A Look at Solid Hardwood Floors

Solid hardwood floors should neither be installed over a concrete slab nor below ground level because of high moisture sensitivity. Unsightly gaps appear when moisture dries and the floors contract in the winter heating months. The floors expand and gaps disappear during summers. The wood planks may buckle or cup because of excessive moisture. In view of these facts, enough space should be left for expansion and wood should be acclimated. Nail-down installations are most appropriate for these floors. The possibility of re-coating and refinishing increases the life and appearance of solid hardwood floors. Generally solid hardwood floors are made up of ash, maple, red oak and white oak.

Solid wood floorings are divided into three sub categories: strip flooring, plank flooring and parquet flooring. Thickness of strip flooring varies between 5/16 inch and ¾ inch. Available widths are 1 ½ inch, 2 inch and 2 ¼ inch. Though plank flooring is sold in two thicknesses, width can range between 3 inches and 8 inches. Parquet flooring has geometrical patterns that are created with wood slats.

Hand-scraped hardwood floors are hand crafted. Character markings on handscraped hardwood floors (hand sculptured floors) are a unique feature. These floors offer the best finishes for either the modern world look or the old reclaimed wood floor look. Both engineered and solid hand sculpted floors are sold. Beautiful handscraped hardwood floors are very expensive. Engineered handscraped hardwood floors are best suited for a structure erected on a concrete slab and in high humidity conditions. A few companies also market distressed hardwood flooring that has machine made markings unlike hand made markings in handscraped hardwood floor. Handscraped floor is costlier than distressed version, but both floorings offer a rich look.

Hardwood floors should be cleaned with products recommended by the manufacturer. Regular use of a vacuum cleaner will clean dirt, mud, grit and small stones that may spoil the finish. Welcome mats at the entrance for wiping feet before walking on the floor are of great help in protecting the finish. When choosing furniture for you home, do not buy products with sharp metal or wooden legs to prevent denting and scratching. Use of furniture coasters or felt protectors for all legs will prevent scratching. Non-staining and wide rubber cups are a must for heavy items like piano. The use of a paste wax on the hardwood floor with a polyurethane finish damages the finish. Spills on hardwood floors need immediate attention. Clean them with a paper towel or damp white cloth and dry the area.

A Look at Shiatsu Massage Chairs

The term “shiatsu” refers to a form of Asian massage. This traditional massage uses techniques of digging deep into the muscle tissue to ease out knots and relieve tension. The shiatsu technique can involve patting, rotating, sweeping and vibrating the affected areas. Another popular technique is the “barefoot shiatsu” in which the therapist walks on the back of the patient to remove tension.

Many of today’s shiatsu massage chairs are designed to imitate human touch. These chairs are often useful in the treatment of headaches, digestive problems, back pain and more. The benefits of shiatsu massage chairs can be likened to an actual massage. The difference is that with a massage chair, you can reap the benefits of this popular massage from your home at any time you wish.

New shiatsu massage chairs have buttons the consumer can choose from for different options. These options include kneading, pulsing and tapping. The key to getting the most from your massage session is to relax. If you are more tense than usual, you may be uncomfortable, and in some cases bruising may occur. To get a relaxing massage, relax and start out slow; limit your session to no more than fifteen minutes.

Shiatsu massage chairs are certainly at the head-of-the-class when it comes to massage chair therapy. These are probably among the most popular designs and those who have purchased them often say that they would never give it up.

If you are reluctant to the idea that a chair can provide a soothing deep massage, you should go try one out. Chances are that a store near you carries several lines of massage chairs and the salesperson will be happy to let you take a test massage. Although many people comment that the chairs are far from attractive, the massaging benefits are well worth lack of stylish appearance.

A Look at Nail Salon Equipment

The type of equipment required for a nail salon is different than that of a salon that solely offers hair styling services. This equipment can be just as costly as outfitting a hair salon, depending on the style of the pieces and materials used in manufacturing nail salon equipment.

There are several pieces of specific equipment that will typically be utilized in a nail salon. A manicure table is the most common piece of nail salon equipment found in virtually all nail salons. A manicure table is similar to a common desk and it allows a nail technician an ample, steady surface area to perform work on a client’s nails. Basic manicure tables feature storage drawers, a padded hand rest for comfort, and swivel casters. Additional features of higher-end manicure tables include vents, built in electrical outlets, and polish racks.

