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Chair mats are widely used in offices and even home offices. They provide a designated area for chair movement.

In addition, different chair mats, like PVC chair mats, Glass chair mats, are used for floor protection.

Chair mats protect the hardwood floor from office chair wheels. However, using chair mats on the hardwood floor in the long term can damage it slowly. Dust trapped under the mat, studs on the mat, and chemicals present can scratch and discolor the hardwood floor.

Chair mats work great on the concrete floor. However, different flooring has different requirements.

In addition, hardwood floors being delicate, requires careful selection.

This article will help you choose the best chair mat materials and chair mat alternatives for your hardwood floor.

Are Chair Mats Necessary For Hardwood Floor?

Chair mats are not necessary for hardwood floors because there are alternatives like rollerblade-style wheels, which defeat the purpose of chair mats.

The chair mat protects the floor from chairs. However, it harms the hardwood floor in the long run. 

Therefore, you can use other favorable alternatives for chair mats, like bell glides, standing desks, etc.

Chair mats are an effective way to avoid the damage that ordinary rolling chairs inflict.

However, they are a solution that works best in cubicle-style offices.

Open-plan workplaces are becoming more common, yet floor mats are unsuitable for this workspace style since they restrict movement and reduce collaborative effectiveness.

Advantages of Using Chair Mats on Hardwood Floors 1. Protection From Office Chair Casters

The chair wheels can scratch the hardwood floors, which are expensive to repair.

Using chair mats can prevent the scratches that form over time from long-term usage of office chairs.

The most common problem is that most rolling office chairs have strong casters, easily creating scuff marks.

A permanent scratch on the hardwood floor is also caused by sitting in your chair and sliding back and forth while working.

You can avoid repetitive wear and tear by using chair mats.

2. Spill Protection

You might hastily spill some drinks or food on the hardwood floor.

But don’t worry; chair mats protect the floor against those spills.

3. Flexibility and Mobility

The flexibility to move your chair to a different part or side of your desk is critical for multitasking and letting you move your body properly.

As a result, chair mats give you the leverage to move, adjust, and reposition your chair as required.

4. It Provides a Good Appearance

High-end office chair mats provide a touch of class to the workplace. The Kuyal Clear Chair Mat will go easily with any office interior.

Chairmats make your home office appear good and make the ambiance clean, tidy, and organized, which is usually more favorable to work than chaotic environments.

Read on to know about flooring options best for rolling office chairs.

Although it has its benefits, it does harm hardwood flooring in some ways, which are discussed below.

Long-term chair mat use can affect hardwood floors because dust can collect in the gap between the mat and the floor. Therefore, you should replace it at least once a year, which might be expensive.

They can leave stains on the floor.

The chair mat can cause scratches on hardwood floors as it slides back and forth.

The area covered by the mat is only the easily moving zone for the chair, so it limits the space you can move.

Chair mats can be pretty expensive, costing up to $900.

How to Choose the Chair Mat for the Hardwood Floor?

It would help if you chose the chair mats for hardwood floors considering the hardwood floor’s proper shape, size, and material.

Here are some factors to consider while buying the best office chair mat for a hardwood floor.

However, before we dive into the details, look at the quick overview of the best features of hardwood floor chair mats.

Chair Mat FeaturesBest options

SizeCovering your roll area

ShapeBulb, Lip, Rectangular

MaterialPolycarbonate

ThicknessUp to 2.5 mm

1. Shape and Size

An office chair mat that covers your whole “roll area” is a good idea. The roll area is the area underneath your office chair, and it is where you move or shift your chair the most.

Furthermore, you do not want to get a huge office chair mat.

An office chair mat that is too big would most likely crack under the strain of heavy furniture, which could scratch the hardwood floor.

Beveled office chair mats are best for hardwood floors as they have a downward slope on the edges, making it easier to move the chair around.

Moreover, a lip or rectangular chair mat is recommended for a writing table or a desk.

If you have an L-shaped workstation, either bulb-shaped chair mat is ideal.

2. Chair Mat Material

Hardwood floors require extra maintenance and care as they are prone to scratching.

Therefore, choose chair mats carefully for such delicate flooring.

Synthetic rubber (nitrile) is a common constituent in floor mats, and it is a good choice for hardwood floors because it does not leave a mark.

Polyurethane chair mat is made of flexible material that does not discolor or leave markings on the flooring.

Polycarbonate will remain stiff, resulting in a hard, non-denting surface. Due to their rigid structure, they will neither fold nor bubble.

As a result, the polycarbonate chair mat for hard floors won’t have any tiny dimples on the bottom, preventing scratches on the hardwood floor.

Tempered glass does not fold or bubble, allowing your chair to glide smoothly.

When you step on the mat or wheel the chair over it, the bamboo mat absorbs it well.

