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Helpful tips from BMO Bank of Montreal

Is buying a vacation property right for me?

6 questions to ask before making a move.

As the weather warms up, a cottage by the lake may sound appealing ― but is owning a second home right for you? If you’re looking to purchase a place, prices will vary greatly depending on where you’re searching.

There are several important factors to consider before purchasing a vacation home, so don’t let the allure of a lake breeze or the excitement of water sports keep you from thinking it through. First, ask yourself these six questions: Continue reading

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Laying ceramic

Like most renovation jobs, a patient and meticulous do-it-yourselfer will have no problem laying ceramic. In case of doubt, leave it to a professional. Redoing a ceramic floor or even a part of a wall is quite unpleasant. Here are a few guidelines to help you determine if you should do the work yourself.

  • Laying ceramic is not as easy as pouring a concrete floor or laying a carpet. Especially if the choice of tiles requires various cuts.
  • The range of required tools and instruments is impressive. You will need to rent or borrow them.
  • Remember, generally speaking, the ceramic used to cover a wall is different from floor ceramic, as it is much more fragile. However, there is model of ceramic that applies easily to the floor, the wall and even the work surface in the kitchen. Lastly, there is a model reserved exclusively for floors, which is the sturdiest of all ceramics.  Continue reading
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Ceramic passes the test

Ceramic is as old as the world. It has been manufactured and used for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans were crazy about it. Ceramic is found in every corner of the world.

Clay is the first material used to manufacture ceramic. It is baked at very high temperatures. Clay is abundant in nature, even if manufacturers have been using it for ages. From this aspect, ceramic is definitely an ecological material.

On top of that, ceramic is extremely durable once it is placed on the floor or walls. It can last for almost half a century. And it requires little maintenance, which in itself is a distinguishing feature of a sustainable material.

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The surface of ceramic is often vitreous, which means that there is no risk of toxic substances spreading in the air of a home. Even better: more and more manufacturers are resorting to recycled material, such as glass, to manufacture ceramic.

Is ceramic ecological. Not quite. Continue reading

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The flexibility of ceramic

We see it as outdated, obsolete, even tacky at times and yet each time it is reborn to become even fresher and richer. Ceramic never ceases to amaze us. It’s the phoenix of decorative materials.

We were originally seduced by the practical side of ceramic: shock resistant, watertight, not affected by changes in temperature, easy to wash, perfectly hygienic. It was the ideal material for the kitchen (floor and work space), the bathroom (floor and walls) and the vestibule (floor).

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Years have passed and designers have recognized the potential of ceramic in terms of aesthetics. They have embraced it enthusiastically. The days when ceramic was associated with being poor are long gone. Today, ceramic offers almost infinite possibilities when it comes to decorating.

Ceramic imitates natural stones, wood, marble and concrete. Sometimes the designs are quite surprising, such as snakeskin. This explains its astonishing ability to make a floor come alive. And even make it sophisticated. Ceramic comes in so many colours, textures and motifs that you have an abundance of choice. Continue reading