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RE: Quartz that looks like Marble... Corian? Granite? (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: 2LittleFishies on 11.04.2011 at 02:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

OK. I received my Corian samples today.. Rain Cloud and Witch Hazel... I have to say I REALLY LIKE them!!!!!!!!! I'm shocked!!! Better than the Cambria Torquay.
I have 10" samples of the both of them next to a 12" Vermont Danby and they are so much more like the Danby than the Torquay. I think what I love is the texture and background are so similar to the Danby and not shiny like the quartz (Torquay). It's more of a creamy feel than the quartz I've seen. I don't mean by touch, but the look of the product itself. AM I CRAZY? I'm going to take photos of the 4 of them together.
I thought the witch hazel would look darker than the rain cloud but my samples are very similar. The WH just looks a bit more golden in the veining.
And the RC, more gray. Thoughts? A lot of Pics buy may help others as well... Oh, I have 1 large and 2 small samples of Danby so whenever you see the little squares with the big- that's Danby. I look forward to your feedback
: )

Here is a link that might be useful: Corian/Torquay/Danby


clipped on: 11.07.2011 at 04:19 pm    last updated on: 11.07.2011 at 04:19 pm

RE: ATTN Farmers Daughter (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: frmrsdghtr on 09.28.2011 at 03:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

Sure... I can give you some details. You are referring to this post.

"This is clearly out of the norm, but we are almost finished with our $1000 DIY mini makeover in our kitchen (i know right? $1000? :D) and my hubby did a concrete overlay on our existing formica countertop. I helped him with the artistic part (staining) and for a couple of hundred bucks I got a brand new look. Love it!"

This was my kitchen before. (We aren't done yet! :)

current kitchen

My hubby is working so I can't give too many details because I'm not sure what is all involved. I do know this -
he had to clean and scuff the surface really well. It was a special mix of concrete. It was two layers, with drying time in between, he says he should have done three but I was extremely impatient and thought it looked fine :D. All the coloring is concrete stain. We used various things like feathers, sponges, brushes etc to get the look we wanted. The surface was grinded, sealed, and polished. The whole process took at least several days. He said he'd be much faster next time. :)

However, I would not consider this an average DIY project. My hubby has extensive experience with concrete - he has a concrete business (patios and curbing). He's considering doing countertops during the winter months. He's done just a couple of them but never an overlay. I get all his experiments :). Sealers and finishes have come a long way even in the last couple of years. It's the under-educated installers and old products that often give concrete a bad rap. Here's one he did in a basement bathroom/kitchen a few months ago:


Sorry this got so long! Hope that answers a few questions!


concrete "marble" counters & cool rustic vanity
clipped on: 10.07.2011 at 06:20 pm    last updated on: 10.07.2011 at 06:20 pm

RE: Has anyone seen Cambria's new Waterstone Collection? (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: gvibes on 07.07.2011 at 06:41 pm in Kitchens Forum

OK, bottom big one is Torquay, top is Waverton. Of the little ones, bottom right is Zodiaq Bianca Carrera, top right is ceasarstone misty carrera. Bottom left is ceasarstone snow white, top left is ceasarstone cloud white.

I think my white balance is still a little off. Everything looks a little blue here.

I think Torquay is very pretty, and I think we may go with it if we can get slabs in time.


white quartz samples
clipped on: 09.27.2011 at 06:45 pm    last updated on: 10.03.2011 at 03:50 pm

RE: WHITE granite - why are they all so yellow??? (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: slush1422 on 09.13.2011 at 07:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

In So Cali a few places all labeled our Quartzite as Granite and ran less than $60 sq ft installed.

We just installed Honed Moon Night (Aka Super White) It's probably not as white as you are looking for though - more gray. We have not had any problems with it staining (and I left a red wine spill overnight), or any etching at all. I sealed it myself with the DuPoint from Lowes. It's everyone's favorite thing when they walk in our kitchen. No one out here has anything like it which makes me love it even more.

From Almost finished Kitchen

From Almost finished Kitchen

From Moon Night Granite Install


nice unique white granite/quartzite
clipped on: 09.19.2011 at 05:45 pm    last updated on: 09.19.2011 at 05:46 pm

RE: How Far Away is your Microwave from Sink/Prep Area? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: buehl on 03.03.2010 at 11:31 am in Kitchens Forum

General guidelines for MW placement...

Best location...MWs (and refrigerators) should be on the periphery of the kitchen so they are (1) easily accessed by those working inside the kitchen and (2) easily accessed by those from outside the kitchen who may be looking for a snack or other use without interfering with those working in the kitchen.

Second best location...Inside or just outside the Prep and/or Cooking Zone b/c that's where it's used the most.

Less desirable location...In the Cleanup Zone, especially over the DW or anywhere taking up needed cleanup work space. You don't want to be tripping over an open DW or getting in the way of someone cleaning up while trying to use the MW.

Bad location...Over the range b/c you have to reach over a hot stove and hot food (think steam from boiling water wafting up or greasy smoke from browning meat or frying as you try to use the MW or even check the food that's in the MW; if you have gas, you're reaching over a flame. Additionally, it is too high for the majority of people to truly use safely...i.e., they're above the head & neck level. Oh, and OTR MWs are notoriously bad vent/range hoods b/c of inadequate venting as well as inadequate coverage of the cooking surface (you need coverage that extends past the front burners by about 3 inches to capture the steam/smoke/grease/odors/etc.). [These MWs are also more expensive and shorter than other MWs...countertop or built-in. On OTR MW may also lock you into a specific brand in the future b/c of sizing and installation procedure.]

Ideal installation height...Between your waist and chest, inclusive for "regular" MWs with a door (i.e., above your hip and below your neck).

With a regular MW, you have to reach inside and pull food out to check/remove so you don't want it so high that you're in danger of spilling it on you as you reach up and in and you don't want it so low you have to squat to get to the food inside.

