Clippings by ni_2006

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RE: Quality Sleeper Sofa (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: dcollie on 03.14.2008 at 01:17 pm in Furniture Forum

Thats quite a spread on brand quality in that list! At the risk of sounding like a broken record here on the forums, here's the best (not the cheapest, you indicated you were looking for the BEST) that I've ever come across that fits your description of what you are looking for and is 100 % made in the USA in leather or fabric. (see link)

The best mechanisms in the industry are simply Leggett and Platt. If thats important, look for their label on the sofabed metal framework, it will be in the form of a hologram to prevent copying of their brand logo.

A good sleeper will not feel like it has a frame under the seat cushions when sitting on the piece, and yet when folded out to use as a bed you should not be able to feel any of the metal underframe support through the bedding.

Duane Collie

Here is a link that might be useful: City Sofa Sleeper 90


clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 07:05 am    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 07:05 am

RE: Who has the best prices for Hancock & Moore sofas? (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: smarge on 07.07.2009 at 01:57 pm in Furniture Forum

ninjagirlz - Just yesterday I ordered a leather H&M sleeper sofa from, a retailers I found recommended on gardenweb. Nick gave me such a competitive price that I stopped looking. Two local NJ retailers (Safavieh and Valley Furniture) quoted me prices that were $1,000 more than my quote from Annies!

I won't be able to comment on the delivery, service etc. until I get my sofa in 10-12 weeks, but will try to remember to do so for others.

Also, I am willing to bet that it is cheaper to buy new than to get something reupholstered in leather. I just had this discussion with the lady who makes my window treatments that it'd be cheaper for me to toss out my old/worn, but perfectly functional and comfy love seat and buy a new one, than to pay her to reupholster the one I have!

Not exactly a "green" option, but the fact is we'll be buying a new love seat!


clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 07:02 am    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 07:02 am

RE: Leather Recliner Question for Duane (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: cuse69 on 08.14.2008 at 04:01 pm in Furniture Forum

For those of you seeking Duane Collie he can be found at This is a new forum he has started and I'm sure he would love to hear from his old GW friends.



clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 06:49 am    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 06:50 am

RE: Leather/Furniture Buying Strategies and Brands (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: scalelar on 05.23.2008 at 11:44 am in Furniture Forum

Here is a link I thought might be usefull. Don't know if you found this site yet. I am not promoting this site or testifying as to the accuracy of the information. I will say that Duane said he thought if you switched the Leathercraft and B-Y around it would be fairly accurate.(This should be in a previous post on this forum). I talked with the owner of a store here and he agreed with it except he said Natuzzi would cover the whole spectrum.(He had some natuzzi) It is also worth noting that almost all the brand that get a high price/value ratings are brands these guys carry.

Good luck

Here is a link that might be useful: Manufacturers rankings


clipped on: 07.26.2009 at 06:43 am    last updated on: 07.26.2009 at 06:43 am

RE: subway tile pattern (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: mamadadapaige on 12.21.2008 at 07:54 am in Kitchens Forum

oh, thank you!

the tile was in stock so it was just about a week to come from their warehouse to the tile store where I picked it up. I had the tiles butted right up to each other so the grout lines are as small as can be, maybe 1/8". I think I used TEC Birch for the grout... was going for a bit of a cream/gray combo to pull in the cream steaks in the counters/tile and gray in the stainless appliances. It is a fairly glossy tile with a crackle finish. I will post some closer up pics below:



clipped on: 04.26.2009 at 09:46 pm    last updated on: 04.26.2009 at 09:46 pm

RE: dutch oven use it like an oven? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: chefkev on 04.25.2009 at 10:42 am in Kitchens Forum

rhome410 - Wow! I didn't even know Le Creuset made a 13.25 qt pot. Here's the thing - it's going to be so heavy when filled that even I would shy away from using it. And then there's the expense. For that kind of money, you would be better off with the All-Clad Stainless 12-Quart Stock Pot ($326.88 on Amazon). It gets top marks from Cooks Illustrated in part because "The aluminum core runs up the side of the pot".

Since I personally won't be spending over $300 on a stock pot any time soon, I have a couple of other recommendations:
1. I'm not aware of another stock pot like All-Clad that go all the way up the sides, but Cooks Illustrated next highest rated is the Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 12-Quart Stock Pot which gets very high marks, is ever so much more manageable than the Le Creuset and only costs around $60. Because it has a wide base, it will help a little with the bottom sides not burning, but you're still going to have to watch them carefully.
2. For heavier braising and thick soups/stews, for myself, I bought the the Mario Batali Braiser Oval 9 Qt enamel on cast iron pot. Cooks Illustrated rates these Mario Batali pots nearly as highly as Le Creuset and they're about half the price. They don't make a round one that size, but the shallower part of the oval is still 11" and provides for reasonably even burner coverage on my range (although if I remember correctly you actually have a more high powered range at home than I do). Hope this helps.

plllog - great advice (along with everyone else) on "fish stick/chicken strip" making. The rounded sides on your your Le Creuset soup pot work better for at least 2 reasons:
1. A pan with 90 degree sides allows heat to enter from both the bottom and the side so, in effect, the food in the corner is getting up to twice as much heat - even more for a perfectly square or rectangular baking pan taking heat on 3 sides (ever noticed how the corners of brownies are quick to burn).
2. Rounded sides allow for more complete and efficient stirring therefore also reducing burning.
These two reasons are probably why most pots are actually round/rounded in the first place. You'll note that practically all good casserole dishes (made for long cooking without stirring) are round/rounded on all edges. Interestingly, this can be even more important for microwave cooking.


clipped on: 04.26.2009 at 02:19 pm    last updated on: 04.26.2009 at 02:20 pm

RE: Oil stain in granite (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: azstoneconsulting on 03.19.2009 at 12:52 pm in Kitchens Forum

Cleaning an oil stain off of your Granite with a "Pancake Poultice"
by Kevin M. Padden - AZ School of Rock / Natural Stone 101

Oils stains are very common in residential kitchens. We lead busy lives
and thus, stains can happen - heres how to remove one - easily and efficiently
and note - this is what has worked for ME - is it the ONLY way? - NO, but I say again -
this is the regimen that has worked for me...... since 1985.

Determine the staining agent - KNOWING what caused the stain is half the battle - in this case - its an oil stain - so well have to use a removing agent that will break up the oil in order to "lift it out" of the stone

Assemble your components that youll need to get the stain out - they are as follows:

a plastic throw away cup - I prefer the plastic solo type cups that are 16 oz size clear or colored - it does not matter - just that it is plastic and you can afford to throw it away if you want to. Do NOT use styrofoam as it will NOT work!
dry plaster of paris - available at any hardware store or big box home improvement center
Acetone or MEK Solution (methyl ethyl keytone) - SAFETY NOTE - these two liquids are HIGHLY FLAMABLE - when working with these - remove ANY & ALL SOURCES OF IGNITION - Like Smoking, turn off your gas range - turn off the auto pilot light device - these two liquids are really DANGEROUS - so treat them with respect, and keep the kids away while your mixing up and spreading out. Send them to grandmas house r something like that so you wont have to worry about them immitating what they see you doing, because this will look like fun to little kids (I know - I ARE ONE - Im a little kid trapped in grown mans body)
measuring cups to measure the liquid - youre not going to need alot - unless you have a really big stain
3M BLUE TAPE - Not WHITE, Not CLEAR - 3M BLUE TAPE!!! ONLY.... Many brands of white masking tapes will ;eave a residue from the adhesive thats on them - making more work for you to do than just removing a small oils stain!!!! Trust me - I found this out the hard way back in 1985 - so consider your tuition paid in full for this lesson!!!
Clear Visqueen Plastic or Saran Wrap - depending on the size, youll need at least a 12" x 12" piece
a table spoon
a putty knife
close proximity to your sink with running water - most of these stains are in kitchens so this one should be a no brainer - that is - unless you are a total moron, which - in that case - A. stop reading this now, B. go watch Sponge Bob Square Pants..... and C. Youre going to be making alot more of these stains in the future, so D. get used to them... you DO NOT need to be fooling around with FLAMABLES anyways!!!


have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case - if you follow the rest of these instructions - therell be no need to use it, but theses days, you have to "disclaimer" the living snot out of everything - just to protect yourself from the random twit that has no comon sense

A couple of cautionary notes to you BEFORE proceeding any further at this time -
1.THIS PROCEDURE WORKS BEST ON POLISHED GRANITES - Stones that are HONED, LEAHERED or ANTIQUED (where the surface is NOT POLISHED) may have some residue from the dried plaster of paris - so remember - unless your stone is polished - you may have to scrub the dried plaster off of the stone with LOTS of ELBOW GREASE - just wanted to make sure you KNOW what youre getting into - BEFORE you get there..... IF you have a piece of scrap of the same stone - do a "test run" on the scrap - to see how much the paster adheres to the textured stone.

2. TEST your stone to see if it was DYED. This is especially critical if it is an Absolute Black, Chinese Black or any stone that may have been DYED at the finishing factory prior to shipment here in the United States - There are (and this is really NOT a lot) a very small number of stone finishing plants overseas - where they cut up the blocks of Granite into slabs - and apply a topical coating of DYE to enhance the color of the stone. I have seen this in a few isolated instances in Absolute and Chinese Black - where the stone comes out of the ground actually more like a charcoal grey, and the finisher dyes the stone a jet black do it will sell better. Test a PIECE OF SCRAP stone that you have that is the same stone in your application - with a dry white cloth, some Acetone & MEK solution - take a few drops of each liquid and apply it to the SCRAP stone piece - immediatley rub the SCRAP - hard - with the dry cloth for about a minute. After a minute is up - look at your white cloth tha has the liquid on it - on the side it was in contact with the stone. IF I IS DARK IN ANY WAY - YOUR STONE HAS BEEN DYED. Proceed with caution, as the Acetone and or MEK solution will now - not only remove the oil stain, but also the dye - so use discretion on this or contact your Fabricator for assistance. Chances are your stone was NOT DYED - But test a piece of scrap FIRST - to be sure.

the same kind of sealer (if any) that was used when your stone was installed - look at your contract documents - many Fabricators will list out the brand - or you can call whoever did your stone to find out what the brand name and product name of the sealer that was used - THIS IS IMPORTANT - as the following procedure will reove the sealer (if any) from your stone, so youll need to put some more sealer back on in a kind of "spot application" just where the stone had the poultice (does tha make sense?)
a dry cloth - I like the old school baby diapers (like the kind that my mom had me in back in 1955) Pampers & Huggies available today will not work as good. Use some kind of dry 100% cotton cloth - preferably - white.

