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Part Deux (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: mongoct on 06.26.2008 at 02:30 am in Bathrooms Forum

Part Deux:

Controls and Diverters
This may be almost impossible to thoroughly attack because there are so many variations in what people want and in what different manufacturers offer.

In general

You need a volume and temperature control. You can buy just the valve body, which is the chunk of expensive brass that gets buried in the wall, and buy a separate trim kit, or you can buy a package that includes the valve body and the trim kit. The trim kit is the bright sparkly metallic knob/lever/escutcheon bling that you overspend for so your friends and neighbors will go "oooooh" and "aaaaah".

If you buy a pressure balanced valve, the valve in and of itself will turn on the water and allow you to control the temperature. If you buy a thermostatic valve, most valve bodies have two controllers on them, one to control volume and one to control temperature. Read the fine print though, because some thermostatic bodies just control temperature. Youll need a separate valve body to provide volume control.

Stops. Some valves come with "stops" some do not. What are stops? Stops stop water flow at the valve itself so the valve can be taken apart without having to turn the water off to that branch circuit or to the whole house. They are normally incorporated onto the hot and cold water inlets on the valve body, and they can be opened or closed with a screw driver.

While Im on this, Ill also mention that some valves might mention having a "stop screw" to limit the maximum temperature. While a pressure balancing or a thermostatic valve will prevent you from being scalded if someone flushes a toilet, there is nothing to prevent someone from being scalded by setting the valve to allow 130 degree water to pass through it. Your first step is to lower the temperature on your water heater to about 120 degrees. For valves that have these stop screws, its then a simple matter of setting a screw that limits how far the temperature knob can be rotated. What you do is rotate the knob to set the water to the max temp that youd ever want out of the shower, then you turn the set screw until it bottoms out. It will now prevent the temperature knob from turning past (hotter than) its existing position.

Downstream of that volume/temp control is where things get dicey. You can have a simple setup where your V/T control just runs to a single shower head. Easy to do. You can have a standard tub setup with a shower head and a tub spigot, where the diverter can be a lever or push button that sends water either to the tub spigot below or to the shower head above. Also easy to do.

If you want to supply water to more than one shower head, to a shower head and body sprays, or to both, either simultaneously or one at a time, then youll need more chunks of expensive brass to bury in your wall.

If you want separate controls and the ability to have differing temperatures come out of differing fixtures, then its easiest to go with multiple V/T controllers. One V/T controller for the shower heads, for example, and a separate V/T controller for the body sprays. This allows you to run different volumes and different temperatures out of the different heads. Your shower head can be 105 degrees and your body sprays 110 degrees.

Remember, the more hot water that you want to come out of your shower, the larger your supply tubing and valve bodies need to be, and the larger your water heater has to be. For sizing purposes, most shower heads and body sprays have a gallon per minute rating applied to them. In theory and planning only, if your hand held shower head is, for example, rated at 3gpm, your rain shower head rated at 4gpm, and each of your 8 body spray heads is rated at 1gpm, and you want to run them all at the same timeyoure looking at a flow of 15gpm. You need a water heater that can supply you with 15gpm of hot water, then you need supply tubing that can get 15gpm of hot water from your water heater to your bathroom, and you need valve/diverter bodies that can pass the required amount of water through them so you get decent flow out of each fixture.

Typical plumbing is 1/2", typical valves are 1/2". For high volume situations, 3/4" tubing and 3/4" supply valves may be required. Out of the valves you can usually run 1/2" tubing to your shower heads and body spray heads.

Back to the hardware. If you want a shower head and body sprays, and want to run either or both off of one valve, then youll want a diverter valve.

Diverter valves can be anything and everything. They can be simple A/B valves, where you can run the water through the valve to only "A", your shower head, or only to "B", your body spray heads. But not both at the same time.

Which leads to the A/B/AB valve, where you can send water only to "A", your shower head, or only to "B", your body spray heads, or to "AB", simultaneously to both.

And from here things go wild. There are A/B/C/AB/AC/BC/ABC valves, and things just can go on and on from there.

