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RE: Kitchen sink to go with beautiful appliances (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: sgriffen on 12.17.2014 at 03:27 pm in Appliances Forum

I purchased a 32-inch Vigo SS 16-gauge sink. I was hesitant to go with a brand that wasn't the top - like Blanco, or Kraus, but it was a 16 gauge, and it's absolutely beautiful.
I got the 15 deg. radius, because I had read that others said a zero degree was hard to clean.
I really love it - and it so well priced. I would have paid more, but why? 16 gauge, and fully undercoated and padded with unique multi layer sound eliminating technology,which also prevents condensation.
I am really pleased with it.

This post was edited by sgriffen on Wed, Dec 17, 14 at 15:30


clipped on: 12.17.2014 at 08:03 pm    last updated on: 12.17.2014 at 08:03 pm

How to choose range hood for induction?

posted by: Kiwigem on 11.16.2014 at 04:03 pm in Appliances Forum

Hi everyone. How does one size a vent hood for an induction range? My understanding is that they don't need as much power as a hood for an induction range, but that's really all I can find. Anyone know of a thread or online calculator for choosing vent hood? I'm at a loss!


clipped on: 11.19.2014 at 08:15 pm    last updated on: 11.19.2014 at 08:15 pm

RE: Electrolux Wave Touch freestanding oven (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: hvtech42 on 11.19.2014 at 03:29 pm in Appliances Forum

Important info is missing from your post.

Model #?

Gas or electric?

20 or 25 minutes to preheat to what temperature?

Tried using the fast preheat option?

I would like to download the service manual before I make any repair recommendations, which is why I asked for the model number above. If it does turn out to be the board, I would replace it yourself and order from RepairClinic or AppliancePartsPros, since they let you return parts up to a year after purchase if they don't solve your problem.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Wed, Nov 19, 14 at 15:31


clipped on: 11.19.2014 at 07:36 pm    last updated on: 11.19.2014 at 07:36 pm

Bosch benchmark speed ovens

posted by: cincy-remodel on 06.19.2014 at 10:07 am in Appliances Forum

We are getting close to a remodel and have narrowed down to the Bosch series. We like their induction range and the refridge will meet our needs. I am confused by their speed oven microwaves. They have two models. One is the 800 series HMC80151UC. This one plugs in for 120 volts. The second is the benchmark model HMC80251UC. This wires in at 240volts. The benchmark sells for a bit more. I can't find any other difference. For the GE advantium the additional power is supposed to be a significant advantage. Does anyone understand the difference?


clipped on: 09.28.2014 at 11:22 am    last updated on: 09.28.2014 at 11:22 am

Do I need a speed oven?

posted by: alerievay on 07.05.2014 at 06:11 pm in Appliances Forum

I have decided to go with an induction cooktop and single oven. I also started looking at speed ovens, because I want an appliance that can function as a microwave and as a second convection oven (for smaller baking jobs, including bread and roasted vegetables and smaller amounts of meats, such as bacon). I visited a different appliance store today, and the salesperson told me that an ordinary microwave convection would probably fit my needs just as well, and at a much lower price.

Why would I need a speed oven (other than the obvious roasting a chicken in 30 minutes, etc.)? Is it worth the money? I was leaning toward the new Bosch speed oven at $1799, for what it's worth.


clipped on: 09.26.2014 at 09:05 pm    last updated on: 09.26.2014 at 09:06 pm

Bosch speed oven- any reviews?

posted by: jennifer42 on 09.22.2014 at 05:21 pm in Appliances Forum

I am really tempted by the Bosch speed oven. We have a 27" space, so don't have many brands to choose from. We have GE microwave/oven combo unit now but I don't love its loud whirring fan, and the Bosch seems much quieter. However I know Bosch's microwaves have had reliability issues, so I'm wondering if their speed oven is worth buying as a new product, and gambling on reliability. I would get the wall oven and the speed oven both. Thanks for any input!


clipped on: 09.26.2014 at 08:37 pm    last updated on: 09.26.2014 at 08:38 pm

New Samsung Induction slide-in

posted by: JWVideo on 08.05.2014 at 07:55 pm in Appliances Forum

Last year, there was a bit of buzz here about Samsung's announced slide-in induction range with knob controls. It now seems to be shipping. The model number is NE58H9970WS.

For those who like rotary knobs for their digital interface on stoves, it does have knob controls for the burners. The oven is pure touchpad.

But (and this is a very big qualifier), Lowe's is currently asking $3,999. It is is taking orders for delivery in about three weeks. (Link below for anybody who might be curious.)

