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RE: Stone Cold! (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: plllog on 01.02.2010 at 08:08 pm in Kitchens Forum

I love the title of your thread. I've been saying that all along!! Especially when my friend who isn't entirely robust was talking about lining her shower with stone. But no one talks about it much here. Except when I first joined there was someone in MN who had heating coils under her granite island top.

Great suggestions above. If it's not a matter of laying out the food and having the pretty stone show beneath, you could also use a table pad or even cut a bed pad to size, and put a cloth over it. And even the cork or trivet on top. Very festive.

Then there's the technology. They have cordless hot trays nowadays, for instance. I don't know if they work well. Hot trays do work well. And I saw a holiday caterer this year use three votive candles and an inverted wire bowl as a warming platform for a big bowl full of hot dip. Worked really well. Doesn't have to be fancy chaffing dishes for everything...

So happy to hear that the new kitchen and keeping room worked so well and according to plan!


heating coils in the island
clipped on: 01.02.2010 at 10:08 pm    last updated on: 01.02.2010 at 10:08 pm

RE: Gas cooktop recommendations that are easy to keep 'clean' (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: rhome410 on 09.30.2009 at 04:06 pm in Kitchens Forum

Trailrunner, who cooks amazing things, always raves about her Caldera and I see that Universal has one with some good power for under $1000. If I'd know about these before making my decisions, I would've strongly considered this option.

Here is a link that might be useful: Caldera 36


clipped on: 10.04.2009 at 02:43 am    last updated on: 10.04.2009 at 02:43 am

RE: Hidden Gems (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: rubyfig on 07.15.2009 at 06:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

LAX-- love that knife pullout!

I have an odd one: a single 220 outlet wired for European appliances. My husband is English, and I no longer (ever!) have to hear about how much better the European small electrics are. The electric tagine he lugged all the way from the UK can now work in the US exactly as it was intended. :)


clipped on: 07.16.2009 at 06:50 am    last updated on: 07.16.2009 at 06:50 am

RE: bathtub installation questions - Mongo, anyone else? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: pepperidge_farm on 07.09.2009 at 10:23 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I picked up a nice tip somewhere:

when ready to set the tub into the mortar bed, have the drain hook-up ready too and fill the tub with water so it sets evenly into the mortar bed. We were retards with our first tub (too embarrassed to describe in detail), and this was perfect when we set the master tub!


clipped on: 07.10.2009 at 03:40 am    last updated on: 07.10.2009 at 03:40 am

RE: bathtub installation questions - Mongo, anyone else? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mongoct on 07.09.2009 at 10:22 am in Bathrooms Forum

For the deck, my technique:

Yes, for a "generic" installation you frame it, then use CDX ply on the top of the frame, then 15 lb felt on top of the ply, then use thinset and screws to set the cement board on top of the ply/felt.

If you think you'll be getting a lot of water/splashing on the tub deck, you can treat the top surface of the cement board instead of using felt underneath the cement board. Use RedGard, Kerdi, or some other topical waterproofing to better protect the deck. You can also run the waterproofing up the walls a little bit.

Here's where paths can diverge regarding tub installation.

After the cement board is installed, some will install the tub and leave it shimmed high so that the deck tiles can be slipped under the tub's rim when the tiling is done at a later date. Others will tile the deck first, then drop the tub in on top of the tile. Some others even drop the tub in with the rim in contact with the cement board, then tile up to the edge of the tub rim, and caulk the gap.

I prefer tiling the deck completely then dropping the tub in on top of the tile.

You only put the mortar bed down at the moment when you are ready to set the tub. And remember, it's the base of the tub (mortar bed) that supports the tub, not the rim. You don't want the tub "hanging" from the rim. The mortar bed (or tub feet for a non-mortared installation) should support the tub with the rim just contacting the tile.

After the tub is set you can make the plumbing connections, test for leaks, then tile the front apron.

For a soaking tub there's generally no need to treat the adjacent walls unless you think your soaks will create the occasional tidal wave. If you're going to add a baseboard or trim piece where the tub deck meets the wall, you can fold the tar paper (or previously mentioned Kerdi or Redgard) up the wall a few inches and cover it with the trim piece. Some people also run a row of tile on the wall as a transition.

Caulk the junction where the tub deck meets the wall trim or wall tile.

There should be no need to remove and replace the existing wall board around a soaking tub installation.

I do all the work myself, so I can control the work order and shift from one thing to another. If you're subbing out the tile, you might be better served by arranging things so your tiler can tile everything at once to minimize site visits and installation costs. In that case an access panel for the plumbing would help.


bathtub install
clipped on: 07.10.2009 at 03:39 am    last updated on: 07.10.2009 at 03:39 am

RE: Master Bathroom Mostly Done...Photos (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: tulipscarolan on 03.21.2009 at 08:44 am in Bathrooms Forum

Oops! I'll try posting photos again:


clipped on: 05.12.2009 at 07:53 am    last updated on: 05.12.2009 at 08:41 am

RE: what ideas have you 'borrowed' from other GWers? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: annes_arbor on 04.15.2009 at 11:16 pm in Kitchens Forum

My favorite "borrow" was removable "feet" for cabinets. I don't remember whose kitchen had these (sorry), but her base cabinet trim was attached to the cabinet by velcro. My cabinet maker thought I was a nut case, but I had him put magnets on the top of the feet and the bottom of the cabinet. Now I can just move the feet when I'm cleaning.


clipped on: 04.21.2009 at 11:49 pm    last updated on: 04.21.2009 at 11:50 pm

RE: concrete countertop (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: jdesign on 04.20.2009 at 12:29 am in Kitchens Forum

Okay, excuse me for using the wrong terminology. Maybe Cheng wasn't the first, but definitely on the forefront. Bill Gates wasn't the first to have a computer either. I've only seen Buddy Rhodes's work on his web site and in his catalog that I have. I wasn't that impressed. Cheng's work I've seen at the "World of Concrete" trade show in Las Vegas. His newer stuff was pretty nice. I believe he's evolved to using highly polished molds. I don't use either of their mixes. I've made my own in the past and now use a totally different product and also use a high-polished mold process. The surface of the mold mirrors the surface of the piece. It comes out finished. This is a more refined and sophisticated look. I also use specialized liquid colorants measured to the CC with plastic syringes to achieve colors unattainable with powdered pigments.

No doubt many people are able to make a counter top out of concrete. It depends on what is acceptable to you. If you a want something professional looking you'll need a minimum of skills and supplies; various grit diamond polishing discs, grinder/polisher with water feed and the correct RPM's and certain knowledge of woodworking to build the mold etc... Not to mention the logistics of mixing and pouring a fair amount of concrete in a continuous pour as to avoid creating a cold joint and stress cracking. I still stand by my statement that is isn't that easy to do it right. I've researched industrial chemicals, special aggregates, have many years of building custom furniture and cabinets behind me and there still is a considerable learning curve behind it.


clipped on: 04.20.2009 at 03:53 am    last updated on: 04.20.2009 at 03:53 am

RE: Any pics of solartube or suntunnel, installed? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: debsan on 03.12.2009 at 10:44 am in Kitchens Forum

Don't have one in my kitchen, but we did install one one in a dark hallway upstairs. It's awesome. Wish we'd done it sooner. I'd like to add another and I'm thinking of putting two in my dining area. Attractiveness wise, they aren't any worse than can lights, but the light is free! On moonlit nights, we even get a little glow, which in a dark hallway is very nice.
One more thing, the diffuser can affect the color of the light, so make sure which ever one you pick doesn't have an odd color. My diffuser makes the light appear cool like a florescent would. I would have preferred something warmer, but my model (Velux brand) doesn't have any other diffusers available.


clipped on: 03.16.2009 at 10:31 pm    last updated on: 03.16.2009 at 10:32 pm

Open walls photos . . .

posted by: hostagrams on 03.02.2009 at 11:13 am in Building a Home Forum

I didn't even think of this idea when building our first house, but it was suggested here and sounded like a good idea. So DH and I went through the whole house and took photos, knowing that we might never use them.

