Clippings by jayav

 Sort by: Last Updated Post Date Post Title Forum Name 

Finished Kitchen Pictures!

posted by: ayerg73 on 05.28.2012 at 05:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

After over a year of planning and lots of great advice from this forum, it's time for the big reveal! The kitchen is finally finished!!

Ok - here are all the details...
Cabinets - custom builder. Shaker style. Full overlay. Painted cabinets - Colored Lacquer used is same color as SW Impressive Ivory.
Wood cabinets - natural cherry.
Hardware - Amerock Highland Ridge in Dark Oil Rubbed Bronze. 128mm and a few 3" pulls on small drawers.
Countertops - Anasazi Soapstone from The Stone Studio in Batesville, IN
Backsplash Tile - Debris Tile from Fireclay Tile. 2x6 subways in Kelp Green with swirl accents.
Fireplace Tile - Modern Mythology Phoenix Mixed Stone Mosaic
Paint - Walls are SW Krypton. Trim is SW Impressive Ivory at 50% intensity
Floor - Historic Blend Hickory floor from Tennessee Wood Flooring with hand distressing and square nail holes. 3, 4 & 5" planks, mixed.
Range - Bertazzoni Dual Fuel 48" range in black
Hood - Vent a Hood
Dishwasher - Bosch 800 Plus
Microwave - Sharp 24" Drawer
Sink - Blanco Silgranit Super single in Anthracite
Faucet - Grohe Concetto in Chrome
Soap Dispenser - Elkay Deluxe in Chrome
UCL - Neutral White LED strips from Environmental Lights
Pendants - Kichler Sayre 12" in ORB
Chandelier - Murry Feiss Sullivan Collection in ORB

The old kitchen was not in a terrible state, it was just not functional for us. The double ovens wouldn't close and we'd been reduced to duct taping them closed. The cooktop didn't cook anything evenly and the tile was coming up. There was also a ton of wasted space, which just irritated me when I couldn't find a place to store anything.

I knew I wanted a traditional range because I have short arms and always worried about burning myself when getting things out of the wall ovens, so I knew that a layout change was in order. We also had a very dark space with almost no natural light. We opened up the room to the dining room and put in light colored cabinets with lots of great lighting. The room definitely doesn't feel dark anymore. YAY!

Here's what we were working with before:
house 014

house 013

house 015

And here's what we have now...









Love the dog food storage. It makes feeding time a whole lot easier.

And my spice/knife drawer - thanks to Breezy for the idea!

It seems like just about every decision in our space has been touched in some way by you guys. Thanks for helping us create our dream kitchen!


clipped on: 06.26.2012 at 12:30 pm    last updated on: 06.26.2012 at 12:42 pm

My green and cream almost finished kitchen (pics)

posted by: sas95 on 05.09.2011 at 12:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

Our kitchen is almost done. A total gut and remodel of the wreck of a kitchen in our recently-purchased home. Still awaiting the delivery of stools and a few other details, but thought I'd post a few pictures now. Thanks to all of you for your help. I learned so much here.




clipped on: 06.26.2012 at 11:24 am    last updated on: 06.26.2012 at 11:25 am

The cabinets are in! What do you think about the touch of grey?

posted by: flatwater on 05.24.2011 at 07:08 pm in Kitchens Forum

All, at long last, the cabinets are finally in. We decided to go with a touch of grey (rather than white) for the cabinets. Island is dark stain for contrast. What do you think? The plan is for Persa Pearl for the countertops and absolute black for the island.

We have bought stainless steel appliances, but thinking of polished chrome for the faucets just to add a bit of sparkle. Much like jewelery. Would love to have Dornbracht faucets, but too expensive. Any suggestions for faucets and sink is much appreciated.

I am pleased with the appliance garage above the counter and the pull out shelves below at the blind corner. What do you think?

Also the batton strips on the wall, when painted the same color as the wall, and ceiling, sould give some texture to the wall. We where just playing around. What do you think?

Appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Thank you so much for all the help directly and indirectly through the many posts on this forum. You guys are simply amazing!

Below are a few pictures of the kitchen from today....





clipped on: 11.27.2011 at 08:36 am    last updated on: 11.27.2011 at 08:37 am

Well, it isn't a big reveal...cuz it ain't done...

posted by: melissastar on 05.03.2011 at 05:58 pm in Kitchens Forum

But this is the kitchen that the RTSOG (rotten, thieving sack of garbage) GC has taken over a year NOT to finish.

Please ignore all the still-missing door and drawer fronts, the wires hanging out, the mismatched and wrong color electrical outlets and switchplates, and all the rest of the mess. Clearly, much still needs to be done.

View into dining room

toward the dining room

the peninsula and long counter

The hood is still missing the tile around the bottom and it's being redone in quartersawn oak, rather than the plain-sawn you see here.


main prep area...note the missing drawer and trash door! ERRGGG!!

prep sink.

back door and supplies in an antique pine step-back cabinet. Still trying to decide whether to paint the door the color of the green cabinets (it's the color of the walls now)
back kitchen

The itty bitty adjacent powder room, also newly added...yes, it's just off the kitchen...owners of old houses can't be too picky.

itty bitty powder room

powder room window
powder room window

range and niche

along the long wall (ignore the kitty litter box, will leave, eventually.

the scullery/ butler's pantry area...awaiting plate rack and glass doors on the upper cabs, plus a long horizontal cab and crown molding on the top , not to mention the DW panel and under sink pullouts.

Oh and look a bonus...a picture of the "spectacular" urban view out MY kitchen window.

scullery/butler's pantry area

scullery/butler's pantry area


clipped on: 05.08.2011 at 03:16 am    last updated on: 05.11.2011 at 10:48 pm

RE: mamadadapaige Please read! (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: mamadadapaige on 04.30.2011 at 01:09 pm in Kitchens Forum

so sorry... I am not on here all the time. Here is my email address... would love to talk to you about your kitchen. or

I work on Tuesdays and Thursday and every other Saturday at the showroom so the second email address will come to me any day of the week and the first I just check on my work days. I look forward to hearing from you - sorry for the lapse of time. I agree that Brookhaven is wonderful quality.


clipped on: 05.01.2011 at 12:59 am    last updated on: 05.01.2011 at 12:59 am

RE: The previous owner did what! (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: postquake_angela on 09.26.2004 at 10:47 pm in Old House Forum

Brandx30, have you tried Goof Off for the paint? It works wonders on dried latex splatters. Stinky stuff, but better than scraping. Good luck with the floors. I *really* covet heartwood pine.

Anyway, this thread make me feel lucky. Our POs just removed all period anything from the interior. There was a big fire so I try not to hold it against them. After all, they did install an above-code electrical system. However I do wish they had left as least one of the two chimneys so we could have a fireplace. Wouldn't be so sad if there weren't a big plywood square in the floor, telling us where the hearth used to be.

The other thing they did that I curse is coat all the walls and ceiling with an adobe texture. It's taking $$$ and major hassle to get it smooth.


clipped on: 08.24.2010 at 12:43 pm    last updated on: 08.24.2010 at 12:43 pm

RE: Feeling blue over GREEN....need help with my exterior house p (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: sandyponder on 07.02.2009 at 02:54 pm in Home Decorating Forum


Here's a pic of our house, it's Hardi board in their Mountain Sage, the BM equivalent is Tate Olive.



Good luck-



clipped on: 08.22.2010 at 01:41 pm    last updated on: 08.22.2010 at 01:41 pm

Athensmomof3 - Stone on my house

posted by: allison0704 on 01.23.2010 at 06:21 pm in Building a Home Forum

I didn't want to highjack the window thread:

The stone is not limewashed or whitewashed...but it does looked washed out in that photo! lol Not the best example. It's three kinds of stone: limestone, chocolate rock and moss rock. At least those are what my stonemason called them.

The garage is all stone and it skirts the front veranda and front of house (as high as the veranda). We also used cut stone above the windows. It all had to be cut or chiseled by hand, for the most part, to get the shape stone/finish look I wanted.

I first looked at samples at a local stone yard (linked below). The look I showed my mason (who also supplied the stone) was the square moss rock with joint, but I did not want mine "too" square. You can click on the individual pictures to enlarge.

Good luck with your build.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garner Stone


clipped on: 08.22.2010 at 12:51 pm    last updated on: 08.22.2010 at 12:51 pm

RE: Marvin, Pella, or other architectural window? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: allison0704 on 01.23.2010 at 11:05 am in Building a Home Forum

We looked at all the major brands when building five years ago. Went with BiltBest windows and lower level french doors. Some windows are operable casement. Some fixed. On the 4 larger windows, facing the lake, each end/side is a casement but the large center section is fixed to avoid another wooden divider down the center.

It's hard to impress my dad, but he liked them so much they used in their lakehouse. My builder has continued to use them after our build as well.

Only close-up I have on computer:

Here is a link that might be useful: BiltBest


clipped on: 08.18.2010 at 07:14 pm    last updated on: 08.18.2010 at 07:14 pm

RE: Athensmomof3 - Stone on my house (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: allison0704 on 01.28.2010 at 11:07 pm in Building a Home Forum

Thanks. Love your idea picture!