MW Drawers can be below your waist b/c the drawer comes out from under the counter when open and you can simply reach down & stir or place/remove food.

Ideally, the MW should also be near a water source as many items that are MW'd need water added to them (leftovers, veggies, etc.) However, the periphery location is more important as it's easier to bring water to the MW or take the dish to the sink than it is to work around someone else using the MW.

Our MW Drawer is in the Prep Zone. Unfortunately, we did not have a periphery location so we had to settle for the "second best" location. But, it is near a sink and it is out of the way of people working at the cooktop. We also have two primary Prep Zones, so it hasn't been much of an issue...only very occasionally.

Even if you decide to go the route of the MW over the wall oven, I would consider having your builder put it in a MW alcove (with finished sides/top/bottom on the inside) instead of building it in so you can place the MW inside the alcove but not build it in. As others have said, most MWs do not last as long as other appliances and will need to be replaced. It is much easier and less expensive to remove & replace a MW sitting in an alcove than one built-in. You also will not need a Trim Kit if you place the MW in an alcove instead of building it in.

Just remember to make the alcove big enough for a full-size MW + air clearances on all sides, top, and back + plug. If you're putting it in a cabinet for a 27" or 30" oven, width & depth should not be a problem (a 24" wide x 23"D opening should be plenty of width/depth). Don't forget about height as well. You will also need an outlet inside the alcove to plug the MW in.

And, be sure the inside of the alcove is finished to, preferably, match your cabinets. This may require "skins" to put on the inside (if so, be sure to include the thickness of the skins in your calculation of the inside space).


clipped on: 03.03.2010 at 04:34 pm    last updated on: 03.03.2010 at 04:34 pm

I did it! DIY copper countertops

posted by: circuspeanut on 07.24.2008 at 02:28 pm in Kitchens Forum

Background: this is my first house, and I am doing an extreme DIY kitchen using recycled cabinetry and refurbishing many already existing aspects of the 1920s bungalow kitchen.

I've never been a granite fan and wanted something warmer that would fit in just right with the well-used, modest coastal bungalow style of my place. So ... I made my own copper countertops! For a price just under $21/sf, this was even more reasonable than plastic or butcher block, and vastly more durable. It's green, it's recyclable, and has the right historical feel to it for the house.

We used mdf as a substrate and basically "laminated" heavy-gauge copper onto it. This took many steps (I detailed the process in the metalworking forum), but I think the results are really stunning and wanted to share some pics for anyone else interested in exploring copper. Well, OK, I did need to brag, just a little. ;-)

Not quite all done yet, but hopefully enough to post a teaser. They look a little rough in the pix; I will be cleaning and buffing the copper smooth again when I've mounted the sinks.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

On the advice of other copper countertop owners (ahem! you know who you are), I plan on simply waxing them and letting them patinate to their little hearts' content.

Then .. on to tiling the backsplash and refinishing the fir floors. *whew!*


clipped on: 03.03.2010 at 04:17 pm    last updated on: 03.03.2010 at 04:17 pm

DIY copper countertop

posted by: jenathegreat on 11.22.2004 at 05:18 pm in Metalworking Forum

We'd like to cover our countertop base with copper sheeting. We've found it locally and online in 3'x10' sheets in either 16 oz or 20 oz.

We've never worked with metal, but since there are only 2 straight runs of countertop, we'd only have to cut out a hole for the sink and cooktop, and bend the metal to cover the edge of the plywood. We plan to bend it over and under the base and fasten it to the bottom and also have it curve up the wall to form a little backsplash.

1) See any problems with this plan? Anything wrong with using copper sheeting?
2) Will we be able to bend it without any special tools? What will we need to cut it with? I really have no concept of how hard or flexible either 16oz or 20oz copper sheets would be.
3) Recommend either 16 or 20oz?
4) How do we handle the outside corner?

Thanks for any advice or warnings...


clipped on: 03.03.2010 at 04:16 pm    last updated on: 03.03.2010 at 04:16 pm

Finished Kitchen: from Oak & Tile to Black & Marble, mostly DIY

posted by: rtpaisley on 10.08.2009 at 04:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hello to all, I am new to posting here! I wanted to share my finished kitchen, we remodeled last October, some DIY some with help, and I found this forum to be an INVALUABLE RESOURCE. Just hoping to give a little back by sharing my finished pictures... even delayed ones.

We redid our oak and tile kitchen with black paint and marble. It was a mix of DIY (I painted our cabinets) and help - the marble was installed and fabricated by someone else, obviously. We pulled out the tile ourselves, both counter and floor, and installed the appliances ourselves. Our kitchen remodel in total cost just under $10,000. I've blogged about it in detail if anyone is interested.

Before and After pictures.

How I made my kitchen choices.

My best shot at a how-to on painting kitchen cabinets yourself.

A complete source list as best I remember.

Here's a few pictures:

Great forum, good luck with everyone on their current endeavors.



clipped on: 01.22.2010 at 04:19 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2010 at 04:19 pm

RE: Help with how to deal with soffits in kitchen remodel (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: becktheeng on 07.22.2009 at 12:15 am in Kitchens Forum

I had 4 soffits, I removed two (luckily for me they were the most offensive ones), but had to keep two for HVAC and pumbing. The ones I left, I shallowed up as much as I could. It helps that I could get rid of them on my focal wall.

Here's a photo...I also have some other inspiration photos I kept just in case I needed to keep all of them.

My kitchen

full backsplash

My other soffit

Overall backsplash

My inspiration photos. I got them from here, but can't remember who they belong to.

Soffit 1

soffit 2

soffit 3


clipped on: 07.22.2009 at 06:23 pm    last updated on: 07.22.2009 at 06:23 pm

anyone have a dcs rgsc305ss 30' all gas?

posted by: flyleft on 08.17.2008 at 11:46 pm in Appliances Forum

This is from before F-P took over, I's refurbished on eBay...does anyone have any experience with this range? The specs sound great.