Overall, a Polycarbonate chair mat is the best material for the chairmat to use on hardwood floors.

3. Thickness of the Mat

You do not need to buy thick chair mats on hardwood floors. Mats with a thickness of 2.5 to 3 mm are enough.

You can select your preferred chair mat for the hardwood floor based on the features.

Best Chair Mats for Hardwood Floors in 2023

Check the table below for the best recommendations on chair mats for hardwood floors.

Do Chair Mats Damage Hardwood Floors?

Chair mats protect the hardwood floor from Office chairs due to constant movement.

However, the chair mats themselves harm the hardwood flooring over time. The hardwood floor can get scratched and worn down even when chair mats are used.

In addition, the chemicals used in the mat production react with the hardwood floor leading to fading and discoloration.

Compared to concrete and tiled floors, hardwood is less water and decay-resistant.

Therefore, moisture can damage the floor if your chair mat is wet and nonwater repellent, like fabric chair mats.

Type of Chair Mats That Damage Hardwood Floor

Chair mats are available in a wide range of materials. However, choosing the wrong one can permanently damage your hardwood floor.

Here are some chair mats that may damage hardwood floors long-term.

1. Natural Rubber Mats

Rubber mats are popularly used in gyms to withstand weight drops.

This might mislead you into thinking they will work for your home office. However, they are usually laid over concrete.

Hardwood floor, on the other hand, is softer and more porous. Therefore, it can quickly leave scuff marks on the floor.

Not all rubber mats damage hardwood floors, but some chemicals interact with the rubber mats causing the floor to be damaged.

It can also lead to permanent discoloration. However, you can prevent damage by adding protective paper underneath the mat.

Furthermore, many rubber mats have holes in them. The holes allow water and other liquids to drain so they do not pool on the floor and provide a slipping hazard.

Unfortunately, these have the drawback of allowing dirt and debris to fall through the holes.

When wet, wood absorbs the moisture and expands, eventually cupping, leaving an uneven surface.

2. Anti-Fatigue Mat

Anti-fatigue mats, often made of rubber or Vinyl, are designed for those who spend a lot of time standing on hard floors.

These Mats can leave color residue on the hardwood floor.

3. Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) Chair Mat

PVC chair mats can harm the hardwood floor due to the chemicals used in their manufacturing.

If your hardwood floors are coated with wax or polish, they become very slippery.

Using PVC mats on such surfaces can cause the mat to bubble up and fold after some time, as PVC mats are also very pliable.

4. Mats Made up of Natural Fibres

While all types of fiber rugs help protect your hardwood flooring from scratches, none of them are waterproof.

Natural fiber chair mats are quite an unpopular choice. However, people do use fibers like Jute chair mats for the office.

Natural fiber rugs, such as wool, jute, or cotton, are not water-resistant, and water seeping through the strands can cause damage to hardwood floors.

In such mats, the possibilities of bacteria development are also increased.

5. Latex Backed Rugs

Plasticizers are compounds found in latex, which is a synthetic liquid. Latex produces a slip-resistant, waterproof layer underneath rugs.

This waterproofing also compromises the rug’s capacity to breathe.

When you try and remove a latex-backed rug from a laminated or hardwood floor, you may end up with a mess of adhesive residue or fragments of rug backing.

The backed rugs obstruct regular drying of the floor surface.

Latex-backed carpets can create yellow or white staining due to chemical interactions between the latex and the lamination on the floor and water bubbles.

6. Area Rugs

The primary reason why certain area rugs harm hardwood floors is that they are composed of low-cost synthetic materials that scrape the finish.

The damage to the floor is often caused by the rug pad rather than the rug itself.

Cheap carpets are sometimes coated with adhesives to aid their adhesion to the floor, but the glue might harm the surface, create staining, or fully adhere to the floor.

A good area rug pad will help preserve your hardwood floors from damage.

7. Plastic Chair Mats

Chair mats are commonly made of plastic. However, these materials will degrade over time.

Old plastic will crack and shatter, and the fragmented parts will become trapped beneath the mat.

Alternatives for  Chair Mats on the Hardwood Floor

You can use some of the alternatives listed below if you do not want to use chairmats on hardwood floors.

1. Rollerblade-Style Wheels

A standard office chair with wheels can wear down your hardwood floor through repetitive movements, which cause scratches on the floor.

Office chair with Rollerblade-style Wheels is made of thick rubber material, which is far more durable than regular wheels.

Additionally, because they move across fewer surface areas, these wheels will lessen the wear and tear on the floor.

They are also effortless to install; remove the old wheels and place them in place.

You can buy a quality pair of roller-blade-style wheels from Amazon.

2. Bell Glides

Using the chair all day slowly crushes the chair mat into the floor, damaging the hardwood floor.

