Clippings by chris45ny

 Sort by: Last Updated Post Date Post Title Forum Name 

RE: Any install advice for fire and ice? (Follow-Up #27)

posted by: chris45ny on 07.07.2010 at 10:10 am in Kitchens Forum

Will take some finished pics and will post a thread later today detailing what we did with pics at each stage of the process. I'll list the things we used and what we bought for the install.

NOTES:

<none>
clipped on: 12.17.2010 at 12:02 pm    last updated on: 12.17.2010 at 12:02 pm

RE: Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists) (Follow-Up #60)

posted by: buehl on 07.12.2009 at 01:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

  • Posted by stonegirl (My Page) on Sun, Jun 21, 09 at 13:41

    1. Lifetime Sealer: With modern sealer technology advancing as fast as (or even faster than!) computer technology, it is difficult to keep up with all the developments. The most recent development is called "nano technology", which, for all intents and purposes, mean that the solid particles in the sealer (the stuff that makes the sealer work) are very, very small and combined with advanced solvent technology, these particles can penetrate deeper into the stone and do a better job of sealing it.

      There are a number of sealers on the market that make use of this technology and some even give lifetime warranties for properly applied sealers. A couple of these are "Dry Treat" and "Surface Treatment Technologies". STT has a proprietary combination sealer consisting of SB (the first application) and FE (the final application) that offers superior protection even on extremely porous surfaces. The guys over at the SFA did side-by-side testing of Dry Treat and the STT combination and found STT to be the superior product.

      That said, there are a few others out there that I am not familiar with and could offer the same benefit. Just be wary of companies that claim to be "certified applicators" or some such. A lot of people saw a niche in a market and are trying to fill it by employing shady techniques.

      Lifetime sealers often are more expensive than regular good quality sealers, and as some have noted before me, sealer application is no big deal and can be done at home and by yourself fairly easily. Just be sure to purchase a high quality product with a recognized brand name, such as Miracle or StoneTech, to name a couple.

      BUT: Not all stones need sealer either. Stones like Blue Pearl, Ubatuba, Black Galaxy, Verde Peacock, Verde Butterfly, Platinum Pearl and many others are too dense to absorb any liquids - sealers included. Sealers only protect stone from staining through absorption, so in stones with low absorption co-efficients, sealing would be superfluous.

      Sealing dense stones could lead to nasty results, such as streaking and ghost etching, so DO NOT go by the motto of "seal it anyway, it could not hurt". Rather test your stone for absorption by dripping water on it to see if it darkens any. If the water has no effect on the stone, sealing it is unnecessary.

    2. Seams: DO NOT pick a stone to satisfy the abilities (or lack of!) the fabricator. A good fabricator will be able to make a good seam in whatever stone you select. MIA standards for seams list 1/8" as being acceptable. As with all bureaucratic institutions they are decidedly behind the curve in technology and applications, and there are fabricators who strive to make seams virtually disappear. Do know that it is more challenging to make seams "disappear" in veined or boldly patterned stones and fabricators will charge accordingly.

      Ask your intended fabricator(s) to have you see actual installed kitchens and look at the quality of the work they have done - not just on the seams, but on the rest of the kitchen too. Check for good edge polishing, consistent overhangs and overall appearance of the job. Speak to the homeowners (if they are available) and ask about their experiences with the fabricator. Showrooms could be misleading. Remember, they are designed to make you buy stuff :)

    3. Seam Locations: There are very many variables that go into the location of a seam. Appearances, although important too, are secondary to a number of them, including slab length, material pattern, installation hazards, cabinet and cut-out locations and access to the installation, to name a few.

      You could ask your stone guy to consider a seam in a location that would be preferable to you, and he will proceed with due consideration, but ultimately, it is his decision where they go in order to provide a quality installation. A good fabricator will discuss them with you and provide motivation for his choices.

    4. Seams over dishwashers: If done well and supported properly, there is no issue with having a seam over a dishwasher. The glue will not melt, the stone will not weaken and no disaster will occur IF it was done well. Most fabricators will avoid doing seams over the DW because the extra precautions are time and material intensive, but sometimes they can not be helped.