Here is a link that might be useful: keeping trying...


clipped on: 05.02.2009 at 12:43 am    last updated on: 05.02.2009 at 12:44 am

Mostly finished white/chocolate galley

posted by: smilingjudy on 03.02.2009 at 05:08 pm in Kitchens Forum

I re-oiled the countertop yesterday and got rid of all the stray paint splatters (no matter how careful I am, I always end up with strays). Figured this was a good time to take some pics and post my "finished" kitchen. There are a few things left to do, but who knows when they will be finished.

- Re-install dishwasher (waiting on a replacement part)
- Find and install lights (above sink and open counter area in the kitchen proper)
- Add the "pretty" stuff (window treatments, accessories, blah, blah, blah)

It'll happen when it happens. I'm not going to rush it and end up with things I don't like. Besides, I have a lot of other things to do and don't want to wait on more kitchen indecision!

My kitchen, like everything, was mostly DIY. Things I DIDN'T do myself:
- Drywall (because I believe you should always hire out drywall)
- Cabinet install (included with the build)
- Countertop
- I did most of the plumbing, but in order to enlarge the opening to the DR all pipes to the upstairs bath had to be moved. I hired that one out because I didn't want to mess with it and I'm glad I did! It took two plumbers a full 9-hour day.
- My HVAC guys custom fabricated the exhaust vent to maneuver around pipes in the ceiling. While they were here for that, I had them re-locate the HVAC vents to the kitchen and DR
- My boyfriend helped me remove the load-bearing wall between the DR and nature room beyond. Technically not part of the kitchen, but it allowed me eliminate a door and extend the cabinet run.

Sounds like I didn't do much! But as you all know, there are a LOT of other things involved in a gut remodel. I need to show the befores for anyone to appreciate the result, so here goes. I had started packing up (and in some cases tearing into walls) before I remembered to take pics. It was even messier than usual.


Used to lead to the basement; the original kitchen had FOUR doorways


Fridge used to be where the hole is


Filthy stove and stolen corner (yes, i cooked with the help of a shop light)


More filthy stove. Admittedly, it could have looked better, but I did not want to expend the time or effort to clean this pit. The worst part was the cabinets with too short shelves that were NOT adjustable.


I HATED this window. The divider was right in my line of sight. Note the neon-yellow mini-blind to match the countertop.


Other side of the pipes is the dining room; room to the left is the "nature room". Note the upper cabinet that would not close because it was too full!


What happens when you put carpet in a kitchen. DON'T DO IT!

And now for the mostly-after (click to embiggen)









(Do I have to take the 'Made in Italy' sticker off the range now? LOL)



I realized later that herringbone pattern is typically horizontal. Oops. I totally meant to do it this way. It's like flames coming off the stove. :)

cat door to the basement



window "sill" made by my countertop fabricator



Floor - Cork glue-down tiles from Duro-Design; pattern - Edipo; color - Cointreau
Cabinets - local custom shop; painted SW Snowbound SemiGloss. It's a crisp white with a tiny bit of warmth.
Countertop - Richlite in Chocolate Glacier
Backsplash - Landsdale Carrara from the Tile Shop
Vent Liner - Prestige
Range - Fratelli Onofri Double Evolution
Faucet - Moen Level
Dishwasher - Fisher Paykel dishdrawers
Sink - Kohler SmartDivide IronTones
Fridge - JennAir CD FD Floating Glass
Hardware - Asbury series from Restoration Hardware
Undercab Lights - Kichler 1" line-voltage xenon
Kept the old microwave and toaster oven. Ugly as they are, they're staying until they croak.

One minor lesson learned that I want to share because it bugs me.... I insisted on finding undercab lights that were not fluorescent because I wanted to be able to dim them. Well, you know what? If they're on, they're on high. I NEVER dim them. I wish I would've saved some $$ (now and in the future) and gone with fluorescent.

I still check in on the forum every once in a while, but not nearly as obsessive as I was during the thick of the work. You guys are like no other online community I've found. Thanks to everyone here for your inspirational remodels and helpful, patient advice.


clipped on: 03.27.2009 at 01:37 pm    last updated on: 03.27.2009 at 01:37 pm

Column, soffit, headers design detail advice? (pics)

posted by: staceyneil on 03.27.2009 at 09:05 am in Kitchens Forum

I am having a hard time visualizing this all... and would welcome any input you have!!

The house is a one-story ranch that we are renovating. the general aesthetic will be slightly craftsman/cottage, since the house is low with fairly wide overhanging eaves. Will be warm grey shingled exterior, varnished fir craftsman/shaker entry door.

Inside, there are no crown moldings and the window and door casings will be very simple. oak floors (existing) with slate in the mudroom. Simple natural cherry shaker kitchen.

Due to structural and budget constraints, we have some (not ideal) columns and headers we have to deal with. I am trying to decide how to detail the stuff between the kitchen and DR/LR on the plan below, as well as the structural column that needs to come down next to the island with a header that extends over to the fridge wall.

The working plan is to just drywall the header and first (middle/left) column between the kitchen and LR, and then trim out the next (middle/right) column like a real column, framing in a faux column to the right to flank the step down. but they won't have especially pleasing proportions, probably about 13" x 10" (13" is non-negotiable).

Then how to detail the support by the island? I think it would cost a lot more to bury that header (shown with dotted line) in the ceiling, and we'd still have to detail the column somehow. ?????

This is a photo of a smilingjudy's kitchen.. I hope it is OK to repost it here??? I really like what she did with the columns flanking her nature room entrance. My thought is to do the same, where the soffit and first column (by the DW) are just drywalled and painted like "wall" and then the next column, and a faux one we add, are trimmed like columns flanking the step down. Our home is simpler, no crown molding, but I think just trimming the columns a little simpler could work....????

if we do that for those two columns, how do I deal with the necessary header and column next to the island? I could add a faux header/soffit at 90 degrees back to the pantry/desk area, but will it break up the space too much? (low 7'8" celings!). Or leave it as drawn, header and square post, just drywalled but not detailed like a column? it's right next to the opening to the mudroom which I'd planned to trim with door casing....

