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penofin color? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: weluvnik on 08.03.2010 at 12:11 am in Porches & Decks Forum

Brooklyn, I checked out the penofin website and the stain they make for hardwoods only comes in the color "transparent natural." The stains that come in a Western Red Cedar color are Blue Label Penofin and Ultra Premium Penofin. Can you clarify which product you use? Thanks so much!


he uses blue label peneofin
clipped on: 08.05.2010 at 12:41 am    last updated on: 08.05.2010 at 12:42 am

RE: Can I just clean ipe deck and not stain? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mjh5 on 05.24.2009 at 10:05 am in Porches & Decks Forum


You will not harm ipe by not staining it. You may get a bit more checking of the wood, but it won't be significant. The Atlantic City boardwalk and many park benches in NYC are unstained ipe and they have been holding up in some cases for decades.

If you want to get rid of the grey color then a percarbonate cleaner sold by Woodrich, EFC-38 would work well as it has some additional ingredients in it that act as a mild stripper. It is the exact same product as RAD, which is no longer for sale as far as I know. You would have to apply it, let it dwell 20 minutes, and brush it with a deck brush, and then rinse. Depending on how it looks you may not need to use the brightener, whose primary purpose is to neutralize the high ph of the percarbonate cleaner prior to staining. If you want to maintain the grey color of unstained ipe they you mostly want to get rid of any mold, mildew, and dirt. For this you could either use a straight percarbonate cleaner, which you can buy directly for very little from the Chemistry Store ( or use a mild bleach and water solution ( 1 part bleach 8 parts water) with a bit of dish detergent mixed in. Same method as percarbonate cleaner, let it dwell, brush it lightly, and rinse.

By the way, the first time a stain is used on Ipe it typically only lasts a few months. After that you can usually get close to a year before you need re-staining. I use Cabot's ATO and now after re-staining yearly for 3 years have enough residual stain left on the deck that I don't need to re-stain it this year. The color has faded only a little and looks quite uniform in tone. The stain is duller in appearance though from when it was stained last May but looks presentable. All I did this season was to mop on the mild bleach/soap treatment.

Hope this helps,


clipped on: 07.23.2010 at 12:14 am    last updated on: 07.31.2010 at 02:02 am

Can I just clean ipe deck and not stain?

posted by: karenmaness on 05.22.2009 at 09:20 am in Porches & Decks Forum

I have a 3 year old ipe deck that was stained the first year (TWP 116) and has had nothing done to it since. The TWP looked beautiful for a few months but quickly faded and now the deck is a brownish/silver color. Doesn't look terrible, but is definitely only a shadow of its original newly-stained glory. We have some black spots on our rail cap and in a few other areas that look like mold or mildew. There are also some streaky looking places on the vertical boards around the outside edge. We would like to clean and tidy up the appearance of the deck, but I don't think we want to go through the staining process again simply because it doesn't last but a few months on ipe. My question is - if we follow the cleaning procedure we used the first time (sodium percarb followed by brightener), and then we don't follow up with a stain, is that somehow detrimental to the wood? I know after cleaning the deck will look fresh and bright for a while but will quickly go gray. I'm okay with that, but I don't want to clean and then not stain if that will leave the wood vulnerable. May not be a concern for ipe. For a situation where you are not planning on staining, is there a different cleaning procedure we should follow other than sodium percarb/brightener? Thank you!!


clipped on: 07.31.2010 at 02:00 am    last updated on: 07.31.2010 at 02:00 am

RE: Ipe deck stain job with Restore-a-Deck and TWP116 - 1 year la (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: mjh5 on 10.09.2007 at 12:48 pm in Porches & Decks Forum


If you are unsure if the black spots are mildew you can do a test: dab a few drops of household bleach on a small area of black spots. If the black spots disappear in a few minutes then you have mildew. This can then be cleaned off using either an oxygen bleach such as RAD part 1 or by using a diluted solution (1:4) of bleach to water with a dash of liquid dishwashing soap added. Oxalic acid does not kill mildew.

Your finish on the deck looks sufficiently worn that you should be able to put any new finish down including Woodzotic. I use Cabot's Australian Timber Oil because I prefer the redder color of their Mahogany Flame on my Ipe deck. Having said that I have to re-stain every year. I found that the second year I stained the finish lasted somewhat longer probably because some of the color from the first application remained in the wood.



clipped on: 07.22.2010 at 11:46 pm    last updated on: 07.22.2010 at 11:47 pm

RE: Sealing Granite (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: bill_vincent on 03.22.2008 at 04:00 pm in Kitchens Forum

The liquid will get thru, but not the solids FLOATING in the liquids that would get into the pores of the stone and stain it. As for the film/ cloudiness, I missed that part, and in the pic, assumed it was from the flash. Sorry about that. You're right, it's not the nature of ANY stone. What it looke like to me is he left too much sealer on the stone, and you're seeing a sealer haze. What HE can do (not your responsibility) is take a little more sealer on a rag and scrub the stone to loosen the old sealer up, and then take a dry rag and buff it, and your stone will be fine.


