Clippings by ketc

 Sort by: Last Updated Post Date Post Title Forum Name 

RE: Tile experts - Help, please! Niche with marble shelf (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: shanghaimom on 04.04.2012 at 11:09 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Hi Tina,

Not a tile expert by any means, but I just finished a niche that was also inspired by Stacyneil's.

When I asked the tile guy if I should pick up one of those prefab niche liners, he said that he prefers to do them from scratch so as to best accommodate whatever tile is being used. (Fewer cuts, etc.) For the marble shelves, he likes to use thresholds, which are thicker than the 12" marble tiles I was going to have him cut into shelves.

Our tall 10" wide niche fits all of our big pump bottles, misc stuff like shavers and bars of soap perfectly! In our case, it worked out so well that he did it without the prefab thingy-maybe yours could, too.


clipped on: 04.05.2012 at 11:53 pm    last updated on: 04.05.2012 at 11:57 pm

RE: DIY Soapstone People Show Your Counters ! (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: mama_goose on 03.02.2012 at 09:19 pm in Kitchens Forum

Well, since you're twisting my arm... ;).

I found a great deal on craigslist for resin lab-tops, that had been salvaged from an old high school, then used in a church fellowship hall. They were $20 each, including the oak bases.

Here are the tops (complete with students' stuck-on chewed gum) stored on the front porch:


I talked my brother into doing the cutting, using his grinder and a diamond blade. I was in charge of templating, sanding and buffing, and finally, installing the tops, and filling the seams. My BIL used his drill press, and one of my diamond hole-saw bits for the faucet holes. We kept most of the cuts on the wall side of the slabs, so that the factory edges were exposed.


The first of the finished tops (in salsa season):


The following pics show the DIY runnels in progress. I used carbide router bits, and a homemade jig to keep the runnels parallel. The jig was thicker on one end, to put a gradual slope on the runnels, for draining. This is a mock-up--I forgot to take pics of the actual slab:




The sink area (I used two-part epoxy putty to fill the seams):

Finished counters--there's a seam in the corner, under the glass jar:

I used a scrap to make a pad for the mixer, so that it doesn't scratch the marble as it's pulled out:

So far the only problem I've noticed is that food cans will leave a 'metal mark', if a hand-held can opener is used. I polish them out with a smooth sanding-sponge, and polish the counter-tops with a soft cloth and a little mineral oil, if I want them to look nice for company.

***NOTE***If you are cutting or sanding epoxy resin, be sure to work outside and wear a dust mask and eye protection. I kept a shop vac outside the back door, and vacuumed off all loose dust before entering the house each time.

Here are a couple of links for info on cutting epoxy resin tops:

ehow-How to cut an epoxy resin countertop

Another ehow link

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY Runnels album with more info.


clipped on: 03.04.2012 at 10:21 pm    last updated on: 03.04.2012 at 10:21 pm

RE: How to get a economical 54' hood (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: boxerpups on 01.24.2012 at 09:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here are some ideas for your carpenter. Too bad you could
not diy than you could really save money.
who wishes her ideas were super easy to put together.

Maybe cover a frame with copper

trim with a copper strip


Here is a link that might be useful: past post

NOTES: (inexpensive vent)
clipped on: 01.25.2012 at 12:21 am    last updated on: 01.25.2012 at 12:22 am

RE: Kohler Archer Bath Tub (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: staceyneil on 12.14.2010 at 08:46 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I have one, with the Kohler horizontal overflow, and like it very much!


clipped on: 01.22.2012 at 01:10 am    last updated on: 01.22.2012 at 01:10 am

DIY budget elegant bathroom, almost done: pics...

posted by: staceyneil on 02.02.2011 at 10:11 am in Bathrooms Forum

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all your support and advice along the way with our latest project... we're ALMOST done but sort of stalled. We just need to add the door threshold and some pretty natural wood shelves above the toilet, but DH has moved on to other woodworking projects, so those little projects have been shoved down the list of priorities. Since it may be months before I get those shelves (and art/decor) up, I thought I'd at least post some pics of the room as it is now. Forgive the crappy lighting: it's snowing hard so there's no natural light :(

Project scope:
1956 bathroom with 1980's/90's tile, vanity, toilet. Tub was original but sadly unsalvageable: the enale was totally wrecked and stained and impossible to clean.
Suspected some subfloor issues due to leaks.
Budget: $2,500. (final total was a bit under $3,000... so we didn't do too badly :))

The layout was awkward, the door swing used so much of the floor space and only allowed a very small vanity. Since this is the hall/guest bath as well as the primary bath for my teenage daughter, we really needed to maximize storage and vanity space. I drew a new plan which involved moving the doorway to the perpendicular wall. As much as my DH balked at adding additional work, he admitted it was TOTALLY the right thing to do once we finished. The room feels SO much bigger now.

OLD BATHROOM and layout:

Some photos from during the renovation... which was planned to take 4 weekends and ended up taking about 6 or 7.....
DD sledge-hammering the old tile down

lots of rot in the subfloor

Self-leveling-compound poured over the radiant floor heat cables in the floor

The shower area waterproofed with Hydroban (LOVE LOVE LOVE that stuff!)

~ ~
~ ~
~ ~
~ ~

NEW BATHROOM and layout plan:

Since our budget was soooo tight, and we wanted to use quality materials and get a unique, custom bathroom, we had to get creative!!!

I had a small amount (it was mostly random pieces and offcuts) of very $$$ calacatta marble mosaic tiles left over from a previous project that I knew I wanted to use. The other materials were chosen around that starting point. I designed niches to use that tile in, as accent, based on the quantity I had. I used inexpensive white marble baseboard pieces from Home Depot for the shelves.

For the rest of the tile, I needed to use super-cheap stuff (the entire room is tiled to chair-rail height), but I didn't want it to look cheap or ubiquitous. I would have used subways, but DD emphatically vetoed them. It's her bathroom, and we let her have a LOT of design input. Since we have other areas in the house that use square tile in a running-bond pattern, I decided to use 4x4s, which are the cheapest anyway, but in a running bond rather than stacked pattern. After bringing home samples of the big-box cheapies, I decided to "splurge" (20 cents more per tile, I think, it was about $2.35 per sf after sales and discounts)) on Lowes next-step-up American Olean Ice White, which has a slight rippled surface that catches the light and adds a layer of interest that the flat, cheaper Gloss White doesn't have.

For the floor, we used American Olean 12 x 18 Pietra Bianco, a limestone-look ceramic tile that I'm surprisingly happy with :) Underneath the tile is radiant-heat cable, so the floor is wonderfully cozy and warm.

Floor grout is Latapoxy epoxy.
Wall/shower grout is Tec Accucolor XT, a super-modified grout that supposed to be a lot more stain-resistant (PITA to work with, though!)

DD wanted girly, vintage-looking stuff, a big departure from DH and my modern aesthetic. We narrowed down the style range, then I started watching eBay for deals. We scored about $750 worth of valves and faucets and stuff for about $275.
Vanity faucet: Moen Monticello
Shower faucet valve, trim, tub spout: Moen Monticello with Thermostatic valve
Shower head: Grohe Relexa Ultra on slide bar (LOVE!)
(after working with a bunch of faucets recently, I can say that the Moen monticello stuff is pretty cruddy compared to the Grohe RElexa, Kohler Purist, and HansGrohe stuff I've used recently.)
Towel bars and tissue holder are Ginger Hotelier.
Curved shower rod is the Crescent Rod. I tried some expandable ones they had locally, but this one (ordered on line for the same price) is SO much sturdier and nicer-looking. It also makes the shower space much larger.

Toto Carolina that we got at a yard sale for $150 including the Washlet seat (which we removed). We were driving down the street and DD -who professes to HATE anything renovation-related- said, "Hey, look, Mom... isn;t that one of those skirted toilets you like?" SCORE.

American Standard Princeton ~$300 at Lowes. yeah, we chipped it right away by dropping a tool on it while installing the faucets; luckily there's a repair kit that actually does a pretty amazing job :) We used the American Standard "Deep Soak" drain, which adds a couple inches water depth for baths. I wanted DD to use her OWN bathtub rather than my new one in the master bath :)

an old dresser. We bought it on Craigslist for $40, and DH reworked the drawers to fit the plumbing. He also added modern drawer slides so that they work easily. We bought fabulous vintage glass knobs on eBay (if you're looking for vintage knobs, check out this seller: billybobbosen.)

I painted it BM Dove Wing.
We totally went over budget on the vanity top. I'd intended to bet a remnant of granite... but of course couldn't find one DD and I liked. Then we found this little slab of Vermont White quartzite in the "exotics" bone pile at a local yard. It was over budget but we loved it. Then, of course, we decided that rather than a plain square front, it had to be cut to fit the curvy front of the dresser... which added about $100. So the vanity top was our biggest expense at $480.

Medicine cabinet:
A salvaged cabinet we got at the local Habitat for Humanity REStore about 2 years ago. We framed it into the wall (where the old door used to be), painted it, and I tiled the little shelf area with my calacatta mosaic accent tiles and marble baseboard pieces from Home Depot.

Pottery Barn wall fixture from eBay
Ikea ceiling fixture (like $8 each and rated for bathrooms!)
Fan/showerlight combo is a recessed, can-style fixture by Broan/NuTone. It's AWESOME. Quiet, unobtrusive.

That's all I can think of right now. I think once we have the natural wood shelves up over the toilet, with DD's shell collection and a plant on them, it will give a little but of softness/naturalness which the room needs. It's a little TOO "elegant" right now :)


clipped on: 01.22.2012 at 01:06 am    last updated on: 01.22.2012 at 01:06 am

RE: Kitchen at what you are cooking! Part II (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: trailrunner on 01.09.2012 at 09:58 am in Kitchens Forum

Oh wow...I haven't had gooseberries since we lived in SLC in the 70's !! I love them. Those pies are beautious :)

briana: can I find that recipe on line ? We eat eggplant all the time...DH made a Chinese dish that we love, last night. High heat makes it have a lovely smoky taste.

Granola :

This recipe was sent to me by my Mom well over 20 yrs ago. It was printed in the Orlando Sentinel food section. This is the double batch , you can halve it but it freezes beautifully so I make a lot.

42 oz can old fashioned rolled oats ( 12 cups)
2 c coconut ribbons ( need the large pieces do not use flakes)
2 c nut pieces coarsely chopped ( I use pecans or almonds)
2 c raw sunflower seeds
2 c raw wheat germ ( optional)
2 c raw sesame seeds ( optional)

In a large pot melt 2 c peanut butter ( I use smooth Jif) 2 c honey, 1 c water, 3 tsp salt , 2 Tbsp cinnamon. Stir till blended and pour over the dried ingredients , mix till well coated. Place on PAM sprayed baking sheets with sides. I use the 2 large pans that came with my Miele. Bake at 300 - 325 for 1 hr. Stir every 15 min ...pull in from the sides. watch closely as it nears the end. We like it well browned...I dislike purchased granola for that reason..among others , they don't brown it enough...this is because they are selling by the # and it weighs more when they leave the moisture in it :)

Additions that are really yum: add a very ripe well mashed banana or 2 to the wet ingredients. Add a cup of applesauce instead of the water. Do not put dried fruit in the mix before baking as it will burn/dry out too much. Add at serving time instead.

Enjoy !!


clipped on: 01.14.2012 at 07:44 pm    last updated on: 01.14.2012 at 07:45 pm

RE: Low-e vs solar gain vs window treatments (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: oberon on 08.30.2007 at 07:38 am in Windows Forum

good morning,

I am curious that your architect said to get insulating glass without LowE coating because of solar gain considerations. Either the architect is being a bit lazy or else he/she is not well versed on window performance.