Diverter valves are usually described as having a certain number of "ports". 3-port, 4-port, 5-port, etc. Realize that one port is where the water goes in to the valve, the other ports are where the water comes out. So an A/B/C valve that has three outlets might be listed as a "4-port valve", with the fourth port being the inlet.

Not all 4-port valves can do A/B/C/AB/AC/BC/ABC, youll need to look through the description to find out where it can send the water to. A 4-port valve might just be an A/B/C valve, or it might be a more versatile A/B/C/AB/AC/BC valve. Read its description.

If you cant get the customization you need from a single volume/temperature controller and a single diverter, you can run multiple diverters off of one V/T controller, or multiple diverters off of multiple V/T controllers. It all depends on how much brass you can afford, how much water you can supply, and if you have the space to hide all that brass in your walls.

Diverters can be knobs, levers, push buttons, the choice is yours. But do remember that you need to match up the valve body to the desired trim kit so that the bling that your neighbors can see will fit on the expensive chunk of brass that they cant see. You dont want your plumber to bury that expensive chunk of brass in your wall, then tile, then find out later that your bling wont fit. Very depressing.

Its all about reading the fine print.



clipped on: 02.01.2013 at 05:16 pm    last updated on: 02.01.2013 at 05:16 pm

RE: FAQ/Answers Bathroom Plumbing for dummies (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: mongoct on 06.25.2008 at 09:07 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Let me know if this is the sort of info you're looking for, if it's too basic, or not inclusive enough. It's a rough first draft and can be edited as required:

The sort of where, what, and why of pressure-balanced versus thermostatic:
Pressure-balanced or thermostatic temperature control valves are code-required in bathroom plumbing because they eliminate potential scalding and cold water shocks that can occur in a shower.

If you are using the shower and a toilet is flushed, as the toilet uses cold water to refill the tank, the pressure in the cold water line drops a bit below what it was when just the shower was running. If you had a non-balancing valve, youd still get the same amount of hot water that you originally were getting, but with the drop in pressure in the cold water line youd have less cold water coming out of your shower head, creating a potential for scalding. Vice-versa, if someone turns on a hot-water faucet elsewhere in the house, the hot water pressure drops and you get a shower of mostly cold water.

A pressure-balanced shower valve is designed to compensate for changes in water pressure. It has a mechanism inside that moves with a change in water pressure to immediately balance the pressure of the hot- and cold-water inputs. These valves keep water temperature within a couple degrees of the initial setting. They do it by reducing water flow through either the hot or cold supply as needed. Because pressure balanced valves control the temp by reducing the flow of water through the valve, if your plumbing supply is already struggling to keep up with the three shower heads and nine body sprays that you have running in your shower, if a pressure balancing valve kicks in and chokes down the water supply to keep you from getting scalded you could end up with insufficient water flow out of the heads in a multiple shower head setup. When it comes to volume control, in terms of being able to turn on the water a little or a lot, for the most part pressure-balanced valves are full-on when water is flowing or full-off when the valve is closed. Flow-wise, think of them as having no middle ground.

Where flow and volume control are important, as in a shower that requires a high volume of water, a thermostatic valve may be the better choice. They also control the temperature, but they do not reduce the amount of water flowing through the valve in doing so. Thermostatic valves are also common with 3/4" inlets and outlets, so they can pass more water through the valve than a 1/2" pressure balancing valve.

Which should you choose?
In a larger multi-outlet master shower, while a 1/2" thermostatic valve may suffice, a 3/4" thermostatic valve might be the better choice. But it does depend on the design of your shower and the volume of water that can be passed through your houses supply lines. In a secondary bathroom, or in a basic master where you have only one head, or the common shower head/tub spout diverter valve, a 1/2" pressure balancing valve would be fine.

If you want individual control and wanted multiple valves controlling multiple heads, then you could use multiple 1/2" valves instead of one 3/4" valve and all would be just fine.

