Does anybody here watch HGTV?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by missing, Jul 12, 2014.

  1. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Definitely don't use vinegar on granite!

    The acid in vinegar can slowly eat away at the rock- and it can cause more immediate dulling of the counter tops.
    Counter tops are sealed, so it will protect it a bit, but vinegar can cause damage to the seal. Granite is an igneous rock, and using vinegar on igneous rocks to show the reactio is a pretty standard geology class demonstration! Not a good combination. Bleach also should be very heavily diluted before you use it on granite, as the rock can react with strong bases as well.


    We use Stone Cleaner on our quartz and marble (hate the marble, but it wasn't our choice). But Windex without ammonia is good for granite.
     
  2. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Well I'm stuck - for the time being - with the legacy of a pink/black granite countertop installed in the 1990s by the woman who owned the house before the couple we eventually bought it from, and not surprisingly, none of them let us know how carefully they had cared for it or whether it had been professionally resealed, let alone left instructions from the manufacturer :p

    I find that the patterning and colour make it hard to see anything (witness me bending down and moving from side to side and tilting my head as I clean it :lol:), and that stuff either sticks to it much more than on my old laminate counter, or it just smears all over the place. And I find that when it's wet, it takes a lot to dry it. And did I mention that it's hideous?

    Anyway, my plan for the new countertop is to literally bring a bag of stuff with me to the showroom and test it out, because I'm very skeptical of the various claims for how easy different surfaces are to clean.

    As for HGTV shows, I have noted that while most buyers seem to get excited about granite (someone in the kitchen renos business or perhaps the granite industry has done a helluva job), there are a few who don't want it, and I'm firmly in that camp.
     
  3. Really

    Really No longer just a "well-known member" Yay!

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    As I said in my last post, we're going to be renovated our old house in preparation for selling. This new house we're in has laminate countertops with beveled corners and it looks fine! It cleans up easily and doesn't cause me any grief, so that's what we're going to put in the other house. Cost *is* a factor as we're looking to keep costs down as much as possible, and while you can tell this counter isn't granite, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way it looks.
     
  4. Reuven

    Reuven Official FSU Alte Kacher

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    We use a combination granite cleaner/polish on our counters. Works very well and it's easy to use. Love our granite!
     
  5. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Actually, we got out countertops directly from the countertop maker. He told me Windex was fine, just don't use the blue. We've had the counters for about 6 years, they look like they did the day they were installed. I only use Windex once or twice a month. I usually just use a mild dish soap and a sponge.
     
  6. Kruss

    Kruss Not Auto-Tuned

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    I've got laminate countertops, too, which are colored like granite. I'm with you - very easy to clean and they look great.
     
  7. Skate Talker

    Skate Talker Well-Known Member

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    My parents house had the world's smallest kitchen in a normal 50's-size house. Before I can even remember they converted the "entry" closet, which was actually located in the kitchen, into a pantry. With no dining room, and 6 people at the kitchen table, yikes no room once we were larger than tadpoles so Dad had a carpenter relative help him cut out a 4'x2' hole in the drywall into the living room, then put in a table that was half in the kitchen and half in the living room. The living room half was hinged and could be folded upward to close the opening when not in use.

    Then when we got our first microwave it took up way too much of the less-than-six-feet-in-total counter space so my Dad wired an outlet into the pantry and the microwave has lived there for the last 40 or so years. It always seemed to surprise people. The insides of the pantry was built with 1 inch plywood with the upper half being open shelves and the bottom half two columns of drawers. The cupboard is only the width of a large fridge so there is no room beside the microwave for putting the hot dish to stir or whatever, so Dad created a sliding shelf that can be pulled out like an old fashioned bread board, supported by an open drawer when in use. The upper shelves are in a sort of horse shoe shape so that the top of the oven is not closed in and there is plenty of room to vent provided you remember to leave the cupboard door open while you use the microwave.
     
  8. KatieC

    KatieC Well-Known Member

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    Your Dad sounds like a very handy fellow.
     
  9. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    The problem with laminate is that it scratches and if you put something really hot on it, it will scorch.
     
  10. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I wish I had a pantry big enough to put a microwave in it! Our microwave is now above our stove, and when large dishes are in there, they can be really difficult to get in and out, and I've too lazy to use a step stool. Of course, I'm just happy that my current house has even a tiny closet pantry. My previous house didn't have one at all, so we had to use regular cabinets to store our food; and there really weren't that many cabinets to begin with!

    Not that I'm complaining- my current kitchen is very nice, and has decent counter top space.

    As large as our house is though, it lacks any sort of dining room and the main living room seems small :( I have no business complaining about space in my 5-bedroom home though; especially since I have friends in high cost of living areas whose entire house is smaller than my garage. But compared to everyone else in the neighborhood, it just seems small. Those Joneses are hard to keep up with!