Other stores apparently will sell it for somehwat less. (I found an online listing for PC Richards asking $3300).

That still makes the Bosch Benchmark (HIP501u) and Electrolux slide-ins look like better deals and makes the GE PHS920 slide-in look like a positive bargain (at $2449 at AJ Madison, $2300 at Goedekers according to

The Samsung does seem to have some things that other induction ranges do not.

One is full-depth stovetop cooking surface (looks to be 23" to 24" inches deep in contrast to most others, which are more like 19"). (The burner layout may not be to everybody's liking. though).

Two is the ability to partition the oven into upper and lower chambers, each with its own convection fan and temperature control. This is now called "Twin Mode." (Samsung used to call this this a "Flex Duo.")

Three is in the gimcrack whizbangery category: Samsung installed some kind of stovetop LEDs around each burner ring. These supposedly mimic the look of flames to help cooks who are accustomed to judging heat levels by watching flame height on gas ranges.

Think I'm kidding? Have a look at Samsung's site (which gives a list price of $4099, btw)..

One thing that looks like a design flaw to me is that the oven vent seems to be at the left front, above the oven door and below the control panel. That seems like a really bad idea to me because it is to throw heat and/or steam up onto the left-hand burner controls. (Of course, this is how they manage to have the deeper cooktop.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Samsung slide-in at Lowe's

This post was edited by JWVideo on Wed, Aug 6, 14 at 21:24


clipped on: 09.20.2014 at 02:45 pm    last updated on: 09.20.2014 at 02:45 pm

Everything I Wanted to Know About Drawers...

posted by: aloha2009 on 02.02.2013 at 06:31 am in Kitchens Forum

I was hoping to make this thread not only informational for myself, but that other information regarding drawers could be collected together. This is all about function.

Obviously to maximize storage and ease of use, drawers are the way to go.

Some things that are not so obvious are about framed, frameless and inset cabinets.

Another is how do cabinet manufacturers differ (if any) on the available usage.

The usage of 3 drawer vs 4 drawer (or even 5 drawer) stacks.

Determining the width of cabinets for your kitchen.

If you have answers to any of these please proceed.

Framed, frameless and inset cabinets utilize differing INTERIOR usable measurements. Please specify the type of cabinets you have (framed, frameless or inset) your manufacturer (or custom), the size of the cabinet, and what the entire TOP drawer INTERIOR measurements are (width, length, height). I stated top drawer only for comparison purposes since only the height should change from drawer to drawer. Perhaps certain manufactures have better storage in their cabinet lines.

Why did you choose cabinets with 4 drawer (and 5 drawer) stack when you did? How many do you have? How did you deal with the "horizontal lines" differences between your 3 and 4 drawer stacks? Just one aesthetic question isn't too bad.

Though wider cabinets are highly prized here, why did you choose narrower cabinets, instead of the widest available that would fit in your kitchen?

If there is anything else, I haven't though of to ask to have this thread be as complete as possible regarding drawers, please feel to add.


clipped on: 09.13.2014 at 10:16 am    last updated on: 09.13.2014 at 10:16 am

RE: Disparity of pricing in Kitchen Cabinets (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: jakuvall on 11.27.2012 at 11:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

...and master of none":) wasn't sure I wanted to get into this - it's long, but here you go.

The frame is the structure on a framed cabinet. Frames are glued. Modern glues are incredibly strong but bond best when the wood is glued long grain to long grain. An end grain to long grain joint will fail without any other means of connection.

A pocket hole joint is end grain to long grain, so a metal screw is added to hold the joint together longer, increase the strength. Without the screw the joint will fail. (when installing pocket hole cabinets it is a good idea not to put too much pressure in the middle of a wide top rail or you may hear a little crack. Once the counters are on the load is distribuetd so not as big an issue)

The other factore is that wood expands and contracts seasonally. Metal does not. As the wood expands it pushes against the metal of the screw and compresses. Eventually it compresses and does not expand back again. This is called "compression set". That's what causes the heads to fall off of hammers (see Bruce Hoadley- Understanding Wood)
Until the invention of pocket hole screws some form of joint was always used to allow for a long grain to long grain glue joint. Originally this was a mortise and tenon- the strongest most durable joint for this application.

A loose tenon, or dowels are a variations on the tenon joint. Both are easier to use in production. Loose tenon having more surface for the glue joint and IF properly fit (big if,I once handled a brand that used loose tenons that I will not sell) are better than dowels. Dowels are easier to use in production and don't have the same fit problems.

