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RE: Backsplash tiling: what is the thinnest backer I can use? Bil (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: bill_vincent on 03.25.2009 at 06:28 pm in Kitchens Forum

Bill - would area behind a kitchen sink be considered "wet" if you only get occasional drips flying off wet hands? Or better to treat it as such in case someone (kid) swivels the faucet too far?

There's only been one time I've ever seen a backsplash that was considered a wet area, and that was at a dog groomer's home, where she had a huge farm sink in the kitchen that she planned to use for bathing dogs.

as far as i know, you CAN use the m-word on a vertical surface and that includes a backsplash, and the tiles can be large if you tile real slow (days and weeks) and use spacers to support the weight while it dries and hardens in place.

I'll say it again-- any vertical surface considered to be a dry area (and that includes backsplashes), so long as it's ceramic-- never with stone, and never with glass. AS for ceramic bigger than 8x8, it's said that because of the bigger notch trowel required to set the bigger tiles, that the mastic tends to never dry completely. You all can set them however you want to. I know plenty of people who will use construction adhesive. Doesn't make it right. I'll give instructions by industry standards. You can take it from there.


clipped on: 03.25.2009 at 07:20 pm    last updated on: 03.25.2009 at 07:20 pm

RE: Never MT Pity Request (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: daki on 02.25.2009 at 08:18 pm in Kitchens Forum

Dug under my sink and found the instructions.
From kitchen remodel

The paper is too shiny to take a picture of the written part so I had to retype them. Any typos are my own :)

Installation Instructions:
1. Pump new dispenser with soap or water to prime the pump.

2. Remove the bottle from the dispenser. Lift out the pump assembly from its base.

3. For Delta pumps with a vent hole, soften the clear vinyl ring in warm water and press onto the pump assembly and up to the collar to cover the vent hole.

4. Soften the end of the SHORT section of tubing in warm water

5. Route the warm end under the countertop and up through the dispenser base

6. Push the softened end onto the pick-up tube of your dispenser's pump about 1/2"

NOTE: if your pickup tube is too thin for a tight fit, pull off the pick-up tube and press the tubing directly onto the pump assembly. For Bradleys and Bobricks and dispensers that have flexible vinyl pick-up tubes, remove the SHORT tubing from the Never-MT Kit and attach the dispenser's tubing directly to the Never-MT Kit's check valve

7. Attach the appropriate cap to the soap container. Slide the remaining caps onto the free end of the kit tubing for storage.

8. Push the end of the tubing down through the attached cap to the bottom of the soap container

9. Place the pump assembly in the dispenser base and pump until soap is dispensed

10. Connect the 2 pieces of hoop and loop strapping to each other overlapping by 1 inch. Screw through the overlap and into your base cabinet to secure your soap's container


clipped on: 02.25.2009 at 11:41 pm    last updated on: 02.25.2009 at 11:42 pm

RE: Please help I beg of you tile grout problems (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bill_vincent on 02.09.2009 at 07:25 am in Kitchens Forum

Nevermind mixing the grout and caulking. Ay place where the tile meets another surface, ESPECIALLY at inside corners, it should be caulked. PERIOD. No grout whatsoever!! Tell your contractor to go back to wherever he got the grout, and get a tube of siliconized latex caulking made by the same company as the grout, in the same color as the grout. It's water washable while wet, and when finished should look just like another grout joint, but it'll be completely pliable.


clipped on: 02.09.2009 at 10:58 am    last updated on: 02.09.2009 at 10:59 am

RE: Is there some special or correct way to level a FL? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: bob_f on 02.08.2009 at 02:00 pm in Laundry Room Forum

Here's an excellent "how-to" post by forum member Bruce that I saved from a few years ago:

It's not a matter of all four feet just "touching" the floor but rather all the weight of the washer "evenly" distributed >between all four legs<. This is not something you just eye or guess at. It takes time to tweek the leveling legs and get it right. It's best to have a load that vibrates spinning at the time you adjust the legs. Throw the bubble level away and forget about it once the washer is sitting relatively level and pleasing to the eye. Below is the method I recommend to get the smoothest operation from your machine:

Tweek the leveling legs with a load spinning until you get the smoothest operation. Bubble leveling is not nearly as critical as having the full weight of the machine "evenly" distributed between all four legs. Again, don't use a bubble level during the final leveling procedure. Start by tightening up the back two legs and their lock nuts first and then finish the tweeking process on the front two legs last. You don't want to be moving the machine out to tweek the rear legs so get them adjusted and lock nuts tight "first". Then position the washer in its final resting place before finishing up the adjustments on the front two legs.

Get down on the floor and examine each foot as the load is spinning. I like to lay down on the floor with my eyes level with the legs. Most likely you'll see one leg moving more than the others. Use a bright light to check this. The leveling leg that moves the most is not supporting enough weight. Thread that leg towards the floor or out from the washer a tad bit and make very small adjustments until you get the least movement and smoothest operation.

You may have to do this again in several months as the machine settles into the flooring material. Also try to thread the leveling legs in as close as possible to the chassis to start with.. only allowing enough space to fit an open end wrench to tighten up the lock nuts. The farther out the leveling legs are threaded, the more chance of vibration. Make sure the lock nuts are tight up against the chassis when finished. Remember, if the leveling legs are threaded out to far and the lock nuts left loose, more vibration will occur.

I'm willing to bet that if owners would follow this simple procedure there would be alot less vibration complaints. A little patience goes a long way so take your time and do it right!

Good Luck!