      Extra precautions for seams over a DW could include a "biscuit" joint at the seam, a ledger board screwed in the back wall or support plates glued under the seam, to name a few.

    5. Pricing: Pricing is a carbuncle. Every shop has a different way of doing it, and practices vary from region to region. Some shops will give all inclusive prices, some use itemized bills, others will charge for labor and material and some others might charge them separate. In some parts of the country fabricators require you buy your own materials.

      My advice would be to compare the bottom line of all quotes and determine of you are comparing oranges to oranges. Determine what you would like: material, edge profile, cut-outs and backsplashes. Get estimates from the fabricators that will deliver the same end result and compare those. See if the price includes all the options you prefer, along with material and installation. Once you have all the details determined, looking at the final prices should then give a you a monetary comparison between the different operators.

      Although the price should be important when deciding on a fabricator, do not forget to look at other things like quality, customer service and your own *gut feeling* when you shop for a stone guy.

    6. MIA or not?: Does it matter? The MIA has no means of policing the fabricators that belong to them and joining the association only costs about $500 or so. Anybody can write a check and then put MIA on their business cards. We used to belong to them, but for fundamental reasons gave up our membership. This did not make our quality go downhill all of a sudden. In fact, the standards that we set for our shop were consistently higher than the MIA "required" for any of their members. In short - being an MIA member will NOT be a guarantee of any kind of good service or quality installation. Much rather look at the ethics and business practices of the fabricators on your short list.

    ______________________________________________________________

    Other comments from our experts:

    • You shouldn't seal granite under a .25% absorption
    • Leathered finish stones are typically finished to a semi-gloss and would most likely not benefit from a sealer. It is easy to see if you need one, though. Try and get an untreated sample from the fabricator and do a water test on it. See if the stone darkens if it is exposed to water. My guess is that the Brazilian Black will not.

      If it shows finger marks and such, an enhancing sealer would be a better option - it will be a semi-topical treatment on a stone that dense, so it might need to be re-applied occasionally, depending on how often and with what kind of cleaners you clean your stone.

      Impregnating sealers and enhancers are designed to work from within the stone - i.e. they need to be absorbed to work properly. On dense stones with alternative finishes like brushing, leathering or honing, these sealers will get stuck in the surface texture, giving the desired effect. It will not really be absorbed within the stone, but kinda' stuck in the surface - subject to removal by mechanical means such as a vigorous scrubbing :)

  • NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 10.19.2010 at 10:26 am    last updated on: 10.19.2010 at 10:27 am

    RE: Cooktop covers - is there such an animal? (Follow-Up #5)

    posted by: nancy_in_mich on 08.16.2010 at 02:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Flammable wood on top of a flame source... Just does not sound like a great idea to me. Old style enamel stoves in the early to mid 20th century sometimes had enamel tops for the burner area.

    Look what popped up when I did a search on "burner covers."

    Here is a link that might be useful: Stove Topper

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 08.16.2010 at 10:08 pm    last updated on: 08.16.2010 at 10:08 pm

    Hobokenkitchen's New, Modern Kitchen for the FKB

    posted by: hobokenkitchen on 12.16.2009 at 06:11 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Cabinets: Custom made Mahogany veneer with all soft close cabinets and drawers.

    Appliances: Range: 36' All Gas Wolf Range
    Hood: 36' low profile Wolf hood
    Refrigerator: 30' Subzero built in fridge freezer
    Dishwasher: Fisher & Paykel Dishwasher drawers

    Countertops: Quartzite - natural stone seen under the names 'Monte Carlo' , 'Mother of Pearl' and 'Madre Perle'. Harder (and more brittle) than granite. This particular quartzite does not appear to etch.
    Fabricated by Wolf Granite in Philadelphia.

    Flooring; Ceramic Tile with metal infused into it. Purchased at Artistic Tile in 6 x 24s.

    Handles: Purchased at www.myknobs.com - amazing pricing compared to other sources.

    Faucet: Danze Parma pull down faucet in stainless steel purchased on ebay.

    Sink: Stainless steel, zero radius apron sink purchased on ebay.

