About John Wagonis

John Wagonis launched Eclectic-ware in December 2000. With over 18 years experience with cabinetry hardware, we can help our customers with new construction and remodeling applications. Our product lines include a lot of custom made hardware that you will not find in retail outlets. We sell to everyone, trade and DIY. Let us know how we can help.

Move over Halogen, LED is taking over

LED Lighting is the wave of the future. We will get back to that later in this post. Right now, we have to say something about the replacement décor rings and glass lenses for Halogen lights. For years, Eclectic-ware has been offering replacement parts for the products that we offer. Items that are available from the manufacturers, we have supplied. We never forced anyone to buy a new under cabinet light when they could just replace the décor ring or glass lens and make their lights look new again.

A few years ago, Hera decided to discontinue their H11 light (EH11 and AH11). This is one of their oldest lights going back to the 1990’s. It was a very popular premium halogen light used on boats also. Germany continued to make them, but Hera in the US did not stock them or show them in their catalog. Yet, Hera did bring them in to the US per our request so that we could still offer them to our customers. Last year, Germany decided to stop making them. As of the date of this post, we have just under one dozen left in our stock (June 2016 = all gone). The white, black, gold, and chrome décor ring and frosted and clear glass lenses for this light were also discontinued. Our stock is winding down on those. The glass lenses are actually all gone. But we discovered something when trying one of the Xenon glass lenses in the back of the DR series décor rings for the H11 lights.
IT FITS.

Halogen light replacement rings and lenses

The EH11 replacement rings with the Xenon glass lenses

Shown in this first picture above, are the X-GLFR lenses laid in the backside of the DRWH, DRBL, and DRGO replacement rings. The lens fits between the two tabs on the inside diameter of the ring. The lens does NOT snap into the tabs and thus lock in place like the GLFR and GLCL lenses did. For two reasons: a) It is just a bit smaller in diameter, and b) It is thicker. The GLFR lenses were very thin. And if you just need replacement rings and your existing lenses are not broken, RE-USE your lenses. No reason to spend money on something you do not need because you already have them.

EH11 replacement decor rings

Replacement décor rings and glass lenses for EH11 lights.

The X-GLFR lens, because it is a bit smaller has some shifting room side to side. It fits really nicely between the tabs and does not shift that direction, but the other way, it can move side to side about 3/32″. So if used in your house, it would be fine if just set in the ring and then reattached to the light. But if on a boat, that will rock with the waves, the lens will move side to side and you may hear it do so. It will not fall out, but I think it is advisable to insert it with a few drops of super glue. It will make it permanent to that ring, but it will keep it from shifting. And the lenses do lay nice and flat within the lower ridge circle of the décor rings. Select this link to go directly to our Hera replacement parts page. (As of June 2016, we are almost out of this lens.)

Hera EH11 light replacement lens

The light looks the same with the Xenon lens subbed out for the EH11 lens.

When the décor ring is reattached to the light with the X-GLFR lens, it looks the same. You will not detect a difference. This is a short term solution for anyone needing replacement lenses right now. Unfortunately, the Xenon lights and replacement parts for them have also been recently discontinued. So our supply on the Xenon lenses will last a little while, but not indefinitely. Thus, Halogen and Xenon will have to step down and make way for LED Lighting.

LED Lights. Hera has created many. LED is pronounced L-E-D, not lead. It means Light Emitting Diode. LED Lighting is very energy conscious. A 3-watt LED light is the equivalent to a 20 watt halogen. Just the other day, someone mentioned to us how much of a drain the halogen lights are to the battery on his boat. If you have 10 of the 20-watt halogen lights in your cabin, that is 200 watts of power used while they are on. If you had 10 of the 3-watt LED lights, that is 30 watts used. A considerable difference – per hour.