As you can see in the photo I posted Saturday...

the upper veranda is concrete, so we did steel support beams. They are wrapped in cedar and you have to be close to even notice. The other beams are solid. I'll have to ask DH how wide they are. I don't recall. The ones inside the house are 6x6, but I think those may be the same out back. He's already in bed, so it will be tomorrow. Same goes for the arches.

Every time I see the back photo, I think "gosh, those arches look like they really block the view." But they don't! Every room has a great view of the lake and ridge. lol

The front veranda has 6x8, with the 8 turn towards the front. I don't post pictures of the front of our home on the internet (even though you can't see it from the street. Something DH asked me not to do.) But here are a couple of pictures of the rough cedar beams out front:


clipped on: 08.18.2010 at 07:05 pm    last updated on: 08.18.2010 at 07:06 pm

RE: HELP! Should my tile look like this?!? (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: mongoct on 07.17.2010 at 06:27 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Oh, young gardner. I think we're going to give you a few gray hairs.

Hardiebacker itself is a fine backer board in wet areas. Contrary to what a lot of people think, it's not waterproof. It's resistant to water damage, but not waterproof. Just like a sponge. A sponge can get wet, then dry out, and there's no damage to the sponge. But water can pass through a sponge, and it can pass through hardiebacker as well.

For waterproofing, there should have been 6-mil polyethylene sheeting behind the hardie, between it and the studs. Or after the hardie was hung and the seams mesh taped and thinsetted, the entire surface should have been coated with a liquid topical waterproofing membrane like HydroBan or RedGard.

FWIW, tile and grout will shed water, but grout is not waterproof. Even when sealed. Even some tiles are not waterproof.

The fact that you appear to have no waterproofing aside...a few comments regarding the installation of the hardiebacker itself:

1) All edges of the sheets of hardiebacker should have solid blocking (wood) behind them. In your installation, the vertical edges of the sheets fall on studs. But the horizontal edges should have blocking behind them.

2) Fastening: The hardie should be fastened every 8". Though it's not a killer, your fastening schedule is a bit erratic.

3) Your tiler might have done this, but the seams between one sheet of hardie and another should be thinsetted and taped with alkalai-resistant mesh tape. Similar to taping drywall, but with mesh tape instead of paper and thinset instead of drywall mud. This might have been done when the tiles were set.

You could let this job proceed "as is" and not have a problem for 20 years. Or you could get unseen leaks and water damage within a 20 days. It's an unknown.

"I've always done it this way and have never had a problem" is not a valid reply from the installer.

If your tiler is collecting money for doing this work, at a minimum he should be building to code.

Best, Mongo


clipped on: 07.20.2010 at 09:25 pm    last updated on: 07.20.2010 at 09:26 pm

RE: It's (almost) November- How is your build going? (Follow-Up #36)

posted by: mdev on 11.08.2009 at 01:40 pm in Building a Home Forum

I don't think I've posted an update in about 6 months... We have been in for a few months and the site has been graded and we now have a lawn! I think the exterior will look so much better once the hardscape and landscaping go in next spring but these photos will have to do for now. Once I get around to taking pics of the bedrooms and living room, I will post them.



clipped on: 05.20.2010 at 02:28 am    last updated on: 05.20.2010 at 02:30 am

RE: Stucco and Stone: Need Pictures - Please (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: vfish on 01.07.2008 at 01:25 am in Building a Home Forum

I can't believe I don't have a better picture than this to show you our stone and stucco. It was taken first thing in the morning, hence all of the shadows from our front deck.
Sorry, hopefully you can see enough to get the idea of the colors.
Our stone is Limestone. I am not sure what color the stucco is, we just asked our stucco guy to match the color from our inspiration home and he did.
This is a picture of us sneaking up to the house and holding our stone up along their wall to make sure it matched! This photo was taken in the late afternoon with shadows and the stucco looks different, but it's the same color as ours.
He ended up putting small red swirls (can't see it from this picture). The swirls break up the long runs of the side of the house and looks nice.
Hope this helps.


clipped on: 03.21.2010 at 11:54 pm    last updated on: 03.21.2010 at 11:54 pm

Finished Master Bath

posted by: youngdeb on 09.10.2009 at 03:26 pm in Bathrooms Forum

This forum has been incredibly helpful, I am so grateful to all you regulars for answering the questions over and over! I rarely had to post here since the history on this board is a treasure trove. So here it is, our new master bath (part of a garage conversion) without art, since I know it will take months (years) to get around to it.

Details: custom bamboo cabinets (DH is very tall, so they are irregular heights), Nutone medicine cabinets, Daltile Glass Reflections tile, Victoria & Albert Sorrento tub.


clipped on: 10.10.2009 at 05:17 pm    last updated on: 10.10.2009 at 05:18 pm

RE: what color is my house? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: chispa on 12.03.2008 at 09:55 am in Building a Home Forum

Check this website for lots of photos ...



clipped on: 09.23.2009 at 01:18 pm    last updated on: 09.23.2009 at 01:18 pm

RE: It's December, how is your build coming along? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: mightyanvil on 12.01.2008 at 07:00 pm in Building a Home Forum

The Shingle Style house deep in the Maine woods is finally done. Just needs a bit more furniture.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


clipped on: 09.23.2009 at 01:11 pm    last updated on: 09.23.2009 at 01:11 pm

RE: Show me your house fronts.Please:) (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: epjenk on 01.02.2007 at 08:51 pm in Building a Home Forum

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


clipped on: 09.23.2009 at 12:44 pm    last updated on: 09.23.2009 at 12:44 pm

RE: Eldorado v. natural stone veneer (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: kygirl99 on 01.06.2008 at 12:27 am in Building a Home Forum

We used Eldorado stone on our outdoor fireplace in our California home and for our wall around our front garden. We liked it so much that we will use it again for retaining walls and fireplaces in our new home.

Here is a photo of the fireplace. It was the Rustic Ledge profile in the color Durango:

almost finished:


We also used Eldorado Stone for our front retaining wall and light posts. We opted for one that was easier to install, the Stacked Stone profile in the Santa Fe color.

My husband did all of the installation and it wasn't hard.

here are pics of the retaining wall, both in progress and completed:






clipped on: 09.23.2009 at 12:35 pm    last updated on: 09.23.2009 at 12:35 pm

RE: Stone veneer for fireplace? (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: mamabearpapabear on 08.11.2009 at 12:44 pm in Building a Home Forum

Hello all. Beautiful stonework! How did the project go alicia58801? I hope it went well. Homeagain, hope your meeting went well. I remember that phase. I am posting some pics of our yet unfinished front porch posts. I will get some pics of the downstairs fireplace tonight when I am up at the house. Same stone, just a little different look, as its shorter. Basically its right below the main level fireplace. The front porch posts will be finished off with 12 x 12 cedar posts to match the shake. The tops of the posts (and the hearth on the fireplace) are limestone. I have had several comments that the stone colors match nicely the color of the composite decking. I had been so focused on the stone that I didn't notice...Funny how tunnel visioned one can get when looking at a certain design or build phase. Good luck everyone!


Front door and stone posts unfinished


clipped on: 09.22.2009 at 04:08 pm    last updated on: 09.22.2009 at 04:08 pm

RE: hardiplank: sage, red or bark? (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: sandyponder on 12.11.2007 at 12:23 pm in Building a Home Forum

jean hortman-

Here are a few pics of our house sided in Hardi Mountain Sage with Hardi Sailcloth trim and Cinnamon Toast (Eagle brand) alum windows. We are very happy with the color, tho I also love the red, for us the final decision was our home style and setting, we just felt the green was better suited to both. Our shingles are Elk Prestique series Balsam Forest, a kinda black/brown/green.

Fall early morning light:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Bright summer sun at midday:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Late afternoon light, summer:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



clipped on: 09.21.2009 at 04:06 pm    last updated on: 09.21.2009 at 04:07 pm

RE: my bathroom. I'll post from start to finish (Follow-Up #46)

posted by: folkman on 07.07.2008 at 09:58 am in Bathrooms Forum

July 7,
Hope you all had a good 4th.

So my girlfriend and I were basically locked in the bathroom all weekend but we got a lot done!

First off here is a show of the shower. We have the nitch in and the accent tile in the center (matches the style we mounted on the vanity). Today they do the shower floor and grout. They will come back in a few days to color enhance!

First thing on Friday was to close off the walls with drywall. This was tricky. The original drywall was 3/4 thick and I can only buy 1/2 now so I first put in a 1/4 drywall panels then the 1/2 on top. By the way I hate drywalling!:


Then started the beadboard. That went pretty smoothly. I cut to length, my girlfriend applied the "liquid nails" and I put in place. I used some finish nails to hold it all in place


I ran out of beadboard at the very end which was very tough but I moved to doing the cap moulding and baseboard. This went pretty easily and I liked the finished look.


