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RE: Shower Pan Not Drying - No Preslope? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: mongoct on 04.27.2011 at 11:08 am in Bathrooms Forum

A few thoughts: looks like Rich Pan membrane. That's for davidro.

I'll address a few have 6 shower heads trying to drain down a 2" drain. That's too much water inflow for that drain, a 2" drain is only rated (by code, so this is a defacto code violation) for 3 shower heads water worth of outflow. That's why your pan turns into a swimming pool and holds several inches of standing water when it's in use. The drain and the branch line are undersized. You need two 2" drains onto a 3" branch drain line, or a single 3" drain feeding a 3" branch drain line.

A couple of comments on the bench area. Nice photos by the way. They help. The backside photo, I see cement board, and I see membrane behind the cement board. I don't see any sheet poly between the cement board and the membrane. That's okay IF they used a topical (RedGard, Hydroban, etc) membrane on the surface of the shower side of the cement board and under the slab of stone that forms the shower bench.

Same with your shower walls. If cement board construction over wood framing, then you should have a drainage membrane between the cement board on the walls and the wall framing (typically 6-mil thick polyethylene sheeting), OR you should have a topical membrane (again, RG or HB) on the shower side of the cement board.

That issue aside...the shower pan itself:

On the floor, the Rich Pan membrane can not sit flat on the subfloor. That too is a code violation, and a violation of the manufacturer's installation instructions. We don't know if yours is flat or sloped. But for background info:

With Rich Pan, on top of your flat subfloor you should have a sloped mortar (deck mud) bed that slopes from the walls to the drain. Then the membrane goes over that, which causes the membrane to be sloped. Then another layer of deck mud goes over the membrane, and you tile on that second layer of deck mud.

Having the membrane sloped helps water that does get under the tile "flow" down the sloped membrane to the drain, through the secondary weep holes in the drain, and down the drain. If you membrane sits flat on the floor, the membrane essentially becomes a swimming pool liner. It'll hold water.

Going back a few steps...when that second layer of deck mud is installed on top of the membrane, it's good practice for the installer to place a little pea gravel, or tile spacer crosses, etc, around the drain weep holes. That debris helps prevent deck mud from clogging the secondary weep holes. See this link (Harry to the rescue) for photos.

FWIW, if the evacuation capability of your drain is overwhelmed and you have standing water in your shower, your secondary weep holes could theoretically be admitting water into the mud bed, ie, water is back-flowing through the weep holes and getting under your tile.

Flat benches in a shower aren't the best idea. Plus I would have cut a drip edge on the bottom of the bench overhang.

Finally, your bathroom is very attractive! Nice overall look.


clipped on: 03.13.2012 at 01:04 am    last updated on: 03.13.2012 at 01:04 am

Any experience with a Moen I/O Digital Vertical Spa?

posted by: treasuretheday on 09.03.2011 at 11:50 am in Bathrooms Forum

In addition to the Kohler DTV, we are considering the Moen system. We are leaning toward the Moen because of its ability to control flow as well as temperature. We will have 3 shower heads (stationary, slidebar handshower and rainshower.)

I'd love to hear any feedback from someone who has this system or a pro who has installed it.



clipped on: 03.10.2012 at 05:13 pm    last updated on: 03.10.2012 at 05:13 pm

bathroom tile FAQ's

posted by: bill_vincent on 07.01.2008 at 09:31 pm in Bathrooms Forum

This is going to take me a while, so I'll post as many as I can each night until it gets done. To start, here's the first set of questions and answers:

Okay, here we go. These questions come from the thread on the discussions side where I solicited questions from everyone for this thread. These are in the order they were asked:

Q) What are the different types of tiles you can use in a bathroom and what are the advantages/disadvantages of each?

A) There are several types of tile available. They fall into two general groups: ceramic and natural stone. I'll take these one at a time:

Ceramic tile-- For purposes of this discussion, there's glazed conventional, unglazed porcelain, and glazed porcelain. All three are good tiles for bathroom use, but the porcelain is a better choice only because of its density and lack of water absorbsion, which makes upkeep and cleaning easier. Also, with reference to steam showers, you DO NOT want to use natural stone, being that the steam would tend to permeate into the stone even more readily than liquid water, and could end up giving you algae problems, as well as mold and mildew problems, unless you don't mind being tied down to your bathroom.