Hera Lighting’s LED line up offers many selections. Two we really want to point out are the R55-LED light, a 3-watt. And the KB12-LED light, just 1.6 watts each. These two LED lights are awesome replacements for the EH11 light we talked about above. Now the LED lights are a 24 volt system, thus you have to make arrangements for that, especially on a boat feeding your lights directly with 12 volt DC. You will need to use the Hera LED power drivers from the AC on your boat to power the 24 volt low voltage LED lights. If using in your home, you will use the 24 volt LED power drivers and remove your old 12 volt halogen transformers. The nice thing about the R55-LED and KB12-LED is that they are designed to fit into the same 2-1/8″ dia. hole that Hera’s EH11 and E1 lights fit into. The KB12 halogen light also fits in the 2-1/8″ diameter hole. So far, the KB12 halogen light is still being produced. But as LED continued to expand, one day, all halogen lights could become a thing of the past.

Special note for boat owners running cabin lights directly from your 12 volt DC.  Check out the Loox 2020 12-volt LED lights that we now offer.  It is a great direct substitute for the Hera E1 and H11 lights.

Eclectic-ware is not just a retailor of products. We actually learn about our products and offer design and technical assistance. We have over 18 years experience with the Hera Lighting brand. And we still remember their old lights that are long gone. The LED lights come in various strengths and sizes. The spotlights come in 1.2 watt accent lights, to 3 or 4 watt under cabinet lights, to 7.5 watt high power under cabinet lights and display lights. The linear LED lights in shorter lengths are just a couple of watts to longer lengths in the 18 or more watt range. And you might be thinking, 7.5 watts, that is not much. How bright will it be? LED is not like our understanding of incandescent lighting. It is way different. The 15 watt ELite-LED lights I have put in my own home throw about the same light as a 100 watt incandescent bulb. And very little heat. So having the lights on is not jacking up my AC expense, nor my electric bill. Most of the LED lights will cost a bit more in the beginning, but the savings comes over time. Many are rated for 50,000 hours. In retrospect, that EH11 light uses a 4,000 hour halogen bulb, you will have gone through 12 bulb changes in 50,000 hours. So with halogen, you buy the light and buy 12 bulbs over the course of 10 to 20 years. With LED, you install the light and not change any bulbs.  There are many benefits.

Within the Hera Lighting section of our web site, we have 24 web pages showing their various LED light systems. For under cabinet, display, and commercial uses. When you are ready, visit that section of our web site. We can help with your kitchen, bathroom, living room, and bedroom lighting needs that pertain to cabinet or furniture lighting. And for boat owners, we have solutions for you too….

Ceramic Bathroom Hardware

AC Products ceramic bathroom hardware is made in the USA. We like giving a plug to products that we offer that are born in America. So that is one great thing about this hardware. The next, is the colors. There are several different series of ceramic pieces that AC Products offers. The Stylish 700 Series, the most extensive, has approx. 40 selections – ALL of which are available in about 100+ colors each.

ceramic bathroom hardware stylish 700 series

A great collection of ceramic bathroom hardware

You will find a few differently styled soap dishes. Three sizes of corner shelves, the jumbo coming with or without a hook beneath it. A matching vanity soap dish and toothbrush holder. Some recessed items such as the 3 shower caddies, recessed soap dish, and recessed toilet paper holder. There is a surface mount toilet paper holder, a robe hook, the towel ring which has been cited for retirement, but we still have some. And then the popular ceramic towel bar. And not just in one size and one color. The towel bar posts are all the same size, but you have a choice of 4 bar lengths, of which you can alter any of them shorter. The bar can come in white or clear, you can choose that too. And you have a choice of 4 mounting methods – and then all of that in 100+ ceramic colors. So the model 730 towel bar technically can come in 3200 different combinations. Don’t ask us to show you a picture of every combination, not gonna happen. It is not our objective to bore you. But it is our objective to offer solutions. Not everyone is using white, bone or biscuit ceramic tile. Some people want a grey-tone soap dish or corner shelves for their shower. The next guy may want a blue tone, and the girl next door may want a Wild Rose colored shower caddy. The 700 Series is awesome for choices. And about those mounting methods. There are 5 to choose from.