    Backsplash: Tao toffee purchase at www.glasstilestore.com

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Here's a close up of the ceramic floor. You can see the metalic sparkles from close up only. From the dining room you can't tell, but when you are actually on the floor you can see the sparkles.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Here's a pic of the two seams at either side of our sink (we picked a small slab).

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    and the quartzite slab before fabrication:

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 08.08.2010 at 10:47 am    last updated on: 08.08.2010 at 10:48 am

    RE: do you ever get tired of ..food porn...please post yours too (Follow-Up #10)

    posted by: trailrunner on 07.30.2010 at 09:36 am in Kitchens Forum

    Holly I forgot to include the link . You can see by the time of my post that I should have been asleep LOL.

    THANK YOU purplepansies for posting it...I was just getting ready to do so. I am glad you like the pics. I sure wish lots of others would share what they are doing in their "new and not so new " kitchens. We all love to see how to use the appliances we spent so much time choosing...also the splashes on those amazing back splashes and the countertops and how they function.

    Here are tips that will enhance the eggplant recipe. First don't fry the eggplant. Everyone is aware of how much oil it takes to brown eggplant. Thanks to cat_mom I tried her method and it is wonderful...I even added a couple touches of my own to it. Slice the eggplant with the skin intact, roughly 1/4-1/3 " thick. Dust with the flour and then dip in the egg and then into the seasoned bread crumbs. I use home made and added a lot of dried Itl. herbs to them and the grated parmesan cheese. Coat the eggplant well by pressing into the crumbs. Now here is where you really change the recipe. Take an oven rack and spray with PAM. Lay the slices on the rack over a pan and place in a preheated 425 oven with convection if you have it. I didn't spray the slices with oil at all as cat did and they crisped up really well . Due to the convection and the black baking tray that the Miele oven comes with I didn't have to turn the slices either. It was amazing how pretty and crisp and brown the slices came out. I set them aside and didn't reheat them for the dish. It worked great and they retained their crispness.

    Number 2, don't make that much ricotta. It is too much. I scooped out about 3/4 c or less. I creamed it with salt and pepper and a little 1/2 and 1/2 as my ricotta was really thick. I then folded in a handful of minced fresh basil. This is what I used for the cheese layer.

    I think you could use any fave dressing for the dish. I used the wrong mustard and that, added to the vinegar and the lemon juice they called for, made it taste like my potato salad dressing so it was the part of the recipe I didn't like very much.

    You will probably need less eggplant than they say. I used all of a pretty small fat one and a slice or two from one more. Make sure you get the fat short ones so your finished slices will be as big as the tomato you are using.You only need 3 slices per person.

    Now for the treat. I made a bunch of extra slices of the eggplant 2 days later. I used all the eggplant I had purchased. I then used 8 of them in an eggplant lasagna. I layered them with the ricotta and the noodles and used a LOT of marinara that I made and topped with mozzarella and parmesan and covered tightly and baked for one hour at 350, then removed the foil and let it brown a bit. It was fantastic and the eggplant worked out really well. The reason I cover and bake one hour is that I don't cook my noodles and they get tender and lovely in the extra marinara with the foil on the dish. From now on though DH says he is going to make the sheets of his pasta for lasagna so I have bought my last noodles...woohoo.

    One last treat. Take the rest of the browned and crisp eggplant and spread of spoonful of pesto on each one...it is an amazing appetizer !! My SIL was visiting and she said...."do you need these extra slices?". I said no and she said ," OK, I am going to eat them this way!". WOW were they good. So my head started thinking of how to do this for a party. I came up with using Japanese eggplant. Slice in rounds and follow the above method to cook them till crisp and then use them with toppings. I am sure someone else has thought of this but I post it here for you to try . Great way to use up the extra eggplant in your markets this summer or your CSA box or your own garden if you are lucky . And low in calories too :) c

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 08.07.2010 at 02:56 pm    last updated on: 08.07.2010 at 02:56 pm

    RE: do you ever get tired of ..food porn...please post yours too (Follow-Up #7)

    posted by: trailrunner on 07.30.2010 at 03:02 am in Kitchens Forum

    Thank you doonie !! I am not much of a photographer though. Why don't I see the "extras" in the photo before I shoot LOL???? Always in too much of a hurry.

    jsw: you are sweet ! I looked the MG up as I wasn't familiar with them. We lived in Chapel Hill for 4 1/2 yrs but it was way before their time. They have a lovely menu ! I know what you mean about preparing the same things. Especially when you have kids , it is hard to have time to explore. I hope you do get to branch out.