Natural Stone-- There are several types of stone that are used in bathrooms. It doesn't necessarily mean that they're all GOOD IDEAS for bathrooms, expecially the softer (and more absorbant) stones, such as slate or limestone. Now, I know I'm going to get a world of flack about this from epople who have bathrooms finished in these materials. I know they CAN be used.... so long as you're aware of the extra upkeep involved. But if you're someone who doesn't like to keep after things, you may want to pick an easier material to maintain. Generally speaking, the softer the stone, the more the upkeep. Limestone being the softer of the stones, and that would include travertine, next would be many slates (although some would actually be harder than even most marbles, such as brazilian and british slates), then marbles, with quartzite and granite rounding off the list as the harder and more dense stones that you could use.

Q) What should I be sure to look for when choosing tile for a bathroom?

A) Short answer-- something that you like! The bathroom is the one place that just about anything the showroom has can be used. The only limitations are basically the upkeep you want to put in, and slip resistance on the floors of your bathroom and shower. Now, although ceramic tile is basically maintenence free, you don't want to use something with a texture to it that will catch all kinds of junk in the shower, making it more difficult to keep clean. At the same time, you don't want to use a polished stone or bright glazed ceramic tile for the shower floor, either. These both CAN be used, but again, it comes down to upkeep for textured wall tile, and doing something to rectify the slippery floor.

Q) Where should I use tile and where not?

A) Tile can be used on every single surface in the bathroom, if that's what you like. This is all a matter of taste... for the most part. About the only place where there's a requirement is any place there's a showerhead involved. If tile is to be used either in a shower or a tub/ shower combo, The tile MUST go up to a minimum of 72" off the floor. Past that, it's up to the disgression of the owner.

Q) What size tile and what layout patterns to use in various areas?

A) Again, this is a subjective question that can really only be answered by the owner. The ONLY place where there's a recommendation for mechaincal reasons is on a shower floor. TCNA recommends that mothing bigger than 6" be used on shower floors due to the cone shape of the floor's pitch. In addition, most installers will request no bigger than 4", and prefer a 2x2 tile to work with on the shower floor. This is also advantageous to the homeowner who'll be showering in there, because the added grout joints will add more traction to the floor.

Now, I've heard many times that you shouldn't use large format tiles in a small area like a powder room floor, and if you have a wide open bathroom, you don't want to use real small tiles. My response to both is the same-- HORSEHOCKEY. I've done bathrooms both ways-- 24x24 diagonal in a 3' wide powder room, and 1" hex ceramic mosaics in an open 100 sq. ft. bathroom floor. The rule of thumb is if you like it, it's right!

Q) How do I find/choose someone to install the tile?

A) Many people will tell you to get names from the showroom you get your tile from. This is no good, unless the showroom is willing to take responsibility for the installer by either having them on payrool, or as a subcontract. Then they have something to lose if they give you a bad installer. Many people will also tell you to get references and to actually check them out. This ALSO doesn't work. I've been in this work for just under 30 years now, and I've yet to find a single installer who ever gave the name of someone they had a problem with. They say even a blind squirrel will find a nut once in a while. The same can be said for "fly-by-nights" and good work.

So if you can't trust recommendations, and checking references is a lost cause, what do you do? REVERSE THE PROCESS!! Instead of finding an installer and getting references, get references, and thru them, find your installer!! No matter where you live, if you drive around, you'll find constructions sites and developements. Stop and ask who the GC uses. Get a name and phone number. Sooner or later, after asking around enough, you're going to find that the same names will begin to show up time and time again. THESE are the guys you want to use. But don't expect a bargain price, and be prepared to wait, because these guys will be in high demand, even in the worst of times, and they may demand a bit higher price, but they'll be worth every penny, if for no other reason, just because of the peace of mind they'll give you in knowing you're getting a good quality installation. Ask anyone who's gone through this experience, good or bad-- that alone is worth its weight in gold.

Q) What are the proper underlayments for tile?