If he/she wants to maximize solar gain then you want a LowE coating that maximizes solar gain as well as keeps heat inside your home. You do not want clear glass under any circumstances because the losses (as you noted) exceed the gains when the sun isn't shining on the windows.

A high solar gain LowE coating will balance out the losses and gains to a much greater degree than will clear glass. I know of very few solar gain experts who would dispute that idea, so again I would suggest that your architect may need to do a little reading about passive solar energy performance.

To follow up what Guy mentioned in his post, LowE coatings are designed to block infrared energy. The high solar gain coatings block what is called "far infrared" or "long wave" infrared. Far infrared is what you are getting from your heat source in your home - be it radiant, forced air, whatever. Even when you have solar gain thru your windows that warms the walls and furniture and floors, the heat that you feel radiating from those surfaces is far infrared.

Direct solar gain is "near infrared" or "short wave" infrared. This is the heat that you feel when standing in a sunbeam. This is very nice heat that always feels good - on cold winter days - less good on hot sunny summer days!

When considering passive solar thru windows, you want to allow the near infrared energy thru the glass but you want tyo block the return of the far infrared to the outdoors - again back thru the glass. This is what a high solar heat gain LowE coating does - it allows direct sun heat to pass but then keeps the warm inside air inside.

A low solar heat gain coating, on the other hand, is designed to block both near and far infrared energy. It is designed to keep "all heat" from passing thru the window. If you are not concerned about passive solar gain for whatever reason - for example you live in south Florida or west Texas where solar gain into your home may not be considered a necessarily good thing - then this sort of coating is what you want.

Even in the north country this coating will often (but not always) be more cost effective than a high gain product depending on factors such as actual amount of sunlight available, home orientation, number and size of windows, etc. Again, this is an area where the architect can make a huge difference by desiging a home that will take advantage of direct solar gain in winter and that will effectively block direct solar gain in summer. If you have a home that is designed to those specifications, then a high gain coating may be the best choice.

But, if you have a home that is not designed to make best use of those factors then it may be better to go with a low gain coating instead.

In all circumstances having a LowE coating is better than having clear glass.

Do LowE coatings block visible light? Yes, somewhat. But very few people really notice the difference when the entire home has coated glass. A caveat that not all coatings are created equal and that some manufactuers are much better than others at manufacturing "neutral color" coatings that can be far less noticeable. Often, even experts can't tell if a home has LowE coatings just by looking at the windows.

Calbay is an excellent source of first hand homeowner information. He did his homework before buying and he does a great job of passing what he has learned about his windows.

And off subject...

Guy, now that it has quit raining for a few days, we are going to try to get those windows installed later this week...hoping the eather holds until we get them in! Thanks for the advice and I will likely be bugging you a few more times my friend!!!


clipped on: 12.15.2011 at 12:20 am    last updated on: 12.15.2011 at 12:20 am

RE: Taking possession a week from Fri...any advice? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bevangel on 08.16.2011 at 12:33 pm in Building a Home Forum

It is probably late for this advice but you need to spend at least a full day at your house looking for punch list issues and making a written list BEFORE you meet with your builder for your "pre-through." And you need to be able to do this while there are no workmen there so they are not making noise or getting in your way. There are just too many things to look for to try to do the checking WHILE walking thru the house with your builder. Even if your builder gives you a full three or four hours for the walk-through, that is simply not enough time...especially if builder is taking time to write notes about the things you mention. And it is possible your builder will attempt to rush you because the fewer things you mention, the less work he has to do. Better to go with a list in hand (with a copy for builder) so that your walk-thru with builder is just a chance for you to show him what each note on the list refers to.

On your list, for each issue indicate EXACTLY where the problem is located.... What room, what wall, Where on the wall, what the problem is, and what needs to be done. Eg., 1) Living room; on north wall, 4 ft from east wall & 18 inches above the floor; there are gaps in sheetrock around electrical outlet; need to patch gaps, smooth patch (or texture to match wall texture) and prime and painted to match wall. 2) 1st floor powderroom, floor 20 inches from west wall & 2 ft from south wall; cracked tile; remove and replace with good tile, regrout - make certain replacement tile is set level with surrounding tiles and that grout matches surrounding grout. The more detailed you are, the more likely the fixes are going to be done satisfactorily. So, a laptop with an excel program can be helpful for making your lists because you can copy and paste the correction instructions everytime you find yet another electrical outlet with gaps around it.

So, if it were me, I would ask to postpone the walk-thru with builder until after this weekend - even if that meant postponing my move in date by a week or so. Then I would take a couple of very persnickity (sp??) friends with me to the house over the weekend and spend several hours going over each room and making lists of punch list items. People seeing the place with fresh eyes will see problems that you noticed months ago, that your builder promised to fix, but then somehow never got around to doing. Keep a copy of your list and then check issues off as they are corrected. Otherwise, chances are, half the stuff you point out will never get corrected. Don't rely on your builder putting sticky notes on walls. Sticky notes have a way of disappearing without the work ever getting done!

Some things you need to check:

Whole House
_ Turn every light switch on and off.
_ If you have ceiling fans with multiple speeds, check that they work on every speed.
_ Test every electrical outlet (both top and bottom as we've actually found that on a number of outlets in our current house - which was purchased from a previous owner - only one half of the outlet has power and the other half is dead!)
_ Check that both heating and air conditioning work, and that you have an adequate flow of air from every register. This will require turning the AC down so that the house gets extra cold and then, after checking AC, turning the heat on to make sure that works. While it'll be a bit of a waste of energy, you don't want to find out that the heater isn't working the first night that temps suddenly dip below freezing.
_ Open and close every window. Make sure they open easily and close and seal completely. Look for any light entering around the edges of window (between the sash and the jambs.) If light can enter, so can water! If your windows tilt out to clean, check that function on every window as well.
_ Open and close every door, interior and exterior.
_ Check that all doors are plumb and square. The crack around an door should be even on all sides when the door is closed and you should not be able to see light coming from the other side except at the bottoms of interior doors.
_ Check that exterior doors close and seal completely. You should not be able to see any light coming in between the door and jamb or the door and the sill AT ALL.
_ Lock and unlock every lock
_ Check that walls are plumb and flat, that there are no nail pops and that the texturing and paint is even. BTW - nail pops are where the nails holding sheetrock to the studs back up slightly. You see them as little round bumps in the paint. You should not be able to tell where the edges of sheetrock panels are. Nor should you be able to notice any dips or high places in the walls where they taped and floated the sheetrock.
_ Check walls carefully around all outlet plates to make certain there are no gaps where the cuts in the sheetrock were made too large and then never fixed.
_ Check every piece of molding looking for cracks or gaps where two pieces of molding meet. Check the paint or stain on molding - particularly cut ends.
_ Check floors. Tiles should have even and straight grout lines; hardwoods should not have gaps between boards; seams on vinyl flooring should not be noticable; carpet should be tight and should not show seams; etc.
_While the house is quiet (late night is best), walk up and down the steps and across all portions of any hardwood floors. There should be no creaks or squeeks.
_ Check ceilings. You should not be able to tell where the edges of the sheetrock panels are.
_ Check stair spindles, balusters, and handrails to make sure they are solidly installed. No shakiness.
- Take a sprinkler with you and set it so that water falls down against your windows (simulating rain) and check for leaks on the inside. You should not see ANY water on the inside. (Caution - don't spray water UPWARD against your windows as you may drive water through the drainholes, set the spinkler so that water falls downward against the windows.)
_ If you get lucky and it happens to be raining while you are there, go into the attic and look for leaks.
_ Check that smoke detectors are working.
_ Turn everything in the house off and unplug the refrigerator, then check the electric meter. It should no longer be running. (Be sure to plug appliances back in afterwards!)
_ Make sure all water spigots are turned off and that your water heaters are full, then check your water meter. It should NOT be moving. If it is, you may have a leak somewhere in your plumbing system...possibly even under your slab.
_ If you have a real wood fireplace, build a very small but smoky fire (damp wood and newspapers) and make sure the chimney draws properly.
_ If you have a gas fireplace, light it and make sure all the vents work properly and that the flame heights are as you would expect them to be.
_ If you have natural gas or propane, find the inside gas cut-off valves. (NOTE that these should not be hidden behind an appliance - you need to be able to get to them easily in case of a fire!) Make sure the gast cut off valves turn easily. Light the appliance then turn the gas off at the cut off valve. The flame should go completely out. If it doesn't, the cut off valve is working properly.

Kitchen/Laundry Room/Pantry
_ Check that every appliance is working properly
* Refrigerator
* Freezer
* Dishwasher (run thru a cycle to ensure no leaks and that it actually cleans dishes. We bought a house once where the dishwasher seemed to work when we tested it but when we actually tried to wash dishes, they never got clean. It turned out that the water had never been attached and the little bit of moisture we were seeing was just moisture from the air!)
* stove top - check every burner
* vent hood - make sure it is actually hooked up and venting to the outside.
* oven
* microwave
* garbage disposal - put some garbage in it and make sure it chops it up.
* washer (again, run a cycle to make sure its not leaking and that it doesn't dance around)
* dryer (run a cycle with some clothes to make sure it doesn't dance. Also, make sure the dry vent is hooked up!)
_ Open and close every cabinet and every drawer to make sure they function properly.
_ Look inside each cabinet and drawer to make sure it is finished properly, that there are no missing shelves, etc. Also, look for scratches, nicks, and stains. Once you move in, you builder will assume that you made any mars on your cabinetry.
_ Turn both hot and cold water on at the sink. Fill the sink with water and then, after a while, check under the sink for evidence of leaking. Check around the sink to make sure that it is properly sealed to your countertop.
_ Check the countertop for flaws. Check the edges of countertops especially carefully as these can easily get chipped or scratched (depending on the type surface) during the building process.
_If you have a granite countertop, inspect it carefully. Run your hands over every inch feeling for any rough spots. Also, get down on your hands and knees and look across the granite from a height just an inch or two above the surface - places that are not properly polished will be more visible.
_ Inspect every light fixture installed by builder to make certain it was not scratched, dented, or marred in the process of being installed.

_ Actually step into shower stalls and bathtubs to make sure they feel solid underfoot. Acrylic tubs and shower bases that "give" underfoot will crack over time.
_ Run water in every sink and bathtub and make sure they hold water without leaking. (Look under the sinks for leaks).
_ Run the showers.
_ Make sure you get hot water when you turn on a hot water spigot. Try it at every sink, tub, shower, and in your washing machine.
_ Run water at several locations at the same time to make sure you have adequate water pressure.
_ Test that bathroom fans work.
_ Flush all toilets several times to make sure they STOP running when the tanks refill. (Having a bunch of friends out for several hours also means your toilets may actually get "field tested" to make sure they really flush adequately... which not something you are likely to test while doing a walk thru with your builder!)
_ Make sure toilets sit solidly and evenly on the floor and are properly bolted down. There should not be any "rocking" motion when you sit down.
_ Have someone flush a toilet times while you run hot water in the shower and feel it. Flushing the toilet SHOULD NOT cause the shower water to suddenly get noticeable hotter.
_Make sure shower faucets are grouted properly so that water does not get into the wall behind them.
_ Check the cabinetry the same as you did for the kitchen.
_ Make certain that mirrors installed by the builder don't have flaws in the silvering.
_ Test that toilet paper holders and towel bars are firmly affixed to walls.