Sigh- i can't figure it out!


Picture of column trim work which is beautiful. Cabinet hardware looks nice too.
clipped on: 03.27.2009 at 01:04 pm    last updated on: 03.27.2009 at 01:08 pm

about to take the plunge and buy an nxr! anyone know bake btus?

posted by: staceyinmaine on 01.12.2009 at 08:00 am in Appliances Forum

After much agonizing research and budget-wringing, we've decided to be the guinea pigs and purchase a new 30" AG NXR range. It has 4x 15k burners (nice stacked ones!!!) and a 16.5k broiler, but the specs say NOTHING about the bake element BTUs, whether it's true convection or not, nothing.... Does anyone know anything about this?

Thank you!

And we'll definitely report back on the range. You've all been so helpful here on other brands and I know several of you have considered the NXR. So we'll let you know... We saw the older model (NRG3001) in person, next to Capital, Thermador, Five Star, Bertazzoni, etc and it seemed pretty well built. A bit cheaper build, and not quite so refined in fit and finish as Thermador & Bertazzoni, but certainly much more substantial than, say, Fisher & Paykel, GE Cafe, etc. The oven racks are super-beefy and have the rolled front edge, and the burners look fabulous. Blue enamel interior is pretty sexy, too.



clipped on: 03.25.2009 at 04:04 pm    last updated on: 03.25.2009 at 04:04 pm

RE: Butcher Block countertops (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: chloe_s_mom on 03.22.2009 at 07:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

Not very helpful, but I have butcher block on my sink island (not really an island, has a backsplash and ledge). Totally love it (used oak from IKEA), and I have thermafoil (fake wood pattern) dark chocolate cabinets.

Keep in mind that the oak goes dark w oil - which kind of wood were you thinking of?



Butcher block countertop (ikea) w/ dark cabinets.
clipped on: 03.23.2009 at 06:59 pm    last updated on: 03.23.2009 at 07:00 pm

RE: Has anyone put a microwave on a pullout shelf in an upper cab (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: jtsgranite4us on 03.06.2009 at 12:07 am in Kitchens Forum

We have our microwave in our cabinet. We have a pullout shelf below the microwave. The shelf the microwave sits on is actually removable. The microwave was originally on the pullout shelf but we decided to add the removeable shelf so we could use the pullout shelf as a landing area. We have a similar opening for our toaster oven on the other side of the refridgerator

The shelf that the microwave sits on is 44" from the floor.

Here is a picture:

microwave with pullout shelf


Good idea for a built in "landing space" to the left of the refridge.
clipped on: 03.08.2009 at 03:20 am    last updated on: 03.08.2009 at 03:21 am

a 10k budget + 1988 kitchen + amateur diy thumb...wwyd?

posted by: stretchad on 01.06.2009 at 10:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've posted on here a few times regarding the kitchen my new house. We've scaled back our kitchen renovation plans due to finances so....

What would you do with my kitchen on a $10,000 budget?

We want to keep the floors. I am good at painting (am considering doing the cabinets), I don't much more skill than that so anything else would probably need to be installed professionally (like electrical, lighting, counters). However I will say that between DH and I, I think we can install a couple new cabinets (like over the refrigerator or replacing the built in desk, but no major overhaul). I've never tiled before, but would be willing to do a backsplash...I'd like to modernize the kitchen as much as possible, and steer it away from the 'country' kitchen that I feel it was in its past. No more gold cabinet hardware!
You can click the photo below for more images. Thanks for your suggestions!!!

From Kitchen


clipped on: 03.05.2009 at 01:44 pm    last updated on: 03.05.2009 at 01:44 pm

Red Island? What do you think?

posted by: labradoodlemom on 03.04.2009 at 06:43 pm in Kitchens Forum

We have an old farmhouse (original part 1700, addition kitchen 1950's). We want to keep that country farmhouse feel in the kitchen, but with an "up-to-date/modern" look.

Here's what we have in the plans so far:
* wide plank oak flooring
* reclaimed post and beams from a dismantled barn
* Cream cabinets in the background
* A white apron sink
* Giallo Ornamental granite on the cream cabinets

Then, there's the island:
* A furniture-like island with legs on all four corners and seating
* A solid wood countertop
* Colonial red base cabinets

Here's what I'm questioning:
1) Does the granite make it feel TOO modern? Should we try to go with something more earthy? Maybe honed granite in a more neutral color?

2) Does the red island flow with the rest of the colors? Will it be too bold of a statement?

What do you think? Opinions?
Anyone have any pictures that might help convince me?

Our combinations so far:

A few inspiration photos:


clipped on: 03.05.2009 at 01:37 pm    last updated on: 03.05.2009 at 01:37 pm

Feedback on NXR Range

posted by: congers on 01.19.2009 at 05:32 pm in Appliances Forum

I am in the market to replace my 30" gas range and have been looking at the Electroux, GE Cafe and stumbled on the NXR. The NXR DRGB3001 which replaces the NRG3001 seems for the price to be a quality range in the professional line at a reasonable price without all the electronics that would be a problem down the line.

I have not been able to find a showroom to see the NXR range. Does anyone know a dealer that has one on display in the NY and northern NJ area? Am leaning towards the NXR but would like to see before making a decision and welcome feedback and comments.


clipped on: 03.04.2009 at 05:56 pm    last updated on: 03.04.2009 at 05:56 pm

Would you buy a range hood on eBay?

posted by: staceyneil on 03.04.2009 at 01:38 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here's a SS hood with baffles and supposedly a 900 CFM motor, for less than $450. I so badly want it to be a decent buy!!!!!!

