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RE: How Do I Put Together a Simple Wall Shower System (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: mongoct on 02.17.2012 at 01:20 pm in Bathrooms Forum

You'll need more than a minute to digest that thread. Then some Pepto Bismol afterwards. If that thread didn;t push you over the edge, this one certainly will...

Anyhow, going with the Montreux in the "modern" and "easy to clean" look. For that I'll recommend levers over cross-handles. There are a few ways to do this, but here's a basic list. Any links I provide are just generic hits:

With either a shower or a shower and tub spout, you need a valve to set the water temp. Hansgrohe has two valves, the 13gpm Ecostat and the 20gpm Ecomax. You can use either, but the Ecostat 15737181 has more than enough flow-through:

That's just the rough valve. You need a trim set to make it all pretty. Since you wrote "modern" I'll link to the Ecostat Montreux lever kit instead of the cross handled kit, but you can choose any Ecostat trim kit.

You can use the above valve for just the shower head, or for the shower and tub combo.

For the shower head, you want Axor Montreux on the slide bar, it includes a hose:

You need the Axor Montreux handheld:

You need a wall outlet to connect the handheld hose to the plumbing within the wall:

If you go with the tub spout, you'll need that:

All of the parts listed above give you the ability to set the water temp they allow you to get the water out of the walls via the handheld shower or the tub faucet. Now you need a way to control volume and to direct the water from the mixing valve to those outlets.

If you just have the shower and no tub, you'll have the hot and cold water supplies feed into the respective side ports on the Ecostat mixing valve. The outlet of the mixing valve will connect to a volume control. The outlet on the volume control will connect to the handheld wall outlet. For the volume control you need the #13974181 rough valve and the trim kit.

Although I added the tub spout in the parts listed above, if you forget about that, everything else is what you;d need for a "shower only" setup.

To add the tub spout, you can do it in one of two ways. You can simply add another volume valve and volume trim kit, the same one that's listed above to control the shower volume. If you did that, you'd again have the hot and cold supplies feeding the Ecostat temperature control valve. The top outlet port of the control valve would lead to one volume control valve, which would feed the handheld shower. The bottom outlet port on the temp control valve will feed a second volume control valve, which will feed the tub spout.


You can omit the two volume valves and replace them with a single diverter valve. If you did that, the top outlet port on the Ecostat temp valve would feed the Trio Diverter. The outlets on the diverter would then feed the handheld or tub spout.

Use the Trio Diverter valve body...

With the Trio Montreux Trim Kit...

You will only be feeding a handheld or a tub spout, so you can use all 1/2" valves, 1/2" fittings, etc. If I linked to a 3/4" valve that was by error. Again, the websites I linked to were happenstance.

Again, there are a few ways to skin this cat. The above is just one way using a thermostatic valve and staying within the Hansgrohe Axor Montreux family..

That's it for now.


clipped on: 10.01.2012 at 08:34 pm    last updated on: 10.01.2012 at 08:34 pm

RE: FAQ/Answers Bathroom Plumbing for dummies (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: mongoct on 02.15.2011 at 01:26 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Rainheads...handhelds...traditional shower heads on a shower arm...body sprays...what to do...I'm just going to ramble here with my thoughts.

First, I'm obviously biased by my experiences both as a user and an installer.

For a small shower, a single shower head on an arm high on the wall will do you quite nicely. In a tub surround the shower head up high with the tub spout with diverter down low is still king. Nothing wrong with it at all.

A question I often get is about handhelds. Now when I was a kid handhelds were trash. They leaked, they had the 4-in-1 massage heads where the only thing they massaged was your eyeball because there always seemed to be a pinprick stream of water that would leak out the fitting and nail you in the eye. After a few weeks of use they'd be spraying water out the side seams of the head, up and over the shower curtain, soaking your bathroom floor. Ugh.

Not any more.

Handhelds today are pretty darn bueno. The heads are the same quality as those that get mounted up high on static arms. The hose fittings no longer leak. The hoses no longer twist upon themselves like demented strands of spaghetti.

The big benefit of handhelds is the length of the hose allows you to wash/rinse any part of your body without having to be a contortionist. For shaving legs you can take the head off the bracket and hold it in your hand, or mount it on another wall bracket at knee-height. Or you can use the handheld and it's long hose to rinse off remote corners of the shower's walls when cleaning. Or when bathing kids. Or dogs. Versatility.

Handhelds are an obvious advantage in larger showers, but they can be of use in smaller showers too.

Slidebars versus brackets: In a master bath, it's possible the slide feature will be seldom used. You can still have one...I have one in my shower, my wife lowers it when she's looking for a dry hair shower. Other than that it pretty much stays up at my height. And we're 6'4" versus 5'1".

If you have kids, it's an advantage. Low when they are younger. Raise it up as they grow taller.

Different height users who are particular...I know a couple that resets the head height each time they shower. Although they have a small single-head shower, he demands it at his height, she at hers.

Slidebars can add visual clutter to a wall. But while they are functional clutter, in a small shower someone might prefer the cleaner look of wall brackets. A bracket up high. A bracket down low. Whatever you need.

While most companies' slide bars might be plastic or thin-walled metal, there are some that make them sturdy enough to function and be rated and approved as structural grab bars.

Rainhead? A true rainhead delivers a very gentle flow of water. Personally, if you're looking for a true rainhead, I'd recommend a minimum 10" diameter head. 12" is better. Rainheads generally have to be mounted parallel to the floor, as the water pretty much just "falls" out of the head instead of being sprayed by pressure. Were you to tilt a true rainhead, the water could just run along the tilted face of the head and flow off the low edge in a fat stream.

Due to the gentle flow, rainheads are a nice experience. Quite a bit different from the pin-prickish stronger flow of a traditional head. With the gentler flow, those with long/thick hair might find themselves running out of hot water before they are able to rinse shampoo out of their massive manes.

So I consider rainheads to be a nice secondary head, and I prefer them to be plumbed or mounted close to the center of the shower ceiling where it's easy to stand right under them, versus mounted on a wall arm with the rainhead close to the wall.

Rainheads have been modified, now there are ones with "turbo" functions, or air-entrainment, etc. Sort of halfway between a traditional standard head and a traditional rain head. You'll have to sort through that yourself as there are too many options.

Personally, I think a master shower will do just fine with a "standard head" handheld (can be a 4-in-1 head or whatever) on a long hose and a separate rainhead. That'll give you a functional shower plus the option for a soothing rain shower.

If a couple will be typically be showering together, then consider two one supply valve feeding a handheld head, plus another supply valve with diverter plumbed to feed either a second standard head or an overhead rain head. That will allow one person to shower at the handheld with one water temp setting, and another person to "standard" shower or "rain" shower (via the diverter) with a separate water temp setting.

Body Sprays: Personally, I consider them superfluous. I've used them...I think them a novelty. But there are folks who just adore them, so decide for yourself. Do realize that body sprays can pop the plumbing cost through the roof because:

Showers are required by code to have a minimum 2" drain line. Now you can have two 2" drains, or a single 3" drain, but typical is a single 2" drain line. "2 inch" and "3-inch" defines not just the size of the drain opening, but the diameter of the drain branch under the floor.

Code assigns values to drain lines for how much water they can carry away from the shower. A 2" drain line can evacuate 6DFU (drainage fixture units), a 3" line 20DFUs.

Miraculously, shower heads are assigned values as well. Each shower head is assigned a value of 2. A shower head is a handheld, or a fixed head, or an INDIVIDUAL body spray head.

So with a typical 2" drain (6DFUs), you can have three heads in a shower (3 heads x 2DFUs per head = 6DFUs). Since body sprays are usually installed in multiple groupings, installing body sprays can really ramp up your plumbing requirements, both for water supply lines, the water heater, as well as the drainage lines.

I know some inspectors that count the heads and multiply by two and there you go: a rain head, a handheld, three body sprays, that's 5 times 2 = 10DFUs, you'd need ether two 2" drains or a single 3" drain.

I know other inspectors that look at the supply valves and/or diverters and would recognize that the shower is plumbed so that only the two shower heads OR the three body sprays can be on at any one time...two heads times 2DFUs per head = 4DFUs, OR 3 body sprays times 2 = 6DFUs, a single 2" drain will suffice.

All-in-one shower towers? Another animal that I really can't discuss since they can vary from A to Z.

Anyhow, I'm out of coffee, so it's time to go.


clipped on: 09.14.2012 at 10:34 am    last updated on: 09.14.2012 at 10:34 am

RE: FAQ/Answers Bathroom Plumbing for dummies (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: mongoct on 06.26.2008 at 12:51 pm in Bathrooms Forum

How to get the water out of your walls:
A fixed shower head high on the wall, an adjustable hand held, an overhead rain shower head, or body sprays? Or all of them?

Normally 1/2" copper tubing is run from the valve or diverter body to carry the water to the location of the outlet. If you're going to install something permanently, or if you're going to make a connection in a sealed wall, then its normally a soldered fitting.

For things like showerhead arms, or body sprays, these are normally threaded connections. A threaded connection allows you to change out the shower head and arm for a different one if the old breaks, or for a new style if remodeling. When making up a threaded connection, you'll want to use something on the thread, either teflon tape, teflon pipe dope, or some other sort of thread sealer that will allow you to break the connection at a later date.

A common way to connect your outlet to your spray head is to run your copper tubing to the location of the outlet, then solder a 90 degree drop ear fitting to the copper tubing.

You can see that the fitting has a smooth inlet for the 1/2" supply tubing to be soldered to, two holes in the "ears" to nail or screw the fitting to the framing, and a threaded outlet where the water will come out of. These fittings are manufactured in different configurations for different applications.

That brass drop ear fitting will be buried in the wall or ceiling. If you are connecting a shower head, then the arm of the shower head gets screwed into the drop ear fitting and the shower head gets screwed on the other end of the arm. That works if it is a wall or ceiling mounted shower head. For a body spray, youll need a brass nipple like this:

One end of the nipple screws into the drop ear fitting, the other end gets screwed into your body spray. Nipples come in various lengths to compensate for varying wall thicknesses.

For a hand held shower, the outlet for the hand held is mounted just like a body spray head is mounted. I usually mount the outlet for a hand held down low near the bottom of the bar and offset to one side. That way when the head is hung on the bar, the hose hangs in a graceful "U", right up against the wall. Do a dry run with a piece of rope or string the same length as your hose, you don't want your hose laying on the shower floor.

Hand held shower are usually mounted in a vertical bar, the head can be slid up or down the bar to adjust the height of the head. If you dont want a bar, then there are wall brackets that the hand held head can be set into. You can use multiple bracket, one high for tall people, one lower for shorter folk, even one low on the wall to hold the head for the leg shaving crowd.

Both the bar and the brackets are surface mounted in the wall, they are held on the wall with screws. Youll normally drill a pilot hole, insert a plastic anchor into the pilot hole, then attach the bar or bracket by driving the screw into the plastic anchor. Its easier to drill a pilot hole through grout than it is to drill through tile. Prior to inserting the anchor or driving the screw, I always squirt a glop of sealer into the hole, it helps prevent water intrusion.

As to the hose for the hand held, some are plastic, some are metal. I prefer metal as they lay against the wall more consistently than plastic hoses. One end of the hose screws on to the outlet that you screwed into the wall. The other end snaps or screws onto the hand held shower head. Get a hose long enough so that it can reach all corners of your shower, and then some. It helps with rinsing and cleaning the shower, shaving legs, bathing young kids, or even the family dog.

For wall mounted handhelds, you can get everything in one kit, or you can mix and match. Just make sure that everything is compatible so that you don't end up with a head that won't attach to a bracket.

A good combination is a "standard" wall mounted shower head, OR a "standard" head as a hand held, combined with an overhead rainshower head. "Standard" heads give that nice spray that is strong enough to easily rinse your body or rinse shampoo out of your hair, they often have multiple spray patterns as well.

Rainshower heads give a much gentler flow of water. They provide a different experience than a standard spray head. A rainshower head's flow might not be adequate to quickly rinse shampoo from hair. Some manufacturers have rainshower heads designed to mount on a standard arm that comes out of the wall. Those might not be a good idea, as the rainshower heads work best when they are mounted level, not on a tilt. If the head is mounted on an angle, instead of the shower of raindrops, you might something more like a garden hose effect coming out of one side of the head. Since the water "drops" out of the head instead of spraying our of the head, it's better to not have them too close to the wall. I think rainshower heads work best when plumbed to a central location on the ceiling.

If you can only have one head in your shower, than a standard type head with adjustable spray patterns might be your best bet. When I was a kid, most of the hand held shower heads were of very poor quality. Hose fittings leaked or sprayed water everywhere, the multiple spray heads leaked or sprayed water all over. Today's handheld's are of much better construction.