_ If your builder installed blinds or operable shutters (inside or out) make sure they work properly.
_ Check that you OUTDOOR water spigots work.
_ Check all outdoor electrical outlets as well. These often get over-looked.
_ Check your garage door openers. Also make sure that, if something is in the way of the door as it comes down, that the door stops and goes back up.
_ If you have an attic access ladder, pull it down and make sure it works smoothly.
_ Climb into the attic and make sure you have the amount of insulation you are supposed to have.
- If you're really lucky and it rains while you are checking out your house this weekend, go up into the attic with a flashlight and look for roof leaks.
_ Make sure gutters are fully attached to walls and designed to drain water away from your house. Pull downward gently on the downspouts and make sure that there is no movement where they connect to the gutters. If downspouts have not been properly connected to gutters, they can fall out.
_ Check that ground around the house has been graded so that it slopes away from the house.
_ Get as high above the ground as you can safely manage and look to see if your roofing shingles appear to be flat and tight against the roof.
_ Check all exterior concrete for cracks.
_ Check the siding on the house to make sure everything that was supposed to be painted has been painted.
_ Check that exterior sprinkler systems work and that landscaping plants are alive and appear healthy.

This is all just "off the top of my head." I'm sure if you think about it you can add dozens of other things to check for. And, no doubt other posters will chime in with other things to add to your check list.
Ultimately, you don't have to insist that the builder fix every little tiny thing. If something won't bother you - or if you can fix it easily yourself and don't mind doing so, point it out to your builder anyway and, once you've gone over everything you can cross those items off your list as a way to show you're being reasonable but that the rest of the list IS important to you.


clipped on: 12.11.2011 at 04:17 pm    last updated on: 12.11.2011 at 04:17 pm

Almost Finished- Light and Dark Kitchen with White Alaska Granite

posted by: brianadarnell on 12.03.2011 at 10:25 am in Kitchens Forum

First of all, thank you to everyone who contributed so much to this kitchen. I learned so much and made so many wise decisions because of information I gained on this site. I found this site just as our new build construction began and was able to utilize all of the wonderful information into my kitchen design for function, even though I already knew exactly how I wanted the kitchen to look.

We ended up completing the house project ourselves so finalizing the kitchen and getting settled has taken some time. Hosting Thanksgiving for 14 was a major catalyst in the effort to at least get our main floor permanently decorated. Now the only thing missing is the barstools!

from the great room
Side by Side Refrigerator- Love it. I hated the previous french door refrigerator we had. So happy to go to the side by side.
Angled Corner cabinet- I know these aren't popular, but the storage is fabulous for all of our stemware.
Cabinet on the back of the island- its amazing how much fits under there!
Microwave cabinet- Since we don't use the microwave that often, I'm glad we hid it. With our open floor plan, I didn't want it visible from the great room and dining room except when in use.
5 Piece Drawer Heads- these were an upgrade, but I love the way they look.
Drawers, Drawers, Drawers- Love them! I had a lot of drawers in our old house and went with all drawers this time except for the sink base and the corner susan.
Pantry- Custom designed the shelf layout.
Lower Corner Cabinet-
Dining Room Table- just off the kitchen. Thanks for your help on selecting the table. It was delivered just a few days before Thanksgiving. It has one more leaf that we take out for everyday use.

Some details:
Kitchenaid Appliances-
Refrigerator: KSC525MVMK
Wine Cooler: KURG24RWBS
Dishwasher:KUDE40FXSS panel ready
Range: KDRS467VSS
Lights: International Lighting 23341057 London Mist Four Light Seedy Glass Bell Pendant
Backsplash- Horus Cristalli Crackle Subway in Bianco
Knobs and Pulls: Alno Creative Inc knobs:ALN56206 1 1/4" / pulls 3 1/2" cup pulls solid brass in barcelona finish ALN56510
Faucet- Moen Brantford in Stainless
Disposal- Insinkerator Evolution Series
Sink- Blanco Silgranit in Biscuit with Offset drain Diamond Single Basin #440196
Granite- White Alaska/Delicatus
Cabinets- Brookhaven in Antique White for Perimeter and Matte Brown with black glaze for the island. Door style is edgemount recessed
Floors- 5" wide white oak quartersawn vertical grain with glitza (no stain)


range backsplash
clipped on: 12.03.2011 at 10:36 pm    last updated on: 12.03.2011 at 10:37 pm

What keeps soapstone darker longer. . .The answer! ! !

posted by: florida_joshua on 10.24.2007 at 04:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

So I did a little test to answer the question.

The products:

Clapham's Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish
Bee's Oil
Regular Mineral Oil
Mystery Oil

First a brief discription (my opinion)

Clapham's: It is a paste, inbetween a wax and a liquid. Goes on easy and feels amazing after you put it on. On the touch catagory it is the best of the bunch.

Bee's Oil: It is a wax. A little harder to get on but if you heat it up it would be easier. Has stay power. This is at the top when it comes to keeping the patina on the stone.

Regular Mineral Oil: Needs no discription. It's easy to apply. Would keep a bottle around for those lazy days. Feels oily compared to the wax or paste. That feel goes away quickly though (whithin a hour or two if you wipe it down with a rag).

Mystery Oil: It is a liquid similar to the mineral oil. Not so crazy about the warning lable. Feels a little bit more oily than the mineral oil at first. Seems to react similar to the mineral oil. In my opinion I would rather use the mineral oil just because of convienience considering the warning about it being combustable.

The proof:

This is unoiled stone.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is the stone just after application
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is a picture of the sheen each gives off
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

A day after the first oiling
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I then oiled it twice more over the next 2 days and waited 4 days to see what we had. Here it is.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The mystery oil evaporated the quickest, then the mineral oil, contiuing on to the clapham's, and finally the Bee's oil.

I could continue the process but I do believe that you will continue to see the same results. Over time I think you wouold spend less time applying with the wax products but I would keep the mineral oil around for quick touchups or lazy days.

This test also gives people a good idea of how soapstone will react when it is installed in their home. This process of oiling and or waxing lessens with time. Each variety of soapstone can react differently as well. This means some stone evaporates the oil or wax products off quicker and or slower. Some people leave it unoiled some oil it often. Some like it inbetween and only oil it sometimes. . . So it really is up to the owner to choose how the stone fits your lifestyle. I still have not figured out how describe to someone who does not know about soapstone in one or two paragraphs. I know it sounds cheesy but I feel it's an experience. If you don't touch it, feel it, live with it, you'll never really understand it.


clipped on: 11.28.2011 at 11:38 pm    last updated on: 11.28.2011 at 11:39 pm

RE: Pictures of 8' ceiling with 39 inch upper cabinets (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: numbersjunkie on 07.11.2011 at 10:09 am in Kitchens Forum

I have 8 ft ceilings and 36" uppers with 2 pieces of crown. I think 39" with 1 piece crown would look skimpy at the top. Not not sure the extra 3" at the top would add much usable storage and wondering how much extra cost there would be?


crown (sq)
clipped on: 07.11.2011 at 04:40 pm    last updated on: 07.11.2011 at 04:41 pm

Framing a tub deck/surround

posted by: mongoct on 01.15.2008 at 10:34 pm in Bathrooms Forum

There are different ways to skin this cat. Here's one way.

I don't have a decent step-by-step set of pictures, these pics are a byproduct of another shoot.

I always set non-cast iron tubs in a mortar bed. If your floor is not level, this allows you to level the tub. If your floor is level, then you can either set the tub, feet and all, in a thick bed or you can set the tub in a mortar bed and displace enough mortar so the feet of the tub touch the subfloor. Or you don't have to use mortar. Your choice.

ABOVE: Your tub will have a specified distance from the bottom of its rim to the bottom of its feet. In my example I used 19". Assuming I use a 1" (1" thick after the tub is set and mortar displaced) bed of mortar under the tub, my finished deck needs to be 20" off the floor or above the platform.

1) Tile plus thinset = 3/8" thick
2) 1/2" cement board plus thinset = 5/8" thick
3) 3/4" CDX ply = 3/4" thick

Add those three together to get 1-3/4". Subtract that from 20" and I want my framing for the tub deck to be 18-1/4" tall.

Using 2x4 material, the top and bottom plates (framing pieces with an "X" on them) will be 1-1/2" thick (maybe 1-3/8, measure your wood), so my cripple studs will be 18-1/4" - 3" = 15-1/4" tall.

ABOVE: The above pic is not a great example, because in this case the Lady of the House wasn't certain how high she wanted the tub to be. So I built the frame for the deck, stuffed it in place, and elevated it with the small pieces of 2x4 you see up against the walls. This allowed my to raise it or lower it as needed. Once the height was settled upon, the deck frame was leveled and screwed into the wall studs (do NOT use drywall screws!) and it was then under-filled with cripple studs to properly support it. Get the deck level.

ABOVE: I'm including this pic as it shows what a proper mortar bed looks like after the tub is set. You can see this tub had full support. You won't get that with canned foam.

ABOVE: Instead of a tiled tub deck, this one is teak. This shows the deck after it was epoxied up in place.

ABOVE: Three coats of a good urethane. Shiny because it's wet.

ABOVE: After the third coat, a nice satin finish. You can see that the teak deck doesn't reach all the way to the window wall. Later I installed a raised teak window sill that was about 7 or 8" deep.

Above: Here's the raised teak window sill. It hasn't been urethaned yet. The tub deck is 8/4 teak, the window sill 4/4.

ABOVE: A drawing of how I built this apron. What I like about this apron is that any of the three panels can be lifted and rotated out to gain access under the tub. Or the entire face frame that holds the three panels can also be lifted up and rotated out to gain access to the entire front of the tub. No tools required.

ABOVE: One panel removed.

ABOVE: Then whole face frame removed.

ABOVE: Everything in place.


clipped on: 07.06.2011 at 12:56 am    last updated on: 07.06.2011 at 12:57 am

RE: Drawers in the sink base cabinet (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: sandn on 05.01.2011 at 07:20 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi Muskokascp,
It can be done. We have a 30" cabinet and an 8" deep undermount sink. Our cabinetmaker made two pullouts on heavy duty Blum undermount slides, with scooped out sides to accommodate the plumbing. Our sink has a rear drain and our plumber helped to keep the water lines and trap out of the way. Here are some pictures:


clipped on: 05.02.2011 at 08:20 pm    last updated on: 05.02.2011 at 08:21 pm

RE: Spice Jars and Labels (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: plllog on 04.21.2011 at 08:15 pm in Kitchens Forum

This thread is more about storage than bottles, but it shows lots of varieties. This is another interesting thread about spice containers. A follow up. But there was a great thread that was more about bottles that I can't find. Short summary, a lot of people like bottles from Specialty Bottle, and others like the squat bottles from Anchor Hocking.

It seems my ideal spice jar is a Spice Islands jar. I like the size and shape, the opening, and the metal lid. Someone posted (after I broke one) that the Penzey's lids are plastic so they break if you drop the bottle, rather than the glass, but I've dropped plenty of glass spice bottles (onto concrete) and haven't broken them, and I like the metal lids with the plastic seals. Before we had a local Penzey's I bought a lot of Spice Islands, and have saved the jars for reuse with loose spices. I do buy Penzey's in the jar, however, because I'm not organized enough yet to store the overage of bulk packets, and have such a variety to choose from that I don't use them up fast enough for that to be a problem.


clipped on: 04.22.2011 at 01:18 am    last updated on: 04.22.2011 at 01:18 am

RE: Pocket door questions? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: brickeyee on 03.12.2011 at 09:10 am in Building a Home Forum

I have two in my present house, and have installed at least 100+ over the years.

