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RE: Question about Foam Insulation (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: energy_rater_la on 11.18.2011 at 07:10 pm in Building a Home Forum

wait a minute now..op is in florida.
hot humid climate.
in these areas we can't bury ducts in insulation
as it will cause condensation. even ducts lying on
top of insulation will condensate where duct touches insulation.

open cell insulation's R-value is R-4 per inch
so meeting the R-30 requirement by code (in La.)
means 7-7 1/2". (some open cell foams have slightly
higher R-values..R-4.2)

foaming the roofline does extend the payback, but
houses withstand hurricanes better as uplift is
reduced. putting ductwork in conditioned attic is
also a plus. on a 2500 sq ft house with foamed roofline only I get a 8 year payback..foam all the walls
and that payback jumps to 25 years..not a good deal.

better to put 1" foam boards to exterior of walls, tape
all seams and insulate conventionally.

even with an unvented attic, mastic sealing of ductwork
returns and supply boxes should be done.
as for recessed lights, simply buy ICAT cans at $15 more
per box than IC. ICAT is insulation contact air tight
no holes in housing. IC is insulation contact..holes in housing.

op, you should look at the builder's guide to hot humid climates @

best of luck.


clipped on: 09.28.2012 at 05:44 am    last updated on: 09.28.2012 at 05:44 am

RE: Spray Foam Insulation in Attic (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: worthy on 05.18.2012 at 11:10 am in Old House Forum

Open cell polyurethane spray on the underside of your roof will be way below the minimum recommended R Value for new wood framed homes, according to the US Department of Energy. If you have typical 2x6" rafters, you will only be getting R20 vs. the minimum recommended R30.

Plus, unless the job includes sealing all the openings into the attic from the exterior, you will not be getting the full benefits of the insulation. (See linked document.)

Only if you have those leaks sealed and use closed cell foam does spraying the underside of the roof make economic sense.

Unless you have HVAC in your attic, you will likely be getting a much better return by insulating the attic floor as suggested above.

Spraying R20 under your roof on the Georgia shores and calling that fine and dandy? I wouldn't have anything to do with either of these contractors.

If you want an impartial assessment, read the linked materials or contact an energy consultant in your area.

Here is a link that might be useful: Building Science Corp. on Unvented Roof Systems


clipped on: 09.28.2012 at 05:35 am    last updated on: 09.28.2012 at 05:35 am

RE: Miami-Dade vs DP-50 rating (Follow-Up #32)

posted by: rancov (Guest) on 05.12.2008 at 02:42 pm in Windows Forum

If you are considering replacing your windows in North Carolina on the coast, I would definitely lean toward the impact windows. They offer passive protection. This means, if you are off in Europe when a storm approaches, you do not have to worry about trying to find someone to install your shutters. IN Florida, you can save quite a chuck on your homeowners insurance if you have impact windows versus shutters for this very reason. They will add value to your home over the years.

The numbers you laid out for the Andersen windows is in line. One thing you need to understand, It is unlikely you will find a clad wood slider that will meet the DP requirements where you are, hence the arrangement with a center door and flanking sidelights.

Last I looked Andersen did not have approvals for Impact with Insulated Glass. In your climate, I would look for an impact window with a energy star qualification for your zone. This will certainly require insulated glass. This will save you up to 30% per month on your heating bills versus putting in monolithic glazing. It will pay back in spades.

As to aluminum clad wood windows, if you go for the new AAMA 2605 powder coat finish, this will hold up much better in your area. You will need to wash the windows every 3-6 months to maintain the warranty on the paint. You can get 2605 finishes with a warranty of up to 10 years on the finish.

Here is a link that might be useful: hurricane Impact resistant windows


clipped on: 09.28.2012 at 05:14 am    last updated on: 09.28.2012 at 05:14 am

RE: Installing our acrylic tub (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: monicakm on 09.11.2012 at 12:50 am in Bathrooms Forum

Ours is set in mortar too and it feels like standing on concrete (as in sturdy). It's amazing how much difference that makes. My husband installed ours. Did your DH put thick plastic between the mortar and tub? Don't remember where he got the idea (probably here via me)to do that so if there is a problem (ie leak)and tub ever needs to come out, it should just lift right out.


clipped on: 09.13.2012 at 03:54 am    last updated on: 09.13.2012 at 03:54 am

Clever corner pantry idea... i 've never seen this before!

posted by: deedles on 07.24.2012 at 10:08 pm in Kitchens Forum

Thought I'd share quick on my way to work.


How smart is that?


clipped on: 09.13.2012 at 03:20 am    last updated on: 09.13.2012 at 03:20 am

RE: What zone am I? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: ladywingr on 02.11.2011 at 10:57 pm in Florida Gardening Forum

The charts I have read SR70 at I75 as the dividing line between 9b/10a in my area. I suppose they have to draw a line somewhere, but the plants sure don't understand it.

Lots of little micro-climates in this region. I am 30+ miles north of you in the Bradenton area, 5 miles from the gulf with other waterways nearby.

Last year, friends on a canal in Venice lost their bananas to the freeze. I had some of their plants here and they were fine. A neighbor here has a bearing coconut palm in his yard - a few brown fronds, but fruit again this past year after the cold. I read of coconuts palms in the Miami region that were hard hit.

Palm trees a mile south of me (farther from water) were toasted where ours weren't.

I just look around the neighborhood during the winter and see what didn't get killed by the cold, and make my best guess from there as to what to plant. There is nothing certain about gardening, and that's what makes it fun - right? :-)



clipped on: 08.01.2012 at 01:00 pm    last updated on: 08.01.2012 at 01:00 pm

RE: Finally finished! Walnut, quartzite, idea kitchen with pics (Follow-Up #32)

posted by: vsalz on 01.04.2012 at 12:47 am in Kitchens Forum

You all are such fantastic cheerleaders. DH read the thread when he got home and commented that it must be gratifying to hear positive feedback. You have no idea how much so. I have lurked here for years and reviewed every finished kitchen dozens of times to cull the good ideas. You all have shown me I should be more vocal in my praise of others too!

For the tung oil- it is a DIY DREAM. You literally paint on with a sponge brush, let sit for five minutes, and wipe it off. Repeat a few times and it builds up a natural hard finish. I went with walnut so I wouldn't have to stain at all. My dad is a woodworker and he recommended it. Plus, if a cabinet does get marred, all you have to do is sand a little and reapply oil. Any type of polyurethane or shellac would require refinishing. Here is a picture of the doors raw and with one coat of the oil. I wish I had known about it years ago.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App


clipped on: 06.22.2012 at 03:58 am    last updated on: 06.22.2012 at 03:58 am

RE: Finally finished! Walnut, quartzite, idea kitchen with pics (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: vsalz on 01.03.2012 at 07:22 pm in Kitchens Forum

Yep- its only been a couple of weeks since the wood nightmare. DH gave up his entire break to DIY with me. He is awesome.

