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RE: Eco-Friendly cabinets (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: jakuvall on 07.23.2012 at 05:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

Can't give you a definitive answer, on our end of the business it is as difficult as yours. I am typically suspect of most of the hoorah it's green based on past experience. What I do know is that certifications are something a company buys, there is no other way to get them. Sure if you don't comply you can't get it but if you do comply you still don't get it without the money and the paperwork.

LEED or USGBC are the two standards for the BUILDING industry. Cabinets can only contribute LEED points, they are not in and of themselves certified.
NOTE NEITHER LEED nor USGBC considers finishes or VOC's in allotting points.
Also note that you get more LEED points using melamine interiors than wood, more for particle, flakeboard and MDF than for plywood. So the cabinets that I carry that have the highest LEED points possible (Saxton) are a particle board cabinet with melamine interior and sides, and foil doors. Not the most popular choice for many folks.

FSC- applies does not apply to bamboo, there is no regulation for Bamboo or Lyptus. If you rummage around there is enough question about which is greener- managed domestic hardwood or bamboo. My personal opinion is domestic hardwood from managed forrests but others will disagree.

I had one company (now out of business) that was able to ship an FSC certified cabinet (not just the wood) so long as delivery was within 500 miles of the factory. It took them 3 years to get the certification.
Many companies use FSC certified woood when they can, but also use wood from smaller suppliers that have managed forests who do not have FSC certification (due to the expense and paperwork.) I have no objection to that though it becomes more a matter of trust. If you don't use FSC wood exclusively you can't use the logo.

KCMA -ESP- Kitchen Cabinet Manuracturers Association Environmental Stewardship Program. This is the only environmental rating in the cabinet industry. When it started it was a rubber stamp. It is now siginificantly more difficult to obtaim. It considers 5 areas
Air Quality in manufacturing; Resource Management- Process
;Resorce Management- Product; Environmental Stewardship, and Community Involvement.
I consider KCMA ESP certification a minimum to carry a brand.

VOCs and Formaldehyde- Not the same thing. Now any cabinet that is CARB2 certified (or better yet CARB 3) will have extremely low VOCs and Formaldehyde. However if you are allergic then you will want none. A lot of companies have NAUF particle and/or plywood available. ( I have the afforementioned Saxton in particle and QCCI in plywood, there have to be others) Fewer have No VOCs and I really don't know just what LOW VOC actually means so I'm skeptical.
I spent a lot of years attempting to find a water borne finish that was equal to standard varnishes and to date I have not seen one. QCCI just came out with a no VOC oil finish that appears to hold up very well. I gave a sampe to a client and told them to abuse it as best they could- it came back looking like the one I didn't give them. I have not personally put it through a torture test though. It is a very nice finish but very limited in color options and on which woods it works. It is also dead flat so not for everyone.
VOCs is the one place where a small shop has both an advantage and a dissadvantage. They can manage to use water bornes because of the small scale (though not as durable) OTOH if they use standard catalyzed varnishes they don't typically have the same kind of air treatment,filter, exhaust that a larger shop has.

In the long run the issue comes down to reduce, reuse, recycle. Each of the certifications deal with those thing only in part. I'm not a Wood-Mode dealer, though I use to work for one. On those standards they apply but if your KD doesn't know how to explain that to you they should find out more. Many of the moderate sized brands (especially in Pennsylvania) have been doing those things as a matter of course for decades with no certifications.


clipped on: 07.24.2012 at 01:08 am    last updated on: 07.24.2012 at 01:08 am

off topic...removing silver tarnish using chemistry (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: florantha on 03.19.2012 at 07:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

O.t. to Davidro1, you can omit the electricity part of it. Dissolve some baking soda or baking soda laundry detergent in a plastic or enamel container in really hot water, put in some sheets of fresh aluminum foil OR use one of those aluminum multimetal pieces they sell at antique shows, then submerge silver items in such a way that the current generated by the chemistry and the metal items that touch one another causes the sulfur molecules to collect on the aluminum. No item will lose its silver if it sticks out of the water or it does not touch the aluminum or a silver item that is touching the aluminum.

The foil will go black and icky. Throw it out. Add more foil if needed. Do NOT move the foil against the silver items--it can scratch.

Works on silverplate as well as sterling. Might as well toss your jewelry into the stew pot if you're doing this.

Do NOT do this with old Sheffield silver that has hollow centers filled in with pitch or other substances to give them weight. Do NOT do this with any silver pieces that have wood parts, such as handles. Do NOT do this to any item which might not drain the liquid out of itself after the soaking.


clipped on: 03.23.2012 at 08:51 pm    last updated on: 03.23.2012 at 08:51 pm

RE: Curious about text in messages (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: buehl on 01.23.2008 at 05:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

LOL! It took me a while to figure it out as 13-yo son told me how.

You user HTML codes surrounded by angle brackets (< and >)

You put a "beginning" code where you want the format (Underline, etc.) to start and an "ending" code where you want it to end. The "ending code is the same as the beginning code except you precede it by a slash (/)

Some Codes are:

Bold: strong
Underline: u
Italic: i
Superscript: sup

The following are included in the "font" code:
Color: color = "name of the color, e.g., red, blue, etc.
Font: face = "name of the font e.g., arial"
Size: size = "how much smaller/bigger than normal e.g, -1, +2"

Some examples. Note: take out the space between the bracket and the code. I had to put them in so it would show up instead of using the code!