This image shows the cut out I did for the "concealed cabinet" I am building behind a picture frame. I'll work on that next:


So all in all a good week. I called the electricians to come back and finish their work. Plumber will be in Thursday and tile guys later this week too.

Have to find tile to look at shower doors this week.

Its coming together!


clipped on: 08.31.2009 at 12:14 am    last updated on: 08.31.2009 at 12:14 am

RE: Ditra over Warm Tiles system? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: mongoct on 04.29.2009 at 12:05 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I disagree completely!

Wait...what was the question?

Oh...never mind. I'm still suffering the trauma of the Red Sox returning Julio Lugo to the lineup for last night's game against Cleveland.

Ditra can indeed go over the heating mats. No worries.

With your guy having attended Schluter Shkool, he sounds conscientious. But I'll throw the following out anyway:

The only other thing I'll add regarding your installation is that code requires that a shower pan hold 2" of water depth should the drain become plugged. We normally refer to this as you need 2" of elevation between the top of the curb and the top of the drain.

Now the curb can be a traditional one, like a raised one at the shower door. Or the curb can be a gradual roll-over hump that I've done fr ADA bathrooms. Or the curb can be non-traditional like yours, and the 2" of drop can be made up of sloping floor.

Regardless, if you plug the shower drain and fill the shower so that you have 2" of standing water depth at the drain, water should not be able to leak out of the bathroom. Anywhere in the bathroom.

As an aside, to make your Ditra floor waterproof, a strip of Kerdi should be run over the seams in the Ditra. To seal the Kerdi/Ditra joint on the floor at the shower door, the shower floor Kerdi should overlap the bathroom floor Ditra by a couple of inches.

To seal the floor-meets-wall areas, I've taken a 5" wide strip of Kerdi, creased it lengthwise and run 2-1/2" of it on the floor and the other 2-1/2" of it up the wall, behind the baseboard.

Don't forget the toilet, the flange will need to be sealed.

These tidbits may or may not be applicable to you. Your installer might have already addressed them. But I'm in a blabby mood today so I typed too much.


clipped on: 08.18.2009 at 12:49 am    last updated on: 08.18.2009 at 12:49 am

Ditra over Warm Tiles system?

posted by: nclakehouse on 04.28.2009 at 08:41 am in Bathrooms Forum

Our new master bath will have a "Warm Tiles" floor heating system everywhere, except in the Kerdi-system shower. The shower, in case it matters, is a no threshhold one (with a door). When I checked on progress yesterday I was surprised to see that the tile installer had installed a Ditra mat over the Warm Tiles mat (once the mud over the Warm Tiles system had dried). The installer indicated that when he attended the recent Schutler training class he specifically asked about this installation. The experts there told him that the Ditra mat has no R value, and should be placed on top of the Warm Tiles system. I guess I just want to double check this. I'm concerned that the mat will insulate the tile too much from the heating system, and our floors will not get toasty warm as we want them too. I'd hate to find out later that there was some miscommunication and have to rip up the floor. Bill and Mongo (and any other experts out there): What say ye? Is this done correctly? Here's a photo (the Warm Tiles system is underneath the waffle type of mat outside of the shower):

Mat over Warm Tiles heating mat

Thanks in advance!


clipped on: 08.18.2009 at 12:48 am    last updated on: 08.18.2009 at 12:48 am

Best way to waterproof seam between floor tile and shower pan

posted by: constant_gardner on 05.05.2009 at 09:41 pm in Bathrooms Forum

First, I'm new so apologies if this has been discussed interminably before, but I did search and couldn't find an answer.

Secondly, I've been lurking a while and have had many questions answered for me already, so thanks to all y'all for help already given.

I'm in the middle of an upstairs bathroom remodel, which is becoming exponentially more involved as the days progress. I've pulled out the old bath, and ripped up the floor tile, and will be replacing the bath with a walk in shower, and relaying ceramic tiles on top of the plywood subfloor.

However, the floor under the bath, and under the tile has become rotten over the last 30 years or so, and I'm going to need to replace the subfloor as well. It looks as though water has dripped down the side of the bath when the shower was used, and seeped between the join between the tile floor and the side of the bath, and rot ensued.

I'd like to avoid this happening, I know I'm not going to be replacing it in 30 years time, but it'd be nice if the guy who has to, doesn't call me the names that I've been using to describe the original contractor ;)

I'm planning on tiling with thinset - ditra - thinset - tile, and then sealing the tile. The shower base that I'm using is one of the swanstone veritek prefab bases, and I'm also putting swanstone shower surround walls and a kohler sliding glass door.

So, how should one best seal the joint between the shower pan and the tile?

Part of my problem is that the pan has to be laid level, and so I can't build up the surface beneath the front of the pan too much. Otherwise I'd just extend the ditra beneath the shower pan.

I was thinking about putting a layer of redguard down on top of the plywood subfloor, is there a problem with doing that? Or should I run the ditra under the entire floor, including under the shower pan? Or is there another technique?



If you're looking to waterproof the floor, run the Ditra up to the shower pan, and cut it nice and uniform, leaving about an 1/8" gap, and then caulk it. Also, pick up a roll of Kerdiband to seal up the seams in the Ditra.

thanks that sounds very sensible, just to be clear do you mean caulk the ditra to the pan and then lay tile on top.

Correct, and then caulk the tile, as well. The caulking from the Ditra to the pan would be for waterproofing purposes, while the caulking from the tile to the pan would be for reasons of movement.

clipped on: 05.08.2009 at 05:38 pm    last updated on: 05.08.2009 at 05:38 pm

RE: Cooktop back trim (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: faleash on 04.24.2009 at 10:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

Checkout as they can make about any kind of appliance trim you want.


clipped on: 04.25.2009 at 12:58 am    last updated on: 04.25.2009 at 12:59 am

RE: Kerdi over hardibacker - advice (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: mongoct on 10.09.2008 at 02:22 pm in Bathrooms Forum

So you want the 1/4" gap in the shower, at the wall-floor junction, right?

If so, just as Bill wrote, no need to worry. If the hardie is down to the subfloor, when you pack your preslope deck mud perimeter, you're going to have a few inches of floor deck mud packed tight, right up against the hardie.

That will lock the hardie in place.

These photos are may be slightly different than your proposed order of work, but in this shower I hung the cement board on the walls and hung hardie on the ceiling.

I then Kedied the walls and ceiling.

I then tiled the walls, leaving the bottom course of wall tile off, and tiled the ceiling.

Then I packed the deck mud, right up tight against the kerdied walls.

Then I Kerdied the floor, tiled it, then filled in the bottom course of wall tile.

As to the drain installation, I had the same setup here. No access to the plumbing from below. After the P-trap was glued in place, I dry fit the stub and drain so the flange stood the required distance off the floor and so the flange was LEVEL.

Then as you're packing the deck mud, when it's time to set the drain, mix mud a little looser than the dry pack mix, set a generous ring of loose mud around the drain opening in the floor. Glue the drain stub and set the drain in place, working the stub of the drain into the p-trap and the flange of the drain into the loose mud, all in one smooth motion.

Clear as...deck mud?



clipped on: 04.17.2009 at 04:19 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2009 at 04:19 pm

RE: How Do You Clean Whirlpool Jets?? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: eteinne on 09.11.2007 at 05:07 pm in Cleaning Tips Forum


Don't use the granular "Cascade" but "Cascade Complete." The granular is an acid and will eat away the sealant on the brass. The "Complete" is an enzyme and won't do that. Before, "Complete," I washed, all of my good china by hand as the rims were, "Silver," and would turn them, black. The acid does that. Is this a seperate tub or is it 1 with a shower? The people 4 whom I clean, use 1 or the other. The shower daily. I just want to know where all of the dead flies come from when U put water in the tub and they come floating out of the drain?! I have no idea?!
good luck!



clipped on: 04.02.2009 at 12:32 am    last updated on: 04.02.2009 at 12:32 am

RE: How Do You Clean Whirlpool Jets?? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: Trinity_ on 07.25.2004 at 07:58 pm in Cleaning Tips Forum

Wow - a question I can finally help with! lol

We just moved into a new home with a jacuzzi bathtub, and though everything looked very clean, I noticed a little of the same scum stuff the first time I used it, and it just got worse the next 2 times (ewww) I got online to research the problem.

Keep in mind that this house had been empty for 6 months (3 year old home) so the deposits were hardened in the pipes. This procedure had it spic and span...

Until I track down the web page from which I found it - I think it was at or something... Here's the basic procedure:

1. Fill tub with hot water to a couple inches above jets.
2. Pour in about a half cup of bleach and a tablespoon of powdered cascade dishwashing detergent
3. Run the jets for 15 minutes with the air knob thing open all the way so it gives the highest turbulence
4. observe gunk and try not to choke 8]
5. empty tub
6. Refill with cold water to above jets
7. Run jets to rinse - 10 minutes

Do this twice a month.