With good hardware they work well and are not noisy.

Look over the Johnson Hardware to see what a good system looks like.

Older systems with a C-shaped trak woth the opening facing sidways can allow the door to come off the track, and if it is inthe pocket it can be a real chore to get them back on.

A C-shaped track with the slot faciong down and 3-wheel boggies works very well.

Sway is a problem even with the Johnson hardware.

The plastic guides scratch the face of the door.

A small groove in the bottom of the door and a section of angle on the floor of the pocket to control the bottom of the door works much better.

Nothing shows but the door cannot move sway more than 1/32 of an inch either way if everything is done correctly.


clipped on: 03.12.2011 at 12:05 pm    last updated on: 03.12.2011 at 12:06 pm

RE: My cabinets were delivered today, but.... UPDATE (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: ironcook on 03.06.2011 at 02:20 am in Kitchens Forum

woo hoo vitamins!!!


clipped on: 03.08.2011 at 08:50 pm    last updated on: 03.08.2011 at 08:51 pm

2 Year Project Finally Finished

posted by: askonovd on 02.06.2011 at 02:19 am in Kitchens Forum

Well we are 99% finished and moved in. I still have boxes in the garage but just so darned happy to be moved in. Thank you to all who gave answers and helped with our project. I think I am happiest with the kitchen so here are a few pics to share. When I have the strength I will post more detail. Again, a huge thank you! Crossing my fingers that the pictures post. Andrea
Image Hosting by
Image Hosting by
Image Hosting by
Image Hosting by
Image Hosting by
Image Hosting by


clipped on: 02.06.2011 at 06:24 pm    last updated on: 02.06.2011 at 06:24 pm

RE: Some of the best advice from the braintrust on this forum (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: buehl on 02.05.2011 at 03:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

I don't know if you've read the "Read Me" thread, but the "Best Advice" and other, similar, threads are linked in it. They're located in the "Miscellaneous Information"-->"Helpful Threads" topic.

Here's your list, reformatted for ease of reading (see "Curious about text in messages (adding bold, italics, etc.)", also in the "Miscellaneous Information"-->"Helpful Threads" topic.)


  • lay the kitchen out on the ground outside with all the measurements and walk around it to see if it felt right. I took my measurements and scraps of wood and laid them out in the various plans I had come up with.

  • check out the sound of the fan in the new ovens. I would have been pretty steamed to spend a bunch on a new range and have that sound come blaring out each time I used the oven.

  • putting Blumotion on the cabinet doors. This is my favorite feature in our kitchen and the cost was cheap to add these on after the cab install.

  • "zones" on this forum, and designed my kitchen around them, with a tremendous amount of help from my forum friends. In my old kitchen, the dishwasher opened across from the island (right into the backs of my legs). Now, the cleanup zone is on the peninsula, the prep area is between the fridge and sink, etc. It's really wonderful.

  • No air gap -- most modern dishwashers don't need them, so you don't have to have that extra unattractive "thing" on your countertop. Easy way around that if you need to pass code inspection is to drill the hole for air gap... pop it on for inspection and when they've gone take off the air gap and pop on your soap dispenser. Then put the loop in the hose at the back of your dishwasher...

  • Advantium

  • Miele dishwasher

  • Test tube rack for spice storage

  • Lay it out with tape to double check

  • advice for setting up a temp kitchen

  • Measure from 3 points wall to wall. Had I known this when we remodeled the entire house in 1990, I would now have the room to put in a pro-style range. As it is, I am exactly....1/4" short. Talk about frustrating! Our cabs are in great shape and I love them, but I'm stuck with the 29-7/8" width on the range.

  • I really like this that I stole from Dmlove--- I love not having all those cords on my desk/countertop! So best advice from this forum... details make the difference! for now my phone sits over the hole

  • pull down (rather than pull out or side spray) faucet

  • Bluestar, after asking about the best 30 inch slide-in range

  • batch-feed garbage disposals

  • adding outlets

  • Galaxy Tool Supply for our sink

  • Never MT

  • Plugmold

  • Wide/shallow cabinet for William Sonoma ultra-thin step stool.

  • Airswitch on disposal. Never minded the wall switch, but now that I have a nice backsplash and an island

  • Floodstop on icemaker and washing machine.

  • I put power into the back of 4 drawers, so each family member has a place to charge the cell phone (or camcorder or whatever) out of sight.

  • I also have a false panel behind a niche so that the power / wallwarts / phone wire / wireless access point is hidden. Only the phone sits out exposed. Similar to the idea above, but using depth.

  • Don't pack your booze prior to remodeling (this is VERY important! VERY IMPORTANT!)

  • Lacanche

  • caulk on change of planes verses grout...look at the underside of your cabinets

  • Plugmold for under the ends of my island so I didn't have to cut outlets into my beautiful cabinets

  • integrated drainboard cut into the countertop

  • raising the countertop for my wall oven - which gave me a bonus "standing desk" for my laptop

  • never thought I could get talked out of gas. So, that is the best advice so far

  • I'm a single sink convert, based solely upon the reviews on this website.

  • DH and I made a "never mt" out of tubing bought for $0.46 at Lowes. It's really not very exciting, though. It's clear tubing (like the kind you see on aquariums) attached to the bottom of the soap dispenser thing, and then extends down through the lid and into the bottom of the bottle of soap. (We just drilled a hole in the top of the bottle and shoved the tubing down.) So low tech! The tubing is something like $.23/ foot and we bought 2 feet. Super easy.

  • Landing space between appliances

  • Aisle clearances

  • Wait until its right - the right plan, the right time, the right appliances.

  • instant hot water heater

  • Getting a 36" range

  • baking center

  • online resources for sinks and faucets

  • the importance of putting functionality first in all design decisions

  • how to test granite for durability

  • remote blower for hood fan

  • single deep fireclay sink

  • lots of great online resources for sinks, faucets, etc

  • Never NEVER NEVER!!!! Leave your construction site to go on vacation ::scary music:: I MEAN NEVERRRRR!!!!!

  • the best (and most costly) is don't settle. You have to live with this kitchen for quite some time. Don't settle! (Even if that means you scrapped the cabinets today, called of the GC for 8 weeks while you order new ones, and you can't live in your home so you have to find somewhere else to live for three months). And maybe Santa won't know where you live!!!

  • Pegasus under-cabinet lighting here. Slim, good-looking, very energy-efficient, and reasonably priced.

  • I was convinced of the superiority of the Miele cutlery rack

  • do not rush..get a good plan in place. Pick what you love ..NOT what the designer loves

  • Brizo Floriano/pulldowns in general

  • xenon lighting

  • Venting

  • Tapmaster

  • take pictures of everything while your walls are open. It is very helpful to have that photographic record of where electric, pipes, studs etc. actually are. Also, plan for where you want to install pot/wall racks, shelf brackets, etc.--and add extra framing in the walls before they get closed up.

  • Get your floor plan right!

  • The Franke Orca sink ... to die for.

  • Inexpensive but quality Ticor sinks for laundry and prep.

  • Plugmold giving me a crisp, clean and outlet-free backsplash.

  • The personal, real life stories shared here gave me the confidence to push back at the stoneyard and insist on marble for my island. It pairs beautifully with the soapstone perimeter.

  • Bertazzoni range

  • White America Quartzite to go with SS

  • LED undercabinet lights

  • internet and eBay vendor recommendations

  • Hancock & Moore leather furniture (from GW furniture forum)

  • Microfiber cloths for cleaning SS and granite.

  • we had scaled drawings, pictures, and sketches taped to walls and cabinets all over the kitchen. A sketch of the island layout, a drawing with dimensions for light fixtures and switches, a sketch showing the spacing of shelves, a picture of how we wanted plugmold installed - you name it, we had it on a piece of paper and taped on a wall. When we would discuss anything with the electrician, plumber, etc., usually we would show them a drawing or sketch so they would know exactly what we were looking for. Then we would post it on the wall in the kitchen. It may have been slightly annoying to those working there, but it was amazing how much it helped. A number of times after someone screwed something up I would just point to a drawing and they would immediately have to take the blame and offer to fix it. There was never any chance to claim that we never told them or that we had said something else. It was right there on the wall the whole time.

  • undercounter light switch for undercounter lights

  • tilt-out shoe storage cabinet

  • Get hardwoods instead of laminate. Once I investigated I couldn't believe at how little difference in cost between the two (good decent laminate vs. hardwood)

  • This is AWESOME! I now have a list of things I had never even heard of to check on...and I thought I was on top of things!

  • posters here are willing to share their good and bad experiences so that newbies like me can have a smoother reno.

  • Something that I'm slowly realizing as I continue to read the posts here is that, despite the best of planning, something (or things) likely will not go as planned.

  • Buy appliances available locally (so service is available), from retailers who will actually stand behind the sale instead of shifting all blame and responsibility to the manufacturer - even when they shipped a defective product. Just finished reading a long thread about someone that bought from an internet retailer, and it was shocking to see the attitude of the retailer. Forget the pre sale promises and assurances from some of these disreputable internet companies who won't be there if you have a problem and just get them locally. No small percentage of savings is worth it if you end up with a defective product shipped and the retailer says it isn't his problem. If you must buy via internet, make sure you get in writing that the product will be shipped defect-free and if there's anything wrong with the unit at all - IMMEDIATELY contest the charge with your credit card company. Don't rely on promises that a minor (or major) problem will be promptly repaired by a service company.

  • learning all the lingo was great. When the contractor asked if I wanted plugmold I didn't go "huh?" I think by being knowledgeable before talking to the contractor it helps a lot.

  • Knobs vs. Pulls. There have been several discussions of knobs vs. pulls. Some comments:

  • Knobs on base cabinets can catch on clothing (and rip sometimes).

  • Cabinets/drawers w/pulls can usually be opened w/one finger...even the pinky finger.

  • Susan Jablon glass tile. Everyone who comes in my house walks up to my backsplash and has to touch it. I had just about given up the idea of a glass tile backsplash before finding out about her site on this forum. The price of her tile, even with shipping, was about half of what I could have bought it for locally and it is gorgeous!

  • No sockets/switches in backsplash (under cabinet plug strip)

  • Toe kick on trash pop out BUT... ADD a second spring to add power to the pop (thank you for whoever mentioned this ingenious bit of info)

  • Double layered cutlery drawer (secret drawer within a drawer)

  • What to look for when choosing undercabinet lighting eg... reflection, spread of light, color of light, heat...

  • Benefits of a large farmhouse sink

  • Miele dishwasher

  • superb

  • Thermador cooktop and all the controversy about the popup draft and how I could get away with not having one. THANK YOU!

  • Miele warming drawer FANTASTIC and thank you for making me realize that it doesn't have to be on the floor under the oven!!!

  • PLAN YOUR STORAGE SPACE. measure boxes, measure food processor, mixer, stack of plates etc. etc. then make a note of contents in the drawers or cupboards on your plans or diagrams or in your notes.

  • Plug strip under center island.

  • YOU ARE NOT ALONE- PEOPLE WHO CARE ABOUT YOUR CD FRIDGE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU and it's OK to really take your time with your decisions

  • Orca single sink

  • Pot rack in upper cabinet (I think this idea was from loves2cookfor6??)

