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RE: Height of base cabinets with Blue Star Range (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: cloud_swift on 01.08.2008 at 11:53 am in Kitchens Forum

You are fine - the installation manual (see page 7 of the pdf) says that the top of the side trim needs to be at least 11/16 of an inch above the counter top and maximum counter top height above the floor is 36". The top of the side trim slopes in a bit so if the counter next to it is too high there will be a gap between the counter top edge and the side trim.

Having the top of the range a bit above the counter like this keeps the counter top from getting too hot when you have an over-sized pot on the burner. I have a 16" wok and a really big saute pan - both overlap the edge of the range top a little when in use and the counter top stays at a comfortable temp.

The people who have been having problems have slide in type ranges where the range top is intended to be flush with the counter top.

Happy cooking - we have the Bluestar cooktop and love it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Installation manual

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clipped on: 02.20.2011 at 12:18 pm    last updated on: 02.20.2011 at 12:19 pm

RE: Mixing gray with browns/beige? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: beekeeperswife on 09.14.2010 at 10:52 am in Home Decorating Forum

I have gray & brown. Try grays that are taupe based. My dining room is dark chocolate brown and cream.

Here are some photos of my kitchen/family room. You can see the gray walls, the dark brown cabinets, dark brown roman shades paired with the platinum curtains. I think it all works well together.:
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clipped on: 12.17.2010 at 08:22 pm    last updated on: 12.17.2010 at 09:00 pm

RE: Recommendations/photos of warm gray (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: ttodd on 07.07.2010 at 08:09 am in Home Decorating Forum

Check out the Country Living 2008 House of the Year. They used SW Requisite Gray in quite a few rooms.

Here is a link that might be useful: Country Living 2008 House of the Year

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clipped on: 12.17.2010 at 08:58 pm    last updated on: 12.17.2010 at 08:58 pm

RE: Recommendations/photos of warm gray (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: wi-sailorgirl on 07.06.2010 at 06:03 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Here's Revere Pewter in my kitchen. I'm crazy in love with this color ... it changes throughout the day. I may very well end up using it in other rooms in the house as well. Interestingly enough, it plays off slightly differently on the different whites I have in there. I've not finished painting all the woodwork yet, so the door and frame, banquet, table and ceiling are BM Mascarpone and all the other woodwork including teh cabinets is probably BM White Dove or something close.

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clipped on: 12.17.2010 at 07:54 pm    last updated on: 12.17.2010 at 07:54 pm

RE: Capital Culinarian vs, GE Monogram (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: andersons on 10.19.2010 at 05:59 pm in Appliances Forum

I'm interested in the Culinarian. But not because of open burners. Because of GREAT-PERFORMING burners. What makes me believe that the burners perform great are the pictures, videos, and measurements on Trevor's site. Plain and simple. Same for the Bluestar pics and videos (since removed). The empirical evidence is there.

But "open burners" as the explanation for the performance is an inference and an over-generalization. Open versus sealed has little, if anything, to do with even heating or powerful heating. I know this because I have a 20-year-old Kitchenaid with open burners right now. VERY open. They do not heat evenly AT ALL, and I have pictures to prove it. They even have a "daisy" shape similar to the "star" of BS or Thermador, but that doesn't make them heat evenly. They're not that powerful either. The 12K burners are OK, but I frequently wish for higher heat. The 9K ones are nearly useless to me.

Let me also say that my KA open burners are MUCH MORE OPEN than either the Culinarian or the Bluestar. You can see inches of the (foil-lined, dirty) cooktop floor below. My popcorn overflowed the other day, and a whole bunch of it fell down onto the floor of the appliance. I have to take off the burner grates and rings and lift up the cooktop, like the hood of a car, to clean down there.

And don't forget, BEFORE sealed burners became the standard in residential cooktops, they ALL had open burners like mine. Those open burners did not make any of them perform like the Culinarian or the Bluestar. And the hassle of cleaning the ones like mine led to the demand for sealed burners.

So what accounts for the more even heat of the Culiarian and Bluestar versus my KA open burners? I've looked carefully at all of them (Culinarian in photos and videos only, obviously). To me, knowing that the openness doesn't make them heat evenly, it is obvious that the design of the actual flame ports is responsible for most of that evenness. The heat goes where the flames are. If you look at pics of the Culinarian burners, it's a donut shape with THREE rings of ports. Some point OUT, some point UP, some point IN. You're always going to have more heat right over a flame, so the more flames, and the more area covered by flames, the more even the heat is going to be.

