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Frequently Answered Questions

How to Begin When You Come Into One of Our Showrooms?

Please Watch This Short Video

How to maintain my kitchen cabinet?

  • Wipe up spills, splatters and water spots at they occur - keep the cabinets dry.
  • Residues such as smoke, cooking vapors, or body oils can be cleaned with a damp cloth with a small amount of high quality furniture cleaner.
  • Avoid placing small kitchen appliances where heat or steam is directed onto cabinet surfaces.
  • Avoid draping damp clothes or dishtowels over cabinet doors - excessive moisture can cause permanent damage.

Kitchen Cabinet Basic Cleaning Tips

  • Remember to use a clean soft cloth such as an old T-shirt, cheesecloth, flannel or chamois with no snaps or buttons that may scratch the surface.
  • Using a soft, lint free cloth, clean as needed by applying a mild detergent or soap with warm water.
  • It is a good practice to follow the grain of wood when cleaning and polishing.
  • Dry the surfaces immediately with a soft cloth. Avoid using a dishcloth or sponge - it could contain remnants of grease or detergents.
  • Do not use products with bleach, ammonia or abrasive additives.
  • Never use scouring pads, steel wool or powdered cleaners.
  • Do not allow oven cleaners to come in contact with wood finishes.
  • Avoid the use of silicones and waxes. Polishes are the best choice for use. They contain detergents to clean the dirt, emulsifiers to give it body to clean and last longer, and mineral oil is left behind as a barrier for dirt and moisture while leaving no wax or silicone residue.

How to clean Granite Counter top?

Basic Cleaning:

To keep granite countertops clean, use a microfiber cloth to dust off the surface. Wipe down the granite countertop daily and as needed using water. Once a week wipe down with a damp cloth and a stone cleaner formulated with a neutral pH. Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. They can scratch, pit, and etch the surface of the stone.

How to maintain Granite Counter top

Seasonal Maintenance:

Sealing is a regular maintenance task for granite. Re-seal the countertop when water splashed on the surface no longer beads up. It's important to examine your granite at least once a year. Inspect areas to make sure there is no cracking or shifting at the seams. Inspect for stains and scratches as well. If there are stains or damage, contact a stone-care professional for repair.

How to clean up spilled cooking oil on countertop?

Easy steps to clean and follow
  • Wipe up spills immediately
  • Use mild soap and water to clean
  • Rinse
  • Use soft cloth to dry

What Products can I use to clean and maintain my countertop?

Ronbow

How does Ronbow make the finishing?

10 Step Finishing Process

1. All surfaces are machine/hand sanded, after which all dust particles are removed.
2. Pre-stains are applied evenly to provide base color uniformity.
3. Products are stained by hand and undergo a slow drying process.
4. Chemical resistant sealer is applied.
5. Sealed products are baked to ensure complete cure throughout.
6. Sealed surfaces are hand sanded with ultra fine sandpaper.
7. Catalyzed varnish and conversion varnish are applied.
8. Products are sanded with fine grit sandpaper.
9. All dust particles are re-moved.
10. Products are quality inspected for cleanliness and smoothness for all sides – inside and out!

What kind of wood does Ronbow use?

Ronbow ONLY uses:
  • Solid Hardwood Frames Construction* - All of our cabinets have solid wood frame construction for high durability. We use absolutely NO PARTICLE BOARD or other cheap fillers! Our cabinets are designed to last.
  • Hardwood Plywood*- Absolutely no particle board, HDF and Micro-Density Fiberboard MDF are used in any of our vanities! Many vanity manufacturers may show a cheap price, but offer a product that is designed to rot out and need replacing again and again. Our patented HARDWOOD PLYWOOD panels have the greatest dimensional stability, and are high tensile for durability and endurance. It has a high tolerance to humidity, and there is no swelling or sagging over time. Because our cabinets are more durable, it means that you are not going to need to replace them in the future as you would if you bought a lower quality product.
  • All Plywood used meets strict CARB Standards

What is Strawboard Cabinetry?