The page had some very informative info about what kind of stuff builds up in those pipes - I'll hunt it down and post it tonight.


clipped on: 04.02.2009 at 12:31 am    last updated on: 04.02.2009 at 12:31 am

99% Finished Kitchen--creamy white w/soapstone

posted by: jbrodie on 03.01.2009 at 06:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

Finally! Our kitchen is finished! I never thought the day would come, and boy am I enjoying it. I owe so much to this forum. I can't tell you how much you all helped me. Thank you!!! I hope I can help others in return.

Hope I'm not putting too many pictures!





soap stone

Quick description (feel free to contact me if you have questions)
-Soapstone: Julia
-Cabinets: Custom, inset/flush shaker style with single bead (waiting to see if we get some issues resolved before I recommend the cabinet maker)
-Bookcase and desk tops: walnut
-Sharp microwave oven drawer (love it!)
-GE fridge
-Shaw 30 inch apron sink
-Wolf range top
-Thermador double ovens
-Vent-a-hood hood
-Dal tile
-potfiller: Newport Brass
-hot/cold faucet Newport Brass
-Main faucet: Mico
-Door to garage: one panel painted with chalkboard! The kids love this and it's fun to put messages to guests, each other, holiday wishes, etc.
-Pull out baskets (love these...I keep bread in one and potatoes, onions, etc. in the other)
-Wine shelf--love it!
-Bar stools from Sturbridge Yankee Workshop (love these and they were so reasonable!)
-What would I do differently? More than 12 inch overhang on seating area of island (maybe 14-16 inch). And I might skip the bead board in the backs of the bookshelfs and glass cabs.

Happy kitchen designing to all! Thank you again!


clipped on: 04.01.2009 at 12:42 am    last updated on: 04.01.2009 at 12:42 am

RE: Any regrets choosing dark hardwood floors? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: rmkitchen on 06.29.2008 at 10:03 am in Kitchens Forum

When we purchased our house last year we had hardwood put throughout the first floor ... only the flooring guy stained them too light (like a dark oak color), and I hated them. Well, maybe "hate" is too strong a word, but I was disappointed. Yes, they "hid" the dirt better but I'm not sure that's a good thing, plus, and more importantly, they didn't make me happy.


Now that (this portion of) our remodel is done, our floors were stained the correct super-dark color and I LOVE them! Yes, they do show the dirt more than a lighter color but so do our white cabinets (vice a darker or stained cabinet). I have two children (four and two years-old), three cats and a puppy, so we have lots of fingerprints / dropped food / drips / pet hair, so I pretty much vacuum on a daily basis. I've got it down to a science.

after the floors were done and the kitchen is almost done, this picture was taken in May

Vacuuming is NOT my true love, but I am so happy with how our home looks (with the dark floors and white kitchen) that I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

I think it ultimately matters what is more important to you: low maintenance or the appearance. I made my choice and I have yet to regret it.


clipped on: 07.01.2008 at 06:13 pm    last updated on: 07.01.2008 at 06:13 pm

DIY soapstone pics + need backsplash help

posted by: blackeyedpeas on 03.10.2008 at 08:09 am in Kitchens Forum

I'm starting a new thread because this time I need help with suggestions for a backsplash. I am totally stuck with what I want back there, HELP! Just for background I'll let you know that the walls are a creamy yellowish color, floors are travertine, cabinets are dark mahogony stain, appliances are stainless steel and accent colors are a darker apple green. The wall color has to stay because the kitchen is open to the greatroom and it's all painted the same. As much as I like the accent color I don't want to be tied to it for life so I don't want to incorporate it into the backsplash. Also I wanted to let ya'll know that I have decided to use a simple arc pull to mimic the appliance handles, thanks to everybody who helped with that decision!
So Saturday we DIY'ed the sink countertop and one side of the stove area, it was fun, messy, heavy and stressful all at the same time. I managed to put a HUGE ding in the edge before we were done(I was sick to my stomach!! and thought DH was going to kill me) but sandpaper took care of it. After it was done I decided that I would have liked the front edge of the sink at the same radius as the back of the sink but DH prefers more angular lines and had already made the executive decision to 45 the corners of the stone. You'll see what I mean in the pictures.
The seam to the right of the sink still needs to be sanded and oiled but DH let me oil the rest so I could see what it looked like. I LOVE it, he did a fabulous job IMO.
Image Hosting by
Image Hosting by
Image Hosting by
Image Hosting by
This is the counter to the left of the stove
Image Hosting by
Thanks for looking, Lisette


clipped on: 04.25.2008 at 01:38 am    last updated on: 04.25.2008 at 01:40 am

Pacific NW soapstone -- yards and installers

posted by: fern4 on 02.02.2008 at 10:23 am in Kitchens Forum

Calling all Pacific NW people interested in soapstone!

I picked up the following information from some previous threads and made some visits. I'd love some more places to go to look at slabs and I need to know about fabricators with soapstone experience.

Casa Bella -- Portland -- currently have one unnamed variety and a polished kind (shown on website). Sample (of some dark green veiny kind) doesn't match what they have (but it's nice). Don't seem to know much about soapstone except that it scratches. They wet it for you with saliva.

Intrepid -- Portland, Bend, Vancouver --
Have one green, one dark grey (with veins), "anthracite" -- (see post about it!), and Pietra del Cardoso. Sprayed it with water.

Oregon Tile and Marble -- Portland -- not on their website but they say that they have Pietra del Cardoso (and call it soapstone).

Nuance Stoneworks -- Seattle -- fabricators.

Teresina (Northern California) -- send stone as far North as Seattle; I don't know who installs it.

I would love some assistance!


Here's an addition from a previous post: Sierra Hills Stone (in California but obtains shipments through Seattle)
I should add that I'd like to know about Installers in case I were to obtain the soapstone from outside the region already fabricated.

We got our Mariana soapstone in Seattle at:
Quarry SE
525 S Front St
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 522-8670

This was over three years ago, but at that time they had a pretty decent selection of Mariana slabs, and new shipments were fairly frequent. It is next to/shares space with Lakeview Stone & Garden (pavers & garden rock). I had a hard time finding it - there was one other stone yard that had it at the time, but I can't find their name. They said they would only sell to the trade, and we were DIY, so I didn't even bother going there. I remember there were several people on this forum at that time that had that issue. Fortunately, it seems things have changed out there!

Other notes:

1. Also check out Contractor Furnishings Mart, in Redmond off Willow Road, or near the Daltile and the Seattle Design Center in Seattle. You need a contractor or a contractor's number, but the prices are terrific.
They probably bid out thru Fine Line and other large fabricators, but they can usually get you a better price, upwards of 40% off retail. Downside is you pay them directly with a check, no credit cards.
They also do quartz and marble, and you don't need a contractor to go to the showrooms and look.

And many of the tile companies near the Seattle Design Center sell large slabs of granite, and will let you wander and look around.

2. There is a neighborhood just north of the Boeing museum, south of the stadiums, that has a huge number of fabricators and yards. Go there, and get some ideas about who will fabricate and who just wholesales (Daltile, eg, I believe just does wholesale, while Michelangelo, I believe, also fabricates). It's also possible to find a local/eastside fabricator and then peruse the industrial area warehouses for the pieces you want.
It's a very fun place to visit. Bring your yellow pages or print out a list of yards before you go so you'll have an easier time finding them once you are there. I think Michigan and 4th is about the right place to start.

FWIW, my first piece came from Michelangelo and the second came from Daltile. Everyone was easy to deal with. Some prefer an appointment (but you can probably make one and go visit somewhere else while waiting for it).

Have fun!

3. The big volume places were FineLine Pacific and Contour two years ago. FineLine did HD and Costco orders, Contour did Lowe's. I was advised to avoid Coutour by my Lowe's cabinet installer.
FineLine was happy to show blocks, and I spotted some interesting slabs too during my visit.

4. In terms of just looking at slabs, Meta Marble is great and has a huge selection. Oregon Tile and Marble, Daltile, Michaelangelo, Pental and Meta are all within a few blocks of each other around 4th and Michigan area, and all have a lot of slabs to view.

5. Mostly you have to go through a fabricator to get a price. Pental is the most useful wholesaler we found: they can't tell you the price, but can tell you a relative price category (A, B, C, ...)
I haven't heard of any, but there may be some bad fabricators out there. We went with Paramatrix but heavily flirted with Expert Marble & Granite and another one that slips what is left of my mind after 6 weeks of remodeling. Quite a number of fabricators are extremely helpful; others act like they can't be bothered with inevitably dumb questions. But they still do good work.