What do you think?

Things that make me go, "uh-oh":
900 CFM but only 3.5 somes max. Sounds too quiet to be true.
6" duct. For 900 CFM shouldn't that be at lease 7"



clipped on: 03.04.2009 at 05:18 pm    last updated on: 03.04.2009 at 05:18 pm

PoorOwner's kitchen remodel

posted by: poorowner on 11.16.2008 at 03:42 pm in Kitchens Forum

After lots of research..

My remodel begins: we are DIY using IKEA cabinets.

This thread is to keep you updated on progress and hopefully keep us motivated.

Old appliances and cabinets are gone.

Now we are TRYING to remove the paper, and there are lots of it everywhere.

In the kitchen area we have these bullet proof vinyl coated wallpaper, the stripper liquid will not penetrate, but a steamer helped. It seems to be a 2 stage process to remove the color layer, steaming, manually peeling, then let the stripper work on the backing.

DW helping with the wall paper removal in the dining area. Although I was working on the floor prep, we ended up working on the walls together.

Preparing floor for porcelain tiles: the luan removal was not fun. In my area our subfloor is over 1" thick plywood, and the people before us used extra long 2" staples to secure this layer. I choose to remove the staples instead of pounding them in. After the first 100 or so I have gotten very good.

Looking a little better.

Ikea did call us and says our order is ready to pickup. I think installing the cabinets will be more fun than this work. There are a few more steps to get the floor to tile-ready spec.


clipped on: 02.28.2009 at 09:30 pm    last updated on: 02.28.2009 at 09:31 pm

Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists)

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

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

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

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

Stone Information, Advice, and Checklists:

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

Slab Selection:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Miscellaneous Information:

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

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


clipped on: 02.26.2009 at 05:46 pm    last updated on: 02.26.2009 at 05:46 pm

Connecting a wood panel door to a fridge door, to open together.

posted by: davidro1 on 12.03.2008 at 10:16 am in Kitchens Forum

A few fridges sold as fully integrated fridges are white boxes that have a kit to attach the fridge door to a wood door panel that has its_hinges on the_wall or on_cabinets. When they both open, there is some movement between the two doors as they both pivot on their separate hinges and go through their range, so they need a slider that holds them together.

This is not overlay panels on built in fridges or on other fully integrated fridges.
Examples of each are E.g. Liebherr HC-1001 and E.g. Liebherr HC-1011

What to use for clip-slider-connectors?
What key words or what do I need to know to get started?
Clips and sliders to attach a wood door to a fridge door to make them move together. A built-in install.
Ability to connect plastic / slider / hardware so that opening a wood door panel opens the fridge door with it.

Here is Why: I don't need to fully integrate to lineup to other cabinets, it's a stand-alone that I'd hide as a column with custom doors, so any fridge that Can Be built in will do fine. I don't know where to get the connecting hardware -sliders- or where to start looking. Instead of reinventing all the necessary dimensions and building it from scratch I think it would be good to ask who might know.



clipped on: 02.25.2009 at 06:37 pm    last updated on: 02.25.2009 at 06:37 pm

Best 30'' gas range under 2K?

posted by: flyleft on 08.11.2008 at 05:07 pm in Appliances Forum

Hi all,

I'm looking for what the title says--we aren't remodeling, in fact we're finally facing the fact that the sh*tty Amana the PO had in the house is finally beyond even our repair. We *could* put another $150 part into it (control panel), but I doubt we could sell it for $150 afterwards, so we're going to cut our losses and buy a new stove altogether.

I'd like it to be all-gas, and that's pretty much the only determining factor (oh--also self-cleaning :)). I'm so baffled as to what to get...and we are in an emergency kind of situation as opposed to a leisurely remodel :) (I say that ironically, don't worry)

We're thinking if we look at 2k list as a top, then we will be able to find a discount that we can easily live with.

Thanks for any leads or must-avoids or *anything* else you can offer--I really wasn't thinking about this at all and it's just completely blindsided me.


clipped on: 02.25.2009 at 02:10 pm    last updated on: 02.25.2009 at 02:10 pm

Internet site for cabinet/drawer pulls

posted by: sarschlos_remodeler on 02.04.2009 at 01:08 am in Kitchens Forum

Can anyone give me a link for a site that sells nice cabinet or drawer pulls (not too pricey and not too modern)? I remember seeing a thread here some months ago, but can't seem to find it.

P.S. Rejuvenation and Restoration Hardware are too high for my budget.




clipped on: 02.23.2009 at 06:22 pm    last updated on: 02.23.2009 at 06:22 pm

Creative minds needed to help me brainstorm for mini-remodel!

posted by: scgirl816 on 02.19.2009 at 02:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi, I've been lurking on the kitchen forum for a couple of days now, reading everything I can find that applies. :) Having lots of fun here! You guys are so creative! Beautiful kitchens.

Was wondering if I could get some help brainstorming for our upcoming mini-remodel? We're not spending a lot of money, but we want to do things that will really make a difference.

We have countertops being made right now...will install in the next 3 weeks. We picked Wilsonart Bella Noche laminate.

Next my husband is going to install a tile backsplash. We've picked the tile and the accent, but I am having a hard time seeing it in my mind's eye. There are pictures of the tile and accent pieces in my Flickr account here...

There are also before pics there and the texture I applied to the walls, a new light fixture, new blinds, and new paint on the spindles (or whatever they are called!).

We plan on cutting the tile accent pieces to include only four rows. Tile across the bottom of the backsplash, then above it 4 rows of the glass, then above that the same 4" tile on a diagonal.

Next, the cabinets have to be painted. I'm going to do this myself and have gotten fabulous tips off this board. We can't afford to have them replaced or refaced. I'm stuck on whether it should be a white or off white or even a different color altogether. All of our appliances are black, so not sure if this will be too much of a difference?