What do the controls on the valve actually control?
While it may vary, a pressure balanced valve is normally an "all in one" valve with only one thing you can adjustthe temperature. The valve usually just has one rotating control (lever or knob) where you turn the water on, and by rotating it you set the water to a certain temperature. Each time you turn the valve on youll have to set it to the same spot to set it to your desired temperature. For the most part you really dont control the volume, just the temperature. With the valve spun a little bit, you'll get 100% flow but it will be all cold water. With the valve spun all the way, youll get 100% flow, but it will be all hot water. Somewhere int eh middle youll find that Goldilocks "just right" temperature, and itll be atyou guessed it100% flow. So with a pressure balancing valve, you control the temp, but when the valve is open, its open.

A thermostatic valve can be all inclusive in terms of control (volume and temp) or just be temperature controlling. If its just temperature controlling, you will need a separate control for volume or flow. Example, with an all inclusive youll have two "controllers" (knobs or levers) on the valve, one to set the temperature and a separate one to set the volume. In this case you can set the temp as you like it, then use the volume control lever to have just a trickle of Goldilocks water come out of the valve, or you can open it up and have full flow of Goldilocks water coming out of the valve. You can leave the temp where you like it when you turn the volume off after youre done showering. The next time you shower, turn the volume on, the temperature is already set. Some thermostatic valves are just temperature valves with no volume control. Youll need another valve/control to set the volume. Read the product description carefully to see what you're getting.

What size valve should I get?
Yes, valves actually come in different sizes. The size refers to the size of the inlet/outlet nipples on the valve. For a basic shower, a 1/2" valve will suffice. For a larger multi-head arrangement, a 3/4" valve would be better. Realize that youll need a water heater that can supply the volume of heated water you want coming out of the heads, so dont forget that when you build or remodel. Also realize that if youre remodeling and have 1/2" copper running to your shower, capping 1/2" copper supply tubing with a 3/4" valve provide you with much benefit as the 1/2" tubing is the limiting factor. You can, however, cap 3/4" supply tubing with a 1/2" valve or a 3/4" valve.

Is one better than another?
Thermostatic valves are "better" in that with them you can control both volume of flow and temperature, so you have more control, and they hold the temperature to a closer standard (+/- 1 degree). They also perform better if you are running multiple outlets in the shower, as they do not choke down the amount of water in order to control the temperature. But you pay for that added flow and added control. Pressure balancing valves can be had for about $100-$200, thermostatic valves can be twice that amount. And more.

Will I suffer with a pressure-balancing valve?
For what its worth, when I built my house over 10 years ago I put pressure-balancing valves in my own house. While I have two outlets in my shower (sliding bar mounted hand-held on the wall and an overhead 12" rain shower head on the ceiling), I have a two separate pressure-balancing valves, one valve for each head. With both heads going in the shower, I notice no loss of flow in the shower when the toilet is flushed and the sink faucet is turned on simultaneously. I also notice no change in temperature. So they work for me.

If you are remodeling, if you have your existing sink running and you flush the toilet and notice a drop in volume coming out of the sink, then a thermostatic valve might be the better choice even if you're not having a multi-head setup installed.

If, as part of the remodel, you plan on running new supply lines through your house to the new bath, then properly sized runs will take care of that flow restriction and you can probably do a pressure balancing valve instead of a thermostatic.

So in a house with tricky plumbing, or with a restricted water supply, or with multiple outlets running off of one supply valve, a thermostatic valve might be the safer choice.



clipped on: 02.01.2013 at 05:15 pm    last updated on: 02.01.2013 at 05:16 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: 01.05.2013 at 11:26 pm    last updated on: 01.05.2013 at 11:26 pm

Almost Finished Pics - long time coming...

posted by: aokat15 on 02.09.2012 at 02:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

I'm still waiting to finish up some small details - such as having my potfiller installed - but I thought I'd post my almost finished pics. I've posted some pics along the way, but here is where we're at now. It's been almost 2 years since we purchased our home and we are slowly coming to the end of a long whole house renovation and addition. Gardenweb has been an amazing source for inspiration and guidance - thanks for all of your help along the way. Let me know if you want any info.