Here is a link that might be useful: How to balance a front loader?


clipped on: 02.08.2009 at 08:19 pm    last updated on: 02.08.2009 at 08:19 pm

RE: Cleaning Granite (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: petra_granite on 01.26.2009 at 02:55 pm in Kitchens Forum

(*****************This is a recipe that I have been using for five years. I sure hope it's okay:
Granite Cleaner

1 pint alcohol
1 tablespoon dish washing soap
1 tablespoon ammonia
1 tablespoon white vinegar

I use this to clean then occasionally use a stone polish.)*

"If a cleaning product was not specifically formulated
to clean while NOT interacting with the chemical
makeup of the stone, it is not safe to be used, period."
(You are killing me!) no no no no and no
Please: if anything don't take my advice: read: (they have a whole entire "101" on sealing: why we seal: when: how: and "Care "Cleaning" under: "How Granite countertop sealer works": "Granite Counter Top Care: Do's and Dont's"

~you are investing a good amount of money on "natural" countertops from the earth: Take proper care of them!
What is the point in spending the money if you are going to use the same cleaner that you used on formic on your new granite or marble or caesar stone or slate or soap stone???

granite is made of 60% feldspar ;
20% quartz ; 10% biotite mica ; 10% hornblend : and epoxy or polyester resin are applied on the surfaces of the stone for polishing process.

I will list just a few: Do's and Don't: (avoid bad habits) that MAY damage granite. Use granite care and cleaning procedures and products. You eliminate most potential problems without ever having to think to ohard about it or worry that you may be causing damage to your new countertops!

NO acidic subtances: blot fast: wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce, or sodas, cooking oil, vinegar, citrus juice or products.
~~~~Repeated or excessive use of SOAP will cause build-up and dull your countertops shine. (Simple Green is good advice)
~avoid food and/or drinks containing acid.

generic cleaning products: bleach, glass cleaner or degreasers: (dawn: cuts grease)
OK: granite sealers are petroleum based sealers usually: and Dawn Soap was used to clean up oil spills; so not so good to use Dawn Soap on your granite that has a "petroleum" based sealer!
~~~~~These products that you buy at your local stone contain acids, alkalis and other chemicals that can etch or damage the countertop surface or degrade the granite sealer leaving the stone more VULNERABLE TO STAINING.

Trying to save money up front by using cheap cleaners only may ensure that you will spend a lot more time and money on your granite: when you have to call a stone doctor to fix the surface shine of your granite.

never: Vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange cleaners, windex
never bathroom, tile, grout cleaners
never: leave "soap bar or despencer sitting on your granite"

You may not see damage right away: but it will happen eventually.

I tried a new product out on Friday: rated high and I like it: Stone Medic RX: heavy Duty Stone & Ceramic Cleaner: ecolabs:
good link on tons of great cleaners:

I have been using on my own granite for 18 months:

can get that at (all over USA)
There are other good granite/natural stone cleaners out there.

***********EXCELLENT WEBSITE: THE PRO'S***********



clipped on: 01.26.2009 at 10:58 pm    last updated on: 01.26.2009 at 11:00 pm

RE: Under cabinet lighting -- rope? puck? LED? Incandescent? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: poorowner on 01.23.2009 at 03:26 am in Kitchens Forum

I just installed Xenon in my glass cabinet and T4 fluorescent under cabinet. All purchased from Pegasus lighting.

I am quite happy with the T4, the xenon is more for show and uses more energy (and HOT) All my lights are plug in and I control them wirelessly. I described how I installed the wireless in the following post, if you are interested.

This is still under construction I propped a light rail up to test the effect:

Here is a link that might be useful: wireless control for lights


clipped on: 01.23.2009 at 12:52 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2009 at 12:53 pm

RE: Mosaic Size Glass or Slate Backsplashes (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: suzieca on 10.10.2008 at 06:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

here's mine



clipped on: 01.23.2009 at 12:20 pm    last updated on: 01.23.2009 at 12:22 pm

RE: help!!! copper kitchen sink turn white.... (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: circuspeanut on 10.01.2008 at 12:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

I'm glad you got the white issue resolved, Lezard. You can post pictures of your beautiful kitchen following these instructions -- I'd love to see your sink!

Apologies re. the Barkeeper's Friend suggestion -- I have copper countertops that are pure raw copper, and when I need to really clean a spot I use the BF, then let it simply re-patinate again naturally, which happens relatively fast. I have no experience with the commercial "pre-patinated" copper sink finishes that might indeed be harmed by using something scrubbly. :)

Susan, there are chemical solutions that you can buy to patinate copper that will replicate that fabricated finish if your spot isn't patinating quickly enough by itself - check these out, perhaps you could experiment a little?

Flyinghigh, when you refer to waxing your copper, what kind/brand of wax do you use? Thanks!


clipped on: 10.17.2008 at 09:50 pm    last updated on: 10.17.2008 at 09:51 pm

RE: Is my granite fabricator ripping me off! Please read. (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: live_wire_oak on 10.15.2008 at 12:16 pm in Kitchens Forum

Many homeowners measure incorrectly. It's not that you can't read a tape measure, or calculate square footage, it's just that you may not know how stone is fabricated and sold.

For instance:

Did you round up your numbers? Most people don't. If the countertop is 101 1/8" in length, you need to round up to 102", not down to 101".

Did you count the backsplash in the square footage? Many people forget to do that, or use incorrect measurements. If you want the backsplash to equal the height of "regular" laminate countertops, then the height is 4 1/4". That 1/4" inch can add up in a large kitchen.

Did you remember to count side splashes?Once again, many people forget to count that in square footage.

