Category: Tips

How to make white concrete floors

white concrete

What makes white concrete different from ordinary mortar and what gives it this whiteness. After reading this article, you will be able to easily prepare it yourself, as well as choose a suitable dry mixture in the store.

What is white concrete

It differs from gray:

  • composition;
  • The technology of manufacture.

Any Portland concrete is extracted from rocks, and different rocks, of course, differ from each other in their mineral composition. First the limestone and clay are heated to make a “semi-finished product” – clinker. This is then ground and a bit of gypsum is added and mixed. This is how concrete is made, consisting of four phases:

Ordinary concrete, in addition, contains impurities: compounds of chromium, manganese, sulfur and other ions (what concrete is made of). Some of the components color it with the familiar gray color.

But white concrete is devoid of these impurities, and in it, in addition, the iron content is reduced. So it turns out due to a choice of raw materials (kaolin and chalk) and a special method of treatment. Clinker is fired at high temperature, and then sharply cooled in water and dried in a drying drum, then milled. At the same time:

A fuel is used for heating that does not produce ash or soot

It also has a much lower degree of grinding than gray concrete.

Of course, all of this affects the characteristics of concrete, in addition to color.

Composition and properties of white concrete

So, the composition will be approximately as follows:

  • low-iron clinker;
  • mineral additives;
  • gypsum;
  • chlorine salts (bleach the mixture).

The result is a very light, almost white powder.

When the mixture hardens, it becomes a high-strength material. It is also divided into grades (denoted by the letter “M”) – from M400 to M600. The number means how much load it withstands in kg/cm3.

It is worth paying attention to other designations in the marking. Thus, “N” means that from the time of preparation of the concrete mixture and until the end of its laying, there is a reserve of time during which it does not set. Such concrete is usually compatible with most additives. The letter “R”, on the contrary, indicates that it sets quickly. With it, you can noticeably reduce the time for construction work.

Finally, the most important quality just for white concrete – the amount of impurities in percentage – is denoted by the letter D. The maximum permissible value is 20 %. Marking D0 means that there are no impurities.

According to the degree of whiteness (coefficient of light reflection) is divided into:

  • Grade 3 (68%);
  • Grade 2 (75%);
  • Grade 1 (80%);
  • “Premium class” (90%).
white concrete

Advantages of white concrete

There are several advantages over conventional concrete:

  • it looks better on its own;
  • it also does not hide the color of pigments, which can be added to it;
  • the mortar hardens quickly (60% in 16 hours);
  • it is more durable due to its fine grinding;
  • therefore, also adheres well to other materials;
  • allows you to add less chemicals to the composition, and therefore more environmentally friendly;
  • sulfate-resistant (it is not corroded by acids in ground water and sediments).

Compared with conventional concrete has no disadvantages, except higher cost. But its advantages allow you to expand the scope of application.

Applications for white concrete

Firstly, the color stability in direct sunlight and resistance to atmospheric moisture make white concrete ideal for outdoor use. It is used as a finishing material for facades – terrazzite plaster, for example, contains mineral particles and looks like natural stone. If desired, it is possible to cover the walls. The mortar, in this case, is not much different from the usual – gray. You can use this instruction: how to dilute plaster for walls at home.

This type of concrete can be part of the white concrete, from which the elements of decor – columns, steps, curbs, vases – are made. By adding pigments, you can achieve saturated colors, create original paving tiles or decorative bricks, the same color plaster or contrasting grout for masonry. The possibilities here are not limited. We have a separate article that will teach you how to make vases out of concrete and sand.

As for the physical properties of the mixture, it is fine-grained, and therefore ideal for grouting and adhesives.

Rules for Making Concrete Mixture

If you are going to manually prepare a small amount of white concrete-based mortar at home, here’s how you can do it.

Pour the dry components (concrete, sand, crushed stone – if necessary) into a clean dry container, measuring the minimum volume with a shovel in the right proportions (usually 1:3:3).

Stir everything thoroughly until the mixture becomes homogeneous.

Add a little water and stir again. Little by little, the mixture should come out creamy rather than crumbly, but not too runny. The volume of water in the mortar should not exceed 15%.

Cement mortar should be used before it hardens, which means you should not make it in large batches. If it is needed more than it turned out, you should add the ingredients in the same order and quantity, stir again and again slowly dilute the mixture with water.

