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RE: Looking for a good pull! (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: sharonite on 01.20.2012 at 10:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

Good call on no European style bar pulls. I used them in my bathroom and am replacing them because they constantly catch the cords of my hair dryer and flat iron. I wouldn't want that probem with small appliances in the kitchen.

In my kitchen (contemporary) I used the Top Knobs Princetonian pulls. Love them!

Here is a link that might be useful: Princetonian knobs


NOTES:

http://www.myknobs.com/topm1043.html
clipped on: 01.20.2012 at 10:23 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2012 at 10:23 pm

Finished tetris-free topless kitchen!!

posted by: gursk on 07.15.2011 at 06:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hello all - after much work, we are finally done our apartment remodel and I couldn't be happier with how our kitchen turned out!!! I love to work in it, and often find myself just standing & staring at it. :)

Thanks to everyone for your help with the planning. Couldn't have done it without all your wisdom, whether you shared it in response to my questions or to the questions of others. This is such a fantastic resource.

As you may recall, I was seriously worried about storage space, going topless, but there is oodles of space, thanks to the fantastic pantry built by my wonderful fiance.

Here are some of the after pictures!


Custom cabinets, teak veneer, Chroma quartz counter in 'Sandcastle', Forbo Marmoleum in Scarlet 3131






Blanco 440175 Diamond White Single Bowl Silgranit Undermount Kitchen Sink, with Kohler Karbon faucet


Futuro Futuro Murano Glow Range Hood



Kohler Karbon faucet


Custom knife block, made from Ikea KRAFTIG cutting board



Electrolux Wave Touch Induction Cooktop



Sharp R930 Microwave


Long view of the pantry




Interior of pantry!



SOSS hinges for the extra weight on the doors



Lee Valley pull out drawers


NOTES:

Efs, the wire shelving on the doors are Elfa, called their "Door & Wall Rack Solution", which come in two colours, platinum or white. We ordered them from The Container Store. They are super sturdy and I love being able to adjust them. I'm looking at putting in a few shallower baskets - they have all sizes!
The drawer pull-outs and pilaster hardware are from Lee Valley. We built the shelves using prefinshed plywood, the same product our cabinetmakers used for the cupboard and drawer boxes.

SOSS hinges for the extra weight on the doors

Lee Valley pull out drawers

clipped on: 12.04.2011 at 11:03 pm    last updated on: 12.04.2011 at 11:08 pm

RE: Joy (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: aliris19 on 10.24.2011 at 09:42 am in Kitchens Forum

Yeah, but funny thing is that's the court wiseman-alchemist, not the Princess.

Funny about the adolescence being a second-terrible-twos. She would never have deigned to wear the former birthday-girl-crown for many years now. It was what she really, really wanted this time. go figure.

Here's some more aftermath. I love it that there's so much counter space I can dry all that stuff up there. I am constitutionally incapable, I think, of drying anything with a towel. Note the plastic bags drying on the drainer and a pile awaiting wash in the sink. Even this setup is more functional and aesthetic than my last. I would like to kick the habit altogether because I do believe dh's yowl that it wastes more energy to wash the bags than toss them (I wish I knew the actual calculations though). But at least they're not overtly in the way and disgusting this way.

Note as well, though this should take a separate thread, that the setup with the DW perpendicular to the sink is actually *great*. I was worried about it but it turns out to be better than any I've had formerly, right or left of the sink. Always, you have to twist some awkward way. This actually involves less twisting and is plenty close enough. As it happens it is also handily available from the prep sink too. I find I use both sinks almost interchageably. I regret not having more acreage in the cleanup sink:

Photobucket

NOTES:

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clipped on: 10.24.2011 at 02:48 pm    last updated on: 10.24.2011 at 02:48 pm

RE: Under cabinet LED lighting (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: kompy on 09.06.2011 at 01:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

Tresco Lighting has AMAZING LED lighting. My local electrician said he had never found any to be worthy yet...so I told him to come in to my showroom and see my new display of Tresco Elli 2. These are very high end....very bright and will last a LONG time....50,000 hours. They offer a dimmer switch as well as a remote control. An average kitchen with this lighting is around $700+ plus labor.

They also offer a budget version (only 25,000 hours)...it's called "Ilo".

You can check out prices online....see link below.
Kompy

This is the mfg website: http://www.trescointernational.com/catalog.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Tresco LED Online

NOTES:

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clipped on: 09.06.2011 at 02:45 pm    last updated on: 09.06.2011 at 02:45 pm

RE: Kitchen Layout, feedback appreciated (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: buehl on 08.19.2011 at 03:40 pm in Kitchens Forum

Advantium & prep sink...switch them! If you don't plan to use the Advantium often, then it won't be a problem being in conflict w/the MW Drawer. OR, consider switching them and turning the Advantium 90 degrees so it faces the refrigerator. OR, put it in the "Dining Island" facing the "Prep Island". I was going to suggest shifting the island toward the sink wall to increase the aisle b/w the refrigerator & island, but I notice it's centered on the ceiling, so I suspect you don't want to do that.

Oh, and the seat on the "bottom" of the "Dining Island"...how deep is the seating overhang? It's looks shallow. It should be at least 15". Ditto for the two end seats on the long side. If you plan to use it a lot, make it 18" deep.

What are the dimensions of the islands?

How wide are the various aisles (b/w islands and perimeters and/or appliances, b/w the islands, etc.)? [Be sure the aisle widths are measured counter edge-to-counter edge or to appliance handles...not cabinet-to-cabinet or to appliance door/drawer front.]


Filler pullouts give you more room for storage in a narrow space. They are just the "pullout" piece and they attach to the outside sides of the neighboring cabinets or walls. By not having walls or face frames, you gain 1" to 3" of storage width (frames+walls are usually 1.5" thick on each side = 3" total; walls of frameless are 1/2" to 3/4" thick on each side = 1" to 1.5" total).

(If you don't have a neighboring wall or cabinet, a 1/2" to 3/4" panel is needed to attach it...but you still save on the space on the other side by not having an extra cabinet wall and frame.)

I've linked a thread that discusses them below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread: Rev-A-Shelf Spice Racks for Fillers -- Have you seen these!!!!


NOTES:

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clipped on: 08.20.2011 at 01:53 am    last updated on: 08.20.2011 at 01:53 am

Calling Enduring i found LED lights that are dim-able

posted by: Lesyeuxbleu on 07.28.2011 at 03:30 pm in Kitchens Forum

This is for ENDURING and anyone interested. I could not figure out a way to post this to you specifically. So I hope more people find this interesting. =).

Enduring had commented about wanting led lights that were dim-able. I had recently gone to a showroom and they sent me home with a catalog of LED lighting by www.CreeLEDLighting.com The specific Item she told us about is the LR6-GU24 for new construction and retrofit "that installs easily in most standard six inch recessed IC or non-IC houseing." My husband did most of the talking/learning but I remember wanting it. We have new construction, but already had our recessed lights installed. I believe this light had a kit that literally clipped onto/into the existing fixture to house an LED light and it is (per catalog) dimmable to 20%. I don't think you even have to change LED lights for years and years. It would be perfect for someone with High ceilings or stairways or just plain hard to reach areas.

NOTES:

Posted by Ginny20 (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 28, 11 at 16:11
Cree also makes the dimmable CR6, which can be purchased in a slightly different form at Home Depot for about $50. The CR6 also can go in an ED(edison) can.The CR6 is self-trimming, so no trim ring is needed. There are great discussions of these over on lighting.
Posted by TorontoTim (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 29, 11 at 10:39
I installed dimmable LED pucks which I sourced from LED Lights Canada. Tell Harvey Tim in Toronto sent you :)
I'm sure he'd ship out of Canada, and I bet it would be worth the time for the savings.
I'll post a pic in a bit, but I put in 19 LED lights on two drivers hooked to two magnetic LV dimmer switches and they work perfectly. Nice small pucks, and no heat.
One note - you CAN NOT run LV wire in-wall behind drywall etc. So if you need to span a distance where there are breaks like windows, ovens etc. you need to use standard NM wire (Romex) rated for in wall use.
I ran the two wires from my dimmer switches over to the cabinet above my stove. Then I ran all the wires from the different lighting runs through the walls into that cabinet as well. Put the two LED drivers in the cabinet, a few junction boxes inside that cabinet to join all the wires together and voila - dimmable LED's with proper in-wall wiring.
My total cost for the 19 LED pucks and 2 40w dimmable LED drivers was around $700 or so.
Best bet is to call Harvey, explain the layout, fax him drawings and he'll work up a kit.
To be clear - I do not work for LED Lights Canada, and I didn't get a discount on products to then go around flogging them on websites. Like you, I spent many many days looking and looking for good quality dimmable LED's and when I finally found LED Lights Canada, read their statements on UL rating etc. I knew I was talking to people who knew what they were doing. And for $25 or so a light, it's likely 1/3 the price you're looking at anywhere else.
www.ledlightscanada.com
Sorry - just re-read the original posts and realized you're talking about ceiling fixtures - I assumed you were talking about cabinet lighting.
Ah well, at least Google indexing will find my post and someone searching for dimmable LED cabinet lighting will benefit from the

clipped on: 07.29.2011 at 11:01 am    last updated on: 07.29.2011 at 11:04 am

RE: Unique Things/Items about your Kitchen (Follow-Up #33)

posted by: cat_mom on 07.13.2011 at 09:27 am in Kitchens Forum

Not really unique, tiling up to the ceiling behind the range/hood, but the vaulted ceiling and vertical-set glass tiles remind people of a waterfall or icicles (pictures were taken before we "accessorized"):

full shot 1.jpg

Our Matthews Fans ceiling fan always garners a few wows:

shot from LR 1.jpg

Our Movado wall clock, for the Movado-lovers in our family (none of whom can tell time with their watches!):

Movado wall clock

The wall hanging and grapevine and glass cocktail table in our LR--open to the kitchen (was originally the DR, pre-reno):

Living Room--Holidays 2008

Cocktail table close-up

NOTES:

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clipped on: 07.15.2011 at 12:23 pm    last updated on: 07.15.2011 at 12:23 pm

RE: Anyone have a Blum under sink drawer??? Sink base size? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: athensmomof3 on 07.15.2011 at 07:39 am in Kitchens Forum

thanks for the input - something to talk about with my cabinetmaker for sure! This is what I was talking about - it actually is a sink drawer that is cut out around the sink bowls so it has storage on the sides and front. My cabinetmaker made a comment about how you would have to do a really wide sink base( like 40 or 42") for that but I don't know if that is the case. It seems like it wouldn't be very functional if you had to do that.

As far as the horizontal pipe, we will have a disposal so that sounds like it would preclude a real drawer under the sink.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blum Tandembox Under Sink Drawer


NOTES:

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clipped on: 07.15.2011 at 08:47 am    last updated on: 07.15.2011 at 08:47 am

RE: Anyone have a gray porcelian (slate-like maybe) tile floor? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: pamike1 on 05.02.2011 at 11:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi Daicey

Crossville has a bluestone tile with some nice color choices and finishes. This product is also available in "get planked" for a one of a kind look. So good to see others opting for porcelain tile. First choice for me was hardwood but just not practical with two dogs running around here. Here's the link

Here is a link that might be useful: Bluestone by Crossville


NOTES:

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clipped on: 06.24.2011 at 09:32 pm    last updated on: 06.24.2011 at 09:32 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
Photobucket

another option -

Photobucket

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

Photobucket

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

Photobucket

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

Photobucket


NOTES:

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clipped on: 06.23.2011 at 10:42 pm    last updated on: 06.23.2011 at 10:42 pm

RE: Ikea Kitchens. Am I missing something? (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: homepro01 on 01.22.2009 at 01:20 pm in Kitchens Forum

Ikea is not as limited with sizes as people think. Ikeafans shows people doing all sorts of things with slight modifications to the stock cabinet. A great example of something that is not shown in the Ikea catalog but that Ikea sells is the 30" base cabinet with drawers. The top drawer is two 15" wide drawers rather than a large single 30" wide drawer. Well Ikea sells an oven cabinet with a single 30" wide drawer that is what is needed for the 30" cabinet.

