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RE: Pull Down Faucets - What's your take? (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: lukkiirish on 09.10.2008 at 08:15 am in Kitchens Forum

rmlanza: I don't think your kitchen could be more perfect! Give me warm and homey over fancy any day. I'm not usually a fan of red but it looks so good! Your slate is much darker than the slate we're using but you're right, you do have a lot of light in your kitchen, lucky!Which granite did you install? Can I talk you into posting a better pic of your backsplash? My DD thinks we should use smaller mosiac sized tiles but all the tile people are saying the larger tiles will help to make the room look larger. I'm still undecided (as usual). The pigs are adorable, what a great idea for the towels but how sad you decided to separate them! LOL. Here's the tile we're going to install for our backsplash courtesy of Patti823, she has the same tile!

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clipped on: 10.02.2008 at 01:06 pm    last updated on: 10.02.2008 at 01:06 pm

RE: bathroom tile FAQ's (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: bill_vincent on 07.17.2008 at 07:45 am in Bathrooms Forum

I was just asked another good question, and thought it should be added here:

What is the difference between a water based sealer and a solvent based sealer? How do you know which one to use?

There are two important differences. First, the solvent based sealer is a "breatheable" sealer, while the water based is not. What that means is that the solvent based sealer will let moisture transmit back and forth , so as not to trap moisture in the stone or grout, while the water based sealer will not. The reason this is a good thing is that you don't want moisture getting trapped inside of a surface, and growing mold or mildew INSIDE. That's actually even a tougher situation to remedy than if it just grows on the surface.Secondly, both are what's called "penetrating" sealers, meaning they do their job by penetrating into the stone, and stopping solids from getting into the pores of the stone, thereby curtailing stains taking hold. Water based sealers will not penetrate NEARLY as far into the surface as the solvent based sealers will, and as a result, have to be replaced much more often. About the only time I'll use a water based sealer is if I'm installing something like terra cotta tile, or soft limestone, where I need a pre-grouting sealer to stop the grout from adhering to the face of the tile. Any other time, I'll use solvent based.

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clipped on: 09.14.2008 at 12:08 am    last updated on: 09.14.2008 at 12:08 am

bathroom tile FAQ's

posted by: bill_vincent on 07.01.2008 at 09:31 pm in Bathrooms Forum

This is going to take me a while, so I'll post as many as I can each night until it gets done. To start, here's the first set of questions and answers:

Okay, here we go. These questions come from the thread on the discussions side where I solicited questions from everyone for this thread. These are in the order they were asked:

Q) What are the different types of tiles you can use in a bathroom and what are the advantages/disadvantages of each?

A) There are several types of tile available. They fall into two general groups: ceramic and natural stone. I'll take these one at a time:

Ceramic tile-- For purposes of this discussion, there's glazed conventional, unglazed porcelain, and glazed porcelain. All three are good tiles for bathroom use, but the porcelain is a better choice only because of its density and lack of water absorbsion, which makes upkeep and cleaning easier. Also, with reference to steam showers, you DO NOT want to use natural stone, being that the steam would tend to permeate into the stone even more readily than liquid water, and could end up giving you algae problems, as well as mold and mildew problems, unless you don't mind being tied down to your bathroom.

Natural Stone-- There are several types of stone that are used in bathrooms. It doesn't necessarily mean that they're all GOOD IDEAS for bathrooms, expecially the softer (and more absorbant) stones, such as slate or limestone. Now, I know I'm going to get a world of flack about this from epople who have bathrooms finished in these materials. I know they CAN be used.... so long as you're aware of the extra upkeep involved. But if you're someone who doesn't like to keep after things, you may want to pick an easier material to maintain. Generally speaking, the softer the stone, the more the upkeep. Limestone being the softer of the stones, and that would include travertine, next would be many slates (although some would actually be harder than even most marbles, such as brazilian and british slates), then marbles, with quartzite and granite rounding off the list as the harder and more dense stones that you could use.

Q) What should I be sure to look for when choosing tile for a bathroom?

A) Short answer-- something that you like! The bathroom is the one place that just about anything the showroom has can be used. The only limitations are basically the upkeep you want to put in, and slip resistance on the floors of your bathroom and shower. Now, although ceramic tile is basically maintenence free, you don't want to use something with a texture to it that will catch all kinds of junk in the shower, making it more difficult to keep clean. At the same time, you don't want to use a polished stone or bright glazed ceramic tile for the shower floor, either. These both CAN be used, but again, it comes down to upkeep for textured wall tile, and doing something to rectify the slippery floor.

Q) Where should I use tile and where not?

A) Tile can be used on every single surface in the bathroom, if that's what you like. This is all a matter of taste... for the most part. About the only place where there's a requirement is any place there's a showerhead involved. If tile is to be used either in a shower or a tub/ shower combo, The tile MUST go up to a minimum of 72" off the floor. Past that, it's up to the disgression of the owner.

Q) What size tile and what layout patterns to use in various areas?

A) Again, this is a subjective question that can really only be answered by the owner. The ONLY place where there's a recommendation for mechaincal reasons is on a shower floor. TCNA recommends that mothing bigger than 6" be used on shower floors due to the cone shape of the floor's pitch. In addition, most installers will request no bigger than 4", and prefer a 2x2 tile to work with on the shower floor. This is also advantageous to the homeowner who'll be showering in there, because the added grout joints will add more traction to the floor.

Now, I've heard many times that you shouldn't use large format tiles in a small area like a powder room floor, and if you have a wide open bathroom, you don't want to use real small tiles. My response to both is the same-- HORSEHOCKEY. I've done bathrooms both ways-- 24x24 diagonal in a 3' wide powder room, and 1" hex ceramic mosaics in an open 100 sq. ft. bathroom floor. The rule of thumb is if you like it, it's right!

Q) How do I find/choose someone to install the tile?

A) Many people will tell you to get names from the showroom you get your tile from. This is no good, unless the showroom is willing to take responsibility for the installer by either having them on payrool, or as a subcontract. Then they have something to lose if they give you a bad installer. Many people will also tell you to get references and to actually check them out. This ALSO doesn't work. I've been in this work for just under 30 years now, and I've yet to find a single installer who ever gave the name of someone they had a problem with. They say even a blind squirrel will find a nut once in a while. The same can be said for "fly-by-nights" and good work.

So if you can't trust recommendations, and checking references is a lost cause, what do you do? REVERSE THE PROCESS!! Instead of finding an installer and getting references, get references, and thru them, find your installer!! No matter where you live, if you drive around, you'll find constructions sites and developements. Stop and ask who the GC uses. Get a name and phone number. Sooner or later, after asking around enough, you're going to find that the same names will begin to show up time and time again. THESE are the guys you want to use. But don't expect a bargain price, and be prepared to wait, because these guys will be in high demand, even in the worst of times, and they may demand a bit higher price, but they'll be worth every penny, if for no other reason, just because of the peace of mind they'll give you in knowing you're getting a good quality installation. Ask anyone who's gone through this experience, good or bad-- that alone is worth its weight in gold.

Q) What are the proper underlayments for tile?