    Elyse: DH has really got the technique down and his recipe is fool proof. He now has the drying figured out too. When you are all done with that FABULOUS remodel let me know and I will tell you all his secrets LOL...it makes it so much easier and you won't have to do as he did and waste time on the internet sites with failures.

    gilly: the Today Show featured the eggplant dish. I put the link at the bottom. Be sure and use GP mustard....it changes the dressing if you don't. For the portobello: get large ones and gently scrape out the gills. Pull of stem and set aside. I gently rinse the mushroom as I want them moist for stuffing but clean them however you like. Place all you are using , I make one per person, in an oiled baking dish with sides. Saute the chopped reserved stems, diced red onion and red bell pepper in EVOO. Add salt and pepper and fresh/dried herbs to taste. Fill each mushroom cavity with the vegs. Cover with thin slices fresh mozzarella and then grated parmesan. Add a small amount of water to the dish. Place in the oven at 350 and bake till the cheese is starting to brown and shrooms are tender. I sometines get a lot of broth that cooks out and sometimes not. It I do then I serve them in a deeper bowl with the broth and bread to sop it up...it is delicious ! The tomato topping for the pasta is easy. Depending on how much pasta you are making, cut up fresh tomatoes in large dice and place them with their juice in a bowl. Add a small amount of EVOO and salt and pepper and very finely sliced red onion and minced garlic. Add a handful of fresh basil thinly sliced. Toss and let marinate at room temp while you prepare the rest of the meal. When it has given off plenty of juicy goodness cook your pasta and then drain it and immediately toss with the tomatoes...you can see the proportion of tomato/pasta in the pic. Add lots of fresh grated cheese and serve. Also the leftovers are wonderful. Just place the pasta/tomato that is left in a dish and cover and chill. Serve the next day, believe me the pasta takes up some of the juicy stuff and is still very very good ! Enjoy ....let me know if you are interested in the homemade pasta, I would be glad to pass it along too.

    NOPE cat it wasn't the same person :) Your pics are SO PRETTY ! Love the closeup. I had the baby spinach so used it in the Napoleons. It sure makes a great dish. As always ...you are a PEACH ! XXOO c

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 08.07.2010 at 02:55 pm    last updated on: 08.07.2010 at 02:55 pm

    RE: do you ever get tired of ..food porn...please post yours too (Follow-Up #9)

    posted by: purplepansies on 07.30.2010 at 08:18 am in Kitchens Forum

    Found the eggplant recipe from the Today Show. Trailrunner, thank you for sharing those amazing photos! Plan on making the eggplant this weekend!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Eggplant Napoleon Recipe

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 08.07.2010 at 02:53 pm    last updated on: 08.07.2010 at 02:53 pm

    RE: Help! Granite countertop installation this morning... (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: boxerpups on 07.09.2010 at 04:42 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Hi Galleycook,

    What did your installer say to do? I just posted this
    note to Shilosmom on the decorating forum. Maybe it can
    help you too.

    --------------

    Hi Shilohsmom,

    Normally granite is sealed at the factory but should still
    be sealed once installed in your home.

    I have Virginia Jet Mist honed granite that is known to be
    a bulletproof granite. Statues and monuments are made of
    this stuff. But, I still needed to seal it. 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.

    I have a family that is clumbsy and is known to spill
    Vinegar, Oil, Lemon, Red wine (does not show on my
    granite), melted butter, melted cheese, amd a host of
    other products that could ruin a counter.
    So sealing my countertop is really important for the life
    of my kitchen.