Cabinetry that is as eco-friendly as it is strong and beautiful Strawboard is emerging as great alternative to traditional medium density particle board. Unlike particleboard made of wood, strawboard is made of compressed straw from highly renewable byproduct. Today, more homeowners than ever are improving their homes with renewed bath areas. They know it is a great investment! And those who are exploring bath renovation or additions are increasingly particular about their choices in style, materials and price. A fast-growing trend is an environmental concern as customers choose their new cabinetry. Individuals are seeking eco-friendly products that still have the quality and look of fine furnishings.

Why Strawboard?

Strawboard is a great alternative for the eco-minded customer! In fact, anyone considering bath cabinet replacement should know about Strawboard’s great features:
  • Great strength: screws won’t split strawboard, and it holds crisp dove tails and other joints well
  • Extremely moisture resistant: just what’s needed for a continuously damp environment such as a bath or a wet bar
  • Very stable: won’t warp or crack Dense for clean, crisp definition of forms and edges
  • Safe: no formaldehyde emissions
  • Mold and termite resistance: Straw board is simply too dense to allow most spores to invade its surface
  • Developed from quickly renewed sources: Strawboard is made using left over straw from wheat, barley and rice which means less waste. In fact, Strawboard actually has a NEGATIVE carbon footprint, since it’s not burned for disposal, as other straw is!

How does Ronbow assemble the cabinet?

All pieces are carefully assembled and feature:
  • Perfectly fitting Dovetail Construction
  • Solid Hardwood Construction*
  • Full Extension Drawers
  • Soft Closing Drawers
  • Soft Closing Doors**
  • Soft Closing Hinges are installed with European, all metal, heavy-duty concealed hinges
  • And Soft Closing Drawer Glides are extremely strong and durable. A grand total of 180 precision steel balls roll into the tracks. Even continuous loading does not alter their perfectly round shape. The special track profiles and steel balls form a unit that distributes forces evenly in all directions. The result is high stability both vertically and horizontally.

Jenson

What are your cabinet sides made out of?

With the exception of the Marina style vanities, cabinet side panels are constructed of ½” select grade oak, beech, maple, or cherry ½” plywood veneer.

What is MDF?

MDF is an acronym for Medium Density Fiberboard. With the exception of the Marina style vanity, the doors, drawers, and headers of our white cabinets are constructed with MDF. Essentially these are engineered boards that can be routed like solid wood. MDF is a very stable board that does not warp like solid wood can. They have a laminate layer that is thermally glued to conform to the routed details; they are very durable and easy to clean.

How are the cabinets finished?

We use a flat-line, spray finishing system. After parts are cut, sanded and stained, they go through an automated spray booth where a water-resistant, clear catalyzed lacquer is applied in either satin, semi-gloss, or gloss finish.

What are the main differences between the STANDARD, TALL, and PREMIERE vanities?

The STANDARD and TALL vanities are constructed the same way, the difference between them is the STANDARD vanities are 31" tall and the TALL vanities are at 33-3/4" tall. Both of these vanities have ½” finished plywood drawer boxes, with dove-tail joinery and utilize side mounted, epoxy coated Euro-style drawer glides. The PREMIERE upgraded vanities are constructed at the taller premium comfort height of 33-3/4" tall and except as noted below, are only available in the 21" deep vanities. A soft-close cushion mounted inside the cabinet's face frame prevents door slams, allowing the door to close softly and silently. The full extension drawer boxes of these vanities are constructed with ½” solid beech wood with dove-tail joinery and include under-mount, soft-close drawer slides. 18" deep vanities that do not have drawers, only doors, may be upgraded to PREMIERE; these will have the upgraded soft close door cushions.

What is the face frame constructed out of and how is it put together?

We use select northern red oak, white maple, steamed beech, or natural cherry solid stock for our face frames. White vanities use solid stock with a vinyl wrap. Face frames are constructed with double pocket screws to insure square alignment and durability. Face frames are dado routed to accept the side panels.

What are your vanity tops made of?

