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Tutorial (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: pipdog on 03.05.2012 at 08:28 pm in Home Decorating & Design Forum

thanks, dee - we must have posted at the same time! Here's the link to the tutorial. I love her bold red Otami fabric.

Here is a link that might be useful: headboard DIY


DIY headdboard instructions
clipped on: 01.10.2013 at 12:29 pm    last updated on: 01.10.2013 at 12:30 pm

Roof Replaced -Does this work description seem right?

posted by: kjeppy on 04.08.2009 at 09:21 am in Home Repair Forum


I am getting my roof replaced. There are currently 2 layers of shingles that will be ripped off and replaced. There is also a small area where the plywood will be replaced. I don't know alot about roofs, and want to make sure that everything on this description is part of the normal routine of having a roof replaced. There will be a 14 man crew, all employeed by the company doing my roof, and it will take one day. I have a average sized capecod (don't know the sq. footage. Thanks!



clipped on: 03.31.2012 at 05:41 pm    last updated on: 03.31.2012 at 05:41 pm

RE: Contractor needed, Cambridge MA (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: jonnyp on 03.04.2012 at 06:37 pm in Remodeling Forum

I can recommend a roofer , they did my roof 2 yrs ago, by far the cheapest and quality work. Bay State roofers is located in Reading , Ma. They spent a total of six hours stripping 2 layers and re roofing and did the job right. They have since done several other jobs in my neighborhood because of the work done on my house, they are consummate professionals. Go out and get some detailed quotes and then call them.
I have no affiliation w/ these guys at all, they were recommended by a coworker who is extremely thorough. I work on the engineering side of the trades for a large Defense contractor on the the North Shore.


clipped on: 03.31.2012 at 05:26 pm    last updated on: 03.31.2012 at 05:26 pm

Chimney flashing: cut in?

posted by: behaviorkelton on 08.22.2006 at 08:21 am in Home Repair Forum

More on my roof estimates...

My current chimney flashing is just up against my chimney without the top edge being folded into a cut in the mortar.

In home improvment books, it always shows the flashing work being done by cutting a thin groove in the side of the chimney and tucking the top edge of flashing into that groove.

My estimator said that they will install all new flashing, but when I asked him if they tuck it into the brick work, he said that they do that only if there is an existing groove for that.

There isn't one on my chimney, but it sure seems like a good idea, right? Is there a solid way to flash the chimney without that technique?


clipped on: 03.31.2012 at 05:07 pm    last updated on: 03.31.2012 at 05:07 pm

Roofing pricing....burst my bubble...and wallet

posted by: parkplaza on 07.26.2010 at 07:58 pm in Remodeling Forum

We were considering redoing our shingles. Requires a tear off being it has 2 layers existing. The estimate we received from contractors were $8,900 and $8,850 for the tear off and 30 year Timberline product. And both have a line item that each piece of plywood will be $60 and $55 each respectively. So I am sure the cost will be $9000 plus when all is said and done. The one contractor said he would be done in one day, the other two days. Without knowing the price of shingles, I am thinking, WOW, how much profit is on this job. I live in NJ, but geesh. Maybe I am just clueless. Not to start a immigrant debate, but I have seen the one contractor hires day labor. Not sure what he pays them, but am guessing $200 per day cash for a long 10 hour day ($20 per hour). So if he brings say 5 guys to the job that is $1000 in labor? And the cost of product is ???? So I guess my questions are, does this seem reasonable for an estimate, does the hired labor cost seem correct, should I get additional quotes, and any other advice? Both contractors used the 30 year shingle saying that is what makes sense, is this stuff expensive?




clipped on: 03.31.2012 at 04:48 pm    last updated on: 03.31.2012 at 04:48 pm

roof replacement - what do I need to learn now?

posted by: blackcats13 on 03.24.2009 at 06:21 pm in Old House Forum

So it seems that someone who was taking care of the house before we bought it was caulking up leaks in the roof, if I understood correctly, and that the structure of the roof might not be strong enough to hold the weight of the layers currently up there (at least 3). After my discussion with the (very knowledgeable) neighbor, I starting thinking maybe we shouldn't let the roof go another year or 2. I plan to get some people out to take a look and give us repair and replace quotes in the next couple of weeks to see what's what. In the meantime, I have some thoughts/questions floating around in my brain (as always).