Bell glides connect to the underneath of your chair’s wheels to increase the surface area of the pressure, resulting in less pressure and, consequently, less harm to your carpet.

Installing chair bell glides, on the other hand, means compromising mobility.

For example, you won’t be able to wheel your chair over the floor with the glides connected, and moving around will be much more challenging.

These durable polyurethane bell glides protect your hardwood floor from pressure damage.

3. Chair Without Wheels

Chair mats are primarily used to protect the floors from chairs with wheels. If your chair does not have wheels, this is not a problem.

They don’t leave scuff marks on hardwood and laminate floors, so chairs without wheels are great.

However, chairs without wheels should still be handled cautiously to avoid dragging them over the floor.

Flash Furniture Black Mesh Sled Base Chair is one of the best chairs without wheels with the gentle rocking feature.

Read on to lean whether the Chair Better Without Wheels is better for your home office.

4. Standing Desk

The standing desk eliminates the primary need for the chair mats themselves. Since you do not need a chair for a standing desk, the hardwood floor’s damage can be crossed out.

The desks do come equipped with wheels. However, you would not move them around as much as the chairs with wheels.

In addition, they offer multiple health benefits. For example, when using a chair, you sit around all day.

Working at a standing desk decreases blood circulation and makes joints stiff. However, you move around more often while standing, solving the issue.

In addition, they prevent the scuff marks left behind by chair legs. There is also no chance of scratches or discoloration, making them ideal for hardwood floors.

They are very discrete and can not be seen unless you lift the chair.

They do need to be replaced every 3 to 6 months. However, they are still worth it, considering the low price.

For more alternatives, read the article; 7 Best Office Chair Mat Alternatives

Final Verdict

Chair mats offer floor protection from wheels, spill protection, and mobility.

However, the hardwood floor requires careful chairmat material selection because some PVC fabric chair mats might damage the floor over time.

You're reading Do You Need A Chair Mat For Hardwood Floors?

How Much Storage Do You Need On Mac?

When you buy a new Mac, there are just some questions that are more difficult to answer than others. One of these questions is how much storage do you really need. In the case of a new Mac purchase, how you plan to use the computer and what you need it for weigh heavily in your purchase decision. So how do you decide? Here are some of the factors you should be considering.

What Are Your Choices?

Before we get into how you make a storage choice, let’s take a look at what your choices are. The November releases of the 13” MacBook Air and MacBook Pro marked a huge leap forward in Apple laptops. With the company’s first in-house processor, the M1, now available for purchase, performance has jumped ahead of the previous generation of Apple laptops across almost every metric. That said, Apple left the storage mostly alone as the MacBook Air arrives with a 256GB SSD standard in the $999 base model. Similar to the previous model, you can upgrade to a 512GB, 1TB or 2TB SSD for $200, $400 and $800 respectively.

The 13” MacBook Pro retains similar sizing as before with a 256GB SSD of storage standard when combined with the M1 chip. Similar to the Air, storage can be upgraded to 512GB, 1TB and 2TB SSD of storage for the same prices as noted above. Things get a little more interesting with the 16” MacBook Pro, which has yet to receive the M1 processor upgrade. Storage starts off with 512GB SSD on the “base” model with upgrades ranging from 1TB to 8TB with the latter costing upwards of $2,400.

Finally, the last consumer Mac hardware is the Mac Mini, which begins at 256GB of base storage. With some upgrades, you can max out memory at 2TB with 512GB and 1TB storage sizes landing in the middle. Like the MacBook models, upgrades max at $200, $400 and $800 respectively.

Where to Look

The best way to get a sense of how much you need is to determine how much you are currently using. On a Mac, it’s super easy:

2. Select “About this Mac,” then “Storage.”

On Windows:

2. Select “File Explorer.”

Getting a look at your existing storage use is a great predictor of how much space you will need for the future. However, adding space to a Mac laptop after purchase is virtually impossible without voiding your warranty, so it’s a good idea to default to the next size up.

Should I Buy 256GB, 512GB or Larger?

If you are trying to decide between these two sizes, start by asking yourself some simple questions.

1. Do I plan to keep every photo and video I capture on my Mac hard drive?

2. Do I like to download movies or TV shows and keep them available for watching at any time?

3. Do I not want to worry about having enough space for applications?

4. Do I need more space to edit photos or videos?

The answer to those questions might seem simple, but they are difficult when you remember that you are purchasing something you cannot upgrade. If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, purchase the 512GB. The $200 or so that it costs for the hard drive upgrade is well worth it when you factor in the lifespan of ownership. If you are genuinely concerned about never running out of space, the TB (terabyte) options are available and will serve you well for the whole lifespan of your Mac.

