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RE: Harvest People and Bread Baking (Follow-Up #43)

posted by: temiha on 12.05.2009 at 01:29 pm in Harvest Forum

Farmergardener: I saw that you have most likely decided on the Sunbeam, I just wanted to say that I have had a Breadman Plus that I bought from Broadway before they went out of business some +12 years ago. I will use it alot around the holidays for the rolls and then when the mood strikes me. I also recently had a yen for fresh, homemade ravioli and to properly make that, it needed lots of kneeding. I pulled out the handy bread machine and used the dough cycle and it kneeded the dough beautifully! (I am just lazy)

As for a great "Wonder White (junk white) Bread" recipe, I have it. I found this recipe in a book called "Electric Bread A bread Maching Activity book for Kids". It is a HUGE hit with kids and makes incredible rolls. Here it is:

White Bread
smaller loaf first and larger loaf is the second portion
Water
1 1/4 cups 1 1/2 cups
White Bread Flour
3 cups 4 cups
Dry Milk
2 Tablespoons 3 Tablespoons
Sugar
2 Tablespoons 3 Tablespoons

Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons 2 teaspoons
Butter
2 Tablespoons 3 Tablespoons
Yeast (fast rise)
1 1/2 teaspoons 2 teaspoons
OR
Yeast(active dry)
2 teaspoons 2 1/2 teaspoons

The nutritional information per serving is:
156 Calories
6mg Cholesterol
296mg Sodium
13% Protein
72% Carbohydrates
15% fat
But I have no idea how big a serving is...for me the whole bread could be just one serving.
Teri

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clipped on: 12.20.2009 at 06:05 am    last updated on: 12.20.2009 at 06:05 am

RE: Harvest People and Bread Baking (Follow-Up #41)

posted by: nancedar on 12.04.2009 at 07:58 pm in Harvest Forum

I've had longer shelf life/counter life with my breads by substituting 1 Tablespoon of Liquid Lecithin for 1 Tablespoon of the fat in all my recipes. I've also found that making smaller loaves and adjusting the recipe's ingredient ratios gives me just what we need/what we will consume in our normal time period without having so much wasted stale or moldy bread. You could do the same thing without any adjustment, use smaller pans, then use the extra dough to make a pan of biscuits - cool, cover with freezer paper, seal, and pop in the freezer for another time.

For keeping homemade bread, I follow Julia Child's advice and put it cut side down on a bread board with a thick dish towel completely covering it. That works so much better than plastic wrap, paper bags, or plastic containers. In the winter when the house air is very dry, I put a dish of water next to it to keep the humidity around it higher.

BTW - I've found that kneading bread actually helps my arthritis - "use it or lose it" my doc said. Hurts for a while but result in a day or so is an increase in flexibility in my hands, fingers, wrists and shoulders and a lot less pain for a much longer time period.

Nancy

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clipped on: 12.20.2009 at 06:03 am    last updated on: 12.20.2009 at 06:03 am

No-Knead Bread (Follow-Up #25)

posted by: coffeehaus on 11.15.2009 at 08:25 pm in Harvest Forum

For all of you bakers afflicted with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc., you can make bread without a bread machine. I've been baking all of our bread for about 2 years now...ever since the "No-Knead Bread" article came out in the NYT. This EASY bread is very forgiving, and I have developed numerous variations. It takes very little time to mix up...just a little planning ahead. The following is a fusion of the NYT and Cook's Illustrated recipes:
The night before you plan to bake your bread, mix together
4 c. King Arthur bread flour
1 tsp. yeast (regular or rapid-rise)
2 tsp. salt
Add the following liquid mix to the flour
1/2 c. beer(optional...may use all water) with water added to total 14 fl. oz.
1 1/2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
Mix, cover and place in warm place for 12-18 hours. The dough will be slightly wet. After rising, turn dough out onto floured surface and shape into a round loaf. If you want, you can knead the dough for about 30 sec. Place dough into a 9-10 inch frying pan (just to keep the shape) lined with parchment paper, cover and let rise 2 hours. About 20-30 min. before the 2 hours are up, preheat oven to 500 degrees and place a (cast iron, ceramic, glass, etc.) Dutch oven with lid inside to preheat, as well. When ready to bake, DECREASE THE OVEN TEMP. TO 450 DEGREES (I've forgotten to do this a time or two), pick up your dough on the parchment and plop the whole thing in the Dutch oven. COVER and bake 30 min. Then, remove lid and bake another 20 min., covering lightly with aluminum foil if bread browns too much. When done, pick up the bread with the parchment and place on a rack to cool. This technique results in a loaf of bread that looks like it came from an artisan bakery, with a shatteringly crisp crust. We do not store the loaf in a bag...just place cut-side down on your cutting board, and it will keep for a couple of days just fine while preserving that great crust!
Variations:
Use 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat flours or 1/2 semolina flour.
Substitute 1 c. oatmeal, 5-grain cereal (e.g. Red Mill), or bran for equal part flour.
Add walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, etc.
I work some crazy hours (operating room), and now even my husband will mix up this bread for baking the next day!

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clipped on: 12.20.2009 at 05:59 am    last updated on: 12.20.2009 at 06:00 am

RE: Harvest People and Bread Baking (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: nancedar on 11.15.2009 at 03:42 pm in Harvest Forum

If you put a pinch of sugar in the 110-115F water, measured in the warm bowl you put it in, sprinkle on the yeast, stir it with a spoon, leave the spoon in the bowl, the yeast should be creamy and a little foamy. If it just sits there then your yeast is old and dead. Buy new yeast, test again. It will keep forever in freezer, for a year in the refrig tightly double sealed. Let amount you need come to room temp to use. Don't be afraid of yeast. If your dough isn't rising, then try patience for another hour. Still not, then the recipe is not right, choose another recipe maybe.

Nancy

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clipped on: 12.20.2009 at 05:59 am    last updated on: 12.20.2009 at 05:59 am

RE: Harvest People and Bread Baking (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: annie1992 on 11.13.2009 at 02:15 pm in Harvest Forum

ruthie, I am a bread baker and I don't buy any bread products, I make them all. Cinnamon rolls, breakfast Danish, whole wheat, caraway, hamburger buns, I make 'em all in the bread machine.

