Comparing different types of Caulking and Sealants. What your interior designer and contractors, need to know.
I received a great email from Mehran from ATEC Building Envelope Consulting Inc. and I just had to share the great information.
From time to time builders or homeowners ask me what type of Caulking and sealant materials they should use. The following list provides some guidelines.
A wide variety of caulking material is available, each suited to certain applications.
They tend to be high VOC emitters; therefore, builders need to be aware of possible indoor air quality problems that can result from the use of a particular sealant , especially in housing for chemically sensitive people:
Please do not hesitate to contact Mehran Saraie, EIT, AScT if you need further information or if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
My wonderful interior design client in Fort Langley, wondered if we should use Plywood, MDF or Melamine boxes for her kitchen cabinets. She had heard Plywood was stronger than Melamine or MDF. Is it? Here's the inside scoop with help from cabinet supplier Shari from Century Cabinets:
Plywood: Plywood boxes have a finish on them, but if oil or food spills, it will get into the finish; causing rings and we can't refinish them. Therefore, if you want to use plywood, it is best to use a shelf liner to protect the finish. Wood will take on odors that melamine will not.
Any cabinet that is wider than 36" should not be used for heavy dishes as the shelves may sag over time, this applies to plywood as well as melamine. Plywood is lighter than both MDF and melamine, and the installers like it, however, plywood has more of a tendency to warp. Plywood may last a bit longer than melamine if it gets wet, but not much. It will rot if it is constantly wet. Plywood is an upcharge as well, because good quality cabinet makers don't use Chinese plywood.
Melamine: Melamine is more economical and easier to look after for the kitchen and bathroom cabinet boxes and shelves. Melamine cabinets are made of a good quality fiberboard with a hard melamine surface that is waterproof and therefore will clean up with soap and water, and stains can be cleaned with Clorox wipes. They are the most durable surface and don't require shelf paper. They also do not tend to hold odors from foods or spices, and they are the most cost effective choice.
MDF: (Medium Density Fiberboard). MDF is a dense fiberboard and very heavy, in fact, too heavy for cabinet boxes. MDF doors cost as much as Maple framed doors and they are heavier than Maple doors. Cabinets are not made of MDF because of its heavy weight. Most slab doors are made of MDF and have some veneer or laminate on the surface. Shaker MDF is a choice that allows for the shape of the shaker door without joints which crack when painted on a wood frame door.
The most expensive dining room table from Italy will often be made of MDF and have a beautiful veneer applied to it. MDF is very dense and it is what a slab door is made of with a veneer applied to it. MDF does not warp like solid wood does. This allows the table to open cleanly without sticking.
Many people have been convinced that wood is the only material to build from. This is just marketing hype. Wood has many great qualities but it also has downsides. It is worth learning about materials as they all have good sides for certain applications and they all have downsides too. Think of how old antique cabinets have squeaky doors and drawers that stick. That is because wood warps. :)
Hope this helps you make the decision between Plywood, MDF and Melamine kitchen and bathroom cabinet boxes and doors.
Check out this post featured here: http://topreveal.com/diy-kitchen-cabinet-shelf-ideas
Recessed lighting spacing - How many recessed can lights do I need? How far apart do I place my can lights?
I've been an interior designer for over 16 years now and I've realize good lighting placement is key for any space, especially so for recessed lighting - (we call them pot lights in Canada - no - not those sort of lights!). I've written this handy post to show you how it's done!
(We'll talk about bathroom lighting in another post!).
Note: Lumens measure the total light sent out by the light bulb.
Watts measure the amount of power used by the bulb.
So watts do not tell you how bright the bulb is - but Lumens do.
However, since we are all use to discussing wattage, often people use 'wattage' as their term denoting the brightness of a bulb, rather than 'lumens'. For this article we'll use the term "wattage" as most people are more familiar with that term.
Recessed can lighting design layout:
Part A: How many pot / recessed / can lights do I need?
Formula: total sq. footage x 1.5 = total wattage needed. Total wattage divided by 60 watts (or whichever wattage you select) = total amount of recessed can lights.
