tankless water heater on wall

Our BEST Tankless Water Heater Reviews (for 2019)

The Best Tankless Water Heater Reviews for 2019

Today we are turning our attention to your hot water needs, and bringing you tankless water heater reviews of what we believe are the best products on the market.

Maybe you’ve heard how much more convenient and economical these products can be.

Maybe you’re intrigued by the fact that they heat water only when you need it, eliminating the need for a large and cumbersome tank.

Maybe you want to be more Eco-friendly and have chosen to invest in the best tankless water heater as a way to lower your costs and help the environment in the process.

Or, maybe your old heater just sprung a leak for the umpteenth time and you’ve had just about enough of this nonsense.

Whatever the reason, we’re here to help you choose an appliance that suits you.

Below you will find reviews of the best electric and gas-powered tankless water heaters, divided into two groups.

The first one features bigger and more powerful units capable of meeting the demands of large households or small office buildings.

In the second we showcase more affordable, but nevertheless viable units that you can use to adequately supply smaller homes or apartments.

We’ve also outlined some key factors you should consider before purchasing anything.

These will help you determine what product will get you the most bang for your buck while being suitable both to your climate and living conditions.

Following this guide will streamline your decision making and help you understand exactly what you are buying.


Name Type Suitability Max. Temperature (F) Rating Price
Tempra 29 Plus Electric Indoor 140 4.7 $$$
Ecosmart ECO 27 Electric Indoor 140 4.4 $$
Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG Natural Gas Indoor 140 4.2 $$
Ecosmart ECO 18 Electric Indoor 140 4.2 $$
Rheem RTG-64XLN Natural Gas Outdoor 140 4.2 $$$
EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Indoor 140 4.3 $$
Eccotemp L5 Liquid Propane Outdoor 140 4.3 $
Rheem RTE 13 Electric Indoor 125 4.2 $$
Eccotemp L10 Liquid Propane Outdoor 140 4.1 $$
Rheem RTE 9 Electric Indoor 125 3.9 $$


Tankless Water Heaters: Our Picks

1. Stiebel Eltron Tempra 29 PlusStiebel Eltron Tempra 29 Plus

Stiebel Eltron is a long established European brand that has been making a foray into the US market in recent years as well. Their newest model, the Tempra 29 Plus is a strong contender in the market today.

Many professional reviewers and satisfied customers alike consider it to be a top quality tankless water heater. Let’s take a look and see what exactly makes it so.

The first thing that pleasantly surprised us was its advanced temperature control system. Regardless of the amount of water you use, the Tempra is sure to deliver a constant flow on demand.

Since it is tankless, there is no loss of energy due to water having to be stored in the product itself. This also makes it much more practical, enabling installation closer to points that draw off the water and ensures minimal energy expenditure in order to get it there.

The product comes in various sizes depending on your household’s needs and the climate you live in. Therefore be sure to get the model that is best suited to your daily requirements.

Speaking of which, the Tempra 29 plus tankless water heater delivers up to 8GPM for up to 6 heating elements. Its heater is engineered to provide you with water at the precise temperature you currently desire in less than a minute.

The built-in thermostat is very precise, having been outfitted with an Advanced Microprocessor technology, ensuring that with the turn of its knob you will actually get the kind of temperature you had in mind. This ranges from 86 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit which does not fluctuate regardless of volume.

Another beneficial feature is that this product doesn’t need to be vented to the outside. Installation can therefore be carried out more cheaply and efficiently.

Unlike conventional gas heaters where a sizeable percentage of energy can be lost due to heat dissipation that occurs through pipes, the Tempra’s design makes for an almost complete transfer of electric energy into heat.

Since there are no other factors to consider, such as the outdoor environment or having to ensure an optimal air to gas mixture, no heat is lost in this process.

Stiebel Eltron offer a generous seven year warranty, provided the product was installed by a licensed technician. During the whole period leakages that might occur are covered, and there is also a shorter three year period that covers possible workmanship defects.

While you have to ensure that your electrical service has a minimum of 200 AMP and the installation costs might prove to be substantial, the Tempra 29 Plus could be one of the best investments you make in the long run.

Its superb craftsmanship as well as its potential to save you a lot of money on electrical bills down the road make it the best choice for a more efficient and greener household.

2. Ecosmart ECO 27Ecosmart ECO 27

Another tankless water heater to consider when supplying your house with on demand hot water is the ECO 27 manufactured by Ecosmart. The premise is similar – in this product you have a very energy efficient system that adapts itself to most climates and can be used both for domestic hot water and for operating a whole baseboard system.

The ECO 27‘s most striking feature is its ability to operate in very cold climates. Water that reaches into the thirties can be heated up to as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit at a flow rate of 2.7 GPM.

At temperatures as low as that, the amount of water that can be heated up in a pinch is naturally somewhat lower than usual, but definitely enough for a shower or other smaller needs.

The flow does seem to fluctuate a bit in the first minute, but after that there have been no other problems reported.

It’s other major selling point is the unit’s energy efficiency – the manufacturer claims that by using it, costs associated with heating can be cut by up to 60 percent.

The entire system is of a sound build and is compact due to the fact that it does not require a tank. The unit comes with replaceable elements that can be interchanged with ease, making potential repairs a less painful experience.

It’s design is sleek and functional – a digital display above its knob makes all the information and settings readily available.

Customers will be pleased to know that the ECO 27 comes with a lifetime warranty applicable to the United States and Canada. There are some reasonable limitations however.

One is that the warranty only covers parts, meaning you’ll have to pay for labor yourself. The other is that in order for the warranty to be honored, the installation of the water heater as well as all repairs need to be conducted by a licensed professional.

Judging by some Amazon customer reviews and our personal experience, the time it takes for hot water to actually arrive at the designated tap is somewhat prolonged. When it does arrive however, expect the temperature to be constant and the flow to be uninterrupted.

As with the other water heater above, the installation process can become quite tedious as well.

Setting up a product like this requires both plumbing and electrical work to be done, increasing the initial costs and increasing the time before real savings can be felt in the household.

As with most of its competitors, the ECO 27 requires a strong electric service, 240 volts to be exact, meaning that some households might need to upgrade in order to accommodate it.

Finally, the Ecosmart ECO 27 seems to be the best choice for people who need a steady and reliable source of hot water even in unforgiving climates. It does have a few shortcomings, but its adaptability and energy saving features more than make up for this, making the ECO 27 a viable purchase.

3. Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG

The market wouldn’t be what it is today if not for Takagi, a Japanese manufacturer that was the first to introduce the tankless heater to American consumers.

The T-KJr2-IN-NG is one of the smaller units on our list, but its features and performance more than make up for its lack of size, making it one of the best choices if you wanted a gas tankless water heater.

It’s performance is that of an equivalent 40-gallon tank type water heater, but without the added hassle of having to heat an actual tank and with the accessibility a much smaller size can bring.

It’s best and most important feature is an uninterrupted supply achieved in part by the company’s implementation of an air-fuel ratio sensor which actively checks for and can help reduce hazardous emissions.

This is also a very safe system – in the event of too much hot water its sensors turn it off and prevent the unit from overheating.

Built-in DIP switches assure that you can adjust the unit to almost any climate type with ease. Added to that are protection from electrical surges as well as freeze protection and a step-by-step troubleshooting guide which should help to resolve most common issues.

Its longevity is nothing to scoff at as well – with proper use the The T-KJr2-IN-NG can work for more than a decade without any problems.

The T-KJr2-IN-NG is gas-powered, requiring no electricity to operate. Its gas input ranges between 19500 and 140,000 BTU/h, with a flow rate of 6.6 GPM. As with other gas-powered models, this one requires outdoor venting to be provided.

The installation process is straightforward enough, and although it comes with a simple step-by-step guide, be sure to have the installation performed by a licensed technician so as not to void the warranty.

Attempts at DIY can cause an installation to be faulty, so use of better judgement is encouraged.

Although customer reviews suggest that this water heater is ideal for smaller households, some disadvantages are apparent as well. On one hand, insisting on a professional installation can hurt your budget in addition to purchasing the heater itself.

What’s more, due to the fact that gas poses a serious fire hazard when used in proximity with electrical equipment, it can not run at the same time as other household appliances, making the additional time management something of a chore.

In the end, if you are on the fence on whether to exchange your old and leaky water heater for a new tankless one, the The T-KJr2-IN-NG is a solid choice. Its small size and wide availability make it one of our best choices for this year.

4. Ecosmart ECO 18

Ecosmart ECO 18Another one of Ecosmart’s tankless water heaters, the ECO 18 is somewhat smaller and a bit less capable than its big brother, the ECO 27, but it is still one of the best options to consider if your day-to-day requirements are somewhat smaller than what its bigger counterpart can supply.

What makes this model stand out is that it only needs an activation flow of 0.25 GPM which is less than most competitors. The flow as well as the current temperature are measured with a set of sensors that help to ensure a consistent temperature and quantity.

The ECO 18 might not be the best choice for colder climates where water can dip below the 40 Fahrenheit mark, but in temperate climates it manages to output a continuous stream without much fuss at a flow rate of about 2.5 GPM.

Ecosmart prides itself in engineering energy-efficient products that save their buyers money in the long run. It is no different with this model of which the company claims that it can cut down on costs by up to 60 percent.

Due to its build, the ECO 18 is not suitable to be installed in outdoor areas susceptible to rapid temperature changes or increases in humidity. It is content however to find its place inside apartments and smaller houses where it will be able to satisfy demand both in the bathroom and the kitchen, so depending on your requirements, this could be the best choice.

Temperature adjustments are easy and precise due to the built-in digital display and responsive knob.

You can install the heater yourself since its instruction manual explains the whole process in an easy to understand manner. As with each tankless water heater we’ve mentioned before, this leads to the warranty being void, so consider that before committing to doing anything yourself, especially since it comes with a life-time warranty.

Installation of the ECO 18 requires an electrical service of at least 150 amps, but it does not need venting to the outside.

At the end of the day, the ECO 18 is a unit that might fall short of some buyers’ expectations, but will be perfect for customers that want a small yet capable device that gets the job done in a cost-effective and clean manner.

Its low flow requirements ensure that it will work in apartments and houses with plumbing that might not be optimal, and its compact size will make it blend into such environments seamlessly.

5. Rheem RTG-64XLN

Rheem RTG-64XLNGoing tankless is a new experience for most people, and a gas-powered unit is just the thing to start you off.

Enter Rheem’s RTG-64XLN, a robust outdoor water heater capable of supplying you with hot water even in somewhat harsh environments. Temperature adjustments are easy to accomplish either manually or by use of a remote control.

Its water flow rate can reach 6.4 GPM in warmer climates, which is more than enough if you plan on operating more than one shower and sink simultaneously. Depending on the season and outdoor conditions, the flow can sink to as low as 3 GPM, which is still enough to supply you with ample hot water for the time being.

The minimum flow rate requirement for the unit to function properly is 0.26 GPM, meaning that it can perform its job adequately even in homes with older plumbing.

With a weight of 54 pounds, it can easily be positioned anywhere outside that you see fit.

The RTG-64XLN ‘s power requirements are about 150,000 BTUs, and its energy efficiency of 0.82 makes it competitive among similar products available today.

Even though it is a methane unit, one of the RTG-64XLN’s advantages is its “low NOx” function, a special feature that reduces the requirement for venting, saving you money on expensive steel equipment where a cheaper PVC equivalent will suffice.

Nevertheless, this unit needs to be installed outdoors as fume build-up is a real possibility and can potentially cause health risks. Installation is straightforward however, and Rheem makes it even easier for you by throwing in some extras, like temperature wire.

It might not be the best choice nor powerful enough to satisfy the needs of a larger household or that of a commercial building, but this unit is nevertheless a good choice for customers with more modest needs.