clipped on: 07.01.2010 at 05:04 pm    last updated on: 07.01.2010 at 05:05 pm

Island Remodel & Cooktop (before & after)

posted by: scrapula on 04.07.2010 at 06:20 pm in Kitchens Forum

Our original island was cabinets on the front and drywall on the sides and back. Cabinet space was lost from the GE downdraft cooktop. The counter was laminate. The new island trims the counter size, and puts cabinets and woodtrim all around. The new cooktop is a 36" Miele Induction. The counters are Hanstone Bavaria like the counters installed a few months back.
Old Island
Old Island
Old Cooktop
That was the old, here's the new.
Island Back Side


clipped on: 06.01.2010 at 03:37 pm    last updated on: 06.01.2010 at 03:37 pm

RE: under counter water filter - have no idea what I am doing (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: justalurker on 05.26.2010 at 09:46 am in Plumbing Forum

When you go shopping for a filter... look for a brand name not an anonymous pacific rim model. You'll want one that uses standard, easy to get, replacement filter elements. It should also have an air-gap faucet.

Tell the plumber you'll want it "T"ed in with a small shut-off valve for filter changes not "saddle-clamped".

And I'll ask again... what don't you like about your water? Are you on a well or water system? what are you wanting to filter for? Additional faucet at the kitchen sink or ice maker/water dispenser in the fridge also? Is your water softened?


clipped on: 05.31.2010 at 05:33 pm    last updated on: 05.31.2010 at 05:34 pm

RE: Kenmore induction cooktop? (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: trekker on 08.06.2006 at 03:15 am in Appliances Forum

I'm very pleased with my Kenmore induction cooktop, which was installed about a month ago. I haven't noticed much buzzing, but maybe at "over 40" (OK, over 60) my ears don't pick it up. It is installed above a wall oven and both units came iwth a list of which units can be installed above and below each other. When I was planning the kitchen, Sears told me that I couldn't do that, but I read the spec sheets and decided that it would be possible. Anybody who wants a copy of that sheet just send me an email and I'll scan & email it.

The spec sheets are found at


clipped on: 05.29.2010 at 01:19 am    last updated on: 05.29.2010 at 01:19 am

RE: Kenmore induction cooktop? (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: tim_from_santa_cruz on 06.06.2006 at 12:58 pm in Appliances Forum

"My heaviest pan, a Le Creuset dutch oven, and my lightest pan, an 8" Sitram saute pan don't buzz at all under any conditions. The others, if lightly loaded, have a varying degree of faint vibration based on weight and control setting. The noise is quieter than cooking and I no longer notice it. I suspect that the small pan has a very flat bottom which prevents the vibration."

Here are my theories about this. I used to run a lab for Intel, where I would have had excellent physics equipment to test these theories (acoustic spectrum analyzers, oscilloscopes, etc.), but I no longer have such equipment. So I cannot test these theories. (One of the first things I would do, with even an oscilloscope, is to measure the frequency of the induction cooktop's power output, then measure the frequency of the sound (buzzing), then measure the "ringing" of a pan when struck. Then I would do these things with a few different amounts of water in the pan.)

Still, I think this is basically what's going on:

Buzzing with induction cooktops happens when the pulsed power resonates with characteristic vibration frequencies of pans--sort of like harmonic resonance with cars on a suspension bridge. Power input causes small expansions of the metal as it heats, causing a physical deformation. If this deformation is happening at some harmonic of the pan's vibrational modes, the vibration of the pan may become audible.

A very heavy pan dampens this effect for a couple of reaons:

-- the power absorption is "smeared" over a greater physical distance (the thickness of the pan) and hence the power into the pan causes various parts of it to heat up at varying times, hence also "smearing" the time when the pan starts to expand under heating

-- a thick pan (such as Lodge or Le Creuset) has such high thermal mass per unit volume that expansion during a single cycle is small. Hence the acoustic output is small.

-- a thin, well-conducting pan (such as All-Clad, the magnetic versions) should have very noticeable expansion, except that its resonant frequencies (it's "ring" when struck) are probably further away from the driving frequencies

-- pans that are "full" or have stuff in them are both acoustically damped (the vibrations likely won't be heard through a pot of water, for example) and also have their expansions dampened down by the thermal mass of the water and other ingredients

This all fits with why different induction cooktops (different makers, different burners) and different pots and pans have various amounts of buzzing.



clipped on: 05.29.2010 at 01:13 am    last updated on: 05.29.2010 at 01:14 am

RE: LG induction cooktop -- is this the best option for griddle? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: oskiebabu on 10.09.2009 at 12:48 pm in Appliances Forum

I would buy an inexpensive (or even a more expensive) electric griddle. Cooks Illustrated reviewed various electric griddles in Jan. 2009 and gave the Broilking Electric Griddle at MSRP $99.95 the best score--basically perfect. Has a large surface, distributes heat perfectly, has a removable backsplash, can fit 11 pieces of bacon-8 pancakes-or 8 pieces of french toast at the same time. It is a heavy duty aluminum cast griddle and cleaning the non-sticj surface was a breeze.