I have some serious carpal tunnel issues and it hurts to knead bread, so I use the "dough" setting on the bread machine and let it knead and go through the first rise. Then I take it out of the machine, form into loaves or buns or whatever, let it rise again and bake it in the oven.

I like the crust on oven baked bread better than the bread machine crust, which kind of seems "steamed", more than "baked".

Greenmulberry, this is my current favorite whole wheat bread recipe:

HONEY WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
INGREDIENTS:
3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 pkg. active dry yeast
2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp. oil
1 egg
PREPARATION:
In large bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, the yeast, and salt and mix well.
In saucepan, heat milk, water, honey, and oil until a thermometer reads 120-130 degrees F (warm)
Add liquid mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine. Beat this batter for 3 minutes. Then, gradually stir in rest of whole wheat flour and enough remaining all-purpose four to form a firm dough.
Sprinkle work surface with flour and knead dough, adding more flour if necessary, for 5-8 minutes until smooth and satiny. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning the dough in the bowl to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour, until double in bulk.
Punch down dough and divide into 2 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll or press each piece of dough to a 14x7" rectangle. Starting with shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll with each turn. Pinch edges and ends to seal and place dough, seam-side down, into greased 9x5" bread pans, making sure short ends of bread are snugly fitted against the sides of the pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until the dough fills the corners of the pans and is double in bulk, 30-40 minutes.
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, until bread is golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. I like to brush the bread with butter when it's still hot from the oven for a softer crust.

Now, all I do is put the wet ingredients on the bottom, the dry on the top, and press the "dough" button. The machine does all the work.

Tonight I'm making butternut squash rolls with half whole wheat and half white flour, again in the bread machine. I just use any bread recipe I have to make bread in the bread machine and haven't had a spectacular failure yet. I've made Grandma's old Farmhouse White to Bernard Clayton's Frisian Bread to James Beard's sour cream loaf and they all come out just fine on the dough cycle in the bread machine.

That said, I do check the machine a few minutes after it starts the knead cycle to be sure the dough isn't too dry or too wet. Hydration depends on the type of wheat, the humidity, the temperature, many factors, so I always check, I don't just measure and take it for granted.

Annie

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clipped on: 12.20.2009 at 05:53 am    last updated on: 12.20.2009 at 05:53 am

RE: Harvest People and Bread Baking (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: linda_lou on 11.14.2009 at 02:03 pm in Harvest Forum

Belinda,
I cannot do the yeast in water either. Now, trust me, this really works. You mix the dry yeast in with the flour. It will raise beautifully. I just make my liquid a bit warmer than you would for dissolving the yeast. I use my thermometer and make the liquid 140 degrees. You just make the bread like baking a cake or something, mix the yeast in with the dry ingredients.
My MIL used to say you can't make bread like I do. Well, she was a wonderful baker, even won state grange baking contests. In the end she told me my bread was better than hers !
Try it, Belinda, you will be amazed. I use the same recipe as Annie, other than I use butter instead of oil.
Honey really does make the best bread, I think. I use the wheat bread flour, not just reg. whole wheat, but both will work.

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clipped on: 12.20.2009 at 05:52 am    last updated on: 12.20.2009 at 05:52 am

RE: Have you heard of Soapstone Granite? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: plllog on 10.22.2009 at 08:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

There is also green soapstone. I have a piece in my kitchen. You can tell soapstone by flinging a little water at it. Soapstone repels water and it'll just fall off of a vertical slab. It'll run down polished granite the way it does a window. It'll leave a little damp mark on most marbles. But it looks very different on soapstone. It's almost like the stone doesn't get wet.

There are also green granites, of course. All soapstone, at least that I've seen, is 3cm thick (whereas where I live (it's regional) granites and marbles are usually 2 cm).

Here's a bad picture of the top of my island. It's much greener than it looks in the picture. If you look in the faucet holes you can see the whitish loosened talc. Soapstone has a high talc content with steatite and veins of quartz, where as granite is mostly feldspar. My jagged samples where the loose talc has had a chance to fall off are just as dark green though as the surface is. BTW, my stone has a leather surface texture.

Is this anything like what you saw? If it is, it might be actual soapstone. If the yard can't tell the difference from granite, beware if you decide you want it. Soapstone is fabricated differently than granite. It's generally considered fairly easy to work, and you can use woodworking tools on it, but how you support it and where you put seams are quite different.

green soapstone

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clipped on: 10.22.2009 at 08:25 pm    last updated on: 10.22.2009 at 08:25 pm

RE: Those of you with smooth-top ranges...how hard to clean reall (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: southernstitcher on 10.13.2009 at 02:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

There is induction for electric, but it's pricier than a ceramic radiant heat top. I've heard great things about the clean up on those. People actually put paper towel under the pan!
I personally don't see what the big deal is with cleaning a smoothtop though. It's a heck of a lot easier than my gas range was.
Mine is a Jenn-Air and the glass is Ceran, which is supposedly "better". I was told to look only for stoves that have a Ceran brand glass top.
It's a breeze to clean with the Weimann's cleaner and a non scratch scrubbie. I use the red ones designed specifically for smooth top electrics.
Just put the Weimann's on, rub it out over the whole top, and scrub with a wet no scratch pad. For really baked on messes (which mine usually are) I just let the area soak for a bit with a dab of the Weimann's and water, and attack it with a scrubbie or plastic scraper. Wipe dry and polish with a microfiber cloth.

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clipped on: 10.14.2009 at 11:28 am    last updated on: 10.14.2009 at 11:28 am

RE: Those of you with smooth-top ranges...how hard to clean reall (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: fori on 10.13.2009 at 02:06 pm in Kitchens Forum

Well, we are slobs. We had a smoothtop electric. It's better than coils for cleaning. Use a razor blade when it's really bad. Then we went to gas. Worse for the occasional cleaners.

