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RE: Frameless glass shower Q (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: kaylie15 on 03.31.2010 at 04:17 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Check out the doors on and They give a variety of choices.


clipped on: 05.03.2010 at 07:51 pm    last updated on: 05.03.2010 at 07:51 pm

RE: Affordable brand of radiant floor heat in bathroom. (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: flyleft on 04.16.2010 at 10:29 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Whatever you do, don't get ThermoSoft. You *might* end up with a good installation, you might end up with something like two of us here for a while and then break.

Another tip: don't just use the resistance meter as a determinant of whether the wires are intact after installation. Really hook them up completely and see if they heat the whole way through and don't throw the GFCI. BEFORE you SLC or tile over them. Easier to rip it out at that point and redo it than to cry forever because it all seemed to work and then cr*pped out after half an hour or even a year.

I've also heard NuHeat is very tough. One contractor told us he was whacking it on the side of something to clean off old thinset when he had to reinstall it and it still worked afterwards. I wouldn't recommend doing *that*, but other folks have also said NuHeat is reliable.


clipped on: 04.29.2010 at 08:53 am    last updated on: 04.29.2010 at 08:53 am

RE: How to choose which brand of towel warmer? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: mongoct on 04.14.2010 at 12:38 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Warmers produce heat, then they have to transfer that heat to the towels.

So a starting point is to compare watts or BTUs from one model to another to ascertain heat output. Output-wise, the more BTUs the heater can generate the faster it'll be able to heat the towels. The more surface area that is in contact with the towel, the faster the heat will be transferred.

If you want to leave it on 24/7 then a low-BTU model might suffice, or a model with round rails might provide adequate heat transfer to the towels. If you want it on a programmed timer or if you just turn it on when you get into the shower, or if you need to batch heat towels one after another, then a high-BTU model with flat rails might be better.

A nice touch is that the higher BTU models can serve as room warmers too.

Personally if you want a true towel warmer I'm a fan of Runtal or Myson. From the towel warmer perspective the Runtal Omnipanel is a great warmer. Myson has a similar design with their Interlude series.

I'm not familiar with Amba. My experiences with Mr. Steam and Warmrails is that they are fairly low-BTU units and thus suited for more casual use than serious warming. They work mind you, and they have their fans. Nothing wrong with that. But they are not as versatile as the higher BTU units.

If you see some outputs listed in watts and others in BTUs, multiply watts by 3.41 to get BTUs. Example, 100 watts equates to 341 BTUs.


clipped on: 04.29.2010 at 08:32 am    last updated on: 04.29.2010 at 08:32 am

RE: What was your best bathroom remodeling decision? (Follow-Up #36)

posted by: claire_de_luna on 03.09.2007 at 11:56 am in Bathrooms Forum

I didn't want to post until we put the last finishing touch on the bathroom. I'm happy to say the details are done, hallelujah! My Bests list includes many of the same things others have mentioned.

Worst decision: Rejuvenation Medicine Cabinets. Trust me, you can do better. There's nothing worth the Huge Hassle I had with this company over these poorly made items.

Best decisions: SunTouch heated floors, even into the shower. I particularly love it in the shower because the floors dry quickly which was an added bonus.

Doorless, curbless, curved wall shower. No glass to clean! Easy access and open feeling to a small space.

Handheld (extra long hose) and regular showerhead with separate on/off and thermostatic valve.

Hinged, drop-down shower seat so it's out of the way when not needed.

Sinks (36 '' high) with Tapmasters, which I love because the basin is closer to my face!

ADA height Toto with Washlet.

Separate reading light over the toilet, switch located next to fixture.

Timers for heat/vent fan. Set it and forget it!

Tile to six feet high, including tiled baseboard which makes the room easy to keep clean.

Shelf ledge instead of counters to keep the clutter to a minimum. I wondered whether it would be enough shelf space; it is.

Tall trash can next to the door so I can access it on the way in/out.

Hooks for towels to save space. This allowed me to have more hooks to hang more items.

Unfitted furniture for storage cabinet/table space. The cost was much more reasonable and I like the option of being able to change these items ''down the road'' if I want to.


clipped on: 04.27.2010 at 06:44 pm    last updated on: 04.27.2010 at 06:44 pm

RE: Asian soaking tub (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: mejca on 08.29.2005 at 01:11 am in Bathrooms Forum

DH and I got an MTI Furo II (better picture) without jets after sitting in one at tubz. We've used the tub twice now and love it (we've only used it twice because the bathroom remodel isn't done yet ...). The tub uses alot of water, but is enjoyable even if the tub is only partially filled and fills quickly with the Grohe Atrio tub filler.