To the right of my refrigerator is an oversized walk-in pantry. There are temporary shelves in there now... someday soon we'll have cabinets and nice shelving and I'll share those pics as well :)


clipped on: 11.17.2012 at 10:57 am    last updated on: 11.17.2012 at 10:57 am

RE: Two Person Shower (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: mydreamhome on 02.05.2012 at 02:11 am in Bathrooms Forum

Here's ours. We opted for the second shower head to be a handshower on a slide bar so it was more versatile. If only one of us is in there, we can get the whole spa experience by turning on the main shower head, aiming the handheld toward the bather & turning on the overhead raincan (not shown). Our shower is 4'x7' and doorless.


clipped on: 10.24.2012 at 09:18 am    last updated on: 10.24.2012 at 09:18 am

RE: Room for doorless shower here? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: terriks on 10.05.2008 at 11:27 am in Bathrooms Forum

If that's the space you have for just the shower, then yes. Here is the floorplan of my doorless shower:


The blue represents the size of the standard shower in our old house. The total space taken up by the shower is about 7' x 5.5'


clipped on: 10.24.2012 at 08:55 am    last updated on: 10.24.2012 at 08:55 am

Pictures of an almost finised kitchen...just needs the frosting!

posted by: abfabamy on 05.06.2012 at 04:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi everyone! I have received so much help throughout our remodel, that I wanted to post a big thank you along with some pictures from our almost complete kitchen. Please forgive the large photos, I have never been able to figure out how to post them small!

We bought our house about 1 and a half years ago and knew the 80's kitchen (albeit, with updated stainless appliances) would have to go! Golden oak, angled island, and yellowed vinyl floors just were not our style. It has taken about 7 months to get to where we are, but, with the exception of the granite, we have done ALL the work ourselves.

I wanted to wait until everything was completely finished, but now I realize it may be a long time before that day comes! We are still looking for just the right "frosting" (window treatments, throw rugs, counter stools, pendant lights, accessories, etc). We are using some of our previous items as stand-ins until the "perfect" pieces come along.

Hopefully, I can continue to bounce ideas off everyone as we attempt to reach the finish line. Currently, I am obsessed with finding the right pendant light!! So far, a very elusive creature, indeed. We haven't even painted the ceiling in the kitchen because I can't even decide if I want 1 light or 2. As you look at the photos, any suggestions regarding lighting above the island would be most welcome!

This is how the kitchen looked when we bought the house. Along the right side, but out of view, was a 7 ft long pantry closet.

old kitchen

This is what the attached eat-in area looked like.

old eating area

We did a little reworking of the layout and moved the refrigerator and installed a pantry cabinet where the old pantry closet was.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

IMG_20120506_150233, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Our granite is called Magma, but it looks nothing like other Magmas I've seen! it reminds me more of Seinna Bourdeaux.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

We removed one of the windows in the eating area (left side of photo) and installed a door so we could have direct entry into the kitchen from the driveway. We chose to have a casual seating area instead of a kitchen table and chairs.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Thanks again, everyone, for your help!


clipped on: 10.04.2012 at 07:50 pm    last updated on: 10.04.2012 at 07:51 pm

What I did on my Labor Day weekend...

posted by: abfabamy on 09.03.2012 at 05:52 pm in Kitchens Forum

Finally added some finishing touches to our kitchen and laundry combo project. All-and-all, a very productive holiday weekend!

After much searching, I found some fabric I loved and sewed window valances for the eating area. These added much needed color and interest while hiding the cellular shades that are necessary to block out the blaring afternoon sun.


A closer view:

Also after much searching, I finally found a light fixture for over the sink and hung that.


Lastly, we turned a left over replacement drawer front into a shelf and hung it in the laundry room.



clipped on: 10.04.2012 at 07:50 pm    last updated on: 10.04.2012 at 07:51 pm

RE: max. sink size in 30' base (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: laurie_2008 on 08.02.2011 at 10:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

Our 16 guage ss undermount single bowl sink is 30" x 18" x 9" (28" x 16" bowl size) and our cabinet is 30". The sink cost $238 from home center . com a little over 3 years ago. We have been very happy with it!