The paint color on the walls has to be changed anyway because dh doesn't like the gloss, so the color can also be changed. The living room looks in on the kitchen and is in blues and greens, so I was trying to keep the kitchen neutral and throw in some accent colors later, but that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. I am open to suggestions!

Also, not sure about what to put above the stove for accent. I was going to run the glass horizontal line all the way across, but we've decided not to put in a spacesaver microwave, so I need something above the stove and have no idea how to go about choosing something like that.

Hardware will be changed on the cabinets to brushed nickel knobs.

Sink is going to be black granite composite. Faucet will be brushed nickel.

Now, a couple of extra thoughts after I have been peeking at your pics! Is there a way to redo the bottom of the cabinets so that the shoe molding (or baseboard) is flush with the bottom of the cabinets and not indented like in my current pics? Also, do you think it would be worth it to knock out the wall above the cabinets and put up some crown molding on the cabinet tops?

I know this sounds disjointed and confused...and I am!!! I would appreciate any guidance you guys could give!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures of before and then after a few updates


clipped on: 02.19.2009 at 05:48 pm    last updated on: 02.19.2009 at 05:48 pm

painting my cabinets dark... the process!

posted by: girlwithaspirin on 10.06.2008 at 11:45 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hey kids. Long time, no type. :) I hope all's well with all my old pals here.

In the last few weeks, I've gotten at least 15 emails asking how I painted my cabinets. Such a nice surprise, considering how long it's been since I posted! I wish I could remember who I initially gleaned all this info from. You guys were an immense help, so now I'm just paying it forward.

Benjamin Moore Satin Impervo Alkyd in Bittersweet Chocolate
Purdy angled brushes
Thick plastic dropcloths
Mineral spirits and rags for clean-up as you go

-Remove doors.
-Clean and lightly sand everything.
-Remove dust with a tack cloth.
-Rest each door on its bottom edge. Do not paint that edge -- you’ll do it once the doors are re-hung.
-Paint the backs first with a thin coat of Satin Impervo. Thin coats give more of a handrubbed look and also avoid drips. If you do see some drips, try to catch them early -- once the paint starts to dry, you’ll make a mess trying to smooth them out. Let dry at least overnight, preferably a few nights to avoid smudges when you flip the doors around.
-Paint the fronts in the same way.
-Let cure for as long as you can stand it. A week would be ideal.
-In the meantime, paint the cabinet boxes. I didn’t paint the insides, and I’ve never regretted it.
-After a week’s gone by, re-hang the doors. Paint the bottom edge of each. Do any touch-up.
-Depending on your wood, the paint may keep absorbing in certain places. I kept the paint can in my kitchen for a month, doing quick touch-ups wherever necessary.

If you have oak, keep in mind, you will see grain through the paint. If you'd rather not, you'll have to use some kind of putty to fill the grain, then prime, then paint. I just didn't have the energy for it, and it turns out, I love the look -- people mistake it for a handrubbed stain all the time.

I'm so happy with how the cabinets have stood up over time. Not a single chip or scratch! To be honest, I cut so many corners in the prep (by choosing not to prime), I thought for sure I'd be dealing with the aftermath now. I credit the paint and patience for 100% of the success. Seriously, this paint is the real deal.

Here is a link that might be useful: girlwithaspirin kitchen... before & after


clipped on: 10.14.2008 at 04:45 pm    last updated on: 10.14.2008 at 04:45 pm

RE: Possible to add sink to laundry room? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: lazypup on 02.12.2007 at 05:08 am in Plumbing Forum

It really depends upon how old the house is and what is there now.

years ago a laundry standpipe was a 1-1/2" line..Now the code requires the laundry standpipe to be a 2" line.

If you have a 2" line you could add a sink easily but if you have an older home with a 1-1/2" line the line is already maxed out at 3DFU's(drainage fixture units) so you cannot add any additional load..If its a 2" line that is good for up to 6DFU's. A washing machine is rated at 3DFU's and a laundry sink is rated at 3DFU's so they could be combined on a 2" line.


clipped on: 06.12.2008 at 01:18 am    last updated on: 06.12.2008 at 01:19 am

RE: Any kitchen remodels WITH soffits? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: jodi_in_so_calif on 05.28.2008 at 10:46 am in Kitchens Forum

We too decided to keep our soffit instead of having to deal with whatever might have to be moved. We even added on to the soffit to accomodate our new (display) cabinet, make room for pendant lighting above a widened peninsula and extended cabinet above the fridge.

Before and after...

Kitchen before & after



clipped on: 06.03.2008 at 02:42 pm    last updated on: 06.03.2008 at 02:42 pm

Calacatta Carrera Classic slabs installed IMNLUV!

posted by: mindimoo on 04.23.2008 at 03:55 pm in Kitchens Forum

It's marble madness around here!

There are two pieces still coming for the under the stairs bar/butlers area and the upper cabinets/backsplash still not in. However, I can't believe this kitchen is in my house! The marble is stunning IMO, makes the rest of my house look like it belongs attached to some other structure LOL! Just a free standing kitchen in the middle of my landscaping and angels singing "AAAAAAHHHH".

OK, off my rocker as it were...

RMKITCHEN: Brooke, thanks so much for giving me the encouragement to stick with the polished! It has that "sparkle" you talked about with your hardware. And, it is so bright and reflective, it more than holds it's own against the black cabinets.

Oh yes, don't miss the classy, next big thing - Ultra Elegant Super Adhesive Strip cabinet pulls in "Buff". I ordered real samples, but they aren't here yet. Still a long way to go!