Quartzite reads white. Here is a better picture of the color up close. I didn't want anything pink or orange.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

The cutout around the cooktop was a happy mistake. -- original plan was to put cooktop under a window, but I wanted a grill and my only options were jennair or finding downdraft. After reading a bazillion sites that said "your whole house will be ruined if you have a corner cooktop," I went with my gut and did it anyway. I am big on symmetry and I wanted the three columns flanking the windows: fridge, cooktop, pantry/microwave. I was willing to lose the space and planned to Pull cooktop flush with the cabinet run on either side. We were going to use fillers to create proper clearance for all the drawers. But DH wanted easy access to the gas valve, so we tried the 9 inch cabinet I got at Ikea to use as filler next to the fridge. Perfect. One side holds spices and the other side (sans shelves and back --for the gas valve) holds all my cookie sheets. I put a rev a shelf 5-inch pullout for glasses next to the fridge. Because the knob plate on the front of the cooktop sticks out, we couldnt run the little doors to the top, which turned out fine because we needed a place to put outlets anyway. The "cook nook" is now our favorite part of the kitchen.


clipped on: 06.22.2012 at 03:57 am    last updated on: 06.22.2012 at 03:57 am

RE: Where do you keep your tall bathroom items?? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: treasuretheday on 05.08.2012 at 02:24 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I have a pair of tall upper cabinet on each of our his and hers vanities. I love them for tall products and hair appliances but that probably isn't the look that you're after.

I've always liked this idea I found on Houzz; maybe it would work for your space.

Olson Design & Construction contemporary bathroom


clipped on: 05.29.2012 at 04:44 am    last updated on: 05.29.2012 at 04:44 am

It's been two years...what I've learned, would change, etc...

posted by: fishpants on 01.18.2010 at 08:30 pm in Building a Home Forum

Yup. Can't believe we've been in our place that long! After being our GC, making most of the decisions (with full support of DH), surviving a whirlwind adoption, a life-altering surgery, and living in the house for two years, I think I can go forth with my "list of oops and loves". So here goes:


-Living on a dirt road isn't fun when the snow melts or the June rains come.
-Want a bigger mudroom with separate cubbies for each family member.
-Laundry room is too small. Want a place for baskets for each person's clean clothes, to iron, etc. all in one room. And closer to the majority of bedrooms.
-Travertine kitchen floor with 3 (4 inc. DH) boys. And we cook/bake most of our meals from scratch.
-Air bath in master. It works great. But we just don't bathe. We shower. Extra money spent.
-Every bathroom has granite or marble countertops and stone floors. Beautiful. But it wasn't necessary. And harder to clean with all boys.
-Jack and Jill baths. Hate them now. Will only do private or hall accessed ones next time.
-24" griddle in kitchen range. Would rather have more burners.
-Gas fireplace. I want the real thing.
-White trim and doors. All boys. 'Nuff said.
-Bonus room over garage. Nice to have a huge playroom, but really a waste of space otherwise. Could have used the downstairs family room for a playroom instead. As it is, both rooms are underutilized.


-My quirky but fun "pendant" lighting in the kitchen. Five bulbs on each chandelier over the island. Lots of light!
-Garage is 30' deep. We wouldn't be able to get our truck or SUV in and be able to walk around them otherwise.
-Living on a dirt road. It's quiet out here :)
-Pebble stone flooring in master bath.
-Steam shower.
-Lyptus flooring. Color varies enough to hide the dings and wear of life.
-American Clay plaster in the 3 rooms I did it in.
-Big work space in kitchen = multiple people can cook at one time.
-The pantry is 17' long. A little narrow at 4.5' wide, but the length makes up for being more narrow.
-Air switches at the sink for the pendant light and the disposal.
-Verde Fire granite island in kitchen.
-The "peanut" DeVine paint color (we color matched to a different paint brand) for the main color throughout. Hue changes with times of day.
-Generator DH decided to get. Paid for itself first time the power went out for hours and it was 19 below zero F outside! We had a few neighbors come over...
-Undermount sinks.
-Home office.
-Our 36" (each) fridge and freezer units by Northland. Paid the same $ to get both units as would have to get a single SZ unit. Work beautifully.
-Ceiling fans in bedrooms.
-Our massive mechanical room. Every piece of equipment has it's own spot and there is plenty of room to walk around in there.
-24" deep engineered floor trusses. They hide all the mechanical and plumbing. No bulkheads in the basement.
-Corbond insulation everywhere. Our garage does not go below 34F even when it is -20F or lower for multiple days. The carryover heat from the car engines is enough to keep it warm! But it also stays cooler in the summer too...
-Heavy duty doorknobs. They feel SO much better in hand and "wear" well.

I'm sure I will remember a bunch as soon as I post, but wanted to share. I know the decisions get overwhelming after awhile. It helped me to hear people talk about their positives and negatives after actually living in their home for awhile.


clipped on: 05.04.2012 at 01:19 am    last updated on: 05.04.2012 at 01:19 am

a2gemini: pull information you wanted

posted by: badgergal on 04.24.2012 at 09:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

a2 Gemini, you asked in a different thread about the size of my cabinet drawers and pulls. I used 10 inch pulls on my upper cabinets except for the very short cabinet above my refrigerator. The fridge cabinet is a 6 inch pull. My 36 inch drawers have 19 inch pulls and the 24 inch wide drawers have 12 inch pulls. I have 10 inch pulls on my 18 inch drawers. I have some drawers that are only 13 inches wide and those have the 6 inch pulls.
What I was trying to do was keep various lengths all approximately the same proportion in relation to my drawer widths. I made drawer templates out of cardboard and then used tag board and made cut outs of the different pull lengths to see how they looked on the drawers.
If I recall correctly, you were thinking about pulls in a antique brass finish. My pulls are a stainless finish but I think they come in chrome and satin nickel also. They have another finish for the Greenwich series that is called Windover Antique. On line it looks like it might be a bronze type finish. If you have a cabinet and hardware specialty store near you they might carry the Greenwich line. The Hickory Harware website does have a link for where to buy. They are also available on various online sites.
I think these pulls would look great with your cabinets and that gorgeous countertop you have picked out. The pulls are a very nice quality. I love how they look and feel.
Below is a one more picture that shows the 24 inch, 36 inch and 17 inch drawers:
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


clipped on: 04.26.2012 at 06:37 am    last updated on: 04.26.2012 at 06:38 am

RE: Major Disappointment With Pella Windows and Doors - Caveat Em (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: guy_exterior_man on 03.02.2007 at 05:17 pm in Windows Forum