A) There are several, and I'll take them one at a time:

CBU (cementitious Backer Units)-- This is the term that generally covers all cement boards (such as Wonderboard or Durock) or cement fiber boards (such as Hardibacker). This is the most common used tile underlayment. Generally speaking, it comes in two thicknesses-- 1/2" and 1/4"-- and each has its use. !/2" must be used for wall installations, due to the fact that the 1/4" is way too flimsy with nothing to back it up, and would flex too much to last. Besides, the 1/2" CBU will usually match up nicely to most sheetrocks. The 1/4" is used for floor installations, unless the added height of the 1/2" is needed to match up to other floorings. Being that neither has very much structural strength, so long as the subfloor is 3/4" or more, the 1/4" CBU is all that's needed. Keep in mind that even though it's basically fiberglass reinforced concrete, the only thing it adds to the floor is a stable bonding surface, so the 1/4" will do just fine. One place where alot of contractors will try and shortcut is by using greenboard instead of CBU for shower walls. This is expressly forbidden in the IRC (International Residential Code) by the following code:

IRC Greenboard Code:
The 2006 International Residential Code (IRC) states in
Section R702.4.2 that "Cement, fiber-cement or glass mat
gypsum backers in compliance with ASTM C1288, C1325
or C1178 and installed in accordance with manufacturers
recommendations shall be used as backers for wall tile in
tub and shower areas and wall panels in shower areas."

The 2006 IRC also states in Section R702.3.8.1 that
"Water-resistant gypsum backing board [Greenboard] shall
not be used where there will be direct exposure to water."

Membranes-- There are several around that work well over many different surfaces. Most of them are what's called "Crack Isolation Membranes". Just about every manufacturer has one, from trowel ons or roll ons, such as Hydroment's Ultraset or Laticrete's 9235 or Hydroban, to sheet membranes such as Noble's CIS membrane. All will give the tile a little more protection against movement than just going over CBU. However, there's another class of membranes called "uncoupling membranes" of which the most popular by far is Schluter's Ditra, that are made from bonding two layers together, usually a fabric fleece backing and a plastic sheeting with dovetailed waffling to "lock" the thinset in place ( as opposed to accepting a thinset BOND). These membranes will, as their name implies, uncouple their two layers in case of movement, to save the floor, and for thinset floors, it's the most protection you can give your tile floor.

Plywood-- This is one where I get the most flack. I'm one of a dying breed that still believes in tiling directly over plywood. However, I can very well understand the reluctance of the industry to embrace this installation method, even though the TCNA DOES approve of its use for interior installations (Those with a handbook can check Method F-149). The reason I say that is it's a very "tempermental installation method. You need to be very familiar with what you're doing, or you risk failure. There are even many pros I wouldn't trust to tile using this method. Everything you do is important, from the species of plywood used, to the direction the grain is laid with relation to the joists, to how it's gapped, and a host of other specs, as well-- many of which won't be found in the handbook, and if you miss just one of them, you're flirtin with disaster. All in all, when people ask me about it, I tell them that with the membranes available, there's no need to go directly over plywood. There are other methods that will give you just as long lasting a floor, and aren't NEARLY as sensitive.

Mudset-- This is the oldest, and still, after THOUSANDS of years of use, the strongest installation method available. In a mudset installation, a minimum of 1 1/4" of mortar called "drypack" (mixed to the consistancy of damp sand) is either bonded to a concrete slab, or laid down over tarpaper or 6 mil poly with wire reinforcement, packed, and then screaded off to flat level (or pitched) subfloor. This is what most people see when tiling a shower pan. Initially, the mud will be a somewhat soft subfloor. But over time, if mixed properly, it'll be stronger than concrete.

Q) What are the proper tile setting compounds?

A) This is one where I could write a book. It all depends on what kind fo tile you're installing, and what the underlayment is that you're going over. I'll give a generalized list:

Polymer/ latex modified thinset: For all intents and purposes, this is the "cure-all". For almost any installation the modified thinset, which is basically portland cement, silica sand, and chemical polymers added for strength, will work. There are some that are specialized, such as the lightweight non-sag thinsets (such as Laticrete's 255 or Mapei's Ultralite), or the high latex content thinsets (like Latictrete's 254 Platinum or Hydroment's Reflex), but with the exception of going over some membranes, there's a modified thinset for every installation.

Unmodified thinset: This is the same as above, but with no polymers added. It's usually used in conjunction with a liquid latex additive, but will also be used mixed with water for going over some membranes. It's also used as a bedding for all CBU's.

Medium Bed Mortars-- This is a relatively new class of setting mortars, used mainly for large format tiles, where the normal notched trowels just don't put down enough material, and with thinset, it would be too much, causing too much shrinkage as it dries, causing voids under, and poor bond to, the tile, but at the same time, there's not enoough room for a mudset installation. This mortar is usually used with either a 1/2x1/2" or 1/2x3/4" notched trowel.

Mastics and Premixed Thinsets: THESE HAVE VERY LIMITED USES!! Let me say that again-- THESE HAVE VERY LIMITED USES!! They work well for vertical installations, where the tile used is 8x8 or less, and it's not a wet area. ALL THREE of those conditions must be met!! I know just about every pail of type 1 mastic says it can be used in showers except for the floor. DON'T BELIEVE IT!! Also, both mastic and premixed thinset (which is just mastic with a fine sand mixed in to give it bulk) claim they can be used for floor installations. Unfortunately, for the amount of material needed under virtually all floor tiles to bond to the subfloor, neither of these will fully harden. I had a personal experience where I helped a sister in law across country, telling her husband exactly how to do his main floor, what to use, and how to use it. Unfortunately, he went to the big box store to get his tile and materials, and they talked him into using premixed thinset. I didn't hear about it until SIX MONTHS LATER when his tile and grout joints started showing cracks all over the floor. When he called me I asked him what he used for thinset, and sure enough, this is when he told me. I told him to pull one of the tiles, and SIX MONTHS LATER, IT WAS STILL SOFT!!! DOn't let them talk you into it!! Use the proper thinset, and don't try and shortcut your installation. You're spending alot of money for it to be "just practice"!!

Q) How do you deal with different thicknesses of tile?

A) Whatever it takes. I've used membranes, built up the amount of thinset being used, I've even doubled up tiles when it worked out that way. Whatever it takes to get the two tiles to be flush toeach other.

Q) What are the typical tools required to lay tile?

A) Generally speaking, this is a list for just about all installations. Some may require specialized tools, but this would be for all:

Proper sized notched trowel
measuring tape
chalk line
margin trowel
nippers
high amp low speed drill and mixing paddle (best would be 6 amp or better and less than 400 rpm)
several buckets
score and snap cutter for straight ceramic cuts
4 1/2" grinder with a continuous rim dry diamond blade for ceramic, anything other than straight cuts
wet saw (can be used for ALL cuts, ceramic or stone)
grout float
hydra grout sponges (2-- once for grouting, one for cleaning)
24" and 48" levels (for vertical work)
heavy duty extension cords
KINEE PADS!! :-)
screwgun or nailgun (where CBU will be used)

Q) What about tile spacing and tpes of grout?

A) According to Dave Gobis from the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation in Pendleton, South Carolina, there will finally be a new standard for ceramic tile next year. The tolerances are shrinking. There will also be a standard for rectified tile. Along with that, there will be a revision to the installation standards that will specifically recommend a grout joint no less than 3 times the variation of the tile. For rectified tile the minimum grout joint width will be .075 or just over a 1/16".

As for grout, there's only one thing that determines whether you use sanded or unsanded grout, and that's the size of the grout joint. Anything less than 1/8" you use unsanded grout. 1/8" or larger, you need to use sanded grout. The reason is that the main ingredient in grout is porland cement, which tends to shrink as it dries. In joints 1/8" or larger, the grout will shrink way too much and end up cracking ans shrinking into the joint. The sand give the grout bulk, and the sanded grout won't shrink nearly as much and therefore, can be used in the larger joints.

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note grout comments at end
clipped on: 09.14.2008 at 12:06 am    last updated on: 09.14.2008 at 12:06 am

RE: insulating for sound (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: canoe98 on 02.15.2008 at 05:48 pm in Building a Home Forum

As someone here said, "sound easily bypasses the walls through cracks and windows".