I took a close look at my KA's flames, and guess what. Even though there are 6 little circles of flames in a "daisy" shape, each little circle has no flame ports on the inside. Why not, I have no idea. Flames only come out the outer part of each circle.

Scroll down Trevor's Burner page and look at the pic of the Dacor -- this is the typical single-stack ring of flames with a cap in the middle. Because of the angle the flames come out -- they really point outward -- there is more surface area of flame pointing OUT and DOWN to the porcelain surface below than UP to the pan. The Wolf (or any DUAL-stacked burner) should be better because now there are 2 rings. Some flames are at least there under the center of the pan. I've seen a triple-stacked burner somewhere, and that should be better still.

Most residential gas burners have caps on top. The cap dictates that the flames ports must point outward. This placement guarantees the heat will be like the Dacor; the flames curve around the cap; most of the flame's surface area points downward and outward; and a lot of heat is wasted. So why the caps? I figure that they are there to protect the flame ports from getting clogged when there are spills or boilovers. Trevor's site mentions cleaning the Culinarian's exposed flame ports out with a toothpick if this happens. Mfg probably know that most consumers wouldn't want to do that.

You can see just by looking at pics of the lit burners, that the Culinarian couldn't put flames everywhere it does and also cover the ports with a cap.

Bottom line, where there are flames, there will be heat. The Culiarian's donut shape with 3 concentric rings of flame, angled differently, is brilliant. It is my first choice for a rangetop.

My second choice is GE Monogram. The combination of BTUs and simmer on all burners, dual-stacked design, grate design, fit and finish, and customer service reputation puts it 2nd on my list. Bluestar might have better burners than Monogram, but its service issues are unacceptable.

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clipped on: 11.02.2010 at 08:39 pm    last updated on: 11.02.2010 at 08:39 pm

RE: Preparing a shower stall for Tile (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bill_vincent on 08.16.2010 at 04:02 pm in Bathrooms Forum

The tar paper's easy. Measure it and then prefold it before you install it. If you install horizontally from the bottom up, and overlap it (as you're supposed to), you'll have a continuous vapor barrier surrounding the shower, and moisture will still bead up and run down into the shower pan.

As for the out of whack back wall. That's a strange one. Is the framing warped? If not, can you tell what's causing this? Was the framing put up out of plumb?

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clipped on: 10.24.2010 at 01:17 am    last updated on: 10.24.2010 at 01:17 am

RE: Preperation to backerboard (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mongoct on 05.07.2010 at 02:29 pm in Bathrooms Forum

You'll want some sort of waterproof membrane somewhere in the shower wall. Did you can put anything like 6-mil poly sheeting between the cement board and the wood framing? Or tar paper?

If not, you can remove the cement board, install the poly, then rehang the cement board. Easy to do if it's screwed up, not so easy if nailed.

If nailed, or if you just don't want to pull down the backer board, you can add a topical roll-on membrane on the face of the cement board. Something like RedGard or Hydroban or Mapei HPG.

You'll do the membrane after the cement board seams are thinsetted and mesh taped.

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clipped on: 10.23.2010 at 06:52 pm    last updated on: 10.23.2010 at 06:53 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
nippers
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.

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clipped on: 10.23.2010 at 06:46 pm    last updated on: 10.23.2010 at 06:46 pm

RE: mongo or bill, tub surround tile question... (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: mongoct on 02.23.2010 at 08:04 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Fly, haven't cyber-seen you in a while, how's my favorite left-coaster?

On this detail I agree with Bill.

When I like to furr and bring the backer board down over the flange to just off the tub deck is when I have small mosaic tiles and I want the small tiles to be fully supported by the backer board.

Your 12" by 24" tiles can easily handle a little bit of hang time.

If you used tapered furring strips you'd have a bit of fun cutting each inside corner piece of tile on a slight angle.

The anguish, the pain...the horror!

These were from the Kerdi thread, but they give the basic idea:

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clipped on: 10.23.2010 at 06:45 pm    last updated on: 10.23.2010 at 06:46 pm

RE: Preperation to backerboard (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: mongoct on 05.08.2010 at 11:45 am in Bathrooms Forum

Excellent, I just thought I'd ask about the membrane to be on the safe side.