A) There are several, and I'll take them one at a time:

CBU (cementitious Backer Units)-- This is the term that generally covers all cement boards (such as Wonderboard or Durock) or cement fiber boards (such as Hardibacker). This is the most common used tile underlayment. Generally speaking, it comes in two thicknesses-- 1/2" and 1/4"-- and each has its use. !/2" must be used for wall installations, due to the fact that the 1/4" is way too flimsy with nothing to back it up, and would flex too much to last. Besides, the 1/2" CBU will usually match up nicely to most sheetrocks. The 1/4" is used for floor installations, unless the added height of the 1/2" is needed to match up to other floorings. Being that neither has very much structural strength, so long as the subfloor is 3/4" or more, the 1/4" CBU is all that's needed. Keep in mind that even though it's basically fiberglass reinforced concrete, the only thing it adds to the floor is a stable bonding surface, so the 1/4" will do just fine. One place where alot of contractors will try and shortcut is by using greenboard instead of CBU for shower walls. This is expressly forbidden in the IRC (International Residential Code) by the following code:

IRC Greenboard Code:
The 2006 International Residential Code (IRC) states in
Section R702.4.2 that "Cement, fiber-cement or glass mat
gypsum backers in compliance with ASTM C1288, C1325
or C1178 and installed in accordance with manufacturers
recommendations shall be used as backers for wall tile in
tub and shower areas and wall panels in shower areas."

The 2006 IRC also states in Section R702.3.8.1 that
"Water-resistant gypsum backing board [Greenboard] shall
not be used where there will be direct exposure to water."

Membranes-- There are several around that work well over many different surfaces. Most of them are what's called "Crack Isolation Membranes". Just about every manufacturer has one, from trowel ons or roll ons, such as Hydroment's Ultraset or Laticrete's 9235 or Hydroban, to sheet membranes such as Noble's CIS membrane. All will give the tile a little more protection against movement than just going over CBU. However, there's another class of membranes called "uncoupling membranes" of which the most popular by far is Schluter's Ditra, that are made from bonding two layers together, usually a fabric fleece backing and a plastic sheeting with dovetailed waffling to "lock" the thinset in place ( as opposed to accepting a thinset BOND). These membranes will, as their name implies, uncouple their two layers in case of movement, to save the floor, and for thinset floors, it's the most protection you can give your tile floor.

Plywood-- This is one where I get the most flack. I'm one of a dying breed that still believes in tiling directly over plywood. However, I can very well understand the reluctance of the industry to embrace this installation method, even though the TCNA DOES approve of its use for interior installations (Those with a handbook can check Method F-149). The reason I say that is it's a very "tempermental installation method. You need to be very familiar with what you're doing, or you risk failure. There are even many pros I wouldn't trust to tile using this method. Everything you do is important, from the species of plywood used, to the direction the grain is laid with relation to the joists, to how it's gapped, and a host of other specs, as well-- many of which won't be found in the handbook, and if you miss just one of them, you're flirtin with disaster. All in all, when people ask me about it, I tell them that with the membranes available, there's no need to go directly over plywood. There are other methods that will give you just as long lasting a floor, and aren't NEARLY as sensitive.

Mudset-- This is the oldest, and still, after THOUSANDS of years of use, the strongest installation method available. In a mudset installation, a minimum of 1 1/4" of mortar called "drypack" (mixed to the consistancy of damp sand) is either bonded to a concrete slab, or laid down over tarpaper or 6 mil poly with wire reinforcement, packed, and then screaded off to flat level (or pitched) subfloor. This is what most people see when tiling a shower pan. Initially, the mud will be a somewhat soft subfloor. But over time, if mixed properly, it'll be stronger than concrete.

Q) What are the proper tile setting compounds?

A) This is one where I could write a book. It all depends on what kind fo tile you're installing, and what the underlayment is that you're going over. I'll give a generalized list:

Polymer/ latex modified thinset: For all intents and purposes, this is the "cure-all". For almost any installation the modified thinset, which is basically portland cement, silica sand, and chemical polymers added for strength, will work. There are some that are specialized, such as the lightweight non-sag thinsets (such as Laticrete's 255 or Mapei's Ultralite), or the high latex content thinsets (like Latictrete's 254 Platinum or Hydroment's Reflex), but with the exception of going over some membranes, there's a modified thinset for every installation.

Unmodified thinset: This is the same as above, but with no polymers added. It's usually used in conjunction with a liquid latex additive, but will also be used mixed with water for going over some membranes. It's also used as a bedding for all CBU's.

Medium Bed Mortars-- This is a relatively new class of setting mortars, used mainly for large format tiles, where the normal notched trowels just don't put down enough material, and with thinset, it would be too much, causing too much shrinkage as it dries, causing voids under, and poor bond to, the tile, but at the same time, there's not enoough room for a mudset installation. This mortar is usually used with either a 1/2x1/2" or 1/2x3/4" notched trowel.