  • Electrical outlet inside a drawer for a charging station

  • filling in the gap between the fridge and the cupboard above it with some leftover filler and a piano hinge. Cambro...where did you see this idea? Just yesterday we discovered that we might have a significant gap b/w the top of the refrigerator & the bottom of the cabinet above. Our contractor is just going to use filler to hide the gap, but if we put it on hinges it would actually become usable space!

  • knife drawer (I hated that block)

  • gel stain

  • Getting rid of my ugly phone jack and getting a phone that doesn't need one!

  • How to get rid of the drip inside my oven door - with a hanger and a sock going up through the holes at the bottom of the door. Worked like a charm!

  • Get a spine when talking to GC about his version vs. my version of cleaning up the jobsite each day (aka our home).

  • Use masking tape and a measuring tape and make a mock up of where your new cabinets will go. This is a biggie!

  • Dimmer switches! I put them on ALL of the new lighting, including the patio lights adjacent, and have not regretted it once.

  • how great Silgranit sinks are to live with. Never even heard of one before GW.

  • Buying Sources

  • Our Vac Pan. Ours is hooked up to a wet/dry vac in the basement because we do not have central vac. The idea came from this forum and our electrician and contractor figured out how to make it happen.

  • DIY on gel stain. Thanks Celticmoon and Projectsneverend.

  • Soapstone, getting it, finding the right fabricator right here, and caring for it

  • where to find a deal on saddle stools

  • Kohler Vinnata

  • Not to put my cooktop on my island.

  • best advice I got was around my budget and how to make the hard decisions on what should stay in and what should go (that was from Buehl).

  • What is not that important to me and doesn't add functionality? [Candidate for elimination altogether]

  • What can I do at a later date? [Candidate for deferring until a later date]

  • What can't be done at a later date and I can't live without? [Candidate for keeping and doing now]

  • This forum helped me see which terms are worth using, and which can be saved for later. This forum helped me get clearer communication going. Resistance could be expressed when I raised ideas; it all helped to refine the concept.

  • This forum helped me justify personal innovations. This forum confirmed ideas.

  • Tweaking and innovating. I tweaked everything in my kitchen along the way.

  • I don't know if I would have a remodeled kitchen if it weren't for this forum. I would have still been looking at the dreadful old one wishing it was nice and not knowing how to get it nice. Even the ideas & photos of things I didn't want for me helped to define what I did want.

  • I have to give credit to my carpenter, too. There was a time when his eyes rolled when I said, "but the people on the kitchen forum say......." But I had photos and conversations printed off to show him what I meant.

  • Lisalists organized drawers where the dividers go from front to back or side to side so you don't have to nest objects-and you can fit so much stuff in. Easy, easy access. No nesting. Yay

  • Layout, efficiency. This has to be the most important thing I've been learning here. What tasks do you perform, what zones will you organize them in, what items do you need close at hand in each zone, how does traffic between and through zones flow. etc.

  • Styles, materials, looks. People here have great ''eyes'' for style and looks. My eyes have been opened to these looks, and I've learned the vocabulary to describe them.

  • Specific ideas/features I learned about here that seem like they'll be useful: prep sinks, base cabinet drawers, counter top materials other than granite, true convection ovens, unfitted kitchens, under-counter refrigeration.

  • Many things, one of which is using a 13-15" depth cabinet for inset cabinets, as 12 is not sufficient.

  • Carefully placing all the appliances and storage thinking about what you use with what. For example, I moved the microwave to be next to the refrigerator because we use it mostly for reheating leftovers. I have fridge, prep sink, prep area, range, more prep area on one side and on the other I have prep area/ landing zone (across from fridge), main sink, prep area / dishwasher (across from range, but offset so both people can work) in the island.

Here is a link that might be useful: Read Me If You're New To GW Kitchens!


clipped on: 02.05.2011 at 09:15 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2011 at 09:16 pm

RE: Show me your kitchens with 9ft ceilings (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: kateskouros on 02.01.2011 at 10:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

we have 9' ceilings in the kitchen. i chose this view so you could see cabs to the ceiling and also open space on top. please don't make the mistake of putting in a soffit...



clipped on: 02.02.2011 at 11:17 pm    last updated on: 02.02.2011 at 11:17 pm

RE: HUGE Windows Over Sink (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: odiegirl13 on 01.15.2011 at 12:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

Go for it! I am doing it and I don't have a view even remotely as nice as yours.

My setup is like your pic plan except I only have an "L" with he sink and range walls. (The fridge and pantry are on another wall). The sink wall is about 12' and will have a 7' window, a 4' picture window with 2 x 1.5' flankers.

I think the trick is drawers, drawers, drawers. Maybe I am crazy but I am kind of sick of opening upper cabinet doors. I would rather just have open shelving if I have to have something.

Do a search on ''no uppers'' and you will find some good posts with great pics and storage discussions.

This is one of my inspiration photos for my sink wall:



clipped on: 01.15.2011 at 11:27 pm    last updated on: 01.15.2011 at 11:28 pm

kitchen and remodeling photos

posted by: cliff_and_joann on 12.01.2010 at 01:30 pm in Home Decorating Forum

our daughters remodel. 9 ft ceilings, cabinets go
up to ceiling, floor is wide plank maple, counters
are soapstone, Island is cherry.

Stove, you can see a bit of the marble floor in the mud room.

wall oven, warming tray and microwave. The big end cab is the fridge and the two lower drawers are the freezer.

Swing door to the right of the oven is entry way into
the dining room.

French doors on left, lead to living room.

photobucket is acting up, so I'm posting this before I loose it, however, I'll be back with more.


clipped on: 12.02.2010 at 12:37 am    last updated on: 12.02.2010 at 12:38 am

ROLLIE's How clean is Too Clean, Part 3

posted by: angela12345 on 09.02.2010 at 05:04 pm in Building a Home Forum

This is a repeat post of one from several years back by a long time poster, builder, and gardenweb member: Rollie. I thought it was a brilliant idea and wanted to share with all you new builders . . .

2004 thread from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine -
I added pictures & some descriptions linked from Rollie's website "Delores House"

How clean is too clean, Part 2
Posted by Rollie (My Page) on Wed, Nov 3, 04 at 10:38

A while back, there was a post about how to clean the subfloors up after the construction was done, and how clean they needed to be before finished floors can be installed. There were lots of good posts, but it has dropped off of the page.

I took some early shots of a project, where I explained that we cover the subfloor with 30 lb felt paper before any framing occurs, then we frame on top of it, and cut it out after final painting is done. Here is a series of pictures that show a couple different stages, and how clean the floor is when we finally strip off the felt.

Framing on top of felt: 30 lb felt covering Advantech. Total time involved 1 1/2 hrs, 2 men. 1400sft, at 200sf per roll,= 7 rolls at $15.80 each = $115 total

After drywall and painting: As you can see, there is considerable dirt, dust, mud, drywall compound etc that collects on this membrane. All of this residue rolls up, is removed from the structure, and is thrown away, leaving the subfloor very clean.

Here you see some prep being done. The Roll-Lath is pulled up, and 90 % of the staples comes with it if you use 1/4 inch staple to hold it down. If you use anything longer, expect to spend time plucking staples and tabs of felt up from the floor. We cut around the perimeter, so we dont get tar marks on the wall when rolling it up. This is especially important when the walls are finish painted. (Usually, I wait till after the finish painting is done, but I couldnt do it in this situation of 3 pics below. Since we were going with infloor hydronic heat we needed to remove the felt protection, to install the wirsbo piping and the 1 1/2" gypcrete cover)

After removal of felt, ready for finish carpentry:

Make sure and run the staples parallel to the roll lath, and they will come up easier.

Note the staple lines: Use of 1/4 inch staples is recommended to eliminate the staples staying in the subfloor like shown in the last picture. 1/4 inch staples will roll right up with the two layers of felt. These guys did not have 1/4 in, and used 3/8 instead. Bad mistake, as they are now learning, as its a real PITA to remove the tabs of felt and staples left behind, although usually it only needs to be done where there is hard surface, and not carpet and pad.

The black marks on the subfloor is some of the asphalt base that leaches out into the subfloor and causes some discoloration.

RE: How clean is too clean, Part 2
Posted by: Rollie (My Page) on Sun, Nov 7, 04 at 23:42

We do felt on a slab also, but usually after framing, at which time you can usually use 15lb felt. I would advise against plastic, as it is too slippery when wet, and it will get wet. When felting a slab floor, we use duct tape to tape all of the seams, and then just roll up the complete mess and haul it out.
We have tried most methods, and have settled on this approach as the most bang for the buck. Covering multiple times is not cost effective, and never achieves the same results as covering before.

As far as cost is concerned, it takes considerably less time to cover a floor before the framing is done, and when the subfloor is new, as opposed to covering all the different rooms individually. Believe me, this approach has been looked at several times, and is considered to be the most cost effective in terms of return. I actually started doing this while building my own personal house, and have implemented it into the homes we build for customers. 15 lb felt does not have the lifespan to withstand the rigors of framing, subs, equipment, drywall and painting, 30 lb will, but like I said, make sure you use 1/4 inch legs on the staples.

Maybe its not for everyone, and I hope I dont come across that way, Only offering something different that works for me, and is appreciated by my customers.

THINGS I HAVE TO ADD : When Rollie first posted this thread, I think he was using 2 layers of 30#felt. But it sounds like from the Delores house descriptions (which he built in 2005) that he has changed to 1 layer ? An idea that I had and have no idea if this would work : since the felt leaves a little bit of stain on subfloor, maybe heavy brown contractor paper can be laid down and then felt on top of it. Another idea I had (for drywall only) - sweep subfloor & lay heavy brown contractor paper before drywallers. They leave an big mess which is tough to get off subfloor. - Angela


clipped on: 11.14.2010 at 09:28 pm    last updated on: 11.14.2010 at 09:28 pm

RE: Under sink trash pullout? (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: morton5 on 11.10.2010 at 10:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have 8-gallon trash and recycling bins in pullouts under my prep sink. The cabs are Ikea, and I used the Ikeafans modification for my set-up. I also have a small disposal at this sink and a never-MT. We were able to fit it all because the GC flipped the orientation of the sink so that the rear drain is at the front. This allowed all of the plumbing to fit in a single plane. I love having trash and recycling by my prep area and do not find the placement under the sink to be inconvenient at all.


clipped on: 11.11.2010 at 10:32 pm    last updated on: 11.11.2010 at 10:33 pm

RE: exhaust fan/light timer switch? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: jacobse on 06.27.2010 at 08:11 am in Bathrooms Forum

Jani18, the Fantech ones I bought (one installed in our guest bath, one in the box awaiting installation in our master bath in about two weeks) are the ones with the halogen light. Fantech makes one with a compact fluorescent light which isn't big like the Panasonic, but I actually prefer the warmer (yellower) color of a regular light to the cooler (bluer) color of a fluorescent for the shower. And I like being able to dim the halogen light, which you can't do with the fluorescent, even though most times we'll probably just leave in on high. (I have rope light above and below our vanity and cabinets to use as a "night light", but if you don't otherwise have a built-in nightlight, then turning on the Fantech halogen light at a low setting on a dimmer would work well.) I'm quite happy with the model with the halogen light.

Which model of Fantech fan? That depends on how large your bathroom is. Their smallest fan, the one I have, moves 110 cubic feet or air per minute (CFM) and is good for bathrooms up to roughly 100 square feet. Our guest bath is 7'x7', so the small fan is sufficient. The master bath we're redoing now is larger, but it's divided into two separate rooms for the shower & toilet and the sink & dressing table; we decided we only needed ventilation for the shower/toilet room, so the small fan is again the proper size for us. I therefore got the Fantech PB110H, which includes the fan, grille housing, and grille with halogen light. If your bathroom is bigger, Fantch offers a larger 190 CFM model, and 270 CFM model with two grilles, and even a 370 CFM model. The Fantech web page shows the options and model numbers, and explains how to calculate how big a fan you need.

