Clippings by angela12345

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RE: What is your oops? (Follow-Up #51)

posted by: angela12345 on 03.05.2014 at 11:15 am in Kitchens Forum

Did not plan properly for storage of my skillets. The 12" pans will not fit vertical / on their edge in the 12" drawer (the actual clearance of this drawer is 10.5"). So instead I have them stacked in the bottom of the other 12" drawer. Arrrggh. The drawers in this cabinet are 6-12-12. Drawers of 6-9-15 would have been much better for me. In my defense, I had not bought the pans yet when the cabinets were ordered, haha. All of the other pans fit nicely stored on their edges. At least I know I have a lot of company on this one. I see several upthread with the same oops.

I wish I had planned a longer kitchen window. It sits about 12" above my counter height. When the house was being built, I could see out just fine when I could walk right up to it. But now that I am 2 feet away from it because of the base cabinets, I cannot see my driveway, the street, or even any of my neighbor's driveway across the street. I would like to be able to see when people drive up in the driveway of my house. I have to walk into the other room to look out another window. I'm 5'3"... others who are taller can see more than I can. (Our kitchen is on the top floor of our house, which is the equivalent to being on the 3rd or 4th floor in height)

Not in my kitchen, but in the dining room right next to the kitchen ...
I wish I had known that the clear opening of my 5 foot sliding glass door to the deck is only 23.5". For soooooo many reasons ... a wheelchair won't fit thru the door, living room sofas wouldn't fit thru it, etc. In the architectural design program I was using, the default width of a sliding door is 5 foot. I never even thought to question it. And also, I assumed that would give me a 30" opening.

I have deeper upper cabinets on one wall in my kitchen, but not on the other walls. There is one other spot that I wish I had chosen a slightly deeper cabinet, even 12.25" would have been enough to store my 3 largest mixing bowls. As it is, a couple of them touch the door on the inside and just barely keep it from closing fully. It would have been no extra charge to have it deeper, I just didn't think of it (UltraCraft allows changes in 1/16" increments to height width and depth at no extra charge).

I am very glad we went with 15" deep uppers on the other side of the kitchen. They are deep enough that I can store my large canning / crab steamer pot up on the top shelf. Also they are deep enough for my glasses to be 4 rows deep and my cereal bowls to be 2 rows deep.

I wish I had planned ahead the space under my sink so I could have had a larger trash can there than just a little dinky bathroom size can. i.e. how deep is the sink, where in the sink are the drains located, which side the disposal would go on, how the pipes would run. Right now, trash can is in a different location, not in a cabinet. : (

The electrician must have mis-measured - he installed the outlet for the over cabinet lights too low on one side of the kitchen but it wasn't noticed until the upper cabinets were installed. So the outlet ended up being inside the upper cabinet. I wasn't here the day they installed the upper cabinets on that wall and the cabinet guy cut a hole in the upper back of that cabinet for the outlet. Glass front cabinets. Oops ! It might still end up ok. I now have an outlet inside the glass cabinet for lights in there, which I hadn't previously planned for lights in there. Eventually, I will get an electrician out here and have him piggyback another outlet above the cabinet to that outlet.

I wish I had thought of asking for shorter toe kicks to give more space up inside the base cabinets. An extra inch or two would have come in handy in that skillet drawer !!

I wish I had recessed the outlet behind the range so it could push back further, closer to the wall.

We are also using the Lee Valley channel dividers to customize our drawer organization. Yay !!


clipped on: 08.13.2014 at 05:37 pm    last updated on: 08.13.2014 at 05:37 pm

RE: Any install advice for fire and ice? (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: jodi_in_so_calif on 06.10.2010 at 10:17 am in Kitchens Forum

Heard back from my wonderful installer. Here is what she had to say about how she set my F&I.

Just a note: Once the tile was installed, she asked me to take a look and make sure I was happy with the color/texture balance. I took blue painter's tape and marked the tile pieces I didn't particularly care for. She then swapped them out with another piece the next morning.

"We installed your project with Custom's Stone set mortar [Thin set specific for stone]. This mortar is white and only comes in white. Stone and glass is never set with grey mortar. Also we do not use quick set as it dries to quickly. The glass pieces that were changed out for the strong colored ones may not have had netting on them. Also you had us switch a few of the other colors they may not have had net on them as well. When pieces are taken from the field mosaic they are cut out and changed.

It was a true pleasure doing your beautiful kitchen. Loved the new picture will have to add it to my website. Thank you so much for sending it. Haven't updated my site for several years and have done so many gorgeous jobs that need to go on it. Lots of glass. Never use a quick set on anything. It dries too quickly and can release down the line. Also stone should be sealed before grouting. Especially the material like yours as it is porous and grout leaves a film on it that cannot be removed but leaves it murky."


Jeffrey Court's - Chapter 9 Pietra Opus - Quartz Brick Fire & Ice (note: Quartz not Slate and Brick not Square) 11.75 x 10.5 per tile (not 12x12)

When I called Coliseum Tile in CA, they quoted me 13.65 per sheet minus 15% discount = 11.60 per sheet plus shipping. I remember pudgybaby saying one time they charged her 11.25 per sheet for 40 sheets, but don't remember how long ago that was. I know kristine_2009 said that Tiles International quoted her 12.15, but don't remember if that was per sheet or per sf. And chris45ny said that Tiles International charged her 12.09 per sheet for 30 sheets. favabeans5:Ceren at Pacific Flooring & Stone, Inc. (510)-536-5090.
5 sheets in each box / each box weighs 17lbs
I ended up getting 70 sheets at $10 per sheet plus $195 shipping.

Some F & I kitchens to search out: jodi_in_so_calif, morton5, berryberry, jsol, poorowner, kristine_2009, chris45ny, pudgybaby, mofojoy (aka moniqua, monica, I think), buehl, marissa_dc, boysrus2, gozalyn, favabeans5, neverdunn, katie_lou, kritter_2010, kathylquiltz, blewgo, jan01tx, chikat, travelbel, jem199, toni_ne
MAYBE these people also used it: irish_eyes_13, kks_kitchen, flyleft, dallasmaverick, ViennaHoosie, ammie805, lrmax, dredre, keband3boys, rufinorox, ksoxgrl, chiommy, katrine822,
manufacturer is Keen Ocean - color 2116 -

Vista 2x2 (1-5/8")

1-5/8" Replacement tile color names: High Tea, Root Beer, Peach Tea, Burnt Umber, TIG2116, Light Brown, Illusion Brown, Cocoon(Iridescent Black), Copper, The Jeffrey Court rep says the Copper Canyon has the dark amber tiles. Jeffrey Court now has replacement tiles available in Glacier Bay (90098) Provence (90096) Dark Amber (90095) - website says 2x2 - need to make sure they are actually 1-5/8" not 2".

kks_kichen - purchased clear tiles and painted them with peblo vitrea non toxic paint inside my oven. I have got indian red with looks to be a perfect Garnet. This particular one is called brilliant glossy. You clean clear tile with alcohol and wipe clean. You paint one or both sides. I painted both. I painted more than 1 coat because I wanted a dark effect. Not translucent. I didn't want to chance that the mesh would show through. You can paint and bake up to 3 times. It's non-toxic. Like what you paint wine glasses with. It makes the paint permanent. I did purple, hot pink, and indian red. It's hard to tell the color inside the bottle. I stuck with indian red which is garnet.

neverdunn:I didn't get the pencil pieces from Jeffrey Court. I bought them from Cancos (a local tiles place in NY). They had some greyish/greenish/tannish slate that matched well. They were about $5-$6 for 6 inch pieces.

Viable grout colors -- delorean gray, quartz, natural gray: all from custom bldg. products (Jodi_in_so_calif used Custom Building Products sanded grout, color: Quartz) -- natural grey, marble beige sanded from laticrete. -- delorean gray, light pewter from TEC. custom blend unsanded in bone. What I learned - Laticrete grout mixes up and ends up way lighter than the sample. TEC's grout mixes up darker than the sample but after the sponging you do end up fine. TEC's delorean gray is #934 and the light pewter is #927. (note from jodi:Had I actually chosen the grout (which I don't recall doing), I probably would have picked Delorian Grey. I think the Quartz is a bit too pink.) morton5:used Kashmir grout. CAULK at very bottom where granite meets tile not grout - caulk color to match grout?

Advice-the grout does stick to the quartz pieces and isn't as easy to remove as it is from the glass squares. Have something to get the grout out of the many stone crevices. morton5:You definitely must seal the tile before grouting, otherwise the grout haze will not come off the tile. You will also want to reseal after the haze is removed, so that the grout is sealed. Berryberry:About 5 minutes after I applied Miracle 511 - I had my daughter wipe each glass square with a clean cloth to remove any of the sealer on the glass

Recommend seal before grouting and after. (note: I do not like "enhanced" as much - like it only "sealed" better - morton5 & neverdunn enhanced their fire & ice) Rhome410:The sealer I used is from Home Depot. It's called Super Seal: Ultimate Penetrating Sealer. Lucretzia:I read on Gw about Miracle 511 imgregnator being great, but on the John Bridge site as not being good because people don't know how to use. Pudgybaby used Stonetech Heavy Duty Sealer. Jodi_in_so_calif used 511 as well. Chris45ny:Used Aqua Mix Sealer's Choice Gold,

White thinset most often used. Thinset instead of mastic (full cure 28 days). Grout on day 3.

I plan on cutting out the clear glass tiles to remove the mesh backing so it won't show when installed. I'm also going to replace some of the glass with burnt umber/root beer glass tiles. I don't plan to enhance. Someone (can't remember who) posted that you could only see the mesh behind the clear glass tiles if you went up close to the backsplash. The white thinset will not completely hide the mesh according to this person. Pudgybaby's contractor used white thinset and did NOT remove the mesh behind the glass pieces and they can see it on some of the glass pieces (maybe 1/3 of the peach and clear pieces). Berryberry:instead of white thinset - I used grey - which gave a slight grey undertone to the clear glass a little (tested a few samples first and liked it)

poorowner also recommended using drywall screws and tape to hold everything up as you're doing the install.

This is what my GC recommends for the ends: cutting some quartzite pieces out (long ones) and running them vertically, to kind of give it a finished edge - does this make sense? I am hoping to photoshop this idea up this weekend to see how I like it. I should note that we don't have any kind of pencil liner or anything like that to finish off the tops and ends (that's why he made that recommendation). I also like what jodi did with hers, letting the ends stagger off slowly.

Berryberry:Lessons I learned. First, take your time and follow the instructions Bill V has laid out. Second, use the right tools. I purchased an inexpensive 7" wet saw from Harbor Freight for $49 (including the blade). It cut like a champ and was easy to use. I also mentioned on another thread - get the couple dolor 'perfect bead" caulk tool. When you caulk between the tile and the granite or cabinets, use this tool to give you a great lookings caulk line. Third, lay out the tile (at least a row at a time) on a table / island and make sure it fits well and elements match up like you want them to (for instance, I didn't want 2 glass squares right next to each other in the same row). Fourth, a paint mixing attachement that attaches to a drill helps a lot when mixing your thinset and grout. Fifth, I was worried initially about measuring precisely when mixing the lightweight thinset and grout - but after starting using it found I probably went to light on the liquid and added more till the consistency just felt and looked right. Finally, seal the stone before you grout - it will help a lot with releasing the grout from the stone face.

"grocery list" of the supplies used?
-Grout (sand or unsanded?)
-Tile saw
-Thinset, what specific brand and such?
-Spacers, what size?
-Miracle 511 Impregnator
-Dolor 'perfect bead' caulk tool

clipped on: 01.12.2012 at 02:08 pm    last updated on: 10.09.2013 at 01:10 am

RE: Vitamin - please rate presets (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: angela12345 on 06.25.2013 at 09:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

At the low speed (variable speed 1), the 5200 and others with the 2hp motor goes much slower than the Pro 750 at variable speed 1 with the 2.2hp motor and the longer blades in the wide base container. So it chops at a slower speed, which I read to mean chopped and not "blended". You can try using variable speed 1 and pulse on the 750 so you don't end up over processing.

5200, 5200c, 5200s, Creations I, Creations II, Creations GC, CIA Professional Series, Pro 200, Total Nutrition Center, TurboBlend VS, etc. are all basically the same 2hp machine with different names.

The Pro 500 and the 6300 are those 2hp machines with pre-set buttons, they also have pulse.

Pro 300, Pro 750, Creations Elite, and the 7500 (The "Next Generation" Machines) all have the same motor base. The Creations Elite comes with a 48 oz. container, the others come with the short/squat 64 oz wider bottom container. The Pro 750 has pre-sets. These all have the 2.2hp motor that is supposed to be quieter (suspended motor design).
Regarding the ones with the short 64oz container, you would need to buy an extra. wet container with the smaller bottom (for example, the 32oz) because the bigger bottomed container doesn't do well with recipes under 2 cups. The 32 oz. does great with recipes that go down to as little as 3/4 of a cup and one cup recipes like mayonnaise, pesto, salad dressings, and marinades. Plus it is easier to get these smaller batches out of it, because the sides are not so high.

I think it is the "next generation" machine where the fan runs during all of the variable speeds, or that may be the Pro 500 and the 6300. The Pro 750 has 2 additional presets (puree and clean) along with pulse.

