Set the Mood: Tips on Bathroom Lighting

    Lighting a Bathroom can be tricky and interesting at the same time. However, here are some aspects one needs to be particular about:

1) Ensuring the vanity area has focused lighting

2) Ensuring that the mix of lights used, cut out shadows.

Here are the kinds of lights that can be used in the Vanity area:  

Bathroom Strip Lights

  • Strip lights:These fixtures are great for vanity lighting as they reduce shadows and help you shave or apply makeup with precision. You get them in the form of globes, and focused cup lights. These can be placed on top of, or to the left or the right of the mirror.

Wall lighting

  • Wall lights:These come in the form of decorative brackets and sconces, and are great for accenting and complementing overhead lights. These can also be installed beside mirrors to further reduce shadows.

Where should I place my vanity lighting?

    Since vanity lights are important for reducing facial shadows, they should be mounted on the sides of the mirror, roughly 30-40 inches apart with the center of each bulb at eye level, or approximately 66 inches above the floor.

Bathroom Controlled Lighting

What type of light bulb should I install in the lights on my bathroom wall?

    If you’re looking for crisp, white light, you should go for a halogen bulb. These last longer and provide better lighting than their incandescent counterparts.

You could also consider a fluorescent bulb with dimmers to conserve energy and set a mood.

Shower Lights

 

What kind of lights should I go for, in the shower area?

    If you are looking at lighting the shower area, you should consider recessed lighting, with a water resistant trim. Else, if your shower panel is separated by a smoked glass wall, you could also look at installing a flat light fixture overhead, in the water cabinet area. This would let diffused light pass and set the mood while lazing in the tub or taking a quick shower.

Check out our latest bathroom lighting products at BuildingBlox.in.

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Glass isn’t Just a Sleek and Stylish Material. It Has Many Uses.

    When people refer to glass, they are generally thinking about the sleek and sophisticated material that offers unparalleled style. However, there are many varieties of the same and very many uses, good to keep in mind when deciding on what to look for in your project. Some of them are listed below:

Flat Glass

Flat glass

    This glass is chiefly used in windows, mirrors, room dividers, and furniture. This variety is made in the form of flat sheets. There are a few exceptions though, such as the glass used in automobile windshields is reheated and curved over moulds.

Fiberglass furniture

Fiberglass 

    Fiber glass consists of fine, solid rods of glass. Each rod is usually less than one-twentieth the width of a human hair. These tiny glass fibres are loosely entwined to serve as heat insulators. Fiberglass has many other uses. It is used for electrical insulation, chemical filtration, and fire-fighters’ suits. When combined with plastics, fibreglass can also be used for making Airplane wings and bodies, and automobile bodies. Since Fibreglass is fire and heat resistant, and is washable, it is also used as curtains.

laminated Glass

Laminated safety glass

    Laminated safety glass is used where broken glass might cause serious injuries, as in automobile windshields. It is a “sandwich” made by combining alternate layers of flat glass and plastics. The outer glass layer may crack but the inner layer of plastic, which is elastic, stretches, and holds the broken pieces of glass together.

Tempered Safety Glass

Tempered safety glass:

    Tempered glass is several times stronger than regular glass. But unlike laminated glass, it is a single piece that is given special heat treatment. It is used widely for all-glass doors in stores, side and rear windows of automobiles, and other special purposes. It’s extremely hard to break, but when it does, it collapses into small, dull-edged fragments.

Coloured Glass

Colored structural glass

    Colored structural glass is used in building facades and for interior walls, partitions, and table-tops.

Foam glass

    Foam Glass is widely used as a heat insulator in buildings, on steam pipes, and on chemical equipment, and is extremely light. It can be cut into various shapes with a straw. In fact, when the glass is cut, it looks like a black honey comb filled with tiny cells of gas, which are separated from each other by thin glass walls.

Glass Block

Glass building blocks

    These are made from two hollow half-sections sealed together at a high temperature. Glass building blocks are good insulators as they contain dead-air space inside. The blocks are laid like bricks to make walls and other structures.

Photochromic glass windows

Photochromic glass

    Photochromic Glass is used in windows and sun glasses, as it darkens when exposed to ultraviolet rays and appears clear otherwise.