So far, we've used them 4 or 5 times, and we're not done with the house -- for example, we thought we were missing a kitchen outlet and the OW pics showed exactly where it was. The guys doing insulation had covered it -- the pics made it easy for the electrician to locate.

As a backboard, I marked two 4 x 8 blue foam sheets in 2' increments so we get an idea of measurements. I made a sign for each room and changeable number slips that were easy to attach to the foam with pushpins.

I started each room at a door or other easily-identified spot, calling this #1, and went clockwise around the room. So far we've been able to find anything we're looking for.

I did this project in about 4 photo sessions. I decided not to print out all of the pictures at this time, so when I was all finished, I made an index of the pictures -- easy to cross reference and find whatever room I need.

To all the people who suggested this, thanks! And to all of you who are not yet at or still at the open wall stage, I recommend you consider the idea!

The outlet on the right was missing!

Showing backboard and signs


clipped on: 03.03.2009 at 01:29 am    last updated on: 03.03.2009 at 01:29 am

If we were single, we'd marry our steam oven

posted by: susurradeluz on 03.02.2009 at 02:30 am in Kitchens Forum

Thanks to a lot of helpful information here on Gardenweb we have been super happy with our kitchen (new home build) since moving in Dec. 19. Want to provide some feedback for others now, especially about the steam oven which was a purchase we made with a LOT of trepidation.

We have a Kitchenaid 30" Steam Assist oven and absolutely adore it. Just a week after moving in, we threw a stuffed turkey in there and prayed Christmas dinner would turn out ok. It came out absolutely gorgeous, tender, and done in 2 1/2 hours, when it would have taken 4 and a half in our old electric oven. We've experimented with breads, other baked goods, pizza (awesome), fresh vegetables (asparagus rocks our world with only a little sea salt), pot roast, casseroles, and find we use the steam feature often and that it improves many of the things we cook in quality and speed. No problems with reliability or noise, its worst trait is a bit slow to preheat (when needed). And its pretty to boot! We've largely had to experiment our way along with it though, it has only the most basic recipe info. It has a proofing and warming feature as well as convection or regular baking so it could be the only oven you ever need. Well, except....

We also went for the GE Advantium 120V wall installation to be our primary microwave and overflow oven. If you don't do much oven cooking, or were very space constrained, this could also be the one oven you'd ever need. We use it about 90% microwave, and 10% overflow from the oven or warming drawer or broiler. It heats up quicker than the Kitchenaid and its smaller dimension makes it ideal for quickly and efficiently warming up leftovers or acting as a warming drawer or broiler so we do use it as an oven more often than I'd expected to. From the day we flipped the switch on, everyone has found it easy to program and it has some cool microwave functions like "melt". We have it installed in an undercounter location at our island, and had a tiny service issue not long after installation (installation problem) and no one blinked about its location, warranty honored no problem.

A couple of other things we've ended up really liking: We had our contractor cut two openings on the backside of our chopping block to hold stainless metal restaurant bins which we use to catch trimmings, to hold finished veggies or meat to be carried over to the stove, to grate cheese into, and even have used it on taco night as the place for salsa and toppings. We have plastic clear lids for the bins, and extras in a drawer so we can just slip out the dirty bin and replace it with a clean one. Each bin cost us about $5 with the lid. They come different depths and widths so it could be a retrofit/remodel item too.

We also have liked the two granites we picked out: Cambrian Antiqued Black, and Santa Cecilia. The black is low key and although it shows some dust, its easy to clean and gets lots of compliments for its leather-like texture and depth. The Santa Cecilia covers up all cooking spatters almost too well, I've trained myself to wipe it after cooking there because if I look at it to see if its dirty I'd probably miss most of the mess.

Two things not so great: Our island is too deep for anyone to reach all the way across and is very hard to keep clean or utilize effectively for more than just piling stuff. And we inserted in-baseboard under cupboard pull out steps in two locations because I am short (4'11") and I don't use the steps at all. They are hard to reach and wobbly to stand on.

Hope this helps anyone with similar interests!


clipped on: 03.02.2009 at 10:01 pm    last updated on: 03.02.2009 at 10:01 pm

RE: What to look for -- framing? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: iliya1 on 02.28.2009 at 08:58 pm in Building a Home Forum

Every room must be square. Rather than measure diagonals, you should start from an outside wall and establish a baseline. Then measure each end of your inside walls to establish parallelism.

Next, each wall must be plumb. Your level should be AT LEAST 6' long.

Next, run a string-line across the middle of every wall to see if any studs are bowed either in or out. Don't worry, unless you used steel studs, there WILL be some that need adjusting. If they stick out, you true them up with a portable power planer. You simply plane off the high spots. If they are bowed in, you must add layers of thin material to build them up. Building supply stores sell 1-1/2" wide asphalt strips especially for this purpose. However, ripped strips of 1/8 plywood works better because it will never "relax" like the asphalt paper does.

ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT CHECKS IS: Make sure the door openings are PERFECTLY plumb and PERFECTLY in-line. If not, hanging the doors will be a nightmare.

Correct any square and plumb problems now! Once the plumbing and electrical goes in, it will be a lot harder to correct. Depending upon how long it will take you to drywall, you may want to wait until just before the drywall to correct any problems with the studs bowing in or out. This is because the studs my continue to twist and bow.

Everything should be close to perfect. If it isn't, fix it now. If you let it go, you will regret it. Every finish detail will cause you grief if walls are out of square or plumb. Especially things like tile, hardwood flooring and door jambs.

Go around each bathroom and closet and determine where you need backing for TP holders, towel bars, clothes hanger poles, etc. Any wall hanging bathroom basins? You MUST have backing in the correct places. Put it everywhere you think you MIGHT need it. It's cheap and easy and presents a difficult problem if you need to hang something on the wall and it's not there.

As far as the steel beam hanging down, you may need to cut 1/4" nailing strips to bring the drywall nailing surface down to that level. Talk you your drywall guy about it. He will tell you exactly what you need to do.


clipped on: 03.01.2009 at 11:45 pm    last updated on: 03.01.2009 at 11:45 pm

RE: To Advantium or not to Advantium that is the question (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: peterxi on 02.19.2009 at 09:58 am in Kitchens Forum

When we faced the "under counter" dilemma several years ago, we chose what Kitchenaid called the Ultima oven at that time for this very reason--the instructions allowed for undercounter installation. I'm not following the appliance innovations in this type of oven...but note that most people talk about the GE Advantium as the standard. Several years ago, it appeared to me that both the ultima and advantium were fine.

The model number is The model is HBHS179 and its now called a convection microwave. I think there is a quartz heating element in the Kitchenaid product--but after looking at the website and the owners manual its not very clear to me. You may need to do a bit of research on this: its confusing what is in this product and how it relates to the Whirlpool products.

The product has been useful to us--but we haven't had anything to compare to.