Which construction one picks is a matter of budget and how long you want things to last. Pocket holes frames are just fine, there are lots of pocket hole cabinets out there, likely more than 70% of the market (I carry one in my store and put them in my fathers kitchen-in wood) Overall though, mfg using better frame construction typically use better methods for other aspects of construction, particularly since it is something that you don't see and that the average consumer must be shown. Hoever price does not always guarantee better construction, there are some pricey pocket hole cabinets.
So when you ask about the disparity in cabinet pricing, there is a little more to it than dovetail drawers with soft close and some sort of..don't get me starte- plywood sides- those are the easiest things for a mfg to control and IMO are not indicative of quality, merely the minimum requirements.

As to your paint issue- I'm surprised but don't doubt you. I used to work for a Wood-Mode/Brookhaven dealer for 8 years, very nice cabinet, good company (they did replace your doors). During my tenure there we likely sold 1000 kitchens in those brands, statistically 40% would have been painted. Never had an issue similar to yours.

I wonder if 22 years ago the paint was different, polyester perhaps. It is one of the materials that has a tendancy to craze, especially as formulated back then (spent a while dealing with lots of kinds of materials, where the jakuvall comes from)
The most common reason I've ever seen crazing is the inadvertant inroduction of a solvent. It can be surprising what cleaning products have solvents. But hard to say.
Cracking- if it was at the joints that is to be expected in a painted finish- in any brand with any joint. It will be less with better joints, but wood moves more than paint. Other cracking- have not idea.
BTW Wood-Mode cabinets are doweled- one reason they lasted 22 years.


clipped on: 09.13.2014 at 09:55 am    last updated on: 09.13.2014 at 09:55 am

RE: Please post pics of your frameless cabinets (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: marcydc on 06.20.2011 at 11:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here's my frameless. Kind of a modified shaker style.


clipped on: 08.06.2014 at 08:42 pm    last updated on: 08.06.2014 at 08:43 pm

RE: trying to find non-busy, gray quartz countertops (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: alison0707 on 07.31.2014 at 05:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

we used ceasarstone concrete in our recent kitchen remodel. it is not busy at all (which is why we picked it) but is more of a medium gray. not sure how light you want to go -


clipped on: 08.01.2014 at 09:07 pm    last updated on: 08.01.2014 at 09:07 pm

Furniture 101 : Q&A

posted by: dcollie on 03.07.2007 at 11:50 pm in Furniture Forum

I keep seeing repeated posts here asking how to tell quality....which brand is best, what will last the longest, etc. I thought perhaps it a good thread to address the basic things to look for, under the premise that an educated consumer can make a wise decision. So let's give this a try and not target "brand names" so much as general questions on furniture. This could be a LONG thread and make take quite a few posts to cover topics, but let's get started!

First off, my name is Duane Collie and I own a small home furnishings store in Alexandria, VA. I've been in business since 1979 and specialize in high-quality, American-made 18th century furnishings. Because of the nature of my business, I have learned hundreds of things about what makes a good piece, or a bad piece, or even a mediocre piece (just don't overpay for mediocrity).

Let's start off with something easy, the basic building block of all furniture..>WOOD<

Solid wood is preferable to veneers (which are laminates over a secondary wood) Wider boards are more expensive than narrow boards in solid woods, and more desirable. There are different grades of wood within a type. For example, there are over 200 species of pine and while Southern Yellow is not very good for furniture making, Eastern White Pine is. A cabinetmaker selects his wood based on his project and costs. If he is using an aniline dye and shellac coats, he needs a higher grade of lumber than if he is using covering stains that mask the wood flaws and mineral deposit variables.

Which wood to get? This varies by price and characteristics. Just because a wood is soft, doesn't mean its not suitable for a project. Here's a rundown of some common woods in the USA that are furniture grade:

Pine. Soft, but relatively stable. Eastern White has good, tight knots that will not fall out. Shrinkage and expansion is moderate. Dent resistance is poor. Takes stains nicely.

Poplar. Great Secondary wood (drawer bottoms, etc.) and very stable. Inexpensive. Halfway between a soft and hardwood. Takes paint well, but never stains up nicely.

Cherry. A great lumber! I personally find it more interesting to look at than most mahogany. Its a hardwood, but not as dense as maple. Takes aniline dyes beautifully and requires little or no sealer. Cherry will darken and 'ruby up' with age and exposure to sunlight. If you use it for flooring or kitchen cabinets, expect deeper and more red dish colors to develop over time nearer the windows of your home.