Its output does not fluctuate and the time it takes for water to reach your taps is satisfactory. Add to that its low emissions, and the RTG-64XLN becomes a hot water heater you should seriously consider when browsing for your next purchase. It does very well in our list of tankless water heater reviews and can still be the one of the best options to consider depending on your requirements.

The Best Affordable Models to Consider

1. The EcoSmart ECO 11 Tankless Water Heater

The EcoSmart ECO 11 Tankless Water HeaterWhat can we say, Ecosmart makes high quality products, hence three of them have found themselves on our list. The last one, and in our opinion, one of the best products within its price range is the ECO 11, a smaller more affordable variant of the aforementioned ECO units.

It’s size doesn’t diminish its performance however – the ECO 11 comes with most of the features we’ve come to expect from the more expensive models – a sturdy build, Ecosmart’s own energy efficient technology, a life-time warranty with conditions that are easy to uphold, and with a digital readout that makes controlling the unit simple and intuitive.

Its small size and light construction make the ECO 11 perfect for indoor use. This also makes it portable should the need to switch its location arise. It works best with water where temperatures don’t drop below 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

It can heat about 2 gallons of water in under a minute, supplying your bathroom or kitchen sink with enough water for quick daily tasks at a rate of 1.5GPM.

Thanks to its built-in self-modulating technology, the water this heater produces will always be at the exact temperature that you specify via its knob, which enables you to set how warm the water will be in increments of 1 degree.

The way in which it is constructed allows for heat exchangers to ensure that 99.8 percent of the energy used to power the unit is actually converted into useful heat.

You can install the unit in no time and it only needs a power source of 60 watts to function properly. As with other Ecosmart tankless water heaters, consider having it installed by a professional.

Alas, the ECO 11 does suffer from some drawbacks.

For starters, it is designed for separate cold and hot water lines, meaning that you can’t start using it as if your home has only one water line. Instead, a restrictor will have to be set up first for the device to function properly.

Apart from that, its small size means that not much volume can be produced in a short amount of time. It is recommended that it be used in conjunction with an existing heating system in larger houses.

In spite of all this, the ECO 11 is a smart, reasonably priced solution for a smaller household which doesn’t require that much hot water to be available at any given time.

If one takes this into consideration, the unit does what it’s supposed to adequately, providing you with water and savings at the same time.

2. Eccotemp L5

Eccotemp L5Many smaller-sized units feature portability as one of their prime strong suits. If that alone doesn’t satisfy you however, and you’d like your water heater to come with a shower head, the L5 from Eccotemp has got you covered.

With a capacity to deliver up to 1.4 gallons of hot water to its shower, the L5 should be able to handle most of your outdoor hot water needs. It uses propane as its power source, ensuring that the water will heat up quicker than it would in an electric model of similar size.

The propane consumption clocks in at 37,500 BTU. Its built-in regulator ensures that the heater provides uninterrupted hot water as long as there is propane, and that can reach up to 18 hours if connected to a 20 gallon gas tank.

  • To ensure safe operation, there is also a shut-off timer which shuts the gas off after 20 minutes of uninterrupted use have passed.
  • Pressure of 20 psi or higher is required for the unit to operate properly.
  • The supplied water can then be heated constantly from 80 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, adjustable by a standard knob.

The L5 also comes with some welcome attachments. Included are a 1/2″ NPT to garden hose adapter, a shower nozzle that can be turned on and off via a switch, and a hardware pack.

Despite it being marketed as an outdoor heater, the L5 suffers from one annoying problem – its flame can be blown out by a mere breeze, forcing you to consider placement in a sheltered area. The accessories are also not of the highest quality and are prone to leakage.

Still, this tankless hot water heater is a fine outdoor unit. Setup is minimal and quick, gas consumption is reasonable, and it can even be used while camping. If you are the outdoorsy type but don’t want to forgo some of home’s comforts, this is the right product for you.

3. Rheem RTE 13

Rheem RTE 13Rheen’s RTE 13 is a small water heater that packs a big punch. With output reaching as much as 4GPI in the right climate and under the right plumbing conditions, this unit is able to provide more than one source with continuous hot water at once.

Heating by about 50 degrees results in an output of 1.75 gallons per minute. It has LEDs that light up indicators for standby and power, as well as its temperature controls.

Ideally, the RTE 13 should be set up in close proximity to the fixtures it will be supplying. It requires 240 volts and 60 amps, much more than most regular appliances, so make sure your home meets the requirement before purchasing.

Special care should be taken when installing the unit as an improper setup can cause power fluctuations and can decrease the temperature of the water being heated.

There is a one year warranty on parts and a 10 year one for its heat exchanger, with the same conditions as outlined in the tankless water heaters above.

The best value for money, surprising output capabilities for the price range and a compact build make the RTE 13 a good replacement for clunkier and more power-hungry models.

4. Eccotemp L10

Big brother to Ecotemp’s other model, the L10 isn’t as compact, but it provides hot water to remote locations and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

It can heat water up to a whopping 165 degrees Fahrenheit and uses a heating power of 74,500 BTU to do so. The lighter is battery-powered, making this tankless water heater suitable for use both in off-the-grid areas as well as in case of a prolonged power failure. It can even be fitted to work alongside other systems, like a water pump.

It comes with the same 20-minute shut-off timer which prevents overconscientious and ensures safe operation. The L10 is less cost-effective however, lasting for 12 hours with one 20 gallon tank.

It is accompanied by the same accessories, which unfortunately suffer from similar drawbacks.

The L10’s superior heating ability as well as its use of Eco-friendly propane gas make this unit one of the best options for anyone that needs just a little bit more than what its smaller brother can deliver.

5. Rheem RTE 9

Rheem RTE 9The last entry we’ll look at more closely is the RTE 9 from Rheem.

This boasts high energy saving capabilities and is better utilized for point of use applications. A high response time makes for a shorter wait for hot water to arrive.

It is a tankless water heater perfectly suited for use in small bathrooms, or even in RVs for use on the road.

The manufacturer states that it provides a flow of up to 3 BPM, but some dissatisfied users have pointed out that this is applicable only to short distances and the supply decreases the farther the source is from the unit.

The RTE 9 is also known to experience fluctuations in temperature if the flow is subject to rapid changes or is too high.

Although this might dissuade some from buying the RTE 9, its small frame and adaptability make it a sound option if your needs are modest or if you want a reliable source of hot water on the go. If you need something more than that, it’s best to go for one of the other options on our list.

Buying Guide

tankless water heater inside partsAs you can see, there are many factors one needs to take into consideration before committing to any one product. They can be summarized in a few key points:

Electric vs Gas-powered

Depending on your preferences and the infrastructure of your house or office building, electric heaters can be the best option.

Most of them do not require you to make serious alterations to your existing grid, they are very efficient, helping you cut power bills in no time. They also tend to be more compact and designed with cramped spaces in mind.

On the other hand, they tend to take a bit longer to deliver water at the adequate temperature, and their output is generally smaller.

Gas heaters are more rugged and most products are designed with the outdoors in mind. Their output is much higher so you can supply multiple bathrooms at the same time for example.

Their power source makes them a hazard to operate near electrical equipment though, and other safety precautions like proper venting need to be ensured before purchase as well as annual vent cleaning maintenance.

Climate and Plumbing 

  • Most manufacturers stress that not every model is suitable for every environment.
  • Smaller and less powerful models simply aren’t able to warm up freezing water to high enough temperatures in a reasonable amount of time, if at all, so might not be the best option for your needs.
  • You should always consult the handy charts found on manufacturers’ websites before purchasing a hot water heater that might not be suitable for your climate.
  • Bad plumbing on the other hand is a universal plight. Simply put, if your water pressure is low, your heater can’t do its job properly.
  • A lot depends on its ability to have access to a continuous source. Some models require a very small GPI for optimum performance, other ones require the pressure to be higher.

Budget and Requirements

  • You can’t expect to have hot water readily available in two bathrooms and two kitchens simultaneously with a smaller, less powerful heater.
  • We’ve shown in this tankless water heater guide that some have more than enough capacity to service such a need, while others are adequate for small home or apartment use.
  • The GPI is usually a good indicator – the higher the number, the more water is heated and produced in a given amount of time.
  • This may vary depending on the climate and plumbing, so take the number provided by manufacturers as optimum.
  • If you are on a budget, weigh the pros and cons of each reviewed heater. Some offer many features you would find in expensive models.
  • Other premium units exhibit some negative traits which might be crucial for your particular situation or preference.


Now that you have a more thorough understanding of tankless hot water heaters, their pros and cons as well as their characteristics, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision.

The selection is big and varied with ever more manufacturers coming to realize the long-term potential these appliances have in making customers’ lives easier and their energy expenditure less pronounced.

So, what is the best tankless water heater you ask?

Well, we’ve given you an outline of what you can expect to find. The answer to that question depends on your specific set of circumstances and personal preferences.

APEC Water RO-90

The Best Water Filter Reviews for 2019

Best Water Filter & Softner Reviews – 2019

Does your water taste funny, and sometimes smell a bit off too? Don’t put off doing something about it any longer and find out about the best water filter for your needs in this handy guide!

Humankind has gone a long way in the past century or two. Civilization has brought us many advantages our forefathers could only dream of, drinkable water at the turn of a tap being one of them.

While municipal services do their best to ensure that what you drink is up to certain health and safety standards, unforeseen circumstances can always happen, leaving you with water that might not only have an altered taste, smell and color, but can be genuinely harmful to yourself and your family since it can contain poisonous trace elements and a wide range of bacteria.

This is why it is good to have a high-quality water filter, and in some cases it even becomes a necessity.

We’ve rounded up some of the most prominent models and put them through a series of tests designed to measure their effectiveness and performance. The results of this are condensed in this guide.

Once you’re through with it, you’ll have a better picture of what exactly to look for in a filter and will be better equipped when choosing one for your home.

We’ve split the guide up into three segments. In the beginning, we examine premium models and their capabilities. Then we turn our attention to more affordable models that nevertheless do a fine job.

In the end, we’ve imparted some general information when it comes to choosing the right filter that should help you narrow your choices down.

Ready to enjoy a glass of cool, clean H2O again? Then let’s get started!

1. Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain

Fleck 5600SXT water softnerWater almost everywhere in America is harder than optimal. If you happen to be living in an area where this is true to the extreme, you’ll want the best water filter that has both the capacity and the capability of dealing with this issue every day.

Fleck, a well known brand owned by Pentair ltd., a giant in the industry, is well aware of the challenges afflicted households face and has come up with one of the most comprehensive filtration systems to date – the 5600SXT.

You’ll immediately be drawn in by this model’s ample capacity – it can handle a serious pressure of 12 GPM (gallons per minute), meaning that a mid-sized home can have all of its filtration needs taken care of simultaneously.

For example, if you have a family of five and water is flowing simultaneously in the kitchen and bathroom, the 5600SXT makes sure that needs are met.

The filtration process itself happens via ion exchange – harder calcium and magnesium ions are removed and exchanged with sodium ions, leaving water softer and ready for use.

This can be controlled via a built-in LCD display that lets you specify how you want the machine to act.

It has a convenient meter-dependant regeneration process, meaning that the grains won’t regenerate automatically, but only when the meter drops below a certain point, increasing their longevity.

The brine tank it comes with is of a square design and has room for 250 pounds of salt pellets.

Which ones you end up using is entirely up to you, but potassium-chloride is the more eco-friendly variant. The tank comes with an overflow drain and safety float that prevent it from flooding your basement.

Installation can be done in a DIY manner and is fairly straightforward. Just make sure that you actually have enough space to house the appliance in since it is a bit on the bulky side and takes up considerable space.