Ceramic bathroom hardware moutning methods

The various mounting methods for ceramic bath hardware

The most popular mounting method is thin-set. What thin-set means is that the hardware piece is generally glued to the backer board using the same adhesive that the tiles use. And you must have an opening in the tile for it to fit into. Most pieces are sized to fit into a 4×4 opening, but that is not uniform for all pieces, especially a few of the larger items. Some people call thin-set “recessed”, that is not correct. Yes, the protrusion on the back will recess into the tile depth, generally 1/4″ to 5/16″. The definition for recessed, as you can see in the picture above is that it fits into the wall 3 or more inches. The recessed TP holder shown needs 3-5/8″ of depth to fit in the wall – into a 6×6 opening. The mud set item shown above can be considered semi-recessed. It does not require as deep of an opening to fit into. You must have 1-1/4″ or more. And it is called mud set because professionals prefer to create a mud pack and push the piece in place and that is how they mount it. It can be mounted with adhesive also if you choose.

The two other mounting methods, flat back and clip on have their specific purposes. Flat back was created as a simple solution for repairs or afterthoughts. Flat back can be mounted to ANY flat wall surface. It can go over tile, it can glue directly to sheetrock or backer board. It can glue onto a wood or paneling style wall. We do not promote it being glued directly to drywall, that is not considered best practice. For normal drywall mounting, on a smooth unblemished surface, use the clip on mount. The mounting clip will secure to the drywall using screws and drywall anchors, then the towel bars, soap dishes, and surface mount TP holder slide down over the tapered clip and wedge themselves in place. For more detailed explanations about the 5 mounting methods, please visit that link.

The other AC Products collections: Series 500, 800, and 900, can be viewed on our web site. There is a lot to see and we are not going to try to cram any more into this blog post. You can view a ton of data, a lot of colors, and other helpful information on our web site. And again, AC Products bath hardware is made in America, right here in Ohio. Quality craftsmanship and very nicely designed hardware….

Replacement Spring Loaded Towel Bars

Something that seems to happen in ceramic tile showers and bathtubs all across America is finding one with a broken towel bar. The plastic bar between the non-removable ceramic posts snapped.  We hear all kinds of stories.  My grandson was doing chin ups.  My husband fell into it and broke it.  I moved into a new house and it did not have one.  Of course we never hear any stories about the lady of the house breaking one.  Guess that doesn’t happen.

If you contacted a tile setter, most of them will offer to chip out one of the posts, put a new bar between them, put the one post back on, and hand you the $150 bill.  Some of them are aware of an ingenious solution: The Lenape Re-Place-A-Bar.

Re-Place-A-Bar replacement towel rod

The Lenape Re-Place-A-Bar to fix a broken towel bar.

The Re-Place-A-Bar is a white or clear plastic bar.  We have them in 12″, 24″, and 36″ lengths.  You will need to cut it down to the exact size to fit your ceramic post separation.  24″ is by far the most popular size and spacing, but we do hear about all kinds of sizes.  The bars are easy to cut.  A hack saw works well.  Most any other fine tooth saw can work also.  When fitting the bar to your space, the length of the replacement towel rod will be: the distance between your posts plus the recess depth of one of the posts.  When cut like this, you will be able to place one end of the bar with the spring loaded end compressed into one post.  The other end, you will hold the spring loaded plunger in, slide it to the inside of the other post, and release the end.  Now the spring loaded ends self-center the bar.  And the bar now rests halfway in to each post, AND IT RESTS ON THE BAR.  The spring loaded ends are a function to keep the bar centered.  The bar still takes the weight of your towels and holds firmly between the posts.

We do keep these in stock and generally ship them via Priority Mail, or international mail for orders outside the US.  This is a very cost effective way to fix a broken bar.  And most everyone can do it himself or herself.  There is much more information on it in the Lenape section of our web site, on the Re-Place-A-Bars page.

Ceramic towel bar colors

AC Products ceramic towel bars are available in over 110 colors.

Now, to offer another solution.  Sometimes a ceramic post gets broken.  And sometimes you have a very odd color.  We have offered AC Products ceramic bathroom hardware for over 6 years now.  AC Products is made in Apple Creek, Ohio.  A wonderful made in the USA product.  And they make their ceramic bath accessories in over 100+ colors.  If you have a broken towel bar post, odds are good that we can get a close matching color, or even the exact matching color.