Don’t Forget iCloud

With the introduction of macOS Sierra, Apple introduced a new feature called “Store in iCloud.” Somewhat self explanatory based on the name, this feature does indeed upload files to iCloud when you are running low on storage. The caveat here is that you need additional or enough available storage on iCloud to make room for files, documents, photos, videos and more. Apple offers three options:

50GB – $0.99

200GB – $2.99

2TB – $9.99

Ultimately, this won’t make up for local storage, but adding in cloud storage will allow for additional flexibility by freeing up space on your computer. iCloud storage is first and foremost for cloud backups, especially for iOS and iPadOS, but that you can use this to free up local storage is a great second purpose. The same goes for Dropbox, which also offers a similar feature with “Smart Sync.”

Can You Make It with 256GB?

Are you planning to get the base 256GB model? Let’s assume that your Mac is going to be filled with catalogs of music, photos, applications, and likely videos you own, rented or captured. On top of all of that, you also want room for future projects like Mac gaming or video editing. Suddenly, the base 256GB storage doesn’t seem big chúng tôi trick here is to optimize the storage on your Mac. As much as possible, offload all those files you have little use for to the cloud storage or external drive.

A second thought is that you can also get by with less storage on a MacBook or iMac if you have another desktop or primary computer. That won’t be true for most people, but for those who have a second computer, less storage may be feasible. For everyone else, 256GB is more than likely good enough to get by for years to come. If you can pick up the extra storage at 512GB, it definitely provides you with more than enough cushion for well into the future.

Conclusion

Choosing the right storage size is never easy. On the plus side, all Mac models come with a base storage of 256GB. Yet on the negative, it doesn’t make the decision any easier. Ultimately, choosing the right storage size depends on whether you have needs for the space. Think about what you really want to do with your computer over the next few years and let the answer be your guide.

David Joz

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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Do You Really Need An Ssd Or Solid State Drive?

The SSD or Solid State Drive isn’t exactly a new term. SSDs have been on the market for quite a few years now, but not a lot of people know what they do. Essentially, SSDs are an upgrade over the older HDD (Hard Disk Drive), and they offer faster boot times, and faster processing speeds but at a substantially higher cost.

Unlike your traditional hard disk drives, an SSD uses NAND flash memory, which can last for years on a stretch. But is it exactly worth the extra bucks for real-life performance? Let’s find out.

Read: Solid State Drive vs. Hard Disk Drive.

Do you need an SSD or Solid State Drive?

To start with, there are multiple reasons why you might want to opt for an SSD in place of a standard HDD.

Laptops might take get bumped around when you travel

If you travel a lot with your laptop, chances are your computer is sure to get bumped off in different places when you carry it around. It is better to have a machine that sports an SSD to know that you are protected with a sturdy drive when you get bumped.

Mobility is key

Another benefit of an SSD is that it is much more portable and mobile compared to the traditional HDD. The SSD ends up saving space to include other hardware in the laptop and even reduces weight and thickness. SSDs also require less power, so your laptop battery should last longer.

Boot times are lowered

And finally, boot time. If you have been a Windows PC owner for the longest time, you surely have felt the pain of waiting for your system to boot up after a long time. Using an SSD, especially for booting up Windows 10 will help you notice the sudden changes in the time taken to load all your apps on the desktop.

So, now that you have chosen that you do indeed want an SSD for your machine, it’s time to get a bit technical.

Read: Hybrid Drive vs. SSD vs. HDD.

The right type of memory for your SSD

Single-Level Cell (SLC) – SLC memory is practically the faster type of memory on any SSD. It is also the most precise when it comes to reading and processing data, which makes it better for your system’s battery life. But the worst part is that SLC is also the most expensive of the lot and the SSDs with SLC are usually used in Enterprise editions.

Multi-Level Cell (MLC) – MLC memory has a larger amount of storage without an increase in physical size, is available for a lower price than SLCs, but, in turn, has slower and less precise Write and Read speeds. They also suck in more power and are less durable compared to the SLCs.

Triple-Level Cell (TLC) – TLC is the cheapest of the lot and thus quite popular in the consumer segment. But, it also has the lowest and least precise write and read speeds. It is also much less durable compared to the other two memory variants due to increased power consumption.

So, this was a brief summary of what SSDs are and how you should choose the right one. Do let us know if you have any suggestions, below.

Do let us know if you have any observations to make.

Read: SSD Optimization Tips for better performance.

How Do You Make A Painkiller Addiction

Old vs. New

The pre-2010 OxyContin pill crushes into grains (left) while the newer formula is more difficult to break up (right).

Those injectors and snorters have plenty of company. Prescription opioids—drugs that work similarly to opium, including OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet and others—are the number-one cause of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. That includes overdoses from illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine. In 2010, prescription opioids accounted for 44 percent of all U.S. overdose deaths. It’s a huge problem and drug companies are turning to a solution they know very well: chemistry.

