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RE: What replacement window is 'BEST'? (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: stickler4dtails on 02.02.2008 at 06:02 am in Windows Forum

Miami-Dade County , Florida, has the stricktest building codes in the world (because of hurricanes). No window can sell in Florida unless it passes all the tests. I use their website to see what the strongest windows are. If you look, say under vinyl windows, you will see the wind test results for each brand and model of window. This will at least tell you what are the strongest windows, which should be indicative of the overall quality of the window. The tests also show resistance to water leaks. Here's the link:


clipped on: 10.19.2009 at 09:50 am    last updated on: 10.19.2009 at 09:50 am

RE: Sierra Pacific, Lincoln or Marvin Windows? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: calbay03 on 06.25.2007 at 10:24 pm in Windows Forum

Hi, we use Marvin AL clad on the coast of SF Bay Area in Ca. Don't know much about the other brands but have researach info and some experience to share.

We had the same challenges four years ago trying to figure out why one is cheaper or more expensive than the others (Andersen, Pella, Milgard). We learned that there are actual differences though not all such differences are readily visible to all of us. You can research the other brands and compare as we did.

Marvin's extruded Aluminum claims to meet AAMA's 2605-05 specification. Supposedly toughest. Marvin's Aluminum also uses 70% Kynar coating, similar to car body coating. I would check the other brands' specification.

Marvin cross-sectional of their clad windows shows an added air space between the cladding and the interior wood. We like this added amount of insulation. We found this on Marvin web site. I suggest comparing that to the other brands to see how they clad their windows.

Marvin's windows came with high DP rating. We like this for our stormy location with wide temperature fluctuation. Check the DP rating and also the SHGC and VT factors.

In our area, Marvin made argon a standard when we asked for low-E2 coating. Other brands sold them as options. At least that was the case four years ago.

On the subjective side, the wood is very tight, neat and beautifully finished. The cladding appearance has more traditional lines, not so bland. Your taste of course may be different.

So far, the clad French doors have survived wind-whipped gravel, football, soccer, frisbee, occassional bike tire crashes, no dent (yet) and no scratches (yet). I am sure if someone uses a sharp knife or rock, it will scratch.

The windows and doors have performed well in the rare 32-F condition as well as 115-F condition keeping us relatively cool in summer and relatively warm in winter. So far, everything functions as new after four years and no fading yet.

Wind driven rain pounded the SW facing windows and doors each winter, no air or water leaks. We also had good installation so it is quiet inside. A normal Honda lawn mower mowing to within 3 ft of the doors sounds only like a low hum inside, and we need not raise our voice to speak.

This does not imply anything negative about the other brands, just our experience and our choices.

I hope you find this info useful!


clipped on: 10.19.2009 at 09:43 am    last updated on: 10.19.2009 at 09:43 am

RE: Please recommend a flooring easy on the back & legs I (Follow-Up #33)

posted by: jacy on 10.15.2009 at 11:11 pm in Kitchens Forum

I just posted in another thread about my apparent need for professional help with my powerful aversion to posting photos until the kitchen is COMPLETELY done. As I'm still side-stepping three boxes of Dal-tile destined for my backsplash, I don't have photos yet. LOL.

But... I can tell you I first handled fiberglass sheet goods at a Home Depot display. Didn't care for any of the lines they carried, but it was intriguing enough to send me to a tile house, where I spent two hours going through the myriad samples they had. But I have to say, the sheet good displays are way hidden in a dark and dingy corner and not one single sales person came to see if I needed help. I had to work really, really hard to buy this stuff. It's still clearly the black sheep of the flooring family. Maybe not for long though - see link at end.

I eventually chose Armstrong's CushionStep Amalfi Stone in Mocha. I see from my receipt that my contractor price was $2.09/sf. Here's a link, but the online pictures do it no justice whatsoever, this is really a product you have to see in person. I even had the samples in my house for three weeks before I finally decided.,0,207272/Armstrong-Vinyl-Flooring/_/CushionStep-Best--Amalfi-Mocha/product.htm

Here is a link that might be useful: Armstrong re-tools for fiberglass


clipped on: 10.18.2009 at 06:17 pm    last updated on: 10.18.2009 at 06:17 pm

Marvins v.Jeld Wyn v Weather Shield

posted by: suebob1 on 09.08.2009 at 01:23 pm in Windows Forum

My main concern is performance and rot. I have these great wooden windows circa 1946 and they were in great shape but have to be replaced due to fire. I had the 1980s storms on them as well. I have had no problems and don't want to start now.

They were not very sound proof. The upstairs windows were replaced with wood in 1986 and they performed well but look rough because tenants did not use the storms. The exterior on those has not held up at all even with the storms. The fire has caused these performing windows upstairs to fail as well.

I want a performance window and would do vinyl upstairs if they will perform better and wood down. The look of the home is very important to me so that is what keeps pushing me back to wood but I am concerned about the way they are constructed and the wood and the finish etc is currently an inferior product.

What has been recommended so far:
Jeld Wen Siteline Clad DH Sashpack One set of four has 7/8 Bead SDL low e What is a shadow bar?

and Siteline EX Clad Casement low e, preserve film,argon, glass thick=0.6995 4 9/16 jamb, 4/4 Thick DP 35

sunroom Builders Clad Casement pine interior, White exterior, nail fin 4 9/16 jamb DP 35, Insulate Low e Annealed Glass, argon,

Marvin: Double Hung tilt pack
Low e with argon standard bevel Sash lock pine interior (I have since requested fir)Clad exterior &
2 Mark Unit C CM-RH and LH 1G 1 LITE, low e w/argon, nailing finn a 9/16" jamb pine interior clad exteror
7/8" SDL std cut 3wide and 2 high clad ext BA pine interior
standard bevel

It looks like they used the tilt packs throughout with casement and I see a C UDH not sure what that is.

Also notice the wood ULtrex series CA RH IG-1 LITE LoE-366 w/argon AF HDWE Pine interiro and Stone Whit Exteriorfor the sunroom.

The Weather shield rep said all casements upstairs and wood replacement downstairs. Aluminum clad.

He sells Atrium too and ours come from the factory in Dallas. Would this be an option and what do I have to do to keep them from looking vinyl?

Are there questions you would ask the Marvin guy or Weather Shield guy? Meeting with both in the next day or so.


clipped on: 10.18.2009 at 10:55 am    last updated on: 10.18.2009 at 10:55 am

RE: Granite Templates- Is there more than one way? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: azstoneconsulting on 10.17.2009 at 10:00 am in Kitchens Forum


I would ask your fabricator what method he intends to use in determining the
sizes and configurations of the individual pieces that will make up your
kitchen countertops.