Fantech sells a timer switch, but I couldn't find out much information about it; it may be custom made for them. I decided to use Lutron, because it did exactly what I wanted and I could match it to the other light switches in the rooms. I'm using the one mentioned higher up in this thread, the Lutron MA-L3T251, which contains a light dimmer in the top half and a fan timer in the bottom half of a single size switch. I'm a big fan of Lutron's Maestro dimmers, which we have in a bunch of places in our house. They turn lights on and off with a gentle fade on and fade off over about a second, and once you set the lighting level you prefer, the light comes on to that level whenever you tap it. For the fan, you can preset it for just on/off, or 60, 45, 30 or 15 minute countdown. We have it on 60 minutes. Enter the bathroom, tap the button, take your shower and do your bathroom business, and it shuts off the fan an hour after you started. The fan is so quiet that unless you listen closely for it, you don't know its on; without a timer, I'm sure we'd be accidentally leaving it on all day with some regularity!

The Lutron switch comes in a bunch of colors, with matching Claro wallplates; you won't find most of the colors in a box store or even most lighting stores, but lighting stores or online retailers can order any of the colors Lutron offers. We went to a lighting store which had sample chips of all the Lutron colors, so we could see which looked best with our tile.

Hope that helps!

-- Eric


clipped on: 11.03.2010 at 01:15 am    last updated on: 11.03.2010 at 01:15 am

RE: exhaust fan/light timer switch? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: jacobse on 06.24.2010 at 10:51 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Susan, I'm wondering if most of the $250 charge is for the labor of re-wiring between your wall and the ceiling? Or do you have an existing exhaust fan that's on an on/off switch now, and he wants $250 to change the switch to a timer switch? If the latter, I agree with you, that seems way high.

Here's the switch I used in our guest bath, and I think I'm about to order again for our master bath.

It's a Lutron (part #MA-L3T251) two-in-one: the top part is a dimmer for the light; the bottom part is a timer for the fan. You can simply turn the fan on or off by tapping it, or set it to count down from an hour of less to shut off. I like having the fan and fan light wired separately. Depending on your bathroom, you might sometimes want to run the fan without the light. It's a $50 switch at Dimmer Warehouse, but you might find it for a little less if you shop around. It comes in all the regular Lutron colors (even though the page I linked just shows a few).

-- Eric


timer switch in bathroom for fans
clipped on: 11.02.2010 at 11:49 pm    last updated on: 11.02.2010 at 11:49 pm

RE: Toilet decision- help please!!!! (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: terry_love on 04.23.2010 at 08:05 am in Bathrooms Forum

Since you asked,
The link below is the instruction page for installing the Aquia, written by my son Jamie.
He's installed dozens and dozens of these bad boys.
We sometimes get calls from other contractors wanting installation tips.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jamie's complete instructions for installing a Toto Aquia toilet.


clipped on: 11.01.2010 at 11:44 am    last updated on: 11.01.2010 at 11:45 am

RE: Pictures of wood kitchens please! (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: cotehele on 10.29.2010 at 07:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

These cabinets are quartersawn red oak. The floor is white oak.





clipped on: 10.30.2010 at 09:07 pm    last updated on: 10.30.2010 at 09:07 pm

RE: onion/potato storage (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: clergychick on 10.19.2010 at 04:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

I think this may be what you're looking for. I just got them last month. They are beautiful. Perhaps a little darker cream than the computer pic shows, but very generously sized.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fresh Valley Canisters at CHEFS


clipped on: 10.19.2010 at 06:21 pm    last updated on: 10.19.2010 at 06:22 pm

Vertical or drawer storage for pans, pics inside - help me choose

posted by: melaska on 10.10.2010 at 12:32 pm in Kitchens Forum

Good morning all :)

I've been perusing the kitchen forum for months now getting ideas together for our new build this Spring. I really want vertical storage for cookie sheets, pans, etc.

Here are some samples I've culled from you all:

Don't know whose this is but I really love this one:
vertical storage

One from Buehl which is the short horizontal shelf underneath:
vertical storage buehl

This is from sabjimata - I really like the drawer idea, too:
drawer vertical storage sabjimata

I initially planned to have this storage above my fridge. I'm tall so there is no problem. But, I will also have lots of drawers. One advantage I see with the drawers is you can store multiples items in the same space whereas the up-high I couldn't do that. But, the area above the fridge is a great use of space & I can always store the small items elsewhere. Hmmm, maybe I can do a mix of both?

If you have examples of yours - I'd sure like to see...thanks! :)


pan storage
clipped on: 10.10.2010 at 07:43 pm    last updated on: 10.10.2010 at 07:44 pm

Cushy Cupboards Sale

posted by: atd_oc on 10.05.2010 at 09:09 am in Kitchens Forum

I just opened the DeNault's flyer and saw they are on sale.
The sale is from Sept 25 to Oct 17. The prices are $8.97 for the 12" roll and $12.97 for the 24" roll. Both are 10' in length.


clipped on: 10.07.2010 at 09:50 pm    last updated on: 10.07.2010 at 09:50 pm

RE: We go to buy our IKEA cabs this morning and then.... (Follow-Up #27)

posted by: bmorepanic on 07.30.2010 at 02:48 pm in Kitchens Forum


You tell Scherrs what ikea boxes you're purchasing and they will build the correct doors and drawer fronts, drilled for the ikea hinges and drawer boxes.

You can get paintable doors or cabinet woods, unfinished, or primed or completely finished.

You can also get matching (in essence) cover panels or decorative end panels that match your doors. We got a few sticks of the same type of wood locally to use for fillers and starter moldings, but you could probably just go ahead and order the fillers.

Toe kicks are the same issue. Again, if you're not doing an exotic finish, you can get a local matching wood. We just used nice plywood and are painting them dark. If we can't stand it after a while - I'm afraid of shoe marks - we'll replace with the stainless toe kicks from ikea. We liked the look better than matching the cabinet.

The tolerances on the doors and drawer fronts are such that you don't see any bit of the white or birch ikea cabinet - with these exceptions....
-- The stuff that doesn't have doors! Those open shelf end units that are about a foot wide or the small perfects - the wine one or the shelf one.
-- Either sink base when you use ikea's farm sink. It's just not positioned correctly as designed. This is a job for a bit of paint to make it look like a shadow. If you use one of ikea's non-white colors, you'd have the same problem.


clipped on: 08.10.2010 at 12:16 pm    last updated on: 08.10.2010 at 12:16 pm

RE: We go to buy our IKEA cabs this morning and then.... (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: caryscott on 07.30.2010 at 06:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

Don't know about with the Scherr's doors and drawer fronts but with Ikea's own you can see the box edges (it is most noticeable with a high contrast fronts and boxes). Ikeafans has a number of threads about using PVC stick on edgebanding from Fastcap. They will send you a sample chain for free so you can match it to your door. You apply it to the front edge before assembling the cabinets. You can get the tools you need from Fastcap as well.


clipped on: 08.10.2010 at 12:16 pm    last updated on: 08.10.2010 at 12:16 pm

RE: Best price and construction of kitchen cabinets? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: daveinorlado on 07.24.2010 at 03:34 pm in Kitchens Forum

$250 per foot for upper and lowers is $500 per foot. That is not a high price for custom by any means. As a Kitchen and bath store owner I can offer to my customers Hi LO Industries Bridgewood Advantage and Bridegwood custom (they allow custom colors and box sizes but do not offer inset door style continues to be a bummer for me!). The warranty period is weak at 3 years my only other wish they would change.

I can offer my customers Maple cabinets Painted Glazed and Full old world distressing comperable to starmark distressing for $361-436 per foot for the upper and lowers combined. A 10x10 kitchen would be $7,220 - $8,730 Cherry would be the same in cost but without a painted finish.

I can offer brandom Semi Custom cabinets with any sherwin willams stain or paint with their least expensive door style in in 39" wall cabinet height (normally a custom door height) with life time warranty and custom boxes sizes available for $142-192 per foot in maple and $256-$306 for the most expensive door style. So a complete 10x10 kitchen with all trim including light rail moldings would be $2,840-$6,120. Brandom is a good company made in TX and been in business for 30 years

Other brands to consider as viable alternatives Kabinart in Tn (10 year Warranty) Door Components in AL(10 year warranty I think I do not sell them right now want to but am to close to some one who got them first!) Wards Full Acess cabinets Al (lifetime warranty)13" deep wall cabinets standard size. Tru wood AL (5 year warranty) Elite series has soft close door hinges standard. Mid Continent is another product priced to compete with pricing around the Woodmark - Kraftmaid price points. Some stores sell it as Norcraft. Norcraft name will be slightly more expensive becasue of method of distribution.

If you live in the Mid Atlantic Old River Custom Cabinets are hard to beat you have to buy direct to get the best price from Richmond Va Charlotte NC or Sterling VA show rooms. (Normally $300 - $600 per foot)Other stores sell their products but have to mark them up they do not offer discounts to retailers to sell their products they prefer to sell direct. If you buy direct from Armstrong you can get a good price on cabinets about the same as Woodmark as a general rule. Bruce brand is quite a bit lower if you can find a dealer in your area that sells it. They have to be a stocking dealer to get an account with Bruce.

The most affordable alternatives with less options I have seen to date are

Sunco 6 Square and All wood Cabinets all three are imported finished door and drawer fronts. The cabinet boxes are cut and assembled with the pre finished imported doors and drawers for 2-3 week lead times. 6 Square offers life time warranty and has 2 inset cabinets to chose from.

"Smart" is a Amish cabinet company that was solely multifamily. They now offer kitchen at a time orders. I sell smart in my store for $81 - $226 per foot. They have about 12 door styles and 5-6 stains to chose from on most door styles. Very little modifications are possible. It is meant for price matters most customers with mass production driving down the cost. Great product for the need it fills.

Contractors Choice private label Aristokraft cabinet is a great price also in line with Smart. Less door styles to choose from.

Also comparing one company to the next for price comparison is not the way to go about it. Armstrong and Norcraft have the flat slab door as a high priced door while Smart Aristokraft and Brandom have it on the low price point. Wards 13" deep wall cabinets are standard size where many of my companies charge 50% of cabinet list price to modify depth and they do not care the amount of change in depth for the cost of the material. It is the same price for a 1" change or a 9" change. The fee is in the cost of operating the equipment used to make the cabinet more than the cost of the extra plywood. You can not make educated decisions based only on cabinet brand name. You have to get out there and look at the products available in your area and chose what looks good to you. Then take that quote and compare the same list of items with another company that sells the same product. That will tell you much more then asking oppinions on here of brand name pricing. I tell my customers up front the price per foot range that most customers pay for any given door style and brand name I have. Most stores do not do that. Mostly cause they are to lazy to figure it out. Sure their are exceptions but it is generally pretty close.


clipped on: 07.27.2010 at 06:40 pm    last updated on: 07.27.2010 at 06:40 pm

RE: What cabinet features to get when building a new house? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: buehl on 07.12.2010 at 05:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

Beaded Island Panel (not even sure what this means) - $248

  • Aesthetic... Side or back? I have a plain panel (for budget reasons) on the back of my peninsula. I now see that since there are stools (or people) there all the time, you really cannot see much of the panel. So, I will not be adding decorative doors later as I had originally planned.