In 2010, Purdue quietly introduced a new formula that made OxyContin pills weirdly difficult to crush or dissolve in water, hoping to undercut the ways people had discovered they could get a super-sized opioid hit from long-acting OxyContin. Three years later, studies are just beginning to show that crush-resistant chemistry does seem to reduce OxyContin abuse. Whether it reduces drug abuse overall is another question. Preliminary findings suggest those who used to abuse OxyContin are simply replacing it with other prescriptions or with heroin.

Meanwhile, researchers are working on several other ways of making painkillers physically more difficult to abuse. Nothing else is on the market yet, but the experts I talked to said to expect companies to try. “It’s a booming industry,” Jamison says.

If drug abusers respond to new formulations the way they have for OxyContin, this may mean a reduction in prescription pill abuse, although not necessarily an overall reduction in drug abuse. Instead, pharmaceutical companies will simply, finally be able to shift some blame for abuse away from their own products.

For Purdue Pharma, at least, that blame has been costly. In 2007, the company settled with U.S. federal agencies in a criminal court, paying $634 million and pleading guilty to misleading the public about OxyContin’s potential for addiction.

* * *

The technology that goes into the new, crush-resistant, long-lasting OxyContin is called Intac, and it’s made by the German company Grünenthal. A pill made with Intac begins life a little differently than the standard tablet, says Alexander Kraus, vice president for product development at Grünenthal USA.

Most tablets start as a powder mixture that includes the active medicine and any other inactive ingredients that may, for example, help stabilize the active ingredients. Machinery presses the powder into a pill. Crushing the pill into snort-able or dissolve-able grains is just taking it back to its original form. “If you take that tablet and put it between two spoons, you typically would be able to crush it back into the powder component,” Kraus says.

OxyContin, on the other hand, starts as oxycodone, plus a plastic-like polymer material made of long-chain molecules. When heated, the polymer enters a molten phase, Kraus says. The manufacturing process forms tablets out of the hot, semi-liquid stuff and then cools them until they are solid, at which point the oxycodone is embedded in the solid polymer. The final pills have a “plasticky type of solid, monolithic form,” Kraus says.

“It’s not hard like a rock,” he says. “It has some plasticity, so if you bang on it, it will deform, but it will not shatter, and that’s the trick.”

Another cool trick? If you try to dissolve the new-formulation OxyContin in water or alcohol, it forms a thick, stringy goop that’s difficult to inject.

Injection Deterring

Drug abusers sometimes dissolved crushed older OxyContin into an injectable mixture (left), but the newer formula makes a stringy jelly when mixed with liquid (right).

Other chemical blocks in different stages of research include putting little packets of opioid antagonists—think of them as opioid antidotes—into pills. If an abuser crushes the pills, he or she opens the packets, releasing the antagonists, which prevent the opioid from working. The packets are supposed to stay sealed if taken by mouth, however, so that the pills continue to work for legitimate patients.

Some companies are working on molecules that require something in the digestive system, such as an enzyme, to activate the opioid. It’s as if both the painkiller and the euphoric effect of the medicine are locked up and there’s no way to unlock them without first putting them through your entire GI tract.

* * *

When Purdue first came out with the reformulated OxyContin, it wasn’t allowed to say the new pill was abuse-deterrent because there wasn’t yet evidence it made a difference to abusers. It sounded like it should work, but who’s to say? “Drug users can be very inventive and so your best efforts may not work very well in practice,” says Wilson Compton, director of epidemiology, services and prevention research at the U.S.’ National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Now, just enough time has passed for researchers to check the effects of having the new OxyContin on the market for a few years. This past April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an abuse deterrent claim on OxyContin’s label based on newly published scientific studies.

Nearly all of the studies were funded by Purdue. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re biased. It’s common practice for drug companies to bankroll the surveillance of their own products, and of course Purdue would like to know if Intac actually works. It helps that there have been several studies that ask slightly different questions about Intac’s effect on abuse and together, they point toward Intac working, Compton says.

“The effect is significant and appears to be clinically meaningful,” he says.

Studies based on the industry-funded Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance system found that since the introduction of Intac-enabled OxyContin, the amount of the drug diverted for abuse fell by up to 60 percent. The number of poison control calls about overdosing on OxyContin fell by 42 percent. The median street value of a new OxyContin pill is 63 cents a milligram, compared to $1 a milligram for the old pill.

New And Old OxyContin Pills

80-milligram tablets of the current OxyContin formula (left) and the previous OxyContin formula (right)

In one study of people treated at rehab centers, scientists from the research company Inflexxion and Purdue Pharma found that since the new OxyContin came onto the market, abuse fell by 41 percent.