    Why should I be concerned about oil on the counter? Well
    oil will eventually evaporate from the stone but it takes
    time. Imagine spilling some car oil onto the driveway.
    Yuck. right? Well I don't want olive, peanut, safflower,
    corn, veggie or any oil to stain my rock. Even smeared
    buuter. 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 hope this helps. If not check out those links and maybe
    they can help you too.
    ~boxerpups

    Oh dear, 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.

    Granite was sealed and has haze HELP
    http://dir.thathomesite.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg061752031423.html?10

    About Sealing Granite counters

    http://homerenovations.about.com/od/kitchens/f/sealgranite.htm

    How to Seal granite from EHow

    http://www.ehow.com/how_2106339_seal-granite-countertop.html

    Granite Sealer a different product that what I used
    http://www.marble-cleaning-products.com/granite-care-products-granite-sealer-c-68_63.html

    Here is a link that might be useful: Sealing Granite

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 07.16.2010 at 09:24 am    last updated on: 07.16.2010 at 09:25 am

    RE2: Help! Granite countertop installation this morning... (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: buehl on 07.09.2010 at 12:43 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Now that I've linked to the FindStone site, I realize antique brown isn't listed!

    However, for any stone you can check for the need for sealing by doing the "sponge test"...

    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.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Read Me If You're New To GW Kitchens!

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 07.09.2010 at 02:53 pm    last updated on: 07.09.2010 at 02:53 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 findstone.com - Table A - L

    Granite lists on findstone.com - Table M - Z

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 07.09.2010 at 02:52 pm    last updated on: 07.09.2010 at 02:53 pm

    RE: Question about the Root Beer Candy glass tiles for fire and i (Follow-Up #15)

    posted by: pudgybaby on 07.04.2010 at 08:19 am in Kitchens Forum

    Marissa_dc: mofojoy (aka moniqua, monica, I think) used black tiles in hers, but they were slightly larger than the 1 5/8". She doesn't have black counters, but her pics will give you an idea of how the black looks in the backsplash. I think she bought the 11 sheets of the amber tiles from Modern Tile and sold the extras to other GWers.

    I have natural cherry cabs (so, no stain - are yours stained?) and black granite (jet mist). I think I have the same replacement tiles that kristine_2009 has, from the same dye lot, lighter than we all wanted. I ordered mine from glass tile oasis. My back splash is installed and I love it - the replacement tiles match my cabinets very closely, but my cabinets will darken some over time. I used ORB pulls and knobs which I think picks up the black counter tops (although ORB isn't truly black, but close).

    These tiles amber glass tiles are color-changing and definitely affected by lighting, not to mention camera flash, exposure, etc. It sounds like the latest dye lot is definitely lighter (thanks, Kristine for investigating that!) but I wonder how much lighter. I just think it's so hard to tell - mine look darker with my under cabinet lights on, which wasn't what I was expecting! I've linked mofojoy's photobucket. I'm embedding one of her photos that shows lighter and darker amber tiles depending on the lighting, possibly the camera flash (the black ones are there too, easily identified because they're a bit bigger). I would say in real life, mine look like the lighter tiles in this photo:
    Photobucket

    Here is a link that might be useful: Mofojoy's photobucket with black glass in fire and ice

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 07.04.2010 at 09:54 am    last updated on: 07.04.2010 at 09:54 am

    RE: Curiosity of the German Breadbox (Follow-Up #19)

    posted by: chris45ny on 06.22.2010 at 01:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Did some checking:

    bread box from www.vermontcountrystore.com for $60 is white enamel over steel made by polder which is written on the front

    bread box from www.stacksandstacks.com for $38 is steel also-in white or black-made by polder which is written on the front

    dimensions of both are the same so I think it's the same item???

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 06.27.2010 at 09:49 pm    last updated on: 06.27.2010 at 09:49 pm

    RE: Looking for bread box that looks like tool chest???? (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: circuspeanut on 06.04.2010 at 04:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

    hi Chris,
    Was it mine by any chance? If so, I got it in East Berlin in the 80s. It's the classic German breadbox design. But sometimes you can find imported ones in antique stores or on eBay!
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Here is a link that might be useful: sample eBay listing

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 06.21.2010 at 07:02 pm    last updated on: 06.21.2010 at 07:02 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."

