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RE: Vote - Back pain. Should I raise countertop height to 36.5 i (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: buehl on 02.06.2010 at 04:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

Actually, there is a formula for determining your "ideal" counter height...

It takes 2 people.

  1. Stand straight with arms down at your sides
  2. Now, bend your arms at the elbow to form a 90o angle
  3. Have someone measure the distance from the floor to your elbow.
  4. This is your "ideal" counter height for prep work.

For rolling dough, some people prefer a counter 4" to 6" lower, but usually a kitchen table, if you have one, is lower. If you have enough room to have two different counter heights, I'd go with your "ideal" plus one that's 6" or so lower...assuming you bake!

Another thing to consider doing is raising your DW 6" or so off the floor. That's one of the things recommended for accessibility and I think it would help anyone who has back problems...less leaning over.

I would also consider a single wall oven mounted a 18" to 24" off the floor. It would put the racks at a good height as well. If you have a double oven, it becomes more problematical since it's impossible to have both at an "ideal" height.

Lastly, your sink. First, be sure it is not installed too far back...try for no more than a 3" lip in front of the sink (i.e., b/w the edge of the counter & the sink). The farther back it's installed, the more you have to lean in to use it and the faucet. Second, don't get too deep a sink. The deeper a sink is, the farther you have to lean down to get to things on the bottom of the sink. A grid will help, but it will only raise the bottom of the sink 1/2" to 1". This is one instance, btw, in which the taller you are, the worse a deep sink is on your back! And remember, if you have an undermount sink, the actual depth of your sink = depth of sink + thickness of countertop material.


ergonomic counter and sink dimensions
clipped on: 02.08.2010 at 07:34 pm    last updated on: 02.08.2010 at 07:46 pm

RE: Horizontal Lift door? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: lowspark on 02.01.2010 at 10:13 am in Kitchens Forum

Yes. It's called a lift-up pocket door. I have one. Brookhaven/Wood-Mode offers it as an option. Like you, I didn't want a tambour door. I love mine. It's 36" wide IIRC and 18" tall. All my most used appliances live in there, plugged in to a strip of plugmold. That includes my KA mixer which I would never use if I had to store it somewhere. I use it a lot!

appliance garage, closed

appliance garage, open


clipped on: 02.02.2010 at 11:47 am    last updated on: 02.02.2010 at 11:47 am

RE: ATTN: All Fry Cooks .... Feedback on Open Shelves (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: ellabee_2016 on 01.28.2010 at 04:19 pm in Kitchens Forum

Grease isn't the only issue; all kitchens have dust.

I completely love the look and ease of access of open shelving, but I very much don't love dusting and washing items that are just on display for the sake of display.

So my rule of thumb is: nothing out on counters or open shelving that doesn't get used at least once a week. That way, exposed items are getting washed regularly in the course of events -- and it's an easy-to-develop habit to swipe off the shelf when replacing them after use.

This applies to utensils in crocks, appliances, serving dishes, anything you might store out in the open.


clipped on: 02.02.2010 at 01:18 am    last updated on: 02.02.2010 at 01:18 am

RE: Paint? OMG, thousands of chips later. (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: bmorepanic on 01.29.2010 at 05:34 pm in Kitchens Forum

Number 1 is Glidden White on White
Number 2 is Valspar Chef white
Number 3 is Glidden Natural Wicker
Number 4 is Ralph Lauren Shoreline blue
Number 5 is BM Affinity in Wind Chime

Number 6 is fine paints of europe - It is a color from the designer collection- P07740 chip number 73. I have the formula on the can if you'd like it zeebee, but I don't have its name.

btw, I had the same color mixed in Cabinetcoat at the same store by the same BM representative. I had some idea of doing a sxs comparative. In some lights, the color is the same and in some its different.

The working characteristics are completely different. If you want a glass-like finish, get FPE hands down. It really does self level so with very little additional effort over roller painting, you get a wonderful, smooth, hard finish. If you want to skip primers or are painting melamine or want a softer, less shiny finish, cabinetcoat can do it and is cheaper than FPE.

I am such a nerd! I carried the FPE actual painted block around in my purse for a night with the actual painted BM Affinity block (latex) and the rest of my normal junk. BM Affinity is chipped and scratched. FPE looks like it did before the road trip. I realize that if the affinity color had more time, it would get harder, but both had 3-4 days to dry.

Tomorrow its the purse cage match; FPE vs. Cabinetcoat.


clipped on: 01.30.2010 at 03:33 am    last updated on: 01.30.2010 at 03:41 am

RE: induction cooktop (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: plllog on 01.24.2010 at 12:43 pm in Kitchens Forum

Check the appliance forum for more opinions.

