Clippings by AJinNH

 Sort by: Last Updated Post Date Post Title Forum Name 

Warning re Walker Zanger Gramercy Park Tiles!

posted by: AJinNH on 03.27.2014 at 12:01 pm in Kitchens Forum

We are completing the finishing touches on our kitchen remodel. Our backsplash is one of the last things to be installed. We picked out some beautiful Gramercy Park crackle glaze field tiles in Wedgwood Blue (they're really grey) as well as filagree tiles for behind the range from a different manufacturer.

We received 5 boxes of 100 tiles/box of the field tiles. EVERY tile in every box was covered in a black soot-like material. Thank goodness we opened the boxes before installation. That stuff was difficult to come off and got all over everything. It took us an entire weekend to clean up all of those tiles washing, drying and cleaning out the boxes so that we could store them again until installation. What a mess! I brought a box to the tile store in Greenland, NH where we purchased them and was thanked for my patience and handed a bottle of tile cleaner. They took a picture and were going to complain to Walker Zanger, but I've haven't heard a word.

If you decide to order from this company anyway you might want to make sure to give yourself plenty of time to clean up the mess on the tiles. Really, no exaggeration, it took us a whole weekend to clean them up. Time we really couldn't afford to waste like that. Needless to say, we were very disappointed.


clipped on: 03.27.2014 at 02:20 pm    last updated on: 03.27.2014 at 02:21 pm

RE: Green Bloom on Granite - update (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: kellienoelle on 06.13.2012 at 02:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

And a final update

It's gone! It took 3 months of trial and error, but they were able to finally get the green stains out. What finally worked in the end was treating each stain with a propane torch, then topping with some sort of oven cleaner and sealing on for 24 hours. They did this about 4 times to some of the tougher stains. I am pretty pleased with the results. While I obviously wish the granite would have remained perfect from the start, I was happy the fabricator took ownership and were willing to try so many things to fix it.

I hope this information helps anybody who has a similar problem.

Now off to make a backsplash thread since I can finally put the finishing touches on the kitchen!


clipped on: 01.12.2014 at 08:45 pm    last updated on: 01.12.2014 at 08:45 pm

Help! Removing stains on granite

posted by: kellienoelle on 03.20.2012 at 03:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

I am hoping that somebody here can help with this because frankly, I am just feeling sick over this. We just got back from vacation and had my husband's nephew stay over to watch our dogs (and our 3 week old kitchen). And, we return to granite stained with a few splotches of fluorescent green. So, he isn't fessing up, but putting two and two together with the vacation falling over St. Paddy's Day and the color, we are assuming it is probably some sort of green food coloring. We have no ideas on when it happened, how long it has been there, or what was used to try to clean it up. Called the granite installers and they recommended using a magic eraser, then steel wool and rubbing alcohol. It isn't budging. Are we just stuck at this point?

I have a call in to the granite people, and am assuming that they may try some sort of poultice, but you guys seem to know everything so I am hoping that maybe somebody has some ideas, some encouragement, some recipes for jello shots (preferably green) to drown my sorrows. Or I can just wavent because I can't exactly express to my husband how I currently feel about his family member.


clipped on: 01.09.2014 at 02:27 pm    last updated on: 01.09.2014 at 02:27 pm

Custom Drawer Inserts

posted by: meyersdvm on 06.05.2013 at 12:54 pm in Kitchens Forum

I learned about Wood Hollow's custom drawer inserts from this forum. I ordered from their eBay site last Wednesday and my drawer inserts arrived very well packaged yesterday.

I love that they match my wood drawer interiors and leave no wasted space. They are well made and very reasonably priced at $35 each for cutlery and utensil inserts and $25 for a fluted spice insert. My spice drawer is in a bank of base cabs that are only 18 inches in depth, so standard inserts would not have worked.

Spice drawer
Utensil drawer
Cutlery drawer

Here is a link that might be useful: Cutlery Insert


clipped on: 11.15.2013 at 11:22 am    last updated on: 11.15.2013 at 11:22 am

Counter selection for White shaker style?

posted by: zeitgast on 12.27.2012 at 08:38 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi all could use some help on selecting counters for our pending white shaker style kitchen with oak floors.

Want low maintenance so going with quartz (even though we love soapstone). Been looking at those little squares but it's so hard to picture. Like Caserstone Raven but not too excited about the sheen. Honed is no longer an option. Any ideas?


clipped on: 10.29.2013 at 04:51 pm    last updated on: 10.29.2013 at 04:51 pm

RE: Not loving my soapstone (yet?) and backsplash help please! (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: athomeinva on 07.08.2013 at 11:45 am in Kitchens Forum

I have used Miracle 511 and Tile Lab sealer and enhancer, both work about the same. The feel of the stone does not change nor does its matte appearance *any more than wax or oil* but it does make them dark and causes water to bead up. You will need to apply it twice but not in the same day as it needs to dry really well between applications. I believe that my counters were darker when it was first applied but not by much, my counters were never as black as Swan's. Sealants do not change the stone to make it more perfect or less like soapstone, I still have marks and scratches that come and go, I only ever sharpie out really big band marks as the rest just fade on their own.

*I would suggest trying sealant on a sample piece before you do your entire counter to make sure that you like it.*

My counters are finished to a very smooth finish, they are dead matte when unoiled/ sealed, and have a small bit of shine when finished. I have used oil, wax, sealant, and left my counters natural for a while to try out all of the possibilities and had no problems even with the smooth finish.

This post was edited by athomeinva on Mon, Jul 8, 13 at 11:53


clipped on: 09.26.2013 at 09:36 pm    last updated on: 09.26.2013 at 09:36 pm

RE: Wood island countertop people...more questions (sorry!!) (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: breezygirl on 01.17.2012 at 02:27 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi Babs. Sounds like you're making good progress!

My plank, black walnut top was made by a local woodworker. I got quotes from a few of the big names mentioned here and was also surprised at the cost so began looking for cheaper places. I got a quote from Craft Art and another local shop for a DIY finish top, but with the house reno, DH's work schedule, the kids, lack of workspace, and our tight timeline at the end of our project, we knew we wouldn't be able to DIY it ourselves. The cost of the unfinished top from either place plus the cost of someone to do the finish work wound up costing as much as using the local woodworker to make the whole thing. Plus, with a sink in the island, we were concerned that the cutout be done correctly.

So, with the cost of the counter fabrication, sink cut out, upcharge for insetting of the sink higher into the top to decrease the undermount depth, sink mounting, runnels, finishing, delivery, and installation worked out to about $110 sq ft. Yes, it was more expensive than I thought it would be, but cheaper than it might have been.

I rarely get compliments from visitors on the new kitchen in general, but most people comment on the beauty of the island. It's really amazing IMHO and worth the splurge.


Mine is finished with Osmo Polyx Oil only because my woodworker has been using it on counters for years. It's a green, food-safe product. I had planned on using Waterlox, but decided to trust and go with the flow. I really like how it doesn't look like it has any sort of coating on the wood. It is matte, yet has subtle glow. Looks natural. The other benefit is that I can quickly rub on more Osmo on an area if it needs it, like around the sink, without having to do the whole top.

We've only had the top a short time so I can't comment on longevity, but I've gotten scratches and even dents from dropping something heavy. Comes with the territory. My woodworker came over the other day to look at another project and brought his sander with him. He gave the top a quick sand and a new coat of Osmo. Scratches gone in only a few minutes! I could never do that with my marble. ;)

Keep searching around. Ask your customer. You never know what will happen.


clipped on: 07.31.2013 at 11:24 am    last updated on: 09.22.2013 at 11:31 am

RE: Best and worst decisions you made when renovating (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: treasuretheday on 06.30.2012 at 12:11 am in Bathrooms Forum

Decisions that make me happy:

~ Sticking to our/my vision of what the room should look like even as I'd see pictures of other lovely rooms that were very different from ours.
~ Building architectural interest with an elliptical arch soffit and columns around the tub
~ Keeping the colors neutral and using just our purple and tan/gold towels for accent color (I decided against the matching purple rugs and purple countertop accessories because I didn't want to draw attention to those items.)
~ Granite counters instead of marble (I thought I'd never find a granite I could love as much as the Paradiso marble that I originally wanted but I love the Moxura granite that we chose. I knew that I would constantly be worried about all of my products etching the marble counters.)
~ Choosing porcelain tile instead of travertine. ( I love our Edimax ~ Materia Forte in Bronzea because it blends so many neutral shades... tan, taupe, gray and cream. I love the mix of warm and cool tones. And I love that I don't have to worry about it. We have some travertine deco accent tiles and skirting /base molding so I did get my natural stone look too!)
~ Making our frameless shower door glass full height to the soffit at the ceiling (I worried that it would feel too steamy and claustrophobic but it's soooo nice and cozy.)
~ Not settling for the usual shower door installation but instead going with a pivot hinge on the full-height door; mitered glass and a single uchannel and silicone for the pony wall glass. (The less hardware seen, the better, to me.
~ Asking the shower door pros to custom-order the sculptural handle I had seen elsewhere.
~ The shower layout that we agonized over, especially the two big niches and the shape of the shower seat.
~ Using granite on our niche shelves, shower seat and curb and the doorway threshold.
~ Being willing to change our stain color choice on our custom Amish-built vanities when they came in much darker than we had specified. (He was perfectly willing to take them back to his shop, three hours away, and restain everything but we quickly realized that they were actually better in the wrong color than what we had first chosen!)
~ Designing upper cabinets with a lighted valance and then installing outlets in those cabinets so everything can be in its place and out of sight.
~ Having our cabinetmaker remake the valances when the size and proportion were just not right. (They had made them exactly as we asked so this was an unexpected delay and additional expense, but necessary.)
~ 36" tall vanities (34 1/2" cabinet + 3 cm granite)
~ Soft close vanity drawers and full-height sink base doors.
~ Putting every single light source on a separate dimmer switch (I love to adjust the lights to suit my mood and time of day)
~ Polished nickel finishes (love the warmth vs chrome) and then mixing in some brushed nickel for variety (and because my sconces and shower control didn't come in polished nickel!)
~ Replacing our casement windows with a pair of double hung windows so that we can get fresh air and still have our privacy.
~ Designing towel cubbies on either side of the tub
~ Using large (18" square) tiles on the floor set on the diagonal and including travertine accent tiles.
~ Designing the tile layout for the shower walls so that our 12" x 18" tiles could be set with a 1/3 offset that would continue around the corner. (No one else might notice but I love this detail!)
~ Realizing that we could expand into an adjacent closet and dead space to allow us to have a vanity in our water closet
~ Learning that drywall is one of the easiest and cheapest things to fix.
~ Not giving up, despite a very long 12 months!

Things that make me happy:

~ Pottery Barn Clarissa chandelier (It looks sparkly and impractical and I just love it!)
~ Sigma ~ Alicante polished nickel faucets (These really are the jewels on my vanities)
~ NuHeat heated floor (And we haven't even gone through our first winter yet!)
~ Moen I/O Digital electronic shower valve (I was skeptical at first but I LOVE this! It has pushbutton control of all 3 showerheads plus personal preference presets for everyone in the family)
~ Toto Rendezvous sinks WITH Sanagloss (I just swish them with water and they always look clean!)
~ MTI Harmony whirlpool/airbath combo tub (Ahhhhh!)
~ Solatube skylight (Love the natural light in our windowless water closet)
~ Countertop accessories from Target ~ Fieldcrest Luxury ~ Glass & polished nickel (I can't believe how little I paid and how expensive they look and feel)
~ Cabinet hardware ~ Restoration Hardware ~ Mason 4" drawer pull & Schaub ~ Empire knobs (I am so pleased with the quality and how well they complement the other elements in our room.)
~ MicroDry towels from BB&B (They are so soft, plush and absorbent)


~Toto ~ Guineviere toilet (The Sanagloss helps but, of course, it still needs cleaning. The problem is it has too many contours inside the bowl so it is a pain to clean. Even the tank lid has a lip around the edge making it just a little more difficult to clean. My husband and the plumber felt it was a PITA to install. But, I do love the soft-close lid and the one-piece skirted design.)
~ Sigma handheld showerhead (It's heavy because it is all metal and it has no adjustments, just a fairly mild regular stream.)
~ Our travertine skirting/base molding isn't flush with the shower tile so I'm paranoid about keeping that lip clean/dry.
~ I didn't know about rectified tile before ordering ours. I really love our tile with its rustic/distressed appearance and edge irregularities but part of me wishes that we were able to have the skinny grout lines. (We've made a point to choose a rectified tile for our teenage son's bathroom!)
~ Runtal Solea 34" tall towel warmer (I love the towel warmer and it works great but because it only heats where it touches, we're upsizing to the 53" tall model.)
~ We couldn't decide/agree/afford the planned fireplace for one end of our tub so for now we have a tabletop firepit... it's just not the same!





Sorry, as I read back through this, I guess I'm gushing about this room... I suppose you could say I'm still in the honeymoon phase!

Threads like these were extremely helpful to me along the way so I hope some of my reviews might help someone else.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our before and after pics


clipped on: 09.05.2013 at 12:54 pm    last updated on: 09.05.2013 at 12:54 pm

RE: Best and worst decisions you made when renovating (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: williamsem on 06.29.2012 at 09:39 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Ours was a quick decision remodel too, but I still did a bunch of quick research. Not nearly my normal amount, but I had to sleep too :-)

-deep storage drawers in the vanity. A happy accident. All the tall stuff fits in them!
-double curved shower curtain rod, we wanted it to hang our towels on the inside rod. Works great. (only about $60 at BBB, Moen)
- Moen shower curtain hooks. They have roller balls for easy use and we got the ones shaped like a U with each end curved up. It holds the liner on the inner, longer side and the curtain on the outter, shorter side so the liner doesn't show, and it allows the liner more overlap of the tub wall. (about $15-20 at BBB)
-changed the vent fan to a fan/light combo, ultra quiet model
-switched out the vent control from a standard light switch to a timer that fits in the same space (maybe $30 or so at Lowes)
-set floor tile at an angle
-towel/robe hook next to shower, use it every day and it's so convenient
-comfort/chair height toilet with easy off seat and soft close hinges. The easy off seats make it sooooo much easier to clean!
-framed mirror
-higher vanity counter, much easier to use, though it was also a happy accident
-matching satin nickel tub drain and stopper toggle, which I found by accident after it was all done and swapped out myself. Never knew they came in different finishes, now everything matches!
-memory foam bathmat from BBB, it's like stepping on a cloud when getting out of the shower!

Would do different
-wish I had had the extra electrical run to operate the vent fan and light separate and the night light
-would have thought more about what to do where tiles meets the baseboard and the threshold to the hall
-would have recessed the medicine cabinet. So much is now in the vanity (and it's the absolute worst place in any home for meds) that a smaller one in the wall would have looked nice.
-backsplash along wall at the left of the vanity
-inspected the walls better before paint went up. The paint is the only thing that actually bothers me, the backsplash does a little when I clean, but not much.

I'm pretty happy overall, not bad for about one week notice. Should be able to see most, if not all, of these in the pics below.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


clipped on: 09.05.2013 at 12:47 pm    last updated on: 09.05.2013 at 12:47 pm

Best and worst decisions you made when renovating

posted by: loves2cook4six on 06.29.2012 at 06:36 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I love these threads because you get so much collective wisdom in them.

The last thread reached it's limit of 150 post

We are starting an emergency bathroom remodel due to a toilet leaking while we were on vacation so I can use all the help we can get.

Right now our masterbath is gutted at the floor level and we are having to make some major decisions with very little time to do research.

So please help us out and tell us what you love, what you wish you'd done differently and what you think was either a waste of money or a really bad decision.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to previous thread


clipped on: 09.05.2013 at 12:44 pm    last updated on: 09.05.2013 at 12:44 pm

Calling all stone experts and otherwise...

posted by: CallMeJane on 09.04.2013 at 01:44 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi all,

My kitchen cabs are set for installation in a couple of weeks. (yeay!!) I am going with gray stained perimeter cabs and walnut stained cabs for two islands. I was initially all set on White Macaubus as my stone, thinking I can use the backsplash to warm things up.

My dilemma: Corteccia makes my heart sing. I recently discovered it. I have seen it on plenty of website, but some market it as a marble, and others a quartzite. I NEED a quartzite in my kitchen.
I asked a fabricator that I am potentially using and he says its a quartzite. The stoneyard itself labels is a quartzite. Does anyone know for sure if Corteccia is a marble or a quartzite?

Secondly, given the description of my kitchen above, would you go with the white macaubus/luce de luna or the corteccia.
Im attaching a picture of the corteccia.

Thanks guys!!


clipped on: 09.04.2013 at 05:24 pm    last updated on: 09.04.2013 at 05:25 pm

RE: Questions for Thermador Freedom Column owners (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: momqs on 01.07.2011 at 03:10 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here I am.

We adore our columns, but the whole planning and installation component has been **PAINFUL**.