< strong>Bold< /strong> you...Bold
< u>Underline< /u> you...Underline
< i>Italic< /i> you...Italic
< font color = "blue">Blue< /font> you...Blue
< font face = "arial">Arial< /font> you...Arial
< font size = "+2">Larger< /font> you...Larger
< font color = "red" face = "arial">Arial in red< /font> you...Arial in red

I hope this isn't too "tech-y".....


clipped on: 04.29.2011 at 04:24 am    last updated on: 02.26.2012 at 01:19 pm

RE: There's no Closet Forum, so....Can We talk Walk In Closets? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: plllog on 02.25.2012 at 09:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

A closet is more like a walk-in pantry. A dressing room with cabinets, fireplace, vanity table, etc., is very nice, but a storage closet is basically a storage closet and has the same parameters:

1. No windows. Natural light is great to see by but even worse for clothes than for food. Clothes are meant to last longer.

2. Consistent temperature. The HVAC can do a number in your closet, trapping heat or a/c. Having some way for the air to circulate, especially the a/c which can also be damp, is essential.

3. Humidity control. As stated above, damp isn't a friend for your clothes. Nor is bone dry. 50% humidity is ideal for textiles. Too much damp can weight the fabrics down and cause sagging, as well as promoting growth of mold and mildew. Too much dry and the fibers loose their suppleness. They feel scratchier and wear faster, and the little threads in the cloth can break.

4. Correct storage. Creases aren't good for most cloths. Hanging isn't good for some. A combination of hanging and shelf/drawer storage is ideal. Sweaters do best folded but not stacked. Pants are happier hanging from one end or other (depending on the construction), but can be draped over a rod (hanger or built in) without suffering too much. They do take up more space that way, however. Jackets must be hung, dresses and skirts should be hung unless they're made of a stretchy knit. Scarves and shawls should be draped over a rod or rolled on a tube to prevent creasing. Shoes that aren't worn very often should be in drawers or boxes to keep them from getting dusty and marred.

5. Space efficiency: Eye level is great for choosing clothes, but you can maximize your space better if you double hang and put tops as high as you can conveniently reach them, and either more tops, or skirts/shorts/doubled pants below. Long hanging storage is necessary for dresses and gowns, and best for suits. Suits can also be hung on double rails if the pants are doubled. Drawers/boxes of rarely worn shoes (ones that go with a particular dressy outfit and the like) can go on shelves above the hanging things. Keep a small step stool in the closet to make access easy. Handbags can go on open shelves, but it's nicer to have a door, also to keep out dust. A clear door can remind you to use them. Lazy susans can work as well in corners as in the kitchen. You can have all shelves for shoes and bags, or use a section for pants clips, tie hangers, scarf rolls, etc. Ties do best on tie hangers (bars with little rods for the ties). These only work if they're somewhere that won't be squished. Otherwise they're nightmarish. The inside of a cabinet door with the shelves set back is a good place. Belts work well on pegs, again, placed somewhere they won't get squished.

6. Smalls, undergarments, hosiery, gloves, soft hats, etc., are best in drawers, though work in baskets. It's nice to have a hamper or laundry chute right in the closet. Structured hats are best kept on forms in cabinets. Barring that extravagance, hatboxes are best. They can be stacked/shelved in hard to use corners. Don't forget the labels.

7. Daily wear. Include some storage for the stuff you constantly wear around the house. The hoodie you always put on when you get home. The old running shoes. Or a small wardrobe of sweats, little dresses, or whatever you wear when you're not "dressed". Make it really easy to access with room for house shoes and house sweaters/jackets, including hooks for that which you've taken off and intend to put back on. If you have it all easy to get at and organized these bits are less likely to decorate the rest of the house (if you have sloppy-lazies) and makes it easier to just pop into the closet and put off your good clothes. Also have a "current" spot for better garments that might have been worn slightly but will be worn again before cleaning. This can be a valet, small rack, or hooks, but should have hangers so they can be stored properly so as not to lose their shapes or get wrinkled.

8. Maintenance. I mentioned the hamper, but it's also nice to have a place to put dry cleaning, both going out and coming in, along with a pad to write down what you're sending to the cleaners and to check off as you put the fresh cleaning on proper hangers. Even better would be to have room for an ironing board right in the closet or dressing area, though I've never achieved that. :)

Sorry I don't have any pictures. I have or have had most of the above. My current closet came fitted, but it's not pretty. Just plywood. It works though.


clipped on: 02.26.2012 at 01:00 pm    last updated on: 02.26.2012 at 01:00 pm

RE: Kitchen at what you are cooking ! (Follow-Up #80)

posted by: jmith on 11.02.2011 at 12:18 pm in Kitchens Forum

@trailrunner & mabeldingeldine:

I don't usually have a recipe or follow a recipe it all kinda stays in my head but this is what i used and how i did it.

The most important thing is meat, since i was using pork and pork is very fatty you can mix n match (lean + fatty). Best would be a tough cut of meat.

I used left over neck meat w bones (can get from butcher as well - also can use meaty backbones). I used four pieces as per the picture.