One dissenting study comes from RTI International, which did not receive Purdue funding. In a nationally representative survey, the research nonprofit found OxyContin abuse rates didn’t change much after the new OxyContin appeared on pharmacy shelves. It appears un-crushable OxyContin does put off a small number of users, specifically those that seem to use crushed OxyContin and heroin interchangeably, says Scott Novak, a statistician who performed RTI International’s analysis. Take the effect to the overall population, however, and it’s not significant.

Why wouldn’t a plasticky pill put off OxyContin abusers? One possibility is that people have gotten around the Intac technology. Human ingenuity knows no bounds. Another is that not every abuser crushes his or her pills. It’s still possible to get a high, though perhaps not as big of a rush, by taking OxyContin orally. Although detailed numbers on how many people crush versus how many people swallow are difficult to come by, it’s widely acknowledged in the scientific literature that some abusers simply swallow the pills, and that they won’t be affected by the new formula.

As for those who are deterred, some preliminary numbers show that they’re replacing their pills with other drugs.

In a letter to the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and Nova Southeastern University in Florida found that in telephone interviews, the number of drug abusers who said they primarily abused OxyContin fell by 64 percent. At the same time, those same abusers reported higher rates of using other prescription opioid drugs and heroin, which is an opioid, if not a prescription one.

Richard Dart, executive director of the Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance program, says he also has preliminary data showing that those other abuses rise. It will be another year before he’ll have the data fully analyzed. “I think it’s clear they do go to the other drugs,” he says. “I don’t think anybody ever thought—I mean, why would they stop abusing?”

* * *

All the researchers I talked to acknowledged abuse-deterrent OxyContin’s weaknesses in, well, actually deterring drug abuse. Yet most wanted to see chemical deterrents appear in more drugs. If it works, even a little, why not? seemed to be the attitude.

Why not indeed? Some experts have argued the new formulas may make painkillers more expensive, a cost legitimate, non-abusing patients will have to shoulder. Yet insurance companies may also find they prefer covering abuse deterrent pills because they know their money is going to legit patients, Novak argues. In reality, there’s no way to know yet how the market will react.

Researchers had hoped that when people ran into crush-resistant OxyContin, they would take the opportunity to get clean, Compton says. Instead, they sought their high in other ways, which he calls “not a particularly satisfying outcome.”

Ultimately, this is a problem that pharmaceutical chemistry can have only a small, if any, effect on. At best, drug companies working on abuse resistant formulas are covering their own liability.

“Fundamentally, I’d like to see core approaches, whether that’s treatment for the underlying addiction, or prevention to keep people from going that direction in begin with,” Compton says. “But anything that stops people from using this in a lethal way is helpful.”

What’s A Balance Sheet, And Why Do I Need One?

A balance gives insights into a company and its operations. It reveals a company’s liabilities, assets, and owners’ equity net worth.

A balance sheet gives interested parties an idea of the company’s financial position in order to allow them to make informed financial decisions.

The primary reason for business is to make profits. The balance sheet indicates whether the business is making losses or profits for directors to determine future steps to take. The balance sheet acts as a decision-making tool.

A balance sheet offers a way to look inside your business and outline what it is really worth. A balance sheet is different from a measure of profit and loss. It’s a list of assets and liabilities. Any good balance sheet includes some basics:

What the business owns (real estate, vehicles, office equipment, etc.)

The revenue you expect to take in (accounts receivable)

Expenses you expect to pay out (accounts payable)

Getting into the details can be daunting for many people, who when they start a business might be doing it as a hobby that makes money. That can be a mistake.

If you want to claim tax deductions, for instance, it’s important to note how fast and by how much your assets are depreciating (losing value with age). Balance sheets also include the costs of labor, which is also important for tax calculations. Keeping records of all these is essential.

Also, if you ever want to sell the business, you have to be able to say what the real value of the asset is – and that often has little to do with its potential, however good it is.

The Small Business Administration has a sample balance sheet; it shows some basic things anyone starting out should have on it. But the statement of assets and liabilities will differ, sometimes widely, for different businesses, and some of it falls under state or federal laws.

Bill Brigham, director at the New York State Small Business Development Center in Albany, New York, notes a big mistake people make is trying to do it themselves even as their business grows. While commercial accounting software such as Quicken is fine, it’s a good idea to go to a professional accountant the first time you set a balance sheet up.

“It will save you money down the road,” Brigham says.

The cost of hiring an accountant for a one-time job is a few hundred dollars; the cost of paying fines to the IRS, or the potential lost money in tax breaks is often much more.

Brigham also notes a balance sheet is a good reality check. “Everybody thinks their business is worth more than it really is,” he said. If you are planning to sell your business or incorporate it, the total worth is vital information. If you’re applying for a small business loan, it helps to have something to show the bank that you’ve done your homework.