We also go the employee discount - AMAZING! We have their ovens, MW, DW, and cooktop - I love them all. The columns keep the food super fresh, and the ergonomics are awesome.

We have a 30 fridge column and an 18 freezer column and I really wish we had a 30 and a 24.

I couldn't live with less than a 30 fridge and the 18 freezer really is small. I have another freezer and it gets plenty of use, so that's the solution. I wouldn't have wanted 24 & 24. The fridge would be too small.

Our doors came in too small also (width)! Only by 1/8 of an inch, but we had them remade because it was painfully obvious that they were too small. You can make them wider than the Thermador specs because of the hinge, so be sure the person who designs them knows Thermador, or go to a showroom and measure their doors.

Also - because we got these directly from Thermador we had to hire the installer directly. He was recommended by an appliance store, but when there was a problem (crimped water line - tell your builder it goes in the front of the unit) he was nowhere to be found. So, if you can, hire the installer THROUGH an appliance store so he is accountable to someone.

Lastly, we used a long stainless steel bar pull as our handle and it didn't hold up - it broke after a month, so either use a smaller length (ours was about 38") or make sure it's beefy like jamis1021's Sub Zero handles.

We still love the columns and I would go through this all again, but just be aware that the planning and install can get dicey.


clipped on: 09.01.2013 at 12:30 pm    last updated on: 09.01.2013 at 12:31 pm

RE: Please post pics of your frameless cabinets (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: TorontoTim on 06.21.2011 at 02:02 pm in Kitchens Forum

In Canada, frameless are the norm. Ours were just installed in the last few weeks. Counters coming this week.

Also quite common in Canada are MDF doors, which are cut by computer on giant CNC machines. Our full-custom cabinets are plywood boxes with MDF doors, finished in BM Cloud White.

Solid Maple doors would have been the same price, but we'd have hairline and larger cracks everywhere whenever the humidity changed, which in a 90+ year old house in Toronto is often.

As you can see there is a little detail around the recessed panels, but the outer edge of the doors are squared off. We wanted a 'transitional' look, like so many others these days do. Our house is 90+years old with some original character, so we didn't want anything too contemporary, and my wife likes classic looks (counters are marble).

Added the 'furniture' style baseboard on the pantry wall along with the separated crown molding to accentuate them looking like furniture.






clipped on: 08.20.2013 at 10:51 am    last updated on: 08.20.2013 at 10:51 am

Forgot the sink (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: TorontoTim on 06.21.2011 at 02:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

Last pic - forgot the sink ;)

BTW - while certainly WAY more costly than IKEA cabinets, we priced our kitchen out with Lowes, Home Depot, Rona etc. with the major lines of 'semi-custom' cabinets. Our full-custom cabinet job ended up costing the same or less than what we would have paid at any of the big-box stores.



clipped on: 08.20.2013 at 10:49 am    last updated on: 08.20.2013 at 10:49 am

RE: Need feedback re Wolf hood sizes and 2 cfm motors (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: kaseki on 06.26.2013 at 12:07 pm in Appliances Forum

The first requirement is for the hood aperture to overlap the rising and expanding thermal plume containing the grease effluent. If you don't generate grease vapors, then the hood rules may be different.

The second requirement is for the flow rate maintain an adequate velocity at the hood aperture (and the baffles or mesh filter) to ensure that the captured plume is contained. This means that the local velocity at a point where air moves through the filter should equal the plume velocity (up to three feet per second). Because baffles and meshes partially fill the space they occupy, it seems that hoods work OK with perhaps half that velocity at the aperture, leading to a requirement for about 90 cfm per square foot. Note that the velocity is partly driven by total BTU, so the Finnish papers on this subject (referenced at my Clippings) should be consulted for particular cases.

The third requirement is to have a fan/blower that can move the required cfm at the pressure loss that the ducting, hood transitions, baffles, and restricted make-up air have.

The fourth requirement is to have a duct diameter that keeps the flow velocity up so grease not captured by the filter doesn't stick to the ducting, this is about 1000 ft/min.

The fifth requirement is adequate make-up air.

The sixth requirement is to not hit one's head on the hood, so it should be placed where that won't happen. Higher means a need for larger aperture for capture, so the cfm will have to rise. And one is back to the first requirement.



clipped on: 08.10.2013 at 11:42 am    last updated on: 08.10.2013 at 11:42 am

RE: farmgirlinky kitchen before/after -- too long, too many pict (Follow-Up #53)

posted by: farmgirlinky on 04.25.2011 at 08:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

Our kitchen renovation team and sources and materials:

Architect: Steven Marchetti of Peix & Marchetti in NYC

General Contractor: Allen Mathes of Hamden, CT

Cabinetry: Bryan Smallman of New Haven, CT -- the cabinetry and trim in the room are vertical grain fir. The style of the flush panels and their reveal were copied from the panelling of the Yale Center for British Art. The panels are fir veneer over MDF, for stability because of those narrow tolerances. The drawer slides are by Blum. The handles on the drawers and slide-out pantries are by Hafele, and under the Hafele glass-tambour appliance garage there is a Hafele Magic Corner 2, which we really like. The interior of the slide-out pantries are by Hafele, too.
All but one of the windows and the door and transom are original, and were restored by (incredibly patient and meticulous) Arlen.

Painting contractor: Arlen Haug of Hamden, CT, using Benjamin Moore Aura paint in the Affinity line (a well-edited set of colors).

Electrical work: Erik Findlay of the Electrical Connection (with his lieutenant/daughter Suzie)
Monorail Lighting by Edge Lighting, ordered through Klaff's in Norwalk, CT, using the Harley head with (for now) halogen lamps, but these are compatible with LEDs when their light quality improves. I'll be sorry to lose the "spill" out the back of the halogen lamp, though.

Plumbing: George Porto

Sinks and faucets from Torrington Plumbing Supply in New Haven, with the help of Noelle:
Dornbracht Tara Ultra with handspray and Tara Ultra Profi faucets, and

Porcher fireclay sink (rotated so the drain is on the right side, since we both are right-handed, so the label is actually on the inside front of the sink. We went with Porcher after the Rohl biscuit fireclay turned out to be a weird kind of pinkish biscuit that absolutely clashed with the Aga and the fir), and

Julien custom 24" x 24" J7 stainless steel sink, built to be accessible from both sides of the island, with the drain at the right upper corner (thanks to Dino Rachiele and his ergonomic consultation). The Insinkerator Compact Pro just fit in that corner, and the arrangement leaves a lot of usable space under the utility sink.

Subzero Pro48 is 5 years old: we like the drawers, but nothing, not even a glass door and a beeper, keeps a teenaged boy from standing in front of an open fridge while leisurely surveying its contents. We've had no problems at all with this refrigerator, except when our builder friend Allen had to waltz it around a kitchen renovation!

The dishwasher is a Miele La Perla. Got off on the wrong foot when it only wanted to speak to us in Slovenian, but ever since I mastered Slovenian everything has been great. As usual we were the ones who were malfunctioning.

The cream "conventional" 4-oven Aga is 15 years old, and we love it, moved it here from our old house. We thought it would be nice to be able to turn it to pilot for hot summer months when we don't cook so much, so we were delighted that the Module has since become available, and can be retrofitted to an extant Aga, and that Aga will match the Module enamel to your old range as long as you have the paint code. Which, incredibly, we did. We're thrilled to have a wok ring for the first time, and a real broiler, but won't use the Module much until this summer.

The range hood is by Rangecraft -- they were terrific to deal with, and didn't seem flapped by the oddball dimensions imposed by our unusual range set-up and off-center venting requirements as well as existing B-vent from the Aga.

The floor is DuroDesign glue-down tile, in Baltico, from the Green Living Centre in Westport, CT, expertly installed by Karl.

There's a pull-out trash and recycling bin to the right of the utility sink and opposite the fireclay prep sink, but I put another Vipp trash can to the right of the Aga so I wouldn't have to run around the island to throw something away. That second trash bin is easily moved to wherever. I have always liked their design.

Hope this is useful to someone! Making a kitchen is like building a mechanical watch.


clipped on: 08.09.2013 at 03:18 pm    last updated on: 08.09.2013 at 03:19 pm

show pics of the best part of your island

posted by: Peke on 04.27.2013 at 09:59 am in Kitchens Forum

What is your favorite part of your island?

What would you change?

Did you do all drawers?

I am also interested in islands with an overhang. I want to slide a kitchen table under the overhang for seating. Then I can pull it out when we need more seating.