Did you use the proper depth of countertop in your calculations? The cabinet box depth is 24", but the overhang of the countertop is usually 1 1/2". So, the proper depth caculation will use 26" as the depth. (Remember, round up your numbers)

Do you have any 45 angles in your kitchen? Like an angled sink, or one of those peninsulas that comes out in several 45 turns? If so, did you count that 45 piece from the largest dimension, made into a square? YOu have to "square up" any angles or curves, and use the largest dimensions. For a 36" round granite bar top, you'd use 36 x 36 as your calculation dimensions instead of any fancy thing involving pi to get the exact square footage of the circle. You pay for the square piece that the circle has to be cut out of, same as the 45 angled piece.

These are among the many things that homeowners forget when calculating square footage. Unless you have a good sales person on the front end to explain these things to you, very often it is a shock to get a variance from what they've measured. And yes, it all adds up, and sometimes the variance can be 10 feet or more. The larger the kitchen, the larger potential error in homeowner calculations. Yours is a VERY large kitchen. The "average" kitchen that I do is around 60 square feet of countertops, including backsplash.

If you'd post a diagram of your kitchen, I'd be happy to give you what my square footage estimate might be and you can compare it to your fabricators.


clipped on: 10.15.2008 at 02:23 pm    last updated on: 10.15.2008 at 02:23 pm

RE: Granite edges, pics pls, we need to choose (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: azstoneconsulting on 10.01.2008 at 09:50 am in Kitchens Forum

Here's a few edges that I teach other Fabricators to do:

This is what I cal the "Vintage River Washed" edge -
it's a heavy chiseled edge that I polish to look like
it's been "washed" or like an "ice cube" - makes cleaning
it way easy...

This is the "Rope" edge - Igloochick - is this what you
call a "Marine Edge"? This one's on Granite:

Here's another version - softer and wider separation of the
individual segments - done on Travertine:

Here's a "Full Bullnose" 8CM thick profile we did on a conference

and a closeup of the same edge:

Hope that helps ya!



clipped on: 10.04.2008 at 04:52 pm    last updated on: 10.04.2008 at 04:52 pm

RE: Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists) (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: buehl on 06.08.2008 at 11:16 pm in Kitchens Forum

To add to Countertop Support:

"...with a corbel or support every 30" of unsupported overhang."

(from StoneGirl


clipped on: 10.04.2008 at 12:00 am    last updated on: 10.04.2008 at 12:00 am

Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists)

posted by: buehl on 04.14.2008 at 02:56 am in Kitchens Forum

First off, I want to give a big thank-you to StoneGirl, Kevin, Joshua, Mimi, and others (past and current) on this forum who have given us many words of wisdom concerning stone countertops.

I've tried to compile everything I saved over the past 8 months that I've been on this Forum. Most of it was taken from a write-up by StoneGirl (Natural stone primer/granite 101); other threads and sources were used as well.

So...if the experts could review the information I've compiled below and send me comments (here or via email), I will talk to StarPooh about getting this on the FAQ.

Stone Information, Advice, and Checklists:

In an industry that has no set standards, there are many unscrupulous people trying to palm themselves off as fabricators. There are also a number of people with odd agendas trying to spread ill rumors about natural stone and propagate some very confusing and contradictory information. This is my small attempt at shedding a little light on the subject.

Slab Selection:

On the selection of the actual stone slabs - When you go to the slab yard to choose slabs for your kitchen, there are a few things you need to take note of:

  • Surface finish: The finish - be it polished, honed, flamed antiqued, or brushed, should be even. There should be no spots that have obvious machine marks, scratches, or other man made marks. You can judge by the crystal and vein pattern of the stone if the marks you see are man-made or naturally occurring. It is true that not all minerals will finish evenly and if you look at an angle on a polished slab with a larger crystal pattern, you can clearly see this. Tropic Brown would be a good example here. The black spots will not polish near as shiny as the brown ones and this will be very obvious on an unresined slab when looking at an acute angle against the light. The black specks will show as duller marks. The slab will feel smooth and appear shiny if seen from above, though. This effect will not be as pronounced on a resined slab.

    Bottom line when judging the quality of a surface finish: Look for unnatural appearing marks. If there are any on the face of the slab, it is not desirable. They might well be on the extreme edges, but this is normal and a result of the slab manufacturing process.

  • Mesh backing: Some slabs have a mesh backing. This was done at the plant where the slabs were finished. This backing adds support to brittle materials or materials with excessive veining or fissures. A number of exotic stones will have this. This does not necessarily make the material one of inferior quality, though. Quite often, these slabs will require special care in fabrication and transport, so be prepared for the fabricator to charge accordingly. If you are unsure about the slabs, ask your fabricator what his opinion of the material is.
  • Cracks and fissures: Yes - some slabs might have them. One could have quite the discussion on whether that line on the slab could be one or the other, so I'll try to explain it a little.

    • Fissures are naturally occurring features in stone. They will appear as little lines in the surface of the slabs (very visible in a material like Verde Peacock) and could even be of a different color than the majority of the stone (think of those crazed white lines sometimes appearing in Antique Brown). Sometimes they could be fused like in Antique Brown and other times they could be open, as is the case in the Verde Peacock example. They could often also go right through the body of the slab like in Crema Marfil, for instance. If you look at the light reflection across a fissure, you will never see a break - i.e., there will be no change in the plane on either side of a fissure.
    • A crack on the other hand is a problem... If you look at the slab at an oblique angle in the light, you will note the reflection of the shine on the surface of the stone. A crack will appear as a definite line through the reflection and the reflection will have a different appearance on either side of the line - there will be a break in the plane. Reject slabs like this. One could still work around fissures. Cracks are a whole other can of worms.
    • Resined slabs: The resin gets applied prior to the slabs being polished. Most of the resin then gets ground off in the polishing process. You should not be able to see just by looking at the surface of a slab whether it was resined or not. If you look at the rough sides of the slab, though, you will see some drippy shiny marks, almost like varnish drips. This should be the only indication that the slab is resined. There should never be a film or layer on the face of the stone. With extremely porous stones, the resining will alleviate, but not totally eliminate absorption issues and sealer could still be required. Lady's dream is an example. This material is always resined, but still absorbs liquids and requires sealer.
    • Test the material you have selected for absorption issues regardless - it is always best to know what your stone is capable of and to be prepared for any issues that might arise. Some stones indeed do not require sealer - be they resined or not. Baltic Brown would be an example here. It will not absorb one iota of anything, but it is still resined to eliminate a flaking issue.