He may use a different method of templating, or, your kitchen may be so simple
to fabricate that he may use "dimensions" only... This is where the shapes are
not complex enough to warranty making templates - for example -
You may have a rectangular island that measures 42" x 72" with no sink
or cooktop on it - just a big rectangular piece of stone... does this need to have
a template made for it - IMHO - no.

OTOH - If your kitchen does have complex shapes, IMHO - some method of templating IS
warranted - either with physical templates made of wood, cardboard, corrugated
plastic cardboard, plastic strips, mylar or paper. There's also electronic templating methods
using a Proliner. LT-55 Laser (that's what we use) or an E-Template using
multiple digital photos and triangulation (similar to the way a GPS system works)....

So to summarize - there's more than one way of getting your tops cut accurately
It just depends on the overall configuration and the level of complexity of
your kitchen - and the skill sets of your fabricator.....

if you can post a drawing of your kitchen - I can tell pretty quick what's going
on and give you my own opinion of the situation in regards to your question......




clipped on: 10.17.2009 at 10:22 am    last updated on: 10.18.2009 at 12:04 am

RE: Granite in South San Francisco Bay Area (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: sfjeff on 10.17.2009 at 01:23 am in Kitchens Forum

So far I've just been checking slab yards, in order of who I've visited. Hard to compare prices, since everyone calls things different names, and who knows what your fabricator gets charged compared to the "retail" price.

I'm finding it nearly impossible to find any 3cm slabs.

EuroStone -- seems good with a good selection, seems reasonably priced (for Bay Area). I need to go back now that I know more of what I'm looking for (our color tendencies changed drastically since I was there)

Integrated Resources Group -- Great selection, designer prices

Da Vinci Marble -- Moderate selection, but with wide range of types, nice people, mid-range prices

Pietra Fina -- Great selection, but many very similar, mid-range prices

Walker Zanger -- Surprisingly limited supply, nothing to compare on prices

I can't comment on business practices of any of these suppliers. We're still figuring out how much this all is going to cost.

Here is a link that might be useful: One List of Local Stone Suppliers


clipped on: 10.17.2009 at 10:03 am    last updated on: 10.17.2009 at 10:03 am

RE: Any reviews of the fiberoptic sink-top switch for a disposer (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: kaseki on 09.01.2009 at 10:39 am in Kitchens Forum

I bought 'em, but haven't tested them yet. It will probably be a couple of months before they can be tested in situ, although an uninstalled test is certainly possible.

I think their greatest claim to fame, beyond an extravagant price per function exceeded only by faucets, is their immunity to liquid or grunge getting past the push part. The auto shut off could prove to be a nice touch.



clipped on: 10.16.2009 at 02:29 pm    last updated on: 10.16.2009 at 02:29 pm

RE: Using IKEA drawers in custom cabinets??? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: ccoombs1 on 10.16.2009 at 01:58 pm in Kitchens Forum

I believe the IKEA hardware is all made by Blume. there are tons of places you can buy all the stuff to make drawers operate exactly like the IKEA drawers. Look for Blume Tandembox drawers (their higher-end line) and also the Blume Metabox drawers. I have the metabox drawers in custom cabinets and really like them! The biggest drawback to using IKEA drawers and letting the cabinet guy make the doors is getting the drawers and the doors to match. I don't think they would match exactly. Plus, if you let your cabinet guy build the doors and drawers, you will not be as limited on styles and colors.


clipped on: 10.16.2009 at 02:17 pm    last updated on: 10.16.2009 at 02:17 pm

Hit a big snag in refinishing oak flooring

posted by: mrplow on 08.07.2007 at 10:23 am in Flooring Forum

Hello all, I was directed here from a woodworking forum and told that many a pro visits these boards. That would be great because I am in need of some serious help. I recently decided to tear up the old carpeting left over from the previous owner, all was great until I discovered this.

I made the mistake of trying to bleach out the stain (you'll see the disastrous results soon) and after realizing that oxalic acid wasn't working, I decided to replace the boards.

I purchased 20sq ft. of flooring from Menards, and went to work.

So far so good right? Everything was going great with the poly (I just went with the Varathane water-based) until I hit the spot with the bleach. It really shows up and looks terrible compared to the rest of the wood, and this didn't show up with mineral spirits, just the poly. I also have a few drip spots where I must have been sloppy with the bucket of bleach.

I tried to sand down the poly in a few spots, as it was only one thin coat, sand down past the bleach, and then re-apply poly. You can still see a difference in color on the small spots where I removed the bleach drips. The larger circular area where I scrubbed in the bleach is beyond sanding I think.

So....what are my options? Is there any way I am ever going to get the poly on the freshly sanded areas to match the original layer I put down? If I just proceed with coat #2 is there any chance it will even out? Could I try and stain the bleached wood to match the darker stuff? Am I fooling myself because I'm going to have to remove more boards and replace them?

As if the job isn't frustrating enough, I chose to do half the room at a time (my knees and back were killing me) and probably made a mistake in stopping half way lengthwise. So you can also see a difference in each half of the room where I stopped the poly on Saturday and finished on Sunday. I'm at least hopeful that the second coat will even that mistake out

I sure hope I don't have to re-rent that sander and start from scratch as I have already invested a lot of time and money...and sanity.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated because I really want to salvage this job. What a learning experience this will be!


clipped on: 10.16.2009 at 01:28 pm    last updated on: 10.16.2009 at 01:28 pm

RE: Laminate ruined!! Dogs and water... New flooring ideas? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: glennsfc on 11.30.2008 at 05:50 pm in Flooring Forum

Ceramic tile with epoxy grout would be a pretty good choice. But, for something resilient I would recommend an homogenous commercial vinyl flooring made by Tarkett, Mannington, Armstrong, Lonseal and others. These are chemically resistant flooring materials that are best installed by experienced professionals, as the materials are made in six foot widths and need to be seamed properly to make for acceptable and watertight seams. I installed the Tarkett product in a veterinarian office and it has proven to be an excellent choice.


clipped on: 10.16.2009 at 01:18 pm    last updated on: 10.16.2009 at 01:18 pm

RE: ??? Cork Floor Installation (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: glennsfc on 04.09.2008 at 05:53 pm in Flooring Forum

Oh boy! IF the manufacturer of the cork recommends a topcoating, then by all means do that...but ONLY IF the manufacturer agrees. Don't use cheap waterborne polyurethane; if the polyurethane is not a two-part material and if it costs less than $50 per gallon, you're wasting your money. And, should you decide to go ahead and coat the floor, do NOT use steel wool to abrade...use a maroon 3M pad made for floor preparation and a floor prep material, such as BonaKemi Prep. Basic Coatings makes a similar product called Tykote, but has more steps involved in getting an existing finish ready for topcoating.

