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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: 09.13.2011 at 05:56 pm    last updated on: 07.01.2012 at 11:25 pm

RE: Basement Lighting Advice Needed (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: davidr on 01.30.2011 at 03:44 pm in Lighting Forum

Be careful - brightness isn't the same thing as light output.

For example, a typical high output LED is EXTREMELY bright, so bright you can't look at it. But if you try to light up the room with it, the results will be kind of mediocre.

A 20 watt compact fluorescent screw-in retrofit will appear dimmer, easier to stare at, but it will do a much better job of lighting up the room.

An F32T8 (32 watt, 4', T8 linear fluorescent lamp) will be easier still to look at, but it will light up the room still better.

Brightness is great for traffic lights and auto taillights, so you can see them through fog. But when you want to light up a room, it's not brightness you care about, it's luminous flux. That's what lights up your work area. That's measured in lumens. And a 32 watt linear fluorescent has a LOT more lumens of output than the typical retrofit LED or CF. Of course, it's bigger, too.

For example, a 20 watt CF will produce 1000-1400 lumens (depending on brand and design). A "32 watt" linear T8 fluorescent will produce 2800-3100 lumens (depending on similar factors).

However, I put quotation marks around "32 watt" because the T8 isn't actually using 32 watts.

A little clarification on fluorescent lamp power usage and output might help here. This is probably WAY more than you really want to know, but here goes.

A standard F32T8 lamp is rated 32 watts. However, there's an important difference between incandescent lamps and fluorescent lamps.

The wattage used by an incandescent (at a given line voltage) is purely a matter of its design. At 120 volts, a 40 watt bulb will use almost exactly 40 watts.

This isn't so with fluorescents. Both the lamp design and the ballast used affect how much power the lamp uses (and consequently how much light it produces).

The interesting part of this is what we call the ballast factor. BF typically varies from .70 to 1.15. A F32T8 (32 watt, 4' T8 tubular or linear lamp) lamp operated on a .70BF ballast will use about 22.5 watts. The same lamp operated on a 1.15BF ballast will use almost 37 watts. That's quite a difference.

You'd think that a "standard" or "normal" ballast would have a 1.0BF, but nooooo. Standard ballasts are usually around .88BF, so your usual "32 watt" T8 actually will use about 28 watts.

Fluorescent lamps are rated for the number of lumens they'll produce with a standard ballast. A typical cheap F32T8 will produce 2800-2900 lumens, while a more expensive high output F32T8 will produce 3000-3100 lumens. (The better lamp will usually last longer, too.)

If you do the math you'll see that this is an efficiency (efficacy) of 100 to 110 lumens per watt. This is quite a bit better than the screw-in retrofit CFs I mentioned above, which run 50-70 lumens per watt. (And, incidentally, also quite a bit better than any currently available LED fixture or retrofit that I'm aware of.)

So to come to the point - unless you special-order fluorescent fixtures with high or low ballast factor, normal ballast factor is most likely what you'll get. Thus, each of your 2-lamp fixtures will probably use about 56 watts (not 68 watts).

Also, they will produce more lumens per watt of electricity than either screw-in compact fluorescents or T12 linear fluorescents.

You also mentioned CFs and their claims of incandescent equivalence. This is kind of a sore point, because early CFs (15 years ago or so) were notorious for overstating this. Fortunately they're more conservative today.

A good rule of thumb is that a retrofit CF will produce about as much light as an incandescent with 4 times its rated wattage. For example, you mention a CF claiming "13 watts = a 60W incandescent," which isn't too far off. A standard 1000 hour 60 watt incandescent produces about 850 lumens (a shorter-lived one will produce more lumens, a long-life one less). When I look around at 13 watt CFs, I see lumen outputs from 760 to 900 lumens.

Whew, this was long. Sorry! Did I help at all?


clipped on: 05.30.2012 at 11:23 pm    last updated on: 05.30.2012 at 11:23 pm

My Cabinet Touchup Process for Minor Nicks and Flaws

posted by: lmalm53 on 11.19.2008 at 04:34 am in Kitchens Forum

I was asked by nomorebluekitchen to write up something about my process for touching up my old cabinets and to include some before and after pictures. Let me preface this by saying emphatically that I am NOT a refinisher and really have just been using trial and error to find something that works on minor nicks and water damage on the cabinet finish. In fact I would still like to know if there isn't some kind of final finish or wax that I should be applying to help keep my touchups protected from future moisture. But at least the touchups I did almost 6 months ago still look like new.