The cheaper and somewhat smaller West Bend Cool-Touch Non-Stick Electric Griddle came in second at MSRP $51.95.

In third place was a Cuisinart combo Panini Press and grill at $129.95.

I would get the first place model and use a cast iron pan (or other smooth heavy object) for making panini-style sandwiches.



clipped on: 05.28.2010 at 10:13 pm    last updated on: 05.28.2010 at 10:14 pm

RE: instant hot water and RO together (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: dan_martyn on 11.03.2008 at 05:25 pm in Plumbing Forum

You should be able to tee off the RO output line to the hot water dispenser with no problem. You need to maintain (Keep operational) the "vacuum breaker faucet" that came with the RO system. The RO may be aggressive on the instant HW system, due to the purity of the RO water.

Dan Martyn


clipped on: 05.28.2010 at 11:28 am    last updated on: 05.28.2010 at 11:28 am

RE: Reverse Osmosis Criticism (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: justalurker on 07.15.2009 at 12:13 pm in Plumbing Forum

Been on a quality RO since 95 with 30g hard water that is softened with KCl.

Replace pre and carbon block filters yearly, final (polish) filter every two years and had to replace the membrane once and that was because the flow control plugged and fouled the membrane.

Considering all the costs so far and the initial price of a quality RO I've spent far less than what I would have spent in bottled water and driving to the bottled water machine.

Quality RO units work well with minimal maintenance if they are fed decent water to begin with.


clipped on: 05.27.2010 at 10:57 pm    last updated on: 05.27.2010 at 10:57 pm

How To Buy a Faucet

posted by: francesca_sf on 04.20.2010 at 04:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

Ive lurked and Ive learned a lot from GardenWeb. So, as a way to give-back, heres a summary of what Ive learned about How To Buy a Faucet, adding my own experience and my own personal point of view. Now I am no expert, so please feel free to add your research sources and methods about finding faucets.

1. Identify the Best Brands
Identiify the best brands from reliable sources who have broad experience with many brands and information on the construction of the faucets which is not obvious from just looking at them.

Based on their 15 years of experience, and the experiences of other trusted building professionals, StarCraft Builders, the source of this article, has rated 30 faucet companies. My own experience of getting out and "feeling the merchandise" confirms the lower rated faucets feel lighter, cheaper, not as smooth-operating as the better-rated brands. There are plenty of popular brands they didnt mention such as Elements of Design, Herbeau, Kindred, Kraus, Newport Brass, Rohl, Waterstone and Whitehaus.

Rated 7 -9 out of 10
Chicago, Dornbracht, Graff, Jado, KWC, LaCava, MSG Progetti, Porcher, San-Ei

Rated 6-8 out of 10
Blanco, Grohe, Mico, Phylrich, THG

Rate 5 to 7 or 8 out of 10
Brizo, Ginger, Hamat, Hansgrohe, Mico, Storm, Symmons

Rated 4 to 7 out of 10
American Standard, Danze, Eljer, Elkay, Kohler, Price-Pfister

Rated 3 to 6 or 7 out of 10
Delta, Moen, Peerless

Other caveats from the article:
1. "For the money, a basic American faucet may be one of the best consumer values around. Designed to last a lifetime, all but the cheapest will and if they dont the manufacturer will at least replace defective parts. Washerless valves have virtually banished leaks.
2. "When you pay more than mid-price ($100-300), you are generally buying the high styling or custom hand casting and finishing (Strom, Chicago, MGS Progetti)."
3. Read the whole article here:

2. Identify the Functions YOU Require
Figure out what functions the faucet will be required to perform in additon to the usual cleaning dished and washing veggies. DH and I needed to fill pots, fill tall vases, and reach every corner of the sink to clean it. We preferred a pull-out or pull-down dual spray with a minimum 12" reach. This eliminated a lot of 8" reach faucets and all faucets with a side spray or no spray attachment. And, I needed to be able to reach the handle easily.

3. Identify Limitations in Your Set Up
Determine height restrictions for the faucet, whether it must be ADA compliant, how many holes you want to drill, etc.

4. Identify Style Preference
If your kitchen is traditional, transitional or modern; Bauhaus, country French, southwestern or anything else, you can find a faucet that suits that style. Select a shape (gooseneck, square, etc), a height (8" up to 36"), and a finish (chrome, brushed stainless, bronze, copper, etc). We identified 3 shapes in one finish and came up with 30 alternatives from 5 manufacturers. How to trim the list?

5. Double Check the Tech Specs
We trimmed the list by requiring the hole be the standard 1 3/8" with a flow of 2.2 gallons per minute (GPM).

6. Determine Price Range
Then, we finally determined our price range. For fairly similar looking faucets that met all the specs, we were in the $259 to $719 range, with one renegade point at $1200. Was it worth $500 or $1000 to get a handle at a 30 degree angle rather than a 90 degree angle?