A lot of the model numbers have to do with which cookbook the blender comes with, which containers, and sometimes where it is sold. (for example 5200S and 6300 are both Costco models)

Note the difference in the dry container and the wet container ... the wet container pulls things down into the blades, the dry container blows them up out of the blades. So if you were blending almonds, the wet container would be best for almond butter, while the dry container would be best for almond flour.

For the wet containers, in addition to the 64oz tall (standard container), they make a 32oz and a 48oz. Also, there is a 64oz short that I do not think is available to purchase separately, it only comes with the Next Generation machines. In the dry, there is only the 32oz. Most any of the shorter containers are better for sitting under your cabinets. I think you can get any additional container for $100 within 30 days of your VM purchase.

Note: this is all information I learned & saved from others. My machine is not this newest model.


Just as an FYI, I can get anyone who wants a Vitamix free shipping plus two more freebies(!) on any VM ordered from the manufacturer (new or reconditioned). Send me a private message from 'My Page' above if interested.

The 'reconditioned' machine saves a ton. I think these are machines that have been returned under their 30 day guarantee. They come with brand new containers, lids, tampers, etc. Go to the Vitamix website (, and hover over Shop Products, then click on Specials towards the right to see the reconditioned units. You can click on each one to read about them. I can get free shipping for you whether it is a new or reconditioned unit.

clipped on: 09.30.2013 at 01:41 pm    last updated on: 09.30.2013 at 01:42 pm

RE: Chosing a backsplash with black granite counters (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: angela12345 on 01.16.2012 at 06:10 pm in Kitchens Forum

The name of our house is "A Pirates Life", so of course we chose the Black Pearl granite !! Our cabinets are cherry with a chestnut stain. We are going with Fire & Ice as our backsplash, so our look will be very similar to jodi_in_so_calif (top picture). Here are a few different looks with the same Fire & Ice tile (some substituted different color glass pieces, some enhanced the tile others did not) ...


clipped on: 09.30.2013 at 01:34 pm    last updated on: 09.30.2013 at 01:35 pm

Easy Propagation Chamber

posted by: little_dani on 10.05.2005 at 08:34 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

I make a little propagation chamber that is so easy, and so reliable for me that I thought I would share the idea. I have not seen one like it here, and I did look through the FAQ, but didn't find one there either. I hope I did not miss it, and I hope I do not offend anyone by being presumptive in posting this here.

That said....

This is what you will need.
A plastic shoebox, with a lid. They come in various sizes, any will do.

Soil less potting mix, half peat, half perlite, or whatever is your favorite medium.
A little clay pot, with the drain hole plugged with caulking or silicone. If this is a new pot, scrub it with some steel wool to be sure it doesn't have a sealer on it. You want the water to seep through it.
Rooting hormone powder or liquid, or salix solution from the willow tree.
Plant material, snippers. I am going to pot some Plectranthus (a tall swedish ivy) and a Joseph's Coat, 'Red Thread'. I already have some succulents rooted in this box. I will take them out and pot them up later, DH has a new cacti pot he wants to put them in.
You can see here, I hope, that I fill the clay pot to the top with rain water, well water, or distilled water. I just don't use our tap water, too much chlorine and a ph that is out of sight.

I pour a little of the hormone powder out on a paper plate or a piece of paper, so that I don't contaminate the whole package of powder. And these little 'snippers' are the best for taking this kind of cuttings.

This is about right on the amount of hormone to use. I try to get 2 nodes per cutting, if I can. Knock off the excess. It is better to have a little too little than to have too much.
Then, with your finger, or a pencil, or stick, SOMETHING, poke a hole in the potting mix and insert your cutting. Pull the potting mix up around the cutting good and snug.

When your box is full, and I always like to pretty much fill the box, just put the lid on it, and set it in the shade. You don't ever put this box in the sun. You wind up with boiled cuttings. YUK!

Check the cuttings every few days, and refill the reservoire as needed. Don't let it dry out. If you happen to get too wet, just prop the lid open with a pencil for a little while.
This is a very good method of propagation, but I don't do roses in these. The thorns just make it hard for me, with my big fingers, to pack the box full. All kinds of other things can be done in these. Just try it!



clipped on: 08.14.2013 at 09:45 am    last updated on: 08.14.2013 at 09:46 am

RE: Please help me with glazing my painted cabinets(a href='http: (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: never_ending on 01.29.2008 at 08:47 pm in Paint Forum

I just glazed my painted kitchen cabinets. I only washed them first I did not sand them. Most of what I read said not to sand so I didn't. You would not want the glaze to settle in the fine scratches sanding would leave. It was a very easy process, much easier than painting.

I used a gel stain on mine. It was thick and heavy like a pudding and did not run. But I think it will depend on the look you are going for. What color do you want to see in your crevices? I did thin the gel stain a bit for my second application but that was because I wanted more of an overall tone to my doors.

Things to remember:

A glaze sits unprotected on a cabinet, so you will need to poly.

It is very forgiving so you can wipe it off and start over. ( I did one set of cabinet doors three times in a row because I just wasn't happy with them after I stepped back to look at them, then I did get them right and moved on to the rest of them!)

You can use a glazing compound mixed with a paint of your choice and keep adding paint until you get the depth of color you are looking for.

I just finished my cabinets after painting them red,(they were once white too) Glazing was way easier than any painting, and very rewarding. I love how mine came out and have a green buffet I am considering glazing so I would love to know how yours come out!

A link of glazes over paint I found helpful was General finishes. It'll give you an idea of what colors look like.

I wanted my cabinets to be more brown and wood like and re-painting in a brown would have looked to flat to me. It is one of the best DIY I have ever done, and I've done a lot!!!

Kitchen cabinets red:
Kitchen Before

Cabinets after, with two different glazes and a semi gloss poly:

Far view:

Here is a link that might be useful: glaze over paints


clipped on: 08.14.2013 at 09:00 am    last updated on: 08.14.2013 at 09:01 am

RE: Need help with initial kitchen layout (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: liriodendron on 07.02.2013 at 10:01 am in Kitchens Forum

If people in your household are right handed, the DW is better on the left of the sink

It's more efficient, with fewer changes of hand for the items during loading.



clipped on: 07.02.2013 at 10:08 am    last updated on: 07.02.2013 at 10:08 am

My "Hot" island

posted by: debrak_2008 on 01.01.2013 at 12:43 pm in Kitchens Forum

This is not a kitchen reveal but a basic 101 on heating your island granite.

I will get into why at the end.

We got the idea from Fine Home building magazine. It's basically like installing electric underfloor heating. Uses the same elements.

Built a base of 3/4" plywood. Over that a layer of metal bars and plywood, 1/4". Then a 1 1/2" decorative flexible strip was put around this base. Then heating elements wires were laid and then covered with thinset up to the edge of the trim. The granite was laid over this.

Here are some photos.

This is the base under construction.

Base in place.

Heating element.

Outlets and thermostat.


Could not get the thermostat in black.


DH tells me that Thermosoft has a new product that would have made this even easier.

Also note, our base had to be designed to support the granite. Talk to your granite fabricator/installer to see what support you would need for the granite and the heating element.

We plan to sit alot at our island and eat some meals. We find unheated granite too cold in the winter for comfort. The heat is completely adjustable. We have it programmed for different temps at different times of day. You can override it up or down at anytime.

I am not concerned about bacteria as I don't keep food directly on my counters. Spills are not harder to clean because they get "baked" on. Due to the granite pattern I find stuff everday on my granite that has been there who knows how long and everything wipes up easily.

We love it. If this granite could not be heated we would have done a wood top instead.


clipped on: 02.02.2013 at 11:03 pm    last updated on: 02.02.2013 at 11:03 pm

RE: Dream Thread! (What do you wish you had now?) (Follow-Up #33)

posted by: angela12345 on 06.03.2011 at 12:20 am in Building a Home Forum

Here are links to some of the earlier threads . . . - unique/favorite features in your build.... - Things you couldn't live without or wish you had added - What things did you find needed adjusting or changed? - is there anything you wish you had done - What about your new build makes your life easier; what doesn't ? - Brands/Products That I'd Use Again - Share your best sites for deals on supplies! - To help others - Things I would do different and things i love! - Things I wish I'd specified on my plans - It's been two years...what I've learned, would change, etc... - Biggest Mistakes? - Help!!! Have I forgotten anything? - designing electrical in house - doing whole house audio


clipped on: 01.08.2012 at 09:21 pm    last updated on: 01.27.2013 at 08:40 am

Gel stain instructions (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: celticmoon on 06.21.2008 at 01:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

Csquared, I got an email I think was from you, but it said I couldn't answer because your email is private. Ditto when I tried to email through your name here.

With apologies for the length of this, I'm just gonna paste the whole bit here for you.

You are welcome to this writeup I did a while back. A couple people tried
it and reported all went well. You just need time, maybe $50 in supplies, and
patience. No skill.

Here's more than you need to know:

My cabinets are frameless, good condition and good layout. But the finish
had gone orange and ugly, with the oak graining too busy for me. Cabinets
are 18 years old, very poorly finished oak veneered slab doors. Plain with
no crevices. They didn't even take the doors off to finish them!!! No stain
or finish on the hinge side edges.
Cheezey, huh?

I looked into changing out cabinets, but that was way too much money, since
my layout was OK. Painting didn't seem right because the doors were plain
slabs. I considered new doors but that still meant a lot of money. For a few
years I tried to figure a way to add molding toward a mission look, but the
rounded door edges made that impossible. Then trolling in a kitchen
emporium showroom this last year I noticed dark wood slab doors, kind like
mine, but darker. That was the answer.

First I tried Minwax Polyshades. Dicey product. Hard to brush on neatly,
then gummy, then seemed to leave a sticky tacky residue. I did a thread on
the Woodworking Furum "Evil Polyshades to the Rescue" which elicited a lot
of conflicting "expert" opinions and arguments that one must strip to bare
(Thread may still be around as that Forum moves slow.) I properly stripped
acres of woodwork in an old Victorian when I was young and stupid. Never
again! Jennifer-in-clyde (in the same boat) and I stumbled around on
woodworking thread to get to this method.

-electric screwdriver or screw drill bits
-mineral spirits to clean the years of gunk off the cabinet
-miracle cloths (optional)
-fine sandpaper
-box-o-disposable gloves from walgreens or the like
-old socks or rags for wiping on coats
-disposable small plastic bowls or plates, and plastic spoons or forks for
stirring/dipping (optional)
-General Finishes water base Expresso stain (pretty thick, but not quite a
gel) This one may not even be a needed step if the Java gets it dark
-General Finishes Java gel stain (poly based)
-General Finishes clear top coat (poly based)
-old sheets or plastic sheeting or newspaper

Rockler woodworking stores are a good place to find the General Finish
products. Or some larger hardware stores. Quart of each was more than
enough for my 60 doors and drawer fronts and goes for $12-14 at Rockler.
There are smaller sizes if your project is small.

You will need a place to work and leave wet doors to dry overnight - I set
up 2 spaces, garagefor sanding/cleaning and basement for staining/sealing.
Use newpaper or plastic to protect the surface and floor. Figure out how you
will prop doors to dry.
Plan blocks of 20-30-minutes for sanding/cleaning bundles of, say, 6
doors at a time. Then just 10 minute sessions to wipe on coats. The coats
will need to dry for about 24 hours, so figure that each section of the
kitchen will be doorless for 4 or 5 days. Divide the job up into manageable

Take off doors and drawer fronts. Use screw drill bits on an electric drill
if you don't have an electric srewdriver. Remove all the hardware. *Mark
alike things so you know what goes back where.*
Clean the doors thoroughly. Not with TSP but with something pretty strong
and scrub well. There's years of grease there.
Sand LIGHTLY, just a scuffing really. Just enough to break the finish and
give it some tooth, no more than a minute a door. A miracle cloth is good
for getting most of the dust off. Then wipe well with mineral spirits to
clean and get the last of the gunk off.

In order, we're gonna put on:
-General Finishes Expresso water based stain (1-2 coats) - optional
-General Finishes Java gel stain (couple coats)
-General Finishes Clear urethene gel topcoat in satin (couple coats)

But first put on work clothes, tie up your hair (Tom, you may skip this
step, LOL) and pop your phone into a baggie nearby (you know it will ring).
Glove up.
*First do a trial on the back of a door and check if Java coats alone
If the Java alone is to your liking, just skip the Expresso and return it.*
Open and stir up the Expresso stain, then spoon some into a plastic bowl.
Close the tin so it doesn't get contaminated. Slide a sock over your hand,
grab a gob of Expresso and smear it on. Wipe off the excess. Let it dry well
- overnight is good. It will lighten as it dries, but then darken again with
any other
coat or sealer. A second coat can end up with a deeper tone at the end -
though it might seem like the second coat is just dissolving the first.

Repeat with Java gel. This is thicker and poly based (*not water cleanup!*=
messier). Color is a rich dark reddish brown. Wait for the second coat to
judge if the color is deep enough for you. I wanted a very deep dark color,
like melted dark chocolate. So I went pretty heavy on these layers. *I did
not sand between coats*.

Repeat with clear gel top coat. This will give you the strength you need in
a kitchen.