Please be aware that I have used this process only on natural solid wood cabinets that have been stained, not painted. This may not work on laminate surfaces or composite woods. If anyone out there has more experience with this type of repair, please add your input also. This is the process I used.

First off, my 19 year old dark cherry cabinets were in need of a good cleaning. I have read some negative posts about using any kind of oil soap on cabinets, but I have had no problems using Murphy's Oil soap for cleaning up greasy spots. I just dilute a small amount of the soap in a pail of warm water and using a soft microfiber cloth I clean up the cabinets. If I have any tough dried on gunk, I gently clean it off using a piece of 0000 fine steel wool.

After drying with a soft cloth I then like to put a little Orange Glo furniture cleaner and polish on a clean white cloth and further clean and polish up the wood finish. At this point I carefully inspect for signs of wear, worn finish or nicks in the wood. You will be surprised how much you thought was damage turns out to have just been dirt or specks that easily clean off. Be sure to open up all the drawers and cabinet doors where there is often damage to the finish just inside the doors. I use my Minwax Stain Marker pen which matches my cabinet color perfectly. (I use 225 red mahogany)

Using the stain pen I just start filling in the damaged spots. Sort of like filling in the lines in a coloring book. :) I apply the stain generously, wipe up any excess with a paper towel and then let it sit for awhile. You could probably let it sit for a few hours or overnight, but I get impatient and tend to move from one cabinet to another with the cleanup and touchup process then work back to the first cabinet again to check the stain and see if I need to apply a little more.

Once I am satisfied that I have done my best touching up any damage, I then like to get another clean soft microfiber cloth to buff up the cabinet faces. Some of the stain will come off on your cloth, but in most cases the areas of damaged finish will have absorbed enough stain to improve the cosmetic look greatly. If you need to reapply some stain in especially large damaged areas, I would let the stain sit longer before you buff it out.

Now this is where I am probably missing a step, because it seems logically there should be some kind of finish coat or preservative put on the cabinets to keep them protected. But I have not added anything yet after buffing out the stain. Since most of my cabinet finish was in good shape I couldn't see the need to apply any all over sealer, but I guess a real refinisher would use something to seal the damaged areas. I am hoping my stain doesn't all come off the next time I deep clean the cabinets!

So...buyer beware!... but I was asked to explain how I do it so this is it. Here are some pics if it helps to see the types of damage that can be greatly improved without going to a lot of expense and trouble.

Here are the touchup supplies I use:



And here are some before and after pictures:

Small Cabinet Drawer Face Before Touchup

After Touchup

Cabinet Center Panel Before Touchup

After Touchup of Center Panel only

Whole Cabinet after Hardware Removed and Before Touchup

After Touchup and New Hardware installed

I will say that there are some types of damage that this process cannot repair. I have yet to figure out what I will do with my laundry room cabinet that has had so much water damage that the finish has turned a milky white in places. I suspect in that case I may need to strip the old finish down to the raw wood, restain and reseal completely. That will be a project I will tackle after I have done some more research!

But for now here is my updated kitchen. I saved a lot by keeping the 19 year old cabinets and by touching them up myself, instead of having them professionally refaced or refinished. Only time will tell how long my process holds up, but at this point I feel it was worth it! Most of my guests think the cabinets are brand new.

Hope this is helpful to someone. I am sure there are others who can improve on my methods, so please add your comments.


clipped on: 02.02.2012 at 03:54 pm    last updated on: 02.02.2012 at 03:54 pm

RE: What size ? How many Knobs and Pulls on each drawer? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: buehl on 10.06.2011 at 02:09 am in Kitchens Forum

Most of this is personal choice/preference. There are no hard and fast rules.

Do you like the look of two pulls/drawer on wider drawers? If so, you could get all one size and put one on drawers less than, say, 30" and two on any 30" or wider. You usually do not have to worry about pulling a drawer unevenly with two pulls. As long has you have good quality drawer hardware, you shouldn't have any problems.

We put knobs on doors and our 6" pullouts and pulls on all other pullouts and all drawers. In our case, we put one on drawers < 30" and two on drawers >= 30". I think the 2-pull look looks more like fine furniture, and I happen to like the look. If I had it to do over, I think I might have put two pulls on the 27" drawers... As to the 6" pullouts, our pulls (5") were too wide to fit horizontally and I don't like the look of vertical pulls, so we went with knobs.