Drew Gerber started three businesses of his own, and now runs a Georgia firm that helps small businesses market themselves. Gerber says a common pitfall of many entrepreneurs is to try and do everything themselves. Delegating balance sheet creation to a professional (or a friend who is an accountant) avoids that problem. In addition, a balance sheet tells you if your business is really profitable to your household or not. He notes that oftentimes business owners just guess at profitability, without really calculating the carrying costs of many assets.

Real estate, for example, has to appreciate faster than both inflation and the interest cost of the loan in order to turn a profit. If your business owns a piece of property and that price appreciation doesn’t happen, that asset is actually worth less.

A vehicle loses value every year, and that can count against the total worth of an enterprise because maintenance costs go up, not down, over time. But depreciation isn’t all bad. It can add up to big tax deductions in some cases, but unless you know how much, you can’t claim those breaks.

[Related: Small Business Accounting Software Options and Features]

What to include on a balance sheet

A balance is divided into two parts: a company’s assets and liabilities and the shareholders’ equity. The assets or means to operate balance against companies’ financial obligations, equity investments, and retained earnings.

Assets

There are two types of assets: current assets and noncurrent assets. Noncurrent assets refer to assets that cannot be liquidated within a year. These assets have a longer life span as compared to current assets. They refer to tangible assets such as machinery, computers, the building your business operates in, and the land. Noncurrent assets can also be intangible assets such as patents, goodwill, and copyrights. These assets are not physical in nature, but they can determine whether a market makes it or not.

Liabilities

These are the financial obligations that a company owes other entities. They are categorized into two, current and long-term liabilities. Long-term liabilities refer to long-term debts and nondebt financial obligations due after a period of more than one year.

Current liabilities must be paid within one year. They include short-term borrowing, such as account payables or monthly interest payable on loans.

Shareholders’ equity

Shareholders equity is the initial amount of money invested in a business. Where retained earnings are transferred from the income statement, into the balance sheet, they form the company’s net worth.

[Related Read: Best Accounting Software for Small Business]

How to create a balance sheet

Use the following accounting equation to make a balance sheet:

Assets = Liabilities + Owners’ equity

Ensure that the value of total assets is equal to the total of liabilities and owners’ equity. The asset account should have all the goods and resources that a company owns, while equity represents all the contributions by the owners of the company and past earnings. Most assets of companies are financed through borrowing.

Choose the date for the balance sheet.

It is essential for an organization to determine when the financial year ends. This is different for most companies with most financial years ending between the month of March and June. Collect enough data during the year to ensure you have the right representation of the company’s position. The date should always be indicated on the balance sheet.

Have a header for the balance sheet.

Always have the title balance sheet at the top of your balance sheet.

Prepare the assets section.

Assets may include, account receivables, inventory and prepaid expenses, among others. List both the current and noncurrent assets.

Include the liabilities and owners’ equity section.

The liabilities should be categorized into both long-term and current liabilities. Sample liabilities include pension plan obligations, interest on loans and bonds payable, among others.

Balance off the assets against liabilities and owners’ equity. These should tally.

How To Refinish Concrete Floors In A Basement

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Learn how to refinish concrete floors in a basement.

We’re working on renovating our basement to turn it into a studio space for me to work in.

After painting the ceiling, we decided to stain the floor next.

This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing an item through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

We’re staining the floor before framing the walls to avoid water sitting under the wood.

Staining a floor is a wet process and we wanted clear access to the basement drain.

Unfortunately, there was a giant paint spill in the center of the room. And we didn’t want another disappointing stain job like in our garage.

So we decided to resurface the concrete to make the whole job easier.

We’re skim coated concrete before in the sunroom and it was very expensive (but totally worth it!)

In researching stain colors, I ran across a new concrete resurfacer product from the same store where we buy the stain.

This saved us from going to more than one store, but it also ended up saving us a ton of money!

By the way, it’s totally worth going to those smaller stores to buy these specialty products.

The employees have a wealth of knowledge and can instruct you on better techniques and products to save you time and money, as we found out.

Skim Coating Concrete Floors FAQ Can you skim coat a concrete slab?

Yes! It’s possible to skim coat concrete. You can even skim coat old concrete.

Just make sure you clean the surface well before applying the new concrete coat.

Why would you resurface concrete?

Ease of staining.

New concrete is so much easier to stain than old concrete. It absorbs the stain well and reacts correctly with the acid stain.

Cover Paint Spills or Ugly Concrete

We had a huge paint spill on our floor to deal with.

Chemicals can make the concrete stain not react correctly, so they weren’t an option for removing the paint.

And I didn’t want to sand the spot either.