Then we relocated to a place with induction. Awesome for slobs. You can't burn food onto it. We use cast iron a lot, slide it as needed, clean it occasionally, use the scratchy side of the sponge (on stuff that dries on--stuff doesn't COOK on).

It did take a long time to go from gas to induction happily. But when we remodeled we replaced the 80s era induction cooktop with a new one. We'd planned on gas, but we accepted that we were slobs and we'd never be any cleaner.

There are induction ranges out now, and they do cost a bit more than standard electric, but if you want easy clean (not to mention really quite good cooking aspects), check them out.

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clipped on: 10.14.2009 at 11:28 am    last updated on: 10.14.2009 at 11:28 am

RE: Questions for folks with black granite countertops (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: jeanteach on 08.23.2009 at 01:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have honed Jet Mist. When it was installed, they sealed it. The next day I left a bottle of olive oil on the counter for a little while and it left a mark. The fabricator came out the next day and applied acetone and got out the mark. Then he resealed. But then I heard about using an enhancer on the stone, which darkens it (which I wanted) and also seals it. I applied the enhancer on a remnant piece and it did, indeed, darken it beautifully. I put olive oil, lemon juice, water, etc. on it, and it didn't stain at all. I asked the fabricator to come out and apply the enhancer. He came, used acetone to remove the previously applied sealer, and applied the enhancer. My stone looks gorgeous now, but it is still showing some water rings. I think perhaps he didn't remove all of the previous sealer before applying the enhancer and that's why my counters/island are not behaving like the test piece, which never had sealer applied. So, my advice would be to have DuPont Stonetech Enhancer Pro applied to UNSEALED honed black granite. It will make it nice and black and also seal it well.

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clipped on: 10.13.2009 at 08:34 pm    last updated on: 10.13.2009 at 08:34 pm

RE: Questions for folks with black granite countertops (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: azstoneconsulting on 07.04.2009 at 02:27 am in Kitchens Forum

tonyg3-

it will depend on the species of Black Granite that you use...
AND
the type of finish that you choose - polished, honed, leathered, antiqued, etc

IF you are talking about Absolute Black - yes it will show just about
every speck of dust, water spotting, finger prints, Cocoa Puff milk, etc....

Other true Black Graniites - like Galaxy & Cambrian - will be easier
on your cleaning schedule...

One thing that has become really popular lately, is the desire of folks to
use Absolute Black - HONED in their kitchens.

I USED to be dead set against this notion due to a very bad experience
I had had, when I Fabricated 4 Honed AB kitchens for a builder - all
at the same time (my first encounter doing AB-Honed). The stone showed
every finger print and oil smudge.... I had to tear out and re-do
all 4 kitchens for the builder - not at my expense thank goodness...

But that experience about 10 years ago set me on a crusade to warn people
about what they were getting themselves into if they went with AB Honed -
That was- until a fellow GW'r shared
what they used o make their AB Honed look great and NOT show the oil spots and
finger prints. They used this stuff from Target - called "Method" Granite cleaner..

I do NOT sell Method mind you - I just have heard that it works to help
"season" AB Honed to the point where it will NOT show finger prints and other
things as easy as un-treated AB Honed will......

I have not tried Method out myself yet (to see how it works) but a number of folks
now are using it on honed AB, and they are having great results! I am
planning on doing a podcast that will be up on my educational web site:
Natural Stone 101.com - so watch for it in the near future...... like towards
the end of July 09.

Anyways - I hope that helps you

kevin

Here is a link that might be useful: Method Granite Cleaner

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clipped on: 10.13.2009 at 08:31 pm    last updated on: 10.13.2009 at 08:31 pm

RE: Crystallized Glass Countertops (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: momj47 on 10.12.2009 at 12:05 pm in Kitchens Forum

Is this what you are looking at. Interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Crystallized glass countertop material

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clipped on: 10.12.2009 at 06:17 pm    last updated on: 10.12.2009 at 06:17 pm

Useful Information & Helpful Threads (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: buehl on 09.04.2009 at 02:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

National Kitchen & Bath Association's (NKBA) Kitchen Planning Guidelines with Access Standards: http://www.nkba.org/guidelines/kitchen.aspx

BH&G Kitchen Design Guidelines (it appears to have some updates to the NKBA guidelines that are not in the link above): http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/kitchen/planning/kitchen-design-guidelines/


You may also find the following threads to be useful:

What do you wish you had done differently?: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0722355328974.html

What do you wish you had done differently? [Part 2]: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0220533912060.html

Now that I have [X], I think I could have lived without it: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0719430319398.html

Best advice from this forum: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0720293613004.html

Scrimp on this, Splurge on that....: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg101324514831.html

Things I would NOT recommend or things I dislike!: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0413285931465.html

Things I would NOT recommend or things I dislike! #2: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg061407013201.html

Care to share your best kitchen storage ideas?: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0716483024815.html

Kitchen Layout Suggestions: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg1022032814279.html

4" Broom Closet from Ikeafans: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg021226537119.html


Curious about text in messages (adding bold, italics, etc.): http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0117005630821.html

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clipped on: 10.12.2009 at 12:06 am    last updated on: 10.12.2009 at 12:06 am

How to Seal Your Stone (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: buehl on 09.02.2009 at 10:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

Posted by stonegirl (My Page) on Thu, Jun 4, 09 at 11:43

Whatever sealer you use, read and follow the instructions carefully and be sure to buff off all excess sealer. For maximum effectiveness, each application of sealer needs to fully cure before the next application - normally about 24 hours.

Here is a how-to for sealing:

You will need the following:

  • Home improvement strength alcohol
  • Lint-free rags or unprinted paper towels (the "Rags in a Box" disposable paper rags found at home improvement stores are really great for this)
  • Paint pad (those hard, fluffy coated pads they use to apply paint)
  • Sealer

What to do:

  1. Clean your counter tops by wiping them down to remove any food residue.
  2. Wipe the counters with a rag soaked in alcohol. (Be sure to follow the safety instructions on the container)
  3. Once the counters are clean and dry, apply the sealer with the paint pad. You can pour a little puddle and spread it with the paint pad. Work in smaller, manageable areas.
  4. Leave the sealer for the recommended time and buff off the residue with the lint-free rags. Be sure to TOTALLY remove all excess sealer or you might end up with streakiness and smudginess. Change rags often to prevent smearing excess sealer.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until all your surfaces are sealed.
  6. Leave sealer to cure for 24 hours and test for water absorption. Drip water on the stone to see if the stone still darkens. If it does, another application of sealer is in order.
  7. Repeat the entire procedure until water beads up and no longer darkens the stone.

