Oh hey, remember that time I was renovating my kitchen (here, here, and here)…? Well, we finally finished! It didn’t actually take two months to complete the project, but here it is, two months later, and we’re DONE!
So in my last post, we had just finished painting the cabinets. The next step was installing the sink, but first we had to wait for it to get here! It came a few days late which set us back a little as far as getting measured for the countertops. Since the countertops sit on top of the sink, we had to have the sink installed first. Once we installed the sink, we called to get an appointment for measuring, and of course it was a week before they could come measure. Once they measured, they realized they needed to order one more slab of Quartz (which took another week). When the extra Quartz came in, they were able to schedule an appointment for installation… you guessed it, in another week! It doesn’t matter though because I love the way the countertops turned out, and the guys that came to install it were super nice. This was the only part where we hired professionals.
Pretty soon after the countertops were in, the Husband and I tackled the under cabinet lighting that our kitchen needed oh so badly. We don’t even use the overhead light anymore! It took us almost as long to decide on the lighting as it did to install the lighting (that’s an exaggeration). We ended up going with this this UtiliTech Pro direct wire LED bar.
I started slacking on my picture-taking at this point. It was a miserably hot Alabama day, poor Husband was in the attic running the 14-2 wire, and he was not happy (rightfully so). As you can see we were great before we cut more drywall out to make our double switch a triple switch box (a.k.a. the very first second step (disconnect power first)).
And here comes the fun part… backsplash!! This was our first attempt at tiling, and I think we did ok! It definitely took some getting used to, and I didn’t pick the best “starter” tile… you know, a simple square might have been nice. If we’re being honest here, this part made. me. nervous. My Husband was such a trooper and didn’t get frustrated with me once (or he didn’t tell me) at the panic attack I had each time I laid a sheet of tile on the wall and it wasn’t immediately perfectly straight.
Our tile came in 1 square foot sheets, so we would hold a sheet up to the wall and see if we needed to break off any tiles and cut them. Then, we applied mastic to the wall only covering the area where we were going to place the tile. You have time to adjust the tile for a while once they’re up there… my panic attacks weren’t warranted. There’s a very detailed step-by-step process on tiling a backsplash on This Old House.
There were so many specific cuts involved with tiling our backsplash that we truly underestimated the effort. It took us two full days to get all the tiles cut and on the wall. The next step was grouting, which we split up over two work nights. Then caulking to seal everything off. We chose Stone Gray for the grout color, and here’s our first smear of it! I’m saving finished product pictures for later. : )
I think I was most excited about this last step. Maybe because it was the last step… maybe because I feel like it is the focal point of the kitchen. I said before that we only hired professionals for the countertop, but that’s not entirely true. Our good friend does some impressive woodworking, and he was kind enough to open up his shop (which he built… insane) to us and teach us a thing or two. We bought a 1”x26”x10’ slab of butcher block from Southeastern Salvage in Chattanooga, TN for $150. The boys spent a Saturday morning practicing on cardboard to make a perfect cut for our bar top. They joined the two pieces together with wood glue and biscuits, then made sure it was clamped and laying perfectly flat before letting it dry.
After about an hour, the bar top was joined perfectly together and the boys went to town sanding it down. It was all sanded without the use of a router to give it a hand-made look. I couldn’t be more excited with the way the bar top turned out. I’m also very grateful for friends like J&J.
BTW… that’s an airplane you see back there… J is building it… insane.
After a good sanding, I applied Minwax Dark Walnut wood stain to the bar top followed by three coats of polyurethane. We chose polyurethane rather than Tung oil because we knew we would be using the bar top like a table rather than a cutting board and wanted to make sure we don’t get any water rings.
Without further ado, our finished kitchen!
Thanks for reading!