You are best leaving such a job to a professional who knows how to work with these materials.


clipped on: 10.15.2009 at 02:07 pm    last updated on: 10.15.2009 at 02:07 pm

RE: ??? Cork Floor Installation (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: floorguy on 04.03.2008 at 09:25 am in Flooring Forum

Oil is too brittle for cork. Go with a good waterbased like Traffic or StreetShoe.


clipped on: 10.15.2009 at 02:04 pm    last updated on: 10.15.2009 at 02:04 pm

RE: Liquid vs powder detergents (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: sfjeff on 10.14.2009 at 07:38 pm in Laundry Room Forum

One particular place not to use liquids is on waterproof, breathable fabrics, such as Gore-Tex -- the wetting agents (or something along those lines) in liquids can cause the waterproofness to degrade.

Other than that, I'd love to find a stink-free powdered detergent that works well in HE front loaders (no scent, no Aloe, no soy)-- You have to beat Tide and/or Mrs. Meyers, depending on which of us you're convincing.


clipped on: 10.15.2009 at 01:58 pm    last updated on: 10.15.2009 at 01:58 pm

RE: Please recommend a flooring easy on the back & legs I (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: salal_08 on 10.11.2009 at 12:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have had cork in the kitchen for 15 years in this house and in a bathroom and kitchen in another house before. It is great. I does fade though if that is a concern to you. Especially if you have skylights. But mine has faded to a honey blonde and I love it. Wonderful to stand on, so easy to clean. I often clean it just because I can't remember the last time I did it so it must be dirty. The water in the pail rarely looks dirty. Don't know where the dirt is and I don't care.

We had a flood when the water purifier under the sink broke. The water went over the entire kitchen, under a wall and into the living room and through the floor into the downstairs where the water was ankle deep. The cork was fine.

As for denting, my Kitchen Aid mixer jumped off the counter awhile ago and the knob broke when it hit the floor. That made a dent. The first one in 15 years but it took me 2 weeks to notice it.

I am renovating the kitchen now and intend to do the entire upstairs in a Torlys plank cork. It's very attractive. The store where I found the display had installed it in the main traffic area for the store and you could tell it had been terribly abused. The salesman said it had taken a real beating last winter with everyone tracking in snowy/salty water on their boots. But you could tell all it really needed was to be mopped and recoated with whatever they use on cork.

Here is a link that might be useful: Torlys Cork


clipped on: 10.15.2009 at 01:40 pm    last updated on: 10.15.2009 at 01:40 pm

RE: Cabinet lights-change from plug-in to direct wire? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: brickeyee on 10.15.2009 at 09:26 am in Electrical Wiring Forum

Be very wary of actual 120 V puck lights.

The normal vibration of putting things in and out of cabinets will result in shorter bulb life.

The low voltage puck lights have a much more rugged filament.

Pegasus lighting has a good assortment of pucks for plug in and direct wire.


clipped on: 10.15.2009 at 10:37 am    last updated on: 10.15.2009 at 10:37 am

RE: Sink options - composite granite/quartz or SS? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: shelayne on 10.15.2009 at 12:47 am in Kitchens Forum

IIRC, it was recommended that you run cold water as you-pour boiling water in the sink. That came from Customer Service at Blanco.

I have a quartz composite sink, and I remembered that tip and do it *just in case*, though my old composite sink was thoroughly doused with boiling water and lived. I am sure I will turn to my old ways sooner or later, but I'm still at the "wanting to baby it" stage with my new sink.


clipped on: 10.15.2009 at 09:25 am    last updated on: 10.15.2009 at 09:25 am

Sink (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: buehl on 10.13.2009 at 12:49 pm in Kitchens Forum want a double-bowl sink. Now, do you want an equal-sized or a small/large bowl setup?

Do you want stainless steel (SS), granite composite (like Silgranit), cast iron, etc.?

Undermount, overmount, apron/farmhouse, other?

As to my personal experience, I have an inexpensive Ticor SS, double-bowl sink that I love (S405D). The large side is 21-1/2" wide (interior width) and the small bowl is 10-1/2" wide. I purchased mine online from (one of AlwaysFixin's references above). It's 16-gauge and came w/2 SS sink grids & 2 strainers. It fits in a 36" sink base.

Here's the obligatory picture ;-)

My longest cookie sheet & biggest pan w/handle fit in the large bowl & the small bowl is wide enough to fit my largest/tallest pot.

More pics!

Large bowl...

Small bowl...

I also have a Kohler 5-sided sink, but it was more expensive. Despite the price difference, I have yet to see a difference in quality b/w the's only been 15 months or so, so no long-term experience. However, others here who have had their Ticor sinks for a few years are still happy with them.

BTW...I live on the east coast and it took two days for my Ticor sink to get here...with standard shipping!


clipped on: 10.14.2009 at 04:47 pm    last updated on: 10.14.2009 at 04:47 pm

Schluter Ditra or Hardibacker for 12x24 tile in an old house?

posted by: skoo on 10.13.2009 at 11:01 pm in Kitchens Forum

For our floor, we've decided on a 12x24 porcelain tile. Since it's a larger tile, our GC said we might want to consider using Schluter Ditra instead of hardibacker to avoid cracks down the road. He wasn't sure on the exact price differential, but said the Schluter Ditra was definitely more expensive.

The house is an older 1920s house. There's been some settling over the years since not everything is level in the house. I'd hope that most of the settling is complete (until the next big quake, in which case we'll probably have bigger problems than our floor tiles!).

Thoughts or your experiences? Would you go with the hardibacker or the Schluter Ditra? Thanks in advance!


clipped on: 10.14.2009 at 01:32 pm    last updated on: 10.14.2009 at 01:32 pm

RE: Sink Decision (stainless or Silgranit) (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: boxiebabe on 06.25.2008 at 10:42 pm in Kitchens Forum

Silgranit! We have the Blanco with the smaller sink on one side (and garbage disposer), and larger deep sink on the other. We LOVE it! They seem to be less expensive than many sinks - but they are tough as nails!