Posts do come as pairs only.  And more info on them is shown on our extended ceramic towel bars web page.  As you can see from one of our photos showing the colors, there are a lot.  And this is just a couple dozen of the 110+.

Another note about these colorful towel bar posts: we stock them in white, bone, biscuit, black, and a few other popular colors.  And then they come as thin-set mount, flat back mount, clip on, and mud set mount.  Yep, you have a lot of choices….

Lenape Classic Blossoms porcelain bathroom hardware

The pink flowers with green leaves on white porcelain bath hardware is back!

Pink floral bathroom toilet paper holders, soap dishes, and more

Lenape Classic Blossoms Bath Hardware

The Classic Blossom collection prior to 2009 came with 4 floral choice patterns, on bone or white porcelain.  But in 2009, Lenape had suspended their US production in New Jersey.  Now, with a lot of people asking for the most popular of those six choices, Lenape has reinstated the popular Blossoms on White pattern.

These pieces are oval shaped bases on pure white porcelain.  Porcelain and ceramic are interchangeable terms.  The base clay compound is the same.  Porcelain is just fired at a hotter kiln temperature.  The appearance of porcelain and ceramic is basically the same.  The Blossoms on White bath hardware consists of: double towel bars, single towel bars, a towel ring, a soap dish, matching toothbrush holder, a double robe hook, and a toilet paper holder.  All items are clip mounted pieces, towel bars come with two mounting clips.

The Blossoms flower is a 3-tone pink flower with green leaves in a vine type pattern.  There are small green flowers on the vine that appear to have not blossomed yet.  So it gives the symbolism that the vine is growing.  It has always been a colorful pattern and stands out well on the background of white porcelain.

We invite you to follow this link to the Lenape Classic and Classic Blossoms page on our web site.  We have taken many new pictures of the pieces instead of using the 15 year old picture from Lenape.

Lenape blossoms towel bars and double towel bars

Classic Blossoms Towel Bars

There are close ups of each piece so you can see the floral patterns.  They are shown after the plain white pieces.  As with many of our web pages, there is a lot of data on the page.  Look toward the bottom of the page for a price grid showing prices and dimensions.

 

AND, we are stocking this collection in both plain white, and Blossoms on White.

If you ever have any questions about the products we offer, please use our Contact Us form to send us a note.  There are links to it from all our web pages.

Remodeling my kitchen with new cabinet doors

So you are thinking about a new look for your kitchen.  Some people take the simplest approach and just replace cabinet handles and knobs with something new.  Some may just paint their kitchen cabinets.  And if you do take that route, make sure you use a quality brand enamel that will withstand some light scuffing over the years.  And prep your doors and cabinets properly for good adhesion for the paint.

Custom kitchen cabinet doorsAnd then there will be some who really remodel.  New cabinet doors and drawer fronts, possibly a new appliance or all new appliances, new countertop surfaces, and maybe adding on to some of the cabinetry.  Eclectic-ware has solutions for many of your kitchen and bathroom remodeling needs.  And one of the big solutions, is custom made cabinet doors.  By far the best way to give an existing kitchen a great facelift is replacing all the cabinet doors and drawer fronts, and refacing the cabinets.  For cabinet boxes that are solid and strong, there is no need to rip them out and start with all new cabinets.  That’s what a total redesign would be, or if you were building a house and were starting fresh with new cabinets.  If you are not planning a total redesign, which is what 80% or more people avoid doing, then just REFACE.

There are a few ways to proceed with refacing your cabinets.  And ultimately, it depends upon which doors and drawer fronts you choose.  Make up your mind on that first, then tackle the prep work on your cabinet boxes.  If you wish to order prefinished wood doors as in the picture just shown above, you can also get self-adhesive veneer and cut to size plywood to reface your cabinets.  The veneer and plywood, when ordered with the doors and drawer fronts, will be finished at the same time with the same stain lot.  So you will have matching pieces.  Veneer is something you cut to size yourself as you are applying it, generally for face frame cabinets and “smaller” areas.  For larger areas such as the side walls of end cabinets, it is advised to use 1/4″ plywood for refacing.  It is stronger, has less chance of bubbling if air is caught underneath when applying it, and it can cover any minor or majorWoodmont Doors installation instructions blemishes in an existing cabinet.  You would choose to apply all your plywood refacing first as it will increase the end size of your cabinets, then go over those edges with the veneer as being a small extension of your front face frame.  If you have frameless cabinets, also called Euro-box, you most likely would not go through the effort of refacing the front edges of them as your doors will typically cover them up completely.  We have definitions and illustrations of face frame and frameless cabinets in the Woodmont Doors section of our web site.

