Reverse Floating Walls in Basement Construction

When you are working in expansive soil such as clay and other soils that expand with moisture content, you need to take special precautions to keep from having structural damage to the foundation and basement walls. One of these precautions is floating walls. A floating wall is not attached at top and bottom like most walls. Floating a wall is able to move with the house and keeps you from having cracks open up in your floor, foundation and walls as the moisture content in the soil changes.

Floating basement walls are usually attached to the floor joists for the first floor and then spiked to the floor allowing a space below the wall. This space is covered by the baseboards and isn’t seen.

A reverse floating wall is attached to the floor. You place the floor on the base plate on the floor and you spike it at the top so that the wall is stable but only attached at the bottom. This is done on wet walls to keep the plumbing stable. The open space is at the top of the walls and is covered by moulding. You can cover the whole wall with sheetrock but you need to take care to leave the top open for movement. This means you cannot attach drywall to the wall all of the way to the top or it will crack as the wall moves with moisture changes in the soil.

For reverse floating walls follow the basic instructions for floating a wall but instead of hanging the wall from the floor joist, you will attach the floor to the base plate and spike to the top plate. Make sure your wall is plumb. If you do not have the wall exactly square it will cause problems. A space of 4 ½ inches is needed at the top of the wall. The wall needs to be spiked in the same way as a normal floating wall too, just at the top instead of the bottom. See instructions for floating wall for more information.

To cover the open area at the top of the wall you can use moulding. Many people do not like the look of moulding around their ceiling. If you want alternatives you can look into having a drop ceiling that can move with the walls and floor. You would need to attach the framing for the ceiling to the frames for the walls. When the house breathes your whole room will move and you will not notice it.

Women Can Urinate – Any Place/ Anytime (Wheelchair and Bed Confined) Updated

Are you confined to a wheelchair? Do you know anybody confined to a wheelchair? Is it hard for you to get up and down from the toilet seat? Do you like to be independent? Do you like to travel? Does urinating make this impossible and embarrassing for you? If your answer is yes, read on.

A few years ago I had emergency surgery on my knees and I could not walk for a few months. I never felt so helpless in my life. In the past I was always able to jump out of bed and go to the bathroom on my own without any trouble. When I was wheelchair bound I felt like a rolling dead person. My independence was snatched away from me.

Suddenly, I needed assistance to just get in and out of bed. I had to be assisted into a wheelchair where I spent my entire day until I was helped back into bed at night.

I required help to get to the bathroom every time nature called. Something so ordinary and simple had turned into a major production, especially since I lived in a mobile home.


The most embarrassing problem was just going to the bathroom. I had to lose my dignity when someone else had to help me stand, disrobe, and help me sit down onto the toilet. I felt humiliated and helpless.

When I needed assistance, I had to call a friend who came over for potty patrol. I was not completely useless. I had my mind, my hands and arms. All I was missing were my legs.

My friend had to wheel me down this long narrow hallway and then squeeze me into a small bathroom which was never designed for a wheelchair. I had to hobble painfully a few steps and then I had to be partially lifted onto the commode.



I was lucky. I remembered back to when I was younger and used to transport my elderly aunt to her doctor’s appointments. She used this little external urinal that enabled her to stand and urinate, or she could use it while sitting in her wheelchair.

I remember when she first learned about this new fantastic, small urinal that drastically changed her life. It was a device made for women that can be slid inside your clothes and had a tube that slipped into a reusable vinyl bag.

I called her about my problem and she told me where it could be purchased. I ordered it immediately, and re-entered the human race.

Presto, now the deed is done right from my wheelchair and nobody needs to know. I can do it by myself without assistance.



I had the long tubing run into a jar during the night and I could urinate easily and freely without leaving my bed.


During my last month confined to my wheelchair I had to make an unexpected trip by airplane to see my sister. I at first panicked for the simple reason I did not know how I was going to urinate while on the plane.