Construction note: If in a freezing climate, try to keep supply plumbing tubing out of your exterior walls. And if running plumbing for an overhead rainshower in the ceiling, if it's unheated attic space above then you'll want to insulate above the plumbing in the ceiling. Also, pitch the horizontal run of plumbing downwards a bit as the plumbing goes towards the rainshower head, so that when you turn the water off, the water in horizontal run of tubing will flow out the rainshower head instead of pooling and being captured in that horizontal run of tubing.



clipped on: 03.08.2010 at 11:54 am    last updated on: 09.14.2012 at 10:33 am

Part Deux (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: mongoct on 06.26.2008 at 02:30 am in Bathrooms Forum

Part Deux:

Controls and Diverters
This may be almost impossible to thoroughly attack because there are so many variations in what people want and in what different manufacturers offer.

In general

You need a volume and temperature control. You can buy just the valve body, which is the chunk of expensive brass that gets buried in the wall, and buy a separate trim kit, or you can buy a package that includes the valve body and the trim kit. The trim kit is the bright sparkly metallic knob/lever/escutcheon bling that you overspend for so your friends and neighbors will go "oooooh" and "aaaaah".

If you buy a pressure balanced valve, the valve in and of itself will turn on the water and allow you to control the temperature. If you buy a thermostatic valve, most valve bodies have two controllers on them, one to control volume and one to control temperature. Read the fine print though, because some thermostatic bodies just control temperature. Youll need a separate valve body to provide volume control.

Stops. Some valves come with "stops" some do not. What are stops? Stops stop water flow at the valve itself so the valve can be taken apart without having to turn the water off to that branch circuit or to the whole house. They are normally incorporated onto the hot and cold water inlets on the valve body, and they can be opened or closed with a screw driver.

While Im on this, Ill also mention that some valves might mention having a "stop screw" to limit the maximum temperature. While a pressure balancing or a thermostatic valve will prevent you from being scalded if someone flushes a toilet, there is nothing to prevent someone from being scalded by setting the valve to allow 130 degree water to pass through it. Your first step is to lower the temperature on your water heater to about 120 degrees. For valves that have these stop screws, its then a simple matter of setting a screw that limits how far the temperature knob can be rotated. What you do is rotate the knob to set the water to the max temp that youd ever want out of the shower, then you turn the set screw until it bottoms out. It will now prevent the temperature knob from turning past (hotter than) its existing position.

Downstream of that volume/temp control is where things get dicey. You can have a simple setup where your V/T control just runs to a single shower head. Easy to do. You can have a standard tub setup with a shower head and a tub spigot, where the diverter can be a lever or push button that sends water either to the tub spigot below or to the shower head above. Also easy to do.

If you want to supply water to more than one shower head, to a shower head and body sprays, or to both, either simultaneously or one at a time, then youll need more chunks of expensive brass to bury in your wall.

If you want separate controls and the ability to have differing temperatures come out of differing fixtures, then its easiest to go with multiple V/T controllers. One V/T controller for the shower heads, for example, and a separate V/T controller for the body sprays. This allows you to run different volumes and different temperatures out of the different heads. Your shower head can be 105 degrees and your body sprays 110 degrees.

Remember, the more hot water that you want to come out of your shower, the larger your supply tubing and valve bodies need to be, and the larger your water heater has to be. For sizing purposes, most shower heads and body sprays have a gallon per minute rating applied to them. In theory and planning only, if your hand held shower head is, for example, rated at 3gpm, your rain shower head rated at 4gpm, and each of your 8 body spray heads is rated at 1gpm, and you want to run them all at the same timeyoure looking at a flow of 15gpm. You need a water heater that can supply you with 15gpm of hot water, then you need supply tubing that can get 15gpm of hot water from your water heater to your bathroom, and you need valve/diverter bodies that can pass the required amount of water through them so you get decent flow out of each fixture.

Typical plumbing is 1/2", typical valves are 1/2". For high volume situations, 3/4" tubing and 3/4" supply valves may be required. Out of the valves you can usually run 1/2" tubing to your shower heads and body spray heads.

Back to the hardware. If you want a shower head and body sprays, and want to run either or both off of one valve, then youll want a diverter valve.

Diverter valves can be anything and everything. They can be simple A/B valves, where you can run the water through the valve to only "A", your shower head, or only to "B", your body spray heads. But not both at the same time.

Which leads to the A/B/AB valve, where you can send water only to "A", your shower head, or only to "B", your body spray heads, or to "AB", simultaneously to both.

And from here things go wild. There are A/B/C/AB/AC/BC/ABC valves, and things just can go on and on from there.

Diverter valves are usually described as having a certain number of "ports". 3-port, 4-port, 5-port, etc. Realize that one port is where the water goes in to the valve, the other ports are where the water comes out. So an A/B/C valve that has three outlets might be listed as a "4-port valve", with the fourth port being the inlet.

Not all 4-port valves can do A/B/C/AB/AC/BC/ABC, youll need to look through the description to find out where it can send the water to. A 4-port valve might just be an A/B/C valve, or it might be a more versatile A/B/C/AB/AC/BC valve. Read its description.

If you cant get the customization you need from a single volume/temperature controller and a single diverter, you can run multiple diverters off of one V/T controller, or multiple diverters off of multiple V/T controllers. It all depends on how much brass you can afford, how much water you can supply, and if you have the space to hide all that brass in your walls.

Diverters can be knobs, levers, push buttons, the choice is yours. But do remember that you need to match up the valve body to the desired trim kit so that the bling that your neighbors can see will fit on the expensive chunk of brass that they cant see. You dont want your plumber to bury that expensive chunk of brass in your wall, then tile, then find out later that your bling wont fit. Very depressing.

Its all about reading the fine print.



clipped on: 03.08.2010 at 11:53 am    last updated on: 09.14.2012 at 10:32 am

RE: FAQ/Answers Bathroom Plumbing for dummies (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: mongoct on 06.25.2008 at 09:07 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Let me know if this is the sort of info you're looking for, if it's too basic, or not inclusive enough. It's a rough first draft and can be edited as required:

The sort of where, what, and why of pressure-balanced versus thermostatic:
Pressure-balanced or thermostatic temperature control valves are code-required in bathroom plumbing because they eliminate potential scalding and cold water shocks that can occur in a shower.

If you are using the shower and a toilet is flushed, as the toilet uses cold water to refill the tank, the pressure in the cold water line drops a bit below what it was when just the shower was running. If you had a non-balancing valve, youd still get the same amount of hot water that you originally were getting, but with the drop in pressure in the cold water line youd have less cold water coming out of your shower head, creating a potential for scalding. Vice-versa, if someone turns on a hot-water faucet elsewhere in the house, the hot water pressure drops and you get a shower of mostly cold water.

A pressure-balanced shower valve is designed to compensate for changes in water pressure. It has a mechanism inside that moves with a change in water pressure to immediately balance the pressure of the hot- and cold-water inputs. These valves keep water temperature within a couple degrees of the initial setting. They do it by reducing water flow through either the hot or cold supply as needed. Because pressure balanced valves control the temp by reducing the flow of water through the valve, if your plumbing supply is already struggling to keep up with the three shower heads and nine body sprays that you have running in your shower, if a pressure balancing valve kicks in and chokes down the water supply to keep you from getting scalded you could end up with insufficient water flow out of the heads in a multiple shower head setup. When it comes to volume control, in terms of being able to turn on the water a little or a lot, for the most part pressure-balanced valves are full-on when water is flowing or full-off when the valve is closed. Flow-wise, think of them as having no middle ground.

Where flow and volume control are important, as in a shower that requires a high volume of water, a thermostatic valve may be the better choice. They also control the temperature, but they do not reduce the amount of water flowing through the valve in doing so. Thermostatic valves are also common with 3/4" inlets and outlets, so they can pass more water through the valve than a 1/2" pressure balancing valve.

Which should you choose?
In a larger multi-outlet master shower, while a 1/2" thermostatic valve may suffice, a 3/4" thermostatic valve might be the better choice. But it does depend on the design of your shower and the volume of water that can be passed through your houses supply lines. In a secondary bathroom, or in a basic master where you have only one head, or the common shower head/tub spout diverter valve, a 1/2" pressure balancing valve would be fine.

If you want individual control and wanted multiple valves controlling multiple heads, then you could use multiple 1/2" valves instead of one 3/4" valve and all would be just fine.

What do the controls on the valve actually control?
While it may vary, a pressure balanced valve is normally an "all in one" valve with only one thing you can adjustthe temperature. The valve usually just has one rotating control (lever or knob) where you turn the water on, and by rotating it you set the water to a certain temperature. Each time you turn the valve on youll have to set it to the same spot to set it to your desired temperature. For the most part you really dont control the volume, just the temperature. With the valve spun a little bit, you'll get 100% flow but it will be all cold water. With the valve spun all the way, youll get 100% flow, but it will be all hot water. Somewhere int eh middle youll find that Goldilocks "just right" temperature, and itll be atyou guessed it100% flow. So with a pressure balancing valve, you control the temp, but when the valve is open, its open.

A thermostatic valve can be all inclusive in terms of control (volume and temp) or just be temperature controlling. If its just temperature controlling, you will need a separate control for volume or flow. Example, with an all inclusive youll have two "controllers" (knobs or levers) on the valve, one to set the temperature and a separate one to set the volume. In this case you can set the temp as you like it, then use the volume control lever to have just a trickle of Goldilocks water come out of the valve, or you can open it up and have full flow of Goldilocks water coming out of the valve. You can leave the temp where you like it when you turn the volume off after youre done showering. The next time you shower, turn the volume on, the temperature is already set. Some thermostatic valves are just temperature valves with no volume control. Youll need another valve/control to set the volume. Read the product description carefully to see what you're getting.

What size valve should I get?
Yes, valves actually come in different sizes. The size refers to the size of the inlet/outlet nipples on the valve. For a basic shower, a 1/2" valve will suffice. For a larger multi-head arrangement, a 3/4" valve would be better. Realize that youll need a water heater that can supply the volume of heated water you want coming out of the heads, so dont forget that when you build or remodel. Also realize that if youre remodeling and have 1/2" copper running to your shower, capping 1/2" copper supply tubing with a 3/4" valve provide you with much benefit as the 1/2" tubing is the limiting factor. You can, however, cap 3/4" supply tubing with a 1/2" valve or a 3/4" valve.

Is one better than another?
Thermostatic valves are "better" in that with them you can control both volume of flow and temperature, so you have more control, and they hold the temperature to a closer standard (+/- 1 degree). They also perform better if you are running multiple outlets in the shower, as they do not choke down the amount of water in order to control the temperature. But you pay for that added flow and added control. Pressure balancing valves can be had for about $100-$200, thermostatic valves can be twice that amount. And more.

Will I suffer with a pressure-balancing valve?
For what its worth, when I built my house over 10 years ago I put pressure-balancing valves in my own house. While I have two outlets in my shower (sliding bar mounted hand-held on the wall and an overhead 12" rain shower head on the ceiling), I have a two separate pressure-balancing valves, one valve for each head. With both heads going in the shower, I notice no loss of flow in the shower when the toilet is flushed and the sink faucet is turned on simultaneously. I also notice no change in temperature. So they work for me.

If you are remodeling, if you have your existing sink running and you flush the toilet and notice a drop in volume coming out of the sink, then a thermostatic valve might be the better choice even if you're not having a multi-head setup installed.

If, as part of the remodel, you plan on running new supply lines through your house to the new bath, then properly sized runs will take care of that flow restriction and you can probably do a pressure balancing valve instead of a thermostatic.

