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It will also be more colorful under your feet: "Green, brown, beige and orange are the most popular colors because they contribute to a cozy feeling of space"says carpet expert Kille. "Smooth, shiny surfaces with a concrete look, as we have had in recent years, fade into the background."

That is why the importance of the carpet is growing again. "It has almost been frowned upon for the past ten years", so Kille. Now he's bringing a touch of naturalness back into the house: "We put a zebra or sheep's wool over another carpet or floor covering. This contributes to the cosiness and is also a great eye-catcher", explains Schmidhuber.

It's all in the mix

In general, material optics are mixed together more often – in three ways: "We are increasingly seeing textile floor coverings made from the same material, but sometimes with a hard, rib-like surface and sometimes fluffy", describes Schmidhuber. "As tiles, they can be laid alternately and thus create a certain tension and at the same time homogeneity in the room." In addition, small carpets are placed on PVC design planks or parquet floors.

And the coverings themselves are made of different materials: "Manufacturers are becoming more creative. They make use of nature and work sustainable raw materials such as rice husks or bamboo into their floor coverings", so Kille. "The urge to deal with natural raw materials and materials is enormous", emphasizes Schmidhuber. "Leaves and twigs are even pressed together and processed."

Self-cleaning and antibacterial

Although some of the exhibits on display at the Domotex trade fair are still prototypes, they do show what the near future will bring. "For example, we see floors that are self-cleaning", reveals Schmidhuber. "I saw a rolled carpet that plugs into an electrical outlet, warms up slightly, and gives off an antibacterial agent."

Other manufacturers install sensors that register when a person falls and then trigger an alarm. "There are also mats that act as alarm clocks. They sound the alarm and only go out when you stand on them with your entire body weight", reports Schmidhuber. They are all still unique. They do, however, show how intensively the industry is concerned with the topic.

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Sources and further information – dpa – Domotex 

Dirty joints, crawling animals or steamed up mirrors: in the bathroom we are often annoyed about minor and major problems. Many of them can be eliminated with simple tricks or cheap home remedies. For some, however, only a special remedy helps. 

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Permanently remove mold in the bathroom

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A special cleaner can help with mold. But alcohol also combats minor mold stains in the bathroom. "Under no circumstances should baking powder be used", says Bernd Glassl, Head of Household Care. The home remedy makes the joints appear whiter at first. "However, flour or starch in the joints serves as food for the mold residues that are likely to remain, which inevitably means the next mold infestation"explains the expert.

Dirt tends to collect in bathroom joints. For lime dirt, the cleaning expert Glassl recommends acidic bathroom cleaners. Then the joint material must be acid-resistant. Otherwise you should use scouring powder.

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Prevent damage to the joints

Acid cleaning agents should only act briefly on the filling material of the joint. For light deposits a maximum of one minute, for stronger deposits up to five minutes. To prevent damage, it helps to wet the joints with tap water beforehand. This prevents the agent from penetrating the grout.

Clear the fogged mirror

The mirrors and windows in the bathroom tarnish when the high humidity condenses after a shower or bath. To prevent this, use glass cleaners with an anti-fog effect when cleaning. Alternatively, you can turn up the heating in the bathroom: the warmer the air when showering, the less steam there is. The Stiftung Warentest recommends around 24 degrees.

You can also use a hair dryer to clear the steamed up mirror more quickly and easily. The mirror must not get too warm. Otherwise it can be damaged – cracks can appear or the reflective surface can flake off. Do not hold the hairdryer close to the mirror, so do not aim at just one point. Instead, move the hair dryer back and forth at a distance of around 30 centimeters at the level of your own face. You can also use a microfiber cloth to wipe it off – a normal towel will leave streaks.

Do not use acidic cleaning products on mirrors

The mirror often turns black. This is the case when the silver layer behind the glass is damaged. It cannot be reversed. You can prevent this damage by preventing acidic cleaning agents from getting to the edges of the mirror. In addition, you should not scratch the protective layer when hanging up and cleaning the mirror.

Limescale stains remain wherever water goes. Glass and plastic shower walls are particularly vulnerable. The Stiftung Warentest has a special tip: Let lime crusts soften with liquid colored detergent. A plastic spatula can also remove thick deposits in corners. Then apply citric acid and leave it on. The easiest way, however, is to rub the surfaces and tiles directly dry.

Do not spray fittings with acid

Limescale is a tricky thing on fittings: If you want to scrub it away with aggressive agents and coarse rags, the chrome will scratch. This coating is usually only a thin layer. If it is injured, the core can rust. Therefore: cleaning agents with formic or hydrochloric acid, for example, are taboo, explains Stiftung Warentest. The Association of the German Sanitary Industry emphasizes that cleaning agents in spray bottles must not be put directly on the fittings, but on a cloth. Otherwise, the spray mist can penetrate the fitting through cracks and openings and cause damage.

Get rid of stubborn lime

Fresh lime remove a few drops of hand soap on a damp cloth. Encrustations are only slightly roughened with a pumice stone. Then some vinegar cleaner is put on it. Sometimes the lime combines with iron and forms rust spots. A paper towel soaked in vinegar will help. This is placed on the spot.