Another aspect that is never mentioned with Ikea is their commitment to environmental friendliness. They have no formaldehyde in their products and the wood products are certified as coming from managed sources. The other beauty is that if you change your mind two years from now and want new drawer fronts or doors than you currently have, it is easy to change out.

I agree that I like Ikea because of its open pricing model. No matter where you live, the cabinets cost the same. You don't have to price shop around at four different vendors who have different books and different prices. If I could afford it, I would buy Boffi in a minute but Ikea works for this house and this kitchen. I can also get custom doors if I want for a more custom look and still pay less than many of the Kraftmaid products and have all the fancy doodads that I like. Kraftmaid in my opinion is not a comparator to Ikea because of the lack of environmental focus from Kraftmaid.

Also remember that Ikea with their door styles mainly focus on modern or contemporary styling which is not the majority of American kitchen shoppers.

Good luck!

NOTES:

They also have those fabulous cheap super-customizable drawer dividers--that you don't have to order with your cabinets and can instead pick them up easily later when you decide where you want to put stuff.

I was extremely disappointed that they don't carry them large enough for the one piece of Ikea cabinetry I have in my kitchen (that we purchased to hold us over until I remodel but I do love the thing). Grr.

clipped on: 06.23.2011 at 12:49 pm    last updated on: 06.23.2011 at 12:50 pm

Before & After the 'modern' pics!

posted by: coastal_modern_love on 04.20.2011 at 05:44 pm in Kitchens Forum

I am a relatively new poster here (lurker for about 2 years) and so excited to finally start posting pics of my "coastal" reno. So far got a couple in the Bathrooms and here in kitchens. I thought I'd post now on my "modern" kitchen, as I just dug up some old before pics. This is how we found the house when we bought it, and remodeled a couple of years ago.

Enjoy! My only wish was that I had known about this site before this first kitchen remodel!

Before:
Photobucket
Photobucket

After:
Photobucket
Photobucket

NOTES:

Details:
Bentwood custom cabs oak.
Richelieu pulls
Subzero 736 tci 36" fully integrated with stainless panels
Thermador induction 36"
custom Miele hood
Dacor oven (currently waiting for repair)
Dacor Warming drawer
Dacor micro-drawer
Dacor plumbed coffee center (boiler blew after 1 year)-replacing with Miele
DO NOT BUY DACOR-this is why I wish I had GW then!
F-P dish drawers
Caesarstone Quartz reflections counters
Schonbek pendants
Julien SS farmhouse sink
KWC Systema faucet w/integrated soap
Marvel beverage cooler-loudest appliance in my kitchen!
Home decorators counter stools
Daltile glass mosaic backsplash

The counter is indestructible. In my situation. 3 kids, 3 dogs, and various other small animals. Nail polish spills, permanent marker, hot pans, you name it-it's been removed easily. Without going up to measure, I believe it is 8x5. Double width mitered edge seam that is invisible!
Believe it or not, it is a craftsman style house. Notice the railing on the upper level, first "after" pic. I have tried to mix the modern feel gently throughout the other rooms. The only thing left with the hint of craftsman is the railing and front door! From the outside it looks kind of like a mix between nantucket shingle and modern lakehouse. But I love all three styles, so fits me just perfect!

I have no idea what the mix was in the Daltile I think they were numbered, but the size are 3/4" squares on a 12x12 mesh. The colors are two shades of aqua/turquoise, pale purple-ish gray and white iridescent.
The upper cabinets are push-to-open so no need for pulls. The ceilings in the kitchen are vaulted up to the second floor, so didn't feel the need for ANOTHER detail to bring the eye up.

And WOW, thanks for all the "loves" out there! I must tell you, the area I live in has a majority of antique farm houses, early colonial, neo eclectic colonial, NE shingle, craftsman you get the picture. I really was debating at the beginning about going so modern, and my "people" around here don't really get the appeal of this style decorating or home. Most I know hunt the eastern seaboard and beyond for antiques, and would not ever open a catalogue to shop for furniture. Don't get me wrong, I love and appreciate antique pieces with a history and someday plan on mixing it up a little, but this suits us better. And I don't plan on moving any time soon, so not worried that this type of kitchen wouldn't sell here.

Ok, I admit I worked with a KD on this. And when I say "worked" I mean she wanted to hire me after this was done! I basically had everything I wanted clipped and drawn out exactly the way I wanted it and she tweaked and worked my plan into this!

Details:
Bentwood custom cabs oak.
Richelieu pulls
Subzero 736 tci 36" fully integrated with stainless panels
Thermador induction 36"
custom Miele hood
Dacor oven (currently waiting for repair)
Dacor Warming drawer
Dacor micro-drawer
Dacor plumbed coffee center (boiler blew after 1 year)-replacing with Miele
DO NOT BUY DACOR-this is why I wish I had GW then!
F-P dish drawers
Caesarstone Quartz reflections counters
Schonbek pendants
Julien SS farmhouse sink
KWC Systema faucet w/integrated soap
Marvel beverage cooler-loudest appliance in my kitchen!
Home decorators counter stools
Daltile glass mosaic backsplash

clipped on: 05.20.2011 at 01:52 am    last updated on: 06.23.2011 at 12:54 am

WARNING: Visual Comfort Lighting

posted by: marcolo on 03.16.2011 at 01:44 pm in Kitchens Forum

I tried to update my old thread on the topic, but the forum won't bump it.

So, to sum up, let me quote myself:


I know a lot of you use Visual Comfort lights, especially those going for a Christopher Peacock look. Visual Comfort makes most of the pieces you see on Circa lighting.
I want to warn you that if you're going to buy a Visual Comfort light, be prepared. I have a houseful of VC lighting, and have experienced problem after problem with the quality control.

- Two sconces arrived with bent candles. My electricians were only partly successful in straightening them.
- Two sconces arrived with badly mismatched shades--much darker than the others
- A large percentage of shades arrived with weird blotches all over them
- Two sconces were manufactured with bolts that protruded to different lengths on the back; my electricians had to saw them evenly to install the fixtures upright
- The clover-shaped ceiling fixture glass cracked immediately upon installation. The electrician ordered another, with all the part numbers etc. correct, and after a long delay VC sent the wrong glass entirely. They are taking their sweet leisurely time sending a new one. I'm talking months.

Today--to top it off--the reason why I'm writing this post: One of the shades on the fretwork sconces over my fireplace suddenly wrinkled badly. It looks like ____!! Not only is the correct bulb installed, but it's on a dimmer and virtually never operates at full power.

Worst of all, VC has been very unresponsive to my lighting store and everything takes FOREVER. Literally MONTHS have gone by waiting for them to replace shades and the cracked glass. The woman at my lighting store leaves messages, and no one returns her call for days, or sometimes ever.

Here's what I wrote today on the other thread--the one that didn't bump:


The nightmare continues.

As you can see from the thread above, I first received my defective VC shades last year--two of the supposedly "matching" shades are a dark, grotty color, completely different from the other shades. I have waited four months for replacements.

Today--March 16-- I got an email from the lighting store.

VC has just changed the inventory report to show that the replacement shades now have "no date" on them. No plans to make more. No concern about owing customers replacements. La la la. We're too important, we're "artists." Who are you? We're going to go wank ourselves now.

Coincidentally, a designer showed me a VC table lamp that might look good in my living room. LOL! Sorry, I only plan to live here about 20 years, it won't arrive by then.

Buyer beware. There are other good brands out there. Do you want to hold up a completed kitchen reno waiting for your light fixtures until next year? Or worse--forever?

NOTES:

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clipped on: 06.22.2011 at 11:38 am    last updated on: 06.22.2011 at 11:38 am

RE: pop-up island outlet recommendations? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: antss on 04.29.2011 at 08:19 am in Kitchens Forum

There's only one game in town: Mockett & Co. Every single one you see anywhere is derived from this.

They are nowhere near 500 either. Around $150 shipped!

Here is a link that might be useful: power pole


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clipped on: 06.21.2011 at 09:09 am    last updated on: 06.21.2011 at 09:10 am

Seeking images of modest or quirky kitchens...

posted by: florantha on 03.04.2010 at 11:56 am in Kitchens Forum

Some of us are working with suburban tract houses or little Cape Cods or oddball spaces designed for someone else. Some of us have modest budgets or neighborhood factors that prevent huge expenditures. Some of us are just downright cranky and won't follow what we perceive as the herd.

I enjoy looking at upscale spaces and trendy ones and am getting a real kick out of hearing about budgets and tastes of those of you who are "totally kitchen obsessed" but I suspect that like me, there are others who really need more modest and personalized (or quirky) mentoring.

Let's see who else is just a little different here. Show us some successful kitchen spaces that won't show up in the high-end ads and mags. Images of spaces by successful local contractors, creative do-it-yourselfers, repurposers, and the just plain resourceful. No mansions need apply.

I'll start. Today I stumbled into the House Tours for "The Kitchn" and/or "Apartment Therapy." Here we find some people who live with limitations or manias or old interesting stuff.

Here is a link that might be useful: House Tours from

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clipped on: 06.20.2011 at 12:28 pm    last updated on: 06.20.2011 at 12:28 pm

RE: Finished Traditional Kitchen (lots of pics) (Follow-Up #41)

posted by: jm_seattle on 03.06.2011 at 12:35 am in Kitchens Forum

Thanks all! We really did our best to build a 50-year kitchen instead of one that would get ripped out in 10 or 20 years. That goal involved always pushing for three things: high quality, high utility, and a traditional look that fit in with the rest of the house rather than the current trends. Here are a few more details and answers to the questions:

The house is a 1924 Tudor. Not very big by today's standards (<2K sq ft), but had a kitchen and breakfast room that we could remodel into a single kitchen without adding on. The total space is about 16' x 12'. Here's the rough floorplan we worked from:
Photobucket

Cabinets: http://www.seattlecustomcabinets.com/
Highly recommended if you're in the Seattle area! In addition to making beautiful, high quality cabinets, it was Tim who came up with a lot of the cool storage ideas like taking advantage of the interior walls.

Compost Bin: Blanco Solon. http://www.blancocanada.com/frames/BlancoStart.htm#/pages/wasteManagement.htm
It's out of Canada but there are US .com vendors if you do a web search.

Tile: Oregon Tile & Marble's Isole line. They have a showroom in Seattle, but also sell through retail tile stores. http://www.oregontileandmarble.com/ & http://www.oregontileandmarble.com/Tear%20Sheets/IE%20Lanka%20Isole_2pg.pdf

Here's a closeup of the backsplash:
Photobucket

Hardware is all in polished nickel (except the glass filler, which was the only one we could find that didn't require two hands and was only available in chrome).

Cabinet latches: http://www.lookintheattic.com/vhln250.html
We chose ones with large knobs on the advice of our cabinet maker (who said as we got older our hands might have a harder time turning a smaller knob).

Drawer pulls (incl fridge) are Restoration Hardware Aubrey: http://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod1283069&categoryId=cat1512023

Hinges are White Chapel Ball-tip: http://www.whitechapel-ltd.com/category/lpbtfch.html

Paint:
Cabinets/trim are Benjamin Moore Bavarian Cream
Walls are C2 Sugar Cookie
Ceiling Benjamin Moore Paper Mache

Counter: Some sort of Brazilian Soapstone. I wouldn't recommend our fabricator. If you're shopping for soapstone, definitely bring a water bottle / damp cloth with you and view each piece wet. Ours was light grey when we bought it, but turned almost jet black when we oiled it with mineral oil, and the damp cloth gave us a much better idea of the final color.

Sink: Franke GNX-110-28. http://www.frankeksd.com/productdetail.php?prodid=71&node=10&group=53&lvl=3
This was one of the few sinks we could find with a drain in the corner. The corner drain allows the plumbing to be tucked away in a corner and gives you much more usable space under the sink. Here's a shot of the sink and the usable space underneath:
Photobucket
Photobucket

Appliances:
DISHWASHER: Miele G 2183 SCVi
REFRIGERATOR: Sub-Zero 700TCi LH
HOOD: Vent-a-Hood SLH9-130SS
MAIN OVEN: Miele H4780BPSS
STEAM OVEN: Miele DG4080SS
COOKTOP: Miele KM5753+

Just let me know if you have other questions- I'm happy to tell the good and bad and it's the least I can do after all the help this forum has given me. :)

NOTES:

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clipped on: 06.16.2011 at 05:01 pm    last updated on: 06.16.2011 at 05:01 pm

Finished Traditional Kitchen (lots of pics)

posted by: jm_seattle on 03.05.2011 at 01:54 pm in Kitchens Forum

THANK YOU GARDENWEB! We got so many great ideas from this forum, and everybody was so incredibly helpful and generous.