Mastics and Premixed Thinsets: THESE HAVE VERY LIMITED USES!! Let me say that again-- THESE HAVE VERY LIMITED USES!! They work well for vertical installations, where the tile used is 8x8 or less, and it's not a wet area. ALL THREE of those conditions must be met!! I know just about every pail of type 1 mastic says it can be used in showers except for the floor. DON'T BELIEVE IT!! Also, both mastic and premixed thinset (which is just mastic with a fine sand mixed in to give it bulk) claim they can be used for floor installations. Unfortunately, for the amount of material needed under virtually all floor tiles to bond to the subfloor, neither of these will fully harden. I had a personal experience where I helped a sister in law across country, telling her husband exactly how to do his main floor, what to use, and how to use it. Unfortunately, he went to the big box store to get his tile and materials, and they talked him into using premixed thinset. I didn't hear about it until SIX MONTHS LATER when his tile and grout joints started showing cracks all over the floor. When he called me I asked him what he used for thinset, and sure enough, this is when he told me. I told him to pull one of the tiles, and SIX MONTHS LATER, IT WAS STILL SOFT!!! DOn't let them talk you into it!! Use the proper thinset, and don't try and shortcut your installation. You're spending alot of money for it to be "just practice"!!

Q) How do you deal with different thicknesses of tile?

A) Whatever it takes. I've used membranes, built up the amount of thinset being used, I've even doubled up tiles when it worked out that way. Whatever it takes to get the two tiles to be flush toeach other.

Q) What are the typical tools required to lay tile?

A) Generally speaking, this is a list for just about all installations. Some may require specialized tools, but this would be for all:

Proper sized notched trowel
measuring tape
chalk line
margin trowel
high amp low speed drill and mixing paddle (best would be 6 amp or better and less than 400 rpm)
several buckets
score and snap cutter for straight ceramic cuts
4 1/2" grinder with a continuous rim dry diamond blade for ceramic, anything other than straight cuts
wet saw (can be used for ALL cuts, ceramic or stone)
grout float
hydra grout sponges (2-- once for grouting, one for cleaning)
24" and 48" levels (for vertical work)
heavy duty extension cords
screwgun or nailgun (where CBU will be used)

Q) What about tile spacing and tpes of grout?

A) According to Dave Gobis from the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation in Pendleton, South Carolina, there will finally be a new standard for ceramic tile next year. The tolerances are shrinking. There will also be a standard for rectified tile. Along with that, there will be a revision to the installation standards that will specifically recommend a grout joint no less than 3 times the variation of the tile. For rectified tile the minimum grout joint width will be .075 or just over a 1/16".

As for grout, there's only one thing that determines whether you use sanded or unsanded grout, and that's the size of the grout joint. Anything less than 1/8" you use unsanded grout. 1/8" or larger, you need to use sanded grout. The reason is that the main ingredient in grout is porland cement, which tends to shrink as it dries. In joints 1/8" or larger, the grout will shrink way too much and end up cracking ans shrinking into the joint. The sand give the grout bulk, and the sanded grout won't shrink nearly as much and therefore, can be used in the larger joints.


clipped on: 03.05.2012 at 11:55 pm    last updated on: 03.05.2012 at 11:55 pm

RE: Shower tile/cement board questions (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: mongoct on 01.25.2012 at 09:10 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Did a quick image search and came up with this from, ignore the arrow that's pointing at the door framing. The "blocking" is the pieces of wood nailed in between the studs down by the floor:

I use 2x10 because it holds the membrane up a little better. The membrane is typically run up the wall about 10", thus my preference for 2x10 over 2x6.

More importantly though, the cement board can't be screwed to the studs in the bottom 10" or so of the wall, because if you screwed in the lower 10" of the wall you'd be screwing through the membrane. You don't want to put holes in the membrane.

So even though the cement board can't be screwed into the blocking, the blocking provides additional support for the cement board, preventing any flexing or bowing between the studs. It's added insurance.


clipped on: 02.14.2012 at 12:04 am    last updated on: 02.14.2012 at 12:04 am

RE: Grout, caulk, silicone questions for our resident shower expe (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mongoct on 01.25.2012 at 12:58 pm in Bathrooms Forum

There will be a bit of ambiguity in my answers...because there's no true right or wrong way. But here I go anyway:

1. Is the decision to go with epoxy or non-epoxy grout based primarily on resistance to mold and/or staining or is one type better than the other as far as preventing water penetration?