Mahogany. Poor Mahogany! So misunderstood! Mahogany grows in every part of the world, and varies greatly. Figured mahogany is highly desirable (aka as 'plum pudding' or 'crotch' mahogany) but you rarely see it outside of veneers due to the cost of those logs. The very best furniture grade mahogany is from Central America and Cuba, but is very hard to source. African mahogany is decent, and the stuff from China and the Philippines the least desirable. Mahogany can be done in open pore, semi-closed pore, and fully sealer finishes. Mahogany is a favorite for carvers, as it carves easily and is not prone to splitting when being handled.

Maple. Both hard and soft maple is an industry standard. Very durable, very dense, accepts many colors nicely and stains up well. Excellent for the best upholstery frames. Stable, and plentiful.

Figured Maples. Sometimes called Tiger Maple, or Curly Maple (one of my favorites). A small percentage of maple will be highly figured and is pulled off at the mill to sell to furniture makers and musical instrument makes for about 2x the price of regular maple. Tiger maple MUST be board matched and typically a single log will be used to make a project, rather than taking a board from this pile and another from another pile. Consistency is key, and you will hear the term 'bookmatched' used frequently in figured maples. Figured maples look best with aniline dye finishes and hand-scraped surfaces. Birdseye maples are in this category as well, but are so unstable that most shops only use them veneers.

Walnut: A hard wood to work with. Not many walnut forests, and most cabinentmakers loathe making walnut pieces for two reasons. First it much be bleached before it can be finished, otherwise its ugly. Secondly, it has to be filled and sanded. Very time consuming to do properly, but quite a handsome wood when done right (3/4's of all walnut pieces I see is NOT done right)

Oak: Another mainstay wood. Very durable, and dense. Not widely used in fine furniture because of the grain pattern.

There are other woods as well, but those are some of the mainstay furniture woods.

Wood has to be milled to make is usable. It is run through planers, joiners and wide belt sanders to get it to size. The larger and thicker the board, the more expensive it will be. Bed posts and pedestal bases on tables are very expensive to do as solid, non-glued-up pieces. So if you buy a bed, check to see if you see a vertical seam in the lumber which signifies a glue-up. Nothing wrong with glue-ups, just don't pay the price of solid 1-board.

Industry standard is 4/4 (pronounced four quarter) lumber, which when milled will finish out to 7/8" thickness. Anything thicker - or even thinner - requires more expensive wood or more planing time if being thinned out.

Once the wood is planed, it either goes to a wide belt sander or is hand-scraped. If hand-scraped (much more desirable) you will feel a slight ripple when you run your hand over the surface. Belt-sanded items will be perfectly smooth. Cutting the surface of the wood gives you a brighter finish over a sanded surface in a completed product.

Solid wood MOVES. The wider the board, the more it will move with the seasons. Expands in the summer, shrinks in the winter. The art of the furnituremaker is to build to allow this movement, without sacrificing joinery strength. Narrow board furniture does not move nearly as much, and plywoods and veneers don't move at all.

Joinery. The gold standard is Mortise and Tenon. That's the strongest joint where you have intersecting pieces of wood. All mortise and tenoned pieces will have one or two distinctive wood pins visible from the outside of the piece that secure that joint. Next up is Dowel joints. Not as durable as mortise and tenon, but superior to a bolt-in leg. Dowel joints look like M&T joints, but don't have the cross pins. Last choice are legs than bolt on, or are held on by screws. Plastic blocks, staples, nails, hot glue and the like are unacceptable as joinery methods.

I've reached the character limit for this post. More later. Hope you like this thread and will ask general quesions!


clipped on: 11.30.2013 at 10:24 pm    last updated on: 11.30.2013 at 10:24 pm

RE: Small bathroom door options - French door? Barn door? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: weedyacres on 06.20.2013 at 09:31 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I like the idea of doing a barn door. It's a simple retrofit (unlike a pocket door, where you'd have to refab the wall). When open it's less intrusive than even split doors, and since you mostly leave it open, that's what I'd vote for.

What do you mean when you say you can't find a barn door that will work for your space? You can use any door slab you like.

This is one of ours, over a 24" opening.
 photo 100_0464.jpg

And a 30"-er on the Jill side.
 photo 100_0451.jpg


clipped on: 06.22.2013 at 08:01 pm    last updated on: 06.22.2013 at 08:01 pm

RE: Small bathroom door options - French door? Barn door? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: enduring on 06.20.2013 at 10:58 am in Bathrooms Forum

Since the spaces are small I'd be inclined to do the pocket door so you don't have to worry about door swing or barn door space on the bedroom side.