Here are some pics and a few details:
Island:
Island
Overview:
Kitchen corner
Refrigerator and pantry:
Refrigerator/Freezer
Message center:
Message center with built-in chalkboard
Breakfast nook:
Breakfast nook
Our KD wanted an extremely large window area to bring in light, but made it fit into the old house by breaking it up and using leaded glass:
new leaded glass windows
Sink w/glass filler, runnels, & built-in compost bin:
Sink w/Runnels & built-in compost bin
Built-in compost bin close-up:
Built-in compost bin
Mug shelf:
Mug Shelf
Charging drawer. This entire cabinet is deeper than it appears because it is built into the interior wall behind it, gaining an extra 4" or so of storage space without creeping into the walkway in front of it:
Charging station built into drawer
Island cabinets:
Island cabinets wtih cutting board
Miele ovens installed as flush inset (I searched and never did find pictures of this, so hopefully these will help somebody else):
Miele appliances mounted flush inset
Cleaning closet in "invented space" from interior wall:
Cleaning closet
Extra depth for the vacuum was made by reducing the depth of the drawers under the pantry:
Cleaning closet
The placement of the outlet underneath the music player shelf allows the nasty cordness to be hidden from eye-level:
Music Shelf
Toe-kick heater vent. The toe-kick face under the message center & island is covered with stained oak flooring. From eye-level, the toe-kick absorbs the correct amount of light and gives the appearance of freestanding cabinets.
Under island heater vent
The freestanding appearance is clearer here:
Cabinet built-into wall
Drawers under nook seating area:
Under-seat drawers in nook
There is a powder room off the kitchen. This wasn't our first choice, but ended up being our only choice in this old house, and has been okay, especially considering its placement is directly next to the hallway and away from the primary cooking area:
Bathroom off of kitchen
Adjacent mudroom, which became part of the kitchen remodel. The door is to a laundry chute which we use mostly for kitchen towels & napkins.
Mudroom

Here is a link that might be useful: More pictures

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clipped on: 06.16.2011 at 05:00 pm    last updated on: 06.16.2011 at 05:00 pm

Does This Dining Table Work Here

posted by: malhgold on 01.30.2010 at 10:20 am in Home Decorating Forum

As I mentioned in my previous post..."Would You Paint This Fireplace", I think part of the problem with the space is the table and chairs, so I'm planning on moving them back to the DR(the chalkboard is coming down). I now need a table for that space. Anyone think this works? I'm not so sure it does, but I thought I'd ask just in case I was missing something.

I'm also including a link to the previous post about the fireplace. Here are current pics of the eating and kitchen areas:

Photobucket

Photobucket

would you put this table in the space with the fireplace?
Photobucket

Here is a link that might be useful: Painting the Fireplace

NOTES:

http://s170.photobucket.com/albums/u277/malhgold/?action=view¤t=cornerpantryrendering.jpg#!oZZ216QQcurrentZZhttp%3A%2F%2Fs170.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fu277%2Fmalhgold%2F%3Faction%3Dview%26current%3Dpic8.jpg
clipped on: 06.14.2011 at 05:30 pm    last updated on: 06.14.2011 at 05:31 pm

RE: Tapmaster (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: lmalm53 on 06.07.2008 at 03:34 pm in Kitchens Forum

I just now ordered the Tapmaster 1750 model (hot and cold combo with kickplate only) from the Conservastore site. I ordered over the phone and spoke with a very nice CS person. He tells me the item will be shipped Monday and I should receive by Friday. Hopefully, that is the case since I'm just now reading that yesdear had problems getting theirs in a timely manner.

I ordered the black finish for the kickplate which will blend right in with my toekick space. On the manufacturers site the 1750 model is currently listed retail for $345 and Conservastore is selling it for $285. I looked at the European model 1775 with just the small metal rod sticking down that you have to push to the left or right with your foot, but I felt the standard kickplate model would be easier for me to use.


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clipped on: 06.11.2011 at 12:29 pm    last updated on: 06.11.2011 at 12:29 pm

RE: Which Kitchen Faucet Did You Pick? (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: rococogurl on 05.25.2010 at 05:01 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here you go kitchenaddict

The KWC Systema pulldown (chrome) and Newport Brass filtered cold water with the Julien sink

The Dornbracht Profi pair with the Rohl Sink (upmounted)

And the Hangrohe ss Pullout with drop in Elkay D sink
in the mudroom


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clipped on: 06.11.2011 at 09:34 am    last updated on: 06.11.2011 at 09:35 am

RE: Which Kitchen Faucet Did You Pick? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: plllog on 05.25.2010 at 01:30 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have the MGS VELA D for my big sink. I LOVE it. According to the guys in the parts department, it's about the most reliable around (as in they never have to order parts for it). Mostly, I just love the way it feels. The pulldown part especially feels lovely in the hand. And retracts beautifully. I have the Kohler Karbon on my prep sink because of the ability to angle it to whichever part of the sink I want it in and never have it overreach the trough.

sink

prep


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clipped on: 06.11.2011 at 09:18 am    last updated on: 06.11.2011 at 09:19 am

motion-activated soap dispenser???

posted by: natal on 06.10.2011 at 07:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

Didn't want to hijack Ginny's soap dispenser thread.

Does anyone have a motion-activated dispenser? I'm pretty good about using the pump on my regular dispenser with my fist or back of my hand when my hands are covered with meat/chicken juice, but imagine it might be a lot easier with one of those motion-activated dispensers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Simplehuman automatic soap dispenser

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clipped on: 06.11.2011 at 08:43 am    last updated on: 06.11.2011 at 08:43 am

RE: Do these cabs look balanced? (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: coastal_modern_love on 06.08.2011 at 06:52 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here's the link. For a fee they will cut to size the area you want done. I am using one of these "fields" for over my cooktop. You can also customize the colors with a 3-4 week lead time (east coast, not sure about timeframe to west). Enjoy.

Here is a link that might be useful: decorative backsplash


NOTES:

oasis pattern
clipped on: 06.08.2011 at 09:11 pm    last updated on: 06.08.2011 at 09:12 pm

RE: Now for a completely unconventional kitchen (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: plllog on 06.08.2011 at 03:30 am in Kitchens Forum

Starting with the last question, I don't particularly care for pot racks, except in certain very olde world kitchens, but your idea sounds practical enough. I do think it will muddle up your strong architectural elements. With the strong chimney stack, the slash of the beam, and the way the tall cabinet on the right and the horizontal cabinets next to the FP repeat the forms. From this angle, at least, it's a gorgeous design, and a pot rack would mess that up.

Regarding the hardware, unfortunately, it takes a lot of looking to get just what you want. Some of my favorite places to look:

Homeportfolio.com More interesting and unusual stuff here. Not a sales site, rather referrals to the manufacturers.

Coolknobsandpulls.com Great selection.

Antropologie has some really cool knobs (probably more in the stores). They're meant to be retro chic, but some of them might work well with Modern.

Google "granite knobs" and you'll find a bunch of people who make knobs and pulls from your granite scraps if your fabricator doesn't (most probably use these same places). They can probably also mount marbles. :)

Rejuvenation is another place that has a lot of retro, but some of it is retro Modern, including this Boomerang Pull:

boomerang.

If you don't have good salvage places and are looking for something old, check out garage sales, flea markets and junk shops. Sometimes you can find a cabinet or chest that has great hardware for a price you'd spend on just the hardware. Sometimes you can just take what you want and give them back the carcass to resell. Sometimes they make you take it away.

I found my hardware on Home Portfolio when I was looking for appliance pulls to go with the cremone bolts I wasn't getting. More than two hours of trolling later, as my eyes were crossing from page after page, these knobs jumped out and shouted ME ME ME MEE ME. Turned out the same folks made pulls and appliance pulls that I liked better than any others I'd seen too. :)

It helps if you have something on TV that doesn't take a lot of looking at, if you're going to shop online, or something on the radio with a story to it.

Most of all, just keep looking around you. Things pop up in unexpected places. LightingUniverse of all places has some cool modern knobs.

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clipped on: 06.08.2011 at 11:18 am    last updated on: 06.08.2011 at 11:18 am

RE: Range Hood Help (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: Ginny20 on 06.07.2011 at 08:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

Pro Line does look good. They prefer you to have a 10" duct. I think they can come with fluorescent or halogen bulbs, a good feature.

I got a 800 (really 720) cfm Kobe because you can have 6,7 or 10" duct, it's supposed to be quiet, and many people here like them. It's still in the box, so I can't vouch for it. It was $831 at ventingdirect.com, but it was also 36" and ss.

Zephyr is also highly regarded on this site.

There is a nice 600cfm ss hood from Broan which is only about $650 online for the 36", so 30" should be less, but I was concerned about the nearness of the switches to the light bulbs. I think the Broan wants a 10" duct, also.

One thing I noticed when I was choosing mine was the position of the switches. Some have the switches in weird places. Check it out and read the reviews before you decide.

BTW, I had a very good experience with ventingdirect.com. They said the unit was backordered, but they actually had it and it arrived within about 8 days of the order. The UPS guy helped me inspect the box on all sides and open the box to see how it looked. It took less than 10 minutes of his time, and I was then happy to sign for it. I only knew to do this because I had read warnings by some people on this site - so my thanks to them. Ventingdirect also had low prices.


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clipped on: 06.08.2011 at 12:20 am    last updated on: 06.08.2011 at 12:20 am

RE: HOod is installed and backsplash grouted... pics (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: remodelfla on 06.07.2011 at 09:08 am in Kitchens Forum

I got the tile from the glasstilestore.com. It's from the large format ones and listed as spa green frosted. I had gotten alot of samples from all over the place that were nice but this was just too perfect with the ss. In the realm of how expensive some tiles are they weren't bad at all (try to explain that to DH but he still thought it was extreme) at $15 a square foot. It's hard to explain but I am so in love with my kitchen. I know I've said this before, but I have not one single regret or anything I would change. Except to maybe be actually done with fillers, drawer tweaks, etc. Thanks so much for you kind words. I can't believe that I can actually see the finish line and when I get hardware be one of those who get to post 95% finished kitchen thread. I honestly never ever thought it would happen, and I mean that literally. THANKS!


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clipped on: 06.07.2011 at 09:09 pm    last updated on: 06.07.2011 at 09:10 pm

RE: Kitchen Demolition TOMORROW!! Any last advice re: temp set-u (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: enduring on 06.06.2011 at 01:25 pm in Kitchens Forum

Talk with your electrician about LED. I just had it installed last week with an electrician who had never installed it and he did a good job. He was interested in learning about the product and The local electrical supply wholesaler had a wonderful demonstration table of LED under cabinet lighting. Diode LED is the name of the company. I LOVE my LED under cabinet and over sink dimmable lighting. I don't even need my ceiling light on. I went with the "non dimmable driver" and a special dimmable switch that they make for this product. It dims to practacly 0%. The other option is a "dimmable driver" and use a standard dimmer switch that works with low voltage I believe.

I went with my installation choice because I have read that there has been issues with dimming LED lighting. This seemed to be my best guess at preventing a problem. This might not be an issue with newer installations, I don't know. I had every thing hard wired.

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clipped on: 06.06.2011 at 02:08 pm    last updated on: 06.06.2011 at 02:08 pm

RE: Kitchen Demolition TOMORROW!! Any last advice re: temp set-u (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: robj on 06.06.2011 at 10:12 am in Kitchens Forum

Depending on how long you'll be cooking in the laundry room you might want to have your range hooked up in there.

I did our kitchen myself working evenings and weekends so we were cooking in the laundry room for over 2 months. That would be a long time with a toaster oven and microwave.