From here on out, were going to presume that you have an oil stain on your Granite, your stone is POLISHED, was sealed at the time it was installed, and t is NOT dyed - for the sake of keeping this applicable to the masses......

Poultice Application

Turn off all gas ranges, your stoves auto pilot light, stop smoking, extinguish all candles and other sources of fire ignition like sparklers, roman candles, flame throwers, and large bonfires - again, you should be dialed in with the safety stuff on this by now...OK???? THINK SFAETY

Get your plastic throw away cup, and into it, pour in about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of either Acetone or MEK solution that you measured in your measuring cup

Rinse out your measuring cup and wash quick with soap & water - set aside to dry

Start pouring in to the cup - your plaster of paris - in small amounts - like 1/8 of a cup at a time - you can eyeball this - you dont need to measure exactly - just keep pouring in a little dry plaster of paris at a time all the while - mixing with the table spoon - until your "mix" has the consistancy of pancake batter - not stiff, but nut runny like water

The clock is running on you now - so work quickly - 1. rinse off your table spoon and dry it - youll need it in few moments 2. pour out some of the "mix" onto the stain - dont waste time on steps "e" "f" "g" "h" and "i" - do them as quickly as you can - no more than 5 minutes total from start to finish
COMPLETELY cover the stain with the mix to a thickness of aproximately 1"

Get your now CLEAN spoon, and use it to spread out the "mix" so that it overlaps the perimeter of the stain by 1 inch in all directions - eg- if you have a 1 inch round stain, the mix should be spread out so that its 3 inches in diameter - covering the stain and surrounding stone by 1 inch - to a thickness of about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch

Once the "mix" is spread out to the correct area size, get your plastic saran wrap or clear plastic visqueen, and cover your wet "pancake poultice" completely so that the plastic extends beyond the perimeter of your "pancake poultice" by another 2 to 3 inches on all directions (at least) - 5 to 6 inches is fine, but dont go too much past that - I like about 2 inches myself.

TAPE DOWN the plastic to the stone on all edges of the plastic so that you create a seal and the Acetone or MEK fumes will be trapped inside of the poultice assembly that you have now created. Remember to use ONLY 3M Blue tape for this step - (No... I do NOT get a kickback from 3M to say this - it sure would be nice - but 3M Blue Tape has NEVER failed me - so I am a very satified customer for life - or as long as they make it - Ill be buying it - just wanted to make that point clear)

Keep the kids away from this when they get back from Grandmas house, and leave this "Poultice Panckae" alone for 24 hours.

You can turn your gas range back on now, but dont smoke near the "poultice pancake" - better yet - dont smoke at all (easy for me to say though... I never have and I never will!!!)

AFTER 24 hours has passed - remove the 3M Bluetape and the plastic sheet that you put on yesterday when we were applying the poultice.

Get your putty knife, and carefully start to "pry" off the now hardened, white pancake - off of your stone counter. Be careful not to scratch your stone - Granite is very hard, but you can scratch it - especially - JUST when you think it wont....

Once you have removed the "poultice pancake" from your polished stone, it should pop right off and leave little or no residue behind. You may have to wipe down the spot area, but in most cases - this will be the MOMENT OF TRUTH - did it work???

In most cases, a one time application of a poultice will do the trick, and youll be amazed at the results from this simple procedure, however, you may have to repeat the process over as many as two more times, or until the stain is totally gone.

Now its time to re-apply a coat of sealer (if any was used originally on the work). You will not have to re-seal your entire kitchen - just they area that you had the poultice pancake on

Allow the sealer (that you have applied LIBERALLY) to sit on the surface of the stone for 5 minutes

Wipe off any of the excess sealer, and allow to dry - turn a fan on and open a window to help ventilate any fumes, and help dry the spot faster - you cab also use a hair dryer in "cold" mode - no heat should be used.

Once the newly sealed area is dried, the color of the stone should MATCH all of the surrounding stone - if this is the case - everything is perfect - youll just need to take that 1950s era 100% cloth baby diaper (clean of course) or a dry coth, and buff the stone a bit where the sealer was just applied. Once you buff out the latent sealer residue, you are DONE!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! YOU DID IT!!! :-D

Now that you have removed the stain from your Granite, and it has been re sealed at the area where the stain was - theres one more thing youll need to do - be more careful using oils in your kitchen! Remember that ANYTHING you spill on your stone - ESPECIALLY if its "EVOO" (Extra Virgin Olive Oil - MY FAVE!) or regular vegetable oils or greases - WILL SOAK INTO THE STONE - Even THROUGH a coat os sealer. Immediate clean up is the key to NOT having to become a regular applicator of "Poultice Pancakes"!!!!

Watch for this to be posted also at

Thus endeth the lesson

hope that helps.......


Kevin M. Padden
Fabricator, Trainer & Consultant to the Natural stone Industry


clipped on: 04.12.2009 at 11:01 am    last updated on: 04.12.2009 at 11:01 am

RE: Question: silicone over grout? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: bill_vincent on 04.11.2009 at 06:42 pm in Kitchens Forum

The wierd caulking that seems a bit like your grout should be all you need (siliconized latex).

However, for the benefit of those who might come across this thread on a search, if there's grout in that joint where the backsplash meets the countertop, that grout needs to be raked out before it gets caulked If you caulk over the grout, it'll just peel back out pretty quickly. It needs to be able to anchor itself in the joint.


clipped on: 04.11.2009 at 08:17 pm    last updated on: 04.11.2009 at 08:18 pm

backsplash sq ft price?

posted by: sojay on 12.26.2007 at 05:16 pm in Kitchens Forum

May I ask you about your cost pr sq ft for your backsplash? Please mention the material (slab, mosaic, kind of tile, SS, wood...)
Was/is it a splurge, a compromise, a very important part of the look or something that could wait?

Thanks - just trying to put things in perspective here.


clipped on: 03.16.2009 at 01:13 pm    last updated on: 03.16.2009 at 01:13 pm

RE: Mini brick marble backsplash finally installed (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: jen4268 on 10.26.2008 at 10:02 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi- thanks for all of the nice comments. For those who wanted to see more pictures, I already have another post with lots of pics, called "Update Pics of cream traditional kitchen". I tried to post a link, but was not successful.

The marble was not expensive- I got it in Atlanta at G & L, it was called oriental white marble, mini-brick pattern. It came on sheets of 1 square foot and cost about $12.00 per square foot, compared to a similar style that I first liked at Walker Zanger at about $30.00 per square foot.

redroze- I used the color Snow White for the grout. I have not sealed it yet, but I will be this week.


clipped on: 03.16.2009 at 01:10 pm    last updated on: 03.16.2009 at 01:10 pm

Here's a Quick Peek of Ladies in Red!

posted by: marthavila on 12.22.2008 at 05:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

Most of you who've "known" me for the past 2 years or so on this forum, also know I've been shy about showing any pre-completion project photos. However, my claret red Aga 6-4 finally went in today! And, in doing so, she now meets her best friend and companion, the claret red Modern-Aire PS26 range hood. I tell ya, after waiting so long for this match made in MV's kitchen heaven, I can't help myself in breaking my own "no-photos" rule. So here's a real quick peek of Marthavila's "Ladies in Red!" As you can see, they are all decked out and properly attired for Christmas! Just a doggone shame that I won't be able to fire 'em up in time for Christmas, though. As you can also see, I'm still a ways off from having a functional kitchen. But, hey . . . I'm getting there!

Happy Holidays Everybody!
Aga Six-Four

Ladies in Red


clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 04:55 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 04:55 pm

RE: 99% finished. Off White kitchen. So HAPPY!! (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mamadadapaige on 05.29.2008 at 02:44 pm in Kitchens Forum

darn. i screwed up my image posting again. i will try again.






clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 04:51 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 04:51 pm

RE: Backsplash Help for Creamy white cabinets, soapstone... (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: deee on 01.06.2009 at 10:01 am in Kitchens Forum

Your kitchen looks great. I wanted to show you a pic of my marble subways from Alabama. The price was very reasonable. The veining is subtle but there is a fair amount of variation between the tiles. I have gold and gray veins. My backsplash area is too small too pull off dramatic veining but I think the subways are still able to add a layer of depth and warmth.



clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 04:49 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 04:49 pm

RE: Backsplash Help for Creamy white cabinets, soapstone... (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: marthavila on 01.04.2009 at 11:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

I totally agree with Mamadadapaige's suggestion of marble and Urban Archaeology as a tile source. I purchased my white marble mosaic backsplash tiles from them and they were a pleasure to work with. I have yet to learn the name of my marble, but it's somewhat of mix between Calacatta and Carrarra in appearance -- white with both grey and gold veining. I think that combo goes great with my dove white cabs and soapstone countertops as I'm sure it would in your lovely kitchen.


clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 04:47 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 04:47 pm

RE: Curious about text in messages (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: buehl on 01.23.2008 at 05:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

LOL! It took me a while to figure it out as 13-yo son told me how.

You user HTML codes surrounded by angle brackets (< and >)

You put a "beginning" code where you want the format (Underline, etc.) to start and an "ending" code where you want it to end. The "ending code is the same as the beginning code except you precede it by a slash (/)

Some Codes are:

Bold: strong
Underline: u
Italic: i
Superscript: sup

The following are included in the "font" code:
Color: color = "name of the color, e.g., red, blue, etc.
Font: face = "name of the font e.g., arial"
Size: size = "how much smaller/bigger than normal e.g, -1, +2"

Some examples. Note: take out the space between the bracket and the code. I had to put them in so it would show up instead of using the code!