After a few minutes I realized I could use my little urinal device discretely in my airplane seat and nobody would ever be the wiser.

I covered my lap with a blanket, used the collector bag, tied the neck into a knot, and when done, put it into the “barf” bag and asked the flight attendant to dispose of it. She asked if I was feeling better, and with a big sigh, I could honestly say yes.


When I was able to walk again, I still had difficulty getting up and down from the seat. This time I had the answer. I could stand and go using my little secret.



1. It slips discreetly under clothes and has a tube which directs the flow into a vinyl disposable/reusable bag.

2. It is external, easy to manage, and small enough to fit in your purse.

3. It gives you independence during the day and night.

4. You do not need to be lifted out of your wheelchair to use.

5. When in a store or restaurant you can use your urinal and aim the plastic tubing into the toilet.

6. Can be used sitting in your seat on an airplane.

7. Can be used sitting in your seat in a car.

8. Can be used in bed by attaching a long hose to disposable plastic bags or jar.

9. Can stand and urinate.

10. Can be used by adults and children.



All women and some men need to know about this device and how it can help people with difficulty toileting. Become independent in this tremendously important part of your daily living.

Thank you for reading my article. Please let me hear from you.

Copyright 2006 Linda Meckler

African Fashion – Amazing Cow Horn Jewellery

For African fashion lovers, a little known secret is the use of African cow horn jewellery to complement African dressing. It is unbelievable how much use can be made out of a cow horn. The hand crafts can be as many as one can produce but the main uses are in jewellery, tableware, office desk items and bathroom accessories. In tableware, they are mostly used as serving forks and spoons, salt and pepper shakers, sugar bowls, sauce boats, butter knives and Flower vases among others. And the cow horn is the most authentic vessel for drinking alcoholic African beverages. For the office desk, you get ash trays, letter openers, pen holders and many more. For the bathroom, you find combs,soap dishes, shoe horns and bathroom glasses.

It is in jewellery that the artisan mostly expresses himself. Due to the intensive process involved, the crafts men work on custom orders whether for retail or for quantity. Basically without giving out their secrets,the process is as follows. To get the most out of a cow horn, the Turitu craftsmen start with a careful selection of large horns imported from the famous Ankole cattle of the neighbouring country Uganda. The horn is then sawed into pieces depending what products have ordered. The horn is boiled in oil to soften it and molded into the desired item. After cutting and trimming into shape, it is sanded, varnished and painted and then hanged to dry. It is a slow and delicate process that requires many years of training and experience.

For Jewellery, the crafts men usually make ear rings, bangles, bracelets, finger rings, hair clips, belts, necklaces and chokers. They also combine the horn with brass depending on their customers orders. The beauty of the horn jewellery is that it is durable, unique,attractive, is not fragile and can be custom designed. And one can order as much as one needs but they have to give advance orders due to the lengthy and delicate process involved. And since the horn can be molded into almost anything, the crafts men also welcome new designs. However, for simple items like rings that don’t require much handwork, a large quantity can be produced within a short time.

The craft men have been quietly, exporting this jewellery and other cow horn items like combs for the last 30 years to many countries including United States of America and Europe. The manufacturing is done by men while retail selling is done by women in the local cultural markets. This small but highly skilled industry has created many opportunities especially for the youth who would otherwise be engaged in vice. For some reason, little is known of this Kenyan cottage industry even in Kenya itself. However, with more support from African fashion designers, government and other stakeholders, the industry can be a major foreign exchange earner.

The Function Of A Toilet Seat

People rarely talk about their toilets and this is for the reason that the toilet is a private place for most people. What happens in the confines of the toilet usually stays there. Toilets usually become an issue when they are used by many people and their proper maintenance is required. A toilet typically consists of the bowl, cistern and toilet seat, which covers the bowl. The toilet seats don’t merely cover the toilet’s bowl, they play a much more significant role.