Example: 240 square foot room x 1.5 = 360 divided by 60 (the bulb wattage I'd like to use) = 6 recessed lights needed.
Part B: Draw up a ceiling diagram (reflected ceiling plan) showing the amount of can lights you need (Part A formula). The cans / pots / recessed lights should be evenly distributed around the room, usually they are in rows with an equal number of cans in each row. Here's a great example of a kitchen lighting layout, the yellow dots show the recessed lights, the red dots show the pendant lights:
Now we will calculate the spacing between each recessed light.
Part C: Light spacing in a row:
Part D: Task Lighting Layout:
Task lighting is extra lighting used to highlight spaces where you need either extra light, or specialized lighting throughout the home. You may want to add under cabinet lighting, or pendant lights over the island in the kitchen, to bring the lighting closer to the work area.
How to calculate the distance and spacing for task lighting:
Step 1: Determine the distance from the ceiling down to the surface you wish to light, i.e.. the floor or a countertop.
Step 2: Divide this distance by 4 to obtain the distance from the wall to the first light unit. I.e.. 8' ceiling lights should be placed two feet away from the wall.
Part E: Wall washers recessed lighting layout: (lighting that shines down onto a wall in order to highlight art or a wall feature)
Step 1: The rule for installing wall wash recessed fixtures is approx. 1.5' to 3' away from the wall.
Step 2: Fixed lights can be placed closer to the wall.
Step 3: Place adjustable lights farther away from the wall. The optimal aiming angle to minimize glare is 30-degrees from the ceiling, that way we avoid glare.
Step 4: Space wall wash fixtures the same distance from each other.
Step 5: A good rule of thumb is that your accent lighting should be 3 times brighter than the ambient light in the room. This is useful for living rooms, hallways and dens/offices.
Part F: Beam Spread
There are generally 2 types of recessed lights - Spot lights and Flood lights.
Spot lights have a narrow beam of light casting light to a focused area, usually these are used to highlighting art or important design elements in the room. They cast beams 45 degrees or less.
Flood lights case a wider beam on the floor area and are used for lighting larger, more general areas. They cast beams up to 120 degrees.
Lighting Beam calculation: Angle of beam x 0.18 x ceiling height = Beam spread in inches.
Example: 60 degrees x 0.18 x 10' ceiling height = 108" divided by 12 = 9' wide beam spread.
To create overlapping beams of light for ambience, make sure that your beam spread diameter is equal to or greater than the distance between light sources fixtures.
Recessed lighting design & installation:
Now that the recessed lighting placement locations are determined, we need to find out if they can be installed in these locations. Use a stud finder to determine where the ceiling joist are located. You might have to adjust placement locations to avoid hitting a ceiling joist. It's always best to pre plan the lighting design before your renovation or new build in your home.
Please remember to contact your electrician before making any electrical decisions.
You also may enjoy this other article:
15 Steps to Build your Dream Home
Being an interior designer, my home and surroundings highly affect how I feel. I have a beautiful new home, but as I did not select the finishes; they are not what I would have chosen . At all.
I have conflicting undertones everywhere and dated finishes, even though the house is just 7 years old.
What's bothered me the most is my hardwood flooring. It's orange, VERY orange, red oak solid hardwood. (And burgundy cabinets, and gold backspash, and black and PINK granite - but that's another story!)
I've decided to bite the bullet and take you on this journey with me. Pardon the dust!
1. First step is to hire someone you trust. I have a brilliant contractor who doesn't specialize in flooring, but he's done great jobs refinishing my client's floors. I trust him.
2. Determine the amount of time this will take, I budgeted 3 weeks, but I'd suggest longer.
3. Determine where you are going to live, whilst your floors are going to be sanded. We live in a large home, so we decided to take over the basement. BUT, the kitchen is among the rooms being sanded, so that will be out of commission for a while. We moved the toaster, Microwave, blender and paper plates and cups downstairs. The fridge ended up on the deck, along with the stove and dishwasher. We've had a very mild winter, so it wasn't a problem to plug in the fridge outside.
4. Next we put poly plastic sheets over everything, the cabinets, counters, railings, fireplace, lighting, stairwell, and entrance to the foyer.