Do not think that more is better. Work with smaller quantities of sealer and properly clean up after each application. Your results will be better than trying a single, heavy handed application.

For daily cleaning, just use a couple microfiber towels (one dry and one slightly damp) Clean counters with the damp one - you could add some soap to it if you wished - and buff dry with the dry rag. No fuss, and pretty easy

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clipped on: 10.12.2009 at 12:05 am    last updated on: 10.12.2009 at 12:05 am

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


Measuring:

  • 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.


Installation:

  • 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

NOTES:

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RE: Filling a 3/16' pit (Follow-Up #48)

posted by: azstoneconsulting on 03.31.2009 at 02:17 pm in Kitchens Forum

Glenster -

Yes - there IS a way to fill a 3/16" pit, there are actually a couple of ways..

I will be doing a video podcast on this subject next week on Natural
Stone 101 - so watch for it...

In the mean time - here's a website that you can go to to order a kit to do
the pit fill yourself - or have a pro do it - the company name is called
ProCaliber Products - they have a product that reacts with UV light - so
here's the dealeo - Ya fix the pit in your Granite, and then with the extra
filler, you can take care of your kids cavities too!!!!

Ok...... so It's not such a good idea, but at least it (maybe) got a chuckle..

Seriously Though - This kit that they have is WAY COOL - I saw it demo'd
at StonExpo 2008 in Las Vegas (THE Natural Stone Show in North America
that is for the Trade & Industry folks like me). It works on the same principal
as the latest dental repair technology - and it's way affordable too. (NOTE:
I DO NOT SELL THESE - but I was blown away by the speed and simplicty
of the product, and THAT'S why I am so hepped up on recommending it!!!)

Hope that helps ya - watch for the Podcast on Natural Stone 101

kevin

Here is a link that might be useful: Pro Caliber Products

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RE: Stone Information and Advice (& Checklists) (Follow-Up #60)

posted by: buehl on 07.12.2009 at 01:23 pm in Kitchens Forum

  • Posted by stonegirl (My Page) on Sun, Jun 21, 09 at 13:41

    1. Lifetime Sealer: With modern sealer technology advancing as fast as (or even faster than!) computer technology, it is difficult to keep up with all the developments. The most recent development is called "nano technology", which, for all intents and purposes, mean that the solid particles in the sealer (the stuff that makes the sealer work) are very, very small and combined with advanced solvent technology, these particles can penetrate deeper into the stone and do a better job of sealing it.

      There are a number of sealers on the market that make use of this technology and some even give lifetime warranties for properly applied sealers. A couple of these are "Dry Treat" and "Surface Treatment Technologies". STT has a proprietary combination sealer consisting of SB (the first application) and FE (the final application) that offers superior protection even on extremely porous surfaces. The guys over at the SFA did side-by-side testing of Dry Treat and the STT combination and found STT to be the superior product.

      That said, there are a few others out there that I am not familiar with and could offer the same benefit. Just be wary of companies that claim to be "certified applicators" or some such. A lot of people saw a niche in a market and are trying to fill it by employing shady techniques.

      Lifetime sealers often are more expensive than regular good quality sealers, and as some have noted before me, sealer application is no big deal and can be done at home and by yourself fairly easily. Just be sure to purchase a high quality product with a recognized brand name, such as Miracle or StoneTech, to name a couple.

      BUT: Not all stones need sealer either. Stones like Blue Pearl, Ubatuba, Black Galaxy, Verde Peacock, Verde Butterfly, Platinum Pearl and many others are too dense to absorb any liquids - sealers included. Sealers only protect stone from staining through absorption, so in stones with low absorption co-efficients, sealing would be superfluous.

      Sealing dense stones could lead to nasty results, such as streaking and ghost etching, so DO NOT go by the motto of "seal it anyway, it could not hurt". Rather test your stone for absorption by dripping water on it to see if it darkens any. If the water has no effect on the stone, sealing it is unnecessary.

    2. Seams: DO NOT pick a stone to satisfy the abilities (or lack of!) the fabricator. A good fabricator will be able to make a good seam in whatever stone you select. MIA standards for seams list 1/8" as being acceptable. As with all bureaucratic institutions they are decidedly behind the curve in technology and applications, and there are fabricators who strive to make seams virtually disappear. Do know that it is more challenging to make seams "disappear" in veined or boldly patterned stones and fabricators will charge accordingly.

      Ask your intended fabricator(s) to have you see actual installed kitchens and look at the quality of the work they have done - not just on the seams, but on the rest of the kitchen too. Check for good edge polishing, consistent overhangs and overall appearance of the job. Speak to the homeowners (if they are available) and ask about their experiences with the fabricator. Showrooms could be misleading. Remember, they are designed to make you buy stuff :)

    3. Seam Locations: There are very many variables that go into the location of a seam. Appearances, although important too, are secondary to a number of them, including slab length, material pattern, installation hazards, cabinet and cut-out locations and access to the installation, to name a few.

      You could ask your stone guy to consider a seam in a location that would be preferable to you, and he will proceed with due consideration, but ultimately, it is his decision where they go in order to provide a quality installation. A good fabricator will discuss them with you and provide motivation for his choices.

    4. Seams over dishwashers: If done well and supported properly, there is no issue with having a seam over a dishwasher. The glue will not melt, the stone will not weaken and no disaster will occur IF it was done well. Most fabricators will avoid doing seams over the DW because the extra precautions are time and material intensive, but sometimes they can not be helped.

      Extra precautions for seams over a DW could include a "biscuit" joint at the seam, a ledger board screwed in the back wall or support plates glued under the seam, to name a few.