The spray foam is harder to install wrong, preventing gaps or voids through which the sound will travel. That is why - regardless of tests of materials - spray foam walls are very quiet. Same for ICF walls (which also have the advantage of foam on outside absorbing sound energy and what gets through the wall doesn't radiate well from the foam.

After quality sealing with the foam insulation and quality well sealed windows with at least double glazing, de-coupling is the key. You want to minimize direct transmission paths and isolate materials that transmit sound well.

Outside:

Whatever your outer wall is, the sheathing get modulated with vibration energy from sound energy. To stop sound at this "origin", you can spray the sheathing with one or two inches of closed cell spray insulation, covering everything except intentional openings and the furring; this has an astounding improvement on the thermal efficiency of the wall as well, as the heat absorbing outer surface is insulated it will perform far better than the resulting R value would suggest. The wall siding goes on the furring (sized to allow for the spray foam), which goes in place before the spray form goes on. Also, cut a long strip of sill plate gasket (foam strip, 1/4" thick) and staple on the sheathing where the furring goes. Depending on the siding going on the furring, another strip of sill plate gasket on the furring first. These are two thermal/acoustic isolators between the siding and the sheathing. A bead of acoustic seal on the outside of the studs and plates before putting the sheathing on also seals the space.

Inside:

Staggered studs mean that the studs are not direct energy transmission paths (thermal or acoustic) from the sheathing to the drywall. The studs will still receive energy from the plates, but this greatly reduces the area/cross section for transmission. Now the drywall, which will be your sound radiating "speaker" surface, needs to be decoupled from the studs. There are rubber o-ring style washers that can be used to do this; difficult to use. Where I am, we vapor seal on the inside, so I'll include that.
A bead of acoustic seal on the inside surface of the studs and plates (to seal the resulting "panel" between two studs, acoustic seal the seam between the stud and plate), then install the vapor barrier. Another bead of acoustic seal, then a sill plate gasket on the studs and plates. Another bead of acoustic seal, then you install the drywall. The sound has trouble transmitting through the energy absorbing mediums.

For more isolation, do the acoustic seal and sill plate gasket as above, then install furring on the inside of the wall to mount the drywall. The furring is isolated from the plates were the studs aren't. Of course, acoustic seal and sill plate gasket to the furring before mounting drywall. This creates a decoupled wall.

You want to up it from there, you can find a rubberized spray and coat the back side of your drywall before installing it. But, unless you've got amazing sound proofed, windows, you'll never notice the difference with this.

The thermal energy performance of this wall is amazing. Why the little extra acoustic seal to make sealed panels? No gaps for sound in air to penetrate, and, no paths for flame. The panels are now non-vented panels. The only way for fire transmission is for a complete burn through.

Energy in the structure will vibrate ceilings too. Don't for get to install acoustic seal and sill plate gasket for the ceiling drywall.

There are more complex and thicker wall systems with completely de-coupled inner walls with an air gap between them, but you lose inside space and the cost goes up again.

I'd highly recommend the following combination:

1. outside furring (with sill plate gasket between furring and sheathing) with closed cell spray foam;

2. closed cell spray foam insulation; if you need to save some money, then one to two inches of closed cell spray form on inside of sheathing - balance to fill cavity can be open cell foam (cheaper) or the insulation of your choice;

3. staggered stud walls, six inch wide plates (six inch "interior" for insulation);

4. sill plate gasket with acoustic seal on studs and plates.

With two inches of foam on the outside, the nominal R value is higher than R34, but the performance is closer to R50. You could use a four inch wall/plate and get R40 performance, but now you're using non-standard sized materials and introduced structural questions.

You'll love the thermal comfort and savings along with the peaceful interior.

Modeling suggests a home like this, along with quality vinyl double-glazed two-way low-E inert gas windows, will use 1/3 the heating/cooling energy of a R2000 home.

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clipped on: 07.23.2008 at 08:03 am    last updated on: 07.23.2008 at 08:03 am

RE: Miele 1213 Vibration - got to fix or it's going back - 2nd fl (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: stormgrabberjr on 09.19.2007 at 11:58 pm in Laundry Room Forum

Thanks Molly and Sparky, I'll have him double check the loading. How do you determine that each leg is equally loaded? It is definitely level on the top and is not walking.

The vibration is still very bad after 20+ loads. Right now (after consulting w/ the Engineer), we are reinforcing (shearing) the wall directly under this, and doubling up the 2x12's that run underneath (and adding new blocking) to hopefully reduce the harmonics from the spinning.

Miele did not give any of your suggestions. Our local dealer called Miele and basically were given the answer to not place a Miele FL on the second floor. We also asked about the next size up (thinking that it would be heavier and therefore less vibration) and Miele tech support said that the vibration would be worse.

Thanks

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clipped on: 07.22.2008 at 10:18 am    last updated on: 07.22.2008 at 10:18 am

RE: Reducing Wall Switch 'Clutter' -- RadioRA? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: dim4fun on 07.07.2008 at 07:49 pm in Lighting Forum

There are dozens of choices of how to reduce wall clutter. The best solution for you depends on budget, level of help needed (DIY or pro), cosmetics desired, etc. Radio RA is a high quality product towards the nicer end of the scale. Its limits are in the numbers of keypads and dimmers you can have in a single system. Two systems can be coupled if needed but that is not as nice a solution as moving up to HomeWorks. Lutron HomeWorks is a pro only system while Radio RA can be either.

By your question and how far along the job is I'm concerned that you don't have enough time to explore the options, make an informed decision and get the problem solved before the home is ready to insulate & drywall.

Because the problem involves more than one room you are probably looking at a whole house lighting control solution. If you can break the switching problem up into individual rooms you might look at Lightolier Multiset Pro. That product may work out well to make use of some of the 3way wiring while allowing you to eliminate some of the 3 and 4ways with keypads and use smaller boxes. To me the devices are of higher quality than any powerline carrier stuff like Insteon and UPB yet cheaper than Radio RA.

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clipped on: 07.07.2008 at 10:52 pm    last updated on: 07.07.2008 at 10:52 pm

Faucet Depot sale

posted by: codnuggets on 07.07.2008 at 12:26 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Just got these coupon codes in an email from Faucet Depot, and I thought I'd share them. Good through July 31.

DANZEDAYS - 20% off the regular price of all Danze faucets and accessories

AMSTD2008 - 5% off the regular price of all American Standard faucets, fixtures and accessories

PANASONICFANS - 25% off the regular price of all Panasonic ventilation products

KINDREDSPECIAL - 18% off the regular price of all Kindred luxury sinks and accessories

FRANKEDEAL - 20% off the regular price all Franke luxury sinks, faucets, and accessories

Enjoy!
Joe

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clipped on: 07.07.2008 at 04:27 pm    last updated on: 07.07.2008 at 04:27 pm

RE: Reducing Wall Switch 'Clutter' -- RadioRA? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: sniffdog on 07.07.2008 at 08:34 am in Lighting Forum

Check out Insteon devices at www.smarthome.com. Insteon uses both wireless and over existing wire wire signaling to control dimmers and other devices remotely. I have over 40 of these devices in my home.

We have an open floor plan with multiple entrance/exit paths to many of the rooms. Controlling lights from every path using 3 or 4 way switching would have been costly. Instead, we had the electricians put a 3 or 4 gang box with all switches in one location, and next to that I had them install a single gang box with an outlet.

I removed the switches they installed and replaced them with Insteon dimmer switches. I removed the outlet and installed an Insteon Keypad. At the other room locations I had the electricans install outlets (at switch height) which I replaced with Keypad Link's as well.

The keypad links have either 6 or 8 buttons, and each button can be programmed for a different scene using Smarthome Houselink software (costs about $60). So we use the scene buttons to turn lights on and off rather than the dimmer switches (although you can still operate those switches as regular dimmers too).

