03. June 2015 · Comments Off on DIY Kitchen Transformation: Overwhelming Choices · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,

So here we are again — time for the next installment of where we are with the kitchen transformation.

As you can see, we have a *very* white kitchen now. I absolutely love my “new” cabinets, and am excited for the next stages of our project. Those stages aren’t DIY, though.

Next up will be the floor refinishing. I’ll make sure to post before and after pictures when that project is done this weekend. The floor is in desperate need of sanding and refinishing, so we will take advantage of that work to darken the color some. I hope it turns out as well as I’m envisioning.

This week, Dave and I want to order our countertop and backsplash, for installation in July. Part of why so much of our work has been DIY is so that we can invest in a nice-looking countertop and backsplash.

Here’s a look at what we have now.


That tile countertop is the stupidest thing ever. I cleared this space so you can get a good look at the existing backsplash. We won’t be able to keep it with the new countertop. Usually there’s a fruit basket in front of that oven power cord.

I’ve fussed and fussed and fussed about the countertop, so I’ll spare you that again.

However, the backsplash wasn’t that bad. Not my first choice, but admittedly easy to clean and somewhat minimalist, so we could get away with going “loud” on the countertop if we wanted to. More on the backsplash momentarily.

Dave and I visited a couple of countertop/backsplash retailers this week and were incredibly overwhelmed. I was planning on a quartz countertop, but now we’re getting all kinds of conflicting data about which is more heatproof: granite or quartz. Or which withstands sealing treatments better: granite or quartz. One retailer says that quartz is heatproof and doesn’t need to be sealed, the other retailer says “Neither of those is true.”

The nail in the coffin on the quartz is the way that it’s sold. Our kitchen needs 50-55 square feet of countertop, and the Silestone comes in slabs such that we’d need about 1 1/8 slabs. Most retailers only sell the whole slabs, and you’re kind of stuck with the leftovers. Yes, we could use the rest of it elsewhere in the house, but that isn’t in our plans.

Dave and I agreed to pursue granite that can be purchased such that we only buy what we require. This is quite nice on the budget…but I do need to change my mindset.

Granite can be a little tricky for various reasons. We really hope we can find a single slab to take care of everything, because even one pattern can vary drastically between slabs.

I had the chance to walk through a warehouse this morning and noted some promising granite samples. You can view my favorites here. There are 3-4 pictures of each pattern, with each new pattern starting with a photo of the placard with the title of the pattern. Let us know what your favorite is! We are fairly certain of which one we’re getting…

About the backsplash. We asked several people about the possibility of keeping the backsplash. Everyone told us the same thing.

  1. Most quartz and granite countertops are 3 cm tall. The tile countertop we’re removing is 6 cm, thus leaving this gap on the wall between the countertop and bottom edge of the backsplash. We’d have to deal with that.
  2. The demolition of tile countertops is a rather substantial project. In fact, there’s often an upcharge when the countertop in question happens to be tile. No one could guarantee that our backsplash would be preserved.

Therefore, we are choosing a new backsplash. We hope to have some fun with it. We have it narrowed down pretty well, we’ll discuss it more when we have our official choices.