Our tops are available in cultured marble, cultured onyx, and cultured granite. As their names imply, they have the look of genuine marble, onyx or granite, but they are manufactured with various fillers, resins and catalysts that can be poured into molds for a one piece engineered product. Though it is a less expensive alternative to natural stone, our cultured tops provide equivalent tensile strength to natural stone and they are easier to keep clean and maintain. Our vanity tops have an integrated back splash and sink bowl(s). This eliminates the need for grout/sealant lines which ultimately prevents mold and bacteria from forming in these highly susceptible areas.

The manufacturing process encompasses several steps. One step uses a non-porous gel-coat on the counters and integrated sink bowls which seals the product. Colorants are added to the polymer/filler matrix of our marble and onyx tops in a random manner which provides a “veining look” to the top; this veining mimics the appearance of real stone. The colorant in our cultured granite is mixed with the gel coat resins and is sprayed on before the polymer/filler matrix is poured into the molds. Our cultured marble tops are only available in a gloss finish. The cultured onyx and granite tops can be manufactured with either a matte/satin finish or the gloss finish.

This polymer casting process yields a strong, durable vanity top which will resist stains, most chemicals, heat from typical bathroom appliances (like curling irons on proper stands, etc.) and everyday wear and tear.

Your Onyx and Marble tops have similar colors, what is the main difference between them?

The main difference is appearance. As for durability, our cultured onyx is just as durable as our cultured marble, mainly because they use the same gel-coat manufacturing process. The fillers in the onyx use a blend which tends to make these tops appear more translucent and iridescent, giving the veining a little more 3 dimensional depth. The fillers in the marble are not as translucent. Marble tops will be a little heavier than the onyx tops.

Why are there no over-flow holes in your sink bowls?

Over-flow holes are not required; they are unsightly, un-gel-coated, un-sanitary (hospitals do not have over-flows in their sinks because they promote mold and bacteria growth), and they are un-necessary.

Do you make custom sized vanity tops?

Yes we manufacture custom sized vanity tops ranging from 25” up to 97”. Double bowl tops start at 55”. Custom vanity tops are only available in 22” depths. Due to freight and packaging limits these vanity tops are only available to customers in California. See our custom sized vanity tops section of our web site for more information.

Can you make a custom shaped vanity top?

Our custom top program is for standard rectangular shaped vanity tops only. We use a pre-built mold that does not allow for bow fronts, banjo-style tops and other custom shapes.

Can I order a custom top without a bowl?

Yes. Vanity tops without an integrated bowl will have the standard integrated 4” high back splash and one of the three drip-less edge details as indicated in step 4 of our Custom Vanity Top Order Forms. There is a price deduction for vanity tops without bowl(s) which dealers can provide you.

Can I cut or drill one of your vanity tops if needed?

We do not recommend cutting, drilling or altering our vanity tops.

How do I attach a side splash?

Use a clear silicone adhesive, like GE ® 100% silicone adhesive. Because of shrinkage that occurs during the curing process with all cultured marble product, it is impossible to guarantee that side splashes will fit perfectly on our tops. Some sanding may be necessary to insure a good fit. If this is the case, we recommend you scribe and mark the side splash, then belt-sand (using 80 grit sandpaper) to the scribe mark.

Laminated Flooring

What are the advantages of laminate flooring over those of solid hardwood flooring?

One obvious advantage is that of price; laminate flooring is typically half the cost of traditional hardwood flooring. Sometimes the savings are even greater, depending on the types of flooring in question. Additionally, laminate flooring is designed to be easy to install and is generally a good choice for most do-it-yourselfers, where solid hardwood requires a specific level of expertise. Installing laminate doesn’t involve nails, and more recently has done away with glue as well in many cases. Laminate flooring can therefore be installed fairly quickly and inexpensively. Laminate flooring is generally designed to be scratch-resistant and fade resistant, two areas where solid hardwood flooring is known to be more vulnerable.

What are laminate floors and how are they made?