< strong>Bold< /strong> you...Bold
< u>Underline< /u> you...Underline
< i>Italic< /i> you...Italic
< font color = "blue">Blue< /font> you...Blue
< font face = "arial">Arial< /font> you...Arial
< font size = "+2">Larger< /font> you...Larger
< font color = "red" face = "arial">Arial in red< /font> you...Arial in red

I hope this isn't too "tech-y".....


clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 04:40 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 04:40 pm

RE: Those of you with marble backsplashes ... (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: alku05 on 03.02.2009 at 08:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

I'm a very busy a slobby one at that. I have a honed white marble backsplash that has taken quite a few splatters, particuarly tomato sauce. We sealed it when it was installed, and we don't have a single stain on it.


clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 04:29 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 04:29 pm

RE: affordable carrara marble subway tile or lookalike? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: warren_tile on 08.07.2008 at 05:49 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Floorzbuzz sells 3x6' Subway Marble Carrara $7.50SF, it is stocked in Atlanta and if you are local you can pick up. They also sell matching Hexagon, Basket weave and Octagon Mosaics as well as trim for a really low price. They are so easy to work with.

Here is a link that might be useful: Floorzbuzz


clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 04:14 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 04:14 pm

RE: affordable carrara marble subway tile or lookalike? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: blondelle on 08.07.2007 at 06:55 pm in Bathrooms Forum has a 3 X 6 carerra subway tile for $10 a sq. foot. Try for the carerra hex. You can ask who they sell to in your area. Their tiles are well priced.


clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 04:10 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 04:10 pm

Subway tile lovers - What size is your grout line? Photos please

posted by: redroze on 07.23.2008 at 11:26 am in Kitchens Forum

I'm this-close to ordering the Ann Sacks Heath ceramic tiles in 2"x8", but received a comment from another Garden Webber that since Heath tiles are handmade then I have to go with a 1/4" grout line. I normally don't put much thought to grout line - is 1/4 considered undesirable? Can anyone show me photos (either of your kitchen or others) of subway tile with a 1/4" grout line?

If you have subway tile with a particular grout line, would appreciate if you could tell me the grout thickness as well as any photos. Thank you!!!

I'm ready to order the tiles and need to order them asap...this worried me a bit though.


clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 03:54 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 03:58 pm

Bill and oruboris (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: redroze on 09.28.2008 at 11:03 am in Kitchens Forum

Bill and Oruboris - Okay, I will keep that in mind! I do remember posting awhile back and people with handmade tiles said they did 1/16 grout lines, or some did 1/8 to 3/16. Ann Sacks themselves said their Heath handmade tiles (in their website photos) are done with either 1/8 or 3/16. One member posted her 3/16 bathroom backsplash and I found it slightly too thick hopefully I can do 1/8. A former member named Axxis_Rose did her Heath tiles in (she thinks) 1/16 and they look great. But since she's not sure about the thickness, I'll probably be safe and do 1/8 so we don't see the variation in the tile edges.

I will take your tip Oruboris, and stack a bunch of them. Thank you so much!

Here's the original post:
Subway tile lovers - What size is your grout line?


clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 03:53 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 03:54 pm

RE: Anyone with a 1/8 grout line? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: bill_vincent on 09.28.2008 at 12:19 am in Kitchens Forum

If the tile is handmade, I'd say 1/8" is the bare MINIMUM grout joint to use!! Even at that, it must be pretty uniform for handmade.


clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 03:53 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 03:53 pm

Overlyoptimistic (Follow-Up #39)

posted by: redroze on 07.30.2008 at 12:45 pm in Kitchens Forum

Overlyoptimistic - Forgot to add that I did get in contact with Heath before I ordered. She said their handmade tiles are normally done with a grout line of 1/8 to 3/16, including the ones displayed on their website.


clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 03:50 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 03:50 pm

More posts (Follow-Up #33)

posted by: redroze on 07.23.2008 at 08:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

Iris - Good point! I'm sure during parties we could put on a slideshow, or play mp3s and put on a funky screensaver as digital artwork.

Wascolette - Why thank you!! I love your kitchen so that is a huge compliment coming from you!

Lincoln - I know, good advertising isn't it? I bought it from the Troy, Michigan store and she gave me an excellent price of $22.97 per square foot, which is less than the list price she originally quoted at $28.71. Speak to Diane, she is awesome. She probably sympathized with the crazy freight charges since they're shipping to me in Canada.

Flyleft - folks in the US get so much great shopping. Heck, with that price for tile, I would just tile my entire master bathroom from floor to ceiling, who cares if they match!


clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 03:00 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 03:00 pm

More points (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: redroze on 07.22.2008 at 08:58 pm in Kitchens Forum

raehelen- Interesting point about the view. I'm always thinking of things more from a stand-afar-and-take-a-photo-and-post-on-Garden-Web point of view!!

Happymommy - Thank you for the compliment on the granite!! We love it.

Thanks Pluckymama!!

Marthavila - I'm in Canada and never know about Ann Sacks prior to GardenWeb. I was thinking "glass tile" all the way, and never thought ceramic, but when I saw this in person I was like, wow! It's like really nice, matte, ceramic pottery. I don't know how they make it but it just feels nice. It has some speckles that bothered hubby a slight bit, but not enough to have it be a dealbreaker. Maybe it's due to it being handmade or something?

Just looked at the Heath Ceramics website - Heath is carried by Ann Sacks - and it shows the process of how they make their ceramics in Sausalito. Looks very homegrown, which I like.


clipped on: 03.15.2009 at 02:53 pm    last updated on: 03.15.2009 at 02:53 pm

RE: Subway tile w/ cream cabinets?? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: annekendo on 02.18.2009 at 09:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

I used an enhancing sealer from Miracle Sealants on my travertine floors, honed carrara countertops & backsplash. An enhancing sealer will make the surface look the same as when it is wet. It won't have the sheen of being wet, but the darker color like when it is wet. You have to be careful though, because once something is enhanced, you can't undo it. I had to twist my tile guy's arm to use it since he had a customer once who hated the results and there was nothing he could do about it. I think you may be able to buy the product at Home Depot, but I bought it from a tile store.

Here is a link that might be useful: 511 Seal & Enhance


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 04:42 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 04:42 pm

RE: Subway tile w/ cream cabinets?? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: jdechris on 02.15.2009 at 05:41 pm in Kitchens Forum

I purchased my marble subway tile from

I ordered several samples and all were within the price range you mentioned. I just sealed mine over the weekend.


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 04:38 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 04:38 pm

RE: Subway tile w/ cream cabinets?? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: kateskouros on 02.15.2009 at 12:28 am in Kitchens Forum

a lot of people do the white subways, but with cream cabs i really like marble or cream colored crackle/glazed tiles. they come in other colors too that i think are very pretty.

this is charlie123's kitchen. i hope she doesn't mind my posting:

and a close up of the tile. i think it's carrera marble, 2x4s:

these are a more cream colored and look like that might even match the cabinets:

i also like the way polished marble subways look. thinking about getting them myself. as for the best prices, i'm going through my fabricator. he seems to be able to give me the best prices, since there's no showroom/salesman (except him) involved. good luck!


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 04:36 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 04:36 pm

RE: Off-White Kitchen with Marble Island/Table (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: annekendo on 02.16.2009 at 01:57 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thanks so much for the compliments. I know there is a lot going on in my kitchen (lots of materials with different colors/shades) so I figured it would be too much for most folks. The comment about it being 'pristine' kind of made me laugh. I do like things rather sparse & I am not one to accessorize.

Here are some answers to questions in totally random order. My house was built in 1936 & the kitchen & back room addition were done in the 1980s. My cabinets are by Brookhaven and I am thrilled with them. The door style is Edgemont recessed panel for the perimeter and Edgemont raised panel on the island. My builder pushed a custom cabinet guy whose quote was $10K higher than the Brookhaven, but I went with Brookhaven because I saw it installed & loved the quality. Also, my builder was able to do some built-ins for me in the backroom that matched the cabinets really well. The door style on the built-ins is called ogee-edged recessed panel. The builder also did a hidden door in my peninsula (that looks like beadboard wainscoting) that accesses the back of one of the kitchen cabinets for me to hide all my electronics in (computer, router, printer, etc). Here is a pic of the backroom built-ins even though it is totally un kitchen-related:

window seat

The backsplash is from Virginia Tile I didn't even look at it when I ordered the tile because it was brand new & Virginia Tile didn't have it in stock yet and I had taken so long picking out a perfect off-white subway tile that my husband rejected that I just didn't care anymore.

I had another hood picked out from a different manufacturer, but I couldnt get it delivered in time & ended up with a smaller CFM model from Vent-A-Hood that I am very happy with. I bought it from a local metro-Detroit store that also sells on the web (Witbeck Appliance). The model is PRH9-136SS (9" tall & 36" wide).

The angled step to the back room is there because there is a screened in porch attached to the backroom and we didnt want to mess with the door there. So in order to expand the kitchen but keep the access to the porch we did the angle. When we started building we found out the existing addition had issues & we had to tear the whole thing out (and the wall with the door to the porch), so we could have reworked the step, but we just left it pretty much as designed. Instead we changed the single door to a double door & made the backroom addition a few feet deeper!

So far the only thing I dont like about my new kitchen is the fridge & dishwasher, so I am thrilled overall with the new space.

redroze - are you still searching for stools? Sometimes I'll wait months (or longer) until the right piece strikes me, so keep looking if you haven't found them yet! My husband REALLY did not want those stools, but now he loves them.


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 04:32 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 04:32 pm

Off-White Kitchen with Marble Island/Table

posted by: annekendo on 02.15.2009 at 09:53 pm in Kitchens Forum

I'm not 100% done, but the kitchen is done enough that I can post some pics & send a thank you to everyone here for all the great info I received from this forum. I know this kitchen isnt for everyone, but I figured I would share since I was inspired by bits & pieces of so many kitchens I saw on this site.