I normally do the rough plumbing and electrical prior to hanging the membrane and cement board. When done with the rough plumbing I'll end up with galvanized nipples sticking 3" or so into the shower where any plumbing will come through the tile; the location of the arm for the shower head, the location of the wall outlet for a handheld on a hose, the location of any body sprays.

The shower valve will also be roughed in, around it will usually be a "plaster ring" or a protective plastic shield provided by the manufacturer.

THEN I'll hang the membrane and cement board, cutting holes as needed for the cement board to fit around the nipples and valve plaster rings.

With access to the plumbing wall from behind, you can install the plumbing after the cement board is hung, but sometimes cutting holes in the cement board after it's up and fastening plumbing components to the framing can be a little more difficult. But not impossible.

So back to your questions:

Now I need to basicly tape and bed the seams, screws, corners with the mesh tape and thinset right? Yes, use mesh tape, not paper. Do NOT let the thinset build up on th ewall, you want the thinsetted seams to be flush with the face of the thinset. If you use too much thinset, you'll end up with humps at each joint.

Should I do the plumbing into the shower before tile? Yes. Have your rough nipples and the shower valve body installed prior to tiling.

How long after I tape and bed do I wait to start tiling? You can mesh tape and thinset the seams as you tile the wall. That can be a "safe way" as you wont end up with wall humps on the seams. If you chose to do them separately, do the seams Day One and tile Day Two.

How long do I need to wait to groute? You can usually grout on Day Three, the day after you tile. Read both the thinset and grout instructions though, some might recommend waiting longer.

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clipped on: 10.23.2010 at 06:16 pm    last updated on: 10.23.2010 at 06:16 pm

RE: Waterlox counters in place? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: ci_lantro on 09.25.2010 at 05:28 am in Kitchens Forum

It IS important to finish all sides of BB. Butcher block is not a wood floor. They operate on entirely different principles. Individual strips of wood flooring expand & contract--hence the seasonal differences in the gaps between boards. Floors are nailed down which helps to keep the boards from warping & cupping. And the tongue & groove of flooring is designed to accommodate wood movements (as well as making the floor somewhat stronger.) Individual floorboards are never glued together (exception being some engineered products) because this would inhibit the movement of the wood & lead to splitting along grain lines.

Butcherblock, OTOH, is glued & laminated w/, often no mechanical fasteners. Think of the used cutting boards that most of us have seen that are beginning to fail on the edges, when the laminations are separating because the glue joints have failed or the wood has split along grain due to the exposed end grain of the wood drying out at a different rate from the rest of the board.

That said, IMO, a couple of coats of finish on the underside is sufficient. The finish underside is not subject to being worn down/ worn off/ chipped/ nicked, etc. Obviously, more is probably better but I'd rest easy w/ a couple of liberal coats bottomside. Also very important thing is to liberally & repeatedly coat any exposed end grains. The end grain is particularly thirsty & needs extra attention.

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clipped on: 10.17.2010 at 06:53 pm    last updated on: 10.17.2010 at 06:53 pm

RE: DH the Tasmanian Devil...Glad I Chose Quartz! (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: kaismom on 10.06.2010 at 07:51 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have Caesarstone Eggshell. Almost white in color.
My DH left the kid's red wet lunch bag on the counter. The fabric dye bled onto the counter. At first it did not come off. I used all sorts of chemicals, Windex, acetone, LeCruset pot cleaner, SS cleaner. Whatever I happen to have at home.

I could not get the stain off the first day. It left kind of darkish residue/stain but no longer red. I was resigned to living with it. Over the next several days, somehow the stain kind of evaporated from the counter. I kid you not. There is nothing there now....

Magic Eraser is a fine abrasive. Over time, it will take the sheen from whatever surface you are using it on, including the quartz. I experimented with it when I got a quartz sample. Even on the quartz, if you rub it hard enough and long enough, the sheen will come off the surface. You have to use it with caution.

I used the Magic Eraser to take pencil writing marks (kids!) from a natural finish wooden door. The door needs to be refinished because of it. It took off the finish from the door. You can kind of see where the finish came off the door. I guess it is better than leaving the pencil marks on it, however.