6. Hi, over here on this side of the lake too. We are working with a contractor and sub, and got our tiles and soapstone slab from Pental-- zillions of types of granite slabs, and approximately 30 soapstones. (I don't envy the task of choosing a granite--there are so many beautiful stones!) We also looked at DalTile, Meta, and also Lakeview Stone. All about 2 miles apart, down in the South Seattle area. My understanding was that none of those places would give you price, only a range as larry noted--except Lakeview. I've heard good things about Michael Homchick in the Bothell/Kenmore area. (I believe he's a fabricator) Best of luck to you

7. A lot of people around us have used and liked Capstone Granite
Here is a link that might be useful: Capstone Granite

clipped on: 02.02.2008 at 10:49 am    last updated on: 04.13.2008 at 12:51 am

backsplash help again and again and again.

posted by: carters5 on 11.07.2007 at 12:27 am in Kitchens Forum

It's been a while since I have been on here but I still have not found a suitable backsplash. Any suggestions? I was thinking of using a grayish sort of leather looking 7x20 tile which I love but I think it might be too masculine. I've checked the backsplashes on the blog and looked at the famous Bill Vincent's backsplashes (which by the way are gorgeous), however, I can't seem to find one that will not take away or be too busy with my countertop which is busy enough. I've included a sample of the counter. Any suggestions would be helpful.

ThPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Counter is called Sensa by Cosentino and the color is Indala. I actually found it originally at Home Depot EXPO in San Diego and after searching around found out that European Natural Stone in Santee, California was the company that did the installation so I went through them to choose my slabs and for the actual installation. The slabs I choose were actually in L.A. so we emailed pics of the slabs they had and I chose them that way. I am told the stone comes from Spain. I thought it was beautiful and unique and I wanted my kitchen to be unique even though I love alot of different styles. I was also told that this is the only marble that is guaranteed not to stain because of the way it is sealed. I have three men besides my daughter and myself living here and I have never had a problem with it. Here's their website:
clipped on: 11.07.2007 at 04:18 pm    last updated on: 04.03.2008 at 04:00 pm

FedEx delievered our backsplash today (with pics)

posted by: jaymielo on 04.03.2008 at 12:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

Our backsplash tile arrived today. Bear with me because it is really hard to get a decent picture because of the flat, almost metallic, color of the green field tile, but here is my best shot (no pun intended). I'm still a little nervous about this all coming toghether in the end, but I'm taking baby steps.

Here it is the basic pattern and tile for over the range (sans flash)

And with flash

Here are the 3"x3" accent tiles which will be scattered in the field tile (sans flash)

and with flash

And here are the 2"x4" field tiles and an art tile for the fireplace (sans flash)

Here's a picture with some of the coordinating items (sans flash). The yellow will be the paint of the wall. The wood sample is the quartersawn white oak with stain for the cabinetry and the light shade is for the pendants above the island and in the pantry.


Same pic, with flash.


The boxes are piling up in our house. Can't wait until we begin installation!


I ordered the tiles from Art Tile Direct ( The owner, Christeen, was very nice to work with and patient with me. Sent me lots of samples. I believe her prices have gone up slightly, but I paid $12/sq ft for the field tile (3"x6", 2"x4" and 1"x6"). I paid $9 for each of the 6"x6" art tiles and $6 for each of the 3"x3" art tiles.
clipped on: 04.03.2008 at 03:55 pm    last updated on: 04.03.2008 at 03:56 pm

RE: Granite Rod Reinforcing (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: azstoneconsulting on 02.28.2008 at 11:45 am in Kitchens Forum

here's apic of the process:


We cut a slot for a steel rod or flat bar to sit in..
in this case - it's 3CM stone that will receive a 1/8" x 1/2" flat bar stood up on it's side for more strength.

for 2CM - 1/4" round rod is used... I like stainless in case
the rod ever comes in contact with moisture - it WON'T rust...
better peace of mind for me and my customers....... ;-)

The rod is set down into the slot, then flowing epoxy is
poured into the void to "lock" the rod in place...excess
epoxy is ground off when it's dry, and the top is aprox
600% stonger (I saw a test that threw that figure out - It
may be more or less - but rodding works!!!)

hope that helps


Kevin M. Padden MIA SFA
Fabricator, Trainer & Consultant to the Natural Stone Industry


clipped on: 02.29.2008 at 09:58 pm    last updated on: 02.29.2008 at 09:59 pm

RE: DIY tile backsplash (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: bill_vincent on 01.16.2008 at 05:38 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have a new gallery I just set up on my website, and part of that is finished backsplashes. I've posted the link below. As for words of wisdom, the best thing I can tell you is take your time. When you're working in it yourself, the labor's free, and it's not a matter that it HAS to be finished quickly so you can use the area. 10 minutes after you clean up, you can be cooking. So you can do part of it today, work on it some more tomorrow, and so on, until it's done. Being meticulous is much more important in this case than in most tile installations, because of the fact that it's up higher than most tile work, so it's going to be right where people will be looking, and in addition, it sounds like you're going to really dress this up, so as to be the focal point, so take your time.

One other thing-- don't use mastic to set the stone. use a portland cement based latex modified thinset. If you use mastic, there's a chance you'll end up with oils from the mastic leaching thru the stone and leaving a nice oil stain in the stone. It'll clear up after a month or two, but it's going to look like crap until then.

Here is a link that might be useful: my website's gallery


clipped on: 01.16.2008 at 06:41 pm    last updated on: 01.16.2008 at 06:42 pm

RE: Is Kerdi overkill for a wall to floor tranistion? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mongoct on 07.26.2007 at 01:40 pm in Bathrooms Forum


I do a couple of "wet rooms" a year. Meaning that the entire floor and wall assemblies are waterproof.

In those cases I do as you described: Ditra the floor, Kerdi the seams in the Ditra, then Kerdi the walls, and Kerdi the wall/floor transition.

If part of the room will be a steam room, it's not uncommon to Kerdi the ceiling as well.

What you describe is fine. Kerdiing the floor-wall transition will prevent floor spills from going under the baseboard and into the unprotected floor/wall assembly.

I do that in laundry rooms.



clipped on: 01.04.2008 at 01:39 pm    last updated on: 01.04.2008 at 01:39 pm

faucet dilema -- please help

posted by: pegkip on 12.08.2007 at 07:05 am in Kitchens Forum

Our beautiful Selina Gold Limestone countertops arrived yesterday. View pix at Aren't they beautiful?

Anyway, I digress. We have this great oil-rubbed bronze Mico faucet that we were planning to install, but my DH says there isn't enough room between the sink and wall to be able to turn the + connector that the Mico uses to feed the sprayer. In addition, in order to put any faucet in the usual position in the rear center of the sink, we'll have to notch out a section of the bump-up edge along the back wall. Why neither the architect, the cabinet designer, not the countertop fabricator caught the problem is beyond me.

Anyway, I'm eager to turn the problem into something positive. Any ideas or suggestions? Should we offset the faucet to the right or left hand side of the sink since it is a single large basin? Consider a wall mount faucet (but then what do you do with the sprayer and treated water spout? Unfortunately, the only way we could possible use the Mico with the current configuration would be to install is on the right hand side of the sink, and we'd then sacrifice some storage space. :(

Here is a link that might be useful: Il Poggio Secco


The house will actually come in right around $315 thou; not as extravagant as one might think....
clipped on: 12.30.2007 at 12:18 am    last updated on: 12.30.2007 at 12:19 am

RE: It's finally done, my GW inspired kitchen (pics) (Follow-Up #36)

posted by: pabiabi on 12.18.2007 at 01:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thanks everyone!

jayav: my chair and ottoman are from Rowe furniture. I am glad you like it, I absolutely fell in love with that fabric when I saw it. (and if you have pets, it's great, the pattern is busy enough to not show everything!)

Starpooh: I consider it an honor, thanks for the link, I will do that.

ejr: the island is 4x9... how did they talk you out of brick? I am glad you like it.

flowerchild: thanks so much for the compliment, we must have similar tastes!

eandhl: You are very close! Yes, I bought my range, fridge and freezer from Daryl at NEengland Appliance. Here is the deal... I bought a bunch of stuff from Sears during a sale back in March. They had it on layaway or whatever since I didn't need them til September. In the meantime I learned about the Electrolux and GE Cafe range came out. I gave Daryl a call and I told him the prices I was seeing online. He was able to meet those prices. The great thing is that I work down the road in Avon, we had a date scheduled for delivery, he told me to call when I was leaving work, and his guys met me there 15 minutes later... none of that hanging around for four hours hoping someone will show up! I highly reccommend him, but do your price homework first. Oh... I also went in and said that I needed a vent hood that would be completely hidden(in the brick hearth), so I didn't need anything pretty, just functional. To be honest, I don't even remember WHAT I bought, but I know that the new ones were $1200 and he sold me a floor model with a dent for $350! My contractor is in South Windsor and my cabinet guy is in Coventry. If I were starting over I would try Cianci Marble and Stone in Canton. He was eager to find me some soapstone, but couldn 't find a big enough slab for my island. The guy there is very nice (and super cute too.) I have a friend who used him and was very happy with the work.


clipped on: 12.18.2007 at 05:58 pm    last updated on: 12.18.2007 at 06:00 pm

Our 99% finished contemporary 'live-in' kitchen!

posted by: formosalily on 07.21.2007 at 04:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

After over 4 year's of anticipation and planning and almost 4 months of construction, our dream "live-in kitchen" has finally come true.
DH and I wanted a kitchen that is functional, roomy enough for two cooks (we both love to cook) to cook together without getting in each other's way, and is the center of our home -- where we enjoy each other's company, cook, dine, chat, laugh, do bills, go through mails, watch TV, use computer, or just relax and sit around -- we want a kitchen that we can live our life in ... and that's exactly what we get now! In addition to have a kitchen custom-made to fit our needs & wants, the best part of this journey has to be the partnership DH and I shared -- having a partner who shares the same vision and is always loving and supportive through out the project makes all the difference! And, last but not least, many thanks to those of you who have provided me with suggestions and supports through out our project!!