This is also why we wouldn’t recommend it if you have a smaller household where the needs are more easily met with smaller solutions.

You’ll get two separate warranties with the 5600SXT a 5 year warranty on the head as well as a 10 year warranty on the tank, ensuring that it will function without a hitch for a long time.

To help keep it that way, you might want to learn how to maintain your water filter system as well.

The 5600SXT has thoroughly convinced us of its capability to considerably soften up even the hardest water. It therefore stands to reason that we’re nominating it as the best water filter we’ve tested overall.

The only drawbacks to this model we can think of – it’s capacity that is best suited for mid-sized homes, and its somewhat steep price, are both highly situational and have no impact on its stellar performance.

So, if you have problems with exceedingly hard water, this is the product for you, no question.

2. APEC Water RO-90

APEC Water RO-90Having a large quantity of softer water available is fantastic, but what if your municipal supply isn’t of the highest quality? Simply exchanging ions won’t fix the potential threat of hazardous contaminants.

In order to address an issue such as this, you’ll need a reliable reverse osmosis filter, such as the RO-90 by APEC.

This company is known for engineering innovative and highly effective solutions to various household-related issues, and this filtration system isn’t any different.

Its main purpose is to get rid of the vast majority of contaminants that might be present in your municipal supply, and manages to do so with unquestioned efficiency.

If you go to their site you can check out the huge list of contaminants this system has been proven to remove.

The secret lies in its smart 5 filter reverse osmosis process. Most other manufacturers rely on about 7 different filters to achieve a similar effect, but the RO-90 manages to produce clean, soft water with a smaller number of better designed elements.

The first stage gets rid of dust or any similar particle while also helping to prolong the filtration membrane longevity.

The 2nd and 3rd layers remove unpleasant tastes and smells and prevent any discoloration. After that a high rejection TFC reverse osmosis membrane removes up to 99 percent of solids still remaining as well as harmful trace elements and bacteria.

Lastly, a total contamination removal process removes any residue that might have appeared in the tank itself.


Speaking of which, you’ll have plenty of healthy water at your disposal since the 4 gallon tank is able to produce up to 90 gallons of it per day. If you have a larger household the standard holding tank might not do, but there’s a 14 gallon upgrade option available if you need it.

Since this is an under-the-sink model it won’t take up noticable space in your home and installing it shouldn’t be much of a problem thanks to the clear manual it comes with.

APEC also offer a host of upgrades that will further enhance the RO-90’s already solid capabilities such as a quick dispense feature that accelerates the flow, or a UV light that makes short work of more stubborn microbes.

A potential drawback to this model actually has something to do with how effective it is – it only removes hard minerals without replacing them with anything else.

This demineralization shouldn’t pose any kind of problem to individuals with healthy diets, but if you are already suffering from mineral deficiencies, be sure to consult your doctor before getting this machine.

The RO-90 has proven without a doubt that it is the best water filtration system when it comes to getting rid of as many different contaminants as possible.

By using it, you are greatly reducing the risks to your health and softening hard water at the same time. It is also very reasonably priced, making the decision to purchase the RO-90 all the wiser.

3. Home Master TMAFC

Home Master TMAFC reverse osmosis systemsWater filters for homeAs we’ve seen when reviewing the RO—90, some reverse osmosis systems don’t reintroduce useful minerals into the water once they’re done filtering it. This isn’t a bad thing on its own, but it can make the water taste strange and isn’t as good as having heavy, harmful minerals replaced.

This is why Home Master, a company you might have heard about before because they developed a special system that brings mineral water directly to your tap, has tackled this filtration issue with its newest breakthrough, the TMAFC.

This unit doesn’t only focus on providing unparalleled filtration, it is also built in a way that alleviates some of the concerns other filtration systems can suffer from, namely a slow flow rate and eventual leakage. The former is taken care of thanks to the Fast Flow RO Kit it comes with.

This kit boasts larger tubing that doesn’t slow down the water being filtered, meaning you can keep a steady stream of it up without having to wait for ages to fill up a bucket. Each filter the TMAFC uses is also modular and is replaced together with its housing once the need for that arises.

This prevents the housing from developing leaks and ends up saving you money over time.

As far as the actual filtration is concerned, this water filter comes with seven different kinds of filter and membranes that remove a combined 98 percent of all impurities and contaminants.

This includes both trace elements that can harm you on their own such as lead and arsenic as well as chemical compounds like pesticides and herbicides that might have gotten into the supply at some point, after a heavy rainstorm for example.

This isn’t the thing that sets it apart from similar products though. As we said above, it comes with a remineralization feature known as the Artesian Full Contact Technology. This is a system that reintroduces healthy minerals into the purified water in recommended doses.

This is done two times to ensure that the minerals are present in desired amounts. Artesian Full Contact also eliminates the need for a post filter.

Most other purifiers’ end result is water that isn’t as healthy and which is mildly acidic. Reintroducing helpful minerals into it lowers that acidity and makes it taste great.

The original tank this model comes with has a capacity of 3.2 gallons. You can opt to decrease that to 2 if you don’t have enough space, or increase it to 4 gallons if your needs are greater.

Other than that, there’s a whole assortment of upgrades you can purchase separately, ranging from a refrigerator kit you can connect to your fridge and make it produce purified ice cubes, to an under counter leak detector that notifies of you of leakage before it can become a major problem.

Even though it dispenses the water it did filter quickly, the TMAFC can produce only about 50 gallons of it per day which might not be enough if your needs aren’t that small.

Nevertheless, this model is the best home water filter in terms of the quality of the end product it produces. It is a bit more expensive than its competitor, but the difference in taste alone might persuade you to part with those few extra bucks.

4. APEC Water ROES-PH75

APEC Water ROES-PH75 Best water purifier

APEC have themselves realized that introducing healthy minerals back into the mix after the osmosis process has been completed is a pretty good idea, and have therefore developed another water filter capable of performing just such a task, the ROES-PH75

Much like the RO-90, this model has undergone a lengthy development process as well as stringent testing in order to ensure its effectiveness in eliminating a whole host of different contaminants. It has a 6-step filtration system that gives you pure, fresh and alkaline H2O every time.

The filtration process is very similar to the one we’ve seen with the RO-90, where solid particles are removed first, then odors and discoloration are taken care of, and finally even the most stubborn micro-organisms are eradicated.

The last, 6th step reintroduces minerals into the water in form of calcium. This is a great way to make it alkaline again, balancing out its Ph values and making it taste natural. This is done via a special cartridge that dispenses food-grade calcium into the system each time the filter is used.

While we’re on the subject of filters, APEC boasts that theirs are larger than industry standards prescribe, meaning they’ll last longer and be more effective.


As with the other models, they are replaced together with the housing, so when you do end up having to buy replacements, you’ll be extending the lifespan of the unit even more.

At about 75 gallons of clean H2O per day, this model offers a reasonable balance of output and quality. The somewhat smaller amount is understandable since there’s an added remineralization process to take into account. Still, 75 gallons should be enough for any mid-sized household.

One common complaint consumers are voicing about this model is that it takes a long while to produce water. This doesn’t surprise us since reintroducing the calcium into it takes time, but if you’re impatient this might be something worth considering.

Other than that though, we feel that the ROES-PH75 can hold its own against the best water filters on the market today.

Its filtration capabilities are top-notch, and the added element of making your water alkaline might end up saving you a pretty penny if your family spends a lot of money on bottled water. With a system like this, there certainly won’t be a need for that any more.

5. Katadyn Pocket Water Filter

Katadyn Pocket water filtration systemSo far, our water filtration system reviews have focused only on products you use in your home and on a large scale.

It is important to have access to drinkable and clean water wherever you may find yourself though, and this is why it is a very good idea to take something that can accomplish this along with you into the wilderness. This is where Katadyn Pocket comes in and is our pick for the best countertop water filter.

Make no mistake, this product doesn’t boast all of the filtration and alkalization properties of water filters for home use, but it does perform a vital function very efficiently – it pumps out water that is safe to drink.

If you plan on going to prolonged camping trips or otherwise spend a lot of time out in the wilds, this model will satisfy not just your needs but the needs of a small group of people.

It is essentially a pump that forces water through a silver-impregnated ceramic filter that won’t make it any softer, but will eliminate the majority of bacteria and other micro-organisms that could cause you harm.

The speed at which this is done could be a bit higher for our taste, but even so it manages to produce a quarter of a gallon of water after 2 minutes of pumping, enough to tie 4-5 people over until the next batch is ready.

Naturally, a physical process such as this takes some strength, so be prepared for aching arms if you’re looking to pump more than a bottle’s worth at a time.

At 1,5 pounds, the Katadyn Pocket is a bit heavy when compared to similar models, so if you’re on a light hiking trip it might be best to just swap it out with a bottle of the same size.

We were most satisfied with its make however – the materials used are durable and molded with precision.

Katadyn even offers a generous 20 year warranty on the filter, but judging by its make it is more than likely that yours will outlive the warranty by quite a margin.

The only real drawback we can think of, except maybe the weight, is the fact that this is one of the most pricey models we’ve come across in the portable filter category.

It costs as much or more as a home system, so if you’re a casual outdoorsman you’ll probably want to go for something less extravagant.

Still, if traveling down rivers is your thing or you lose yourself in the woods for weeks at a time, this is without a doubt the best water filter for all your outdoor needs.

More Affordable Water Filter Reviews


Affordable Water Filter APEC ROES-50We always appreciate it when a company wants to ensure that different profiles of customers all have their needs taken care of. In this case, they are the needs of those that don’t really use that much water on a daily basis.

So, when you purchase the ROES-50, the only major feature you’re giving up on is its capacity, while the high-grade results we’ve come to expect from its other models do not change that much.

What kind of water you use doesn’t really make much difference to this system. Soft, hard, or straight out of a well, the five stage water filter system we’ve already described in greater detail will make sure that your water is clean and safe to drink.

As its name suggests, it can produce up to 50 gallons per day. This can vary a bit depending on the pressure and temperature. It fills up in 2-3 hours and shuts itself off automatically after that. Since everything is based off of pressure, there’s no need for electricity.

The ROES-50 is easy to install, but does take up some space. If you have a smaller sink that might be a problem, but you can also keep it in you basement if that is the case. It comes with its own chrome-finished faucet, but if you don’t like the original you can choose to upgrade it.

One annoyance we’ve found with the model was that there is no way of telling when its filter needs replacement.

There are no light-up indicators or anything, so you’ll have to keep checking each filter from time to time and replace when needed. It doesn’t remineralize your water either.

Even so given its other outstanding features and reasonable price, we feel that the ROES-50 deserves the title of best water filter in the affordable products category.

We’ll take a loss in quantity over quality any day, and that’s precisely what this model is all about.

2. iSpring WQA RCC7

iSpring WQA RCC7 clean drinking water set upIt is always nice to see when a manufacturer takes responsibility for their poor design choices and tries to make amends.

One such effort is the WQA RCC7 by iSpring, a filtration system that won’t set you back that much and will provide good quality, consistent results.

Back in 2010, iSpring released a purifier plagued with various serious issues, including leakage and the fact that it sometimes did not shut its valve off properly once the tank was full, causing customers a lot of distress. The company has acknowledged this and made many improvements to the WQA RCC7

The upgrades this model ships with include a user manual that is easier to understand, a higher quality shut-off valve, a nicer designer-made faucet, a new feed adapter and, most importantly, a flood alarm that goes off if the device malfunctions or springs a leak, allowing you to do something about it in time.

Other than that, this is a standard filtration system that can produce up to 75 gallons per day. It has five different types of filter that work very much like the ones described when we reviewed APEC models.

They do a fine job, but the first three have a meager 6 month lifespan. iSpring offer a one year and a 3 year package that cover all filtration needs though.