Epoxy grout will allow less water penetration than a cement-based grout. Being non-porous, it'll also be less liable to staining. I consider epoxy to be overkill in residential showers, unless you're into dying your hair in the shower, etc. One other thing, you have a kerdi shower. That will limit water penetration, so it's sort of one more reason that epoxy could be considered overkill.

2. If we don't go with an epoxy grout in the shower, would the Polyblend grout used on the floor be suitable or would you recommend something different?

Polyblend or any other manufacturer's cement based grouts would be fine. I use product from several manufacturers. Some people are preferential to just one manufacturer.

3. I think I'm confusing "caulk" and "silicone"... Are they used in the same applications? If not, what is the difference?

Think of silicon as a type of caulk. There are, in general, three types of caulk typically used in residential shower construction; latex, siliconized-latex, and silicon. Latex is easy to work with, but the least durable and the most prone to mold and mildew staining. Silicon is the most difficult to work with, but has the best water-repellent capabilities. Siliconized-latex is a hybrid, it's in between the other two.

In a well-built shower, any of the three could work fine, though I usually use caulks with some silicone in them, either S-L or 100% silicon. Look for a caulk that is color and texture matched to your grout, that way the caulk will look like your grout. Some 100% silicon's are only offered in color-match, but not texture.

Since you mentioned Polyblend, here's a link to Custom's Color Matched Caulk.

4. Is caulk and/or silicone necessary in a Kerdi shower? I have nightmares about mold forming on my caulk (or silicone?) and having to tear it all out.

The only proper way to avoid caulk completely is to do a floated mud shower with reinforced corners. Other than that, properly pitched surfaces, proper ventilation, and 100% silicon caulk will give you the best chance.

5. If we do caulk/silicone, I've heard that it should be done at every change of plane. Would this include areas that would not be taking a direct hit with water or having standing water on them?

Correct. In lightweight shower construction (tile backer board over wood framing, for example), adjacent surfaces can move independently of one another. Caulk will flex. Grout could crack. Now you have a Kerdi shower, that works in your favor, as water can only penetrate to the membrane. But in general, yes, for lightweight construction, caulk all changes in plane.

6. Specifically which product would you recommend?

A caulk that is color and possibly texture (sanded or unsanded) matched to your grout. A caulk that has some silicon in it. So the brand of caulk could be related to the brand of grout used if your goal is to color match.

7. Although our tile is porcelain, we are using a travertine base molding that has many nooks and crannies that will need to be filled. I understand that they get filled in by grout. This base molding is lighter that our wall and floor tiles and the matching grout that we're using there. Can I use a lighter grout for just the base moldings?

Yes, you can change grout colors within the wall itself.

8. Finally, would you recommend sealing everything once it is done? Or just sealing the travertine pieces?

I'd just seal the travertine. Porcelain is already non-porous. Sealing grout can be an adventure within itself. Regardless, use a penetrating, vapor-permeable sealer.


clipped on: 02.13.2012 at 11:50 pm    last updated on: 02.13.2012 at 11:50 pm

Grout, caulk, silicone questions for our resident shower experts

posted by: treasuretheday on 01.24.2012 at 04:53 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I'll apologize in advance if my questions have been discussed before but it seems there are differences of opinion about how best to finish a shower for maximum waterproofing and minimum maintenance.

We've used a professional, albeit "old-school", tilesetter for our masterbath reno. He has tiled five bathrooms for us at our commercial properties and we trust his workmanship.

He had never used Kerdi or Ditra before so my husband installed Kerdi in the shower and Ditra on the floor himself, after countless hours of research, watching videos, etc. In addition to a vent fan, we are also installing a blower in the shower for added air circulation.


The last of the tiles is about to be installed in our shower and we need to decide on grout and whether to caulk, silicone, etc. Polyblend grout was used on the floor in the room. We've discussed using epoxy grout in the shower but it doesn't sound like that is the unanimous choice for everyone, including our tilesetter.



1. Is the decision to go with epoxy or non-epoxy grout based primarily on resistance to mold and/or staining or is one type better than the other as far as preventing water penetration?