A toilet seat ideally is meant to fit over the toilet bowl for sanitary purposes. It comprises of the seat and an accompanying lid, which is attached to it. They come in different sizes, shapes, colors and designs in line with the specifications of the toilets, which they will be placed. For home use, a typical seat is round or almost oval in shape and usually come with lids. Restrooms in public institutions usually use seats that are oval in shape and have a gap at the front. The seats found in public restrooms usually come without lids. They are usually sold in hardware stores that stock toilet supplies and their prices range according to their size, shape, brand and the material used to make them.

The function and significance of these seats is viewed differently by different individuals but what cuts across is their use to promote sanitary conditions to the toilet facility. When a toilet is used by a number of people it is likely to be prone to harbor different types of bacteria, which arise from careless use by some individuals. A toilet seat basically protects the bowl from coming into contact with stray urine. The seat itself is usually cleaned before any person uses it especially in rest rooms to minimize the transfer of bacteria and other vectors. The seat’s lid is meant to cover the seat when the toilet facility is not in use. This minimizes the risk of animals and other bacteria falling into the toilet bowl and thriving. It is an unsightly scene to find animals floating around a toilet bowl and covering the lid helps to minimize this. In public restrooms, they come without lids for ease in use of the toilet facility. When a number of people are waiting in line to use the facility, it is better to find an uncovered toilet ready for use.

In line with its name, a toilet seat functions for that specific purpose. These seats in residential toilets provide a seat where they are located when undertaking grooming activities inside bathrooms. For example, a number of ladies are known to take a seat on the covered toilet to paint their toe nails or shave their legs.

The function of a toilet seat does indeed change depending on where it is found and the use to which it is placed. However, the main aims of these seats which cuts across all the toilet facilities they cover is to promote sanitary conditions and to simply cover up the toilet bowl when it is not in use.

Pebble Tiles – Main Advantages!

Pebble Tiles are decorative natural tiles made of hand picked and hand sorted pebbles from the Indonesian island of Bali. This material adorns beauty to floors and walls alike with its rich decorative texture and appearance. These elegant looking mosaic tile stones are made of polished pebble stones which are suitable for use in any room.

This is exceptionally good for bathrooms and kitchen to be used as flooring, backsplashes, and sink base and in commercial areas like swimming pools and around fountains to give a natural decorative appearance. Standing pebble tiles are made by cutting pebbles into halves fixing them to tiles to give a vertical looking tile. This reflects the colors of the pebbles in a unique way adding beauty to its appearance.

After being carefully picked by hand, nearly sixty stones are being fixed together into a mesh background. Though single tiles have uneven edges, tiles fit together seamlessly on all four sides when laid on a floor. Pebble tiles are cheap and can easily be used internally and externally. Installation of flooring is made easy by do it yourself method of simply laying each tile next to each other, creating an interlocking with seamless borders and mosaic finish.

Larger and round pebble stones can be used in a patio flooring for example while small pebbles with a flat surface are usually used as backsplashes and as borders in bathroom flooring, walls and in the kitchen area. The utility of pebble stone tiles are infinite. They are used around shower pan, floor and wall, bar kickers, kitchen backsplash, near the fireplace, swimming pool, and for counter tops.

Pebble tiles are defiantly becoming more and more popular these days as a solution for decorating any internal / external surface — they provide endless and creative design ideas, they require no special or professional technical skills for installation and all of that at low cost.

Marble Tiles As Materials For Outdoor Home Use

Marble Tiles have historically been seen as attractive and elegant materials for home or commercial applications.

These tiles have graced historic castles, palaces, monuments and churches, and have been esteemed for their durability and elegant radiance. These days, marble is utilized for many residential and commercial applications, from living room tiling to bathroom, kitchen and outdoor use.

Are These Stone Types Good For Outdoor Use?

Mable has had the historical attributes of being heavily used in outdoor construction and architecture.These types of tiles have been laid-out in large buildings, monuments, churches, castles, mansions and small homes as well for centuries.