Overall, this model’s quality and performance have received an improvement. Even so, there are still dissatisfied customers that say some of the old issues persist.

The WQA RCC7 certainly isn’t our top pick for best water purifier, but its performance warrants its inclusion in the guide nevertheless.

A large capacity at a good price is its main strong suit, and with continued improvements we’re sure that it will give even more expensive models a run for their money.

3. Aquasana AQ-5300.56

Aquasana AQ-5300.56 inline filtration system

The last product we’ll be reviewing is an inline filtration model from Aquasana. It has a number of interesting features that sets it apart from other devices in the guide, and a price that can’t be beat.

Except the portable Katadyn Pocket, every other model in our water purifier reviews relied on filtering the liquid stored in its tank.

The AQ-5300.56 has an inline filtration system, meaning that it doesn’t need a tank and filters the water as it flows through it. It can do so with a speed of about half a gallon every minute, which is acceptable if you aren’t in a hurry.

There are three filtration stages in all. First there’s a layer of activated carbon that filters out toxins and chemicals.

After that an ion exchange takes place where harmful metal ions are exchanged for harmless hydrogen ones. A sub-micron filter is the final touch, getting rid of all but the smallest particles imaginable.

A great feature you’ll really appreciate is the inclusion of an automatic alert system that notifies you when it’s time to change a filter.

Once depleted, they can be easily exchanged without the use of additional tools. Unfortunately, the filters will require replacement every 6 months or so, which is less than what we’d hoped for.

In the end, we believe that the AQ-5300.56 is a solid device that performs its job adequately at a much lower cost than some other models.

If you want to save but still have good drinking water, then you can’t go wrong with this one. Best water purifier? Certainly not. Good enough? Absolutely.

What to Look Out for Before You Buy

As you can see, there is a lot of variety when it comes to the best water filters. Almost every model has something unique going for or against it.best water filter

Here’s what you should keep in mind before getting one.

Capacity – Sure, bigger is better, but things aren’t necessarily as straightforward as that. Naturally, if keeping two bathrooms and two kitchens stocked up on purified water 24/7 is one of your highest priorities, then getting the best home water filtration system which can accommodate this is what you want to do. On the other hand, if you lack the space or don’t have as many needs, a smaller purifier will do just as well.

Even so, you’ll want to compare the time it takes for any given model to produce a desired amount of water.

Two different devices can have the same capacity, but one can take ages to deliver results. If this is something that bothers you, go for the more speedy variant.

research on the condition your drinking waterDoes it get rid of the right contaminants? – Every manufacturer would like us to think that their product is the be all and the end all when it comes to the elimination of impurities, but that is unfortunately not always the case.

Before you go and buy what you believe is the best water filter, do some research on the condition your drinking water is in. Next, you’ll want to make sure that the purifier was actually awarded some form of independent certificate that attests to its ability to clean water thoroughly.

Only then should you buy one that has proven itself capable of eliminating contaminants that are present in your area.

Extra features – Even the best water filter can be improved with a couple of well-designed accessories. You’ll have to pay more, but sometimes this can really be worth it.

APEC for example offers a wide array of additional accessories for its products, one of the most interesting being a UV light that takes care of all but the most stubborn microbes.

Since you’re springing for a fairly expensive product anyway, why not give a few more dollars for a greater piece of mind?

Clean water, great taste – All of these devices will do a great job of making your water clean, but if they lack a remineralization feature it might end up tasting strange.

To prevent this and to keep a healthy balance of useful minerals, consider buying a purifier that has a means of getting useful minerals back into the mix.


So, what is the best water filter? It is really hard to tell without knowing your personal situation and preferences.

There are a lot of diverse factors to take into consideration, and a surprising diversity among the models we’ve reviewed to boot.

This will be one of those purchases where you’ll need to really give yourself a bit of time to sit down, get informed on the state of your municipal water in terms of hardness and contents, and make a decision based on the gathered facts.

Whichever filter you end up choosing, we are certain that your life and the lives of your family members will be positively impacted by it.

After all, don’t we all strive to provide your loved ones with a healthy and rewarding life? There are few things as fundamental to achieving such a life as crisp water that is both safe to drink and altogether healthier than almost any other beverage.

Many parts of the world still don’t have this luxury. You might not be able to help, but you do have the power to make a conscious decision to make a difference at home.

using a smart tv

7 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Smart TV Box in 2019

Smart TVs embraced a huge success when they were first launched, and everybody wanted one. In their early days, they were presented as the ideal gadget, allowing you to browse the internet, see your favorite movies or even surf the social media platforms.

However, as time has passed we now understand that owning a smart TV is not such a good idea. They come with a lot of problems and because of that, more and more people are replacing their Smart TVs with a Smart TV box.

In the following article, we will explain to you why Smart TVs are no longer a viable option, and why you should definitely avoid buying one.


1) They Are So Smart That They’re Actually Spying On You

It’s a known fact that a vast majority of Smart TVs, are designed to track your entire activity. This might not seem like a big deal for you, but you need to understand that with this feature, a complete stranger knows every show that you watch, every website that you browse and so on. The producers are defending themselves, saying that this is only for marketing purposes and no information will ever be disclosed.

But still, it’s a little bothering to know that you cannot have any privacy with a Smart TV. If you imagine that the big brands will never do such thing, you are wrong. Some major producers were caught collecting their customer’s information and use them for advertising purposes.

2) Annoying Ads

Normally, you buy a Smart TV, thrilled by the freedom you’re about to get. Now, you can select your own movies, and you no longer have to see a commercial break, in the middle of the movie, right? Wrong again! Manufacturers want to increase their profit and they won’t stop at just selling you the device.

That’s why, every 20 minutes of watching a movie, you will have to stop and watch an “interesting” ad, about a random thing that you probably don’t need. And no, there is no way to stop this. Unless you purchase a Smart TV box.

3) They Can Be Hacked Very Simply

Unlike a PC, which can be protected with an antivirus, firewall or VPN, Smart TVs have some very weak security software. Because of that, every person who knows a little programming will be able to hack into your TV and violate your privacy. They can see, modify or delete everything on your Smart TV, and they can even embed forbidden material, which can cause you some legal problems.

And things are getting even worse than that. It’s very easy for a hacker to access your TV’s webcam/microphone, and to record everything you do or say. Want to avoid that? Buy a Smart TV box instead. Or just stick to services like Dish Network or other cable networks. There are plenty of Dish reviews to see if it is the service for you.

4) The Software Gets Outdated

If you buy a new Smart TV, you will be happy about all the new and interesting features. But this will only last for six months, one-year maximum. After that period, you will slowly see how each of your favorite apps, is no longer supported by your current Smart TV software. And you will need to update it. This wouldn’t be such of a problem because the whole process won’t take you more than half an hour.

But the new software is not free, neither cheap. You will have to pay extra money for a product that you own, just to keep it updated. And it will happen every six months from now on. It’s like paying rent for something that you own. Smart, right?

5) The Interface is Unreliable

With a Smart TV, we would expect to receive a well-optimized software, which can fulfill all our needs. But this it isn’t the case. And the reason behind that is very simple. A Smart TV is produced by a company who manufactures electronic devices and has no experience in software development. They don’t invest time and money in the interface because it’s not a priority for them. They only care about the Smart TV’s hardware features, because that’s what is selling their product.

On the other hand, a Smart TV box is produced by people who are experienced in software development, invested a lot of time in the optimization and are constantly struggling to improve their features. And let’s face it! Nobody buys a Smart TV for the webcam or for the central remote. It’s all about the interface and what can it do.

6) Not Worth the Price

A Smart TV is usually two or three times more expensive than a regular TV. Does it worth it? Not really! The only differences between a Smart TV and a regular TV consist of the Webcam, microphone, the operating system and the central remote. If we would purchase all these items separately, along with a Smart TV box, we will spend 70% less, than the price of a Smart TV.

So instead of buying a Smart TV, it’s more simple to turn your regular TV into a Smart one. More than that, a Smart TV box can be highly customized and you can modify it, according to your particular needs and preferences. And the cheapest one costs less than $50.

7) It’s Not As Good As It Looks

Usually, a lot of people are buying Smart TVs, thrilled by the multitude of features and options. But according to a recent study, only 10% of the Smart TV owners are using their device to navigate on the internet, and only 15% accessed the online music apps. And it’s hard to believe that the rest of the owners don’t navigate on the internet or don’t listen to music. But they’ve stopped using their device for that, because it’s so bad optimized, that it won’t grant them a positive experience. The only positive thing about a Smart TV is the unlimited movies. If you don’t mind the constant commercials.



Before thinking about purchasing a Smart TV, you need to put all the things in balance and weight the pluses and minuses. After you reach your conclusion, you will know that a Smart TV box is the best option, when it comes to having a truly smart TV. If you want a safe and reliable device and not some fancy accessory to impress your friends with, then you should purchase a Smart TV box.

keyless door lock

Keyless Lock Systems – The Pros and Cons

Are Keyless Locks The Answer?

When it comes to keeping your home safe and secure, traditional keys have one fundamental flaw: they tend to have a mind of their own.

Losing keys completely is a relatively rare occurrence but temporarily misplacing them and being unable to leave the house until you have tracked them down is something that happens to us all on a regular basis.

Advantages of Keyless Entry Locks

The main advantage of a keyless entry system is the convenience of never having to worry about where your house keys are ever again. Doors are unlocked by typing a code into a keypad or by using a remote control device similar to that used to open a car.

With keyless entry, it is impossible for you or members of your family to lock themselves out of your home and you no longer need to hide a spare key somewhere a burglar might find it. You also need never worry about leaving your keys hanging from the lock overnight.

Keyless locks are particularly handy if you have friends or trusted workmen coming to your home as you do not have to wait in for them. Simply give them the code and they can let themselves in and out. You can then reprogram your keypad with a new code to maintain your level of security.

More advanced systems allow you to issue temporary codes just for visitors. Most keyless entry systems make use of deadbolts which are much more secure than traditional cylinder locks, affording you far greater peace of mind when you are away from home.

Problems with Keyless Entry Systems

Keyless systems do have some disadvantages though. They tend to be significantly more expensive than traditional locks and may need to be installed by a professional, further increasing the cost.

Electronic systems can be problematic in the event of a power failure so need to be backed-up by batteries, though care needs to be taken to ensure these do not wear out.

Should you forget your PIN, it will be far more difficult for a locksmith to open your doors and should someone discover your PIN they will be able to enter your home at will. For the same reason that you should hide your PIN while entering it into an ATM, you should also ensure no one can see you type in your PIN when you enter your house.

Similarly, while using a remote fob to open the locks is extremely convenient, especially if you are carrying shopping into your home, the devices are expensive to replace if they are lost and represent a potential security threat. High Quality Keyless Locks The quality of a keyless system can also affect your level of security.

Keypads on the cheapest units may fade over time, giving potential burglars a clue as to which digits are being used most.

Cheap push buttons systems can also be problematic as the resistance of the most-used buttons can decline over time. The best systems will sound an alarm if too many incorrect attempts at entering a pin are made and in reality, the chances of anyone being able to guess correctly are extremely slim.

A certified, Professional Locksmith Chula Vista Ca | Low Rate 24/7 Services | (619) 407-9609 can help you with all your keyless entry lock installations, repairs, and replacements.

Posted in DIY
Platform bed finished

How to build a platform bed from scratch!

A few months ago Mary and I had finally had enough of our old, lumpy bed. I was waking up with back pain so bad I had trouble getting into my car and we both were getting lousy sleep. I got out the measuring tape and found my side of the bed dipped 2 inches from the foot to the middle and Mary’s side was worse. After talking it over we decided if we were getting a new mattress we might as well upgrade to a king size.