    Cutlery divider - $68

  • Cheaper at BB&B or elsewhere. However, if you want it to fit "exactly", have your cabinetmaker do it. This is the one insert I bought from our cabinetmaker for that reason...and it fits exactly! You can get the "cut to fit" or make your own for less, so it's up to you. (There's a thread right now about how difficult some trimmable/cut-to-fit inserts are to actually trim properly.)

    Door mounted spice rack - $117

  • Cheaper to buy elsewhere. You could also use a drawer or triple-height shelf in an upper cabinet (triple height is an insert w/3 shelves...each one higher than the one in front of it.)
  • If you go the door-mounted route, remember the shelves will need to be cut back to fit the spice rack...or else be sure it fits b/w shelves and don't store anything on the shelves that would get in the way of the rack when the cabinet door is closed.
  • Have you thought of a 9" or so spice pullout instead?

    Drawer full extension w/ soft close drawer - $73/each

  • Full-extension - definitely worth it and what I consider a "must have"
  • Soft-close - a "nice to have" but not a must.
  • What's the cost difference b/w full-extension & full-extension w/soft-close?
  • Neither of these can usually be done later
  • If you end up with any roll-out tray shelf trays (ROTS), then only get full-extension, not soft-close as soft-close means you have to wait for the closing delay b/f closing the doors.

    Glass door clear - $302
    Glass door seeded - $536

  • Much cheaper elsewhere for both. My KD was upfront with me and told me NOT to get my glass doors & glass shelves from her b/c she was too expensive. She recommended we go to a glass "store" (she was so very right!)
  • Don't forget glass shelves

    Knife block insert - $138

  • Cheaper elsewhere (check Amazon)

    Open shelf base cabinet (I guess this is for cook books, etc.?)- $296

  • I would not do unless it's outside the kitchen proper...dust & dirt can easily collect in base cabinets.

    Plate rack - $484

  • Aesthetic...but unless it's installed where there are no cabinets, I don't think it can be installed at a later date.

    Pot and pan cabinet 30" - $390

  • Drawers! Definitely worth it!

    Roll out shelf - $103

  • I repeat, drawers! Definitely worth it :-)
  • Thread: Drawers or doors with pull outs?

    Spice drawer insert - $104
    Spice rack - $315

  • These 2 AND a spice rack in the door? How many spices do you have?
  • See this thread: How do you store a LARGE collection of spices?

    Tight mesh pantry shelving - $88

  • I wouldn't use this at all...I had that in my old kitchen and I hated it! Instead, use a melamine coated solid shelf...easier to clean up, no problems w/spills from the spill to the floor, etc.
  • My KD told me to put in my own shelves as, again, the Contractor overcharges for them. So, our contractor built the pantry and we finished it (Sharb-inspired Pantry Done!)
  • See this pantry thread: Pantry photos/ pics of pantries

    Tilt tray - $120

  • Don't have one, didn't want one (and still don't). One disadvantage is that they push the sink back farther to make your sink is set farther back and it can be an issue with back pain (especially if you're tall). However, others here have them and like them. So, it's personal preference.
  • I think these can be retrofitted later...but only if you leave enough space in front of the sink for one.

    Trash can pullout 2 bin - $409

  • Definitely worth it.
  • You can retrofit it, but be sure to order the cabinet w/o the door attached (but you do need the door!). Later, you'll attach the pullout you purchase to the door so it's a pullout.
  • It's probably cheaper to do it yourself, but this is one place that I opted to let the cabinetmaker do to ensure the drawer/pullout glides were installed properly.
  • NOTES:

    clipped on: 07.20.2010 at 11:47 am    last updated on: 07.20.2010 at 11:47 am

    RE: Ikea cabinets (Follow-Up #6)

    posted by: bmorepanic on 06.11.2010 at 11:05 am in Kitchens Forum

    So, roughly, this lecture is my personal opinion.

    The built-in cabinets aren't crap, but they aren't great either. I'm talking about just the cabinets and not the doors or drawer fronts. You can get a nice kitchen with adequate storage using the built-in cabinets. The cabinet frames are pretty weak and made out of terrible particle board. If you build and install them correctly, you'll be ok without making mods.

    In my mind, that makes the built-in Ikea cabinets good value for the money. The structure of the drawers help a lot in improving the stability by being partly metal. The glides might survive being thrown out of an airplane.

    The drawers are a version of blum tandem box drawers but they aren't the stainless steel sided, square edged, full depth, undermounts that a cabinet company would do - they are powder coated, three inches less deep and have the slant sided drawers with side mounted glides. Overall, you lose about 2-3 inches of drawer width and 3" of length over all - similar to a lot of framed cabinets. You still get the frameless style height increase - except for the middle drawer issue in a 3 drawer cabinet. The middle drawer has a big face that over hangs the glides by an extra inch and change in height; short changing either the middle drawer or the bottom drawer depending on how you think about it.

    Things I would (or did) customize. I added bracing in front of the fiberboard back. The braces are screwed through the cabinet sidewall, and the screws set flush in the sidewall. That changed the cabinet structure from something that felt fairly flimsy to something that was very stiff. We used the new braces to attach the cabinets to the wall and were able to use as many screws as pleased us. The base cabinets sit on a constructed toe kick with a solid top that was leveled before cabinet installation.

    We'll probably brace the micro cabinet in the pantry, but we haven't built it yet. I'm kinda jonesing for the replacement cabinet bottom that provides lighting and I suspect you can't do that with the micro cabinet.

    I wish they had plywood drawer bottoms instead of the particle board. I might replace those eventually in my 36" wide, deep drawers. Long term, I don't believe the drawer bottom will be able to take the weight of cast iron. Since we ordered the fronts from Scherrs, we shortened the middle drawer front - we could have, but did not, reposition the middle drawer, we just shortened the front. This let the bottom drawer be about 1-3/8" taller and it fit the biggest thing I own stacked together - a very large stockpot with a basket steamer that sits on top and its lid.

    I would be vastly surprised if they fell apart.

    Do get quotes for the exact look you want from a couple of third parties. I have read of many ikea finish failures over time on their drawers or doors. Sometimes, the 25 year warranty doesn't work out quite the way you'd think - if they stop making the style or they change the manufacturer, a replacement may not be available and that let's them off the warranty hook.

    Honestly, if we had a bigger budget, we would not have bought ikea cabinets. We shot our budget (the budget that we made by figuring out however many dollars we could spare as our remodel was a surprise) in raw construction and economized on the cabinets. As the children say, it is what it is and we're pretty over it.

    A construction picture of my ikea cabinets with different door and drawer fronts - fronts not adjusted, no hardware yet and no toe kick. We just got them. Yes, it has the little ikea sink and the little ikea faucet, too.


    clipped on: 06.11.2010 at 01:37 pm    last updated on: 06.11.2010 at 01:37 pm

    RE: How do you store your pots and pans? (Follow-Up #15)

    posted by: loves2cook4six on 11.06.2007 at 10:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

    My upper cabinets are 15" deep, inside is 14" deep so my biggest AC 6qt saute pan is just a tad to large so it's in a drawer under the cooktop.

    The pot rack is bolted to a shelf which slides in on shelf supports so if we ever decide we're not cooking LOL, or if a future owner prefers, the pot rack can be removed and extra shelves put in to increase storage capacity.

    We have a lot of storage in our kitchen so this was planned this way. I have seen something similar in another kitchen here. IIRC it was in the "Somethings gotta Give" kitchen that susanandmarkw has. I am TERRIBLE with movie names so I may have the name wrong LOL. If someone else has a better memory feel free to correct me.

    As I look at the picture I realize that had we wanted to, we could have hung the rack from the top of the cabinet and had even more room at the bottom, maybe even been able to fit some of the pots in. But this works for us just as well.

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Please excuse the mess on the counters. We're still moving in and we're waiting on handles which should have already been here. See that big white box. It contains 60 of the WRONG handles!! They sent knobs instead of pulls.

    And when I went to add the link below I see that the pot rack is now HALF the price we paid. Dang it and I can't find the reciept.

    Here is a link that might be useful: The pot rack we used


    clipped on: 05.28.2010 at 11:41 pm    last updated on: 05.28.2010 at 11:41 pm

    RE: anyone who used a stock filler piece to make cabs go to ceili (Follow-Up #18)

    posted by: circuspeanut on 05.27.2010 at 12:51 am in Kitchens Forum

    Ours is simpler than most here- we added about 6" of stock and a very modest shaker cove. Also done by screwing blocks to the cabinet tops, then nailing the stock to those. Then we added a small bullnose to hide the seam. It matches the rest of the trim in the house:

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic


    clipped on: 05.27.2010 at 12:57 am    last updated on: 05.27.2010 at 12:57 am

    RE: anyone who used a stock filler piece to make cabs go to ceili (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: buehl on 05.25.2010 at 09:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

    We used a 3-piece crown molding with a Stock filler piece in the middle. It served two purposes...(1) take the cabinets & crown molding to the ceiling and (2) handle the ceiling height discrepancies around the kitchen.

    It's extremely rare for anyone to have a perfectly level ceiling that's also the exact same height in the entire kitchen. To accommodate ceiling height differences, the Stock filler piece is modified to fit. The two crown pieces stay the same. This technique hides the ceiling differences and avoids the, to me, obvious gaps b/w the cabs & ceiling when not used. If you modified the upper & lower detailed crown, it would be much more obvious than modifying the plain filler piece.


    Crown Molding Design Details

    Closeup of crown b/w 15" deep & 12" deep cabinets (the 12" deep do not go to the ceiling)

    Between 15'' deep &amp; 12'' deep cabinets


    clipped on: 05.27.2010 at 12:53 am    last updated on: 05.27.2010 at 12:53 am

    RE: Hood / venting system for wood hood (Follow-Up #6)

    posted by: circuspeanut on 05.16.2010 at 05:20 pm in Kitchens Forum

    We're going through this right now (building our own hood) and I think you're right except that the "metal hood inside my wood cabinet hood" IS the liner.

    So in short you either need an all-in-one unit (the classic metal kind that hangs there between cabinets), or if you're building it in, you need 2 parts:

    1. The blower itself, also called the insert or ventilator. This can be an external unit (installed on the other end of the duct from your kitchen so it's nice and quiet):

    or an internal unit (hanging right there over the stove):

    2. A metal liner for the blower to protect the cabinet wood and ensure a code-appropriate install (fire protection).
    If you have an external blower, you need this to be a liner that has filters and bulbs on it to trap the grease, provide light, etc:

    If you have an internal blower, the liner is basically just a strip of metal that surrounds the blower insert:

    Clear as mud? I know, it's totally confusing - hang tight!


    clipped on: 05.16.2010 at 10:41 pm    last updated on: 05.16.2010 at 10:41 pm

    RE: What are your drawer sizes? (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: desertsteph on 05.07.2010 at 09:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I don't think the 10.5 would be a waste - good for mixing bowels, pots/pans, cake pans, cookie sheets (maybe) with a divider in it, etc.

    I do think the 3.5 would be limited tho... the 5" sounds like it'd be good for a lot of things! if they'll do a few custom and you can afford it, I'd do a bank or 2 with a few 5" drawers at least!

    have you looked at buehl's drawers? (not to get personal here...). She's posted them before.

    i couldn't get the link to work but she posted this some time back - note she has a few at 4" something...