Typically, manicure tables are made of a wood laminate for durability and easy cleaning. Nail dryers are a separate piece of nail salon equipment that are often placed on a manicure table to allow the client to fully dry their nails after receiving a fresh coat of polish. Manicure tables are available through a large number of retailers and can vary in price from under $100 to over $1,000. The price is usually dependent on the features the table offers and the materials it’s made of.

A pedicure spa is a staple in salons that offer pedicure services. Pedicure spas are designed to offer a client extreme comfort while a nail technician performs a pedicure. Pedicure spa systems typically consist of a padded chair for extra comfort that often features a rolling back massage. These chairs are attached to a foot spa where the client can indulge in soaking their feet, prior to receiving their nail treatment. Foot spas often feature jets that offer a full foot and lower leg massage for ultimate relaxation. New pedicure spas typically cost between $3,000 and $4,000. An additional piece of nail salon equipment that is used in conjunction with a pedicure spa is a technician’s stool. This low stool allows the nail technician to face the client and provide nail treatment. These small pedicure stools are often easily adjusted to the correct height for each technician and client.

Nail salon equipment varies from extremely basic, inexpensive, equipment to costly high-end equipment featuring the latest in accessories. As with new equipment, there is also a high demand for used nail salon equipment. Used nail salon equipment may be a good option for a salon owner who is just starting out or values simplicity. Used nail salon equipment can offer huge cost savings to the buyer. When buying used equipment it is important to ensure that all adjustment mechanisms and electrical parts are in proper working order prior to making a purchase.

A Look at Luxury Down Comforters

For those striving to create a bedroom retreat, a haven from the rest of the world, luxury is a necessity. Along with good color choices and fine furniture, a lavishly dressed bed is top priority. One of the most important ingredients for an extravagant bed is a luxury down comforter, and price is no object.

Down comforters are made from a variety of materials. They can be made from the down of ducks or geese. The most luxurious, though, are those made from goose down. Goose down is heavier and produces warmer, fluffier, and more luxurious down comforters.

Different geese produce different qualities of down. Eiderdown comes from the Eider duck of Iceland. As you can imagine in such a cold climate, the Eider duck has a very full and luxurious down, resulting in a warm and fine comforter. Eiderdown has to be hand harvested from Eider duck nests, making it difficult to acquire. At around $7000, its price reflects that quality and rarity.

Siberian goose down is considered the best, and is available for around $1000. Siberian goose down is known to have superior warming power, and is fluffier than all other varieties.

In shopping for luxury down comforters, one of the most important things to consider is the fill power rating. Fill power refers to the comforter’s fluffiness, the higher the rating, the better. While any fill rating over 550 is considered good, the more luxurious down comforters often have ratings of over 800.

Thread count is another important consideration. The thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch. Again, the higher the number, the better the quality of the comforter. A high thread count means the comforter will be softer, lighter, and less likely to leak filling.

The comforter cover material is less important because the comforter itself should be covered with a duvet. However, some truly luxurious cover materials exist. Some comforters are covered in silk or Egyptian cotton for optimum softness.

A Look at Finnish Saunas

Finland is known for its saunas. A Finnish sauna is a room or small hut with temperature over 80 degrees C. When water is poured over the hot furnace stones, a steam cloud fills the sauna taking the temperatures to an even higher level. Sauna bathing in Finland typically lasts between half an hour and two hours. The sauna is often followed by a shower or swim in a lake. In winter, many of the Finnish rub snow on their skin after their sauna. Some beat their skin with birch twigs soaked in warm water to exfoliate and clean.

Using saunas is the most popular leisure activity in Finland. A visit to Finland sans sauna would be incomplete. The Finnish admire saunas for their healing properties. Millions of people in Finland use saunas and on average, each household has one sauna.

Saunas can be used to gather socially and relax with family and friends. In private settings, men and women often share saunas, while single sex saunas are norm in the public places.

In the past, saunas used to be wooden compartments near lakes. Wood was burnt under flat stones and arranged in rows, to produce heat. Steam was generated by pouring cold water on these stones. Usually temperatures in these steam huts ranged between 70 degrees C and 90 degrees C. It could go up to 120 degrees C.