Thanks, Peke


clipped on: 07.24.2013 at 09:14 am    last updated on: 07.30.2013 at 11:15 pm

RE: Hands-free opening for trash pull-out (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: faleash on 02.02.2010 at 11:50 am in Kitchens Forum

annesv- yes, you can still give a little tug and it will open easily

kitchen_angst- I'm not sure what you mean by system, but my cabinetmaker made a deep drawer box so the bins would be secure. The dimensions of that drawer box are 15.5" wide by 21" deep by 12"high. I really went to town (literally) looking for the best bins to use for maximum capacity. I wanted the highest with the widest "mouth" that still fit two. These are Rubbermaid model 2806. Funny it took longer to figure these bins out than my backsplash LOL!


clipped on: 07.29.2013 at 04:48 pm    last updated on: 07.29.2013 at 04:48 pm

The Next Step...Planning For Storage

posted by: buehl on 01.03.2011 at 05:23 am in Kitchens Forum

Planning For Storage

Once you've finalized your basic design, it's time to analyze your storage needs in each zone. The results of that analysis will drive the size & configuration of your cabinets and drawers.

  1. First, make a list of everything you plan to store in your new kitchen, regardless of where it's stored, basement, dining room, etc.

  2. Next, take the list and group the items according to function. Will they be used during prep? cooking? baking? cleanup? Some items, like pot holders, may belong in two different zones (in this case, cooking & baking). You can either find storage between the two zones or have duplicates and store one in each zone.

  3. Now, determine where each of your zones will be (prep, cleanup, cooking, baking, storage, etc.)

  4. The next step depends on the stage you are in the design/order process...

  5. If you've already ordered your cabinets, then you will have to work with what you have. So...

    • Identify the storage potential in each zone and list them on a piece of paper with a section for each cabinet (base & upper) and one line per drawer or shelf in that cabinet. This includes your pantry for your "storage" zone.

    • Take the two lists and, while imagining yourself working in each zone, put the dishes, tools, etc. that you will be using in cabinets in that zone. Fill in the lines in the cabinet list with these items.

  6. If you are still in the design phase, you will have the opportunity to plan your storage to meet your needs in each zone.
    • Take your list and imagine yourself working in each zone.

    • Go through the motions to determine the best locations for each item that will be used and stored in that zone (don't forget that you will probably have both upper and lower cabinets).

    • Now that you know where to put the items, determine what the best way is to store those items (drawer, shelf, etc.) and what size (e.g., pots & pans work best in 30" or 36" drawers)

    • Lastly, transfer what you've done to your design & tweak as necessary.

You should now have a well-thought out and highly functional kitchen!

Sample storage map: Remodel/Kitchen/20 Designs/Storage Plans/StorageMapping-CooktopWall.jpg

This process and the resultant "map" will not only help you to "see" how things will fit, but the map will also help when you move back into the won't have to think about it, you'll be able to just put things away. It will also be a handy map for everyone to use when attempting to find things the first few weeks w/o having to open every drawer or door!

Oh, and don't forget the Junk Drawer! Most people end up with one, so you may as well plan for it so you at least have control over where it's located!

Common Zones, Appliances In That Zone, and Suggestions For What To Store There:

  • Storage--pantry & refrigerator--Tupperware, food, wraps & plastic bags

  • Preparation--sink & trash/recyclables--utensils, measuring cups/spoons, mixing bowls, colander, jello molds, cutting boards, knives, cook books, paper towels

  • Cooking--cooktop/range & MW (and near a water source)--utensils, pot holders, trivets, pots & pans, serving dishes (platters, bowls, etc.), paper towels

  • Baking--ovens/range--utensils, pot holders, trivets, pots & pans, casserole dishes, roasting rack, cooling racks, cookie sheets, foils, rolling pin, cookie cutters, pizza stone, muffin tins, paper towels [often combined with Cooking Zone]

  • Cleanup--sink & DW & trash--detergents, linens, dishes & glasses, flatware

  • Eating/Serving--island/peninsula/table/nook/DR--table linens, placemats, napkins, dishes & glasses, flatware

  • Utility--broom, dustpan, swifter, mop, cleaning supplies, cloths, flashlights, batteries, extension cords

  • Message/Communication/Command Center--keys, phones/answering machine, charging station, directories/phone books, calendar, desk supplies, dry erase board or chalkboard, pens/pencils, sticky notepaper

Less Common Zones:

  • Tea/Coffee Bar--tea/coffeemaker (and near a water source)--mugs, teas/coffees, sugar, teapot

  • Snack/Beverage Center--near MW & refrigerator or small refrigerator--snacks, snack dishes, glasses [often combined with Tea/Coffee Bar]

  • Pet Zone--feeding area--food, snacks, leashes, medicines (if no children in the home), etc.

Overlapping of Zones

Due to space constraints, some zones often overlap. If this is the case in your kitchen, be sure there is enough work space in the overlap for both activities. Zones that commonly overlap...

  • Prep & Cooking Zones--These zones should be adjacent to each other, so this is a common overlap and is generally not a problem. Just be sure you have enough room for prepping as well as landing space for the range/cooktop. (It is strongly advised you have enough room for emergency landing space on both sides of a range/cooktop.)

  • Prep & Cleanup Zones--If there is only one sink in the kitchen, these zones will be adjacent to each other because of the need for a water source for both zones. However, true overlapping is not generally a good idea. Instead, try to keep the cleanup area separate from the prep area by putting the sink between them. E.g., DW on one side, Prep Zone on the other side. (You should strive to keep the DW out of the Prep Zone as well as out of the path between the sink and Prep & Cooking Zones and between the refrigerator and Prep & Cooking Zones.) Also try for at least 36" (42" or more is better) of room on the Prep Zone side of the sink for ample workspace as well as accommodating the inevitable dirty dishes that will accumulate next to the sink.

Commonly Used Items: pots & pans, utensils, small appliances, linens, pot holders, trivets, dish detergents, "Tupperware", knives, pitchers, water bottles, vases, picnic supplies, cook books, etc.

Foods: Spices, Breads, Flours/Sugars, Teas/Coffees, Potatoes, Onions, Canned Goods, Dry Goods (rice, pasta, etc.), Cereals, Snacks

Small Appliances: Toaster, Stand and/or Hand Mixer, Blender, Breadmaker, Toaster Oven, Food Processor, Crockpot, Waffle Iron, Electric Skillet, Coffeemaker, Coffee Grinder, Ricer, Steamer

SPECIAL NOTE: If your ceiling or one or more of your walls is coming down, consider wiring for speakers, TV, Computer, etc.

Some helpful threads:

forestfire..please help me with my lists [Missing In Action as of 5/16/10...if anyone has saved it, please let me know by emailing me via "My Page"]

List of stuff in kitchens?

What should go within easy reach of the cooktop?

What goes where?

Reloading the new kitchen, any tips where things should go?

Only one lower cabinet...would you do it?


clipped on: 07.29.2013 at 02:15 pm    last updated on: 07.29.2013 at 02:15 pm

Help me like my new Vitamix

posted by: a2gemini on 05.03.2013 at 07:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

OK, I broke down and bought the Vitamix. I made my first smoothie in it and it took 3 cycles to break up the ice and spinach that I was hiding.
Is this a case of the Emperor's new clothes or is there a learning curve or is my unit defective (750)
I need to make some soup next week for a friend. I bought celery, tomatoes, cuke plus pineapples, grapes, etc.

I also want to make a really good veggie juice..


clipped on: 07.28.2013 at 08:38 pm    last updated on: 07.28.2013 at 08:38 pm

LED recessed cans guide for kitchen ...

posted by: davidtay on 01.30.2012 at 01:27 am in Lighting Forum

A collection of tips/ answers
Since kitchens have higher lighting requirements, I like to use 35 lumen per sq ft as a rule to compute the number of lights. If there are additional sources of light that will be used, the output (lumens not watts) from those sources can be deducted from the total.

Placement/ layout
1. Cans should be > 24 to 30 inches from the wall (on center). Most countertop spaces have upper cabinets (typically ~ 12" deep) + crown molding. The edge of the can may be spaced ~ 12" away from the edge of the crown molding (if present or cabinet if there is no crown molding) making the average distance between 26 to 30 inches.

2. Assuming the need for a fairly uniformly lit space @ 35 lumens per sq ft, the cans may have to be spaced closer together - between 3 - 4 ft apart (if all general lighting is provided by recessed lights). A fairly regular pattern is preferable to a random layout.

3. The actual layout of cans will be impacted by the location of ceiling joists, HVAC ducting, electrical wiring, plumbing, ceiling height, fire suppression sprinklers and other obstructions above the ceiling.