My husband is an engineer and very concerned with "modifying" structures of any kind for fear of weakening or lowering their strength. He did end up cutting out a portion of the sink base (see pics below) and feels that the sink base is still very sound/sturdy.

In the picture below, the left side of the sink base has been cut "notched out".

Then, we notched out the right side

Now, the 30" sink fits into the 30" cabinet




clipped on: 12.01.2011 at 11:26 am    last updated on: 12.01.2011 at 11:27 am

Granite saga! (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: christine40 on 11.16.2011 at 05:00 pm in Kitchens Forum

Oh man, was that granite ever a story! We went to mont, saw it, loved it, it was on hold....then you know that story....bottom line was we needed 2 slabs. My KD even tried negotiating with the other buyer to split the 3 slabs..1.5 each. Instead the wonderful people at mont "found" 4 more slabs from the same lot....they had given them to a consignor/ wholesaler...brought them back, I picked the 2 I wanted, then they shipped the other 2 back out!

So, yes, that is an actual picture of MY slab! Yippie!

We finalized that on Monday when DH was off work! I was so happy, I love love this granite....and couldn't find anything else quite like it! And it only went over budget by a small bit...better than I had hoped for!

We are using superstore as a fabricator. My KD really likes them.


clipped on: 11.17.2011 at 06:24 am    last updated on: 11.17.2011 at 06:24 am

RE: Major kitchen remodel--Long and Pic heavy (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: Bellsmom on 11.05.2011 at 11:11 pm in Kitchens Forum

Wow, thank you for the compliments. I certainly am enjoying the kitchen.
The island granite is polished Dry Leaf. I suspect it goes by other names as well. In all the granite warehouses we looked, this was the only slab of Dry Leaf. I suspect many others have the same general characteristics that drew me to it: a lot of contrast but not large scale veining, warm colors that picked up every color in the room, a sort of crystalline depth. A quick google search found a slab or two that looked pretty much like mine. At least their pictures were better than mine.

Yes, I would do it again in a minute. I really like the contrast of the two. I would not, however, put a polished granite under windows that get as much direct sunlight as my west-facing windows do. The dark brushed granite works much better there.

One of the reasons I used two granites was that I used two woods. The brushed Black Pearl that is on the cherry cabs looked dreadful on the dark walnut island. I like the two woods very much, perhaps because it brings some variety into the oak universe of floor and wall.
At least for me the island granite doesn't jump out.

The tile is an American Orlean tile, Costa Rei. I forget the color name, but it is the second from the lightest. I would have preferred a somewhat lighter and cooler tile, but I really loved the strong linear look and the only lighter one in this series was much too grey to work for me.

Hope this helps.


clipped on: 11.05.2011 at 11:52 pm    last updated on: 11.05.2011 at 11:53 pm

RE: Basic 'rules' for placement of lights? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: davidtay on 10.30.2011 at 11:14 am in Lighting Forum

LED modules from CREE will fit into either 4" or 6" recessed cans.

Others will also fit into 5" cans.

In all cases, the led module is separate from the can.

The convention is to have the cans ~ 26" - 30" from the wall. The offset from the upper cabinets (& crown molding) has already been figured in.

The spacing between cans should be ~ 3' to 4'. The simple rule of thumb I used is to achieve ~ 35 lumens per sq ft. ((Total_sq_footage * 35) - output_from_other_sources) / (output_per_can) gives the # of cans needed.

The final position/ layout of the cans is affected by the layout of your ceiling joists, pipes, wiring, ductwork, etc in the space above the ceiling.

A standard 60W incandescent light produces ~ 800 lumens. Put it into a can and the effective output drops significantly. Maybe to 400 - 500 lumens?

The bulk of the LED recessed can modules have an output ~ 500+ (575 for CR6) to 650 (std LR6) and definitely outperform all recessed can lights.