SallyJavalon - I considered a softub for outdoor use if we didn't go with a soaker in the master bath. It never occured to me that I could use one inside. How do you empty a softub?

Moonsma - Here's a list of tubs you can check out =)

Hydrosystem's Fuji
Kohler's greek
Neo Metro Collection's Soho-Bath
THG's Yoko
Ann Sacks' Onzen
Neptune's Tokyo
Neptune's Osaka
Neptune's Nagano
MTI's Yubune
Victoria and Albert's Sorrento
Americh's Beverly 6040
Americh's Beverly 4040
Kaldewei's Kasatsu
Cabuchon's soaking tubs
A site with some installation pictures of a tub that fits in the "standard" size tub space.


clipped on: 04.25.2010 at 09:29 pm    last updated on: 04.25.2010 at 09:29 pm

BLING! Bathroom done... Lots of photos.

posted by: pharaoh on 11.30.2008 at 12:14 am in Bathrooms Forum

Here is my long awaited DIY Bathroom Remodel. We are calling this 99% finished :)

Original Finishes 60s cultured marble counter, 70s metallic wallpaper, 80s peel-n-stick vinyl tiles, no shower

My main Design aesthetic was BLING!

Finishes Polished, high gloss, clean
Primary Shapes Square and sharp
Colors Metallic, white, transparent, brown
Materials Wood, marble, chrome, glass, crystal

Duration 1 year to design, plan, shop and import
6 months from demolition to completion

List of projects
1. Vanity Floating vanity made from bubinga, an African rosewood. Finishes in gloss waterlox varnish
2. Mirror frame Bubinga
3. Shower panels Bookmatched Bubinga with 5 coats of marine varnish
4. Shower doors Hydroslide from CRL, 3/8" starphire glass
5. Shower panel Wood and chrome (ebay)
6. Toilet - Ebay
7. Shower wall and bathroom floor Pure white Sivec (Macedonia) marble 18x18 (over Schluter ditra/kerdi)
8. Bathroom walls- Custom made Starphire glass tiles 4"x18"
9. Tile inserts Swarovski 1"x1" Foiled crystals
10. Sink Marble vessel sink
11. Faucet Chrome waterfall vessel faucet
12. Towel bar, tissue holder Chrome Danze Sirius
13. Sconces Candice Olsen Chrome/Crystal Sconce
14. Chandelier Chrome Snowflake with Swarovski crystal
15. Countertop " Tempered starphire glass with 4" chrome standoffs
16. Window Aluminium double glazed with laminated privacy glass
17. Door Laminated privacy glass
18. Door lever Chrome Omnia
19. LED lighting - under the floating vanity and edge lit glass wall tile




Finally, the LED mood lighting (cycling color)


clipped on: 09.04.2009 at 01:12 pm    last updated on: 09.07.2009 at 06:34 pm

New bathroom almost done

posted by: sweeby on 02.28.2009 at 12:43 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Thought I'd post some pictures of our 99%-complete new bath. As you can see, the bedroom beyond isn't done yet, and there's no door yet, but the bath itself is about done - Yay!

Paint - Ellen Kennon Gustavian Grey
Vanity - Medallion in Knotty Alder wood, Walnut stain
Sink & Toilet - Toto Baldwin/Clayton
Faucets - Husdon Reed
Field Tile - Emser Classica in cream
Accent Tile - Walker Zanger Mizu
Floor - Walker Zanger 'White Cloud' marble, honed.
Countertop - Walker Zanger 'White Cloud' marble, polished.
Wall Sconces - Can't remember!
Fixtures - Kohler Bancroft



clipped on: 09.07.2009 at 11:44 am    last updated on: 09.07.2009 at 11:45 am

RE: Yellow river granite. Does anyone have (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: dkass on 09.15.2008 at 10:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

Melanie - backsplash is Crema Marfil Rustic 1x2 split face tiles from Dal-tile. You can probably see it on their website.


clipped on: 10.11.2008 at 09:15 pm    last updated on: 10.11.2008 at 09:15 pm

RE: Any Kitchen Lighting Plan Guidelines? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: no_clever_name on 09.27.2008 at 09:19 pm in Kitchens Forum

Be sure to think carefully about your lighting needs - I think a lot of the guidelines call for far more lights than are really needed. My KD originally said the guidelines called for 8 can lights for my approx. 14x15 kitchen (this in addition to pendants lights at the sink, an up and down light in the fan, and under-cabinet lighting). It seemed quite excessive, so we cut the number first to 6, then down to 4. The 4 provide ample light; more would have been ridiculous. I have 2 cans in my butler's pantry, and it's almost too bright in there (and of course, they're the only lights not on a dimmer!).

