Why You Should Have a Fire and Ice Fireplace

Anyone who appreciates the natural beauty of a fireplace should take a look at the newest idea in fireplace designs: fire and ice fireplaces.  Also known as a fire on ice fireplace, they are absolutely gorgeous to look at.  Aside from their obvious and almost ethereal beauty, they have many great qualities that homeowners who love having a warm fire in cool weather should know about.

What is a Fire and Ice Fireplace?

Fire and ice fireplaces use special tempered glass pieces instead of gas logs in a fireplace.  The overall look is very elegant and modern.  A fire and ice fireplace can be a traditional in-wall type fireplace, or it can be designed as a stand-alone fire pit or fire table, such as the one pictured below.  The glass pieces which ground the dancing flames can be any color, depending on your preference.  When the fire is lit on the glass pieces, the overall effect is stunning; it truly looks like fire on ice!

 

It is important to note that the glass used in a fire and ice fireplace is not just any old glass; you cannot just pick up some glass pebbles meant for arranging flowers, for instance, and put them in your fireplace.  The glass used for this type of fireplace is specially created just for using in a fireplace,and it is tempered glass that can withstand the high temperatures it will be subjected to.  The glass pieces should be lead-free, also.  I mention that because there are some manufacturers who are making fire and ice glass that is not lead-free.  Before you buy, make sure you are getting lead-free glass.

A fire and ice fireplace can be placed inside or outside, so there is a lot of flexibility as to where you want to have your fireplace.  Some homeowners have opted to have one inside and to have one outside on the patio also, so they can enjoy their outdoor area even when the weather might be too cool otherwise.

You do need to have access to a supply of natural gas in order to have one of these gorgeous fireplaces in your home or on your patio.

Some of the Advantages of a Fire and Ice Fireplace are:

  • They are easy to assemble and to install
  • They are very clean – no residue or ashes to clean up, and all that is required to keep them clean is an occasional dusting with a feather duster.Fire and Ice Fireplace
  • There is no pollution emitted from a fire and ice fireplace
  • Affordability – fire and ice fireplaces are very competitively priced in comparison to gas log fireplaces
  • Durability – they last forever
  • Versatility – the glass colors can be changed with the seasons or your mood
  • Heat production – many people report that the heat from a fire and ice fireplace is much greater than that from regular gas log fireplaces.  The reason for this is the glass pieces heat up and emit heat while the fire is going.

Where Can You Get a Fire and Ice Fireplace?

A very good company to take a look at is Fire On Ice.  Their glass is 100% lead-free, and is manufactured in the USA.  You can also find some beautiful DIY fire and ice fireplaces on the internet that can be customized to fit into many different types of spaces, such as existing fireplace boxes inside a home, or into outdoor fire pits.  You may want to build a custom fire pit outdoors out of brick, or you can buy freestanding pits to place the gas burner and glass into.

Installing Your Own Fire and Ice Fireplace

This is an easy project for most homeowners, so don’t be intimidated to do this.  You should already have a gas supply running to your fireplace, and you should be comfortable with making the gas connection needed.  If you have not ever worked with natural gas connections, then it might be a good idea to have your local gas company do this part for you.  They will charge you for doing this, but most times you can have it added to your gas bill, and sometimes they will let you pay for the installation over several months time.

Here is what you will need:

  • An existing gas connection
  • A stiff wire brush, dry cloths, a shop vac, heat resistant paint if you want to paint the inside of the firebox
  • A fire and ice fireplace burner kit
  • Crushed lava rock, enough to make a 2″ bed for the burner
  • Sand, enough to cover burner and lava rock

Here is how to do it:

  1. You should clean the inside of any existing firebox with the wire brush, vacuum it thoroughly, and wipe the walls to remove dust.
  2. Connect the burner to the gas line per instructions that come with your burner.  Have your local gas company do this step if you are not comfortable with it!
  3. Center the burner in the firebox.
  4. Turn the burner on, so you can see if the flames will be centered in the firebox.  You don’t want any flames touching the back of the firebox.  You will create soot if this happens.
  5. Place about 2″ of crushed lava rock under and around the burner, but don’t let the rock come any closer than about 4″ from the front of the fireplace.
  6. Pull the burner up so the gas jets are clear of the rock and light it again, making sure that it is still centered and the flames are not touching the back of the firebox.
  7. Cover the burner and lava rock with sand, keeping the sand at least 4″ from the front of the firebox. Brush sand from the top of the burner, and light it again to make sure the flames are still in the center.
  8. From the front to the back, slowly cover the lava rock and sand with glass pieces.  Doing this slowly and carefully will ensure that you don’t mix the glass into the sand and lava rock.
  9. Periodically light the burner to see the effect of your work, and how the flames play off of the glass. You may need to let the glass cool and do some re-arranging to get it looking just right.  Obviously, never rearrange the glass while the burner is on!
  10. Sit back and enjoy your beautiful fire and ice creation!