Here's a link to the one that we have (before the plumbing and backsplash was installed)

Emerald Pearl Granite">


clipped on: 10.14.2009 at 10:21 am    last updated on: 10.14.2009 at 10:21 am

RE: not my day for appliances...1 big and 1 small (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: pennyr26 on 10.14.2009 at 12:07 am in Kitchens Forum

rhome, I want to suggest they are EXCELLENT for replacement parts. You identify the appliance and narrow down the part you need by color, size, material, etc. I have used it many, many times, always with success. Repost and let us know.


clipped on: 10.14.2009 at 09:38 am    last updated on: 10.14.2009 at 09:38 am

RE: NEW Bosch Dishwashers with Cutlery Rack (Follow-Up #26)

posted by: mrtimewise on 08.13.2009 at 04:16 pm in Appliances Forum

Sorry...I wasn't reading this thread for awhile.

I'm guessing the Zeolith units will be here in mid to late 2010.

BTW...I believe the very low price I received is no longer available. The dealer I worked with had a dozen or so of the SHE68E15UC at this special price...when these were sold the price went back to the more typical $1600 or so.


clipped on: 10.13.2009 at 01:31 am    last updated on: 10.13.2009 at 01:31 am

RE: Granite quote - 2 cm vs. 3 cm granite (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: suzieca on 04.04.2008 at 09:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

WOW!, I don't feel so bad now. I got 2 cm Crema Bordeaux - 2 slabs plus 1 on hold. Material cost me $2228 and fab + install is $4200 and I'm getting ogee straight edge all around. I'm in San Jose, CA (and I went with the higher bidder - the other two were about $500 - $800 less for fab & install)


clipped on: 10.12.2009 at 11:58 am    last updated on: 10.12.2009 at 11:59 am

RE: Kevin, and other knowledgeable - tell me about 2 cm thick gra (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: muscat on 02.20.2008 at 02:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

I'm definitely only knowledgeable from my own limited experience with this one kitchen, but I can share what I know:

2cm granite is FAR more common in my area than 3cm. I went to about 5-6 granite yards, looked at probably hundreds of slabs, and can only remember 3-4 that were 3cm. I have been told that it is a regional thing- I'm in No California.

So here, 2cm is put on 5/8- 3/4 inch ply, and it is standard. Mine has a laminated edge so that it is 4cm on the edges, but I see no reason that that lamination is anything other than cosmetic, since most 3cm granite is not laminated. Others will be more helpful in that area. I have not seen 2cm NOT laminated, but I have a hard time believing that the edge needs extra strength unless you have a large amount of overhang.

Yes, in my area 2cm is cheaper than 3cm. It is less rock, and easier to handle and move. When I asked in a granite yard about 2cm vs 3cm they said 2cm was "better" for those reasons, but since that is probably 95% of what they sell, go figure.



clipped on: 10.12.2009 at 11:58 am    last updated on: 10.12.2009 at 11:58 am

RE: Online site for the Silgranit sinks? Cafe Brown (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: blondelle on 07.29.2009 at 11:10 am in Kitchens Forum

Be aware that there is now a Silgranit II sink. The model #'s are the same so you have to confirm that you are getting the new sink. The company said the boxes have the Silgranit II label but ordering online you can't see that. They said you can see from info on the bottom of the sink, but again you can't see that ordering online.

I would get the company to fax you the model # of what you are ordering as well as confirming you are getting the Silgranit II sink.

The newer model resists staining better and is stronger and more impact resistant!


clipped on: 10.11.2009 at 09:26 am    last updated on: 10.11.2009 at 09:26 am

RE: double sink, low divider = good idea? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: squigs on 09.23.2009 at 04:00 pm in Kitchens Forum

Love hearing everybody's opinions on sinks!!! Oh, and I love that Swanstone sink. Never saw one like that before.

"I've been waiting 22 years to do this kitchen remodel. I thought for sure I knew what I wanted...not! So many choices! As I've been told by many friends, anything I do will be better than what I have now!"

Damom, I know EXACTLY what you mean. Same here!

Now, the question of which side to put the disposal, I say on the larger side because that's where you're going to put your dirty dishes. Then what goes down the drain gets ground up. Plus, if you're like me, you'll have clean things on the other side and won't want garbage going in there.

Southernstitcher, I LOVE the Ticor S105-8, love the 60/40. the only issue I have with that one is the mirror finish on the top of the divider. I set things on the divider and would worry about that shiny mirror finish getting scratched up. I know you said it isn't installed yet, but how does it look? Is it very shiny? The reason I ask is I was given a double sink that's in my garage right now but I wasn't going to use it because of the mirror finish on the divider. Do you think I'm being crazy? DH thinks I'm being too fussy, but I know that we won't be careful with it and it will get all scratched up, which lead me to look at more sinks, and I came up with this Ticor. It's got the low divider and is a brushed finish.

Here it is:

Here is a link that might be useful: ticor low divide sink


clipped on: 10.10.2009 at 12:46 am    last updated on: 10.10.2009 at 12:47 am

RE: Laminate with no-drip edge -- period consistent? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: kompy on 10.08.2009 at 01:43 pm in Kitchens Forum

With your will also matter what kind of range you are planning: Free Standing or Slide-In?

With rolled edge tops, keep your range under 60" from the corner....and you won't have to have but one mitred corner joint, that is....IF you are getting a FREE STANDING range. If you are getting a slide-in, then you'll need another joint. Straight joints on rolled edge do not look so good.

If you're getting a slide-in range, then I HIGHLY suggest a self edge top. With a self edge top...keep the range 60" or less from the corner and you'll get a SEAMLESS corner. Put the joint behind the range cutout.

If you are getting a free standing range, then either is fine.

There is another 'less known option' called "Gold Seal"....which gives you a coved backsplash with a self edge front. That's if you don't want to have a set-on splash which gives you another seam to clean and caulk.

If you do a rolled edge on your island, it will have flat caps on both ends. Some fabricators offer a "Quad-roll" option for an island, but it is pricey!

I agree with Alan, I think the S/E is the most period appropriate. However, the double radius (aka Futura) or a waterfall (aka Tempo) would be the two best choices for a rolled top, if you were to go that route (definitely not the no-drip). Bullnose is too contemporary and Post-formed (the one with the no-drip bump) is not very pretty (IMHO)!

Hope this helps,

Here is a link that might be useful: edges


clipped on: 10.08.2009 at 06:43 pm    last updated on: 10.08.2009 at 06:44 pm

RE: Blanco America Silgranit Sink (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: tmj66 on 09.19.2009 at 06:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

I put that model Silgranit sink in about two weeks ago, and absolutly love it. Got it in the antracite color, and drop mounted it.