Let’s talk about the ingredients in more detail. Ordinary sand is not suitable here, because it has clay impurities – the same ones that give ordinary concrete a gray color. If you want to get white concrete, then as a fine filler is acceptable to use:

quartz sand (0.1-1 mm), purified at the manufacture;

river sand, washed and sifted (0.5-2 mm);

marble flour (0.1-1.5 mm) – the most expensive filler, but the concrete mortar with it will turn out snow-white.

But even using good building materials, the beautiful white color can easily be spoiled by dirty technical water. It must be clean, as well as all the containers with tools: they should not have grease, alkalis or rust, remnants of mortars or construction dust on them.

It is very important to properly store bags of concrete so that it does not get damp – on pallets, preferably so that they do not touch the outside wall.

Tips for working with white concrete

To protect reinforced white concrete from rusting, you need to follow some simple rules:

The iron elements should be buried to a depth of at least 3 cm from the surface.

Reinforcement bars should be treated with anticorrosion before pouring.

Also, they should be covered in advance with a thin layer of concrete mortar and allow to dry.

For colored compositions based on white concrete, there is also an important condition: the pigment concentration in the solution should be no more than five percent. And you should not add more sand than necessary – it dulls the colors.

Categories: Tips

What color landscape rock with red brick house

red brick house

If you have a red brick house, you may be wondering what color of landscape rock would look best with it. There are a few different options that you can choose from, and it really depends on your personal preference.

What color landscape rock is best with a red brick house? 

It depends on the specific shade of red for the brick house, but generally, a neutral colored landscape rock, such as gray or tan, would complement a red brick house well. A darker colored rock, such as black or dark brown, could also be a good option as it would create a nice contrast with the red brick. Ultimately, the best color of landscape rock to use with a red brick house will depend on the overall aesthetic you are trying to achieve, as well as personal preferences.

red brick house

Types of landscape rock that go well with a red brick house 

Some types of landscape rock that can complement a red brick house include:

  • Gray or tan gravel: This neutral color will provide a clean and classic look.
  • Black or dark brown gravel: This darker color will create a nice contrast with the red brick, making it stand out.
  • White or light-colored pebbles: This lighter color will provide a nice contrast with the red brick and can give a modern look.
  • Natural stone pavers: This can add texture and character to the landscape, and can be used to create walkways or patios.
  • Lava rock: This type of rock is often dark red, black or grey and can complement a red brick house.
  • River rock: This type of rock is available in a range of colors, including gray, tan, brown, and even red.

It is worth noting that the final selection will depend on the specific shade of red of the brick and the overall aesthetic you are trying to achieve.

How to choose the right color landscape rock for your red brick house 

When choosing the right color of landscape rock for a red brick house, there are a few things to consider:

  1. Consider the specific shade of red for the brick: Different shades of red brick can have different undertones, such as orange, yellow, or pink. This will affect the colors that complement it best.
  2. Think about the overall aesthetic you want to achieve: Are you going for a classic, modern, or rustic look? This will help determine the color and type of rock that will work best.
  3. Consider the surrounding environment: Think about the color of the surrounding foliage, the color of the roof, and the color of any other structures on the property. This will help you choose a color that will complement the overall look and feel of the property.
  4. Take a sample of the rock: Take a small sample of the rock you are considering to see how it looks next to the brick. This will help you get a better idea of how the color will look in real life.
  5. Keep in mind that you can always experiment with different colors and types of rocks, and adjust as needed.

Ultimately, the right color of landscape rock for a red brick house will depend on your personal preferences, the specific shade of red for the brick, and the overall aesthetic you are trying to achieve.

The benefits of using landscape rock to accent your red brick house 

Using landscape rock to accent a red brick house can offer a number of benefits, including:

  1. Low maintenance: Landscape rocks require very little maintenance, making them a great option for busy homeowners. They do not need to be mowed, watered, or fertilized like a lawn would.
  2. Drainage: Rocks can be useful in directing water away from the foundation of the house, which can help prevent water damage.
  3. Durability: Landscape rocks are long lasting, and can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions.
  4. Variety: There are many different types, colors and sizes of landscape rocks available, which allows for a wide range of design options.
  5. Enhancing the aesthetic: Landscape rocks can be used to create a beautiful and natural-looking landscape that can complement the red brick of the house and enhance its aesthetic.
  6. Cost-effective: Landscape rocks are generally less expensive than other landscaping materials, such as plants and turf.
  7. Easy to install: Landscape rocks are relatively easy to install and can be placed over existing soil or an existing lawn.
  8. Versatility: Landscape rocks can be used in a variety of applications such as walkways, garden beds, driveways, and as a backdrop for plants, flowers and other landscaping.