    5. Pricing: Pricing is a carbuncle. Every shop has a different way of doing it, and practices vary from region to region. Some shops will give all inclusive prices, some use itemized bills, others will charge for labor and material and some others might charge them separate. In some parts of the country fabricators require you buy your own materials.

      My advice would be to compare the bottom line of all quotes and determine of you are comparing oranges to oranges. Determine what you would like: material, edge profile, cut-outs and backsplashes. Get estimates from the fabricators that will deliver the same end result and compare those. See if the price includes all the options you prefer, along with material and installation. Once you have all the details determined, looking at the final prices should then give a you a monetary comparison between the different operators.

      Although the price should be important when deciding on a fabricator, do not forget to look at other things like quality, customer service and your own *gut feeling* when you shop for a stone guy.

    6. MIA or not?: Does it matter? The MIA has no means of policing the fabricators that belong to them and joining the association only costs about $500 or so. Anybody can write a check and then put MIA on their business cards. We used to belong to them, but for fundamental reasons gave up our membership. This did not make our quality go downhill all of a sudden. In fact, the standards that we set for our shop were consistently higher than the MIA "required" for any of their members. In short - being an MIA member will NOT be a guarantee of any kind of good service or quality installation. Much rather look at the ethics and business practices of the fabricators on your short list.

    ______________________________________________________________

    Other comments from our experts:

    • You shouldn't seal granite under a .25% absorption
    • Leathered finish stones are typically finished to a semi-gloss and would most likely not benefit from a sealer. It is easy to see if you need one, though. Try and get an untreated sample from the fabricator and do a water test on it. See if the stone darkens if it is exposed to water. My guess is that the Brazilian Black will not.

      If it shows finger marks and such, an enhancing sealer would be a better option - it will be a semi-topical treatment on a stone that dense, so it might need to be re-applied occasionally, depending on how often and with what kind of cleaners you clean your stone.

      Impregnating sealers and enhancers are designed to work from within the stone - i.e. they need to be absorbed to work properly. On dense stones with alternative finishes like brushing, leathering or honing, these sealers will get stuck in the surface texture, giving the desired effect. It will not really be absorbed within the stone, but kinda' stuck in the surface - subject to removal by mechanical means such as a vigorous scrubbing :)

  • NOTES:

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    RE: Where can I find pantry doors with character? (Follow-Up #6)

    posted by: boxerpups on 09.28.2009 at 09:18 am in Kitchens Forum

    I grew up with a heavy oak and stained glass pantry door.
    No real character. But here are a few that make
    me smile. Enjoy.
    ~boxerpups


    Stained Glass doors


    Secret Pantry Door Evadesigns

    Iron Pantry door

    Painted Pantry door

    Artglassoverly.com

    I love this red one. Cute from Countryliving

    Another hidden door by Remodelinghwnet

    Decordallas

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    Finished Kitchen creamy white, lacanche, calacatta

    posted by: tearose21 on 07.13.2009 at 07:37 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Posted earlier but pictures were too small. Hope this works.
    Trisha

    IMG_0126
    IMG_0124
    IMG_0135
    IMG_0140
    IMG_0138
    IMG_0131
    IMG_0120
    IMG_0116
    IMG_0129
    IMG_0136
    IMG_0118

    IMG_0130

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    RE: JULIA Soapstone Photos (Follow-Up #5)

    posted by: kpaquette on 06.17.2009 at 07:44 am in Kitchens Forum

    Here is my Julia - FYI, I got mine at Teixeira, and they had two kinds of julia - a "dark" julia which is more black than the regular julia, which was more green. I'd say mine is a very deep black green. I also agree not to buy sight unseen - at least have them email you pictures. I was told that julia takes about 3 hours to oxidize to the black after the first oiling. Mine was definitely green after the first oiling but it turned black. so I'd have them send pics of it just oiled, so you can see where the movement is, and then pics after oxidation, to see how black (or green) it gets.

    Photobucket

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    RE: Stone gurus: I fell in love with... (Follow-Up #14)

    posted by: catatonic17 on 10.04.2009 at 03:39 pm in Kitchens Forum

    vrjames, Verde Vermont Antique is not a dense marble. Verde Antique is made of hydrous magnesium silicate and marble is of Calcium Carbonate and that is why marble etches and serprntine does not. Serpentine is sometimes called marble, but that is a misnomer.

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    RE: Stone gurus: I fell in love with... (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: alabamanicole on 10.02.2009 at 04:35 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Thanks guys!

    So...
    Serpentine has a mohs of ~4.0-5.0
    Granite is a ~6.0
    Quartz is a ~7.0
    Marble is a ~3.0

    That gives me a reference point for how hard it is. Wonder what laminated countertops are on a mohs scale? I don't think I've ever significantly scratched one of those...

    I just made an appointment to go to another wholesaler warehouse tomorrow; perhaps they will have it and I can get a sample.

    I would love to see that photo of that counter honed, if anyone remembers any clues I can use to search for it. I am strongly leaning toward a non-polished surface anyway, but they had very few samples that were honed or leathered.

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    RE: WWYD: White Kitchen Cabinets or Cherry Wood Cabinets??? (Follow-Up #9)

    posted by: boxerpups on 10.05.2009 at 08:10 am in Kitchens Forum

    Kitchennewbie09,

    Don't feel pressured to go with just wood or white there
    are ideas of making a range cabinet in wood or using
    an island of wood or white....

    Don't make this choice based on being clean, because if
    you love white Cabs you won't mind cleaning them.

    Don't make your choice based what you think others will
    like. (Unless this is a kitchen for profit and
    you do not plan to use it, then hire a KD they will help
    you get your money's worth in a sale.)

    Don't Rush this choice. Enjoy the process and make your
    dream kitchen (within your budget) into a place you will
    love to cook, feed your loved ones and express yourself.

    Lastly, DO ask GW. There are fantastic people on GW who
    can chime in on the floor plan, function, colors,
    materials, lighting, appliances, flooring, counters,
    ceiling, backsplash.... (let me catch
    my breath) and so much more and everyone here is truly
    helpful, funny and happy to share what worked for them.