I post the section below that I cut and pasted from the owners manual (current) that describes undercounter installation

For undercounter installation, it is recommended that
the junction box be located in the adjacent right or left
cabinet. If you are installing the junction box on rear wall
behind the microwave oven, the junction box must be
recessed and located in the upper or lower right or left corner of the cabinet; otherwise, the microwave oven will not fit into the cabinet opening.


clipped on: 02.20.2009 at 02:09 am    last updated on: 02.20.2009 at 02:09 am

RE: Does anyone have a whole house fan? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: drdraft on 07.02.2008 at 12:19 pm in Building a Home Forum

There is a lot of misleading information out there about these products. Whole house fans (known as Whole House Comfort Ventilators) by the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) work great at cooling the house down when it is cooler outside than inside. The traditional whole house fans move an enormous amount of air and create a gentle breeze and a lot of noise! The lower flow fans like the Tamarack or Master Flow move much less air, cooling the house slowly. Fans like the SuperFan and Comfort Stream can draw air from 4 rooms meaning you can close the bedroom doors and still get ventilation. They also exhaust directly to the outside so you don't pressurize the attic. And their air flow is certified by HVI. Be sure that the windows are open when you use any of these products.

Here is a link that might be useful: Comfort Stream information


clipped on: 02.16.2009 at 04:24 am    last updated on: 02.16.2009 at 04:24 am

RE: Anyone put in a whole house Continuous Ventilation System? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: fasola-shapenote on 02.15.2009 at 06:41 am in Building a Home Forum

I have a recommendation for whole-house fans, and that is to go with the ones made by Triangle Engineering of Arkansas (made in the USA!).

These things move more air than any other brand. As an example: the 36" belt-drive model sold at Lowes & Home Depot moves 6,900 CFM on its highest speed. The 36" one that Triangle makes moves 10,600 CFM.

I just put one of these in last week and am so taken with it that I'm evangelizing for Triangle now.

These things are much higher quality than the other brands too -- these are made with very heavy-gauge solid welded steel (as opposed to the thin, flimsy metal - often aluminum - that other brands use). They use a very solid motor made by Emerson, the best of the top three motor-making companies (the other two being Fasco and A.O. Smith). They come pre-framed on a wood frame for installation, AND they have sponge-rubber noise-dampening material between the fan and the frame, so they are much quieter than the other brands. Also, Triangle holds a patent on an automatic belt-tensioning system these things use, so you don't have to worry about getting the tension right when you install the fan (or in the years thereafter as the belt loosens up).

Also, they come in more sizes than the other companies -- from 24" all the way up to 48" blade diameter (which moves a ridiculously whopping amount of air; no one else makes one that big).

They're sold online at Southern Tool amongst other places that ship nationwide, so they're available wherever you live.

Also, Triangle re-brands some of these as a private label for Dayton, which is the "store brand" of Grainger - so if you have a Grainger store near you (check your phone book or their website), you can buy one there. I will say this, though - Grainger/Dayton makes their own shutters, and those shutters are much better than the one Triangle makes. Triangle makes great fans, but crappy shutters. Luckily, they're sold separately -- so buy a Triangle fan and Dayton shutters; money can't buy better products.

They also re-brand some for a company out in San Francisco called "Fanman" (a/k/a "Delta Breeze").

A word to the wise -- these fans move a lot of air, so make sure to install at least the recommended minimum amount of attic exhaust space (gable vents, soffit vents, roof vents, some combination thereof, whatever works for you) - if you don't have enough, the fan will operate at reduced capacity, and there will be a backpressure which will cause the shutters to rattle when the fan is in operation (any time you hear whole-house fan shutters rattling, you know there isn't enough exhaust space). Oh, and one other thing -- only buy a belt-drive whole-house fan, don't EVER buy a direct-drive model...the direct-drive models are at least five times louder, they sound like standing on an airport runway next to an old prop plane getting ready to take off.

Several of the dedicated whole-house fan installing companies have chosen to use Triangle fans; that should tell you something. These companies want satisfied customers, so they use Triangle and only Triangle.

Refer to for more info

Here is a link that might be useful: Triangle whole-house fans


clipped on: 02.16.2009 at 04:22 am    last updated on: 02.16.2009 at 04:22 am

Toto Guinevere - so disappointed! looong review

posted by: washergirl on 01.14.2009 at 12:52 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Doing a recent search, Toto doesnt seem to have this exact toilet on their website anymore, but it is still sold online. I wanted to share my experience to help others who may be shopping for this toilet or other Toto toilets that share the same features. FYI it is hard to do a toilet review without discussing certain bodily functions. Ive tried to be as delicate as possible, but wanted to give a heads up to the squeamish.

I recently renovated our bathroom and chose the Toto Guinevere 1.6 with Sanagloss for several reasons:
- I wanted a one-piece, skirted toilet for ease of cleaning (lots of males in this house that cant seem to hit the mark if their life depended on it),
- I also wanted improved performance over the existing, $50 builders toilet that was in our 10-year old home (one time flushing, less clogs, etc).
- I was also drawn to the "double cyclone" flushing system that, according to company literature (now looking at Totos website for the "double cyclone", this description has been changed I wonder why?) at the time I purchased the toilet claimed "Using two powerful nozzles, the Double Cyclone flushing system creates a forceful centrifugal action that cleans the rim and bowl thoroughly with every flush. The rim has no holes, which makes it easier to clean and offers a seamless appearance". I wanted a toilet that would flush all remnants down, on the first flush.
- Sanagloss cleaning again though I actually think it is really more of a preventative for hard water staining. Havent had the toilet long enough to comment on that
- I liked the look of it it has an attractive appearance (for a toilet) that fit in with our traditional dcor
- Based on the fanatical obsession of Toto owners, I figured I couldnt go wrong with any model I chose

From the first day, however, I have been sadly disappointed in this toilet.

My first issue is with the noises this toilet makes. When you use it, as soon as any liquid enters the bowl, it begins to make a trickling or dripping noise. This also happens intermittently after flushing. I called Toto and they told me that when extra liquid in the bowl is introduced it will drain out to balance the water levels all toilets do it, but most have porcelain trapways so you dont hear it. This toilet (and several other Toto toilets) has this PVC unifit rough-in that causes you to be able to hear this happening. Ive found info on this via Google searches and people say you get "used" to it like a cuckoo clock. Well, I dont really want to have to get used to my $700, brand-new toilet making weird noises that most other toilets do not especially if it is not due to some sort of wildly improved performance. Even if I was okay with "getting used to it", EVERY guest that uses my bathroom tells me afterwards that my toilet is leaking. I really dont want to have to explain this situation to every visitor for years to come (someone suggested hanging a framed explanation over the toilet - just the touch of elegance I am looking for...) The Toto rep gave me an adjustment I could do that reduces how much water is in the bowl so that it takes more liquid to start the dripping. This "fix" results in almost an empty toilet bowl, however, which looks strange and would likely exacerbate the "sticking" problem I am also having (see next paragraph).