7. Locate the Model
After whittling the list down to 5 faucets, we found some great bargains from both local retailers and highly-rated online sources of new faucets with warranties.

8. Weigh the Criteria
In the end, it came down to the balance between which faucet felt great in our hands, moved smoothly, and looked very sleek.


clipped on: 05.26.2010 at 11:57 pm    last updated on: 05.26.2010 at 11:57 pm

RE: How To Buy a Faucet (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: akchicago on 04.21.2010 at 08:42 pm in Kitchens Forum

While I agree with Chicagoans advice, the reality is that unfortunately, most of the time you cannot see these faucets connected to water as a demo before you buy. It would be impossible for any retail store to have all the faucets their customers want to see connected to water.

So, you need to read faucets' specifications very carefully. For example, Chicagoans pointed out that you have to keep your finger on the spray button of some of the Grohe faucets. The Grohe Ladylux Cafe faucet functions like that, and its description says its spray trigger has a "hold and release" control, meaning once you "release" the button, it reverts back to regular flow. Conversely, the Grohe Ladylux Plus does not need you to hold the button to stay on spray, and its description specifies that the control can switch back and forth between regular flow and spray. So this language is pretty tough to interpret. The lesson here is to compare the written specifications carefully, and when you see differences, and you're not sure what they mean, call the company's customer service number and ask.


clipped on: 05.26.2010 at 11:50 pm    last updated on: 05.26.2010 at 11:50 pm

Calling Marble Backsplashers, please

posted by: rjr220 on 04.01.2010 at 04:00 pm in Kitchens Forum

I am in lust with this Sarah Richardson kitchen backsplash (thank you amyrsq)

My question is to all the current marble backsplashers -- do you have a problem with etching? Do you get "drops" or sprays of an etch pattern say, if you are juicing a lemon?
Did you seal or treat the BS in any way?

Just wondering. I found 12 X 35 carrera tiles today that are gorgeous and affordable -- I love this backsplash and hope that it will complement my Black Venata -- Thanks!


clipped on: 05.25.2010 at 12:17 am    last updated on: 05.25.2010 at 12:17 am

RE: AEG maxisense induction (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: cyn427 on 11.28.2009 at 10:52 am in Appliances Forum

Here is the contact info I received.
2278 Speers Road
Oakville, ON L6L 2X8
Tel: 905-829-3980
Fax: 905-829-3985
Toll: 1-800-421-6332

There is a North American version of the AEG model I want. Euro-line will ship to US. Their price for the 36" 98001-K is $2279 + shipping which will be high because it has to go by truck. Deidre guessed in the range of $300-$350. She also said this is a new version with touch controls that work by sliding your finger rather than by up/down arrows. I like that, too!

My big concern is what happens if it needs service since there is no US distributor. I guess an Electrolux service person may be trained, but I haven't checked that out yet. Also, it would be nice to be able to see it in person, although I would be willing to take a chance.

What do you think?


clipped on: 05.08.2010 at 05:58 pm    last updated on: 05.08.2010 at 05:58 pm

RE: Induction range, what do I, need to know? (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: oskiebabu on 05.07.2010 at 10:19 am in Appliances Forum

Some basic cookware for induction cooktops are one or two different sized Lodge cast iron fry pans. They work great on induction. Another might be one or two sizes of Le Creuset stew and roast pots.

The best of the high end pots and pans for induction I have used are made by Fissler of Germany. They are extremely popular in Europe among individuals and restaurants and last forever. They have a great fry pan set consisting of an 11" diameter non=-stick for lower temperature cooking, an 11" fry pan for high heat cooking with a special bottom the works great for searing, the best splatter shield in the business, and a spatula: MSRP for all 4 pieces is $329.

They also have great set of Pro-style and more modern Intensa pots and pans that are amazingly good.

They aren't cheap, but they will last forever and the pan bottoms will always stay perfectly flat and never warp due to the ingenius construction.



clipped on: 05.08.2010 at 05:47 pm    last updated on: 05.08.2010 at 05:47 pm

RE: island in 12' wide kitchen? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: live_wire_oak on 03.07.2010 at 06:34 pm in Kitchens Forum

The problem is that you're not counting the actual space between countertops, and that's what counts, not the space between the cabinets. If you have the standard 1 1/2" of overhang on your perimeters, and do the absolute minimum of aisle space at 36" (42" is much better!) you don't have room for a 24" island.

144" - 25 1/2" (x2 for cabinet runs on both walls) - 36" (x2 for 2 aisles) only equals a 21" countertop size. That means you can have an 18" wide island with standard 1 1/2" overhang on it. Not a 24" cabinet.