The Cree LR6 series lamps do not dim as well as the later models (CR6, ...). ELV dimmers probably work better with LR6 than incandescent dimmers since the total load of the lights may not meet the minimum load requirement for the incandescent dimmer.

Dimmers such as the Lutron Diva CL dimmers work well. The max output is 95%.

Some Choices (in order of preference) and notes
Cree CR6 or ECO-575 (Home Depot branded CR6)
ECO4-575 (Home Depot branded Cree CR4 4" recessed light)
The above are only available in 2700k light color.

Cree LR6 series - including the LE6.

The Cree CR6 and LR6 lamps will not fit into 5" housings.

The standard LR6 behaves more like a surface mount than a recessed light as the LED emitters are close to the surface and the recess is shallow. Some may not like the amount of light spillage (standard LR6).

There is a higher output version of the LR6 that has a much deeper recess.

To prevent the Cree lamps from falling out, the 3 prongs have to be fully extended and a slight clockwise twist made when push installing. The slight clockwise twist will ensure that the prongs are fully extended.

The Cree lamps are currently the best available today (2012).

Sylvania RT-6, RT-4. The lights could be easier to install than Cree lamps as they utilize the torsion spring mechanism. However, the lights do not look as pleasant as the Cree lamps.

The Cree and Sylvania lamps do outperform 26W CFLs (and incandescents) in a standard recessed can in terms of light spread and output as the standard bulb in a can solution traps a significant amount of light. The Cree and Sylvania recessed lamp solutions referenced above have all the LED elements facing outwards so that the effective light output is higher.

The CRI (Color Rendition Index) of Cree and Sylvania recessed lamps > 80.

There is no warm up time required for Cree recessed lamps, unlike CFL light bulbs.

Most recessed lighting is used with flat ceilings. Sloped ceilings would require special solutions such as the LE6 or some other form of lighting (i.e. -non recessed lighting).

Some common objections to recessed can lights stem from
1. looks and performance of traditional can lights (standard bulb in a can)
2. swiss cheese effect from too many holes.


clipped on: 07.28.2013 at 03:22 pm    last updated on: 07.28.2013 at 03:22 pm

Small things that get forgotten

posted by: Laura12 on 04.11.2012 at 06:01 pm in Building a Home Forum

I keep hearing that most people find that there are small things that they didn�t think about until after they finished construction that they wish they would have added into their build, and I was curious if all of you would like to help me to compile a list for all of us to consider during planning!

So far I have
- Plugs in kitchen pantry for charging, or for items that may end up living there
- Full size broom cupboard in pantry or laundry room to hide all the cleaning items away from sight.
- Solar tubes in areas that don�t get natural sunlight
- Prewire security system
- Run wire and prepare roof for future solar
- Central Vac with vac pans

Any others to add?


clipped on: 07.25.2013 at 11:54 am    last updated on: 07.25.2013 at 11:54 am

RE: Small things that get forgotten (Follow-Up #45)

posted by: dabunch on 05.28.2012 at 12:49 pm in Building a Home Forum

Don't forget to get COPPER TUBING for your ice maker. Make sure that the tubing part from the freezer and until it's out of the kitchen wall is copper. If you get the cheap plastic tubing behind the freezer for the ice maker, the plastic will get hard from the heat behind the freezer and you will have to call a plumber within a 3-5 years. It cracks from the heat. You could have water damage in the kitchen wall, or floor. I learned the hard way, and so did my neighbors.
Things are not built as well as they used to be ;)


clipped on: 07.25.2013 at 11:39 am    last updated on: 07.25.2013 at 11:39 am

Power strip for charging drawer

posted by: pseudochef on 05.09.2013 at 02:36 pm in Kitchens Forum

I'm looking for a power strip to put inside a drawer in the new kitchen. I've been told there's one with a cord that can extend and contract (like a hair dryer cord) so when the drawer opens and closes the cord will follow. Does anyone know of a brand of power strip like this? Have any other suggestions?



clipped on: 07.24.2013 at 09:15 am    last updated on: 07.24.2013 at 09:15 am

RE: Kitchen overhead lighting question (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: SparklingWater on 07.20.2013 at 04:50 pm in Lighting Forum

Deb, you have a very nice kitchen! The glass cabs and the lovely backsplash really fit well together.

With an 8'6" ceiling and a modern look, it's certainly feasible to add a central ceiling fixture but many feel it might make the room appear smaller and force one's eyes down rather than up. I went through the ying and yang of keeping our central light in our 8'6" remodel, and in the end did not.

Could you change out your CFL recessed to Cooper's Halo LED lights? The glow bright but not blue, and are dimmable. They don't cost a lot (it's a kit) other than the change out.

You might also wish to consider changing from under cabinet florescent to LED bars or tape. You have what appears to be a 1" light rail which gives you nice price options. DIrect wire Utilitech at Lowes just came out with dimming option. Really good price point.

Changing the lights from florescent to incandescent or LED may do the trick for your great space. GL.


clipped on: 07.21.2013 at 12:23 pm    last updated on: 07.21.2013 at 12:23 pm

RE: Is leathered granite a bad idea for kitchen counters? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: roulie on 05.02.2012 at 10:47 am in Kitchens Forum

I think it's a great idea!!

I have Cambrian black granite with what I believe they called an "antique leather" finish... I don't know if they "antiqued" it and then "leathered" it or if the name is just redundant... Anyway, I LOVE it. It is durable, easy to clean, doesn't stain, doesn't etch, doesn't show fingerprints (unless one of the kids has eaten something really greasy!) I can put hot things right on it. I have had it for 3 years and it looks like the day they put it in. If something oily sits on the counter, you can see the oil but it washes right off with cleanser or soapy water.

The texture is smooth, with just slight indentations. There is absolutely no place that could trap anything (I roll dough on it with no problem) and I clean it with either a soapy cloth or cleaning spray, whatever is handy. My kids do their homework at the table, we spill food coloring, paint, glue, etc.

Here are some pictures. From a distance it looks almost solid black; up close it is lighter than black with lots of silver and copper-colored flecks. Hope this helps!

This shows how soft the indentations are:


This shows some of the flecks:




clipped on: 07.16.2013 at 12:38 pm    last updated on: 07.16.2013 at 12:39 pm

Lid Storage

posted by: olivertwist on 04.03.2013 at 06:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

Please help me figure out how to store the lids for my pots/pans. I'm trying to decide between these two options.

I know some people here advocate vertical storage, but I don't think I'd like that and I don't think I have the space for it.

I plan to have a 3 drawer stack for pots/pans, sort of. The top drawer will be skinny for utensils. The middle and lower are for pots/pans. However, the compost pail is inset into the counter at this spot, so the utensil drawer will have about a 12" cut-out to accomodate it, and the middle drawer will probably have a cut out, too.

Drawers are about 36" wide. We are getting extra deep and frameless, so I *think* KD said they'll be 24" deep. (Counters will be 27" - I'm sorry, I just don't remember if that means I have 24" or 27" of actual usable space in the drawer - but I did specify extra deep drawers here). Currently the KD has designed the 2 larger drawers to each be 9" high.

I don't have a LOT of pots/pans, but want to make sure I don't run out of room, and would like to store my lids separately. I like the 1st option where the lids are tilted sideways behind the pots, but I have two large lids (for big skillets) that are 12.5" in diameter, so that won't fit in a 9" deep drawer. My tallest "normal" pot is 5.25". I would love to fit my giant stockpot in there too (8" high) if possible, but can put it over the fridge if I have to.

KD was concerned that in order to do the 2nd option with the little roll out within the drawer that we'd have to make the drawer deeper or I'd lose space in it or something. And/or then the middle drawer would end up being shallower.

I feel like Marcolo trying to calculate the math of which will fit best and it's making me crazy.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

This post was edited by olivertwist on Wed, Apr 3, 13 at 19:06


clipped on: 06.29.2013 at 06:51 pm    last updated on: 06.29.2013 at 06:51 pm

Do framed drawers net more storage than framed rollouts?

posted by: aurorasur on 05.24.2013 at 12:39 am in Kitchens Forum

We have no choice but to go with framed cabinets ( versus the very GW popular frameless cabs). Our kitchen is not gargantuan. So my question is only regarding net storage capacity of framed cabs. (I've done a lot of archive thread reading but can't seem to find the answer).