Laminate flooring is a versatile, durable, attractive flooring with the appearance of a hardwood floor. Although laminate flooring looks like wood flooring, there is actually no solid wood used in its construction. Laminate floors are made up of several materials bonded together under high pressure. Most laminate flooring consists of a moisture resistant layer under a layer of HDF (high density fiberboard). This is topped with a high resolution photographic image of natural wood flooring. It is then finished with an extremely hard, clear coating made from special resin-coated cellulose to protect the laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is perfect for anyone wanting a durable floor for a fraction of the price and installation time of a hardwood floor, but with the attractiveness of real hardwood. This construction also makes laminate flooring more environment-friendly as it uses less wood in its construction and makes more efficient use of the wood fiber that is used.

How do I clean my laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is a beautiful, low maintenance, long-lasting flooring. There are several simple steps that you can take to keep your laminate flooring clean and to ensure that you get many years of service from it. Simply dust mop or vacuum with a soft brush or wood floor accessory to keep your laminate floor clean from dust, dirt or grit.
  • A damp cloth or mop can be used without damage to the laminate flooring panels, but do not use excessive water. Dry the floor thoroughly with a clean, soft cloth.
  • Blot up spills or water from wet feet or footwear immediately with a clean, dry cloth, sponge, or paper towel. Do not allow excess liquid to remain on the surface of your laminate floor.
  • Do not use soap-based detergents, abrasive cleaners, or combined “clean and shine” products on your laminate floor.
  • Do not use steel wool or other scouring pads that may scratch laminate panels.
  • Do not wax or polish your laminate flooring.
  • Do not steam clean or use chemicals that may damage the laminate flooring surface.
For stubborn spots or stains on laminate flooring use acetone or nail polish remover on stubborn substances such as tar, asphalt, paint, or oil. Then wipe clean with a damp cloth.

What is a laminate flooring AC rating?

AC hardness ratings are a standardized measure adopted by The Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring (ELPF) . The AC measure rates abrasion resistance, impact resistance, resistance to staining and cigarette burns, and thickness swelling along edges. If a laminate flooring cannot meet the requirements for each of these ratings, approval for a given AC rating will be denied. All laminate flooring distributed by BuildDirect has a minimum punishment class of 23 for residential use (heavy) and 31 for commercial use (moderate), or an AC3 rating. AC ratings 4 and 5 are equally suitable for residential use as AC3 but somewhat more suitable for high traffic commercial applications. AC ratings below 3 are recommended for low traffic residential use only. Here is a more detailed guide:
  • AC1 is suitable for lighter, more infrequent traffic, e.g. a bedroom.
  • AC2 is suitable for general residential use in living rooms and dining rooms.
  • AC3 can be applied to more varied locations, such as small offices and other light commercial location
  • AC4 can be installed in higher traffic commercial areas such as boutiques, busier offices, and restaurant
  • AC5 is more durable still and can withstand the traffic of heavier commercial areas such as department stores and public buildings.

Why is a moisture barrier used on concrete?

Concrete floors below ground are capable of storing a vast amount of water. It is crucial to avoid all direct contact between the laminate flooring and the concrete floor because the soil beneath the concrete can transmit humidity into the floor. Installing a moisture barrier over all concrete surfaces is mandatory for a successful installation and for the ongoing health of a laminate floor.

How to maintain my laminated flooring?

Laminate flooring is virtually maintenance-free. Routine cleaning requires you only to vacuum, use a dust mop, or a slightly damp (not wet) mop and dry with a clean, white cotton cloth.

NEVER use a wax, polish, oil, or varnish coating on the floor. Do not use soap-based detergents, oil soaps, or one-step clean and shine type products, or any product that squirts liquid directly on the floor.

For dry maintenance, use a dust mop, microfiber mop, or vacuum cleaner. Avoid vacuum attachments with ‘beater bars’, which could damage your floor. Ensure vacuum cleaner wheels are not impregnated with grit; plastic wheels may scratch your floor.