If that is a shower/tub, and you plan to put a pocket door in there, and tile it, the wall needs more reenforcement than just cement board. This is because the studs are either thinner, or on their sides, and don't provide the strength. Johnson hardware told me to clad my wall in 3/4" ply before the cement board at my shower area where my pocket door will reside. This is to be sure the wall doesn't flex and pop the tile. This is the same build as a floor prep for tile actually, isn't it. Or to avoid all that have the pocket go the other direction.

Looking forward to this project, best of luck.


clipped on: 06.22.2013 at 07:59 pm    last updated on: 06.22.2013 at 07:59 pm

My finished kitchen

posted by: jerzeegirl on 01.28.2013 at 10:20 pm in Kitchens Forum

This is my second kitchen remodeled with the kind assistance of my Kitchen Forum (and Hot Topics) friends. Thanks for all your great ideas, especially those that were stone- related. This is my first experience with stainless steel appliances - I just love polishing it up but I don't think that feeling will last forever!

Here are the details.

Eudora Frameless Cabinets - Painted Maple Shaker doors in Antique White for uppers and Stained Maple Slab doors in Espresso for lowers.

Brushed Lite Typhoon Bordeaux granite (also known as White Spring)

Sonoma Star TriBeCa field tile in Butter
Tantrum Slivers tile in Black (crushed glass)
Polyblend Linen Grout

Bosch Dishwasher, Convection Oven (27"), Microwave and Induction Cooktop
Samsung Counterdepth French Door Refrigerator

Sink and Faucet
Kraus Sink
Ladylux Cafe Faucet and Grohe soap dispenser
Compact Insinkerator

Kitchen Aid Hood

Imolagres Tile (Travertine-look) 20 x 20" in running bond pattern - Mushroom color epoxy grout

Ecosmart LED recessed lights
Juno undercabinet LED lights
Juno Track Light
Emerson Fan


Here is a link that might be useful: My Kitchen

This post was edited by jerzeegirl on Mon, Jan 28, 13 at 22:44


clipped on: 02.02.2013 at 09:46 am    last updated on: 02.02.2013 at 09:46 am

More banks of drawers than double door cabinets: wise or foolish?

posted by: akcorcoran on 01.31.2013 at 09:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

So, we are ordering our cabinets next week and in looking over the final plan, I realized that I have only one set of a double door lower cabinet.

All the others are either three or four-drawer banks. We started with assessing what we have in the kitchen and what I use, and I kept coming back to things that could go in deep drawers - tupperware, pyrex bowls and dishes, service pieces, etc.

Right now, all the stuff in our two-door lower cabinets is kind of stacked and jumbled. We're also 5' 11" and 6'1 tall. And, we have a 24" full-size pantry with pull-out shelves in it.

The double door cabinet is to the right of the stovetop (very right of the attached drawing.

Am I right to go that direction or do you think I should switch something to a door cabinet on bottom?

Thanks for your advice!

P.S. Specifically, to the right of the ovens, I changed those from a drawer and two doors to a bank of four drawers. My rationale is that things that would go there include: drawer of non-traditionally sized cutlery, cooking utensils; drawer for saran wrap, aluminum foil etc.; tupperware and other misc sized serving pieces. Does that seem like the better choice?


clipped on: 02.02.2013 at 09:32 am    last updated on: 02.02.2013 at 09:33 am

RE: Shiloh cabinet pics anyone? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: pps7 on 03.10.2012 at 08:45 pm in Kitchens Forum

We have Shiloh in our entire house: if you do a search, you may find lots of pictures that I have posted.

kitchen: inset, polar white. the inset came with upgraded hardware: full extention and soft close. Love it!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

dining room. acorn maple with brown glaze. Wyatt door.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

master bath. espresso maple. Wyatt door/ drawers.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

For the basement bar, we used their cheaper sequota line since it won't get much use, we got the praline maple which is very pretty. The quality is not as good, but good enough for the basement.

We got thermafoil in the laundry. It's actually very nice- I was surprised by how much I liked it.


main bath inspiration
clipped on: 01.12.2013 at 09:47 am    last updated on: 01.12.2013 at 09:47 am

RE: What should I change - lots of input requested (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: oldbat2be on 12.24.2012 at 07:57 am in Kitchens Forum

As the other posters have already said, your kitchen looks very nice! Intially, I thought you had posted an inspiration picture.