Uneven Concrete

Resurfacing concrete can also be great for fixing uneven concrete. It’s often used to level a floor before tile.

How is this process different from the process I used in my sunroom?

We used Flo-Coat concrete re-surfacer last time. It took about 25 bags to cover the surface.

This time we used Kingdom Buildable Overlay. Although the price is higher per bag, we only used 2 bags for the whole room in our basement.

Cost

This product cost us about $100 to resurface a room that’s about 300 square feet.

The sunroom was about the same size and it cost us roughly $700 to use the Flo-coat. (We were covering a rougher surface and had to cover old mastic from the tile we removed.)

Texture

The Kingdom Buildable Overlay product left a rougher texture, which is great for spaces where you’re concerned about slipping. (It would have been perfect in our sunroom.)

The Flo-coat was much smoother and self-leveled a little better.

Color

Kingdom Buildable Overlay is available in both gray and white. We chose gray to dull the orange tones down a bit.

White would have been lovely under the aqua.

Flo-coat (like many concrete products) only comes in gray.

Ease of application

The Kingdom Buildable Overlay was applied with a squeegee and a long pole, which meant almost no kneeling down (though there were some tight areas that had to be applied by hand.)

Time

It took about 30 minutes to cover the entire floor.

The other process took about 1 1/2 hours and took multiple people mixing more batches as I spread a batch on the ground.

See the finished craft room here!

How to Refinish Concrete Floors Supplies Needed for Refinishing a Basement Floor How to Clean a Basement Floor

As in many renovation projects, this was a process of cleaning the floor, making a mess, and cleaning it again.

I had already mopped the floor when I was removing the paint overspray, but we still cleaned the cement floor as instructed.

Luckily a basement is an easy room to stain because it has some handy features built into it that make the job easier.

Our basement has a drain that connects to the septic tank. It also has water hookups to allow us to attach a water hose.

If your basement doesn’t have these features, it’s still possible to do this project.

Drag a hose in from outside and use a shop-vac to remove the water.

Use a broom and a dustpan to remove any large debris before starting.

Sweep up any dust.

Use a shop vac if necessary.

Spray the floor with a 1:1 mixture of Neutra clean and water.

Wet the floor using a water hose.

Scrub it with a push broom.

Use the squeegee to push the water to the drain.

A shop-vac can be used to remove the water if you’re working in a room without a handy drain built in. (Don’t let it get too full or it will be too heavy to dump out.)

Repeat until you’re happy with how clean the floor is. There should be no suds left.

Mixing the Concrete

Use a 5-gallon bucket for easier pouring. We mixed our first batch in a concrete trough and it was not fun to pour.

If you use a battery-powered drill, make sure that you have plenty of extra fully charged batteries on hand. Use the drill on low power.

Pour the concrete into a 5 gallon bucket.

Add water and mix. You want it much thinner than you think (about the consistency of a smoothie.)

Keep adding water until you get it nice and thin. It needs to be spreadable with the squeegee.

Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and then mix again.

To avoid bubbles in your mixture, don’t bring the drill mixer to the surface while spinning. You can also run a sander against the bucket for a few minutes to bring all the bubbles to the top.

We ended up with bubbles, but we decided to embrace them as part of the imperfect beauty of concrete.

Applying the Concrete Skim Coat

Despite the thinness of the concrete, it doesn’t self-level, so keep that in mind while working.

This first coat should be about 1/4″ thick.

Letting the Concrete Dry

Place a high-powered fan in the room to help it dry faster. It still takes several hours to a day.

It takes longer to dry over covered paint spills and anywhere the new concrete layer is super thick.

Some spots will dry darker and look wet even though they’re dry. Touch it to see if it’s actually dry if you’re in doubt.

Sanding the Concrete

Concrete dust is rough, so take proper precautions when sanding the surface.

Use 80 grit sandpaper on a sander.

It’s only necessary to sand the rough spots. The purpose is only to knock down the ridges, not to get a buttery smooth surface.

If your sander has a dust collector on it, be sure to empty it as needed. It’s amazing how heavy it becomes with the concrete dust.

Let the dust in the air settle.

Then use a shop vac to remove the dust from the floor.

Applying a 2nd Coat of Concrete

This coat is applied even thinner. The consistency should be like melted ice cream. This coat should be about 1/8″ thick.

Apply in the same manner, but be even more careful about leaving ridges with the squeegee.

Let the concrete dry completely and sand again. This time, sand the entire surface.

Use a shop vac to clean the dust again.

The refinished concrete surface is ready for concrete stain after 24 hours.

The perfect blank canvas.

Check out how I stained the basement floor!

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Emy is a vintage obsessed mama of 2 DIYer who loves sharing affordable solutions for common home problems. You don’t need a giant budget to create a lovely home. Read more…

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