WET MAINTENANCE IS ENTIRELY FORBIDDEN! Never wet mop or use wet or steam cleaners on your floor.

Remove stubborn stains carefully with a little acetone (fingernail polish remover) on a soft cloth. Never use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, or scouring powder, as they will scratch your floor.

Engineered Flooring

How are they made?

The best engineered wood floors are built having 3-12 multiple ply layers (see picture below) that are cross layered, glued and pressed together. The inner core layers are are generally built up with either a hardwood and/or soft plywood type of material, which incorporates the tongue and groove system. The top thicker hardwood veneer wear layer is then glued and pressed on the top surface of the core. Engineered hardwood flooring is available in almost any wood species.

The benefits of using engineered wood floors?

Include more resistance to higher moisture levels than solid wood flooring, which adds to their appeal to use in damp basements or in regions of the country that have higher relative humidity levels. Also, engineered flooring (excluding the newer Click Lock flooring) can be direct glued-down over (dry) concrete slabs above or below grade or stapled down over a wood subfloor. Quality Engineered Hardwood flooring has the same resale value as 3/4 IN. solid wood flooring, if you ever decide to sell your home.

Engineered Hardwood floors range in widths from 3-7 inches wide and in thicknesses from 3/8 - 3/4" they also come in a wide variety of domestic and exotic hardwood species and some are even available in the popular hand scraped styles. Some brands of engineered flooring have a thin .6 mm wear layer that can only be re-coated and cannot be sanded and refinished new again once they get worn. They have an average lifespan of between 20-30 years depending on traffic. Other brands or styles can have a thicker 2 - 6 mm thick wear layer that can be completely sanded and refinished 1- 5 times if they ever needed to be. These thicker wear layer engineered floors can last from 40 - 80 years before having to be replaced which add to their appeal.

What's the advantage of using an Engineered wood floor over a Solid nail down floor?

Engineered hardwood floors can be installed in areas where there is slightly higher relative humidity levels. Engineered wood flooring being more stable is a great choice to use in summer homes where the heat is turned lower when no one is there. Because manufacturing engineered flooring does not waste valuable prized wood below its wear layer purchasing engineered flooring also helps conserve our forests

Can I use a Engineered wood floor in my basement?

Yes, as long as the moisture content of the concrete does not exceed 4%. Basements are known to have higher relative humidity due to being under the ground. It is recommended to use a Floating engineered wood floor which allows the use of a 4-6-mil plastic vapor barrier in any areas where there is a slightly higher moisture conditions.

Can I install a Engineered floor over other floor coverings such as vinyl or tile?

Yes, as long as the other flooring is a hard surface, secured well and is flat. You cannot install any wood flooring over carpet.

Can I glue down an Engineered wood floor over my concrete slab that is on grade?

Yes, you should make certain that your slab is dry and that the moisture content does not exceed 4%. Again, depending on your particular situation we may recommend using a floating engineered floor.

Solid Wood Flooring

How are they made?

The best engineered wood floors are built having 3-12 multiple ply layers (see picture below) that are cross layered, glued and pressed together. The inner core layers are are generally built up with either a hardwood and/or soft plywood type of material, which incorporates the tongue and groove system. The top thicker hardwood veneer wear layer is then glued and pressed on the top surface of the core. Engineered hardwood flooring is available in almost any wood species.

The benefits of using engineered wood floors?

Include more resistance to higher moisture levels than solid wood flooring, which adds to their appeal to use in damp basements or in regions of the country that have higher relative humidity levels. Also, engineered flooring (excluding the newer Click Lock flooring) can be direct glued-down over (dry) concrete slabs above or below grade or stapled down over a wood subfloor. Quality Engineered Hardwood flooring has the same resale value as 3/4 IN. solid wood flooring, if you ever decide to sell your home.