I'm truly sorry to hear your nightmare with Pella. We happen to install their windows almost every day of the week. Even I have difficulties with their field reps telling us we installed them wrong. I almost threw one of the field techs in a dumpster out of the second story patio door opening. He told me we installed the patio door out of square and level. So the delaminating door wasn't covered under warranty. I proved him wrong by showing him that their door wasn't plumb or perfect from the factory. One hinged doors hinge locations were 3/16" different on one side of the frame to the other. So I couldn't make them level or square if I wanted to. They replaced the patio doors needless to say. I know these field technicians, as their called, do anything and everything to prove it's not their fault. It's a sad thing to deal with. Unfortunately the new building code has made every manufacturers installation requirements code, no matter what. Meaning we must follow each manufacturers installation guidelines to the tee! So now we have to go by their posted information that's sent with each door & window.

Their vertical sliding windows are something we deal with all the time. I've always taught my installers that proper shimming has to be done on every window no matter what. The Pella units require that special touch because of how their built. Ounce we level and square the unit with shims in each corner, we screw all four corners down tightly. (We use cedar shims so humidity doesn't cause any movement) After the corners are done we then shim the center of the windows right at the meeting rails of each window. We adjust the reveal evenly from top to bottom. Ounce we get this done we lock the center of each frame with screws. This will hold the window in the same place forever. We do all the lock down screws from the inside right threw the jambs. We also nail it down on the outside with the nail flange. After this we use a low expansion foam to insulate around the entire unit. Ounce this sets up it's also an adhesive. So the window isn't going anywhere after we're done. We use this technique on everyones window and we have no problem. But we do this for a living also. The average home builder wouldn't know this unless someone told them.

Another trick I use is Pledge Furniture Polish (Lemon Scent smells good) on all the weatherstripping up and down each side. I spray it on a towel and wipe both sides of the frame and also down each side of the sashes. I do this with every wood window we hang. The wax coats the weatherstripping and lets them slide much better with out much friction. The window functions much better and it's much easier to lock and slide. The field tech will never know about this one. I also think the seals are a bit bigger than they have to be. I guess the theory is after some time they collapse a bit and work better. The jury is still out on this one.

One thing to remember with any window is they have to be made perfectly square and functional from the factory before we can install them the same way in the field. You'll find that they don't come that way from the factory that often! Hope you get things resolved soon and good luck!!!


clipped on: 04.23.2012 at 04:33 am    last updated on: 04.23.2012 at 04:33 am

White Kitchen w/ walnut, 99% finished and lived in!

posted by: alabamamommy on 03.15.2012 at 03:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hello all - I was nudged out from under the newborn rock by a post yesterday, so I figured I'd share our final photos. With a caveat... I'm still on the hunt for the appropriate decorative pieces... a properly scaled urn or raised bowl for the countertop, an arrangement of the stuff in the glass cabs that works, etc.

Overall, I love this kitchen. It's proving very family friendly and I haven't had any issues with the primed shiplap as a backsplash. The marble island top DOES etch, but we're closing our eyes and hoping to make it to patinaland sooner than later. With 18 years of school fundraisers ahead of me, I'm certain we'll get there. But there's NOTHING like making pastries on it and I'm going to try my hand at fudge and candies soon!

Our FAVORITE spot, where we spend 70% of our time, is firmly planted on the BOOs block. Chop chop chop. Walnut end-grain... can't say enough. A quick sudsy soapy wipe after each prep and a once a month oiling and it's beautiful.

So here are the pics of our very lived in by a young family of five new kitchen!


clipped on: 04.03.2012 at 05:22 am    last updated on: 04.03.2012 at 05:22 am

RE: Wood install on concrete with moisture issues, is it possible (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: floorguy on 02.23.2012 at 11:24 pm in Flooring Forum

Triple moisture barrier with a floater, or use a troweled on membrane, like Bostik's MVP-4, with Bostik's BEST, or BST adhesive, for a full bond gluedown.

The 2-n-1 glues are expensive and are prone to many problems, that can be blamed on installation error.


clipped on: 03.26.2012 at 03:36 am    last updated on: 03.26.2012 at 03:36 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not any more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


clipped on: 03.22.2012 at 02:27 am    last updated on: 03.22.2012 at 02:27 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



clipped on: 03.22.2012 at 02:21 am    last updated on: 03.22.2012 at 02:22 am

Part Deux (Follow-Up #9)

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

Part Deux:

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

In general

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its all about reading the fine print.



clipped on: 03.22.2012 at 02:21 am    last updated on: 03.22.2012 at 02:21 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



clipped on: 03.22.2012 at 02:20 am    last updated on: 03.22.2012 at 02:21 am

RE: So confused on shower systems (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mongoct on 03.17.2012 at 07:09 pm in Bathrooms Forum

You're first selecting a trim kits. "Trim kits" contain all the bright and shiny chrome controls, shower head, body sprays, etc, that hang on your shower walls.

The second selection process then has you buying the brass valve body or valve bodies that do the actual temperature control, or do the actual diverting of the water to the shower heads.

Both trim kits are expensive. They usually are when you get into multiple shower heads, wall bars, and valve controls.

The shower valve itself that goes inside the wall, which is what you are purchasing in the second step on that website? The Hansgrohe set has a SINGLE valve inside the wall, whereas the Moen setup needs THREE valve bodies.

Valve bodies and trim sets need to be matched to one another. But once you choose that valve body and trim kit that fits that valve body, you can use pretty much any shower head or heads with that valve. Sure you'd want to make sure the styles and finishes coordinate. But you can shop freely. You pick a valve body that will do what you want it to do:
-control water temperature
-act as a volume control
-act as a diverter to send water to just the shower head, OR to just the handheld, OR to both at the same time

Some companies make a single valve that can do all that. Other companies, you need several valve to do all that.

Fewer parts usually means less money.

As an example, a SINGLE valve that can do everything you want would be the Hansgrohe Thermobalance III valve. It's affordable too.