So in a house with tricky plumbing, or with a restricted water supply, or with multiple outlets running off of one supply valve, a thermostatic valve might be the safer choice.



clipped on: 03.08.2010 at 11:53 am    last updated on: 09.14.2012 at 10:31 am

Budget (Follow-Up #30)

posted by: azwildcats70 on 08.22.2010 at 07:29 am in Kitchens Forum

Honey Oak cabinets painted: $300 in supplies
BM Fresh Start Primer
BM Satin Impervo Waterbourne in White Dove
Willbond Deglosser

Granite: $2500 including installation (we found remnants)
Island Honed Super White or Vermont White (which ever you want to call it)
Perimeter Honed Black Ocean

Hardware: $363
Laurey Nantucket 3" cup pulls
Laurey Nantucket 3" spiral handle

Over sink: Nantucket Ceiling light in nickel $99
Over Island: Norwell 5142 Broadway Island Light in Polished Nickel $170
Hearth room lights: Glass Lantern Chandelier x2 in Antique Copper $180 x 2
4" recessed lights in kitchen ceiling and two of them in pantry (7 total) $210
Pantry doors:
French doors, frosted glass with a can of spray frost $265 + $3 can of frost

Back splash:
6"x3" Subway tile gloss white $75 worth of tile
12"x12" carved marble monogram tile $75

8" spread bridge faucet by La Toscana $180 (ebay)

27"x15" 16 gauge stainless steel - Free with granite
Sink grid $80 sink grid
Insinkerator - $250 (ebay)

Jenn Air Dishwasher - had from previous house ($1900)
Jenn Air Refrigerator - had from previous house ($2200)
Kenmore Double Wall Oven - paid for by Home Warranty ($1600)
Kenmore Pro 6 burner range top - paid for by Home Warranty ($1700)
Pro Line Range Hood - paid for by Home Warranty ($699 on ebay)

Labor charges:
$1100 Electrician
$650 Tile Install
$400 Plumbing
$690 Appliance install
$260 Range hood install

Total out of pocket $7950 (Does not include appliances)


clipped on: 04.26.2012 at 03:39 pm    last updated on: 04.26.2012 at 03:39 pm

Finished Traditional Kitchen (lots of pics)

posted by: jm_seattle on 03.05.2011 at 01:54 pm in Kitchens Forum

THANK YOU GARDENWEB! We got so many great ideas from this forum, and everybody was so incredibly helpful and generous.

Here are some pics and a few details:
Kitchen corner
Refrigerator and pantry:
Message center:
Message center with built-in chalkboard
Breakfast nook:
Breakfast nook
Our KD wanted an extremely large window area to bring in light, but made it fit into the old house by breaking it up and using leaded glass:
new leaded glass windows
Sink w/glass filler, runnels, & built-in compost bin:
Sink w/Runnels & built-in compost bin
Built-in compost bin close-up:
Built-in compost bin
Mug shelf:
Mug Shelf
Charging drawer. This entire cabinet is deeper than it appears because it is built into the interior wall behind it, gaining an extra 4" or so of storage space without creeping into the walkway in front of it:
Charging station built into drawer
Island cabinets:
Island cabinets wtih cutting board
Miele ovens installed as flush inset (I searched and never did find pictures of this, so hopefully these will help somebody else):
Miele appliances mounted flush inset
Cleaning closet in "invented space" from interior wall:
Cleaning closet
Extra depth for the vacuum was made by reducing the depth of the drawers under the pantry:
Cleaning closet
The placement of the outlet underneath the music player shelf allows the nasty cordness to be hidden from eye-level:
Music Shelf
Toe-kick heater vent. The toe-kick face under the message center & island is covered with stained oak flooring. From eye-level, the toe-kick absorbs the correct amount of light and gives the appearance of freestanding cabinets.
Under island heater vent
The freestanding appearance is clearer here:
Cabinet built-into wall
Drawers under nook seating area:
Under-seat drawers in nook
There is a powder room off the kitchen. This wasn't our first choice, but ended up being our only choice in this old house, and has been okay, especially considering its placement is directly next to the hallway and away from the primary cooking area:
Bathroom off of kitchen
Adjacent mudroom, which became part of the kitchen remodel. The door is to a laundry chute which we use mostly for kitchen towels & napkins.

Here is a link that might be useful: More pictures


clipped on: 03.07.2011 at 09:19 am    last updated on: 04.26.2012 at 07:56 am

RE: One more pic (Follow-Up #30)

posted by: eastfallsglass on 08.25.2011 at 11:24 am in Kitchens Forum

I just realized that I left out one of images, showing the cabinets on the front wall.


clipped on: 08.26.2011 at 11:38 am    last updated on: 08.26.2011 at 11:39 am

Finally finished!

posted by: eastfallsglass on 08.24.2011 at 09:51 pm in Kitchens Forum

This is my first time posting to the forum; but I've been lurking for a long time. This forum has been a great source of inspiration and hints. We've finally completed the remodel of the kitchen in our 1920's home in Philadelphia. As the third owners of the very 'intact' home, we wanted to create a kitchen which would fit in with the age and character of the house.

The only change to the floorplan of the house was that we closed off the door from the kitchen into the center-hall. Now the kitchen is accessed only from the dining room, or from the rear entrance of the house. There was a door to the center-hall and a small pantry; that space is now where the fridge and surrounding cabinets live.

The cabinets were ordered, but I did a good deal of the work, including the floor, countertop and back-splash. Prior to this renovation, the kitchen had a combination of original cabinets and a 'modernization' that was done in the mid-50's. The original cabinets were not economically salvageable, however the new cabinets are in the same style as the originals and the Chambers cook-top was part of the old kitchen.

Here are some pictures of the end result:


clipped on: 08.26.2011 at 11:38 am    last updated on: 08.26.2011 at 11:38 am

Help me with a tide me over reno for $1200 or less

posted by: mabeldingeldine on 01.20.2011 at 12:54 pm in Kitchens Forum

We are slowly working through our 1881 Cape. A "small" repair job last summer ate my bath reno budget, so I'm consoling myself with a freshening-up of the kitchen. My budget is $1200 or less.

I'm thinking new laminate atop existing, new Silgranite sink in Anthracite, new faucet, new backsplash -- maybe tin ceiling panels or sheet copper.

I'm considering Formica Metal Sky as the laminate, but can't visualize it. What do you think?

Finally, should I paint the cabinets? Paint just the doors and drawer fronts?

Naturally, it is all DIY. Below are a couple of photos and a link to the laminate. THANKS for any help/suggestions/advice!
(since this photo was taken, we added a microhood)

Kitchen & Pantry>


Here is a link that might be useful: Metal Sky


clipped on: 06.01.2011 at 03:14 pm    last updated on: 06.01.2011 at 03:17 pm

RE: Pictures of my new kitchen! (Follow-Up #69)

posted by: joan2121 on 03.27.2011 at 09:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

the over all space wall to wall is 16 feet x 16feet. Here is our floor plan.


clipped on: 06.01.2011 at 10:03 am    last updated on: 06.01.2011 at 10:03 am

RE: Please show me your subway tile backsplash! (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: melissastar on 05.17.2011 at 04:38 pm in Kitchens Forum

For something different...
the light well wall


clipped on: 05.25.2011 at 08:57 pm    last updated on: 05.25.2011 at 08:57 pm

RE: Best Melons for Zone 5 (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: digit on 09.01.2010 at 12:23 am in Vegetable Gardening Forum

I used to think that Minnesota Midget was the only melon I could grow. Cool nights right thru the growing season limit melon growth but very cool springs are an actual threat.

First of all, I've grown Sugar Baby watermelon a few times. They can be quite good but are also quite seedy.

I discovered Honey Girl Charentais 6 or 8 years ago and it always did well thru some very hot summers. I was absolutely delighted with this melon. Then, we had a very cool June and the Honey Girls, transplanted out at the end of May, died.

The only "trick" with Charentais melons seems to be to pick them at just the right moment. Too early, and they will have little flavor and sweetness; too late, and they will have spoiled. There fragrance is a good indicator of ripeness, for me.

I tried an early cantaloupe several years ago: Sweet Granite. As I understand it, Sweet Granite was developed in the 60's at the University of New Hampshire. Honestly, like the Minnesota Midget, I thought I could do better and tried Fastbreak. Bingo!

This is about the 4th or 5 year that I've harvested Fastbreak and they are very tasty! I had the 1st one of the season today.

Still, that cold June -- most of the Fastbreak melon plants also died. What came thru just fine was the Passport melons. Passport is a Galia melon and I've got ripe ones in my garden right now! They look like they might be a cantaloupe but the interior is very nearly the same as a honeydew.

Last year, I played it too safe and grew only Passport. I went back to a little more variety in 2010 and we had another wet, cold and windy June! Fortunately, the melons didn't die this year. They are a little late but coming along just fine.

New this year is a different Charentais: Edonis. I really hope this one is as tasty as Honey Girl but I'm still waiting for one to ripen. . .

. . . just my 2 on the subject of melons.



clipped on: 04.25.2011 at 09:02 pm    last updated on: 04.25.2011 at 09:03 pm

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

  • Advantium

  • Miele dishwasher

  • Test tube rack for spice storage

  • Lay it out with tape to double check

  • advice for setting up a temp kitchen

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

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

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

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

  • batch-feed garbage disposals

  • adding outlets

  • Galaxy Tool Supply for our sink

  • Never MT

  • Plugmold

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

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

  • Floodstop on icemaker and washing machine.

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

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

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

  • Lacanche

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

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

  • integrated drainboard cut into the countertop

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

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

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

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

  • Landing space between appliances

  • Aisle clearances

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

  • instant hot water heater

  • Getting a 36" range

  • baking center

  • online resources for sinks and faucets

  • the importance of putting functionality first in all design decisions

  • how to test granite for durability

  • remote blower for hood fan

  • single deep fireclay sink

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Brizo Floriano/pulldowns in general

  • xenon lighting

  • Venting

  • Tapmaster

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

  • Get your floor plan right!

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

  • Inexpensive but quality Ticor sinks for laundry and prep.

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

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

  • Bertazzoni range

  • White America Quartzite to go with SS

  • LED undercabinet lights

  • internet and eBay vendor recommendations

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

  • Microfiber cloths for cleaning SS and granite.

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

  • undercounter light switch for undercounter lights

  • tilt-out shoe storage cabinet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Benefits of a large farmhouse sink

  • Miele dishwasher

  • superb

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

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

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

  • Plug strip under center island.

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

  • Orca single sink

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

  • Electrical outlet inside a drawer for a charging station

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

  • knife drawer (I hated that block)

  • gel stain

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Buying Sources

    • Ticor sinks: Ticor Sinks at Galaxy Tool Supply:

    • Tapmaster:

    • Never-MT: Never-MT:

    • Pop up Outlets: Popup Mocketts:

    • Plugmold Power Strips:

    • Angle Powerstrip:

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

  • DIY on gel stain. Thanks Celticmoon and Projectsneverend.

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

  • where to find a deal on saddle stools

  • Kohler Vinnata

  • Not to put my cooktop on my island.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


clipped on: 03.17.2011 at 11:44 am    last updated on: 03.17.2011 at 11:44 am

Finished kitchen... well, almost finished

posted by: kiffgirl on 02.20.2011 at 12:54 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thank you to everyone who posts here for your questions, opinions, advice, suggestions, photos, guidance, support, stories, trials, and tribulations. Although we found this site later in our project, we still gained so much and avoided some serious errors thanks to all of you!

Our previous kitchen was not old, but painfully small. As a two cook family, it just didn't work. We didn't have much room to work with to expand and, because of a window in the bedroom below, we angled the space to minimize the overhang. We started construction in August on the small addition and finished (almost) in January. Final trim, accessories, and window treatments still to come.

Our kitchen before:


And now...




Adding seating at the island was a last minute change and it has made such a difference for us.



Products used:

Custom cherry cabinets by Mills Brothers Fine Woodworking
Luce de Luna quartzite counters
Viking Range - reused from previous kitchen
Viking Hood - reused, but added chimney
F&P dish drawers - reused
KitchenAid counter depth refrigerator
Marvel Wine Cooler
GE Advantium
Terra Verre tiles for backsplash
Artemide pendants
Knobs and pulls - Restoration Hardware
Grohe faucet main sink
Hansgrohe faucet prep sink
Fanke Orca main sink
Ticor prep sink
Eye-Vac under sink - one of my favorite things. Just sweep up to the toe kick and the mini vac automatically sucks up what is in front of it. A must with wood floors and 2 dogs and 2 cats!


clipped on: 03.12.2011 at 03:03 pm    last updated on: 03.12.2011 at 03:03 pm

My Granite Pictures (swickbb request)

posted by: jan_jan on 07.28.2009 at 12:41 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here are some pictures of my granite you wanted to see. It comes across different on different screens. I went to my girlfriends after I sent her pictures and it looked totally dark and brown on her screen. Anyway, you know the colors so I'm sending them hoping they come across right. It even looks darker on my screen than in real life.

I have heard it called White Piracema, White Beaches, Wave, and I'm sure there are lots of other names. I looked at granite for months and months and it was amazing to watch the slab colors and variations change. Some are super swirly with lots of blue and green and some have more rock and stone look to them with lots of gray and white. All of them were white piracema but new shipments would come in and the look would totally change. Anyway, I love it. The color is great in my home and flows with the rest of the house. We live by the beach and I can't tell you how many different aspects of this granite remind me of different parts of the beach from the sand, to the blue/green pieces that look like sea glass. Everyone has different taste, and for me, this is my perfect granite.