Cabinets: Brookhaven
Sinks: Ticor
Faucets: Moen
Counters: GM Original soapstone perimeter & honed carrara marble island
Backsplash: honed carrara marble 3x6 tiles
Floor: travertine
Appliances: all Electrolux except for KA dishwasher
Hood: Vent-A-Hood
Cabinet hardware: from Restoration Hardware
Chandelier: from Restoration Hardware
Chairs: from Arhaus
Stools: from Crate & Barrel

Here are some before pics at the start of renovation:


kitchen - temp wall

Here is the new kitchen. It was bumped out about three feet which gave enough room for an island/table combo:

kitchen - island

kitchen - from backroom

Here is a link that might be useful: more pics of new kitchen


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 04:31 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 04:31 pm

Mostly finished white/chocolate galley

posted by: smilingjudy on 03.02.2009 at 05:08 pm in Kitchens Forum

I re-oiled the countertop yesterday and got rid of all the stray paint splatters (no matter how careful I am, I always end up with strays). Figured this was a good time to take some pics and post my "finished" kitchen. There are a few things left to do, but who knows when they will be finished.

- Re-install dishwasher (waiting on a replacement part)
- Find and install lights (above sink and open counter area in the kitchen proper)
- Add the "pretty" stuff (window treatments, accessories, blah, blah, blah)

It'll happen when it happens. I'm not going to rush it and end up with things I don't like. Besides, I have a lot of other things to do and don't want to wait on more kitchen indecision!

My kitchen, like everything, was mostly DIY. Things I DIDN'T do myself:
- Drywall (because I believe you should always hire out drywall)
- Cabinet install (included with the build)
- Countertop
- I did most of the plumbing, but in order to enlarge the opening to the DR all pipes to the upstairs bath had to be moved. I hired that one out because I didn't want to mess with it and I'm glad I did! It took two plumbers a full 9-hour day.
- My HVAC guys custom fabricated the exhaust vent to maneuver around pipes in the ceiling. While they were here for that, I had them re-locate the HVAC vents to the kitchen and DR
- My boyfriend helped me remove the load-bearing wall between the DR and nature room beyond. Technically not part of the kitchen, but it allowed me eliminate a door and extend the cabinet run.

Sounds like I didn't do much! But as you all know, there are a LOT of other things involved in a gut remodel. I need to show the befores for anyone to appreciate the result, so here goes. I had started packing up (and in some cases tearing into walls) before I remembered to take pics. It was even messier than usual.


Used to lead to the basement; the original kitchen had FOUR doorways


Fridge used to be where the hole is


Filthy stove and stolen corner (yes, i cooked with the help of a shop light)


More filthy stove. Admittedly, it could have looked better, but I did not want to expend the time or effort to clean this pit. The worst part was the cabinets with too short shelves that were NOT adjustable.


I HATED this window. The divider was right in my line of sight. Note the neon-yellow mini-blind to match the countertop.


Other side of the pipes is the dining room; room to the left is the "nature room". Note the upper cabinet that would not close because it was too full!


What happens when you put carpet in a kitchen. DON'T DO IT!

And now for the mostly-after (click to embiggen)









(Do I have to take the 'Made in Italy' sticker off the range now? LOL)



I realized later that herringbone pattern is typically horizontal. Oops. I totally meant to do it this way. It's like flames coming off the stove. :)

cat door to the basement



window "sill" made by my countertop fabricator



Floor - Cork glue-down tiles from Duro-Design; pattern - Edipo; color - Cointreau
Cabinets - local custom shop; painted SW Snowbound SemiGloss. It's a crisp white with a tiny bit of warmth.
Countertop - Richlite in Chocolate Glacier
Backsplash - Landsdale Carrara from the Tile Shop
Vent Liner - Prestige
Range - Fratelli Onofri Double Evolution
Faucet - Moen Level
Dishwasher - Fisher Paykel dishdrawers
Sink - Kohler SmartDivide IronTones
Fridge - JennAir CD FD Floating Glass
Hardware - Asbury series from Restoration Hardware
Undercab Lights - Kichler 1" line-voltage xenon
Kept the old microwave and toaster oven. Ugly as they are, they're staying until they croak.

One minor lesson learned that I want to share because it bugs me.... I insisted on finding undercab lights that were not fluorescent because I wanted to be able to dim them. Well, you know what? If they're on, they're on high. I NEVER dim them. I wish I would've saved some $$ (now and in the future) and gone with fluorescent.

I still check in on the forum every once in a while, but not nearly as obsessive as I was during the thick of the work. You guys are like no other online community I've found. Thanks to everyone here for your inspirational remodels and helpful, patient advice.


Backsplash - Landsdale Carrara from the Tile Shop
clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 03:14 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 04:21 pm

Finished Kitchen

posted by: paigeysmom on 02.21.2009 at 02:28 pm in Kitchens Forum

We actually finished our kitchen shortly before Thanksgiving, but I was so busy with my daughter's birthday and the holidays that I just never got around to posting the finished kitchen pictures. I also kept telling myself that there were just a few more details that I wanted to finish before I could call the project done enough to post pictures on the forum, but after getting a request for more pictures from another GWer yesterday I decided it was time to post my finished kitchen--finally.

We started our project back in April of last year. It was supposed to be a fairly simple project of knocking down a couple of walls to open our 40 year old kitchen up to the rest of the house. But as ususal, it ended up a much larger project. We replaced the flooring in most of the first floor, built a new fireplace mantel and built in bookshelves and basically updated the entire first floor of the house. It ended up costing way more than we expected and took much longer than we had ever imagined, but the result is amazing.
Sometimes I forget how bad it used to be. I was just looking at our before pictures and I was shocked at the dramatic change in our house in the past year. We now actually use our kitchen every day. I have cooked more in the past month than I did in 3 years with the old kitchen. We only had 1 working burner on the old cooktop and the 40 year old oven had a hole in it that made it impossible to keep a consistent temperature in the oven. It was a nightmare to cook in there. My new kitchen is not much bigger than the old one, but the design works so much better.
It was a difficult process. Our KD/Cabinet Guy was very difficult to work with, but I'm beginning to recover from my battles with him. I still sometimes fight the urge to drive my car through the front of their showroom, but I no longer wake up in the middle of the night angry at the KD. For anyone in the middle of their project dealing with similar problems, I can assure you, once the project is done you will eventually recover and begin to forget how painful it was.
Throughout our project I got great advice from this forum and I learned a lot. I only wish I had found this site earlier in our project. Many thanks to everyone who consulted on my various crises--the hood that wasn't centered over the range, the hardware that didn't match and my many fights with my evil KD. I'm posting a couple of pictures of the old kitchen and the finished kitchen to show the scope of the transformation. I'm also posting the link to albums of the before and after.
Thanks to everyone for your help!

And the horrible before pictures:

Here is a link that might be useful: Before/After Albums


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 04:11 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 04:11 pm

99% Finished Kitchen--creamy white w/soapstone

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

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

Hope I'm not putting too many pictures!





soap stone

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

Happy kitchen designing to all! Thank you again!


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 03:12 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 03:13 pm

RE: Tile Back Splash (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: bill_vincent on 10.30.2008 at 11:25 pm in Kitchens Forum

Tell ya what-- how about if I put em all in one place? (or atleast copy em from one place to another!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q) Where should I use tile and where not?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q) What are the proper underlayments for tile?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q) What are the proper tile setting compounds?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q) What about tile spacing and types of grout?

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

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

What is the difference between a water based sealer and a solvent based sealer? How do you know which one to use?

There are two important differences. First, the solvent based sealer is a "breatheable" sealer, while the water based is not. What that means is that the solvent based sealer will let moisture transmit back and forth , so as not to trap moisture in the stone or grout, while the water based sealer will not. The reason this is a good thing is that you don't want moisture getting trapped inside of a surface, and growing mold or mildew INSIDE. That's actually even a tougher situation to remedy than if it just grows on the surface.Secondly, both are what's called "penetrating" sealers, meaning they do their job by penetrating into the stone, and stopping solids from getting into the pores of the stone, thereby curtailing stains taking hold. Water based sealers will not penetrate NEARLY as far into the surface as the solvent based sealers will, and as a result, have to be replaced much more often. About the only time I'll use a water based sealer is if I'm installing something like terra cotta tile, or soft limestone, where I need a pre-grouting sealer to stop the grout from adhering to the face of the tile. Any other time, I'll use solvent based.

Q) What's the difference between ceramic, porcelain, and rectified porcelain?

A) Actually all porcelain IS ceramic. The difference is that porcelain is a much denser clay, fired at a much higher temperature, which makes for a much more durable (and less absorptive) tile.

As for rectified porcelain, the main difference is that all other tile is stamped out or cut to size BEFORE it goes into the kiln, where during the firing process, the tiles will experience some extent of shrinkage. Unfortunately that shrinkage is never uniform, and results in the sizing you always hear about. This is why the larger grout joints (3/16"- 1/4") are required for most tiles. With rectified porcelain, the clay is fired in sheets, and then the tiles are cut to size AFTER they're baked, which results in much tighter tolerances, and the ability to use much smaller grout joints.

Q)I read in this forum to use unmodified thinset under the cementboard for our floors before tiling, but DH read the instructions on the board to use modified. Just wanted to confirm that we are to use unmodified and also to ask why?

A)That's kind of a controversy in the industry. Most manufacturers say modified. TCNA (Tile COunsil of NOrth America) says unmodified works best, but then they defer to the manufacturer's instructions. The way I see it, the thinset under the cement board isn't supposed to bond the two surfaces. Matter of fact, you don't WANT them to bond. That's what the screws are for. It's there only to bed the cement board to take out vibration between the two layers, so the unmodified thinset makes alot more sense to me.

Q)Why don't you want them to bond? He asks," Aren't the screws there to hold the thinset while it dries?"

A)Once you bond the two layers together, you've for all intents and purposes, formed a new, thicker, single layer, and you've lost all the benefits of double layering the floor, that being the allowance for the slightest bit of lateral slippage between the layers to allow further isolation of the tile installation from structural movement.

