Kitchen Living Room

Friday, January 6, 2012

Installing Countertops!

(You can also read part one and part two.)

So after we cut, sanded, Waterloxed, oh yeah...and demolished, it was time to install the countertops on both sides of the kitchen.

The kitchen is galley style, meaning that it is just a straight line with countertops on either side. Here's the old kitchen:

This is the view straight down the middle.

Here we have the left side with the stove, dishwasher, and sink.

And last, this is the right side which houses the microwave. This side of the kitchen is narrower and the countertop is only about 16 inches deep. You can also see a bit of the doorway into the living room at the very right side of this picture.

Before I started planning the kitchen, I knew I wanted wood countertops with a white sink and a subway tile backsplash. I found the perfect sink at Ikea for only about $100:

As far as the backsplash, I was inspired by kitchens like these:

So I knew I wanted to use subway tile. I briefly considered this light aqua tile at $8.97 per square foot:

But I ended up going with the much more affordable tile below, which was larger and solid white, and rang in at only $2.97 per square foot (and I received 10% off each broken sheet):

(It's sitting on my lap in the car in this picture and it's facing the wrong direction.)

As far as the kitchen faucet was concerned, I knew I wanted a double handle faucet with a long, elegant neck and a side sprayer. I think faucets with a single handle and/or built-in sprayers are too modern for my old, old condo. So I went with the Harbor 2-Handle High-Arc 4-Hole kitchen faucet by Price Pfister for $98 (it says it's in stainless, but it looks nickel enough for me, in oder to match the hardware on the cabinets):

So after the tile was selected and the faucet picked out, it was time to install the countertops!

Here I am, unscrewing the old countertop. (What a lovely uniform I'm wearing there, right?)

And here is a shot from underneath to illustrate what I was doing. I managed to remove all of the countertops on both sides without removing any drawers, which saved a lot of time and effort. 

I know you want to see those yummy gray laminate countertops one more time...

In that picture, I'm trying to bake rolls for the work holiday party in a partially demolished kitchen. Fun! And here's the wall after I destroyed it by not very carefully hacking off the old tile.

I think I used two full buckets of spackling. And now, the moment you've been waiting for!

Oooh! Pretty. Except the backsplash is still missing. But the wall does look a lot better since the spackle had dried at that point. And now, the other side.

This is a picture of the sink before I knocked the tile off of that side of the wall. Just ignore the rogue painter's tape.

I was more than happy to remove this gross old sink and faucet. I left it by the side of the road and it was picked up by someone within a few days (and not by the garbage men).

There was a TON of spackling that had to be completed on this wall. It was in terrible shape. There was also some concrete patching to be done. 

Yuck. I may or may not have cried for a little bit during the wall repair process.

And, voila! The tile is gone, the wall is repaired, and the hold for the sink is ready to be measured, marked, and cut. My mom and I had to leave while the sink hole was being cut because we were freaking out. True story. Do not cut the hole too large! You can always recut! If you cut too much you can't take it back! You get the picture. When we returned, the cut had been made by my boyfriend and step dad. Whew. I am all about girl power (duh!) but I am definitely glad I didn't have to make that cut.

The faucet installed and the sink hole completed!

The weird tape stuff from Ikea that I was instructed by a small white booklet to put around the edge of the sink before laying it down.

I tried a ton of things to get the kitchen faucet to work. Eventually I gave up (after crying like five times) and somehow my boyfriend fixed it with plumber's tape. Wow I am starting to sound like a big baby...

However, this is all my doing! The backsplash! HOORAY! I still have a few pieces here and there that involve some seriously difficult cuts. I'm hoping to have them done by a professional with a big saw at Lowe's or Home Depot sometime this week.

The backsplash is growing....

And growing!

But it's still not done. It's getting there though. Tiling is easier than I thought it would be. I probably should have used those little tile spacer things, but I didn't. Oh well, I never said I was a professional! I have a full time job! 

Anyyyyway, the next update should be the completion of the backsplash. Plus I have to paint. I decided on light tan. Think of toasted bread. Toast. I'll be back soon!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh..that brought back all the stress of pre-sink hole cutting! I was happy to leave during that process...and the guys did a perfect job! (Not that we ever doubted them, right?...heh)..