Do the same process with the cabinet sides, face and toekick area. Might
need to divide that up also, and stagger the work: doors/cabinets/doors/

NOTE: The cloth or socks used for the gels are very flammable! Collect and
store them in a bucket of water as you go and then dispose of them all

I suggest you put the doors back up after one clear coat, then you can check
everything over and darken an area with more Java if needed, followed by a
clear coat. When it all looks right, go over it all again with another clear
gel coat. Or two. Install your hardware.
The feel of the finish should be wonderful, really smooth and satiny. Color
deep and rich - way nicer than that faded, beat 80's oak color.

Definitely experiment first with the back of a door or drawer front to be
sure it is the look you want. Yes, this takes a couple days to coat, dry,
recoat, dry, etc but you may discover that the Java alone does the trick and
this will save you A LOT of work. Front end patience is worth it.

This is a pretty easy project to do. Hard to screw it up. The worst is the
prep - relative to that, smearing on the coats is cake. I had over 60
pieces (big kitchen) AND island sides and book shelves, etc and I admit I
lost steam partway through. Had to push myself through the last of it. But
it was worth it. Folks think I got all new cabinets - it looks that good.
Now the finish will not be as durable as factory finish - go at it with a
Brillo pad and you WILL abrade it. But it has held up pretty well. And
after a year of pretty heavy use, I've just had a few nicks, easily

I added smashing hardware, raised my passthrough, resurfaced the Corian
(also simple but messy and tedious) and replaced the DW and sink. It looks
gorgeous to me and I really enjoy the space - how it sits all quiet, clean
and serene, then gets all crazy with the food and folks du jour. I couldn't
be happier, especially that I didn't have to work another year just to pay
for the update!!

Link to cabinets in progress:

Link to almost finished cabinet pix:

Good luck with your project!! Feel free to ask me any questions as you go.
And let me know if you try it and how it turns out.


You need bare wood for staining or oiling. And with existing cabinets, that means stripping. Like painting, overcoating with gel can be a good cosmetic fix - so long as the surface is well prepared and you are going dark enough.

Are you using general finishes brand (its better)? I found a HUGE difference between valspar or Minwax Polyshades(for example) and gf.

You will have to come up with a 'wipe on, wipe off' application method that leaves an even coat. The hard part will be moving toward the end color you want but not overshooting it. (What I did was likely easier because I went so very dark - I couldn't overshoot it) Try taking a good gob of the stuff on your (plastic gloved and socked) hand and smear it end to end, then wipe end to end. Generous gobs. Big strokes. Projctsneverend reported that sealing with a clear coat BEFORE the color gel coats helped the color be even.

here is another thread ...

And another thread ...

clipped on: 11.27.2009 at 06:27 pm    last updated on: 11.24.2012 at 08:02 am

RE: Getting started on food storage (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: grainlady on 09.27.2012 at 06:05 pm in Cooking Forum

Oh, man. I teach classes on this subject. Have in my library, or have read from the public library, WAY too many books on the subject, so it's going to be difficult giving the Cliff's Notes version (LOL).

No ONE way or method is "perfect" for everyone - so expect to do some research (check your local library for books on the subject, and there is LOTS of free information on-line - do a search on "home food storage" or "frugal home food storage") and adjust accordingly as things evolve and your personal needs, budget, and amount you want to store changes. MY food storage and yours will more than likely be two completely different things. And that's what it comes down to - not what's right or wrong, just choices.

-COMMON SENSE - Store what you use and use what you store. And hopefully you'll purchase it at the lowest possible price (that's one of the benefits of home food storage). Stock-up a variety of foods you normally use, making sure you have food from all the food groups.

If you are on a budget, designate an amount you will use specifically FOR storage. If that amount is $5, then each week find a good sale item/s to invest it in. Tuna is on sale, buy as many as you can with $5. Macaroni is on sale the next week, so buy as much as you can for $5. Up to a point that's an okay plan, but it's best to actually HAVE a plan. Without a plan you may find you don't have a good variety of foods from all the food groups.

"Experts" say - it's better to have 3-months worth of a variety of foods than have 12-months worth of rice and little else.

-BE REALISTIC - If you only use 4 of something per year, then you don't need money tied up in 10 of them. Everything goes on sale AGAIN, sooner or later. If you don't know how many you normally use/need, start dating foods with a marker when you open them to see how long they last.

In her book - A Year's Supply In "Seven Days" - Mary Wilde didn't have a plan at first, and when she did a plan she found she had enough baking soda in storage to last her 25-years. Also noteworthy from her book, for a family of six, her list of foods she purchases consisted of less than 50 items - but she works from a set of menu plans.

I only buy up to 3 of any one item at a time for several reasons - the first is my budget ($125 per month for two adults). Only buying a few ahead keeps the stock fresh and the use-by dates as far out as possible.

If I were to purchase a case (12) of something it would take a big bite out of my budget, I would have to decide if I could realistically store that many, as well as use them by the use-by date. If you have 12 of something, that means you should be using it at least 1 per month - 50 of something means you use it at least once a week - then you have to check the use-by or best-by dates to see when you ACTUALLY need to use them. If you have a large number of people in your family you can probably purchase in case lots, but for the two of us it doesn't work well.

-PRICE (and INVENTORY) BOOK - You really DO need to keep track of things. I keep a Price Book (got the idea from Amy Dacyczyn's "The Tightwad Gazette" - pgs. 31-32 - in 1993) and keep it in a used Day Runner (or small loose-leaf note book will also work) I got at a thrift store. It contains my on-going list of things to purchase, money, coupons and the prices for the items I commonly purchase. It has alphabetical dividers and items are put on one page in the book where I track prices (date - store - size - price - unit price) and on the next page I track the inventory of the item in storage. I put a ( / ) when I add an item and put another slash through it ( X ) when I move it from storage to the pantry. If I also need to track the use-by date (peanut butter is one where I always track dates) I'll write it like this: 11/12 (Nov. 2012). When I remove that item I'll "X" through the date. Keeping a running inventory will save you money. You will be purchasing things you need, instead of duplicates you may not necessarily need and couldn't remember if you had it or not.

This also helps when I go through the store advertisements. On first glance, butter (1# box) is 2/$5 and sounds like a bargain..... I can quickly check the price at Aldi (which is also noted in my price book) and know it's regularly lower than the store sale price so skip the sale because it's not at a stock-up price.

-CHOOSE MULTI-USE PRODUCTS - Less (items) is best! I was able to gain a lot of space and reduce total number of items in storage by storing and using tomato powder. I use it to make tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomato juice, red pasta sauce, and pizza sauce - by adding water and a few pantry items (vinegar, spices, herbs, sweeteners, etc.). In a pinch, I can even make ketchup and bbq sauce from tomato powder. The only other tomato products I keep in storage are frozen and dehydrated tomatoes from the garden.

-CHOOSE INGREDIENTS INSTEAD OF CONVENIENCE FOODS - By ingredients I mean staple items you use to cook from scratch. I make my own "convenience" foods for a fraction of the price, and can choose more wholesome ingredients. This is one of the reasons I can stick to a food budget of $125/month. I make all our cereal (cold or hot varieties) for pennies - as just one example. The same ingredients I use to make pancakes (or a homemade pancake mix), I can also use to make cakes, cookies, quick breads.... I would generally avoid a single-use item, such as pancake mix, to my food storage, when I can make it from ingredients in the pantry.

-FOODSAVER (your new best friend) - I vacuum-seal most of my dry goods in canning jars or FoodSaver bags to extend shelf-life and avoid pantry pests.

-FIFO - First in - first out - rotation system. Store your food so you can easily track and rotate it. I had rolling can dispensers and hated them and gave them to a friend who loves them. About the time I purchased a can with a use-by date somewhere in the middle of those already in the unit, I'd have to remove, add, and replace the entire bunch. I like my cans lined up in a single row and now have shallow shelves to accommodate them - and write the use-by date on the front (I have a silver Sharpie for marking labels with dark backgrounds.) Find a method you like - you'll find all kinds of suggestions on-line.

Today I spend about 75-80% of my food budget on home food storage and the remainder on fresh food, so I essentially "shop" at home for meal praparation. As unspent money accumulates in my food budget I'll make large purchase (grain for instance) or an annual purchase. When I find Morning Moo's Whey-Based Milk Substitute on sale - #10 cans - BO get one 1/2 price, I'll purchase enough for a year if there is enough in the food budget. I also purchase a 50# bag and split it with a friend for even more savings. I purchase wheat 50-pounds at a time and vacuum-seal it for storage.

I have three levels of home food storage, plus a bonus level.

Level 1: 72-hour EMERGENCY FOODS
Foods that don't require heating or refrigerating from all the food groups. I also include items that are "add hot water" (homemade instant oatmeal packets, homemade instant soup packets, homemade cocoa mix, etc.) Many of these items are in single servings (fruit cups, pudding, potted meat spread, etc.). We've used these food items during ice storms and extended power outages. I restock this once a year, usually when school starts because that's when I can get some of these single-serving sizes used for kids lunches on sale. These are kept in a storage tub with other "lights out" emergency things.

Foods I use for everyday meal preparation from all the food groups (includes freezer and refrigerator). 6-12-months worth This may be where you stop your food storage.

Foods that have long-term storage capabilities - freeze-dried, whole grains, powdered, dehydrated. All of these items are also rotated into the pantry. 12-months worth

Bonus Level: I increased the "Seven Survival Foods" to 3-years worth (grains, legumes, sprouting seeds, sweetener/s, salt, oil, powdered milk - or milk substitute/s).

One of my favorite sources on this subject is "Everything Under the Sun" by Wendy DeWitt (she has YouTube videos as well as a must-read booklet you can download/print - I read her information after I completed my food storage, but still like her plan. She bases her storage on her favorite 7-14 meals and the amount of foods/ingredients you need for making them for a year, and you store these foods.

I based my storage on the number of servings from each food group, which is something I can quickly tally based on my inventory sheets. I've followed a simple meal plan using the old "Basic-4" for decades, so I know how many servings of foods I use each day/week/month.....

Bread/Cereal - 4 servings
Fruits & Vegetables - 4 servings
Meat/Alternative - 2 servings
Milk/Dairy - 2 servings

You can also use a food calculator available on-line to get an idea of how much food you might need:

We have a designated food storage room in the basement, but I've had to use creative storage in other homes we've lived in. I've read you can store enough food for one person for a year in the space of a single bed. Which brings me to one family who literally used the bed space for storage in their kids rooms. They removed the bed frames, stacked the boxed foods (most #10 cans come 6 cans per box and stack nicely) and topped the boxes with a decorative fabric skirt and put the mattress on the top of that. BTW, they had a really detailed rotation system. Make a "bench" at the end of your bed with stacked boxes, cover with a nice throw and top with cushions. How about a window seat? We built narrow shelves in the space between a window and the corner walls and covered the space floor to ceiling with contrasting material to match the window drapes. It made the window look bigger, and those shelves held all my extra canned goods and dry goods vacuum-sealed in canning jars.

Free on-line:
-Stockpiling Food for Small Spaces and Small Budgets

-What to Store in a Food Storage -


-Food Storage 101 - Where Do I Begin? - Peggy Layton
(add to this book her book, "Cookin' With Home Storage" for recipes using the food storage suggestions.

-100-Day Pantry - Quick and Easy Gourmet Meals - Jan Jackson
(Interesting concept. Includes too many processed foods and canned foods high in sodium for my taste, but a good read and some user-friendly recipes.)

-NOT Your Mother's Food Storage - Kathy Bray and Jan Barker
Requires careful meal planning but is based on the food YOUR family already eats and grocery shopping you already do.

-It's In the Bag - Michelle & Trent Snow
A novel idea for storage. They place an entire meal or days worth of meals in a storage bag (they use cloth bags) - even down to the spices and bottled water needed for the meal. They have storage shelves 16'x4' that contain 422 bag meals.



clipped on: 10.02.2012 at 04:58 pm    last updated on: 10.02.2012 at 04:58 pm

RE: It's done and I love it! (Follow-Up #94)

posted by: mpagmom on 09.09.2012 at 07:16 pm in Kitchens Forum

aliris, I never thought of "kitchen as marital inspiration" before, but if it gets me a nice kitchen, I'm all for it!

island, the floor is everyday 2-1/4" white oak stained Minwax Provincial with a satin polyurethane. It was funny when I stopped by to talk to the floor finishers about the stain. I told them I wanted a medium brown with no red in it and they put down a little bit of the Provincial stain to show me how it would look. My 11-year-old was there and told me that was good, so I said we'd go with that because I wasn't very picky. My builder's son was there, and I think he about died when I said I wasn't very picky - I guess his experience was that I was extremely particular. The flooring guys wanted to hire my daughter to choose stain on all their jobs. By the way, we originally wanted wider planks, but the flooring guys told us the 2-1/4" would be less likely yo buckle. Also, getting the site-finished floor cost about exactly the same for us as moderately-priced pre-finished floor. Was that the longest answer ever??

Thanks angela, and I just love to talk trash. The trash can in the 12" pullout is about 9"Wx14"Dx17.5"H. Just for you I did math and the measurements come out to about 9 gallons. It's the same size as the cans in the 18" trash/recycling pullout:


I'm glad you like the counter cabinet - it's my favorite.

justmakeit - thanks for the compliment, and imitate away! Any white shaker style cabinets and any textured black granite would look pretty much the same as mine. If I were choosing granite to go specifically with the backsplash I might have chosen brushed atlantic black instead of kodiak brown. As it is, I chose the granite first and I thought the kodiak brown would work well with the oil-rubbed bronze light fixtures I have throughout the house. I highly recommend a wall of windows if you can spare the cabinet space. Windows are a lot less expensive than cabinets and you can't beat the natural light!