The "double cyclone" technology is not exactly living up to its billing, either. The entire flush basically consists of a gentle swirl of water around the bowl with a lazy gurgle at the bottom. There is absolutely no force behind it at all and anything that gets stuck to the bowl (waste getting stuck to the bowl happens far more with this toilet than any other Ive used not sure why) is not rinsed away, even after multiple flushings. Solid waste requires two flushings EVERY time the first gets most of it, the second to get all the floating little pieces that are always left behind (sorry to be gross). You then must use a toilet brush to clean what is still stuck to the bowl EVERY time you introduce solid waste. I did not have to do this with my builder-grade toilet it usually needed two flushings, but took care of everything with the second flush 90% of the time. The Toto rep confirmed that the "double cyclone" is just water entering the bowl out of two sideways holes rather than several under the rim so that the water simply falls into the bowl in a circle instead of straight down. He told me "its not like there is any extra water pressure or anything". Silly me how could I have misinterpreted "powerful nozzles" and "forceful centrifugal action" to mean that there might be water pressure enabling the toilet to actually do what they said it would? In reality, while the cyclone thing might rinse under the rim a bit better, by the time it has swirled around the top of the bowl, there is actually LESS force by the time it reaches the lower part of the bowl than a traditional toilet so it doesnt rinse the entire bowl as well.

Ive had the toilet for about 6 weeks and it clogged for the first time 2 weeks ago. That puts me right about where I was with my old toilet about a clog a month. My husband also said the Toto was much harder to plunge for some reason.

On the positive side, the toilet IS very nice looking and I love the one-piece/skirting from a cleaning standpoint. I also like the two-single holes from the double-cyclone as opposed to the under-rim holes which created an impossible-to-clean crevice. Overall, however, I am so disappointed in this toilet especially for the price. I almost replaced all three toilets in my house with Totos at the same time I am so relieved now that I didnt cant imagine I would ever choose a Toto again. I know people love Totos and Im not trying to start a war. I just wish it was easier to pick a decent toilet and know what you are getting up front (it is not as if you can return them). I found the marketing/description of this toilet to be very misleading. Hopefully my experience will be useful to someone. Ive gotten a lot of great information from this site, but probably dont share information as often as I should.

** One thing worth noting for anyone wanting a skirted toilet you will probably need to have your water line relocated moved out about 2" to accommodate the wider back of the toilet. Obviously makes a big hole in the wall and increases installation costs. It wasnt an issue for us as we were gutting the bathroom and the plumbing supply place made us aware of this at the time of purchase, however, if you werent aware of this I could see it being an unpleasant surprise if you purchased this toilet online and were just hoping to swap out an existing toilet in a wallpapered bathroom, for example.


clipped on: 02.03.2009 at 12:52 am    last updated on: 02.03.2009 at 12:52 am

RE: Ikea Kitchens. Am I missing something? (Follow-Up #54)

posted by: davidro1 on 01.23.2009 at 02:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

What I have found in general about IKEA Kitchens:

Adds useable space to a kitchen by going frameless.
Sleek full overlay look; Euro-style metabox drawer.
Ikea's $ priority is hardware (hinges, sliders).
Full extension drawers, and soft close doors / drawers.
Dampers ARE available for the 153 degree hinges, not from IKEA, but from a Blum hardware rep.
A flat fluorescent light panel can replace the floor of the 30" and the 39" upper cabinets. (It's an IKEA Rationell lighting product).
Tall wall oven cabinets are the same depth as base cabinets.
Cabinet sides are joined by cam locks and dowels.
Finishing quality is good.
Backs are not solid and that is fine, A-OK.
The Depth of an IKEA cabinet can be cut back to less than 22" deep because the sliders are not longer than 21.5" (Mod not warrantee'd by IKEA).
White face frames can be dealt with pretty easily.
To Use Available Space under the 30"high Base Cabinets, put drawer boxes between the legs and cover the front as you wish.
Drawer fronts come in 6" / 6.25" / 11.25" + 12.75" / 12"+12" heights.
A 15" high ("deep") drawer front can be made from a 15"x30" door turned sideways.
Steep learning curve not friendly for first-timers, to uncover the above info.
Ordering and assembly is easy, even with modifications and customizing orders (deselecting components, adding others).
Regardless of images seen on the web or in store documents, anything can be bought separately.
--- Except for certain drawer fronts which come only in kits of 4 (and not 4 of the same).
--- Except for the drawer front facing which you need for interior drawers: these are specific hardware pieces connected to the remaining portion of the drawer; these must be specified to be included in orders for interior drawers.

... and still learning:

You can make your own Pull-Outs (18"w, 21"w, 24"w, 30"w, 36"w)
--- Also, you can install a wire basket instead of an interior drawer.
--- Also, you can install a Variera "pullout basket" instead of an interior drawer. E.g. under a sink, depending on shape of sink.
A Pull-Out can have 2 Attached drawers instead of just One. The Top one's attachment can be removable, with compatible Blum hardware, not available from IKEA. (See Blum site).

To get a Two-Level Cutlery Drawer, put a shallow interior drawer inside a regular drawer.

Some Finishing Panels are 3/8" thick, some 1/2", some 5/8", some 3/4".

To get a handle-less look
A.) Use Strecket handles, or make your own handles even more discrete than Strecket.
B.) Use no handles and plan for only two high drawers, with a gap above the top drawer.
The gap allows one to reach the top of the drawer front in order to pull from there.
Under the lower drawer one uses a foot to pull that drawer. Not optimal but it works.
C.) Use Solar drawer fronts.

Please confirm or comment if anything above is inaccurate or not true. Thank you for your comments!



clipped on: 01.24.2009 at 10:45 am    last updated on: 01.24.2009 at 10:46 am

RE: What was your best bathroom remodeling decision? (Follow-Up #105)

posted by: monsoon99 on 09.08.2008 at 05:34 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I am working on my remodel but one thing I did not read above and will add when I do my bathroom is add a niche in the wall next to toilet about a foot and half off of the floor and the size of a standard magazine with a bar running across the middle for magazine storage. Hate them in a rack on the floor near toilet.


clipped on: 01.11.2009 at 02:44 am    last updated on: 01.11.2009 at 02:44 am

RE: cost-effective home dimensions (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: mightyanvil on 12.28.2008 at 09:27 am in Building a Home Forum

How builders might price the work is another matter entirely. We're talking about designing in the hope of reducing the actual cost of the work. In fact, a builder might bid what he thinks you will pay and take the savings for himself.

So far it has been established that smaller houses are cheaper. You need to decide how large the house needs to be and how the spaces will be used and then find an efficient way to frame it not the other way around.

If you tune the room sizes to be an odd number of feet plus 4 inches between bearing studs, there would be no waste of standard length joists (10-0, 12-0, 14-0, etc) but if you ignored that idea and made the room spans a foot larger, you could use the scrap for solid blocking but that adds an extra cut per joist. Avoiding spans between those dimensions might avoid wasting 4 to 8" per joist and save you between $8 and $16 per room (averaging in the attic joists and rafters) assuming you could get the rooms to layout with those dimensional constraints. You night be able to reduce the cost of the house by $80 to $160.

Of course, none of the perimeter framing dimensions would likely be in multiples of 16", much less 48", so the scrap sheathing would probably wipe out any savings.

After you've designed a few houses you don't think about room dimensions as potential cost savings opportunities unless you are building a one room house or planning to build a full sized house a hundred times.

Design the house the way you want to live in it and ask a competent professional to design a frame for it with minor modifications to the design. Better yet consult at the preliminary stage of the design.

Sure, long span beams are expensive but if you really want a big open space the cost might be well worth it and sometimes long span engineered joists can reduce or eliminate that additional cost. Sometimes the least efficient way to enclose a given floor area is to use relatively small spans if they require more bearing walls, beams and footings. If you can design an efficient basement and first floor structure the rest will fall into place.

Where I live attics are often heated for HVAC equipment and additional living space so insulation is usually installed in the rafter framing and the rafter sizes are usually determined by the insulation depth rather than the span. In other climates, roof trusses are often used.