Tests (especially for Absolute Black) (using a sample of YOUR slab):

  • To verify you have true AB and not dyed: Clean with denatured alcohol and rub marble polishing powder on the face. (Get denatured alcohol at Home Depot in the paint department)
  • Lemon Juice or better yet some Muratic Acid: will quickly show if the stone has alot of calcium content and will end up getting etched. This is usually chinese stone, not indian.
  • Acetone: The Dying usually is done on the same chinese stone. like the others said, acetone on a rag will reveal any dye that has been applied
  • Chips: Using something very hard & metalhit the granite sharply & hard on edges to see if it chips, breaks, or cracks


  • Before the templaters get there...
    • Make sure you have a pretty good idea of your faucet layout--where you want the holes drilled for all the fixtures and do a test mock up to make sure you have accounted for sufficient clearances between each fixture.
    • Be sure you test your faucet for clearances not just between each fixture, but also between the faucet and the wall behind the faucet (if there is one). You need to be sure the handle will function properly.
    • Make sure that the cabinets are totally level (not out by more than 1/8") before the counter installers come in.
    • Check how close they should come to a stove and make sure the stove sits up higher than the counter.
    • Make sure they have the sink/faucet templates to work from.
    • Make sure have your garbage disposal air switch on hand or know the diameter

  • If you are not putting in a backsplash, tell them
  • Double check the template. Make sure that the measurements are reasonable. Measure the opening for the range.
  • Seam Placement: Yet another kettle of fish (or can of worms, depending on how you look at it, I guess!) Seam placement is ultimately at the discretion of the fabricator. I know it is not a really popular point of view, but that is just the way it is. There really is more to deciding where the seam would go than just the size of the slab or where the seam would look best in the kitchen.

    Most stone installations will have seams. They are unavoidable in medium or large sized kitchens. One hallmark of a good fabricator is that they will keep the seams to a minimum. It seems that a good book could be written about seams, their quality, and their placementand still you will have some information that will be omitted! For something as seemingly simple as joining two pieces of stone, seams have evolved into their own universe of complexity far beyond what anybody should have fair cause to expect!

  • Factors determining seam placement:
    • The slab: size, color, veining, structure (fissures, strength of the material an other characteristics of the stone)
    • Transport to the job site: Will the fabricated pieces fit on whatever vehicle and A-frames he has available
    • Access to the job site: Is the house on stilts? (common in coastal areas) How will the installers get the pieces to where they need to go? Will the tops fit in the service elevator if the apartment is on the 10th floor? Do the installers need to turn tight corners to get to the kitchen? There could be 101 factors that will influence seam placement here alone.
    • Placement and size of undermount (or other) cut-outs. Some fabricators like to put seams in undermount sinks, some do not. We, for instance will do it if absolutely necessary, and have done so with great success, but will not do so as general practice. We do like to put seams in the middle of drop-in appliances and cut-outs and this is a great choice for appearances and ease of installation.
    • Location of the cabinets: Do the pieces need to go in between tall cabinets with finished sides? Do the pieces need to slide in under appliance garages or other cabinetry? How far do the upper cabinets hang over? Is there enough clearance between the vent hood and other cabinets? Again the possibilities are endless and would depend on each individual kitchen lay-out and - ultimately -
    • Install-ability of the fabricated pieces: Will that odd angle hold up to being moved and turned around to get on the peninsula if there is no seam in it? Will the extra large sink cut-out stay intact if we hold the piece flat and at a 45 degree angle to slide it in between those two tall towers? Again, 1,001 combinations of cabinetry and material choices will come into play on this question.

    You can ask your fabricator to put a seam at a certain location and most likely he will oblige, but if he disagrees with you, it is not (always) out of spite or laziness. Check on your fabricator's seams by going to actual kitchens he has installed. Do not trust what you see in a showroom as sole testament to your fabricator's ability to do seams.

    With modern glues and seaming methods, a seam could successfully be put anywhere in an installation without compromising the strength or integrity of the stone. If a seam is done well, there is - in theory - no "wrong" location for it. A reputable fabricator will also try to keep the number of seams in any installation to a minimum. It is not acceptable, for instance to have a seam in each corner, or at each point where the counter changes direction, like on an angled peninsula.

    Long or unusually large pieces are often done if they can fit in the constraints of a slab. Slabs as a rule of thumb will average at about 110"x65". There are bigger slabs and quite often smaller ones too. Check with the fabricator or the slab yard. They will be more than happy to tell you the different sizes of slabs they have available. Note, though, that the larger the slabs, the smaller the selection of possible colors. Slab sizes would depend in part on the capabilities of the quarry, integrity of the material or the capabilities of the machinery at the finishing plant. We have had slabs as wide as 75" and as long as 130" before, but those are monsters and not always readily available.