One medium onion finely sliced,
1-2 cloves of garlic hand minced,
about 1" of ginger hand minced,
sea salt,
soy sauce,
fish oil (anchovie oil - if not avail use corn oil and anchovies or other cured salty fish),
rice vinegar
cane sugar
fish or shrimp paste (opt)
organic chicken egg 2 or quail eggs 6-8 (opt)

Medium high heat use the pot you are going to cook the soup in brown the meat (use fish oil here if not just use corn oil).
after meats been browned and some fat has rendered remove fat accordingly but leave some in as you need to fry the onions.
Fry the onions until clear + (ie browning a bit but not burnt).
towards the end throw in garlic, ginger and anchovies (if did not use fish oil) and when aromatic for a few mins toss in some water (use some water that you are going to use for noodles as it will be hot).
with a wooden spoon make sure all the bits are off from the pan
put in the browned meat in and fill it up with water.

At this point pop in about 1/2 tsp of vinegar.
Add about 1/8 - 1/4 tsp of fine cayene.
About 1tsp of black cracked pepper (freshly).
About 1 tblsp of light soy sauce (good quality soy sauce would be good and don't use dark soy sauce).
about 1 tsp of cane sugar.

The fish flavour is not in the foreground but is a background flavour and can be supplimented further with dried fish/shrimp paste (good quality) on top of hte fish oil if using fish/shrimp paste you can use about 1-2tsp.

On a low-med with a lid on simmer the broth (it should be partially boiling over slightly) Make sure to stir it occasionally -- Also every 5-10 mins with a spoon skim off inpurities and fat from the top.

after 40-50 mins remove the lid and taste and adjust salt accordingly.

Now with the lid partially off you will reduce a bit more (for me it was about another 30ish mins but maybe more or less depending on heat) -- Again every 5-10 mins with a spoon skim off inpurities and fat from the top.

Meat should be beyond tender and you can adjust the broth with more water or fruther reducing.

have the noodles cooked and drained (can be cool) and place in bottom of bowl... sprinkle some fried onions or bonito flakes if you like,
Have the eggs hardboiled and peeled and cut and ready.

When the broth is done pull the meat out and place in the bowls.

Strain all of the broth with cheesecloth or a strainer. You can discard the onion mush and rest of the contanimates.

Pour the broth onto the noodles and meat and place 1 egg per serving and sprinkle some sea salt on them (eggs).

Another fantastic thing is instead of using organic chicken eggs you can use Quail eggs. if you do use quail eggs pre boil them and peel them... after you have strained the broth put it back on the burner and bring close to boil and put in the quail eggs in the broth directly.

This should make soup good for 2 hungry people or 3 people. You can do toast if you like with it and forego the noodles but with noodles its a different experience.

If needed you can throw in freshly bruised basil leaves and squirt some lime while eating (but not while cooking).


clipped on: 11.03.2011 at 03:52 am    last updated on: 11.03.2011 at 03:52 am

RE: Kitchen at what you are cooking ! (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: trailrunner on 10.30.2011 at 10:27 am in Kitchens Forum

ma I want to come to YOUR house...oh my gosh I love brussel sprouts and I never thought or roasting broccoli and carrots . What do you put on them before roasting and what temp ? And your enchiladas look so yummy.

Elyse here is the buttermilk biscuit recipe. First tips :::: You need to cut the cold butter into diced tiny pieces and freeze while you are getting everything else ready or else grate the frozen butter into the flour just before adding the milk. I then put everything into the freezer while i am getting out the buttermilk and preheating the oven. it can't be too cold !!

2c all purpose unbleached flour ( I don't sift before)
1Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

I sift these three things together after I measure. Add 1 tsp salt. Chill in freezer while getting the butter ready. Or grate in the butter and then chill.

5 Tbsp real butter . I cut the whole piece length wise in 1/4's and then slice so i get tiny cubes. Easy peasy. Freeze on plate.( see above if grating)

Measure out approx 2/3 c very cold whole buttermilk. Put all the dry ingred. into your food processor. Add the diced butter on top and pulse just till barely mixed. It is better to have pieces than to have dust :) Pour this back into your cold bowl from before and add all the milk. Toss with a fork. Add more if needed...I always do until it is all wet but not soggy. Better to be too wet than too dry :)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees..I use convection.

Dust countertop ..beautiful soapstone...with a heavy coating of flour. Scrape out the dough onto flour and very lightly pat into a rectangle. Cut with biscuit cutter. This is important...DONOT twist the cutter as you press twists and seals the edges of the biscuits and they won't rise . Place on greased flat baking sheet w/o edges...very important. Have biscuits just touching. Now some folks use a layer cake pan with sides and make the biscuits very wet and use a lot of flour on counter and cut them and place in greased pan. I like this kind too...come out really tall in the close pan but no brown sides. You have to decide which you like.

Bake 12-15 min. watch as your oven may be hotter/colder. EAT !!


clipped on: 11.03.2011 at 03:34 am    last updated on: 11.03.2011 at 03:34 am

Cloud Swift...your outlet covers?

posted by: igloochic on 04.24.2008 at 02:11 pm in Kitchens Forum

I know you used scrap granite (yours is gorgeous!) for your outlet covers. Did you do that yourself? Did your fabricator??? I love the idea and want to copy you :oP Do you mind sharing the how to's of the job?


clipped on: 11.03.2011 at 03:25 am    last updated on: 11.03.2011 at 03:25 am

RE: SMARGE- your backsplash? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: smarge on 07.24.2009 at 09:54 am in Kitchens Forum

Sorry I haven't checked GW for a while!

I'll happily post more pictures of my backsplash, and am happy also to share contact info re: the wonderfully talented mosaic artist I found online, named Cynthia Fisher.