BTW - Did you know an extra tall 8 year old will fit into a 27" appliance garage?




cpang74 , rhome410 , mustbnuts , houseful and oofasis for all your positive comments during the process!!

igloochic - if you are looking, I wish you all the best in resolving your slab issues! Wish I could help!


clipped on: 05.30.2008 at 06:27 pm    last updated on: 05.30.2008 at 06:27 pm

RE: Fiberglass Shower Bottom, or tile bottom? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bill_vincent on 12.13.2007 at 11:43 am in Bathrooms Forum

Look into this system. You lose alot of the hassles attributed to trying to DIY your own shower, especially the pan:

Here is a link that might be useful: Schluter Kerdi


clipped on: 05.23.2008 at 01:39 pm    last updated on: 05.23.2008 at 01:40 pm

height of cabinets with 8 ft ceiling ,,opinions please

posted by: elyn00 on 12.01.2007 at 10:08 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have 8 ft ceilings, I can either do 42 inch cabinets (parkdale km), or 36 inch. i thought I wanted 42 inch up to the ceiling until I found out I would only be able to have a small inch and a half trim on top. If i get the 36 inch cabinets i would be able to have the crown molding trim. Since we are installing ourselves, my husband is not willing to use filler to bring cabinets up to the ceiling height. Any insights or opinions would be helpful!


clipped on: 05.21.2008 at 12:48 am    last updated on: 05.21.2008 at 12:48 am

Rangetop and Wall Oven Selection

posted by: quadman on 03.11.2008 at 04:14 am in Appliances Forum

We are renovating and adding on to our kitchen and researching appliances. My wife and I both work and we have two small children. For us, ease of cleaning and trouble-free operation for many years are paramount, but we also want to be able to entertain for groups of 6 to 20 on a large cooking surface. We have narrowed down our rangetop choices to several 6-burner, 36" models. Each is listed below with our perceived pros & cons:

- Viking: Pros = resale impact ("Lexus" effect). Cons = black enamel surface hard to clean (per my sister-in-law, who has a Viking range and cooks a lot; they even enjoy clean up but hate the black enamel). Also general quality concerns

- Wolf: Pros = perhaps better quality than Viking, good factory reputation for backing the product. Cons = same black enamel surface (could be hard to clean). Seems more like a BMW or Mercedes to the Viking "Lexus"

- Thermador: Pros = stainless steel surface (easier to clean), Star burners (better for heating up smaller pots & pans as flames hit the bottom of the pot rather than going outside the pot), overall appearance/ergonomics (gorgeous). Cons = reputation for horrible custormer service, many problems with electronics (at least with ranges; may not apply to cooktops). Star burns can be hard to clean.

- BlueStar: Pros = BTUs, built like a tank. Cons = open burners (a total hassle to clean compared to sealed burners), limited sales and service options

- DCS: Pros = BTUs, stainless steel surface. Cons = widely varying opinions of quality (one appliance salesman told me DCS stands for "Doesn't Cook S__t"; I have a hard time believing that).

I really love the look and feel of the Thermador, including the Star burners, but I am scared to death of getting a lemon and spending many hours on the phone. My idea of a great rangetop or cooktop is a unit that will not have one broken part in 15-20 years, and I am willing to pay for quality, if it really exists. We also need double convection wall ovens and ideally would prefer to purchase the same brand and style as the rangetop. My brother & his wife have the Fisher & Paykel Aerotech and absolutely love it (cooks great, wonderfully simple dial controls = ease of operation).

We are not gourmet chefs, but my wife cooks and I want to learn more. Which manufacturer offers the most bullet-proof, easy-to-care-for model that will last the longest? Please help. Thanks!


clipped on: 05.20.2008 at 05:58 pm    last updated on: 05.20.2008 at 05:59 pm

RE: jodi in so calif---your tile backsplash? (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: jodi_in_so_calif on 05.20.2008 at 12:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

The gal we ordered our kitchen floor and backsplash from is Lezlie Lovett and she owns Floorsource which has a nice selection of backsplash and granite, as well as flooring materials. Here is the info on her showroom. Not sure what her hours are.

192 Technology Dr #N
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 679-2901

Tell her Jodi (and Mark) of Irvine sent you. As soon as you mention Jeffrey Court Fire and Ice, she'll know who you're talking about.

She has an awesome mother and son tile installation team she can refer you to as well. They did an incredible job installing the Fire and Ice which is a fairly new product, so hasn't been installed by a lot of people.



clipped on: 05.20.2008 at 12:21 pm    last updated on: 05.20.2008 at 12:22 pm

Need to prime before Cabinet Coat- yes?

posted by: snickysnacker on 10.23.2007 at 01:03 am in Paint Forum

I have been reading lots of posts and I just want to clarify before I begin painting my honey oak cabinets. I would like to minimize the grain as much as possible, so are these steps correct?
1)cleanse with TSP subsitute (if so, why not regular TSP?)
2)sand cabinets (what grit? I have seen #220 and other numbers)
3)wipe off with tack cloth, then wipe with mineral spirits??
4)prime cabinets (was planning on using SW Pro primer seal/block) this step unnecessary with Cabinet Coat?
5)light sand primer if I do need to use it
6)paint 2 coats lightly sanding/dusting between coats

Why do you need TSP substitute or Dirtex instead of TSP- just curious.

Thanks in advance for your patience in answering what has been surely been answered before. Your experience and tips have really been helpful in reading other posts.


clipped on: 05.16.2008 at 07:28 pm    last updated on: 05.16.2008 at 07:28 pm

RE: I'm not in love. Still cant decide on counters for my dark ca (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: jayav on 03.29.2008 at 09:44 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have dark stained cherry cabinets and I just had Typhoon Bordeaux in a satin finish installed. I love love LOVE it.

Here is a picture of the slab I used.



Typhoon Bordeaux countertop
clipped on: 05.16.2008 at 12:16 pm    last updated on: 05.16.2008 at 12:16 pm

RE: diy? use a kd? be our own gc? help! (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: rahime on 05.14.2008 at 04:21 am in Kitchens Forum

My husband and I are in the beginning stages of our DIY kitchen remodel, so I don't have too much advice to give other than if you're willing to do a lot of research, it's possible to do just about any part of a remodel yourself. We have a motto though that we like to keep in mind when we're working on the house. "you can have speed, quality, or low cost, but you can only have two of the three at the same time".

