Frequently Asked Questions
Why do some of the niches measure only 9.5" inches inside when there is 16" between the studs?
|Let me clarify this misunderstanding! First of all there IS NOT 16" BETWEEN the studs. Normal spacing of studs in a home is 16" from the CENTER of one stud to the CENTER of another. Since studs are typically 1.5" wide, that means you must subtract 0.75" from each side to find the ACTUAL space between the studs which is 14.5". All of our products are manufactured from 0.75" stock - that means you must now subtract another 1.5" from the available space which means your niche could actually be 13" wide on the inside AT THE VERY MOST. Our niches and curios were designed to be easy to install and to fit in both new construction AND existing homes.
|Obviously with new construction, you will know where wiring, plumbing and other obstacles are in the walls prior to installation. However, with existing homes, there's no way to know what's in the walls until you cut the hole in the drywall. Since it is Electrical Code and standard industry practice for electricians to tack their wiring to one side or the other in the space between studs (rather than just bringing them down the middle of the space and letting them hang freely), that would cause a problem if we made the products the full width. So we've given you some "play" room in case you run into something unexpected in the wall space. Another reason for our sizing is shipping. In order to give you all the options we have (heights, bases, styles, etc.) and still do it at the extreme value pricing we have, we needed to keep some things standard. Many of our products use parts and pieces which are interchangeable, meaning they are the same size or attach the same way, etc.This keeps our costs down and minimizes the number and sizes of boxes we have to have made. All of our boxes are sized so that we can fit multiple different products in them and still remain at a size that doesn't require Oversize shipping charges from FedEx, UPS and USPS. This saves you a considerable amount of money. However, many of our items are also sized at 11.5" inside and some are 12.5" inside.
Do you ship to Canada or other countries?
|We ship worldwide. Orders to Alaska and Hawaii will calculate using UPS rates. If you email or phone in, we can take your order over the phone and get you USPS rates to those States which will be much less. For Canadian orders, you will need to email or phone in with the product(s) and options you are looking at, as well as your postal code. That way, we can determine the size of box that will be required, as well as the weight of the items. We can then take that information and look up current USPS Priority Mail rates to your postal code in Canada. We do not ship UPS to Canada because you would end up paying broker fees on your end. FOREIGN COUNTRIES: Please phone or email to determine the cost and place your order. Some items are too large and cannot ship to foreign countries via any shipping method that would be reasonable. We will need to know the product(s) and options you are wanting to order as well as your full address so that we can determine what the cost for shipping would be for you.|
Do I need the Stainable Backer Board?
|You will ONLY need the Stainable Backer Board option if you are ordering the product unfinished and plan to stain it yourself, OR if you are ordering it in one of our stain color finishes (including clear gloss/natural maple). Otherwise, the standard masonite backer board is perfect for painting and will come painted to match the rest of the unit if you are choosing one of our enamel or marbleized finishes.
Why do you use masonite backer boards rather than a plywood backer board?
|There are two reasons for this. First, it's more economical, and secondly, it's a superior product. The masonite paints very well. In fact, we've painted both the masonite and a plywood backer board for comparison. The masonite ends up with a much smoother surface than a plywood backer board would have after it's painted. Plus it also has the added benefit of not warping due to the moisture in the paint (spray enamel has much less moisture content than brush on latex paint would have). A plywood backer board would be very susceptible to warping from that moisture and that's another reason why we use masonite. Aren't you glad we thought of these things ahead of time?!? In addition, many of our backer boards are sized to fit several different items, and that's the reason why the backer board might be just a little smaller than the back of the unit. But we always give you room to nail it on. We ship them with the backer boards off for a couple of reasons. First, if you've purchased yours unfinished, it is FAR easier to paint the unit with the backer board off of it than it would be to try and paint it with it already put together. If you've purchased a finished product, many times people want to put a piece of wallpaper or something behind the magazine rack, so we leave the backer boards off so that they have the option. If they don't want to do anything else to it (it comes painted with the rest of the unit, but again, we paint the backer boards OFF the unit also because it is easier), all they have to do is nail it on with the nails we provide.