  • Generally, it is not a good idea to seam over a DW because there's no support for the granite, and anything heavy placed at or near the seam would stress the stone, possibly breaking it.
  • Rodding is another issue where a tremendous amount of mis-information and scary stories exist: The main purpose for rodding stone would be to add integrity to the material around cut-outs. This is primarily for transport and installation and serves no real purpose once the stone is secured and fully supported on the cabinets. It would also depend on the material. A fabricator would be more likely to rod Ubatuba than he would Black Galaxy, for instance. The flaky and delicate materials prone to fissures would be prime candidates for rodding. Rodding is basically when a fabricator cuts slots in the back of the stone and embeds steel or fiberglass rods with epoxy in the slots in the stone. You will not see this from the top or front of the installation. This is an "insurance policy" created by the fabricator to make sure that the stone tops make it to your cabinets all in one piece
  • Edges: The more rounded an edge is, the more stable it would be. Sharp, flat edges are prone to chipping under the right (or rather wrong) circumstances. Demi or full bullnose edges would almost entirely eliminate this issue. A properly milled and polished edge will be stable and durable regardless of the profile, though. My guess at why ogee and stacked edges are not more prevalent would be purely because of cost considerations. Edge pricing is determined by the amount of work needed to create it. The more intricate edge profiles also require an exponentially larger skill set and more time to perfect. The ogee edge is a very elegant edge and can be used to great effect, but could easily look overdone if it is used everywhere. We often advise our clients to combine edges for greater impact - i.e., eased edge on all work surfaces, and ogee on the island to emphasize the cabinetry or unusual shape.
    Edge profiles are largely dependent on what you like and can afford. There is no real pro or con for regular or laminated edges. They all have their place in the design world. Check with your fabricator what their capabilities and pricing are. Look at actual kitchens and ask for references.


  • Seams:
    One hallmark of a good fabricator is that they will keep the seams to a minimum [StoneGirl]

    • A generic good quality seam should have the following characteristics:
      • It should be flat. According to the Marble Institute of America (MIA) a minimal amount of lippage is acceptable (1/32"), but conscientious fabricators all strive for a perfectly flat and smooth joint.
      • It should be narrow - as in smaller than 1/16". (I think the MIA stipulates no larger than 1/8", but that is pushing it - and only if the fabricator bevels the edges of the seam, almost similar to the edge of a stone tile. This is, thank goodness, not a standard practice any more!)
      • The color on either side of the seam should match as closely as possible. On regularly patterned stones like Ubatuba for example - there should be no variation. On stones with variation in colors or veins, the match should be made as close as was humanly possible.
      • Vein direction should flow. The MIA suggests a single direction of vein flow, but it is acceptable IF DISCUSSED WITH THE CLIENT to change vein direction on a seam if no other option is available. This would happen in book matched slabs - you will have a "butterfly" seam in this case. In other cases, the fabricator could put a miter seam in a corner and change vein direction 90 degrees. This is usually done with extremely linear veining like Bamboo Green, for example, but this is something that should be discussed with the fabricator and agreed upon by the client.
      • The seam on the finished edge of the stone should NOT dip in and create a divot in the edge. When you run your fingers over the edge, you should not be able to feel the location of the seam at all.
      • The thickness of the slabs on either side of the seam should be equal (or feathered out so that there is no discernible difference)
      • The glue in the seam should be of a color that matches the stone as closely as possible. Glue joints that are too light or too dark will show up something terrible. The idea behind tinting the glue is to try to make the seam "disappear" or something relatively close to it

  • Checklist:
    • Check the seams for evenness and smoothness.
      • Make sure that the seams are neat and clean.
      • Make sure that the seams are not obvious.
      • Make sure the seams are butted tight
      • Make sure that there are no scratches, pits, or cracks

    • If sealing is necessary (not all granites need to be sealed):
      • Make sure that the granite has been sealed
      • If more than one application of sealer was applied, ask how long they waited between applications
      • Ask which sealer has been used on the granite.

    • Make sure the sink reveal is consistent all the away around
    • Check the gap of the granite at the wall junctions.
    • Check for inconsistent overhangs from the counter edges
    • Check for chips. These can be filled.
    • Make sure the top drawers open & close
    • Make sure that you can open & close your dishwasher
    • Make sure the stove sits up higher than the counter
    • Make sure that you have the appropriate clearances for your appliances
    • Check the edge all around, a good edge should have the following characteristics:
      • Shine: The edge polish should match the top polish in depth and clarity. The edge should not be milky, dull, or waxy.
      • The edge should not have "waves". Eyeball along the edge. A good edge should have a mirror like reflection and be fairly flat. Waves that you can see or feel are not a good thing.
      • The aris (very top of the edge) should be crisp and straight, even on a bullnose edge. Once again you can see this by eyeballing along the very top end of the edge profile. A wavy, dippy aris is poor craftsmanship.
      • A good edge will have a consistent profile. It will not be larger in some spots or smaller in others.
      • A good edge should also have NO tooling lines. These will be fine lighter/white lines running along the edge. This is a mark of a poor edge polish, of a CNC machine that is not set correctly, and a lack of hand finishing. This is common when a company has only mechanical fabrication (i.e., CNC machines or line polishers) and no skilled hand fabricators to finish the work properly.