King size is pricey and we didn’t want to spend the money on a bed frame that wasn’t going to match our dressers so we looked into Ottoman and platform beds. I found a few plans online, but the basic design was so simple that I decided to just wing it and make my own plans using standard construction lumber.

We made the trip to our local furniture store and fell in love with the ottoman beds at Archers Sleepcentre and a foam mattress. We placed our order, took some measurements and after Thanksgiving I built our new bed in a busy afternoon. Here’s how I did it.

First the materials;

  • 2 x 4 x 96 – 10 pieces ($2.11 ea)
  • 2 x 10 x 8 – 6 pieces ($7.99 ea)
  • 3/4 x 49 x 97 MDF – 2 pieces ($22.99)
  • deck screws
  • wood glue (optional)

The tools;

My basic idea was to build 2 frames and stack them on top of each other. The framing is much like framing a wall. The bottom is smaller so you don’t stub your toes (like kitchen cabinets) and taller (so the bed fits over our radiator and flush to the wall – no headboard!). I topped it all off with the MDF. Here’s the step by step photos.

Platform bed base

build my own bed

For my base I used 2x10s. This gave me enough height to get my second tier over the radiator and allow us to push the bed flush to the wall so we didn’t need a headboard. In retrospect, 2x8s would have been better. The foam mattress was thicker than we expected and our bed is slightly taller than our old standard height bed.

To determine the dimensions I added 1 inch to the height and width of the mattress we purchased. I then subtracted 12 inches from each dimension to give us the inset to protect our toes and enough space for the radiator to do its thing. For example a standard King size mattress is 80 x 76. The bottom frame would be 69 x 65.

There is a lot of room for adjustment her since you never see this layer. The important thing is that your frame is level. All lumber was screwed together using some old 2 1/2″ deck screws. I drilled pilot holes to prevent splitting and used a little wood glue to create a strong bond.

build a bed base

Platform bed base

Next I used my scrap pieces of 2×10 to create blocking. This prevents my frame from twisting over time as the wood dries. This is the same technique used in floor joists.Make sure to offset them like I did so you are able to screw in from both sides. No exact science here, just make sure they fit tightly in the spaces. This might have been overkill, but I figured it was better to overbuild with an extra $20 of lumber than take the bed apart later and fix it.

Platform bed second tier

Platform bed second tier

For the top layer I used 2x4s. I followed the same strategy, but this layer will be slightly larger than the mattress. Once again I screwed and glued everything taking care to keep everything square and level. This layer is very visible so take the time to do it right.

Platform bed assembly

Platform bed assembly

Next I placed the top layer on top of the bottom and centered it. I toenailed the top layer into the bottom at all intersections with the deck screws (remember to drill those pilot holes first).When I was done I was surprised just how solid the hole thing was. Ethan immediately declared it was a pirate ship and start climbing all over.

Platform bed finished

Platform bed finished

The last step was attaching the mdf to the top. I had these pre-cut at Lowes. Their sheet cutter is more accurate than I can be with a circular saw and it saves me time. I attached these with 2 inch deck screws about every 12-16 inches. Overkill again. The end result isn’t very glamorous, but I plan on using the scrap MDF to side the upper tier of the bed and create a lip to keep the bed in place. This is why I made the platform slightly larger – to give us room to put the sheets on when the lip is in place.

There you have it. The sturdiest bed you’ve ever seen for about $100 and an afternoon. I was worried it might tilt when you sat on a corner, but it does not budge at all. It is HEAVY and will need to be taken apart if it every needs to leave the room.

Stevie also loved playing in the framing. There is plenty of room for adding storage, but we decided against it. We were more interested in having a bed where toys, tissues, dog hair, dishes, etc could NOT get lost underneath.


There was one frantic step I did not photograph. Notice the open framing in this picture. If I left it this way it would be possible for someone to reach into the framing from below and deposit something INTO the bed frame. To prevent this I used some scrap MDF and plywood to block all the spaces between the outer edges of the top and bottom frames. In a couple places, however, I screwed the plywood over the bottom frame, but left an opening.

This created a hidden shelf. I have one on my side of the bed where I keep a book and my book light. One at the bottom of the bed is used by kids as a cave where their toy frogs live.

We’ve been very happy with the end result. The bed frame is incredibly solid and our new mattress is wonderful! My back aches are completely gone and we are sleeping so much better. Feel free to post any questions on the bed and I’ll help where I can. I also plan to post an update after I get the sideboards on and the whole thing painted.

Posted in DIY
mistakes in interior design

Top 10 Interior Decorating Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

How to Transform Inferior Decorating: Identifying and Correcting Decorating Mistakes

You don’t have to be a professional interior decorator to understand and apply some basic principles of interior design that will help you create a comfortable and functional home with style.

We’ve assembled a list of tips that tell you how to avoid (or correct) 10 of the most common home decorating mistakes. This article is not about creating the perfect magazine-worthy home decor or intimidating you with designer jargon and time (and/or money) consuming tasks. Our aim is to present easy DIY decorating fixes with the basic information needed to implement them.

Whether you want to rearrange furniture in your living room, update your bedroom decor, create a guest room, shop for a dining room chandelier, or are downsizing or starting from scratch with your first studio apartment, these tips will help you make the choices that are right for you and your lifestyle. Throughout this article, you will also find links to other pages that explore some of these topics in greater depth from coordinating fabrics to choosing colors, hanging pictures, and more.

We hope the tips included here will give you the confidence to decorate and accessorize your home to create a welcoming, comfortable place without worrying about making mistakes or wasting time or money — and one that reflects your unique personality and style.

1. Up Against the Wall. . . Not!

interior designIf you have heavy furniture or haven’t purchased any yet, it helps to measure the room and its features first. Then draw the dimensions (graph paper makes it easier), translating the measurements into a scale.

For example, if you use a scale of 1 inch on paper = 1 foot of space, a room that is 8 feet by 10 feet will be drawn as 8 inches by 10 inches; if you use a scale of 1/2 inch = 1 foot, an 8 foot by 10 foot room would be 4 inches by 5 inches on the paper, and so on. Note the location and size of doors, windows, hearths, or other features you will need to consider.

Make a few photo copies once you’ve done that. Then measure the “footprint” of each piece of furniture (the length and width or amount of space it takes up on the floor).

If you haven’t purchased the furniture yet, use standard measurements or find pieces you like and use those dimensions to see if it will work in your home before you buy it.

Cut pieces of paper to the same scale as the room dimensions and label each piece of paper.

You can then move the cut-outs around on paper until you find an arrangement that works with the space, purpose, traffic, and size. Tape them in place or use a dab from a glue stick to secure them to the paper.

By using the photocopies, you can easily create multiple arrangements on different pages and compare them to get an idea of how each works before you move the furniture. If you can’t visualize it

Many people think a room looks bigger when all of the furniture lines the walls around the room. And if you want a dance floor, that may work, but for most purposes, furniture looks better and a room looks more inviting when the pieces are at an angle or surrounded by space.

Try angling your bed or sofa. Or float that large sofa facing a fireplace, two smaller conversational seating groups, or a pair of chairs arranged at an angle. Depending on the shape, size, and scale of your room, consider using two loveseats or settees instead of a large sofa.

Walk through the room and note the traffic patterns. Move the pieces around you find an arrangement that works with the space and with the traffic flow. That is, do not block access to other rooms or doors with furniture arrangements or individual pieces. You will want to direct traffic while allowing easy access to pathways in, out of, and around the room.

Consider the purpose of the space as well. Are closets or bookshelves accessible? Do you have a great view you want to feature? (See focal points, below.)

However, do not automatically push all furniture against the walls. Living room furniture placed around the perimeter of a room does not encourage conversation and can create a cold feeling or ambience. A chair without a nearby light source will not become a place to read the latest book by your favorite author or complete your latest craft project.

A long and wide island in the center of your kitchen between your sink and refrigerator means you have to walk around it every time you go from one to the other.

Decorator’s Tip

If you aren’t sure if the convenience of the additional counter space a center island would provide is worth the extra miles you’ll be walking to go around it, or if that sofa will look too large in your living room, try arranging some large cardboard boxes to approximate the size of the furniture piece before you purchase it.

It will help you visualize the size and mass of the furniture in a very concrete way and you can get a better idea of how the space will work in three dimensions instead of two. You can actually walk around the room and see how it fits, if there is enough room to walk past it, if it looks too overpowering or is too small to anchor the space, and so on.

Helpful Inexpensive Floor plan Aids Are Easy to Use

Furniture Arranging (and More!)

For Tekkies

If you are tech-savvy, you might want to invest in floor plan or 3d rendering software that will make it even easier to plan a single room or an entire house. Some of these apps have free trials you can download from their websites which may provide enough features for you to do this at no cost.

Punch! Home Design Studio – v2

Punch! Home Design Studio is an interior designing software for Mac. Make your designs more realistic than ever before. Features include sample plans for all home styles, the ability to “Go Green” with one click and watch your design go green with design tips and objects like recycled glass counter tops, bamboo flooring and more! You provide the inspiration and Punch! Software’s

If you can point and click you can use this software! Lots of layout items, furniture and different materials to choose from and you just drag and drop them to arrange your room to scale.

Whether you are updating or starting from scratch, this is a way to test out your ideas the easy way. You do not need to be a designer or a computer whiz to use this one.

Also Available for PCs.

2. Picture this: Getting the Hang of It

hanging pictures correctlyHanging pictures or other types of wall decor too high or using pictures that are too small for a particular spot are perhaps the most common home decorating mistakes.

“Unless you are creating a period wall full of dado-to-frieze pictures, wall decor should generally be hung so that the middle of the picture (or grouping) is at eye level (from either a standing or sitting position, depending on where it will be viewed from) or a little (2 to 3 inches) lower than eye level, with spacing between pictures fairly equal or visually balanced,” says Steven Wells from Oran Remodeling home remodelers.

Pictures should also be hung in a way that is proportional to their location. A single small picture hung over a sofa will not look right. Neither will two small ones spread too far about. They will be out of balance.

As a rule of thumb, artwork should be placed no more than five to nine inches above a sofa and no more than seven to ten inches above a table. The placement of your artwork should also relate to its surroundings.

As a guideline for proportion, one or more pictures (including mirrors or other wall decor) should cover about 2/3 of the wall space above the piece of furniture.

For example, if you have a 6 foot wide sofa, plan on a single picture or an arrangement that is about 4 feet wide and centered above the sofa.

Always experiment with different arrangements and combinations of pictures before starting to hang any of them.

There are two ways to arrange pictures: Symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical groupings create a more formal feeling while asymmetrical arrangements are more casual. Items that are the same or similar in size, shape, and/or other attributes lend themselves to symmetrical arrangements — one in which items are hung equally around a center line or point.

It is easier to create balance with a symmetrical grouping, but it is not difficult to balance an asymmetrical grouping either, although you’ll have to rely on a bit of trial and error to create visual balance instead of a level and ruler or tape measure.

A grouping of pieces different in size, shape, color or other attributes will work better in an asymmetrical arrangement. Such a grouping should be hung so that the visual weight of the objects appears balanced.

One way to do this without making a lot of unnecessary holes in your wall is to lay out the arrangement on the floor first, adjusting the grouping until you have arranged the items in the most pleasing (least lop-sided) way.

You could also trace the outlines of the items onto a roll of newsprint or inexpensive paper (that will contrast with your wallcolor) and arrange those on the wall with a hinge made of blue painter’s tape on the back. (Other types of tape may remove paint from your wall.)

Decorator’s Tip

If you are working with different size items, keeping the larger pieces on the bottom of the arrangement will anchor your arrangement and keep it from looking top-heavy.

