15 July 2009

Four reader questions with a snappy answer for each

Help! My toilet moves from side-to-side. It's not leaking. Should I be worried?
Yes you should. Call a plumber and get it fixed.


Help! I am retiling the shower and bathroom floor. Does the tile texture need to be the same? Would a shiny gray and white marble floor go with a gray stone tile in the shower? Should it be stone w/ stone and marble w/ marble? What would be a better choice for resale?
Marble is a stone too and there aren't any rules against mixing stones other than that they look good together. Please don't get a high gloss finish on a bathroom floor. It's a broken neck waiting to happen.

With that said, few things are more glorious in a bathroom than natural stone floors. Since you're confused about patterns and colors, go to a reputable tile or natural stone showroom and look at what's available. Then talk to a designer.

And for the love of God already, enough with the resale concerns. That's so 2007.


Help! I am buying a new house that needs a total kitchen overhaul. I want to go rustic, maybe rustic - contemporary. I have a clean slate so I need some ideas for cabinets, counter tops, flooring, color palette. I really want to do stainless appliances and I am so clueless that I don't even know what kind of faucet to go with? Should everything be the same element of can I combine stainless with a rustic pendant light. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

thank you,
Thanks for your question. My name is Paul Anater and I'm a kitchen designer. You may have heard of me since I'm the one you sent a question to. Mine is a noble profession and every day kitchen designers just like me take the timid hands of homeowners just like you and we put together renovation plans. You can find someone who can help you by Googling the terms Kitchen Designer plus the name of your town.

Smart aleckry aside, the country's crawling with good designers in need of clients to help. If you need a referral, just let me know where you are and I'll connect you with someone.


Help! Is stone-look laminate in a kitchen tacky? I have old tile that would be a real pain to remove and am told I could float a laminate over it? The rest of the house has 100+ year old wood floors so I don't want to put wood laminate down (too obviously fake). What do you think?
Madam, you've already provided me with the answer to your question. Yes, stone-look laminate is tacky tacky tacky. Especially when paired with 100-year-old wood floors. Despite the pain involved, remove the old floor properly and have a new floor installed that matches the quality of the floors throughout your home. The road to hell is not paved with good intentions, it's paved with short cuts.


  1. "The road to hell is not paved with good intentions, it's paved with shortcuts"

    LOVE,LOVE,LOVE that!!
    Why would anyone buy or accept possession of a Century home if they are not prepared to be good stewards of the property?
    Half assin' just burns my buttons
    Anywhoo, have a great day! Susan

  2. Thank you Susan. I have zero tolerance for home center fixes going into otherwise classic homes. Spending your money intelligently? I'm all over it. Cheaping out? It ought to be a jailable offense.

    Have a great day too!

  3. Re your post yesterday. From these replies I am going to add; on occasion you have a very warp sense of humour. :) "You are definitely your own person". I like that!!!! -Brenda-

  4. Hah! I'm glad you enjoy my admittedly skewed perspective!

  5. Oh thank you, thank you, Paul! I've gotta say, yours is my favorite design blog hands down.
    "The road to hell is not paved with good intentions, it's paved with shortcuts"
    My landlord put in laminate floors in our DC condo bathrooms. I think he thought they were puzzle pieces. Plus, he apparently cut the quarter round baseboard trim with a butter knife, and neglected to paint it. Maybe an housing downturn is what we need to get these people to care a little bit about their homes!

  6. Thanks for a good laugh :). I can always count on your blog to be interesting or entertaining in my limited Internet surfing hours right now (the whole newborn thing!)

  7. Leigh, thanks for the compliment! Your landlord and your bathrooms sound just lovely. Not. Some people should be forbidden from owning property.

    Rachele, thanks for stopping by. How's your bouncing baby boy doing? How's Mom holding up? I'm glad I could lighten your load a little. Your son will grow up hearing stories about the flurry of activity leading up to his birth and that's pretty cool. He'll have a real sense of ownership of those soapstone counters, that's for sure!

  8. We're all doing pretty well! It's so much easier with the second kid compared to the first. Sleep is hard to come by but we're living on adrenaline for now. It'll catch up with us all too soon I am sure.

    My kitchen is looking just lovely, these days. My GC kept things moving while I have been indisposed. I'm hopeful that this weekend I can take a new set of pictures and post an update.

  9. Excellent, thanks for the update. I'm looking forward to seeing your completed project.

  10. Hahahahah!! Paul, you're hilarious!!! :-D Great answers, but nothing beats your reply to the bidet lady!!!

    Definitely DO NOT go glossy on a bathroom floor. The clueless homeowners who built our house put glossy dark green marble tiles in the ensuite. Doh!!!!


  11. So how many near-neck-breakings have you and your husband suffered from that glossy floor?


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