This is the tile FAQ I did for the Building a Home Forum. There may be a couple of places where it gets a little repetitive, but for the most part, it's different questions:

1) Can I lay tile over lino/VCT/VAT?

Answer: There are those who say you can, and in some instances this is true. The problem is in properly investigating whether or not your particular case is one of those instances. There are so many variables, and ANY ONE of them could make your floor fail-- is your vinyl cushioned or not? Is it adhered well? In the case of lino, is it perimeter glued, or fully glued? Was there an underlayment used, or was it laid directly over the subfloor (ALL underlayments used for lino are no good under tile-- any one of them will make a tile floor fail)? When it comes down to it, it's a very risky proposition, and when dealing with the time and money investment required to install a new floor, why gamble with it? You're much better off to do it right and take out the vinyl, as well as any underlayment that might be involved, and then start your installation from the subfloor. This way you KNOW it'll be done so that it lasts.

2) How good is premixed thinset?

Answer: Premixed thinset is nothing more than organic adhesive (mastic) with a fine sand mixed in to give it some bulk. For wall applications where mastic is appropriate, It's fine, although I don't see any advantage over traditional mastic. But for the use it was intended, that being replacing portland cement based latex modified thinset, it's an extremely BAD idea, for several reasons. First, ALL mastics are formulated to be used in very thin applications. The thicker it's used, the longer it takes to dry, and for some of the heavier notches that are used in flooring installations, it never completely dries. I personally know of one case where premixed thinset was used on a floor in april, and the following november, it was STILL soft. ANY kind of pliability will cause flex in the tile, which will cause the tile floor to fail, allowing either tile tile, grout, or both to crack. Seondly, even if it's used in a thickness that WILL allow it to dry, all it takes is a little moisture. All mastics are water based, and any moisture will allow the mastic (or premixed thinset) to re-emulsify, again, causing a failure in the floor.

3) Can I tile right over plywood?

Answer: Yes, you can, and it's done on a daily basis. However, you really need to KNOW what you're doing. There are additional steps you need to take care of, as well as pitfalls to watch out for that either don't exist, or aren't as important when using backerboard (CBU-- cementitious backer units) as your underlayment. The thinset you use, how you lay your plywood down, how you SCREW it down, even the species and rating of the plywood used, all make a difference. HERE is a good article that might be of interest. (hyper link the word HERE to,,131422,00+en-uss_01dbc.html )

4) Do I really need thinset under my backerboard?

Answer: The short answer is ABSOLUTELY. The manufacturer requires it, and if, for some reason, there's a problem with the floor afterward, you've immediately lost any kind of warranty protection. Now, there's a big controversy in the industry right now concerning the TYPE of thinset to use. The manufacturers, for the most part, recommend latex modified thinset, whereas the Tile Council of America (TCA) recommends UNmodifed, or dryset thinset. The reason is that the thinset isn't there to bond the backerboard to the subfloor. If it were, then the modified thinset would make a difference. In reality, it's actually there to fill the paper thin voids between subfloor and backerboard, thereby eliminating another source of flex, or movement, and extending the life of your floor.

5) What size trowel do I need?

Answer: This all depends on the size and thickness of the tile, as well as how smooth or rough the substrate is, and how deep the embossed pattern on the back of the tile is. For the most part, 3/16" v-notch for ceramic mosaics (1x1 and 2x2) or mastic walls, and either 1/4x1/4 square notch or 1/4x3/8 for just about everything else. There ARE some exceptions though. If there is a question as to which you should use in your particular case, your best bet would be to go to and ask one of the pros there. You'll be sure to get a good concise answer.

6) Do I spread thinset on the tile, the floor, or both?

Answer. Either or both. Usually floors are gridded out, and then the thinset is spread on the floor. It's alot easier and quicker. However, for those who would rather backbutter the tile, that's fine, too, as long as you flat trowel thinset onto the floor to "burn" it into the floor. In other words, you want to make sure you get a good bond by pushing the thinset into the "grain" of the floor, be it concrete, backerboard, or plywood.

7) Can I tile right over my brick fireplace?

Answer: Yes, you can. You might want to make sure the brick is clean and free of any contaminants, such as dust or soot (TSP-- trisodium phosphate works well for this). If the brick is painted, it needs to either be sanded, or if this is a renovation, sandblasted. Do NOT use any kind of chemicals to remove the paint, as they tend to leave behind residues that will inhibit the thinset bond later. Once the brick is clean, your best bet would be to flatcoat the brick with a latex modified thinset. This will do two things for you. First, it'll give you a flat surface to tile over, and secondly, it'll show up any errant bricks that might be sticking out too much, and they can be addressed before the tile is going up. Once the flat coat dries, you can take a rubbing stone to take care of any ridges in the thinset from the trowel.

8) Can I tile over sheetrock?

Answer: So long as it's not a wet area (i.e.-- tub enclosure, shower area, tub deck), yes, you can. Even stone tile will adhere well.

9) My tile's/ grout's cracking! What's happening? Can I just replace it?

Answer: ANY time tile or grout cracks, it's a symptom, not a problem, and just repairing the tile or the grout will not take care of it. Until the REAL problem is found and rectified, the same tile or area of grout will continue to crack, no matter how many times you replace it. 99% of the time, it can be attributed to seasonal movement in the structure, either under, or surrounding the tile in question, and the tile needs to be isolated from that movement. Sometimes it can be as simple a fix as adding soft (caulk) joints. Other times, it may be necessary to either add joisting, or beef up the existing joisting to minimize the deflection of the floor. What the fix is depends on the individual problem, but in all cases, again, the problem has to be identified and resolved before the cracking will stop.

10) Do I really need to seal my grout?

Answer: There are alot of contractors who will tell you yes, and still others who will tell you no. The reason for sealer is to make cleaning and maintenence easier. There has been a trend in recent years to use light colored grouts in the main floors of the home in order to match lighter colored tiles, and a sealer is used to prevent "wear paths"-- darkening of the grout joints in areas of main traffic in the home. Unfortunately, sealers will not prevent this. You're much better off to use either a medium or darker colored grout. As for using sealer in the bathroom, sealer WILL help, but again, over time, grout will discolor somewhat, or "age", and cleaners will be, for the most part, just as effective, with or without sealer. (Obviously, I'm one of those who doesn't believe in them)

11) Should I seal my tile?

Answer: Most tiles should NOT be sealed. Most glazed tiles, as well as porcelains, will not allow the sealer to absorb into the surface, and as a result, it dries on the surface as a white haze, which is a BEAR to remove. The only tiles which should be sealed are most natural stone tiles, quarry tile, or terra cotta.

12) What is "preslope" in a shower pan, and do I really need it?

Answer: In a shower pan, the slope is the pitch from the perimeter to the drain. This allows 90% of the water to run down the surface of the floor and into the drain. Preslope is for that other 10% of the water that seeps into the floor's surface to be caught by the shower pan (floor) liner. It's a slope that goes UNDER the pan liner so as to make sure that any water that gets through the surface will seep down the liner to weep holes surrounding the drain underneath the shower floor, where again, it will be directed to the drain's pipe. Without this preslope, the water sits in the bottom of the shower pan, where it can become a major area for mold, mildew, and bacteria to fester and become a bad health problem. So, yes, you really need it.

13) Can I use mastic in my shower, or over my tub?

Answer: Although on just about every pail of mastic it says "approved for wet areas", no, you can't. Mastic is used extensively in commercial projects for these kinds of areas-- places such as hotels, apartment buildings, college dorms, all use mastic in wet areas, because it's so much faster to install the tile, thereby reducing budget costs. However, they also have maintenence staffs, not to mention that these buildings get renovated every 5- 10 years, and from the contractor's standpoint, the work only has to be warranteed for one year. After that, it's not their problem any more. A home is a different story, though. You want your tile to last for years and years. Once it's up, you want it to STAY up, and last. The problem with mastic is that it's water emulsive, and even after being up for a while, it can still reemulsify, become soft, and even wash out, causing your tile to fail. It's one of the leading causes of tile failure in wet areas.

14) Is tile or grout waterproof?

Answer: No. Even with a grout sealer, most sealers used these days are "breatheable", meaning the moisture can transmit through it, both in and out, so even sealer won't make it waterproof.

15) How long do I wait before sealing?

Answer: This depends on the sealer being used. Because of the different formulations, different sealers require different wating times, anywhere from 3- 28 days, and the best advice I could give you is to check your particular brand of sealer for its recommendation. Generally speaking, there are two types of sealer base-- water and solvent, and the solvent based sealers generally require the shorter waiting period, but they're also much more expensive.

16) Should I use an isolation membrane?

Answer: To use an isolation membrane just as a general rule, it's not necessary. If you have any question at all as to whether or not there would be too much movement in your subfloor without it, then yes, it should be used, whether it be over concrete or wood frame. NOTE-- isolation membranes will greatly decrease the chance of your tile cracking if your movement is lateral (side to side-- in the case of concrete cracks, ones that open and close). However, there's not a membrane made that will address the problem of vertical movement. If you have cracks in a slab where one side of the crack is higher than the other, or in wood frame, where an addition meets the original structure, you'd be much better off to put in an expansion joint that that point.
17) Height of TP holders, towel bars, coat hooks etc etc.

Answer: The best advice is wherever they feel comfortable to you. About the only one that would be somewhat difficult to figure out when it's time to install is the toilet paper holder, and the general rule is about 24-30" off the floor, and 18-24" forward of the toilet flange. AS for the soap dish, you'd want to locate it somewhere where it won't be in the direct line of the showerhead spray, even though the traditional location (middle of the back wall, 6" from the tub) puts it right there. Putting it in the "line of fire" just gives water a chance to work its way behind the soap dish and shorten the life of your shower wall.

18) What kinds of tile can be successfully used outdoors (ie: on porches, patios) and any needed techniques for installing.