1. We had an energy audit recently. One of the things in the report is: "Your attic space is technically ventilated, but there's so much vaulted ceiling area and so few vents in the soffits that it's doubtful the ventilation is having much effect anyway. You may as well open up the main ceiling to be vaulted as well." This is an interesting concept to me. Any comments?

2. We haven't seen any signs of the roof leaking, but obviously that doesn't mean it isn't. Apparently the previous owner knew there was leaking, because he tried to "fix" it. How worried would you be about this? We did have the roof inspected, though he didn't actually get up there (sadly), he did say it needed to be replaced. He also indicated the ... underlayment? seemed to be in good condition as seen from the attic access. Is this a "throw the emergency fund at it" type of repair? Or do we wait until we see visible signs? By that point, how much additional damage have we done by waiting?

3. If this is a 'do NOW' type of thing would you do the following. Put it on the empty credit card with 5.99% interest (until April 2010) and a 3% "balance transfer" fee. I can't say if it would be paid off by then or not since I don't actually know how much this would cost. While I'm not keen on taking on additional debt right now, I'm even less keen on the idea of the roof unknowingly leaking and causing more problems later.

Any thoughts, comments, advice, knowledge? Anything would help at this point, as this is not one of the areas I've studied up on yet.

Here is a link that might be useful: our house


clipped on: 03.31.2012 at 04:00 pm    last updated on: 03.31.2012 at 04:41 pm

Preparing for complete roof tearoff

posted by: threedgrad on 06.15.2006 at 09:57 am in Home Repair Forum

I have to have my three layers of roof (including original 1926 shingles) torn off along with the orinal spaced boards. Replacing all this will be new plywood decking and the dimensional roof shingles in a charcoal blend.

I am getting a tree trimmer in here before the schedule roof work. Are there any other things I should prepare for? Supposedly he is bringing a 10 man crew in here to get the work done in 2 days. I will have to tell my neighbors since they are so close.


clipped on: 03.31.2012 at 04:15 pm    last updated on: 03.31.2012 at 04:15 pm

best websites to buy faucets, showers, sinks & med cabinets from

posted by: jimnyo on 03.12.2011 at 03:24 am in Bathrooms Forum

sorry if this is a repost, but i did a quick search and didn't find anything. what are the best websites to buy from? i've heard a lot about and and to stay away from, but does anyone else have any recommendations?

when i google search shopping results, i'm seeing a lot of these sites and wonder if anyone's used them:, luxuryhomeoutlet, home thanks for the input!


Middle of thread has a very good detailed response about several sites.
clipped on: 07.09.2011 at 10:21 am    last updated on: 07.09.2011 at 10:22 am

RE: Cleaning shower with porcelain wall tiles and stone mosaic fl (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: bill_vincent on 03.23.2011 at 08:15 am in Bathrooms Forum

Oxyclean works pretty well on both surfaces, as well.


Cleans both porcelain and stone mosaic
clipped on: 03.23.2011 at 04:53 pm    last updated on: 03.23.2011 at 05:00 pm


posted by: cindieku on 10.02.2010 at 01:04 am in Bathrooms Forum

Help! I have done exhaustive searches on my quest to find the perfet shower head. We are doing an extensive bathroom remodel. I need a hand held showerhead to serve as the only one in the shower. I like a strong shower, none of the rain shower stuff. I would also like to have several adjustments and I want it to look good too. Any suggestions?


Recs for strong showerheads
clipped on: 01.15.2011 at 05:10 pm    last updated on: 01.15.2011 at 05:10 pm

RE: hand held showers, someone please help! (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: susanelewis on 07.19.2010 at 12:07 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I would steer clear of both Delta and Moen if you want to "ensure that I get a firm spray that will easily rinse soap/shampoo from the body and hair." For that you will have to dig out the flow restrictor from the handheld and when we did this with my Moen, it cracked the handheld because the integrity of the handheld was so poor that it couldn't withstand the extra volume. And now after about 15 years, the replacement handheld is not keeping its fixed position on the slide bar. I cannot wait to scrap it when we redo the master bath.

I'm a huge Grohe fan because as I've posted countless times, the flow restrictors are a piece of cake to remove. I have the Relaxa handheld system in my main bath and they are amazing. They are 15 years old and look as good as day one. I have the metal hose in there and no issues.