Curved glass

Curved glass

    Curved glass is among the growing glass trends across the globe, adding movement and dimension to traditionally static structures. This rise is due in part to advances in curved glass production, which have introduced efficient and inexpensive systems to handle what was traditionally a costly and difficult process. Modern adjustable glass ovens eliminate the need for molds while increasing the degree of glass flexion and expanding the design possibilities.

Double Glazzed Unit

The Double glazed unit

    Double glazed windows consist of two layers of glass with a layer of inert gas sealed between them. This creates nearly twice the insulation as single glazed units. Once sealed, the unit becomes airtight. This kind of glass comprises of seven components:

  1. A Spacer Bar – a frame that separates the two panels of glass, creating a cavity. The spacer bar can be aluminum or warm-edge.
  2. Desiccant – a silicon material used in the spacer bar to dry up moisture trapped within the cavity
  3. A primary seal – the main barrier to air or moisture migration into the double glazed unit (DGU)
  4. The glass – clear, solar control, Low E, self-cleaning, acoustic, toughened, laminated or a combination
  5. The secondary seal – the main structural adhesive around the outside edge of the unit, holding all the elements together
  6. The cavity – the void formed between the component parts
  7. The gas filling the cavity – dehydrated air, argon, krypton or xenon.

    Glass, as you can see, serves a number of purposes, and hence it is vital that the right kind of glass is used at the right places.

Take a look at Glass products we have.

Things to keep in Mind While Waterproofing your Washroom

    Washrooms are one of the most important parts of every construction project. They are no longer those secluded parts in the corner of the house, but instead are used as areas of leisure and relaxation. And it is quite obvious that bathrooms are the most prone to moisture related mishaps so special attention must be paid to waterproofing it appropriately. Here are some things to keep in mind as you supervise the waterproofing of your bathroom.

Bathroom Flooring

Flooring:

    Use antiskid tiles on the floor. It is always a good idea to use wide grout lines between the tiles and seal the grout lines annually, so that water doesn’t seep through them. Another important aspect of bathroom flooring is the uninterrupted slope towards the drain so that water doesn’t accumulate in pockets.

Bathroom Walls

Walls:

    The wall behind the shower panel, the part under the sink and the area behind the water closet, are most prone to mold and mildew, it is therefore a good idea to use tiles on the washroom walls as well. Use the Dr. Fixit Bathseal kit to protect your walls, floor, and sanitation areas.

Bathroom Ceiling

Ceiling:

    Ensure that your washroom ceiling is coated with waterproof paint so that it doesn’t absorb moisture.
Always ensure that there is enough ventilation and an exhaust fan in the bathroom so that moisture doesn’t stay. Also ensure that the joints in the plumbing and faucets are sealed properly; and, we repeat, the slopes on the floor direct the water straight to the drain.

    In fact, they Waterproofing is an extremely essential part of every construction project as the lack of it, or inadequacy of the same, can cause moulds to fester, seepage, and ultimately weaken the walls.

    Different types of waterproofing materials are used in the building industry. In order to obtain satisfactory performance, it is essential to apply the water-proofing treatment prior to laying the tiles and special care has to be taken to carefully preparing the building sub-surface so that it can receive the treatment as recommended.

    It is essential to ensure the water-tightness of the structures so that the flow of water from inside the structure to outside (in case of swimming pools), and the infiltration of water from the surrounding soil into the structure are effectively prevented.

    Have a look at our growing database of waterproofing products and have a look at some amazing bathroom images on our pinterest page to inspire you to start designing your dream bathroom today.

 

Smarten Your Home

    In recent years Home Automation has made inroads into the Indian marketplace and users are slowly but surely investing in this technology for their homes. There are questions about how useful this technology can be and what the advantages for an average home owner really are. Here’s some food for thought as you contemplate automating your house.

1]   SECURITY: The biggest advantage of an automation device is added security, monitor your home from anywhere, keep your home secure using automated locking systems, reduce chances of fires and electrical malfunctions by tracking your appliances and lights.

2]   SAVE MONEY: Make sure no lights are left on, keep your air conditioners at optimum temperatures using automated thermostats, use dimmers to create mood lighting and save energy, monitor your energy consumption from anywhere and reduce your electricity bills.

3]   ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: By reducing energy consumption you are also helping the environment.