There are many unique marble types, which are best suited for either indoor or outdoor applications. This natural stone material is generally utilized for a wide range of indoor and outdoor applications, like flooring, countertops, wall covering, fireplaces and exterior facades.

However, there’s kind of a downside when using these types for high-traffic areas, since marble is not considered to be the toughest of natural stones. Therefore, it may not fit well as a floor covering material in extremely high traffic areas, although it would perfectly suit well in most areas of the home or office, as well as in other light commercial uses. For homes and private residences, the most common residential uses of marble are for window sills, fireplaces hearths, decorative foyers, bathroom floors, outdoor garden pathways, columns, steps and other surfaces.

This material could also effectively complement bathrooms, and they could be installed as wall coverings, backsplashes, tub decks and showers. Because of their durability and ability to counter the ravages of time and the strain of daily, public use, some marble patterns and designs have proven to be tough for use as outdoor furnishings, like the ones used as covering for stone posts, benches and flower boxes.

Proper Installation Is Needed For These Tiles To Weather The Elements

Natural stone materials such as marble can be truly appealing to the senses. But, because it is a natural material, these stone variants are a little less uniform in colors and patterns, and may require further planning when being installed. Because most natural stone tiles are mass-produced, they usually will have uniform length and width dimensions.

Natural stone tiles that have split, or riven surfaces are usually sandblasted to help them become more slip-resistant materials, and these will be of help when using marble for outdoor use. The hardness of natural stone floor tiles could vary such that some of the softer stone, like limestone tiles, are not suitable for very heavy traffic floor areas.

There are marble tile types that are literally “tumbled” in a machine, wherein the process knocks off the edges and roughens the textures to create an “antiqued”, or old-world look. Tumbled marble has a rather rough, semi-sand-blasted appearance, which makes it less slippery, and can be effectively utilized in most outdoor applications, such as lawn or outdoor pathways.

There is however a downside to using marble tiles, particularly for outdoor use. Aside from the fact that they require more thorough and extra maintenance, natural marble tiles generally cannot be installed and laid out in a visually seamless process. The main reason is that most natural marble types have subtle veining and color variations that will, generally not permit a perfect visual match. – Home Tiles

Toilets – Deciding Which to Choose

Toilet Evolution

Toilet design has evolved over the centuries and in various ways depending on the usage of the people. Some developments involved changing the toilets style or shape, while some changed the functionality of the actual toilet. Adding flushing mechanisms, separating the cistern, adding the cistern, and more recently hiding the cistern.

Many of the changes are due to fashion and style, wanting cleaner lines, more luxury and more comfort. More recently some of these changes are due to the need to save water, by improving the efficiency of the flushing mechanism, to use less water and therefore saving on water bills.

Toilet choice has expanded with one or two piece toilets, single flush or dual flush, circular, square or elongated toilets, corner toilets and back to wall toilets. Read on to reduce any confusion and learn how to make the right choice when choosing a new toilet.

Toilet Choices

Under the vast umbrella of varied shapes, styles and sizes, the following factors will aid you in finalising your selection:

Gallons per flush- This is the amount of water that is flushed away as soon as the flush button is pressed. It could range from about 1.6 gallons in regular toilets to 1.28 gallons in high-efficiency toilets. In comparison to regular toilets, dual flush toilets allow you to choose a full or half-flush, saving a considerable amount of water per year as they flush about 0.8 gallons per flush.

One piece or Two piece: In terms of cost, a two piece toilet is always cheaper than a one piece. In terms of strength a one piece toilet does not have connecting parts so is less likely to have problems with leakage, while a two piece toilet has some flexibility due to the cistern being located more conveniently.

Elongated or Round: Usually there isn’t much of a size difference in these varieties. In most cases the elongated bowls are two inches larger than round bowls. Really, this is more of a style and design choice, whatever pleases your eye and the look and feel of your bathroom you are trying to create.

Height: For a regular toilet, the average height is between 14-15 inches, so check your existing toilet height and compare with the specifications of the new toilets. Nowadays some taller toilets are available at 18 inches high. These are usually toilets designed for elderly or handicapped people.

