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Is It Time to Replace Your Toilet?

 

Although it is used on a daily basis and is an indispensable element of their homes, most people give little thought to their toilets. However, like other items in your home, age and usage can take its toll. So, how can you know if your toilets are in need of replacement? Here are some signs that will help you determine if a new toilet should be in your future.

  • The majority of toilets are made from porcelain, which over time can develop small hairline cracks. Even a small crack will leak leading to damaged flooring and subfloors. Sometimes the bolts that hold the bowl to the floor will deteriorate due to a leak, causing the toilet to rock. While this can signal a need for the bolts to be tightened, it can also mean that the floor beneath the toilet has been damaged by a leak. An experienced plumber can help determine if a repair or replacement is needed. toiletring
  • If you have an older toilet in your home, it may not flush quickly or efficiently. If that is case, updating your toilet may be worth considering. Because new regulations require toilets to use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, upgrading an older toilet can help decrease your water usage, saving you money on water bills. Furthermore, the new dual-flush toilets uses even less water for the majority of flushes reducing your water usage even more.
  • If you decide to replace your toilet, there are many options to consider, so do your research and read reviews before making your selection. Think of your family’s needs and lifestyle when choosing from the broad variety of new designs. Toilets styles today range from the standard two-piece toilet to a one-piece. Also, your decision to go with a concealed base versus an integrated base style can effect your cleaning process, so be sure you understand what you are buying.
  • As you are probably aware, you can still choose from a round style seat or an elongated style seat. And though white is still the most popular toilet color, there are many other color options to consider, depending on the other materials used in your bathroom.
  • Seat height can also be a consideration. The majority of toilets sold are a standard 17-inch seat height, but there is also a “comfort height” available at 19 inches. These are beneficial particularly for anyone in your family who has problems getting into and out of sitting positions.

 

 

Giving a little thought and TLC to your toilet can prevent damage to your bathroom flooring and floor structure. So keep an eye out for small leaks, or movement of your toilet, to know when it’s time to replace your toilet and you’ll be more apt to avoid bigger and more expensive problems.

Using Wood in Your Bathroom Design

 

Wood in the bathroom? Believe it or not, yes. Over the last few years wood has become a popular design choice for bathroom design. Used to provide warmth and character throughout our homes, wood has now found its way into bathrooms. Thought for years that because of its vulnerability to moisture, wood shouldn’t be used in high moisture areas, new sealing techniques have now made this possible.bimages

A couple of things to keep in mind before making the final decision to add wood to your bathroom. Although it can be the element that makes the statement in your bathroom, it does require more maintenance. Proper sealing is a necessity to protect from water damage. Resealing every two to three years is necessary to maintain the look and health of your wood. Tung oil or Rubio Monocoat are environmentally-friendly products you can use. Polyurethane is a good sealant as well, but the most durable is epoxy. Though costly, it will provide the most protection.  If you choose this route, look for a low-VOC product.

Another consideration for homeowners is the type of wood. Cedar, teak, old-growth pine and cypress (reclaimed woods), and some exotic woods offer the best moisture resistance.  However, protecting your wood surface from direct contact with water is still the best way to keep it looking good. So, before installing wood, make certain you understand the maintenance it will require.

If you decide that you want to try wood in your bathroom, let your creativity flow. Consider wood countertops, a variety base, a feature wall(s), shower plank flooring, a wood ceiling or beams, even sinks and tubs. Options are limited only by your design style and budget. So, if you want your bathroom to have that something special, look into adding a little bit of wood. It will definitely bring some “wow” to your design.

Flooring for Kitchens and Baths

Choosing flooring for kitchens and baths can be a little intimidating, largely because both areas are affected by water and moisture. The kitchen is also a significant design area, so choosing a flooring that complements the rest of the home is important. To help you in your selection, we have listed some of the top choices for your kitchen and bathroom flooring below.