Upon closer inspection, I do understand your desire to simplify the room and to remove certain elements. I painted cabinets in my first home and in this one too, and hated repainting and touching up. Hope to never paint another cabinet! The factory finish is so much better.

I very much like the idea of the SS hood, to tie in with your lovely SS cooktop/range.

You could continue the tile all the way up and use a hood like this:

Or, replace with a gorgeous hood like this (I can't find a smaller version, but my point is the rounded front is lovely.

Try incorporating SS into other elements, too. Easy change: swap out the utensil canister with a SS one.

I like the color of the island and the floor very much.

Have you considered getting rid of the soffits? You could buy new upper cabinets fairly reasonably and color match the paint on the lower cabinets and just repaint them. We went with Conestoga's door style and purchased their RTA cabinets. Interiors are lovely and we have the Blumotion softclose hinges on all. We're very happy with the quality. I just checked our quote; if I'm reading it correctly, an upper wall cabinet CSWALL 30x36x18 (we had deeper uppers) was $260 for the cabinet and $180 for the doors. So, consider $500 per cabinet, uninstalled. Perhaps an option?

Our pantry:

Best of luck! oldbat2be


clipped on: 12.24.2012 at 08:15 pm    last updated on: 12.24.2012 at 08:15 pm

RE: Please explain the allure of a farmhouse sink (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: honeychurch on 02.22.2011 at 09:26 am in Kitchens Forum

I have a 33" soapstone farmhouse sink. My last couple of houses all had double sinks and I found them frustrating, mainly because I couldn't fit larger baking dishes, cookie sheets, cutting boards etc in the sink without them sticking up all over the place, interfering with the faucet and being awkward to rinse, etc.

I only handwash a few items and when I do I am a soap-it-up-rinse-it-off gal, not a fill-up-the-sink-and-soak-stuff gal. So the two bowls were not helpful to me in that respect. I also disliked having to clean around the edges (both top mount and undermount), I never felt like I could get them as clean as I wanted.

I second the motion about being able to pile a lot of dirty dishes in there or deal with multiple large items at once. Also, having an old house it does seem to fit with the era more.

In the end, it all comes down to your aesthetic preference. And I certainly have seen many cool double and triple sinks here with built-in drainboards and cutting boards and interesting shapes that I might have considered if my kitchen went another way. Here's my sink:



clipped on: 12.22.2012 at 11:37 am    last updated on: 12.22.2012 at 11:38 am

Replacement Furnace/Central Air Input Please

posted by: darrenq on 06.27.2012 at 12:59 pm in Heating & Air Conditioning Forum


4 BR, 2.5 bath home. Finished Basement ~800 sq ft, Main level ~ 1000 sq ft, Upper level ~800 sq ft.

Existing system was installed circa 1995 by previous owners.

Furnace: Lennox G23Q3/4-125-1, 125k in, 100k out.
A/C on slab: Lennox HS29-461-1P (3.5 ton?) & C23-46-1
2-zone damper system: Honeywell Troll-A-Temp (one for basement/lower one for upper level)

Current system generally works OK. Basement is generally warmer than needed in the winter and rather cold in the summer, perhaps due to ductwork issues. Main level is generally fine. Upper level is fine in the MBR, where the thermostat is located, but the other bedrooms farther down the duct are progressively worse. The last one needs help with a small space heater and ceiling fan.

We seem to have an increasing number of repairs in the last few years, most recently the startup cap for the fan motor needed to be replaced as the fan would not start.

Will likely get a few quotes. The two companies we have used seem to suggest Trane and Carrier. I might be able to get a reasonable price for those brands and some others through a relative as well. Looking for reliable models and to improve to a high efficiency furnace and A/C. Perhaps a 3 .5 ton or 4 ton 16-18 SEER for AC (current is 10-11 SEER?) and 95-97% furnace (80% now I think?) This is in the Chicago area. Windows and doors were replaced 2 years ago with added insulation.