Before shots:
picture 037 picture 029 picture 027 picture 042 picture 025
After shots:
pict4804 pict4809 pict4814 pict4845 pict4849 pict4852 pict4856

Cooktop: Thermador 48" gas cooktop with Wok burner
Hood: Thermador 54" island hood 1300 cfm
Countertop: Vitoria Regia on island and Absolute Black along the wall
Microwave: Sharp Microwave drawer
Oven: GE Monogram 30" double wall ovens
Dishwasher: Bosch SHX56C05SS
Refrigerator & Freezer: Frigidaire Commercial refrigerator with glass door and commercial freezer
TV: Westinghouse 47"
Sink: Blanco undermount single bowl
Faucet: Whitehaus Metrohaus Culinary Faucet
Garbage Disposal: Insinkerator
Floor: Brazilian walnut
Paint: Benjamin moore "Whales Green"
Island Lighting: TechLighting Monorail with Torpedo Contemporary Pendant with Dichroic Glass Shield
Cabinet: IKEA Adel Birch
Door hardware: IKEA Lansa
Backsplash: IKEA Stainless Steel Cover Panel
Windows: Pella Proline

Appliances & electronics: $20,000
Floor: $7,000 (materials & labor)
Cabinet: $11,000
Cabinet installation: $5,000
Electrical: $5,000
Plumbing & gas: $500
Demolition, drywall, & misc. labor: $5,000
Painting: $1,800
Windows: $4,000
Countertop: $8,500
Lighting & switch plates/controls: $2,500

TOTAL: $70,000


Sample install prices:

$75 for home measurement
$75 to confirm customers plan
$150 for planning service
$30/cabinet for assembly service
$99/cabinet for basic installation
$70/lineal foot for demolition of cabinets
$40/appliance for removal of appliances
$25/linear foot for countertop installation
$500 to install 4 appliances
custom work at a price to be determined after site visit

clipped on: 10.07.2007 at 01:05 am    last updated on: 12.16.2007 at 07:50 pm

RE: Pull Out Trash (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: lowspark on 07.20.2007 at 11:02 am in Kitchens Forum

I'm not sure what the door mount kit is, but you have to have a pull out trash in order for the foot pedal to work.

In other words, your trash bins should be hanging from a rail attached to the door OR sitting on a shelf attached to the door. The door should pull open like a drawer (not swing open like a normal cab) and as it pulls open the trash bins come out with it.

Note that Haefele makes two different pedals, one for the bins hanging from rails and one for the bins sitting on the shelf. I'm not clear on which one you've linked to above. Also note that these foot pedals are designed for frameless cabs. I don't know if they can or have been used on framed cabs and would be interested to hear about that if anyone has.

Here are the links I have to the two kinds of Haefele pedals:

Pedal for trash can which hangs from rails

Pedal for trash can which sits on base


MOre info from lowspark:

The way the pedal works, the magnet is attached to the underside of your cabinet and the pedal is attached to the back of the door. The pedal has to attach itself to the magnet, that's what keeps it shut. When you kick the pedal, it releases from the magnet, thereby opening the trash bin.
Problem with framed cabs is that the magnet is under the framed part so that the pedal has to go down from the door to past the frame to be attracted to the cabinet.

Now, I'm not saying that can't work, I'm just saying that depending on the width of the frame, the pedal and magnet might not make contact, or they might make contact but not enough for the magnet to hold the door shut.

That's why I'm very interested to see an application where the pedal has been installed on a framed cab. I suspect it CAN work with a some adjustment, I just don't know how well it can work if installed as designed.

My pictures are currently in flux. I used to have them on Yahoo but they made me move them (yahoo is killing their picture feature) and I haven't yet gotten around to figuring out how to link to them on the new site. I hope to do that this weekend. I'll post a link here when I can.

clipped on: 07.29.2007 at 02:07 pm    last updated on: 12.16.2007 at 07:27 pm

RE: Just got backsplash caulked. What sealer to use? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: bill_vincent on 10.31.2007 at 04:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

Since the surface is non-porous, nothing can soak in

I've said this many times in here-- this is the beauty of a ceramic installation. Tile is actually pretty maintenence free. Hot water is usually all you need. The times when you need a detergient are actually few and far between, and a mild detergient is all one should ever need. What I usually recommend is Oxyclean. It does a good job, and won't harm grout or sealer.


Ceramic does not get sealed. As for the grout, Aquamix Sealers Choice Gold, Miracle's 511 Impregnator, of stone Tech's Impregnator Pro are all good choices.
clipped on: 11.04.2007 at 01:45 am    last updated on: 11.06.2007 at 03:48 pm

RE: What filtration system do you use? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: cat_mom on 11.02.2007 at 03:45 pm in Kitchens Forum

Our plumber installed an AquaPure filter (by Cuno) on the cold water line running up to the kitchen when we did the reno. The faucet at the sink, the pot filler faucet, and the fridge water line (which is also filtered by the fridge's filter in the grille at the bottom), and an outdoor faucet (because of its location, not by need) run through the filter (which is located in our utility room).

The filter needs to be replaced every 6 months or so according to the person at Cuno, and the guy in the plumbing supply store, because of how we are using it.


clipped on: 11.03.2007 at 12:34 am    last updated on: 11.03.2007 at 12:45 am

RE: What kind of stone is (soapstone looking) pietra grigio? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: nuts on 10.12.2007 at 01:33 am in Kitchens Forum

I too live in bay area and just installed Pietra Grigio in my kitchen! I got it from Pietra Fina in Hayward. Call them they are very knowledgeable about this stone. They told me it is very commonly used in Italy in kitchens. I'm embarassed to say I'm still not sure what it is classified as. It is definitely not as hard as granite. It has a really beautiful soapstoney look to it, but lighter gray. Pietra Cardosa is the same family of stone but black. I'll try and post a photo of mine tomorrow if you'd like. I have it with white cabs and then a black island with calcatta marble. Good luck!


Pietra Grigia means "gray stone" in Italian. There was a post here recently about a soapstone from HD Expo that had taken the word "soapstone" and translated it into french(?) and was selling it with that made up name.
clipped on: 10.12.2007 at 10:16 am    last updated on: 10.12.2007 at 10:19 am

Finished kitchen - red, yellow, and blue

posted by: redrange on 06.18.2007 at 07:06 pm in Kitchens Forum

After a year and a half of planning, haunting this forum, and construction, our new kitchen addition is finally finished. An enormous thanks to everyone who contributes to this forum: I would not have the kitchen I do now, if not for the advice gleaned here.

Cabinets: Ikea, painted by our housepainter, and much modified in configuration thanks to the IkeaFans website
Range: Bluestar in Ruby Red
Hood: Modern Aire in Ruby Red
Counters: soapstone (two or three different types - our stone guy had extra slabs from previous jobs, so we did more stone countertop than originally planned)
Butcher block counter: Ikea, beech
Hardware: RK International
Tile backsplash: handpainted/glazed by me
Mirror/iron thing behind stove: Victorian cast iron overmantel from a fireplace
Pot racks: The Metal Peddler
Fridge, DW: Jenn Air with custom copper panels
Sinks: copper one from Handcrafted Metal; soapstone from Vermont Soapstone
Faucets: Moen Aberdeen
Floors: reclaimed/remilled VG fir from AltruWood (the wood used to be beams in the Pendleton Woolen Mills in Oregon, my home state), finished with OSMO Polyx Oil
Shelves: brackets from VanDyke's, shelves in VG fir

Below: pocket doors go to the mud room

The copper on fridge and DW are unfinished, and we're hoping they turn dark brown quickly.

Below: blue cabinet on the right is the mail sorting area - a mess at the moment! But that's what it's for: mess.

Below: doors into the pantry/fridge area


Thanks so much for the comments! There were many nights that I nibbled my nails, worrying that I was making a huge mistake with the colors. My inspiration was mostly Swedish country, with a bit of Dutch thrown in -- I live in Seattle, where the winters are dreary, and I figured that the Swedes must have a good idea how to deal with long winters with low light in their interior design.
The cabinets:
They're Ikea Tidaholm. Our painter sanded them, put on a coat of grey z-prime, put on an undercoat of color (black for the blue cabinets, ochre/orange for the yellow), did the top coat of color (I don't know the specific names of the blue and yellow), sanded through the top coat to reveal bits of undercoat, and then topped it all off with a clear coat of some sort of varnish used on floors. It was labor intensive, but he kept saying how excited he was to be doing it because he got to be creative.

The blue is a little darker in person.