I also want to let you know I think this granite is bullet proof. I know it's not but I tell you the babying stage left quickly as you saw in my other post ("my granite is stressing me out") and now myself, my husband, and my two kids are using it like it was the old plywood counters. We finished the kitchen and summer hit and we are using the heck out of it. I have left things on it overnight by accident...even RED WINE! I get busy putting kids to bed and don't clean off the counters good before going to bed. I have found pizza, tomato sauce, coffee stains, a pile of cut lemons and limes from a cocktail party the night before, and no stains. I'm a stay at home mom and my kitchen gets its use. It was sealed and I will continue to seal it as directed becuase it is working great. Also, I think the colors variation and the colors in this granite are just like camouflage. I don't see crumbs or dirt. I wipe off my counters thinking they are clean only to find coffee, sauce, and all kinds of crap on the paper towel. It's unbelievable how great this granite is at hiding stuff. I wish I had known how easy it was going to be so I wouldn't have stressed over it so much. I can't recommend it enough or tell you enough how much I love my granite! :) I really like it...can you tell? :) Here are some pics...

You can email me with anymore ?'s or for more pictures.



clipped on: 03.07.2011 at 09:27 pm    last updated on: 03.07.2011 at 09:28 pm

Better idea (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: johnliu on 03.01.2011 at 01:53 am in Kitchens Forum

Actually, I just thought of a variation on the ''convertible prep sink'' idea that would be even better. Use a Tap Master or the groovy foot pedals made by Chicago Faucets. Then you don't need handles in the sink at all, just a minimal bit of spout, maybe just enough to screw an aerator into. Maybe a 1/2'' protrusion from the sink wall.

Either figure out a way to make the spout-sink junction water-tight, or simply don't fill the sink to the spout level.


clipped on: 03.01.2011 at 03:01 pm    last updated on: 03.01.2011 at 03:01 pm

RE: Value of prep sink in a small kitchen?? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: johnliu on 03.01.2011 at 01:35 am in Kitchens Forum

Here is a fairly bizarre idea that I've never seen in any kitchen but, since you're DIY'ing it, you could try.

I will describe it as best I can. Install a fairly deep, not that tiny, rectangular, steel sink in the island. Under mount it, with enough of a reveal to create a distinct lip around the sink. Cut a filler piece of counter material that fits inside the sink cut out, resting on the lip. With this piece in place, you have an unbroken expanse of counter. With the piece removed, you have a prep sink.

Wait a minute, what about the faucet? Use a compact wall mount faucet with a very very short spout, mount it to the side of the steel sink, below the lip where the counter filler rests.

A ''short spout service faucet'' like this one, though it would be nice to lose the adjustable centers. This spout looks barely 1'' long.

This would not be a sink you'd wash a pot in. But for rinsing veg, washing chicken-y hands, and other prep sink jobs, it would - I'm confident - do the job better than no sink at all.

I know, that model isn't exactly faucet porn. But it's kinda cute. Now, if you are willing to go even more minimalist, you could use a hose bib like this nice polished one. How often does one really need mixed hot & cold water for prepping: cold alone would likely be enough.

Or this vaguely dodo-like model

Basically, just go search around the Chicago Faucets website and think outside of the box, or inside the sink as it were.


clipped on: 03.01.2011 at 03:01 pm    last updated on: 03.01.2011 at 03:01 pm

Actual Kitchen Map (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: buehl on 07.18.2008 at 12:45 am in Kitchens Forum

Like Raehelen, I created an MS Word document...well, actually two.

The first was a list of everything I had in my old kitchen plus everything that should have been stored in the kitchen but wasn't.

The second document was a "map" of my kitchen. First, I took a picture of my kitchen design and, in MS PowerPoint, labeled each cabinet & shelf/drawer. There were two pictures, one for each side of the kitchen. Then, I saved them as "jpg" images. I then inserted them into an MS Word document, each on its own page. I then created a table with one row for each shelf/drawer.

My last step was to map the items from the first document to the cabinets & shelves/drawers in the second document.

That document is now in our new kitchen and is used by everyone to remember where everything goes.

This process worked great!

Now, here's my map/list (sorry the pics are so big, but when I made them smaller they were illegible!):

Sink/Window Wall Kitchen Map (medium)

Cooktop Wall Kitchen Map (medium)



clipped on: 02.14.2011 at 10:50 am    last updated on: 02.14.2011 at 10:50 am

RE: Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists) (Follow-Up #60)

posted by: buehl on 07.12.2009 at 01:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

  • Posted by stonegirl (My Page) on Sun, Jun 21, 09 at 13:41

    1. Lifetime Sealer: With modern sealer technology advancing as fast as (or even faster than!) computer technology, it is difficult to keep up with all the developments. The most recent development is called "nano technology", which, for all intents and purposes, mean that the solid particles in the sealer (the stuff that makes the sealer work) are very, very small and combined with advanced solvent technology, these particles can penetrate deeper into the stone and do a better job of sealing it.

      There are a number of sealers on the market that make use of this technology and some even give lifetime warranties for properly applied sealers. A couple of these are "Dry Treat" and "Surface Treatment Technologies". STT has a proprietary combination sealer consisting of SB (the first application) and FE (the final application) that offers superior protection even on extremely porous surfaces. The guys over at the SFA did side-by-side testing of Dry Treat and the STT combination and found STT to be the superior product.

      That said, there are a few others out there that I am not familiar with and could offer the same benefit. Just be wary of companies that claim to be "certified applicators" or some such. A lot of people saw a niche in a market and are trying to fill it by employing shady techniques.

      Lifetime sealers often are more expensive than regular good quality sealers, and as some have noted before me, sealer application is no big deal and can be done at home and by yourself fairly easily. Just be sure to purchase a high quality product with a recognized brand name, such as Miracle or StoneTech, to name a couple.

      BUT: Not all stones need sealer either. Stones like Blue Pearl, Ubatuba, Black Galaxy, Verde Peacock, Verde Butterfly, Platinum Pearl and many others are too dense to absorb any liquids - sealers included. Sealers only protect stone from staining through absorption, so in stones with low absorption co-efficients, sealing would be superfluous.

      Sealing dense stones could lead to nasty results, such as streaking and ghost etching, so DO NOT go by the motto of "seal it anyway, it could not hurt". Rather test your stone for absorption by dripping water on it to see if it darkens any. If the water has no effect on the stone, sealing it is unnecessary.

    2. Seams: DO NOT pick a stone to satisfy the abilities (or lack of!) the fabricator. A good fabricator will be able to make a good seam in whatever stone you select. MIA standards for seams list 1/8" as being acceptable. As with all bureaucratic institutions they are decidedly behind the curve in technology and applications, and there are fabricators who strive to make seams virtually disappear. Do know that it is more challenging to make seams "disappear" in veined or boldly patterned stones and fabricators will charge accordingly.

      Ask your intended fabricator(s) to have you see actual installed kitchens and look at the quality of the work they have done - not just on the seams, but on the rest of the kitchen too. Check for good edge polishing, consistent overhangs and overall appearance of the job. Speak to the homeowners (if they are available) and ask about their experiences with the fabricator. Showrooms could be misleading. Remember, they are designed to make you buy stuff :)

    3. Seam Locations: There are very many variables that go into the location of a seam. Appearances, although important too, are secondary to a number of them, including slab length, material pattern, installation hazards, cabinet and cut-out locations and access to the installation, to name a few.

      You could ask your stone guy to consider a seam in a location that would be preferable to you, and he will proceed with due consideration, but ultimately, it is his decision where they go in order to provide a quality installation. A good fabricator will discuss them with you and provide motivation for his choices.

    4. Seams over dishwashers: If done well and supported properly, there is no issue with having a seam over a dishwasher. The glue will not melt, the stone will not weaken and no disaster will occur IF it was done well. Most fabricators will avoid doing seams over the DW because the extra precautions are time and material intensive, but sometimes they can not be helped.

      Extra precautions for seams over a DW could include a "biscuit" joint at the seam, a ledger board screwed in the back wall or support plates glued under the seam, to name a few.

    5. Pricing: Pricing is a carbuncle. Every shop has a different way of doing it, and practices vary from region to region. Some shops will give all inclusive prices, some use itemized bills, others will charge for labor and material and some others might charge them separate. In some parts of the country fabricators require you buy your own materials.

      My advice would be to compare the bottom line of all quotes and determine of you are comparing oranges to oranges. Determine what you would like: material, edge profile, cut-outs and backsplashes. Get estimates from the fabricators that will deliver the same end result and compare those. See if the price includes all the options you prefer, along with material and installation. Once you have all the details determined, looking at the final prices should then give a you a monetary comparison between the different operators.

      Although the price should be important when deciding on a fabricator, do not forget to look at other things like quality, customer service and your own *gut feeling* when you shop for a stone guy.

    6. MIA or not?: Does it matter? The MIA has no means of policing the fabricators that belong to them and joining the association only costs about $500 or so. Anybody can write a check and then put MIA on their business cards. We used to belong to them, but for fundamental reasons gave up our membership. This did not make our quality go downhill all of a sudden. In fact, the standards that we set for our shop were consistently higher than the MIA "required" for any of their members. In short - being an MIA member will NOT be a guarantee of any kind of good service or quality installation. Much rather look at the ethics and business practices of the fabricators on your short list.


    Other comments from our experts:

    • You shouldn't seal granite under a .25% absorption
    • Leathered finish stones are typically finished to a semi-gloss and would most likely not benefit from a sealer. It is easy to see if you need one, though. Try and get an untreated sample from the fabricator and do a water test on it. See if the stone darkens if it is exposed to water. My guess is that the Brazilian Black will not.

      If it shows finger marks and such, an enhancing sealer would be a better option - it will be a semi-topical treatment on a stone that dense, so it might need to be re-applied occasionally, depending on how often and with what kind of cleaners you clean your stone.

      Impregnating sealers and enhancers are designed to work from within the stone - i.e. they need to be absorbed to work properly. On dense stones with alternative finishes like brushing, leathering or honing, these sealers will get stuck in the surface texture, giving the desired effect. It will not really be absorbed within the stone, but kinda' stuck in the surface - subject to removal by mechanical means such as a vigorous scrubbing :)

  • NOTES:

    clipped on: 02.14.2011 at 10:18 am    last updated on: 02.14.2011 at 10:18 am

    Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists)

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

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

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

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

    Stone Information, Advice, and Checklists:

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

    Slab Selection:

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

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

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

    • Mesh backing: Some slabs have a mesh backing. This was done at the plant where the slabs were finished. This backing adds support to brittle materials or materials with excessive veining or fissures. A number of exotic stones will have this. This does not necessarily make the material one of inferior quality, though. Quite often, these slabs will require special care in fabrication and transport, so be prepared for the fabricator to charge accordingly. If you are unsure about the slabs, ask your fabricator what his opinion of the material is.

    • Cracks and fissures: Yes - some slabs might have them. One could have quite the discussion on whether that line on the slab could be one or the other, so I'll try to explain it a little.

      • Fissures are naturally occurring features in stone. They will appear as little lines in the surface of the slabs (very visible in a material like Verde Peacock) and could even be of a different color than the majority of the stone (think of those crazed white lines sometimes appearing in Antique Brown). Sometimes they could be fused like in Antique Brown and other times they could be open, as is the case in the Verde Peacock example. They could often also go right through the body of the slab like in Crema Marfil, for instance. If you look at the light reflection across a fissure, you will never see a break - i.e., there will be no change in the plane on either side of a fissure.

      • A crack on the other hand is a problem... If you look at the slab at an oblique angle in the light, you will note the reflection of the shine on the surface of the stone. A crack will appear as a definite line through the reflection and the reflection will have a different appearance on either side of the line - there will be a break in the plane. Reject slabs like this. One could still work around fissures. Cracks are a whole other can of worms.

      • Resined slabs: The resin gets applied prior to the slabs being polished. Most of the resin then gets ground off in the polishing process. You should not be able to see just by looking at the surface of a slab whether it was resined or not. If you look at the rough sides of the slab, though, you will see some drippy shiny marks, almost like varnish drips. This should be the only indication that the slab is resined. There should never be a film or layer on the face of the stone. With extremely porous stones, the resining will alleviate, but not totally eliminate absorption issues and sealer could still be required. Lady's dream is an example. This material is always resined, but still absorbs liquids and requires sealer.

      • Test the material you have selected for absorption issues regardless - it is always best to know what your stone is capable of and to be prepared for any issues that might arise. Some stones indeed do not require sealer - be they resined or not. Baltic Brown would be an example here. It will not absorb one iota of anything, but it is still resined to eliminate a flaking issue.