Overall, landscape rocks can be an excellent choice for accenting a red brick house, and can help to create a beautiful, low-maintenance, and long-lasting landscape.

Categories: Tips

How to choose roof color for red brick house

red brick house

It is best to choose roof color for red brick house and walls at the design stage of the house, so that you can see the compatibility of shades, the harmony of their combination with the surrounding landscape and/or the contrast with nature. It is important not to violate the boundaries of common sense and aesthetics and pick the ideal color combination of the main exterior elements.

In this material we will consider in detail the question of many people interested in what color to make the roof, if the house is built of red brick, as well as the relevance of different shades for the architecture of the country house.

What affects the choice of color combination?

Coloristics in the exterior of the house plays an important role – with certain color combinations can hide minor flaws in the building, to emphasize its aesthetic advantages, reduce or increase insolation, etc.

When choosing colors for the roof and facade must take into account such factors:

  • Visual characteristics. Light shades can visually enlarge the house, if there is such a goal. And it does not have to be white, more often in the exterior use light beige and cream colors (photo 1). However, dark accents in the exterior look more organic than pastel colors. And emphasize the virtues of broken roofs allow contrasting tones.
  • The degree of heat absorption by the roof. Everyone knows that the dark color absorbs heat better. On such a roof, the snow will melt faster and the attic in early spring will warm up faster. On this basis, in northern latitudes is more appropriate to make a dark roof, well, in the south, respectively, a light one.
  • Color fastness. During operation, any coating loses its original color. The most susceptible to burn the rich and bright colors, especially black. However, light colors are also subject to this effect – for example, a white surface will eventually turn yellow. The most practical in this regard is gray.
  • Dependence of color on shapes. Saturated and bright shades can be effectively used only in the exteriors of buildings of simple configuration and without small architectural elements. In other cases, the best way to emphasize the features of the facade is to use light and calm tones.

Brick wall color

In most cases, for the finishing of facades is used brick, the color of which, in one way or another, is associated with nature – light shades of yellow, brown, beige. But this is not a panacea, so it is not uncommon to see even houses made of black cladding material.

Characteristics of some colors:

  • Red walls are the most memorable. Its various shades are successfully used today by manufacturers of roofing materials. But if the facade is lined with red bricks, then the decision about what color it is better to make the roof, should be taken in view of the particular shade of wall material. However, in most cases for the roof used brown materials, less often – dark green and black.
  • White facade – symbolizes purity and prosperity, is neutral, so it combines with almost any shade. Modern designers often use it when decorating the exteriors of small houses, as it is able to visually increase the objects.
  • Gray walls are practical and familiar, but associated with overcast weather. Such facades are the perfect background for bright elements (doors, windows, etc.). If you want to create an exterior in the style of forever young classics, a red roof will be ideal. But, more often than not, the roof is made of a material with a gray derivative shade.
  • Yellow facade (ivory brick) – symbolizes warmth, comfort and hospitality. Most popular in northern latitudes. All the advantages of architectural appearance will emphasize dark red or brown roof.
  • Brown walls create a simple and welcoming image of the building. Not bad combined with a green (but not bright) roof. However, more often the roof is decorated in the tone of the house or lighter shades.
  • Black, purple or blue facade – the choice of bold and confident individuals. More often found in modern architecture with a minimum of architectural elements. The color of the roof is chosen taking into account the shade of the walls.

What should be considered when choosing the color of the roof?

Try walking down the street in the private sector, built up with relatively new houses. What do we see? In most cases it is a violation of the unity of style, color palette of houses, and sometimes – even a combination of colors of the facade and roof of the same building. It is therefore important already at the stage of construction or repair to determine the color palette of materials used for wall cladding and roof arrangement.