    One place to visit is the Finished Kitchen Blog. I put
    the link below so you can search what others have done
    on GW. Another good place is House Beautiful on line, HGTV
    on line or Kitchen & Bath Ideas on line. There you can pour
    yourself a cup of tea and look at all the Kitchen EYE
    candy. There is also the book store, library and magazine
    racks but the above are far cheaper. Many GW ers will
    say "SAVE your money."

    Make a list of your favorites. Some have clipped pictures,
    others use an online portfolio, or a folder on their desk
    top of kitchen favorites. In time you will figure
    out which works for you. Because White or Wood is really
    just the beginning. There will be countless other
    wonderfully fun choices for you to play with as you begin
    your kitchen journey.

    Enjoy it and don't rush.
    ~boxerpups

    Kitchen EYE candy links below

    HGTV
    http://www.hgtv.com/kitchens/index.html

    Kitchen and Bath Ideas
    http://www.kitchenbathideas.com/kitchen-design/?ordersrc=googlecontent1kitchengallery&s_kwcid=TC:7464:kitchen%20remodel%20ideas:www.momoy.com:C:b:3082775278

    White Kitchen Gallery of pictures
    http://www.qkb.com/gallery/gallerytraditionwhite.htm

    Here is a link that might be useful: Finished Kitchens Blog

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    RE: Soapstone problems... I think. Can you help? (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: pluckymama on 10.03.2009 at 02:18 am in Kitchens Forum

    My heart goes out to you. The finish on your soapstone is paramount to your becoming one of the GW posters who loves their soapstone vs. those of us who have had water rings and scratching from mild everyday use. I have spent the past 9 mos frustrated with my soapstone because it did not act like the soapstone I read about on GW.

    I have posted about my problems with water rings and constant dinging that would take place just by moving a plate across the surface. Many wonderful posters have offered their suggestions and I had tried resanding my soapstone and various waxes and oils to no avail.

    I had almost given up when thankfully, floridajoshua who works with soapstone and contributes on GW occasionally, was willing to look at my pics and offer his wise counsel and possible solutions. We determined that the polished finish that the granite fabricator's used was too high a grit for soapstone and that the 80 grit sanding I had done in trying to end my battle with water rings, etc. was too rough a finish to feel or act like soapstone.

    I flew Josh and his lovely wife Mimi up to NH where I live and this very talented craftsman refinished my soapstone last weekend. The difference is amazing. My water rings are gone. After one week, I have no scratches or markings of any kind and I am no longer a waxing, oiling slave! The finish makes the difference! Please contact Josh at Creative Soapstone and talk to him about your soapstone.

    I can now finally finish my kitchen by putting up my backsplash because I no longer wonder if the soapstone was going to end up as a temporary countertop. It is here to stay and I am loving it. And I can't stop touching it!

    Here are some before Josh pics:

    soapstone before Josh

    Photobucket

    Here are some after Josh pics:
    Photobucket

    Photobucket

    And here's Josh and Mimi, my rescuers!

    Photobucket

    Here is a link that might be useful: Creative Soapstone

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    RE: help selecting the glaze color for a cream cabinets (Follow-Up #12)

    posted by: live_wire_oak on 10.06.2009 at 10:03 am in Kitchens Forum

    Paint is a medium that carries and fixes pigment(tint) to an object. Glaze is merely a "clear" paint/medium that you choose different pigments with which to tint. The pigments used would be various combinations of Lamp Black, Yellow Oxide, Brown Oxide, and other pure tints used to create paint. It is combinations of different amounts of these colorants together with different bases that creates either a paint or a glaze. There is no "standardized" color(s), and every faux finisher has their own recipes and techniques that they have "standardized" after experimenting to see what works best for them. The technique used to glaze is as important as the pigment chosen. This is one area that there is no substitution for sample boards from the person who will be applying the glaze, as someone else using the same glaze "recipe" will have completely different results. It's all about the ratio of pigment to glaze, the amount applied, the amount wiped, the brands used, as well as the individual actually performing all of the work.

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    RE: help selecting the glaze color for a cream cabinets (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: allison0704 on 10.04.2009 at 10:33 am in Kitchens Forum

    I have it both ways in our home. The painted kitchen cabinets are glazed all over. The stained, only along the crevices and a bit extended from them for effect. Those were all done on site. Island is French Gray (which is a green, not gray).

    My bathroom and laundry cabinets were puchased from Jim Bishop and done by hand at the factory. Those are only glazed along the crevices.

    I watched the faux finishers do the kitchen...and asked a lot of questions. ;D They use oil based glazes since they have more "work time."

    The island has a black based glaze. The pine pieces and the fridge unit if brown based. They custom mix, so no names. They used cheesecloth to wipe/work the glaze after it was applied with a brush.

    I used some leftover glaze and cheesecloth to do a bathroom mirror. It's fairly easy. My cabinets done on site do not have any type of finish applied after the glaze.

    Close ups:

    All Over

    crevices

    All Over

    Here is a link that might be useful: my kitchen photos

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    RE: help selecting the glaze color for a cream cabinets (Follow-Up #1)

    posted by: natenvalsmom on 10.04.2009 at 10:17 am in Kitchens Forum

    Our perimeter cabinets are Omega Dynasty, a cream color (oyster) with a very light glaze (caramel) that sounds similar to what you are talking about. I don't know how the custom cabinetmakers do it, but with Dynasty, they have "dry" glazes that just go lightly in the crevices, and "wet" glazes that go over the whole door and color the door slightly (these are much more expensive, I believe). We chose the one that just goes in the crevices because we wanted it very subtle. Here is a picture:
    Photobucket

    Here is our island, with sable stain and coffee glaze (also the "dry"):
    Photobucket
    I hope this helps.

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    New Tool for Determining Corbels

    posted by: azstoneconsulting on 10.06.2009 at 12:05 am in Kitchens Forum

    Hey everyone -

    There's a great new tool that people can use when trying to
    determine what and how corbels will work for overhangs.