Be careful with acrylic bathtubs

For lime deposits in the acrylic bathtub, the kitchen paper is dipped in citric acid solution. The paper must not have any prints. Otherwise the acrylic will permanently discolour. Under no circumstances should the material be cleaned with standard decalcifying agents for electrical appliances such as coffee machines. These can also discolor the tub.

You should also be careful with enamel. Strongly acidic cleaners can attack the coating. This makes it dull and rough. Commercially available cleaners usually state on the packaging whether they can also be used for enamel surfaces. You should first try out home remedies on an invisible area before using them extensively.

Tips against silverfish

Silverfish are also often found in the bathroom. They are easily caught with cloths on which sugar or flour is dusted. Cardboard strips with honey are also a good attractant. Potatoes in a bowl also attract the animals. The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) in Hamburg advises setting up the food traps in the evening and collecting them in the morning.

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Drains from sinks and bathtubs are also hiding places for the nocturnal silverfish. It helps to seal them overnight.

Sources used: news agency dpa-tmnForum washing

If a new tenant tears out carpet and installs tiles instead, it gets louder for the neighbor in the apartment below. Who is to blame – the new tenant or even the ceiling?

If an apartment owner tears the carpet off his floor and lays tiles, the impact noise may increase. However, it must remain below the limit value applicable at the time of construction. This was made clear by the presiding judge of the Fifth Civil Senate of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), Christina Stresemann, in a hearing on Friday.

The case from North Rhine-Westphalia is difficult, however, because the floor slab under the top floor apartment, which is part of the common property, does not meet the requirements. A judgment should only be given in a few months. (V ZR 173/19)

Carpet is to be laid again

The plaintiffs living downstairs are demanding more rest, for example by laying carpet again, as was the case earlier. The Düsseldorf Regional Court largely agreed with the noise-plagued neighbors and ruled that a certain limit value for footfall noise must be adhered to.

"One comes to the conclusion, quite casually, that the DIN is not complied with"said Stresemann too. But since the ceiling does not correspond to the DIN, one could get the idea "to oblige the community to strengthen the ceiling".

The house dates from 1962. The attic was expanded in 1995 and carpeted. In 2008 the defendant had the carpet replaced with tiles.

Impact sound insulation did not meet the standards

An expert opinion showed that the impact sound insulation did not meet the minimum requirements. The community of owners refused to build a separating ceiling.

The defendant's representative from the attic argued that the tiles had been laid properly and that the owner could rely on the floor ceiling to guarantee the necessary impact sound insulation. Therefore, the community of owners has to pay for a renovation.

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For the plaintiffs from the apartment below, the lawyer said that the defendant could take advantage of the community. If he doesn't do that, he'll be responsible. In addition, there would have been ways to prevent the impact sound from increasing with the tiles, for example with an insulating underlay.

Sources used: dpa news agency

Underfloor heating ensures pleasant, even room warmth from below. However, there are different systems: heating and temperature control. Who should choose which one?


How do the two systems differ? Where are the systems used? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Which system costs less to operate? Can laypersons install surface heating?

Underfloor heating is the most common type of heating used in newly built homes. It gets by with low temperatures and still generates a pleasant warmth. The floor temperature control is less known.

How do the two systems differ?

"Generally there is not much difference between underfloor heating and underfloor heating", explains Axel Grimm from the Federal Association of Surface Heating and Surface Cooling. Both systems are modern surface heating systems that distribute the radiant heat evenly. This releases draft-free heat to the environment.

"Colloquially, underfloor temperature control usually means the subsequent installation of electrical underfloor heating", explains Grimm. But different terms are used. Frank Hartmann from the Federal Association of the German Heating Industry in Cologne explains: "In purely technical terms, the term surface temperature control means to thermally activate a defined surface, i.e. to regulate the temperature in order to avoid damage to the building fabric or to ensure frost protection."

Where are the systems used?

Surface heating is available in all types of buildings – in residential, office or industrial buildings. Regardless of whether water-based or electrically operated, both systems are suitable for heating and cooling.

Water-guided systems have become established for large-area heating, emphasizes Grimm. The floor temperature control is used more in side rooms such as bathrooms and winter gardens. In houses with extremely low energy consumption, the electric heating in connection with a photovoltaic system is even suitable as a full house heating.

Installed underfloor heating in an apartment: however, this work is not for laypersons. (Source: imageBROKER / Helmut Meyer zur Capellen / imago images)

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Underfloor heating systems are common types of heating with water flowing through their pipes. As a rule, their installation is therefore more complex than that of an electric heater. "However, due to the range of solutions and systems that now exist, there is a suitable surface heating system for almost every building project"says Grimm.

Due to their low installation height, electrical systems are suitable as additional heating – for example in the bathroom or for subsequent installation in the course of renovations. "They are particularly comfortable where warmth is needed quickly, but only at certain times of the day"says Michael Muerköster from the initiative Wärme +.

Unlike water-based systems, which are sometimes a little sluggish, electrical systems can be switched on and off quickly. Installation is also straightforward. "No pipes need to be laid. The flat self-adhesive heating mats with the woven-in heating conductors are laid directly under the tiles in the leveling compound", explains Muerköster.