One thing that might have made a bit of a difference is that I used the CREE LED 6" cans. They're expensive (run about a hundred a pop) but they are very energy efficient, don't throw off heat, are supposed to last "forever" ( supposedly 20 years) and provide a nice clean light. I'm very happy I splurged on them.


clipped on: 09.29.2008 at 07:25 am    last updated on: 09.29.2008 at 07:25 am

RE: Great Service from Gaggenau (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: gizmonike on 09.03.2008 at 04:44 pm in Appliances Forum

We reheat plates & pans of food all the time; it usually takes just 12 minutes to get piping hot. No wet plates and the food doesn't dry out the way it usually does in a microwave. We set the steam to 60% & use the default left click (which selects 250 temp if I remember correctly). I'm wondering if your unit was defective this way, since you had so many other problems with it.

Besides steaming veggies, the combi makes perfect rice. I bought the half pans, solid & perforated, & put 1 cup rice with 2 cups water or broth in a half pan & steam. Double for a full pan. 2 half pans are the size of a full pan, and they give us versatility when we steam different foods at the same time.

We use the combi to precook perfect baby-back ribs: season with a dry rub & steam for 90 minutes, then out on the grill at medium temperature to finish.

We also use the combi for baking when we don't want to heat up the larger oven or it's already being used. A 13x9 casserole dish, bread pan, or square pan fits perfectly.


clipped on: 09.10.2008 at 05:30 pm    last updated on: 09.10.2008 at 05:30 pm

RE: Question for Deee and anyone with honed black granite (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: stonegirl on 07.05.2008 at 10:17 am in Home Decorating Forum

Here is my take on this: First - the hone on the counters could have been taken up another grit or two to give a darker, more satin appearance, as opposed to a dull gray color.

It may be too late for that at this point, unless you want to get a well versed stone restoration guy in there able to do just that. It is possible, but you will have to search long and hard to find a good resto guy and he will charge well for his services.

Your other option is to enhance the stone. Now you do have a quandary here: Black Absolute is dense. It will not absorb sealer and should not stain. "But I do have stains on my stone?!" is your reply to this. And yes - the operating word here is "ON" . The relatively rough surface as a result of the honing process traps oils (be it from fingers or dishes) in the micro pores on the surface of the stone. It does not absorb into the body of the stone - that is why you had such good and fast results with the strippers - all the oils were still on the surface of the stone.

So what to do?

First: Do NOT - absolutely NOT - get a topical sealer to try and fix this. It is not a good idea for a food prep surface and these topical sealers WILL flake and peel and be just nasty after a very short time.

The answer is this: Get a good quality IMPREGNATING stone enhancer. Be sure that it will not react to acids. MB6 is a super product and the one that we have used for years. It has a super longevity and does not react to acids. (And no - I do not work for MB Stone - I am just a very satisfied client)

Your next question is bound to be: "But the stone will not absorb anything. Why use an impregnating product?" The answer will be this: The product will indeed not be absorbed as it was designed to be. The stone is indeed too dense. In stead, it will be trapped in the micro pores on the surface of the stone similar to what those nasty finger prints and oil rings were. It will sit "IN" the surface of the stone. You are in essence making the product work where it was not designed to, and that is why it is important to get a product that will not react to acids. The acids you use in everyday cooking - wine, coffee, juice etc. - will come in contact with the sealer and you do not want strange things like ghost rings to turn up after spending all the time and effort enhancing your counters. The stone tops will now have an all-over satiny, darker appearance and those oil and finger marks will not show up any more.