My husband and I have always loved a "Tree of Life" - it represents home, family, lifecycle - all good things we have always prioritized and wanted to honor in our kitchen, the "heart of the home".

We both also love intricate mosaics and wanted a creative, artistic backsplash to make our kitchen less of a boiler plate, "classic" white kitchen. This is where our former designer's vision differed from ours. I'll go into those issues in another post below the pictures -

Here is the final sketch Cynthia came up with after many conversations and trials, along with her planned tile colors -

Cynthia Fisher's Chagall inspiration sketch

From that sketch, we had many back and forth emails approving the actual mosaic which came to life as she worked on it in her studio in Mass. I'd make suggestions and tiny changes along the way. It is a very difficult thing for an artist to take direction from a non-artist (many simply won't do it!) and Cynthia was wonderfully patient and tolerant to help us arrive at an end product that we would love in our home!

As she worked, she'd send progress pictures for approval to make sure we liked the budding work of art.


- we removed apples from the tree and altered colors a bit. She explained that the grays in the planned grout color would tone down colors at installation. It was a wonderful learning process!


Here is a final "proof" before she put the tiles on backer -


We hired Cindy and her husband to come to our house for the installation. She usually does not do this, but agreed for our project since we were having terrible issues with our GC's tiler and we didn't want these works of art ruined by poor installation. They arrived early one morning, worked all day, stayed one night in a hotel, worked the whole next day and finished. Not inexpensive, but imo we have a true work of art, as the artist intended it to be, as a result!


And, finally, here is the final result for the Tree of Life mosaic installed!


Cindy used tiny pieces of mirror in the Tree mosaic that, along with the blue tree and the Chagall-like birds, lent the mosaic a surreal/fantastical feeling.

A closer look -


This mosaic was created to compliment the Tree of Life mosaic, without being too similar. It was inspired by an actual Chagall lithograph, with the color of the vase being chosen to coordinate with the "Raven" Caesarstone countertop. The "fantasy" feeling found in the tree is not present in these sunflowers and there is no mirror used. The background mosaic beautifully makes the transition between the different feel of each main mosaic.


Here is the inspiration for the sink mosaic - I love how Cindy translated it into mosaic!


Another view of the sink mosaic -


A funny thing is, we focused so much on the two main mosaics that we didn't really focus on what the general background would look like and really LOVED what she did with the curving waves of neutral whites, grays and iridescent tiles!

Here is a long view of each total backsplash to help give the overall effect in the kitchen

Kitchen in the morning

And the stove mosaic is perpendicular to the sink mosaic -



clipped on: 11.01.2011 at 02:03 am    last updated on: 11.01.2011 at 02:04 am

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: 05.10.2011 at 11:59 am    last updated on: 09.29.2011 at 02:17 am

Unique Things/Items about your Kitchen

posted by: dodge59 on 07.11.2011 at 05:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

What is "Unique" about your kitchen?
(Please try to post pictures of the Unique Item/Items).

After the Lady said "She wished she had seen my Bay Window before she bought the garden window", I figgered maybe it's
a good idea to post some of the unique features of your kitchen, that way maybe someone else will see it, and not have regrets, not having done what you did.

Many of us here, tend to "Think outta the box" and we might as well share our "Inspirational Ideas"----What ya all thinks about that???

I will get some pics of my unique items, Curved Granite,
Curved cupboard doors, etc etc and be back and post the pics.

Meanwhile, I figgered I give you Guys/Gals a head start on this thread!!




clipped on: 07.22.2011 at 03:39 am    last updated on: 07.22.2011 at 03:39 am

RE: drawer dividers, organizers, shelf liner? (Follow-Up #31)

posted by: joan2121 on 04.06.2011 at 01:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thank you for all the advice on custom drawers. I ordered the wrong size brass things from Lee Valley. I already had the wood so my husband made these by using small nails and his nail gun (I think). Anyway, they came out great! Thanks for the inspiration! I put all my stuff on the counter and he customized the whole thing. BTW, it was WAY cheap! Maybe $12 for the wood! and Lee Valley took back the stuff I bought- no problem.


clipped on: 06.23.2011 at 09:38 pm    last updated on: 06.23.2011 at 09:38 pm

RE: My dream kitchen is crumbling down around my head. (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: rosieo on 05.12.2011 at 09:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

1. Never worry about stuff at night. Take the worries out of your head at night and pick them up in the morning. Problems that seem unsolvable at night often really do get better after a good nights sleep and fresh eyes.

2. In the middle of my last kitchen remodel when I was stressing over the countertops, my husband had a heart attack followed by emergency bypass surgery. It was amazing how little the stupid kitchen mattered anymore.

If you don't have to go visit your husband or child in the hospital, jail, or rehab - get down on your knees and thank your lucky stars that a stupid kitchen is your biggest problem in life.

3. Remind me of this when I vent next week, lol. It does feel like you've got one hand on a runaway train. You can't let go but you sure don't enjoy the ride. You just gotta keep running. This part will be over like a bad dream, but your beautiful new kitchen will be there for a long time.

Hang in there!


clipped on: 06.23.2011 at 04:53 am    last updated on: 06.23.2011 at 04:53 am

Are air gaps necessary on a dishwasher? How do you avoid it?

posted by: brianadarnell on 04.18.2011 at 01:51 pm in Kitchens Forum

My dishwasher's installation guide references the possibility of an air gap. How do you know if you will need one or not?

I dread the thought of an air gap that would change the look of my siligranit super single.