Choosing the primary color should also take into account the style of the building, the landscape design of the site. To emphasize all the advantages of a high house with a roof of a complex configuration, it is recommended to build it separately, or on a hill. Also, such buildings should not obscure tall trees. Do not forget to take into account the style and color of the roofs of neighboring buildings.

Color palette of roofing materials

Modern manufacturers produce roofing coatings in a wide range of colors. But the principles of choice always remain the same.

Therefore, let’s consider the main shades used for designing roofs:

  • Red – a bright and beautiful color associated with wealth. Combines well with the facade of similar and softer shades (e.g. orange, sandy). Can be combined with white brick walls. Also perfectly suited to Bavarian masonry.
  • Different shades of green is the most successful solution if the landscape design is dominated by a similar color palette. Often the walls are made of red bricks, and the roof is green. But such shades are best combined with a darker (e.g., brown) and white facade.
  • Various shades of blue and blue – the colorful color of the sky and winter coolness. Perfectly harmonize with gray, white, beige and peach fronts.
  • Gray – associated with cloudy skies and fog. All the advantages of such a roof will emphasize the red and brown facades. Often the walls are decorated in tones with the roof.
  • Brown – the shade of tree bark and dry autumn leaves, so it will fit perfectly into any landscape. This roof color goes well with peach, beige, red brick and ivory walls.

Recommendations for combining different colors

The easiest way to match the shade of the roof under the white, black and gray facades, which are considered universal. Under a variety of transitional shades to pick up a harmonious color is difficult.

The most appropriate look combinations of natural hues – trees (brown), green (leaves, grass), blue (sky), yellow or ivory (sun), etc. But they are not always well combined with each other. For example, a house with green walls and a red roof (the color of classic tulips, which many people are attracted to) will not have a very aesthetic look.

red brick house

Choose the combination of shades carefully

The perception of wall and roof shades is very subjective and depends on many factors (such as light and surface texture). Different people have different associations with the same color. Therefore, do not rely entirely on the opinion of experts and too trusting of all the newfangled names of colors (golden sand, Sicilian orange, fuchsia) – it’s just a commercial move to attract customers. Trust only your eyes and preferences.

Excellent solution for choosing coloristic concepts will be the use of special computer programs that allow you to try on different colors of the facade and roof on a particular house pattern. Such software on the network a lot, and there are also specialized online resources.

If you do not really trust your own artistic imagination, you can entrust the choice of compatible colors to professional designers.

Some useful tips for choosing shades

Quickly and without too many problems, you can find compatible shades with the help of classic combination schemes:

  • Dark top, light bottom and contrasting details – a traditional combination that both looks rich and always remains in fashion. The special charm of such buildings give contrasting details – windows, doors, plinth and architectural elements.
  • Light top and dark bottom – a combination for experimenters. Such combinations are not always appropriate, but with the right coloristic concept can originally transform the exterior of the house.
  • Tone-in-tone – the roof and walls are made in the same color or with a slight difference in shade. This provides a building monolithic and harmonious, but a little dull in appearance.

We hope that in our material you have found an answer to the question of what color to make the roof, if the house is lined with white, brown, red brick or any other. Adhere to our recommendations, and you’re sure to pick the perfect coloristic concept for the design of the facade and roof of your home.

Categories: Tips

How to clean granite bathroom countertops

bathroom countertop

Granite is a popular material for bathroom countertops because of its beauty and durability. However, granite is also a porous material, which means it can absorb spills and dirt. That’s why it’s important to clean your granite countertops regularly.

General Care

Granite consists mostly of silicates: quartz, feldspar, and mica, and because of this, it shows colorful specks and sparkling veins. This colorfulness makes granite interesting for kitchens and baths. It is one of the most durable stones used for interior finishes. Granite is resistant to heat, water and is not easily scratched or destroyed by acids in the kitchen. In addition, granite has antibacterial properties.

Still, it makes sense to protect the surface of the granite to make it last longer. Produce a special sealer, which seals the surface of the granite and protects it from stains. This product should be designed specifically for the kitchen, so that no toxic substances are formed when the treated surface interacts with food products.