4]   ONE LESS THING TO PLAN: Having all the controls of your home on your phone makes it easier to take off for those impromptu vacations and substantially reduces the hassle of having to plan beforehand.

    Much of these home automation systems are actually already in use. In fact, the concept of universal remotes which control all media devices in the house is pretty old now. The next level of automation steps in with products like Google Nest, where your car communicates with the thermostat in the house and tells it that you are approaching and need the temperature at a certain level. The LED sensors know when you enter a room; the cameras alert you as soon as they spot a face they cannot identify, near your house, and all media devices synch with each other. Thus by adding artificial intelligence to home automation Google hopes to usher in the era of the ‘internet of things’ and ‘thinking homes’, but we’ll have to wait a few years for that to make it to our homes.

Learn more about Google Nest

    In India, companies like Honeywell, Legrand, Advantech, Lutron, Crestron, Siemens Building Technologies, Schneider Electric and Johnson Controls are the big Indian players in the home automation industry, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 30% between 2011 years to 2016. This goes to show that there is a huge demand for this segment in our country, and there are a whole range of cool products coming up, to make life simpler for us all.

    We at BuildingBlox are working on creating a comprehensive data base of products and services available in this ever expanding and innovative field, so keep checking this space for your home automation needs.

Work smart with BuildingBlox

Anyone involved in the construction business, or working on a project, would understand the importance of collaboration, planning, finding the right materials and verifying quotes.

What if you got it all with the click of a button, on one platform? Well, that’s what we at BuildingBlox.in are working towards. As the building industry moves into the era of cloud computing there is huge potential to improve our project planning processes. Whether it be product discovery or virtual collaborations with professionals, technology has opened up possibilities for a much more efficient and well-coordinated design process.

There is no need for architects to stock samples in their offices or to go out and spend hours on material sourcing. With our platform they can shortlist the products that they like and very quickly access information about such products. Similarly users can find service providers, view their portfolio and connect with them with a few clicks.

By placing these elements onto one platform we are creating a tool for professionals and end users to connect these dots and create a more transparent process of designing which will not only save time and costs but also allow sharing of knowledge and faster absorption of innovation in a rapidly transforming industry.

We hope you find the idea interesting and that you will share your valuable feedback and insights with us so that we can mould this platform into a truly groundbreaking tool. With this in mind we would love for you to join us and invite others from your network to do the same.

Interesting Facts About Energy Saving LED Bulbs

Most people identify LED from their size and color; but here are some core differences between a regular incandescent light and an LED:

An incandescent light bulb is a simple device with a tungsten filament which consistently produces light with the same characteristics. Whereas LEDs produce light through the use of a semi-conductor that emits light energy when an electrical current is passed through it. LED lights get their color from a phosphorus coating, which needs to be applied consistently during manufacturing; else it ends up producing different shades of color. Also, LEDs should not emit a lot of heat, as incandescent bulbs do; else it loses its efficiency dramatically.

Led lights for home

Below is a list of 5 things to look for before buying an LED light to insure a beautiful and consistent color, long life, and maximum efficiency.

  • What is the CRI (Color Rendering Index) of the LED light?  

Each bulb is given a CRI score. CRI stands for color Rendering Index and is a measure of the ability of a light source to accurately represent different colors. Put simply, you want to make sure you get a bulb that makes your tomatoes look red, rather than a strange orangey color. Traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs are near perfect and score in the high 90s. LEDs and CFLs are a little behind this and are more likely to have a CRI value in the mid-80s. 80 is considered an acceptable level, although like many things it comes down to personal preference.

  • Do the LED Lights Produce Consistent Color?

The circuitry of the LED should continually measure and adjust the output of the light to insure it is consistent in color temperature from fixture to fixture and over time as well.  Ask your LED salesperson if the LED lights you are buying will be consistent in color temperature.

  • Direction of Light: Will the LED Light Shine Light Where I Need It?  

An LED is a small semiconductor chip, which by nature only emits light in one direction.  LED manufacturers then place a lens on top of the LED to either narrow or widen this light. Unlike an incandescent lamp, most LED lights come with a specified beam spread.  Whether you need a 10° spot light, a 60° flood light.

  • Does the LED have an Effective Thermal Management System?  