If you are looking for a beautiful new way to use your fireplace, then look no further.  Fire and ice fireplaces can be easily installed by homeowners in fireplaces with DIY fireplace mantels and surrounds, and they can also be installed in free-standing fire pits and fire tables.  They are also wonderful for use in outdoor fire pits.  They look good in any type of décor, so what are you waiting for?  Check out a fire and ice fireplace for your home or patio today!

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How To Install Rubbermaid FastTrack

Are you wondering how to declutter your garage? Is there minimal standing space when your vehicle is parked inside? If so you might have heard of the FastTrack garage organizing system from Rubbermaid. This system makes it easy to hang all of your stuff up on the wall of your garage storage area.  It consists of a track that is hung at any height desired, and Rubbermaid storage components such as baskets, shelves, and hooks that snap onto the track. The Rubbermaid FastTrack system is easy to install, affordable and versatile – it will accommodate items totaling up to 1700 lbs!  Those wheelbarrows and heavy ladders will be a piece of cake for FastTrack to store safely out of the way. Now that you realize how much you need this great system for your home storage needs, how exactly do you install one?

Rubbermaid FastTrack Garage Organization Kit

Click Photo to Buy This Rubbermaid FastTrack Garage Organization Kit at Amazon.com

Installation of the Rubbermaid FastTrack System

Installation is really very easy. There is no need to be macho to perform this job. Rubbermaid Fast Track installation can be done by anyone. You will need a few tools though.  Make sure you have the right ones on hand for the task before you start. This will include a level, a stud finder, drill bits in 1/8 and 3/8 inches, a drill, a screwdriver and a pencil. Feel free to slip the pencil behind your ear to achieve the ultimate ‘man/woman at work’ look. You’ll also need a tape measure.

You can look professional by standing at a suitable vantage point and spinning on the spot as you survey your garage. The point of the task – apart from looking really cool – is to figure out how much wall space you have for the rails, and how many Rubbermaid Fast Track accessories you could fit on them.  Better yet, measure the walls to see what size of rails can fit. Rubbermaid gives you 48 inch and 84 inch options. You should also measure out the height of the first horizontal rail. The height is determined by convenience and ease of reach, but you should also consider the height and weight of the stuff that will sit on the rail itself. Each rail must have at least four studs. Mark the railing position and holes with the pencil.

Think about the accessories that you’ll need. Do you need to have shelving, baskets, or hooks?  Maybe you will need a combination of all of those in order to get everything up and out of your way.  The beauty of this system is that you can “do it your way”, hanging the rails annwhere you need them, and in any configuration.  Hang the rails to allow for maximum loading, and use the stud finder to place them correctly. Pre-drill each hole using the 1/8 inch bit. Put the rail in place and secure the holes with screws and a drill.  Slip on the rail cover and snap on the hooks, shelves and other accessories as necessary, and voila, you are done installing the Rubbermaid FastTrack garage system!

 

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A Guide To Premier Faucets

With a history of more than 20 years, Premier Faucets carries a wide variety of bar, bathroom, and kitchen faucets. Their commitment to customer service and quality has kept the company in business even while the economy has suffered. Premier Faucets is highly involved in each of their product lines and oversees every part of the manufacturing process. Rest assured that each faucet not only conforms to the Uniform Plumbing Code, but also includes a lifetime warranty.

The company carries a wide variety of fashionable and functional faucets. With so many styles, there truly is something for everyone. Of course, the sheer number of styles and models means that choosing the perfect faucet can be difficult. For example, Premier Sonoma faucets make use of ceramic-disc technology, which prevents faucet leaks. The company guarantees that each faucet will be trouble-free and reliable. Every faucet is available in brushed nickel, chrome, and oil-rubbed bronze.

Premier Sonoma Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet with Matching Soap Dispenser

Click Photo to Buy This Premier Sonoma Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet with Matching Soap Dispenser in Oil Rubbed Bronze at Amazon.com

These faucets come in three forms: single handle, pull out, and two handle. While every model is available in standard finishes such as oil-rubbed bronze, chrome, and brushed nickel, some models, such as #04227, are also available in white. Premier sells eight collections of kitchen faucets, each with several different styles from which to choose. Premier kitchen faucets are stylish and enhance the look of contemporary as well as traditional type kitchens. Bathroom faucets come in widespread or center set formats. Each collection caters to a different type of style or customer. Shower and tub faucets are available for roman tubs, bath tubs, showers, and tub/shower combos.