The problem is that you want a mount like we had when he had Water Pik Shower Massage (adding handheld to existing plumbing). I'm not sure it will be easy to find that type of setup with higher end brands. I would take a look at the WP Shower Massage. THey've come a long way since we installed on in the 80s with different finishes and styles. I cannot speak to their water flow however, but I suspect you might have the same issue with low water flow. I would contact them and ask if it is possible to remove the restrictor.


See this post and next response. Rec to remove flow restricter for stronger spray
clipped on: 01.15.2011 at 05:06 pm    last updated on: 01.15.2011 at 05:08 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 & metal�hit 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 placement�and 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


Granite purchasing/installation advice
clipped on: 11.15.2010 at 10:29 am    last updated on: 11.15.2010 at 10:29 am

Toto: on skirts and seats and sitting pretty

posted by: purplerascal on 08.14.2010 at 04:36 pm in Bathrooms Forum

So I've been circling the Toto toilets for a while now, trying to decide which one will work for our bathroom. The skirted ones are the most tempting, for ease of cleaning and simplicity of line (because this is a gut job, we can easily figure out the supply line placement). The Carrollton leads the pack at the moment, for its vintage styling, with the Vespin and Aquia as plain and acceptable. runners-up.

But I'm really not a fan of the standard Toto seats, the ones that funnel inwards and downwards. As one of my children described it, it's "like sitting in a black hole."

What are my other options? Alas, I couldn't get a straight answer from the local Toto retailer today. He seemed to think you could only use one of two plastic Toto seats on *all* the skirted toilets. Can that be right? It sounded wrong to me.

I know there are issues with accessing the bolts, but can one use other brand seats with Toto-style top-down bolts?

And/or, if only Toto seats work, which non-funnel ones work with the models on my shortlist? Can you use the nice dark wood seat with any of the skirted loos?

Many thanks for any advice! Including tips on your most comfortable seat, and how you solved your own toilet seat dilemma, if you had one...


alternatives to Toto seat (inward slope)
clipped on: 11.11.2010 at 11:55 am    last updated on: 11.11.2010 at 11:55 am

Andersen 400 vs Marvin Ultimate clad

posted by: texas_al on 10.18.2006 at 11:41 pm in Windows Forum

We have 22 windows going in our new house. Two go in the garage, so we'll just use vinyl windows for those. Of the other 20, 3 are casement and 17 are double hungs. There are more 3050s than anything else, a couple of 3060s too.

We were on the verge of pulling the trigger on the Home Depot bid for the 400 series with low e for about $7500 including tax. Then I read some good things about Marvin and some not so good things about Andersen on this site.

I have looked at the Marvin ultimates twice. They have a more unobtrusive rail (where the bottom sash slides up and down), more wood showing. The tilt feature also works much better.

However, the Andersen's removable grills are well thought out and very nice, whereas the Marvins are pretty much worthless. Their explanation is that not many people want them with removable grills anyway.

Also, Andersen claims that their glass has something on that keeps it clean or makes it easier to clean.

Energy ratings are similar, and the quality of contruction seem about the same.

After the wife saw the simulated divided lite, we pretty much decided that we want SDL on the upper sash and none on the lower. So the sorry removeable grills is probably not an issue with the Marvins.

Putting SDL either Andersen or Marvin on only one sash adds about $60 per window over removeable grills. The Andersens would then end up about $8700 and the Marvins about $1000 more.

Are the Marvins worth another $1000?

Also, I am concerned about protecting the interiors from these beautiful wood windows during construction, and also I wonder about how the humidity inside the house during construction with no A/C will affect the windows, could they warp before I ever get the painters in their to stain and varnish the interiors?

Also, can I count on the framers doing a good installation job on the windows?


Supposedly the Marvin Ultimates can accomodate an interior mount blind and the Anderson 400 WOODWRIGHT (not other 400 series) can too.