12" wide trash pullout

9" wide tray storage

clipped on: 10.02.2012 at 09:26 am    last updated on: 10.02.2012 at 09:38 am

RE: RTA Cabinet Help (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: daveinorlado on 11.29.2010 at 02:44 am in Kitchens Forum

I have not posted in quite a while as not many of the posts in the last month have related to my experience to make it worth chiming in. Here we go!

First off if price matters most to you american made is the cheapest made (in $ and looking ugly!) I have a start up cabinet store in the DC area used to be orlando but moved for lack of customers. Suprisingly it is pretty rough inside the beltway of DC. Anyhow I am rejected on price constantly being told that people are able to find other prices less then me weekly. I offer RTA cabinets from 11 companies. I know of 15 but am not in a position to offer more at this time. I plan on going the networking show for my industry next year to learn what else is out there.

Rule # 1 If you want it cheap (lowest cost regardless of style look and construction) it is on the shelf of your neighborhood Lowes or Home Depot. Many kitchen and bath cabinets there are sold for less then cost to bring you in the store and fill up your basket with other goodies that makes a lot more money.

I quoted a 8 x 10 kitchen for a local customer last week with 15 different cabinets from my american made and RTA made suppliers. I was only able to beat the price of the Lowes on the shelf product using 1 Chinese made RTA cabinet from TSG. I could offer him 13 different cabinets about 1/3 of those american made with choice of box construction and stain color for about $1,500. Lowes was 1,200 My cheaper cabinet was oak and he wanted maple.

Rule #2 No one who sells the cabinets on line that are RTA wants you to know where the cabinets come from. The chinese have not agreed with the idea that americans want brand name recognition with the assumption that quality comes with a name you know. Notice very few of the posts that have commented on here know much about the products in question. Conestoga makes doors for a large % of the companies everyone knows on here. I need to contact them to learn of their RTA product. I am not familar with it directly.

I have been anoying in the past and refuted the chinese drywall comments. I will do it again. Pardon me for being rude but that is an ignorant comment. You know nothing of what you are talking about. I just read tonight that 60% of China's GDP is construction spending right now. At the peak of our boom it was 15-20% according to the article I read. They built last year 30 BILION SQFT. That requires an awful lot of cabinets. They are not as dumb as you think. There is a California Air Resources Board requirement for low emission of formaldihyde (sp?) and other chemicals that release gasses as they cure over time. Most RTA cabinets meet this standard. Many american companies are still getting equipment in place to do this. Sunco has been selling RTA and Conventionaly assembled cabinets since the early 80's I challenge anyone to find a class action lawsuit that is equivalent to the chinese drywall mess. After a divorce of the couple owning sunco one spouse started JSI in the Boston area and has become a large player in the industry. Where is a lawsuit on file with them for a large production quality control probelm? Supposedly the factory making the JSI cabinets makes the cabinets for about half of all the other competitors out there. Allwood sells cabinets to costco on a large scale I have not heard of a lawsuit with costco or allwood?

This site is great but many times people spread the same false ideas they read from everywhere else.

What you need to know.

American made is cheaper then chinese
Very few small cabinet companies can beat the price of American Woodmark cabinets at home depot or at Lowes (shennadoah brand.) I have spent 3 years as a self taught cabinet retailer to find companies that have lower cost that allow me to have a markup that keeps me in business against the price of woodmark cabinets. I am honest and run the business completely alone so I tend to attract bargain hunters. (My curse) Any how I am always compared in price to them. Aristokraft for example is low enough in price with the right door styles to be cheaper the most RTA chinese cabients. I used to have the same expierence with Smart Cabinets. I was selling them 1 order at a time. I was notified they would be raising the price on that program 30% so now RTA is generally cheaper. I work with Brandom American made in TX they have some door styles that cheaper then RTA Chinese any day of the week.

RTA Chinese is a better buy in the high end door styles.
Generall you get a better deal in comparision to American made cabinets on the more elaborate looking door styles. American made builder grade cabinets are cheaper then builder grade chinese.

RTA Chinese normally have shorter warrantys
The chinese do not warrant their product to the companies that buy it. The stocking company buying from the Chinese has to offer warranty for a product they do not make. You can imagine that is risky. Almost all Chinese RTA products are offered with a 1 year warranty from the company that imports them. Most low cost american cabinets come with 1-5 year warrantys with the exception of Woodmark Cabinets in Lowes And Home Depot with Limited Lifetime.

Low cost = little choices
Your choice of cabinets shapes and sizes is generally limited when you are looking for the lowest costs in either american made or Chinese.

No one but me will tell you the name of Chinese Cabinets on the internet!
The attitude of the supply chain is to keep you in the dark on what you are getting. People who sell cabinets struggle to find suppliers at lower costs. School of hard knox is how cabinet dealers learn where lower cost products are. They do not want to teach the competion where to get their cabinets from. The company trying to sell you the Chinese RTA cabinets does not want you to google the cabinet and figure out who may sell it cheaper at the next website. You will notice that the names are different on each website even though the pictures look very similar.

Factory direct websites for RTA Chinese is a lie!
Americans are not always that smart in the heat of a purchase. Everyone wants a deal so the seller needs you to feel you got a deal. The truth of if you did is not important you just need to think you did. The web is flooded with factory direct marketing to convince you that it is the best price. Truth is everyones supply chains are struggling to get competitive with the next one. I never know if my price is going to be lower or higer then the next any more. One day I am a deal the next day I am high while using the same 25% mark up to my repeat buyers and 50% to people who only shop one time with me.

Profits in Cabinets are not as high as they used to be
I used to be able to do 50% markup on my american brands and beat Woodmark prices or the equivelant with my better cabinet brands. Now I am lucky if I can get 25%. My voulume is not as high as it used to be either. So now I have to work twice as hard to make half as much money. Translation if I screw up it is much harder to pay for it and stay in business. So.... if you buy localy and the price is the cheapest you can find you better chech the better business burea rating of the company you are going to buy from. Many do not stand behind the sales if something goes wrong. They can not afford to and have the money to pay the bills that month. Obviously that is bad business but it happens everywhere.

In my case if the cabinets cost me 10,000 I am happy to sell them for 12,500. If I quote out 1,250 which I have done several times over the last month they cost me 1,000 it only takes 1 cabinet that was not right to make the profit of the sale negative. I have no where to go to stay in business with mistakes.

So yes being to cheap is dangerous.

What you should do.

1 Check with Lowes and Home Depot to see what is on the shelf in your area if you need rock bottom prices.

2 Google these names for RTA education.

Adornus (for your frameless lovers)
Allwood (highest quality limited lifetime warranty)
6 square (inset door styles) (highest quality limited lifetime warranty)
River run
J & K ( hard to put together be very handy and paitent to survive assembly)
Clark And Son

These are the names of the RTA and Instock cabinets that are conventionaly made that I know of where the quality is fairly consitent. RTA cabinets are handled many times in warehousing from china to the truck that brings them to you. It is common for there to be slight blemishes on every cabinet when you open the box. Surfaces the size of pencil lead or smaller on any part of the cabinet is an everyday occurance. The attitude is generally what do you expect they are imported. Going in with that attitude will save you a lot of grief.

If you google the names above you will find the importers website as they generally are not the company that actually made them. If you contact them directly you should be told where you can locally buy them. It will be luck of the draw as to who sells them cheap and who does not if you go with a local company. If you look on the interent to purchase with shopping cart websites the names of the cabines and the importer who sells them will be hidden from you most of the time. If you go that route pick out the door styles you like the pictures of and order a door sample. After liking the price and the door sample order 1 cabinet you know you need and see if you can assemble it and are satisfied with the quality. If you still like what you see and got and are ok with the warranty then purchase the whole kitchen and you will generally be happy.

I would not purchase from a website that does not reveal the location of the business that is collecting your money. Check the rating of the company that runs the site with the better business bureau. That will tell you a lot for the customer service. Think about it how many people who get buyers remorse after receiving the cabinets would be tempted to damage them on site to then have an excuse to return unusable merchandise? People return things to big box stores all the time knowing the return is not 100% honest. The margins in online cabinet sales do not allow for absorption of a lot of funny business. So there is a trust issue on both sides of the transaction that is not easy to maintain.

Some of the cabinet companies I have will not allow you to advertise the name of the cabinets if you have online shopping carts to protect the ability of a local company to charge a mark up that allows profit to offer good service for the money made on the transaction.

The quality of the consestoga cabinets will never be in question. I assume they are unfinished only. If so then you have to be good at finishing cabinets to make sure your kitchen will look good.

Resarch the brands I have given you to find reviews of the cabinets themselves and the companies that sell them. You will learn a lot more doing that then reading most of the posts on here in respect to RTA cabinets. The industry is set up to be secret which makes the knowledge of the average consumer limited. I am not expert but I am fairly correct in this oppinion.

Also Live wire oak posts all the time and I generally agree with him but I have to dissagree on that furniture board is just as durrable as plywood. Move the cabinets around on the floor out of the boxes of the two types and tell me again that furniture board or MDF is just as durrable. The melamine (sp) will peel much faster on the MDF and furniture board then the plywood will splinter. The compostion of the materials is just as durable once the boxes are installed. But the acutal surface of the materials are not equal. I sold used cabinets the other day that were mdf and some of the cabinets had come apart from the glue joints. I tried to staple them back together which was a bad idea the MDF just blew apart when the staple went into it. If they had been plywood the material would have stayed intact and the staple would have held together. Plywood is definetly stronger from that perspective. MDF surfaces are generally not as color matched with cheaper cabinets particularly when you suggest buying an american made cheap cabinet to be in the price point of plywood RTA Chinese. Now obviously if the wood species on the plywood is the not same as the door then it will not match either. Note that many american made cabinets use a cheaper species on the plywood then the solid wood doors making the colors slightly different in the less expensive cabinets.

I know there are many spelling errors on here. I am not here to impress you. I do not feel like taking the time to look up the spelling of every word I do not have memorized properly. I have read the post after typing it and see there are typos. It is late and you will get the point with them!

Be smart and open minded but question what you learn before you decide you believe what someone tells you me or anyone else. Much of the concern over the quality of a chinese RTA or cheap american made product is over lack of knowledge the industry keeps us in the dark to create market advantage for companies that know where to get cabinets at low prices. I do not like it anymore then the average consumer.

If you want cheap inset look at 6 square and sunny wood. If you want cheap framless look at adornus. There are others but I do not know the Importers names. I tend to repost afer further comments. A lively discussion is a good discussion.


clipped on: 09.12.2012 at 01:36 am    last updated on: 09.12.2012 at 01:37 am

RE: Toekick Drawers (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: aliris19 on 09.06.2012 at 04:02 am in Kitchens Forum

I thought they seemed like a fantastic idea, aesthetically. That is from a no-waste standpoint.

However my KD talked me out of it by pointing out they're basically just another set of drawers and cost is calculated at least for my kitchen, by number of drawers. If I was wanting more storage I'd rather have a bigger drawer. Most if not all of my cabinet stacks already had 4 drawers in them, so that was making it five. And that fifth was really small. Plus, I made my toe kick 3.5" -- I don't wear work boots in the kitchen and I saw no reason to install inflated toekicks; 3.5" has been plenty for us.

I do love the idea of the things but I haven't missed em, especially knowing the cost. YMMV.

Niftiest use of toekicks I've seen, apart from valuables-storage (say, silver) is as a step-up for the "height-challenged". That, I thought, was really clever and could definitely justify the extra cost in select locations. Another used the narrow drawer to store a step stool. But I liked turning the whole drawer itself into an actual step (though that's less portable!)

I saw a picture of a drawer someone constructed that incorporated the too-short-drawer objection for the toe kick by making the drawer at the bottom itself have the toekick "bite" worked right into it. This looked really nifty and clever but as I thought about it, then how would you use that space at the front of the drawer? You'd get just the bottom "footprint" of the drawer's worth for storage and to use the forward bump-out you'd need some very specialized shapes.

So on reflection I decided that wasn't going to use the space well either. For me, that's how it came to pass that I compromised on the toekicks that like you, I had originally thought were the bee's knees, in favor of shortened toekicks and 4-drawer stacks.

So there's an example of a KD being negatory but maybe not utterly without cause.


Shorter toe kick allows for deeper height drawers within the cabinet box ? Ask cabinet mfg

Also, if doing deeper cabinets from front to back - maybe 30" deep instead of standard 24", can drawers be deeper from from to back as well ?

clipped on: 09.06.2012 at 12:16 pm    last updated on: 09.06.2012 at 12:19 pm

Opinions on our kitchen layout - - in beach cottage

posted by: angela12345 on 10.03.2009 at 11:15 pm in Kitchens Forum

Like a lot of people, I have lurked a lot and sometimes posted over the last many years, although not much lately for various reasons. We are planning a beach cottage new construction and would appreciate thoughts on our kitchen design, please !!