Premier faucet reviews are always glowingly positive reviews due to the quality of the workmanship and materials used in them. Customers love the quality of the faucets and often mention how heavy duty and well-made they are. One customer was thrilled to discover the easy-to-follow instructions meant that she could install her faucet without any help, even though she had no experience in plumbing. These faucets have a reputation for reliability, practicality, and affordability. Customers also appreciate the classy finishes and styles available.

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Solar Pool Covers: Benefits and Types

Grumbling about your backyard pool being so cold when you go for a dip and swim in it? Try using a solar pool cover. Solar pool covers absorb sunlight for your pool. They are equipped with tough and durable polyethylene material to absorb heat from the sun and retain it. The heat absorbed helps raise the water temperature to extend your swimming pool season. They also prevent water evaporation which causes heat loss and retains chemicals needed in maintaining your pool.  There are many different types of  pool solar covers which are outlined here to help you decide what type of cover is best for your needs.  Before deciding what type of cover you want, you should know about some of their benefits.

Intex Krystal Clear 18-Foot Solar Pool Cover

Click Photo to Buy This Intex Krystal Clear 18-Foot Solar Pool Cover at Amazon.com

Benefits of Solar Pool Covers:

  • Extends swimming time. Of course, the very purpose of buying this pool cover is to heat up your pool. There are times especially at night when the water becomes cold. You would not want to swim freezing in cold water that is why this kind of pool cover is designed for you. Families who use solar pool covers can usually extend their swimming season by at least 2 months.
  • Keeps the pool cleaner. This doesn’t literally mean that this cover provides some filter mechanism to clean the water but since it covers your pool, it keeps leaves, dusts, and other debris from getting into the water.
  • Saves money and time. Having this cover will keep you from using heaters that will cost you money to pay for electricity. Also, since it prevents debris to get into the water, cleaning up won’t be that much required.

Types of Solar Pool Covers:

  • Full Covers – This is for either in-ground or above-ground pools. It extends in all sides of the pool to avoid heat, chemicals, and water loss. Yet, this can be difficult to remove or put over by only one person.
  • Reel covers – These covers are on reels which make it easy to use even for only one person unlike the full covers. It has a mechanical device for easy rolling and unrolling of the cover.
  • Circular covers – These covers are easy to put over and remove. It considered safe to use when there are children and pets nearby since it is easy to fling to toss somebody out from the pool.
  • Vinyl covers – These contain insulation with insignificant weight for it to float over the pool water. It is more recommended to use since it last longer than other types of covers.

Swimming pool solar covers certainly have many advantages.  They will let you swim in your pool much longer each season, and will help keep your pool cleaner and will save you money by keeping pool chemicals from evaporating quickly.  You will spend as little as $25 for smaller pools, and up to $150 for larger pools to get all of these benefits.  Sounds like a bargain to me!

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What You Need to Decide Before Looking at Vacuum Cleaner Reviews

Selecting a vacuum cleaner to use for your home is quite a challenging task. One of the first things you will need to determine, before even getting on to researching through vacuum cleaner reviews, is what type exactly of vacuum cleaner do you want and need in your home. This article will help you in doing just that by providing you with a bit of information about each basic type of vacuum cleaner available today so you can determine the best vacuum cleaner for your needs.  After reading this, you may even decide you need more than one vacuum cleaner for your home, depending on the type of cleaning you need to do.

Basic Types of Vacuum Cleaners

Upright vacuums: These vacuums are predominantly inclusive of a motor, bag, and beater all in one place. It is excellent in cleaning carpets and not so good when it comes to stairs and closets. However, lately, advancements have been made in an effort for them to also work well on other surfaces.  Bagless versions have been increasingly popular in recent years, and those with cyclonic action are very powerful and do a very good job of pulling dirt and dust out of carpets.  Uprights have to be used with caution on wood and vinyl floors however, especially if they are not equipped with a turn-off switch for the beater bar.  The beater bar can scratch the surface of those types of floors fairly easily.

Shark Navigator Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

Click Photo to Buy This Shark Navigator Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner at Amazon.com

 

Canister vacuums: The opposite of uprights, these toes mostly excel in working on hardwood surfaces. They also work well in cleaning the stairs, and even walls and curtains. These vacuums are usually identifiable through their long hoses attached to a canister. These vacuums are also usually bagless types which means they substitute dust bags with a dirt container which can easily be washed and emptied.  They are usually very powerful, so that is a definite plus.  A downside of canister vaccums is that you are not only dragging a cord behind you, but a heavy canister unit as well.