The Insteon system requires some basic knowledge of wiring and computers to make it work. I like it because it is realtively inexpenive, can be added into your existing wiring system over time, and I can install and maintain it myself. It is not as flexible as higher end automation systems - but if all you need is basic light scene controls - it works great.

If you do a google search on "Insteon Forums" you will find a great resource for posting questions on how Insteon works. There are a few tricks that can make it more reliable and inprove the look and fell of the controllers - I would suggest posting your questions over there if you pursue this route.

Bottom line - it's not too late to add automation to your home and there are some very affordable options.

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clipped on: 07.07.2008 at 09:19 am    last updated on: 07.07.2008 at 09:20 am

RE: Paging KitchenKelly...Banquette question (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: kitchenkelly on 06.04.2008 at 10:39 pm in Kitchens Forum

Wow. Those pics aren't as clear as I thought. The bench is only 16" high. I think I told them to drop them because a standard chair is 18" high. So the 16" of bench plus 2" cushion equals 18."

Th box of bench bottom is 20" deep. The drawer is 17" accross. The depth of the bench (from the bottom of the angled back to the edge of the overhang is a little over 16". This where I wish it was deeper. I just measured a comfortable dining room chair and it is 18" deep.

The top of the backrest is 2" (the little cap excluded) and the bottom of the backrest is 4" (basically the bottom box which is 20" less the 16" deep seat leaves the 4".)

Good luck. Hopefully anyone else with banquettes will give you advice too.

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clipped on: 07.06.2008 at 04:54 pm    last updated on: 07.06.2008 at 04:55 pm

RE: Paging KitchenKelly...Banquette question (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: kitchenkelly on 06.04.2008 at 09:56 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi lynw, I uploaded a bunch of pics for you. (Link below.) The measurements are in there. The cushions are only 2" which is fine. Thicker would be nice too but then you might want to lower the height of the bench.

I do think the graduated height is good. The only thing I would do different is make the depth of the bench deeper. My space is small so I was concerned that it would look too crowded (if that makes sense.)

I love, love the drawers. They are so easy to access. I know I wouldn't utilize a hinged top bench. Love the ideas of the slots!!

Hope that helps and good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: pics of dimensions

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clipped on: 07.06.2008 at 04:54 pm    last updated on: 07.06.2008 at 04:54 pm

RE: Hot water heaters in tandem??? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: normel on 05.14.2007 at 03:55 pm in Plumbing Forum

If the existing tank is 15 years old, I would replace it. If space is not an issue, I would do the tandem 50 (or 40) gal tanks, plumbed in series and valved so either could be isolated. That way, in a few years, after the teens are gone, you could turn one off until you need it and not have to heat as much water every day.

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clipped on: 07.03.2008 at 09:05 am    last updated on: 07.03.2008 at 09:05 am

Kerdi Shower

posted by: mongoct on 11.17.2007 at 11:35 am in Bathrooms Forum

Okay,

There are ways and there are ways. This post shows a couple of ways to do it.

Shower is a walk-in, about 5' by 7'. Door is at a 45 degree angle.

Walk in to the shower and on the short wall to the immediate right are two supply valves, the lower one supplies the wall mounted handheld, the upper supplies an overhead 12" rainshower head.

Moving counterclockwise from that wall, the long wall on the right is on an exterior wall, nothing but tile.

The short back wall has a 2-shelf niche, about 36" wide and 30" tall. The lower niche space is 15" high, the shelf itself is 4" thick, the upper niche space is 11" high.

The last wall, the long wall to the left as you enter, has the wall-mounted hand-held. If I recall, the sliding bar is 40" tall.

Tile backer? I prefer cement board on the walls. Wonderboard or Durock. I used Wonderboard on these walls. The ceiling and niche is done in Hardie, as Hardie is less brittle so for me it's easier to cut into narrow strips to trim out the niche, and not as prone to snapping when installing full sheets overhead.



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clipped on: 07.02.2008 at 11:43 pm    last updated on: 07.02.2008 at 11:44 pm

RE: What was your best bathroom remodeling decision? (Follow-Up #74)

posted by: teched on 12.14.2007 at 05:29 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I've renovated 5 bathrooms in the last few years. I would love to weigh in!

Best:
Hand helds on slide bars (esp for kids!)
Ginger "splashables" baskets for shampoo, etc.
Toto toilets
Using granite remnants for counter tops
undermount sinks
Hooks for towels (6 in the kids bath for bathing suits too)
Gutting everything--there was an amazing amount of mold hidden
Eliminating the medicine cabinet in favor of real cabinets
Americast extra deep tub

Worst:
Having the contractor build mirror frames from the cabinet molding. Should have just used existing mirrors
Not putting the fan in the shower
Letting one of the contractors keep the old plaster ceiling. In the bath where it was covered in green board, we never had a problem. The one with the exposed plaster kept cracking and flaking paint.
Resusing the fake marble sink top
Gold fixtures (sold the house though!)

Here is a link that might be useful: Ginger Splashables

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clipped on: 06.30.2008 at 09:30 am    last updated on: 06.30.2008 at 09:30 am

RE: Help! Grout Discoloration on New Shower Floor (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: bill_vincent on 04.08.2008 at 10:00 pm in Bathrooms Forum

ALL conventional shower pans are designed to accept water under the tile and in the mortar base. This is the reason there are weepholes at the base of the drain, and the reason why the Kerdi system is so revolutionary-- it's the first shower system where it IS designed not to let water get past the tile and grout.

Now, twotzus-- you definitely have one thing going here, and probably two-- first, I would imagine your shower pan is flat bottomed, instead of sloped to the drain. I'm sure there's a slope in the tile, but there should also be what's called a "preslope" UNDER the pan membrane, so that water that DOES get through the grout joints will follow gravity to the weepholes at the base of the drain and flow out the waste pipe. For whatever reason, very few tile installers or plumbers know that the preslope's even supposed to be there, and many who HAVE heard of it just don't care to spend the extra time required to install it. The second thing is the weepholes are most likely clogged, which is why the pan is filling up, and the grout joints are staying wet for so long. You're actually lucky that you're not seeing what looks like leakage on the backsides of the walls of your shower, because what happens many times is that water, once it reaches the bottom of the wallboard where it's buried in the mud, will start whicking up the wall board, much like dipping the corner of a paper towel in a small puddle of water. The problem with that is once the water gets over the top of the pan membrane, which at most, only comes up the walls about 10", will spill over into the wall cavity, and once enough of it has spilled in, it'll begin to show as a leak in your shower, and if left unchecked, could do alot of structural damage, as well as causing mold problems. The ONLY correct remedy is to replace the shower pan, although you might be able to get away (for now) with just taking up around the drain, unclogging the weepholes, and patching it back in.

For the benefit of your contractor, here are the codes that state the pan membrane must be presloped:

IRC Preslope code:
2000 IRC:
P2709. 3 Installation. Lining materials shall be pitched one-fourth unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (2-percent slope) to weep holes in the subdrain by means of a smooth, solidly formed subbase, shall be properly recessed and fastened to ap-proved backing so as not to occupy the space required for the wall covering, and shall not be nailed or perforated at any point less than 1 inch (25. 4 mm) above the finished threshold.

Uniform Plumbing Code related to shower pan construction.