Reposition the shapes until you are pleased with the arrangement and then use that as a guide for hanging the actual items.

A vertical arrangement will make a room appear taller and a horizontal arrangement will make it appear wider.

You might also want to consider hanging one larger item surrounded by a circle or rectangular arrangement of smaller pictures.

This type of arrangement is particularly effective for displaying a group of photos in a hallway.


Whichever arrangement you choose, frames and mats should complement both the artwork and your decorating style or theme. A framed mirror can add dimension and light, and is especially effective when it reflects something beautiful, such as a window overlooking a garden or an indoor flower arrangement, for example.

Do not be afraid to hang artwork with a mirror as part of the group. Unless a mirror is large enough to look balanced on a wall by itself, you can keep the proportion pleasing by adding pictures next to or around the mirror.

Once you decide on an arrangement, start hanging from the center or largest item and then, if there is more than one item in the center of your arrangement, hang any that go above and/or below the central piece.

Continue out, hanging items from top to bottom, until all of your pictures have been hung.

Whether you use picture hooks, molly bolts, toggle boths, picture nails, or some other method will depend on the type of wall construction and surface, so be sure you have the right type of fasteners available — and if your home is a rental, you may be restricted to non-invasive methods such as suspending frames from a railing or keeping your artwork lightweight enough to use magnetic or peel-and-stick types of picture hangers.

collecting in home decor3. Become a Groupie

(No, not that kind) – Accessories are an important part of home decorating. They can make or break a room and are a great way to show off your collections and personalize your home decor.

However, don’t over-do it. If you have a large collection, put some of it away and rotate the items. Group the items together in one place rather than spreading around throughout the house.

Think about every accessory you put in a room. You want it to reflect your personality and taste, but not look cluttered. Consider the scale of the items as well as their colors, purpose, and shapes.

Group them in odd numbers or creative ways, but keep them together.

Aim for a small grouping of your favorites and either pack the rest away, sell them, or donate them to charity.

4. That’s Odd! Off-center is On-target

Unless your display is of Noah’s Ark, avoid putting things in pairs. Odd numbers are far more interesting. A group of three or five items is usually better than two, four, or six.

Items that are different in shape, height, color, texture or some other dimension should be balanced, but that almost always means they should not be centered and spread out or lined up evenly in a straight line.

5. Think Big — Bigger IS Better!

Contrary to what many think, a small room decorated with small furniture is usually not the best way to go. One larger (but not huge) “statement” piece — such as an antique armoire, bookcase topped desk, or an overstuffed arm chair with a carved wood frame — will draw the eye and create an airier atmosphere than a lot of smaller scale furniture.

Start with your statement piece and arrange the other items in the room around it.

For example, many smaller rooms often have a shelving unit against one wall, either freestanding or in the form of shelves attached to shelving strips affixed to the wall.

Whether you use it for media and/or books, display, or other storage, replace the open shelves with an armoire to hold all of that “stuff” instead.

Perhaps angle the armoire in a corner of the room and arrange your seating and occasional tables to complement that.

You’ll be surprised how much better the space will look and feel. See Focal Point for related information.

6. Of(f) Color: Avoid White Blight

I know white walls are very appealing to some of you, but having no color on the walls makes a room seem cold and uninviting. It also makes it very hard to decorate.

If you must use pure white, use it for trim, fabric, or accessories with a color or even a light neutral shade on the walls.

White only works on a wall if you know how to use it — and since that is a difficult thing to do, we do not recommend you try it yourself.

And be sure to choose the right intensity of color. Do not rely on small paint chips as the color will look different on the wall.There are so many different paint finishes, so be bold!

Purchase a small amount of paint and try it first. Live with it a couple of days. View it at various times of the day and night since the color you choose may look different with different lighting conditions and with different colors adjacent to it .

It is worth the slight extra investment to avoid spending many times more only to have it turn out darker or lighter than you expected.

Decorator’s Tip

Instead of putting the sample color on a wall, we suggest you paint a large piece of white foamcore board or posterboard and look at it in different places in your room.

If you are painting several rooms or want to make an accent wall a different color or hue, you can also paint another board with the different color and move them from wall to wall or even room to room and see which placement looks best.


With today’s computer technology, paint stores can match almost any color you can find. You are not restricted to choosing colors available on paint chips.

Expert paint stores can also make a color slightly darker or lighter – just be sure to check some dried paint to be sure it is what you want before you leave the store with your purchase.

7. Lighten Up in 3 Easy Steps

lighting design1. Lighting may be the most frequently overlooked element of home decorating. Besides the fixtures being design elements themselves, good lighting is related to function (as in task lighting, reading lights, etc.) and mood.

Lighting should be chosen not only for the style and scale of the light fixtures but according to what the purpose of the room is and what type of ambience you wish to create.

Dark rooms can be depressing and overly bright rooms can be harsh on the eyes and the nerves.

Each room should have multiple lighting options, from a dimmer switch for the dining room chandelier to table and floor lamps near work and reading areas. Accent lighting can enhance your collections, artwork, or even your prize schefflera.

2. Along with the above, the most frequent lighting mistake in home decor is a dining room chandelier that is either too small (almost always) and/or hung too high.

A dining room light fixture should be centered over the table and should not be flush or even semi-flush to the ceiling.

It should hang above the table, with the bottom of the fixture no higher than 3 feet above the table. It should also be no smaller than about 9 to 12 inches less than the width or diameter of the table.

A table that is 4 feet wide and 6 feet long should have a chandelier that is 36 to 39 or 40 inches in diameter.

A round table that is 5 feet in diameter (width across the middle) should have a chandelier that is no smaller than 48 inches in diameter. (For larger tables, my personal preference is to hang the chandelier even a little lower than 36″ above the table as it makes it a more dramatic focal point).

The chandelier should be on a dimmer (soft light is more flattering and conducive to dining) and don’t forget the candles.

3. Last but far from least — Do not neglect the importance of sunlight (or the ability of ultra violet rays to fade furnishings and artwork).

When thinking about room lighting you should also pay attention to the direction the windows of the room face, when it is likely to have the most sun, if you want the maximum exposure to that sun or it will be too glaring, if you want the light but not the UV exposure, or if you want to block the sun (in a media room or perhaps the bedroom of someone who works the night shift and sleeps during the day).

These things should all be considered when selecting the appropriate type of window treatments. Do you need to filter light (semi-sheers and similar types of curtains), block it (light-blocking shades, blinds, and/or heavier draperies), create privacy, not block a great view, especially if it is as grand as a New York skyline?

All of these lighting-related factors should be considered in deciding on window treatments.

Decorator’s Tip

A pair of smaller chandeliers, each hung over a night table in the bedroom is a favorite decorator trick. Hang the fixtures low enough to provide reading light and so they are in proportion to the room and furniture.

Not only a different look but leaves the furniture tops clear for a book, clock, or other essentials

8. What’s the (focal) Point? Every Room Needs One

A focal point serves as the focus or anchor for the design of a room. In other words, it is the glue that brings a room together and creates interest. Some may not be aware of what a focal point is and what it does for a room so their rooms either tend to have no focal point or to have too many.

The result of either is the same – confusion,

focal point of a roomSo, what is a focal point? In general, it is the most dramatic element in a room. It is what your eye is drawn to when you first enter a room. It is attention getting and should be the center of attention of your decor.

The focal point can be a fireplace, a large picture window with a great view, or a headboard, entertainment unit or armoire.

Furnishings should be arranged in relation to the focal point — such as a conversational group around a fireplace.

Other main elements in a room are arranged to face, frame, or be part of the focal point.

If your space does not have an architectural feature to serve as a focal point, you can create one by using, for example, a dramatic (in scale, style, color, design) piece of furniture, a sculpture, a striking painting on an easel or a picture hung on a wall.

Great Focal Points Anchor a Room

If your room doesn’t have a focal point, you can create one as described above or you might want to consider arranging your room with one of the following as your focal point.

9. Stifle Those Yawns – Monotony is Boring and Tiresome

Matching furniture, everything the same color, an over-done “theme” room, the same fabric used everywhere (on furniture, windows, accessories, you-name-it).

If your room looks like it came out of a store catalog and everything matches — be it a “suite” of furniture, a color, or ruffles or a themed motif on everything, looking at the same thing all of the time is boring because it lacks interest and personality.

Sure that set of furniture or bedroom linens/curtains/lampshade ensemble looked great in the catalog or showroom. It is supposed to. They are trying to sell as much merchandise as possible and it worked as a sales tool because you bought it.

But once you get it home, matchy-matchy becomes worse than wishy-washy.

An overly matched room can also give the impression of being cluttered.

What to do? Break up the set. Swap pieces with items from other rooms — maybe the bedroom nightstand would work as an endtable in the living room or the dresser (sans mirrors) could be used as a server or buffet in the dining room or against a foyer wall.

List them on eBay or Craig’s list and use the proceeds to find a more interesting replacement. Donate part of the set to charity and enjoy helping others (and the tax benefit).

rugs in interior designYou might also try painting one piece, changing the hardware, and maybe even add a marble, granite, tile, or Mosaic top to transform a standard piece of furniture into a fun, artsy, unique item. Decoupage and other techniques can also be used.

Items in a room should coordinate and create a balanced, complementary look while serving as functional parts of your home but items that look like they came out of the box will make you feel like you are living in one. Think outside the box.

10. Flying Carpets Belong in Fairy Tales

Rugs are not supposed to float or fly except in fairy tale air space. Rugs that are too small are not only hazardously easy to trip on, they float in the middle of a floor, break up a room and are distracting.

Before you decide on a size for a rug, use blue painters tape to outline where you want the rug to go.

A rug should anchor the furniture. If a seating arrangement, at least the front feet of the furniture should rest on the rug.

Similarly, do not put a too-small rug under the dining room table and have the chairs float around it. It should be large enough for the chairs to fit on as well so that the furniture is both physically and visibly connected.

A room-size area rug should have a 9 to 12 inch border of floor showing between the rug and the wall.

If using a room-sized area rug, it should be large enough to tuck under the edges of any furniture around the room, such as servers, or china cabinets. If you already have one that it is too small, use it somewhere else.

So there you have it, 10 interior design tips. I hope they’re helpful. And if you have anything to add, feel free to comment below!

open can of paint

The Many Different Paint Finishes

Painting is one of the best ways to change the look of your house or a room. It’s relativity inexpensive to do and it doesn’t take very long. You’ll find different types of paints for painting the inside and outside of your house, as well as different types of paints for each use. Most of your paint selection options will focus on interior paint, many of which will be latex paints.

Interior paint finishes come in a few distinguishing style, including semi-gloss, high-gloss, satin, matte, flat or eggshell.

Flat Paint Finishes

This paint type reflects the least amount of light, and it dries with a soft look that won’t draw too much attention to the surface. This makes it a great paint option for areas with surface damage. Flat paint is less forgiving to new marks and scuffs than other types of paint, which is why you should only use it in low-traffic areas. One of the best areas to use flat paint is the ceiling.

Matte Paint Finishes

Matte paint finishes often offer the same benefits as flat paint finishes. In fact, some paint manufacturers use the term matte instead of flat. If a paint manufacturer lists both flat and matte paint finishes, the matte paints will have more shine in the finish than the flat paints, but not by much. Use matte paint in the same places as flat finishes.

