Flooring Rebounds

The housing industry is finally on the way back up after years of saying it was only months away from recovery.

 

Along with that the flooring industry is also gaining steam. One need to look no further than Lumber Liquidators stock price (NYSE:LL) to see how the positive results and optimistic view of the company suggests alot of growth and opportunity still in the market.

There is another private company that has even more promise than LL (which is a great company either way). When this company decides to go public it will be a major major move in the market.

Flooring is a big ticket item and therefore alot of big companies are chasing this marketing, but so far it is still dominated by independents. Although that has started to shift toward bigger national chains at this point. Can independents fight back? Yes they can. There are a couple winning strategies against the big companies including Home Depot, Lowes, Lumber Liquidators and other mega chains. The real question is will the independents take the risks necessary to win in the future?

Top 6 iPAD covers and cases (including iPAD Mini)

This is a quick review of some iPAD covers that are the best available and you can buy online at Amazon US or UK or directly at http://www.apljus.com, however, the prices from Amazon seem to be generally lower and available with Amazon Prime. That lower price + amazon fulfillment are a winning combination for any savvy shopper who is considering what is the best tablet case or cover for their device. When you open the package and see a top notch product you feel immediately relieved and happy that you got the right deal.

We’ll count down from 6th to 1st like we are having a short version of a David Letterman style list. In every case we recommend you remember the following tip:

Click through the item(s) below to see the bigger and better images on Amazon. The little icons below don’t do justice to the products.

 

#6

The is the basic cover for the low price good quality. There are tons of cheap covers in this world and our reviewers have used and tested many of them. Some of them fall apart with moderate usage within a month or two(some even less!).

Amazon itself is chalked full of cheap offers from Hong Kong, China, etc… where they charge 10 bucks for a cover and free shipping, but we have watched those disintegrate within a very short period of time. After waiting 2-4 weeks for the magical iPAD fairly to deliver your “great deal” you hope something good shows up. By the way if you have a problem with an overseas company you may as well start praying because it will take alot of divine intervention to get them to care about you. For an extra few bucks why not skip the headaches and buy local from an AMAZON prime merchant?

And when you are protecting such a vital product like an iPAD it makes sense to step up to a level of quality you can have piece of mind with. The high quality white contrasting stitching combined with a nice feel on the PU leather  make this a terrific value. With amazon prime you will have it as quick as you can wish for it as well. This fits the iPAD 2, 3 & 4 models very well.

iPAD US

iPAD UK <— Same basic cover at a great price, but available on Amazon prime in the UK and quick deliver all throughout Europe.

#5

Coming in at number five we can see that price is important, but to step up from basic with all important carrying strap is worth the extra few bucks. There is no doubt that having the high quality hand guided stitching with thick gauge contrasting thread adds a great look and feel. But the oversized hand strap is VERY handy to have for lots of reasons. If you are taking notes, sharing a screen, or just trying adjust your iPAD to show a different view the very durable and well made hand strap will give you the chance to have all of these features right now.

 

ipad mini - The same exact cover design with the hand strap is available for iPAD mini in the original Black as well as Pink and White. The colors are a great option, especially for kids.

iPAD Mini US – Black

iPAD Mini US – Pink

iPAD Mini US – White

 

 

iPAD Mini UK – Same iPAD mini options as noted above, but for the UK and Europe.

iPAD Mini Black with Hand Strap for UK

iPAD Mini Pink with Hand Strap for UK

#4

What is smarter than the APPLE smart cover? The APLJUS origami cover with more positions and a better feel not to mention a lower price. The strong magent at the side does a great job of grabbing hold of the iPAD. The durable top will protect your screen. Some people prefer to buy a silicone backer for this so that the back of your iPAD is covered too, while others want to let the beautiful back of the iPAD speak for itself. The versatile design gives you more option than the smart cover. In fact you get double the viewing options for half the price. That’s math we can all understand. The inner structure of the panels is very high quality compared to some knock offs that are inserting card board rather than very durable resins.

Black

White

Red

Magnetic Origami Flip Cover for IPAD 2, 3 or 4 – Black – Amazon UK

Magnetic Origami Flip Cover for IPAD 2, 3 or 4 – White – Amazon UK

#3

Rotating is a great feature for flexible viewing. The 360 degree rotator allows the iPAD to snap into a protective plastic case and then rotate freely in a circle until you find the best spot for you. The deep grooves in the case also allow very stable viewing once you have found just the right position for your iPAD. Once again you can feel the difference between cheap knock offs and high quality. The feel of the PU leather has almost a cushioned feel to it and the interior has the feel of a nice velvet. Everything about this case indicates a high quality look and feel. Plus as you rotate the beautiful APPLE logo shines from the back just as Mr. Jobs would have intended. This really has a tremendous look and feel and is well worth the upgrade.

iPAD 2, 3, 4 – Black

iPAD Mini – Black

iPAD Mini – Pink

iPAD Mini – White

iPAD 2, 3, 4 Rotating Case in Black – UK

iPAD Mini Rotating Case in Black – UK

iPAD mini Rotating Case in Pink – Uk

iPAD mini Rotating Case in White – UK

 

#2

For fashion forward executives (in other words those with taste) the rotating option is cool, but  often takes a back seat to design. And so the belt buckle style with an easy snap action was born. This high styled design has the cool and unique look of the belt buckle, but the whole buckle snaps or unsnaps with a very high quality feel to keep the access to your beloved iPAD quick and easy. The PU leather on this case feels better than most real leather cases. It is soft, supple and the contrast of the belted look make this a beautiful addition to any board room. The pictures don’t do it justice since we have reviewed it in person. You have to try it out to see how incredible this design is.