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clipped on: 10.13.2010 at 06:34 pm    last updated on: 10.13.2010 at 06:34 pm

RE: DH the Tasmanian Devil...Glad I Chose Quartz! (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: prairiegirl2010 on 10.06.2010 at 02:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

lolog72, magic erasers take everything out. you'll find that you get grey lines from anything sharp rubbing hard against them, IE: snaps on your jeans against the edge or pot lids, but that comes out super easy with a magic eraser. Our counters are 3cm deep, we only have one seam in the whole place which is barely noticeable. Sometimes I forget it's there. (love my faucet by the way!!, that and my sink are almost my favourite parts!)

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clipped on: 10.13.2010 at 06:32 pm    last updated on: 10.13.2010 at 06:33 pm

RE: DH the Tasmanian Devil...Glad I Chose Quartz! (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: prairiegirl2010 on 10.06.2010 at 11:37 am in Kitchens Forum

Sooo nice to read this post, I'm a lurker and read all the awful comments about quartz. I was afraid to admit I chose it. It was installed in August and we have about 20+ feet of Ceasarstone Blizzard, we love it!! (and I love my wine so I can guarantee it comes out!)
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I too will post it everything when I get time to put away toys etc..... the last touch went on last week!!

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clipped on: 10.13.2010 at 06:30 pm    last updated on: 10.13.2010 at 06:30 pm

RE: Soapstone cracks. What to do?!? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: ship4u on 09.25.2010 at 01:57 pm in Kitchens Forum

I was just talking to Florida Joshua yesterday and he gave me an excellent tip. When you go to choose your slab, take a bottle of water and a squeegee. After wetting it, watch to see how it dries. If cracks remain wet, the stone could be defective.
The good news, however, is that he said defective stones can be dealt with effectively. No need to panic!

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clipped on: 10.12.2010 at 05:33 pm    last updated on: 10.12.2010 at 05:33 pm

RE: honed jet mist / virginia mist? yes! do it! (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: jeanteach on 08.27.2010 at 09:09 am in Kitchens Forum

Numbersjunkie: you will not have problems with oil if you enhance the VA mist. Before enhancing I did get an oil stain (my fabricator got it out with acetone) but with the enhancer you can spill ANYTHING on this stone and it all wipes off.

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clipped on: 10.10.2010 at 12:27 am    last updated on: 10.10.2010 at 12:27 am

RE: To all owners of Jet Mist/ Virginia Mist counter tops (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: boxerpups on 08.08.2010 at 11:49 am in Kitchens Forum

Suzlovesflowers,

Honed or polished was a tough choice for me.
I love the feel of my honed jet mist granite but the
polished gives it an elegant feel to the room.
Choices!!! Choices!!! I know how you feel.

One way to consider the choice is the other elements
in your kitchen. I have shiny stainless appliances,
shiny backsplash tile and my painted white cabs are
on the shiny side. I wanted a honed finish to soften
the other elements in my space. It works better than
a polished stone.

If you have lots of wood and other flat matte type
elements in your space the polished might be what your
kitchen craves. You said creamy white and wood counters.
Tough because either polished or honed would be amazing
in what you describe.

Here are some links from GW with others in your
quandry.

~boxerpups


Honed or Antiqued Virginia Mist

http://www.thathomesite.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0613100723497.html?3


Honed versus polished granite counters?

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0717443227589.html

Honed Ebse enhanced her jet mist honed granite
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0821425918081.html

Polished (not Jet mist but notice the black and cream)
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Jeanteach showing the enhanced option
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Here is a link that might be useful: Jet Mist

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clipped on: 10.10.2010 at 12:25 am    last updated on: 10.10.2010 at 12:25 am

RE: Honed Granite (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: jeanteach on 08.15.2009 at 12:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

I just had two coats of StoneTech Enhancer Pro (from DuPont) applied to my honed Jet Mist and it really looks gorgeous now. The enhancer darkened it considerably and also appears to be sealing it nicely. I would definitely recommend this product for all honed black or gray granites.

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clipped on: 10.10.2010 at 12:23 am    last updated on: 10.10.2010 at 12:23 am

honed virginia mist pics

posted by: deee on 09.07.2007 at 05:08 pm in Kitchens Forum

Just installed today! I'm really pleased. Many, many thanks to this forum for all the advice and hand holding. Be sure to check out my galaxy sink too. I'll post more pics of the kitchen when finished.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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clipped on: 10.09.2010 at 09:59 pm    last updated on: 10.09.2010 at 09:59 pm

Granite's In! (jet mist honed)

posted by: ebse on 07.02.2009 at 06:28 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi all,

We're so excited, the granite was installed yesterday. This is the beginning of the end (I hope!) Here are some pictures.