Space: When there is less space available in the bathroom, a corner or wall hung toilet is the best option as they are facilitated with an angled tank which allows you to place it in the corner. A back to wall toilet on the other hand is installed into the wall so the cistern is hidden behind a false wall.

After reading the various options you may encounter when choosing a toilet, it will be far easier to make a decision and choose the perfect toilet for your bathroom or ensuite.

Riobel Faucets Review: A Few Things You May Want to Know

A home can’t be called a home if it does not contain any faucet. Whether you realize it or not, faucets are crucial fixtures that are perfect in managing the ever precious water. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize the importance of carefully selecting their faucets. If you deliberately chose Riobel Faucets for your kitchen and bathroom needs or if you bought them because they happened to be the most available when you needed faucets, then this article is for you.

What are Riobel Faucets?

These are basically faucets made by the Riobel company. They vary from other faucets by virtue of the brand name Riobel and the emphasis the company places on its products. Riobel has the self-defined mission of providing the best faucets, shower systems and other related products to the general public. This company already has around 15 years of beyond satisfactory service to its pleased customers.

Why are faucets made by Riobel different?

Although all companies constantly spend on the development of new product lines and preserving high quality standards, Riobel differ from the rest in terms of the kind of people working for it and the type of consumers advocating its offered items. Riobel has a very strong grasp on the reality that vigorous enthusiasm is essential in everything its people do, especially in ensuring that trusting clients will be aptly aided in achieving hassle-free home maintenance or renovation.

Riobel’s faucets are conceptualized and manufactured in such ways that the buyers will not have so much trouble installing them. Mechanical parts can just be purchased swiftly, because they are conveniently placed above many counters. This customer-friendly environment allows faucet owners optimal cleaning and maintenance success. With Riobel being distributed by a very fast network, it is logically expected that customers can make the most out of Riobel products. The company also does its best to make sure that the product design, actual manufacturing process and quality control system will produce completely durable products. This durability prevents unnecessary expenses that may be brought about by frequent repairs, replacements or product upgrades. To provide additional customer protection, these long-lasting products are backed up by limited lifetime warranties.

What kinds of faucets does Riobel make?

Riobel manufactures durable, visually appealing, warranty-protected and well designed faucets for kitchen or for bathroom uses. These faucets come in different models that will definitely cater to the aspiration of all person types (be they classical, contemporary or midway between the two). A few designs are perfectly similar to the faucets that can be normally seen in public establishments and typical households, while most of the designs provide uniqueness and an additional layer of personality. These designs are based on varied references and inspirations, such as adherence to classical designs.

Aside from overall appearance, Riobel Faucets also vary in terms of the applied finish. Options include brushed bronze, brazen bronze, polished chrome, brushed chrome, polished nickel and brushed nickel. Aside from adding another dimension in visual diversity, these different finishes also provide different textures and endurance levels.

What Are the Benefits of a Concealed Cistern?

Nowadays there is an enormous range of design options available to anyone remodelling their bathroom or even building a new one. Along with the selection of various bathroom fittings and furnishings is the new and attractive option of wall hung toilets and concealed cisterns.

The concealed cistern is becoming an increasingly popular choice with homeowners due to a number of purported benefits that it can bring to a bathroom. Unlike with a conventional toilet, the cistern is concealed from the naked eye, instead hidden behind a wall. Combined with a stylish wall mounted toilet bowl, it is not hard to understand the benefits of such an installation.

Firstly, a concealed cistern generally makes for relatively simple maintenance, despite the fact that it is hidden behind a wall. Access for any repairs happens through the flush plate, which is visible in the bathroom. Although the cistern is concealed, therefore, it is not difficult to reach in times of need.

One other major benefit of the concealed cistern is the reduced noise in the bathroom. This is because most of the sound created by the flushing of a wall hung toilet is concealed behind the wall, therefore minimising the volume inside the bathroom itself. This can provide a more pleasant experience for the homeowner who has this kind of toilet installed.