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

    • To verify you have true AB and not dyed: Clean with denatured alcohol and rub marble polishing powder on the face. (Get denatured alcohol at Home Depot in the paint department)

    • Lemon Juice or better yet some Muratic Acid: will quickly show if the stone has alot of calcium content and will end up getting etched. This is usually chinese stone, not indian.

    • Acetone: The Dying usually is done on the same chinese stone. like the others said, acetone on a rag will reveal any dye that has been applied

    • Chips: Using something very hard & metalhit the granite sharply & hard on edges to see if it chips, breaks, or cracks


    • Before the templaters get there...
      • Make sure you have a pretty good idea of your faucet layout--where you want the holes drilled for all the fixtures and do a test mock up to make sure you have accounted for sufficient clearances between each fixture.

      • Be sure you test your faucet for clearances not just between each fixture, but also between the faucet and the wall behind the faucet (if there is one). You need to be sure the handle will function properly.

      • Make sure that the cabinets are totally level (not out by more than 1/8") before the counter installers come in.

      • Check how close they should come to a stove and make sure the stove sits up higher than the counter.

      • Make sure they have the sink/faucet templates to work from.

      • Make sure have your garbage disposal air switch on hand or know the diameter

    • If you are not putting in a backsplash, tell them

    • Double check the template. Make sure that the measurements are reasonable. Measure the opening for the range.

    • Seam Placement: Yet another kettle of fish (or can of worms, depending on how you look at it, I guess!) Seam placement is ultimately at the discretion of the fabricator. I know it is not a really popular point of view, but that is just the way it is. There really is more to deciding where the seam would go than just the size of the slab or where the seam would look best in the kitchen.

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

    • Factors determining seam placement:

      • The slab: size, color, veining, structure (fissures, strength of the material an other characteristics of the stone)

      • Transport to the job site: Will the fabricated pieces fit on whatever vehicle and A-frames he has available

      • Access to the job site: Is the house on stilts? (common in coastal areas) How will the installers get the pieces to where they need to go? Will the tops fit in the service elevator if the apartment is on the 10th floor? Do the installers need to turn tight corners to get to the kitchen? There could be 101 factors that will influence seam placement here alone.

      • Placement and size of undermount (or other) cut-outs. Some fabricators like to put seams in undermount sinks, some do not. We, for instance will do it if absolutely necessary, and have done so with great success, but will not do so as general practice. We do like to put seams in the middle of drop-in appliances and cut-outs and this is a great choice for appearances and ease of installation.

      • Location of the cabinets: Do the pieces need to go in between tall cabinets with finished sides? Do the pieces need to slide in under appliance garages or other cabinetry? How far do the upper cabinets hang over? Is there enough clearance between the vent hood and other cabinets? Again the possibilities are endless and would depend on each individual kitchen lay-out and - ultimately -

      • Install-ability of the fabricated pieces: Will that odd angle hold up to being moved and turned around to get on the peninsula if there is no seam in it? Will the extra large sink cut-out stay intact if we hold the piece flat and at a 45 degree angle to slide it in between those two tall towers? Again, 1,001 combinations of cabinetry and material choices will come into play on this question.

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

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

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

    • Generally, it is not a good idea to seam over a DW because there's no support for the granite, and anything heavy placed at or near the seam would stress the stone, possibly breaking it.

    • Rodding is another issue where a tremendous amount of mis-information and scary stories exist: The main purpose for rodding stone would be to add integrity to the material around cut-outs. This is primarily for transport and installation and serves no real purpose once the stone is secured and fully supported on the cabinets. It would also depend on the material. A fabricator would be more likely to rod Ubatuba than he would Black Galaxy, for instance. The flaky and delicate materials prone to fissures would be prime candidates for rodding. Rodding is basically when a fabricator cuts slots in the back of the stone and embeds steel or fiberglass rods with epoxy in the slots in the stone. You will not see this from the top or front of the installation. This is an "insurance policy" created by the fabricator to make sure that the stone tops make it to your cabinets all in one piece

    • Edges: The more rounded an edge is, the more stable it would be. Sharp, flat edges are prone to chipping under the right (or rather wrong) circumstances. Demi or full bullnose edges would almost entirely eliminate this issue. A properly milled and polished edge will be stable and durable regardless of the profile, though. My guess at why ogee and stacked edges are not more prevalent would be purely because of cost considerations. Edge pricing is determined by the amount of work needed to create it. The more intricate edge profiles also require an exponentially larger skill set and more time to perfect. The ogee edge is a very elegant edge and can be used to great effect, but could easily look overdone if it is used everywhere. We often advise our clients to combine edges for greater impact - i.e., eased edge on all work surfaces, and ogee on the island to emphasize the cabinetry or unusual shape.
      Edge profiles are largely dependent on what you like and can afford. There is no real pro or con for regular or laminated edges. They all have their place in the design world. Check with your fabricator what their capabilities and pricing are. Look at actual kitchens and ask for references.


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

      • A generic good quality seam should have the following characteristics:
        • It should be flat. According to the Marble Institute of America (MIA) a minimal amount of lippage is acceptable (1/32"), but conscientious fabricators all strive for a perfectly flat and smooth joint.

        • It should be narrow - as in smaller than 1/16". (I think the MIA stipulates no larger than 1/8", but that is pushing it - and only if the fabricator bevels the edges of the seam, almost similar to the edge of a stone tile. This is, thank goodness, not a standard practice any more!)

        • The color on either side of the seam should match as closely as possible. On regularly patterned stones like Ubatuba for example - there should be no variation. On stones with variation in colors or veins, the match should be made as close as was humanly possible.

        • Vein direction should flow. The MIA suggests a single direction of vein flow, but it is acceptable IF DISCUSSED WITH THE CLIENT to change vein direction on a seam if no other option is available. This would happen in book matched slabs - you will have a "butterfly" seam in this case. In other cases, the fabricator could put a miter seam in a corner and change vein direction 90 degrees. This is usually done with extremely linear veining like Bamboo Green, for example, but this is something that should be discussed with the fabricator and agreed upon by the client.

        • The seam on the finished edge of the stone should NOT dip in and create a divot in the edge. When you run your fingers over the edge, you should not be able to feel the location of the seam at all.

        • The thickness of the slabs on either side of the seam should be equal (or feathered out so that there is no discernible difference)

        • The glue in the seam should be of a color that matches the stone as closely as possible. Glue joints that are too light or too dark will show up something terrible. The idea behind tinting the glue is to try to make the seam "disappear" or something relatively close to it

    • Checklist:
      • Check the seams for evenness and smoothness.

        • Make sure that the seams are neat and clean.

        • Make sure that the seams are not obvious.

        • Make sure the seams are butted tight

        • Make sure that there are no scratches, pits, or cracks

      • If sealing is necessary (not all granites need to be sealed):

        • Make sure that the granite has been sealed

        • If more than one application of sealer was applied, ask how long they waited between applications

        • Ask which sealer has been used on the granite.

      • Make sure the sink reveal is consistent all the away around

      • Check the gap of the granite at the wall junctions.

      • Check for inconsistent overhangs from the counter edges

      • Check for chips. These can be filled.

      • Make sure the top drawers open & close

      • Make sure that you can open & close your dishwasher

      • Make sure the stove sits up higher than the counter

      • Make sure that you have the appropriate clearances for your appliances

      • Check the edge all around, a good edge should have the following characteristics:
        • Shine: The edge polish should match the top polish in depth and clarity. The edge should not be milky, dull, or waxy.

        • The edge should not have "waves". Eyeball along the edge. A good edge should have a mirror like reflection and be fairly flat. Waves that you can see or feel are not a good thing.

        • The aris (very top of the edge) should be crisp and straight, even on a bullnose edge. Once again you can see this by eyeballing along the very top end of the edge profile. A wavy, dippy aris is poor craftsmanship.

        • A good edge will have a consistent profile. It will not be larger in some spots or smaller in others.

        • A good edge should also have NO tooling lines. These will be fine lighter/white lines running along the edge. This is a mark of a poor edge polish, of a CNC machine that is not set correctly, and a lack of hand finishing. This is common when a company has only mechanical fabrication (i.e., CNC machines or line polishers) and no skilled hand fabricators to finish the work properly.

      • Run your hands around the entire laminated edge of yor counters to make sure they are smooth

      • Check surrounding walls & cabinets for damage

    Miscellaneous Information:

    • More than all the above and below, though, is to be present for both the templating as well as having the templates placed on your slabs at the fabricator's
      If you canot be there, then have a lengthy conversation about seam placement, ways to match the movement, and ways to color-match the counters that will be joined at the seam

    • Find a fabricator who is a member of the SFA

    • When they polish your stone for you don't let them wax it. It will look terrible in 2 months when the wax wears off.

    • Don't use the Magic Eraser on granite--especially AB

    • Any slab with more fill (resin) than stone is certainly a no-no!!

    • When you do check for scratches, have overhead lighting shining down so scratches are easier to see

    • Don't let them do cutouts in place (granite dust becomes a major issue)

    • Granite dust can be a problem...some have heard of SS appliances & hoods damaged by the dust, others have heard of drawer glides being ruined by the dust

    • If you have wood floors--especially if you're in the process of staining or finishing them--make sure that they don't spill or drip granite sealer on the wood floors. Apparently the sealer interferes with the stain or finish process.

    • Suggested Prep for Installation:
      • Remove any drawers and pullouts beneath any sections that will be cut or drilled onsite, e.g., sink cutouts and/or faucet, soap dispenser, air gap, instant hot etc. holes, cooktop cutouts.

      • Then just cover the glides themselves with a few layers of blue painter's tape (or some combo of plastic wrap and tape)

      • If you make sure to cover the top of the glides and attach some of the tape to the cab wall as well (to form sort of a seal)and cover the rest of the glides completely with tape, you should be fine.

      • Usually the fabricators will have someone holding a vacuum hose right at the spot where they are drilling or cutting, so very little granite dust should be landing on the glides. What little dust escapes the vacuum will be blocked by the layer(s) of tape.

      • When done w/installation, remove the tape and use a DustBuster (or similar) on all the cabinets and glides

    • Countertop Support:

      • If your granite is 2 cm thick, then there can be no more then 6" of of unsupported span with a 5/8" subtop

      • If your granite is 3 cm thick, then there can be no more then 10" of unsupported span - no subtop required

      • If you need support, the to determine your corbel dimensions:

      • Thickness of Stone - Dimension of Unsupported Span = Corbel Dimensino

      • i.e., an 18" total overhang in 2 cm would require a 12" corbe; the same overhang in 3 cm would require an 8" corbel


    clipped on: 02.14.2011 at 10:08 am    last updated on: 02.14.2011 at 10:08 am

    RE: Stretching lobster (Follow-Up #43)

    posted by: chase on 02.11.2011 at 12:11 pm in Cooking Forum

    Lpink, if crepes are something the BF would enjoy here is a great recipe that also uses a combination of seafood. Really any combo you like.

    Seafood Crepes

    NOTE: I make a bechamel sauce to pour over the crepes while baking instead of using the same sauce that is in the crepes.

    These crêpes can also be made with lobster and or crab if you like.

    8 oz (250 g) cleaned shrimp
    8 oz (250 g) scallops
    3 tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter
    1 shallot, finely chopped
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    ½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine
    1 tbsp (15 ml) Pernod (I omit )
    3 tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped chives
    2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped tarragon
    2 tsp (10 mL) finely grated lemon zest
    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
    8 cooked crepes (Basic Crepes - recipe follows)

    1. Cut the shrimp in half, lengthwise, and the scallops in quarters or halves, depending on their size. Set aside.

    2. In a large frying pan, melt 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until transparent. Add the garlic, shrimp and scallops and cook, stirring constantly, until the seafood is just cooked. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the seafood to a bowl.

    3. Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil, and deglaze by scraping up the browned bits from the pan. Boil until reduced by half, add the Pernod and pour over the shrimp and scallops in the bowl. Stir in the chives, tarragon, lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.

    4. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).

    5. Butter a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-cm) baking dish with the remaining butter. Put 1 crêpe on the counter and place 2 to 3 tbsp (25 to 45 mL) of seafood mixture on it just below the centre. Roll up the crêpe and place it in the prepared baking dish. Repeat until all the crêpes and mixture are used up.

    6. Pour the remaining liquid over the crêpes cover the baking dish with foil and bake for about 15 minutes or until hot.

    Makes 8 crepes

    Basic Crêpe Recipe
    1 cup (250 mL) flour
    Pinch salt
    2 eggs
    1 to 1¼ cups (250 to 300 mL) whole milk
    2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter, melted
    Vegetable oil

    1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the eggs. Whisk the eggs into the flour and then slowly add 1 cup (250 mL) milk. Whisk until smooth, then add the melted butter. Strain the mixture into a large glass measuring cup, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

    2. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and stir to check the consistency (it should resemble thin cream). Add the extra milk if necessary.