Most of the induction cooktops have their inductors (guts) made by just a couple of manufacturers. The differences are in the housings, electronics and features.

When you choose your model, go to the manufacturer's website and you'll be able to find installation instructions to answer your questions about the depth. It's highly variable because of the fan and ventilation requirements. Generally, you either need cabinet space underneath or an air channel behind the cabinet.

The different features, besides the ventilation space required include the sizes of the elements, fan noise, how much power each has and which ones share power, power boost, plus whether there are individual controls for each element or if you have to select the element before you adjust it, programmable elements with countdown timers (some have them and some don't), and number of power levels available.

The power levels number is confusing. A lot of the units number them from 1-9 and have half steps in between. So they really have 17 power levels even though they only list 9. Some have a "program" so that you can switch between 9 and 17 power levels. And some have special, additional high and simmer levels.

If you check you'll see a good comparison of the models available. It's not 100% accurate and up to date, however, so if you see a model you like, go to the manufacturer's website and read through all the documentation to see for sure what's what.

If you just want a flat recommendation, when I thought I was going to buy a 30" unit, I decided on Miele. It's quiet, isn't a cabinet hog, has 17 (programmable) power levels, individual controls and I think it has true timers (the individual element countdown to shut off timers). Plus Miele's excellent reputation for customer service.


induction cooktop
clipped on: 01.25.2010 at 01:22 pm    last updated on: 01.25.2010 at 01:22 pm

RE: Show me your rack (KitchenAid DW model KUDE70 or 60) (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: monicakm on 11.09.2009 at 02:05 pm in Appliances Forum

I'VE DONE THAT WITH MINE! I removed the silverware basket from day one. There's still a small corner caddy if need it. I put larger items in it. Removing the silverware basket opens up enough space for a larger frying pan or 9x13 pan (with room left over). I can't believe how much space this dw has. I found yet another tine (on the middle rack) that drops down for more customization. Putting your silverware on the top rack is a little slow at first as you learn what can go where but it doesn't take long to figure it out. The other day I placed a large splatter screen (it doesn't fit well in the bottom because I've dropped the middle rack due to my extra tall drinking glasses) on top of my silverware. I've had the smaller measuring cups up there too, so don't think of it as JUST for silverware and cutlery. I have the KUDE60 model. I needed black. The KUDE70 is ss and paneled AND 5 dB quieter! I think everything else is the same. If I could change one thing, it would be that the plate spacings on the bottom rack were a tiny bit closer together. I know a lot of people use larger stoneware plates but I use the thin Corelle plates. I could get more in there if the spacing as a bit tighter. Other than that, I'm extremely pleased with it :) Oh, also you can remove one or both of the cutlery racks. It's split in two. If you needed something really tall in the middle you can take out one of the racks and use the corner caddy for more silverware space if needed.


Dishwasher internals
clipped on: 01.22.2010 at 11:38 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2010 at 11:38 pm

GW Must Haves and Other Interesting Gadgets

posted by: plllog on 01.19.2010 at 07:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

When I first came here there were some toys that the GW denizens had moved from workplace use to kitchen musts, but they don't seem to be getting a lot of discussion nowadays. They were ubiquitous here, and I think it's worth trotting them out for the newbies who haven't heard. Also, there may be some new gadget that enhances the kitchen greatly that we should add to the list.

I'll start with the obvious ones:

Tapmaster. A friendly little Canadian company makes these. It's a device in your toekick area that turns your faucet on and off. The first of us to put one in was looking for the ones they have in dental offices.

The basic unit has a plate that you can touch to start the flow and let go to stop it, or push down to keep it on. The Tapmaster uses air pressure to open and close its valves--there's no electricity or anything particularly complex involved. You set your favorite flow rate and temperature at the mixer and leave that open. If you want to change to using the mixer instead of the Tapmaster you can just lock the Tapmaster open.

Since that time, and as more and more of these started showing up in kitchens, they've come up with their "euro" model, which has a single bar controller that you nudge sideways with your foot, or nudge farther to lock open. Some shoeless cooks prefer this.

You can also get multiple controllers on a single faucet so that you can operate the faucet from two sides of an island, or whatever suits your project.

Plugmold. This one comes from the laboratory. Tired of outlets interrupting your planned beautiful backsplash? You can put plugmold either near the base of the backsplash, or at the top, under the upper cabinets. You can install a GFI in a plugmold unit, but you can also make the whole circuit GFI.

Wiremold Corp. bought up most of their competitors, and discontinued most of the interesting colors, but I've heard that some more decorative ones are coming back. Home Depot carries basic white plastic plugmold. It can be mounted flat on the wall, flat under the cabinet, or on an angled wood strip. There's also "angle plugmold", which isn't really "plugmold" since that's a term like "Kleenex" that's a brand name. Tasklighting makes it. It's reputedly very expensive, but some people think it's worth it.