How do you avoid needing an air gap?


clipped on: 05.15.2011 at 03:15 am    last updated on: 05.15.2011 at 03:16 am

RE: Hidden Gems (Follow-Up #42)

posted by: bob_cville on 07.30.2009 at 11:36 am in Kitchens Forum

On the inside of our upper pantry cabinet, I mounted a sheet of metal to use as a magnetic post-it board, rather than having the new fridge covered with magnets and notes and stuff.

On the back side of our angled peninsula, we have a large decorative panel that looks like the cabinet doors. Rather than just nailing or screwing the panel to the back of the peninsula cabinet, I attached it with accuride cabinet slides so that it can slide to the side exposing the triangular gap between the cabinets along the wall and the peninsula cabinet, which can be used as additional "secret" storage.

Also because there was no room for a broom closet in the new kitchen, I made one just around the corner from the kitchen in the living room.
However having a normal door there would have looked really out of place. So this is the solution I came up with:


clipped on: 05.11.2011 at 04:11 am    last updated on: 05.11.2011 at 04:11 am

RE: Kitchen Blackboards - Love them or hate them? (Follow-Up #37)

posted by: laurainlincoln on 04.30.2011 at 06:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

This is a timely post! We finally found one that we liked - it has a sliding chalkboard and a bulletin board. It is just around the corner from the kitchen hall behind our kitchen in the mud room - I see it when I come in from the garage and it is a great reminder of everything coming up during the week (and beyond) - it has been a good addition for us.

(wow - I need to put away some coats!)



clipped on: 05.08.2011 at 03:08 am    last updated on: 05.08.2011 at 03:08 am

RE: granite fabricator in Los Angeles? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: rem1970 on 04.04.2011 at 04:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

I ended up going with Anaheim Stoneworks and was very pleased with them.


clipped on: 04.28.2011 at 03:32 am    last updated on: 04.28.2011 at 04:09 am

RE: Pantry cold feet: can you help me plan mine? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: zelmar on 02.27.2011 at 01:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

aliris19, thank you so much for your reply.

I misread your original post (too much was going on around me.) I got too darned excited about jars and posted before taking the time to understand your situation.

I was wondering how the natural food stores dealt with the moth problem. Thank you for the info about bay leaves.

One solution for cans is to have shallower drawers with cans on their sides so that the labels can be read (the idea coming from pictures I've seen here of pantry roll outs with cans organized this way.)

Bagged items are best held by drawers so it doesn't seem like you should have any concerns there. Will you also have to think about tall boxed items, i.e. cereal, when planning the heights of the drawers?

It might be helpful if you posted drawings of your thoughts for the pantry. As best as I can envision, it seems like you are on the road to a very pretty and functional space.

beckysharp--our lids are kept in the top 2 drawers just to right of the coffeemaker in the picture linked below. We keep some of our empty jars in the cabinet above. We're in the process of adding another shelf to the cabinet above to make empty jar storage better.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drawers for lids


clipped on: 02.28.2011 at 01:40 am    last updated on: 02.28.2011 at 01:40 am

Finished-Cherry with Cambria and Built-In Nook

posted by: vtlakehouse on 02.27.2011 at 08:30 pm in Kitchens Forum

Our kitchen remodel was completed on Friday! It looks great and I want to thank all that provided input to my postings as we worked through the many decisions.

Our kitchen is quite small with an adjoining breakfast nook. To open the space up, we had a custom built-in made for the nook seating and added a pantry/message center for more storage.

Photobucket0kitchen/5.jpg" border="0"



The highlights:

Norcraft cherry cabinetry with harvest stain and chocolate glaze
Cambria Nottingham
Delta Addison faucet
Ticor S405 sink
Restoration Hardware Quincy knobs
Backsplash is Walker Zenger Moda Mosaic in Mahogany
Kenmore Elite OTR micro
Kichner halogen UCL
Overhead lighting from Lamps Plus

American Cherry floors
Other Kenmore Elite appliances

Now on the hunt for a custom table to match!


clipped on: 02.28.2011 at 01:30 am    last updated on: 02.28.2011 at 01:30 am

Finished - Before/After pictures (finally!)

posted by: mysterymachine on 03.01.2008 at 04:45 pm in Kitchens Forum


This one gives you a better idea of how tight it was in the actual kitchen - if the fridge was open and the oven was open at same time there wasn't enough room for a person between

The wall that was removed:

Sorry I couldn't find any pictures of the dining room "before" it was just a plain carpeted rectangular room.

Now for the good stuff.. the after!

I have to mention that many of the after pictures were taken by the GC's photographer and are copyrighted so cannot be used without permission (he said I had to say that before I posted the pics).

The dining table and chairs we had before. All the design was done by me with lots of help from gardenweb - especially on the layout (at first my DW didn't trust me to do it and wanted to hire a designer but I think I did really well) the exceptions are the acrylic in the dining room was designed by my GC and the cabinets in the dining I gave general layout to the cabinet folks but they did the finished design (kitchen cabs I did all the design/layout). I used google sketchup for all the design.

The structural changes were removing the dining wall and bumping back just the chunk of the wall behind the wall ovens a couple feet. I also added a pocket door into the opening from the TV room to the kitchen as well (the last of the "before" pictures is taken from where the pocket door was put in).

There are so many details I could spend an hour typing them and still leave something out - so instead if you have any questions ask and I will respond :) One thing not noticeable in the pics is the cupboard on the right in the dining cabs is actually a beverage fridge. There is pullout trash+recycle in both the kitchen and dining.