    • Run your hands around the entire laminated edge of yor counters to make sure they are smooth
    • Check surrounding walls & cabinets for damage

Miscellaneous Information:

  • More than all the above and below, though, is to be present for both the templating as well as having the templates placed on your slabs at the fabricator's
    If you canot be there, then have a lengthy conversation about seam placement, ways to match the movement, and ways to color-match the counters that will be joined at the seam
  • Find a fabricator who is a member of the SFA
  • When they polish your stone for you don't let them wax it. It will look terrible in 2 months when the wax wears off.
  • Don't use the Magic Eraser on granite--especially AB
  • Any slab with more fill (resin) than stone is certainly a no-no!!
  • When you do check for scratches, have overhead lighting shining down so scratches are easier to see
  • Don't let them do cutouts in place (granite dust becomes a major issue)
  • Granite dust can be a problem...some have heard of SS appliances & hoods damaged by the dust, others have heard of drawer glides being ruined by the dust
  • If you have wood floors--especially if you're in the process of staining or finishing them--make sure that they don't spill or drip granite sealer on the wood floors. Apparently the sealer interferes with the stain or finish process.
  • Suggested Prep for Installation:
    • Remove any drawers and pullouts beneath any sections that will be cut or drilled onsite, e.g., sink cutouts and/or faucet, soap dispenser, air gap, instant hot etc. holes, cooktop cutouts.
    • Then just cover the glides themselves with a few layers of blue painter's tape (or some combo of plastic wrap and tape)
    • If you make sure to cover the top of the glides and attach some of the tape to the cab wall as well (to form sort of a seal)and cover the rest of the glides completely with tape, you should be fine.
    • Usually the fabricators will have someone holding a vacuum hose right at the spot where they are drilling or cutting, so very little granite dust should be landing on the glides. What little dust escapes the vacuum will be blocked by the layer(s) of tape.
    • When done w/installation, remove the tape and use a DustBuster (or similar) on all the cabinets and glides

  • Countertop Support:
    • If your granite is 2 cm thick, then there can be no more then 6" of of unsupported span with a 5/8" subtop
    • If your granite is 3 cm thick, then there can be no more then 10" of unsupported span - no subtop required
    • If you need support, the to determine your corbel dimensions:
    • Thickness of Stone - Dimension of Unsupported Span = Corbel Dimensino
    • i.e., an 18" total overhang in 2 cm would require a 12" corbe; the same overhang in 3 cm would require an 8" corbel


clipped on: 10.03.2008 at 11:57 pm    last updated on: 10.03.2008 at 11:57 pm

RE: Need technical granite advice quick (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: vrjames on 10.02.2008 at 10:09 pm in Kitchens Forum

I shall try to answer your question briefly, but this may be long.

Granite is "graded" for lack of a better term. And since there is no true regulation on the grading system then it becomes quite subjective. We only work with solid established companies with good reputations in the industry.

The grading is also relative to the country where the materials are being processed.

In general in Brazil where 50% of the stone for US consumption comes from, Italy gives us about 20% and India is 10 to 15%, they all try to grade using Premium, 2nds and commercial.

Premium is exactly what you can imagine, correct color, balance, and polish. A premium slab can have a crack from handling and still be premium. If it is say Black absolute from India, It should be deep black with small "grains" in it and not be dyed. Anything less, grey background, large spotty grains, or any cloudy spots makes it a 2nd quality.

If the Ubatuba from Brazil has occlusions (the large black spots, bigger than a mans fist) it is considered 2nd's. If there are cloudy bands in it as well, that will make it a 2nd quality. Large amounts of open fissures on the surface (there can be a few small fissures and still be premium) or severe miscoloration will make it commercial quality.

As for Exotics, these are a slightyly differnet animal. There is some varied swings in what is acceptable in a material and what is not. There is a material called Mongo Bordeau, it comes from the typhoon bordeau and sienna bordeau quarry. It is extremely rare to fing\d it without a substantial amount of surface fissuring. The number of soft minerals in it cause this and the material is not weak in general, just minor fissuring. We seek the best we can get and must accept sme of these "defects in this material. We would not accept this in the Gallo Beach though as it does not normaly gte fissureas at all. SO when we see it with this, the factory will offer a deep dsicount which we will decline. Sometimes Gallo Beach will come out with not quite the correct colors in it, and is "graded" as a standard. which we would consider buying.

Blue Pearl is sold in 4 different varieties. The BP GT Dark is the top of the line, then Blue Pearl silver and BP RB (Royal Blue) which are offered at a significant discount. So when you are shoppimg and one guy offers BP at say $65 installed and another is quoting $85, they might not be offering the same "grade" of blue pearl.

Another example is intentional crossnaming of material. A few years ago on this forum a gy adamantly insisted he had Typhoon Green installed for $45sf, I knew that was what I paid for that material, just the material. I found out later that the Indians named one of their cheap materials Typhoon Green to create this confusion with the True first named Brazilian exotic called Typhoon Green. There are several others. So when you are shopping , be sure you are talking about the same material.

I hope this helps.



clipped on: 10.03.2008 at 11:11 pm    last updated on: 10.03.2008 at 11:11 pm

RE: Stained my granite countertop...need advice on using poulstic (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: azstoneconsulting on 10.02.2008 at 09:59 am in Kitchens Forum


NEVER use Plumber's Putty on Natural Stone - it has oils
that will stain the stone as sjetexas has found out...

Here's a poultice recipe that has worked for me over the
last 23 years:

A. mix plaster of paris into some acetone in a plastic throw away cup
B. mix to the consistancy of pancake batter
C. apply to the spot and overlap 1 inch past where the spot ends
(eg- of you have a 2inch diameter spot, the plaster/acetone
needs to be 4 inches in diameter)
D. cover the plaster/acetone with saran wrap
E. tape down the edges of the saran wrap with 3M BLUE TAPE
F. allow the poultice to set for 24 hours
G. remove EVERYTHING (poultice tape & saran wrap) after 24 hours........

the spot will either be gone - or way lighter, in which
case you may have to repeat this process for really deep set
stains and stubborn spots - but it works

hope that helps ya



clipped on: 10.02.2008 at 10:21 am    last updated on: 10.02.2008 at 10:21 am

cmpm (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: patti823 on 09.29.2008 at 08:04 pm in Kitchens Forum

The accent separating the straight from the diagonal tiles is called a listello. It is made of natural stone and is about the diameter of my index finger and each piece is about a foot long. Hope this helps.


clipped on: 10.02.2008 at 10:13 am    last updated on: 10.02.2008 at 10:13 am

RE: Slate Backsplash (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: spendogirl on 09.29.2008 at 09:19 am in Kitchens Forum

We did a slate backsplash and did three coats of sealer before we grouted, then after it was grouted we applied another coat of sealer... we found the grout cleanup to be a breeze after we did this... any grease splatters from cooking clean right up..