Any suggestions on brands or models we should consider for quotes? Should we bite the bullet and do both now, or perhaps put in the furnace and maybe the coil this fall before winter and new A/C condenser next spring? Thanks in advance!


clipped on: 07.14.2012 at 07:24 pm    last updated on: 07.14.2012 at 07:25 pm

Water hammer problem

posted by: olychick on 04.18.2011 at 11:25 am in Plumbing Forum

Last year I had an upstairs bath remodeled. Since then, there is a water hammer somewhere, whenever the water is turned on/off anywhere in the house. Can't tell where. Years ago, this was a problem in a former house and the plumber told us to do something that fixed a similar problem, but I can't remember. He said something like we need to get air back into someplace in the piping designed to "cushion" the pipes under pressure??? So he had us either: open all the valves and turn off the water to the whole house, OR turn off the water at the main, then open all the valves and turn on the water at main then close all the valves, OR turn off water, open all valves at once, then close and then turn water back on. It worked, whichever it was. I notice last week that our water was off because of a power outage (am on a well) and I opened several faucets, just out of habit to draw water or wash hands and nothing but air blasted out. When the water came back on, the hammer was fixed. YAY!!! But now, slowly it has returned. Any ideas the reason/problem/solution?


clipped on: 11.19.2011 at 10:47 am    last updated on: 11.19.2011 at 10:47 am

RE: help me decide between solid/engineered hardwood floors (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: inspector on 05.25.2011 at 03:36 pm in Flooring Forum

You can get an engineered floor that is as good if not better than a solid product. We produce solid unfinished flooring but we also produce unfinished engineered flooring as well. Solid flooring typically has a 1/4" (6mm) of "sandable" or "usable" surface. Basically after you get 1/4" deep you'll hit the nail heads and so you can't sand below that point. Our engineered unfinished product has a 5mm wear layer. However, the engineered product is already pre-sanded to 80g which means once installed the amount of sanding that takes place is minimal. On a solid floor, most contractors will need to do a rough sanding to get the floor even, then one or two more cuts to get it smooth. Even if you have a very talented sander he is going to take 1/32 off in his sanding on the solid floor. That equates to roughly 3/100 which is nearly the difference between the 6mm and 5mm usable surfaces we began with. So in essence, you are getting very close to the same "usable" surface. Not to mention the engineered is more stable, will keep you from having to install a subfloor as it can be glued directly to concrete, eliminates transition issues between hardwood and tile or carpet AND should take less time to install. My two cents. Sam @ Real Wood Floors


clipped on: 05.30.2011 at 07:08 pm    last updated on: 05.30.2011 at 07:09 pm

RE: Violas anyone? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: roper2008 on 04.19.2010 at 07:57 am in Cottage Garden Forum

I always have viola's. They are such cheery little flowers. They do
self sow. I have Bowles Black viola that I purchased from SSE 2 years
ago all over my garden. That one really self sows. These I bought
last year.


clipped on: 04.02.2011 at 03:49 pm    last updated on: 04.02.2011 at 05:29 pm

RE: How much do frameless glass shower doors cost? (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: edymoreno on 05.06.2010 at 12:22 am in Bathrooms Forum

We paid $1500 for our enclosure with Starphire glass. The sides are both 1/2" glass, and the door is 3/8". The company does all their own fabrication of the glass and tempering.


clipped on: 03.24.2011 at 06:29 pm    last updated on: 03.24.2011 at 06:29 pm

RE: Looking for round 60' pedestal dining table. (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: mandomama on 08.24.2010 at 12:19 am in Furniture Forum

Here are a few I found online. I don't know any of the price points other than the Ethan Allen, as it was listed. I don't know what your budget is either. Are you going to have any other furniture in your room other than the table? A 12x13 room with a 60" table + 6 chairs + buffet or anything else is going to be a really tight squeeze. You generally want to leave a minimum of 2-3' of floor space between the outside of the dining chairs and any other furniture for traffic. If the table is the only thing in your DR, than you'll have plenty of space. If you are wanting to add anything else, your guests will have a really tight squeeze getting in & out of their seats. My DR is 13'6"x17" and I have ruled out a 60" table, which is what I really wanted. With the table, chairs, & buffet, it would be a really cluttered room.

Here is a link that gives some good tips on room planning, scale of furniture, minimum space requirements, etc.

Hope this helps.,%20312-273,%20317-273


clipped on: 09.25.2010 at 03:59 pm    last updated on: 09.25.2010 at 04:00 pm

If you love your knives, please share

posted by: kayl on 09.21.2010 at 05:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

I would have thought I could find a previous post on this, but didn't find anything in the search. Does anyone have a knife set that they love & would recommend? Also, if you have a knife manufacturer that we should stay away from please share. Thanks!


clipped on: 09.22.2010 at 09:36 pm    last updated on: 09.22.2010 at 09:36 pm

Share your backsplash pics for a good cause!

posted by: rookie_2010 on 08.16.2010 at 01:50 pm in Kitchens Forum

I'm noticing a lot of members are mid backsplash right now. There are many good resources for inspiration such as and the backsplash slideshow, part of the Finished Kitchen Blog. I agonized over the backsplash too and know how hard it is to make decisions and conceptualize everything grouted with the right grout color, among other things. I wish I'd asked everyone to share when I was trying to decide among the endless materials, combinations, configurations of backsplash.
So please help out some folks and share your backsplash, finished or in progress, plain or fancy. Mine is finished, I just want to see some pics!