Normally, the light color is 2700k.


clipped on: 11.01.2011 at 07:21 pm    last updated on: 11.01.2011 at 07:21 pm

Lighting in cabinets with glass doors

posted by: SadieV on 10.30.2011 at 09:49 am in Kitchens Forum

We have several cabinets with glass doors and wood shelves. The cabinets are dark wood, so we would like to light them. Would rope lighting placed inside the front frame of the cabinet be our best option? I've seen some pictures where the rope was placed behind the front frame, and others where the rope lighting was mounted at the back of the cabinet, but the rope was visible then. What's the best way to mount the rope light. Do we use brackets with screws, or is there an adhesive that would work? It would be great to get pictures of your installations.


clipped on: 10.30.2011 at 10:14 am    last updated on: 10.30.2011 at 10:14 am

RE: White subway or color to go with granite cherry cabinets (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: kittenkat_2002 on 10.26.2011 at 09:45 am in Kitchens Forum

tharonk - I have cherry cabinets, soapstone and white subway tile. Thought the photo might help. I find myself wishing I had done marble subway tiles.


clipped on: 10.28.2011 at 06:15 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2011 at 06:15 pm

RE: Am I the only one.... (Follow-Up #55)

posted by: Luv2Laf on 10.14.2011 at 05:19 pm in Kitchens Forum

krmanda and AnnaC54,
Thanks for the nudge I needed to get my 'almost finished' kitchen posted. Now, I need the final nudge to finish up the punch list and call it done! :)




Here is a link that might be useful: Almost Finished Alder, Silestone and Granite Kitchen


clipped on: 10.27.2011 at 01:13 pm    last updated on: 10.27.2011 at 01:13 pm

Where is that 'What I learned on GW' thread

posted by: beekeeperswife on 10.25.2011 at 08:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

Ok, so that might not be the title, but it is the thread that had so many tricks, tips, etc about kitchen design...





clipped on: 10.26.2011 at 08:02 pm    last updated on: 10.26.2011 at 08:02 pm

Kitchen finally done after more than 3 years!

posted by: ni_2006 on 09.05.2011 at 08:57 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi all,

I am not sure if anyone remembers me or my kitchen! The remodeling started in April 2008 and was for the most part completed with the installation of the backsplash in December 2009. I wanted to have the walls painted before I posted the "final" reveal pictures! After living with patches of bluish-greenish-graying paint color samples for the last 3 years, I finally painted the kitchen a couple of weeks ago! To give you an idea of how long this whole project has taken, my DS1 was just 6 months when we started, and he is about to be 4 years old next month!!

We encountered some drama along the way, but luckily everything turned out alright! I would like to thank all of my GW friends who were extremely helpful during this journey! You are all amazing!! I learned so much during this process!

I dug up a couple of "before" pictures to give you an idea of what the space looked like before the remodeling. Please excuse the mess - we were in the process of packing up when these pictures were taken!



"After" photos






corner stove
clipped on: 10.24.2011 at 09:50 pm    last updated on: 10.24.2011 at 09:51 pm

RE: Granite fabricator recommendation in SE Michigan??? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: christine40 on 10.24.2011 at 07:48 am in Kitchens Forum

I used granite planet in livonia for a bathroom this summer, he was great, very reasonably priced! For our kitchen redo our Gc uses ultimate granite in Redford.....both granite yards I went to (Dwyer and TM) said he's great! Best of luck...


clipped on: 10.24.2011 at 08:49 am    last updated on: 10.24.2011 at 08:49 am

RE: Granite fabricator recommendation in SE Michigan??? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: stayaloft on 10.23.2011 at 09:10 pm in Kitchens Forum

I'm in Plymouth, Mi. Without a doubt I'd recommend Phoenix. I chose the slabs at Mont Granite and turned it over to Phoenix from there. Carlo and his guys did a great job for me. The templating was precise and the installation was done without a hitch. I was impressed. I have a zero radius sink and I wanted the sink cut out to be flush. It was absolutely spot on perfect! The guys were real gentelmen and did a fine job. 313-712-6500


Granite guys
clipped on: 10.24.2011 at 07:40 am    last updated on: 10.24.2011 at 07:40 am

