Month: August 2011

Save Time, Save Money, Save the Environment

Recycled tires offer an alternative to wood mulch

You might think the only way to recycle old tires is to fasten a rope or chain to them and hang them from a tree. In fact, there is an entire industry devoted to breaking down and re-using tires in a variety of products.

Ironically, one of the most popular uses for recycled tires is as an alternative to traditional, organic mulch. Liberty Tire Recycling, responsible for recycling approximately one third of America’s discarded tires — turning 130 million tires a year into 1.5 billion pounds of rubber to be used for “innovative, eco-friendly products.”

Rubber mulch from discarded tires has several advantages over traditional mulch:

  • Longer lasting— regular organic mulch generally needs to be refreshed and/or replaced once a year or more.
  • More cost-effective— although per cubic foot more expensive, because rubber mulch lasts so much longer (some products claim to last more than a decade), it works out to be easier on the wallet.
  • Less labor-intensive— rather than re-mulching and over-mulching every season or every year, rubber mulch requires much less maintenance.
  • More green— store-bought mulch is made from trees cut down just for that purpose; using rubber mulch not only keeps tons of scrap tires out of landfills, it also conserves the environment by offering an alternative to tree-based mulch.

For more information on rubber mulch, try these resources:

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Garage Floor Solutions

3 Ideas for Updating Your Garage Floor

For many homeowners, the garage is not just for cars anymore. Garages are being repurposed to function as workshops, dens, home offices, supplemental storage space and more.

For most any purpose, however, the original garage floor is most likely not going to suffice.

Check out these three options for transforming you ordinary garage floor.

  • Epoxy Coating — One of the most popular choices is an epoxy finish. It is a relatively easy do-it-yourself project, requiring only a dry, clean surface with no cracks. Just like paint, you can roll the epoxy finish onto the floor. DoItYourself.com has more information on epoxy finishes, preparation (also see this article from the Washington Post) and installation.
  • Interlocking Garage Mats — Even easier to install than epoxy covering, interlocking plastic mats are placed on top of your current floor — cracks and unevenness are not an issue. Depending on the mats you select, these can provide fatigue cushioning, as well as insulation from cold concrete in winter temperatures. For more, visit DoItYourself.com.
  • Concrete Stain or Dye— While upgrading the look of an existing concrete floor with stain or dye is not a project for the average handyman (though DIYNetwork.com offers these instructions), the results can be stunning. Staining generally allows for a more narrow color choice than dying your concrete floor. ConcreteIdeas.com has more information.

Whether you are looking to make your floor less slippery, more comfortable, easier to clean, or simply more attractive, any of these garage flooring solutions will make a noticeable difference in your garage.

Photo from Garage Floor Covering.