And people always ask about the diswasher, yes its an 18" dishwasher, and they always ask why I went for a small one - becuase its the only way I could get the layout I wanted with the dishwasher to the left of the sink and where I could unload the whole dishwasher without moving my feet. The efficiency in loading/unloading more than makes up for the extra loads I have to run. Its a Miele with the silverware tray and I would estimate I only lose about 20% capacity compared to my old dishwasher.

The backsplash was done by my brother, its completely custom cut (as in he had a pile of leftover slab of rock from some other jobs of his and he cut all the peices to the exact size so it would be 2 tiles high on point). I bought the fossils on ebay over a 3 month period or so.

What's sad is the granite is the highlight of the kitchen and none of these pictures show it well. If you look close on the 3rd picture there you can see that it has black streaks and the picture with the sink you can see dark streaks there as well (in that area the streaks are dark grey)

Any questions? :)


clipped on: 02.22.2011 at 03:41 am    last updated on: 02.22.2011 at 03:41 am

RE: Kenmore HE4T F/L or F/11 or F/DL error codes (Follow-Up #82)

posted by: davidghe4t on 01.15.2009 at 02:24 pm in Laundry Room Forum

Hi there!

Thanks to everyone here I did the fix myself 2 weeks ago and it went great!

I took photos and created a step by step guide with hi-res images to help anyone else who's trying to fix this annoying problem.

You should know too - I've never touched a circuit board before in my life so this fix is EASY!

Here is a link that might be useful: Fixing HE4t F11 Error Code


clipped on: 02.18.2011 at 04:02 am    last updated on: 02.18.2011 at 04:02 am

RE: Kenmore HE4T F/L or F/11 or F/DL error codes (Follow-Up #63)

posted by: pghturbo88 on 01.01.2008 at 12:04 pm in Laundry Room Forum

The end of 2007 brought membership to the "elite" fraternity known as HE3t F11/Fdl code ownership. I replaced the latch ( -- good price and fast delivery) but problem continued intermittently.

I followed the advice posted earlier, and touched up all of the solder on the relay pins (the two white Omrons, and the black Omron on the far right.) I also popped the covers off of the white Omrons, and cleaned carbon from the contact on the right hand relay (the one that fires the latch) Reinstalled board without top cover. Right relay throws nice arc when firing lock and unlock solenoids. Probably will replace this in the future. Problem has not come back as of yet. Will keep all posted. It appears that they use the black Omron to switch one leg of the filtered power, but I do not see why. They obviously did it for a reason, so I will not bypass or modify it. Anyway, I think that the black Omron was my problem, as I could hear the white relay "click" when it tried to lock the latch.

Easiest way to check latch operation is via the diagnostic mode (complete directions in the tech sheet that can be found by removing the bottom panel, and it is packaged on the right hand wall.) Select any wash setting, select DRAIN and SPIN, then select NO SPIN. Hit PREWASH four times within five seconds, and see C:00 come up on display. Latch should lock. Hit Cancel before C:01 comes up, and latch should unlock. (You can cycle all the way up to C:08 and check all of the functions, but I was only interested in the latch operation.)


clipped on: 02.18.2011 at 03:40 am    last updated on: 02.18.2011 at 03:40 am

RE: Kenmore HE4T F/L or F/11 or F/DL error codes (Follow-Up #41)

posted by: thenotoriousflavio (Guest) on 02.24.2007 at 10:04 pm in Laundry Room Forum

THE problem is the solder on the contacts on the board. The board is a very cheap design. In order to fix it you need to add a little solder (preferalbly solder with some silver from radio shack) to each contact on the board where the harness connects. You have to disconnect all the wires from the white box (MCU), remove the MCU, open the MCU and remove the board. Heat up the contact point for each harness connection on the TOP AND BOTTOM OF BOARD and add a thin layer of solder. While your underneath the board RESOLDER THE RELAY SOLDER POINTS FOR ALL THE RELAYS. The soft solder is suspect at these points.

The solution explains why adding a new board may work, adding a new harness may work, why the error codes are sporadic, why the F11 may occur during heavy or unbalanced loads, the white relay by the larger components (the DoorLock Relay)may start to show carbon scoring, why your door lock may buzz when engaging, why just taking the MCU out and putting it back in may work (or may cause more trouble), etc. etc. All because of poor contact between the harness and the board.


clipped on: 02.17.2011 at 10:35 pm    last updated on: 02.18.2011 at 03:22 am

RE: replace MW & toaster oven with advantium or speed oven? (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: plllog on 07.11.2010 at 10:03 pm in Appliances Forum

You don't need much depth at all, really. My own drawer is bigger than need be. I have two trays, one grill tray, and one glass. (Mine came with the extra solid tray, but I don't know if all models do.) All together, with none in the oven, they're about exactly 2" stacked. The wire rack is another fraction of an inch, so 3" deep (interior) would be plenty. If you are planning a deep drawer under your oven stack, you could put a ROTS inside it (Roll Out Tray Shelf) to hold them, which would use up less vertical space than an exterior drawer, though it would mean opening two things to get at them. Because you'll need to have some cabinetry (i.e., wood) between the Advantium and the oven, you could also put a drawer between, and might actually save an inch or two in total.

I'm assuming you're intending to put the Advantium on top since it doesn't really like being mounted low. It does have a drop down door, so make sure that you don't mount it too high for safety and ease.