    Our basement has a counter top with granite look laminate. It does look really nice. I'm not sure I'd want it in my kitchen though. I think I'd rather have stone, or just laminate. For a basement, where it was designed to cut cost, I think it is great- but I'm not big on 'faux'. Just get what you get. I never had problems with the laminate in the old house- don't recall more than one scratch on the 20 year old counter tops, and never any scorch problems.
     
  11. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    I did not realize my countertops came with directions? I use a granite cleaner during the once a year or so I think to clean them....
     
  12. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    What do you do with all those bedrooms? Can you convert one to a dining room with a cabinet for some of your dishes etc to free up some space in the kitchen? Or can you convert one of them to a cozy tv room so that you can free up some space in the living room?
     
  13. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Well, we've got a master bedroom, I've got a sewing room (essential to contain mess- having dedicated space was one of the things we looked for in a house), we have an office (I work at home two days a week), and we have two guest rooms, which is a bit silly. We only "need" one guest room, but I assume the other will become a child's room sometime in the near future, and then probably in the not so near future we'll lose the actual guest room as well.

    We might be able to make one a TV room, but the upstairs bedrooms are pretty small, so it would be VERY cozy (not really even sure if we could sit far enough away from the TV, since our TV is a bit ridiculously large)- and the position of the windows and closets would make it really tough to put any sort of furniture in them, and the downstairs bedrooms aren't really that useable in the winter, because they are technically basement (it's a walkout though, so they have above ground windows, not egresses), and it is just too cold. We'll have to have the heating systems zoned if we have kids and really need to use downstairs for living space, and not just playing area.

    There really isn't any way that we could make one into a dining room, as it would be a long, kind of weird, walk from the kitchen, and neither upstairs room is big enough for a dining room set anyway. (If you put a full bed in them, it would be tough to have much other furniture than an end table).

    Space in the living room would just be open space. Really the problem is our furniture is too big. But I'd rather have a crowded comfortable room, than a magazine ready room that isn't fun to sit in.

    I wish we had a slightly smaller house, but my husband wood-works so we moved for a 3 car garage. Shockingly, you just can't find a modest house with a large garage :)

    Also, almost NO new build house we looked at had a dining room. I can only think of 2 out of like 20 in the neighborhood that have them, and they are both custom homes. Everyone just has eat in kitchens, with family sized tables, but no room for big extended tables that people used to use at holidays.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  14. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    OK so clearly you need to keep your options open if kids are on the way!

    Just saying there's nothing wrong with flipping around traditional layouts - in our first apartment, we switched what was supposed to be the bedroom and living room, in our last house we converted the smallest bedroom to a walk in closet, and in the house we are in now, the three upstairs bedrooms and bath form a kind of master suite with one room allocated to my office (from where I'm posting now) and the other a walk in closet. We also converted a broom closet into a china cupboard so we could get rid of the hutch and have more space in the dining area (and just stow the cleaning supplies in the utility room in the basement or some under the kitchen sink), which is open to both kitchen and living room. And the dining area is somewhat of a library, with an entire wall of cookbooks :)

    For the dining room issue, much as it would be nice to have something formal, would you really use it that much? We do sit down dinners for larger groups so infrequently that it was a waste of space to have it in the old house, and now we've done it just by extending the table into the living area when needed. When our family outgrew my grandmother's combined dining/eat in kitchen, she set up holiday dinners in the partially finished basement, with mismatched chairs but all the good linens and china, and it worked really well. I recall some holiday dinners at an aunt's tiny house that included 20 people - the kitchen table became the buffet and we ended up eating all over the house. We'd spend the weekend there, so even if you didn't get to sit together for the meal, there was plenty of time to socialize still. Maybe when you have a crowd, you could set up a table in one of your husband's garage bays!
     
  15. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    That's actually what we tend to do. Parties almost always happen in the garage.

    And I think the reason houses aren't being built with dining rooms is because they get used twice a year. But I'd love a china hutch, and there is just no place to put it. Not a big deal, since I don't have china :) Thankfully our kitchen island has windowed cabinets built into it that I can display my grandmother's tea cups.
     
  16. Reuven

    Reuven Official FSU Alte Kacher

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    Change your name to Jones and everyone will have to keep up with you. ;)
     
  17. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I'm too frugal for that. The expression will just change to "surpassing the Joneses"
     
  18. joubertelegant

    joubertelegant Member

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    The best show is Flip or Flop.
     
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  19. taf2002

    taf2002 flower lady

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    Use a step-stool! Never lift down hot dishes that are over your head. It's just not worth it. If the contents should dip forward you'd get hot food right in the face. I hate over the stove microwaves partly for that reason & partly because I hate the look. One of the renos we considered before we put the microwave in the pantry was to buy one that went in a drawer. They are really expensive right now plus I'd have to give up drawer space. So the pantry solution ended up being a much cheaper & a better option for us.

    I think I'd like Flip or Flop but I can't stand the main guy. He looks very smarmy to me.
     
  20. Really

    Really No longer just a "well-known member" Yay!