The LED fixture should be designed to effectively pull the heat away from the LED.  Many people think LEDs do not produce any heat.  This is not true.  They do produce a small amount of heat, but at the small junction on the LED surface where the light is being produced, the heat is intense.  A well manufactured LED light using LEDs of .5 watts or more will have a piece of metal with fins for cooling as part of the fixture.

  • Find out if the LED has a dimmer.

led bulbs

Points to keep in mind when reading a label:

  • LEDs are measured in lumens and not watts, higher the lumens higher the brightness.
  • Life of the LED measured according to an average of 3 hours per day
  • Light appearance: Warm/Soft White colors (at or around 2700 Kelvin) have a lower color temperature and an inviting, comfortable and relaxing atmosphere similar to the light from an incandescent bulb. Cool/Daylight bulbs (closer to the max of 6500 Kelvin) create a bright, clean and lively mood with a bluish tone.
  • Make sure you buy a bulb which has the best shape and fitting to replace your existing lights (carry an old light bulb with you to the store).
  • Check the CRI value

Hope you understand LEDs better now and make a knowledgeable decision on which ones would suit your project.

Take a look at the LED Lights at BuildingBlox.in

Getting that Vintage Wooden Flooring Right.

Let’s face it; we all love the look and feel of a nice wooden floor. But wooden flooring is not only expensive, a number of precautions need to be taken while laying it. It needs to be laid out on a completely dust & moisture free base and is also a tad bit difficult to maintain.

We aren’t dissuading you from getting it installed but just wish to make you aware of some steps you should observe before the planks are tiled.

Wooden Flooring Room

Where should you ideally install a wooden floor?

  • Avoid areas that could be prone to seepage and termites. For this one would have to ensure that the foundation is termite proofed and the plumbing is proper. Else the floor would get spoiled.
  • Avoid using wooden flooring in the basement, as waterproofing in basements is often an issue.
  • Any area which is exposed to heat or extreme weather conditions should also be avoided. So getting a backyard deck, with wooden flooring, may not be a good idea.

However, wooden flooring in the living room/ bed rooms/ offices does add a lot of vintage charm to the house/office. Here are some steps you could follow while installing the same:

With dry concrete and the right sub-floors and vapor retarders, solid hardwood floors can be installed on slabs that are either at ground level or above ground level. If you insist on wooden flooring in the basement, you could use engineered wood floors made of layers of wood glued together.

Protect the Flooring

Ensure that the building is completely enclosed and the windows and doors are installed, before the floor is placed. In fact all concrete, masonry and sheet-rock should be completely dry. In warm weather, the building should be well ventilated

Dry Slab

The concrete on which the sub floor will be placed should be dry. In fact, wooden flooring should not be laid over concrete that is less than 60 days old.

Testing for dryness, starts 30 days after the concrete has been laid. By now, you would have realized that determining moisture content of both the wood flooring and the sub-floor is an important part of quality control in the flooring installation process. Detailed qualitative and quantitative testing methods are provided by the National Wood Flooring Association.

Living Room Wooden Flooring

The Concrete 

The concrete floor should be flat and should have a trowel finish, free of grease, oil, stains and dust. So you’d need to grind off any high spots and fill any low spots.

Vapor Retarder

Layers of asphalt felt with asphalt mastic or 6 mil polyethylene sheathing could be used as vapor retarders on top of the concrete, to ensure that if any moisture enters the concrete, the wooden flooring is not impacted by it.

Sub-floors

Solid hardwood floor planks are usually nailed on the sub floor; hence it is extremely important that the quality of the sub-floor is maintained.

Once the sub-floor is installed, the hard wood planks are nailed onto it. Making the flooring secure.

Acclimation

Flooring is considered acclimated when the moisture difference between the wood and the subfloor material is within 4% for flooring less than 3” in width. For any flooring 3” or wider the difference should be within 2% mc. Without a proper moisture meter, you cannot determine if the flooring has been properly acclimated.

Maintenance: 

Avoid using water/ oil based products to clean the floor. Use a vacuum cleaner preferably, to suck any dust that may have gotten stuck in the crevices between the tiles.

Ensure that the room with the wooden flooring isn’t exposed to moisture. Use dehumidifiers if the humidity levels increase.

Use small mats near outside doors to prevent the dirt getting further into your house.

Take a look at the hard wood flooring on BuildingBlox.in: http://ow.ly/N4OUs