If you have cabinets on both walls and use a 24" cabinet for an island, your aisles are only 33", which is darn small, no matter what size you or your rear might be.


clipped on: 04.09.2010 at 10:59 am    last updated on: 04.09.2010 at 11:00 am

RE: What can you tell me about Blanco Silgranit Sinks (pics pleas (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: ngng on 01.24.2008 at 04:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

I was able to buy the Blanco Silgranit anthracite (511-707) via eBay at a great price. It retails for $589, saw it in the store for around $370 and got it from homeandstone's eBay store for $297 + free shipping! It arrived promptly and I immediately checked it for any cracks, etc. found nothing. It was packed so well with the spray foam at some points more than a 1' thick! I can't wait to have it installed (we are still in early stages of demo/electrical work).


clipped on: 04.07.2010 at 09:52 pm    last updated on: 04.07.2010 at 09:52 pm

RE: a few kitchen sink questions (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: mondragon on 03.10.2010 at 03:00 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have a 32" double in a 36" cabinet. Any chance of using the larger cabinet and getting a larger double sink?

From the ikeafans website:

"Sink size: The interior space of the cabinet is 1 1/2 inches less than the width, because of the sides being 3/4" each. However, it is possible to carve out a bit of the side panels to accomodate a bigger sink if necessary. Ideally, you'll want a sink that is about 28.5" wide."

I have a 9.5in deep undermount and I love it. I can put multiple large things in it and when I wash them, it doesn't splash.


clipped on: 04.07.2010 at 09:31 pm    last updated on: 04.07.2010 at 09:31 pm

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

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

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

  • Granite & Quartz: Microfiber cloth along with one of the following...
    • 50/50 mix of alcohol & water
    • Hand dish detergent & water (go light on the detergent if your stone is dark)
    • "Method" granite cleaner & polish
    • "Perfect Kitchen" (sold at BB&B)
    • **Warning** Don't use plumber's putty on your marble or granite counters to install your faucets or soap dispensers or with a composite granite (e.g., Silgranit) sink

    Question: Do those of you with marble use the alcohol/water mix, detergent/water mix, Method, or Perfect Kitchen?

  • Stainless Steel Appliances: Microfiber cloth along with one of the following...
    • Weiman SS Cleaner/Polish in the silver can
    • Pledge in the brown can
    • 3M SS Cleaner and Polish (aerosol spray)

  • Stainless Steel Sinks:
    • Mild detergent & water
    • BarKeeper's Friend (it will also help minimize the look of scratches on the bottom of a sink)

  • Nickel fixtures (polished or brushed):
    • Mild detergent & water
    • **Warning** Don't install a nickel strainer or drain (stick with Stainless Steel or Chrome)
    • **Warning** Don't use BarKeeper's Friend or other chemicals on nickel
    • **Warning** Don't use bleach on nickel

  • Ceramic/Glass cooktops/ranges:
    • Ceramic/glass oven surface cleaner
    • Razor blade for stuck-on food

  • Tile Floors & Backsplashes:
    • Hot water should be all you need for most of the time.
    • If you need a grease-cutter, use Oxyclean.
    • Do not use vinegar or vinegar-containing products. Vinegar works by eating away at the grout, little by little. It'll literally burn the grout away over time.

  • Non-Ceramic/Glass top ranges/cooktops:
    • "Perfect Kitchen" for spot cleaning the black enamel burner pans on Wolf ranges

  • Hardwood Floors:
    • Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner

  • Slate Floors:
    • TBD

  • Slate Backsplashes:
    • TBD


clipped on: 04.07.2010 at 09:10 pm    last updated on: 04.07.2010 at 09:10 pm

RE: The best way to clean.... (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: buehl on or granite counters to install your faucets or soap dispensers in Kitchens Forum

To start...

  • Granite...microfiber cloth along with one of the following:
    • 50/50 mix of alcohol & water
    • Method granite cleaner & polish
    • Don't use plumber's putty on your marble
      or granite counters to install your faucets or soap dispensers

  • Stainless Steel...microfiber cloth along with one of the following:
    • Weisman SS Cleaner/Polish in the silver can
    • Pledge in the brown can

  • Nickel fixtures (polished or brushed)...
    • Mild detergent & water
    • Don't install a nickel strainer
    • Don't use BarKeeper's Friend or other chemicals on nickel
    • Don't use bleach on nickel

  • Glass oven top:
    • Ceramic/glass oven surface cleaner
    • Razor blade for stuck-on food


clipped on: 04.07.2010 at 09:09 pm    last updated on: 04.07.2010 at 09:09 pm

RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #38)

posted by: rcbny on 03.19.2010 at 04:19 pm in Kitchens Forum

Tom_in_Seattle, so sorry for the delay; been all wrapped up in kitchen reno stuff. If you're still interested, we did purchase -- and use -- the mounting kit to undermount our sink (though the guys at A.J. Madison where we purchased the sink said it wasn't necessary since our contractor would probably want to build some sort of support for it himself). Which is exactly what happened; he attached a cleat to the inside back of the cabinet. So now we have both. And my 180-lb. contractor STOOD in the sink just to prove that it was secure! And it is. And it's big and beautiful and we love it.