Also, feel free to reminisce about your first impression of your backsplash un-grouted or grouted.
Thanks in advance for sharing!


clipped on: 08.25.2010 at 09:34 pm    last updated on: 08.25.2010 at 09:35 pm

RE: counter poll for those in the planning stages (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: palimpsest on 01.29.2010 at 05:20 pm in Kitchens Forum

Right now I am only picking for other people but my preferences in order are soapstone, fairly monolithic quartzes and quiet granites.

If money was no object Lavastone, or full fabricated stainless depending upon the setting.

I think things are going to skew toward plain stones/quartzes with an occasional showstopper in granite, quartz or Concetta et al., and move away from the granitey-looking granite, which is becoming the Formica of the 2000s

I like formica too, I never rule it out.


clipped on: 01.30.2010 at 09:57 am    last updated on: 01.30.2010 at 09:57 am

my kitchen is done!!!! before and after pics

posted by: zecchini on 11.08.2009 at 11:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thank you all for your help! I can't count how many times I checked this site for ideas and solutions for my kitchen dilemas.
All the old posts with pictures were so helpfull that I decided to return the favor, and add pictures of my newly remodeled kithen with some details of the things that really took me a while to figure it out if I wanted or not... or if I should or not.
Overall my kitchen costed 16.000, I know that our kitchen had a lot of potential, but our budget mas very short, and at the end we were 1000 over budget,because we decided to replace our cabinets in the laundry room too, but we were very happy, we were able to get all wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances, lazy susan, pull out drawers in the pantry, got rid of some walls that I disliked and got the granite that I dreamt for so long! I hope my pictures could help someone else in the future. Me and my husband LOVE our kitchen!!! Now we are ready to remodel our 2 bathrooms!


"To save money, we decided to keep almost the same layout, we extended the peninsula by few inches so we could add a garbage pull out."


"We had a mix of black and stainless steel appliances, we decided to make them all stainless. The fridge door could not be open without the the fridge handles hitting the peninsula, so we decided to switch the pantry position with fridge(best decision)!"

"I do a lot of cooking and counter space was very important to me, so could we put the microwave over range and got rid of this wall that was making the kitchen very small, the pocket door was also very outdated so we remove and build a arch on its place, unfortunatelly we could not afford a vent, but the microwave above range is working just great for me!

"This the old pantry, now we have the fridge on its place"

"The wall beside the fridge is now gone and the wall by the pantry is gone too, and since we were doing all that "removal" we decided to replace the laundry room door for a nice one, and the awfull lighting is now gone"


"This is our peninsula... we enlarge it a little and the soffit is gone (never like it!), now we have nice recessed lighting!

"My new fridge placement, this is one of our best decisions, we had a little space that we didn't know how to use, so we added this small spice drawers that we can remove and place wine bottles, and the drawers are 30" and I LOVE THEM! The crown molding was a challenge but our contractor did such a great job."

"The soffit is now gone, and we put cabinets up the ceiling, they 36 inches tall."


after - George loves the kitchen too!
"George boy also loves the kitchen"

"Garbage pull out is right beside the dish washer"


"The back splash is tumbled travertine, country deige without space between the tiles, once you grout the the space between the tiles really shows and we are pleased with the results"

I hope someone will find this pictures helpfull. Thanks you all sooooooooooo much!


clipped on: 12.31.2009 at 06:22 pm    last updated on: 12.31.2009 at 06:22 pm

RE: PLEASE help with photo questions!! (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: buehl on 09.27.2009 at 10:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

How to post a link (any link) is in the "Read Me" thread.

With Photobucket, if you want to post a link to a picture (or album) instead of the picture itself, use one of the following for the link:

  • For a link to a single picture, use the code in the box under (or next to) the picture labeled: Direct Link
  • For a link to an album, navigate to the album you want to link to. Then, use the code in the box in the top left of the screen labeled: Share this album (there's an additional label of "URL:" just below the "Share" label)

  • To post the actual picture (not just a link) in the message, use the code in the box under (or next to) the picture labeled: HTML Code

    BTW...if you see the picture above, then Photobucket is working fine.


    clipped on: 09.28.2009 at 01:03 pm    last updated on: 09.28.2009 at 01:03 pm