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    Mine is 'sculptured' laminate, not smooth, and using a cutting board is just a no-brainer. I'm certainly not dumb enough to put something hot on the counter without a pad underneath it! That's another of those no-brainer things!
     
  21. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    But, with granite, you can do those things. That was all I was saying.
     
  22. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

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    My brothers ruined my parents' laminate countertops when they were teenagers. Cutting boards were apparently beyond their comprehension :duh: There's very few granite countertops I actually think look good. It can be good but most times (at least with the people I know that "designed" their kitchens themselves) they don't look like they fit very well.
     
  23. Dave of the North

    Dave of the North Well-Known Member

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    I like a lot of the HGTV shows but agree they have become more formulaistic with time. Some of them were better in the past when they actually had more variety e.g. Mike Holmes used to get out of Toronto once in a while - he did a show from Saint John one time. Or the show where they chased after the crooked contractor. Or Property Virgins where they wouldn't buy a house. I find Scott M. annoying. I dislike Paul Lafrance a lot - he's really annoying. (not to mention every deck has a pergola and does the deck planks on a bias.) Besides the granite/hardwood/stainless trinity, the tendency to rip out inside walls so that everything is open seems to be pushed a lot.

    When I redid our bathroom, I used laminate for the countertop. I didn't want to spend the money for granite. During the reno I discovered the wall between the bathtub and the bedroom was not straight or plumb so had to shim out some of the studs so that the cement board would fit. If I did it over again I would not put in a new bathtub, instead I would have had a large shower stall only. The other change I didn't do but may do yet is to take half the hall closet to have a shelves in the bathroom for towels etc. There were a few other mistakes I made that I will fix sometime...

    Our kitchen needs work, I'm not sure if opening up the walls is the way to go, as one is a load bearing wall. But it is a small room. We use one of our bedrooms as a space for the second fridge, two pantry cabinets plus a shelving unit for the small appliances etc that we don't use very often.
     
  24. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Agree - I find his stuff very cookie cutter and it all looks like it was just dropped into the yard without taking into consideration the landscape, style of the house, scale, or even the family's needs. And I do dislike the trend to multilevel decks furnished like outdoor rooms - not versatile for the seasons or following the sun, let alone how the family might want to use it. Plus there's always a ton of pillows and other knick knacks, but somehow nowhere to store them when not in use or in bad weather.
     
  25. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    The Amish use power tools?
     
  26. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    When we renovated our master bath. I did not use granite. I was afraid that toothpaste etc. would effect it. So, we went with a quartz, I love it!
     
  27. Kruss

    Kruss Not Auto-Tuned

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    I think I'd opt for quartz if I had the option. I'm buying the condo I rent right now, but since it's basically brand new (we're the only occupants since it was built), everything is still new. I don't need to replace the countertop right now, but would love to install a nice backsplash.

    I always need more cabinets in a kitchen. We have the 42" cabinets, but really need more cabinetry in arm's reach for items I use more often. Or, I need to rework the front hall closet which I converted into a pantry. Unfortunately, they installed cable electrical elements behind a panel in the back of that closet, so I can't permanently install shelving on the walls there because those can't be covered up. I could really use a kitchen island, which I think would give me a lot more storage (if I get the right one), and I truly wish I had more drawers for my stuff. I love the condo, but it's a bit small for my dream kitchen ideas.

    Still, what I can't wait for is to close the deal on the condo so that I can buy ceiling fans. There's zero cross-current in the condo and I really, really need some air movement. As a renter, I was prohibited from installing them, but as a buyer - let's just say that I'll be leaving the title company's office after the closing and heading to Home Depot!

    One more thing I will be getting that day - a NORMAL thermostat for the heading/cooling. I hate the programmable ones! I just want to move a lever or turn a dial - nothing more.
     
  28. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    It is basically the opposite of what you want, but our house came with a NEST thermostat, and it is amazing. And so much easier than typical programmable, because the interface is so intuitive. I can set a different schedule for every day of the week, and I can change them easily, either temporarily (override basically) or permanently. And if I'm sitting on the couch thinking "it's hot"- I can use my phone to turn the AC on :) It is also easy to set on heat/AC mode for those months where the weather can't decide if it is hot or cold, where all my other ones had to be set as either heat or AC. I thought it was silly at first, but it is so much easier than any programmable thermostat I've used. I used to make my husband program them, this one I can do myself!

    Looking at houses we noticed many master baths that no longer have tubs. We ended up buying one without a tub, as long as there was a tub somewhere in the house to bathe the dog and possible future children. I really prefer a roomy shower.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  29. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    My dream bath reno would include taking out the tub and replacing it with a walk in shower. There are those who cringe at the idea of reselling with no tub, but I say the hell with it - I think many buyers would be delighted at the hotel-like feature because it's one of those things I think many want but it usually falls far down the priority list for home renos and upgrades.
     
  30. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

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    When we redid our master bath we took out the tub and made a nice shower with frameless glass doors. We do have a tub in the hall bathroom though, which is never ever used.