The trays are more than 16" in diameter. The wire rack is 13" wide.

They'd also be fine in a 3" slot if you have a vertical tray cupboard handy, but I wouldn't want to put the glass tray on end without a solid divider, rather than a half height or wire one.

One caution, I totally get saving the three inches, but it does look like 27" ovens are on their way out, so if you can at all do it, it might be good to make sure you can refit with a 30" should one die some years down the way.


clipped on: 02.14.2011 at 03:02 am    last updated on: 02.14.2011 at 03:02 am

RE: Wood island countertop with kids? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: roco0101 on 02.02.2011 at 10:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

OMG, it would be awesome to have "kid" dings in something you use every day. If you have company and it bothers you, toss a table cloth over it. Otherwise, enjoy the memories.

I just painted my hallway. There was a "punch" in the drywall about 4 inches up from the floor - not bad. I was gonna patch it but I remembered when my son's best friend was using our treadmill in the office. He got it going too fast, it flang (that's a real word) him backwards, he hit one wall in the hall and richochted into the other wall, head first. That was 15 years ago. I was gonna frame it, just for kicks...."Josh was here." We love the memory as he died in a car crash 4 years ago.

I have a 3' X 3' X 3' solid maple butcher block, used in 1890, full of dents, dings and divots, between the kitchen and the dining room. Even people new to my home (with a really nice sitting area in the living room), grab a dining room chair and gather there. As long as they keep their fingers out of my chopping place, it's all good.

I have a couple of pieces of rustic, primitive barn board tables with doggie chews on the corner when the pups were teething. I have a wooden vegetable box that was my son's first cradle (long story there) that is turned long ways and holds a $500.00 Mill Creek piece. I have a 1930's wooden breakfast table that still has ciggie burns on it from where my grandpa fell asleep during Happy Hour. A hand forged, iron, tree pull thingie that loggers used, hangs on the fireplace mantel. I don't know the story behind that but our best friend found it up in the Oregon mountains while hunting, only the T end was sticking out of the ground and it's 10 feet long. "Roco, I just knew you would love this." "Thanks, Jim." (mud, dirt, leaves, probably a dead animal, all attached) I think of him every time I try to dust it.

Now, I'm sorta learning to like that sippie cup drip stain from my granddaughter on the pine dining table. I could get it out but I don't want to.

Enjoy every ding, stain, and imperfection. Live large.


clipped on: 02.03.2011 at 12:41 am    last updated on: 02.03.2011 at 12:41 am

RE: Can A Miele Oven Owner Pls. Explain Surround Mode? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: rococogurl on 01.27.2011 at 06:27 pm in Appliances Forum

It would be so nice if Miele produced a competent oven manual with explanations about how to use the cooking modes that made sense or more accessible user information on their website. These questions come up again and again here.

Anything they say that's working for anyone is fine with me. I'm happy to share what works in my kitchen with my oven.

Lucypwd - For crusty yeast breads or rolls, pizza, calzone, two-crust [apple pie, above] or lattice pies or cobblers I use intensive. I have a pizza stone and use that for pizza and certain breads, also on intensive and I preheat the stone for 40-45 mins. Since many yeast breads are glazed or misted during baking, I don't find the fan to be a problem.

When I do the no-knead Sullivan St Bakery bread [above] in the Le Creuset casserole I preheat and bake with intensive. Again 40-45 mins.

For more delicate baked goods such as cookies, quick breads, angel food cake, bundt cake, brownies I use convection bake. For more delicate blind-baked single-crust
pie (my fresh strawberry pie) and french fruit tarts or doughs with high fat content but not much to cook in the center I also use convection bake.

Auto roast is a super mode that I also use a lot. It jump-starts the oven by heating with the top element until it gets up to temperature. That one saves a step for recipes where the oven starts hotter and then gets turned down. I find it does a great job on chicken.


clipped on: 01.28.2011 at 01:04 am    last updated on: 01.28.2011 at 01:04 am

RE: Vent hood poll. (Follow-Up #31)

posted by: teachmkt on 09.30.2010 at 02:50 pm in Appliances Forum

I can emphasize with people's concerns over hood loudness. However, given that people may be making brand and cost decisions about hoods based on these postings, it's important readers understand the magnitude of the pseudo science and misinformation being used to justify different loudness claims. Going back to the original post, had the "real scoop" been accurate that a 1db increment resulted in a degree of magnitude change in sound level, we'd all be born deaf. Other than a very diplomatic audiologist's post to pointing out the misinterpretations, there hasn't been a lot of accepted technical information forthcoming in the hood loudness debate. I think Davidro1 may be touching on similar points to mine, but I'm not sure of and don't want to interpret someone else's post.

1.There are no objective measures of subjective phenomena. Period. If something has an agreed upon objective measure, it's an objective phenomena. Measures of actual sound pressure (decibels) are fundamentally different than measures of perceived loudness (sones). The two cannot be equated. Sound pressure is an "objective" physical measure and loudness is a "subjective" psycho-acoustic measure. They are from different sciences with different methodologies and goals.