2. If we don't go with an epoxy grout in the shower, would the Polyblend grout used on the floor be suitable or would you recommend something different?

3. I think I'm confusing "caulk" and "silicone"... Are they used in the same applications? If not, what is the difference?

4. Is caulk and/or silicone necessary in a Kerdi shower? I have nightmares about mold forming on my caulk (or silicone?) and having to tear it all out.

5. If we do caulk/silicone, I've heard that it should be done at every change of plane. Would this include areas that would not be taking a direct hit with water or having standing water on them?

6. Specifically which product would you recommend?

7. Although our tile is porcelain, we are using a travertine base molding that has many nooks and crannies that will need to be filled. I understand that they get filled in by grout. This base molding is lighter that our wall and floor tiles and the matching grout that we're using there. Can I use a lighter grout for just the base moldings?

8. Finally, would you recommend sealing everything once it is done? Or just sealing the travertine pieces?

Thank you so much for any help that you can give me. I feel very confident about many of the choices that we've made in this room but for some reason these grout/caulk/silicone decisions have me paralyzed!


clipped on: 02.13.2012 at 11:49 pm    last updated on: 02.13.2012 at 11:50 pm

And in My Kitchen I Shall Have...

posted by: modthyrth on 02.04.2012 at 01:46 am in Kitchens Forum

Double ovens? Oh yeah, I got those. Gas cooktop? Woo baby, it's mine! 36" single basin farmhouse sink my friend described as "epic?" Oooh, my precious. Toe-kick drawers. Under cabinet lights. Granite counters. And I love them all.

But what am I insanely excited about in this kitchen remodel? A pull-out spice rack...

Just. For. Sprinkles.

You heard me, sprinkles. Jimmies. Nonpareils. Quinns.

I am an enthusiastic amateur cake decorator, and have a large collection of these things. And I have two young girls, and at this age, loving sprinkles is pretty much a given. My 2 year old has even asked for a sprinkles-themed birthday party in May. (Yes! My kids come up with the coolest party ideas!! My eldest had an Egyptology party for her 8th in October.) Every time we go to the cake decorating store, we seem to come back with some new variety of sprinkles. Some are currently in the guest room closet, others nestled with the mugs, still more in a bread proofing bucket under the counter. I cannot *wait* to have them all organized and contained in one place.

So what's the wackiest, most YOU thing you're putting in your kitchen? Come on, someone has to be at least as eccentric as I am!

And just because I like to post pictures to justify my inordinately large collection of cake decorating supplies, some examples of what I like to do:


clipped on: 02.05.2012 at 06:45 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2012 at 06:45 pm

RE: Design Around This #14: Rustic Modern (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: cbusmomof3 on 01.29.2012 at 03:06 pm in Kitchens Forum

Ok, I had to give this one a try because this is how I kind of define my style (or earthy, organic, eclectic). We are building a house and these are the elements I have selected. I first selected the cream cabinets and the brown antique granite. I wanted to painted cabinets because I've only had stained in the past. But, I knew I would need to warm it with natural wood so I chose the dark stain for the island (still using brown antique for the counter). The light fixtures are where I kind of get the modern edge.

Wall color will either be SW Universal Khaki or SW Quiver Tan (undecided).

The table and burnt red chairs are similar what I currently have (I like mine better). I loved them in my old house because they added much needed color but I really wish I could change them and go with a different look in the new house, but they're too new to justify that. They may get moved to the dining room but I'm not sure.

I want some kind of sea grass stool for the island but haven't found the perfect ones yet. The pulls and knobs will be ORB. The floors with be 4" wide white oak stained on site. I want dark (but not too dark) with no orange or green undertones.

The rangetop will be this KitchenAid 6 burner



Finally in my dream (which will not become reality), there would be exposed beams and a sliding barn door like this.

Olentangy Falls ~ Delaware, OH traditional home office

The picture above was actually in a house at our local Parade of Homes. I loved the entire house which was definitely modern rustic and we talked to the builder but ultimately went with another builder. I still go and look at the pictures though because I do love it :-)


I love this look, all of it; the colors...
clipped on: 02.05.2012 at 06:07 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2012 at 06:07 pm

I Finished my White Zen Kitchen!

posted by: celineike on 07.10.2011 at 05:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

Ahhhh, it's good to be done.
What fun this whole process has been!
Here's the low down.