Don't think we had the flange-extension issue, but do make sure to heed the directions not to over-tighten it. I think that is why some folks here are having problems with cracking.


clipped on: 04.07.2010 at 12:48 pm    last updated on: 04.07.2010 at 12:48 pm

RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #39)

posted by: graniteguy on 03.20.2010 at 12:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

jengb: We have gone back thru our records (360 apron front sinks over the last 5 years: 279 of which were fire clay)and can only find this defect in Whitehaus double bowl sinks. There is a quartz composite apron front double bowl sink currently on the market which is a direct replacement for the Whitehaus WHQDB332. It is manufactured by Mitrani, We have not dealt with this company or installed any of their products. I can tell you that quartz conposites are very durable. Some quartz composite products you may be familiar with are sold under the trade names of Silestone, Viatera, and Quatrzite. These materials are made to mimic granite in apperance and feel. Hope this helps. On a side note my client has filed a complaint against Whitehaus with her local BBB and has received a case number from them.


clipped on: 04.07.2010 at 12:47 pm    last updated on: 04.07.2010 at 12:47 pm

RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #36)

posted by: graniteguy on 03.18.2010 at 12:15 pm in Kitchens Forum

The above mentioned sink has developed another crack. The newest crack is at the same point where the side and bottom of the bowl meets, but this one is in the opposite bowl from the original crack. Some research has discovered that several years ago Whitehaus offered a similiar two bowl sink. Shortly after its indroduction however it was "discontinued". The sink that is now installed was first made available in June of '09. My guess is that this sink will soon be "discontinued" as well. Although I am not a ceramic expert, I can easily determine that there is either a defect in the molds used by Whitehaus, or a defect in the manufacturing process of their double bowl sinks. I do know that firing a clay sink requires very specific controls over heating and cooling, and if these controls are not carefully adhered to during the process, cracking will result. I also know that Whitehaus has temporarily "discontinued" another of their fire clay sink while they re-work their production molds. Thanks for your imput and keep responses comming.


clipped on: 04.07.2010 at 12:44 pm    last updated on: 04.07.2010 at 12:45 pm

RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #34)

posted by: circuspeanut on 03.17.2010 at 09:23 am in Kitchens Forum

I've only had mine for 2 years, so I'm not a long-term user yet (although I'm a heavy user), but there are many folks on this forum who have had a fireclay sink for much longer than I. Perhaps you could start a thread with a more explicit title soliciting longevity information?

In terms of the material, it's only "clay" in the same way that your toilet and bathroom sink are clay. They are made of the same vitreous porcelain. (If you want to know the texture and feel of a fireclay sink, check out your toilet fixture.) The stuff is darned hard.

Wash some dishes in your bathroom sink, if you have the standard white porcelain pedestals or drop-ins -- it will give you a feel for the fireclay.

It's not got the resilience of stainless steel, but for those of us who loathe the clank and spots of stainless sinks and are not thrilled with plastic and don't want the chips of enamelled steel -- fireclay is really wonderful. It's silky smooth and washes up like a dream, no stains or etching.

I'm certainly no sink expert, but it strikes me that a fireclay sink probably isn't any more difficult to replace than any other undermounted sink? If it's farmhouse/apron style, you're probably committed to the farmhouse style in a replacement, because of your countertop and cabinetry, but that replacement could be of many different materials, including stainless steel if you wind up preferring it.

I know that the Rohl (Shaw's) product comes with a 25-year warranty, so that must mean something. They've been using these little suckers for many generations in Europe. Of course, they've also been using marble countertops for many generations in Europe, so there ya go.

At any rate, I am very satisfied with my lower-cost Whitehaus 501.


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RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #32)

posted by: sheila99 on 03.17.2010 at 12:13 am in Kitchens Forum

graniteguy, I have heard of fireclay sinks cracking before. I have read about them cracking due to the garbage disposal operating which makes sense. They are baked clay and baked clay does not give much! I think this fireclay is just a fad and everyone with one will end up replacing the sink in a few years.
If you read the fine print, they are 'resistant' they are not claimimng that the sinks 'will not' scratch or chip or break. I wish someone would come up with the alternative to the durability of SS but a warmer look. Good luck!


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RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: jengb on 03.03.2010 at 05:02 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have a Whithaus 30" fireclay sink and within a month of being installed the bottom right side had completely cracked/shattered front to back. The company won't reply to emails and I've tried to call with no luck either. I'm not even asking them to replace the darn thing (purchased from a contractor on craigslist so warranty void even though completely new, in original box, intended for a spec house that won't be built due to economy). I just want to know if this is somewhat normal so that I can choose it's replacement. The easiest replacement would be the same type of sink since the cabinets/countertops/faucet placement were done with this sink in mind. I love the looks of my sink, but I'm very disappointed at its lack of durability!