    3. Wipe out the seasoned crêpe pan with an oiled paper towel then place it over medium-high heat. When you see a light haze over the pan it is hot enough to begin.

    4. Pour in a small amount of mixture (about 3 tbsp/45 mL) into the pan (it should sizzle). Swirl and tilt the pan to spread the batter as thinly as possible. Pour any excess batter back into the measuring cup.

    5. Use a spatula to trim the crêpe where the excess batter was poured off. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the top surface is dry and the edges begin to curl, 10 to 15 seconds. Using a spatula, flip the crêpe over and cook on the second side about 10 seconds.

    6. Slide the cooked crêpe onto a clean towel. Continue with the remaining mixture.

    1. Always make the batter in advance. It should rest for at least 30 minutes before cooking and can be kept overnight in the refrigerator. Bring the batter to room temperature before using.

    2. Crêpes can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for 3 days, well wrapped and layered with wax paper or frozen for 2 months.

    3. To reheat crêpes, brush a baking sheet with melted butter and layer the crepes on top. Cover with aluminum foil and reheat in a 400ºF (200ºC) oven for about 4 minutes.

    4. To reheat filled crêpes, fill the crêpes when cold and place them in a baking dish and reheat in a 400ºF (200ºC) oven or until the filling is hot.

    5. You can replace half the flour with whole wheat or buckwheat flour.

    Makes 12 to 16, 7-inch (18-cm) crepe


    clipped on: 02.13.2011 at 08:34 pm    last updated on: 02.13.2011 at 08:34 pm

    RE: Disadvantages to local custom cabinets? (Follow-Up #6)

    posted by: buehl on 01.31.2011 at 10:10 am in Kitchens Forum

    There are disadvantages to "local custom cabinetmakers" and there are disadvantages to "corporate" cabinetmakers. There are advantages to "local custom cabinetmakers" and there are advantages to "corporate" cabinetmakers. It's all in what you want, etc.

    Do your research regardless of the route you go.

    (Taken from one of my posts on a thread from earlier this month.)

    Just a word of caution..."local (custom) cabinetmaker" is thrown around here a lot with the implication they are all superior to or at least as good the various cabinet manufacturers. Some may be, but there is no guarantee. "Local custom cabinetmaker" does not necessarily equate to "high quality" or "low cost". There are many very good custom cabinetmakers out there, but there are many not-so-good ones as well. Just b/c someone is a "custom cabinetmaker" does not make him/her a good cabinetmaker. And, it's not just their skill at are their business skills? E.g., How are they at meeting schedules? Do they stay within the cost they quote you? How do they deal with issues? What is their warranty? What recourse do you have if they drop the ball? Sometimes you can go "over the heads" of people at cabinet stores or even go to the manufacturer (at least for warranty issues), but you might not have that option with a local cabinetmaker.

    If you go this route, be very diligent in your research:

    • Contact several recent references, including at least one who had problems so you can see how s/he handled those problems. Ask about:
      • How were they at keeping to the schedule they promised?
      • Did they stick pretty close to the cost estimate they gave them (no hidden fees, undeclared upgrades, etc.)?
      • Did they let them see a sample of their cabinet door w/finish for approval of the finish, quality, etc. prior to completing the entire order?
      • How did they handle construction issues?
      • How did they handle installation issues?

    • Contact several not-so-recent references, ask them how their cabinets are holding up (joints, face frames, drawers, doors, finish, etc.). Try for some at least 5 years old and at least 10 years old.
    • See actual installed kitchens with the same type of cabinets & finish you are looking for:
      • Type: frameless, framed overlay (partial or full), inset
      • Wood species: cherry, maple, alder, oak, etc.
      • Finish: stained, glazed, painted

    • Look at their construction details: Wall thicknesses, box material (plywood, MDF, etc.), interior finishes, box construction (joining, etc.), drawer construction, shelving, etc.
    • What is their warranty on their products? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Lifetime?
    • Do they have a kitchen designer they work with or does the cabinetmaker do the designing? Are they open to working with you as a designer or with a kitchen designer you hire separate from them? [You really should work with a good designer to catch the "details" that might be missed by you and/or us (most of us are not pros)]
    • How are they with "unusual" requests? (Farmhouse/apron sinks, deeper cabinets, deeper drawers, etc.)

    These are all the same questions you should ask of a manufacturing line as well, but all these things are usually spelled out somewhere and they have staff who specialize in these areas. You usually have some "standard" recourses if there are problems. In addition, their quality, including finishes and construction, are generally pretty consistent (yes, there are glitches occasionally) and they have the advantage for those finishes that are better when manufactured than when done by hand.

    I'm not saying don't look into local cabinetmakers, I'm saying be careful. We have had several threads where people have gone this route and have had major issues in all the areas quality, finish quality, installation issues, difficult to work with, etc. Some people have had their issues easily and/or successfully resolved; others have had to hire someone else to finish and/or gone to court. And yes, there have been similar threads from those using cabinet companies...(but those are usually resolved fairly quickly once the person gets up the courage to say something.

    If you can find a great local custom cabinetmaker that has wonderful quality at a price you're willing to pay, then by all means, go with them...just do your research.

    Good luck!


    clipped on: 01.31.2011 at 09:19 pm    last updated on: 01.31.2011 at 09:19 pm

    RE: DIY copper countertop (Follow-Up #50)

    posted by: aliceinwonderland_id on 03.06.2007 at 09:55 am in Metalworking Forum

    I've received a few requests, so here are step-by-step instructions for what I did. If you can fold the copper over the edges, I would suggest doing so. I didn't, but only because my countertop was too wide so I had to come up with another method.

    1. After the cabinets were installed I built the countertop out of plywood. The first layer was floor-grade 3/4" plywood, screwed down every six inches on the edges and every 8 - 12 inches in the middle, along the cabinet edges. I used decking screws just barely countersunk.

    2. Second layer was 1/2" AC plywood, screwed into the first layer every 4-6 inches on the edges and 8-10 inches in the middle. Decking screws, slightly countersunk.

    3. Leveling compound (cement based) was used to cover all screw heads and fill in any bad areas on the plywood and along all edges to make them as smooth as possible.

    4. After the leveling compound dried thoroughly (24 hours) I sanded is smooth with 100 grit sandpaper and and orbital sander.

    5. I measured and marked the locations for the sink and the cooktop and cut them out with a jig saw, then dry-fit both items to make sure they would fit properly.

    6. I had a 4' x 10' sheet of 18 oz copper because my countertop was 45" wide in most places and 48" wide at the cooktop. I used solvent-based contact cement (water-based doesn't work on copper). With a small roller, I painted a coat on the copper and two coats on the plywood (top only).

    7. Once the contact cement was dry, I cut a whole bunch of thin slats and placed them every 2 - 4 inches on top of the plywood. I found out quickly that dowels would have worked better - round dowels have less surface area to stick than flat slats, but it was still okay. Make sure the dowels or slats are long enough to stick out 6 inches or more on each side of the countertop.

    8. I laid the copper sheet on top of the slats and maneuvered it into position. I had to make sure it was exactly right because I had about 1/2 centimeter of overhang in one spot so it had to be perfect.

    9. Starting in the middle, I pulled out a few slats and pressed the copper into place with a J-roller, working my way out to each end. Then I crawled up on the countertop and rolled over the whole thing with the J-roller to ensure it was stuck down completely with no bubbles.

    10. I let it sit for 24 hours to allow the contact cement to cure.

    11. Now I had all this copper overhang to deal with. I ended up using a router with an edging bit to cut off the copper. This worked really well - copper is so soft it's about like working with wood. One CAUTION: This was a huge mess. I had to cover every surface in the kitchen to do this because little copper curlyques flew everywhere. I still find some now and then and it's been 8 months since I did this.

    12. For the edges, I bought 1.5" X 1/8" copper bar. I mitered the ends, just like you would with wood and dry fit all the pieces to make sure they would fit properly. I tried gluing them with contact cement, but just couldn't manage to get a good bond. I hadn't make my edges quite smooth enough. So, I ended up using tite-grip construction adhesive. It worked really well.

    13. Now I had a few gaps here and there, particularly in the corners where the copper bar came together and some at the junction of the copper bar and the copper sheet. I used a product called "just for copper." This is a small tube of copper epoxy that has copper dust mixed with it. When it dries, it has the look of aged copper, and is strong enough to repair copper pipe. I smooshed (nice technical term there) the epoxy into all of the gaps and let it cure. This stuff is a little on the stiff side and not super easy to work with. You can't get it perfectly flat and smooth. I let it cure 24 hours.

    14. I sanded the epoxy, starting with 80 grit sandpaper to flatten and smooth it. I also sanded my corners to round them out a bit. The sanding took forever. I went down to 300 grit sandpaper and then sanded the entire countertop surface with this grit. This took a little of the shine off the countertop and allowed it to age more quickly.

    Of all the steps, ensuring the wood base is flat and SMOOTH, SMOOTH, SMOOTH is the most important. That will determine directly how much work will have to be done with the copper epoxy to make it all work and look nice.


    clipped on: 01.18.2011 at 09:46 am    last updated on: 01.18.2011 at 09:47 am

    RE: is anyone growing 'AJI' peppers this season?? (Follow-Up #13)

    posted by: sambo725 on 07.01.2010 at 09:48 pm in Hot Pepper Forum

    This is my first year growing AJI peppers...And I love them. Great flavor and heat ranging from mild to HOT. I plan on growing more next year.

    Aji brown-
    mild; Andean Aji Type; 4 to 6 inches long by 0.5 to 1 inches wide; medium thick flesh; matures from green to deep brown; pendant pods; green leaves; 24 to 30 inches tall; Very Late Season; Uses: Drying; sweet rich flavor with very little heat; C.chinense.

    AJI CITO - medium; Andean Aji Type; 2.5 to 3.5 inches long by 0.75 to 1 inches wide; medium thin flesh; matures from green to gold; pendant pods; green leaves; 24 to 30 inches tall; Late Season; Uses: Prolific; C.baccatuum.

    AJI CEREZA - hot; 0.75 to 1 inches long by 0.5 to 0.75 inches wide; medium thin flesh; matures from green to red; upright pods; dark green leaves; 24 to 30 inches tall; Mid Season; from Peru; pods are round or slightly pointed; C.annuum.

    AJI COLORADO - hot; Andean Aji Type; 3 to 5 inches long by 0.75 to 1 inches wide; medium thin flesh; matures from green to red; pendant pods; green leaves; 24 to 30 inches tall; Late Season; Uses: Prolific; from Andes; slightly wrinkled, shiny pods; C.baccatuum.

    AJI CRISTAL - medium; Andean Aji Type; 3 to 3.5 inches long by 0.75 to 1.25 inches wide; medium thin flesh; matures from pale green to yellow to orange-red; pendant pods; green leaves; 24 to 30 inches tall; Mid Season; from Chile; flavor best when immature; C.baccatuum.

    AJI DULCE 1 - mild; Habanero Type; 1 to 2 inches long by 1 to 1.25 inches wide; medium thin flesh; matures from pale green to orange to red; pendant pods; green leaves; 24 to 30 inches tall; Late Season; Uses: Prolific, Seasoning Pepper; flavor and aroma similar to habanero but without the heat; C.chinense.

    AJI OMNICOLOR - hot; Andean Aji Type; 2 to 2.5 inches long by 0.5 to 0.625 inches wide; medium thin flesh; matures from pale yellow to purple splotched to yellow to orange to red; upright pods; green leaves; 12 to 18 inches tall; Mid Season; Uses: Prolific, Ornamental; from Peru; a real beauty in the garden with excellent flavor; C.baccatuum.

    AJI PANCA - mild; Andean Aji Type; 4 to 6 inches long by 0.5 to 1 inches wide; medium thin flesh; matures from green to deep brown; pendant pods; green leaves; 18 to 24 inches tall; Very Late Season; fruits have rich sweet flavor with little heat; C.chinense.

    AJI ROJO - hot; Andean Aji Type; 4 to 6 inches long by 0.75 to 1 inches wide; medium thick flesh; matures from green to deep orange; pendant pods; green leaves; 24 to 30 inches tall; Late Season; Uses: Prolific; from Peru; also known as Aji Amarillo; C.baccatuum.

    AJI RURRENABAQUE - hot; Habanero Type; 1.5 to 2 inches long by 1 to 1.5 inches wide; medium thick flesh; matures from green to orange to red; pendant pods; green leaves; 24 to 30 inches tall; Late Season; from Bolivia; C.chinense.