If you were to buy that Hansgrohe TBIII valve, then you'd need a Hansgrohe trim kit that fits that specific valve. But then you can use a Hansgrohe rainshower head or any other manufacturer's rainshower head. And you can use a Hansgrohe handheld on a bar or any other manufacturer's handheld on a bar.

If that's confusing, you may find clarity or even more confusion here.

Good luck with your search!


clipped on: 03.22.2012 at 02:15 am    last updated on: 03.22.2012 at 02:16 am

waterlox vs oil (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: 2LittleFishies on 02.04.2012 at 06:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

This was good info from Devo's plus the link at the bottom:

Finishes Available

The type of finish you choose will depend on how you plan to use your kitchen countertop, island top or butcher block. All wood top finishes by DeVos Custom Woodworking have ingredients that are safe for food contact. However, countertops that are used as cutting surfaces are finished differently from countertops that need to be waterproof, scratch-resistant and heat-resistant.

Waterlox® (recommended as a permanent finish not to be used as a cutting surface)

Waterlox® is a tung oil-based permanent finish that will stand up to hard daily use. It is ideal for countertops (especially those around sinks and stoves), island tops, bar tops and tabletops. It’s tough, hard, and food safe. Additionally, this finish is waterproof, heat- and stain-resistant. It gives a rich, hand-rubbed appearance while enhancing the grain and penetrating and sealing the wood fibers beneath the surface. The finish will not chip, peel, crack or wrinkle. Waterlox® finishes are available in satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss. (Note: Do not chop on wood tops with this finish; use a cutting board instead.)

All tops that are treated with Waterlox® receive a minimum of four coats on the visible side of the top and three coats on sides that are not visible, though six coats are typical for tops with cut-outs for sinks or cooktops, or for satin-finish tops.

Waterlox® is an excellent finish. We use it on our own kitchen table and on all of our cabinets. See the Waterlox® website for additional information.

Tung Oil/Citrus Finish (recommended for tops used as cutting surfaces)

We highly recommend the Tung Oil/Citrus finish over the mineral oil finish for tops that will be used as cutting surfaces. Pure tung oil is FDA approved and non-toxic by nature. Citrus solvent, which is 98% orange peel oil and 2% water, is added to tung oil to hasten the drying process and deepen the penetration of the oil into the wood. The oil penetrating into the wood makes the surface resistant to water and chemical damage. Surfaces treated with the Tung Oil/Citrus finish have an overall matte quality while still retaining their natural appearance.

DeVos Custom Woodworking applies four coats of the Tung Oil/Citrus finish to ensure a well-oiled finish. Another advantage of using this finish is that the finish only needs to be renewed about every six months to a year, depending on usage, as opposed to a mineral oil finish that needs monthly attention. (See our Care and Maintenance instructions for more information).

Here is a link that might be useful: Devos Woodworking


clipped on: 02.05.2012 at 01:40 am    last updated on: 02.05.2012 at 01:41 am

RE: any info on wood countertops? help please :) (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: oldhousegal on 01.20.2012 at 09:51 pm in Kitchens Forum

In a previous home I had maple butcher block countertops. I oiled them (mineral oil) once a year and used them to roll dough, chop- basically abused them. I never worried about them, even around the sink.

In my recent remodel of my old house, I replaced a laminate island with walnut edge style butcher block from Craft-Art. It is lovely! I followed another GW'ers post about caring for the top, since I plan on using it as a cutting board, to roll dough, and basically, once again, to abuse it! I made my own mix of beeswax and mineral oil that I heated on the stove, just as petestein1 described, and it came out as a semi hard paste that I poured into a wide mouthed canning jar. I just reach in and grab a small handful and rub it all over the counter, then use a rag to rub it in further. It holds up great and feels like silk. I've only had the countertop in for a few weeks, so I can't talk about the longevity of it, but I sure think it's pretty easy.

Others here tend to use waterlox, but I try to reduce the amount of chemicals in my house, and I wanted to cut on it, so that was not an option. Here's that old post I was talking about. HTH!

Here is a link that might be useful: walnut butcherblock used as cutting board


clipped on: 02.05.2012 at 01:39 am    last updated on: 02.05.2012 at 01:39 am

RE: Powdered or liquid detergents -- septic tank (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: Sandy16 on 01.16.2012 at 02:36 pm in Laundry Room Forum

FWIW I'm married to a commercial laundry chemist. He is anti liquid. Reason being that all of the detergents we buy off the shelf are full of filler, liquids or powders. The liquids contain agents to maintain viscosity, protect from rancidity, etc.. These ingredients are polymers, basically liquid plastics. All detergent leaves residue. The powder residue is more visible is the only difference.

I do use liquids occasionally but mostly powder. As for the poster who stated Tide coldwater liquid as being more effective than the powder, he needs to read the labels. One has enzymes -the liquid- and the powder does not. A powder and the liquid of the same brand and type often vary completely in terms of ingredients. Liquids are sudsier due to the extras. HE powders often don't have a suds suppressing agent.


clipped on: 01.27.2012 at 03:29 am    last updated on: 01.27.2012 at 03:29 am

RE: Powdered or liquid detergents -- septic tank (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: livebetter on 01.17.2012 at 04:44 pm in Laundry Room Forum

"I'm married to a commercial laundry chemist."

Wow ... that WOULD be great! I'd have driven him crazy by now with all my questions and insanity ... lol.

I've often read that about powders. There is a UK forum I've picked some good info from (written by people in the appliance field) and they recommend powder too.

"Powder is the original detergent format and to this day it has all the technologies available in it, you get the full cadre of cleaning power in a powder so after that it only comes down to how good it is. I know it's potentially messy and harder to get home but it really is the best."

"Liquid is the most convenient in many ways to a lot of people as you just pick up a bottle and pour it in. well, that's the theory at least.

In practice liquid can cause a lot of trouble, especially for service engineers. You see, it's easily overdosed and this can cause no end of harm to a machine and that goes back to the tip about dosing on the first page, it really is vital to get it right or expect a bill for the engineer as manufacturers generally do not cover for detergent misuse which is the way they view these problems.

If the dosage doesn't get you then the smell might, liquid detergents do not and cannot at this time contain a bleaching agent (nor is it ever likely to) so the bacteria doesn't always get killed in the machine. This can congeal and for a rather smelly mass which is not good for your nose or your machine and that's one of the reasons why I recommend a maintenance wash and why it has to be done with powder or tablets, so that theres a bleaching agent to remove any bacterial build up in the machine."

"Do you use liquid detergent?