I love the Ikea cabinets - everyone is impressed with the soft close drawers. I chose them because of things I read here about the Consumer Reports review of cabinets, plus the cost, and also because I felt like I could manipulate the cabinets in a way that I couldn't with semi-custom. That probably sounds illogical, I know! But with Ikea, it was just me figuring out what I wanted, buying the right parts (drawers, doors, and even things from other companies, like the tra-sta vertical sheet pan organizers), and coaxing my husband to put it all together. I did talk to a semi-custom rep, but he kept telling me, "No, we don't offer that. No, you can't do that." Pllbbttt! Can too! The Ikeafans site had ideas about configuration that went far beyond anything seen at an actual Ikea store.

alku05 -- potracks, yes! I'm short, and knew it would be easier to reach pans hanging from a rack than anything in a cabinet.

alwaysfixin -- the microwave is to the left of the fridge, on the bottom shelf.

akchicago -- the tiles were one of those things where you get yourself into a project without realizing the scope until it's too late. I wanted antique Dutch tiles, or even modern Dutch tiles that were painted, not printed, but there was no way they'd fit in the budget. So I went to a pottery supply store, bought bisque tiles, bought glazes, and went to work. The pottery supply place also fired the tiles for me, for way cheaper than any of the 'paint your own' pottery places. In the end, I not only did the kitchen backsplash but also wrote out some quotations in red glaze for the bathroom, and painted pictures of animals for the fireplace surround. In all, I painted over 300 tiles. It took me a year. :o Like I said, I didn't realize the scope when I first started out. On the bright side, each finished tile cost about a dollar, and it provided a hobby.

clipped on: 10.10.2007 at 11:26 pm    last updated on: 10.10.2007 at 11:28 pm

RE: Built in spacemaker MW question (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: on 10.08.2007 at 04:02 pm in Kitchens Forum

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
The opening here is 24" x 11 3/16". Door opens the full 90 degrees. JEM31


clipped on: 10.08.2007 at 05:32 pm    last updated on: 10.08.2007 at 05:32 pm

RE: More on faucets: built-in filters? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: labradoodlelady on 09.26.2007 at 01:15 pm in Kitchens Forum

You have a choice of using a faucet that includes a water filter (like the Franke Tri-Flow faucets) or a separate water filtration system with its own faucet. The decision depends on how much filtration you want for your water.

Because our local water contains trace pesticides and heavy metals, I wanted to use reverse osmosis systems. When you buy one of these (and I bought a Watts system from Costco), you have to use a special faucet. They will come with a faucet, or you can buy one to match your other kitchen fixtures (which is what I did). You need to make sure, though, that the faucet you get will work with reverse osmosis systems -- not all cold water faucets will work with an RO system. Also, if you use an RO system, the faucet needs an air gap (which is integrated into the faucet that comes with the system, or you can buy separately). I got all my RO faucets and air gaps from BrassTech.

I've got RO systems under my kitchen sink, and two bathroom sinks. It's another item on the sink deck, but I'm really very happy with the arrangement.



clipped on: 09.28.2007 at 06:23 pm    last updated on: 09.28.2007 at 07:05 pm

RE: instant hot water (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: karen_in_ca on 07.24.2007 at 02:51 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here's a very informative article I found at the Newport Brass website for those of you considering having RO water and hot water from the same dispenser. Also interesting to note: I called Insinkerator and asked them about their water dispensers. They made a blanket statement that their dispensers are made with both copper and brassway waterways so (essentially) they don't recommend them as RO water dispensers. For those of you who don't know, RO water is considered "aggressive" and will slowly eat away copper and carry it into your drinking supply--not a good thing. So if you're considering hooking your RO water into your hot water tank, make sure your dispenser is made without copper.

Brasstech offers multiple water dispensers from traditional style to contemporary. These water dispensers were made to match our kitchen faucets and are available with or without an air gap if the customer has a reverse osmosis water filtration system. The water dispensers cannot be used as a main faucet or bar faucet in any situation.

All Brasstech water dispensers are made of brass. Brass is considered a superior material because it does not rust and also because of its toughness and ability to withstand extreme temperatures. The cartridges for the water dispensers are ceramic disc type cartridges. These are made of solid brass bodies and stems that provide smooth and consistent operation. They are a 1/4 turn cartridge, and feature a positive stop. They always stay in their original installed position. There are no washers in a ceramic disc valves, in order for water to flow the holes (or ports) of the two ceramic discs must be aligned.

Our water dispensers are available for either cold only, hot only, or both cold and hot water. The reverse osmosis air gap can only be used for the cold only water dispensers and the hot water tank must be purchased when ordering a hot only or hot and cold water dispenser. Reverse osmosis water can be known to be harmful to certain materials that faucets and dispensers are made from, however our water dispensers were designed with reverse osmosis in mind and the Brasstech water dispenser will not affect the reverse osmosis water. If the instant hot water tank is not purchased the faucet is not under warranty for the user. Because our water dispensers were designed and tested with the instant hot water tank that we offer, another hot water tank could potentially damage the dispenser.

The instant hot water tank that we offer is made out of stainless steel and has a temperature range from 140 to 190 at 115 volts and 6.5 amps. The tank will include the quick connect fitting with filter and cap to be used with the blue cold water line, quick connect fitting to be used with the red outlet line, and the tank mounting bracket. The compression nut and insert to connect the clear high temperature line will come with the dispenser, not the tank. The tank has two ports on the top, it is very important to not mix them up so the dispenser will function properly. The port in the top right hand corner of the tank is the inlet for the red line, and the port in the middle of the tank is the outlet for the clear high temperature line. The instant hot water tank does have a plug on the bottom of the tank which allows you to drain the tank. Make sure the tank is unplugged and in the off position and all the hot water is drained out of the dispenser, then remove the screw and o-ring on the bottom of the tank. Once the tank is fully drained then put the o-ring and screw back in place.

The air gap (6-028 & 6-027) is another piece that does have to be ordered separately when being used with either the traditional or contemporary style cold water dispensers. The air gap is only to be used with cold only water dispensers such as the 106C, 107C, 107XC, 108C, or 108XC when the customers water filtration system is a reverse osmosis water filtration system. If the customer does not know if the water filter system is reverse osmosis or not, the customer will have to contact the manufacturer of their water filter system for more information on their specific unit. The air gap basically takes out the extra air in the lines that is created by the reverse osmosis system and allows a smooth flow from the water dispenser, without the air gap you will get water sputtering out of the dispenser. Both of the air gaps that are offered were designed to completely replace the bottom flange and blend smoothly on the cold water dispenser. When hooking up the lines for the air gap, the inlet is the smaller port with 1/4" tubing is to hook up to the reverse osmosis filter system drain; the outlet is the larger port with 3/8" tubing to hook up to the waste drain. It is very important that the lines to the reverse osmosis system are not blocked, kinked, or looped in any way as this may cause water to come out of the hole in the back of the air gap.

Brasstech offers a more simple style water dispenser, which are part numbers 104 and 105. When these are ordered the dealer must specify if they would like either the black trim or white trim, they are not available without it. If the customer wanted the 105 with black trim they would use the part number 105B; with white trim it would be 105W. The only difference between the 104 and 105 is that the 104 comes with an air gap to hook up to the reverse osmosis filtration system and the 105 just hooks right into the water supply. The air gap on the 104 has a similar hook up as the 6-028 or 6-027, the inlet is the smaller port with 1/4" tubing is to hook up to the reverse osmosis filter system drain, and the outlet is the larger port with 3/8" tubing is to hook up to the waste drain. It is very important that the lines to the reverse osmosis system are not blocked, kinked, or looped in any way as this may cause water to come out of the hole in the back of the air gap. Tubing is not included with the 104 unit.

Common Issues and Solutions

On my (104/105) water dispenser, the water is running and it wont shut off.

You will need to remove the spout and handle, then adjust the t-bar nut on top of the valve spring assembly to the correct position. See handout showing step by step process.

On my water dispenser (106 / 106C / 107 / 107X / 107C / 107XC / 108 / 108C / 108XC), the cold water is dripping and wont shut off.

Replace the cartridge for the cold water side. Description of cartridge says "hot" cartridge, which only refers to what way the handle turns to the open position.

On my hot water dispenser (106 / 106H / 107 / 107X / 107H / 107XH / 108 / 108X / 108H / 108XH), the hot water continues to drip immediately after installation and doesnt stop.

After first installation of the hot water dispenser with the instant hot water tank, the dispenser can allow water (approx.3-5 ounces) to escape from the spout over an extended period of time. Allow the tank and dispenser to sit for about 24-48 hours, if the problem still persists contact Technical Customer Service.

On my hot water dispenser (106 / 106H / 107 / 107X / 107H / 107XH / 108 / 108X / 108H / 108XH), the hot water continues to drip for 10-15 minutes after each use.

This is caused by thermal expansion of water occurring naturally when cool water is heated in a confined space (the tank), Brasstech hot water dispensers were specifically designed to allow steam or any amount of water expansion to escape through the spout. This is not a defective product, it is a safety feature.