We store heavy pots & pans and heavy glass dishes in many of the two-pull drawers. I usually use just one hand/pull to open drawers and have not yet hand any issues.

If you prefer one pull/drawer, then most will look fine on the drawer widths you listed; none are that wide. I suggest picking a medium-sized pull and just using the same size. You can drive yourself crazy scouring the net and stores looking for the same pull in various sizes.

Whatever you choose, I suggest only purchasing two or three of them and them mocking them up on your drawers to see (1) which look you prefer, (2) how you want to place them, and (3) whether they fit your hands and/or fingers (i.e., comfort).

We ended up with two different manufacturers for our knobs & pulls (both birdcage in antique iron) b/c the knobs in one (Dec Har) fit our hands better (the stem was a little longer) and the pulls in the other (Siro) had nicer curves.

Bottom line....what looks are you drawn to? That will tell you how you should place your hardware.

I do have a pic of how I placed my knobs...

Door Knob Placement

As to our pulls, we centered them on the drawers fronts, except the trash pullout. The pull on the trash pullout is on the frame. Some pics of drawers of similar size to yours:

24", one pull per drawer:

24'', 3-Drawer Drawer Base, Baking Supplies (Baking Center)

27", one pull per drawer

27'', 3-Drawer Drawer Base with DW on Left

30" drawers, two pulls per drawer (6" pullout w/knob on the right)

30'' Under & Over WD Drawers

31" drawer (1), two pulls per drawer (another 6" pullout w/knob on the left)


33", two pulls per drawer (18" trash pullout to the right)

33'', 3-Drawer Drawer Base


clipped on: 01.31.2012 at 02:05 am    last updated on: 01.31.2012 at 02:06 am

RE: Support brackets for granite overhang? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: stacywomble on 11.07.2011 at 10:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hopefully this will help future readers looking for answers. The post by Buehl is all over the conditions of needing support as recommended by the MIA (Marble Institute of America).
This is for "Single-Level" counters with cantilever overhang:
For 3cm stone: any overhang over 10" will need additional support; spaced every 36" or less.
For 2cm stone: any overhang over 6" will need additional support; spaced every 24" or less.
For "single-level", the goal is to support the cantilever. We do this with CONCEALED SUPPORT. Single-level concealed supports use the mass of the supported material to "reach out" and support the un-supported material.

"Raised Bar" support is of a completely different breed. Unlike "single-level" support, "raised bar" supports support the whole darn top. (Gosh, I need to write an article explaining all of this stuff!) There is a rule called the "2/3rds Rule" which says that in dealing with overhang, that 1/3rds overhang much be supported by 2/3rds of the width of the overhang. (Example: a 36" wide counter should have 24"(2/3rds) of support (cabinetry) with 12"(1/3rds) overhang.) Raised bars blow this rule out of the water so we have to look at it differently. ALL RAISED BAR COUNTERS NEED SUPPORT! We use "SB" support to support raised bar overhang up to 12" and "SBS" supports to support anything over 12" and up to 18" overhang. We Do Not recommend overhang over 18" on either "single-level" or "raised bar" counters.

Let me address Rodding. The process of grooving the bottom of the material and epoxying in steel rod is an acceptable practice in suring up weak areas of material (such as in front of and behind sink or cooktop cut-outs or even fissure veins) but is NEVER an acceptable method of supporting cantilever overhang (I know this is going to ruffle feathers of some fabricators) but let me repeat "NEVER". The fact is that, as a method of overhang support, it actually weakens overhanging material. You will not find this recommended by the MIA as an acceptable overhang support method.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Amastin Company- Concealed Overhang Support


clipped on: 01.30.2012 at 01:14 pm    last updated on: 01.30.2012 at 01:14 pm

Other Things... (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: buehl on 11.30.2011 at 12:31 am in Kitchens Forum

Other things to consider...

  • If you must have filler, consider filler pullouts. Rev-A-Shelf, for example, has 3"/6"/9" base filler pullouts and 3"/6" upper filler pullouts.
  • Consider deeper upper cabinets. Even an extra 1" can make a difference. Keep in mind that cabinets are measured based on overall measurements, that means the exterior measurements, not interior space.

    So, a 12" deep cabinet is really 12" on the outside. Once you factor in the thickness of the back wall, you now have only 11.25" to 11.5" interior depth. If you have framed, the interior depth is reduced again by the thickness of the frame.

    However, if you have overlay, you only lose depth due to the frame along the walls, the rest of the cabinet can use the frame space b/c the door sits in front of the cabinet.