If the answer is yes then this is most likely the problem as there is no chlorine bleaching agents in liquid powder and it has a tendency to smell a bit ripe after a while. It is also VERY easy and prone to over-dosing, which can lead to a congealed mass of goo in, or on, the drum which, in extreme cases can actually corrode the aluminium drum shaft.

Shown in the photograph to the right is a badly corroded alloy drum support spider from just such treatment and this is, by far, not the worst that we've seen. In some really bad cases the support almost disintegrates.

Sorry soap powder manufacturers, but we see this in the field after several years.

The cure is to use powder (real stuff from a big box) and wash through a boil or hot wash with the machine empty, this is known as a maintenance wash. Or you can cheat and use dishwasher cleaner or bicarbonate of soda, both are very effective at cleaning this."

Here is a link that might be useful: Smelly Washing Machines


clipped on: 01.27.2012 at 03:28 am    last updated on: 01.27.2012 at 03:28 am

RE: HE washer laundry smells, not the machine (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: dave1812 on 12.25.2011 at 01:08 pm in Laundry Room Forum

wow! I have a Samsung WF520 and just yesterday I was amazed at how awesomely clean and fresh FILTHY DIRTY OILY rags came out. I used several rags to clean our vehicles, including the tires. the rags were black with silicone and tire grundge.

Keep in mine I did some plumbing "cheats" to provide maximum hot water. I put in a bleed line to purge the hoses of cold water, leading up to the HOT inlet. I also installed a wye to blend hot and cold, at the COLD inlet for certain wash cycles. THIS HELPS A LOT! Cost was about $100 in stainless braided hoses, 3 wyes, two faucets and some adapter fittings (brass). Improvement in hot/warm wash cycles is remarkable.

Now back to the grease stains. I pretreated this particular load with Shout, threw in a bit of oxiclean powder, and used free and clear All. I also put some All in the PreWash dispenser. Everything came out as clean as if they were just bath towels or clothes, rather than nasty, oily black rags.

YOU NEED HEAT AND YOU NEED THE RIGHT CLEANING PRODUCTS for stubborn stuff. Don't blame the washer model.... :)


clipped on: 01.27.2012 at 03:12 am    last updated on: 01.27.2012 at 03:12 am

bosch vision 500 series update/vibration pucks & stall mat

posted by: kateskouros on 11.27.2011 at 02:11 am in Laundry Room Forum

i have these stacked in my mudroom closet and used them for the first time yesterday. the inaugural load was a full load of heavily soiled white cottons, mostly socks. i set the cycle on xxtra sanitary using the additional stain removal option. using 3 tablespoons of persil the cycle took 3 hours, 18 minutes.
i was very pleased with the outcome, although next time i will probably add some white vinegar and/or oxyclean. i didn't add anything for the first load as i wanted to see what the machine and some persil (gold) could do. i should also note these were items so dirty and dingy i had the slated for the trash until i decided to see if they could be salvaged. of course i had already replaced my kids' socks with new -so now we have enough socks to last four weeks or more without washing. okay, so i got carried away one day at target!

while planning the space for the laundry i didn't want to run the risk of having a set of machines that walked away during spin cycles. following the advice of some posters i bought a set of vibration pads (they look like hockey pucks) and installed them on each corner. these might be fine alone, but since i'm prone to overdo everything, the units sit on a stall mat in addition to the feet. i didn't expect to have any problems and with this combo, all is well. on the fastest spin cycle i can feel the floor vibrate slightly while standing right up against the machines but they don't move at all.

we're STILL not in the new house yet, but the old top loader in the temporary house finally died, so i switched over to the new set. well worth the effort of carrying a laundry basket out to the new build.


clipped on: 01.27.2012 at 03:03 am    last updated on: 01.27.2012 at 03:03 am

RE: To Miele or not to Miele? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: sshrivastava on 01.22.2012 at 12:43 pm in Laundry Room Forum

@ nerdyshopper

I don't quite agree with your assessment. Granted, the Miele W48X0 had some growing pains, but the next generation - W48X2 and matching dryers - resolved most, if not all remaining issues. If I remember, Miele was quite responsive in repairing and/or replacing affected machines. My T9802 dryer was replaced due to a noise that was difficult to diagnose. The noise was just an annoyance, but Miele replaced it without any fuss. My W4842 washer has been working flawlessly now for almost 2 years.

I am extremely happy with Miele support and how they have resolved my particular issue - which, to be frank, was just a minor annoyance and not something that affected the unit's performance in any way. The other fact to consider is that people come to these forums when they have problems - not when they are satisfied with an appliance. So there will always be a preponderance of complaints here.


clipped on: 01.27.2012 at 03:01 am    last updated on: 01.27.2012 at 03:01 am

RE: So many names for the same granite? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: boxerpups on 01.22.2012 at 10:33 am in Kitchens Forum

I agree names can be so confusing.
Too bad you did not get a picture of those slabs with
your door.

: (

A pictures can confirm how fantastic it will look. I think
you are on the right track. Here are a few of what I have.
Maybe they can help you.








clipped on: 01.23.2012 at 12:24 am    last updated on: 01.23.2012 at 12:24 am

RE: Reason I won't make Texas cheese toast anymore (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: ravencajun on 01.03.2012 at 02:06 pm in Kitchen Table Forum

it is great and I have made up a ton of quick meals and snacks you can make with the various flavors of it.
I do mini pizzas . In fact here is my recipe file on a few I have made.

Texas toast pizza:
New York brand Texas Parmesan Toast slices
Pepperoni slices
Grated/shredded cheese (your choice)
Pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce
Place the Texas toast slices (frozen) on a piece of foil or on a cookie sheet top with a spoon full of the sauce, then add the pepperoni slices, and top with the grated cheese. Heat in 425 oven for 7-9mins.

Texas toast Mexican treats:
New York brand Texas Parmesan Toast slices
Refried beans (black beans or regular) Heated
Grated/shredded cheese
Place the Texas toast slices (frozen) on a piece of foil or on a cookie sheet top with a spoonful of salsa, then spread on preheated refried beans, and top with the grated cheese. Heat in 425 oven for 7-9mins.
you can add chopped tomatoes and sour cream after heated if desired. ( I like black olive slices)

Texas Toast Mini Muffs (muffaletta)
New York brand Texas Parmesan or Cheese Toast slices
Thin sliced hard salami or Lebanon bologna
Thin sliced ham or turkey
Muffaletta olive mix
Grated/Shredded cheese
Place the Texas toast slices (frozen) on a piece of foil or a cookie sheet. Top with the sliced meat (2 slices 2varities). Spread the olive mix over the meat. Top with shredded cheese. Heat in 425 oven for 7-9 mins.

these are great if you have kids over and need a quick fix.
Oh now I want a mini muff and I don't have any of that stuff on hand! I used to always have a box of that toast in my freezer.


clipped on: 01.05.2012 at 03:42 am    last updated on: 01.05.2012 at 03:42 am

RE: Can someone tell me about Ikea drawers (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: davidro1 on 01.02.2012 at 08:52 pm in Kitchens Forum

The drawer bottoms are half inch particle board. ZoeCat17 wrote a different number.