  1. Ceramic and Porcelain Tile – Tile comes in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and patterns allowing you to create your own specific look and style. Both types will take a lot of wear and tear, and are great at handling water issues like spills, splashes, and leaks.  Although good for water areas, tile can be cold and hard underfoot, so using rugs or cushioned mats may be necessary to offset the discomfort especially in the kitchen. Since tile can crack as floors settle, make certain the proper sub-flooring is used to reduce the likelihood of cracking.  Choosing a non-slip or textured variety is also important as tile can be quite slippery when wet. sp0243_tub-and-floor_s4x3-jpg-rend-hgtvcom-616-462
  2. Vinyl – This is a resilient flooring that offers a softer, cushiness underfoot. It is easy to clean, completely waterproof, and stain-proof. Vinyl comes in a large variety of colors and styles to match any decor, including some styles that have the appearance of tile or real stone. Vinyl also has a wear layer making it scratch and scuff resistant. Textured vinyl, in particular, also provides good slip resistance. Keep in mind that if covering a large area you may have seams that can collect dirt and moisture.
  3. Cork – If you are looking for eco-friendly choices, then cork may be for you. Made from tree bark that’s harvested every eight to 10 years, cork is a nice sustainable material. It provides a soft, slip-resistant surface that is waterproof, making it great for kitchens or bathrooms.  It’s important to note that cork requires resealing every 3 to 4 years to prevent scratching and moisture getting through the seams.
  4. Solid Wood – Although not an option for bathrooms, solid wood flooring is still a favorite for kitchen areas. Wood provides a look that is timeless and creates visual warmth in an area.  If your home has an open floor plan, wood floors throughout can give it a unified look. Solid wood is extremely durable and low-maintenance while on-site-finished hardwoods, rather than factory finished, provide a little more protection against moisture since the finish gets into the seams to help protect the wood underneath.
  5. Other Options – While all of the above are great flooring options, there are many other choices for flooring. Laminate, bamboo, concrete, marble, and granite may also be considered.  Based on your design, life-style, and budget, you can create space that works for you, and gives your family a warm and inviting place to live.
  6. Heated Floors- check out our post here regarding adding wonderful heated floors for your bathroom!

Have more questions? Call us- we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day.  If water runs through it – We Do It!

The Laundry Room/Utility Sink Dilemma

With the remodeling of laundry rooms on the rise, some are wondering if a laundry room utility sink is a necessity. Homeowners’ questions include: “Wouldn’t that space be better utilized as storage?”, “What are all the uses for a utility sink?” or “Will not having a laundry room effect the resale value of my home?”  All of these are great questions.  So, let’s breakdown the full use of the laundry room and utility sink. download

Having a separate laundry area is a big plus for home owners or those looking to buy a new home. Laundry can be a messy, untidy business, so its nice to have a separate space to keep this confined. Having storage in a laundry room is also an important feature.  It gives you a place to keep not only your laundry supplies, but other household cleaning items. But what about the utility sink? Is it necessary to have a utility sink in your laundry room?

It really comes down to space and what other chores you do in your laundry room. A utility sink is a great place to spot treat stains or hand wash delicate items. You can use it to fill up watering cans and mop buckets, as well as clean up after other household chores. It gives your family another place besides the guest bathroom to wash up after all those dirty outside jobs and gardening projects. If you have a pet, you can use the utility sink to bathe them or wash their food and water bowls.

There are many more uses for a utility sink, but what if you have limited space?  If you have to choose between storage or a utility sink, which should it be? Again, your lifestyle will have to determine this. If you have limited storage throughout your house, but you don’t have room in your laundry room for both storage and a utility sink, you may want to choose more storage.  Storage is something that can always be used, and is considered a good selling point if you put your house on the market. Not having a utility sink does not seem to effect the resale of a home.  However, if you decide to not have a utility sink in your laundry room, you might want to consider adding one to your garage if you have the space.

If you are remodeling your laundry room and are putting in a utility sink, there are a few important things to know. Utility sinks are not just your old, ugly plastic tubs anymore. There are other choices, such as an all-stainless steel sink. Some homeowners are installing nice cabinetry in their laundry room with a deep, stainless steel sink similar to their kitchen, or even an apron sink. Others are looking for old farmhouse sinks that will give their laundry room a more rustic, farmhouse appeal. Antique single and double sinks can also be used.

Whether you choose more space or a utility sink for your laundry room, make your laundry room work for you and your family. It can make doing an unpleasant chore more enjoyable.  And your laundry room can help reduce dirt and clutter throughout the rest of your home.

Have more questions? Call us- we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day.  If water runs through it – We Do It!

Things To Consider When Hiring a Professional Plumber

Even with so many DIYers trying their hand at home repairs these days, there are occasions when it is still necessary to call a professional. This is especially true when it comes to plumbing issues. Unless you are dealing with a simple clog, calling a professional to deal with most problems is a smart move, and can save you money in the end. But how do you choose a good, reliable plumber? Below are a few key things to look for when hiring one.

Find out if he or she is certified. Plumbing is regulated by the government, so plumbers are required to meet state regulations and be certified. A licensed plumber will be current on state codes, and have the experience to deal with whatever issues arise. It is important that they not only be licensed, but be bonded and insured.  No matter how knowledgeable or experienced a plumber may be, mistakes can be made by the best, and accidents are just a part of life. Therefore it is critical that they are bonded and insured so that any expenses will be covered in the event of an peteontruck-547x620accident.