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RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #30)

posted by: graniteguy on 03.16.2010 at 12:30 pm in Kitchens Forum

A client of mine purchased a Whitehaus WHQDB332 apron front sink (farmer's sink) to be installed in their new granite counters. The sink was installed using the "cradle and Brace" method in a cabinet custom made for the sink. 2 months after the installation, the sink began to crack at the point where the side and bottom of the sink bowl meet. My client contacted Whitehaus and told them about the cracking, Whitehaus told my client that the sink was improperly installed. I sent photos of the installation method to Whitehaus and they retracted their original statement about installation and then claimed that the disposal had caused the cracking. I again contacted Whitehaus and asked them if there were any special advisories, instruction, or cautions about installing a disposal on one of their sinks. Ther are no instructions on their web site, no instructions with or on the sink itself. Our company has literally installed hundreds of apron front sinks, made of every type of material possible and we have never seen this issue. We have contacted licenseed plumbers outside of our circle to ask them if they have ever heard of any such instruction, all answered no. I contacted the local Whitehaus rep. he had never heard of any such advisory. When I presented all of this information to Whitehaus, they dropped the disposal issue and are now claiming "impact" damage caused the crack. Since going public with this , we have been recieving e-mails and other corrospondences from around the mid west from Whitehaus customers with similiar cracks and similiar responses from Whitehaus. One e-mail was particularly revealing, a whitehaus customer in WI has recieved a notice from Whitehaus showing the "impact" damage to his sink, but it was not his sink, it was a photo of my OH client's sink. Needless to say, we are no longer reccommending any Whitehaus product until this matter is resolved.. If there are any Whitehaus purchaser who are having similiar problems speak up.


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RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #27)

posted by: justmejulie on 03.05.2010 at 02:01 pm in Kitchens Forum

We purchased two Rohl Allia sinks 1 1/2 years ago. Both sinks got small chips within the firt year. They do clean easily but I would not choose this sink again.


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RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #26)

posted by: growlery on 03.05.2010 at 01:16 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have had a white Shaw's sink for about a year and a half and I love it.

No chips, and I have a bad habit of leaving things to (ahem) "soak". Sometimes I leave them to "soak" for a long time, and forget I have a can in there, and get a rust stain. Even a rusty ring works itself off in a few days without my doing a thing -- no barkeepers friend, no scrubbing, no nothing.

I don't have a rack or grid, I have both enameled and un-enameled cast iron pans, and I don't get scratches.

I remember looking at the English Web site for Shaw's, I think if you google "shaw's of Darwen" you'll find it, and they show them making the sinks. They are indeed cast of a dark brown clay, then glazed in the final white, biscuit or black glaze.


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RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: lisa_a on 03.03.2010 at 07:22 pm in Kitchens Forum

A mini thread abduction but I think it will help the OP, too.

When I started planning our re*model, I figured I'd go with the same Kohler sink, the Executive Chef, as I currently have but in an undermount version. Now I'm strongly leaning towards a single bowl instead but I've just begun the search and I don't know all the brands available. All I know is I want to stick with white with undermount installation. Apron front isn't critical.

So a quick summary of those already listed:
Rohl - Shaw & Allia
Villeroy & Boch (had to look up what V&B was!)
Belle Foret

Are there others?

Sorry to hear about your shattered sink, jengb.


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RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: amberley on 02.13.2010 at 02:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have a Shaws 30" waiting to be installed in a few weeks. My mom has had the same one for 5 years and it has been flawless.


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RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: astridh on 02.13.2010 at 12:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have a Franke fireclay sink, too. I love the look, and it's easy to keep clean. The only thing is, I have two tiny chips (from dropping a heavy iron range grate) and the chips are black! One of the reasons I chose the sink was thinking that the any chips would be white underneath. I still like the sink, though. I guess the Shaw sink is different.


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RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: momj47 on 02.13.2010 at 10:47 am in Kitchens Forum

I have a Shaw's 36" sink, and love it. It certainly is stain and scratch resistant. I scrub it with a scrubbie and Bar Keepers Friend and it looks as good as new. It will chip but it has to get dinged pretty hard.

I've never had a cast iron enamel sink so I can't compare it, but after 6 years it sure looks better than my old stainless sinks.

I have read here on this forum that cast iron enamel sinks are made differently now and are not as durable as they used to be.


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RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: sabjimata on 02.13.2010 at 07:35 am in Kitchens Forum

I had a Porcher and loved it and will get another one for our new house. I have read stuff about chipping, scratching, etc. As with any "product" there will be some mixed reviews out there. Basically, a fireclay apron front sink is like a porcelain bathtub in your kitchen. Same material.


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RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: prill on 02.13.2010 at 07:08 am in Kitchens Forum

I also have V & B fireclay (Franke). I've only had it since April but I love it. I wanted an apron sink for my mini remodel. No scratches, very easy to care for. I just clean it with a little dish soap on my sponge. No need for anything stronger for me.

I did have a cast iron enamel sink before this. I liked that too. Never any problems. It might be more of a choice of the look you're going for.


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RE: Fireclay sink (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: allison0704 on 02.13.2010 at 06:56 am in Kitchens Forum

I have a V&B fireclay and have been here over 4 years. No scratches or stains. Easy to clean (I use Soft Scrub and spray/rinse with water often between cleanings.) I do keep a pair of the white coated sink grids in at all times.