RE: What I worried about needlessly and should have worried about (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: sally123 on 10.23.2011 at 03:30 am in Kitchens Forum

I have never posted a finished kitchen because its not really finished. My other excuse is that my daughter, the photographer, said she would take pictures for me but never has. All I have are phone pictures, but I have lots of them. If you click on this picture it should take you to my photobucket album.


clipped on: 10.23.2011 at 03:51 pm    last updated on: 10.23.2011 at 03:51 pm

RE: Kitchen cabinets to the ceiling? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: sally123 on 10.22.2011 at 07:06 pm in Kitchens Forum

My cabinets go all the way to our 9-foot ceilings. Here are some pictures (note: the table, chairs, and stools are all leftovers from the previous kitchen and will be replaced):


recessed lighting placement
clipped on: 10.22.2011 at 09:28 pm    last updated on: 10.22.2011 at 09:29 pm

led ucl diy

posted by: jem199 on 06.17.2010 at 12:19 am in Lighting Forum

Instructions for LED DIY
1. Measure the inside bottoms of the front width of your cabinets, between the sides (called fences). This assumes that the upper cabinets are completely flat bottomed.
2. Create a box diagram of your pper cabinet layout on paper and include the measurements.
3. Decide how many lighting zones (circuits) youd like (groupings with their own switch or dimmer). Decide if you want dimming in each zone. You will need a transformer and a switch for each zone. Purchase dimmable transformers and switches for the zones that require dimming.
4. If you have lighting levels in your current kitchen you like, determine the lumens (light output) of those lights to be sure you are adding similar brightness. I used the following
Incandescent are typically 14 lumens per watt.
Fluorescents are typically 60 lumens per watt.
The lighting should be determined by a desired lumens per linear ft basis. The type of lighting (xenon, halogen, fluorescent, led, EL) possible could be dictated by conformance to local laws (eg - title24) FWIW, has a claimed output of 83 lumens per watt. Environmental lights has their lumens here:
5. Determine the lengths of lights for each cabinet. You want at least one light every 30". Many have suggested getting the widest you can for each cabinet and then putting them on a dimmer to give you the most flexibility for task and ambient lighting. You can stack two or more lightbars parallel and connect them with jumpers for more lumens over a high-task area, such as a sink.
6. For each zone, add up the volts for the lights in the zone so you can select the appropriate transformer. Add 15% to your total. Here are the conversions I used (This is specific to the environmentallights type light bar)
15 cm = 5.9" = 1.65w
30 cm = 11.8" = 3.3w
60 cm = 23.6" = 6.6w
90 cm = 35.4" = 9.9w
7. Decide where you will place your transformer(s). Transformers should be placed in a wall, but in a cabinet, basement or attic where there is circulation and you can access it, if needed. You need one transformer for each lighting zone. By code, the transformer(s) have to be in an accessible location. One transformer per lighting zone is required if independent control of each zone is required. If multiple transformers are required, you need to ensure that there is adequate electrical branch wiring to the locations where each transformer is located. The necessary switch controls need to be planned for.
8. Add your lights to your box diagram. This will help you determine the accessories needed and where to place the wires. The lights in each zone must connect to each other and each cable must reach the transformer. For new installs, you can pull the wires back through the wallboard. For existing installs, bring the cables over the tops of the cabinets. You need at least 2 mounting clips per light. You may also need seamless connectors and/or right angle cords for tight spaces between the lights and fence where the cord needs to travel to the back of the cabinet. Interconnected zones should be wired in parallel not series so that a problem in one light bar/ zone would not cause all the lights to go out.