Depending on how often you clean your kitchen, and with what kinds of products you clean it, you might need to re-apply the enhancer on a periodic basis. (As an aside here - we have installed a brushed AB kitchen enhanced with MB6 about 3 years ago. We are still in contact with the homeowner - they have become good friends of ours - and have not had to re-apply the sealer as of yet. They both are pretty active cooks and entertain a lot, so the kitchen sees a good amount of use)

For daily cleaning, use a couple micro fiber towels - one damp and one dry. Clean with the damp one (you could add a few drops of detergent or stone cleaner to this one) and dry the tops with the dry towel. If you want to you could use a stone specific spry cleaner like MB's or the 3-in-1 Stone Cleaner from GranQuartz.

Hope this helped :)

Here is a link that might be useful: MB6 Enhancer


clipped on: 09.08.2008 at 09:54 pm    last updated on: 09.08.2008 at 09:55 pm

RE: Help! Not sure if I want dark granite counter tops (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: buehl on 08.28.2008 at 11:30 am in Kitchens Forum

There can be two reasons you're not receiving the emails:

  • You didn't check the "Check here if you would like copies of follow-ups to your message emailed to you." box when you created/started the post

  • You don't have the email option turned on in your profile.

To turn the email option on:

  1. Go to "Your Profile" (see top of page, above GardenWeb banner)

  2. You will have to log in again

  3. Check to be sure the email address entered is the correct one

  4. Scroll down to bottom to shaded area.

  5. Check the box that says...
    Allow other users to send you email via forms at our site.
  6. Click the "Save Your Member Profile" button

You're done! I don't know if it's retroactive for current posts, but all future posts should have replies emailed to you....assuming you checked the "Check here if you would like copies of follow-ups to your message emailed to you." box when you create a new post.


clipped on: 08.28.2008 at 08:11 pm    last updated on: 08.28.2008 at 08:11 pm

RE: Show me your paper towel holder, please. (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: circuspeanut on 08.18.2008 at 11:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

I finally found the perfect paper towel holder, it ratchets with some tension so you can easily pull one-handedly. It mounts vertically or horizontally on/under a cabinet. Called the 'Perfect Tear paper towel holder.
No photo of it in my former kitchen, but here it is, it looks so insignificant, really, but one of my best kitchen finds ever:

Here is a link that might be useful: Perfect Tear


clipped on: 08.21.2008 at 08:25 am    last updated on: 08.21.2008 at 08:25 am

RE: Plugmold sizes?? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: mariofo on 08.17.2008 at 07:58 pm in Kitchens Forum

I bought my angled plugmold from Task just this week. I only had to give them a company name and that was easy to make one up. I just used my home address and all was fine with them. The 24" SS was 104.00 with 6 outlets and the 18" was 92.00 with 4 outlets. You can get custom sizes and pick your outlet colors as well.
It is more expensive, but the angle will be great and the fact that I will have nothing on my back splash is worth the cost. I can't wait to get them installed.


clipped on: 08.18.2008 at 08:04 am    last updated on: 08.18.2008 at 08:04 am

RE: What are your favorite kitchen gadgets for under $30? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: imrainey on 08.10.2008 at 06:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hey! That clear board with the right angle to keep it in place is nifty. And I have to agree that microplanes are fantastic. Tried the tiny one for nutmeg? It stores a whole nutmeg and a small stick of cinnamon in one side, grates it in the other and then you can sprinkle it from the container below the grate or slide the grate out of the way to measure it. Cool!

Here are some of mine:

This silicone steamer rack is sooooo much easier to deal with than those folding metal ones. It also drains things that clog up wire strainers like tomato juices.
Silicone steamer

I think the Nobel Prize for Kitchen Equipment should go to the gal who figured out that flat whisks do the same job (mostly) AND fit in drawers. I don't know what the silicone thingie with the metal shaft enclosed next to it is called but after I fell in love with the first one I got, I got 5 more so I always have a clean one for stirring in blistery hot pans, stirring stiff batters, cleaning sauces from the sides of pans, etc. I once had a wooden thing the Galloping Gourmet used to call a "spurtle" that I used down to the nub. It was like this only this is much better. Although I think this may be a cross between a spurtle and a spooula.
Flat whisk and ?????

These Nomex insulaters keep hot oven racks from burning forearms. Ask me why I knew I wanted them on the racks in both my ovens as soon as I saw them...