"412.8 When the construction of on-site built-up shower receptors is
permitted by the Administrative Authority, one of the following means shall
be employed:
(1) Shower receptors built directly on the ground:
Shower receptors built directly on the ground shall be watertight and shall
be constructed from approved type dense, non-absorbent and non-corrosive
materials. Each such receptor shall be adequately reinforced, shall be
provided with an approved flanged floor drain designed to make a watertight
joint in the floor, and shall have smooth, impervious, and durable surfaces.
(2) Shower receptors built above ground:
When shower receptors are built above ground the sub-floor and rough side of
walls to a height of not less than three (3) inches (76 mm) above the top of
the finished dam or threshold shall be first lined with sheet plastic*,
lead* or copper* or shall be lined with other durable and watertight
materials.
All lining materials shall be pitched one-quarter (1/4) inch per foot
(20.9 mm/m) to weep holes in the subdrain of a smooth and solidly formed
sub-base.
All such lining materials shall extend upward on the rough jambs
of the shower opening to a point no less
than three (3) inches (76 mm) above the top of the finished dam or threshold
and shall extend outward over the top of the rough threshold and be turned
over and fastened on the outside face of both the rough threshold and the
jambs.
Non-metallic shower sub-pans or linings may be built-up on the job site
of not less than three (3) layers of standard grade fifteen (15) pound (6.8
kg) asphalt impregnated roofing felt. The bottom layer shall be fitted to
the formed sub-base and each succeeding layer thoroughly hot mopped to that
below. All corners shall be carefully fitted and shall be made strong and
watertight by folding or lapping, and each corner shall be reinforced with
suitable webbing hot-mopped in place. All folds, laps, and reinforcing
webbing shall extend at least four (4) inches (102 mm) in all directions
from the corner and all webbing shall be of approved type and mesh,
producing a tensile strength of not less than fifty (50) psi (344.5 kPa) in
either direction. Non-metallic shower sub-pans or linings may also consist
of multi-layers of other approved equivalent materials suitably reinforced
and carefully fitted in place on the job site as elsewhere required in this
section.
Linings shall be properly recessed and fastened to approved backing so
as not to occupy the space required for the wall covering and shall not be
nailed or perforated at any point which may be less than one (1) inch (25.4
mm) above the finished dam or threshold. An approved type sub-drain shall be
installed with every shower sub-pan or lining. Each such sub-drain shall be
of the type that sets flush with the sub-base and shall be equipped with a
clamping ring or other device to make a tight connection between the lining
and the drain. The sub-drain shall have weep holes into the waste line. The
weep holes located in the subdrain clamping ring shall be protected from
clogging.

*Lead and copper sub-pans or linings shall be insulated from all conducting
substances other than their connecting drain by fifteen (15) pound (6.8 kg)
asphalt felt or its equivalent and no lead pan or liner shall be constructed
of material weighing less than four (4) pounds per square foot (19.5 kg/m2).
Copper pans or liners shall be at least No. 24 B & S Gauge (0.02 inches)
(0.5 mm). Joints in lead pans or liners shall be burned. Joints in copper
pans or liners shall be soldered or brazed. Plastic pans shall not be coated
with asphalt based materials."

The same language also appears in the Tile Counsil of North America's Handbook, which are the specs WE must follow.

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clipped on: 06.24.2008 at 02:27 pm    last updated on: 06.24.2008 at 02:27 pm

Finally Completed Bath!!!!

posted by: bsf31392 on 05.27.2006 at 04:37 pm in Bathrooms Forum

After months of lurking on this board, my bath has finally been completed!! I learned so much from you all and I felt like I should share the final product.

Here is what I used:

Vitabath Zephyr airtub
Botticino Honed Marble tile
Walker Zanger Weave glass tile in Bamboo
Breccia Onciata countertop w/ 12" backsplash and pencil edge
Toto Mercer Toilet
Hansgrohe Retroaktiv fittings in Polished nickel
Custom vanity of espresso stained cherry
Restoration Lugaro Train rack
Pottery barn Polished Nickel Mirror
Restoration Hardware Devon Sconces

This was a lot more taxing than my full kitchen remodel but I had the world's BEST contractor and that made it a whole lot more bearable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Finally Completed Bath!!!

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clipped on: 06.24.2008 at 01:45 pm    last updated on: 06.24.2008 at 01:45 pm

RE: What are your favorite sites to purchase kitchen stuff? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: fran1523 on 04.10.2008 at 11:45 am in Kitchens Forum

I bought mosaic glass tile from ColorGlassOnline.com. They delivered within 48 hours. I was very pleased.

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clipped on: 06.21.2008 at 01:56 pm    last updated on: 06.21.2008 at 01:57 pm

RE: What are your favorite sites to purchase kitchen stuff? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: monroviamom on 04.09.2008 at 11:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

1) Lighting - http://www.pegasusassociates.com

2) Amazon.com (they wound up being cheaper on certain small appliances - eg., KitchenAid food processor, etc.)

3) eBay - Homeandstone - Faucets & sinks

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clipped on: 06.21.2008 at 01:56 pm    last updated on: 06.21.2008 at 01:56 pm

RE: What are your favorite sites to purchase kitchen stuff? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mary_in_nc on 04.09.2008 at 10:21 pm in Kitchens Forum

1)WSCdirect.net-

Got my Rohl Allia prep sink from them. Saved a couple of hundred dollars.

2)EBAY.com -
Rohl Perrin & Rowe faucet for half price.

3)Homecenter.com-
Rohl Perrin & Rowe prep sink faucet. Saved a couple of hundred dollars.

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clipped on: 06.21.2008 at 01:56 pm    last updated on: 06.21.2008 at 01:56 pm

What are your favorite sites to purchase kitchen stuff?

posted by: mygar on 04.09.2008 at 09:25 pm in Kitchens Forum

I love to see the posts where people list various sites that they like to browse or have purchased from with good results. I was hoping everybody would list them here so they would all be together.

I'll start:

faucetdepot.com
efaucets.com
galaxytoolsupply.com

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clipped on: 06.21.2008 at 01:55 pm    last updated on: 06.21.2008 at 01:55 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Range Hood Decision time

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clipped on: 06.21.2008 at 09:08 am    last updated on: 06.21.2008 at 09:08 am

RE: What was your best bathroom remodeling decision? (Follow-Up #69)

posted by: weedyacres on 11.08.2007 at 12:59 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Best decisions:
-->In general, love the layout, colors and materials.
-->Radiant heat under the floor (love it so much we're doing it in our upcoming kitchen remodel). We used Warming Systems (least expensive I found) and installed it ourselves (200 sq ft worth) in 3 hours.
-->Heated towel rack (Warmrails, bought on Amazon)
-->Swanstone recessed shower caddy. Big enough for everything.
-->Dual shower heads with body sprays. Very relaxing.
-->Doing it ourselves. We spent about $20,000 on materials and 360 hours, and can't even imagine what it would have cost to pay someone to do all that work.

Do-overs:
-->We have a steam shower and the inlet is a little too close to the seat. Would have moved it 12" over to avoid leg-scalding.
-->I forgot to design in a place at the vanity for a hand towel, and no wall space was available to hang a towel rack. Ended up putting it a few steps away.
-->Possibly the shower doors. We did semi-framless, ceiling-height glass, and the bids came in about double what we were expecting. By then it was too late to change the design, but if we had known it would be that expensive we might have redesigned somehow to use less glass.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our remodel photos

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clipped on: 06.08.2008 at 12:19 am    last updated on: 06.08.2008 at 12:19 am

RE: What was your best bathroom remodeling decision? (Follow-Up #64)

posted by: bowjet on 09.12.2007 at 12:30 am in Bathrooms Forum

We replaced our builder special cheap toilets with Toto Carlisles. We also added washlets. If I was building new or renovating, I would install a GFI plug behind the toilet. It is so easy and cheap to do when the wall is open.