101-070-67 RATIONELL = 18"w shallow drawer
701-070-69 RATIONELL = 24"w shallow drawer
101-070-72 RATIONELL = 30"w shallow drawer

201-070-81 RATIONELL = 18"w deep drawer
901-099-77 RATIONELL = 24"w deep drawer
001-070-82 RATIONELL = 30"w deep drawer
801-070-83 RATIONELL = 36"w deep drawer

Each purchase is for a kit, which includes Blum glides, Blum Tandembox drawer sides, Blum metal panel for the drawer back and a chipboard drawer floor, all ready to slip together. Snap and clip. No glue required. The metal panel for the drawer back is not available through other channels in North America. Blum sells the Tandembox parts to Blum distributors but not this back panel. Tandembox glides are ful extension glides.

Then, you add the front you wish to add, onto the un-fronted drawer. The Blum clips to screw to the Blum drawer side can be ordered anywhere for less than $1 each. These clips hold your chosen drawer front onto the drawer. Any front will do. Buy from anywhere, or make your own.


clipped on: 01.04.2012 at 02:25 am    last updated on: 01.04.2012 at 02:25 am

RE: Recessed lighting ?s - need decision by tomorrow (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: lee676 on 01.04.2012 at 12:19 am in Kitchens Forum

I usually go with the 6" cans to take advantage of the excellent Cree CR6 LED lamps that use only 10 watts each, put out good quality light, and last just about forever. They're sold at Home Depot under the Ecosmart brand for $40 each (or 4 for $150 on their website), and that price includes the built-in trim rings which saves about $12 that separate trim kits usually cost, so it's like the bulbs are more like $28 each, about what you'd spend for two or three 65-watt halogen floodlamps that the LED will still outlast.

I start them about 12" from the wall cabinets, about 6 feet apart. If you like 4" cans surrounding the cabinets, HD sells a 4" version of the aforementioned LED modules for $50; alternatively for lower cost you could go with 5" cans with PAR30 halogen floodlamp bulbs, or 3 to 4" cans with low-voltage MR16 bulbs if you like the really small ones; space these slightly closer together. Halogen MR16 bulbs have excellent color rendering, although they use more electricity and don't last as long as LEDs.


clipped on: 01.04.2012 at 01:52 am    last updated on: 01.04.2012 at 01:52 am

RE: Finally finished! Walnut, quartzite, idea kitchen with pics (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: vsalz on 01.03.2012 at 03:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

The quartzite is called fantasy brown. It is white with brown and grey linear patterns. The grey is almost green. Goes great with both the stainless and walnut. It performs like granite (no etching or staining so far).

The island was purchased from a store called razzmatazz in Phoenix. In my last kitchen redo, I planned for a large island. The cost o cabinets and granite was around 6k. And we were going to have to have our Saltillo tiles redone after moving cabinets back to comply with code. I found this island for $1400 and it is a movable piece of furniture, so no code issues. I will take it with me in next move. The top comes off for moving, and they have other colors and styles. They import them from a company in Mexico, so I am sure they can be shipped.

I don't have the sink info with me, but it is 36" wide and 10" deep double bowl fire clay. My criteria was that it had to be plain and have straight sides.

Pot rack is a piece of decorative metal I bought at kirklands and painted black.


clipped on: 01.04.2012 at 01:37 am    last updated on: 01.04.2012 at 01:37 am

more pics (Follow-Up #49)

posted by: sochi on 07.21.2010 at 10:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

I've got a few more pictures to share, some more detail of aspects of the kitchen, others of the rest of the ground floor. We're not completely done everything yet, but it gives you an idea I guess.

transitional - I got the stools at a local store here, I'm not sure where are from or the brand name, but I will try to find out for you. They were relatively inexpensive, I expect they are widely available.


The Newton light


The Kendalls, my favourite!



The Kalia Elito Diver and the new bay window with plants, a last minute addition to the kitchen


Another shot of the Elito Diver, plus the integrated SS sink and counter. I opted for a very subtle marine edge on the counter in a effort to prevent water from dripping regularly onto the hardwood.


The drawer under the prep sink - I love how our cabinet maker made it a very usable drawer despite the plumbing.

Full drawer under the induction cooktop:


I love the veining in the quartzite visible here around the prep sink:


The Gaggenau fridge (I love it so) and our diy chalkboard/magnetic door to the broom closet and stairs to the crawl space basement:


Every man who has walked into our kitchen gravitates to the fridge, opens it and gushes about the hinges (then grabs a beer usually). Without fail. Quite the hinge I guess.



The shelf is great. Most things on the shelf (except the obvious decorative items like the vase, sculpture etc.) are items we use daily, so dust or upkeep really isn't an issue. It is a relatively low shelf, so easy to reach and dust.




View to what was the eat-in area of the kitchen. We use the dining room table for evening meals. This area is now an extension of the play room, eventually we will probably put a long, shallow desk on the wall under the window, a place for homework and computer time where Mummy & Daddy can monitor.


The front hall/foyer light fixture. I ADORE this matryoshka light, perfect. The foyer and the play room are essentially one room.


The play room. Not quite done yet, but I love it, esp. the hit of red. The same cabinet maker that did the kitchen did these built-ins for us. He rocks.


Sorry for the poor quality (obviously DH didn't take this picture). This shows the front hall/foyer closet door, plus the dormer window into the powder room. We had the glass for the dormer made to match the other glass panels in the house. It lets great light into the powder room.


Door into the powder room, glimpse of kitchen around the corner


The powder room. I adore the wallpaper. We still haven't put a mirror up, but so far we aren't missing it!


Dormer window from inside the powder room


Walnut storage cabinet in powder room, same cabinet maker. The speed over bumps out into the powder room, so this cabinet hides that and offers ample storage.



The living room. Eventually we'll put a fireplace back on the wall to the right, probably this winter. We are thinking of a 'green' ethanol fp. OR - maybe a green (living) wall, all plants. Still deciding. The Soviet era poster won't stay regardless. :)


Ikea floating shelves.