Looking forward to what others have found. Great question!


clipped on: 08.13.2008 at 01:44 pm    last updated on: 08.13.2008 at 01:44 pm

RE: tile installation (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: bill_vincent on 08.08.2008 at 06:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

What you want is the COURSING, not the tile itself. That is, you want the size of one tile and one grout joint. Now, for the sake of argument, lets say that the tile is 3 13/16", and then with a 3/16" grout joint, you have your 4" coursing. Then, yes-- you divide the space you have by that number, in this case, leaving 2- 2 1/2". Now, this is half to just a little more than half a tile, which would be fine at the top of the splash, meaning you could start with a full tile at the countertop, and just cut in the bottom of the cabinets. If you want to balance them, though, take off 3/4", so you have a 3 1/4" piece on the bottom, and then you'd have between 2 3/4" to 3 1/4" pieces along the top.

As for where the tumbled marble will be, I would use something to frame it out, like a pencil liner, or rope trim, or chair rail-- something you can use where it sticks out more than EITHER surface, and does so as an accent, and will also hide the difference in thickness between the marble and the ceramic.


clipped on: 08.08.2008 at 06:42 pm    last updated on: 08.08.2008 at 06:43 pm

RE: Boston Kitchen Showrooms - Need Recommendations! (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: mamadadapaige on 07.31.2008 at 10:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

For seafood, I would suggest Jasper White's Summer Shack. It is on Dalton Street ... walking distance to the Marriott and family friendly. i think Legal Seafood's is okay, but sort of a chain restaurant.

The best restaurants are in the South End so very close by to the Marriott. They are generally more adult oriented places though. There is a really good oyster restaurant called B and G Oyster. If you head over to the intersection of Tremont and Clarendon Street there will be many many fabulous restaurants all around you: Aquitaine (my personal favorite - a french bistro), Hamersley's Bistro, Sibling Rivalry, down a little farther is Tremont 647. Brunch on Sundays in the South End is a great idea too. Most of the restaurants are serving brunch and lots of people come out for brunch so it is fun and great people watching.

My favorite restaurant in Boston these days is Toro. It is Spanish Tapas. It is owned by Ken Oringer, a celebrity chef in these parts (also owner of Clio). It is far and away the best tapas in Boston. It is on Washington St. by Mass. Ave. in the South End. They don't take reservations but if you get there early, you should be okay (early as in 5:30 / 6:00 ... depending on the age of your child, may not be appropriate... also, requires an adventurous eater).

boy, I cannot wait to go to the Clarke Showroom after all of the endorsements. I wanted to get myself out there while in the kitchen design process but it was a little too far for me to manage.

Milford is about 45 minutes outside of Boston... take the mass. Pike to Route 495 South for a few exits.

Also, I second Margieb2's suggestion of Tile Showcase. There is also one in Watertown on Arsenal Street which is closer to Boston. Beautiful tile and really nice displays. and Splash in Newton is mostly a bath resource, however, they do have kitchen sinks on display as well as some kitchen faucets which are plumbed and so you can actually try them out.

oh, there is a really good Indian Restaurant on Newbury STreet called Kashmir. It is at the intersection of Newbury and Gloucester Streets (I think). Also, if you don't have an Anthropologie in your area you should definitely check it out. Great kitchie homeware stuff (and clothes). It is on Boylston (I think at the interesection of Fairfield), very close to your hotel.

Have so much fun!!


clipped on: 08.01.2008 at 08:07 pm    last updated on: 08.01.2008 at 08:07 pm

Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists)

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

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

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

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

Stone Information, Advice, and Checklists:

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

Slab Selection:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Factors determining seam placement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Make sure that the seams are neat and clean.

      • Make sure that the seams are not obvious.

      • Make sure the seams are butted tight

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

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

      • Make sure that the granite has been sealed

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

      • Ask which sealer has been used on the granite.

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

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

    • Check for inconsistent overhangs from the counter edges

    • Check for chips. These can be filled.

