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More Flooring/Countertops/Oven enclosure

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Joined: May 10 2003

I've read through numerous post on both issues...but would like some fresh opinions.
I need to re-floor the entire house and I am looking for a uniform open look. At this time I am leaning towards VCT in a single color throughout for both cost and maintenance. What are the pros and cons of installing it over the original asbestos tile? We don't have radiant heat so that is not an issue. Does anyone have pictures of their VCT floor they can share? The options for color are many, any recommendations? Our paneling is in good shape and will be saved. Our roof is tan and brown.

We want to refurbish our kitchen cabinets but will need to replace countertops. Laminate is not an option for me because I cook a lot and am reckless with hot pots. Why is Corian demonized for an Eichler kitchen? It is a synthetic material after all. Lastly, has anyone modified their oven enclosure without altering the layout. Our space is for a 24" oven that won't accommodate a full size cookie sheet or turkey. Help!!!

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

Hi,

If you've read previous posts on flooring, you probably have had more than enough of my opinions :-) But in case you meant fresh (as in more recent) as opposed to different (as in someone else's), I'll summarize my opinions on both topics here.

Flooring
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I refloored my entire house in Armstrong VCT. Although I had also looked at the very expensive cork, when I finally made the decision to restore rather than renovate, I opted for the as-close-to-original vinyl composite tile. (The original had be vinyl asbestos tile (VAT) from Armstrong.) The VCT I used does need initial sealing then waxing and periodic waxing thereafter, but I'm happy with my choice.

In my case, the radiant heat still worked and there was a combination of flooring from previous owners so laying it over top wasn't an option. *Ideally*, I think you'd want to lay directly on the cement--for more evenness, better adhesion, etc. However, IF your current tile is in good condition--not crumbly or loose or uneven--you might be better to lay it on top rather than the awful/unhealthy mess of removing it.

The one thing you risk by laying new over old is that the grid from the current tiles might telegraph through to the new VCT. However, I've heard you can get the new 12" VCT cut down to the original's size (8", I think). Doing so might allow you to match them square for square thus avoiding the grid problem. But you'd need to talk to a tile installation expert to be sure.

Oven
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As for the oven, early on I also looked at trying to modify the oven cabinet to accomodate the more standard 27" oven while keeping the rest of the original layout. It would have entailed far more time and cost than it was worth to me. However, I have to tell you, I'm glad I didn't go to the trouble because I've had no problem using the original 24".

My full size 14 x 16 cookie sheets fit just fine--as does my large 16" diameter pizza pan. I have cooked large size turkeys (dinner for 14) in my regular roaster and when the turkey didn't fit the roaster, in the disposal foil turkey pans you buy at the grocer.

If you've lived in the house for quite a while and *know* the oven size is a problem, by all means seek out options for modifying the oven cabinet. However, if you've just moved in and are simply anticipating problems, I'd suggest working with it for awhile and you might be pleasantly surprised as I was.

Cheers.
Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

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Joined: Aug 28 2003

Quote:
Why is Corian demonized for an Eichler kitchen?

An Eichler kitchen designer who advertises on this site highly recommended Corian to me as an Eichler compatible material.
The only devilish part about Corian is that it has to be fabricated and installed by experts who know what they are doing and therefore is not cheap.

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

after several years of research, hemming and hawing, thinking about concrete floors, cork floors, ceramic tiles, I opted for Armstrong VCT for THREE reasons: (1) cost. at less than $2.00 per sq ft installed, I found it impossible to beat; (2) it's as close to my original flooring I could find; (3) it works well with radiant heat.

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Joined: Apr 10 2003

It's not recommended to cut on it. (But if Eichlers had built in sliding breadboards-maybe this isn't a concern). Granite is popular BUT you can't cut on it as it ruins the sealer. Silestone or a similar product you CAN cut on it, but you can't get the drip-proof (post formed or bullnose) edge-I dunno why, it's a formed product like cultured marble and Corian and they used to offer that edge. There was a recent article about countertops in Consumer Reports-dunno the url but you probably can't read it online anyway-check your public library.

Wishing for modern home.

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Joined: Aug 28 2003

The installer of our corian made some cutting boards for us out of the same material as the countertops. (I actually prefer the sealable plastic cutting boards to cut veggies.) Also, light scratches on corain can be sanded out with a scotchbrite pad or with a mild abrasive.

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Joined: Mar 21 2003

I recently remodeled my kitchen and went with stainless steel counters. Hot pots and pans can be set down right out of the oven. The sink can be welded in and ground down for a seamless rim. The only issue is if you are set on using an original or nearly original product.
Scott

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

I would not install VCT on top of the original tiles. The irregularities will eventually look through. Nothing beats a good prep when it comes to flooring.

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Joined: Apr 8 2003

jnstahl wrote:
I would not install VCT on top of the original tiles. The irregularities will eventually look through. Nothing beats a good prep when it comes to flooring.

Could you use an embossing leveler on the old tile? It's put on with a wide, smooth trowel and is meant to fill in the seams and any dents or dings in the old tile. This then (in theory) gives you a nice, smooth surface for the new tile.
I've also been thinking of installing VCT, and don't want to remove the old tile if I don't have to.

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Joined: Jul 28 2004

As for your oven question, be sure to consider the noise factor before selecting a new model. Look at the thread below on oven noise to get an idea of the problem! I'm still trying to locate a quieter oven....

I installed granite counter tops and really like them. You can find a fairly uniform color that keeps the Eichler mood. They are by far the most practical counters I have ever had.