It will be a rental, so typically guests will be there for 1 week at a time during June July August. During off season we will also be there sometimes (read: as often as we can!!). This home will sleep 23+ (up to 30 including pullout sofas and toddler trundles). The kitchen will need to accomodate a lot of different types of rental groups and sizes ... families with multiple generations, adult couples, all men (golfers), maybe weddings or church groups, etc. We feel like we really need to include 2 fridges and 2 dishwashers because of the need for it for groups this size and also to be competitive with other rental homes. Also, because of the potential size of groups that will be staying here, we will need LOTS of cabinet space ... dishes, silverware, glasses, cups, coffee mugs, etc for 30 people takes lots of space. Most likely, I won't be able to make any changes to the walls of the kitchen on this plan.

One thing I know I am missing is where to put trash, but please don't limit your comments to this ! I am thinking a pullout under one side of the sink. Considering a range something like the following but not necessarily this exact one

I have included a layout of the top floor below so you can see where the kitchen lies in relation to the other rooms. Comments on other parts of the floorplan are also welcome. The bottom floor will have 5 more bedrooms, laundry, and a morning coffee bar with sink and mini fridge.

Here is what we envision the wetbar/prep area looking like (except longer of course) ...


clipped on: 09.04.2012 at 01:23 am    last updated on: 09.04.2012 at 06:31 pm

RE: My One True Green Transitional Kitchen (Follow-Up #62)

posted by: ICFgreen on 09.04.2012 at 05:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

Okay, we're back home. On with the answers!

Our bread drawer is from Rev-a-Shelf. It comes in two sizes and three colors (almond, white, and clear). The price varies from $30 to $54.

If you google "rev a shelf bread drawer kit," you'll get lots of hits. It seems to be cheaper on Amazon.

We use ours daily. The drawer won't close if the lid isn't closed, which is kind of a pain, but then, if the lid isn't closed, it's not really preserving the bread, either, so we see it as a reminder. We love it and use it daily. We find that it's nice to put our non-refrigerated things like nutella and peanut butter right there in the drawer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rev A Shelf Bread Drawer.


I need size BDC24-11 (which is the white one)
clipped on: 09.04.2012 at 06:27 pm    last updated on: 09.04.2012 at 06:28 pm

RE: Tile/hardwood floor edging question (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: bill_vincent on 03.29.2010 at 07:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

All you need to do is leave a 1/8" joint between the two surfaces and caulk it with the siliconized latex made to match the grout.




NOTE: Just make sure if you're using the Latisil, that you tape off the edges and tool the joint. That stuff is 100% pure silicone, and can not be washed off.
clipped on: 01.12.2012 at 02:14 pm    last updated on: 01.12.2012 at 03:00 pm

RE: now that i got it.. im not sure i like it? pictures (Follow-Up #33)

posted by: favabeans5 on 11.02.2008 at 12:37 am in Kitchens Forum

Almost done.. Accept for one small problem. I ran out of tile!!! I couldn't believe it. I thought I order 5 extra sqft.. So i did the math again. And yup.. I needed 30 sqft of tile and ordered 35. So I'm thinking what the heck is going on.

then it hit me.. I went and measure a sheet of tile and they aren't a full sqft.. the sheets have 6 rows of tile and each row is 12 inches wide.. But the 6 rows are only 10 or so inches high.. I got 35 sheets of tile not 35 sqft.. Now my invoice actually says 35 sqft..

Can anyone else who ordered Fire and Ice verify how many rows their sheets had? I have seen one other pic from someone who ordered them from the same place and they also had 6 rows..

Am I the only one that didn't know that a sheet wasn't a full sqft? If so how did you find that out? Did whoever you ordered from tell you? And if you place an order for 35 sqft don't you think you should get 35 sqft?

Anyway here are a couple more pictures..


clipped on: 01.12.2012 at 01:40 pm    last updated on: 01.12.2012 at 01:40 pm

RE: Show me your paper towel holders (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: breezygirl on 11.07.2011 at 12:41 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here's a thread from last year. It has one of my all time fav kitchens and paper towel storage ideas from firsthouse_mp. I try not to use any paper towels for the green factor, but if I did I'd do what she did. I think beagles got her idea from firsthouse.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread on similar topic with firsthouse's idea


clipped on: 01.12.2012 at 12:46 pm    last updated on: 01.12.2012 at 12:46 pm

RE: Share your backsplash pics for a good cause! (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: chris45ny on 08.16.2010 at 04:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

Just another Fire & Ice on the stove wall only. TEC light pewter grout, not enhanced and put in some of the burnt umber/root beer glass tiles. This was a DIY project. Just finished this-not a lot of pics yet.




Stainless ? outlet cover
clipped on: 01.12.2012 at 12:17 pm    last updated on: 01.12.2012 at 12:17 pm

RE: Help! Granite countertop installation this morning... (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: buehl on 07.09.2010 at 12:34 pm in Kitchens Forum

From Bill Vincent (Mon, Mar 9, 09 at 9:54)

"... A lot of times, when this discussion comes up about sealing granite, I'll refer people to a page in that site that has links for two sets of tables-- one A-L, and the other, M-Z, listing the names of the more common "granites". One of the things they list on those pages is the absorption rate of each stone, and anything with less than a .25% absorption rate should NOT be sealed. ..."

Granite lists - Explanation

Granite lists on - Table A - L

Granite lists on - Table M - Z


Again, from Bill Vincent (Mon, Mar 9, 09 at 13:32)
"... the "sponge" test. That is, to drop a sopping wet sponge or rag on the stone, and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes. You then remove the sponge and wipe up any water left on the stone. If it leaves a dark mark, you'll need to seal it. ..."

Another way to tell is if water beads up on the surface. If it does, it probably does not need sealing. But I would do the "Sponge Test" to be sure.

BTW...have you read the stone information in the "Read Me" thread as well as the information linked from the "Read Me" thread? I highly recommend all stones be tested prior to purchasing so you know exactly what you're getting...not just the need for sealing against stains, but also how likely it is to etch, whether it's dyed (for black granites, primarily), etc.

I used SCI from Homedepot. It came in a spray bottle. I think SCI (no not csi ) stands for stone care international. Some brand I am sure.

My installer told me I had to wash the counters and not touch them for 24 hours. Then spray the sealer not over saturate but enough that you want to wipe it down but DON't. Let it sit 10 minutes and then spary again. After 30 minutes then I could dry the excess with a soft dish towel.

There are also directions on the sealer products that you might find at any hardware store.

My installer recommended I seal my counters once a year. I know people who do it less. My neighbor has Ubatuba and has never sealed their counters. They have had them for 10 years. I am not recommending this, just saying I think some people do and some don't.

Vinegar, Oil, Lemon, Red wine, melted butter, melted cheese, amd a host of other products that could ruin a counter. Well I don't want olive, peanut, safflower, corn, veggie or any oil to stain my rock. Even smeared butter. So Sealing can help protect the stone. What about vinegar or wine? Acids can also effect stones. They can slowly etch away. Especially a honed surface.

I remember someone having a white ghostly haze appearance to their counters from OVER sealing. This is not good either. Check out that link. Not to scare you just to inform you. NOT all granites require sealing. If you seal one that does not absorb, the sealer forms a film on the surface of the stone and will quickly look splotchy and uneven as it wears away from normal use and cleaning.

Granite was sealed and has haze HELP

About Sealing Granite counters

How to Seal granite from EHow

Granite Sealer a different product that what I used

clipped on: 01.12.2012 at 10:01 am    last updated on: 01.12.2012 at 10:10 am

List to-date... (Follow-Up #34)

posted by: buehl on 03.01.2010 at 07:09 pm in Kitchens Forum


  • Granite & Quartz: Microfiber cloth along with one of the following...
    • In a spray bottle50/50 put a mix of alcohol & water plus a drop or two of detergent like Dawn.
    • Hand dish detergent & water (go light on the detergent if your stone is dark)
    • Commercial products: Method granite cleaner & polish, Perfect Kitchen, Simple Green
    • When cleaning, wipe/dry in circles to help prevent streaks with any cleaner/polish
    • **Warning** Do not use plumber's putty on your marble or granite counters to install your faucets or soap dispensers or with a composite granite (e.g., Silgranit) sink
  • Question: Do those of you with marble use the alcohol/water mix, detergent/water mix, Method, or Perfect Kitchen?

  • Marble:
    • Because of the composition of the stone, it is a good idea to clean marble surfaces immediately after any spills take place. While water will not cause any permanent damage, many other liquids will cause scarring if allowed to set for an extended amount of time. Soft drinks, wine, any type of vinegar, and even orange or grapefruit juice can discolor the appearance.
    • Immediately, wipe up the spill with a damp cloth, then rinse the area with tepid water. Be sure to pat the area dry with a clean cloth.
    • If you have to deal with a tough stain, try using plain ammonia. Allow the ammonia to set on the dried stain for a few moments, then begin to scrub the area with a moistened cloth. Once the stain is up, wet the area with tepid water, then pat the section of the marble counter top dry.
    • Abrasive cleansers should be avoided at all costs, as they will leave scratches in the surface.
  • Wood:

  • Stainless Steel, Copper, etc.: Microfiber cloth along with one of the following...


  • Stainless Steel Appliances: Microfiber cloth along with one of the following...
    • Weiman SS Cleaner/Polish in the silver can
    • Pledge in the brown can
    • 3M SS Cleaner and Polish (aerosol spray)
    • Possibly: Signature Polish (I have not heard of this b/f & would like to hear from others who have used it...I like to have multiple recommendations b/f I will say "definitely)
  • Ceramic/Glass cooktops/ranges:
    • Ceramic/glass oven surface cleaner
    • Razor blade for stuck-on food
  • Non-Ceramic/Glass top ranges/cooktops:
    • BarKeeper's Friend or Dawn Power Dissolver (and a blue scrub sponge) for a thorough cleaning of the black burner pans
    • Perfect Kitchen for spot cleaning the black enamel burner pans on Wolf ranges
    • Baking soda and a damp cloth. Dampen the area with the cloth, sprinkle the baking soda on the stains, & let sit for 5 or 10 minutes. Then gently wipe the baking soda and stains clean with the cloth

Floors & Backsplashes (Wood, Tile, etc.)

  • Tile Floors & Backsplashes:
    • Hot water should be all you need for most of the time.
    • If you need a grease-cutter, use Oxyclean.
    • **Warning** Do not use vinegar or vinegar-containing products. Yes, vinegar will clean your grout, but that's because vinegar works by eating away at the grout, little by little. It'll literally burn the grout away over time.

  • Travertine Tile Floors & Backsplashes:
    • See "Tile" above plus...
    • **Warning** Do not use vinegar or other acid-containing cleaners on stone floors
    • **Warning** Do not use cleaners like bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners, or tub & tile cleaners (they may contain acid)
    • **Warning** Do not use abrasive cleaners
  • Hardwood Floors:
    • Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner
  • Slate Floors:
    • ???
  • Slate Backsplashes:
    • ???
  • Marble Floors:
    • See Marble Countertops above, plus...
    • With dried stains on the floor, create a solution of plain ammonia and warm water. Use a sponge mop to work the solution into the stain and gradually lift it from the marble. Take your time and allow the ammonia to seep into the stain. Doing so will mean less pressure applied to the mop, which will minimize the chances of accidentally scratching the surface as you clean marble tiles or panels


  • Stained Cabinets:
    • A soft cotton cloth is recommended to wipe any moisture, spills or standing liquid from cabinetry. While paper products are very good at absorbing spills, they are abrasive when used for cleaning.
    • To clean cabinetry, use a soft cotton cloth, dampened with water or a mild dish soap. Rinse with a clean damp cloth. Dry with a soft cloth.
    • Harsh chemicals or ammonia based products should be avoided as they may cause discoloration of the finish.
    • Do not use detergents, oily polishes, or glass cleaners.
    • An occasional light waxing may be required. Avoid frequent cleaning with a waxy cleaner. Use a good furniture brand polish on your cabinetry
  • Painted Cabinets:
    • Damp (not too wet), soft cloth or sponge and mild detergent
  • Laminate Cabinets:
    • Use a damp cloth and water to clean surface of cabinetry, then wipe with a dry cloth.
    • Use a countertop or tile cleaner to clean heavy grease stains or other difficult stains.
    • **Warning** Do not use abrasive pads or harsh cleaners to clean soiled areas.
  • High Gloss Cabinet Finishes:
    • Clean high gloss cabinetry with mild soap and a damp cloth.
    • **Warning** Do not use any wax cleaner whatsoever to avoid discoloration

Sinks and Sink Fixtures

  • Stainless Steel Sinks:
    • Mild detergent & water
    • BarKeeper's Friend (it will also help minimize the look of scratches on the bottom of a sink)
  • Composite Granite (Silgranit) Sinks:
    • **Warning** Do not use plumber's putty on your marble or granite counters to install your faucets or soap dispensers or with a composite granite (e.g., Silgranit) sink
  • Porcelain Coated Cast Iron Sinks:

  • Nickel fixtures (polished or brushed):
    • Mild detergent & water
    • **Warning** Do not install a nickel strainer or drain (stick with Stainless Steel or Chrome)
    • **Warning** Do not use BarKeeper's Friend or other chemicals on nickel
    • **Warning** Do not use bleach on nickel


clipped on: 01.11.2012 at 05:08 pm    last updated on: 01.11.2012 at 05:08 pm

RE: Taking possession a week from Fri...any advice? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bevangel on 08.16.2011 at 12:33 pm in Building a Home Forum

It is probably late for this advice but you need to spend at least a full day at your house looking for punch list issues and making a written list BEFORE you meet with your builder for your "pre-through." And you need to be able to do this while there are no workmen there so they are not making noise or getting in your way. There are just too many things to look for to try to do the checking WHILE walking thru the house with your builder. Even if your builder gives you a full three or four hours for the walk-through, that is simply not enough time...especially if builder is taking time to write notes about the things you mention. And it is possible your builder will attempt to rush you because the fewer things you mention, the less work he has to do. Better to go with a list in hand (with a copy for builder) so that your walk-thru with builder is just a chance for you to show him what each note on the list refers to.