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 06.10.2010 at 02:50 pm    last updated on: 06.10.2010 at 02:50 pm

    RE: Tile Grout Fix Up Product? (Follow-Up #9)

    posted by: this_old_grout.com on 04.16.2010 at 04:08 am in Kitchens Forum

    Hi, my name is Ken Sherman, founder and President of This Old Grout. I thought I might shed some light on the subject of grout sealing.

    While it's not necessary to seal grout, grout is very porous and will quickly absorb dirt and spills. This leaves the grout discolored and can quicly spoil the look of a room.

    Our Stain Sealer product the gentleman referred to in the post above, not only recolors grout back to a uniform shade of your choice, it also STAIN PROOFS the grout so dirt and spills (and even your Jack Russel's accidents) simply wipe away.

    With a 10-15 year durability, it is the answer to how to properly protect grout. It is different that a clear penetrating sealer.

    Most sealers folks are familiar with are clear penetrating sealers that provide a window of opportunity to pick up a spill before it soaks in and discolors the grout...but even standing dirty mop water can get past a penetrating sealer. All penetrating sealers, even the best ones,only provide STAIN RESISTANCE. And they do not address any color variation in the grout at all. In fact, if there are permanent stains, a sealer just seals them in.

    The difference in the Stain Sealer is that grout is able to be cleaned and maintained looking new. We've been back to projects completed 16 years ago and the grout comes perfectly clean with a drip of dish soap and a light scrub from a toothbrush.

    Here is a link that might be useful: This Old Grout's Stain Sealer

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 06.04.2010 at 03:44 pm    last updated on: 06.04.2010 at 03:44 pm

    Almost finished F&I, Cherry &Black Granite Kitchen

    posted by: jsol on 04.16.2010 at 07:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Haven't visited the forum recently, but just saw a post on F&I so I thought I'd post our almost finished kitchen. The F&I exceeded our expectations! Will post the details of the kitchen when I have a few minutes--

    Here is a link that might be useful: F&I Cherry & Black Granite Kitchen

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 06.04.2010 at 03:37 pm    last updated on: 06.04.2010 at 03:37 pm

    got a little taste of fire and ice..

    posted by: poorowner on 04.12.2010 at 09:15 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Standard install, no replacements of glass.
    This turns out to be a fairly labor intensive and tedious job.. at least for me, as a DIY/hobbyist.

    This was the covering on the wall before the remodel. Well it was cute but.. not really working out.

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 05.26.2010 at 02:38 pm    last updated on: 05.26.2010 at 02:39 pm

    RE: got a little taste of fire and ice.. (Follow-Up #26)

    posted by: poorowner on 04.16.2010 at 11:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Hey Chris45ny, you will need 1/8" spacer to match the factory grout lines. Some are a little less than 1/8", some are more, but 1/16 will be consistently too small.

    I am going to be using either natural grey or a tan color. Havn't decide yet, when you are done use the leftover on a board and grout it and see if it is what you like.

    I plan to write something up when I finished, but the main tip use drywall screws and tape to hold everything up, as much as you need. I used a laser level on a tripod to keep my lines between walls, that helps alot. Without one you would have to carefully draw a line where the grout would go.. because it would show up behind the glasses.

    Those amber tiles are very nice match, I was going to get some from Monica but, the wife said we don't need it because it would look too busy in our context... and I agree.

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 05.26.2010 at 02:37 pm    last updated on: 05.26.2010 at 02:38 pm

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

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

    Countertops

    • 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...


    Appliances

    • 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

    Cabinets

    • 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

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 05.13.2010 at 01:04 pm    last updated on: 05.13.2010 at 01:05 pm

    The Best Way to Clean Various Surfaces (Follow-Up #9)

    posted by: buehl on 02.11.2010 at 12:49 am in Kitchens Forum

    OK, this is what we have so far...


    • Granite & Quartz: Microfiber cloth along with one of the following...
      • 50/50 mix of alcohol & water
      • Hand dish detergent & water (go light on the detergent if your stone is dark)
      • "Method" granite cleaner & polish
      • "Perfect Kitchen" (sold at BB&B)
      • **Warning** Don't 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?

