Friday, February 13, 2015

Kitchen Update: Rude Awakening

It's coming together! 
Tonight, as I prepared dinner, I actually giggled, I am so incredibly happy with the workflow in the room, how much counter space I can spread out in, and how conveniently all the cooking tools are grouped. Oh, and how bright the room is, now that most of the lighting is installed.

Here is what Phase II of the kitchen looked like when I last posted:
Viewed from the front hall. 
And here is what it looks like today:

It's not exactly the same angle, and it's taken at night. And, yes, there are lights inside the glass-doored cabinet. 
You may not be as excited as I am about this progress, but here's what we've done so far (and by "we" I mean Stephen and Brian):
  • Widened the arch to the dining room -- this made an immediate, dramatic difference
  • Modified the pantry: add drawers and ladder-cubby
  • Moved fridge including wiring & water
  • Moved and re-installed all cabinets, kick-plates
  • Moved and re-installed CD player/radio
  • Built one new drawer unit
  • Modified the microwave cabinet
  • Installed LED valance lighting: 3 sockets, switch and lights
  • Installed LED lighting in glass-front cabinet
  • Installed 7 new double backsplash sockets (Our old kitchen was severely lacking. We often had to unplug one appliance to run another.)
  • Moved stove & wiring
  • Installed new vent hood and wiring
  • Moved dishwasher including electrical, water & sewer
  • Moved sink incl hot & cold water & sewer
  • Begun installation of the pendant fixture for over the sink (along with switch)
LATEST HICCUP -- the "Rude Awakening"

Meanwhile, our plans for a cut-in sink drainboard hit a snag. Here's a picture (of someone else's kitchen) to show what I'm talking about.

[NOT our kitchen.] Doesn't that built-in drain look sweet? Get ready to grab your pocket-book!

You know why you don't see many kitchens with cut-in drainboards? Because they are freaking expensive. Like, $1,500 for a drainboard.

Let that sink in (pardon the pun): $1,500 for a cut-in drainboard. I had thought it might cost, maybe $200. Or even $500 on a bad day. Yah, no. So we're not going there.

That turns out to be a good thing, however because the company that I had selected to provide our counters doesn't even provide that service. I can see why. I did get other quotes, but they did not all have the granite that we'd chosen and their prices were higher, so the decision was easy.

Today, the granite professional came to do the measurements. Meet Peter.

Peter comes with "twenty years of experience," he told me proudly, after informing me that there is no way our countertop could be cut from a single slab of granite. "Even if we had slabs that long, they wouldn't be able to get it into the house without breaking it. If they did, I would want to be here to witness it."

So there will be a joint in our granite. I'm going to go look at the slabs, to see if there is an ideal spot to put that joint (e.g., not right in the middle of an accent stripe).

Peter came with some pretty fancy-schmancy equipment: a laser level and measuring tool that hooks up to a program on his laptop to create a template accurate to within 1/16 of an inch.

The red dot in the centre is where the centre of the sink will be. 
That main section took up quite a bit of time as he checked that things were flat (level, he told us, is not as big a deal; a sag or bow, on the other hand, could be fatal to the stone). Some shimming is expected, of course, but, generally, all was good.

He also noted that the walls themselves were not square or true (few houses are), so he allowed some "flex room" to allow for that. Because we intend to install a backsplash, we have a little extra space to work with.

He then turned his attention to the two oddly-shaped pieces that we're going to put beside the stove and beside the coffee station. The countertop on each of these will be cut at a 45-degree angle, so we won't impinge the "intersection."

When he was done with the kitchen, we turned our attention to the slabs of our old granite and asked about having at least one chunk cut down to be installed in our bathrooms. No problem. The work could be done for $250 -- so we signed up. He will use our old countertops as templates, so there was no measuring involved.


The counters should be ready in the next week or so. Meanwhile, we have a long list of work to complete.  

  • Install ducts from vent hood to outside
  • Finish installing lights over sink
  • Build and install shelves beside stove
  • Build and install shelves beside coffee station
  • Finish archway (drywall)
  • Patch drywall & paint
  • Countertops
  • Backsplash
  • Sell microwave, cabinets and granite
  • Move heating duct 
  • Patch ceramic tiles on floor and repair oak strip on archway threshold
Here's a picture of the area of the floor that will have to be patched. We have salvaged tiles from underneath the cabinets to patch this spot.

Duct tape is covering the hole where the wall used to be. The duct will be moved to be underneath a cabinet by the window.
So there's still a great deal of work left, but the space is functional and bright, so I'm happy.

In other good news, we've put all of our kitchen stuff back in the available cabinets and everything* fits, with room to spare -- including Steve's Scotch collection! Next week, I'll include a post about what's inside the cabinets.

* There are a few items that will be placed on the shelves that Steve will custom-build.


  1. wow - it's really starting to come together!! I can't wait to see the granite counter go in. and the light above the sink.
    but holy smoke.... that drainboard sink would be an amazing thing... but I can think of other stuff I'd rather spend that kind of money on!

    1. I hated having a draining rack with a plastic base - but I'm really happy with my current solution. I have a quick-dry microfibre mat (like this: ) and a metal rack from IKEA (like this: ). I just throw the mat in the wash every so often. Easy-peasy! I honestly feel like the built in grooves would be more work, even if they look nice.

    2. We saw the microfibre mats at my brother's house, and that's what we've decided to go with. Our rack doesn't collapse like the IKEA one, so it is still bulky, but I think we'll live. ;)


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