On my hot water dispenser (106 / 106H / 107 / 107X / 107H / 107XH / 108 / 108X / 108H / 108XH), the hot water continues to drip and does not stop at all.

First, check that the red hose and clear hose are installed correctly on the instant hot water tank and that they are not clogged, twisted or kinked in any way.

Second, replace the self-closed cartridge for the hot water side.

Third, contact technical customer service.

My instant hot water tank is leaking from the bottom.

Make sure the plug on the bottom of the tank is tightened securely.

After I run the hot water from the dispenser it still has a full flow for approximately 30-60 seconds, and then will drip until it stops.

Make sure the red hose and clear hose are installed correctly on the instant hot water tank. If all the connections between the instant hot water tank and dispenser are correct as per the instructions, replace the dispenser.

The water is dripping from the hose connections to my water dispenser (all dispensers except for the 104/105).

Replace dispenser, the hoses are not replaceable in the field.

My hot water is not hot.

First, make sure the tank is plugged in.

Second, turn thermostat control dial fully clockwise, wait 15 minutes. If water starts to boil and can be accompanied by a gurgling sound in the tank and/or water sputters out of the faucet, turn the control dial slightly counterclockwise until the gurgling and /or sputtering stops. This should take approximately 20 seconds. Then turn control dial an additional 1/8" (3mm) counterclockwise at the tip of the dial, wait 15 minutes and check the temperature of the water.

Third, check for blown fuse or circuit breaker is tripped (see IMPORTANT NOTE explaining the self re-setting thermal fuse in step 6 of tank installation packet).

Water boils or vapor appears.

Lower the temperature setting on the tank by turning the thermostat control dial counterclockwise.

Here is a link that might be useful: Additional info about copper and RO water


clipped on: 09.08.2007 at 01:43 am    last updated on: 09.08.2007 at 01:43 am

Is that a real granite? (and does it really matter?!)

posted by: stonegirl on 09.05.2007 at 02:16 pm in Kitchens Forum

As with so much in the natural stone industry, there is a fairly large amount of confusion regarding the actual geologic classification of most commercially available slab materials. The amount of misinformation is astounding and often quite discouraging for the average Sally and Joe Consumer trying to decide on what material would make just the best counter top for their new kitchen. With this article I will try to clarify some of the intricacies of stone classification.

I'll start with a given: Not all commercial granites are true geologic granites. I can already hear you sigh and roll your eyes. I sympathize - science was not my forte either, but take heart, I will try my best to make this entertaining!

In the commercial realm, a "granite" gets classified as a hard natural stone which can be polished and that requires more aggressive tools and abrasive than what would be used on marble. This is a pretty broad and not very scientific kind of description, which leaves some pretty big loopholes and some really wide wiggle room.

A true geologic granite gets classified as an igneous rock consisting mainly of quartz, feldspars and mica - much more concise and restrictive.

To be quite honest, real geologic granites are not very exciting pieces of rock at all (from a design perspective, I have to add). They will have quite an homogeneous grain pattern and can range in color from grays to browns, yellows or pinks. A good example of a real geologic granite would be Georgia Gray (from Elberton, GA and it has a water absorption weight of 0.2%-0.3%). True granites are not reactive to acids, but could be quite absorbent as our example illustrates. This stone would be OK for use as a counter top, but would require sealer. It has been used as cladding for buildings and for monuments and gravestones for many, many years, though.

The rest of the commercial granites can be divided into a couple of broad groups: Magmatic rocks and Metamorphic rocks.

Magmatic rocks are formed when magma cooled and crystallized. True granites (like Tropic Brown), syenites (like Ubatuba), gabbros (like Black Absolute), diorites (like Brazilian Black) and charnokites (like Atlantic Green) will fall under this umbrella.

Metamorphic rocks were formed when one kind of stone i.e. sandstone, got transformed into another kind of material i.e. gneiss. An example of such a stone would be Giallo Veneziano (a gneiss from Brazil with a water absorption weight of 0.25%-0.35%). Metaconglomerates (like Verde Marinace), Quartzites (like Almond Mauve), migmatites (like Paradiso Classico), gneisses (like Santa Cecilia) and granulites (like Verde Jewel/Tropical Green) also fall under this group.

What makes the commercial "granites" so appealing, is the fact that they are just so diverse. You have hundreds of different colors and patterns that will go beyond even your wildest imagination.

And this brings us to the second part of my question: Does it really matter if it is not a true geologic granite?

In a word: No. (and yes - you are right - I am not done yet!)

Earlier in my dissertation you might have noticed me mentioning something called the "water absorption weight" (WAW - for further reference). This is an indicator of just how absorbent a specific stone might be. The lower the number, the less absorbent the stone would be.

Following the discussions of natural stone and how they always gravitate to the question of whether a sealer would be required, this number would be a pretty good indicator of how good a stone would stand up to use in a kitchen. Without further ado, I will list a few popular stones, along with their geologic classifications and WAW's:

Black Absolute (gabbro) WAW: 0.05%-0.15%
Baltic Brown (granite) WAW: 0.15%-0.2%
Santa Cecilia (gneiss) WAW: 0.25%-0.35%
Verde Butterfly (charnokite) WAW: 0.1%-0.2%
Shivakashki (gneiss) WAW: 0.25%-0.35%
Silver Sea Green (granite) WAW: 0.15%
Marinace Green (metaconglomerate) WAW: 0.05%-0.15%
Kashmire White (granulite) WAW: 0.3%-0.5%

As you can see from the above sample, there are a number of stones that far out-perform true geologic granites in the absorption department. There are also a number of stones that absorb a tremendous amount of water (take the Kashmire White for instance). On the other side of the scale, there are stones that are too dense to benefit from the application of a sealer any way - Verde Marinace would be a great example.

Although modern sealer technology has advanced a long way in making stones less absorbent, there are a few materials (notably mostly Chinese and Indian in origin) that, even with the best sealer on the market, should not be considered for use in any high traffic environment. Again the Kashmire White would be a shining example.

Testing for absorption issues on granite samples would be as easy as dripping some water on your sample and letting it sit for a while. If it darkens the stone a little, a sealer might help. If the stone immediately becomes darker and maintains the dark spot for some while, stay away! Maintaining this would be a constant battle.

Etching is another must-do test for stones to be used in a kitchen. A lot of stones are chemically inert. Baltic Brown, Verde Butterfly, the REAL Black Absolute, Blue Eyes, the list can go on and on. Some stones on the other hand do react to acids. Blue Bahia (a sodalite-syenite) would be one example. Etches will show up as dull spots on an otherwise shiny surface. Sealers will not prevent etches, purely because etches are chemical reactions and have nothing to do with the absorption rate of the stone in question.

There are two ways to work around this issue. One is to avoid the stone that etched in testing and the other is to hone and enhance the stone. This would still give you a depth of color, but the shine would be absent and thus the etch marks - though they would still happen - would not be as prominent as they would have been on a polished surface.

To test for etching, place a wedge of lemon or lime, cut side down, on the sample overnight. Wipe the sample in the morning and hold it at an angle to the light. If there is a rough looking spot where the shine is absent, you have an etch. Etches would normally occur where calcium or calcite is present in the make-up of the stone.

Another subject of relevance in this discussion would be resining. Resining is a process where resins get impregnated into the stone slabs before they are finished. The slabs then get polished and most of the resins get polished off, leaving it only in the pits and fissures in the slabs. This serves a few purposes:
1. It can consolidate a fissured or flaky slab (Golden Beach would be an example of this - without resin, this slab would probably not have been commercially available)
2. It can reduce the WAW of a material (Santa Cecilia is a great example here. Even though it is quite an absorbent material, once it is resined, it sometimes does not require the application of a sealer even)
3. It is conducive to a superior surface finish. (Flaky stones like Verde Butterfly get resined to eliminate surface crystals from flaking off. This then provides a smooth finish to the polished slabs)
4. Another side effect of the resining process is enhanced colors. On some stones like Lady's Dream the colors could deepen with the application of the resin.

So what would be the bottom line of all this? It does not matter whether the stone you have is a real granite or not. The geologic classification has virtually no impact on the performance of the material in a kitchen. I can also say with a lot of certainty that most stone suppliers and distributors will not be able to tell a gneiss from a schist if they ever had to. It is indeed sad, but oh, so true.

So where does this leave the consumer? Well, kinda' up a creek, but hopefully I supplied a paddle here

TEST TEST and test your stone to see if it would hold up to the rigors in your kitchen. But probably the most important advice I could give you would be to choose your fabricator carefully. Make sure they have a knowledge of stone that you are comfortable with and could trust. Ask for references and look at kitchens they have done. New counter tops is a considerable investment. Do not make the mistake of thinking that stone is stone and that the guy doing it at $29 a foot will produce the same quality as someone more expensive. Conversely, do not expect the most expensive guy to be able to produce the best quality work either. A bad fabricator could make a mess out of even the best piece of stone on the planet.



clipped on: 09.06.2007 at 10:14 pm    last updated on: 09.06.2007 at 10:14 pm