Answer: There are two types-- Vitreous tile, which has virtually no absorbsion, and porcelain, which only has approximately .05% absorbsion. As for installation techniques, the biggest differences are:
1), you want to use a thinset that gets mixed with a liquid additive, as opposed to one that's already modified.
2) you want to make sure you use either a polymer modified or epoxy grout.
3) You need to make sure the surface to be tiled is pitched atleast 1/4" per running foot, to make sure water doesn't sit on the tile.
4) In the case of wood frame structure (for something like a deck) you want to make sure you use a good quality waterproofing membrane made for exterior applications. Noble's Nobledeck ( ) is a good example of this.
5) In the case of slab, you want to honor all expansion and control joints, making sure that you either position your layout so that a grout joint falls over them, or cut the tile along these joints, and either way, caulk them with a good urethane caulking. Latex or silicone won't be strong enough.
6) If there are any cracks in the concrete, or in the case of slab on grade, if you have alot of sand or clay in your soil, or any other kind of ground that's prone to minor shifting, and isolation membrane designed for outdoor applications would be a real good idea.
7) You want to make sure that you do the installation at a time of year where the temp(both air and surface) stays over 50 degrees F. Otherwise problems could occur.

19) Are there different kinds of sealers for different locations, such as bath/shower, floor, kitchen counters?

Answer: When it comes to protectant type sealers, any penetrating sealer can be used in all places. The differences come in the finishing sealers. Do you want the wet or dry look? High gloss, or satin (matte) finish? Smooth or nonslip?

20) Should granite countertops be sealed? If so, how do I do this?

Answer: Some should and some shouldn't. Your best bet would be to ask your distributor (or installer) whether your particular granite should or shouldn't be sealed. As a rule, though, if you put a wet sponge on granite, and when you remove it, it leaves a wet spot, it should be sealed with a good penetrating sealer, which can be wiped on with a soft absorbant cloth.

21) What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile? Which is best for indoor flooring and why? How do I know when I am buying a good quality, durable tile--are there ratings I need to be aware of?

Answer: In all actuality, porcelain IS ceramic tile, just made with a much denser clay, and fired at much higher temps. As for which is best, all around porcelain is the answer. It's harder, will take much more abuse, and won't chip scratch, or stain as easily as most others. In addition, it'll stand up to much higher and lower extremes temperature wise. However, especially for residential applications, most glazed floor tiles will stand up to whatever you have in mind. There are two indicators to the quality of the tile you're interested in, when it comes to glazed tile-- first, the PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating, which rates the hardness of the glaze on a scale of 1-5 as follows:
CLASS 0 - Tiles technically unsuitable for floors
CLASS 1 - Residential and Commercial wall and bare foot traffic
CLASS 2 - Wall and Residential bath floor, soft soled traffic
CLASS 3 - All residential floors and Light Commercial
CLASS 4 - Medium Commercial, Light Industrial and Institutional, moderate soiling
CLASS 5 - Extra heavy traffic, abrasive dirt, chemically more resistant
Secondly, although some may disagree, and there ARE exceptions, price is a good indicator. For the most part, you get what you pay for, and although two tiles may look exactly alike, there may be a big difference in the hardness of the glaze, as well as the density of the bisque, or body of the tile.

Q) We are having porcelain tile installed in our foyer (13"x13" tiles) and in our powder room (6'x6" tiles). Both are heavy traffic areas. Is there one grout that is better for these areas than another grout? New to my vocabulary - "sanded grout" and "unsanded grout"; "Portland grout"; "epoxy grout".

A) Although there are others, for all intents and purposes, there are two kinds of grout-- portland cement based, and epoxy. The portland cement based grouts are the conventional grouts that have been around for millenniums. Although in the last few decades, they've been modified with latex and other polymers to make them stronger and more resistant to mold and mildew, they're basically the very same grouts that have been used since Greek and Roman days. There are two kinds of portland cement based grouts. One is sanded, and the other unsanded. The only difference between the two is, as their names imply, the sand. The ONLY thing that determines which grout should be used is the joint size. NOT the glaze, NOT aesthetics, NOT the material (ceramic vs. glass or polished marble), NONE of those. I'll repeat-- the ONLY thing that determines which is used, is the joint size. Anything under an 1/8" takes unsanded grout. Anything 1/8" or bigger, you use sanded grout. If you use unsanded grout in larger joints, the cement in the grout will shrink way too much as the water evaporates out of it, and the joints will end up shrinking and cracking bigtime. If you try using sanded grout in smaller joints, the grains of sand will literally clog the top of the joint, and not allow the grout to get down INTO the joint, and the grout will flake off in a matter of days.

As for the Epoxy, most epoxy grouts use a much finer "sand", and therefore can be used in any size grout joint. Further, epoxy grouts are everything people say they are. They're much easier to clean, practically stainproof, and also extremely expensive. Most epoxies will cost atleast 4 times the cost of conventional grouts, and the installer will also usually charge a premium of between 1.50- 2.50 a foot for the use of epoxy grout. There are alot of people who will disagree with me, but my own opinion is that for most residential installations, epoxy grout is bigtime overkill. The ONLY times I'll recommend epoxy grout is first, if you're installing a tile countertop, and two, if you have animals in the house that either aren't housebroken, or are prone to accidents. In either of those cases, epoxy might be worth the money. For anything else, though, conventional grout is more than good enough.


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 02:59 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 03:00 pm

RE: Maintaining the White Marble Backsplash (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: pcjs on 12.24.2007 at 12:17 am in Kitchens Forum

I fell in love with this stuff, but we decided not to tile for now - we're tired DIY with too many projects we aren't working on. :)

They have a range of marble and I liked it because it had more of the brown tones vs. grey.

They have actual stores - sometimes the stores are good (i.e. you can get help) and sometimes not.

Here is a link that might be useful: the tile shop


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 02:39 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 02:39 pm

RE: Maintaining the White Marble Backsplash (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: david_gelinas on 12.23.2007 at 11:04 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hello All,

Great thread, Ive enjoyed the commentary as well as the links cmeltzer posted.

I too want to redo our downstairs main bath. Our house is early to mid 20s, wood frame and I want to keep it reasonably "period". Like most of you I also love what WZ has to offer in their Tribeca line but Im not a big fan of the price tag either; and considering I own a company that does marble restoration and do a lot of maintenance and repair work for several high-end tile "boutiques" in our area and they will give me their pricing on it its still to expensive. So those links offer an affordable option.

As for sealing your back splashes, you all are right on the money. Yes, you do need to seal it but dont be mistaken. Sealing with a good quality penetrating sealer is very important but in case youre not aware, that sealer is only going to protect against water and/or oil based staining. If you have a pot of pasta sauce simmering on the back burner and some of the sauce (an acid) splatters onto your backsplash (marble, i.e. a calcium based, acid sensitive stone) it will etch it. (Etches on stone look like water marks that wont come off.) Other than watching against things like that you all will be in good shape. For the record I used Miracle Sealants 511 Porous Plus on my own Trav, kitchen floor. It worked okay initially but eventually (about a year out) the grout was stained. For me thats not a big deal because thats what we do, is restore that type of thing and I can have one of our crews take care of it. But for you all you might want to consider using a little better quality product like Dry Treats Satin Proof. If you do chose to do that dont worry about compatibility issues with 511 and SP, the SP will go right through the 511 and into the stone. It is a penetrating product and normally it wont change the appearance of the stone, not to mention, properly applied it will last a good 15 years. Just so no one gets the wrong idea here we do not sell SP, we only use it in our company as well as in my own home. I hope this has helped a little and if you should ever have any question about how to take care of your natural stone please dont hesitate to ask.

Again thanks for referencing those links; now all I need to find are some great tile/stone base boards and chair rails. (Read: great ((affordable)) tile/stone base boards and chair rails.)

David Gelinas


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 02:38 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 02:38 pm

RE: Maintaining the White Marble Backsplash (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: cmeltzer on 11.06.2007 at 07:49 am in Kitchens Forum

FWIW, I found some carrara minibricks online for a much cheaper price than Ann Sacks. I haven't used them, so can't comment on the company one way or another. (I do know that the AS people were pretty snobby when I went in there, so I am not feeling all that guilty about trying to find a cheaper virtual-store source.)


Here is a link that might be useful: Marble Minibricks


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 02:37 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 02:37 pm

RE: Maintaining the White Marble Backsplash (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: alku05 on 11.04.2007 at 08:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

Awe, I'm flattered! Although I must admit that I'm disappointed that the backsplash doesn't look as nice with our counters as the two samples looked together. Oh well. I sure do like both of them enough to let that slide.

We've only had our backsplash up for a couple months, but we have no issues with staining or difficulty cleaning it. And let me tell you, I am a MESSY cook. And you can't always depend on me to clean up right away. Of course it was sealed with Miracle 511 Impregnator as soon as the grout was cured.

Get a few tile samples, seal them and experiment. That way you'll know how easy or hard it will be to maintain.


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 02:35 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 02:35 pm

RE: Cool $ saving idea for a carerra marble subway tile backsplas (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: sherilynn on 02.18.2008 at 10:01 am in Kitchens Forum

Our tile guy cut down travertine for our shower. We didn't want a beveled edge on the tile, but he did bevel some edges for some wall tile in other places. It feels perfect under foot. I do not see why it wouldn't work for marble. Here's a photo of the 4"x4" tile cut down from 16" tile

As for the buying stone on the cheap. Check out the Floor and Decor Outlets. There are several nation wide. Local stores wanted almost $12/sf. Floors & Decor wanted $1.79 at the time, on sale.

Floor and Decor stocks overstocks and has BEAUTIFUL STONE at a FRACTION of the cost. Their site does NOT do their store justice. It also does NOT show all of the stone that they sell. I've seen the carrera marble subway tiles there, so this is why I'm suggesting go there. You can always call the store closest to you. F & D Shopping tip: buy all of the stone you need plus extra when it's in stock. When it's gone, no telling when they'll get more in stock. You can always return what you don't need.