How do I know which direction I want the door to swing - to the left or the the Right?
|This is a very simple one. It is always assumed you are looking at the cabinet door. If the hinges are on the left (knob/handle is on the right) - that is a Left Opening Door. If the hinges are on the right (knob/handle on the left) - that is a Right Opening Door. See the photos below. We will generally always put the knob or handle in the lower corner of the door unless we ask you otherwise. Some of our taller cabinets will have a place where you can specify if you want the handle at the bottom, center or top. Or you can also choose to not have it drilled and you can decide where you want it when you get the product. Generally, for our Toilet Paper Spare Roll Cabinet and the Plunger cabinets we will place the knob at the top of the door because we assume they will be mounted lower in the wall.|
My rack is slightly warped and doesn't "sit" flat on the table, is this a defect?
|No, actually it isn't. Wood is a living, breathing thing. It will absorbe/release moisture to try to match the air surrounding it. This can sometimes cause a slight warping as the wood expands or shrinks. But it's an easy fix and I've never seen one yet that couldn't be solved with this simple solution: Lay the product upside down flat on a table with the base hanging off the edge of the table (this way it lays completely flat). You may need an extra set of hands to do this, but that's all. Now while pressing down on the unit to make it go flat (and it may require quite a bit of force but you won't hurt the rack), nail the backer board in place. Once it's nailed on with at least a couple nails on each side it must retain the new shape because the nails can't move.|
Do you make custom size items?
|Yes we do! Simply take a look at our Custom Orders section on the website to see some of the custom items we've made in the past. However, Custom Orders are secondary to our regular orders, so they must be worked in between. While we are happy to create a Custom Order for you, just be aware that it may be 3-5 weeks to get your Custom Item. Many items can be ordered in a custom size directly on the website.|
Can I get my door without the holes drilled so that I can decide which way I want it to open later?
|Yes! We don't actually drill the holes for the hinges anyway. And there is a choice among the hardware options on every product's detail page where you can select to delete the knob and have us NOT drill the hole for it. That way, you can change the door swing direction and the location of the knob/handle when you have it installed.|
How do I mount the surface mounted concealed hinges, is it difficult?
|The surface mounted concealed hinges are a little more difficult to mount, but the reward is that you don't have to see the hinges when the door is closed. The easiest methods for mounting these hinges are described in the instructions sheet.|
What is the difference between niches and curios?
|They might look the same in the photos, but the difference is that the curio will have glass shelves and a glass door. The glass doors use brass pivot hinges, so if you look close, you'll see one at the top and the bottom of the door (except the Arch Top Curio). The Arch Top Curio uses a pull-out-and-up glass door since there is no way to use pivot hinges on the angle. While it is possible to get hinges that go through the glass so that an Arch Top Curio could have a hinged door, it would require tempered glass and therefore would double the cost of the curio. So instead, it has a track in the base for the glass to set down in, and then it uses two magnetic touch latches at the top of the glass (one on each of the angles). If you are ordering a niche with a light kit, you might want to consider ordering glass shelves (see the Customization section of the website), otherwise, by using the standard wood shelves it would come with, the light would stop at the first shelf and the remainder of the niche would be dark.|
Can I order additional shelves for a niche, curio or cabinet?
|On most products, you find additional shelves (usually 1 to 4 additional ones) available within the options right on the product's detail page. If you need more than are available to order from there, you'll also find both the glass and wood shelves in the Customization section of the website.|
Are the shelves adjustable?
|That depends on the product. Generally, all shelves are adjustable except for the Media Shelving units and some of the Spice Racks - those use fixed shelves. All Spice Cabinets use adjustable glass shelves inside.|
How do the lights work, are they battery operated?