Engineered Hardwood floors range in widths from 3-7 inches wide and in thicknesses from 3/8 - 3/4" they also come in a wide variety of domestic and exotic hardwood species and some are even available in the popular hand scraped styles. Some brands of engineered flooring have a thin .6 mm wear layer that can only be re-coated and cannot be sanded and refinished new again once they get worn. They have an average lifespan of between 20-30 years depending on traffic. Other brands or styles can have a thicker 2 - 6 mm thick wear layer that can be completely sanded and refinished 1- 5 times if they ever needed to be. These thicker wear layer engineered floors can last from 40 - 80 years before having to be replaced which add to their appeal.

What's the advantage of using an Engineered wood floor over a Solid nail down floor?

Engineered hardwood floors can be installed in areas where there is slightly higher relative humidity levels. Engineered wood flooring being more stable is a great choice to use in summer homes where the heat is turned lower when no one is there. Because manufacturing engineered flooring does not waste valuable prized wood below its wear layer purchasing engineered flooring also helps conserve our forests

Can I use a Engineered wood floor in my basement?

Yes, as long as the moisture content of the concrete does not exceed 4%. Basements are known to have higher relative humidity due to being under the ground. It is recommended to use a Floating engineered wood floor which allows the use of a 4-6-mil plastic vapor barrier in any areas where there is a slightly higher moisture conditions.

Can I install a Engineered floor over other floor coverings such as vinyl or tile?

Yes, as long as the other flooring is a hard surface, secured well and is flat. You cannot install any wood flooring over carpet.

Can I glue down an Engineered wood floor over my concrete slab that is on grade?

Yes, you should make certain that your slab is dry and that the moisture content does not exceed 4%. Again, depending on your particular situation we may recommend using a floating engineered floor.

What is the difference between standard “ceramic” tiles and porcelain tiles?

Tile terminology can be confusing. Most types of tiles that are made from clay or a mixture of clay and other materials, then kiln-fired, are considered to be a part of the larger classification called “Ceramic Tiles”. These tiles can be split into two groups, porcelain tiles and non-porcelain tiles. These non-porcelain tiles are frequently referred to as ceramic tiles by themselves, separate from porcelain tiles.

“Ceramic” or non-porcelain tiles are generally made from red or white clay fired in a kiln. They are almost always finished with a durable glaze which carries the color and pattern. These tiles are used in both wall tile and floor tile applications, are softer and easier to cut than porcelain, and usually carry a PEI 0 to 3 rating. Non-porcelain ceramic tiles are usually suitable for very light to moderate traffic and generally have a relatively high water absorption rating making them less frost resistant and they are more prone to wear and chipping than porcelain tiles.

Porcelain tile is a tile that is generally made by the dust pressed method from porcelain clays which result in a tile that is dense, impervious, fine grained and smooth, with a sharply formed face. Porcelain tiles usually have a much lower water absorption rate (less than 0.5%) than non-porcelain tiles making them frost resistant or frost-proof. Glazed porcelain tiles are much harder and more wear and damage resistant than non-porcelain ceramic tiles, making them suitable for any application from light traffic to the heaviest residential and light commercial traffic. Full body porcelain tiles carry the color and pattern through the entire thickness of the tile making them virtually impervious to wear and are suitable for any application from residential to the highest traffic commercial or industrial applications. Porcelain tiles are available in matte, unglazed or a high polished finish.

What is the difference between glazed and full-body tiles?

Glazed tiles are coated with a liquid glass, which is then baked into the surface of the clay. The glaze provides an unlimited array of colors and designs as well as protects the tile from staining. The unglazed tiles are pretty much the same as the glazed tile, except that their surface is not coated. Full-body porcelain tiles do not show wear because their color extends throughout the tile, making them ideal for commercial applications.

Should a sealer be used on ceramic tile?

A glazed tile is already stain proof, so there is no purpose to putting on a sealer. You may put a penetrating sealer on your unglazed tile or your grout joints. The penetrating sealer is an invisible, stain resistant shield that is absorbed into the surface.

What is New Construction Windows?

