Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ready for Countertops

We get done with one project and then we have another! We both wanted to just rest after we got the shelves done but Home Depot had a sale on countertops. So, off we went to Home Depot. I was uncertain about what kind of countertop to buy. Laminate is the least expensive but I really like a poured counter top. Granite is too expensive. So we looked at our choices. Surprise! Phil found the perfect laminate to bring the kitchen together. (This picture gives you an idea of what it looks like but doesn't show the color as well as it could.) This choice was much better than any of the other choices. "Sedona Bluff" by Wilsonart. So laminate it is. We paid for that and knew they would be calling us soon. And they did. We set up the appointment to have the template of the counter top made for Monday, July 14th. That means we had some work to do and a timetable for doing it. We went to work.
Phil laid cement backer board throughout the kitchen to level the floors and ready it for tile. The backer board had to extend to the dining room as well. We are creating a serving counter and desk area there. In this picture you can see the cardboard wrapped cabinets. I have tried various configurations. There are two 15-inch drawer units and one 18-inch base unit, vanity height. At first I thought I would kind of stagger them as you can see in this pic but in the end, I decided to put the two 15-inch units together to form the end base (and make the drawers very accessible for when we come home...the perfect place for keys, handbags, etc. and Phil gets one, I get the other.) This actually gives us a very open space where two people can work side by side on either side of the counter. Great as an additional place to eat, serve or work. You can see the backer board on the floor in the picture on the right.

Backer board is not hard to install: lay it down, position it and screw it in. Cutting around corners and stuff doesn't appear all the hard either. But Phil wanted to make sure he was getting the best coverage possible. That took a little time. Me? I would have just eyeballed it and screwed it in place. Phil's way is undoubtedly better but it takes more time. He ended up putting in two very long days. After the backer board, then he had to level and anchor the cabinets. That turned out to be pretty much a one person job. Great for me? No. It is actually stressful watching someone else work really hard. So, at every step I asked, "You'll tell me if I can help, right?" Occasionally he did ask for help and I was able to provide some, I hope. My questions and suggestions may well have given him some unneccessary grief so I tried to respect what he was doing. In the end, he did a very good job. All the cabinets are level and secure--ready for the counter tops.

At one point during all this, I returned "THE SINK" to Lowe's. Turns out, the sink base is not centered under the window. It is actually left justified. That big, beautiful sink would have been off center under the window, too. That would have looked dumb. So, back it went. I ended up choosing this one by Kohler. It measures 25 x 22 inches and if we right justify it in the sink base it will be centered under the kitchen window. That will look way better. Hated to see that big sink go but this one is still a good size. Looks small in the pic but it's bigger than it looks. It will work very nicely. Sadly, it was a good deal more expensive than the other. Stainless steel. At least it will match the light and the handles/knobs I plan to purchse for the cabinets.

Phil finished his work at about 10:00 p.m. Sunday night. We did go to church on Sunday morning, then out to lunch but he did not get much rest after that. He worked very hard. I think he was more than glad to get back to school on Monday morning. The countertop guy showed up, took his measurements, made his template. I sanded and primed wood. My next project is to build a pantry.


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