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Sadly,  at the start of summer, a crack appeared in our ceramic smooth surface electric stove.   I found the stove on Craigslist 7 years ago and it was a great deal to replace the original coil burner stove that was installed when the house was built.    When we remodeled the kitchen two years ago it was one of three appliances we kept (along with oven and refrigerator) as we only replaced the dishwasher for the remodel.

Of course, the crack started out small over the largest burner and gradually got bigger.   I googled the issue and found scary stuff like “if you use the cracked burner, your stove could explode”.  I don’t know if that’s true, but I didn’t chance it, so we stopped using that burner and only used the other three.   Two of the three are tiny and pretty much useless for any medium to large sized pots.

I started researching the possibility of replacing it with a gas stove.  Our kitchen does not have a gas line so installing a gas stove would mean hiring someone to run the gas line to the stove.  As I did research, I learned more about induction stoves as an option.   Although they look similar to the electric smooth surface cooktop we had before, induction stoves work using completely different technology.  They do not heat up an element that transfers heat from stove to pot.    They use electromagnetism to transfer (induce) energy to the pot itself. That energy heats up the pot to cook the food.

I decided to go to a store that allows you to test both types out:  the Sub Zero appliance show room.   Sub Zero manufactures cooktops under the Wolf name.

My visit to the store started by calling first to set an appointment.   The store layout had an entrance on the first floor with stairs leading you up to the main showroom.   The showroom consisted of aisles of cooktops (and other appliances i.e. refrigerators, ovens) on  one side with a full working demonstration kitchen on the other side of the floor.

I looked at both gas cooktops and induction cooktops and even combinations of the two.  I really liked the option of being able to combine one 24 inch burner with a 12 inch burner into one 36 inch cooktop.   You can have the best of both worlds: induction and gas!

After looking at different models and styles (I also loved the cooktops that are even flush with the counter, instead of being set atop the counter with a small lip) I did the water boil test.

I set two small pots of water to boil on both a gas burner and an induction burner at the same time.  Once they were both boiling I adjusted heat settings to test the response time.   Interestingly, the induction boiled water the fastest and it was just as responsive to temperature adjustments as the gas burner.

The visit to the store was fun but most importantly, pretty useful in making a decision.   I appreciated being able to actually use the cooktops to get a feel for the controls.

After the visit,  I called plumbers for estimates on running a gas line from the basement to the kitchen.  Once I had that price in hand (quoted $400) I set a stove budget.   The cost of induction came out to be about the same price as a mid-range gas cooktop + gas line installation.   An induction cooktop would not require any additional work, in our case, since our current wiring and space allowed for dropping in another 30 inch electric hardwired cooktop. Once I decided to go with induction,  I began researching specific brands and models.

Speaking of researching models – what did we do before the internet?  Consumer Reports?  Word of mouth? There’s just so much information out there now!
-J

 

I’ve been aware of rug pads and assumed you are supposed to have them, but hadn’t quite figured out the why part.  Why bother with rug pads?  One pretty obvious reason for smaller rugs is to help prevent slipping and sliding.  But large rugs with furniture placed on top aren’t prone to movement anyway – so why use a rug pad?

Rug pads help protect the rug itself!   The pad helps cushion the rug from the hard surface beneath and helps prevent fibers from being crushed, prolonging the life of the rug (and we know that rugs are expensive!).  The pad also helps prevent dye or strain transfer to the floor beneath the rug.    Rug pads are specific to the type of flooring underneath the rug so you can even get a pad for rugs placed on top of carpet. We have hardwood floors in most of our home,  so I recently installed an Ultra Premium Non Slip rug pad underneath the rug in the living room.

 

I have been pleasantly surprised with the difference it’s made in comfort! There is a significant difference in feel now that the cushion of the pad is there.

A few things to know about the rug pads from Rug Pad Corner:

  • Real rubber
  • Natural and organic – no off gassing or odd smell
  • No chemicals or adhesives

The striped rug in our foyer is a flat weave cotton rug but it moved all the time.

foyer 2012

I installed the Super Hold natural rubber pad and now the rug is both cushioned and staying put!   I ordered a 4×6 size pad and it turned out to be a little wider than I needed as you can see.

Rug pads are easy to customize though! They can be cut with scissors or a carpet knife.

I really am already surprised with the difference the pads have made in terms of comfort!  It also seems to translate to less dirt beneath the rugs, so vacuuming is less of a chore!
-J

Rug Pad Corner provided the product for my honest feedback and review. All expressed opinions are my own.

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