There are many simple plan houses on the internet from architects but I would avoid the big plan mills.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rick Thompson


clipped on: 12.29.2008 at 05:10 am    last updated on: 12.29.2008 at 05:10 am

RE: How hard is it to get thinset smooth enough for Kerdi system? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: nc8861 on 12.17.2008 at 02:12 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I have just finished my kerdi installation and have some advice....

1 - don't use hardibacker - use either the recommended sheetrock, or Mongo uses Durock quite a bit. Hardibacker made it infinitely more painful for me b/c it makes the thinset skim over too quickly.

2 - Use non-modified thinset so you don't get the lecture from the schluter reps if you call them with questions. I used versabond (slightly modified) b/c everyone at johnbridge tile forums uses versabond. Seems to be fine.

3 - Don't squeeze too much thinset out from under the kerdi. I think I probably squeezed too much out especially around the drain area. Oh well. I'm getting some kerdi fix to seal things up better and be sure.

As far as how smooth it is? Not sure what you mean. If you make your thinset a good bit runny, you can mold the kerdi however you like. I've heard of some using rolling pins to embed it in the thinset. I used a big concrete float to press it in. Mongo uses a drywall knife. I have a few negligable ridges/humps here and there but nothing that can't be evened out with thinset on the tile surface.


clipped on: 12.21.2008 at 10:08 pm    last updated on: 12.21.2008 at 10:09 pm

RE: best energy saving building techniques (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: energy_rater_la on 06.11.2008 at 09:12 pm in Building a Home Forum

the draping of the radiant barrier..can you explain that?
Is it a mojave desert & evaporative cooling application?

In my hot humid climate energy costs are low to me, but higher to others who are not so lucky with their utility company. (I call us 'captive ratepayers'..LOL!)
I think the biggest mistake we make here is oversizing of hvac systems. Just hard to shop for hvac when your bids range 2 to 4 ton difference on bids. Consumers need an apple to apples comparism in bids.
That aside..
Build it tight ventilate it right. A tight house is more energy efficient, cost less to heat and cool.

From the slab up air sealing should be a part of the plan.
Sill seal under sole minimum a double bead of caulking.
We use solid sheeted corners with a 1/2" foil sheathing board..and 1" foil sheating board over the rest of the studs. Once this is attached, seams are taped and holes are foamed & sealed as they are made. This is our first defense for water management, and it also improves the air barrier and provides a thermal barrier.
If tyvek is used ( not necessary behind sealed foam sheathing) it is located on the studs..before the foil/foam sheathing.
A lot of people here solid sheet the houses with plywood
which is a great idea. many solid sheet to the interior..I like it, and strength is the same.

Windows ..any brand... Ufactor of .35, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of .35 these are the minimum numbers and hold true for all climates. In northern climates a low e coating will refelct heat back into the home, in southern climates it will reflect the heat out. Location determines the location of this low e coating.
If the window has low e..but the frame is aluminum..the shgc goes up to .69 these are windows that will condensate.

Insulation...again in my climate an R15 in a 2x4 is fine.
I never tell my clients what type of insulation to buy. I don't like the cost & in many cases the application of foam insulation..and frankly haven't really seen that foam houses test better than well sealed homes with conventional insulations.
Install of insulation is the key.
(I'm sure you home owners will be sick of hearing that soon!)
Flashing of windows, doors, roof valleys..all of that stuff is critical to good water management. Setting up your wall's lines of defense now is reasonable cost & worthwhile the time to educate to get it done correctly.

Recessed lights...ICAT insulation contact air tight ONLY!
There should be a law about those IC cans somewhere..each IC (non airtight) recessed can is equal to 1' of uninsulated attic. And the crap that enters homes with these cans is unreal!
think about the insulation you install in the attic around these cans (and any opening from the attic into the conditioned space). The air is sucked from the attic when the hvac system is running and the air from the attic is filtered through the insulation around the hole...

Bath fans should be sealed at the cut in the sheetrock..this is often another big humidity issue here.

All fans & vent hoods should be vented to exterior.

Wire penetrations, stove vents, all penetrations into the conditioned space should be sealed.

hvac..what do I say here??
load calculation. pay for it. make sure that everyone bids it the same. buy the most efficient system you can comfortably afford.
Make sure that ducts are mastic sealed.
if you locate ducts in the attic they should be suspended with a 3" duct strap.
Return air chases should be sheetrocked and sealed air tight.
Supply boxes mastic sealed to sheetrock ceilings.
Duct take offs on the plenum should be mastic sealed.

Oversized systems cost more to operate, wear out sooner, and do not remove humidity. Bigger is not better!

Heat pumps are more efficient than elec strip & a/c.
Gas units are effieicnt..up from 80% to 96+%. A/C or HP should be at LEAST 14 seer.

If you can put your heating system in the living space you are a step ahead of the game..but if you can locate the ductwork in the conditioned are miles ahead!
This is a planning stage step. But in the long run..its worth it. Mostly I see these in homes of commercial hvac contractors..they understand!

Put the marble countertops in next year & invest in the things that will last that you will not as easily upgrade later.

I'm a firm believer in testing the home & the ductwork for leakage. Having a ton and a half of ductleakage to the attic is not efficient! Also testing the home allows you to find leakage sites that may have been missed. Most can be addressed, and should be by the builder.
If the house falls/tests that the air changes are less than
,25 (ach per air hour) fresh air should be introduced into the house. HRV ERV barometric damper...
Many new homes are consitered 'tight' but are not. You don't know until you test. Everything else is a guess.

I really think that performance based contracting and energystar are where we are headed. We are going to have to do something!

Remember Codes exist for good reasons, but they are still the legal minimim safety allowed by law.

best of luck to everyone!

Oh and buy Joe Lstrburik's (sp?) builder's guide for your climate. I'm on my second copy of hot humid climates!


clipped on: 10.25.2008 at 02:07 am    last updated on: 10.25.2008 at 02:07 am

RE: Would you give up a corner cabinet for more drawer space? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: sara_the_brit_z6_ct on 09.30.2008 at 01:40 pm in Kitchens Forum

I gave up corner storage to make sure I got more drawers. 1 lazy susan is enough - and I have a pretty small kitchen, but it was worth it to me, and has made the space SO much more functional.
One thing I did do, though, was got the GC to build a tray slot/cutting board storage in the angle, because there were a few inches to play with. It's angled into the centre of the dead space, with a door made to match the rest of the Ikea cabinets. The whole arrangement has been just brilliant for us.


clipped on: 10.02.2008 at 05:21 am    last updated on: 10.02.2008 at 05:22 am

RE: Bertazzoni Thread #3 (Follow-Up #117)

posted by: anzac on 06.21.2008 at 10:49 pm in Appliances Forum

I bought the 36" stainless steel Berta and am very happy with it. Apart from everything else, it looks gorgeous. :) There was a glitch when it was first installed -- it kept heating to 475 and wouldn't hold a lower temperature. It turns out that if you use liquid propane a special adjustment has to be made behind the oven knob. It requires a special long very narrow screw driver, so make sure that gets done if you're on LP.

My installer also recommended I get a mercury-style oven thermometer to check the temperature accurately -- he said the dial-type thermometers are hopelessly inaccurate. So I'm waiting for the Taylor thermometer I ordered from Amazon. In the meantime, the muffins and brownies I baked on the weekend came out just fine.

