-Treat:

•Unique impregnating sealer technology. Specially engineered molecules penetrate much deeper, and bond permanently inside the sealed material.
•Lasts many times longer than other sealers and provides unparalelled protection.
•Permanent sealer designed for indoor or outdoor use.
•Protects against water and oil-based staining.
•Repels graffiti.
•Protects from salt attack and freeze thaw damage.
•Ideal as a wall, counter-top, facade or floor sealer.
•Engineered for sealing natural stone, paving, tiles, grout and concrete.
•Sealed areas keep their original appearance, become easier to clean.
•No special cleaners are required. Standard non-acidic cleaning chemicals will not harm the sealer.
•STAIN-PROOF Original™ even stands up to commercial cleaning techniques such as high pressure hosing.
•Maintains slip resistance of the surface.
•Suitable for homes and large scale commercial applications.
•Written 15 year performance warranty is available when STAIN-PROOF Original™ is applied by a Dry-Treat Accredited Applicator.
•STAIN-PROOF Original™ has proven its worth in homes and iconic buildings, malls and monuments all over the world.

Dry Treat 15 Year Warranty

Pool Surround

Slate Flooring

 

 

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Omelet Recipe

Peanut Butter and Jelly Omelet Recipe

Kids will absolutely devour this scrumptious omelet with peanut butter and jelly. Serving several for dinner? Fill each omelet with a different type of jelly for a fun change of pace. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

This recipe is:

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Prep/Total Time: 20 min.Yield: 1 Servings10 10 20

Ingredients
•1 tablespoon butter
•3 eggs
•3 tablespoons water
•1/8 teaspoon salt
•1/8 teaspoon pepper
•1/4 cup sliced ripe banana
•2 tablespoons strawberry jelly
•2 tablespoons peanut butter
•Confectioners’ sugar

Directions
•In a small nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Whisk the eggs, water, salt and pepper. Add egg mixture to skillet (mixture should set immediately at edges).
•As eggs set, push cooked edges toward the center, letting uncooked portion flow underneath. When the eggs are set, place banana, jelly and peanut butter on one side; fold other side over filling. Slide omelet onto a plate. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Yield: 1 serving.

Nutritional Facts
1 omelet (calculated without confectioners’ sugar) equals 639 calories, 43 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 665 mg cholesterol, 736 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 27 g protein.

Originally published as Peanut Butter and Jelly Omelet in Simple & Delicious April/May 2011, p21

About Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are one of the most important design elements in your home or business. No matter what your lifestyle, wood floors add value and comfort to any décor, but with all the choices available today, selecting the right floor can be daunting.

The following pages will help you discern the various choices available to you, and help you choose the right floor for your home or business.

•Environmental Benefits of Wood Floors

Wood flooring is the most abundantly renewable flooring material available. Sustainable forest management makes it possible to harvest wood without any serious impact on the environment, because trees are a renewable resource that can be replaced time and time again.

Check out these environmental facts about wood floors:

  • Average annual net growth for hardwoods is greater than average annual removals (Source: US Department of Agriculture Forest Service)
  • Indoor air quality is better with wood floors (Source: US Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Wood is a carbon neutral product that produces oxygen during its growth cycle and stores carbon during its service life (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
  • Wood floors use less water and energy to produce than other flooring options (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
  • At the end of its service life, wood flooring can be burned as fuel or recycled (Source: University of Wisconsin Wood Products Program Solid Wood Flooring Life Cycle Analysis)
  • Wood floors last hundreds of years, so won’t need to be replaced as often as other flooring options (Source: National Association of Home Builders)
  • While it takes most hardwood trees 40-60 years to mature, the inventory planted today won’t be needed for 100-plus years (Source: National Wood Flooring Association)

•Species of Wood

Wood Floor Species

Wood floors come in a variety of colors that will fit any décor. Today’s wood floors come in more than 50 species, both domestic and exotic, spanning the spectrum of color options, hardness, and price ranges. No matter what the look you want to achieve, there are a variety of species to meet your needs.

 

 

 

 

 

•Appearance

Appearance

Other things can influence how a species looks as well, including grain and cut.

Types of Grades

The appearance of the wood determines its grade. All grades are equally strong and serviceable, but each affords you a different look.

Clear wood is a flooring product with minimal character marks that provides a uniform appearance.

Select wood is a flooring product with natural heartwood/sapwood color variations that also includes knots, streaks, etc.

Common wood (No. 1 and No. 2) has more natural characteristics such as knots and color variations than either clear or select grades, and often is chosen because of these natural features and the character they bring to a room. No. 1 Common has a varied appearance,

light and dark colors, knots, streaks and wormholes. No. 2 Common is rustic in appearance and emphasizes all wood characteristics of the species.