A Look at Faux Wood Blinds

For those who want the warmth of wood, but are concerned with wood damage, faux-wood blinds may b e the answer. They are made of artificial materials but are designed to look just like real wood blinds. They are much less expensive than wood blinds. Faux-wood blinds are designed to be used in rooms with high levels of humidity like bathrooms and kitchens. They don’t tend to warp unlike blinds made of real wood and are stain resistant.

Faux-wood blinds can be made of either PVC or composite wood. PVC faux blinds are made of a vinyl polymer, whereas composite wood blinds contain both hardwood and a polymer base. They are lighter than PVC blinds. The composite wood blinds cost slightly higher than the PVC but they offer more value with their special 3-inch valances and the special trapezoid bottom rails that allow the slats to close tightly. Faux-wood blinds come in a wide range of colors and shades, some looking exactly like real wood. They can be custom designed as per different requirements like light control, sleek look, and the viewable area between the slats.

The polyvinyl material used to make faux-wood blinds is very durable and strong. It is simple to clean and does not warp, crack, or fade easily. The blinds made from this material can be covered with UV inhibitors to protect them from excessive exposure to the sun. This covering makes the blinds last longer–even for a lifetime. Faux-wood blinds can also resist extreme temperatures like heat and cold and are suitable for any room in the house.

Faux-wood blinds are also available in different forms and in different sizes. They can be mini or micro, vertical or horizontal, 2-inch valance or 3-inch valance. They can also be provided with other attachments and options like tilt wants, locking pull rods, fabric tapes, cord-want tilt and motorization, and light-blocking properties. Faux-wood blinds are thus replacing all the traditional kinds of blinds but are still providing the same kind of look that traditional wood blinds offer.

A Look at Custom Dog Tags

Have you been shopping and shopping for just the right dog tag, without finding what you’re looking for to suit your dog’s personality? Choose your exact specifications, give them to the manufacturer, and they’ll produce a dog tag to your liking. Some retailers even specialize in custom dog tags.

Do you like the look and solid feel of stainless steel, brass, or aluminum? Or perhaps you are not picky, and just need a plastic tag. Plastic won’t last quite as long, but they are inexpensive and easily replaceable. A metal or plastic dog tag shouldn’t cost more than $40 in most cases, and in many cases they cost under $10. You can have all of your dog’s ID information imprinted in the surface of any metal or plastic dog tag.

Some dog tags are jeweled. You can sometimes choose an exact pattern that you wish the design to be in. If you want the shape of a cursive “R” for Rex, and you want it done in rhinestone, you can find someone to do that. Some retailers will offer a more limited array of options, but you can still usually choose from two or three types of embedded stones.

When it comes to really high-end dog tags, such as sapphire, real silver, gold, or diamond, there tend to be more choices. This is because you will be paying many hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for the material itself, so it’s worth it for the retailer to give you as many options as you like.

You also must choose the material and style of the dog tag’s collar or necklace. There are leather, nylon, rubber, and so on, on the lower financial end; and silk or silver chains on the higher end. Choose a collar or necklace that compliments whatever dog tag you go with. Just make sure your dog is comfortable with it.

A Look at Cuckoo Clock Movement

The inside mechanics of cuckoo clocks maintain virtually the same design since the day they were first created in the Black Forest of Germany. While the parts are now sometimes made out of metal and plastic instead of the all wood versions that started it all, the weights and counterbalance mechanisms that help them perform accurately and to imitate the sound of the cuckoo bird have not changed much in almost 300 years. A mechanical movement run by weights that hang from the bottom of the clock drives the action of most cuckoo clocks. Most clocks have three weights, while some larger more complex versions require three weights hanging from the front of the cabinet. They are commonly in the shape of pinecones and must be pulled periodically, depending on the model. Spring-driven cuckoo clocks never really caught on and subsequently are quite rare.