I can't remember the name of the sealer, its from Lowes and was a semi-gloss.




clipped on: 10.02.2008 at 10:13 am    last updated on: 10.02.2008 at 10:13 am

RE: Slate Backsplash (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: patti823 on 09.28.2008 at 10:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

We sealed it with Superior Enhance and Seal for Slate. The joints are 1/4" and we used Superior Sanded grout in Natural,which is really a grayish color. Here is a picture.



clipped on: 10.02.2008 at 10:12 am    last updated on: 10.02.2008 at 10:12 am

RE: Placement of 22k burners...where do you have them? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: glycera on 03.12.2007 at 09:02 pm in Appliances Forum

Here's the message I sent to another member who asked about moving the burners:

When you remove the grate and the bowl from a burner, you're looking down on the black star-shaped burner itself, with holes in it where the flames come out. The high- medium- and low-powered burners have different patterns of holes on them so you can tell them apart. The burner itself is attached to a fat gray tube that goes down from the burner for a short distance, and then turns toward the front of the rangetop. This is the venturi tube, which attaches to the underside of the burner with two screws. Back burners sit on longer venturis, front burners on shorter ones. The front end of the venturi tube is fairly wide and fits loosely over the orifice, which is a brass nipple with a tiny hole in it where the gas comes out when you turn the knob on the front of the rangetop. The orifices of low- medium- and high-power burners are different, and have to stay together with their related burners. This front end of the venturi also has the shutter that regulates how much air gets mixed with the gas, which affects the "structure" of the flame (more air gives a tight flame with a well-formed blue cone that is better than a large, loose one, but too much air makes the flame "dance" above the burner, which is no good). In addition to the venturi tube, a wire runs from the underside of the burner's igniter to the front panel of the rangetop; somewhere along the length of this wire is a black section where the wire can be pulled apart (or plugged back together again).

To relocate a burner you also need to relocate its orifice (you'll need a deep socket wrench for this). If you want to move a burner from back to front, you'll need to remove the burner from its long venturi tube and reattach it to the short one (and do the comparable switch for the front burner that you're moving to the back). When you do this, you'll see a gray gasket between the burner and tube; I found this the trickiest step because that gasket is so very flimsy you have to be careful not to disturb its position. If you just want to move a burner from one position in the front/back row to another place in the same row, you can leave the venturi attached to the burner.

If this all sounds like so much Greek to you, then you probably shouldn't try to move burners around. But if you're of average mechanical ability, it really isn't as difficult as my explanation may make it sound!

And here's information from a poster (I think jollyroger but can't be sure) from some months back, about switching burners:

The burner swap is not that difficult at all.
Just be careful of sharp sheet metal edges as the burner tubes go through the sheet metal.
There are two things that you want to get right when you swith the burners around. First, make certain that you have moved the correct burner (there are three kinds on a Bluestar) to the location you want. SAecondly make certain you switch the orifice that corresponded to the burner you move along with it.
Do two at a time and keep track of what you are doing. The difference in the orifice size between the 18K and 22K burners is not that great in terms of the whole diameter, so once again, keep track of what you are doing.
The orifice, by the way, is the brass piece that the burner tube sort of plugs into. They unscrew with the right size socket wrench pretty easily. Don't be crossthreading anything now. Be patient and wear leather gloves around the sharp sheetmetal to protect your hands.

You might want to check into the terms of the warranty to see if DIYing burner switches affects it.

Hope this helps!



clipped on: 03.13.2007 at 12:30 am    last updated on: 03.13.2007 at 12:30 am

star shaped burners...are they really better?

posted by: cheri127 on 02.20.2007 at 03:39 pm in Appliances Forum

Even though I don't love my DCS range, I thought I could live with it a few more years since it was so expensive and still works but DH says life if too short, get a new one. My biggest complaint with it is the width of the pans heat unevenly, more on the rim, less in the middle. What I'd like to know is whether the Bluestar burners really do distribute heat more evenly. They look like they should, but I 'd like to hear it from some experienced users before I take the plunge. Thanks.


clipped on: 02.20.2007 at 11:52 pm    last updated on: 02.20.2007 at 11:53 pm

Received new Bluestar yesterday

posted by: greentank on 02.20.2007 at 12:16 pm in Appliances Forum

Looked it over - I was very impressed. As far as I could tell, it was every bit as well-constructed as a Wolf or other competitors. Knobs felt solid, very nice grates, high quality oven racks...and man, is that a big oven! (36" RNB model). No eternal seams, sharp edges, etc....looked very well put together. Now it will sit in my garage for 2 months until our project is complete. Probably my only wish for the unit would be to have small individual lights above each range knob to indicate it's on, but it's not a big deal. There is a light for the oven. A temp probe would be nice too, but given the low-tech angle of blue star, I'm happy to get an aftermarket unit.

Overall, I'm very happy so far...and Eurostoves was excellent to deal with! We bought some of their Fissler pans, which are top notch as well.


clipped on: 02.20.2007 at 11:51 pm    last updated on: 02.20.2007 at 11:51 pm

RE: Review of Wolf Griddle (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: cpovey on 01.05.2007 at 09:07 am in Appliances Forum

I would avoid the spray on the griddle. They are really made for the oven, where most things bake at 350 F or so, and do tend to get sticky when they become overheated, like they can easily become on a cooktop.