Here is a link that might be useful: PRESIDENT'S DAY SALE AT FLOOR & DECOR OUTLETS


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 02:29 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 02:29 pm

RE: Cool $ saving idea for a carerra marble subway tile backsplas (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: bethandkevin on 02.18.2008 at 01:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

if you're near chicago check out the Tile Outlet on fullerton. I was just there on saturday and found some great stuff. They had carrera subway tiles for 8. square foot.


clipped on: 03.14.2009 at 02:28 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2009 at 02:29 pm

RE: Statuary Marble Backsplash (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: deee on 11.26.2007 at 02:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have statuary bricks from a quarry in Alabama. The veining is not as dark as alku's and the color of the tile ranges from white to pale gray. Some of them also have a bit of tan. I have honed charcoal counters with wisps of white and the statuary looks great with the counter. Not that I'm biased or anything.

Here's some pics of my almost finished kitchen. We still need to do some painting, add light rails and change out the hinges. The pictures have some weird reflections but they are pretty representative of the look of the tile.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


clipped on: 03.13.2009 at 05:02 pm    last updated on: 03.13.2009 at 05:02 pm

RE: Marble Backsplash (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: edlakin on 03.09.2008 at 06:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

the tile shop (national chain) has carrara marble subway tiles (3x6) priced at $9.99/sq ft. we went and saw a display of them in person and they're beautiful, although they have a lot more tan/gold coloration then we expected, so maybe they're not truly carrara.

they also have all the various trim pieces, bullnose, etc.

we used a hand molded 'cut' subway tile in our last kitchen and paid more than $8 sq ft for it, so this marble isn't really all that much more.

link below

Here is a link that might be useful: tile shop's marble subways


clipped on: 03.13.2009 at 04:59 pm    last updated on: 03.13.2009 at 04:59 pm

RE: Marble Backsplash (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: jdechris on 03.16.2008 at 03:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

I too am looking into a kitchen with subway carrera backsplash & absolute black honed granite countertops.

I have found the tile at and have ordered a sample.

I am worried about my choices because I have read a lot of negative feedback about honed black countertops. Still not sure what to do


clipped on: 03.13.2009 at 04:59 pm    last updated on: 03.13.2009 at 04:59 pm

more tile (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: edlakin on 06.13.2008 at 04:42 pm in Kitchens Forum

here's a cut-edge ceramic from the tile shop (national chain) but they're 10x20 cm, which is roughly 4x8 inches, so slightly larger than the standard 3x6 inch subways that are so ubiquitous. $7.99/sq foot but that's before contractor pricing (we got a 25% discount when we bought through our contractor at this place).

Here is a link that might be useful: tile shop subways


clipped on: 03.05.2009 at 10:34 am    last updated on: 03.05.2009 at 10:34 am

RE: Anyone with a 2 inch backsplash or no backsplash? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: alku05 on 04.12.2008 at 12:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

On the two walls of our kitchen that have no upper cabinets, we chose to do a 1.5" granite splash. It is small enough so that it blends right into the countertop, but it still makes spills and flour splashes easier to cleanup.




1.5 inch backsplash
clipped on: 03.05.2009 at 10:30 am    last updated on: 03.05.2009 at 10:31 am

Prettykitty's Classic Vintage White Victorian Lacanche Kitchen

posted by: prettykitty1971 on 10.06.2008 at 05:48 am in Kitchens Forum

I have been asked by several to post my kitchen redo so, here goes�forgive the repeats�forgive the length...

We began designing a rework of our home in 2004. The back of the house (where the kitchen is located) was okay and livable, but it did not flow or have any stylistic continuity to the front of the house, which is so amazing in itself. I felt like I was in a different house when in the kitchen. The main part of the house was built in 1890 and still has a Victorian feel, the kitchen and breakfast room and porches were built about 1920 in the Craftsman era and kept being added onto and changed � to the point that an "extra" half bath had been added jutting out into a hallway and disrupting important flow. There were a few things that had been done that would make me stare and say "why???" The kitchen also felt very far away from the living areas of the house.

I have slipped in "before" shots where appropriate on the web album.


From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

after: same view

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

The house was near museum quality in the front rooms, but it was like entering the twilight zone in the kitchen and breakfast room, breakfast room (yes, 2 of them) and bathroom(s). Our house had 2 nightmarish half baths downstairs, one of which had been built in the middle of a major passage way and was so small a space that the previous owner who had built it bumped out the opposite wall just a funky bit to accommodate the space. I would not even allow people to use that bath as it was not vented properly (think smelly) and would not flush well (think plunger). Mainly, we wanted to restore the architectural integrity to the back of the house, which included removing a diagonal path and countertop that was the main path to the kitchen, raising doorways up to 10 feet to match the doorways in the original house � kitchen doorways etc, were all 7 & 8 feet, one directly behind a 10 foot opening, so it was readily apparent something was amiss. Another goal was getting a back door and opening up our back porch which had been totally enclosed and door removed � the room that went nowhere with a window looking into the current kitchen. I also was determined to have French doors from the kitchen that went out to a deck which was the same elevation as the kitchen floor, to the North, shady side of our property.

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

We hired an architect that we had worked with previously with great success � we saw eye to eye on everything. After several attempts, he fired ME � not the other way around. He would not draw what I wanted, kept giving me drawings of what he thought we should do, that we should work with what had been done to the house � "don�t open the old back porch, build on a new one; put the bathroom in the old porch," etc. That was $3000 down the tubes�we were already starting out in the negative! A dear architect friend of mine said she would work on the design. She drew what I wanted. I would ask for suggestions, but she assured me that my ideas made sense and would be really improving our home. The drawings were not cheap, but it was well worth it and we are even better friends, although, I was afraid I would be fired at any moment!

Our cabinet maker said he was going to get me a nice "johnny-back" cabinet for over the toilet, I said no, you're going to make this...

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

A word about the bathroom: I loved this apron sink but knew I could not use it in the kitchen with the island we wanted, so I came up with this cabinet. The floor is American Restoration Tile and includes encaustic tiles. I almost went with white subway tile, but I felt it would be too utilitarian for the space, so these are travertine stone cut into bricks. They are the kind with holes and I paid a large fortune for the tiler not to fill the holes with grout! Many like the bathroom more than the kitchen. We had a family member who was very much a sportsman and inherited all his fishing and hunting items and gear and have chosen to use it in decorating to add a bit a masculinity to the house and we loved him very much so we enjoy having it around us.

I have to say that I am proud of myself for coming up with this design, the architect drew it, but it was all me and my husband thinking it out and after living a year in the house, we knew what we needed and how we need it to look. I am picky if you haven�t figured it out.

The basis for the design was figuring out where the openings had to be in the rooms. I wanted the French doors on the north wall, we had to have the passage to the dining room, and we needed a double opening to the breakfast room. So with all that, that dictated where we could and couldn�t have cabinets, a stove, a sink, etc. We were also returning the flow to the back of the house, so that made it easier to figure out where the back hall need to go and what was left over would become the new full bath. I will admit that in the days leading up to the wreaking crew coming, I was still trying to figure out if we could get a better layout out of the space.

after receiving yet another delivery from ebay, my husband asked how many historic fixtures I had purchased, my quiet response "I don't know..."

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

How I came to have a Lacanche range ( One day I was researching Thermador rangers and ended up on the Gardenweb forums. Someone had written that if you are considering a Thermador then you should take a look at one of these and provided a link to a photo of what turned out to be a Lacanche range. I showed the photo to our neighbor, who we had been taking care of everyday for the past 2 years, just to show him. He was always taking cooking classes, taking photos of his food, practicing garnishes, buying every kitchen gadget on the market, etc. He had a digital Wolf range that he was in love with so I knew he would appreciate seeing this beautiful stove � I didn�t know such a thing even existed. Paul saw the French Range � the Lacanche � and said "You NEED that in your kitchen!" I said "No, I don�t need anything of the sort" (our previous range was 30 years old, so anything would have been better, a camping stove would have been an improvement!) and he said "You NEED that stove!" He insisted on buying me that stove as his gift to the kitchen�it was also his idea that our cabinets go all the way up the 12 foot walls � "you might as well go all the way with this." My husband likes to say he had to pay for the kitchen to go with the Lacanche!

Given how my main hobby has to do with historic preservation, I knew I wanted a classic kitchen. I wanted marble countertops and inset cabinet doors and those French doors! I spent hundreds of dollars buying kitchen magazines and found several key ideas from that process. The glass front cabinets and the stainless steel countertop on either side of the French Lacanche range came from one layout I found, the open shelves from another and the pink pantry from yet another photo from a magazine (theirs was bright yellow!). Our butler�s pantry was actually in our historic house plans from 1920, so we just recreated it. About our butler�s pantry: the bottom 2 cabinets on the left are false fronts � they don�t open � they are where the air return in located. The vents are on the opposite side in the back stair hall, so this just camouflages the box of the air return.

air return in the bottom cabinets

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

The glass cabinets, I thought about that problem of food storage and how unattractive that is and how to make glass front cabinets work for me. I just felt glass would be more appropriate for the look I wanted - it just looks elegant to me and says "original" although I�m sure that most true Victorian cabinets had wood fronts. I planned what would go in the cabinets before we got too far in design. I have about 3 complete sets of china in addition to two sets of everyday dishes and needed a place to put/display them, so then I needed a place for food. It�s hard to visualize how much space you need for food when your food is all packed up for construction! I happened to have a little nook (it was our downstairs half bath, you could get your knees knocked off if someone tried to enter the bathroom while you were on the toilet!) that we originally designed as a desk area, that I made into "the pink pantry" which actually goes around a corner and is behind the refrigerator, where all the mess of the pantry is along with microwave and toaster oven. The part of the pantry that is visible (if you're at the main sink or range)stays neat and tidy given the way that it is designed - narrow shelves for spices, baking ingredients and display. I saw it in a magazine with its Victorian-ish trim and gave it to my carpenter and he just went to work. The counter in the pantry is just wood - out of money for any other surface and since there is not a sink in there it is not a problem. It is painted pink as that is the color that my 4 year old picked out - it was a compromise as she wanted the entire kitchen to be pink! She also wanted Dora the Explorer knobs - yes, there is such a thing - but I put my foot down on that!