New construction windows typically have a nail fin. When homes are built, the framing is likely constructed of wood studs. The nail fin rests against the outside of the stud, and nails or screws are driven through the holes in the fin. All other exterior materials are then applied and butted up to the frame of the window or trim. New construction windows also can be used in a replacement project. The exterior materials, such as window trim (if it exists), siding, stucco or flashing, are removed, exposing the wood studs. The new window is then installed as it would have been when the home was originally built. Exposing the original studs also allows your contractor to see potential damage (typically rot) or home settling that may have occurred. The damage can be repaired, and the new window installed with proper insulation to minimize air infiltration between the new window and the studs. As you can imagine, this method can be more time consuming so often costs more than other replacement methods

What is Replacement (Retrofit) Windows?

Replacement windows have been developed as a labor and cost-cutting alternative. There are two main types of replacement windows:
  • "Flush fin" (also called Z-bar) replacement windows are typically used in California and other markets with aluminum windows in stucco home exteriors. This method leaves the original aluminum window frame intact and provides very little opportunity for the stucco siding to be damaged. If you and your contractor choose this method, be sure to ask to see photos of Z-bar products installed in a home like yours so you can visualize the results.
  • "Block frame," or insert replacement windows, are typically found in markets where wood windows are in place, and the exterior is siding or brick. In most parts of the country, the block frame window is simply a new construction window frame with the nail fin removed. Your contractor will want to ensure that there's been no damage to the studs and there is proper insulation and flashing before using this type of window.

What is ENERGY STAR (LOW-E) window?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, leaky and inefficient windows, skylights and doors account for up to 25 percent of the average household's energy bills. Some sources estimate as high as 40 percent. A lot depends on where you live:
  • Cold climates lose energy in the form of heat
  • Hot climates lose energy in the form of cooling
The colder or hotter the climate, the greater your heating or cooling costs and the greater potential you have to save money on energy costs. Nearly everyone can benefit by replacing leaky, inefficient windows with modern energy-efficient windows. Depending on your location, you can cut energy costs by as much as 15 percent.

What type of frame material we supply?

We do have Aluminum, Vinyl, Wood Clad, Fiberglass, and Wood. Beside, depends on the brand.

What are the differences between those frame materials?

Vinyl (not paintable, only come with White and Almond color)
Aluminum (paintalbe, 3 colors: White, Clear Anodized, and Bronze Anodized)
Wood Clad & Fiberglass (paintalbe, pre finished or unfinished)

What is Rough Opening size and Net size?

Rough Opening size is the opening that has been framed into the wall.
Net size is the exact window size.

How big are tankless water heaters?

Most are about the size of an average suitcase. The Takagi line ranges from less than two feet high by 14 inches wide, weighing 30 pounds; to 28 inches high by 19 inches wide weighing 90 pounds.

Will tankless water heaters work with hard water?

Although many heaters are currently working well without any water treatment, we recommend that homeowners in areas with hard water install a water softener or a de-scaling device in the water line before the heater. This should lengthen its lifespan as well as the time between servicing. In areas with exceptionally hard-water conditions, the heat exchanger inside the unit may require periodic flushing by a plumber to remove built-up scale. Keeping the temperature low also helps to prevent scale buildup in severe, hard-water conditions.

What size heater will I need for my single-family home? For my apartment building?

For the most accurate sizing, we recommend contacting your local Takagi sales office. But here are some general guidelines, concerning the Takagi line:
  • Our smallest model, the T-K Jr. will simultaneously supply one shower and one appliance, such as a dishwasher or washer.
  • The T-K3 can be installed in parallel with up to three other T-K3 units for added capacity.
  • The T-M1 and T-H1 can handle four showers at once.

Can homeowners do the installation themselves?

This product must be installed and serviced by a licensed plumber, a licensed gas fitter, or professional service technician. Improper installation and/or operation, or installation by an unqualified person, will void the warranty.

Where can I have my tankless water heater installed?

It can be installed anywhere with access to adequate combustion air and where the heater exhaust can be vented to the outdoors, it should not be installed outdoors if the home or business is located in a freezing climate. In a replacement situation, a tankless heater can usually go where the heater currently is located, although you may want to relocate the new unit to create more room or to achieve better venting options. Wherever you choose to locate the new tankless unit, always check for proper gas-line size. That's usually because the more powerful tankless models usually require larger gas lines than tanks.