DR light fixture, my five-year old daughter Zoya finally talked us into this light.


DR glass panels plus light fixture. Sorry, I forgot to take a proper picture of the DR and the table! Oh well.


And finally, may I introduce the real Sochi, my 15-year old Siamese? She really shouldn't be up there ...



clipped on: 12.14.2011 at 12:46 am    last updated on: 12.14.2011 at 12:46 am

Modern Walnut Kitchen (v. long, many pics)

posted by: sochi on 07.20.2010 at 12:34 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi there - DH went on a picture taking spree in the kitchen tonight, so I thought I might as well post more recent pictures of the kitchen and share the details thus far. I'm very wordy below, just skip to pictures if you like! :)

Still to do:

Two items remain outstanding: 1) backsplash (I know, so embarrassing after all the help and suggestions you guys gave me). I'll post separately on that issue soon, I hope to have something up by September. 2) island. In order to have a truly practical kitchen I need a drop zone in front of the pantry wall and fridge. We probably won't get to this until the winter, but I'm thinking about a wedge shaped island (or table) as drawn in the (clearly not to scale) layout of our ground floor posted below.

Credit Due:

I must thank all of you, for the inspiration, the ideas, suggestions, lay-out advice, everything. I used this board and your expertise heavily and I am truly thankful. We have a wonderfully diverse, fun, exciting and TALENTED pool of people here on GW! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't name everyone to whom I am indebted, but I'll try (apologies to the many I've missed): elizpiz, firsthouse, boxerpups, malhgold, mom2reese, sabjimata, florantha, plllog, rhome, buehl, cat_mom, kaismom, billyyc ...

The Story:

This house is situated a block or so from the confluence of two rivers and a waterfall. The house was built in 1877 as a home for the workers at the paper mill located at the falls. It was/is a simple two-story home. There have been four additions to the house over the years - for an urban home on a modest lot it is a decent sized house (about 2,100 or 2,200 sq feet I think), but certainly not a huge house. Perfect for our young family of four (well the kids are young at any rate!). Unfortunately over the years the original interior Victorian character was completely lost.

With the Victorian character long gone, two remaining elements of the house heavily swayed the direction we took with this reno. Eight gorgeous deco/FLW inspired stained/leaded glass windows (two of which you can see in the kitchen) and the MCM-style sunken living room. Given our love of modern design, we took these elements and ran with it for the renovation. I guess the style of the kitchen is "retro-moderne" or organic modern, I don't know.

This was a big job - major foundation work, interior walls moved, ceilings and walls rebuilt on two floors, new insulation, new kitchen, new powder room, moved laundry, etc. etc., it went far beyond the kitchen renovation. We moved out on November 1st, moved back in the first week of March.

The Love:

I love my kitchen. LOVE IT. I'm blissfully happy and my quality of life has been improved. I'm broke of course, but c'est la vie I guess. Here is what I love most:

1. The walnut cabinets
2. The prep sink area (including the veining in the quartzite counters around the sink, my utterly fabulous Kohler Karbon faucet and the round Ticor sink)
3. The floors. The floors throughout our ground floor are reclaimed 120 year old Birch brought up from the bottom of the river a mere couple of hundred meters from our house. They are stunning (IMHO).
4. My fridge. So awesome and a big, big splurge.

I also really love the lay-out and 'feel' of the kitchen. It is open, airy, bright and still very warm or organic feeling. I love that as you walk into the kitchen from the front of the house your eyes are immediately drawn to the long run with the shelves and pictures. As you get further into the kitchen your eyes go to the living room and the lovely garden beyond. You actually have to stop and deliberately look at the clean-up sink run as your eye does not go there naturally. I like this as the clean-up run is the messy part of the kitchen - the sink hides many sins, as does the short wall separating that run from the dining room. The sink run is not visible at all from the dining room and living room. I almost have the best of both worlds - open concept, yet the messy bit is largely concealed from guests and casual observers.

The Problems:

There always are some. The first doozy of a surprise was when we discovered that there was no foundation at all under the mid section of our house (that addition was done around 1900 - the addition was essentially just sitting on the bedrock). A real budget buster that.

The main kitchen problem related to the counter, a poorly placed seam (my fault for leaving that last detail to DH). The problem was corrected and I have an extra two small slabs of quartzite for future bathroom renos. A relatively minor kitchen problem: most of the ceilings on the ground floor are close to 9', close to 10' in the sunken living room, so I expected that kind of height in the kitchen as well. Unfortunately duct work and plumbing got in the way (literally) and the kitchen ceilings turned out to be just a hair higher than 8'. My cabinet maker adjusted plans in time so not a big deal, but I would have liked higher ceilings.

Finally: I was diagnosed with Celiac two weeks ago. It would have been helpful to know this prior to the reno, as the way I organise the kitchen has to change to accommodate my dietary issues. Sigh.

What did it cost?

I'm happy to share approximate costing if anyone is interested. I wrote out costs for everything and then deleted it - I'm not sure what the protocol is for that sort of thing here. Anyway, it wasn't the cheapest kitchen reno ever, but it was more or less in keeping with the value of the house. Let me know if you want me to share, I'm not shy.

The Details:

Cabinets: Walnut veneer, custom, local. The white cabs are painted something, I forgot for the moment - MDF maybe?? I can confirm if needed.

Counters: Quartzite Bianco (Ciot in Montreal was the supplier, Marble
Unlimited in Ottawa the fabricator)

Counters: Stainless Steel counter and integrated sink: P.E. Rail and Sons (local)

Flooring: Reclaimed birch, local: Log's End

Lighting: The undermount lights are by Eurofase. Our kitchen/dining room lighting setup is controlled using a six zone Lutron Grafik Eye unit. We needed to add a low-voltage dimming control unit in order for the Grafik Eye to control the under shelf lighting. Other lights: Alico Newton and Kendall mono points.

Faucets: Kohler Karbon, Kalia Elito Diver

Prep Sink: Ticor


Fridge : Gaggenau
Wine Fridge: Marvel
Everything else: Miele (the speed oven and oven were floor models at a deep discount)

Please feel free to ask anything that I may have overlooked for forgotten.

The Pictures (finally!) (I want him to take a close up of the shelves, I'll post that tomorrow).












Low wall separating the DR from LR

And now a few artsy shots from the kitchen:





clipped on: 12.14.2011 at 12:44 am    last updated on: 12.14.2011 at 12:44 am

RE: cloud swift, can I ask you another overhang support question? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: suzannesl on 12.11.2011 at 11:46 am in Kitchens Forum

"I have shown cloud swift's picture with plates embedded and asked my cabinet guys if he can do it and he said yes. But he is not sure if Ikea cabinets with those plastic legs will be able to support all the plywood+steel plates + granite."