Looking forward to seeing how your kitchen progresses!


"you can have speed, quality, or low cost, but you can only have two of the three at the same time". GReat Quote!
clipped on: 05.16.2008 at 11:58 am    last updated on: 05.16.2008 at 11:58 am

RE: Is a glass tile backsplash *always* considered contemporary? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: margieb2 on 05.14.2008 at 10:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

I was going with honed crema marfil subway tiles until the last minute when, with the urging of an interior designer, we switched to mosaic glass tiles. I too thought they might be too contemporary but it turned out to be one of my favorite features:



glass mosaic backsplash
clipped on: 05.15.2008 at 06:41 pm    last updated on: 05.15.2008 at 06:41 pm

Split face tile for backsplash anyone??

posted by: pupwhipped on 05.08.2008 at 11:06 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi all. Has anyone used split face tile for their kitchen backsplash? I find it a bit interesting but would think that the tile would be hard to keep clean with all the ups/downs, ins/outs of it. In my case, the tile will NOT go behind the cooktop so that would not be an issue. Anyone out there have experience with split face? Thanks as always for any thoughts.


clipped on: 05.15.2008 at 06:04 pm    last updated on: 05.15.2008 at 06:04 pm

Finished Small Kitchen

posted by: lily1342 on 04.10.2008 at 12:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

Well, it's 98% finished. The new fridge was just installed the other day and looks so much better than the old top-mount-freezer textured almond thing (didn't wanna post pics of that). It was pay-as-you-go and also partially DIY, so it has been a long long looooong process since demo last May. We didn't have a GC, did our own demo, stripped wallpaper, painted. I learned how to install light fixtures, tile a backsplash, use a compound miter saw. DH and I built the banquette out of birch plywood. We bought and added the decorative legs and bun feet and bought all the molding separately instead of ordering with the cabinets. I added the beadboard, brackets and shelf to the little "hutch" area. The floor plan is still the same as before - didn't change location of plumbing or tear down walls or anything major like that, only moved a doorway a few inches. Also, we didn't get new flooring, didn't even refinish the old hardwood (kind of regret that). All in all, the cost came to $26,513, and that includes everything. I say this for anyone who might be like I was before we started - I had no idea how much what I wanted to do might end up costing. In the very beginning, the idea stage, that was a worrisome unknown. I could have kept the total under $20K if I'd chosen another door style in the same line of cabinets and not splurged on the backsplash and also could've bought much less expensive fabric for the banquette cushions.

Now that it's done, I'm almost sorry I don't have a second kitchen to do, because I made tons of mistakes with this one. Also, I'd bought a few things way in advance and before I found this website. If I'd found GW a little sooner, I would've made a few different choices here and there. Still, this is the first new kitchen I've ever had and by far the best.

The old:
kitchen before

And now:
April 9 2008

kitchen before

west wall

Before - north wall

north wall

breakfast nook before

Banquette & new chandelier

kitchen before

The tall utility cabinet is the same old one, with new paint, new door and added crown and baseboard:
Old tall cab repainted


Nice backsplash and cabinet doors.
clipped on: 05.15.2008 at 05:54 pm    last updated on: 05.15.2008 at 05:54 pm

Help on 1st layout 'chef's table' inspired kitchen

posted by: amberley on 04.06.2008 at 02:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

I would love opinions/advice from all you layout gurus out there. I have another post on my idea of doing a chef's table inspired kitchen/dining room space:

These are my main goals:

1. open combined kit/d/r space
2. warm and inviting family and entertaining space
3. DIY frinedly- we will be doing as much as we can ourselves
4. "casually elegant" french country vibe
5. balance (or symetry if possible)

Things that can't change:

1. load bearing walls between the l/r and kit/d/r.
2. all window and door openings (solid masonry exterior walls)
3. venting for range must go out rear wall (the one with 2 windows and backyard door)
4. new stud wall against concrete shared wall- no studs there now, and therefore no electrical.
5. fridge- 36" regular depth french door (new)
6. size of dining table. We have a family of four now, but plan to have one more child. Table will be freestanding and threfore moveable.

General Ideas:

1. Zones instead of traditional triangle.
2. Important: place for baking (probably island), place for butcherblock prep, 36" pro-style range, at least 30" sink, but would prefer a 36".
3. We are planning to use IKEA cabs, but paint them and glaze them to look more "french country" (see cleo_2007's kitchen- very much like what I am trying to achieve). We will also be able to incorporate "custom trims and other pieces since they will all be painted the same.

Also, this is not our forever house, but we will be here awhile (prob 10 years or more). We have small kids- 3 and 5- so that is important. We do entertain, but it is very casual, and never really consists of sit down dinners. I would like my guests to be able to interact while I am in the kitchen, which isn't possible now.

Here is a link that might be useful: post about chef's table idea


clipped on: 05.02.2008 at 01:46 am    last updated on: 05.02.2008 at 01:54 am

Anyone do kitchen inspired by 'the chef's table'?

posted by: amberley on 03.14.2008 at 08:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

I am thinking about my layout (in the drafting stages) and am considering making the now kitchen (15x8) and now d/r (11.5'x15) into one room that is centered around the idea of a chef's table like in a resaturant. So, the dining table would be butted up to the island on the short end, sort of creating one large island.

I thought of even going counter height with new table and chairs (which I need badly). As a bonus, this could double as work space. I don't have this drawn out yet, but wanted to get your ideas on the general concept. I would put cabinets all the way across on probably three sides (shallower on one long side).

I like the idea of having my kids close at hand to help with baking, etc. and to be able to sit at the table and do homework and crafts while I am cooking.

Opinions please! :)


clipped on: 05.02.2008 at 01:51 am    last updated on: 05.02.2008 at 01:52 am