Under normal circumstances I would have been cooking up a storm by now, but we've spent just about every evening since my Berta arrived visiting my parents-in-law who've been hospitalized after a car accident. Sorry that's TMI -- just felt the need to justify why I haven't used my new pride and joy more!

Good luck with your purchase. I must say I found all the posts on GardenWeb enormously helpful in making my decision.


clipped on: 08.04.2008 at 02:54 am    last updated on: 08.04.2008 at 02:54 am

RE: DIY copper countertop (Follow-Up #103)

posted by: circuspeanut on 07.19.2008 at 03:57 pm in Metalworking Forum

Well, we did it. It's a lot of work, but I can say that these countertops are gorgeous and well worth the time invested. And they cost me about $21/sf total, which is almost as pleasing as the knowledge that they are fairly green and can be repurposed by whomever comes after me.

1. Create the substrate out of mdf. We used fairly nice stuff made ostensibly from recycled fiber. We glued two 3/4" sheets together with construction cement, then screwed them tightly from the bottom (we wanted the top absolutely smooth so as not to have to use levelling compound. Later this became vital since the adhesive we used was fabulous for gluing copper to mdf, but not to anything else).
Clamped overnight. Then cut with table saw and dry-fit them to the cabs:

2. Then I flipped the pieces over and applied RedGard waterproofing membrane on the bottom and back -- everywhere we weren't gluing copper. Just in case, since it is a kitchen. It's awful gloppy stuff that you roll on like liquid plastic and dries bright red:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

3. Next we took 1/4" by 1.5" copper barstock and mitered it just like wood to fit the edges. It cut just fine on an old compound miter saw with a high-tech metal-cutting blade by Tenryu. Glued it to the mdf using TC-50 adhesive by Better Bond, clamped it well:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

4. I was highly impressed by the TC-20 adhesive: no VOC and it set enough to handle lightly in about 15 minutes. We kept the edging clamped for a few hours just in case. All edged, a counter piece looked like this:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

5. Cut the top copper sheet with a metal blade on the jigsaw. Dry fit it with about 1/4" to 1/2" to spare. We used 20oz Revere copper sheet from a local building materials supplier. It comes in 3foot and 4foot widths up to 120" long.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

6. Glued that sucker on! Nerve-wracking, but in retrospect the easiest part of the entire job. We fit as many factory-cut edges to the countertop edges as was feasible, then J-rolled the whole schmear and clamped it but good on all sides, using extra mdf scraps as buffers so as not to dent the copper with clamps:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

7. Used a router to trim all the necessary edges to just barely overlapping the edging, if at all. No pics, sorry. As aliceinwonderland can attest, do this outside in the driveway or garage if at all possible!!

8. Then we sanded it up using 180 grit. The copper is almost shockingly workable -- you can put whatever pattern you'd like into it with the sander, a hammer, whatever. [I'd suggest waiting to do this until after you've glued the smooth sheets first, for optimal adhesion.] I worked my way up to about 600grit mesh on the orbital sander, just to make it nice and smooth.

9. I'm glad we decided to do the edging first, since this put the main seam on the side rather than top, and it's virtually invisible from just a little distance away:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

10. I was still concerned about durability and the seam opening up, so I went back and stuffed some Just For Copper epoxy onto/into it. Sanded it back down so the seam is very tiny and smooth, and I feel better knowing that it's probably bombproof. It's obvious that the seam will pretty much vanish as the copper oxidizes, too.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

11. Due to an L-shape, we did have one place where we absolutely had to join two sheets on top. We used the factory-cut edges for these, and then I epoxied atop the line with Just For Copper and sanded it well. Over time, the line will hopefully become less noticeable as well, though it doesn't look bad (honestly, the photos make it look much worse than it is):
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Ta dah!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

So that's that! Feel free to contact me with any questions, but better yet post them here for everyone to benefit -- this thread was my sole inspiration and guidance during the process.
Cheers and my heartfelt thanks to jenathegreat, aliceinwonderland, and all of you for the inspiration.


clipped on: 07.24.2008 at 11:31 pm    last updated on: 07.24.2008 at 11:31 pm

Door Vendors (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: shelayne on 07.19.2008 at 01:39 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi Caligirl,

I actually am thinking about going with a different company than the one I was leaning toward. The one I am looking at now is called I got a quote (the day after I e-mailed them, so they are quick)for less than $700, including shipping! This is paint grade wood, but the better woods were not bad at all. This company is out of Texas. I even mixed it up a bit from what they offer on their website, and they gave me a quote for exactly what I stated. They say it takes approximately 9-10 days once they receive your order.

I am going to order a couple of doors from them, but so far I am liking what I am seeing. You really cannot beat $8.99 a square foot!(They also do NOT upcharge for drawer fronts as other companies tend to do.) I inquired about the Pattern B hinge boring, and that was also part of my quote.

The other company was I really liked the doors that I received, but they do not do the hinge drilling I need for the Blum hardware. I asked specifically, and he said it is all done by machine, and they only have the one pattern. Too bad. The nice thing about refacedepot, though, is that you see the cost of your doors immediately. You choose your door style, wood, edge profile, etc., enter the dimensions, and the total price is shown. I liked knowing what I was "getting into".

I noticed that some posters on Ikeafans have used for their doors. They do the specific Pattern B hinge boring, but I do not know of their prices. One poster said their quote was $1000 less than Scherr's and averaged to about $17 per square foot.

HTH! Let me know how it goes! I am excited to see your kitchen! :^)


clipped on: 07.22.2008 at 04:48 am    last updated on: 07.22.2008 at 04:48 am

RE: DYI Owner/Builder (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: bellamay on 07.12.2008 at 07:23 pm in Building a Home Forum

Don't forget Workers Compensation insurance and a large liability policy co-joined with a builders risk policy. You are legally responsible to carry work comp for anyone who is injured on your site and without a corporate shield you will be liable for their injuries also. Since you have decided to GC your own project you should do the research and understand what being a GC is....we don't just stand around and wait for a check. We make sure EVERYONE is paid,(are you collecting lien waivers?) safe (do you know how and when roofers need to wear harnesses, or when safety glasses are required?) and completing their work to a quality standard( I know you don't know this) that will keep your house together for a long time. Without the knowledge of what the above entails.....

I also have to add my agreement to some of the other GC's in the forum. Why do people think we get paid to build houses? If it were easy, everyone would do it!

Good luck and don't take the insurance advice lightly or your could lose everything you own.


clipped on: 07.20.2008 at 03:50 am    last updated on: 07.20.2008 at 03:50 am

RE: Dish Drawer Dilemma (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: massive8 on 07.07.2008 at 11:17 pm in Appliances Forum

DD DW's are impractical. Kinda cool, but kinda dumb. The only advantage they have over regular dishwashers is if you are entertaining for guests alot and need to start loads at different times. If you don't than I recommend you get a regular dishwasher. They clean alot better, have more features, and are quieter, if you intend on spending the same amount of money on the DD DW. Kenmore Elite is actually my favorite brand of dishwasher, I would recommend you get the top of the line regular one, which is sensational.


clipped on: 07.08.2008 at 07:02 am    last updated on: 07.08.2008 at 07:02 am

RE: Scherrs doors with IKEA boxes? (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: shelayne on 07.06.2008 at 03:50 pm in Kitchens Forum

Just FYI-- for the IKEA pullouts, you have to drill your own holes on the IKEA pullout doors, as they they use the same doors for cabinet uppers, and they are only bored for hinges. The drawer pack apparently has the template. I haven't seen it, yet, as my entire kitchen of flat packs is stacked in my garage. Do a search on ikeafans, as this has been discussed previously. They may even have the templates, but it is easy enough to make your own, using an IKEA drawer. Get an Arlig drawer front, as they are approximately $2.