    Remember though - the "rule of 6 & 10" when determining if
    a Natural Stone overhang has enough support - it goes like this:

    "For stone tops that are 2CM - anything MORE than 6 inches of unsupported span
    needs to have corbeling or support. 2CM stone must also have a
    subtop under the stone - preferably 5/8 inch PLYWOOD ACX grade"

    "For stone tops that are 3CM - anything MORE than 10 inches of unsupported span
    needs to have corbeling or support. 3CM stone is NOT Required to have a
    subtops"

    Examples:

    A 2CM stone top with a 15 inch overhang will need a minimum of a 9 inch corbel.
    A 3CM stone top with the same 15 inch overhang will need a 5 inch corbel

    PLEASE NOTE:

    I do NOT work for Tyler Morris, nor do I receive any compensation for posting this
    for the folks that frequent GW - I am just a Natural Stone Fabricator
    that has been pretty impressed with Tyler's Corble Wizard, so I am sharing it
    here on GW. If I am breaking any rules - I am sorry, but I think that what Tyler
    came up with is way cool....

    HTH

    kevin

    Here is a link that might be useful: Tyler Morris Woodworking Corbel Wizard

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    RE: Pietra del cardosa-real soapstone? (Follow-Up #4)

    posted by: bob_cville on 10.07.2009 at 12:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

    The last time someone asked about this stone I found and posted the following grabbed from Findstone.com (originally written by Maurizio Bertoli who was a well regarded expert on manufacturing and care of stone surfaces) :

    Some call Pietra di Cardoso sandstone. Some call it soapstone. Some call it schist.

    It's none of the above.

    Pietra di Cardoso is a unique stone from the village of Cardoso (near Carrara), Italy. There are only two small quarries of the stuff, one across the street (literally) from the other. One quarry cuts the stone along its grain (and that is what some call soapstone). The other quarry cuts it against its grain (and therefore it looks more like sandstone).
    The fact in the matter is that Pietra di Cardoso is Calcareus Phillyte, and you do not want that stuff in your kitchen, unless, of course, you use your countertop exclusively as the holder of the telephone you make reservations or order take-outs with!

    That stone is sensitive to acidic substances and will get etched like marble.

    On the curious side of the whole matter, in Italy they use Pietra di Cardoso exclusively to pave sidewalks and clad buildings, due to the fact that's a tough stone. Only the exclusive importer for the USA decided that it would be a "good bet" (and much more profitable, since Pietra di Cardoso is quite cheap at the origin) to sell it as material for kitchen countertops...

    For the intents and purposes of a kitchen countertop, there's no comparaison between Pietra di Cardoso and soapstone. The latter has a huge advantage!!

    So to me it doesn't sound like it'd be a good countertop for a working kitchen.

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    Color Musings

    posted by: plllog on 08.11.2009 at 03:46 am in Kitchens Forum

    I've been looking a lot at Redroze's kitchen because of her current thread (scroll down to see it). It's a really beauty of pure white with some shading to black. I love it!!!

    But just now I was thinking how nervous it would make me if it were mine. When I was in college, and a serious dancer, lots of man-made colors (as opposed to natural) were in. I mostly wore black, white, silver/gray, powder blue and hot pink (hm... I guess that's why I thought the hot pink tray would work). Then that whole New York black clothes thing fell upon us for so long that a whole cohort of kids grew up not knowing how to put an outfit together with colors. And I started working as a designer and artist and started wearing color (being a contrarian). And now that color is back, I've settled into earth tones.

    So I was thinking about what it was that makes me want to look admiringly at Redroze's kitchen all day long but not "wear" it. I wasn't even conscious of the fact that I used to wear it as my signature until I started writing this. I was thinking that my own kitchen is going to be a riot of color. But that's not really true. There have been riotously colorful kitchens posted here. Mine is going to be colorful, but in shots. And pattern heavy, rather than calm. I didn't "design" it, that is, start with a design scheme and choose finishes to go. I just put together a palette of finishes I liked and let them run loose. :)

    The final choices did end up in earth tones, though it wasn't necessarily the plan. I'd been going more for turquoise and white at one point, but it would have cost three times as much, then I found this stuff I fell in love with... But then, I designed my dining room around an antique carpet, with aubergine ultrasuede chairs, and ended up with crosshatched yellow-beige brocade with colorful tropical birds. Looks amazing, but not the sleek, simple solid on the design board. :)

    So what makes some of us happy in pure and understated like Redroze? Or warm and cuddly (cherry cabinets with just about anything)? Or colorful and pattern heavy to the point of craziness (mine)? And I wonder how many of us, for all that we admire the kinds of kitchens we didn't choose would be comfortable working in them? Or would we use accessories or a little paint to alter the design, even if it were brilliant?

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    RE: My white granite (photos)! Need help with edging! (Follow-Up #11)

    posted by: boxerpups on 10.10.2009 at 07:45 pm in Kitchens Forum

    You are wonderfully silly to be envious
    when you have a beautiful kitchen on it's way.
    I love space so the width between counters/island
    sounds great. Especially if you have kids, dogs,
    others who use the kitchen. That added space
    means you won't be tripping over someone
    when you turn with hot cookies.

    Honed has my vote.

    The thickest counter edge sounds so cool. Go for 3.
    Here are some that I love myself.
    Best of luck
    ~boxerpups

    Kitchen and Bath Ideas

    Kudzu.com

    Concrete Design Group

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    RE: buying black walnut for countertops? (Follow-Up #12)

    posted by: thecabinetmaker on 10.07.2009 at 04:53 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Scrappy25,