On your list, for each issue indicate EXACTLY where the problem is located.... What room, what wall, Where on the wall, what the problem is, and what needs to be done. Eg., 1) Living room; on north wall, 4 ft from east wall & 18 inches above the floor; there are gaps in sheetrock around electrical outlet; need to patch gaps, smooth patch (or texture to match wall texture) and prime and painted to match wall. 2) 1st floor powderroom, floor 20 inches from west wall & 2 ft from south wall; cracked tile; remove and replace with good tile, regrout - make certain replacement tile is set level with surrounding tiles and that grout matches surrounding grout. The more detailed you are, the more likely the fixes are going to be done satisfactorily. So, a laptop with an excel program can be helpful for making your lists because you can copy and paste the correction instructions everytime you find yet another electrical outlet with gaps around it.

So, if it were me, I would ask to postpone the walk-thru with builder until after this weekend - even if that meant postponing my move in date by a week or so. Then I would take a couple of very persnickity (sp??) friends with me to the house over the weekend and spend several hours going over each room and making lists of punch list items. People seeing the place with fresh eyes will see problems that you noticed months ago, that your builder promised to fix, but then somehow never got around to doing. Keep a copy of your list and then check issues off as they are corrected. Otherwise, chances are, half the stuff you point out will never get corrected. Don't rely on your builder putting sticky notes on walls. Sticky notes have a way of disappearing without the work ever getting done!

Some things you need to check:

Whole House
_ Turn every light switch on and off.
_ If you have ceiling fans with multiple speeds, check that they work on every speed.
_ Test every electrical outlet (both top and bottom as we've actually found that on a number of outlets in our current house - which was purchased from a previous owner - only one half of the outlet has power and the other half is dead!)
_ Check that both heating and air conditioning work, and that you have an adequate flow of air from every register. This will require turning the AC down so that the house gets extra cold and then, after checking AC, turning the heat on to make sure that works. While it'll be a bit of a waste of energy, you don't want to find out that the heater isn't working the first night that temps suddenly dip below freezing.
_ Open and close every window. Make sure they open easily and close and seal completely. Look for any light entering around the edges of window (between the sash and the jambs.) If light can enter, so can water! If your windows tilt out to clean, check that function on every window as well.
_ Open and close every door, interior and exterior.
_ Check that all doors are plumb and square. The crack around an door should be even on all sides when the door is closed and you should not be able to see light coming from the other side except at the bottoms of interior doors.
_ Check that exterior doors close and seal completely. You should not be able to see any light coming in between the door and jamb or the door and the sill AT ALL.
_ Lock and unlock every lock
_ Check that walls are plumb and flat, that there are no nail pops and that the texturing and paint is even. BTW - nail pops are where the nails holding sheetrock to the studs back up slightly. You see them as little round bumps in the paint. You should not be able to tell where the edges of sheetrock panels are. Nor should you be able to notice any dips or high places in the walls where they taped and floated the sheetrock.
_ Check walls carefully around all outlet plates to make certain there are no gaps where the cuts in the sheetrock were made too large and then never fixed.
_ Check every piece of molding looking for cracks or gaps where two pieces of molding meet. Check the paint or stain on molding - particularly cut ends.
_ Check floors. Tiles should have even and straight grout lines; hardwoods should not have gaps between boards; seams on vinyl flooring should not be noticable; carpet should be tight and should not show seams; etc.
_While the house is quiet (late night is best), walk up and down the steps and across all portions of any hardwood floors. There should be no creaks or squeeks.
_ Check ceilings. You should not be able to tell where the edges of the sheetrock panels are.
_ Check stair spindles, balusters, and handrails to make sure they are solidly installed. No shakiness.
- Take a sprinkler with you and set it so that water falls down against your windows (simulating rain) and check for leaks on the inside. You should not see ANY water on the inside. (Caution - don't spray water UPWARD against your windows as you may drive water through the drainholes, set the spinkler so that water falls downward against the windows.)
_ If you get lucky and it happens to be raining while you are there, go into the attic and look for leaks.
_ Check that smoke detectors are working.
_ Turn everything in the house off and unplug the refrigerator, then check the electric meter. It should no longer be running. (Be sure to plug appliances back in afterwards!)
_ Make sure all water spigots are turned off and that your water heaters are full, then check your water meter. It should NOT be moving. If it is, you may have a leak somewhere in your plumbing system...possibly even under your slab.
_ If you have a real wood fireplace, build a very small but smoky fire (damp wood and newspapers) and make sure the chimney draws properly.
_ If you have a gas fireplace, light it and make sure all the vents work properly and that the flame heights are as you would expect them to be.
_ If you have natural gas or propane, find the inside gas cut-off valves. (NOTE that these should not be hidden behind an appliance - you need to be able to get to them easily in case of a fire!) Make sure the gast cut off valves turn easily. Light the appliance then turn the gas off at the cut off valve. The flame should go completely out. If it doesn't, the cut off valve is working properly.

Kitchen/Laundry Room/Pantry
_ Check that every appliance is working properly
* Refrigerator
* Freezer
* Dishwasher (run thru a cycle to ensure no leaks and that it actually cleans dishes. We bought a house once where the dishwasher seemed to work when we tested it but when we actually tried to wash dishes, they never got clean. It turned out that the water had never been attached and the little bit of moisture we were seeing was just moisture from the air!)
* stove top - check every burner
* vent hood - make sure it is actually hooked up and venting to the outside.
* oven
* microwave
* garbage disposal - put some garbage in it and make sure it chops it up.
* washer (again, run a cycle to make sure its not leaking and that it doesn't dance around)
* dryer (run a cycle with some clothes to make sure it doesn't dance. Also, make sure the dry vent is hooked up!)
_ Open and close every cabinet and every drawer to make sure they function properly.
_ Look inside each cabinet and drawer to make sure it is finished properly, that there are no missing shelves, etc. Also, look for scratches, nicks, and stains. Once you move in, you builder will assume that you made any mars on your cabinetry.
_ Turn both hot and cold water on at the sink. Fill the sink with water and then, after a while, check under the sink for evidence of leaking. Check around the sink to make sure that it is properly sealed to your countertop.
_ Check the countertop for flaws. Check the edges of countertops especially carefully as these can easily get chipped or scratched (depending on the type surface) during the building process.
_If you have a granite countertop, inspect it carefully. Run your hands over every inch feeling for any rough spots. Also, get down on your hands and knees and look across the granite from a height just an inch or two above the surface - places that are not properly polished will be more visible.
_ Inspect every light fixture installed by builder to make certain it was not scratched, dented, or marred in the process of being installed.

_ Actually step into shower stalls and bathtubs to make sure they feel solid underfoot. Acrylic tubs and shower bases that "give" underfoot will crack over time.
_ Run water in every sink and bathtub and make sure they hold water without leaking. (Look under the sinks for leaks).
_ Run the showers.
_ Make sure you get hot water when you turn on a hot water spigot. Try it at every sink, tub, shower, and in your washing machine.
_ Run water at several locations at the same time to make sure you have adequate water pressure.
_ Test that bathroom fans work.
_ Flush all toilets several times to make sure they STOP running when the tanks refill. (Having a bunch of friends out for several hours also means your toilets may actually get "field tested" to make sure they really flush adequately... which not something you are likely to test while doing a walk thru with your builder!)
_ Make sure toilets sit solidly and evenly on the floor and are properly bolted down. There should not be any "rocking" motion when you sit down.
_ Have someone flush a toilet times while you run hot water in the shower and feel it. Flushing the toilet SHOULD NOT cause the shower water to suddenly get noticeable hotter.
_Make sure shower faucets are grouted properly so that water does not get into the wall behind them.
_ Check the cabinetry the same as you did for the kitchen.
_ Make certain that mirrors installed by the builder don't have flaws in the silvering.
_ Test that toilet paper holders and towel bars are firmly affixed to walls.

_ If your builder installed blinds or operable shutters (inside or out) make sure they work properly.
_ Check that you OUTDOOR water spigots work.
_ Check all outdoor electrical outlets as well. These often get over-looked.
_ Check your garage door openers. Also make sure that, if something is in the way of the door as it comes down, that the door stops and goes back up.
_ If you have an attic access ladder, pull it down and make sure it works smoothly.
_ Climb into the attic and make sure you have the amount of insulation you are supposed to have.
- If you're really lucky and it rains while you are checking out your house this weekend, go up into the attic with a flashlight and look for roof leaks.
_ Make sure gutters are fully attached to walls and designed to drain water away from your house. Pull downward gently on the downspouts and make sure that there is no movement where they connect to the gutters. If downspouts have not been properly connected to gutters, they can fall out.
_ Check that ground around the house has been graded so that it slopes away from the house.
_ Get as high above the ground as you can safely manage and look to see if your roofing shingles appear to be flat and tight against the roof.
_ Check all exterior concrete for cracks.
_ Check the siding on the house to make sure everything that was supposed to be painted has been painted.
_ Check that exterior sprinkler systems work and that landscaping plants are alive and appear healthy.

This is all just "off the top of my head." I'm sure if you think about it you can add dozens of other things to check for. And, no doubt other posters will chime in with other things to add to your check list.
Ultimately, you don't have to insist that the builder fix every little tiny thing. If something won't bother you - or if you can fix it easily yourself and don't mind doing so, point it out to your builder anyway and, once you've gone over everything you can cross those items off your list as a way to show you're being reasonable but that the rest of the list IS important to you.


clipped on: 01.08.2012 at 09:05 pm    last updated on: 01.08.2012 at 09:05 pm

And You Thought Never MT was Quite the Invention

posted by: beekeeperswife on 12.25.2011 at 11:10 am in Kitchens Forum

So I'm searching for a bar faucet in order to find the right size faucet for my coffee bar area in the kitchen.

Just thought I'd share what I found. And to think we were all impressed with the soap container that was hooked up to the soap dispenser.....

Here is a link that might be useful: Bar Faucet...


I wonder if you can pre-mix the evening's speciality cocktail and plug it in. Ideas, ideas...

cheapest model $399 - black base black spout (holiday season 20% discount)

The SIDEBAR 6500 Series is an electronic, programmable bar system that dispenses 5 of your favorite drinks at the touch-of-a-button; your guests will be impressed!! The supply bottles are safely stored under countertops or in other remote, secure locations (up to 10 feet away from the dispensing spout) - no more broken bottles or spills!

The 6500 series uses our patented Programmable Portion Control, allowing users to set each of the five flavors to dispense as little as an ounce and a 1/4 at a time. You can incrementally increase the settings to dispense as much as you want, it's totally customizable to your settings. Set your Scotch to stop at 2oz, while the Vodka flows until you release the button! Each flavor is dispensed with individual pumps and supply lines - no chance for any two flavors to inter-mix. The goose-neck spout houses five separate micro-tubes that independently dispense each beverage from the bottle to the spout. Perfect for Boats/Yachts, RV's Game Rooms or in your Home Bar area. NO Sink or Drain required! The SIDEBAR is drip-free, eliminating the need for a drain pan or sink.

SIDEBAR 6500H system comes complete with everything you need to start serving drinks, just supply the bottles of your favorite spirits, wines, margarita mixes or any non-carbonated beverages. Install is simple, basic handy-man skills will have you up and serving drinks in no time.

Selector keypad is back-lit with soft green LEDs, illuminating the flavors you are serving. Factory labels read: Whiskey, Vodka, Scotch, Gin & Rum. Includes optional lables for Tequila, Wine and Bourbon. Check our website for additional accessories.

BLACK with BLACK Spout, Includes the optional 110VAC adapter, plugs into any US standard household outlet.

SIDEBAR Beverage Systems has been manufacturing beverage dispensing systems since 1979. We service light-commercial and recreational customers world-wide and serve the perfect beverage every time. Feel free to contact us with any questions. We look forward to serving you and your guests! All orders ship within 24 hours of payment (excluding weekends and holidays).


clipped on: 01.08.2012 at 09:12 am    last updated on: 01.08.2012 at 09:21 am

RE: ? about insulated vinyl siding (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: energy_rater_la on 06.21.2009 at 03:02 pm in Building a Home Forum

putting the insulation board directly on the house instead of on vinyl will allow the full insulation R-value to be achieved.
by putting the insulation board on the vinyl, which is far far from air tight, you reduce the R-value significantly.
it is not a continous number/R-value.
save the added cost of insulated vinyl, add 1" closed cell foam board with all seams taped (this is what is ment by continous insulation, btw) then vinyl sididng(uninsulated)
on top of continuous foam insulation.
1" closed cell is about R=6.7 1/2" would be R-3.3. Either would be a better performance because it is installed in a manner that is truly continous.
it was around 1960 when we stopped building with strips of wood and switched to sheathings, that air tighness became so much easier to achieve. to inslate vinly siding is a step back to those times.