Check reviews and/or get referrals. In this technological age there are several online sites that provide reviews and feedback about companies. By contacting your local Better Business Bureau, you can find out how a company is rated, whether there have been any reports filed and how the company resolved those issues. You can also ask companies directly for customer referrals which can give you insight into a company’s reliability, experience, and customer service.

Seek out estimates from different companies. The next step is to make certain you secure between two and three estimates from reputable companies. Most estimates will require an onsite visit to determine the work that needs to be done to provide a proper estimate. Note that phone or online estimates — or simply viewing a photo of the problem — can result in an inaccurate estimates.

Dealing with a plumbing problem, or a remodeling project can be stressful on its own. So, take the time to research area plumbers before making a final hiring decision. Be certain you find a professional that you feel comfortable working with, and trust to do the best job possible.

Have more questions? Call us- we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day.  If water runs through it – We Do It!

Going Touch-less or Hands-free

 

As part of living in an increasingly germ-resistant world, many people are looking for ways to reduce the spread of germs in their homes, especially in their bathrooms and kitchens. To meet this new demand, companies started producing hands-free and touch-less faucets, soap dispensers, and toilets some years ago. Now these items are available for our homes as well.  But what are the true benefits of going hands-free or touch-less in our homes?

One of the main ways germs are spread is through touch. Some common viruses, germs, and bacteria can survive on surfaces for several weeks. Not having to touch certain surfaces, such as faucets or toilet handles, can greatly reduce the risk of spreading these viruses or germs.410d-t7iopl-_sx300_

Another benefit is for those with limited motor skills or arthritis. Not having to turn a handle or lever can make the life easier for those who have difficulty gripping or pushing a handle. It is also helpful in other ways. Hands full or dirty? Sick or handling raw food? Hands-free faucets allows you to use your wrist or elbow to turn the water on or off. Touch-less uses a sensor system to detect movement to turn the water on or off.

In homes with several family members, faucets handles can receive a workout on a daily basis.  Having a touch-less or hands-free system can reduce wear and tear, resulting in fewer repairs or replacements. Both systems can help you work more efficiently in the kitchen, and keep things cleaner by not having to touch surfaces with dirty hands.

Touch-less or hands-free faucets or toilets are part of the new technology growth around. So, these require more than just plumbing to work. They have to have a power source, either from batteries or electricity. So, make sure you discuss the installation with your qualified plumber to ensure all is installed and working properly. Then enjoy your new touch-less or hands-free additions to your home.

Winter-Prep For Outdoor Plants and Containers

While winterizing your home and outdoor plumbing is of the utmost importance, there’s one more item on the winter-prep chorelist to consider: outdoor plants and containers. All those beautiful flowers and plants in containers that decorated your patio, deck or front porch will soon be gone due to colder weather. So, what needs to be done to each of them to prepare for winter?

First take a look at the plants in your containers. For containers with annual plants that grow for just one season, you can discard the plant and the soil.  Potting soil is mostly organic matter that has started to breakdown and lose its nutrients.  You will want to start with fresh potting soil in the spring.  Next, wash your containers with warm, soapy water with a little bleach added.  This not only cleans the containers, but will kill any bugs or fungus hanging onto the container.

If you have plastic containers, these can be stored outside if you don’t have space in your garage or shed. Cover them to prevent any damage or discoloration from the sun. For terra cotta or ceramic containers, you will want to store them inside if possible. Both are porous and retain moisture which can result in cracking or breaking when the temperatures start to drop. If you don’t have space in your garage, try grouping them together close to the house, and covering them to give them as much protection as possible. outdoor-plunge-2013-aug-05-em_1

Next on the list: deciduous or perennial plants that will die. First, trim the tops back to the crown. Remove any leaves from the top of the soil to prevent fungal issues. If you have a covered area or overhang, group plants together to provide some protection from freezing temperature. You can also move them to an unheated garage, shed or greenhouse. This works well for tender perennials that don’t fare as well in containers versus being planted in the ground.

Remember, although most plants go into a dormant stage in the winter and don’t require the normal amount of water as in summer, they still need some water. If your area is experiencing a dry winter, you will still want to give them a small drink every few weeks or so to prevent them over drying. Just make sure not to overwater, as this may cause cracks or breaks in your pots.

Having beautiful flowers and plants in our outdoor living spaces is relaxing and enjoyable during our warm seasons. But, remember to give them, and your containers, the care needed before winter time starts. This will have you all set and ready to garden again come spring.