Electrolux UltraSilencer Green Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Click Photo to Buy This Electrolux UltraSilencer Green Canister Vacuum Cleaner at Amazon.com

 

Stick vacuums: These vacuums are generally only a fraction of the size of the regular vacuums. This is so they can get into those tiny spaces a full sized vacuum cleaner cannot. They usually appear similar to upright vacuums. They are very good for small rooms, or for vacuuming an area rug that a large vacuum would otherwise chew to pieces.  Obviously, these units are bagless. Some of these units are cordless, which is a plus if you hate dragging cords behind you when you vacuum.  On the downside, however, these vacuums tend to not be as powerful as vacuums that plug in, and sometimes the battery power wears out before you are finished with your cleaning.

Hoover LINX Cordless Stick Vacuum

Click to Buy This Hoover LINX Cordless Stick Vacuum at Amazon.com

 

Handheld vacuums: These vacuums are like miniature vacuum cleaners that can be carried around with ease. These are usually used for small messes which are too trivial to be cleaned up using a full sized vacuum cleaner.  Of course, it would not be practical to consider owning only one of these small units for whole house cleaning, but they certainly do come in handy when you don’t want to drag out the “big vacuum”, or when you want to do a quick vacuuming of your automobile carpeting.  Most are now cordless, but some great corded versions are available like the Eureka model pictured below that tend to be a bit more powerful than their cordless cousins.

Eureka 71B Hand-Held Vacuum

Click to Buy This Eureka 71B Hand-Held Vacuum at Amazon.com

 

As you can see, there are a lot of different types of vacuum cleaners to choose from, and these are not the only ones. So remember, before you buy that Shark Lift Away vacuum cleaner or any other type of vacuum cleaner, take note of the type of vacuum it is and decide if it will fulfill your home cleaning needs before you take off looking for all of those vacuum cleaner reviews online.

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Tell Burglars You Mean Business With These Security Devices

One of the more important considerations that every home owner will have to face is that of security. After all, having a home is indeed like an investment. It’s an investment not only for the financial gain but also for the well-being of those who live under its roof.  Securing a home isn’t rocket science. I’m pretty sure that this subject is not a favorite among many home owners because they have the false impression that home security is a complicated and expensive aspect of home ownership. Contrary to the belief of many, implementing an effective home defense system does not need to be complicated and expensive. You need only a few simple security devices to put up a dependable defense; the good news is, all these devices can be acquired inexpensively and are very easy to set up by any homeowner who loves DIY solutions for their home.

Best Types of Inexpensive Home Security Devices

1. Motion Sensors/Alarms – these are essential pieces of security gadgetry. They are so because they give you an early detection of any unauthorized activity within your property. Installing one inside the garage, driveway, patio, garden, etc., can give you ample warning of any break-ins and trespassing so you have enough time to take action. Some alarms can even be remotely monitored by an alarm monitoring service provider so they can come to your aid in the event of an intrusion. A motion alarm can be bought for as low as $30-$40.

Motion Detector Security Device

Click to Buy this Motion Detector Security Device at Amazon.com

 

2. Surveillance cameras – are video capturing devices that help property owners record the happenings within their properties. This is the one piece of devices that provide a lot of security value to any home or business owner. They are so effective that you can use a fake security camera (like this fake dome camera) and still pull it off. They are such an effective crime deterrent that home owners will surely benefit from them. Video cameras can go as low as $30-$50!

Fake Security Camera Device

Click Photo to Buy this Fake Security Camera Device at Amazon.com

 

3. Security Decals – these aren’t devices per se, but they are such effective door security devices that I’m including them in this list anyway. They are very good at deterring crime because they serve as a stern visual warning to anyone who may be eyeing your property for some less than honest pursuits. Decals for doors and windows go for just a few bucks at many home stores and online stores, as well.

Security Decals Kit

Click Photo to Buy This Security Decals Kit From Amazon.com

 

4. Motion Detector Floodlights – These inexpensive home security lighting devices are very easy to install, and will turn on whenever motion is detected outside your home.  The best places to install these are on the front side of your home, so when anyone approaches your front door they turn on, and in the back of your home, where it tends to be dark and where intruders may think they can gain entry to your home undetected.  Most have settings on them that will allow you to set the motion sensitivity, so that they don’t turn on every time an animal runs in front of them.

Wireless Motion Sensor Floodlight

Click Photo to Buy This Wireless Motion Sensor Floodlight at Amazon.com

Implementing a sound defense system for your home or business does not have to be expensive. In fact, they don’t even have to be real. If you wish to learn more about how to boost security to home and property, please consult a professional security adviser or check out some of the many other home security resources regarding home security systems that can easily be found online.

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