If you have some countertop appliances that are always plugged in, like a coffee pot, toaster, or microwave, you might also want a regular outlet so that the cords don't always wave in the breeze, and are more hidden.

NeverMT. Do you have a soap dispenser in your sink? Keep a gallon jug of soap or lotion under the sink and pump it directly from the pump that came with your faucet kit. That is, it replaces the receptacle that goes under the counter with a hose and jug. If you use your pump a lot it saves constant refilling.

I'll also give shout outs to some other things:

Demeyere cookware for induction. Great, no rivets cookware for anything, but they have some technically special features for induction. Some other manufacturers do too, though any cast iron, or stainless steel pot that sticks to a magnet, will work.

De Buyer Pro V mandoline. If you ever feed mobs, this can't be beat for making short work of all your knife tasks. This one has continuous adjustment so you can make any width in between minimum and maximum. The V keeps soft things like tomatoes from getting squished.

I hope the rest of you will chime in with the other received wisdom that so many of us are so familiar with here that we sometimes forget to say...


Kickoff to v helpful thread.
clipped on: 01.20.2010 at 05:23 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2010 at 05:30 pm

RE: Cab estimates to include which add-ons? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: buehl on 01.19.2010 at 10:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

Congrats on getting one step closer!

  • Much less-expensive (but not always "cheap") after-market & easy to install:
    • Tray storage separators
    • Bread drawer inserts
    • Utensil organizers
    • Soft-close on doors
    • Trash foot pedal
    • Junk drawer organizers
    • Pot & pan organizers

  • What would be too difficult or expensive and is better through the cabinet company:
    • Soft-close on drawers
    • Toe-kick drawers

  • Not sure:
    • Trash pullout (if you do this aftermarket, be sure to ask for the door to be delivered uninstalled so you don't have pre-drilled holes that you don't need)

Sometimes, though, cabinet companies will offer some of these "free" as part of a promotion or other "deal". If so-offered, research what it would cost you to purchase & install after-market vs whatever is required to meet the requirements of the "deal".

I'm sure there are more & I'm sure others will chime in!


clipped on: 01.20.2010 at 05:02 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2010 at 05:16 pm

Would you buy your cabinets online?

posted by: acmnick on 09.26.2008 at 03:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hello. I am a kitchen designer attempting to stay a little ahead of the game. We are looking at current kitchen market conditions, and formulating an aggressive marketing approach for next year. I know most of the kitchenweb message posters are highly educated in the kitchen renovation process by the time you are ready to buy your kitchen.

My question is this: Would you buy from an online source? We are considering investing in a web site that will feature all of our semi-custom cabinetry online. Many times, the pricing matrix of cabinetry can be misleading to customers, and they can become highly frustrated with the kitchen buying process in general. The more information we can communicate to our customers, the better our relationship. More and more products are being sourced across the net. Would you buy online?


Thread illuminating b/c it raises virtually all considerations in planning cabinetry.
clipped on: 01.20.2010 at 03:00 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2010 at 03:02 pm

Relative cabinetry prices: brand vs. brand

posted by: stretchad on 03.29.2008 at 11:43 am in Kitchens Forum

We're going to redo our kitchen but aren't quite ready to approach Lowes/HD for quotes on cabinetry. I was wondering if anyone has sufficient knowledge to know which brands are generally cheaper or more expensive. My assumption is that ikea is the cheapest, but I'm not sure how it goes from there.

SO, can those of you who respond supply your ranking of cabinet brands from cheapest to priciest?
This might help those of us who are early in the planning stages...


Kickoff of invaluable thread on cabinet lines.
clipped on: 01.20.2010 at 02:04 pm    last updated on: 01.20.2010 at 02:07 pm

RE: Kitchen Cabinet Quality (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: angela12345 on 12.07.2009 at 06:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here are some notes I have made so far, things to look for and things I need additional research ...
good cabinet/drawer qualities -
good reputation & good (lifetime?) warranty,
full extension drawers (esp. if shallow drawers),
ball bearing glides,
soft-close drawer glides & doors,
drawers (1-dovetail, 2-doweled, 3-screwed&glued, 4-stapled or nailed is worst),
sturdy drawer bottoms in grooves/dado's not glued,
invisible hinges? (on insides),
backs on cabinet boxes (not bare wall),
good finish (smooth, no bubbles, no drips),
corners braced with diagonal support glued & screwed,
thickness of cabinet sides 1/2" and shelves 3/4",
solid plywood is not necessary ? MDF is just as good ?
drawer glides - BLUM is supp to be best - Accuride (makes a self-closing) and Knape & Vogt also good - there may be others -
can add Blumotion after market for soft close doors
lip (light rail) on bottom front of upper cabs to conceal under cabinet lighting - esp. if frameless !!!
make sure bottoms of upper cabs are finished,
have interior of glass fronted cabinets finished to match exterior
find out interior dimension of drawers (drawer front height isn't same as interior height!) 3" min. - also check WxD - how wide is drawer in cab ? How deep are drawers (front to back)
lots of interior gadgets can be added after market for less money (i.e. trash pullout etc)