    There is an amazing amount of less than reliable information here. Wood is wood. It makes zero difference where you buy it as long as you know what you are getting. It makes little difference if the wood is kiln dried or air dried as long as the lumber you are getting isn't vastly different (in terms of average humidity of resulting location). As long as air dried lumber has been dried long enough to reach a stable moisture level it is just as good as kiln dried lumber. Ask the person if the wood is kiln dried, and if not how long since the tree has been harvested, and where has it been stored. If the boards have been in a moist location (moist basement) then they are probably still green, but if the boards have been in a dry location (e.g. a barn/garage in a dry climate) for 2 or more years then the wood should be in excellent shape. Any way to get a moisture meter? If so, 10% should be an excellent moisture content for a counter. 15% gets iffy especially in a wider board. Visual inspection is the key. Are the boards relatively flat with minimal checking (small splits on the ends of the board) Pay attention to knots. This will be the main determiner, besides moisture content) of how stable the wood will be. If the wood is relatively clear of knots, and the grain fairly straight, you should be in good shape, But large knots, and wild grain is a sign of wood fibers under a great deal of stress. You say the thicker walnut is #1, is there a grade on the wider walnut? I'm not sure #1 grade lumber is a good choice for a counter. It would have more knots & defects to make a suitable surface, but in My opinion 20" is too wide, and 1" too thin for a good counter, but I would say it doesn't hurt to take a look. If it's rough cut (and I assume it is) it'll be a little difficult to tell, but can see if it is badly warped or cupped. As far as working with walnut, it is a dream. It is certainly not nearly as hard as maple or hickory/pecan so I'm not sure why it has been suggested that it is difficult to work with. It is one of my favorite woods. Last note regarding germs. Wood is second only to stainless steel as a sanitary work surface. The reason for that is bacteria cannot survive on a wood surface. There has been study after study, and each one states the same thing, wood is a highly sanitary work surface. What I would look for is a woodworker with a wide-belt sander. The name should obviously determine it's purpose. We have one that holds 3 separate grades of abrasive, and the "belts" are 43" across. Why would you look for this? Well your top could be glued up in one piece and run through this machine, and in a matter of minutes you would have a perfectly flat smooth surface. Time is money so you would get a better surface with far less expense than any other method.

    -Alan

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    RE: White Painted Kitchen with Black Distressed island pictures (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: boxerpups on 10.10.2009 at 09:41 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Bostonsun,
    I love the look of a walnut topped island.
    Here are a few pictures of wood topped islands in
    white kitchens. Maybe these can help you visualize.
    Enjoy,
    ~boxerpups

    JAaronCastStone

    Whites Plumbing

    Not black but an interesting option from MyDesignSecretsblog

    Maybe a little too small for what you are looking
    for but the colors are lovely (AnnSacks tile image Capriccio)

    Reynolds Kitchen

    KitchenwithaView

    Westchester Mag

    This Old House

    White kitchens

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    RE: Fabricating Soapstone (Follow-Up #3)

    posted by: mamalynn on 08.21.2009 at 12:01 pm in Kitchens Forum

    It's my understanding that fabricating soapstone is different from fabricating other stones and requires someone with experience to do it and make it look right. Be sure your fabricator has had lots of experience with soapstone.

    I'll be using Dorado Soapstone and their store/workshop is two hours away. They will come down, template with a thin wood that is cut to the shape I'll want for the counters, go back to Austin to cut the stone, then bring it down. I don't know if they cut the sink opening there or on site, probably there. Faucet holes are usually left to on site. I am having a farmhouse sink, so the opening won't be in the middle of a slab. BTW, my contractor first talked to the people she usually uses for fabricating and they were honest enough to say that the few soapstone jobs they have done didn't go well because of their inexperience and don't want to do any more. Soapstone is "new" to this area.

    Yes, the sink cut-out is a weak spot when transporting. I think there is a special bar that can be put across the opening for help with transporting. My GC was a few days late starting my kitchen this week as the job before mine had a problem - the granite fabricators were bringing in a granite slab without that sink bar and the slab snapped in two at the sink opening. So, completing that kitchen got delayed. Not trying to scare you - I'm sure this happens even when everyone has done everything right. Sometimes the stone itself has a weak point.

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    RE: Has anyone used beveled subway tiles for the backsplash? (Follow-Up #9)

    posted by: mindimoo on 08.26.2009 at 12:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Sorry, I haven't been on here too much lately and made most my photos private some time ago. There were too many people finding their pictures turning up on other people's sites.

    Our backsplash is AKDO Thassos marble in a 3 inch by 6 inch beveled brick. They do not come on a mesh backing, but individually. We installed them ourselves and they were very easy. The sealant is holding up well, just a wipe behind the range and it's fine.

    I love them because they look like little cushions - lots of texture on what would have otherwise been a plain white backsplash. I love black and white, but it needs a little texture to pump it up!

    Photobucket

    Thanks for the kind words about our kitchen!

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    RE: Has anyone used beveled subway tiles for the backsplash? (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: jeanteach on 07.31.2009 at 11:19 am in Kitchens Forum

    I'm getting them installed in a few weeks and will post pictures then.

    Here is a link that might be useful: beveled subway tile

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    RE: please, please post your kitchen pics of white cabinets! (Follow-Up #15)

    posted by: stiles on 10.06.2009 at 11:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Photobucket

    I love all these white kitchens! I am a long time lurker and like to post this pic since it is my favorite of my kitchen! Thanks (I need to learn to shrink the pic)

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    RE: Pic of dark cabinets on the exterior and a white island??? (Follow-Up #11)

    posted by: pattiem93 on 10.11.2009 at 06:51 am in Kitchens Forum

    This is ours

    NOTES:

    good way to break-up long wall, still be interesting.
    clipped on: 10.11.2009 at 08:27 am    last updated on: 10.11.2009 at 08:28 am

    Hidden Gems

    posted by: mom2reese on 07.15.2009 at 02:27 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Well, 8 months after moving into our new house and still finishing out that 1% of the kitchen, DH and I have made a big decision to move. We probably won't start building/renovating for another year (we still have to find a property), but I'm already starting to plan my next kitchen.

    I was looking at redroze's blog (love that kitchen), and one of the sections is entitled "hidden gems" such as hidden pullouts for a laptop, stained floor vents, etc. I've seen quite a few "oh, why didn't I think of that?" ideas on this board (one that comes to mind is the owner who put her island outlets hidden behind a tilt-out panel above the trash bin).

    So, what are the hidden gems in your kitchen? Those little extras that make life easier but one doesn't necessarily think to do (or even know can be done?).

    Thanks!

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