Copy pro chefs. Take a towel (for short periods of time a paper towel works fine), fold it into a square, wet the bottom with cooking oil (canola or peanut), and rub the surface with this. Hold it is a pair of tongs to protect your hand if needed. This quickly puts a thin, even coating of oil on a surface


clipped on: 02.20.2007 at 11:16 pm    last updated on: 02.20.2007 at 11:16 pm

RE: Bluestar flame adjustment (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: mrblandings on 01.21.2007 at 08:20 am in Appliances Forum

To adjust the air mixture, you have to lift up the star burner unit up a bit, and move it towards the back of the range slightly to expose the orifice. It will only move so far, as it is connected by the igniter wiring. The orifice is located at the end of the gas tube (towards the front of the range). Once you expose it, the adjustment is pretty obvious -- you just move the shutter to make the opening larger or smaller. The only tool needed is a philips screwdriver to loosen the orifice screw. The process involves some trial and error, as you have to make adjustments with the burner off, then put it back together to see the results.


clipped on: 01.21.2007 at 11:52 pm    last updated on: 01.21.2007 at 11:52 pm

RE: Bluestar flame adjustment (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: alku05 on 01.21.2007 at 01:59 am in Appliances Forum

Your installer didn't check all of the burner? Shame on them.

There's two adjustments that you can make to the flames. The one where you take the knob off can be used to adjust the flame so that a very gentle simmer can be acheived. It has nothing to do with the gas/air mixture, just how how low the flame can go. For good directions on how to do it, see Bluestar #18 on the Bluestar archives. (open the thread and use ctrl-F to seach for "adjust".

In the current Bluestar thread (#23) Mrzed talks briefly about making the shutter adjustment on Oct 23rd. Hopefully someone will be able to help you find the where to adjust the air intake. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Bluestar Archives


clipped on: 01.21.2007 at 11:51 pm    last updated on: 01.21.2007 at 11:51 pm

RE: How do you 'sanitize' your granite counters? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: cpovey on 09.13.2006 at 09:29 am in Kitchens Forum

From the web page: Bleach is an effective disinfectant of the countertop, but it is essential that the area is thoroughly cleaned because the bleach may not effectively penetrate any dried residue.

As a professional cook, I can tell you that soap and water does not sanitize anything. You need something more powerful to sanitize than soap. Soaps clean, but do not sanitize. On the other hand, sanitizing agents don't clean, they just sanitize.

You don't need to sanitize everything. It makes little sense to sanitize a sink, for example, unless you prep IN the sink. In which case, don't invite me to dinner. Pots and pans don't need sanitizing, as you are going to cook in them, and the heat will take care of the bugs.

NSF approved sanitizing agents include Chlorine solutions (bleach), Iodine solution, and Quartenary ammonium compounds (NOT ammonia), commonly called 'quants'. Quants are commonly only used in commercial dishwashers, so they are out. Iodine solutions are easier on metals than Chlorine, but can stain things. This leaves Chlorine.

Now, it does not take straight Chlorine to sanitize. In fact, about a tablespoon of regular bleach in a gallon of cold water (never hot to chemically sanitize-it breaks down the bleach faster) makes a perfctly aceptable sanitizing agent. But you must wash AND rinse the table/countertop first, as soap can impede the sanitizing effect of bleach.

So, to properly sanitize a countertop, it is a three (or four) step process.
1. Wash with hot soapy water.
2. Rinse.
3. Use sanitizing bleach solution. Let sit for at least 5 minutes.
Optional 4. At this point you can let it air dry or you can use some vinegar in water to speed the breakdown of the bleach, if you need to use the countertop quickly.

And most granites contain little fissures, which cannot be effectively sanitized, which is why granite is not NSF approved for food preperation.


clipped on: 09.14.2006 at 12:34 pm    last updated on: 09.14.2006 at 12:35 pm

RE: Correct placement of bowls and grates on Bluestar (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: stevep2005 on 08.26.2006 at 03:14 pm in Appliances Forum

The bowls and grates are not square so placement matters, not necessarily matching the same grate/bowl pair. The bowl underside has two sides with a ridge - those go on the sides. The grates have four tines that are longer - those point to the corners.

Oh, and do take the time to adjust the low flame - they will go to a very low whisper of a flame.


clipped on: 08.26.2006 at 08:43 pm    last updated on: 08.26.2006 at 08:44 pm

RE: Bluestar part 22 (Follow-Up #33)

posted by: cpovey on 08.26.2006 at 08:36 am in Appliances Forum

Jojoco, thanks so much!! :D I am used to cooking on older electric ovens, so this should be just fine. Do you use the oven fan while baking?

Here are a set of "rules of thumb' for using convection ovens:

Do NOT use convection for things that rise, except bread. (Bread gets its rise from yeast, which produces a stronger rise than baking soda/powder.) If you use convection while baking a cake, for instance, the blowing hot air helps to form a crust, which inhibits further rising. So, no convection for biscuits, cakes, souffles, etc.

Using convection at all other times is fine. Since it produces a better crust, it's especially great for bread and roasts.

Regular recipes need to be adjusted, generally by reducing the time 10%.

Most cookie's don't rise much, and are generally fine with convection, but an occasional recipe may be better without convection.

Don't use the fan if you are just using the oven to keep something warm. It will get dried out.

Hope this helps.


clipped on: 08.26.2006 at 02:27 pm    last updated on: 08.26.2006 at 02:48 pm