In terms of the sink holes, the middle one is pre-drilled. The other ones are marked on the sink with stickers on the top and scored on the bottom. You'll need to tap the hole(s) you want added with a hammer which will pop out the filler on the score line. Sounds scary to be hitting a new sink with a hammer, but Blanco gives detailed instructions on how to do it and even spec's the type and size hammer to use.

I only needed a single hole mount, so I just went with it as-is. But if you need more than one hole, there's no need to drill or pay someone to drill -- you can do it yourself.

Also, don't use plumbers putty to install the drain or faucet. Blanco recommends using silicon instead since plumbers putty can stain the granite. There's a special type of plumbers putty that is safe to use on stone, but it was impossible to find, so I used clear silicon.

Also worth getting is the grid. It's pricy, but really useful to have. I found it online for about $60. I also wound up buying the sink online as well -- found it on ebay for $264 shipped ($300 minus a 12% Bing cash-back). Local guys wanted $425.

You're going to love the sink!


clipped on: 10.07.2009 at 06:15 pm    last updated on: 10.07.2009 at 06:15 pm

Best online appliance vendor?

posted by: busycook on 10.07.2009 at 10:43 am in Appliances Forum

We are taking one last look before ordering our appliances to see if anyone has a great online appliance vendor recommendation. I was "this close" to using one vendor but after reading a few dings at epinions, I am getting seriously cold feet!

I am purchasing quite a few things and would love to hear from others before placing an order. Thanks!


clipped on: 10.07.2009 at 01:46 pm    last updated on: 10.07.2009 at 01:46 pm

RE: Bluestar vs. American Range (Follow-Up #35)

posted by: trevorlawson on 09.21.2009 at 01:40 pm in Appliances Forum

From cooktop to the underside of the shelf is 16 1/2" the shelf extends out 10"

The Heritage range has a higher back due to the Raised Griddle.

We always recommend the 1" / island trim for the Bluestar ranges, anything higher will scorch and restrict centering larder skillets on the back burners


clipped on: 10.07.2009 at 09:17 am    last updated on: 10.07.2009 at 09:17 am

Best Sink Installation

posted by: slucy77 on 10.06.2009 at 12:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

Im planning on buying a Ticor SS6503 Undermount 16-Gauge Stainless Steel Single Bowl Square Kitchen Sink. However, I dont know what installation will work best for a fancier look?

There are three different ways of installations that are more common. The undermount where the countertop runs over the top rim of the sink. It could also be installed so that the rim is flush with the countertops or raised up above the countertops by about 1 1/4.

Hopefully some of the experts here can give me an opinion on this.


This link might be Helpful:


May just be reveal
clipped on: 10.06.2009 at 04:10 pm    last updated on: 10.06.2009 at 04:10 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: 10.06.2009 at 03:55 pm    last updated on: 10.06.2009 at 03:55 pm

RE: 1/16' or 1/8' grout on backsplash ? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: rhome410 on 10.05.2009 at 11:44 am in Kitchens Forum

Is your tile rectified or exactly sized, straight, and even? 1/8" space would give you a little more room for error and variation and still look OK. We used 1/8" with our white subways...They're in our laundry room.



clipped on: 10.06.2009 at 12:31 pm    last updated on: 10.06.2009 at 12:31 pm

RE: good deals for Toto toilets and tubs - where? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: faucetman886 on 10.05.2009 at 11:20 am in Bathrooms Forum

I must repeat, as I always try to, that I am of record as a friend of the owner of National Builder Supply and I write a blog site that I use their name in because of my friendship. I am not employed by them nor paid to endorse them. With that said I am a customer of NBS having bought both 2 Toto Ultramax toilets and just recently a Toto Washlet and as a customer not just a friend I highly recommend them. Now to show my fairness I recently did a project(for a soon to be published blog) where I compared prices, freight and service on some of the larger online marketers in addition to HD and found that National Builder Supply and Faucet Depot were neck and neck regarding both and far above any of the others. Equally as part of my daily life I read and respond in some 30+ discussion forums such as this one and find both to have the greatest service recommendations. If anyone is interested in knowing the oevrall results of my project and the other marketers let me know and Ill tell you when I publish the blog. My conclusion at the end of my survey was a very Strong Cavet Emptor because some of the ones I reviewed employed considerable trickery when it came to listing prices then when you get to the point to settle up your shopping cart you find excess freight charges (especially on tubs and toilets) and hidden service charges. I am truly disappointed and trying my nest to make sure the word gets out.


clipped on: 10.06.2009 at 09:59 am    last updated on: 10.06.2009 at 09:59 am

RE: Replacing two cast iron radiator (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: fsq4cw on 09.07.2009 at 12:29 am in Heating & Air Conditioning Forum

Take a look at this site. These are likely the 'Best of the Best'.


Here is a link that might be useful: Jaga North America


clipped on: 10.06.2009 at 09:49 am    last updated on: 10.06.2009 at 09:49 am

RE: How hard is it to turn a toilet 90 degrees? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: lazypup on 09.01.2009 at 02:09 pm in Plumbing Forum

Those dimensions may have been okay when the bathroom was first built, but i doubt it since the code clearances have not changed in about 40 years. On the other hand, if you alter the location of any fixture or drain line, you are required to bring it up to the code that is in effect at the time of the alteration and that would mean you need a minimum of 15" from the centerline of the bowl to any wall, fixture or appurtenance on either side.

In addition, under the IRC you are required to have a 21" clearance from the front edge of the bowl to any wall, fixture or appurtenance directly in front. Under the UPC the frontal clearance is 24".


clipped on: 10.05.2009 at 08:24 pm    last updated on: 10.05.2009 at 08:24 pm

RE: Bluestar leveling screws (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: onejake on 10.05.2009 at 11:03 am in Appliances Forum

When you remove the square grate you will find a Philips head screw in each corner of the supporting framework. Back out the screw in the corner that is low until the grate no longer rocks and is level. You may have to fool with more than one screw to get it right.


clipped on: 10.05.2009 at 12:51 pm    last updated on: 10.05.2009 at 12:51 pm

RE: Ticor S997/S995 Sink -- Hold half-sheet? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: okpokesfan on 10.03.2009 at 09:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have the S997. I just tried laying my 12X18 1/2 pan in there flat and it wouldn't fit. My cutting board is 12 x 16 1/2 and just fits.


clipped on: 10.05.2009 at 10:07 am    last updated on: 10.05.2009 at 10:07 am

RE: Blue Star Ignitor issue Redux (Follow-Up #44)

posted by: joewatch on 09.16.2009 at 12:06 pm in Appliances Forum

The 2nd Invensys ignitor module on my BlueStar RNB366BSS failed last week. Using instructions from user p10rs on this thread
I purchased a a Tytronics ignitor module, SPARK MODULE Part No. PA020042 on instead of taking a chance on another Invensys. According to the Tytronics' spec sheet, which you can download here:

the Tytronics module is more resistant to current leaks caused by dirty ignitors. The replacement was VERY easy to do. Hopefully, the Tytronics module's life will be much longer than the Invensys ones (1 year each)


clipped on: 09.30.2009 at 09:40 pm    last updated on: 09.30.2009 at 10:12 pm

RE: Blue Star Ignitor issue Redux (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: inquisitive-gourmet on 04.11.2008 at 06:56 pm in Appliances Forum

I thought I would throw my experience with the bluestar ignitors in, for what it is worth - in the hope that it might help someone who thinks they have a defective ignitor module but really has a different issue.