First grade wood has a uniform appearance, natural color variations and limited character marks. It is similar to a select grade.

Second grade wood is varied in appearance and features knots and some variation in color. It is similar to a No. 1 Common grade.

Third grade wood is rustic in appearance allowing all wood characteristics of the species. It is similar to a No. 2 Common grade.

Type of Cuts

 

The angle at which a board is cut determines how the finished product looks. Wood flooring is either plainsawn, quartersawn or riftsawn.

Plainsawn is the most common cut. Characteristics are its pleasing appearance, and varied grain appearance. It is easier to produce from log.

Quartersawn is more expensive than plainsawn. Characteristics are greater wear resistance, less tendency to cup and twist, less shrinkage in width, and uniform grain appearance with ray flecks. Ray flecks appear in flooring that cuts across the wood’s ray cells, which creates a shimmering flake figure spread over the wood.

Riftsawn is more expensive than plainsawn. It’s similar to quartersawn without the ray flecks.

•Types

Types of Wood Floors

Advances in wood flooring during the past few years mean that you now can have wood flooring anywhere in your home or business. Where you want to put it, however, will determine the type of wood flooring you can use. 

There are two types of wood floors available on the market today: Solid and Engineered.

 

 

Solid wood flooring is exactly what the name implies: a solid piece of wood from top to bottom. The thickness of solid wood flooring can vary, but generally ranges from ¾” to 5/16”. One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is that it can be sanded and refinished many times. Solid wood flooring can be installed above or on grade.

 

 

 

 

 

Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured using three to nine layers of different wood veneers. The sub layers can be of the same species, or of different species. The grain of each layer runs in different directions, which makes it very stable. This means that the wood will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring during fluctuations in humidity and temperature. The top layer of engineered wood flooring consists of high-quality wood. While this type of flooring can be sanded and finished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring. Engineered wood flooring can be installed above, on or below grade.

   

•Finishes

•Styles

•Design Elements

 

An excellent choice for kitchen countertops, floors, and other heavily used surfaces

Exact and current extraction figures are not available, as data collection from many countries is difficult. Statistics from various sources indicate that the granite quarried in the countries of China, India, and Brazil comprises approximately 2/3 of the granite used worldwide. There are granite quarries in operation in dozens of countries, and it is one of the most popular natural stones on the market. New granite resources are continually being located and developed throughout the world.

Granite has long enjoyed use as an exterior cladding and pavement material, and its inherent strength, abrasion resistance and superior weathering durability are likely to keep it one of the preeminent material selections available to today’s architects. Granite has also been employed as the traditional material for municipal curbs, where its strength and durability have been documented with decades of vehicular abuse. In the northern climates where snow melting chemicals are used heavily, granite has resisted the attack of these caustic agents.

Being one of the hardest of the dimension stone types, granite was historically avoided by the smaller, local stone fabricating shops, who favored marbles and limestones due to their easier working properties. A recent boom in the supply of affordable machinery and abrasives technologies eliminated these previous difficulties in fabrication. The use of granite has skyrocketed in residential interior applications as a result. Available in a striking array of colors, granite’s durability, longevity, and economy make it ideal for kitchen countertops and other heavily used surfaces, including table tops and floors.

Some synthetic surfaces scratch easily, while the hardness of the minerals comprising most granites surpasses that of the utensils that are used on them, resulting in excellent scratch resistance. Granite is typically heat resistant up to temperatures of ±250°C (±480°F), although direct application of localized heat sources is discouraged, since strong thermal gradients within the stone can initiate cracking. Studies of bacteria retention on common countertop surfaces have proven granite to be superior to the majority of surfaces employed for that purposes (Ref: MIA Technical Bulletins).

Absorption rates (% water, by weight) of stones in this group range from 0.05% to 0.40%, indicating that the available pore volume capable of harboring a staining agent is very slight. Impregnating repellents are sometimes used to further increase the stain resistance of these materials.

Dry – Treat

Dry-Treat manufactures innovative sealers for porous building materials, including natural stone, brick, pavers, tiles, engineering concrete and grout. Dry-Treat technology is different – Dry-Treat’s innovative impregnators penetrate much deeper and bond permanently inside the pores of the treated material, creating a substantial oil and water repellent barrier.

This substantial barrier, the Dry-Treat barrier, not only provides great stain protection, but is also able to protect from serious common structural damage caused by liquids, including: salt attack, efflorescence, freeze-thaw damage, spalling and picture framing and inhibits the growth of mosses and moulds in the pores of the treated material.