|All the light kits we sell are powered by 110V regular household current. Although the light kits come with an inline switch for turning them on and off, however, if you're going to be putting this unit in-the-wall (vs. an On-the-wall Curio for instance), you won't be able to access this switch, so you'll want to have an electrician wire a wall switch for you as well. If you planned to put 3 curios side by side, you could purchase a 3-light kit and wire them up in series.|
There are so many niches, how can I tell which one I'm ordering? They all look the same in the photos.
|The first two letters of the product number refer to the style of niche - whether it is a Standard or Arch Top Niche or a Cove Niche. So the "SH" series niches are Standard Niches and Arch Top Niches, and the "CN" niches are Cove Niches. The "FN" niches are Flush Mount Niches that have no base ledge. The first NUMBER refers to the number of shelves the niche will have, so an SH-4 niche is a Standard Niche with NO shelves, and an SH-8 is an Arch Top Niche with 1 adjustable shelf. And a CN-3 is a Standard Cove Niche with two adjustable shelves, while a CN-5 is a Curve Top Cove Niche with one adjustable shelf. The last two digits in the product number refer to the HEIGHT of the niche. So an SH-718 is an 18 inch high Arch Top Niche and a CN-630 is a 30 inch high Curve Top Cove Niche. All niches are a pre-set width depending on the style of niche. Custom sizes can be done as well through our Custom Orders.|
What are the different bases?
|We offer several different bases. The base is the lower most portion of the niche, curio or magazine rack and is the "shelf" that runs between the two sides. That piece is modular and therefore can be changed for optional bases instead to create a different look. The standard base is a ledge that is straight across and will project from the wall 1.5" with squared off trim underneath it. The Extended Base option will project from the wall 2.5" and has dutch clipped corners and unique trim underneath it. The Statue Base option is a curved front base that will project from the wall 4" at the center and includes unique trim underneath it.|
What are Keystones and where are they placed if I order that?
|We offer several different keystones. You can find them in our "Customization" category. Keystones are a decorative element that really adds character. We started these on our niches and curios, but quickly found that customers like them on many different products. If the option is available for the product you want, the keystone is always placed in the top center of the unit's frame moulding. Only one keystone per unit. You will find keystones among the options on every product's detail page if they are available for that product. Some products cannot use them because of the way they are constructed.|
What is the lead time for receiving an order?
|Generally, we work with a 1-3 week lead time which is very quick for custom built products. However, at certain times of the month or year, order loads can be quite heavy and the lead time may take just a little bit longer. We try to do the very best job we can with each of the products we build. So your order gets our full attention while we're working on it just llike everyone before you.|
Why does it take 1-4 weeks to receive an order?
|Because we allow you the ability to choose different options, bases, finishes, etc., you are creating a CUSTOM MADE item. That means there is no possible way we could keep all of the possible combinations in stock. Our niche shelves alone have over 50,000 possible different combinations! So you can see our dilemma. Although we do our very best to put forth a professional image, the reality is that we are a small business with only a couple of employees. We build our orders in "batches" and try to build like items together for greater efficiency. We also run all cabinet doors usually once or twice a week. This is a much more efficient process and reduces the constant machinery setup changes needed to make the various doors. Also, some items are more complex to build than others. So that can also affect the timing of your order. If you are in need of an item right away, please order the Priority Service option. That will get your order moved up to the top of the stack to be made, finished and shipped out to you. If you need it even faster, we also offer our Drop Everything Service which can be ordered over the phone only because we want to make sure that we can actually do what you are needing.|
How do I know how deep my wall is? I want the most depth I can get in the product I'm ordering.
|If you are unsure of the depth of your wall, there is an easy way to find out. Simply go to any doorway and measure from one side of the door opening to the other. You can count the moulding trim on both sides as well if you want to. If you have 2 x 4 walls (3.5" deep), your door opening will likely measure about 5.5". If you have 2 x 6 walls (5.5" deep), your door opening will likely measure about 7 to 7.25".|
Are there any other things I need to think about regarding where I want to place an item in the wall?