For info on LED under cabinet lights, see: led ucl diy

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clipped on: 06.06.2011 at 02:08 pm    last updated on: 06.06.2011 at 02:08 pm

RE: Filtered water faucet at sink? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: cheri127 on 03.15.2011 at 09:11 pm in Kitchens Forum

We installed a Franke Little Butler with a Franke filter and instant hot. The flow on both is quite good (about 5 s to full an 8 oz glass?). I read a lot of bad stuff about the Insinkerator brand (breaks easily and isn't repairable) so that's how we ended up with the Franke. It's been almost two years and no problems so far. Sorry I don't have a better picture.

recessed sink base


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clipped on: 06.05.2011 at 11:06 pm    last updated on: 06.05.2011 at 11:08 pm

RE: Filtered water faucet at sink? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: rococogurl on 03.15.2011 at 08:10 am in Kitchens Forum

I put in an EWS water filter which comes with its own faucet. I'm super happy with the unit. I wanted more of a set at the sink so I found a filter faucet to coordinate with my KWC Systema pull down. (Scroll down for close up).

Here's a link to the filter system.

Here is a link that might be useful: EWS & Faucet

NOTES:

http://www.atticmag.com/2010/05/7-upgrades-that-transformed-my-kitchen/
clipped on: 06.05.2011 at 11:01 pm    last updated on: 06.05.2011 at 11:04 pm

RE: New Grout Discoloration Issues (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: pudgybaby on 06.01.2011 at 11:40 pm in Kitchens Forum

Have you tried posting your question on the john bridge tile forum? They are tile experts over there and very helpful. You might even be able to search and find an answer without posting. I know that when we mixed our grout we used distilled water to avoid the white crud (I think there's a name for what you're describing, but I can't for the life of me remember what it is, but again, they will know at john bridge). We even used distilled water for the grout removal. We still had a tiny bit of white on the surface (our grout was chocolate brown, so any white showed), but I was able to get it off pretty easily using distilled water and a toothbrush. It sounds tedious, but it went quickly.

As far as the uneven grout color, I think LWO hit the nail on the head that it's also a water problem. Maybe some of it was mixed with more water than the other?

Good luck! I hope that you get this resolved to your satisfaction.

Here is a link that might be useful: john bridge tile forum

NOTES:

http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/
clipped on: 06.02.2011 at 01:28 pm    last updated on: 06.02.2011 at 01:28 pm

RE: Care to share your best kitchen storage ideas? (Follow-Up #31)

posted by: stacylu on 08.03.2007 at 06:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

Oops - over fridge wine cabinet

Here is a link that might be useful: How-to for wine glass pullout

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clipped on: 06.01.2011 at 05:41 pm    last updated on: 06.01.2011 at 05:41 pm

RE: Care to share your best kitchen storage ideas? (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: liz_h on 07.30.2007 at 01:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

I think that one of my best storage ideas was to keep all of my pantry items that are used a bit at a time under my main prep counter. I mean things like oils, vinegars, spices, baking powder, all purpose flour, etc. My pantry is a few steps away, but it contains things that I tend to use a whole package of at once - things like dried beans, canned tomatoes, etc. We also keep foods there that are used right at the table, like cereal, snacks, etc.

Here are a couple of pics of my island. Drawer fronts will be added in the future, along with a few more drawers and the prep sink. This of course brings up one of the best kitchen storage ideas ever - as many drawers as possible in your lower cabinets, preferably designed so that they don't eat up a lot of space with the drawer glides, etc.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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clipped on: 06.01.2011 at 05:40 pm    last updated on: 06.01.2011 at 05:40 pm

RE: Advice on Kitchen Choices - I need your help! (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: BumpyRoadtoHome on 06.01.2011 at 01:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

@chicagoans - thanks for the suggestion. Can you tell me where the finished kitchens blog is? I searched and couldn't find it. Thanks

@detroit_burb - Thanks for that. The tile comes in other colours but they're more "brown". See the link below..and yep they're rectified.

Totally wish I could do the quartz wrap-around too...just don't think I have the budget for it.

Here is a link that might be useful: tile color options

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clipped on: 06.01.2011 at 04:56 pm    last updated on: 06.01.2011 at 04:56 pm

RE: Advice on Kitchen Choices - I need your help! (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: detroit_burb on 06.01.2011 at 01:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

maple over oak.

three approaches to countertops:
1) get a sample of the actual marble backsplash you want and hold it up to the quartz samples - this will give you an answer immediately. Some marble is more grey, some more brown or cream, others more white, just depends on the type and grade of marble you get. Only one of the grey or white quartz will likely "work" with the tile. subway style marble is more antique looking, but this can be changed up by laying it vertically and putting of stripe of something sleek randomly spaced.
2) pick the one you really like, then go shopping for backsplash based on your choice like someone mentioned above
3) i vote for grey for a more industrial look

either way, I definitely love "wrapping" the countertop over the side of the cabinet for impact, and the example in white where the top is 2cm material and the sides are built thicker is really visually interesting.

I like the texture of the white floor better than the grey floor, so I vote for "none of the above" and will say consider the linearly textured tile in a darker color with matching grout, and make sure it is rectified porcelain so you can do super thin grout lines.

NOTES:

tiles and grouting issues
clipped on: 06.01.2011 at 04:55 pm    last updated on: 06.01.2011 at 04:55 pm

RE: OT--Shower design help (sorry, sorry) (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: coastal_modern_love on 04.17.2011 at 12:18 pm in Kitchens Forum

I haven't uploaded pics yet but below is a link to see the tile. I also have honed carrara on the walls in 12x24 slabs. Still deciding if I should spend the extra $$ on starfire Showerguard treated glass. Did I open a can of worms??

Mine tiles seem a bit lighter but I think it is my screen. This is not where I ordered the tile from.

The pony wall is a tad over 4ft I believe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kinetic Fog circle tiles

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clipped on: 06.01.2011 at 01:16 pm    last updated on: 06.01.2011 at 01:17 pm

RE: OT--Shower design help (sorry, sorry) (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: kitchenkrazed09 on 04.13.2011 at 09:54 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi Breezygirl,

I'm coming in a little late to this thread and didn't read all of the responses, but wanted to weigh in with some of my experiences. First of all, happy belated birthday! I'm sorry it didn't turn out the way you would have liked.

I can relate to what you are going through, as I too am GCing our project, which brings its own set of challenges to the table. I also had to make some similar decisions for our bathroom remodel (shower size, tub deck height, etc.) and have dealt with some really nasty contractors (I remember your fireplace install problem). It also sounds like we may have the same tub. The Kohler Tea for Two? Mine is also 36" x 66", cast iron, weighs 400 pounds and holds 100 gallons.

Anyway, some of these tidbits of advice may answer questions from your other post, but here goes:

If you don't really like acrylic or fiberglass, don't get them. There are other options. I would recommend what others have said, have a custom shower pan made and tile installed on top. Definitely go bigger than a 30" wide shower. It will be too small and you will regret it. Especially if it is 72" long, it will have the impression of being long and narrow. If you have the room, make the shower bigger. Don't forget the width will be cut down by thickness of tiles and the shower curb. If you decide on the shower pan, make sure it is done properly or you will have leaks in the future. Melissastar has mentioned Bill Vincent, the resident tile expert. He usually hangs out on the Bathroom Forum and is an invaluable source of information. So is Mongoct. I've included a link below that I believe was provided by Bill Vincent, regarding how to properly install a shower pan.

Also, you may have already thought of this, but we had to install our tub not only before the walls were drywalled, but before all framing was complete, because it wouldn't fit through the door of the bathroom. Have you considered doing a marble or granite tub deck? Not to give you more decisions to make, just wanted to throw that out there.

You seem to be leaning toward the pony walls. I would go for it for all the reasons you mentioned. I'm not sure if anyone pointed out that your custom shower doors should also be less expensive if you have the pony walls.

Hope this helps and hang in there!

Here is a link that might be useful: Building a Shower Pan

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clipped on: 06.01.2011 at 01:10 pm    last updated on: 06.01.2011 at 01:10 pm

bathroom tile FAQ's

posted by: bill_vincent on 07.01.2008 at 09:31 pm in Bathrooms Forum

This is going to take me a while, so I'll post as many as I can each night until it gets done. To start, here's the first set of questions and answers:

Okay, here we go. These questions come from the thread on the discussions side where I solicited questions from everyone for this thread. These are in the order they were asked:

Q) What are the different types of tiles you can use in a bathroom and what are the advantages/disadvantages of each?

A) There are several types of tile available. They fall into two general groups: ceramic and natural stone. I'll take these one at a time:

Ceramic tile-- For purposes of this discussion, there's glazed conventional, unglazed porcelain, and glazed porcelain. All three are good tiles for bathroom use, but the porcelain is a better choice only because of its density and lack of water absorbsion, which makes upkeep and cleaning easier. Also, with reference to steam showers, you DO NOT want to use natural stone, being that the steam would tend to permeate into the stone even more readily than liquid water, and could end up giving you algae problems, as well as mold and mildew problems, unless you don't mind being tied down to your bathroom.

Natural Stone-- There are several types of stone that are used in bathrooms. It doesn't necessarily mean that they're all GOOD IDEAS for bathrooms, expecially the softer (and more absorbant) stones, such as slate or limestone. Now, I know I'm going to get a world of flack about this from epople who have bathrooms finished in these materials. I know they CAN be used.... so long as you're aware of the extra upkeep involved. But if you're someone who doesn't like to keep after things, you may want to pick an easier material to maintain. Generally speaking, the softer the stone, the more the upkeep. Limestone being the softer of the stones, and that would include travertine, next would be many slates (although some would actually be harder than even most marbles, such as brazilian and british slates), then marbles, with quartzite and granite rounding off the list as the harder and more dense stones that you could use.

Q) What should I be sure to look for when choosing tile for a bathroom?

A) Short answer-- something that you like! The bathroom is the one place that just about anything the showroom has can be used. The only limitations are basically the upkeep you want to put in, and slip resistance on the floors of your bathroom and shower. Now, although ceramic tile is basically maintenence free, you don't want to use something with a texture to it that will catch all kinds of junk in the shower, making it more difficult to keep clean. At the same time, you don't want to use a polished stone or bright glazed ceramic tile for the shower floor, either. These both CAN be used, but again, it comes down to upkeep for textured wall tile, and doing something to rectify the slippery floor.

Q) Where should I use tile and where not?

A) Tile can be used on every single surface in the bathroom, if that's what you like. This is all a matter of taste... for the most part. About the only place where there's a requirement is any place there's a showerhead involved. If tile is to be used either in a shower or a tub/ shower combo, The tile MUST go up to a minimum of 72" off the floor. Past that, it's up to the disgression of the owner.

Q) What size tile and what layout patterns to use in various areas?

A) Again, this is a subjective question that can really only be answered by the owner. The ONLY place where there's a recommendation for mechaincal reasons is on a shower floor. TCNA recommends that mothing bigger than 6" be used on shower floors due to the cone shape of the floor's pitch. In addition, most installers will request no bigger than 4", and prefer a 2x2 tile to work with on the shower floor. This is also advantageous to the homeowner who'll be showering in there, because the added grout joints will add more traction to the floor.

Now, I've heard many times that you shouldn't use large format tiles in a small area like a powder room floor, and if you have a wide open bathroom, you don't want to use real small tiles. My response to both is the same-- HORSEHOCKEY. I've done bathrooms both ways-- 24x24 diagonal in a 3' wide powder room, and 1" hex ceramic mosaics in an open 100 sq. ft. bathroom floor. The rule of thumb is if you like it, it's right!

Q) How do I find/choose someone to install the tile?

A) Many people will tell you to get names from the showroom you get your tile from. This is no good, unless the showroom is willing to take responsibility for the installer by either having them on payrool, or as a subcontract. Then they have something to lose if they give you a bad installer. Many people will also tell you to get references and to actually check them out. This ALSO doesn't work. I've been in this work for just under 30 years now, and I've yet to find a single installer who ever gave the name of someone they had a problem with. They say even a blind squirrel will find a nut once in a while. The same can be said for "fly-by-nights" and good work.