Ask for further explanation ... is he saying we DO need furring strips for all vinyl when used over insulation board ??
the foam sheathing in contact with the wall, properly nailed, seams taped and all penetrations sealed provides
thermal barrier on exterior of house.
there are two methods of installing vinyl on top of foam sheathing. use foil/foam sheathing
on exterior..taped to seal..blah blah..1" furring strips are installed where vinly siding will be nailed. vinly installed.
use of foil faced sheating with furring strips will create radaint barrier on walls..reflecting heat out a benefit in hot climates.
furring strips will also allow for full nailing of vinyl.
second method would not entail furring strips, but vinyl would be nailed directly to foam sheathing. if nail guns are being used, the depth has to be set correctly and checked during use of nail gun, to assure that nail is not shooting through foam sheathing..sounds crazy. you would think, looking where you are working, that you would notice. but is is more about speed than quality.
you might have to be quality control!
clipped on: 08.29.2010 at 02:32 am    last updated on: 08.29.2010 at 02:34 am

RE: Opinions Needed Regarding Some Window Brands (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: oberon on 06.20.2009 at 01:11 pm in Building a Home Forum

Creek Side,

The working part of your solar gain (or no solar gain) windows is the LowE coating.

There are two primary types of coatings available - hard coat and soft coat; and there are three categories within the two types - high solar heat gain, moderate solar heat gain, and low solar heat gain.

Hard coats are primarily florine enhanced tin oxide that is applied while the glass is still hot in the float furnace using a process called Chemical Vapor Deposition or CVD.

Hard coats, also know as pyrolytic LowE, were the first coatings available and are generally thought of as High Solar Heat Gain (HSHG) although there are low solar gain versions available - often using tinted glass as part of the application.

Soft coats are applied to the glass in vacuum chambers using a process known as Magnetron Sputter Vacuum Deposition or MSVD, which really doesn't mean much to anyone outside of the coating world, but it is kinda fun to say.

Soft or sputter coats are applied as multiple layers of metals and metallic oxides. A typical soft coat might consist of 7 to 11 layers of different metals, but not all of the different layers actually affect the penetration of heat thru the coating.

Most soft coats use silver as the operative ingredient, but other metals can be used such as titanium or even stainless steel. The layers in a soft coat are very thin - the layers are measured in angstroms or "how many atoms thick". A single layer in a soft coat might be no more than 50 atoms in thickness.

Soft coats are generally considered to be Low Solar Heat Gain (LSHG) by most folks because they do perform very well in that capacity when compared to hard coats, but there are moderate and high solar heat gain soft coats available as well depending on the number of layers of silver (I am going to use "silver" when talking about soft coats simply because the vast majority of soft coats used are silver-based). A single silver coating would be a HSHG, a dual-silver coating would be a MSHG, and a triple silver coating would be a LSHG.

All LowE coatings work by blocking radiant energy, primarily in the Infrared or IR spectrum, but the differences between coatings pertaining to high versus low solar gain results from what portion of the IR spectrum is blocked.

First, all light carries heat. If you have a window, you are going to get heat passing thru it no matter what you do because even visible light contributes to a good bit of radiant energy gain or loss thru a window.

What a LowE coating primarily does is limit the amount of heat as IR (and to a lesser extent visible) energy that passes thru the glass.

Why it works is based on the fact that the infrared energy spectrum is divided into near, mid and far, and when dealing with LowE performance we are talking primarily about the near infrared and the far infrared.

In simplest terms, near infrared is direct solar gain while far infrared is heat that isn't direct solar gain.

When the sun shines on you and you are feeling its heat directly, you are experiencing near infrared IR. When you feel heat radiating off a stone wall that was warmed by the sun, you are experiencing far infrared.

All LowE coatings work by blocking far infrared. The heat that a home's heating system puts out in winter is far infrared. All LowE coatings will block a significant portion of that spectrum resulting in keeping far infrared heat inside in winter and outside in summer.

But, while coatings block far infrared, they don't all affect near infrared the same way. A HSHG coating allows near infrared (direct solar energy) to pass thru the coating while a LSHG coating blocks energy in the near infrared spectrum. Obviously a moderate gain coating is somewhere in the middle.

Many folks, especially in Canada, generally consider that hard coats are superior to soft coats for high solar heat gain applications because they simply passed more solar energy than do any of the soft coats. However, there are softcoat high solar heat gain coatings that are as good or better than the best hard coats in high solar heat gain applications.

Typically the lower the SHGC the better the U-value of an IG with coated glass. LSHG coatings outperform HSHG coatings in U-value performance.

But in a well designed solar-home the advantage of solar heat gain could offset the slight loss of insulating value in the windows.

In a high solar gain application, you want to ensure that the coating is on IG surface 3 - typically, most coatings are applied to IG surface 2, so be sure to specify a high solar gain coating on surface 3 - no matter what the window you buy.

I would also suggest (and this may be already in your plans), that you avoid placing high solar gain units on any side of your home other than direct south. Adding high heat gain windows on the east or (especially) west side is very likely to offset any advantage that you gain by having south-facing high heat gain windows.


One thing the windsor guy told me in the sales pitch is that the windows are made from extruded aluminum vs. rolled aluminum (like a coke can). Windsor is manufactured in NC (as well as in Iowa, I believe). I spoke with one of my builders about Windsor --- they would save money vs. Pella architect. He feels the quality of Windsor is a very good value (and they have a good warranty as well). He said in his spec homes he puts Pella because people recognize the name. But, in a higher end custom build where people are concerned about a good quality window, but not necessarily the sticker in the window, he often uses Windsor.

Semco seemed better technically. They make their own glass modules using an insulating spacer around the edge. They also have a better casement latching system and foam the top and bottom extrusions and all four corners.

In selecting fiberglass windows with passive solar glass options, it is important to select windows that provide for both a high solar heat gain (high SHGC) and also excellent insulating ability (U-value)--let the energy in and keep it in. Wes Gilmore with Serious Materials at 303-530-1150 is knowlegeable and helpful in describing the fiberglass product offerings of Serious Materials designed for passive solar designs.

I detest having to fill out a contact form just to find out who might be carrying the product I am interested in. It is not helpful when someone sitting in an office in Sunnyvale thinks they know who is convenient to me and who isn't. They don't. I want a list of all your suppliers in the state and the neighboring state. Then I will check them out locally, and I will decide which one I will deal with.

The companies that you mentioned, other than Serious Materials, and including Integrity, use Cardinal LowE coatngs. Cardinal's 179 coating offers high SHGC and decent U-factor' You might try by passing the distributor and calling any of the companies that you are interested in and asking if they will use the 179 coating and if they will glaze the coating to surface 3.

clipped on: 08.29.2010 at 01:41 am    last updated on: 08.29.2010 at 01:42 am

RE: Insulation (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: energy_rater_la on 02.05.2010 at 11:53 am in Building a Home Forum

No you don't have to be careful about building too tightly
anywhere. you just add fresh air.
build tight..ventilate right.
Put your closed cell foam boards (1" foil facing out)'to
exterior of walls. Tape all seams, but first make sure foil
is dry and clean. when trades make holes..foam or tape them.
this is added insulation ( R-6.7 for 1" closed cell) to the wall and provides a thermal break to minimize thermal
bridging thru wood studs. insulate with conventional insulation and use ADA (air tight drywall approach)
with sheetrock inside. The exterior foam will make walls
air tight from exterior and ADA will continue the air tightness from the interior. Insulation loses its R-value
when air passes thru it.

Open cell in attic on roofline, if your mechanicals
are in the attic. if you put your heating system inside
and ductwork inside then use the open cell on the attic floor. Buy ICAT (insulation contact air tight) recessed lights if you use these lights. It is best to put the
things that heat and cool your home inside the conditioned space. If you decide to install them in the attic then
the roofline install makes a huge difference. With this application the attic becomes semi conditioned.

Hvac system can be downsized, get a load calc and stay away from that rule of thumb sizing (usually 500 sq ft per
ton) Oversizing of hvac systems is a huge problem because
they don't run long enough to remove humidity..and high Relative Humidity and mold are issues.

Louisiana has a program called HERO Home Energy Rebate Option through the dept of natural resources.
I've been a rater for 10+ years and don't know everthing
but do know what works in most cases.I admit that I have
good resources when my clients ask something I am unsure of
I tell them that I need to check it out and get back to them.

visit site and you can
review the information for our climate.
Joe knows. And he shares,,you can email him
and he gets back to you farily his schedule allows.

best of luck,.

clipped on: 08.19.2010 at 11:45 pm    last updated on: 08.19.2010 at 11:45 pm

Essen faucet or other from galaxy tool supply?

posted by: jessie21 on 07.08.2008 at 09:06 pm in Kitchens Forum

I ordered my sink today from galaxy tool supply and the woman I talked to said I would get a discount on a faucet if I chose one of theirs. Although their website is still on the fritz so I couldn't see much, on ebay they have an Essen faucet that looks nice. I was wondering if anyone has ordered their faucets from them and if so, what kind? Are you happy with it? Anyone have an Essen? thanks!


Posted by ma-bookreader (My Page) on Tue, Jul 8, 08 at 23:04

I bought this faucet: LI-VLK-6 Adige Pull Out Kitchen Faucet
It is very much like the Moen faucet that my counter guy recommended. I have not used it yet, so I can't comment on that.

My experience with buying from Galaxy Tool Supply was excellent. My order came in about 2 days and I did not pay for expedited shipping. I bought the sink and faucet from them and the pricing was incredible. The faucet was much cheaper than the posted web site price.

clipped on: 08.18.2010 at 03:29 am    last updated on: 08.18.2010 at 03:30 am

WAY over budget, who has best priced faucets on line

posted by: dd70 on 01.30.2008 at 05:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi all-Im looking for a pulldown faucet, single handle. I ordered my sink from GTS.....saw a Sonoma faucet there in brushed nikel for $273 but never heard of sonoma. Is this a good brand at a good price. Can anybody recommend an on-line store with great prices/quality. Thanks!

clipped on: 08.18.2010 at 03:05 am    last updated on: 08.18.2010 at 03:06 am

RE: New garage floor Epoxy? Pad? Tiles? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: sniffdog on 05.28.2009 at 10:08 am in Building a Home Forum


I just finished my garage floor and used a comination of solutions discussed above. First, I used a Behr 2 part expoxy paint wall to wall and after it fully cured, put down 2 of those car mats sold at costco (GT brand - about 180 bucks for a 7.5' x 17' roll). It is exaactly what I was looking for.

I have two 2car garages that we designed to give us plenty of room for vehciles and storage. Garage 1 is about 750 square feet anf Garage 2 is about 850. After the construction was finished the dust and dirt were awefull. The cost to put down tile or wall to wall vinyl rolls was too expensive. So I opted for the paint wall to wall to help keep dust & dirt down and the car mats to protect the floor against salt in winter. Total cost of paint plus mats for for garage 1 was about 800 plus I bought a pressure washer from HD for 99 bucks which I will have many other uses for so I did not include in the total.

Here are some tips that I learned about the expoxy:

1) Clean the floors twice. The kits come with an crystalized acid that you mix with water to use as a cleaner and etcher. It was OK for the first clean but not good enough for total clean & etch. If I had only done one cleaning and put paint down I am sure it would peel. Prior to the first cleaning, use a scrapper for chisel to get any glue or paint off the floor. For the second cleaning I purchased 2 bottles of muriatic acid for 10 bucks at HD and used 1 pint per gallon in the mix and put down using a plastic flower watering can. I scrubbed and then used the power washer to really work the floor. Amazing amount of dirt & debris pulled up on second clean. Make sure the floor is really dry before you apply the paint.

2) The kits greatly over estimate how many square feet they cover. The Behr kit said it covers 200 to 250 sq feet. That is total BS! I used 6 kits to cover 750 square feet with a nice coat (but not too heavy). I just had enough paint to finish.

3) Purchase extra sprinkles if you have a lot of imperfections in your floor. The sprinkles are the magic ingredient that cover up any marks in the floor when they floated it. I used 10 bags of sprinkles for a 750 square foot floor and just had enough (6 came with the kits and I bought 4 more).

4) The kits tell you to paint a 3' x 3' area and then apply sprinkles. I did not like this approach because what they don't tell you is that sprinkles go everywhere including the next area to be painted. So you wind up rolling over sprinkles which is bad - it might actually prvent paint from getting on the surface. It also results in a patchy look when done. I took some advice from the pro's and made myself a pair of spiked shoes. I used 2 pieces of 1 x 6 big enough to support a shoe. I drilled a bunch of 1.5" screws into the board and then glued a pair of old water shoes onto the top of the board. I rolled all the paint on 1/2 of my garage (I have a cement seem running down the middle so it provided a natual break) and once all the paint was down - put on my spiked shoes and walked carefully out on the painted surface and tossed the sprinkles. This approach allowed me to make sure I had uniform sprinkle coverage acorss a very large section of painted surface. It looks great! The spike shoes do not leave any marks in the floor - the paint closes up over after you move.

5) I used the anti-slip additive and I like it. It does take the sheen out of the floor but when it gets wet it will provide good foot traction.

6) The GT mats from costco are great - and a fabulous price for the size and quality of the material.

7) I did the entire job myself. It would have been nice to have someone help with the trim but DW is horrible with a paint brush.