We had a slab leak in February. The entire downstairs had wood floors and water had been leaking into them for weeks/months? we don't know. But long enough that the walls and cabinets were wet as well. So they gutted and we got to work.
Our old kitchen was a dark place for me. We have north facing window and the light was always dim. We also had light wood cabinets and dark greenish black granite (Uba Tuba?) on the counters, island and backsplash!!!! ugh! what a light sucker that was!

I had always known that if we changed the kitchen it would be to white. I know people say timeless doesn't exist in kitchens... but every decade I can think of has had white as an option. So I never thought of this a trendy thing. -til i got here, lol.
Anyway, White cabs and grey counters were the only things I had in mind for sure. The rest fell into place the more I looked around and if you see a part of your kitchen in here... THANK YOU!!!! I stole SO many details from GWer's.

Apparently we have a small kitchen,lol... didn't think so til i got here either, it's 13'x12'

Counters.... Qortstone perimeters in Cemento
Island & Bar is Statuary Marble
Butcher Block on Island.... oiled Dark Walnut End-Grain 18"x38"
Cabinets .... shaker, inset, framed
Paint on Cabs ...BM Cloud White
Paint on Walls ... BM Smokey Taupe
Hardware is mostly RH & Rejuvenation for the Latches (way worth that investment!) All Polished Nickel
Island now measures 38"x 84"
walkways are 38" on sink side; 42" on oven side; and 36" on fridge side... all plenty wide, i was worried about pushing these measurements.
Bluestar RNB 36"
Proline 36" Hood
Sharp MW Drawer
Kenmore Elite French door Fridge
Fisher & Paykel Dish Drawer Washer
Sink.. Krauss 33" double Bowl Stainless
Main Faucet is Hansgrohe Pull Down PN

way before

and after...


Fridge wall, Appliance garage on right and coffee station on left

Island with BB and Rubbish/Recycling Bins/drawers - love these!

Bluestar tee hee

I'll post some more pics of fun details. Things i liked seeing from other's kitchens and ended up adding to mine.

At one point, I had chosen everything and had a huge set back of worry that the whole thing would be boring instead of calm and bright and peaceful. Thank you all for your encouragement and opinions on various choices and ideas. This is such great forum with wonderful people.
I love how my kitchen turned out!



Beautiful kitchen, stacked cabinets, microwave drawer
clipped on: 01.21.2012 at 02:49 pm    last updated on: 01.21.2012 at 02:57 pm

RE: Kitchen Update complete!! (B&A pics!) (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: khills28 on 01.10.2011 at 04:36 pm in Kitchens Forum

WOW! Thank you all so much for the nice comments!

@ dar5 - the process we used for the cabinets was very easy (tedious, but easy!). Here are the steps-
- remove doors, drawers, & hardware
- lightly clean gunk off with soap & water, dry well.
- do minimal sanding just to roughen a bit (maybe 30 seconds per door)
- use tack cloth to get the dust off
- last cleaning with mineral spirits
- 1st coat of gel stain. I used a foam brush to apply. Do NOT wipe off. You're basically using it like normal paint. Let dry.
- 2nd coat of gel stain, let dry
- I put all the doors back on and then applied a coat of poly for protection.

And thats it!


gel stain process
clipped on: 01.13.2011 at 09:55 am    last updated on: 01.13.2011 at 09:56 am

Kitchen Update complete!! (B&A pics!)

posted by: khills28 on 01.10.2011 at 01:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

First, thanks to everyone in this forum! I've done a lot of lurking, and some posting. I appreciate all the help.

We moved in to our house 3.5 years ago, and have been dying to give the "builder-grade" kitchen an update. We couldn't do a complete renovation, due to lack of funds! So here's what we did:

- add hardware to doors & drawers
- gel-stain the cabinets: General Finishes "Java"
- new stainless appliances (fridge, dw, range, microwave)
- new Delta faucet: Leland, single handle
- replaced laminate counters with Giallo Ornamental granite

(please excuse the state of our kitchen in these pics...I'm not a great "stager" for photos!)

Range side BEFORE

Range side AFTER

Sink side BEFORE

Sink side AFTER


Bartop AFTER


For now, we're holding off on adding a tile backsplash. Most likely we'll add one later down the road.


Thinking about something like this for mom and dad's cabinets...
clipped on: 01.13.2011 at 09:49 am    last updated on: 01.13.2011 at 09:50 am