    If you have inset cabinets, OTOH, you lose that space b/c the doors & drawer fronts sit inside the face frame, so those 12" deep cabinets are now down to 10.5" to 11" deep (depending on the thickness of your back wall & frame).

    So, a 12" diameter plate will not fit in a 12" deep upper cabinet. If you add an inch to the cabinet depth (13" deep), you now have that 1/2" to 3/4" back. 15" deep uppers are even better.

  • If you have the space, consider deeper counters either with deeper base cabinets or by pulling the cabinets out from the wall a few inches.
  • Staggered-height cabinets are personal preference, even with 8' ceilings. If you like them, get them.

    One thing to keep in mind, however, is that dust does accumulate on the tops of cabinets that are not to-the-ceiling. One way to make cleaning easier - line the tops with newspaper. When it's time to clean, just remove the newspaper with the dust that collected on top of it (and not on the cabinets themselves) and replace it with clean newspaper.

    If dust allergies or asthma are a concern, I recommend all cabs to the ceiling.

  • Double-bin trash them!!! Dogs cannot open them! (Our dogs learned how to open the step-on ones in our old kitchen!) With two bins, one can be used for recyclables and the other for trash.

    However, put it in the Prep Zone...and, if possible, near the Cooking and Cleanup Zones. If you only have one sink, your Prep Zone will end up on the side of the sink closer to either the range/cooktop or refrigerator. So, put the trash pullout on that side. Put the DW on the other will also keep the DW out of the Prep Zone (and the DW will not be an obstacle to work around while prepping.)

    Oh, and consider getting a foot pedal so you can open it hands-free.

  • Keep in mind aisle widths should be measured counter edge-to-counter edge, not cabinet-to-cabinet.
  • Strive for adequate aisle space, seating overhang, etc.
  • Measure your space 3 or 4 times (or 5 or 6 or 7 or....)!!
  • Measure from at least 3 different points vertically when measuring wall/space width...a foot or two off the floor, 4 or 5 feet off the floor, and near the ceiling...walls are not straight in most homes & you need to know your smallest measurements!

    Likewise, measure ceiling height at various points in your kitchen

  • Regarding different ceiling heights, plan for crown molding that's at least 2 pieces - the decorative piece for the top and a "plain" (or "filler") piece b/w the cabinet and the decorative piece. This "filler" piece is then cut to size to accommodate different ceiling heights...leaving the decorative piece the same size throughout the kitchen.
  • Above all...come up with a good functional layout before ordering your cabinets!!!!

Good luck!


clipped on: 01.30.2012 at 12:59 am    last updated on: 01.30.2012 at 12:59 am

RE: Calling Owners of Corner Uppers with Glass & Boxerpups (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: Kode on 11.21.2011 at 09:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here's a few I found on a quick Google search -

Nice green cabinet (I love green cabinets)

Corner Cabinet w/appliance garage under it

Corner cabinet with a susan in it

Corner cabinet at the end of the cab run

Corner with piano hinge door

Regular corner cabinet but including this pic more for the staggered height in the uppers. This is one of the few times I've seen different heights look good.


clipped on: 01.29.2012 at 10:58 pm    last updated on: 01.29.2012 at 10:58 pm

RE: What was your best bathroom remodeling decision? (Follow-Up #44)

posted by: dmlove on 06.12.2007 at 01:34 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Bumping this up (because I never responded :)):

Best decisions:

1) Thermobalance valves on each shower head (two people shower concurrently most mornings and like different water temperature)

2) Kitchen-height cabinets (although I failed to take into account the height of the sink, so they're about an inch higher than would be ideal)

3) Toto toilets everywhere

4) Large drawers to store clean towels and wide shallow drawer to store daily use items. I keep them in two baskets which can be easily removed and replaced.

5) Adding a beautiful frameless shower door (had an open shower for 20 years before)

6) Shampoo shelf (we got the idea from a hotel shower)

Bad/less bad/unnecessary:

1) Seat in shower - used only as a place to prop up a leg.

2) Body sprays - used infrequently

3) Keeping the old full-wall mirror (still going to change it, but it has kept us from "finishing" for a almost a year now).

4) Should have done heated floors (even though this is California, tile floors are cold, period)

Worst decision:

Not putting the plug for the hairdryer inside the top drawer.