Eggshell Paint Finishes

This type of paint finish gets its name from the fact that light reflects from the painted surface about as much as it does off an egg’s shell. The subtle sheen holds up better to washing than flat or matte finishes, making it more appropriate for areas with higher traffic levels. Professional painters and contractors in Southern Suburbs recommend eggshell paint in the following areas:

Satin Paint Finishes

The satin finish is the most commonly used paint finish. This style reflects enough light that is gives a soft glow, looking similar to a piece of satin. It has more durability than the aforementioned types of paint, and it maintains its luster after washing and light scrubbing. Often, this will be the finish for trim and rooms with more traffic, as well as kitchens. It does not hide blemishes as well as the earlier styles, so be sure to fix defects in the wall before painting.

different colors of paints

Semi-gloss Paint Finishes

Semi-gloss paint holds up very well to traffic and moisture, which is why many painters use it in bathrooms or kitchens. The shine also helps a room feel clean, and it maintains its appearance if you need to wash the surface or scrub it. While this paint is durable, it will usually show brush strokes if you don’t know how to paint a room.

High-Gloss Paint Finishes

Many paint manufacturers call this type of paint “gloss,” which is appropriate for the glossy surface it creates. The paint always looks wet when the light reflects off it. Professional painters use high-gloss paint for trim and accents. It also holds up well for furniture and fixtures, since it is very resistant to moisture and the abrasiveness of cleaning.

Avoid using high-gloss paint on a large surface, such as a wall, because it can be visually distracting. Keep in mind that as high-gloss paints age, they will become more brittle.

Improve Your Paint Job

Regardless of what type of paint finish you use, always prepare your surface before painting. Fill in and repair cracks, dents and holes. Sand down old paint drips and any new repairs before you paint. Getting ready to paint will improve the appearance of any paint job, but it is essential when you use certain paint finishes.

For the best results, use the type of paint recommended by professionals for the area you plan to cover. Find more information about the top paint brands at our DIY blog.

Best Simple Human Trash Can Reviews

Simple Human Trash Can Review

The Simple Human Trash Can is one of the most popular trash cans on Amazon and other online shopping sites. This page will give a comprehensive review of the Simple Human Trash Can, two in particular, the step one and the sensor one, and let you make an informed decision that it’s the best trash can for your needs. In my research Amazon consistently offers both of these Simple Human Trash Cans at a great price and quite often you can qualify for Free Super saver shipping.

simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can, Fingerprint-Proof Brushed Stainless Steel, 50 Liters /13 Gallons

simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash CanSimple Human Trash Cans, What All The Fuss Is About….

The Simplehuman Rectangular Trash can is a durable stainless steel trash can that become a stylish feature in any part of the home. Conveniently, you can open the lid just by stepping on a platform pedal. Rather than slamming shut the lid will quietly close rather than slamming shut with a lot of noise. This is due to the air suspension shocks. Sounds like a car but in truth it’s an awesome trash can and is highly recommended if you have a family who ends up opening and shutting the bin all day and night.

Another feature is the fact that it has a non skid base so that it keeps sturdy on the floor. Also if you hate stainless steel because of the ugly fingerprint marks you’ll love this trash can as it’s fingerprint proof – so it will have a shiny, mirror finish day and night.

Inside the trash can there’s a plastic bucket which is dent proof and the smart bucket bag-change system means you’ll never have a smelly, messy bag overhanging.

Features & Specifications

  1. Strong all-steel pedal
  2. Lid closes silently
  3. Patented toe kick
  4. Resists smudges and fingerprints
  5. Excess bag is hidden from view

The Simplehuman Rectangular Step Can has received a lot of positive feedback from its customers and Creatrope feels the same.

The Negatives

Who would have thought that there could be so much positive feedback made for a trashcan?

I have been pleasantly surprised with the findings of our research into the feedback for the Simplehuman Trash Can. While the majority of reviewers have only positive things to say about this garbage can, there have also been some criticisms leveled at the product, which it’s only fair that I share with you today.

One customer wasn’t a fan of the trash can’s latch that holds the lid open. He personally found it difficult to operate. He argued that the user has to force the lid open as far as possible in order to access the latch. While most of the customers haven’t found this to be an issue, you might want to keep it in mind if you are planning to purchase the product.

Another buyer had a complaint about the trash can’s foot pedal. They complained that when they depressed the pedal too fast the lid opened too quickly and slammed into whatever was directly behind it. However, no other buyers commented on this at all and didn’t seem to experience it.

One final negative review was made by a customer who described that his trashcan had a faint “plasticky” smell when he first obtained the product. I guess it’s like a new car, most things that are new – well, smell new, and I wouldn’t let it put you off purchasing this product at all.

That’s pretty much it in terms of negative feedback for this. You can check out these reviews in more detail.

The Positives

It’s quite clear that most buyers of this Simplehuman Rectangular Trash Can are very happy with their purchase and clearly their reviews reflect this.

The reviewers have left a lot of positive feedback in regards to this product’s well thought out design. It’s quite clear just because there’s trash inside the bin doesn’t need to look like rubbish. Clearly the reviews and ratings on Amazon reflect how much buyers appreciate this.

Also a lot of homes now have stainless steel appliances and the stainless steel design of this trash can means it can blend in beautifully with your kitchen and home decor easily. Rather than an eyesore it can become a nice feature.

Another thing buyers love is the fact that their kids of all ages haven’t been able to knock it over and create one awful mess. It’s like having a eco dumpster rental right in your kitchen. Not only that it will easily keep domestic animals and bugs out too.

Further, the size of the can has impressed buyers to no end. Even though it does have a large capacity as far as rubbish is concerned it doesn’t take up too much room and can easily fit wherever there is room against the wall.

The mechanics of the product have received a lot of positive comments. The reviewers really like how the lid closes slowly without making any noise. Another benefit is that children will be unable to pry the lid open without using the foot pedal because the lid is sealed within the casing.

Finally, compliments have also been made for the fact that it doesn’t show fingerprints, that it is easily cleaned, and that removing the bag is simple.

The Conclusion

Would we recommend the Simplehuman Rectangular Step Can to our readers?

Yes, and here is why:

Virtually all the customers who have purchased the Simple Human Trash Can have been thrilled with their purchase and consider it well worth the price.

Simplehuman Rectangular Sensor Trash Can, Fingerprint-Proof Brushed Stainless Steel, 40-Liter /10.5-Gallon

Features & Specifications

  1. The most important feature of this trash can is its adaptive sensor that easily adapts to your tasks and behavior and its touch free opening and closing technology.
  2. It’s 40 liter in size and is also fingerprint proof and has a stylish stainless steel finish.
  3. The inner bucket is very easy to clean.
  4. The lid features odor control so there’s no harsh smells when the lid actually opens as often happens.
  5. It has nylon discs underneath so it is easy to slide to wherever you want to locate it in your house.
  6. It can be powered either by electricity or battery, the choice is yours.


This is touch free technology at its best. You and all your family members will never have to touch the bin to open or close the lid.

This is as hygienic as a trash can can be. The sensor even closely watches your behavior so that it doesn’t open or close the bin when you don’t want it to.

This  can also has a fingerprint proof finish that keeps the stainless steel looking bright, shiny and clean at all times. As the first Simple Human trash can I earlier reviewed it also has a dent proof plastic bucket.

The great thing is that 6 size C batteries should see this bin sensoring away for up to 365 days with normal use. Alternatively you can use the AC power adapter.

It also comes with a 5 year limited warranty which is a pretty insane warranty for a trash can, don’t you think.

The Negatives

I’m quite astonished at the number of positve reviews for this trash can. There really are very few negative comments regarding this trash can. One customer wasn’t too happy that the batteries weren’t included with the purchase.

They also commented that if you place this trash can in a confined space you could find it accidentally opening should your hand pass over it as you walk past.

Another buyer commented on the fact that his cat could actually open the can and also knock it over. He also commented on the fact that no AC adapter nor batteries displeased him.

It seems that overall the negative comments relate to the lack of batteries and AC adapter and hopefully SimpleHuman will take note of these comments and pay a few dollars more to meet this simple need.

The Positives

There have been some exceptionally positive reviews for this Simple Human trash can.

One buyer commented on the fact that they had saved $60 buying this trash can on Amazon and considers it a first class item.

Buyers consistently just love the sensor feature and the fact that you can use standard trash cans.

The stylish, stainless steel finish is also a big plus as it enhanced your home and kitchen decor and is definitely not a trash can to hide under the kitchen sink.

Customers also love the fact you can easily switch between batteries and electricity, it’s your hoice.

It is a great trash can if you are nervous or cautious about your kids putting fingers near or even in the trash so this should give you real peace of mind.

The Conclusion

Would we recommend the Simplehuman Sensor Trash Can to our readers?

Yes, and here is why:

Virtually all the customers who have purchased the Simple Human Sensor Trash Can have been thrilled with their purchase and consider it well worth the price.

home office lighting

Home Office Lighting

Lighting: The Most Important Pieces of Equipment in Any Office

When designing your ideal in-home office, there are three elements that are the most important: Your desk, your chair, and your office lighting. All three of these must work well together in order for you to function comfortably in your home office. Which is the best type of home office lighting to use?

The type of light fixtures and lamps you choose will depend on your office space requirements, what time of day you work, how much natural light is available and how your desk is situated to take advantage of it, and probably a few other factors, not least of which is personal preference. If you choose to work after dark, you may find you need more than one of these types of lighting.

If your home is rented you will be less likely to install any permanent light fixtures, so desktop lamps, clamp on lamps or hanging lights will be more desirable for most rental properties.

Type of Bulb

Another factor is the type of bulb used. Fluorescent bulbs and compact fluorescent bulbs are energy saving and long lasting, but do have an environmental and safety downside if they break, since they can expose you and your family to mercury contamination.

Good quality LED fixtures are extremely efficient and long lasting, but are still fairly expensive to purchase, though as they gain more acceptance the price is coming down.

Eyestrain and Glare

Reading in low light sends mixed signals to your brain, resulting in mixed signals being sent to your visual muscles. Your muscles are trying to relax so that the most light can be gathered, but at the same time they’re trying to contract to focus on the written word. This causes EYE STRAIN.

Avoiding eyestrain and glare is key. You want to choose lights that mimic the natural light spectrum as closely as possible, since this is the spectrum that causes the least eyestrain. How bright the light is and how it adjusts to put the light exactly where it’s needed is also important for avoiding glare and eyestrain. It’s also important to take note of any window treatments and how they are reflecting light from outside into your office as well.

Some fluorescent fixtures flicker and/or strobe, which may be very subtle, but the resulting eyestrain and headaches will be anything but subtle! If you are using a fluorescent light fixture and experiencing discomfort it is time to assess whether you need to switch it out for a newer fixture. Better quality fluorescent fixtures and bulbs don’t strobe, and LED fixtures don’t do this at all.

Let’s explore the types of office light fixtures you can choose for your work at home office.

Traditional Desk Lamps

Traditional Desk Lamp

The most common type of office lighting is the desk lamp, https://www.architecturelab.net/architect-lamp/. These come in many forms, ie; architect, banker’s, swing arm, gooseneck or flexneck, magnifier, piano, and other types of desk lighting.

Pro— Desk lamps put the light exactly where you need it– on the surface where you’re working. Most are adjustable to at least some degree, allowing you to position both the light and the lamp so that you can work comfortably with little to no glare.

Con— If your office and/or desktop is very small, the lampbase may take up valuable desktop space. Also, they use an outlet, and sometimes adding one more wire is one too many!

Swag Lamp, Pendant Lamp or Hanging Lamps

One way to get your lighting up off your desktop to conserve desktop space is to use a swag lamp, a pendant lamp, or hanging lamp.

Swags are made to plug into an outlet, with the long wire laced through a chain that then hangs from a hook or bracket. These work well if you rent your property and wish to minimize damage to the walls or ceiling. They also work well if you plan to move and don’t wish to make permanent changes to your existing property.

Pendant type lamps or hanging type lamps are permanently installed into the ceiling and then wired to a wall switch. These work well if you own your own home and don’t plan to move for a good long while.