    * d by buehl (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 2, 09 at 7:43

    * Cabinet Line: Omega Dynasty

    * Face Frame: 1-1/2"

    * Drawer box wall thickness: 5/8"

    * Interior Depth of drawer box (front-to-back): 19-3/4"

    * Approx interior width of any drawer box = cabinet width" - 4-1/2"

    * Drawer Heights/Depths (interior drawer bottom-to-stile b/w drawers):

    o 3-drawer stack:
    + Drawer 1 (Top) = 3-1/4"
    + Drawer 2 = 8-1/4"
    + Drawer 3 = 8-1/4"

    o 4-drawer stack:
    + Drawer 1 (Top) = 3-1/4"
    + Drawer 2 = 4-3/8"
    + Drawer 3 = 4-3/8"
    + Drawer 4 = 6"

    o Drawer of 'Top Drawer + Doors' Cabinet = 3-1/4"


    clipped on: 05.10.2010 at 12:58 am    last updated on: 05.10.2010 at 12:58 am

    RE: Front Loading Washer on Second Floor? (Follow-Up #5)

    posted by: monaw on 02.12.2010 at 11:43 am in Appliances Forum

    odiegirl, I just had Miele 4842 washer with matching dryer installed on second floor one week ago today. We had the floor reinforced with 3/4 inch plywood, and bought a "stall/horse mat" from a local tack shop that we cut to place under each unit.
    This is a 4 by 6 3/4 inch heavy duty mat that is used in horse stalls, etc. for animals to stand on. I got the idea online and have another post with more detail in the Laundry forum. ("possible cure for second floor ...)
    We're sure glad that we took the extra steps! The washer does not move. I can see where if one had a load that wasn't balanced, it would walk without the pad. Of course we didn't need to put pad under the dryer, but because our old one made an annoying hum, we decided it wouldn't hurt since we had extra pad after cutting for washer. (Our set doesn't sit exactly side by side)
    Anyway, I would highly recommend. Also, Miele manual says to reinforce the floor if not using on concrete.
    We hear very little noise and that is usually when the washer is going into the spin until it reaches highest rpm, and when it is coming down. I am in a learning curb going from top loader to front loader, so I have had a few loads that I didn't balance well that have had more vibration. Plus I put a level on the washer, and It's a hair off on balance so I need to take care of that.
    Otherwise I'm very happy with the results and have to say they are much more quiet than my old top loaders on the second floor.


    clipped on: 04.28.2010 at 11:57 pm    last updated on: 04.28.2010 at 11:57 pm

    RE: Poll: did you use plugmold or regular outlets??? (Follow-Up #10)

    posted by: bmorepanic on 03.17.2010 at 05:59 pm in Kitchens Forum

    AFAIK, the only wierd thing with plugmold is that each strip, in whatever size you buy it is the same 15 amp circuit. That may affect you if you plug your appliances together into a single strip. In other words, if you need more than 15 amps, you're out of luck or you need to run multiple pieces.

    In our local code, you have to put in a gfi breaker to run plug mold. It will soon be uninstallable because they are getting stricter about installing child-proof outlets only in child accessible locations. My inspector let it go, but others wouldn't have.


    plug mold
    clipped on: 04.28.2010 at 10:35 pm    last updated on: 04.28.2010 at 10:36 pm

    RE: Show me your island - what do you keep in there? (Follow-Up #9)

    posted by: jsweenc on 04.23.2010 at 08:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

    rhome, I love your redesign. Who gets to use the stool? You, I hope!

    plllog... "yet"... soon?

    ejbrymom, mine is so new I'm not sure things are settled in it yet, but mine is 8.5' x 24" with a 31.5" top, 24" deep drawers/cabinets. From fridge side, 24" bank of 3 drawers, top - all utensils except flatware and knives, middle - plastic storage containers and lids, bottom - baking dishes; 24" prep sink, with instant hot water, tilt-out tray, cutting boards, compost crock, trash bags; trash/recycle pullout (soft-close); 36" bank of 3 drawers, top - baking utensils, flatware, middle - everyday china, bottom - baking goods, appliances, mixing bowls. I have a 6" overhang on the other side with 3 stools for perching (or for kids' meals). On the sides I have Ughmold (not yet installed in this pic) but I'm hoping to replace it with something less unsightly.



    see counter width
    clipped on: 04.28.2010 at 01:29 am    last updated on: 04.28.2010 at 01:30 am

    Elizpiz's Finished Kitchen for the FKB

    posted by: elizpiz on 10.11.2009 at 10:57 am in Kitchens Forum

    I am finally submitting my kitchen for the Finished Kitchen Blog.



    Here is the original floor plan:

    And the new floor plan:

    (nb. The caption that reads "air gap" should read "vac pan"!)

    Heres what we did:
    Knock it down and build it out. Our house is almost 100 years old and as such, the original kitchen was quite small about 9x10. We have an unusually shaped lot, and the shape allowed for us to be able to knock down an exterior wall and build out.

    Make it look unique and up to date but fitting with the rest of the house. The objective was to make the kitchen look like it was always there, with more up to date appliances. To achieve that, we had the cabinets hand-painted and distressed and chose heritage colours. We used reclaimed oak planks for the island countertop; the hardware is a combination of hand-forged cast iron from England and finds from architectural salvage. Countertops and the main sink are soapstone.

    Find room for the "library"! An imperative was to find a home for my 300+ (and counting) cookbook collection. We achieved that through clever cabinetry and the acquisition of a beautiful old hutch.

    Here are the details:

    Cabinets custom made by Melo Woodworking, a local Toronto company (no web site!). Maple wood stained, painted, distressed and glazed by Homestead House. Colours used were Tapestry for the perimeter cabs and Cartier for the island. They did an amazing and painstaking job.

    Soapstone counters and apron front farmhouse soapstone sink by N+G Soapstone.

    Liebherr RBI 1400 24" all-fridge with Biofresh
    TurboChef double ovens, with custom RAL 3011 red oven door
    BlueStar 36" cooktop with centre grill
    Custom Modern-Aire hood, 1000 cfms
    Miele Excella full dishwasher
    Fisher Paykel single Dishwasher Drawer

    Walker-Zanger Antequera Random Mini Brick backsplash

    Kohler faucets
    Wall-Mount potfiller K-7322
    Main sink faucet K-8761
    Prep sink Vinnata K-691

    Hardware on the perimeter cabinets: Whitechapel Hardware, based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

    Hardware on the island and fridge: architectural salvage from Olde Good Things in NYC

    Bar stools from America Retold. Last place I saw them was at

    Floors are radiamt heated limestone from Marble Trend; its Jasman.

    Wall colour in kitchen is Plaster by Homestead House; stairwell to basement and up to second floor is Benjamin Moore Buckhorn

    Art: We have some great pieces, including my beautiful roosters from local contemporary folk artist Pey Lu, and a couple of pieces from my best friend and amateur artist, Vera.

    Timing: We started the project in May 08 and it was "completed" in December (read: we kicked the GC out!!). Along with the kitchen, we rewired the house, excavated down to a new laundry room, added storage, repainted everything, redid the bathroom in the basement etc etc... It was a house reno disguised as a kitchen addition.

    How it came together: We didn't work with a designer - the ideas were ours, brought to life by our GC - and primarily me spending *hours* on Gardenweb. A huge THANK YOU for all of the generosity, advice, wisdom and passion for all things TKO from the great GW community!

    Heres the link to my blog, which includes a full slideshow of the before and after. Enjoy!


    Here is a link that might be useful: Eliz's Blog


    floor tile, island
    clipped on: 04.28.2010 at 12:04 am    last updated on: 04.28.2010 at 12:04 am

    RE: Is it me that's nutty or is it my designer? (Follow-Up #34)

    posted by: staceyneil on 03.23.2010 at 02:44 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I haven't read the entire thread of responses, but wanted to address your blower vent question.
    We originally installed a Thermador with an integral dual-motor blower. it was unbelievabley, ridiculously noisy. There was no way we could use it on a daily basis. So.... we purchased and installed a remote inline blower in the attic space (ours does vent through the roof, yup, in Maine with all this snow!). We also got a lenght of noise-reducing insulated ducting. It's sooooo much quieter now! I can't imagine why more people don't go this route.
    For what it's worth, it seems to be MUCH cheaper to buy a separate blower and separate hood. The ones sold by the hood companies are way more expensive for some reason. I say get the hood you want, and have your HVAC guy set it up with a blower. Ours is by Fantech, I think. pick the CFMs you need, get a hood you like, a switch, some of the muffler ducting, and you're good to go :)


    inline stove vent
    clipped on: 04.27.2010 at 07:17 pm    last updated on: 04.27.2010 at 07:17 pm

    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!


    soapstone kitchen ideas
    clipped on: 04.27.2010 at 06:35 pm    last updated on: 04.27.2010 at 06:35 pm

    bathroom tile FAQ's

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Q) Where should I use tile and where not?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Q) What are the proper underlayments for tile?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Q) What are the proper tile setting compounds?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Q) What about tile spacing and tpes of grout?

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

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


    clipped on: 04.23.2010 at 01:17 am    last updated on: 04.23.2010 at 01:17 am

    RE: Where do you put paper towels, wet dish towels, cutting board (Follow-Up #31)

    posted by: hgluckman on 04.15.2010 at 10:01 am in Kitchens Forum

    In our new remodel we kept the same location for the cutting boards, but changed it significantly. We converted a standard narrow base cabinet with some vertical dividers for the cutting boards to a pullout drawer - reusing the door front. We got the idea from a posting on GW. Here are two views:
    From Kitchen Remodel

    From Kitchen Remodel

    chicagoans: where did you get that cutting board? I want exactly the same thing, but haven't been able to find it.


    cutting board pull out
    clipped on: 04.18.2010 at 10:38 pm    last updated on: 04.18.2010 at 10:38 pm

    RE: How do you store a LARGE collection of spices? (Follow-Up #93)

    posted by: mamadadapaige on 06.17.2008 at 10:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I have the door attachment and chose to have it to the right of the range. I really like it a lot. I also love Penzey's spices. When you buy a combo pack from them, the box comes stuffed with cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and hazelnuts (which I store away in airtight containers and consider a nice bonus!).

    My friend who doesn't cook as much as me and thus doesn't have as many spices, but has an absolutely gorgeous and very unique kitchen has the Dean and Deluca test tubes in a very attractive holder on her countertop. I love the look but it wouldn't work in my kitchen.



    clipped on: 04.10.2010 at 12:02 am    last updated on: 04.10.2010 at 12:02 am

    RE: Kitchen Exhaust - Inline option? (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: inter_alia on 02.26.2010 at 06:10 pm in Kitchens Forum

    FanTech has very good inline fans made in Germany and backed by a 5 year warranty see 2 years ago I put a Fantech inline fans in my atic venting my MB and its working fine (I think). They also sell an external fan the RVF that I will have in my kitchen soon, that reduces noise.

    American Aldes sells the same fans with a lesser 3 yr warranty, but they have have some more useful information on their site then fantech.
    At this page
    click on the "Kitchen Ventilation Options (Diagram)" to see how the various parts fit together. They make a $100 sound absorber they say works well.

    I bought the 12x12 ceiling register box, turns out it was 15x15 which does not fit between 16" joists without some chiseling. They make a grill with a grease filter that works well in a kitchen. I hooked it up to an exterior RVF 6. Just got mostly installed today so I don't know how well it works.

    I bought at iqsource . com and was pleased enough that I would order there again. Many of the Aldes parts are special order and you have to call to get them added, plus take longer to get.


    clipped on: 04.10.2010 at 12:00 am    last updated on: 04.10.2010 at 12:00 am