    • Make sure the top drawers open & close

    • Make sure that you can open & close your dishwasher

    • Make sure the stove sits up higher than the counter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Check surrounding walls & cabinets for damage

Miscellaneous Information:

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

  • Find a fabricator who is a member of the SFA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Countertop Support:

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

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

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

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

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


clipped on: 07.26.2008 at 11:10 pm    last updated on: 07.26.2008 at 11:10 pm

RE: I can't figure out how to use Gag combi steam oven. (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: gizmonike on 01.10.2008 at 10:22 am in Appliances Forum

I ordered them online from Universal Appliance. I found the descriptions vague, & made sure I checked the part numbers. For example, the pans that came with the oven are KB220-000 and KB220-324. The wire rack is GR220-046. Half pans are good for smaller quantities & 2 can slide into the same slot: KB220-114 is solid, KB220-124 is perforated.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gaggenau steam oven accessories


clipped on: 07.03.2008 at 07:13 pm    last updated on: 07.03.2008 at 07:13 pm

RE: I can't figure out how to use Gag combi steam oven. (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: gizmonike on 01.07.2008 at 11:41 am in Appliances Forum

I suggest you try the plus or minus timer buttons next. They just show time & do not affect the oven operation. Press plus (+) until you get the duration you want to time; the oven will take about 5 seconds to "set" this, will show a steady bell symbol in the display, and will count down to zero & ring a chime. Press the checkmark button to cancel the chime. When you next press the + button, it remembers your last setting. You can press + to increase the time, - to reduce the time, or press + and - together to make it zero.

Pressing the minus (-) button will immediately display a stopwatch counting up; no chime. Press - again to stop the counting. Press + and - together to zero.

There's a clock symbol button at the far left upper position of the buttons that Gagg calls the Timer button; this does control the oven by time. To use this to turn off the oven after a duration, first set your steam & temperature control knobs. Then press the Timer (clock) button once, and use the + button to set your duration. You can use the - button to reduce the time if you go past it. Press the checkmark button to "set" the function and the display will show a square oven symbol. When the duration time is reached, the oven will chime and shut off. However, be aware that if you press any buttons at this point, the oven will resume whatever you set the steam & temp for. To really turn the oven off, you must return the control knobs to zero-zero. To cancel the automatic control before the duration time is completed, press the Timer (clock) button once, then press the + and - buttons together, and turn the temp & steam knobs to zero-zero.

You can press the Checkmark button anytime to check temperature.

Like many machines, Gagg ovens only make sense after you use them awhile. The buttons really are logical, just not in any written language. Also, they are consistent: our Gagg convection oven has exactly the same button functions as our Gagg steam oven.


clipped on: 07.03.2008 at 07:12 pm    last updated on: 07.03.2008 at 07:12 pm

RE: I can't figure out how to use Gag combi steam oven. (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: gizmonike on 01.03.2008 at 04:20 pm in Appliances Forum

If you have one of the models with the two control knobs on the right, the rightmost one is for degree of temperature heat and the one to its left is for percentage of steam, from 100% to 0%. Ignore the buttons on the far left for now.

For steaming, set the temp to 210 (or 220 for sturdy veggies) & the steam to 100%.

The oven has a shortcut: with both knobs in the straight up position, move the temp (right) knob one click to the left, & it will select the default steam settings. For anything else, first set the percentage of steam knob to what you want, then do the temp left click for the default temperature setting for that steam percentage.

If you want to warm up a plate of food, put the plate on the wire rack (usually in the second slot from the bottom), set the steam to 60% & temp to 250 (or left click), and your food will be piping hot in about 10 minutes. This is great for reheating without drying out the food or overcooking it, which a microwave can easily do.

Setting zero or 20% steam means that your oven is now a convection oven, capable of roasting or baking just like regular ovens. Set whatever oven temperature you need.

The far left buttons are for auto start, duration, & stop functions. If you are setting these, the oven could very well ignore subsequent settings unless you cancel the auto function. The checkmark button gives you a status display of current temperature & steam setting; you can push this whenever you want. The up-arrow button purges the steam out of the oven so you can open it without getting a blast of steam in your face & the kitchen; wait to open the door until you hear the beep after pushing it (about 6 seconds). The plus & minus buttons by themselves are timers: Press the plus button until it displays the duration you want, and it will set, countdown to zero, and beep. Press the minus button once & it will count up, but you won't get any beep, just a display of elapsed time. Press plus & minus together to clear the timer function. The plus & minus buttons are also used with the auto start & stop functions to set them. These take some experimenting. I recommend you not use the auto functions until you are confident about the rest of the oven controls.

One thing I wondered about was the need to preheat the oven. If you do preheat with steam, you must purge to open the door, which drops the temperature. I now only preheat if I'm using the oven as a convection oven (zero or little steam).