So if you can't trust recommendations, and checking references is a lost cause, what do you do? REVERSE THE PROCESS!! Instead of finding an installer and getting references, get references, and thru them, find your installer!! No matter where you live, if you drive around, you'll find constructions sites and developements. Stop and ask who the GC uses. Get a name and phone number. Sooner or later, after asking around enough, you're going to find that the same names will begin to show up time and time again. THESE are the guys you want to use. But don't expect a bargain price, and be prepared to wait, because these guys will be in high demand, even in the worst of times, and they may demand a bit higher price, but they'll be worth every penny, if for no other reason, just because of the peace of mind they'll give you in knowing you're getting a good quality installation. Ask anyone who's gone through this experience, good or bad-- that alone is worth its weight in gold.

Q) What are the proper underlayments for tile?

A) There are several, and I'll take them one at a time:

CBU (cementitious Backer Units)-- This is the term that generally covers all cement boards (such as Wonderboard or Durock) or cement fiber boards (such as Hardibacker). This is the most common used tile underlayment. Generally speaking, it comes in two thicknesses-- 1/2" and 1/4"-- and each has its use. !/2" must be used for wall installations, due to the fact that the 1/4" is way too flimsy with nothing to back it up, and would flex too much to last. Besides, the 1/2" CBU will usually match up nicely to most sheetrocks. The 1/4" is used for floor installations, unless the added height of the 1/2" is needed to match up to other floorings. Being that neither has very much structural strength, so long as the subfloor is 3/4" or more, the 1/4" CBU is all that's needed. Keep in mind that even though it's basically fiberglass reinforced concrete, the only thing it adds to the floor is a stable bonding surface, so the 1/4" will do just fine. One place where alot of contractors will try and shortcut is by using greenboard instead of CBU for shower walls. This is expressly forbidden in the IRC (International Residential Code) by the following code:

IRC Greenboard Code:
The 2006 International Residential Code (IRC) states in
Section R702.4.2 that "Cement, fiber-cement or glass mat
gypsum backers in compliance with ASTM C1288, C1325
or C1178 and installed in accordance with manufacturers
recommendations shall be used as backers for wall tile in
tub and shower areas and wall panels in shower areas."

The 2006 IRC also states in Section R702.3.8.1 that
"Water-resistant gypsum backing board [Greenboard] shall
not be used where there will be direct exposure to water."

Membranes-- There are several around that work well over many different surfaces. Most of them are what's called "Crack Isolation Membranes". Just about every manufacturer has one, from trowel ons or roll ons, such as Hydroment's Ultraset or Laticrete's 9235 or Hydroban, to sheet membranes such as Noble's CIS membrane. All will give the tile a little more protection against movement than just going over CBU. However, there's another class of membranes called "uncoupling membranes" of which the most popular by far is Schluter's Ditra, that are made from bonding two layers together, usually a fabric fleece backing and a plastic sheeting with dovetailed waffling to "lock" the thinset in place ( as opposed to accepting a thinset BOND). These membranes will, as their name implies, uncouple their two layers in case of movement, to save the floor, and for thinset floors, it's the most protection you can give your tile floor.

Plywood-- This is one where I get the most flack. I'm one of a dying breed that still believes in tiling directly over plywood. However, I can very well understand the reluctance of the industry to embrace this installation method, even though the TCNA DOES approve of its use for interior installations (Those with a handbook can check Method F-149). The reason I say that is it's a very "tempermental installation method. You need to be very familiar with what you're doing, or you risk failure. There are even many pros I wouldn't trust to tile using this method. Everything you do is important, from the species of plywood used, to the direction the grain is laid with relation to the joists, to how it's gapped, and a host of other specs, as well-- many of which won't be found in the handbook, and if you miss just one of them, you're flirtin with disaster. All in all, when people ask me about it, I tell them that with the membranes available, there's no need to go directly over plywood. There are other methods that will give you just as long lasting a floor, and aren't NEARLY as sensitive.

Mudset-- This is the oldest, and still, after THOUSANDS of years of use, the strongest installation method available. In a mudset installation, a minimum of 1 1/4" of mortar called "drypack" (mixed to the consistancy of damp sand) is either bonded to a concrete slab, or laid down over tarpaper or 6 mil poly with wire reinforcement, packed, and then screaded off to flat level (or pitched) subfloor. This is what most people see when tiling a shower pan. Initially, the mud will be a somewhat soft subfloor. But over time, if mixed properly, it'll be stronger than concrete.

Q) What are the proper tile setting compounds?

A) This is one where I could write a book. It all depends on what kind fo tile you're installing, and what the underlayment is that you're going over. I'll give a generalized list:

Polymer/ latex modified thinset: For all intents and purposes, this is the "cure-all". For almost any installation the modified thinset, which is basically portland cement, silica sand, and chemical polymers added for strength, will work. There are some that are specialized, such as the lightweight non-sag thinsets (such as Laticrete's 255 or Mapei's Ultralite), or the high latex content thinsets (like Latictrete's 254 Platinum or Hydroment's Reflex), but with the exception of going over some membranes, there's a modified thinset for every installation.

Unmodified thinset: This is the same as above, but with no polymers added. It's usually used in conjunction with a liquid latex additive, but will also be used mixed with water for going over some membranes. It's also used as a bedding for all CBU's.

Medium Bed Mortars-- This is a relatively new class of setting mortars, used mainly for large format tiles, where the normal notched trowels just don't put down enough material, and with thinset, it would be too much, causing too much shrinkage as it dries, causing voids under, and poor bond to, the tile, but at the same time, there's not enoough room for a mudset installation. This mortar is usually used with either a 1/2x1/2" or 1/2x3/4" notched trowel.

Mastics and Premixed Thinsets: THESE HAVE VERY LIMITED USES!! Let me say that again-- THESE HAVE VERY LIMITED USES!! They work well for vertical installations, where the tile used is 8x8 or less, and it's not a wet area. ALL THREE of those conditions must be met!! I know just about every pail of type 1 mastic says it can be used in showers except for the floor. DON'T BELIEVE IT!! Also, both mastic and premixed thinset (which is just mastic with a fine sand mixed in to give it bulk) claim they can be used for floor installations. Unfortunately, for the amount of material needed under virtually all floor tiles to bond to the subfloor, neither of these will fully harden. I had a personal experience where I helped a sister in law across country, telling her husband exactly how to do his main floor, what to use, and how to use it. Unfortunately, he went to the big box store to get his tile and materials, and they talked him into using premixed thinset. I didn't hear about it until SIX MONTHS LATER when his tile and grout joints started showing cracks all over the floor. When he called me I asked him what he used for thinset, and sure enough, this is when he told me. I told him to pull one of the tiles, and SIX MONTHS LATER, IT WAS STILL SOFT!!! DOn't let them talk you into it!! Use the proper thinset, and don't try and shortcut your installation. You're spending alot of money for it to be "just practice"!!

Q) How do you deal with different thicknesses of tile?

A) Whatever it takes. I've used membranes, built up the amount of thinset being used, I've even doubled up tiles when it worked out that way. Whatever it takes to get the two tiles to be flush toeach other.

Q) What are the typical tools required to lay tile?

A) Generally speaking, this is a list for just about all installations. Some may require specialized tools, but this would be for all:

Proper sized notched trowel
measuring tape
chalk line
margin trowel
nippers
high amp low speed drill and mixing paddle (best would be 6 amp or better and less than 400 rpm)
several buckets
score and snap cutter for straight ceramic cuts
4 1/2" grinder with a continuous rim dry diamond blade for ceramic, anything other than straight cuts
wet saw (can be used for ALL cuts, ceramic or stone)
grout float
hydra grout sponges (2-- once for grouting, one for cleaning)
24" and 48" levels (for vertical work)
heavy duty extension cords
KINEE PADS!! :-)
screwgun or nailgun (where CBU will be used)

Q) What about tile spacing and tpes of grout?

A) According to Dave Gobis from the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation in Pendleton, South Carolina, there will finally be a new standard for ceramic tile next year. The tolerances are shrinking. There will also be a standard for rectified tile. Along with that, there will be a revision to the installation standards that will specifically recommend a grout joint no less than 3 times the variation of the tile. For rectified tile the minimum grout joint width will be .075 or just over a 1/16".

As for grout, there's only one thing that determines whether you use sanded or unsanded grout, and that's the size of the grout joint. Anything less than 1/8" you use unsanded grout. 1/8" or larger, you need to use sanded grout. The reason is that the main ingredient in grout is porland cement, which tends to shrink as it dries. In joints 1/8" or larger, the grout will shrink way too much and end up cracking ans shrinking into the joint. The sand give the grout bulk, and the sanded grout won't shrink nearly as much and therefore, can be used in the larger joints.

NOTES:

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clipped on: 06.01.2011 at 01:05 pm    last updated on: 06.01.2011 at 01:05 pm

RE: 95% done! Marble w/quartz, polished w/honed, and other no-no' (Follow-Up #30)

posted by: sharonite on 03.20.2011 at 05:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

Wow, I've been gone all day and this is so nice to come back to. Thanks everyone for the nice comments!

Melaska, to answer your questions, the broom closet is 9" across, with 7.5" of usable width inside. Perfect for a mop, broom, and some cleaning supplies. The opening in the kitchen looks into our family room, with is a few steps down, and the FR has picture windows into our backyard. It's a nice view from the sink because one can look outside as well as interact with anyone hangin' in the FR. "Are those lick marks I see on your ice cream sundae counter?" Shhh, don't tell anybody!

dianalo, thanks! Warm contemporary is exactly what I was going for. I like clean, sleek, modern lines but with natural materials such as wood and stone to keep things grounded. If and when we move, though, our next house will be a much more modern space. A really modern kitchen would not have been a good fit for this house.

beckysharp, xc60, thanks for the nice comments about the cabs. The great thing about the cabs is that they look a rich dark brown in the daylight, but at night in artificial light they take on an almost glossy red look. I really like both.

ironcook, trailrunner, sayde, sparklekitty, kiffgirl, cat-mom, ideagirl, pricklypear kitchenaddict (love that name, aren't we all?) thanks for the nice comments! We are function over form people generally, but this time I am so happy we were able to achieve both.

blfenton, thanks. The BS and marble are my favorites too. And I agree that it's a real pleasure to see everyone's kitchen come to fruition from plan to reveal!

breezygirl, thanks. We definitely plan to stick around for 8-10 more years. We live in a lovely "great place to raise a family" kind of town but we are much more "city rat" than "suburb squirrel" at heart. I suspect that once DS is out of college DH and I may want to downsize at some point and move someplace more urban.

debbie1031, of course! It's hard to tell in the pictures, but the BS is polished and has a lot of rust veining similar to the marble counter. It is called "white statuary calacatta polished, cascading waterfall mosaic". We ordered it from a Tile Showcase showroom in Watertown MA. It's not shown on their website but you can call them to order a sample. (www.tileshowcase.com)

This is a picture from the showroom

remodelfla: the cabinet pulls are the Princetonian pulls from Top Knobs. I first saw them in theanimalia's kitchen in the FKB. I think they'll look great in your kitchen as well!

sas95, the quartz is great, isn't it? Being a bit OCD about cleanliness and tidyness, I was happy to see that soap and water or a little 50% rubbing alcohol gets it sparkling. For tougher stains like greasy contractor fingerprints and blue ballpoint pen (don't ask!), a little Softscrub with bleach has worked wonders.

bostonpam, yes, you found me out! For lighting we went to Wolfers in Waltham. Highly recommend. Aaron helped us out and he was great.

bostonpam, maggie08 and doggonegardener: The awesome pan rack is from Amazon and was all of 12 bucks, a great deal (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000YB82A)!

Elba1, I also wanted a deep contrast between the floors and cabs. Maple was the only species that seemed light enough for what we wanted AND was not very grainy since I wanted the grain of the cherry to take center stage. We had it sealed with some kind of space age nano UV sealer so it will supposedly not yellow over time. We considered ash and beech as well. Oak is beautiful too and many people have done oak floors and cherry cabs.