This thread discusses the pros and cons.

clipped on: 11.09.2010 at 08:40 am    last updated on: 11.09.2010 at 08:42 am

How do you pick a granite fabricator? Any recommendations in MA?

posted by: drmkit on 09.28.2010 at 11:04 am in Kitchens Forum


We are in the midst of a kitchen remodel. Cabinets should be in on Thursday, so we would like to decide on a granite by this weekend. My question is how do you pick a granite shop/fabricator? Do you usually go with whoever has the slab you really like? Or is price the deciding factor? We are in MA, and we've been to Cassa Stone in Shrewsbury, Selva stone in Westboro, 3SM in Millis, and a couple in Franklin (New view and I think World marble and granite). They have all been more or less similar in their service, and they all have the Madura gold that we want. But we don't know who to go with! If anyone in MA has any other recommendations, we would love that input too.



MA Granite recs in ff posts
clipped on: 10.26.2010 at 01:52 pm    last updated on: 10.26.2010 at 01:53 pm

RE: Pros/Cons of Recessed Lights. Must decide now. (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: pudgybaby on 08.15.2010 at 10:08 am in Kitchens Forum

I really struggled with this, too. I think it's best to consult a lighting specialist, but even then we weren't happy with the results, probably because we didn't know what to ask. I can only speak to the cans, but I think the type of bulb and trim you use has a big impact on the type of light you get. Our lighting specialist recommended short neck halogen PAR bulbs - the kind that have the reflector covers that look like outdoor bulbs - with black trims. We knew the black trims weren't for us, so we looked into the alzak trims, both clear and wheat haze. In the end, since we couldn't decide, we told the electrician to put in the basic white trims with the halogen PAR bulbs.

We HATED it. The light was more spot-light than ambient (although not all that spot-light). We could clearly see the parabola shape of the light on the upper cabinets and walls. The shadows were bad, especially the handles on the upper cabinets, and the lights were very harsh when looking at the ceiling (although maybe the alzak trims would have fixed that). So then I started googling. Turns out, we wanted more ambient light, which is sounds to me like what you want, too. But our cans were in, and I wasn't about to consider changing those to surface mount. We ended up going with LEDs, as suggested by Nancy_in_Mich, and we LOVE them. After lots of internet research, we got the Cree LR6 2700k cans for $80 each at and put them on a dimmer. Polar-ray is local to me so I did not order them over the internet, but they were great - very helpful and knowledgeable, and I saw good reviews of Polar-ray on the internet.

The LEDs spread the light more. There are still shadows, but much reduced. The come on immediately (no warmup) and dim, although not as much as the halogens did. They are very bright, at least as bright as the 75 watt halogens. I recommend a dimmer!

Here's a picture with both bulbs - look at the two lights near the wall. The one on the left is the LED, right is halogen 75 watt. You can see the defined edge of the light for the halogen, but not the LED. Also, the LED light is higher up on the wall - more spread out and diffuse. You can also see a color difference - we prefer the LED because the halogen was quite white. There are two other bulbs in the pic - the front one is LED and the right one is halogen (see the shadows created by the one on the right).

LED vs halogen can lighting, LED on left

Good luck with your decision!


Pics of recessed halogens vs LEDs
clipped on: 10.07.2010 at 01:38 pm    last updated on: 10.07.2010 at 01:39 pm

Schluter Ditra

posted by: rtl850nomore on 01.18.2010 at 06:13 pm in Remodeling Forum

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with Ditra as a tile underlayment as opposed to Hardie?


Ditra instead of cement board for floors, use UNMODIFIED thinset (link to Schluter/Ditra handbook) and subfloor thickness requirements.
clipped on: 09.02.2010 at 12:50 pm    last updated on: 09.02.2010 at 12:59 pm

RE: Best kind of white/light-colored countertops? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: katienic on 06.18.2009 at 01:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

Don't forget about Bianco Romano Granite if you are looking for a light granite. It would be clasified as a medium grain rather than the fine grain of Kashmir White. It has gorgeous blue/gray veins. Though my floor is porcelain tile with a walnut glaze it is very close to your floor colour. I think it has enough colour interest to work well with your lovely cabinet colour.

Here is a close up of a small section on the sink wall - this section happens to be very textured.

and a larger view of it on the island. This shows more of the overall texture. There is a bit of floor showing too.



Bianco Romano counter, cabinets and next picture too showing floor in different light
clipped on: 08.06.2010 at 02:02 pm    last updated on: 08.06.2010 at 02:03 pm

RE: cfl bulbs - if you use them what kind? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: lee676 on 06.24.2010 at 06:45 pm in Home Decorating Forum

> Which type would give the best lighting for a bathroom mirror where you put on makeup?