    AJI YELLOW - hot; Andean Aji Type; 2 to 4 inches long by 0.5 to 0.75 inches wide; medium thin flesh; matures from pale yellow to orange; pendant pods; green leaves; 18 to 24 inches tall; Mid Season; Uses: Prolific; from Peru; C.baccatuum.

    AJI YELLOW 2 - hot; Habanero Elongated Type; 2.5 to 3.5 inches long by 0.5 to 0.75 inches wide; medium thin flesh; matures from green to bright yellow; pendant pods; green leaves; 18 to 24 inches tall; Late Season; Uses: Prolific; from Peru; C.chinense.



    clipped on: 10.20.2010 at 07:45 am    last updated on: 10.20.2010 at 07:45 am

    RE: What'cha doin' with your GREEN tomatoes? (Follow-Up #44)

    posted by: lyndapaz on 10.16.2009 at 07:36 pm in Harvest Forum

    Happy to share. Not sure of the source. I found it in Mom's recipe cards. Not an "approved" recipe, but I don't think it is risky since it is a jam and uses pineapple and lemon. I have made and enjoyed it for the past 3 years. But take note.

    Green Tomato Jam
    yield (approx. 4 cups

    3 lbs. finely cut green tomatoes
    1 very finely cut up lemon (flesh& skin)
    3 lbs. sugar
    1/2 C. preserved or candied gingerroot, finely chopped
    1/2 C. crushed pineapple

    Stir half the sugar into the green tomatoes and lemon and leave overnight. The next morning add the rest of the sugar together with gingerroot and crushed pineapple and stir. Boil for 1.5 hrs. Pour into sterilized jars and BWB for 10 minutes.

    Hope you like it, Kathy, as much as I do.



    clipped on: 09.26.2010 at 08:12 pm    last updated on: 09.26.2010 at 08:12 pm

    RE: Enchilada Sauce for canning (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: jimnginger on 06.03.2010 at 07:32 am in Harvest Forum

    This is a recipe posted by readinglady that I personally use and like. The key to great enchilada sauce is not tomatoes but dried chilies (unless you are making a green sauce and then you must use tomatillos). Pasilla chilies are quite mild and fruit like. You must (for best results) toast the dried Pasilla chillies as specified in recipe before using them.

    Enchilada Sauce +
    3 dried pasilla chiles
    2 c. chicken stock
    1/4 c. fresh cilantro
    3 garlic cloves
    1/2 tbsp oregano
    1/2 tbsp cumin
    2 tbsp chili powder
    6 tbsp sugar
    2 tbsp red wine
    1 tomato - chopped
    coarse salt and pepper to taste
    1 tbsp olive oil
    Prep: Over med-high heat, toast chiles until fragrant (~30-60 sec.) Cover with chicken stock and allow to soften for 20 minutes.
    Place chilies & stock in blender. Blend until chopped. Add cilantro, garlic, oregano, cumin, wine, tomato, salt & pepper. Blend until smooth.
    Heat oil in heavy skillet. Pour sauce into oil and cook about 10 minutes.

    Posted by readinglady z8 OR (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 16, 08 at 16:51
    Assuming the oil were eliminated for canning (which as you pointed out is easy to do as it's the last step in preparation) I think you could quite safely treat this sauce as akin to soup, which would give you a slightly shorter processing time. I think that's the time Katie C used.
    However, for total confidence, the mixed vegetable suggestion, with a slightly longer processing time, is excellent. Density does not seem to be an issue. Certainly a sauce would be thinner than mixed vegetables and I'm assuming you'd process in pints.
    (Note: The above copied from an older Harvest Forum post)
    Jim in So Calif


    clipped on: 06.05.2010 at 09:19 pm    last updated on: 09.23.2010 at 01:21 pm

    RE: habanero gold and other pepper questions (Follow-Up #31)

    posted by: readinglady on 09.11.2008 at 09:36 pm in Harvest Forum

    I originally got this recipe from Rick Rodgers' Thanksgiving 101 cookbook. I gave the recipe to Annie (of Annie's salsa). I don't remember if she posted it after that or I did, but it's been on this forum, Cooking, Peppers and probably lots of others.

    Cheddar Thumbprints with Habanero Jelly

    These are a savory cookie. You can use any hot pepper jelly. The original recipe called for jalapeno jelly.
    Also, if you like cheddar and apple, try these cookies with apple butter in the center.


    8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
    6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup jalapeno jelly, or Habanero Gold jelly

    Place cheese and butter in a food processor (could be creamed by hand or mixer); add flour and process until the mixture forms a soft dough. Gather up the dough and divide into two flat disks. Wrap in wax paper and freeze until chilled, about 45 minutes.

    Position two racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment or use nonstick sheets.

    Using 1 teaspoon dough for each, roll the dough into small balls and place 1 inch apart on the sheets. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Using the handle of a wooden spoon or 1/2-inch-thick dowel, poke an indentation in each cookie. Place a dollop of the jelly into the indentations.

    Return to the oven and bake, switching the positions of the sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking, until the tops are very lightly browned, about 10 minutes. (Cookies will continue to crisp as they cool.) Transfer to racks and cool completely.

    Can be baked up to two days ahead. Store at room temperature in an airtight container and separate layers with wax paper.



    clipped on: 09.07.2010 at 09:32 am    last updated on: 09.07.2010 at 09:32 am

    RE: Your Greatest Hit Recipes for Leesa (Follow-Up #131)

    posted by: digdirt on 07.22.2010 at 02:23 pm in Harvest Forum

    Someone asked me to post the recipe for the Rotel-type Tomatoes so here it is.

    Canned Rotel-Type Tomatoes and Hot peppers. This is based on the NCHFP recipe linked below.

    5 lbs. tomatoes peeled (optional) and coarsely chopped but do not drain as you need the liquid.
    2 lbs. coarsely chopped hot peppers (we use jalapenos and Hungarian hot wax and only remove the stem)
    1 large onion, coarsely chopped (optional)
    1 cup 5% vinegar
    2 tsp. canning salt (optional)
    1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

    Combine all ingredients in large non-reactive pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 mins. Taste and adjust season as needed. Fill jars leaving 1/2" headspace and process in BWB for 15 mins. Yield 4-6 pints.

    peeling the tomatoes is optional
    removing the pepper seeds is optional
    1 T sugar is optional and we use it
    onions are optional
    When we make it we sub 1/2 cup bottled lime juice for 1/2 cup of the vinegar and we use cider vinegar rather than white but either is ok.


    Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - Hot Tomato-Peppers


    clipped on: 08.27.2010 at 08:32 am    last updated on: 08.27.2010 at 08:33 am

    RE: Your Greatest Hit Recipes for Leesa (Follow-Up #113)

    posted by: gardengrl on 07.29.2009 at 03:13 pm in Harvest Forum

    This is a favorite of mine and I'm pretty sure it came from "Small Batch Preserving". This also is amazing with goat cheese (or any cheese really), some crusty bread, and a glass of wine. It doesn't last long in our house!

    I'm sorry, I wish I had noted what the yield was for this, but didn't copy it over. I think it makes 4 half pints.

    Roasted Red Pepper Spread

    6 lb. large red sweet peppers
    1 lb. Roma tomatoes
    2 large garlic cloves
    1 small white onion
    2 Tbsp. minced basil
    1 Tbsp. sugar
    1 tsp. coarse salt
    1/2 cup red wine vinegar

    Roast peppers under broiler or on a grill at 425 degrees until skin wrinkles and chars in spots. Turn over and roast other side. Remove from heat. Place in a paper bag, secure opening, cool 15 minutes. Roast tomatoes, onion, and garlic under broiler or grill 10 - 15 minutes. Place tomatoes in a paper bag. Peel onion and garlic. Finely mince onion and garlic.
    Measure 1/4 cup and set aside. Peel and seed tomatoes and peppers. Puree in food processor or blender. Combine in a large pan. Bring to a boil over med.high heat, stir to prevent sticking. Reduce heat, simmer until spread thickens. Ladle hot spread into hot jars, leave 1/4 inch headspace. Process in water bath canner for 10 minutes.


    clipped on: 08.27.2010 at 08:30 am    last updated on: 08.27.2010 at 08:31 am

    RE: Your Greatest Hit Recipes for Leesa (Follow-Up #76)

    posted by: ottawapepper on 08.24.2008 at 05:20 pm in Harvest Forum

    Ive been following this thread for a while and really appreciate all the contributions. Thought Id offer a few of my favorites in return for all the new recipes Ive copied from this thread.

    Habanero Cranberry Jelly (I call it Turkeys Revenge).

    I created (ok, not wholly created LOL) this variation of Mellys Cran-Jalapeno Jelly. Using Mellys as a starting point and tweaking it with the kind assistance and encouragement of Zabby, the end result is a fiery hot cranberry jelly for cold fall and winter nights. Heck, its great in the summer too!

    3/4 cup cider vinegar
    3/4 cup white vinegar
    2 cups 100% unsweetened cranberry juice
    1/2 cup finely diced habanero pepper
    1/2 cup finely diced red onion
    1 3/4 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
    1 pkg liquid pectin
    5 cups sugar

    1. Finely dice peppers and onion and coarsely chop cranberries
    2. In a large sauce pan, combine cranberries, pepper, onion, vinegars, and juice
    3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low
    4. Simmer 15 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend and to soften up cranberries
    5. Add sugar and return to a hard boil for 1 minute
    6. Remove from heat and stir liquid pectin in well
    7. Add jelly to hot sterilized jars
    8. Wipe rim of jars with a clean damp towel
    9. Position lids as per usual instructions
    10. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes
    11. Remove jars and allow them to cool
    12. During the cooling, periodically "gently" invert jars to distribute solids.

    Yield 7 or 8 - 250ml (1 cup) jars

    Bandy Peppercorn Sauce

    For those who like this type of sauce, this one (IMHO) is decadent! A little bit of effort but well worth it. It freezes well.

    I dont recall where I originally found the recipe.

    1 cup (250 mL) red wine
    1 tsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
    2 cups (500 mL) beef or veal stock
    1/2 cup (125 mL) whipping cream
    1 tsp (5 mL) cracked pink peppercorns
    1 tsp (15 mL) cracked green peppercorns
    1 tsp (5 mL) cracked black peppercorns
    2 tbsp (25 mL) brandy

    1. Add wine and balsamic vinegar to pot and bring to a boil on high heat. Boil until only 2 tbsp (25 mL) liquid remains, about 10 to 15 minutes.
    2. Add stock and bring to boil. Continue to cook about 10 minutes until sauce reduces to 1 cup (250 mL).
    3. Add cream and reduce again until sauce is thick and glossy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in peppercorns and brandy and simmer 2 more minutes to amalgamate flavours. Salt to taste.

    Makes about 3/4 cup (175 mL)

    Caramelized Leek Soup (Gourmet : January 1998)

    Given the simple ingredients, we were amazed at how tasty this soup turned out. Its a bit time consuming but worth the effort. It can be served as is but we prefer to puree it, turns out like a cream soup but without the cream. The pureed version freezes very well.

    2 pounds leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 bunches)
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
    1/4 cup vermouth
    3 1/2 cups chicken broth
    Garnish: 4 teaspoons finely sliced fresh chives

    1. Halve leeks lengthwise and thinly slice crosswise. In a large bowl of cold water wash leeks well and lift from water into a large sieve to drain.
    2. In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook leeks in butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until some begin to turn golden, about 40 minutes.
    3. Stir in sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
    4. Stir in vermouth and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated and most leeks are golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
    5. Deglaze kettle with 1/2 cup broth and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes more, until liquid is evaporated and leeks are deep golden.
    6. Add remaining 3 cups broth and bring soup just to a boil.
    7. Season soup with salt and pepper.

    Makes about 5 cups, serving 4 as a first course.

    I hope some of you find these as tasty as we do.



    clipped on: 08.27.2010 at 08:27 am    last updated on: 08.27.2010 at 08:27 am

    RE: Enchilada Sauce for canning (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: readinglady on 06.01.2010 at 01:27 pm in Harvest Forum

    Here is a recipe posted by Linda_Lou on a previous thread. The source was not indicated.

    Enchilada sauce


    12 cups halved cored peeled tomato (about 24 medium or 8 lb)
    bottled lemon juice
    salt (optional)

    You will need
    6 teaspoons chili powder
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    2 teaspoons oregano
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    2 teaspoons ground coriander
    1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt (optional)

    1 add 2-1/2 tsp of spice blend to each pint jar. if omitting seasoning salt, use only 2 tsp.