So I wondered if framed drawers are really that much better for storage space than framed rollouts?


clipped on: 06.29.2013 at 10:23 am    last updated on: 06.29.2013 at 10:23 am

Water rings on soapstone.....not anymore!

posted by: cheri127 on 03.24.2010 at 07:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

I posted on another thread earlier that Florida Joshua refinished my soapstone counters today and they look and feel wonderful...really, totally different. But I had to wait till the tile guy left to do the ultimate test; does it still get those dreaded white water rings/spots? The answer is, NO IT DOESN'T!!!! So, to all those who have this problem with their soapstone, it really seems to be the way it was finished, not the stone itself. I'm so, so, so happy. Thank you Joshua and thank you Pluckymama for posting your experience with Joshua's work and making us aware that a solution was possible.


clipped on: 06.23.2013 at 12:08 pm    last updated on: 06.23.2013 at 12:08 pm

Finished Kitchens blog for archiving your beautiful kitchens!

posted by: starpooh on 07.05.2005 at 02:23 am in Kitchens Forum

Many members have asked for links to member's finished kitchens that had been posted in the gallery but have since rolled off. I myself was also frustrated by trying to locate someone's photos and finding that I had forgotten to bookmark them!

So, a few weeks ago, I created a blog to archive the finished kitchen posts. In most cases, these posts are simply verbatim copies of the forum posts. Most contain a description of the kitchen along with a link to the photos. They are listed alphabetically by member for easy retrieval.
Finished Kitchens Blog

The blog currently has a major formatting issue: you need scroll down the page (below the links section) in order to access the contents of the posting. I'm working on a fix and will hopefully have this resolved soon.

Both MJsmama and HollySprings raised an interesting question: can the posts be categorized based on style, cabinet color, countertop, budget of kitchen, etc.? This would be alot more work, but could be doable if I can get some help setting up the categories (what specific categories should be used, and to what granularity (i.e., granite countertops - or - Golden Juparana granite countertops?). I would also need help categorizing each member's kitchen. Is anybody interested in helping?

If your finished kitchen isn't in the blog, please post it to the gallery and I will add it to the blog.
Please include a description of your choices (cabinets, appliances, countertops, faucets, lighting, etc.) We all want to know where to find the fabulous things you selected!
(For some members I have listed only links, no description. Please either post your description or you can email it to me; I'll add it to the blog.)

Have fun viewing all the beautiful kitchens... and don't stay up too late!!!

Finished Kitchens Blog


clipped on: 06.19.2013 at 11:46 pm    last updated on: 06.19.2013 at 11:46 pm

Barroca soapstone-scratches with fingernail?!

posted by: littlesmokie on 12.05.2010 at 07:42 pm in Kitchens Forum

I did a search here and see several posters saying they love their Barroca (a good sign!) I'm wondering-how are they're holding up, how often do you oil/how much you typically have to do to maintain this softer variety of soapstone?

I've read about soapstone here extensively here the past year and see that if you get bad scratches you can take them out with a green scrubbie or various grit sandpaper. But what about the harder veined areas? The barroca slabs we're looking at (why we love them) have thicker caramel/beige quartzite? veins. Wouldn't they be damaged-or possibly end up standing proud of the rest of the darker softer areas-if we're sanding other damage out of the countertops?

I've previously posted we planned a naturally darker, harder soapstone, but these slabs of Barroca make my heart sing. I was limiting myself to stones that passed the key test, that is I couldn't gouge them badly with my keys. Now I have fallen in love with a soapstone I can scratch with my fingernail?!

I am confident I could not find a more beautiful countertop-for me- and understand that the dinging/patina is part of the charm but I am worried that this variety is not going to hold up as well as the harder varieties we've seen. Please anyone who has barocca tell me it will be okay, or tell me to come to my senses now before I buy the slabs. Thank you!!


clipped on: 06.19.2013 at 06:57 pm    last updated on: 06.19.2013 at 06:58 pm

99% Finished Kitchen--creamy white w/soapstone

posted by: jbrodie on 03.01.2009 at 06:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

Finally! Our kitchen is finished! I never thought the day would come, and boy am I enjoying it. I owe so much to this forum. I can't tell you how much you all helped me. Thank you!!! I hope I can help others in return.

Hope I'm not putting too many pictures!





soap stone

Quick description (feel free to contact me if you have questions)
-Soapstone: Julia
-Cabinets: Custom, inset/flush shaker style with single bead (waiting to see if we get some issues resolved before I recommend the cabinet maker)
-Bookcase and desk tops: walnut
-Sharp microwave oven drawer (love it!)
-GE fridge
-Shaw 30 inch apron sink
-Wolf range top
-Thermador double ovens
-Vent-a-hood hood
-Dal tile
-potfiller: Newport Brass
-hot/cold faucet Newport Brass
-Main faucet: Mico
-Door to garage: one panel painted with chalkboard! The kids love this and it's fun to put messages to guests, each other, holiday wishes, etc.
-Pull out baskets (love these...I keep bread in one and potatoes, onions, etc. in the other)
-Wine shelf--love it!
-Bar stools from Sturbridge Yankee Workshop (love these and they were so reasonable!)
-What would I do differently? More than 12 inch overhang on seating area of island (maybe 14-16 inch). And I might skip the bead board in the backs of the bookshelfs and glass cabs.

Happy kitchen designing to all! Thank you again!


clipped on: 06.18.2013 at 09:26 pm    last updated on: 06.18.2013 at 09:26 pm

Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists)

posted by: buehl on 04.14.2008 at 02:56 am in Kitchens Forum

First off, I want to give a big thank-you to StoneGirl, Kevin, Joshua, Mimi, and others (past and current) on this forum who have given us many words of wisdom concerning stone countertops.

I've tried to compile everything I saved over the past 8 months that I've been on this Forum. Most of it was taken from a write-up by StoneGirl (Natural stone primer/granite 101); other threads and sources were used as well.

So...if the experts could review the information I've compiled below and send me comments (here or via email), I will talk to StarPooh about getting this on the FAQ.

Stone Information, Advice, and Checklists:

In an industry that has no set standards, there are many unscrupulous people trying to palm themselves off as fabricators. There are also a number of people with odd agendas trying to spread ill rumors about natural stone and propagate some very confusing and contradictory information. This is my small attempt at shedding a little light on the subject.

Slab Selection:

On the selection of the actual stone slabs - When you go to the slab yard to choose slabs for your kitchen, there are a few things you need to take note of:

  • Surface finish: The finish - be it polished, honed, flamed antiqued, or brushed, should be even. There should be no spots that have obvious machine marks, scratches, or other man made marks. You can judge by the crystal and vein pattern of the stone if the marks you see are man-made or naturally occurring. It is true that not all minerals will finish evenly and if you look at an angle on a polished slab with a larger crystal pattern, you can clearly see this. Tropic Brown would be a good example here. The black spots will not polish near as shiny as the brown ones and this will be very obvious on an unresined slab when looking at an acute angle against the light. The black specks will show as duller marks. The slab will feel smooth and appear shiny if seen from above, though. This effect will not be as pronounced on a resined slab.

    Bottom line when judging the quality of a surface finish: Look for unnatural appearing marks. If there are any on the face of the slab, it is not desirable. They might well be on the extreme edges, but this is normal and a result of the slab manufacturing process.

  • Mesh backing: Some slabs have a mesh backing. This was done at the plant where the slabs were finished. This backing adds support to brittle materials or materials with excessive veining or fissures. A number of exotic stones will have this. This does not necessarily make the material one of inferior quality, though. Quite often, these slabs will require special care in fabrication and transport, so be prepared for the fabricator to charge accordingly. If you are unsure about the slabs, ask your fabricator what his opinion of the material is.

  • Cracks and fissures: Yes - some slabs might have them. One could have quite the discussion on whether that line on the slab could be one or the other, so I'll try to explain it a little.

    • Fissures are naturally occurring features in stone. They will appear as little lines in the surface of the slabs (very visible in a material like Verde Peacock) and could even be of a different color than the majority of the stone (think of those crazed white lines sometimes appearing in Antique Brown). Sometimes they could be fused like in Antique Brown and other times they could be open, as is the case in the Verde Peacock example. They could often also go right through the body of the slab like in Crema Marfil, for instance. If you look at the light reflection across a fissure, you will never see a break - i.e., there will be no change in the plane on either side of a fissure.

    • A crack on the other hand is a problem... If you look at the slab at an oblique angle in the light, you will note the reflection of the shine on the surface of the stone. A crack will appear as a definite line through the reflection and the reflection will have a different appearance on either side of the line - there will be a break in the plane. Reject slabs like this. One could still work around fissures. Cracks are a whole other can of worms.