Adding veneer and plywood is one way to reface.  And both, as well as the wood doors can be ordered prefinished in one of Woodmont’s offered wood stains, or unfinished.  If you have a certain color you are going for and have your own stain, spray on or wipe on, then please, order everything unfinished and create that special color you are going for.  Wood choices are red oak, maple, cherry, and hickory.  All can come finished or unfinished.

Depending upon what your cabinet boxes are made from and how they look on the outside, you might have the option of sanding them down, removing all the old finish, and then clear coating them, staining them, or painting them.  If they are a nice woodgrain plywood box, and you want the natural beauty of wood to show, clear coating them is a nice option.  Minwax makes a Polyclear, which does not seem to alter the color of the wood.  On light woods, it will start to amber over time.  There are some products on the market that can stay clear over time, but most will tend to yellow as light reflects upon them over the years.  Now if staining your wood cabinets, you have hundreds of color choices in lacquers.  Actually millions of choices with custom lacquers, but we are not going to get that crazy today.  If you are not choosing to have a woodgrain look to your cabinets, and your plan is a solid paint color, the work you have to do to prep your existing boxes can be minimalized.  Paint for the most part can go over any surface.  But you want it to continue to adhere to that surface.  So you may not have to strip off the entire old finish when painting, BUT, you do want your surface to be sanded smooth, free of dents, and free of oil and debris.  Wood fillers can be used to cover over dents.  Sandpaper can take off most debris and oils.  Cleaning solvents are usually not needed.  It is definitely a good idea to always prime first, then use your top coat paint.  Some paints have a self primer and can save you time.  For light color paint covering darker wood, two coats of paint will most likely be necessary.  Enamel paints hold up better over time.  Semi-gloss paint are easier to clean than Satin or Flat paints.  Think through your paint choices, because once it is done – well, it could be done again, but who wants to spend that kind of time.  Doing it right once is always desired.

After you have finished refinishing your cabinets, you can hang your new doors, install drawer boxes if needed (we have those too), add the drawer fronts, and even included some accessories like slide out trash containers, blind corner shelves, and more.  If you were also installing a new countertop, you most certainly would want to install that before hanging any cabinet doors.  It would be advisable to install a countertop before refinishing your cabinets.  Why?  Potential damage.  The countertop is huge.  Big, clunky, heavy.  It needs maneuvering room to set it in place.  It entails someone climbing inside the cabinets to fasten it down.  There is a lot of room for error for someone scraping or kicking a cabinet face.  So if you are redoing the countertop, or laying new tile on the floor, don’t take chances with scratching up your new doors or the work you just did on your cabinets.

Remodeling your kitchen yourselfOnce your kitchen is finished with its new look, you will be amazed as to what a difference it makes.  Sometimes it feels like a whole new house.  Now we just briefly went over cabinet doors and drawer fronts and a few refacing options.  When updating your kitchen, you will want to plan a little under cabinet lighting.  Or even lighting in your cabinets behind glass front doors.  People do like to display some things in the kitchen … and hide others.  We have wine rack lattice and wood stemware holders.  Display your wine bottles and your glasses.  And we have appliance garages.  Hide your mixer or George Foreman grill.  We offer a ton of selections in cabinet handles and drawer pulls.  We have wood and Corian custom made switch plates.  There is so much that you can do in a kitchen remodel that you can be busy for a few months.  And doing it yourself is quite rewarding.  There are things like new countertops and flooring that you might not want to do yourself or are unable to do.  That is okay.  Take on however much of the project you want to do yourself.  We can answer questions about the products we offer and give some how to advice.  We are not just about selling products.  We get involved … but we don’t make house calls.  We can help you from our Florida location, and have done so for thousands of customers over the last 13 years.