    2PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

    3COMBINE tomatoes with just enough water to cover in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil gently for 5 minutes.

    4ADD specified quantity of spice blend, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1/4 tsp salt, if using, to each hot jar.

    5PACK tomatoes into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.

    Ladle hot cooking liquid over tomatoes leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.

    6PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner 40 minutes for pints and quarts, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

    Regarding searching the forum: You will have the best luck using Google, not this forum's search feature. So in Google I entered enchilada sauce boiling water bath then in advanced search I entered as the domain to search.

    The result will be that the google search turns up only threads on gardenweb that relate to that topic. In domain to search I could have narrowed even further by specifying and Google would have pulled up only Harvest threads.

    Beyond that, if it's a long thread I could open the thread, go to edit at the top of the screen in Windows on the left-hand side and select find on this page. Then enter enchilada and it will locate everywhere in the thread the word enchilada shows up.

    This sounds complicated but practice it a couple of times and the result will be much more accurate, efficient searches without the frustration of Gardenweb's utterly inadequate search feature.



    clipped on: 08.18.2010 at 09:50 pm    last updated on: 08.18.2010 at 09:50 pm

    RE: Anyone want to share their bathroom budgets? (Follow-Up #7)

    posted by: lukkiirish on 04.21.2010 at 01:13 pm in Bathrooms Forum

    We converted a jack & jill w/2 doors (one to the master bedroom and the other to the hallway) into just a master bathroom. We didn't want a tub, opting for just a walk in shower instead but to do that, we had to move two walls to square the spot out a bit which included bumping one wall out a foot into the bedroom. We also decided to replace a window with a larger one. The break down is based on memory so it may be slightly off but not by much.

    - Demo down to the studs was 400.00

    - Moving the wall/electrical & 1 wall for new shower 600.00

    - Drywall in 2nd door, new trim for hallway 150.00

    -Shower head, hand held w/secured grab bar, valves & faucets for two sinks including labor - 1100

    - Tile - slate for 10 x 8 floor, 3.5 x 4 ft shower including mosaic & chair railing, bench & shelf - 700

    - Tile installation, leveling floor, enhancing/sealing floors & shower including niche & wall feature - 2500

    - build in of new shower pan and shower walls - 1100

    - new window & installation - 600

    - toilet & 2 sinks - 475

    - cabinets - semi custom 3 drawer banks, 2 vanities & tall linen closet - 1800

    - granite (w/remnant left over for 2nd bath remodel planned) 1200.00

    - shower door & installation - 600

    - lighting - 150

    - trim, new door plus install - 200

    - Odds and ends, like hardware, ceiling fan, vent/light covers, window coverings, mirrors and towel racks - 500

    So about 12,000 give or take. I've been told we got a lot done for our money, and while we wouldn't compromise on quality, I wouldn't call our bathroom fancy or over done. I made sure I got some kind of discount everything, which helped with the bottom line a lot. We love it, it fits our lifestyle perfectly.


    clipped on: 04.27.2010 at 07:29 pm    last updated on: 04.27.2010 at 07:29 pm

    RE: Has Anyone Moved / Relocated A Toilet in a Small Bathroom? PI (Follow-Up #28)

    posted by: moccasinlanding on 04.19.2010 at 06:57 pm in Bathrooms Forum

    Debelli, you ask who makes a really short toilet spacewise...Well, the one we put in our really really tiny bath is great.

    It is the American Standard Compact Cadet 3. It flushes with 1.24 gal of water, and never has to be flushed twice. It is the one piece toilet, tank attached. It comes with a seat, but we switched out to the American Standard soft close seat, and both seat and lid ease on down. My DH loves it. There are several versions of the Cadet 3, ours is the compact and it is also the Water Sense. It is not a LOW toilet, but it is short front to back because of the tank, and it also does the 12" hole for sewer. We bought it from Lowes. It is elongated, not round. Here it is in our tiny bath, which was not quite finished at the time.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic


    clipped on: 04.20.2010 at 04:51 pm    last updated on: 04.20.2010 at 04:51 pm

    RE: American Olean Coliseum vs. Daltile Carrera Star (Follow-Up #8)

    posted by: gary1227 on 03.28.2010 at 11:31 am in Bathrooms Forum

    We did our master bath in the A/O Coliseum white. Our floor tile is a matt finish porcelian tile and the wall tiles are a glazed ceramic. You could use the matt floor tiles on the walls but using the glazed wall tiles on the wall is not recommended. We also used the mosiac tile for our shower floor. After living with the tile in our bath for a year now, we love it. It looks great and is easy to keep clean. We did use real carrera marble chair rail pieces to border the tile and ceaserstone quartz for our counter tops and shower ledges. The A/O tile does have a grey tint to it and bright whites, yellows and brown tones don't work well with it.

    I think we paid about $2.25sqft for the tile at the time.

    Below is a few photos of our bath just after completion.





    clipped on: 04.20.2010 at 04:42 pm    last updated on: 04.20.2010 at 04:42 pm

    RE: What was your best bathroom remodeling decision? (Follow-Up #100)

    posted by: scottielee on 08.14.2008 at 11:37 am in Bathrooms Forum

    Bisazza Glass Mosaics (Hearts White, Petit Four Blu & Righe Blu) - purchased some through Ebay at amazing discounts!

    Grohe Atrio Faucets and Aquatower 2000 - very well made

    Hansgrohe Axor Stark X Tub Filler - too cool...but need to watch out for sharp edges

    Toto Soiree Toilet - worry free flushing

    Duravit Starck 1 Floor Standing Toilet - too cool...but overpriced

    Panasonic WhisperWall Fan - very quiet and effective


    clipped on: 03.17.2010 at 09:17 pm    last updated on: 03.17.2010 at 09:17 pm

    Finally, 1 remodeled bath and 1 new one

    posted by: sundownr on 03.15.2010 at 09:27 pm in Bathrooms Forum

    We have wanted to remodel the bath rooms in our 1930's house for a long time (we've lived here 16 yrs) but could never make a decision on what to do. Finally decided to just do it. This forum was such an inspiration and I want to thank everyone that posts here. I will say I always wanted more bathroom pictures here so I'm posting mine. :)

    The hall bath floor plan wasn't great so I stole closets out of the bedrooms on each side. BR#1 had another closet so no big deal. BR#2 is separated from the master BR by the original master bath and master closet so we decided to give the bath and closet to BR#2 and to convert a spare room (sewing/junk room) into a new master bath & closet.

    I went to a couple of tile stores and "made up my mind" more than once. One Saturday I was looking at marble and another customer said - have you seen the porcelain that looks like marble? I hadn't. She showed it to me and I was sold. That's what I used in the hall bath.

    It was hard to pick out finishes because I like so many different styles. I did buy the master bath vanity from the Restoration Hdwe outlet and I wish I hadn't. I bought it for the hall bath but then changed the whole floor plan. That meant I had to use it in the master and it was so long that I didn't have many floor plan options because of 6' vanity, windows etc.

    I don't know if anyone read my original thread about the bathroom where I asked about a chandelier but I ended up picking the "bubble" tile as an accent and decided on this chandelier with the round glass balls. I'm not sure if it "goes" but I don't care. I like it.

    What's done is done and I do like love both of them. We had a "bathrooms are finished"/birthday party Saturday and of the 40 people here most of them preferred the hall bath.

    Original hall bath


    Standing by the tub looking towards the door at the hall.

    The new master closet and bath will be behind that window (which was originally to a porch that was converted to a room years ago).

    New bathroom from hallway


    The towel rack is actually a toilet paper holder. The counter is soapstone.

    Dual flush toilet from Home Depot, (love the dual flush) Mercer train rack from Pottery Barn

    Pedestal tub from Van Dyke's Restoration. It was the cheapest one from a place that I couldn't find bad reviews of. Plus it's owned by Cabela's.

    Copycat pottery barn chandelier from overstock. You can barely see the dropped crown molding with the black paint extended down the wall. There is rope lighting behind the crown for a "night light".

    The new master bath




    I inherited this cabinet and all of the Lladro from my mom. I've had it for years with no place to put it in our tiny house so it's been boxed up in the basement. Someone else picked paint colors for me and this color is so beautiful in real life - SW Rainwashed. It reminded me of the Lladro so I brought some of it up and I think it looks great in this bathroom. The painting is also from my mom and she and my dad bought it in Spain many, many years ago. This room screamed for the painting, too.


    Although the back yard hasn't been completely cleaned of all the remodeling mess, I love the view from the bathroom and can't decide what kind of window covering to use and keep the view.

    I was still changing floor plans after the bathroom was demo'd. I (obviously) didn't plan it all that well because I had to buy the freestanding towel rack for the master bath and the hall bath doesn't have a place to hang a towel while you are showering but we'll work it out. :) There isn't any storage in the hall bath so I bought three file boxes from the Container Store for "stuff" and I like them. The basket under the vanity is for dirty washcloths/hand towels. My 15 yr old daughter uses this bathroom.


    clipped on: 03.16.2010 at 10:17 pm    last updated on: 03.16.2010 at 10:17 pm

    RE: Materials List for Bathroom Remodel (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: computerklutz on 01.24.2010 at 09:10 am in Bathrooms Forum

    Hi there,
    Well, your contractor sounds great! Today we are demolishing our 1949 bathroom and it is approximately 5 x 10. For labor only for the demolition, laying new tile, installing new tub toilet sink is $2800. I know the price is a bit low but we just had him redo the other bathroom.
    Although my house is not quite as old as yours, my bathrooms had never been updated and the fixtures were worn out. I hated to rip them out, but the mosaics were chipping badly.
    So far we are doing 3 bathrooms within 2 weeks of each other. I know it is insane, but we have lived here forever and the house needs help.
    I can tell you that rerouting plumbing in one bathroom, cost me $3000 with the plumber. It was quite a bit of plumbing, we moved the toilet, moved location of shower and the tub and added another drain for double sink. The tiling for that job which was a 5 x 12 bathroom was about $2000 in labor.

    The wall switch is inside the shower? Oh MY GOODNESS!!!!
    Glad you are getting that fixed...nothing like being electrocuted in your shower.

    I hope your remodel goes well. I can tell you that I'm working with several different people, hiring my own plumber, my own framer, sheetrocker, etc so I have lots of individual bills. All in all, with everything, I expect to come in under $5500 for everything, contractor, plumber, everything on the 5 x10 bath being torn out today, and that includes new fixtures. I'll let you know if I go over budget. :)


    clipped on: 03.15.2010 at 10:06 am    last updated on: 03.15.2010 at 10:06 am

    RE: What size floor tile to make bathroom look larger? (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: pkirkha1 on 11.08.2007 at 09:33 am in Bathrooms Forum

    I don't know if this will help but it is a handout that the tile store gave me - very interesting...


    clipped on: 03.08.2010 at 08:53 pm    last updated on: 03.08.2010 at 08:54 pm

    RE: What goes behind the kerdi system? (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: bill_vincent on 01.15.2010 at 03:03 pm in Bathrooms Forum

    Okay. First, you want to use cement board behind the Kerdi. Schluter will warranty sheetrock, but personally I don't trust it because of condensation, so to be safe, I'll always use cement board. As for where you want to put the grab bar, just put a piece of 2x10 blocking between the studs behind the cement board wherever the grab bar will bolt up. Make sure you use a good amount of caulking (or Kerdi-fix) in the bolt holes to seal them back up. As for the seat, The top of it should be plywood, and then cement board under the Kerdi. The front of it can just be the cement board.

    As for a bolt on seat, you CAN do that, but my own thought is that the less holes you have to make through the membrane, the better chance you have of that steam shower lasting a long time. If you want one of those wood slat seats, maybe think about one that stands alone, that you can take out when not in use.

    Can I assume the wood tile would be an unsuitable size for the shower floor?

    Yes. If you're going to put a wood slat floor OVER the tile floor, you can use just about anything you like, 6x6 or smaller (so that it conforms to the pitch of the floor to the drain).


    clipped on: 03.08.2010 at 04:29 pm    last updated on: 03.08.2010 at 04:29 pm

    RE: ? for Linda Lou Re: Apple Pie Jam recipe (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: linda_lou on 05.30.2007 at 07:51 pm in Harvest Forum

    3 medium apples
    = 1 pound of apples
    = 3 cups of diced apples
    = 2 3/4 cups of sliced apples

    1 pound apples
    = 4 small apples
    = 3 medium apples
    = 2 large apples
    = 1 1/2 cups applesauce

    It makes approx. 7 cups of jam.


    clipped on: 09.28.2009 at 10:49 am    last updated on: 09.28.2009 at 10:50 am