Adrienne2011: Thanks, I love red as an accent and will be doing more of that. I repurposed one of my red water pitchers as a wooden spoon holder for the countertop and I'm currently looking for a read toaster but haven't found one yet. Alas, my dishtowels will stay white (that's my OCD talking again)!

keptoz, thanks for the comment about the hood. We now like it very much as well. This is a prime example of how something that seems a disappointment during the process can work out just fine in the end. Zephyr makes one that looks identical but with slightly fewer CFM.

florantha, thanks. "Calm" is important to me, and we tried hard not only to create a calm, uncluttered space, but also to maintain a good attitude throughout the process. Our mantra was "no complaining" as we did this to ourselves and we are fortunate to be able to do it. Were we perfect at staying zen about it? No. But if our biggest problem is not finding a quartzite slab for the kitchen or not getting a chimney hood, we are doing pretty well and we are grateful for that.

jakabedy: umm, yes! I'll be heading to the remodeling forum soon to get started! We won't be doing anything major but paint and editing of rooms can do a lot, I hope.

bellacucina, thank you! the knife organizer is from rev-a-shelf: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013AC28Y

boxer, I know you felt my anxiety about the darn island/table and I want to thank you in particular so much for the earlier confidence boost! You're right, sometimes one just has to be first.

Krisall, I really like the pulls, they are hefty and solid, you will enjoy them. The sink is a Kindred 27 inch. The faucet is the Grohe ladylux3, prep sink size.

Feel free to ask anything. I hope to be able to give back some useful information as I got so much from you guys!

NOTES:

<none>
clipped on: 06.01.2011 at 12:06 pm    last updated on: 06.01.2011 at 12:07 pm

95% done! Marble w/quartz, polished w/honed, and other no-no's

posted by: sharonite on 03.20.2011 at 12:10 am in Kitchens Forum

The quartz shelf in the opening has still to be installed, and there are various other details (e.g., not happy with paint colors, still needs decorative touches) that I will post about separately to get some help, but I figured it was close enough to finished to post (while it's still fairly neat!)

First, let me say that reading trough some of the terrible experiences some of you have had during your renos, I feel fortunate to have had a cabinet maker and GC who worked well together, had a good work ethic and pride in their work, and were respectful of each other and of our family. DH has also been incredibly patient, helpful and open minded through this entire process. But since I did not have a KD I really need to THANK YOU GW-ers for being a source of endless kitchen wisdom and talent, with good humor thrown in! I turned to this forum countless times for advice, as well as reality checks and support when I was lacking confidence about some of my decisions. Without you, I would not have been brave enough to go with my desires and overcome some of the conventional opinion, such as: don't mix natural stone and quartz, and don't mix polished and honed marbles. You have been some of the kindest and most supportive people I never met.

We moved into our home 11 years ago and I have been wanting to do this and saving for it for all 11 of those years! We made some great memories in our old kitchen but she really had to go. In addition to not having enough prep space or storage, things were just starting to fall apart after 25 years as this was the original builder grade kitchen. The layout and work flow worked well for me though, so we didn't change the perimeter layout much other than centering the sink and range. We also closed in a small corner window so we could add wall ovens in its place. The zones now come very naturally given the way we cook and use the kitchen.


before:

after:

view from DR

range and ovens

view from fridge

view from windows


view from hallway

pendants

marble counter looks like a hot fudge sundae! (no etching yet)

closeup of BS

polished aluminum stool

must have: broom/mop closet

various lovely things I never had before!

recycling pullout:

knives finally off the counter

pans finally have a reasonable home:

spice storage in prep space, what a concept!

DH's favorite before and after:

We really struggled with the island. Island and freestanding table? One large single-height island? prep sink or no? Island with table attached? We changed our minds about a dozen times and drove my cabinet maker sorta' nuts (but he was very good abut it). We wanted comfortable table height eating without having the seats in a row, and we also needed the prep and storage function of an island, but we felt that a separate island and table would look too cluttered. We also needed to accommodate the angles of the window walls while maintaining enough aisle clearance around the seats. Thus our island/table was born. I was very worried because I had never seen a picture like this (even Boxerpups couldn't find one!) but now we could not be more pleased at how it turned out. My teen DS and friends are very comfortable around the table even when there are 3 or 4 of them and they even bicker over who gets to sit in the blingy stool! Once our DR is finished we will go back to eating dinners in the DR and will get rid of the chair in the aisle across the rangetop, but for now the kitchen "table" is very comfortable and spacious for the three of us, even eating family style with dishes in the middle. Many of you (boxer, rhome, buehl, dianalo, palimpsest and many others) provided great insight as we were working through these issues, and I am very grateful!

Here are the details, for any who are interested:

Floor: maple hardwood

Cabinets: custom by a local cabinet maker, cherry with cordovan stain. The doors are shaker but with a 1/4 inch offset, which is shallower than a traditional shaker style. I was very happy with my experience with them. Happy to share the name if you live in the Boston area southern 'burbs. He did a great job working around the ducts along the top of the long wall.

perimeter and table countertop: Caesarstone Blizzard. I have a "thing" about cooking on dark or busy surfaces where I can't tell if the surface is really clean or not so I definitely wanted light/white countertops for the perimeter. We searched and searched for Luna de Luce quartzite, which I fell in love with after seeing Sochi's but we never found any near us so went with our fallback: Caesarstone Blizzard, which is a warm white. Now that it's in, I love it and can't imagine having anything else. I highly advise anyone considering quartz to find a showroom with these materials on display. The small samples just don't do it justice.

island countertop: honed Imperial Danby marble from Vermont. Makes me smile every time I see it. We were originally going to use a brushed black granite, then I met this slab of marble and that was it...
Backsplash: I was all set to use either cat-mom's or prairiegirl2010's gorgeous backsplash, but at the last minute we saw this mosaic of statuary polished calacatta marble and fell in love with it. It talks to the marble on the island and the cabinet color with its grey and rust veining, but it reads very calm, which I love.

pendants: monorail pendants and spot heads from Tech Lighting. I wanted rail pendants to add an architectural element to the ceiling. We had great advice from the local lighting store where we bought all the lighting. Without them, I would have chosen the wrong pendants. The ones I first wanted were too big for the space and island, and I alone would not have been able to see that up front. They also helped us plan placement of our recessed lighting, which was wonderful help since we did not use a KD (besides GW, that is!).

Wolf 30 inch rangetop- I used a portable induction burner during the remodel and I really came to appreciate convection. I wasn't making anything too sophisticated without a kitchen, but it was great to boil pasta water fast and to simmer soups and other "simmer sauce" dishes. At the end of the remodel though, I really wanted to go back to cooking with FIRE. Compared to my old range, the Wolf is a dream.

Bosch french door fridge-so far so good, very spacious compared to our old SxS.

Miele DW: we got this last year when our old one broke, so we just changed out the front panel from black to SS.

GE Monogram Advantium 240 V speed oven/MW. It cooks with halogen, convection or MW, and combinations thereof, to speed cook almost anything you can think of. I love this thing! It's incredibly versatile and easily my favorite new appliance.

GE Monogram 30 inch wall oven. This has not gotten a good workout yet. We are a small family and so far we seem to be using the Advantium for most oven work. Did I mention I love the Advantium?

XO under-cabinet hood. The hood situation was a bummer for us, although we are fast getting over it. DH and I both really, really wanted a chimney style hood. We love the look and wanted to be able to tile all the way up the wall behind it. Alas, as our rangetop is on an internal wall, it would have been a not insubstantial added cost, as well as requiring many 90 degree turns for the ducting to find its way outdoors, making it inefficient, so in the end we decided to just go with an under-cabinet model that could vent sideways over the ovens and out the wall. DH was particularly disappointed that we couldn't make it work. It was the only thing he really felt strongly about in the entire kitchen. Now, we could care less, I think it looks fine.

chairs: Emeco chairs and polished aluminum stool. Best thing about these: I can take them with me when we move!

We've been cooking up a storm, making up for those lost months during the reno. The fun we are having in the new kitchen is fast overcoming those inevitable "shoulda, coulda, woulda" regrets. There are some things I would do differently if I could go back to square one, but why dwell on that?

THANK YOU for letting me share. Others just don't get it, ya know?

NOTES:

Melaska, to answer your questions, the broom closet is 9" across, with 7.5" of usable width inside. Perfect for a mop, broom, and some cleaning supplies. The opening in the kitchen looks into our family room, with is a few steps down, and the FR has picture windows into our backyard. It's a nice view from the sink because one can look outside as well as interact with anyone hangin' in the FR. "Are those lick marks I see on your ice cream sundae counter?" Shhh, don't tell anybody!

dianalo, thanks! Warm contemporary is exactly what I was going for. I like clean, sleek, modern lines but with natural materials such as wood and stone to keep things grounded. If and when we move, though, our next house will be a much more modern space. A really modern kitchen would not have been a good fit for this house.

beckysharp, xc60, thanks for the nice comments about the cabs. The great thing about the cabs is that they look a rich dark brown in the daylight, but at night in artificial light they take on an almost glossy red look. I really like both.

ironcook, trailrunner, sayde, sparklekitty, kiffgirl, cat-mom, ideagirl, pricklypear kitchenaddict (love that name, aren't we all?) thanks for the nice comments! We are function over form people generally, but this time I am so happy we were able to achieve both.

blfenton, thanks. The BS and marble are my favorites too. And I agree that it's a real pleasure to see everyone's kitchen come to fruition from plan to reveal!

breezygirl, thanks. We definitely plan to stick around for 8-10 more years. We live in a lovely "great place to raise a family" kind of town but we are much more "city rat" than "suburb squirrel" at heart. I suspect that once DS is out of college DH and I may want to downsize at some point and move someplace more urban.

debbie1031, of course! It's hard to tell in the pictures, but the BS is polished and has a lot of rust veining similar to the marble counter. It is called "white statuary calacatta polished, cascading waterfall mosaic". We ordered it from a Tile Showcase showroom in Watertown MA. It's not shown on their website but you can call them to order a sample. (www.tileshowcase.com)

This is a picture from the showroom

remodelfla: the cabinet pulls are the Princetonian pulls from Top Knobs. I first saw them in theanimalia's kitchen in the FKB. I think they'll look great in your kitchen as well!

sas95, the quartz is great, isn't it? Being a bit OCD about cleanliness and tidyness, I was happy to see that soap and water or a little 50% rubbing alcohol gets it sparkling. For tougher stains like greasy contractor fingerprints and blue ballpoint pen (don't ask!), a little Softscrub with bleach has worked wonders.

bostonpam, yes, you found me out! For lighting we went to Wolfers in Waltham. Highly recommend. Aaron helped us out and he was great.

bostonpam, maggie08 and doggonegardener: The awesome pan rack is from Amazon and was all of 12 bucks, a great deal (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000YB82A)!

Elba1, I also wanted a deep contrast between the floors and cabs. Maple was the only species that seemed light enough for what we wanted AND was not very grainy since I wanted the grain of the cherry to take center stage. We had it sealed with some kind of space age nano UV sealer so it will supposedly not yellow over time. We considered ash and beech as well. Oak is beautiful too and many people have done oak floors and cherry cabs.

Adrienne2011: Thanks, I love red as an accent and will be doing more of that. I repurposed one of my red water pitchers as a wooden spoon holder for the countertop and I'm currently looking for a read toaster but haven't found one yet. Alas, my dishtowels will stay white (that's my OCD talking again)!

keptoz, thanks for the comment about the hood. We now like it very much as well. This is a prime example of how something that seems a disappointment during the process can work out just fine in the end. Zephyr makes one that looks identical but with slightly fewer CFM.

florantha, thanks. "Calm" is important to me, and we tried hard not only to create a calm, uncluttered space, but also to maintain a good attitude throughout the process. Our mantra was "no complaining" as we did this to ourselves and we are fortunate to be able to do it. Were we perfect at staying zen about it? No. But if our biggest problem is not finding a quartzite slab for the kitchen or not getting a chimney hood, we are doing pretty well and we are grateful for that.

jakabedy: umm, yes! I'll be heading to the remodeling forum soon to get started! We won't be doing anything major but paint and editing of rooms can do a lot, I hope.

bellacucina, thank you! the knife organizer is from rev-a-shelf: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013AC28Y

boxer, I know you felt my anxiety about the darn island/table and I want to thank you in particular so much for the earlier confidence boost! You're right, sometimes one just has to be first.