Mariainny, I don't know if this is what home_nw was referring to, but here's a picture of our shampoo shelf. We have no glass except for the angled door, so you can't see the shelf from elsewhere in the bathroom.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


clipped on: 01.27.2012 at 10:47 pm    last updated on: 01.27.2012 at 10:48 pm

RE: What can you tell me about Blanco Silgranit Sinks (pics pleas (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: sleepydrj on 01.15.2008 at 02:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

We are happy to advise you here! I'm not sure what your contractor is thinking about when advising cast iron over fire clay or other materials with respect to chipping! So the first point is this: new cast iron is much more prone to chipping than alternatives! the new environmental laws have changed the enamel finish process and now these chip. You may likely end up with chips in a new iron undermount, and you will certainly have scratches. Can't speak for fireclay on chipping etc, but it has homogeneous color so it wouldn't be as ugly.

So welcome to the world of silgranit and others like it. I love my silgranit biscuit colored sink. It appears to be quite chip resistant, but if it did, the color is homogeneous through the whole thing, and there would be no color change. I haven't heard of these scratching, mine has no scratches (5 months old). As for finish, these sinks have a matte finish, they are not shiny. This was a big bonus for me, and it glows next to my soapstone without being glossy. When I was researching these, some people posted they have a plasticky look at first and then it goes away. Not sure how to describe this, but it's true. If you seem to notice that in a display, don't worry, it's not like that in real life. I think the reason is that these are thinner and more lightweight than you'd expect them to be. In the box, it seems less substantial than a really thick fire clay sink. Once it is undermounted, you don't know how thick it is and it seems much more substantial. They are very strong, and the thickness doesn't imply weakness.

Along the lines of keeping clean and avoiding those grey lines, you will want a new sink grate with your new sink. I thought it was a luxury indulgence, but now I can't imagine living without one! the pots actually don't touch and drag on the bottom, they are on the ss grate. It looks great, and it allows clean up to be even faster. My sink never seems to look dirty even if it does have dishes in it. There are no stains, no spots. By 5 months, my previous Kohler cast iron sink already had knife scratches galore. By two years of age, it was completely scratched and required more and more scrubbing to keep clean.

Hope this helps,


clipped on: 01.27.2012 at 06:39 pm    last updated on: 01.27.2012 at 06:39 pm

RE: Drawers over pull outs in Cabinets (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: desertsteph on 03.02.2010 at 12:55 am in Kitchens Forum

with either you'll be pulling something out... with drawers you skip the opening and closing of 2 doors. i'm having all drawers except the sink cab.

some drawer options (all gw drawers I think):

my favorite

another option -


option for lid storage on the shallow pullout part. or shallow glass baking dishes. or skillets. or some combo of them.


option to put dividers in front to back for lid storage -
or in a deeper drawer for skillet slots.


option to put a divider in across the width of a drawer for lid storage -



clipped on: 09.14.2011 at 09:56 am    last updated on: 09.14.2011 at 09:56 am

RE: Things I would NOT recommend or things I dislike! (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: boxiebabe on 04.27.2008 at 08:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

I would NOT recommend:
GE Profile Dishwasher. We got the one with all the bells & whistles. Against my better judgement (hubby wanted to keep everything the same line, I wanted a Kitchen Aid) - I went with the GE. HATE IT! (dislike isn't harsh enough a word for how much I HATE it!) The bottom rack doesn't slide out properly, and the plates won't stay still in it. When I pull out or push in the rack, plates slide all over the place! Plus, for whatever reason - don't even THINK about opening it mid cycle to sneak in another dish. Water EVERYwhere! The cycles also take too long. Even the "Speed Cycle" takes 45 minutes. The one thing that I do like about it, is that is extra tall or something. I can fit really tall stuff in it, and there's a sprayer on the bottom as well as on the top.

I was reading about the side by side fridges - I have the GE Profile side by side 36". I actually like it quite a bit. Love that instead of shelves in the freezer, there are slide out drawers. The fridge side is a little larger than the freezer side - it's 20" wide, the freezer is 15". But as far as very large holiday platters go, if they don't fit we have a 2nd (standard) fridge out in the garage.

Another thing I dislike - is that I didn't order slide out shelves in the cabinets over the fridge, oven and pantry. Didn't think I'd need them. Regardless, I'll need a stool to get anything out from the back of them, and I'm certain I'll knock the front stuff over doing it. Wish I'd gone ahead and got the slide outs. I have them in EVERY other cabinet! Maybe I can add them on later.


clipped on: 09.09.2011 at 10:16 am    last updated on: 09.09.2011 at 10:16 am