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clipped on: 10.09.2010 at 09:57 pm    last updated on: 10.09.2010 at 09:57 pm

RE: Undermount sink w/wood countertops? (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: andersons on 09.04.2010 at 11:22 am in Kitchens Forum

If you want a finish that will hold up better than Waterlox, use Smith's Penetrating Epoxy and/or Epifanes Marine Varnish. We have 15-yo spearguns used heavily in the California sea and sun that look perfect.

Those of you who have finish deterioration in your Waterlox, fix it now! If you let it go, the wood will eventually split, crack, and check, and the wood damage is basically unfixable. If you keep up with the integrity of the finish by adding coats as needed, you can keep the wood underneath as good as new.

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clipped on: 10.09.2010 at 05:12 pm    last updated on: 10.09.2010 at 05:12 pm

RE: Undermount sink w/wood countertops? (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: riverspots on 09.04.2010 at 09:52 am in Kitchens Forum

Wood and water really don't mix well in the long run. Many species discolor when exposed to water for even a few hours. Protective coatings have their limits due to wood's expansion and contraction with changes of humidity. Soft coatings like mineral oil give enough to move with the wood but offer less water resistance. Hard coatings like polyurethanes and waterlox don't expand and contract as much as wood so eventually micropores will open up and water will get to the wood surface. Additional problem with undermount sinks is that silicone often fails, too, letting water seep on the underside of the counter. Best alternative to an all-wood counter would be to have the area directly around the sink to be granite or soapstone. Otherwise-keep up with maintenance of the wood finish by renewing it every couple of years along with redoing the silicone bead at the same time.

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clipped on: 10.09.2010 at 05:10 pm    last updated on: 10.09.2010 at 05:10 pm

RE: Undermount sink w/wood countertops? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: sandyponder on 08.13.2010 at 09:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

denifitz-

We have southern yellow pine counters (bowling alley in a previous life) with black walnut trim and a fauxgranite undermount sink. We're hard on stuff and not obsessive about wiping up spills or water from washing dishes, paint brushes, gardening implements, etc. Ours have been in around 16 months. We used Epifanes, a marine (food safe) finish and are very happy with how it's held up.

This isn't much of a close up, sorry.

Good luck-

sandyponder

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clipped on: 10.09.2010 at 05:03 pm    last updated on: 10.09.2010 at 05:03 pm

RE: Undermount sink w/wood countertops? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: jenswrens on 08.13.2010 at 04:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

If you've been on this forum for any length of time, I'm sure you've seen photos already of my wood counters with my undermount farm sink (just do a search for butcher block or IKEA and jenswrens). Here's one thread. Sure some of you are sick to death of seeing them! But since you asked...

No, it's not crazy to do an undermount with wood. I love my Ikea beech waterloxed counters. I love my undermount sink for all the same reasons you listed, and I'd never do a drop in again. Here's a photo of mine a couple of years ago.


Except for a few water spots around the faucet, the counters still look great. If I were diligent about waterloxing, and if we were diligent about cleaning, I wouldn't even have these spots. But we are notoriously messy (i.e., DH never wipes the counters, ever, and he's a great splasher). Here's the nitty gritty photo (really nitty gritty cuz it's a cell phone shot taken 5 minutes ago). We only put on 2 coats of waterlox original, and we haven't waterloxed in about 3-4 years. We should've buffed and reapplied a coat or two when we switched out the faucet a few months ago but we were too impatient.

Here's the dirty laundry:

Hope that helps.

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clipped on: 10.09.2010 at 12:29 pm    last updated on: 10.09.2010 at 12:29 pm

RE: Question regarding beeswax/mineral oil for soapstone (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: laxsupermom on 08.19.2010 at 08:57 am in Kitchens Forum

My counters have been in since January 2009 and I haven't noticed any oily marked shirts for me or the kids(who eat breakfast and lunch at the peninsula and climb on the counters to get things.) I tend to buff the counters off with old, open-weave washcloths that have been relegated to the rag bin and are no longer used for faces.

I've never used just straight mineral oil, so I can't speak to that. Incidentally I made my own tub of mineral oil/beeswax mix when we first put the counters in and still have 2/3 of a tub left. I used 2 bottles of mineral oil from the drug store and 1 block of natural beeswax from the craft store(using a 40% off coupon, naturally.) I melted it all down in a saucepan, let it cool just a bit so I wouldn't burn myself, then poured it into a container that I keep under my sink now. I waited for the mix to completely cool and solidify before putting the lid on.