Krisall, I really like the pulls, they are hefty and solid, you will enjoy them. The sink is a Kindred 27 inch. The faucet is the Grohe ladylux3, prep sink size.

Feel free to ask anything. I hope to be able to give back some useful information as I got so much from you guys!

clipped on: 06.01.2011 at 12:03 pm    last updated on: 06.01.2011 at 12:06 pm

RE: Granite - How to be a smart buyer? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: riley605 on 05.30.2011 at 09:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've had granite several times, and I've never seen the ENTIRE undersides of edges polished. I make that distinction because yes, the polishing and the sealant should wrap around the bottom edge rather than just stopping at the bottom of your chosen edge ... does that make sense? My last house had a full bullnose (not my personal choice), and since that edge is really rounded, you could follow the polished "feel" around the bottom to just under the slab w/your fingers.

There shouldn't be an obvious stopping point where the polished sealed surface ends ... but I have seen jobs where there were kind of drippy spots under the countertop edge (not that you could see them unless you bent over and looked, but you could feel them if you ran your fingers under the edge.) That's not a quality finish, in my opinion. And if you have an overhang for an eating bar, the polished edge should extend a little further underneath - but I've still never seen one that's completely smooth and shiny like the top surface.

Now, if that is something that would really make you happy, I can't imagine it would be too difficult, but I'm not a fabricator. Definitely ask, it can't hurt! For the record, my new counters will have a straight edge finish, which is just a very slightly smoothed square corner. Just enough where you won't worry about getting cut on a sharp edge or anything. So yes, I expect a nice little continuation of "smooth and shiny" to extend under that bottom corner.

One time my fabricator really helped me was when I was at granite yards picking slabs, and getting overwhelmed. He'd helped me decide on a completely black granite as a budget-friendly choice over Caesarstone (sp?). He didn't see any reason to spend the money on a quartz composite for my kids' bathrooms when a good black granite would give me a very "solid" look (I REALLY didn't want any pattern.)

But once I got to a yard, I immediately had to get him on the phone to see if there was a difference between Indonesian and African black. IHHO, there is, and he encouraged me to choose a black from Africa. Once educated, I can see the difference in quality.

Something came up just the other day that really saved my *ss: we're doing a pretty deep eating bar, and unless he shortened the overhang on each end, he'd have to make a seam. He'd even called the granite yard to see if they had a larger slab in River White (which I'd had to search far and wide for, but that's another story), but they didn't.

So I ran over, and we adjusted the shape of the bar just a bit, he was able to change the template on the spot, and I told him I didn't have a problem at all w/a lesser overhang on each end of the bar. Some fabricators probably would've just gone w/the template in front of them, and put a seam on the end of my bar. Steve knew I would see it every day and it would bother me - even though he is fantastic and his seams are as good as anyone's - so he called me.

As far as I'm concerned, little things like that are the best reason for working directly w/a fabricator. Granted, I've never bought granite from a big box, but a fabricator keeps an eye on costs that could come back to bit him in the butt, you know? He wants to keep you happy so he doesn't end up having to re-do something. That's been my experience, anyway, and I've been nothing but happy over the years.

NOTES:

<none>
clipped on: 05.31.2011 at 03:30 pm    last updated on: 05.31.2011 at 03:30 pm

RE: Granite - How to be a smart buyer? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: MCMesprit on 05.30.2011 at 01:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

We also worked with a fabricator. Here's a few things we discussed prior to installation:

1) Sink reveal. We wanted a 1/4 positive reveal (didn't want to clean under the granite or risk breaking dishes -- or chip the granite -- when hand washing). The fabricator had never done a positive reveal before, but he did a great job.

2) Does "templating" include picking out exactly which parts of the slab(s) are used for each counter? We did this with our fabricator and it meant a lot. We were able, for example, to get exactly what we wanted on the Island ledges.

3) Where the seams will go. We discussed this in detail, not only where on the counters but which two pieces of granite would be seamed (to minimize differences in color or movement)

4) If, how, and when to seal the granite. Some granites (usually the blacker ones) don't need any sealing. Ours (light golden in tone) did. The fabricator sealed the granite right after installation. He also recommended a great product that we use to clean the granite about once a week. Our fabricator told us it contains a small amount of sealer and if we use it at least once of month we would never need to seal the granite again. We've been using it for the past few months and it works great.

Hope this helps.

NOTES:

<none>
clipped on: 05.31.2011 at 03:26 pm    last updated on: 05.31.2011 at 03:27 pm

Having a hood made by a local metal shop --did you do this?

posted by: sayde on 08.07.2010 at 02:47 pm in Appliances Forum

I am looking into having a range hood made by a local metal fabricator. If anyone reading has done this I would love to hear your experience, guidance, and were you happy with the result?

I would use a motor and liner insert from a major company like Prestige or Broan.

The local place seemed like a good potential alternative because I want a simple dome shape with a vintage looking darkened steel finish. I've made my own scale drawings and I know what I want from a design perspective as well as some of the specs such as TIG welding. My backup plan if it doesn't look like it would work out with the local place I would probably go to Modernaire.

Would appreciate all thoughts, cautions, advice.

NOTES:

<none>
clipped on: 05.27.2011 at 09:54 pm    last updated on: 05.27.2011 at 09:55 pm

Hood: puzzled by CFM/cost, perimeter suction & cleaning glass?

posted by: emily_mb on 07.01.2010 at 11:03 am in Appliances Forum

Futuro Futuro hoods supposedly pull 940 CFM and they are cheaper than other hoods such as Miele that report pulling 600 to 700 CFM. What gives? Are the CFM claims accurate? Could it be because their recommended installation height is lower (26" to 30") than the recommended heights of other hoods. Is that why they can claim higher CFM?

Should "perimeter suction" work better than the traditional system? It makes intuitive sense, but has anyone tested it?

Last but not least, do glass canopies get dirty every time you use the hood? How annoying is that?

NOTES:

<none>
clipped on: 05.27.2011 at 09:52 pm    last updated on: 05.27.2011 at 09:53 pm

Drawer help--39' wide stacks or break them smaller?

posted by: breezygirl on 05.26.2011 at 06:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

I will have 4-drawer stacks flanking my rangetop. The width on both sides is 39". In order to maximize space in my framed, full overlay drawers, I was planning on making the stacks 39" wide.

Each drawer will need to house two different kind of things in it. For example, one drawer might be half oven mitts and half spice tins. I know I would need drawer dividers to keep everything neat and tidy.

Then Fori made a comment on another thread about how wide and shallow drawers can be awkward to use so now I'm not sure if I should break up the 39" space into two seperate drawer stacks. I would lose 3" of interior storage space, but I'm willing to do it if the wider, single drawers will be difficult to use.

Here's how my cab maker drew these from his own sense of design without my input. Maybe the upper drawers being doubled on top helps enough to leave it like this?

Range wall 5-25-11
(Ignore my use of MS Paint on the uppers.)

Would you go with 39" drawer stacks, do what my cab maker drew, or split them up into two stacks?

NOTES:

* Posted by lazygardens (My Page) on
Thu, May 26, 11 at 18:26

The width gets awkward only if there is another person in the kitchen - they might have to get out of the way for you.

If you can load the lower drawers with all your pots and pans and not have a problem, I think that sketch looks great.

You might need side _and_ center supports.

o
RE: Drawer help--39' wide stacks or break them smaller?

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* Posted by plllog (My Page) on
Thu, May 26, 11 at 18:26

Go wide!!! You can fit a lot more into wide drawers than you can into pairs of narrow drawers.

For looks, the small ones on top do look nice.

I don't have any trouble with my wide drawers. My pot drawers are 48". They just have pots, but that includes a cast iron roaster and cast iron wok. Oh! And some small accessories in the in between spaces. I keep the grid for the roaster bottom, turkey lifters, and similar in the drawer with the roaster, and the skimmer and rack with the wok, for instance. The top, super shallow drawer, has all kinds of stirrers, screens and grills, silicone pot pads, etc. In my baking area, I have 31" drawers, top one with utensils, and bottom two with bowls, baking dishes and pans. And pot holders, pie weights, etc. Again, no problem.

I have narrow drawers in my island, and there's wasted space. Not so in the wide drawers.

o
RE: Drawer help--39' wide stacks or break them smaller?

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* Posted by breezygirl (My Page) on
Thu, May 26, 11 at 18:34

Lazy--I hadn't thought of the "move over" factor.

Plllog--I thought wide, too, for less wasted space. But these are 4-drawer stacks. Still OK?? The top three drawers have about 4" of height, and the bottom drawer has about 7". I just don't need deep drawers around the rangetop as too much of the stuff I have to store there would get lost in a pile of utensils, etc in a deep drawer.

There are 2 deep, 36" wide drawes under the rangetop for pots and pans.

Thanks you two!

o
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* Posted by cjc123 (My Page) on
Thu, May 26, 11 at 18:47

I have 36 " wide 3 drawer stack. My upper drawer is narrow for all my knives, and cooking utensils (LOVE IT) and the two lowers are deep for all my pots and pans, drainers ect... I have to say it is my favorite bank of drawers in the kitchen. Personally I like the design above, except I would change them to 3 drawer banks so that the bottom drawers are deeper. (it is so nice to put the lid on the pot, and just place it in the drawer)

o
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* Posted by breezygirl (My Page) on
Thu, May 26, 11 at 19:07

Cjc--Does it feel awkward to pull out a long, shallow drawer?

My pots and pans will go under the rangetop. Everything else I have to store there would get lost in deep drawers. That's why I went with the 4-drawer stacks.

The bottom drawers flanking the rangetop there have 7" of finished depth.

o
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* Posted by plllog (My Page) on
Thu, May 26, 11 at 19:18

I have a couple of four drawer stacks. You're right that there's potentially more wasted space with bigger items in smaller drawers, but I still have plenty of wasted space in my four drawer stacks.

Are you talking about interior or exterior depths? Seven inches (interior) is plenty deep for colanders and stuff like that. Four inches is great for baking dishes (casseroles) and other large things. I mean, besides utensils, spices and pot holders.

How big are your potholders? I have scorched my hand reaching into a hot oven to baste, so use big mitts. They fit better in a big drawer than a small one. How many spices do you expect to store there? Will they all fit into one drawer?

There's nothing wrong with the small drawers on top. They do look nice, which might be a good enough reason to do it. I wouldn't split the other drawers, however. 3" is a lot of room to lose in each drawer! (I, personally, would leave them large because I'm greedy, but they do look nice with the top ones split.)

Re the moving people, if they're standing in front of the drawer you need into, you have to move them whether it's a big or little drawer.

o
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* Posted by breezygirl (My Page) on
Thu, May 26, 11 at 19:46

My 4-drawer stacks can be whatever depth I want, but the top one has to be 4" deep. My cab maker's standard 4-drawer stack has finished, interior depths of 4", 4", 4", and 7". I thought I'd go with that. It makes the drawers shallow enough so I don't lose my smaller items and gives me one deeper drawer for the few bigger items I need to store there.

I've only ever had narrower 4-drawer stacks similar to those measurements.

I have several big oven mitts. DH works for a restaurant supply company and brings me the occassional treat of an odd item or two. None of mine match, but I like them all.

Spices? I think about 40-45 of them in tins yet to be purchased from Specialty Bottle. I also have some other odd things like the Spanish smoked paprika that comes in the gorgeous tin that I'll leave as is. By my calculations, most should fit in one of the split upper drawers if I decide to go that route.

I never thought of configuring the drawers the way my cab maker drew those above, but it does look nice. I'm more into function and form usually.

o
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* Posted by brickeyee (My Page) on
Thu, May 26, 11 at 19:50

Make sire you use very good drawer guides.

The weight of a wide drawer with pits and pans is NOT small.