I am bucking the trend and going with a different vendor than Scherr's. They were just a bit too pricey for me, since I want v-groove panels for my lowers, and some mullioned doors. For anyone that is interested in vendors outside of Scherr's, I have found in my search of custom doors, that most vendors will bore the hinge cups for you. The boring pattern is Pattern B, with 5mm from the edge, and 3" to the center top and bottom--the Blum pattern for the Blum hardware that IKEA uses. The only difference is the size of the two holes flanking the cup. Standard Blum is 8mm and IKEA is 5mm. You can order the standard Blum Inserta hardware for frameless cabs, and it works with the IKEA cabinets just fine. I have both hinges, and they look exactly the same, except for the size of the pin holes. You can also specify the cup boring only and then drill your own pin holes. I did note that posters on ikeafans had no problems with the larger holes and IKEA hardware, as the 35mm cup is the one that really holds the door. IIRC, they had used Maplecraft USA custom doors.


clipped on: 07.07.2008 at 04:11 am    last updated on: 07.07.2008 at 04:11 am

RE: Cabinets without cabinet pulls? Is this crazy? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: cat_mom on 07.06.2008 at 10:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

Our upper cab doors were made extra long--unbeknownst to us, to allow us to forgo handles and light rails. We had always planned on having both. Handles; because we like the look and to protect the wood, light rails; to hide the U/C lighting when doors are opened.


clipped on: 07.07.2008 at 03:57 am    last updated on: 07.07.2008 at 03:57 am

RE: How about poured concrete counters? (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: biner on 06.15.2008 at 03:15 am in Kitchens Forum

The acrylic is flexible latex acrylic additive. It's the stuff they use for laying tiles etc. It's a white liquid that is somewhat sticky and comes in various sized containers but you don't need much. The resukts are far better than water. It helps prevent shrinkage of the portland and creates a tighter bond between sluury and counter. Be sure to mist counter with the acrylic before applying slurry otherwise the slurry will dry faster than you can work it. If it gets to hard just work in a bit more acrylic. I think I figured out how to post a link. This is the company New Edge Design/Monart that I mentioned previously. The contractors forum has lots of info. Don't be turned off by how complicated the sealing process sounds. It is really quite easy. The Tips and Techniques is good as is the sealer thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: New Edge Design/Monart


clipped on: 06.17.2008 at 03:47 am    last updated on: 06.17.2008 at 03:48 am

RE: How about poured concrete counters? (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: biner on 06.14.2008 at 02:18 pm in Kitchens Forum

Don't have a shot yet but will soon. Here is sample of how the stones look with glass beads as well. The key is to lay them in with a small amount of spray on adhesive otherwise many will "float" away during pour and vibration. That happened when we poured the desk-I wanted a completely different surface and one that was bullet proof so added loads of stones but didn't glue them down - most of them dissappeared!!!The other thing we learnd is to use acrylic rather than water when making you slurry -portland cement, pigment and acrylic to get the consistency of toothpaste. Spray the surface with acrylic before applying the slurry. I know Cheng recommends removing as much slurry as possible before regrinding but we found it much more efficient to leave fairly thick-this reduces the number of slurry coats to get rid of the darn pinholes (although can be a great design element) and the extra polishing gives more shine. On the island and other slabs we used a slurry the same colour as the concrete but we used different shades of brown and grey for the slurry on the desk.



clipped on: 06.17.2008 at 03:47 am    last updated on: 06.17.2008 at 03:47 am

RE: How about poured concrete counters? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: biner on 06.14.2008 at 01:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

Here's my recipe-for every 55lb bag of flowcrete I added
1 1/2 cups of charcoal pigment (fairly packed, purchased locally), 4 oz. polypro fibres and about 2-2 1/2 litres of water depending on ambient temp. I fill the bathtub the night before so that water used for all mixes is the same temp.

Here are a couple of pictures
The first are the form for the sink slab. You can see where the drainboard and cutting board will be. We made the forms for knockouts from foam, wood or duraglass.

Integral drainboard
void for cutting board
forms for runnels

the following are the form for the island

island form-inlaid stone

island form-forms for stainless trivets

This is a small simple slab that give you an idea of the surface finish. With 800-1500 grit diamond and this new sealer it is truly like glass.


This a portion of the island before being finished and covered. You can see the knockouts for the trivets.

cooktop with knockouts for trivets

And this is what you can do with leftover mix. Plant stands

plant stand


A backlit frame for a small sculpture


I always keep small forms available for the excess concrete. For example the large styrofoam meat trays are great for stepping stones or mix in equal amounts vermiculite and you can make your own lightweight pots for the garden.
PS I'm not familiar with posting pics so I hope posting this many is ok.


clipped on: 06.15.2008 at 01:30 am    last updated on: 06.15.2008 at 01:30 am

RE: light rails -- why attached or built in? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: cat_mom on 03.29.2008 at 12:15 am in Kitchens Forum

Our doors are long enough to hide/cover the U/C lighting when they are closed, but we didn't want the lighting to be exposed when the doors are open, so had matching light rails installed.


clipped on: 03.30.2008 at 02:04 am    last updated on: 03.30.2008 at 02:04 am

RE: Okay, so how about deep brown/black espresso cabinet color? (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: kmcg85 on 02.11.2008 at 11:36 am in Home Decorating Forum

I'm telling ya, BM deck enamel rich brown mixed half and half with BM deck enamel black. It has a gloss to it, so perfect for cabs. This designer swear's by it and was hesitant about handing out his recipe. A cup of this and a cup of that to test. I saw something similar on a basement bar with a beadboard backsplash in the same color with glass front cabs and glass shelves lit from within to keep it light! It showcased sparkly stemware! Picture a dark roasted coffee bean! It was gorgeous! This would be the perfect brown/black color I think!


clipped on: 03.17.2008 at 06:00 am    last updated on: 03.17.2008 at 06:00 am

RE: Okay, so how about deep brown/black espresso cabinet color? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: moonshadow on 01.21.2008 at 07:43 am in Home Decorating Forum

Took me a long time to find these, but I finally did! Below is a link to girlwithaspirin's kitchen makeover. She painted the cabinets in BM Bittersweet (pretty sure she used the oil-based). I don't know what happened to her, she just sort of dropped out of sight, so hope she's OK. She might not be living in that house anymore, but she did a tremendous job on those cabinets!

Here is a link that might be useful: gwa's cabinets before and after photos


clipped on: 03.17.2008 at 05:56 am    last updated on: 03.17.2008 at 05:57 am

RE: gardenchick1 your windows! (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: gardenchick1 on 02.08.2008 at 08:17 am in Building a Home Forum

Thanks for the compliments. They are Eagle brand casement windows. Both the window with the curved transom and the one with the rectangular transom are 5' wide x 6' 6-1/2" tall (all one piece). They cost in the area of $1700 for the curved one and $1500 for the rectangular one. We love them and they are very energy efficient. We live in the north and when standing right next to them in the winter we still feel nothing but warmth.