    • Resined slabs: The resin gets applied prior to the slabs being polished. Most of the resin then gets ground off in the polishing process. You should not be able to see just by looking at the surface of a slab whether it was resined or not. If you look at the rough sides of the slab, though, you will see some drippy shiny marks, almost like varnish drips. This should be the only indication that the slab is resined. There should never be a film or layer on the face of the stone. With extremely porous stones, the resining will alleviate, but not totally eliminate absorption issues and sealer could still be required. Lady's dream is an example. This material is always resined, but still absorbs liquids and requires sealer.

    • Test the material you have selected for absorption issues regardless - it is always best to know what your stone is capable of and to be prepared for any issues that might arise. Some stones indeed do not require sealer - be they resined or not. Baltic Brown would be an example here. It will not absorb one iota of anything, but it is still resined to eliminate a flaking issue.

Tests (especially for Absolute Black) (using a sample of YOUR slab):

  • To verify you have true AB and not dyed: Clean with denatured alcohol and rub marble polishing powder on the face. (Get denatured alcohol at Home Depot in the paint department)

  • Lemon Juice or better yet some Muratic Acid: will quickly show if the stone has alot of calcium content and will end up getting etched. This is usually chinese stone, not indian.

  • Acetone: The Dying usually is done on the same chinese stone. like the others said, acetone on a rag will reveal any dye that has been applied

  • Chips: Using something very hard & metal�hit the granite sharply & hard on edges to see if it chips, breaks, or cracks


  • Before the templaters get there...
    • Make sure you have a pretty good idea of your faucet layout--where you want the holes drilled for all the fixtures and do a test mock up to make sure you have accounted for sufficient clearances between each fixture.

    • Be sure you test your faucet for clearances not just between each fixture, but also between the faucet and the wall behind the faucet (if there is one). You need to be sure the handle will function properly.

    • Make sure that the cabinets are totally level (not out by more than 1/8") before the counter installers come in.

    • Check how close they should come to a stove and make sure the stove sits up higher than the counter.

    • Make sure they have the sink/faucet templates to work from.

    • Make sure have your garbage disposal air switch on hand or know the diameter

  • If you are not putting in a backsplash, tell them

  • Double check the template. Make sure that the measurements are reasonable. Measure the opening for the range.

  • Seam Placement: Yet another kettle of fish (or can of worms, depending on how you look at it, I guess!) Seam placement is ultimately at the discretion of the fabricator. I know it is not a really popular point of view, but that is just the way it is. There really is more to deciding where the seam would go than just the size of the slab or where the seam would look best in the kitchen.

    Most stone installations will have seams. They are unavoidable in medium or large sized kitchens. One hallmark of a good fabricator is that they will keep the seams to a minimum. It seems that a good book could be written about seams, their quality, and their placement�and still you will have some information that will be omitted! For something as seemingly simple as joining two pieces of stone, seams have evolved into their own universe of complexity far beyond what anybody should have fair cause to expect!

  • Factors determining seam placement:

    • The slab: size, color, veining, structure (fissures, strength of the material an other characteristics of the stone)

    • Transport to the job site: Will the fabricated pieces fit on whatever vehicle and A-frames he has available

    • Access to the job site: Is the house on stilts? (common in coastal areas) How will the installers get the pieces to where they need to go? Will the tops fit in the service elevator if the apartment is on the 10th floor? Do the installers need to turn tight corners to get to the kitchen? There could be 101 factors that will influence seam placement here alone.

    • Placement and size of undermount (or other) cut-outs. Some fabricators like to put seams in undermount sinks, some do not. We, for instance will do it if absolutely necessary, and have done so with great success, but will not do so as general practice. We do like to put seams in the middle of drop-in appliances and cut-outs and this is a great choice for appearances and ease of installation.

    • Location of the cabinets: Do the pieces need to go in between tall cabinets with finished sides? Do the pieces need to slide in under appliance garages or other cabinetry? How far do the upper cabinets hang over? Is there enough clearance between the vent hood and other cabinets? Again the possibilities are endless and would depend on each individual kitchen lay-out and - ultimately -

    • Install-ability of the fabricated pieces: Will that odd angle hold up to being moved and turned around to get on the peninsula if there is no seam in it? Will the extra large sink cut-out stay intact if we hold the piece flat and at a 45 degree angle to slide it in between those two tall towers? Again, 1,001 combinations of cabinetry and material choices will come into play on this question.

    You can ask your fabricator to put a seam at a certain location and most likely he will oblige, but if he disagrees with you, it is not (always) out of spite or laziness. Check on your fabricator's seams by going to actual kitchens he has installed. Do not trust what you see in a showroom as sole testament to your fabricator's ability to do seams.

    With modern glues and seaming methods, a seam could successfully be put anywhere in an installation without compromising the strength or integrity of the stone. If a seam is done well, there is - in theory - no "wrong" location for it. A reputable fabricator will also try to keep the number of seams in any installation to a minimum. It is not acceptable, for instance to have a seam in each corner, or at each point where the counter changes direction, like on an angled peninsula.

    Long or unusually large pieces are often done if they can fit in the constraints of a slab. Slabs as a rule of thumb will average at about 110"x65". There are bigger slabs and quite often smaller ones too. Check with the fabricator or the slab yard. They will be more than happy to tell you the different sizes of slabs they have available. Note, though, that the larger the slabs, the smaller the selection of possible colors. Slab sizes would depend in part on the capabilities of the quarry, integrity of the material or the capabilities of the machinery at the finishing plant. We have had slabs as wide as 75" and as long as 130" before, but those are monsters and not always readily available.

  • Generally, it is not a good idea to seam over a DW because there's no support for the granite, and anything heavy placed at or near the seam would stress the stone, possibly breaking it.

  • Rodding is another issue where a tremendous amount of mis-information and scary stories exist: The main purpose for rodding stone would be to add integrity to the material around cut-outs. This is primarily for transport and installation and serves no real purpose once the stone is secured and fully supported on the cabinets. It would also depend on the material. A fabricator would be more likely to rod Ubatuba than he would Black Galaxy, for instance. The flaky and delicate materials prone to fissures would be prime candidates for rodding. Rodding is basically when a fabricator cuts slots in the back of the stone and embeds steel or fiberglass rods with epoxy in the slots in the stone. You will not see this from the top or front of the installation. This is an "insurance policy" created by the fabricator to make sure that the stone tops make it to your cabinets all in one piece

  • Edges: The more rounded an edge is, the more stable it would be. Sharp, flat edges are prone to chipping under the right (or rather wrong) circumstances. Demi or full bullnose edges would almost entirely eliminate this issue. A properly milled and polished edge will be stable and durable regardless of the profile, though. My guess at why ogee and stacked edges are not more prevalent would be purely because of cost considerations. Edge pricing is determined by the amount of work needed to create it. The more intricate edge profiles also require an exponentially larger skill set and more time to perfect. The ogee edge is a very elegant edge and can be used to great effect, but could easily look overdone if it is used everywhere. We often advise our clients to combine edges for greater impact - i.e., eased edge on all work surfaces, and ogee on the island to emphasize the cabinetry or unusual shape.
    Edge profiles are largely dependent on what you like and can afford. There is no real pro or con for regular or laminated edges. They all have their place in the design world. Check with your fabricator what their capabilities and pricing are. Look at actual kitchens and ask for references.


  • Seams:
    One hallmark of a good fabricator is that they will keep the seams to a minimum [StoneGirl]

    • A generic good quality seam should have the following characteristics:
      • It should be flat. According to the Marble Institute of America (MIA) a minimal amount of lippage is acceptable (1/32"), but conscientious fabricators all strive for a perfectly flat and smooth joint.

      • It should be narrow - as in smaller than 1/16". (I think the MIA stipulates no larger than 1/8", but that is pushing it - and only if the fabricator bevels the edges of the seam, almost similar to the edge of a stone tile. This is, thank goodness, not a standard practice any more!)

      • The color on either side of the seam should match as closely as possible. On regularly patterned stones like Ubatuba for example - there should be no variation. On stones with variation in colors or veins, the match should be made as close as was humanly possible.

      • Vein direction should flow. The MIA suggests a single direction of vein flow, but it is acceptable IF DISCUSSED WITH THE CLIENT to change vein direction on a seam if no other option is available. This would happen in book matched slabs - you will have a "butterfly" seam in this case. In other cases, the fabricator could put a miter seam in a corner and change vein direction 90 degrees. This is usually done with extremely linear veining like Bamboo Green, for example, but this is something that should be discussed with the fabricator and agreed upon by the client.