Another advantage of the concealed cistern and the wall hung toilet is that they generally make for a much more hygienic and easy-to-clean experience for the homeowner. This is due to the design of the toilet, which is suspended above the floor and therefore creates space for cleaning the floor and wall around the installation.

It is also true that the toilet itself is easier to clean. Smaller in size and with fewer nooks and crannies, the cleaning of the toilet bowl is relatively straight forward with its clearly exposed, wipe-cleanable sides. Both these factors make for more rapid cleaning as well as a more hygienic bathroom.

Concealed cisterns also boast considerable strength and durability, despite these qualities possibly seeming unlikely attributes of a toilet that is effectively ‘hanging’ off a wall. With the concealed cistern being able to bear up to 400kg in weight, with professional installation it can very easily support even the heaviest of individuals who use it.

There are also environmental advantages to using the wall hung toilet and a concealed cistern. This is because most flush plates have been designed with a dual-flush mechanism. This means that water is saved every time the toilet is used. Of course, the saving of water also brings financial benefits to the homeowner as well.

Despite all of these plus points, however, the perhaps most appreciated aspect of the wall mounted toilet and the concealed cistern is the fact that both of them are very easy on the eye. There are several factors which make the whole concept an extremely attractive option when designing and fitting a bathroom.

As mentioned before, as the cistern is placed in the interior of the wall, there is very little clutter in the actual bathroom itself. This makes for a much cleaner looking design in a bathroom with any unsightly pipes and toilet parts hidden from plain view.

In addition to this, there are number of attractive designs of wall hung toilets now on the market, including classic luxury styles and colourful and quirky options. The vast range now available allows for greater customisation options for a bathroom redesign or build, and means that homeowners can find something that is truly tailored to their taste and the ‘feel’ that they want to create.

This kind of toilet and concealed cistern are also perfect for anyone looking to create a modern and minimalist look in their home. The streamlined shape of the wall hung toilet can be a perfect addition to other contemporary features such as a frameless shower enclosure or wall hung sink.

There are several major benefits to installing a concealed cistern in a bathroom, ranging from the practical to the stylish. In all instances, consulting an expert in bathroom fittings is recommended to ensure that everyone is able to create a bathroom to fit their specific desires, requirements and tastes.

Should You Consider a Tankless Toilet System?

The bathroom is one common part of the house that usually undergoes home renovations. In a bathroom, the focal point of the upgrade is normally the toilet. With the many bathroom toilet models these days, homeowners have a lot of options to choose from. One of the increasingly popular toilet options today is the tankless toilets.

As its name suggests, the tankless toilet does not have a tank that makes use of gravity in flushing out the waste. Instead, it utilizes a powerful flush action to eliminate waste. Home tankless toilets have a motorized pump mechanism that pumps in a certain amount of water to the bowl.

There are certain benefits of a tankless system that makes this type of toilet ideal for a basement bathroom toilet as well as bathrooms located in other parts of the house. First of all, the tankless toilet results to more space within the bathroom. The toilet can be placed in almost anywhere, with only the link to the plumbing as the consideration.

A homeowner can either choose to install the toilet against the wall, or facing the wall with the water pipes connected from underneath the floor and through the bowl. Such toilet is ideal for homeowners who want more freedom in designing their bathroom layout. Since there is no tank, there is more than enough space to accommodate other fixtures like shelves, cabinets, and tables. The addition of these functional bathroom items can greatly help to improve its functionality.

Since the tankless toilet system makes use of an electric pump mechanism, there is the risk that the toilet would not function when there is an electric outage. Thus, homeowners opting to use them in their basement bathroom toilet or in any other bathrooms need to have an emergency generator. This is perhaps the major drawback of using this type of toilet system.

But overall, the use of tankless toilet systems offer a new way of improving the overall look and functionality of a bathroom without requiring too much space.