Steel ball bearing drawer guides with a decent weight rating.

o
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* Posted by rhome410 (My Page) on
Thu, May 26, 11 at 20:01

I don't like wide unless I have stuff that needs the width...Like pots and pans. Smaller gadgets and tools just don't need that much room and get mixed up and tangled...and don't get put back in their 'right ' spots by younger dish-doers if you have dividers. It's frustrating and overwhelming for me to organize a big, wide drawer, when more efficient, smaller ones will do. I like to divide the tools by purpose or task, and not have to open a huge thing and clear a wide path in the kitchen to find one little do-dad.

o
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* Posted by lawjedi (My Page) on
Thu, May 26, 11 at 20:14

if you decide you want the wide drawers.... but like the look of the split top as in the pic... how about you just make a false front for the top drawers? it'll look like 2 smaller drawers, but open as one larger one.

(spoken as a form over function gal myself, but I do like things to look a certain way when possible)

o
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* Posted by aliris19 (My Page) on
Fri, May 27, 11 at 11:52

Breezy -- is it too late for this question?

I agree that wide are nice and do eliminate the wasting of space that dividing into two drawers creates, from two 'sources', from the fitting-things-around-edges source, and from the width-of-cabinet-sides source. Between these there is significantly less space in two 19.5" drawers vs one 39" drawer. But note that there is variable loss from the fitting-things-around-edges source depending on what you put in the drawer. That is, with big, shapely items like, say, skillets or lasagna pans + something else, there can easily be large, unused spaces around drawer walls -- the hard suitcase in a car trunk paradigm. But with smaller, more easily malleable items (say, oven mitts), there is less loss near the edges of the drawers as you can fill in that space more easily. So large drawers lend themselves more critically to things like pans than smaller items.

That said, rhome's point about opening a vastly oversized item for something smaller is important, I think (not that I've lived with my kitchen, only started putting things in). Stuff shifts and gets lost horizontally the same way it can get lost vertically. If you can afford the additional drawer and can plan in advance where what goes and can therefore estimate big-enough sizes, that would be best.

I think it was buehl, maybe plllog, who had a link to how they planned their kitchen to a fare-thee-well (sp?) with labels for what goes in which drawers. While over-the-top, I recommend that method! Because really that's the only way you can get close to sizing the drawers properly. Stand in your mind's eye where you'll cook what and think about what you need at hand, then put the drawer there -- and label it! I kept forgetting what I thought was going to go where. If you have a ton of oven mitts (which are big), you're really not going to want, probably, to share them too much with something else, if you can avoid it. Try shaping a drawer for them alone-ish. Maybe have a split stack in the second row as well?

Note that the size of the split needn't be equal; could be, say, 12"/27", e.g.

Other considerations: cost. Each additional drawer was another $100 or so for me. So two 19.5-ers cost more than one 39", counter-intuitively.

And as was noted above, that big drawer even just *empty* is heavy - it necessitates the heavy-duty glides, which are an additional cost.

Awkwardness opening thin drawer? I think that depends on how thin, what's in it, placement of handles, among other factors.

I have a 5.5" drawer front which translates to a 3.5" interior drawer. That seems thin, and it's long, 31.5". There may be a teensy amount of torqueing, making one-handed opening a little hard. It's not bad and I imagine as the drawer gets heavier with stuff it will get better. I think placing the handles more centrally helps. But this is deeper than the 4" you're talking about. I am guessing that's the drawer front, not interior. For my frameless cabinets, you lose 2" from the interior height for both top drawers and bottom drawers, just 1.5" from height for drawers in the middle of the stack.

Here's a picture (and please note the cutting board drawer which I just love):

Photobucket

And then I have a 3-stack that's under a short counter with a 5.25" ext cab on top that translates to just 3.25" interior. That's enough, barely, to fit a saran wrap box, but as those things like to spring open, I'm not sure whether they'll get stuck in practice. Here's a picture -- for reference the middle drawer is 8"ext/6.5"int and the bottom is 12.5"ext/10.5"int. I'm embarrassed to say I am actually able to fill that bottom drawer just with plastics and metals and *I just love it*. There is enough room for them all to have their tops and sleeves and the like. All that stuff just drives me crazy and having it all splayed out in that giant drawer is just heaven. And BTW, I had never noticed those streaks on the drawer to the right. They are there IRL, but are much less noticeable, the flash highlighted them. They are colorings of the natural wood; just fine by me.:

Photobucket

So ... I am worried that 4"/4"/4"/7" just might translate to too little interior space -- just something for you to look into. There is another picture of a 4-stack on my photobucket which I think you can get to if you're interested just by clicking on one of the above photos. And there's a picture there of a thin drawer underneath the MW/convection, but it's not long -- it works just fine at 5"ext/2.875"int x 24"w (designed just for the oven racks, but holding hot pads too).

HTH

o
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* Posted by davidro1 (My Page) on
Fri, May 27, 11 at 13:00

breezygirl i vote for large drawers too. Your first image is a great setup.

I think your dimensions are off. 4", 4", 4", 7", = ??

Remember that you can have an internal drawer anywhere also. It makes for a cleaner look. Fewer drawer fronts to see. It makes for a two tiered approach, where the shallow interior drawer is used for secondary importance items.

If you want to save $, have only 3 drawers: deep drawers at the bottom, medium height drawers in the middle, and shallow drawers on top. In the lowest drawer, things can be stacked. In any case, the lowest drawers are always used for long term storage (i think that's how it ends up, regardless of your plan ! ) Drawers above knee height are the ones that get opened every day. For this reason, think about having some pans or pots in a drawer on the side of the cooktop instead of putting all cooking vessels in the two drawers under the cooktop.

clipped on: 05.27.2011 at 04:27 pm    last updated on: 05.27.2011 at 04:28 pm

Horizontal Uppers

posted by: aloha2009 on 05.15.2011 at 03:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

We are strongly leaning towards getting horizontal uppers for the look we want.

I am only 5'3" and I'm concerned about getting the door to stay open. I will be stacking three 15" high cabinets on top of each other. The first one will start at just 16" above the countertop - I can hardly wait.

The second one though I'm concerned that I will have to reach up quite high to get the mechanism to latch, so I can remove/replace the cupboard items. The top one, is more for show and I know I'll have to break out a step stool.

We have decreased our upper cabinets considerable, so it's important that these be easy to use.

NOTES:

key words for your next web search :

Blum Aventos

There are three kinds of Aventos. The ones you may be thinking of are a single hinge. Instead of stacking three of them on top of each other, consider a couple other options.

--

In this forum, someone posted a finished kitchen which used

Blum Aventos HF

HF are the kind that take two wall cabinet fronts and fold them up together. When you see the images on the Blum site, you might feel that this is a better use for you.

I have this hardware also. There are three strengths of spring to choose from They each have a large range of tightening, so if you add extra handles larger than planned for you can keep on tightening the springs. They work very well. They are expensive. I like them. They hold the panels in mid air at any height wherever I stop them. Total control.

I have six panels of frosted glass (on three wall cabinets, two fronts each).

You can attach a ribbon to the back side of the lower panel. Then, when it swings up high and if it goes too high for you, you can reach the ribbon and pull it down. When back down, the ribbon is invisible.

--

by the way, there are several other companies that compete against Blum.

Hth

clipped on: 05.27.2011 at 04:17 pm    last updated on: 05.27.2011 at 04:17 pm

Finished kitchen... well, almost finished

posted by: kiffgirl on 02.20.2011 at 12:54 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thank you to everyone who posts here for your questions, opinions, advice, suggestions, photos, guidance, support, stories, trials, and tribulations. Although we found this site later in our project, we still gained so much and avoided some serious errors thanks to all of you!

Our previous kitchen was not old, but painfully small. As a two cook family, it just didn't work. We didn't have much room to work with to expand and, because of a window in the bedroom below, we angled the space to minimize the overhang. We started construction in August on the small addition and finished (almost) in January. Final trim, accessories, and window treatments still to come.

Our kitchen before:

Photobucket

And now...

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket


Adding seating at the island was a last minute change and it has made such a difference for us.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Products used:

Custom cherry cabinets by Mills Brothers Fine Woodworking
Luce de Luna quartzite counters
Viking Range - reused from previous kitchen
Viking Hood - reused, but added chimney
F&P dish drawers - reused
KitchenAid counter depth refrigerator
Marvel Wine Cooler
GE Advantium
Terra Verre tiles for backsplash
Artemide pendants
Knobs and pulls - Restoration Hardware
Grohe faucet main sink
Hansgrohe faucet prep sink
Fanke Orca main sink
Ticor prep sink
Eye-Vac under sink - one of my favorite things. Just sweep up to the toe kick and the mini vac automatically sucks up what is in front of it. A must with wood floors and 2 dogs and 2 cats!


NOTES:

Thank you all so much for your kind comments!! We knew we were a little out of the box and knowing it worked out ok is so nice! What a group effort after learning so much for all of you.

Sharonite - The glass in the cabinets is reeded, placed horizontal. We have a 50' bank of windows across from the kitchen in that same style. The pendants are by Artemide. They are stainless steel in a basketweave design. We really love them.

flwrs - The paint color is Tree Bark by Frazee Paint. They are a west coast company, I think only in CA, AZ and NV.

Chicagoans - Yes, I still remember your DS's comment. As my future buyer, I hope he will approve!

Schoolhouse and elizpiz - Ah, yes, my little giraffe. How cute is he? He's made in a rustic cast iron finish and purchased at atwestend.com.

Sochi - What can I say? Your stunning kitchen, especially those drool-worthy counters, made me have to have them. That material was nowhere to be found out here and it was a twist of fate, a true miracle, that we got it. Thank you for the inspiration.

marthavila and Corrie - The Eye-Vac is fantastic! Everyone thought I was a little nuts, but they all accommodated me. We had the cabinet guys cut a square out the bottom of the cabinet and also cut out the toe kick. The vac is portable and can be set to manual or automatic - we keep it on auto. Just sweep to the opening and tah-dah it just sucks it up! The debris goes to a bagless container that gets pulled off and dumped. It really is a great thing for me! I'll take a picture tonight of the cabinet open so you can see it and post it later.

tracy - The cabinet color doesn't have a name per se, it was custom mixed. I would compare it to espresso. It is very dark (as you can see) but in person it has a wonderful transparency to see the cherry wood grain.

The backsplash is ivory glass subway tiles and glass pebble tiles. The pebbles are ivory, grey and charcoal color.

kitchenkrazed - We love the extra light, too! The island is 85 inches by 27 inches.

efs, yes, our Advantium is under the counter. It is the 120 version and the only model they (GE) say can be installed under a counter. We use it all the time and have not had an issue.

oh my god! What a beautiful kitchen. I don't know which one I love the most. They a ll are comptein. Youhave put it all together so well. I can imagine things individually but have a hard time putting it together. Your tiles are awesome. Would you mind if I ask if this is the tile you used?

http://www.terraverre.com/portfolio_category.php?categoryid=97&filter=catid

vidyaram - Yes, that is the tile company. We used the smaller subway tiles and the pebble blend. The actual colors of our tiles are ivory (subways and pebble mix), sky grey and steel grey.

clipped on: 05.24.2011 at 06:52 pm    last updated on: 05.24.2011 at 07:02 pm

Is Uba Tuba or Absolute Black too much on a walnut island?

posted by: bluekitten on 05.23.2011 at 04:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

For those following my color saga last week, DH and I have FINALLY decided to do white cabinets with a walnut-stained island. We agree that we want a contrasting countertop. Since white is the main color, we're considering Uba Tuba or a black granite. Will that look too heavy with the darker stain? This is a concern because the front of the island will hide a good chunk of the lowers. Both of us would greatly prefer to use the same countertop on the island and the main areas.

Here are the other particulars:
- the dining area at the end of the kitchen has a large east-facing window, so we'll have good lighting during the morning but will be a bit dimmer in the evening
- the floor will be a medium tone with lots of color variations and movement
- we're also going for a mid-toned backsplash that will tie everything together

I'm hoping Uba Tuba works because long before I became TKO, I spotted a sample in a showroom and liked it immediately. I haven't felt that way about any other countertop samples in our price range. Also, the tones in Uba Tuba would tie in nicely with the stone fireplace in our living room, which is open to the kitchen/dining area.

NOTES:

contrasting island
clipped on: 05.24.2011 at 06:39 pm    last updated on: 05.24.2011 at 06:39 pm