It depends on whether you want to see how you'll look indoors or out. Indoor light is usually warm - like incandescent or halogen bulbs and most CFLs - so use soft-white or warm-white bulbs (2700 to 3000K) that match most indoor lighting. To see what you'll look like outdoors, use daylight-balanced bulbs (5000K is bright sunlight, 6500K is cooler, more like an overcast sky). Those numbers are usually somewhere in small print on the packaging. Neutral/bright white light bulbs - 3500K - used to be common only in commercial settings like offices, but recently have become popular for home use too (GE Reveal, etc.) In all cases, you want it to be bright, but especially if you go with daylight bulbs, which don't achieve their desired effect unless it's bright. If you want to get really fancy, put both warm and daylight bulbs in your bathroom on separate switches, and turn on either or both as needed.

> Just don't forget that CFLs need to be recycled at your hazardous waste center.

Many home centers and IKEA also recycle fluorescent/CFL bulbs


clipped on: 07.17.2010 at 11:44 am    last updated on: 07.17.2010 at 11:44 am

RE: need bathroom lighting source (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: jacobse on 04.22.2010 at 02:21 pm in Bathrooms Forum

You can either browse online stores, or lighting manufacturer web sites and then get pricing for the ones you like on retailer web sites. there are dozens, and probably hundreds, of lighting manufacturers, with many thousands of fixtures (yes, just for bathroom bars and sconces). Without knowing what you're looking for -- and you may not yet know what you're looking for -- it's hard to point you in any specific direction.

Here are just a few online stores with zillions of selections ad some good tools for narrowing your search by the criteria you want (size, finish, manufacturer, cost, etc.)

Capital Lighting (
Lighting Universe (
Lighting Direct (
CSN Lighting (

That's by no means a comprehensive list -- just a few that I've used; there are many others. And many broader online retailers, such as, carry lots of lighting, too.

Here is just a sampling of some lighting manufacturer web site you might want to explore:

Tech Lighting (
Kichler Lighting (
LBL Lighting (
Forecast (
Hudson Valley Lighting (
George Kovacs (

Again, there are many more manufacturers, and this is just a sampling. You'll find certain companies have mostly contemporary designs, others have mostly traditional designs, and many have lights across all spectrums.

On the guest bathroom were just finishing, and the master bath we're about to start, I think we spent more time going to lighting stores (all over the Philadelphia suburbs_, browsing catalogs in the stores, and browsing online, than on any other piece of the projects. There's just an incredible variety of fixtures out there. Our style is contemporary, and many lighting stores have a very limited number of contemporary bathroom fixtures on display, so we've found it necessary to prowl the books and web sites to see more than what we've found in person. And although we've narrowed in, we still haven't made the decision on our fixtures for the master bath. Maybe this weekend... ;)

-- Eric


Lighting manufacturers and online stores
clipped on: 07.02.2010 at 10:24 am    last updated on: 07.02.2010 at 10:25 am

xpost: Got plumbing est: Can it be Right?

posted by: judithn on 03.16.2010 at 09:21 am in Bathrooms Forum

The contractor who is hiring the plumber just sent me an estimate. He says it costs $2550.00 to do the following:

New shut off valves for toilets and sinks.
New drains for sinks.
New shower pan
New shower diverter
New faucet for tub.
Price for labor only.

Here's what you should know:

The shower walls, platform around the tub, and floor are being retiled. We are yanking out old vanity/sinks/faucets and upgrading for better storage.

If the plumbing for the double sinks in the vanity are moved, they are moving only like 6" to the right or left. Odds are only ONE connection will need to be moved, if at all.

I am not changing the plumbing in the shower (well, I will get a new escutcheon plate and shower head but that's not touching what's inside the wall). Do I need a new shower diverter?

Do I need new shut off valves? Forgive my stupidity, but those are the handles near the wall, right? I have them already. They're kinda dirty, but do I need to replace them? If it's an aesthetic reason, I can see replacing the one under the toilet since that's visible. But the ones under the double sinks are inside a vanity cabinet.

Oh, not sure whether I'm getting a new toilet or not. The one I have is fine but it seems like if they're gonna have to remove it to install tile then replace it, I might as well get a new one (the one we have is easily clogged).