I have a six burner Bluestar cooktop for about two years now and had the same problem mentioned by many of you -- that is, the simmer burner would light, but when set on very low, its igniter and all of the ignitors on the other burners would continue to fire and click endlessly. In looking at the situation, I concluded that the wire in the center of the porcelain portion of the ignitor (which is located near the burner and is used to light the burner) is also the wire that senses the temperature of the burner and triggers a signal to try to re-ignite it. I also noted that while the wire had good contact with the flame at higher settings, it was not really in the flame when the burner was set very low. So, what I did was get a pair of long nose pliers and very carefully (you don't want to crack the porcelain) bent the ignitor wire so that it was directly over or touching the flame when the burner was set on its very lowest normal setting. This procedure worked and I have had no problems since. Additionally, I also found that getting the wire much closer to the flame also allowed me to lower the flame even more than usual by turning the burner control knob toward the "off" position (rather than fully clockwise). By properly positioning the wire, I was still able to have the burner re-ignite when I intentionally blew it out, even though it was on a very low setting close to the "off" position. (Setting the burner low by turning the control toward "off" is still not recommended since it is possible to turn the burner to a spot where a very low level of gas is being released, but not enough gas to sustain a flame, and that could be dangerous as the re-ignitor will not function properly, will not be able to re-light the burner, and gas will continue to flow. So, exercise extreme caution if you adjust the flame in this manner. (And for those who are curious - yes, I did use the control screw behind the knob to set the flame as low as possible before trying any of the above.)

I hope this helps some of you - who really do not have a defective reignitor - but have merely a minor alignment problem.


clipped on: 09.30.2009 at 10:55 am    last updated on: 09.30.2009 at 10:55 am

RE: Kitchen Aid Steam Assist Wall Oven (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: antss on 09.28.2009 at 09:52 pm in Appliances Forum


Eric wasn't asking about steam assisted cooking as it applies to the commercial world, only to the KA 309sss.

"Your guess is probably just about as good as mine"

I think mine's a bit better, not really a guess in fact, as I've used the KA and spent some time in commercial kitchens.

If one want that type of affair the Gaggenau steam oven is the closest you'll get in a UL approved residential model and it's really small.

If you want to dabble in this method a good alternative might be Sharp's new steam convection microwave. NO special plumbing or drain hookups, will sit on a countertop or shelf, and at @ $1000 is a quarter the cost of these other puppies.

None of this says anything about the KA ovens in general which don't exactly light it up in the quality or performance dept, and with backing by Whirlpool .......well I think you get the picture.


clipped on: 09.29.2009 at 11:36 am    last updated on: 09.29.2009 at 11:36 am

RE: help please with ventilation (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: kaseki on 07.31.2008 at 10:04 pm in Appliances Forum

The FAQ can be found at the top of the forum page listing the topics.

Hope to treat this stuff in detail in a FAQ supplement if I can ever find the time:

Whenever you cook something on a burner, no matter what type, effluent from the cooking process is produced and rises due to being hotter than the ambient air. In addition, burner heat warms the air around the pan (very little in the case of an induction hob), and this air rises. When cooking with gas, the combustion products are also hot and rise with the effluent.

So depending on the cooking method, more or less effluent is produced. At a minimum, one is only generating moist air and the requirement for ventilation is more or less voluntary; at a maximum, carbon monoxide is contained in the effluent and ventilation is mandatory. It is also mandatory if you don't like odors in the house, or grease on the walls.

A cooking ventilation system has to perform two functions, capture and containment. Capture is what the hood does, but a hood alone will let the effluent curl back down and spread into your house. Containment is what the cubic feet per minute (cfm) do, along with the depth and shape of the hood.

Because the effluent expands as it rises, it is necessary for capture that the hood overlap the burner areas as extended by the pan diameters that one is using. The overlap is nominally stated as three inches, but in reality depends on several factors I won't belabor in this message. So go as large as you can fit and afford, but never smaller than the cooktop width.

The cfm have to be high enough, and the hood deep enough, that the captured efflent be contained and ejected via the exhaust system. If the hood is too shallow or cfms too low, the effluent momentum causes it to curl out of the hood and escape into the house. There are several (at least) rules of thumb for how much cfm one needs, and these vary with hood size and type of cooking being performed. You can find rules of thumb at various on-line sites.

However, no matter how precise you calculate effluent flow rates, you can't predict exactly what is needed to get a given hood to contain the effuent in the presence of local air motion, pressure drops in the exhaust, house tightness, what is being cooked at what temperature, etc., without extensive and technical means of measurement. Or, you can overdesign and run the exhaust fan at a lower level as required and use your nose as the measurement tool.

I would recommend that the minimum flow rate (and please note that this is the flow rate obtained at zero static pressure across the exhaust fan and not the lower value that the exhaust system can actually achieve) you adopt is that specified for the nearest comparable cooktop in the back of the Wolf Design Guide, available on Wolf's web site. It embeds at least the rule of thumb that Wolf is comfortable using.

As an aside, I would assume that most persons buying 48-inch stoves intend to use them at levels higher than 30-inch stoves can manage. This implies a need for more cfm. Also, to keep velocities up to assure containment in the larger hood, yet more cfm are needed. And we haven't even addressed what the ovens might be doing that is hard to capture, but needs to be removed from the house air in a reasonable time. Underestimating the desirable cfm may prove more regrettable than overestimating it.



clipped on: 09.25.2009 at 11:31 pm    last updated on: 09.25.2009 at 11:31 pm

RE: help please with ventilation (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: breezy_2 on 07.31.2008 at 09:46 pm in Appliances Forum

I agree and disagree with many comments here but we have butted heads on this one before and it is indeed a matter of personal preference and experience often.

I don't think anyone who insists on anything is full of it if they know what they are talking about. In this case, I agree that a minimum of 1100 CFMs for a 48 inch unit is a must from my experience.