Where the "extra bathroom" had been removed at the back stairs and other demolition had taken place near the new/old back door, we found exterior sub walls under the plaster and sheetrock. In old houses this material is something like 1 x 6 set on the diagonal. I had been thinking about paint colors and what I was going to do with all this extra wall and I decided how wonderful it would be if it were returned to its exterior foundations � wood siding. I love texture and my contractor thought I was nuts, but he did do the siding for me and milled corner pieces for near the back door. We painted the siding the cream trim color like the rest of our interior house. This really added a wonderful historic and unique quality to the project. The house really looks like it�s evolved and been added on to in a rather careful way.

Exterior siding and trim on the inside

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

For our back hallway we mimicked the wainscoting that is in our foyer and dining room, but on a cheaper level � we used bead board and MDF. The bead board wainscoting is the cheaper stuff: it does not have as deep cuts/lines/beads as the good stuff and the flat vertical and cross pieces are not wood, they are that MDF that they are always making stuff out of on HGTV. The top piece is wood trim.

bead board wainscoting

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

When I was picking out materials for our kitchen I finally reached a moment where I was afraid that the kitchen would be nicer than the rest of the house - which I did not want at all - so I began to try to pick out elements from the original house that could be reproduced in the kitchen, if only in variation, like the wainscoting and the slider doors instead of pocket doors.

We have 4 countertop surfaces(it works because you can only see 2 at anyone time), one of which is unpolished black granite, which looks a lot like soapstone, then marble, polished granite and stainless steel. I really wanted a veined marble for the island and despite everyone, even the marble contractor telling me I did not want that as my island, I got it.

I chose polished marble on the back splash so the gray veining would pick up the gray of the stainless steel, but I also considered bead board (we used it on our butler's pantry, I really love the look and it can be an economical choice if you get the "fake" stuff) and painted pressed tin. We have the marble island and love it and all of it's etchings that my 3 kids inflict upon it. They are not really noticeable unless you look for them.

We have slider doors on reproduction barn door hardware ( that divide our kitchen and breakfast room. Our house has pocket doors, but we could not afford to build 2 walls, so this was another research project and something we are really happy with and that everyone marvels over. I really think it turned out better than pocket doors would have and it is unexpected, which I like.

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

Our cabinets are creamy white with feet for an unfitted look. I did choose to get appliances that will take a custom panel, to be hidden into the cabinetry - careful if you get inset cabinet doors (where the door closes flush into the cabinet box) appliances that take a panel are designed to take full overlay doors � we just barely avoided a crisis situation that would have required me to be tried for murder. The main cabinets go all the way up the 12 foot walls, it is quite impressive looking, but fits the style of our home. Our bathroom cabinet is painted a red to give the impression of old wood - I could not afford to have "good wood" so came up with a color that happened to work really well for us. I bought most of my reproduction hardware from Van Dyke's restorers, Historic House Parts, and Rejuvenation, all online. I have different types of drawer and door pulls, just one or two in key areas, to help the kitchen look as if it evolved (Two are fish pulls, I love them!). Our kitchen finally feels like it goes with the rest of our home.

From Our 1890 home and kitchen remodel/restoration

One other thing that worked out really well for us: you will notice in the web pictures that originally there were 2 windows on the wall where the stove goes. The outside of our house is a rough stucco (it was "smothered" in stucco about 1920, the Victorian gingerbread and elements are under the stucco � visible in our attic!) and I doubted that my contractor could match the stucco to my specifications � we had already had previously unsuccessful attempts on other stucco repairs. On the outside of our house, the windows appear to be there � I had wood shutters installed in the openings, the windows simply look shuttered. It�s a nice touch to our exterior and I did not have to worry about the stucco being less than perfect.

Lacanche Range, Sully Model - High performance, dual-fuel, double-oven stoves from France, one oven is electric, the other gas, top is gas and has the French cast-iron simmer plate over one of the two 18,000 BTU burners.
16 colors and finishes available
Bosch Dishwasher
Range vent-a-hood: Rangecraft
Ice maker � Marvel Industries
Compactor - Kitchenaid
Shaws Original Fireclay Apron Front Farm Sink by Rohl
Blanco stainless steel bar sink
Perrin and Rowe nickel plated sink faucets and sprayers Stainless Steel Countertops and range shelf by Bray Sheet
Antique fixtures bought on ebay, polished and wired by local craftman


clipped on: 03.05.2009 at 09:40 am    last updated on: 03.05.2009 at 09:40 am

Willow Decor's Kitchen Posted!!

posted by: willowdecor on 01.21.2009 at 07:36 pm in Kitchens Forum

Well here it is - I hope you like it!

Thanks to everyone for all their help and inspiration! It would never have turned out as well with out you!


Here is a link that might be useful: Willow Decor's Kitchen


clipped on: 03.05.2009 at 09:38 am    last updated on: 03.05.2009 at 09:38 am

Try_Hard's granite layout experience (lots of PICS)

posted by: try_hard on 02.27.2008 at 01:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

GW Kitchen Forum - I am almost 5 weeks away from closing on my new construction house. Here is a description of my granite layout experience, which occurred last Friday. This is actually copied over from my personal blog and written with the assumption that my friends and family are reading it, therefore, I speak with a familiar tone and as if my audience is uninformed about granite. You will also recognize that I used a picture of Theresab1's island granite to explain why people attend their layout session. I hope that's okay - if not, somebody speak up and I'll delete the picture.

My granite yard calls my granite "Golden Mountain" but if you google that nothing comes back, so maybe that's just their own name for it. It's 3cm.

Perhaps this post will help those of you with upcoming layout appointments feel better prepared or know what to expect.


Last week the granite people went to the job site and took all the countertop measurements and made wooden templates for the granite and quartz countertops. Today, they brought our granite slabs into the fabrication shop and marked them (according to the templates and measurements) for cutting. They call this part "the layout".

I learned on the GardenWeb Kitchens Forum that it's quite common for people to attend the layout session to work with the granite fabricator to decide the layout. This seems to be particularly popular with people who buy granite that has highly varied patterns and colors and lots of movement. And that certainly describes our granite! I asked Granite-Saleswoman-Donna if I could attend the layout and have a say-so in the plans and she said I could. So this morning I went to the granite shop and worked with Granite-Layout-Guy-Jason to mark the slabs. It took longer than I expected so I ended up using a few hours of vacation time for it, but it was worth it.

I mentioned our granite having lots of movement. Basically that means it has big swirls or large changes in color; the appearance is not uniform or consistent. If you buy granite that has less movement it will be of uniform color and/or pattern and it probably doesn't matter how the layout is done because the whole slab looks the same. For example, here is a close-up picture of a popular granite called New Venetian Gold:


Typically, the whole slab looks just like this. So it usually doesn't really matter from which part you cut the countertops since they will all look basically the same.

But if you go with a granite like this one (Azul Macaubas):


Then you would definitely want to be present at the layout to be sure the granite guy selects your favorite piece/section for your kitchen. Since our granite looks like this:

We definitely wanted a say in which sections and slabs were used in our kitchen.

Our kitchen and butler's pantry will use 2 slabs. One slab is used for the island (48-1/8" x 108") and the other slab will be used for the wall cabinets and butler's pantry. Here is the measurement sheet for our granite:


Both slabs were stored outside last night so they were wet and lightly coated in ice when we started the layout. Granite-Jason uses a white-out pen to mark the slabs and then applies duct tape and stickers to identify measurements, piece location, and edge type. Tape doesn't stick to icy, wet granite so Jason used a hairdryer-thingy and then a small blowtorch to heat up the granite enough to sweat out all the moisture. Here you can see him using the blowtorch.


The wooden things are the templates for the cooktop wall. After much discussion, we decided this was the best place to position the cooktop wall because it included alot of the clear and amber quartzite chunks we liked and the seam, which will be under the cooktop, should not be too noticeable. Here is a close-up of the sample, which shows the clear and amber chunks:


The granite is sitting on this tilting, lifting table:


After he dried the slab we spent about half an hour placing the cooktop wall, oven wall, and butler's pantry templates.


Here is the final, marked-up slab:


And on this one I drew pink lines to show you which sections will be used. The left one is the butler's pantry, the top, small one is the oven wall in the kitchen, and the two on the bottom right are the cooktop wall. You will notice we did not use any of the salt-n-pepper looking stuff on the left side of the slab - we don't like that as well as the other sections.


After finishing the first slab, they moved it back out to the yard and brought in the island slab.

I didn't get a picture of the final markings on the island slab but it will basically be like this. The smaller pink rectangle in the sink.

If everything goes according to schedule, the pieces will be cut next week and installed on Friday, February 28...



clipped on: 04.09.2008 at 10:35 am    last updated on: 04.09.2008 at 10:35 am


posted by: mduarte25 on 02.24.2008 at 09:02 pm in Kitchens Forum

I am going to be putting corbels under my granite overhang. I was hoping to see pictures of corbels used. Also, what size? The overhang is 12 inches for a 3 cm slab.



clipped on: 04.07.2008 at 10:36 pm    last updated on: 04.07.2008 at 10:36 pm

Kevin - corbel question - need help again

posted by: suzieca on 03.26.2008 at 09:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

If I use corbels to support a 12 inch overhang that will have 2 cm granite on it...don't I have to have something "substantial" ie strong to attach them to? The top is not a problem but the cabinet under the counter doesn't have any "substantial"'s just cabinet material. And isn't that where the stress ultimately goes to?
BTW, these are 1980's cabinets that are being refaced.
I'm sorry for being dense about this and being a PITA but I don't want to pay lots of money for it and have it crack or come crashing down. It's taken me more that 5 years to convince DH that I need/want this kitchen! He's fighting & screaming all the way LOL!


clipped on: 04.07.2008 at 10:33 pm    last updated on: 04.07.2008 at 10:33 pm

Sealing Granite

posted by: dd70 on 03.14.2008 at 10:21 am in Kitchens Forum

after my granite was installed they sealed it. I asked if I should do it again in a few days and they told me I only have to do it once a this right? Should I do it again anyway just to be sure its all covered?


clipped on: 04.07.2008 at 08:29 pm    last updated on: 04.07.2008 at 08:29 pm