 

iPAD – Black

iPAD – Light Blue

iPAD – Grey

iPAD Case for 2, 3 & 4 Belt Buckled Folio Cover – Black – UK

iPAD Case for 2, 3 & 4 Belt Buckled Folio Cover – Light Blue – UK

iPAD Case for 2, 3 & 4 Belt Buckled Folio Cover – Grey – UK

#1

The best case for busy people on the go who need to maximize the power of the iPAD is a high quality case with a blue tooth keyboard. The keyboard really multiplies the power of the iPAD in a meaningful and immediate way. The high quality silicone keyboard is water resistant and you can really feel the difference between it and some of the plastic competitors out there. If you are looking for a gift for father’s day, mother’s day or just want to make someone feel like a CEO while they are rocking their iPAD this case will do the job. The high end PU and incredibly detailed stitching really let you know you have reached the top. This is by far the most productive case, while still combining excellent safety for your iPAD as well. Just do it!

 

UK APLJUS with keyboard - This is the same executive styled iPAD case with built in blue tooth keyboard for the European market.

 

We have reviewed cases from many different brands of iPAD cases and ipad mini covers including thesnugg, kensington, griffen, cheap chinese crappy cases (not a brand – more like a category) and many others. APLJUS was the clear winner in terms of quality and price. They need more colors and devices to be covered, but there is no doubt the quality is what will carry this brand forward.

Green or Not, Bamboo Flooring is a Win

As early as 5,000 years ago, the Chinese used bamboo for warfare, construction, and paper. There are more than 400 species of bamboo indigenous to China which grow in greater abundance than in any other area of the world.  All of them grow quickly and provide plentiful building material.

 

Bamboo’s first international appearance as a flooring product was in the 1990s. It’s popularity has grown through its reputation for durability and the idea that it’s the green choice for floor coverings. Today, beauty and durability makes bamboo flooring a popular choice, preferred by some for its fast growth vs old-growth hardwoods that can take 30 or more years to mature.

 

The majority of today’s bamboo flooring is made from the Moso species of the plant, using only a few different manufacturing techniques.  Solid bamboo flooring is made from strips of bamboo arranged either with their widths either parallel (horizontal construction) or perpendicular (vertical construction) to the floor and compressed with adhesives to form uniform floor boards.  If you look carefully, you might be able to see the individual strips and the seams between them.   Strand bamboo flooring is manufactured with individual strands of bamboo that are pulled from bamboo stock rather than cut as uniform strips.  The strands are compressed together with much higher pressures to form floor boards.   Strand bamboo flooring uses less adhesive than solid and assumes a variety of textures depending on strand lengths and colors used.

 

There are more reasons to like bamboo flooring. It is physically similar to hardwoods and is promoted for its strength, moisture- and insect-resistance.  Whether it is eco friendly is debatable as is its durability.  Ie. It depends on which manufacturing process and which hardwood is being compared. Carbonized horizontal hardwoord flooring earns a Janka hardness rating of 1180, while some strand bamboo products reach 3000 and more. Red oak’s hardness is in the lower range for hardwoods with Brazilian Cherry at 2350.

 

Some cautionary notes.  Like any product you may purchase for your home, quality varies with manufacturer.  A poor quality bamboo flooring product can warp, cup, de-laminate and discolour.  Do your research to find products that have a good reputation.  Aim for products made with bamboo no younger than 5 years old at harvest.  Kiln-dried is a better value as are no-formaldehyde and solvent-free finishes.

Bamboo Soldiers waiting to be made into flooring

Click Bamboo Fooring With A Twist

Bamboo flooring is now extremely popular and can be found in a ton of different styles and finishes. People all over the country are now installing bamboo floors on their own, and it’s never been easier to do.

First of all, you should always check it out on the internet, as that’s usually where you’ll find the best value. Having a floor shipped to your home is inexpensive and you still should save money on flooring. Continue reading

Flooring For the Living Room is Changing

It was once the case that wall-to-wall carpet was the automatic choice for living room flooring, but that is no longer the case. In fact, it’s becoming more common to see most other types of floors in a living room, as consumers have grown tired of having to maintain carpet or keeping it looking new. Continue reading

It’s A DIY Flooring Kind Of Season

Summertime is rapidly approaching and now is the time where homeowners are tackling various projects around the home, and new flooring is often on that list. So the question is, “what is the best diy flooring?”

It certainly depends on the situation. There are a lot of questions to ask, mainly where is the flooring going to be installed? Continue reading

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