Ha ha, regarding our identical children. Don't get me wrong - I love my kids, but when I go to the bookstore cafe on the first day of school, it's tough not to give knowing glances to all the other SAHMs enjoying the first day of silence.

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clipped on: 10.07.2010 at 06:02 pm    last updated on: 10.07.2010 at 06:03 pm

White Cabinets with White Countertops?

posted by: pugrolls on 06.18.2010 at 04:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hello, wonderful GWers,

Of all the funny things, DH is now totally in love with the white cabinet/espresso island look. (Despite throwing hissy fits early in the planning process about how much he HATES white cabinets. Yes. He actually typed "HATES" in all capital letters when we were emailing about the kitchen design). In any event, I am delighted by this development and am going to run with it. So now the question becomes, what countertop?

I love love love the look of white carrera marble on white cabinets, but DH wants to go with something more bulletproof. So, OK. Does anyone have or have photos of white cabinets with white countertops other than marble? White quartz, maybe? I would love to see them, thanks!

But just to drool over marble a little....

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clipped on: 10.06.2010 at 05:35 pm    last updated on: 10.06.2010 at 05:35 pm

RE: Under Cabinet Lighting (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: mountaineergirl on 10.04.2010 at 07:56 am in Kitchens Forum

gbsim -

Halogen and xenon lights are hotter, LED is cool. I've heard rumors that halogen and xenon can even melt chocolate/soften butter under them, but don't know that to be fact. The 2 reasons we are going with LED is because of the low energy (a 1-ft strip is only like 3 watts?) and they won't burn out for 15-20 years (when using them 8-10 hours/day). The strips are linkable, and if one does burn out, easy to snap it out of the bracket and stick another one up. Of course, who knows what they'll have out there 15 years from now!

We are anxious to get the back splash tiled, so we're wiring for the (hopefully dimmable) switch now, and then get the lights at a later date.

There's a link at environmnentallights.com that shows you everything you need for a system - dimmable or not. Its 25 pages so scroll all the way down for directions

Here is a link that might be useful: pdf link for LED undercab lighting specs

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clipped on: 10.04.2010 at 12:30 pm    last updated on: 10.04.2010 at 12:30 pm

RE: Under Cabinet Lighting (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: warmfridge on 10.03.2010 at 09:08 pm in Kitchens Forum

I did not want to deal with transformers either, so I chose xenon UCL's and am happy with them. They are hard-wired so required no plugs, and they're hidden under the cabinets so I can't see them.

Here is a link that might be useful: American Lighting xenon UCL's

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clipped on: 10.04.2010 at 12:27 pm    last updated on: 10.04.2010 at 12:28 pm

RE: Under Cabinet Lighting (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: jem199 on 10.03.2010 at 07:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

I posted DIY instructions in the lighting forum. I did all my cabs for under $500 and we love it.

Here is a link that might be useful: led ucl diy

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clipped on: 10.04.2010 at 12:26 pm    last updated on: 10.04.2010 at 12:26 pm

RE: Under Cabinet Lighting (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: alwaysfixin on 10.03.2010 at 05:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

When you opt for low voltage lighting, like the LED's, you need a "transformer" to convert the line voltage, which is the wiring you mentioned in your walls, down to low voltage. So, the salesperson was correct in that if you are opting for LED undercabinet lighting, you will need transformers. I don't know that you'd need the 5 you mentioned--will each of the 5 areas have its own switch? If so, then you would need 5 transformers. That will be a PITA to install, plus you will need to find a space for each of the 5 transformers. I think you need to investigate further why you would need 5 transformers, or whether 2-3 would work.

We loved the LED undercabinet lighting - how small they are, how energy-efficient. We would have needed 2 transformers for our setup. But we couldn't get past the price. We were initially inspired by Scottdim's kitchen and his use of LED undercabinet light bars from Environmental Lights - the bars are so tiny! (see my links below).

But we had a problem with the LED price, and we didn't want to deal with separate transformers. We switched gears and bought Juno low-voltage xenon undercabinet lights, with the transformer built in. They are certainly bulkier than the LED's, but we didn't care--they're under the upper cabinets, so what else would we have there anyway? The xenon light is white, dimmable, and not hot. We chose the Juno "Pro Series xenon UPX" line; we liked that the strip's enclosure is glass not plastic, and Juno has a reputation for quality. The UPX's were still not cheap, but much less than LED's, and much easier to install, since there is no separate transformer. We found the best prices online at electricsuppliesonline.com. They didn't have everything immediately in stock, but we had everything within a couple of weeks so we were pleased.