    • 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)
    • Stainless Steel Sinks:
      • Mild detergent & water
      • BarKeeper's Friend (it will also help minimize the look of scratches on the bottom of a sink)
    • Nickel fixtures (polished or brushed):
      • Mild detergent & water
      • **Warning** Don't install a nickel strainer or drain (stick with Stainless Steel or Chrome)
      • **Warning** Don't use BarKeeper's Friend or other chemicals on nickel
      • **Warning** Don't use bleach on nickel
    • Ceramic/Glass cooktops/ranges:
      • Ceramic/glass oven surface cleaner
      • Razor blade for stuck-on food
    • Tile Floors & Backsplashes:
      • Hot water should be all you need for most of the time.
      • If you need a grease-cutter, use Oxyclean.
      • Do not use vinegar or vinegar-containing products. Vinegar works by eating away at the grout, little by little. It'll literally burn the grout away over time.
    • Non-Ceramic/Glass top ranges/cooktops:
      • "Perfect Kitchen" for spot cleaning the black enamel burner pans on Wolf ranges
    • Hardwood Floors:
      • Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner
    • Slate Floors:
      • TBD
    • Slate Backsplashes:
      • TBD

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 05.13.2010 at 09:14 am    last updated on: 05.13.2010 at 09:14 am

    RE: How do you store a LARGE collection of spices? (Follow-Up #71)

    posted by: imrainey on 03.23.2008 at 08:22 pm in Kitchens Forum

    BTW, when freshness and using spices up in a reasonable amount of time is an issue there are many spice blends you can do yourself so you don't have to store every possible combination. Make as much or as little as you want. Most of these recipes fill a 4oz. spice jar.

    Mixing them up is a wonderful sensory experience.

    Here are a few that I do myself:

    Apple Pie Blend
    cup (or 24 parts) cinnamon
    1 tablespoon (or 6 parts) allspice
    2 teaspoon (or 4 parts) nutmeg
    teaspoon (or 1 part) cardamom, optional

    Pumpkin Pie Blend
    cup (or 24 parts) cinnamon
    2 tablespoon (or 12 parts) ginger
    2 teaspoon (or 4 parts) ground cloves
    1 teaspoon (or 2 parts) nutmeg
    teaspoon (or 1 part) cardamom, optional

    Curry Blend
    1 tablespoon (or 1 part) cayenne
    cup (or 8 parts) granulated garlic
    cup (or 12 parts) paprika
    cup (or 4 parts) turmeric
    1 cup (or 24 parts) curry powder

    Mexican Rub for Pork
    1 teaspoon granulated garlic
    1 teaspoon cumin
    teaspoon (or 8 parts) epizote
    teaspoon (or 8 parts) kosher salt
    teaspoon (or 4 parts) freshly ground black pepper
    teaspoon (or 4 parts) ground cloves
    ⅛ teaspoon (or 2 parts) oregano
    1 pinch (or 1 part) cinnamon

    Emeril's "Essence"
    2 tablespoon paprika
    2 tablespoon (or 2 parts) salt
    2 tablespoon (or 2 parts) garlic powder
    1 tablespoon (or 1 part) black pepper
    1 tablespoon (or 1 part) onion powder
    1 tablespoon (or 1 part) cayenne
    1 tablespoon (or 1 part) dried oregano
    1 tablespoon (or 1 part) dried thyme

    Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 05.08.2010 at 01:27 pm    last updated on: 05.08.2010 at 01:27 pm

    Create Your Own Backsplash Mockup - on Arizona Tile Website

    posted by: springvillegardens on 05.04.2010 at 01:51 am in Kitchens Forum

    I've been thinking about a random subway tile stone look with glass accent backsplash for my kitchen. I happened to be on Arizona tile website and I found the coolest tool to do a mock up, I am having so much fun I thought I'd share the link. If your mockup doesn't look good just change the percentages or colors or grout color etc.