To me, $2550 seems kinda high but I don't know how much work is really involved in this stuff. What do you all think?


followup posts talk about pex lines, replacing shut off valves, etc.
clipped on: 06.19.2010 at 04:45 pm    last updated on: 06.19.2010 at 04:45 pm

Has anyone purchased from efaucet?

posted by: mileaday on 09.04.2009 at 11:29 am in Bathrooms Forum

I can save some money ordering some of my bath items from but I have seen some negative reviews about damaged products and customer service. The money that I can save won't be worth it if I run into problems. Does anyone have personal experience dealing with this company?


Recs and warnings about online retailers.
clipped on: 04.30.2010 at 01:19 pm    last updated on: 04.30.2010 at 01:20 pm

Mold growth on your bathroom ceiling (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: johnfrwhipple on 03.07.2010 at 01:03 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Have you been into the attic? Is there evidence of a leak from above?

Bathroom ceilings are weak point in any home. A good fan should be installed with a dehumidistat switch and a programmable timer. Your electrician can add these devices so your home has one fan on a timer and a dehumidistat to kick in when humidity builds up.

I like to use Zissner Red Label primer (2 coats over fresh drywall) and a top of the line oil paint in my bathroom projects.

Often the ceiling in the bathtub is dropped to about 7' in older homes and most times can be raised with out much effort - this helps reduce the number of water droplets that form after a shower.

Also the heat requirements for the room might be low or there is not enough of an airspace under the bathroom door to aid in cross ventilation.

A starting point...

Good Luck,


John Whipple

"When it's perfect. It's good enough."


Also, mix microban in with paints to prevent mold
clipped on: 04.26.2010 at 10:14 am    last updated on: 04.26.2010 at 10:15 am

RE: starting bathroom . Have questions re tiling (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mongoct on 03.12.2010 at 10:23 pm in Bathrooms Forum

1) Ply on floor does not have to be aterproofed.

2) Manufactured niches are waterproof. Install the niche and when you waterproof the cbu you'll seal the niche flange and cbu nice and tight.

3) It's certainly easier to buy a pre-made one and plop it in place. But you're limited by the offerings out there. If you want something different you can certainly frame your own. The niche I put in my shower is pretty wide, about 32" if I recall. Bottom opening is maybe 13" or 14" high, the top about 11 or 12" high. Wood framed, then covered in backer board. The roll-on membranes are fine, I used kerdi. then tile. Pitch the shelves for drainage.


clipped on: 04.25.2010 at 08:58 pm    last updated on: 04.25.2010 at 08:58 pm

RE: Toto Guinevere - so disappointed! looong review (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: benguin on 01.17.2009 at 07:18 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Washergirl- I'm the one who put the insulation in behind the drain.

I had seen the posts about the dripping noise, but didn't realize what they were really saying as we also have had a Toto Vespin for years and didn't have that problem. The open back on many of the one piece units are the basic cause.

I had already put the first toilet in, so I ended up stuffing this cotton insulation in around it from the back side. I'm not sure where it's readily available locally for you. We got our stuff from I had some left over since we had really made an effort to soundproof/vibration proof our bathroom where the airjet tub went in. We used a sheet of mass loaded vinyl and got a couple of rolls of this R13 cotton insulation, so we had plenty for the small toilet space too.

I would think you could almost use any kind of acoustic absorbing material. Even places like Best Buy have sound absorbing mats for car stereo usage that would probably work. I think for our second toilet I'm going to surround the unifit with the soft cotton batts, then use the mass loaded vinyl cut to tuck in around the back. That should completely dampen the sound.

Hope that helps. Luckily, we haven't had any problems with our old or new Toto's flushing. The Sanagloss on them definnitely is simpler to clean than our old toilets.


Thread about Toto Guinevere having dripping noise and leaving skid marks. this poster says it is one pc unit with open backs that cause the noise. Sanagloss helps the marking.
clipped on: 04.23.2010 at 09:25 am    last updated on: 04.23.2010 at 09:27 am

FAQ/Answers Bathroom Plumbing for dummies

posted by: sheilaaus122 on 06.23.2008 at 11:06 am in Bathrooms Forum

I hope this is not hijacking the previous thread of Showers- FAQ but I thought since Bill V had offered to answer a bunch, those were more likely to be tiling related. I thought maybe we should start a new one of plumbing related FAQ's and if we get lucky- answers will be posted here too.
I will start-
for a shower/tub configuration, what is needed besides the tub spout, the shower head, and the on/off thingy?
For a shower configuration(like the master bathroom with a separate tub) what is needed beside the shower head and on /off thingy?
And for both of the above, what optional fixtures do you like? (handheld, stuff like that).


