Kitchen Countertops

An update on the kitchen countertops…they’re done!  Technically the countertops and backsplash are done, and they are beautiful.  As usual, we ran into a few snags, and I am waiting on a sink to be made.  More pictures and deets after the jump…

DIYDeeds - Kitchen Update 1

This all started because of a Builders Choice.  See when you install an undermount sink, you have to use really good glue and put in a brace or two.  A few months ago, we noticed that the kitchen sink was coming unglued…as in the sink will eventually fall into the cabinet underneath.  We just can’t have that!  So, I called my favorite tile guy, Ray, and had him come take a look.

Before shot 1
Before shot – Uba Tuba granite with slate tile backsplash – and lots of different paint colors

Ray spent about 5 weeks here two summers ago ripping out and replacing all of the slate tile in my master bath due another Builders Choice.  Let me remind you that our master is on the 3rd floor.  That project started as just a replacement of the shower floor…that quickly turned into the entire shower…which finally turned into the entire bathroom.  If you know anything about installing tile, it’s a lot of back and forth to the tile saw.  And where was the tile saw?  Oh, that would be outside…on the 1st floor.  Enough said.

DIYDeeds - kitchen pre marble 2

Back to the kitchen…when Ray came to look at the sink, I asked about a rough estimate to put Carrera marble on the island.   Estimate was around 1000…I said sold.  John was standing there and said…and I quote because I almost fell over when he said it.  He said, “why don’t we just do whole kitchen?”

view as you walk up the stairs from 1st to 2nd floor
view as you walk up the stairs from 1st to 2nd floor 

Can you say SOLD?  At that point, I rushed Ray out the door before John could change his mind.

How could I stop here?
How could I stop here?

A week later, I had the island top installed, and I was thrilled.  Next came the shopping for two slabs…post to come later…then this week has been demo and install.   Throughout this process, John kept asking about budget, but I told him that I would not spend as much as we were going to spend on flights to Europe (trip was cancelled because of Demi…can’t leave my baby just yet).  Not to mention, that doesn’t include the amount I would have spent once we arrived!

DIYDeeds - kitchen pre marble 4

Last weekend, my parents came to town for a few check-ups, so my Dad and I did some planning and troubleshooting for the electrical.  We made some cuts into the wall holding up the bar and found that we had to do a bit of plumbing as well.  I learned a few things that I’ll share later.


DIYDeeds - kitchen pre marble 5

A quick wrap-up of this week…

Day 1 & 2:  Demo & Prep

We moved all the furniture together in piles and taped it up all nice and tight.   We also put plastic and taped off the 2nd-3rd floor stairway.  And yes, it worked!


DIYDeeds - kitchen tarps

The first day, they removed all the old countertops, backsplash, and cut down the wall.  The second day they installed all new plywood on the horizontal surfaces and backer board on the backsplash.  I chickened out on this part of the electrical work because of all the wires for the lights.  Too many of them coming together in one box.


DIYDeeds - Kitchen Demo 1

Day 3:  Install Part 1

Now on the TV shows, the countertops just show up precut and install in about 30 seconds.  I know you’ll be shocked that this is not reality.  The pieces are precut, but they overshoot a few inches here and there and fit them onsite.  And once again, the walls and cabinets in my house are not exactly level, so there were quite a few trips up and down the stairs to trim a piece.  These are huge slabs by the way.  Here is the largest piece that was installed on the peninsula.  You only see 1 guy in the picture…but  4 men had to carry that thing (10ft6in x 38in and ¾in thick) up the winding staircase! (Sorry for the bad pic…from my phone)


DIYDeeds - 4 men 1 slab of marble

To install the sink, of course they had to cut the hole first.  In order for the sink to not come unglued, they installed supports in the cabinet first.  Once they cut the hole, they had to pick up the slab again and insert the sink…kind of like putting the fixings between two slices of bread.  When they were putting the slab back down…they heard the slab crack.


DIYDeeds - kitchen marble crack

They were able to get part of the backsplash installed after a few trims and lots of wiggling.  They called it a day…who could blame them?


DIYDeeds - Marble Install 1

Day 4:  Install Part 2

After going back and forth on the sink, the crack and life in general, we have decided to remove the sink and cut the marble for an apron front/farmhouse sink.  I chose not to go this route in the first place due to having to reconfigure the cabinet, but here we go!  The prefab sinks are just a hair too short, so one is being made.  It will be installed sometime next week.  So, here is a quick reminder of before…one more time.


Before shot 1

And currently…


DIYDeeds - Kitchen Update 1

I couldn’t be more pleased with the result! Now I have some carpentry work to do and some painting.  I’m going to go get started!

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2 comments on “Kitchen Countertops
  1. Melissa says:

    Farmhouse sink! I’m so jealous. Sorry that the slab cracked but a new sink is pretty cool.

    • diydeeds says:

      Ray came by yesterday to hook up the current sink and faucet so we could use the dishwasher. SO MUCH DUST! The new sink will be ready next week. Can’t wait!

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