    On the right handside of the home page under news, see create mosaic, click on that, wait for it to load, add your shape, colors and percentages, styles, grout and click create blend.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Arizona Tile Mosaic Backsplash Mockup

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 05.04.2010 at 01:14 pm    last updated on: 05.04.2010 at 01:14 pm

    RE: Backsplash Random Oblong Subway Stone Look ? (Follow-Up #12)

    posted by: jodi_in_so_calif on 04.28.2010 at 02:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Here is a direct link to my kitchen Photobucket album. All kitchen details are in the Comment section of the first photo.

    Jodi-

    Here is a link that might be useful: Jodi's Fire & Ice kitchen

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 04.28.2010 at 08:23 pm    last updated on: 04.28.2010 at 08:23 pm

    RE: Quality cabinets. What to look for? (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: chicagoans on 04.25.2010 at 01:01 pm in Kitchens Forum

    This site has some good information; use the "Continue" link near the bottom of the first page to get to the 2nd page of info.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Determining Cabinet Quality

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 04.25.2010 at 01:25 pm    last updated on: 04.25.2010 at 01:25 pm

    Switch plates and Outlet covers

    posted by: plllog on 04.22.2010 at 12:44 am in Kitchens Forum

    I just found SwitchHits.com which has the most amazing and unusual switchplates I've ever seen! Check it out!

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 04.22.2010 at 01:56 pm    last updated on: 04.22.2010 at 01:56 pm

    RE: Refrigerator/pantry door problem-need help!! (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: earth_pal on 04.09.2010 at 01:55 pm in Kitchens Forum

    http://www.myknobs.com/haf16116600.html

    Try googling cabinet hardware flush ring pulls, finger pulls and lots will come up like the one above.

    When I was starting this process, I thought nothing was harder than trying to find a cabinet layout that worked for all of our requirements. Now, I think it is the little things like this, going thru dozens of web pages trying to find the right last detail item...

    Good Luck!! :)

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 04.10.2010 at 02:19 pm    last updated on: 04.10.2010 at 02:19 pm

    RE: Post Your Dream Backsplash (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: buehl on 03.31.2010 at 07:09 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Jodi_in_so_calif's! I love this backsplash!

    Kitchen specs below in Comment section

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 04.01.2010 at 01:06 pm    last updated on: 04.01.2010 at 01:06 pm

    RE: Tile/hardwood floor edging question (Follow-Up #14)

    posted by: bill_vincent on 03.30.2010 at 03:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

    You're welcome. 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.

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 04.01.2010 at 01:04 pm    last updated on: 04.01.2010 at 01:05 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.

    Photobucket

    Photobucket

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 04.01.2010 at 01:03 pm    last updated on: 04.01.2010 at 01:03 pm

    RE: Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists) (Follow-Up #40)

    posted by: buehl on 10.21.2008 at 05:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Sink Undermount Options

    There are pros & cons for each type of reveal:

    • Positive Reveal. The sink shows; granite cutout is slightly larger than sink

      • Pros: Easier to clean b/c you can see the gunk and can easily wipe it off (it only gets nasty if you leave it there)

      • Cons: Silicone (caulk?) is visible, but if they use clear you won't see it when it dries

    • Negative Reveal. The granite overhangs the sink; granite cutout is slightly smaller than the sink

      • Pros: You cannot see the gunk buildup or silicone

      • Cons:
        • You cannot see the gunk to clean it.
        • Dirty water/food can splash up & under where you cannot see to clean it. It's difficult to see underneath w/o leaning way over & into the sink.
        • Dishes/glasses have been known to break b/c when you lift them out near the edge of the sink the dish hits the stone counter & can break (or, if the dish wins, the counter could chip...but I'm not sure how likely that is).

    • Zero Reveal or Flush. Sink & granite are flush or even; the granite cutout & sink are the same size

      • Pros:
        • Easier to clean b/c you can see the gunk
        • No platform over or under for the gunk to collect

      • Cons:
        • More difficult to do perfectly
        • Silicone is visible, but if they use clear you won't see it when it dries

    You will find proponents of all three types of reveals here...but in the end it's what works best for you.

    NOTES:

    <none>
    clipped on: 02.17.2010 at 04:41 pm    last updated on: 02.17.2010 at 04:45 pm