Thread about LED Undercab Lights with Scottdim posting

Environmental Lights LED Light Bars

Juno Undercabinet Pro Series Xenon UPX at electricsuppliesonline

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clipped on: 10.04.2010 at 12:25 pm    last updated on: 10.04.2010 at 12:25 pm

RE: finished white/marble kitchen!!!! -pic heavy (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: ajard on 07.13.2010 at 09:24 am in Kitchens Forum

Cabinets Mouser Custom Cabinetry. Color is Divinity- it is an off white, close to BM White Dove

Marble- 2 inch thick Premium Carrara from Italy. Yes, 2 inch is available , NY metro area it is housed in most marble/granite yards. The slabs are quite small ( typically 60x120) so if you have a large kitchen you may have to purchase 2 slabs. If you live elsewhere you can probably special request it. The premium is just how they upcharge you for the slab being very white and clean and not a lot of dark busy veining . Rookie 2010...I LOVE the marble. I am not concerned about stains since the sealer seems to really work.. but when you sit at my table in that lighting you can see spill etches everywhere.. big and small.... I can see why rumor has it that meg ryan took tomatoes and lemons and rubbed them all over to make it all etched. I will let mine get all etched over time so that it is 100 etched and maybe you wont see dots and spills anymore.. but it doesnt bother me at all.. what does bother me is some scratches I created when I moved a nice ceramic serving dish on top... beware of the rough bottoms of vases and dishes.. I also have a nice chip on the marble around the sink and I expect more over time..once of the reasons I really wanted a thick marble... but I still prefer it over any granite in a white kitchen. If I did wood color I would not choose marble. I am finding the butcher block to be more work to maintain then the marble but worth it!

Walnut END grain Butcher Block and Walnut Edge grain desktop- www.theboardsmith.com David is awesome to work with! His work is quality and his BB is what most people when they came LOVE the most. He is making me a custom walnut knife block for my counter soon too! I totally planned to cut on it.. and this man really makes table top bb for cutting on... he typically doesnt make countertops.. but it is soooo beautiful I dont have the heart to cut on it as I thought I would.. so I keep a table top one from crateandbarrell on my counter that I also love and have had for several years and still looks great!

Hood- Modernaire. I had a very good experience dealing with them , as for I made a terrible error and signed off on the wrong size hood. They took it back and sent a new one. I LOVE it! It is the exact hood that katieob has. It is 36x24x18 between 12 inch deep cabinets. I was looking at Rangecraft a competitor on the east coast but for many design reasons I preferred the rod and rivet size of the MA

Pendants- Hudson Valley Lighting ( Pelham Pendant) . They have sooo many amazing options.. It was hard to choose.

Wall Color- Benjamin Moore Camouflage

Hardware Pulls are Restoration hardware, Knobs are Top Knobs and latches are Rejuvenation.. all Polished Nickel

Sink 30 inch Shaws

Faucet. Is Rohl Country Line in PN and the Instant Hot is also PN from Insinkerator

Stainless Steel Floating Shelf on backsplash is from www.danver.com

Appliances:
Wolf Double Oven
Dacor Warming DrawerLOVE IT.. the Wolf was WD was $1500 more, so I went with Dacor since it doesnt have a handle it looks good under any oven. I was afraid to put a wood panel on it since it is controversial as to whether or not you loose the crisping feature of the drawer when you put a wood panel
Wolf 36 inch Induction cooktop, I have had this for 2 years.. LOVE it soooo much and didnt expect to, but gas was not an option here
Dishwashers:
Miele DW.. this I am bitter about since I had a 2 year old GE monogram that I liked a lot but my KD forgot to consider the handle and I cant open the drawer perpendiculer to it so I had to get a new DW without a handle
Fisher Paytel single DW drawer with wood panel.. this has been awesome too ! We entertain a lot so this has already in s short time to be a great option .. and the drawer for storage under it is still SUPER deep!!
GE Monogram 42 inch refrigerator

Undercabinet lighting is xenon and we added all new low voltage high hats
New window treatments are woven woods from Hunter Douglas in a walnut color

Floors are original but I had them refinished and stained a darker color to match with the walnut. I think it was min wax provence

Tiles are some Italian handmade ones, they are uneven edges.. I can look it up if anyone wants to know. The grout is white.. this is one regret.. I should have spent a bit more time on the grout color, possibly gone with something besides white...