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clipped on: 06.08.2008 at 12:17 am    last updated on: 06.08.2008 at 12:17 am

RE: What was your best bathroom remodeling decision? (Follow-Up #26)

posted by: home_nw on 03.06.2007 at 06:04 pm in Bathrooms Forum

* Having a "shampoo shelf" in the shower (hidden by our half-wall) instead of shampoo niches. Got the idea from this very forum! We modified the design slightly and love it.
* Radiant in-floor heating
* Seat in the shower (angled slightly so it doesn't collect water)
* Both a "regular" shower head and a hand-held on a slider bar in the shower, each with its own valve and controls
* Having the Master Bath on the east side of the house so it benefits from the morning light (especially helps on those mornings when the alarm goes off sooner than you'd like!)
* Having a pretty sconce in the Master Bath near the door that's on a dimmer. It can be controlled from the bathroom, DH's side of the bed, or my side. We mounted quiet switches between our bedside tables and our bed so we can have light if we need to get up in the night and not worry about tripping over the dogs!

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clipped on: 06.07.2008 at 11:55 pm    last updated on: 06.07.2008 at 11:55 pm

RE: What was your best bathroom remodeling decision? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: warsher on 02.19.2007 at 11:04 am in Bathrooms Forum

First mistake "do'nt gut it". Gut it and second, use a vapor barrier under the cement board, do'nt use greenboard. The rusted nails will tell you where the vapor barrier and cement board prefer to go, I would just put the vapor lock everywhere, use half inch boards. You can use 6 mil plastic or roofing felt as barrier under boards, stapled. I like roofing, a little better insulation sound/thermal.
Cement board is a sponge, if that bothers you do what I did, use a cement board sealer around the shower/pullman area Depot has it. I used epoxy that I get cheap, 80 dollars for 1.5 gallon. That stops moisture before the board and not after.
Next stop tub. Cast iron equals quiet and thermal insulation it memorizes heat, (not drumlike with no echoes) Kohler Villager is cheapest; I say mistake. It is 14 inches tall so beware of a too little tub. I got the Toto 1525 at Express Pipe here in southern cal, 554 dollars. the tub iron is twice as thick as Kohlers I saw also, the glaze is smoother. 2 people can install it (the ground is the third person, roll the tub in end over end or just shuffle it in) 381 pounds but not heavy as you think.
Vanity, ebay has good glass/metal ones, will not absorb odors, lifetime product, under 500 with all hardware, faucets.
The toilet must do one thing foremost, flush. try the Toto Drake and if not the Ultramax will give you much more room. Express pipe or Homeclick. There are some horrible toilets out their beware, get a commercial one, Toto G max for instance.
Porcelain is king on tile, Ceramic is ok, check the grade (1-5) Marble is ok for a bathroom floor awesome visually. I would use 1/8 grout line porcelain on shower with sanded grout. Unsanded might shrink. Keep sponge dry, use caulk in tile corners, do not use premix wet mastic under tile, use powdered thinset with latex additive.
You might want to leave in the cieling when you gut.
You might want to get some kilz and paint the studs around the shower area if moisture problems were evident.

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clipped on: 06.07.2008 at 11:33 pm    last updated on: 06.07.2008 at 11:33 pm

RE: under cabinet televisions (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: cleo_2007 on 05.27.2008 at 07:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

Hi igloo
I am planning on getting one too. I have looked at a lot of options and here is what I found.

There are only a few companies that make the 8-10 inch digital cable ready flip downs with dvd, CD player, tuner, clock, ipod dock etc. They run under $350 but most customer reviews are pretty negative about screen resolution, sound etc. They are also pretty darn thick too and could not necessarily be hidden. If you really want the DVD/CD capability this is probably your best option. If you just would like to have a digital cable TV...read on.

Another option is to buy a regular 15 inch LCD TV and purchase a flip down mount so the TV could actually be hidden away by light rail in the closed position and flipped down for easy viewing. The TVs are digital cable ready so unless you wanted high def or on demand programming you won't need a box. You could listen to music on the cable channels if you want music cabability.

There are a lot of mounts out there (and some of them are crap so I would check reviews before you buy). I couldn't find a flip down mount at my Best Buy, but S Jersey is not a shopping mecca so it is not surprising that I will have to order it online (I would assume shopping in Alaska is even worse).

I can't wait to see the finished kitchen (or is it kitchens?)

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clipped on: 05.27.2008 at 10:25 pm    last updated on: 05.27.2008 at 10:25 pm

RE: alku05: another plugmold question for you (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: alku05 on 05.26.2008 at 06:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

Clinresga, we have a junction box located in the wall and it appears as an outlet inside our upper cabinets. It is my understanding that our plugmold is wired into that junction box, but I was out of town when they put in the plugmold, so I can't be 100% sure. I do know that a junction box must be accessible, so you can't bury it under drywall.

The angled wood strip was designed and made out of redwood by my GC. It was installed under my cabinets before the backsplash was intalled. After the backsplash went in, the plugmold was mounted. The angled wood was designed to allow for the thicknedd of tile and its underlayment:

Photobucket
Here's a picture of the wood strip after the tile but before the plugmold:

Photobucket

Hope that helps!

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clipped on: 05.26.2008 at 08:47 pm    last updated on: 05.26.2008 at 08:47 pm

RE: How did you insulate and support your drop in tub? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mongoct on 03.12.2008 at 06:50 pm in Bathrooms Forum

mollie,

If your tub didn't come with a manual, you can go on most any manufacturer's website to see how they want their tub installed.

Some want them set in a bed of mortar, some choose their tubs to be glued to the subfloor with construction adhesive.

Some people recommend foam, but foam flexes and it's something I'd never use.

I almost always set tubs in a bed of mortar. It does two things: It gives absolute support, and it allows me to level the tub if the floor is slightly out of level.

For a drop-in, you want to set the tub so the rim of the tub just touches the deck of the tub. You don't want the tub hanging by the rim, or it can lead to the tub eventually cracking, as their isn't enough reinforcment in the tub to support it by the rim.

Ususlly no additional framing is needed to support the weight of a tub.

If you wanted to elevate the tub, you could build a platform for it to sit on. Then the weight of the tub would be transferred to the fdootprint of the larger platform, reducing the "pounds per square foot" lod placed on your floor framing.

As far as insulation, you can use canned foam, commercial spray foam, or wrap it in fiberglass. Or if it's a circulating tub, you can add an aftermarket in-line water heater for about $250.

If you use canned or spray foam to insulate the tub, if it's a jetted or circulating tub, be careful where the foam goes. You don't want it to screw up your tub's plumbing.

Mongo

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clipped on: 05.18.2008 at 12:38 am    last updated on: 05.18.2008 at 12:38 am

RE: Kitchen Sink Choice (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: hyerground on 03.19.2008 at 03:43 pm in Kitchens Forum

Stainless is measured by gauge the lower the number the thicker the material. Most undermounts are 18 gauge and there is a large discrepancy in price. Most of it is because how it is made (either drawn - which gives thicker corners) or stamped (not as thick) and whether it is machine finished or hand finished.
If you are looking for an exceptional high quality sink, then Julien is my choice. They are 16 gauge and beautiful. If you want an excellent 18 gauge then Elkay is my choice (but in the showroom collection and not the ones you find at home depot or lowes as they are not "drawn")

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clipped on: 04.29.2008 at 12:39 am    last updated on: 04.29.2008 at 12:39 am

RE: distance between upper cabs and base cabs (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: hmsweethm on 03.24.2008 at 12:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

ni 2006 -- as to your question about whether cabinets come with the light rail: It depends on who is making your cabinets. For many cabinet companies, it is an option. My advise to you is to make sure you resolve that issue as you are designing your kitchen and cabinets, and not afterward, like we did.