Black Forest cuckoo clocks run on a set of wheels that lock gears and provide the power necessary to swing the pendulum back and forth. Every time the pendulum makes a complete swing back and forth, one tooth of the wheel is released from the escape wheel. Each time a tooth escapes, the time train moves forward, resulting in a very small movement of the minute hand. When you first bring your new cuckoo clock home you will need to test its timing against a battery operated clock of some kind. If you measure the difference in time between your cuckoo clock and “real” time, you can then adjust your cuckoo clock to perform more accurately by adjusting the weights that hang beneath the housing. It’s always an educated guess rather than an exact science, and old fashioned cuckoo clocks are never one hundred percent accurate, but patience and readjustments made every twenty four hours over a few days will get your clock functioning as close to perfection as possible. The standard rule of thumb is to try to get your clock to miss only a few minutes per week and live with it.

A Look at Copper Weather Vanes

Weather vanes or wind vanes are made of various materials ranging from wrought iron, to copper, to bronze, and more. Copper is the most commonly used material because of its practicality as well as its nice appearance. Copper weather vanes are very durable and easy to maintain for a long time. They are mostly made of solid copper, but they may also be plated with copper, which is more often the case for desktop copper weather vanes. The direction indicators are made of brass with copper spacer balls. Copper weather vanes are available in copper, bronze and antique finishes.

Copper weather vanes are mounted on steel rods and have an adjustable mount roof bracket. Desktop copper vanes, on the other hand, have a brass mounting rod with a solid brass base. Copper weather vanes are created by hammering copper into cast iron moulds. Then the pieces are trimmed by hand and soldered into the final figure. Parts of the vane are made separately and then joined together, and some of the more intricate parts are cast in bronze.

Making intricate copper weather vanes is still considered to be a folk art. Copper weather vanes are available in several designs including roosters, ospreys, eagles, attack eagles, ascending geese, landing ducks, feathered geese, blue herons, three geese in flight, pelicans, peace doves, pheasants, quail, cows, horses, bulls, foxes, whimsical pigs, golden retrievers, lab retrievers, cats and mice, deer, moose, elks, dolphins, whales, bass, sailfish, schooners, yawls, sailboats, sloops, mermaids, lighthouses, country doctors, angels, pineapples, pine trees, locomotives, planes, biplanes, low wing planes, moons, suns, stars, arrows, banners, flags, golfers, firemen, lamplighters, handsaws, and many more.

Copper weather vanes are suitable for any kind of a location, be it a farmhouse, church, residential house or corporate building. Different finishes can add class. Antique copper weather vanes are very valuable. New weather vanes are now made to look like old ones in order to increase their value. Copper weather vanes can also be specially designed according to customer’s desires. Nowadays, weather vanes are rust free and maintenance free.

A Guide To Wholesale Sunglasses

Wholesalers stock products and sell them to retailers in bulk, who then sell them to consumers. Retailers buy products from wholesalers at discounts and sell them to consumers at a profit. Each company has their own fixed wholesalers.

It is always cheaper to buy sunglasses from wholesalers directly than from retailers. It makes a difference in the prices, as the retailer profit gets deducted. But for big name brands, buying from a wholesaler or a retailer does not make much of a difference.

The yellow pages list the names of wholesalers in every area throughout the country. One can even find out their location via the Internet as well. But these wholesalers are wary of selling sunglasses to consumers, as they are contractually bound to their retailers. Wholesalers will not sell a single pair of sunglasses to a person if they realize that the buyer is a mere consumer who has come to save a few dollars.

Those who manufacture replica sunglasses do not have much of a budget to advertise, let alone rope in a brand ambassador to canvas their product. These manufacturers rely only on wholesalers to push their products into the market. They sell the sunglasses to wholesalers are very low prices and wholesalers make a neat profit while selling them to retailers. Retailers do not earn as much on replica sunglasses as the wholesalers do.

Some sunglasses wholesalers have an excess of goods in their warehouses, but no retailers to sell them to. Such wholesalers invite retailers through the Internet. People with entrepreneurial skills but no finance for investment accept such invitations and retail the excess sunglasses from the wholesalers.

Buying sunglasses wholesale is not a bad idea and can save money. The buyer can be more assured of the quality of the product and reduction in price since the middleman is cut out, the only catch is that a person must have a fairly good contact with a few wholesalers. Picking up a dozen or so sunglasses from a wholesaler is also wise, provided one manages to sell them off to family and friends to make the money back.