5. My contractor started with a 100 grit sander, and worked about 6 hours and finished a spot only 10 ft x 4 ft. It seems every flooring finish is different, and this finish was EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to remove. To make a long story short, we ended up going with a drum roller with 36 grit paper. And the dust started to fly! We also found out the guest bed was very uncomfortable. Karma I guess.
It took him 4 days to remove 600 sq. ft of finishing and get the wood down to bare wood. We selected the perfect stain colour - not too dark, no red and NO ORANGE undertones. Varathane wood stain in Espresso We applied it, looked great, did the second coat the next day, then were told to wait 24 hours, but waited 72 hours and applied the top coat. Everything looked good, so after 2 days we applied the second top coat and left it to dry overnight.
The next morning the flooring looked good but a little different. That night I noticed white patches appearing on top of certain boards. We left it another day and yup... it looked worse.
I went on every online site, talked to all sorts of professionals that I could find, to research the cause of these random white patches. It looked like someone had poured milk on the wood and let it dry, leaving a dry powdery white coating on about 25% of the boards. No one knew what to do so we....... resanded the whole bloody thing again!
4 more days of sanding - and dust. Aggh...
We vacuumed the walls, windows, floors and everything else again - and started all over....
To be continued in Part 2 of 3 refinishing your Red Oak hardwood floor.
There are an amazing amount of beautiful range hoods available now. Glass, steel and custom wood are all options. But, you need to know the SIZE of range hood you need, not necessarily the dimensions (for this topic), but the amount of CFM (cubic feet per minute) needed for your hood. Here's the rule of thumb, remember to double check with your contractor and local building code.
First you need to select your stove, or cook top. Then you need 100 CFM for every 12" of stove width.
For example a 30" stove (2.5') x 100 CFM= Approx. 250 CFM needed, as a minimum.
But we can't just stop there...
We need to keep the room size in mind. Larger rooms need more CFM to clear the cooking odors away.
A range hood should exchange the air in the kitchen 15 x per hour.
Here's a helpful example. If your kitchen is 12' x 15' and 10' high, that equals 1,800 cubic feet. To find the size of fan needed, multiply the cubic feet x the # of air exchanges (15) then divide by 60 (minutes in an hour).
In our example that would be: 1,800 x 15 = 27,000 divided by 60 = 450. You need 450 CFM minimum for this size of kitchen.
Are we finished? Not yet. Gas ranges deliver a lot more heat than electric ranges. So we need to take this into consideration. Most gas burners put out approx. 10,000 BTUs per burner. Multiply that by the number of burners, 5 shown here = 50,000 BTU Then divide by 100 to find the minimum CFMs needed. In this case 500 CFM.
Now we still aren't quite finished. What about the size of the duct work, number of turns, etc.? Most HVAC suppliers recommend smooth 8" metal pipe. Add 1 CFM per foot of pipe and add 25 CFM for each bend and 40 CFM for the roof cap. Let's estimate this example as being 100 CFM needed.
Now, we ARE finished. Take the rating for the stove width (250 CFM in our example), room size (450 CFM minimum), burner type (500 CFM minimum). The highest number is 500, then add your ductwork CFM calculations (100) and you would need a total of 600 CFM for this range size, kitchen size, range burner and ductwork.
Please remember to double check if you need a licensed mechanical contractor to install a make up damper to switch on simultaneously with the kitchen range hood to bring in fresh air to prevent a negative pressure in the home. There are many varying factors at play - location of your home, gas or electric range, differing building codes, etc. In BC, Canada our municipality states: makeup air is only required if the displacement of air exceeds .5 air changes per hour and is used with a fueled appliance (i.e. gas stove).
I hope this helps. Be sure to always discuss this with your contractor HVAC installers and appliance providers.
Check out our 15 Steps to designing your Dream Home below.
Also you might like our popular post on: Recessed Lighting Spacing:
How many recessed lights do I need? How far apart do I place my lights?
Click below to read the article
Any other Design questions, just let me know, we offer Paint selection advice, one room Interior Design and Whole Home Interior Design
Thanks for stopping in!
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.
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