Though in most cases your lighting will be fixed in position with a hanging light, some versatility can be achieved if you pair your swag lighting with a swivelling bracket for hanging it, and an extra long chain and cord.

You can also buy a swag kit and pair it with your choice of shade, giving you more decorating versatility!

Pros— These allow you to put the lighting exactly where you want it without sacrificing desktop space.

Cons— Because they require either a ceiling hook and/or a wall bracket for the plug-in type, or to be wired directly into the ceiling for the wired in type, they can’t as easily be moved if you decide to move your desk. There are few LED options for hanging swags or fixtures at this time, though that will change as LED lighting becomes more cost effective.

Adjustable Floor Lamps

floor lampIn some cases when you wish to conserve desk space but don’t wish to use a hanging fixture, an adjustable floor lamp may be the best option.

Pros— No permanent installation needed, and can be moved easily. Adjustable lamp arms allow you to move the light where you wish, which can be more versatile in certain cases.These work especially well when the desk is not against and facing a wall.

Cons— Requires floor space, which can be a challenge in cases where the office is in a very small space. Requires an outlet, which can be a challenge in cases where one more wire and plug will cause issues. Cheaper floor lamps are often less stable and may create a toxic hazard when used with carbon fluorescent bulbs.

Clip Lamps and Clamp Lamps

If space in your office is at a premium, then clip on lamps or clamp on lamps are one of the most versatile options for you. They can be fastened to the edge of the desk or table, to a shelf above your desk or to any other nearby surface of the right thickness ie a window sill. This frees up valuable desktop space.

Pros– These lamps take up very little space, and most are very adjustable so that you can focus the light exactly where it’s needed, and move it if you need to. Clip-ons are more easily movable. Clamp-ons are usually much more durable and don’t have a tendency to shift if clamped properly.

Cons– These lamps require an outlet and sometimes one more cord is one too many. The cheaper clip on lamps can be unstable and the clips will eventually lose their tension. Clamp on lamps are not as easily movable, and the cheaper swing arm lamps will lose tension and become unstable. Pairing a cheaper and less stable clip on lamp or clamp on lamp with a carbon fluorescent bulb may create a toxic hazard. Halogen lamps of this type may, if the lamp becomes unstable, cause a fire hazard because of their high heat output.

Under Cabinet Light Fixtures

For situations where both desktop space and floor space are at a premium, you might choose to mount light fixtures to the bottom of your hanging shelves or hanging cupboards above your desktop.

In most cases you’ll choose low profile or flush mounted lights for this purpose, but in some cases you may have the room to use short profile track lighting, which gives much more versatility, allowing you to aim the light exactly where you wish.

Pros— This type of fixture takes up the least amount of room in any office and is great for small office spaces. You can find these types of fixtures that can be either plugged in or permanently wired in. This type of lighting comes in both fluorescent and LED options.

Cons— This type of lighting isn’t as versatile and is harder to move if you move your desk or office. There is no way to use most of these in situations where the desk isn’t under a hanging cupboard or shelf.

Battery Operated Office Lights

If there’s a space in your office where you need some extra light and it’s just plain inconvenient to either run another wire or unwise to plug another plug into an already crowded wall outlet, then you’ll need to consider alternatives. Battery powered lamps and lights are available. There are also solar charging lights that can be useful if you have a window with natural light where a solar light can easily be charged. These come in different types. Some are lamps, others can be fastened to a wall, clipped to a table or shelf, or stuck to the underside of a cupboard or hanging shelf.

These lights will not completely replace good electrical lighting. They are not as bright. But they will add some light in a place where you need it.

You could also look for solar powered ones as well. If there is enough sunlight getting through, then you have an office where you don’t even need to pay for electricity for your lighting.

create a home office

Changing a Guest Room into a Home Office


We have a guest bedroom in our home that is lovely; however, it only gets used three weeks out of a year. I really would like to have a study and am not sure how to set the room up. This room is directly across from the great room and I would like them to relate. I would appreciate some ideas for developing this room into a more useable space.


Since “Home Office” is all about function, you have already taken the first important step in analyzing a space by considering the use of the space as well as the function. The original room worked well for the week-end guest with the queen size bed, but did not leave enough room for the much needed work area.

The goal was to convert this existing room into a highly efficient home office by taking advantage of the spaces available. As it was also important to provide a nice area for reading, listening to music as well as guest sleeping, we suggested placing the work surfaces along the perimeter of the rooms.

This allowed enough available floor space to install a nice sleeper sofa for the few times guests will be using the room and also provided cozy seating to be used on a daily basis.


Interior Designers are always looking for new, creative twists for existing spaces. As our design team began to develop the plan, we suggested removing the one existing, bedroom door which lead into the great room, widening and reframing the opening by an additional 2’6” for a total opening of 5’ wide.

This enabled us to create a gracious entry into the new study and add some dynamite doors while allowing the two spaces to flow and compliment each other.

To add additional drama and interest to these spaces, two custom leaded glass doors were designed and hinged to open into the great room. Whether in the open or closed position, these doors bring in a wonderful element of interest, color, and design to not only the study but also the great room as we hinged the doors to swing into the great room for all to enjoy.


As long as we were into a little sheetrock and drywall anchors tear-out and new paint, the decision was made to remove the closet doors and eliminate the short, wing walls. This “new-found space” worked well for developing a computer workstation with upper bookcases and enclosed upper cabinets for storage. (See revised plan.)

An additional workstation was added under the view window that enables this office to be used by two family members at the same time while keeping each area independent.

An upper bookcase could easily be added to this area on the wall space just left of the window which duplicates the amount of storage and work surface.

By using just a few design changes, the space has become very compact but efficient and with a wealth of practical features which is especially important with the ever changing demands of the modern business world.


When investing in any item for the home, not only think about current use but also anticipate and plan for future needs. Home offices can often begin with a simple need to escape from family activities while paying bills, and this office can grow into a highly used area by spouses catching up on work, children playing computer games or preparing a school paper.

Home offices often turn into the main office for a home business or a retreat haven for the newly retired.

Make a list of needs for the present office as well as for the projected use of this space during the next six years. List how the space will be used and what family members will be using the space together or at separate times. Include in your list all equipment that you will be using such as computer, copier, printer, scanner, etc., and decide if it is acceptable for you to have this equipment displayed in the open or prefer to have the equipment behind closed doors when not in use.

As equipment will change over the years in type, style and dimensions, keep your dimensions and space flexible.


As a general rule, the depth of the worktop should be a minimum of 24” deep. The main work area could increase to a comfortable 30” deep for spreading out papers if your room space allows this. The desk work-height should be at 29” to 30” from the finished floor. If a pencil drawer or computer tray is to be installed, be sure the thickness does not exceed 4” high or the legs and knees will be crowded.

With the actual knee space, I recommend keeping the minimum width of the open knee space at 27” or more if possible.

Upper cabinets over the work area should be hung 18” to 24” above the finished work counter. I prefer to keep the open space at 24” above the worktop and add a task light with a light rail under the upper cabinet. This task light gives additional, quality lighting for the actual work area. The upper shelves should have adjustable shelves when possible, and a combination of doors and open shelves on the upper cabinets is an excellent idea.

The doors help conceal items such as copy paper, note books and items that are not that attractive.


There are several different options for obtaining the furniture for your home office. I would encourage you to keep quality in the forefront, as this will be an investment that will certainly perform well for years to come.

  • Consider purchasing one of the wonderful collections of manufactured home-office furniture. There is a great variety of styles and wood types such as cherry, walnut, maple or oak. The details on these pieces are very attractive and the quality pieces come with all the amenities such as pull-out shelves for printers and scanners, file cabinets, grommets for cords, task lights, fabric corkboard for tackables, keyboard trays, pencil drawers and power tracks that include phone jack outlets, switched electrical outlets and a high speed data “out” port to name a few.
  • Cabinet shops (whether manufactured or custom) can also provide the parts and pieces for compiling a well functioning workstation. If choosing this direction, maintain the design goal of having these pieces look like furniture pieces and not kitchen cabinets.

Select a companion wood, use furniture base and crown moldings and stagger the height of the upper cabinets so the finished project exceeds your expectations.

Home offices are here to stay, and this is where form as well as function should play an important part. Don’t forget to select a great accent wall color, soft panels of window covers, dynamic artwork, and a lush leather chair for reading and retreating in the corner of your new home office/study.

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are beautiful. They make a statement and are particularly easy to clean and maintain, compared to other floor types. Cleaning and maintaining your hardwood floors regularly can ensure they last longer. Here are the steps for how to do just that:

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

  1. Give your floor a thorough sweep with a soft broom with fine bristles to get the small detritus and dust out of the way. You can also use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment.
  2. Use a very dry damp mop when cleaning your hardwood floors. You can use a mixture of half a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. If you’re worried about leaving a smell, don’t worry: vinegar will not leave any odor after it has dried. You can also use lemon oil for stains and more shine.
  3. Use only a minimal amount of water, and make sure to dry the floor up quickly, especially with the older type of hardwood floors. The older type of hardwood floors don’t have the polyurethane seal that keeps out wood-damaging water.
  4. Use a floor polisher for that extra shine. You should also wax regularly to make sure that the hardwood floors are always sealed. Mop up spills immediately to prevent stains or damage to the hardwood floors.


Removing Stains and Spills

There are different methods for you to remove different kinds of stains. Since you are dealing with hardwood floor types, it’s best that you use cleaning agents that will not cause too much damage with the hardwood material.

  • For blood, you can simply use cold water, and for tougher-to-remove blood stains, you can use a bit of ammonia in the water.
  • Lipstick stains can be removed with a mixture of detergent and warm water, using light pressure with a scouring pad.
  • Liquor or alcohol stains can be treated with a cloth dampened with cold water with detergent. You can also alternate the water with another cloth dampened with denatured alcohol.
  • To remove grease, you must first cause it to congeal by using a disposable cold press or a bag of frozen vegetables, like peas. Scrape it off with a dull knife or a bread knife. If there is any residue left, put a rag on top of the grease stain and iron it carefully for the cloth to absorb the grease fully.
  • For ink, warm water and detergent will usually do the trick. If not, commercial ink removers are available in most home supplies shops.
  • Dye can be removed with a solution of 1:3 bleach and water. Do not soak the area.
  • Crayon marks can be removed using mineral spirits. If this does not work, try using toothpaste and rubbing against the marks using a dry rag.
  • Remove fruit stains with a mixture of warm water and detergent. You can also use a solution of water and oxalic acid to rub against the stain.
  • Scuff marks can be removed by a pencil eraser. For stubborn scuff stains, use a fine steel wool with floor liquid wax. Rub gently until the stains are removed.
  • To treat oil spills on your floor, immediately try to soak up the spill using newspapers or paper towels. You should then cover the spill area with a cloth saturated with a dry cleaning fluid for around five minutes. Wipe dry and clean the rest up with detergent.
  • Shoe polish spills can be removed by rubbing a fine steel wool gently against the spill until it is completely removed.
  • If a tar spill is your problem, you should first apply a disposable cold compress or a bag of frozen vegetables to the spill, to make it solid and brittle. Gently scrape it off with a plastic spatula. For the remaining stain, use a detergent.
  • To remove pet urine, soak up the spill using newspapers and towels. Immediately rub the area with a hot damp cloth and scouring powder. Use a 10:1 solution of bleach and water for stubborn stains, and since you are using bleach, make sure that you rinse well with clean water, as bleach can discolor your wood, especially if it seeps through the hardwood’s finish. You can also use vinegar if you do not wish to use bleach.

For any kind of spill and stain, you must make sure that you thoroughly rinse and dry the area. Make sure the area is completely dried and not left to air-dry. If the process of cleaning has stripped off the hardwood’s finish, recoat with the finish or wax.


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