If you are using just the steam & temp controls, any changes to them should work. If not, I'd try contacting the area Gaggenau office for support & a recommendation for service. I did this for some questions that I had. The manual is more cryptic than I'd like, but I find that the "wheel", reference card, and cookbook that also came with our oven to be very useful.


clipped on: 07.03.2008 at 07:05 pm    last updated on: 07.03.2008 at 07:05 pm

RE: OT: How to Find Photo Shopper? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: lindybarts on 06.23.2008 at 11:07 am in Kitchens Forum

If you don't mind paying...I know one of our very own dear Gardenwebbers is trying to start her Photoshopping biz. She does very professional drawings (in my opinion) Try emailing Squirrelheaven and see if she's got her business going yet. I'm not sure where she stands with it.



clipped on: 06.23.2008 at 11:36 am    last updated on: 06.23.2008 at 11:36 am

RE: Cat_mom - Your backsplash (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: cat_mom on 06.15.2008 at 09:45 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi redroze! I am so glad you like our backsplash. We still love it, too!

I will try to do justice to your questions, but if I miss anything, let me know! BTW if you lived closer to us, I'd tell you to come see the splash in person so you can see it up close an personal!

- The Wolfgang White looks like what I've been hunting for which is a true white colour. How does it read in different lights, and does it have any coloured undertone? I've found it so hard to find a true white, as most glass tends to have a green or blue undertone. Yours in the photo tends to look white with a silvery tinge which would be perfect with our granite.

The tiles are not colored through and through--rahter, they are clear glass, painted on the back. The Wolfgang White is painted white, however, the glass is not low-iron glass. That means that it does read slightly blue-green in some lights/at certain times of day. Only low-iron glass will prevent that naturally occurring phenomenon as far as I know. FWIW, we sprayed the back of a clear glass switchplate with white paint and it read even more blue-green than our tile.

- Did you go with the gloss or the satin, or a mix of both? It looks mixed in your photos but it didn't indicate that on the Artistic Tile website.

The Stilato mosaic in Wolfgang White comes in a mix of glossy and matte/frosted, and is mounted in a repeating pattern on a mesh backing. Certain colors in this pattern are available in the mix, others only in all glossy tile (not sure if an all matte/frosted version is available for any colors, or if any colors are available in both all glossy or the mix).

-Do you find that the tile is very "bling-blingy" in person? I don't want it to overshadow our granite too much, yet both my husband and I feel a little pitter-patter in our hearts when we see glass backsplashes.

I don't find it to be very bling-blingy at all. As I'd mentioned on another thread earlier today, we chose our tile BECAUSE it did not compete with the other elements (cabs and granite, which we happen to love and didn't want overshadowed by the tile). We wanted something that both blended in with our white walls, yet stood out in its own in an understated way (if that makes sense!).

-What colour of grout did you use and what size were your groutlines? Any tips/pitfalls to watch out for during the installation?

Our grout is TEC white, I'll have to look for the exact number/name. We wanted the grout lines to disappear as much as possible.

Biggest tip I can give is use someone experienced with glass tile. Glass has a tendency to chip so you want someone who knows what he/she is doing. Also, you want someone who knows how to back butter the tile (hides the minute chips that are inevitable on at least a few tile). Also, you want someone meticulous--straight lines are a must, as is following the repeating pattern. Our tile guy was awesome, a true craftsman. His attention to detail and his pride in his work were evident from the moment we met him. That's what you want, nothing less (right Bill?).

- Your tiles seem to have so much dimension. Are they flush if you run your hand over them, or do they "pop out" in certain areas to give them a textured effect? Are they smooth in surface or bumpy?

The surface is smooth, not bumpy at all. They are flat, yet more of a soft flatness, not a real crisp, sharp flatness. I wish I could describe it better...

- Are they handmade tiles, meaning are the edges more rough rather than straight-edged?

I don't think they are handmade, and no, the edges are not rough in the least. They are straight-edged.

I will caution you, they're not cheap, but they weren't as expensive as some others we'd considered. I think they ran about $43/sq ft (we might have paid less; our tile guy got a contractor's discount so he ordered them for us).

How much does the Interstyle tile run? I'm trying to get ideas for our upcoming bathrooms renos!

I hope I answered all your questions. If you have any more, or need clarification, don't hesitate to ask. You are welcome to email me as well, or call me if you need more detailed answers. Glad to help!

PS Your granite is beautiful!!!


clipped on: 06.15.2008 at 10:26 pm    last updated on: 06.15.2008 at 10:44 pm