That question was discussed at length last August, and the simple answer was, "Yes, it will." I put the link down below.

If you have a 3 cm stone, I don't think you need the plywood base that cloud swift has. A plywood base like that is typically used for 2 cm slabs. And if you don't have the plywood base, you also don't need a laminated edge. The purpose of the laminated edge is to be thick enough to hide the plywood base underneath. In your case, I think what you need is the support like I have:

Melissastar found this source for this kind of support in another discussion It ends up looking like this (I chose an eased edge, but any edge would functionally be the same):

Another option, of course, is to go with corbels or legs. These all do the same thing perfectly well, they just look different in the end. With any one of these options, your granite will not fall down and will be perfectly safe.

Here is a link that might be useful: granite on frameless


clipped on: 12.12.2011 at 02:22 am    last updated on: 12.12.2011 at 02:22 am

RE: Stressing About Cabinet Color (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: pps7 on 12.06.2011 at 09:58 am in Kitchens Forum

I don't think you can go wrong. My bathroom vanities are espresso and I considered the sable for my dining room but went with acorn instead. For those that want pics:

sable is on the left:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


clipped on: 12.06.2011 at 10:04 pm    last updated on: 12.06.2011 at 10:04 pm

RE: Fisher Paykel Dishwasher Drawers-do you have them? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: dadoes on 10.24.2010 at 08:02 pm in Appliances Forum

Jans ... your problem with mineral residue is almost surely due to all the detergents gone now to non-phosphate formulations. What you may need to do is buy some STPP (Sodium Tripolyphosphate) and mix it into your detergent, about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (whatever minimum is effective) per dose of detergent. You can buy STPP online at It's a tad expensive, especially with shipping added, but a little goes a long way for dishwasher use.

Note that TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) which can be found at Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. is NOT the same thing as STPP. DO NOT use TSP.

Alternatively, if you haven't already ... try using a FULL dose of detergent ... fill the dispenser cup(s) FULL. The ingredient in detergents now in place of phosphates aren't as good at handling hard water, so a maximum dose may be needed (if not using STPP). Also DO NOT prerinse your dishes, the detergent needs some food soil on which to work. Scrape, yes. Prerinse, no.


clipped on: 12.04.2011 at 08:56 pm    last updated on: 12.04.2011 at 08:56 pm

RE: which warming drawer do you like (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: plllog on 01.26.2011 at 08:01 pm in Appliances Forum

The Monogram WD also comes with a U shaped rack that fits in one half. That is, the legs of the U make the rack stand up. It's very useful. there are some things one doesn't want to put on the floor of the WD, one can stack things by putting dishes underneath and others on the rack, with taller things on the other side. For big trays that have some leeway on the balance (or pizza boxes, if that's your thing), you can invert the rack, rather than having to find a place to put it.

I haven't used the covered food service trays, and the 30" rails are a bit of a bother to store, so they're all on a top shelf that takes a ladder to get to. :)


clipped on: 01.28.2011 at 02:37 am    last updated on: 01.28.2011 at 02:37 am

RE: Where to find Mother of Pearl Quartz countertop (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: graciemay on 01.24.2011 at 07:02 pm in Kitchens Forum

We found Mother of Pearl at A&S Marble and Granite Imports in Atlanta (North Buckhead-Chattahoochee Ave). We also found Crystal Pearl (I think this is the same stone) at G&L Marble in Atlanta (Armour Ave). That location may be closed now but there is a showroom near Douglasville according to the website (

It really is beautiful in person. Here is a link to an old thread I started when we first stumbled on Crystal Pearl:

Here is the Mother of Pearl at A&S (slab to the left):

Here is the Crystal Pearl at G&L:

Here is a link that might be useful: A&S Marble - Mother of Pearl


clipped on: 01.27.2011 at 06:10 pm    last updated on: 01.27.2011 at 06:10 pm

RE: Lost Sol's Chicken Marinade recipe (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mtnester on 02.16.2010 at 09:10 am in Cooking Forum

Hi there, Pamela! Great to see you here again!

I'm not sure this is the recipe you're looking for, as my notes say that it was posted by Nancy (WizardNM), not Sol. But it sounds delicious anyway.



5 LBS boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 C veg. oil
C sesame oil
C soy sauce
1/3 C minced garlic
C minced ginger
2/3 C minced cilantro
5-6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp Black Pepper

Combine marinade in a container large enough to hold the chicken. Refrigerate 4+ hours. Overnight is fine.

Remove chicken from marinade and grill over med. hot fire. Done when thermometer registers 160.

Note: If only a small quantity of chicken is needed, you can divide chicken and marinade into freezer bags and freeze until needed. Chicken will be ready to cook as soon as thawed.

Leftover cooked chicken makes a great sandwich either cold or reheated in the microwave. I like it heated with provolone, sliced chicken, tomato, lettuce and mayo.

Also makes a great Asian Salad. Chop the chicken, lay over greens, sprinkle with mandarin oranges, roasted sunflower kernels, rice noodles and a sweet sour dressing.


clipped on: 02.16.2010 at 06:58 pm    last updated on: 02.16.2010 at 06:58 pm

RE: Limoncello for Lori (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: lorijean44 on 02.16.2010 at 02:23 pm in Cooking Forum

Thanks, Linda!

Here's the sorbet recipe:

Limoncello-Mint Sorbet with Fresh Blackberries

Limoncello, the citrusy Italian liqueur, brightens this sorbet. It's nice to have a bottle on hand to splash with soda in a spritzer or macerate with fruit for a quick dessert.

2 cups water
1-1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup limoncello
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 large lemons
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 cups blackberries
Lemon slices

1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; add lemon juice and mint. Cover and chill.

2. Strain juice mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon sorbet into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm. Serve with blackberries; garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

8 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup sorbet and 1/4 cup berries)

CALORIES 184 ; FAT 0.2g (sat 0.0g,mono 0.0g,poly 0.1g); CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 13mg; CARBOHYDRATE 39.3g; SODIUM 1mg; PROTEIN 0.6g; FIBER 2g; IRON 0.2mg

Cooking Light, MAY 2009


Here is a link that might be useful: Limoncello-Mint Sorbet with Fresh Blackberries


clipped on: 02.16.2010 at 06:57 pm    last updated on: 02.16.2010 at 06:57 pm