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Joined: Jan 4 2004

As far as the flooring goes, you gain no benefit to leaving the old 9"X9" asbestos tiles down. It is very easy to remove them, and the expense of removal would be offset by the prep work involved. The self leveling compound often deos not adhere to plastics, such as the step floor heating elements, and I would venture to say that it might not bond over a surface such as floor tiles(we discovered the limitations of floor prep products in the X-100 restoration project) and the original flooring tiles tend to not be bonded too well with the slab. I have removed plenty of vinyl and linoleum overlays, and it is uncommon on slab floors for all these reasons.

If you are concerned about "burn proof" countertops, Engineered quartz tops (such as Silestone or Dupont Zodiaq) are pehaps the most durable of all surfaces. Granite and concrete surfaces are pretty durable, but both require some periodic sealing (concrete more so than Granite).
Dupont Corian and Zodiaq, as well as Silestone are engineered products, and while there are some limitations on colors and edge detail on some of the products, it is not difficult to find a style/color that works well with post-modern, modern, and contemporary decor. Interestingly enough, all of the engineered products are roughly in the same price range, granite can be either less or more expensive, depending on the slab, detail, and contractor (yes, it is true that all of us contractors do not have the same price range).
Concrete is a fairly new product that is still being perfected. I attended a seminar on this once, and the actual formula can vary from contractor to contractor (trade secret sort of thing). Concrete tops are interesting in that there is no limitation to texture, color, edging and other details (or any number of combinations) because it is custom built for each project.
You can get very creative, as techniques develop, any surface can be imitated. The downside of this product is that it needs to be sealed often (I would suggest annually), as concrete tends to be very pourous. As far as pricing for this product, I've seen simple jobs go for $25/lf and really detailed projects going above $100 a linear foot ( based on 24" countertops).
Some clients of mine have decided to go with a recycled glass engineered product from a place in Berkeley; if you email me I'll have more info on this product next week.

As far as your oven cabinet concerns, having a comparable cabinet custom made really is not that expensive; any decent cabinet shop should be able to duplicate your original with the new finish without costing over $500-$800, installed. Good luck.

renman

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

I personally think Corian and similar synthetics can look great in an Eichler - But to Jon's comment, you are not supposed to put hot pots on Corian. That said, I have a neighbor with Corian counters who does put her hot pots right on them and has not had a problem, but I would not risk it.

As Jon said, the quartz conaining products might be more durable but there is one other potential advantage - you may be able to get an undermount sink, for a really clean look, or even better yet, a fully-integrated sink that is made from the same material as your counters. You may want to take a run by Home Expo's showroom and take a look at their display kitchens, since they feature many of these products.

FWIW, we used Formica when we remodeled and I love my counters. I am an avid cook, and not especially careful, so I have a couple of large glass/pyrex "cutting boards" with the rubber feet on them, that I keep out on the counters during my cooking marathons, just for setting the pots on. Also, our cooktop is a glass induction top, which gives you another place to put hot things.

We have another neighbor that did an IKEA kitchen with concrete countertops and they look fantastic, but with concrete being so porous, you have to seal periodically, and also be willing to live with the "patina" it will develop over the years, with some things marking or staining it.

Cathye

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

I meant to comment on your oven question. We also tried to figure out a way to get a 27" oven in there, but gave up. What we did instead, was to put a 24" double convection oven in there. Ours is a Kitchen Aid Superba, with the top being convection and the bottom regular. This was a godsend, as I had never had the luxury of having double ovens. Now, when I entertain the family over the holidays, I can juggle the turkey, pies, cookies, and casseroles and it all works just fine. And, with convection, you can bake your cookies on virtually any shelf and do multiple trays at a time with great results.

The one challenge of our installation was the height of the microwave, which we put over the double ovens. It is really up there and our contractor did not want to do it, for fear of someone dumping hot food on themselves. For us, it has not been a problem, since we mainly use it for defrosting, baking potatoes, or popcorn. The micro has really taken second stage now that we have the double ovens.

I remember reading a complaint from another poster about the noise that convection fans make: ours does not bother us one bit, though it took a few weeks to get used to it. Our kitchen is open to the LR (we took off the connecting door), but it still does not bother us, since it is not much noisier than the fridge when it is cycling on. I wanted to cry when the poster complained that they wanted to get rid of their new Bosch. Ouch! Bosch is terrific.

Cathye

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Joined: May 10 2003

Thanks for all the feedback!!!

As far as the oven enclosure goes, we are leaning towards replacing it with a convection 24” and that along with our convection microwave should be fine. Our hanging cabinet bumps against the oven enclosure so a modification is looking complicated.

We have the Bosch oven in question in our current house and the noise doesn’t bother us much since our kitchen opens up to the family room and there is always either music or the TV going. The technology and convenience outweighs the cooling noise.

As far as counters we are almost set on Corian in Whitecap. http://www.dupont.com/corian/a/en/h/Colors/ColorDetailWhitecap.html

The floor situation is where we are still undecided. We are not hands on people so removing the VAT’s on our own is out of the question. Any ideas what removal would run? We have 3600 sq. ft. What are our options for disposal?

As far as color goes, I want a light color since we intend on keeping all the paneling which already makes the house a bit dark. My husband wants the black ones (this upon seeing the VAT’s on the AQJ on Dwell). I hear black is a bitch to keep clean. We have two dogs and a child…

Has anyone at all gone over thier existing tiles?
If anyone wants to share pictures of their VCT floors please email me at: TolemiaATearthlinkDOTnet
Once we close escrow I’ll post pictures of the before along with a little history about our house. We got a one of a kind Eichler.

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