Parts List
1. In wall wiring - Ideal brand low voltage wiring (from HD or Lowes).
2. Ideal Plug disconnects (from HD or Lowes).
3. Lights - depends on how much light you want, total length of cabinets.
4. Transformer(s) - depends on cummulative consumption + 15% margin.
5. Inter-connect wiring.
6. Lightbars from Email for pricing sheet.
7. Transformer from
8. Leviton 6613 magnetic dimmers 1 for each circuit/zone. Check with transformer supplier if youd like to use a different one. Incompatible dimmer switches can void your transformer warranty. This particular dimmer reco assumes that low voltage (12V or 24V) LED lighting will be installed and contains many details specific to environmentallights type lightbars. Magnetic dimmers from various vendors could be used, but require some testing first. If you use a different transformer, check with the manufacutuer if there are known problems with certain dimmers. You can Hook up the system prior to installation for a test run if possible - switch(es).Things to look out for
1. There is no buzzing/ humming sound from the transformer when everything is hooked up and powered on.
2. All lights are equally bright, especially at the ends.
3. No flickering
4. No problems when dimming.

Tips specifics to this type of environmental lights type lightbar:
1. Its a waste to buy the long length 3 prong interconnects. Just cut the interconnect wires and attach to a disconnect.
2. Two adjacent prongs are actually connected to the same DC line. The third is connected to the other DC line.
3. The right angle interconnects are probably more useful for connecting bars set at an angle to each other.
4. You could use flat wire under the cabinets as it comes with double side sticky tape. Some DIY work would be necessary with a soldering iron + heat shrink tubing.
The flat wire is useful in situations where you do not like to see standard low voltage wiring.
5. The plug disconnects would be used to connect the in-wall low voltage wiring to the lighting power cords which connect the lights. It would also connect the in-wall low voltage wiring to the transformer. This way, if you ever decide to change out all the lighting bars to another make, it would be a simple matter of disconnecting from the plug disconnects and perhaps the transformer.

Thanks to davidtay for this information! Be sure to watch both parts of the DIY video below. Its shows how to wire these to household current.

Here is a link that might be useful: UCL Install Video


clipped on: 10.21.2011 at 04:35 pm    last updated on: 10.21.2011 at 04:35 pm

Undercabinet lighting, help!

posted by: cherryblossom99 on 10.17.2011 at 05:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

I can order cabinets, granite, faucets, appliances, but the undercabinet lighting is confusing us. The contractor will wire them all together to hide wires and there's "bottom crown moulding" to make it look nice. I am going to have 3 areas of countertop to illuminate + a frosted cabinet with glass above the microwave that needs to be lit. Previously we had a cheapo fluorescent light in our old kitchen and it has to 'warm up'; I don't like that. I want something bright but not insanely bright as the ceiling will be a 6 50-watt halogen fixture. I am not sure if I should buy the puck style, strip style, etc. LED looks tempting. I want to keep it < $150 and I'm not sure the quantity of lights to buy. (We've just spent a lot so far and I have to economize where I can.) Here's a photo of the 9x9' room...

-How many pucks or light strips should I add?
-How many pucks or light strips should be in the 30" wide frosted glass cabinet above the microwave?

Thank you so much.


clipped on: 10.19.2011 at 08:58 am    last updated on: 10.19.2011 at 08:59 am

RE: Where would you put an outlet on this island? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: cloud_swift on 10.16.2011 at 03:16 pm in Kitchens Forum

The prep sink is a good location - especially if you are likely to use anything powered like a food processor when prepping.

Where you can put outlets on the other cabinets depends on what is in them, whether they are framed or frameless.

Your island might be large enough that outlets are required in two positions. I thought that one was required every 4'. We were initially told that an outlet under the seating overhang wouldn't satisfy the code requirement, but we asked them to check with the county whether one right at the edge of the overhang would because our understanding was that it had to be within 12" of the top of the counter and one there would be. At least our county accepted it.

We put one on the false drawer front in front of the prep sink. That one gets used the most.

Here is the one at the edge of the overhang (similar to if you slid the ? in your picture as far to the right as possible):

If you have a drawer at the top of that cabinet, the side of the drawer might have to be lowered to clear the outlet. We have a cabinet with pull-outs there. We used shallow outlet boxes and there is a panel on the side of the cabinet so part of the depth of the outlet box sits in the panel:


clipped on: 10.16.2011 at 08:36 pm    last updated on: 10.16.2011 at 08:37 pm