2.Here is a helpful metaphor for understanding the difference between sound level and loudness: if you're asked what something weighs, you can weigh it. If you're a little compulsive, you can weigh it on several scales and take the average. Unless a scale is broken, the different weights will be very close to the average and most will agree that the differences between individual measurements from the average are trivial. This is pretty much basic physical science and analogous to measuring sound pressure. However, if you're asked how heavy an object is to you, weighing it tells you nothing. You have to pick it up and render a judgment. Note that the judgment will be based on several factors: how strong you are, how you hold it, what other objects you might be comparing it to and so on. Individual differences will therefore impact significantly on overall judgments. While we can take an "average" of sorts of perceptions, individual differences from the average are important: some people will perceive the same weight as heavier or lighter than other people perceive it, and if reliable those differences are significant. In other words, what's heavier or louder to you will not be what is heavier or louder to everyone else and statements about how loud a hood is are only meaningful for you. Human perceptual systems (hearing, taste, light, temperature, pain thresholds, etc.) are remarkably complex and variable between individuals. But, if something weighs 3 pounds, it weighs 3 pounds for everybody.

3. Comparisons of the relative loudness of different brands of hoods are pretty much meaningless. Sound from a hood is a complex function of at least two different factors: the actual radiating surfaces (the hood and any surrounding surfaces that vibrate due to the hood's operation, whether or not it's a liner with a wood surround or straight metal hood, etc.) and all reflecting surfaces that redirect sound waves. This later topic has been excluded from most of the debate. For example, the placement of the hood over an island versus on a wall, the reflectivity of the surfaces immediately around the hood and the general shape and construction of the room can alter the sound amplitude and frequency reaching your ears. Where you are in the room can influence your perception of the sound. To deny this is the same as claiming that a band or orchestra will always sound the same in any venue or concert hall and in any seat. If you've ever been in a sound level testing room you can appreciate the magnitude of reflected sound: the walls, floors and ceiling are all covered with deeply shaped foam such that the only measured sound is radiated from whatever is being tested. If you appreciate live music performances, you know about differences in how the music sounds depending on where the music is played.

The only accurate comparison of different hoods that could be made is literally installing the hoods in the same kitchen designs and performing repeated loudness comparisons. Note that even different hoods within the same brand line will have different shapes and can produce different loudness levels.

4. Perhaps the most egregious example of misinformation is the contention that external (either roof or inline) blowers are quieter than internal blowers. The "experts" seem to have missed the sone data on both Fantec and VH sites. While it would be foolish to make any comparisons between reported sone levels given the above issues, that external blowers are quieter is not supported by the reported sone levels and in fact is refuted. For all reported hoods in all different sizes and CFMs, VH are quieter on 17 out of 18 reported sone levels. This doesn't at all mean that VH are quieter, it just means that available information does not support the claim that external blowers without ducting noise silencers will be perceived as quieter.

Sorry for the length of the post.


clipped on: 01.08.2011 at 05:45 am    last updated on: 01.20.2011 at 02:02 pm

RE: best value sink (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: buehl on 11.29.2010 at 03:52 am in Kitchens Forum

I don't have personal experience w/Kraus. However, we also thought some of the "name brand" sinks were priced too high and went with a more reasonable one...Ticor. Many, many people here have Ticor sinks and are very pleased with them. The majority are 16-gauge (generally better than 18- and 20-gauge), 18/10 chromium/nickel stainless steel, have sound deadening padding, have a brushed finish, and include a strainer and sink grid for each bowl. There's also a custom cutting board for many of the sinks available for a very reasonable price if purchased w/the sink. (The cutting board is wasn't available when I bought my sink. The price isn't so reasonable if you purchase it separately...which is why I don't have one!)

Here's mine and a link to it on

Main Sink Closeup

BTW...the "easy maintenance corners" are the rounded corners. The "zero-radius" sinks are the ones with the "sharp" corners.

Here is a link that might be useful: Galaxy Tool Supply: Ticor S405D Undermount 16 G SS Double-Bowl Kitchen Sink


clipped on: 01.06.2011 at 02:07 pm    last updated on: 01.08.2011 at 01:29 pm

Prepping - please riff on what and how...

posted by: aliris19 on 12.23.2010 at 03:15 am in Kitchens Forum

I am thinking about how I use a prep sink, even more generally how I prep. Can you tell me what you do please?

As far as choosing a prep sink goes, I understand that bigger is better, or at least too-small is inadequate. And too-small is probably anything under 12" or so.

But beyond that... I am having a very difficult time imagining how or what little additions to a big bowl (for prep work) might be helpful. Would a drainboard just limit one's flexibility of use? Is Blanco's "cascade" ledge similarly just fussy -- limiting utility in the end? Or does a focused use of space improve utility? Are colanders as drain-devices for veggies or fruit always useless, devolving into dish-drying racks? Or is this a function of my particular drainer or just habit?

As for cleanup sinks -- are double bowls actually needed? I've always had them, always feel they're useful -- and yet when I scrutinize my habits, I think I almost always don't use the second sink. I'll have a plastic dishpan with water in it to soak dishes, but then everyone else will just run water over the dishes to rinse them even though they could have just used the soaking water. I almost never close up a bowl and just wash in that water -- I'll utilize an already-dirty pan as ad hoc dish bowl, making it do double duty as soaker... what about you? Is a second bowl important for cleanup or just to enable prep and cleanup simultaneously?

Why is this so hard? I *know* that "only I can decide, from knowledge of my own work habits", etc, etc... but I'm wondering whether anyone has a story to share about their thinking process and understanding of their work habits that led to some clarification of what sink features turn out to be helpful for them.



clipped on: 01.06.2011 at 10:20 pm    last updated on: 01.06.2011 at 10:21 pm