>> Friday, February 22, 2008
As part of the blow-by-blow aspect of the blog world, here is the latest stage in our kitchen renovation. Sorry if this is too much fuss over our little galley kitchen, but we were so excited to finally get our new countertop today. Also there's some technical details I'll share in case they're helpful for those of you also working on your kitchens.
We ordered it at Home Depot. The company that made and installed it is called Contours and they did such a nice job. The holes for the sink and faucet are perfect, and the installer even asked me about exactly where we'd like the faucet. As you can see in the top picture they had to cut away from the cabinet at the back a little bit to fit the sink. Then they added extra strips of wood on the walls for support.
Then they put in the countertops and cut the holes:
We still need to install the dishwasher, so the wooden frame it's standing on will go and it will attach to the countertop. The countertop material is Corian solid surface, but there is a strip of wood affixed to the underside that you can screw the dishwasher into. (ie. no need for a side-mounting kit). We chose an "eased" edge for the countertop which means it looks square but the corners aren't too sharp. It's 1.5" thick on the edges but the main area is thinner than that.
Because we have IKEA cabinets without a frame, you need a "build up" for laminate countertops so that the drawers clear the countertop when you pull them out. This isn't necessary for Corian countertops because they are already built up with the way they are put together.
They did such a nice job,even the caulking around the edges is perfect:Here's the right side of the kitchen:
And finally a detail of the surface:
My tips for picking your countertop are to take a cabinet door with you if you can, and a paint chip of your wall colour. It's hard to remember colours, and there's so many different whites and browns and greys it can be hard to guess what will coordinate if you don't have them in front of you.
We chose Corian because it's very practical, it's stain & scratch-resistant, maintenance free, non-porous, bacteria-resistant and heat-resistant. It can be repaired if you damage the surface because it's a solid material as opposed to laminate which is a coating on another material. Also I've always loved the feel of it, it has a smooth stony feeling.
It was one of the most expensive ones, but we just gave up with the budget. We've done pretty well so far and it's really a bargain kitchen all things considered. So we spent more than we'd expected but it was worth it. We just couldn't find a cheaper option we really liked. When you've done so much work and already spent a lot, it's disheartening to choose something you don't really like.
Now that we have this done we can take a sample piece of the countertop when we go to choose backsplash tiles. That's going to be lots of fun! Also we will finally have our sink installed early next week and so no more washing up in the bathroom sink. Can't wait for that!