While we love our finished kitchen, our cabinet maker messed up and didn't account for our undercabinet lighting, which was mentioned in our contract and everything. The electrician installed the lighting like he was supposed to, but we are still fighting with the cabinet maker to install a rail to hide the lighting. We just want a simple inch-and-a-quarter plain rail around the bottom of the cabinets to hide the lights (that's how much they show). We may end up doing it ourselves. Our cabinets are 18 inches above our counter, so an inch and a quarter won't be so much to take away from that, although I would have preferred that it would be that much space after the light rail. It was one of a million details in our house remodel that I didn't pay enough attention to, and now here we are, but I think it's going to be okay.

So bottom line is, decide on that now, before it is too late and you are left with few choices. Make sure everyone is on board: cabinet maker/company, electrician, etc.

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clipped on: 04.24.2008 at 08:33 am    last updated on: 04.24.2008 at 08:33 am

RE: For Those Of You With Glass Door Cabinets (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: jodi_in_so_calif on 04.15.2008 at 10:39 am in Kitchens Forum

Here are our reeded glass cabinets. I love them. One is in the kitchen, the other a bar area in the dining room, which we hadn't populated yet with glassware when I took the photo.

We have clear glass displays in the livingroom and I am always frustrated with how dirty they always seem to look. The reeded glass I used in the kitchen does not show any dirt or film on them.

Kitchen clock

Bar

Jodi-

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clipped on: 04.20.2008 at 12:19 pm    last updated on: 04.20.2008 at 12:19 pm

RE: Whats your dream laundry room? (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: raybeck on 06.08.2006 at 07:01 pm in Laundry Room Forum

A year ago we got to build our dream home on our ranch and my utility room was very important to me and I put much thought into it....here is what I ended up with:

Size: 12'W x 16'L
Tiled floor
Tiled backsplash
Large, deep cast iron sink with pull out sprayer
Built in Cabinets on both sides
40" Drip Dry Bar with Drain
Washer and Dryer (F&P) are recessed with a drain
Two large closets, one for ranch type coats, etc. the other with shelves, for cleaning products, vaccum cleaner, brooms, etc.
Built in TV
Piped in Stereo
Large picture window
Ceiling fan
Under counter lighting
Silestone countertops
I really went overboard and even had crown molding put in there to match the rest of the house...lol

This is also our schnauzer's room, so she enjoys it, too! ha

I really do love it, have a wonderful view, down the hill, of a pond on our ranch, only trouble is, now I'm living in Houston, so don't get to enjoy it nearly enough, but someday, I will!!! Sure makes doing laundry a lot more fun! That is if we get back there before I'm too old to remember what all that stuff is even for!

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clipped on: 04.17.2008 at 12:32 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2008 at 12:32 pm

RE: Whats your dream laundry room? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: seekingadvice on 12.12.2005 at 09:30 pm in Laundry Room Forum

We just redid our laundry room, too. Actually, we redid the kitchen and our new laundry room was our old kitchen. We took out everything and started from scratch. It is also a pantry/serving area, too, so we had to squeeze a lot of things into a relatively small space (8 x 10). There is a fridge, which has come in extremely handy and was something I fought hard to keep out (turns out dh was right about that), washer/dryer, sink, and folding counter along with pantry and cabinets.

I didn't have a huge budget for it so I bought cheap travertine for the floor (HD, $1.98 sq ft) and reused my old fridge and washer/dryer. I was going to use laminate for the counter, but because there is one area that needed to be notched, the cost was kind of high. I got Ikea butcher block instead for $120 plus $20 for the wood backsplash trim. The cheapest laminate I could get for that space was over $300.

I have a double-swing door (no room for a pocket) so I can open it with my hands full and it closes automatically. It also holds open in each direction at about 90 degrees. I have reed glass in it so I don't accidentally bonk anyone on my way out.

I also bought the MTI sink. At first I was tempted to get the Jentle Jet, but it required an outlet, more space, and was hugely more expensive than the same sink without the jets. It seemed to me it was more of a gimmick than anything since you still have to manually drain the water and rinse the handwashables. I do love the jetless sink, though - it has the washboard front, is nice and deep and has a soap holder. It was a little over $100.

I use my counter for folding clothes, hobbies, and serving prep. I have to disagree with making the counter taller than a kitchen counter. I find it much, much easier to fold at a lower height, but then I'm pretty short. I made my counter height 34" in the laundry room.

I also have very long drawers for wrapping paper and hobby supplies. I have a pullout that houses my sewing machine with a tabletop above it that pulls out. It has an outlet in the cabinet so it can be left plugged in and I just have to lift it up to the pullout table when I'm ready to sew.

Above the washer/dryer I have a cabinet that has doors on either side and open shelves in the center. I left one section of cabinets opposite the fridge as open shelves also. I have a few regular uppers and between the W/D and the fridge there is a ~2' wide x 2' deep, floor-to-ceiling pantry with pullouts all the way up.

I found a fold-down drying rack at Target that I like. It mounts on the wall and is white wire. It's almost flush to the wall when closed, then opens out once for hanging dainties with a drying shelf above and opens out again to make a large drying shelf. I'm trying to decide whether or not to put in a rod, but so far I haven't really needed one so I may skip that.

A couple of things I DON'T have that I wish I did are: broom-type closet where I could keep my step-stool and ironing board, or a built-in ironing board (but I don't have anyplace to put one).

Here is a picture of the counter side. Across from that is the fridge/pantry/washer/dryer wall.

Here is a link that might be useful: laundry/pantry

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clipped on: 04.17.2008 at 12:31 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2008 at 12:31 pm

RE: Whats your dream laundry room? (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: bluesbarby on 12.12.2005 at 04:35 pm in Laundry Room Forum

My last house had my dream laundry room and I loved it. The main part was 8 by 14. Plus you walked thru an alcove which housed a freezer and shelves for TP etc to get to it. Along the long wall was a deep cast iron laundry sink, w/d then a built in shelving unit. Each shelf had a pull out basket. Each person in the family had a designated basket. Cabs above w/d. On the end wall was a large window and under the window were 4 bins, white, colored, dark and delicate. I had enough width to keep an ironing board in the up position and I had a small TV hanging from the wall. This space was borrowed from our garage (we still had a 2 car). Instead of tiling, I faux painted the floor to look like tile.

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clipped on: 04.17.2008 at 12:25 pm    last updated on: 04.17.2008 at 12:25 pm

RE: How to waterproof a wood framed shower bench? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: rocky08 on 04.15.2008 at 06:54 am in Bathrooms Forum

Bill, so the second layer of plywood on the vertical part of the bench should stop about 8" above the shower floor? Then the liner butts up against the second layer and the cement board comes down over that joint and all the way to the floor? That makes sense. Is there no need for roof felt over the 2x4's as a vapor barrier? I thank you for your expertise, and I will lay off work the day it gets done to make sure it is done right. I can't tell you how many times I have bitten my tongue wondering why the %$&?* the contractor is doing certain things the way he is doing them.

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clipped on: 04.17.2008 at 08:48 am    last updated on: 04.17.2008 at 08:48 am

RE: How to waterproof a wood framed shower bench? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: mongoct on 04.15.2008 at 10:44 am in Bathrooms Forum

The first layer of ply gives the bench strength/structure and also acts as a backer for the membrane to lay flat up against and be attached to.

The second layer of ply "furrs out" the top of the front of the bench. This ply stops above the membrane. When the cement board is screwed to the second layer of plywood, the cement board "hangs over" the membrane on the lower part.

Because of the thickness of the second layer of ply, the cement board does not get kicked out by the thickness of the membrane.

Think of the cement board as being screwed to the second layer of ply on the upper part of the face of the bench, but the cement board "floats" over the membrane and the first layer of ply on the lower part of the bench.

The isn't a Kerdi shower, so Redgard is used to topically seal the bench. If it was Kerdi, then Redgard would not be needed.

And, obviously, the top of the bench should be pitched for drainage.