8) I bought the Behr product becuase there was no wait time after mixing and it had an 8 hour pot time. It was dry to the touch in 2 hours and I could walk on it after 8. The first half of the garage was done in low humidity so it dried very fast. Second half was done in higher humidity so it took longer to dry.

9) When you apply the paint with the roller - roll on in 2 directions. I rolled east to west first and then south to north second. I divided up 1/2 the garage floor into 3 sections, each about 125 square feet, using tape on the walls to make sure that I spread a full paint kit over each section. This allowed me to make sure that I was applying a uniform amount of paint over the floor and that I would have enough to finish.

I got most of my tips reading posts on the garage forum. This site saved my bacon again!

Good luck with the floor!


clipped on: 08.02.2010 at 12:46 am    last updated on: 08.02.2010 at 12:46 am

RE: wedi for steam shower (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mongoct on 07.03.2010 at 02:05 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Either is fine. Both are excellent for this application, and in a steam shower I'll use them on all six sides (walls, floor, ceiling) of the steam shower cube.

Personally I use Kerdi due to the limited availability of Wedi in my area. I've been using Kerdi for over 10 years with no problems.

If you go with Kerdi I recommend going over cement board (not fiber-cement, but Durock or Wonderboard). The cement board can be hung just like in a "regular" shower, but the seams do not have to be thinsetted and mesh taped as the Kerdi will serve that function.

If your guy goes with Wedi, then he has to pay specific attention to the fasteners and seams, every penetration through the Wedi board has to be detailed. It's not as onerous as it sounds, it's just that details need to be paid attention to.

For a steam shower you won't want a ceiling vent inside the shower unless it is a positively dampered vent. You don't want steam entering the fan housing or going up into the duct where it will cool, condense, and drip back down into the stem shower.

Lights should be gasketed vapor-proof lights.

All plumbing penetrations through the wall should be sealed to the Kerdi or Wedi membrane. Steam showers have a strong vapor drive, they will push moisture vapor through any crack or crevice that is not detailed. The goal is to keep moisture within the shower and out of the framing cavities.

The ceiling should be sloped a minimum or 2" per foot.

I recommend porcelain or ceramic tiles in a steam shower over natural stone tiles in a steam shower due to vapor drive, the porosity of natural stone, and the free minerals within some natural stones.

The floor will be tiled? Wedi has their own sloped floor tray, if you can use one to conform to your desired shower size that's one way to go. Kerdi has a similar manufactured presloped tray.

Since most showers I do are one-off and custom sized, with Kerdi I build my floor slope from deck mud, Kerdi goes over the sloped mud, and tiles goes on the Kerdi. Easy to do.

There is a thread with a Kerdi installation, though it's not a steam shower.

Another option would be to cement board the shower cube, then thinset and tape the seams, and then use a trowel/roll/paint on membrane over the cement board. Most membranes in that family are waterproof but not vaporproof. You need both. I'm fairly certain that Ultraset is a vaporproof vapor barrier, but your tile guy should look into that.


framing should be sloped.
Bill V travels and knows his stuff.

Isn't there a design and or set of plans a specifications for this shower?

If not , I strongly suggest you cease work immediately and acquire a plan by someone with knowledge. This is not one of those things that usually turns out well by leaving things to a conversation with a builder and a sketch on a napkin with a pretty magazine picture.

clipped on: 07.06.2010 at 10:20 pm    last updated on: 07.06.2010 at 10:23 pm

RE: Help decide banquette layout (and other questions)... (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: buehl on 07.04.2010 at 10:42 am in Kitchens Forum

I like the second one...the kitchen in is more open and eliminates the always problematical corner & corner storage!

One of the concerns I have about the first layout is that something on the counter behind the bench could be knocked over onto the bench (or anyone sitting there) b/c that counter isn't very deep.

A note about counter depths and aisle sure your KD is measuring counter edge-to-counter edge and not cabinet edge-to-cabinet edge b/c the counter edge measurement is the more important measurement in both cases. In your layouts, the measurements appear to be based on a mix of cabinet & counter edges...not very useful for planning purposes. There's approx a 1.5" overhang on each counter edge that's not against the wall. As an example, in the case of the island, the actual depth of the island is the depth of the cabinets + 1.5" + 1.5".

Message/Command Center. I think the best location is on the 32-1/4" wall shared by the Mudroom & Kitchen. You could do one of two things...

  1. Put in 24" deep cabinets partially (12" or so) or wholly recessed into the Mudroom (Upper + Base cabinet OR Tall Cabinet w/upper doors that open into the cabinet).

    You could put in 27" cabinets and that would leave you with 5" to accommodate trim around the doorway plus a couple of inches of "breathing room" b/w the trim & cabinets.

    Tall Cabinet vs Upper/base pair...If you put in a tall cabinet with upper doors, you would have the option of leaving it open most of the time and closing it if you have company and want to hide any clutter that may have accumulated. Sweeby has such a setup (she calls it her "Organization Closet") (Pic in this thread Built in Kitchen Desk questions)

    A base/upper cabinet pair, OTOH, allows you to have some open space as well as storage above & below. It allows allow you to extend your counterspace area...if you love your counter material you might like this option!


  2. Make that wall 9" to 10" deep and put in a Message Center Niche approx 29" wide x 9" deep (leaving 1" depth for drywall & plywood...the drywall for the Mudroom side & plywood on the Niche side for added strength)...similar to mine...

    Message Center Niche Closeup

    The only thing I will suggest is make it taller...go from as close to the floor as possible (maybe 6" to 9" or so off the floor). I didn't think of that until it was too late. I could have added more storage (like mail or directories) or decorative space.

    Our niche is 20"W x 47"H x 7"D (The opening is actually 48" high, but the sill takes up 1" so the net usable area is 47"H.) I'm not home right now to measure, but I think ours is 3' off the floor.

Now, for some things you didn't ask about...

First, DW location. Right now, that DW is in the middle of the Prep Zone...whether you prep on the island or on the counter b/w the sink &'s smack dab in the middle and in the way! I strongly suggest you move the DW to the other side of the sink! The added advantage of moving the DW is that you can then store dishes in the cabinet above and to the right of the DW...not only putting the DW near dish storage but also putting the dishes very near their point-of-use...the table...a big plus!

Are those "Dish Drawers" DW drawers or where you were thinking of storing your dishes? If the former, do you need another set of DW drawers? If the latter, the dishes are in the middle of the Prep Zone and Cooking Zone and will mean anyone emptying the DW or setting the table will get in the way of anyone prepping or cooking.

Moving the dishes above and to the right (as you face the DW) of the DW on the wall will take dish storage out of the way...all part of the separation of the Cleanup Zone from the Prep & Cooking Zones...and something to strive for. I'd store mixing bowls, etc. in those drawers to the left of the Prep Sink...puts them right where you need them!

Next, Warming Drawer location. I suggest moving the WD to the cabinet b/w the Cleanup Sink and range. The closer a WD is to the range (or cooktop), the more useful it is and the more often it gets used.


clipped on: 07.06.2010 at 10:06 pm    last updated on: 07.06.2010 at 10:07 pm

RE: Newspaper pots (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: ilene_in_neok on 02.01.2008 at 09:46 am in Frugal Gardening Forum

Today I made square newspaper pots and I think I'm going to like them better. I used a square wooden pencil holder as my form. It was part of a desk set. But you could use anything that you want to. This pencil holder is about 3" on all four sides and about 4" tall.

I took a sheet of newspaper, already folded once, and cut it along the second fold, where it naturally gets folded before the carrier rolls it into a roll. I took each piece, (about 10" x 28"), and folded it once, long ways. This resulted in a strip about 5" x 28". Then I just wrapped the strip around the form until I got to the end of the paper strip. Put a small piece of tape down to hold it. Then turn over your form and fold the paper down like you're wrapping the end of a Christmas present. Put a little piece of tape down to hold that.

Because they're square, they fit together better in a tray (I use old cake pans I buy at garage sales, and just put the pots in rows in the pan). Because the bottoms have been folded flat, they sit up better.

I really like the idea of newspaper pots. So economical, so recyclable, so much easier on the plants when it's time to set out, and the newspaper acts like a sponge and helps keep the plant roots moist between rains. There's no need to unfold the pot when you plant because the roots will grow right through, but if you really want to, it's quick and easy. If you like round ones, you can use tomato paste can for the form. I found these to be a little too small and liked to use a soup can better. You can make them as deep as you want, really. Provided that you use enough layers, you can just about make your newspaper pot any size (and shape) that you want.

The origami pots are cute, but they take more time to make, and I must be "origami challenged" because mine are always lop-sided. I also like a little more paper at the bottom than these end up having.

The wonderful thing about all these options is that you have lots of ways to choose from, whatever works best for you!


clipped on: 02.14.2010 at 01:02 am    last updated on: 02.14.2010 at 01:02 am

RE: And, my NEW oven tries to ruin Xmas dinner!! Advice, pls! (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: live_wire_oak on 12.26.2009 at 07:15 pm in Kitchens Forum

I once had a very irate lady call our store chewing us out about the amount of smoke her new range made. Well, she had forgotten to remove the taped on bottle of oven cleaning cream that the manufacturer had supplied. So, I always ask if the cavity has been inspected well before being engaged in operation!

So first make sure that you've removed all of the literature and supplies that came with the oven. That includes any tape and tape residue. Tape residue can produce some nasty smoke. Check your storage drawer or broiler drawer if that is how your range is configured.

Then, make sure you've done the required burnoff that new ovens will need. That should be done before actually using it to cook with. It's a stinky process, but you have to heat the oven to 450 and keep it there for a couple of hours while any of the machine oil and grease burns off. You should be standing by to operate fans and open any windows while this process occurs. After you've done both of these things, run the self cleaning cycle (Make sure your racks are removed if they aren't also self cleanable. Most aren't.) Let your oven cool and wipe it out with soap and water.


clipped on: 12.29.2009 at 12:21 am    last updated on: 12.29.2009 at 12:21 am

RE: Show me your glass front cabinets, please :) (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: jodi_in_so_calif on 03.04.2008 at 10:45 am in Kitchens Forum

Here is a photo of glass doors we had installed in our bar area next to our kitchen.
We chose Reeded glass, on a horizontal cut.
We hadn't finished filling the cabinets yet so it's hard to see how visible items are behind the glass.

We used the chart below from Feather River Doors as our guide when choosing.


Samples of glass types



clipped on: 12.16.2009 at 07:23 am    last updated on: 12.16.2009 at 07:23 am

RE: Pull-out bread board (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: plllog on 12.15.2009 at 01:45 pm in Kitchens Forum

Well, you need the cabinetry that accepts them. They used to be de rigeur, but they're currently out of style. You need to have face frame cabinets, or replace a drawer in euro style with a frame (though I've seen a drop down fake drawer front covering the board).

Check this thread for Love2cook4six's custom full overlay with cutting board (with pics), and scroll down to the end where Fori talks about adapting a drawer to be both a drawer and a cutting board (not cutting board in drawer).

These people make the boards boards. These people have boards too.

For a wheelchair user I might do something custom, with more support than a standard pullout cutting board. Something with a cantilever so the downward pressure would be supported. Even if it were essentially an upside down drawer with a cutting surface on the top.


clipped on: 12.16.2009 at 07:03 am    last updated on: 12.16.2009 at 07:04 am

RE: Fire and Ice 2 X 2 Morena Tile-Amber (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: jan01tx on 09.04.2008 at 10:50 am in Kitchens Forum

Well, after multiple phone calls, I tracked the 2X2 tiles down and want to share the information in case anyone else needs it. MasterTile in Anaheim, CA, still has approx. 1800 sq.ft. of the amber tiles; it has been discontinued but will be available until it all sells. Their phone number is (714)712-8210. The product ID is: INT-ILV-BURAMB. I ordered 2 sq.ft. for a total cost, including $15 shipping to Texas, for $50.00.

That is the good news. The bad news is, I found out late yesterday afternoon that the Fire and Ice is backordered until OCTOBER 31. I can't imagine waiting another 2 months for my backsplash to finally be completed, but I love the tile sooo much that I am willing to wait.

Thanks again for everyone's help!!


clipped on: 12.07.2009 at 10:50 pm    last updated on: 12.07.2009 at 10:50 pm

Actual Kitchen Map (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: buehl on 07.18.2008 at 12:45 am in Kitchens Forum

Like Raehelen, I created an MS Word document...well, actually two.

The first was a list of everything I had in my old kitchen plus everything that should have been stored in the kitchen but wasn't.

The second document was a "map" of my kitchen. First, I took a picture of my kitchen design and, in MS PowerPoint, labeled each cabinet & shelf/drawer. There were two pictures, one for each side of the kitchen. Then, I saved them as "jpg" images. I then inserted them into an MS Word document, each on its own page. I then created a table with one row for each shelf/drawer.

My last step was to map the items from the first document to the cabinets & shelves/drawers in the second document.

That document is now in our new kitchen and is used by everyone to remember where everything goes.

This process worked great!

Now, here's my map/list (sorry the pics are so big, but when I made them smaller they were illegible!):

Sink/Window Wall Kitchen Map (medium)

Cooktop Wall Kitchen Map (medium)



clipped on: 11.25.2009 at 02:17 am    last updated on: 11.25.2009 at 02:19 am