I agree that capture area is just as important. Both should be sized for ideal operation. IMO, ideal operation is when both the capture area and CFMs are a bit oversized. I like the concept that the ventilation is designed to run at about half speed for everyday normal (but involved) cooking. Maximum power is reserved for peak situations like grilling or blackening etc. I can tell you that the 900 CFM 36 inch Wolf hood (the extra deep unit w/heat lamps) I had matched with their 36 inch range just barely kept up with day to day cooking on high and half speed was an option only when I was shutting down to simmer and warm mode just before serving.

As to make up air, it does not have to be expensive and, although I am no expert, I have not heard it raised as a code concern in a residential setting. We did have to add a make up air source for our current setup but it is passive meaning it provides an outside source for the hood to pull from and does not "force air" into the area. It works just fine. Before the make up air unit was finished off by the HVAC guys just after moveing in (long story) we used another mode of make up air...a very slightly cracked window. It worked pretty well to.

I strongly agree with others that although your ventilation is not a sexy purchase (unless of course you are commissioning someone like Abakka to custom make one for you) you will regret skimping on it if you do. At a minimum, capture should be the same siz as the unit and ideally 6-12 inches wider (3-6 inches either side) and deeper as well. And, to beat a dead horse, use the BTU per CFM guidelines (can't remember what they are) and round up. Always remember, if you put in too many CFMs, you can just turn your unit down. If you don't have enough, your only option is to buy a bigger blower and pay for a redo.


clipped on: 09.25.2009 at 11:28 pm    last updated on: 09.25.2009 at 11:28 pm

RE: Any Advice Re Modern-Aire Range Hoods? (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: clinresga on 08.20.2008 at 09:06 pm in Kitchens Forum

I had not realized that the active version of this thread was here on Kitchen, not on Appliance.

I wanted to clarify the issue of blower types. First, (patting self, kaseki, breezy, edlakin etc on back), the thread that malhgold linked to in her first post (the third one on this thread) has a ton of information including detailed discussions of the different types of blowers, advantages, disadvantages etc.

It also includes what I think is the single best post anywhere on GW on capture area and hood performance from kaseki, which I think anyone who is as obsessed with ventilation as I am should commit to memory.

Having said that, there are three options: internal, inline, and external blowers. From a performance standpoint all can be equal: for same ducting and cfm rating all should be roughly equal in ventilation. The big difference is in noise levels. Obviously the inline blowers (which are typically mounted in an attic or other unoccupied space) or external blower (usually mounted on the roof or an exterior wall) greatly reduce motor noise. However a substantial part of hood noise is airflow related and more dependent on baffle design, duct size, and cfm rating. Still, if noise is a priority, a remote blower will always outperform an internal blower. That is even more true if a silencer is used, as trailrunner notes.

By the way, on the subject of which brand of fan to use: I don't know the Thermador line but I would strongly suggest consideration of the Fantech line of blowers and silencers. They are "industry standard" and are, for example, Modern-Aire's choice for an inline blower.

They are often rebranded. In particular, the Universal Metal Industries blowers and silencer that trailrunner linked to are based on the photos almost certainly a Fantech FKD blower and LD silencer resold under their name.

Our LD10 silencer is 42'' long and about 18'' in diameter--much wider than the 10'' ductwork we are using. It's pretty much huge, but I hope it's worth the hassle of mounting.


clipped on: 09.25.2009 at 11:23 pm    last updated on: 09.25.2009 at 11:24 pm

RE: Hood Recomendation for Blue Star 48' range top (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: clinresga on 06.16.2008 at 10:11 pm in Appliances Forum

This is a recurring question on this forum. Tons of great discussion about hoods accessible with a search.

Quick answer: at least 54'' hood, with over 1000 cfm flow, 10'' ducting. Most folks prefer baffled systems, though there are diehard VAH fans out there as well. Any decent high end vent company will offer you all the options you want in terms of lighting, warming, and blower choice.

Ideal blower option: in general opinions here run towards remote mounted blowers, either in attic or on roof.

In general I think the best hood manufacturers are dedicated hood companies, not hoods sold by range companies. Some, like some Wolfs, are made by these companies anyway. Popular hood manufacturers include Prestige, Independent, Modern Aire, Metallo Arts. Other popular options include Broan, Kobe, and of course VAH for those who like the "squirrel cage" approach.

Do spend some time looking at prior threads as you will get much more detailed information. Here's one:

Range Hood Decision time


clipped on: 09.25.2009 at 11:17 pm    last updated on: 09.25.2009 at 11:18 pm

RE: another rangehood question (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: clinresga on 12.14.2008 at 11:29 am in Appliances Forum

At least 42'' width.

27'' depth is nice if you don't hit your head on it. It's obvious, but more capture area is better.

Height above range: 30'' optimal but many will bump heads at this height. As you raise higher, your capture area must expand to account for increased lateral spread of the effluent.

Cfm? Again, with some exceptions, more is again better. There are few reasons IMHO to undersize a blower. The difference in cost is modest, and the ability to really cook hard with no smoke etc escaping is wonderful. Higher cfm do create some issues:
1) makeup air: this is a constant source of argument here. I know weissman for example feels it's necessary for 600 cfm. I vigorously disagree: as long as your code does not demand it. Most houses, other than ultra-tightly sealed houses, have plenty of air infiltration. And, again, worst case scenario you crack a window. Admittedly that's less optimal in Minnesota in winter, but remember that makeup air is also introducing frigid air into your house, unless you're using a fancy heat exchanger, which about doubles the cost of the installation.
2) noise: more cfm are louder. This can be elegantly eliminated in many cases by using a remote blower. However, if you're going straight out through the wall, that is not really an option. Even an external wall mounted remote blower will be so close to the hood that it will not really help the noise much. So, while a supershort duct run does help from a ventilation performance standpoint, it is actually a disadvantage from a noise standpoint.

There have also been a few posts in the past here suggesting that at least some hoods require a minimum length of duct run to work well. I'd check with your hood manufacturer first to be sure. I am also not sure how you mount a backdraft damper on such a short run--on the outside I guess? Without it, of course, every time the wind kicks up it will blow in through your hood. Another potential disadvantage of the through-the-wall ducting is that your backdraft damper, or at least the external exhaust outlet, will be highly visible on the side of your house, an issue depending on how exposed that side of the house is.

Remember too that if you install a hood with an infinitely variable fan speed control (MUCH superior to the typical Low-Medium-High switch on many hoods) you can always dial your ventilation down. To restate the cliche, you can always run a high cfm blower at lower speed, but you can never get a low cfm blower to crank up beyond its rating.