Very comprehensive replies (3) by Mongoct.
clipped on: 04.22.2010 at 08:49 am    last updated on: 04.22.2010 at 08:50 am

How did you come up with your budget?

posted by: lilipad75 on 02.26.2009 at 10:40 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I've been working off of one I found in Bath Makeovers magazine, basically 40% faucets/fixtures, 26% surfaces, 20% overrun, 10% cabinetry and 4% hardware.

We're doing a gut renovation on our upstairs family bath (new everything except tub) and adding a fiberglass shower, toilet and pedestal sink to a powder room downstairs. We'll also be tearing out a wall and tiling in adjoining laundry room.

-Does 6K sound about right for materials?
We're buying everything except building materials and the shower.

-How close did you come to your budget?
As I've mapped it out so far (haven't bought anything yet) I'm pretty close to my mark (and everything over I'm ready to argue for!) but I've already gone through my 20% overrun. Am I in trouble?

I found that the above budget seemed more or less ample in all categories except hardware, where $240 for two bathrooms felt AWFULLY skimpy, especially when I found out what toilet paper holders cost, even at Home Depot!!

If you like I can provide a deatiled list of what I've decided on and you can tell me if I'm being a ninny or not!


clipped on: 04.21.2010 at 09:23 am    last updated on: 04.21.2010 at 09:23 am

How much are you spending on your master bath remodel?

posted by: nbptmomto3 on 03.27.2010 at 08:24 am in Bathrooms Forum

Surprise surprise. We're overbudget. We live in a fairly large and fairly nice 1990 colonial, builder's grade everything. Formica & linoleum throughout. We've lived here 5 years and keep plugging away at things, this is our first major major project though. Total gut and redo of master bath, moving toilet, tub, shower, adding washer/dryer....our very good friends are the plumber and contractor (thank goodness) and well looks like we're in it for $40,000. Imagine? How much did your master bath remodel cost?


clipped on: 04.20.2010 at 05:12 pm    last updated on: 04.20.2010 at 05:12 pm

Best product to clean shower glass?

posted by: sis2two on 03.31.2010 at 05:01 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Do any of you know a good product to clean the clear glass of a shower door? Didn't realize at the time I had the door installed what a problem it is to keep clean. I even used rain-x which was recommended to repel water stains but that doesn't seem to work that great. I don't know if you should use the same product on your glass that you use to clean the tile or not. Suggestions would be appreciated.


clipped on: 04.20.2010 at 11:01 am    last updated on: 04.20.2010 at 11:01 am

Okay, tell me about Toto toilets

posted by: jacobse on 02.18.2010 at 07:42 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I started another thread on choosing among Kohler toilets, but I realize many people have preferred Toto's in recent years -- although there are negative reports mixed in. I was a bit concerned by reports of noisy flushes and ongoing water noises, but I'm open to considering Toto over Kohler.

I'm not as familiar with Toto's models, and can't eyeball them in the local Lowes or Home Depot, but there are a number of Toto designs which seem to meet my desire for a clean, contemporary look. It seems most comments here are from people who installed a Toto Drake. Style-wise, I'd prefer something like the Pacifica, Vespin or Nexus, with their clean lines and skirted base, but I haven't seen any of these mentioned much. Anyone have one? The Nexus is the only one in the comfort height, so I'd probably lean towards that. Many of the Toto models don't appear in the MaP (Maximum Performance) report, so I don't have objective measurements of their flushing ability, but I assume the various G-Max models would be similar? Is the Drake better for some reason, or just less expensive than these skirted models? And how important is Sanigloss (which I note is not on the Nexus).

And why did I think a choice of toilet would be one of the easy parts of shopping for the bathroom remodels? ;)

-- Eric


clipped on: 04.20.2010 at 10:13 am    last updated on: 04.20.2010 at 10:13 am