Mongo

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clipped on: 04.17.2008 at 08:48 am    last updated on: 04.17.2008 at 08:48 am

RE: How to waterproof a wood framed shower bench? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: bill_vincent on 04.14.2008 at 08:16 pm in Bathrooms Forum

2x4's, then plywood (double layer the face, with the top layer only going down to the top of where the pan liner will be, so that the cement board will lay flat over the pan liner). Once the plywood is up, install the pan liner. Then comes the cement board. Tape it, and fill all cracks with thinset and let dry. Next day, coat it well with the Redgard, including about 6-8" out onto all surrounding walls. Now you're ready to tile. In the following pic, the only difference was that I used Hydroment's Ultraset instead of Redgard:

Photobucket

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clipped on: 04.17.2008 at 08:44 am    last updated on: 04.17.2008 at 08:44 am

RE: Whirlpool heater yes or no? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: mongoct on 03.05.2008 at 10:34 pm in Bathrooms Forum

You can add a heater afterwards.

Originally my jacuzzi tub was installed with no heater. My wife takes loooonnnnggg soaks, so several years afterwards I added an after-market heater.

Run the circuit and install the outlet for it today so you have the option of adding it tomorrow. Took me about 15 minutes to install.

Mongo

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clipped on: 04.15.2008 at 06:02 pm    last updated on: 04.15.2008 at 06:02 pm

RE: Has Anyone Use ''Granite Source'' in Chatilly, VA? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: pcjs on 04.09.2008 at 12:36 am in Kitchens Forum

No, we used Thomas Marble and Granite in Gaithersburg, MD - tiny mom and pop shop with really reasonable prices - not the fancy shop, but our granite looks nice (I wish they got the granite closer to the stove but not a huge deal) - but our seam is amazing and our backsplash flows really nicely. They were wonderful to work with too. We also got our blanco sink from them for 1/2 the normal price. We got our stone from Avanti in Frederick, but liked Arc (huge) and Marva - we did the rounds several times (had to take my mom as my husband had enough).

Shop around for prices - we got a huge range from $62 (I think) from Thomas (picked them from a recommendation from Avanti who usually doesn't recommend after getting burned from Stone Surfaces - don't use) to $150 a foot for Gold and Silver (more expensive stone). We didn't pick so much on price vs. we didn't know what to do after Stone Surfaces.

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clipped on: 04.13.2008 at 10:05 pm    last updated on: 04.13.2008 at 10:06 pm

Got me thinking (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: redroze on 04.06.2008 at 05:30 pm in Kitchens Forum

Buehl - Thank you so much for the links! This photo makes me feel better about how it will look. My doors won't be the french door look but be plain glass doors where you can see the wood shelving.

Sweeby - Now you have me thinking about the use of it. I'm sure I could find something to put in the shallow drawers, be they tea towels or special cake servers or something. Is there any reason why you wouldn't just take the dishes and put them to the side of the stacked cabinet, rather than the front? How much counter space would there actually be in front of the stacked cabinet? I think countertops are 2 feet in depth...stacked cabinets are...not sure of the depth here. I guess they fit the average dish?

Maybe your point is that you want to grab something from the cabinet and set it down right away, then close the cabinet doors, then move them to wherever? Oh, actually that makes sense given that the door opened would block my access to the countertop to the side of the stacked cabinet. Makes sense now...hmmm, from a functional standpoint it looks like I would need a drawer. Darn, I was hoping to keep my everyday dishes there and have most of the bowls, plates, etc. be at eye level.

Uh oh, I'm thinking aloud here. Words are a jumble. =)

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clipped on: 04.07.2008 at 12:39 pm    last updated on: 04.07.2008 at 12:39 pm

RE: Does a stacked cabinet need a bottom drawer? (Follow-Up #24)

posted by: sweeby on 04.07.2008 at 09:35 am in Kitchens Forum

"Sweeby, WHERE is you "after-market" leaded glass from? It's beautiful! "

Thanks for the nice comments, and for giving me the opportunity to once-again rave about this particular glass company. The quality is very high, service was fabulous and IMO, the glass was very reasonably priced. The company is Middlefield Glass and their website is linked in below. The site takes a LONG time to load, but that's because they have an interactive 'window-builder' that lets you take any of their many standard designs and change out the glass colors and textures. When we do a similar hutch piece for our master bath, I won't even have to shop around -- know exactly where I'm going for glass.

Here is a link that might be useful: Middlefield Glass

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RE: possible to modify slow closing drawers to full extension? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: birkie_2006 on 04.06.2008 at 06:32 pm in Kitchens Forum

Those are two different functions. Full or 3/4 drawers can have soft close function. The full-extension drawers are a matter of the rail length in the cabinet and on the drawers. Full extension drawers are really, really nice. You want to order them if at all possible.

The soft close damper (at least Blumotion like I have with my IKEA drawers) is a piece you can add on (click on) to the back of the rail system. For the IKEA hardware, a pack of two costs $6.99 per drawer.

If your drawers work like IKEA's, it is much easier to add the soft-close after-the fact, than replacing the rails. So if you have to make a choice, perhaps the soft-close can be added later?

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RE: Trash pullout width question (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: talley_sue_nyc on 04.07.2008 at 10:03 am in Kitchens Forum

I have a trash pullout in my 27" frameless sink cabinet.

It has two trashcans, one for recycling and one for wet trash.
Mine is only 11-5/8" wide, but it works fine for us. We take the trash out often, and it's really not that huge a problem.

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clipped on: 04.07.2008 at 11:41 am    last updated on: 04.07.2008 at 11:41 am

RE: Master bath (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: arielitas_mom on 10.31.2005 at 11:13 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Fly - If you like quartzite but are still thinking of using porcelain tiles, Crossville makes a nice through body series called -- aptly enough -- quartzite. Not exactly the same as real quartzite, but pretty darn close with none of the maintenance issues. There's a huge amount of variation among the tiles colorwise and otherwise. It comes in three types - Cream multicolor, Green multicolor and Noce (a darker beige) multicolor, the operative word being multicolor.

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RE: In a luxury bath with 2 vanities (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: igloochic on 04.03.2008 at 05:49 pm in Bathrooms Forum

I know I gave you trouble about that bathroom sweeby :) and this is why. I just think you need more vanity space.

DH has 3' in mine with a built in piece above it as well. I have 6' which includes a built in piece full of storage. (built up to the ceiling on each side with a bridging piece inbetween and the mirror and sink in the middle).

You have PLENTY of room to do something more excessive than the two little sinks you had planned in your drawings, and really, just look at your vanity now...what's on it? Where are you going to put makeup, toothbrushes, a cup? shaving gear, etc? Don't you want a place to hide that stuff? And storage for extra cloths right at hand?

By the way, I just visited a friend and almost took my camera back into their bathroom with you in mind...she has a toilet and shower sharing a wall. The plumbing for the shower is on the toilet wall, and they made the wall a bit wider than usual. Built in on the toilet side they did an old fashioned cupboard that opens up to a storage space just wide enough to stack up several rolls of toilet paper. If you remove the toilet paper, the back is a false back (just a thin sheet of painted wood) and behind that the plumbing is totally accessable). So they have ease of access (steam shower) AND toilet paper storage in a pretty built in cabinet accessable while ummm how to say this...while sitting in need :oP

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clipped on: 04.04.2008 at 10:23 am    last updated on: 04.04.2008 at 10:23 am

RE: New Miele Excella owner (Follow-Up #32)

posted by: chipshot on 02.28.2008 at 01:30 pm in Appliances Forum

"The only thing that I think is missing from the Excella/LaPerla models is a dual water hookup...cold and hot. And, let the DW decided what to use based upon program."

YES!!! And make it retrofitable.

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clipped on: 04.04.2008 at 09:29 am    last updated on: 04.04.2008 at 09:29 am