Cabinet characteristics checklist
clipped on: 01.17.2010 at 07:08 pm    last updated on: 01.17.2010 at 07:08 pm

Has anyone used Alberene soapstone?

posted by: sis2two on 10.07.2009 at 12:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

Wanting to know if you have used Alberene Soapstone located in the blue ridge mountains? I am looking for soapstone and have visited a stone yard where they had soapstone about 2 hours away, but then discovered that the Alberene company is just a few miles away.(we live in the Shenandoah Valley). If you have experience with this particular soapstone, please tell us what you think. I believe its the only soapstone quarried in the U.S. Is it softer than that which comes from Brazil?


Start of v informative thread on local soapstone
clipped on: 01.15.2010 at 05:18 am    last updated on: 01.15.2010 at 05:18 am

RE: Wilsonart Oiled Soapstone - edging and backsplash help please (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: live_wire_oak on 01.08.2010 at 08:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

What you want to have priced out is a Single Roll Bartop in a 26" size (comes in 30" also if you're going for deeper counters). Anyone who orders even a couple of laminate countertops and reads the specs should know that, but unfortunately, big boxes don't always have the brightest bulbs. That's a "regular" countertop with only one postformed edge. There is no backsplash, just an unfinished back edge. Because it's postformed, it can come in any of the postformed edges and doesn't have to be a custom edge like the square of bevel---which to confuse you further can also be postformed but are typically field created for a larger profit margin. A post formed edge counter is one "manufactured" by a large distrubutor in a facility with heat and pressure to create a rounded type edge. It's purchased locally in "blanks" to be fabricated by local fabricators. They are the preformed counters you see in most big boxes, but come in many more colors and edges than your typical big box carries. The two big players in the industry are Hartson-Kennedy and and VT Industries.

For the Wilsonart product in a special order color (most colors) with no installation, you should be looking at around $8-15 a square foot, depending on which edge you choose. If you have a tricky kitchen, like a U shaped one where the middle needs to fit exactly, or have a drop in range or other specialty cutout or angle, or a bartop peninsula meeting a regular top it's worth it to get the countertops measured and installed by a professional. For most any other type of simple kitchen with maybe a 90 angle or two, DIY makes sense if you can measure accurately.


Countertop - laminate
clipped on: 01.09.2010 at 01:20 am    last updated on: 01.09.2010 at 02:04 am

RE: Sinks - double vs. single bowl (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: boxerpups on 05.23.2009 at 03:52 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi Diane4570,

I grew up with a single bowl sinks. Family's summer
home had an old fashioned farm house sink. And our
main home had a single. I remember washing every night.
But as a married woman and young mom I had two bowl
sinks in all the homes I have owned. Until this kitchen
renovation. I had to choose a sink and spent time thinking
about how I cook, how my kids leave their dishes about
and in general what I wanted.

Everyone tried to talk me out of a single bowl.
The Plumber, my DH, My cousin, a few friend....
They thought I was silly to want just one sink.
But who is the one who cleans up? Me.
I wanted a simple one bowl sink, super deep that could
hold a turkey roaster pan and hide dirty dishes.
I chose a non flashy sink by Oliveri.

30L, 18W and 10 deep. (This is deeper with my thick
granite counters being almost 11.5 inches deep)
Brushed stainless steel,
Some insulation to be quiet.

Oliveri makes sinks with any configuation you like.
They make industrial size, european style and ....
grids, cutting boards, sink racks, insert tubs....
On the link below I posted how to find them.
I posted about this subject.

This sink is not the one in my kitchen.
But the one I chose.

I would figure out how you cook, clean and use your
sink. My SIL has a double (tiny on one side, larger on the
other) she loves this sink for cleaning veggies.
My neighbor has a Franke Orca and good friend has a
sink with a shallow center shelf for resting items
to be rinsed. (Her DH had this sink designed for her)

Everyone is different and loves what they love.
I love my sink.


Here is a link that might be useful: Stainless Undermount Sink Recs - talk to me!


clipped on: 01.09.2010 at 12:50 am    last updated on: 01.09.2010 at 01:12 am