I've had an enamel cast iron sink in previous home and loved it. Only got rid of it when we remodeled and it just didn't go with new kitchen. Had it 12 years and it still looked new (with one minor, small scratch).


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RE: fire clay versus vitreous enamel cast-iron sinks? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: marcolo on 04.01.2010 at 09:59 am in Kitchens Forum

A lot of posts on this, if you can find them through search. Some people love their fireclay sinks. Others report that they do chip, and contrary to what they believe, the inside material revealed by a chip is dark--these sinks are not the same color all the way through. Also be aware that with a fireclay sink, you need an installer who knows what he's doing; overtightening the flange can crack the sink.

I've never owned either, but I looked at a h ouse last week with a large, beautiful fireclay sink. The entire inside bottom had dark crazing marks like crackle tile or old pottery, and looked like it was a hundred years old. Perhaps it was originally installed incorrectly, or the owner had abused it; I don't know, and I didn't see a logo on it.


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RE: how easily does fireclay sinks chip?holding up cabinet order (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: cupcake78 on 03.05.2010 at 06:39 pm in Kitchens Forum

tresgirls-- I am about to have a Whitehaus fireclay 504 installed, it is almost identical to the 501 except for a 1 3/4" "lip" around the top, very pretty. Same dimensions as the 501. I got it from American Home Plus, they still have in stock for about $670.

Glad I read this thread, looks like I have to think about getting a grate for the bottom of the sink. :) I've had a porcelain over cast-iron sink for 13+ years and have never had a chip or crack, so fireclay will be a new experience for me, too!


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RE: how easily does fireclay sinks chip?holding up cabinet order (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: justmejulie on 03.05.2010 at 01:58 pm in Kitchens Forum

We installed two Rohl Allia sinks about 1 1/2 years ago. Both got small chips within the first year. I would not pick the Allia if I could do it over.


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RE: how easily does fireclay sinks chip?holding up cabinet order (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: red_lover on 03.04.2010 at 02:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have a few tiny chips in my Rohl 36". I was heartsick.

I didn't know you could patch these chips. I will be watching for your husbands success wascolette.

I got the grid immediately after I noticed the chips. Wish I had gotten the grid sooner.


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RE: how easily does fireclay sinks chip?holding up cabinet order (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: circuspeanut on 03.04.2010 at 10:51 am in Kitchens Forum

hi tresgirls,

Hmm -- I purchased my Whitehaus 501 over the phone from BlueBath for around $600 or so, in 2008. They used to have a web site but it doesn't seem to be functional at the moment. They also have an eBay store, which I link below.

Wouldn't hurt to phone and find out if they still have one in stock? I know they look flighty with that wonky website right now, but I had a perfectly professional experience with them using my AmEx card and FedEx shipping. Very fast and extremely well packaged.
tel. (213) 265-2519 email

Crossing my fingers for you!

Here is a link that might be useful: BlueBath ebay store


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RE: how easily does fireclay sinks chip?holding up cabinet order (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: astridh on 03.03.2010 at 11:39 am in Kitchens Forum

I have two Franke fireclay sinks in my kitchen. I like the look and ease of cleaning, but I did get two very tiny chips in the main sink, which is PRK-120. This sink has an unusual shape with a ridge half way down the bowl onto which you can place a grid (which I don't). Unfortunately, this ridge may possibly make it more prone to chip if you're not careful. I think it got chipped when someone carelessly washed a heavy grate from the range top, and didn't look closely enough to see the ridge. That is where the chips are. Anyway, what surprised me is that the chips are DARK. I had assumed that the fireclay would be white all the way through and would show a chip less than a cast iron sink would, but that is not the case for my Franke. Shaw may be different. That being said, I really like the sink and would buy it again, but I do need to be a bit more careful than I thought.


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RE: how easily does fireclay sinks chip?holding up cabinet order (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: circuspeanut on 03.03.2010 at 12:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've had the Whitehaus 501 almost exactly 2 years now. I have the Insinkerator Evolution Compact hooked up to it. Didn't need any extra flange, all went smoothly -- no cracks, juddering, etc. Can warmly recommend both sink and Insinkerator Evolution, it's very quiet and powerful.

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RE: how easily does fireclay sinks chip?holding up cabinet order (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: circuspeanut on 03.03.2010 at 11:59 am in Kitchens Forum

I have a Whitehaus fireclay sink and love it. It's glossy smooth and very easy to keep clean and sparkly white with barkeeper's friend.

I have gotten one chip after 2 years; it's on the bottom and likely from one of our castiron skillets which we use daily, but it's white underneath, so not very noticeable. We bang those heavy skillets around and wash the castion grates from the range in there -- and so far so good.

I think ALL sinks have their own specific drawbacks (stainless are cold and scratch or can be loud; enamelled iron can chip badly or craze; silgranite & corian can stain or look plasticky) -- so it's really about going with your first love, I'd say. But I have never regretted my fireclay at all and will definitely get another if I ever do another kitchen.


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