Are there special venting requirements?

You must use a dedicated, Category III approved stainless steel vent pipe for the entire exhaust run. You may not common-vent with any other appliance.

If I install a tankless water heater, can I expect to have instant hot water at all my faucets and showers?

No. It still takes time to get the water to your faucets, just like it always has. Our heaters provide constant flow of hot water at the desired temperature. To get "instant" hot water, you need a recirculation pump.

Can I use a recirculation pump? How big should it be?

Yes, you can use a Recirc pump, and it should be sized to provide enough flow to the heater; that is, 0.5 gallons per minute to 0.75 GPM, depending on the model. However, it should not be so big that it wastes energy and causes erosion of the system piping. We recommend aiming for 1 to 2 GPM of Recirc flow. If you are not familiar with pump sizing, please ask the pump dealer or Takagi for details.

What is the warranty on a Takagi tankless water heater?

The warranty is 10 years on the copper heat exchanger and five years on all of the other parts, except for fuses. Commercial warranties are three years on the heat exchanger and the parts.

What kind of customer service support can I expect from Takagi?

There is a 24-hour website for basic troubleshooting and for submitting questions. Takagi also has a main office in Irvine, California, and branch offices throughout the country that may be called during business hours. Our plumbers are trained in the operation and repair of our units, and they can also contact Takagi for any additional help or for repair parts.

Are there any tax incentives for installing a replacement tankless water heater?

As of January 1, 2009, most of the units in the Takagi line qualify for up to a $1,500 income-tax credit. Please consult with your tax professional.

Are there any rebates available from gas utilities?

In general, at this time there are rebates for new construction installations only. Please consult with your local gas utility for details. There is a federal tax credit, however. See the question on "tax incentives" above.

How long will a tankless water heater last?

We have found the average useful life to be 15 to 20 years, compared with 10 years or less for most tank-type models. In very hard water areas, water treatment is essential to long heater life.

Takagi vs. Tanks: What Are The Differences?

Tanks and tankless units have operational differences you need to be aware of.

Typically, you can expect to use only approximately 70% of the tank’s volume; i.e., a 50-gallon tank should provide approximately 35 gallons of hot water. The burner initiates to reheat the tank, but the latter can only recover at approximately 1 GPM. Thus, the recovery wait begins. This stored volume, in combination with the standing pilot light, usually results in an Energy Factor (EF) in the low range of 0.53 ~ 0.62 for gas fired, tank-type water heaters. “Energy factor is what the end user pays for. A water heater with an energy factor of 0.62 means that for every dollar spent heating water, $0.62 is being used to heat the water. The remaining $0.38 is wasted.”

Tank Operation: A tank-type heater stores a volume of water at an approximate set temperature 24/7/365. As you draw hot water at your fixture, cold water replaces the outgoing water in the tank and the temperature of the water in the tank begins to drop.

  • If the tank has been set to a high temperature (which wastes energy and shortens its life) and the flow rate is fairly low, it will provide adequate hot water for one reasonably long shower.
  • If the tank is set near the ideal 120°F, one shower will start to “run cold” in as little as 15 minutes!

Tankless Operation: Takagi units operate differently. Each unit modulates fully between its minimum and maximum BTU/hr input ratings. It only uses the amount of gas needed to do the job, so there’s no waste!

  • A Takagi water heater requires a minimum flow of 0.75 GPM (the T-K3=0.50 GPM) to initiate the burner.
  • Without this minimum flow, the heater may continuously run and heat exchanger would overheat

Whatever the maximum flow rate for any tankless unit that flow is continuous for as long as there is demand. And unlike a tank-type heater, the temperature remains constant at the selected set point. There is no stored water and no pilot light, so Takagi’s high EF range is between 0.81 and 0.94, depending on the model and gas type.

What are the tankless water heater installation requirements?

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