|First, do a survey of the area you are thinking about installing an item. Is there an electrical outlet above or below it (Be sure to check both sides of the wall if it's an interior room!) Generally, and electrical outlet will not be a problem as long as it's not in the area where you are wanting to place the item. That is because, by electrical code, the wiring that runs from the ceiling down into that stud bay for that outlet will be tacked to one stud or the other. That still leaves the entire stud bay open. Be sure to check for plumbing as well if that wall backs up to a bathroom. Plumbing can be a major problem, so you may want to select an alternate location. Some states like California also have Fire Blocks within the wall. These are horizontal boards between the studs. Using a studfinder will locate those if they are in the wall and they can generally be moved up or down as necessary.|
Are the shelves on the spice racks and cabinets adjustable? What is their spacing?
|This depends on the model of spice rack or cabinet. Generally, all of the on-wall and IN-wall spice racks have fixed shelves which are placed either 6" or 4" apart. Some of the SR-3 series racks may also include one 8" spaced shelf. This allows you flexibility in being able to place larger items on that shelf. The reason these are not adjustable is because each shelf has a small dowel which runs in front of it, and you can't move the shelves without moving the dowels! The SR-3 series racks which are taller than 48" are made in two sections. You simply screw the two sections together when you get the rack and then hang it on the wall. We can certainly custom make most of our spice rack models with adjustable shelves if you wanted that, and we can even make them with a small lip on the shelves to keep bottles in place and do away with the dowels. All Spice Cabinets (both in-the-wall and on-the-wall versions) have Adjustable glass shelves, and because they have doors, no dowels are needed to help hold spice bottles on the shelf.|
There are many different sizes of niches, but the pictures all look the same. How can I see the proportions of larger sized niches?
|Our niches and curios come in over 50,000 possible combinations. It is not possible or practical for us to photograph each and every possible combination. Often time, we do use the same photo for the various heights of niches or curios because nothing else has changed other then the height. Pictured below is our Niche and Curio wall in the showroom. It does have multiple heights so that you can see the different sizes and how the proportions will turn out. Pictured on the wall are: 1)SH-730 30" Arch Top Niche, 2) CC-630 30" Clock Curio, 3)CN-442 42" Curve Cove Niche with Statue Base, 4) SH-718 18" Arch Top Niche with Extended Base, 5)FN-336 Flush Mount Niche, 6)SH-2142 42" Bevel Frame Niche, 7)CC-148 48" Standard Curio with Extended Base, 8)SH-624 24" Standard Niche. We hope that having this photo will be helpful for you to see the proportions of the various heights available.|
How does the trash can work on the Multipurpose Units?
|Our Multipurpose Units use a steel frame inside. You simply drape standard small garbage bags over it (you can also use store handle bags if you want and recycle those!) Then slide the frame and bag into the unit on the rails and close the door. That's all there is to it.|
How does the in-the-wall spring loaded tissue dispenser work?
|Our springs were custom manufactured for us specifically for this purpose and the supplier spent many weeks and many prototypes coming up with the correct length and tension. The spring pushes a "platen" forward against the tissues. That keeps them pushed forward ready to dispense. To reload, simply pull the faceplate off the magnets, load in about 1 to 1.5 inches worth of tissues and replace the faceplate. Some people have left the spring mechanism out and have found specific size boxes of tissues that fit right in the opening behind the faceplate, so it can be used either way. TIP: DO NOT STUFF IT FULL, it will not work properly if you do! The Tissue Dispenser was designed to hold about 1 to 2" of tissues and still dispense them properly. Overloading it will compress the spring too much and not allow it to do it's job. Also, you will have the best luck by gently pulling the tissues out, not "ripping" them out quickly. Some brands of tissues are very thin and are very easy to tear. Extensive testing was done with these units using both Kleenex and Puffs brands of tissues. Our TD-3 Puffs Cube dispenser works differently. For that unit, you simply open the door, and insert the tissue box, then close the door. Tissues are dispensed through the opening.|