      • The seam on the finished edge of the stone should NOT dip in and create a divot in the edge. When you run your fingers over the edge, you should not be able to feel the location of the seam at all.

      • The thickness of the slabs on either side of the seam should be equal (or feathered out so that there is no discernible difference)

      • The glue in the seam should be of a color that matches the stone as closely as possible. Glue joints that are too light or too dark will show up something terrible. The idea behind tinting the glue is to try to make the seam "disappear" or something relatively close to it

  • Checklist:
    • Check the seams for evenness and smoothness.

      • Make sure that the seams are neat and clean.

      • Make sure that the seams are not obvious.

      • Make sure the seams are butted tight

      • Make sure that there are no scratches, pits, or cracks

    • If sealing is necessary (not all granites need to be sealed):

      • Make sure that the granite has been sealed

      • If more than one application of sealer was applied, ask how long they waited between applications

      • Ask which sealer has been used on the granite.

    • Make sure the sink reveal is consistent all the away around

    • Check the gap of the granite at the wall junctions.

    • Check for inconsistent overhangs from the counter edges

    • Check for chips. These can be filled.

    • Make sure the top drawers open & close

    • Make sure that you can open & close your dishwasher

    • Make sure the stove sits up higher than the counter

    • Make sure that you have the appropriate clearances for your appliances

    • Check the edge all around, a good edge should have the following characteristics:
      • Shine: The edge polish should match the top polish in depth and clarity. The edge should not be milky, dull, or waxy.

      • The edge should not have "waves". Eyeball along the edge. A good edge should have a mirror like reflection and be fairly flat. Waves that you can see or feel are not a good thing.

      • The aris (very top of the edge) should be crisp and straight, even on a bullnose edge. Once again you can see this by eyeballing along the very top end of the edge profile. A wavy, dippy aris is poor craftsmanship.

      • A good edge will have a consistent profile. It will not be larger in some spots or smaller in others.

      • A good edge should also have NO tooling lines. These will be fine lighter/white lines running along the edge. This is a mark of a poor edge polish, of a CNC machine that is not set correctly, and a lack of hand finishing. This is common when a company has only mechanical fabrication (i.e., CNC machines or line polishers) and no skilled hand fabricators to finish the work properly.

    • Run your hands around the entire laminated edge of yor counters to make sure they are smooth

    • Check surrounding walls & cabinets for damage

Miscellaneous Information:

  • More than all the above and below, though, is to be present for both the templating as well as having the templates placed on your slabs at the fabricator's
    If you canot be there, then have a lengthy conversation about seam placement, ways to match the movement, and ways to color-match the counters that will be joined at the seam

  • Find a fabricator who is a member of the SFA

  • When they polish your stone for you don't let them wax it. It will look terrible in 2 months when the wax wears off.

  • Don't use the Magic Eraser on granite--especially AB

  • Any slab with more fill (resin) than stone is certainly a no-no!!

  • When you do check for scratches, have overhead lighting shining down so scratches are easier to see

  • Don't let them do cutouts in place (granite dust becomes a major issue)

  • Granite dust can be a problem...some have heard of SS appliances & hoods damaged by the dust, others have heard of drawer glides being ruined by the dust

  • If you have wood floors--especially if you're in the process of staining or finishing them--make sure that they don't spill or drip granite sealer on the wood floors. Apparently the sealer interferes with the stain or finish process.

  • Suggested Prep for Installation:
    • Remove any drawers and pullouts beneath any sections that will be cut or drilled onsite, e.g., sink cutouts and/or faucet, soap dispenser, air gap, instant hot etc. holes, cooktop cutouts.

    • Then just cover the glides themselves with a few layers of blue painter's tape (or some combo of plastic wrap and tape)

    • If you make sure to cover the top of the glides and attach some of the tape to the cab wall as well (to form sort of a seal)and cover the rest of the glides completely with tape, you should be fine.

    • Usually the fabricators will have someone holding a vacuum hose right at the spot where they are drilling or cutting, so very little granite dust should be landing on the glides. What little dust escapes the vacuum will be blocked by the layer(s) of tape.

    • When done w/installation, remove the tape and use a DustBuster (or similar) on all the cabinets and glides

  • Countertop Support:

    • If your granite is 2 cm thick, then there can be no more then 6" of of unsupported span with a 5/8" subtop

    • If your granite is 3 cm thick, then there can be no more then 10" of unsupported span - no subtop required

    • If you need support, the to determine your corbel dimensions:

    • Thickness of Stone - Dimension of Unsupported Span = Corbel Dimensino

    • i.e., an 18" total overhang in 2 cm would require a 12" corbe; the same overhang in 3 cm would require an 8" corbel


clipped on: 06.16.2013 at 11:00 am    last updated on: 06.16.2013 at 11:04 am

Recipe for disaster.

posted by: a2gemini on 10.26.2012 at 08:40 pm in Kitchens Forum

I am feeling pretty bad right now.
I think you all know I was absolutely in love with my 42 inch drawers. It was so great to open one drawer and everything fit perfectly.
Rewind to Saturday - I was so excited showing my SIL the new kitchen and she loved it. Now, I open the big drawer and CRACK. OMG - the drawer pulled out the the side wall on one side.

1. The drawer weighs 30 lbs.
2. The insert weights 8 lbs.
3. The glides are rated for 75 lbs but was told that was how much weight was allowed in the drawer excluding the drawer weight - wrong...
4. Single screw on front of glides (apparently standard)
5. Weight of the dishes in the drawer is ~75 lbs.
6. KD and Brookhaven are working on options.

So, do I split this into two 21 inch cabs or spit the top 2 drawers into two 21 inch drawers and keep the long bottom drawer.

I am so bummed - I loved that big drawer.

I attached a picture of the drawer bank and also here is a picture of the famous drawer.



clipped on: 06.13.2013 at 11:35 am    last updated on: 06.13.2013 at 11:35 am

Everything I Wanted to Know About Drawers...

posted by: aloha2009 on 02.02.2013 at 06:31 am in Kitchens Forum

I was hoping to make this thread not only informational for myself, but that other information regarding drawers could be collected together. This is all about function.

Obviously to maximize storage and ease of use, drawers are the way to go.

Some things that are not so obvious are about framed, frameless and inset cabinets.

Another is how do cabinet manufacturers differ (if any) on the available usage.

The usage of 3 drawer vs 4 drawer (or even 5 drawer) stacks.

Determining the width of cabinets for your kitchen.

If you have answers to any of these please proceed.

Framed, frameless and inset cabinets utilize differing INTERIOR usable measurements. Please specify the type of cabinets you have (framed, frameless or inset) your manufacturer (or custom), the size of the cabinet, and what the entire TOP drawer INTERIOR measurements are (width, length, height). I stated top drawer only for comparison purposes since only the height should change from drawer to drawer. Perhaps certain manufactures have better storage in their cabinet lines.

Why did you choose cabinets with 4 drawer (and 5 drawer) stack when you did? How many do you have? How did you deal with the "horizontal lines" differences between your 3 and 4 drawer stacks? Just one aesthetic question isn't too bad.

Though wider cabinets are highly prized here, why did you choose narrower cabinets, instead of the widest available that would fit in your kitchen?

If there is anything else, I haven't though of to ask to have this thread be as complete as possible regarding drawers, please feel to add.


clipped on: 05.09.2013 at 07:21 pm    last updated on: 05.09.2013 at 07:21 pm

RE: Ranking semi-custom kitchen cabinets (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: jakuvall on 06.25.2012 at 06:01 pm in Kitchens Forum

Wellborn Forest
Woodland -
Shiloh-Medallion Showplace Kraftmaid

This is how I would list them roughly in terms of price and quality. Those on the same line will vary by kitchen but price within 10% of each other. IOW in one kitchen the Kraftmaid will be 10% less, in another the Shiloh would be 10% less--etc more or less.
Candlelight and Brookhaven would be closer in price ...I bumped BH up for quality. It is the only one of the bunch that has doweled face frames as far as I know.
All should be less expensive than P & F.

I have sold Brookhaven, Medallio at a former employer, and currently handle Showplace. I'm very happy with SWP, it is the most reasonably priced cabinet I carry. There is no current incentive to the dealer to sell them, I've never seen one from them. They do have a promo going for the customer.
Several of the others, the ones that are part of the large conglomerates will often run promotions where the designer or dealer get something. The smaller guys don't typically do that.
Pricing will have a lot will have to do with are you looking at framed, inset, or frameless?


clipped on: 04.05.2013 at 10:53 am    last updated on: 04.05.2013 at 10:53 am