The outside color we chose is cinnamon toast. Here's a picture along with a couple of the larger Eagle windows we have throughout the home.



clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 12:16 am    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 12:17 am

RE: Will someone please explain the hierarchy of windows? (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: allison0704 on 02.12.2008 at 09:18 am in Building a Home Forum

Pella used to be a good source of windows. My parents have an upper line that has been in place over 22yrs. No problems whatsoever. But friends of theirs who built a few years later had nothing but problems. They had ended up replacing every single window...and it was a large house.

We used extruded aluminum clad casements with wood interior fixed grills, etc. by BiltBest and are very pleased with them. My parents used them in their lakehouse and my GC is now using them in other new homes. Here (at GW) Susuancc is using them on her new home. We also have some of their french doors on the lower level (used wood on the upper verandas). We first saw them when out looking at new construction before our build. fyi, we moved in 28mths ago.

Here is a link that might be useful: BiltBest Windows and Doors


clipped on: 02.15.2008 at 12:13 am    last updated on: 02.15.2008 at 12:13 am

RE: Dog+yard+rain= disaster (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: gardener64 on 01.23.2007 at 03:33 pm in Landscape Design Forum

Check out this website

I used one of their products to stop sand from silting thru my stairs when it rains
also works on mulch and Tec Straw to hold it in place


clipped on: 02.14.2008 at 02:37 am    last updated on: 02.14.2008 at 02:37 am

RE: Dog+yard+rain= disaster (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: littledog on 01.05.2007 at 08:12 am in Landscape Design Forum

I do a fair amount of that rescue stuff myself; the current canine population here is 11, so you may consider this the voice of experience.

Short of confining the dogs to a small fenced-in "kennel" in an out of the way corner of the yard (*), the easiest way to eliminate the mud is to put a solid surface down where the dogs are running. If you aren't planning to set the dog trails "in stone" (or brick, or pavers, or whatever), then I'd go with pea gravel. It'll eventually pack into the soil and have to be added to, but it's actually good for the dog's feet, and is easy for humans to walk on too. Wood chips look nice, but dogs tend to play with them, scattering them all over the yard. (Not to mention the possibility of getting splinters or ingesting wood preservatives from mouthing them) If having teeny, tiny pebbles in the grass bothers you, or if you're worried about tossing stones while mowing, you can use an edging material to MOL keep them in place. But the key point is to put your surfacing down on the existing dog path; a dog will NOT use a winding, pointlessly meandering trail to get from point A to point B, no matter how artistic it is. Dogs always choose the shortest, most efficient route between two points, which is why you probably also have that tell tale "dog track" around the house. It veers out from the sides of your home because that's where gravity takes Sirius and Pluto as they're orbiting at full speed around the building. Anyway, build the path right down the middle of the dog trail and if possible, add about two feet on either side.

To break up the dog track around the house, put something out in the middle of it large enough that they have to go around it. Figure they will move the trail about a foot and half further out around each obstacle. Fat shrubs work, as long as the dogs can't just run under them. Large rocks (boulders) are good, so are big planters MOL staggered in a line across the path. People coming to your house will notice an informal grouping of planters, and not realize it's actually a puppy barracade.

(*) I like to call this the Zookeeper method of pet ownership; Picture an overfed, hyperactive black Labrador in a depressingly small, muddy, 8 by 4 foot chain link cage like a wild animal, endlessly running circles and barking, barking, barking, while the owner says "Oh yeah, we have a dog. It stays out here in this pen, and we nag the kids to feed it every day because we want them to grow up to be caring, responsible adults. Man, aren't dogs great?"


clipped on: 02.14.2008 at 02:32 am    last updated on: 02.14.2008 at 02:32 am

RE: wide plank flooring - cupping question (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: demifloyd on 01.20.2008 at 11:15 pm in Building a Home Forum


We of course acclimated our wood according to Carlisle's instructions. This is most important, as is following their instructions--they are quite helpful in answering questions. I would suggest you might call them with your concerns.

In photo number three--of the stair landing--you can see a country grade board in the foreground. The ones in the closeup photo (second photo) appear to be all select grade.

Walnut Floors

Walnut Floors

Walnut Treads


clipped on: 02.14.2008 at 02:21 am    last updated on: 02.14.2008 at 02:21 am

Question for Bill V re: concrete countertops?

posted by: biner on 01.20.2008 at 01:04 pm in Kitchens Forum

Fairly new to this forum and have found it extremely helpful!! Check everyday and always learn something new. We are about to pour our own concrete countertops. Have spent much time researching and making practise slabs and today we are ready to pour the island. I am soooo excited!! I understand from reading the forum that there is a fellow who has alot of experience with stone and I was wondering, Bill, if you have worked with concrete countertops and specifically if you have heard of a penetrating sealer called Pentrasil 244+. I came across this product speaking with a small fabricator/designer who does alot of work with restaurants and swears by it. The only thing is I forgot to ask him how to apply it and unfortunately the container doesn't have instructions. Any ideas or advise in general. Thx Biner


clipped on: 02.11.2008 at 08:54 pm    last updated on: 02.11.2008 at 08:54 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


clipped on: 02.11.2008 at 08:40 am    last updated on: 02.11.2008 at 08:41 am

RE: DIY copper countertop (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: aliceinwonderland_id on 11.17.2006 at 06:17 pm in Metalworking Forum

You need phos/copper brazing alloy. The one I have is J.W. Harris Co, part #21035. I can't tell you what the phos:copper ratio is because that part of the label has unfortunately been rubbed off.

You could also try an epoxy putty product called "Just for copper" available at ACE Hardware stores. It is copper colored (contains copper dust) and ends up being brown. I used it for the seams in my countertop. It's easier than trying to solder or braze.


clipped on: 02.11.2008 at 08:32 am    last updated on: 02.11.2008 at 08:32 am

RE: DIY copper countertop (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: aliceinwonderland_id on 08.23.2006 at 10:49 am in Metalworking Forum

Not Jenathegreat, but just completed a copper countertop on my island. I used copper sheet for the top, contact cemented to smooth plywood with solvent-based contact cement. I considered gorilla glue, which would have worked great, but the surface was just too big (48" x 102"). Since my sheet was only 48" wide, I used copper bar 1/8" thick for the edge, glued on with construction adhesive and sealed the seams with "Just for copper" epoxy putty and sanded it smooth. I bought the copper sheet on ebay, 18 oz and the copper bar from also has good prices. Mine is just aging naturally and has already lost it's shine after 2 weeks - thank goodness because it was this HUGE, GLOWING thing initially, like a spaceship had landed in my kitchen.


clipped on: 02.11.2008 at 08:30 am    last updated on: 02.11.2008 at 08:30 am

RE: DIY copper countertop (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: jenathegreat on 10.07.2005 at 11:40 am in Metalworking Forum

Here's a link to a few pics of the copper countertop. We're very happy with it and thanks to all of you for the advice.

We used the 20oz copper sheets. We bought metal shears. We did not use a metal brake. It's glued to a regular countertop base (not with the same glue you use on laminate, because that stuff said not to use on metal, but similar stuff). Tools we used: metal shear, dremel with metal cutting bit, rubber mallets, clamps, and hammer and pliers to fiddle with the corners. We used the shears and the dremel to cut the hole for the cooktop - that was probably the hardest part.

The edges we whacked into place with the mallets and then used brass screws to secure them to the base from the underneath.

We only had 2 outside corners - thankfully the first one is hidden by the fridge :) but the second one came out great with a gift-wrap type corner. The edges of the backsplash will be trimmed out with wood painted with copper spraypaint.

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY copper countertop


clipped on: 02.11.2008 at 08:27 am    last updated on: 02.11.2008 at 08:27 am