You can also use the following tips:

  • Always use glass coasters, especially those with alcoholic beverages or citrus juices, and don’t forget the coasters for hot dishes.
  • Don’t place any messy substances such as cooking oil, cosmetics and oil-based creams directly on the granite countertop surface.
  • Protect granite floors from abrasives, sand and dirt. Wipe off dust with a dry mop more often.
  • Minimize floor contamination by placing mats near the front door – inside and out.
  • When using a vacuum cleaner to clean your granite floor, make sure the attachments and wheels are in top-notch shape, as worn equipment can scratch granite.
  • Do not leave puddles of spilled liquids on the granite. Immediately blot, without rubbing, with a paper towel (the puddle gets wider when wiped). Wash the puddle with a mixture of water and mild dishwashing soap; repeat several times. Wipe dry with a soft cloth. Repeat as needed.
  • Avoid harsh cleaners. Granite may contain small amounts of minerals that are sensitive to acid, so do not use cleaners that contain lemon, vinegar, or other acids. Do not use abrasive powders or abrasive creams designed to remove rust. Stay away from ammonia, bleach, and cleaners that contain solvents or caustics, which can remove the protective sealant from granite.

Safe cleaning solutions for granite

Granite work surfaces should be cleaned daily simply with a damp cloth or a damp cloth with a small amount of mild dishwashing liquid added, then wiped dry with a microfiber towel. For deeper cleaning, fill an aerosol sprayer with equal parts alcohol and water. This mixture gives the granite surface a nice shine.

You can use a commercially available cleaner for stone surfaces. Prepared spray safely cleans granite countertops, floors, walls and shower stalls.

Most importantly, granite surfaces should be cleaned with a soft cotton cloth or mop with a clean rag and use neutral cleaners, mild liquid dishwashing detergents or ready-made cleaners designed specifically for granite. After cleaning with a soapy solution, rinse the surface with water and wipe dry with a soft cloth to remove water stains and streaks.

Removing Stains from Granite Surfaces

Although granite surfaces don’t get dirty, stains can still form on them, especially in areas where food is cooked or in the bathroom and shower. Common stains are oily or organic. An oil stain will cause the stone to darken. Try washing such a stain with a liquid detergent and bleach. Organic stains (coffee, tea, tobacco, and various foods) can be pinkish-brown. Try removing the stain with hydrogen peroxide. If necessary, use only wooden or plastic scrapers. If you have to use ammonia or acetone, the sealer may break down and you will have to re-coat the granite with sealer.

How do you keep your granite shiny?

If you have matte granite, using special granite shine products or polish is the best way to keep your granite countertops shiny.  There are recipes online that use small amounts of vegetable oil to treat granite surfaces, but we don’t recommend it.  Using a specialized polishing agent every two to three weeks will keep your granite countertops clean and looking like new.

What can not be used in the care of the surface of granite, so that then do not eliminate the unpleasant consequences?

Do not use acidic, alkaline or aggressive cleaners to clean granite.  Beware of common household products such as nail polish remover, glass cleaner and bleach. All of these products should never be used when cleaning or disinfecting granite countertops, as these substances can weaken the sealant of the granite surface.

What kind of stains can be on granite?

Granite is a low-maintenance countertop material.  Granite is a very durable stone that is resistant to scratches, cracks and chips.  Unfortunately, these countertops are not 100% stain resistant.

There are two types of stains that appear on granite surfaces: organic stains and oil-based stains.  Organic stains are caused by spilled coffee, tea, wine, fruit juice or groceries.  Oil-based stains caused by nail polish, cosmetics or vegetable oil.  Fortunately, these stains won’t ruin granite countertops, and they are easy to remove.

bathroom countertop

How do I remove a stain from granite?

As with cleaning granite, there is a remedy for removing stains from granite at home that does not require the purchase of additional products.  Make a paste of baking soda and water.  Use the paste to clean the granite surface using a soft-bristle brush, sponge or washcloth.  For stubborn stains, you may have to repeat the procedure a second time.

Steps for removing stains from granite

Step 1:

Apply a granite cleaner or baking soda and water paste. Leave it on for a few minutes or until completely dry.

Step 2:

Rub gently with a soft-bristle brush or sponge.

Step 3:

Rinse with warm water and wipe with a microfiber cloth.

Good granite cleaners and disinfectants: antibacterial soap, isopropyl alcohol, special granite cleaners

Bad granite cleaners and disinfectants: acidic cleaners (such as vinegar), harsh cleaners (such as Clorox Bleach, Windex and Lysol), alkaline cleaners (such as sodium hydroxide).

Categories: Bathroom Tips