How many cfm? I think 750 may be inadequate for a 6 burner BS. Using one quick rule of thumb promulgated by Wolf, it's 1 cfm for every 100 BTU, and that's the SUM of all the burners you have. I don't offhand know the burner config of the BS, but if you have three 22K and three 15K burners as an example, you have 111K BTU, which argues for a 1000-1200 cfm blower. You can do the correct calculation for your exact burner configuration.

Finally, I will put my annoyingly repetitive plea to consider multiple brands of hoods. I have yet to hear of an appliance store selling more than one or two brands of hoods. Thus the "VAH is the best hood out there..." line you always here from dealers who (surprise) only carry VAH. You have recommendations above for several good sources. I'd add Independent, and of course my favorite, Modern Aire. The latter built our custom 64'' hood liner. It's gorgeous, works fantastically well, was quite cost competitive, and was totally custom. I specified the exact width, depth, and height of the hood, as well as the location of the duct collar, and had the light and variable speed fan control mounted on the wall beside our range, rather than underneath the hood, about as inconvenient a location as I can imagine. Plus, I worked on a daily basis with Jeff Herman there, who helped me decide on size, configuration, choice of blower, etc every step of the way. I still correspond with him now just for fun.




clipped on: 09.25.2009 at 08:20 pm    last updated on: 09.25.2009 at 08:20 pm

RE: modernaire vent hood (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: clinresga on 06.27.2008 at 06:04 pm in Appliances Forum

We have ordered a Modern Aire liner for our Cluny 1400.

Here's the easy solution: Call Modern Aire, and ask for Jeff Herman, or email him at He will make it incredibly easy. Tell him hi from Mark.


clipped on: 09.25.2009 at 01:20 pm    last updated on: 09.25.2009 at 01:57 pm

RE: Modern-Aire Vent Hoods? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: marthavila on 04.16.2009 at 12:05 pm in Appliances Forum

I hear you about limited phone time, Kerrygw. OTOH, when faced with similar issues, I've had to ask myself whether I'd rather invest the time on the front end in getting clear about what is needed and how to get it or on the back end in getting clear about how to fix the problem I didn't see coming when I rushed to place my order. Sorry, don't mean to sound like I'm lecturing here. It's just that when when it comes to range hoods (and if you're as new to this as I was) my advice is to slow down and take a bit of time! :)

At any rate, Jeff is definitely the best person to talk to at Modern-Aire. Only thing is that he's not always the easiest person to reach. In the alternative, I would suggest talking with Patrick. I think you'll find him to be knowledgeable, reliable and personable.

My PS 26 has an internal blower. Makes more noise than I would like but that's probably because I've never had a kitchen with a range hood before and I have no idea whether my blower is any louder or quieter than any other. I should also note that I have 1200 cfms (many more than are necessary for most of my cooking situations). So, more often than not, I'm running the blower on a low-medium speed and the sound it makes, while noticeable, is not a big deal. Bottom line is that my MA works just fine!



clipped on: 09.25.2009 at 01:44 pm    last updated on: 09.25.2009 at 01:44 pm

RE: Range Hood Decision time. Can you HELP??? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: haus_proud on 04.02.2008 at 03:22 pm in Appliances Forum

You have not told us about your range and how much heat & smoke it is likely to generate. The exhaust system you install should "match" the cooking appliance, and some cooking appliance manuals give guidance on that question. If your cooking requirements are "average" family style (30" range with 4 burners), you could probably be fine with about 300-600 cfm in an undercabinet installation, but higher cfm in an island configuration. If you're planning a restaurant style upscale range that puts out a lot more heat than a typical home range, and you plan to use 3-4 or more burners simultaneously often, then you need more exhaust capacity, and you will also need make-up air capability.

In our outdated system, we have a Broan 15 year old hood that's rated 235 cfm, which is low by current standards. It's motor is remotely located in the attic just inside the openin where the duct sends the exhaust outside. The system is quiet because we do not hear the motor, but we do hear the rushing of air. The new Broan hoods have a larger "air capture" surface, the whole underside of the unit, which I think will reduce the air noise compared to ours.

We're still satisfied with our sub-optimal system, and we're in no big hurry to replace it. It works fine except when we really cook up a storm, which we don't do very often. When we do, we just make sure to leave the exhaust system on for a bit longer.

Good luck in your decision.


clipped on: 09.25.2009 at 01:01 pm    last updated on: 09.25.2009 at 01:01 pm

RE: Range Hood Decision time. Can you HELP??? (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: clinresga on 04.23.2008 at 09:52 pm in Appliances Forum

I think the idea that something as limited as a 600 cfm blower would need makeup air is excessive unless you have an extremely tight house. Code is another question of course. Jeff Herman at Modern Aire (who has been extremely helpful to me in choosing a hood for our coming Lacanche range) says that with a 1400 cfm remote blower we don't need makeup air for a "typical" house like ours.

BTW: Modern Aire can customize a hood liner to any size, duct and electrical configuration you want for a very minimal extra custom charge. Definitely worth checking out. We're looking at an Abbaka remote plus Fantech silencer. They will sell to us directly.

And, to speak of something we already have experience with, we have a 600 cfm dual blower VAH hood liner at the other house. I've been happy with it. It handles a rather small (Dacor 30" drop-in cooktop with 15K, 11K, and 9K x 3 burners if my memory serves me correctly) cooktop well--although I certainly would NOT want to put it over anything bigger than this range--I can almost overload it using the 15K burner when searing. Cleanup is not a biggie, and we have not had the peeling paint issue mentioned elsewhere, at least to date, though it's relatively new.

We are going to the Modern Aire rather than a VAH not because of a baffle vs Magic Lung preference, but rather that we clearly wanted a remote blower given the size (60") and cfm rating we needed. The VAH is not terribly loud, but no one would accuse it of being quiet when both fans are on high.


clipped on: 09.25.2009 at 12:43 pm    last updated on: 09.25.2009 at 12:43 pm

RE: Abakka Blower (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: stei7141 on 06.09.2009 at 12:54 pm in Appliances Forum

We are getting a Modern-Aire hood and a remote Abbaka blower (1000 cfm). At the suggestion of Jeff at Modern-Aire, I contacted Abbaka directly and received a price quote far less than it would have been had I purchased the blower from Modern-Aire. To me, that's just another example of Modern-Aire's wonderful customer service.

Here is a link that might be useful: Abbaka home page


clipped on: 09.25.2009 at 12:42 pm    last updated on: 09.25.2009 at 12:42 pm