The only 2 regrets I have is that the garbage is under a drawer next to the sink. I think I should have elminated the drawer possibly and had a shelf under it for the box of garbage bags.. but I didnt want to give up storage at the time. not sure on this one and lastly.. the faucet is set back from the sink edge a bit too far.. wish it was closer so when I washed things less water would be on the counter around the faucet base.

DID I leave anything out???? I hope I answered everyones questions!!!

jeri...did you start your kitchen???

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clipped on: 09.21.2010 at 06:24 pm    last updated on: 09.21.2010 at 06:24 pm

finished white/marble kitchen!!!! -pic heavy

posted by: ajard on 07.12.2010 at 10:59 am in Kitchens Forum

Thank you to all you gardenwebers!!!! So many GREAT ideas from this site that were put to use. Special Thanks to Katieob.. her kitchen was my inspiration. I started demo on April 19th and finished in mid June. I still have a few floor mouldings and minor things that have to be completed, but the kitchen itself is done!!! Sorry to those of you that are bored with WHITE kitchens. I love all color kitchens.. the original kitchen was white, I have low ceilings and no sunlight so I decided to keep the light white cabinets.. that is how I came to that decision. In the few weeks I have been using it I do like that you can see every ounce of dirt so it is easy to see and clean. I did everything that everyone tried to talk me out of since I have 4 young boys. I used marble, walnut butcher block and polished nickel and I DONT regret it, I would have regretted not doing it. The marble IS etched EVERYWHERE.. but it doesnt bother me at all... NO stains and I have spilled everything on , red wine and sauce... I dont baby it.. I plan to seal it every 5 months.
I will post items in a follow up post later today when I have time.. I want to try to get the photos in first.
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clipped on: 09.21.2010 at 06:22 pm    last updated on: 09.21.2010 at 06:22 pm

RE: Please share your cabinets to ceiling? With crown? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: marcy96 on 09.21.2010 at 02:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here's mine

Dining Area After

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clipped on: 09.21.2010 at 05:55 pm    last updated on: 09.21.2010 at 05:55 pm

RE: Please share your cabinets to ceiling? With crown? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: archnista on 09.21.2010 at 10:55 am in Kitchens Forum

Here are a few....hope this helps!

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clipped on: 09.21.2010 at 05:39 pm    last updated on: 09.21.2010 at 05:40 pm

RE: electrical outlets in the kitchen backsplash (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: palimpsest on 09.16.2010 at 09:21 am in Kitchens Forum

On a project we had the electrician leave an extra long tail of wire and the carpenter put a horizontal nailer between the studs at 39" above the finished floor all along the backsplash. (for one row of tile between countertop and outlet, you could do any X multiple of 3" above the countertop for X rows of tile)

We did not have the electrician affix any boxes until the subway tile was figured out. When the subway tile pattern was determined the boxes were placed horizontally so that they aligned with the tile perfectly: each box fits within one tile and the only cut tile is the extra two inches that make up the 6" of the tile, since the box is 4" long.

So each outlet and plate fits into the over all pattern.

Did the electrician like doing this? No, he was annoyed. But it looks great.

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clipped on: 09.16.2010 at 05:47 pm    last updated on: 09.17.2010 at 04:38 pm

Poof! Marble etches gone! (pics)

posted by: niffy on 09.05.2010 at 12:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have mentioned before that with our honed marble, I am able to remove etches with a green Scotchbrite pad (the plain, thin pad, not the back side of a sponge). Last night my daughter got lemonade on the marble and it etched, so I decided it was an opportunity for a "demo." Hopefully this will be helpful to people (like me!) who hesitate about marble due to the etching issues. The general consensus seems to be that the sealers prevent stainining (ours does) but that etching remains an issue that you have to be able to live with. I don't live with them - I remove them. Voila!

Below you should be able to spot 2 circular etches, with the second one being far fainter, just above the first.
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I used a little spray of granite cleaner and my green Scotchbrite pad and... gone.

Marble etch removal.jpg

I am a 100% happy marble owner:)

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clipped on: 09.17.2010 at 04:37 pm    last updated on: 09.17.2010 at 04:37 pm