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Countertop installation

This blog chronicles my entire kitchen renovation from start to finish. Greentea Design has provided me with their solid wood kitchen cabinets, and I'm taking care of the rest.

If you'd like to be brought up to date, check out the archive in the sidebar for previous posts. I posted recently about the completed lighting, and now for the countertop installation.

Choosing a countertop was quite an adventure. I had a particular idea of the look in mind and was searching for something that wasn't going to break the bank. I ended up going with a quartz called specchio white that is exactly what I wanted and for a great price. I am so happy that I went with a light coloured counter because it brightens up the space so much. I think it looks incredible against the cabinets. The material I chose has lots of grey and silver flecks in it that sparkles. SO PRETTY. As usual, I took many photos and in this case I took some during the installation process as well because I found it fascinating.

To start the installation, my contractor had to cut a hole for the sink. I found this to be too painful to watch so I quickly snapped a couple photos and proceeded to stare out the window whilst cringing in agony.

This next photo is the first piece (there are 3) simply set down on the cabinet. Looking good already!

The second piece was set down and after lots of chipping away at the wall behind it, the installers realized how wonky my walls are and had to take it back to the shop to cut some of the right side off so it would fit properly.

When they came back and got everything in place, they worked at filling in the seam between the 2 pieces that join. They were so meticulous, getting everything lined up and completely flat. The whole process (minus the time they took to go back to the shop) probably took 2 hours. In the photo below you can see the edge of the counter and how thin it is. I wanted a really thick profile, so they joined two 3/4" slabs to make the front profile 1.5" thick. (They had it in 1 1/4" thickness as well but they didn't have enough to do my counters).

Here are some photos of it once it was installed.

They also siliconed my sink in place, which might I say looks fantastic.

Here are some photos I took to try and show the detail in the quartz, and the edging that they they did a SUPER job on. You can hardly see the seam anywhere, and if you can it's because your eyeball (or camera lens) is stuck up against it.

That evening I was so in awe of how the kitchen was looking at that point that I went and pulled out the kilim I had bought for under the dining table. A perfect fit!

Once it all set for 24 hours, the plumber was able to install the faucet which I think is just so pretty. I really do love single hole faucets - such a clean look. And I finally got around to painting out the window frame - which was supposed to be centred over the sink but ended up centred over the cabinet. No big deal - hence the placement of the vase as a distraction.

P.S. For those folks in Ottawa looking for a countertop, check out Planet Granite. Sue was an absolute pleasure to deal with and was very accommodating.

NOTE (end of March 2009): I take back what I said about Planet Granite. They WERE a pleasure to deal with UNTIL they installed my backsplash which I was completely dissatisfied with and to date, they have not fixed it. They were impossible to get a hold of, and after calling them about 15 times and I finally spoke to the owner, nothing has been resolved. (Oh - and Sue no longer works there).

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Wow - this is coming out great. Thank you for sharing the process.
Your new kitchen is turning out fabulous!
I absolutely love your kitchen! And thank you for allowing us to watch the progress!
My gosh. Those counters, that sink. Wow. It just gets better and better. It is so beautiful, I predict you will become a gourmet cook because you will want to spend time in there! I hope you will post pics of what you cook.

I'm not a fan of kilims, but I must admit that one looks fantastic there. I had to laugh about the cat on the rug! Your cats are too funny! They are such hams, always have to be part of the action. Love the red vase by the sink too.
OMGosh, I LOVE waking up to a Kim Kitchen post. The countertop is fantastique, so much so that it requires the French spelling of the word. And I love the way you fixed the symmetry of the window with the vase placement, it works out so well.
The carpet looks great in the space, but I'm curious, are you planning on introducing another colour to the room through the use of accessories and such? Are you going to try to tie the look and feel of the kitchen to the living room and vice versa now that it's all one big space, or is that something you aren't worrying about? That's always been one of my own main decorating concerns - do I try to keep a certain flow in the house in terms of colour and theme, or do I make each room compeltely different and unique? (So far most of my rooms aren't done yet, but they've been in the temporary state of 'blah' for a while now...)
Anyways, you're an inspiration Kim, thank you so much for letting us view this process.
wow's stunning
It looks great but I'm not a big fan of the countertop. The quartz counters which have translucent flecks in them end up looking chipped (even though they're not), because the translucent pieces fall along the edge. You can see it in your photos.
It looks great! You must be so excited that the end is in sight! I can't wait to see it all decorated and personalized!
I think I said "squeal" when I first saw it and I'm still squealing with envy.
I too look forward to seeing your kitchen remodel posts! What I love is that it's not a huge space, simple yet sophisticated. Something that people could actually do compared to some of the gigantic, overrated kitchens in magazines. Thanks so much for sharing such great inspiration. I love your style!
So great to come home from work and see all these nice comments. :)

Thank you Christien, Karen and Shopper Girl!

Thanks Peggy and I'm determined now to spend less time on my damn laptop and more time cooking decent meals for myself. How could I not when the kitchen looks like that?? I think I'm going to do a bit of Christmas baking too for a change. And yes, I have so many cats you can usually spot one in each photo. But when I lay down a rug that wasn't there previously, then FOR SURE several of them end up on it.

Sam, I am glad you thing the counter is fantastique. :) And with the kitchen looking so nice, I am now set on redoing the living room. Since it is completely connected together, they do have to jive. And right now they aren't so much. Luckily my forest mural still seems to work. Most of the accessories I bought seem to be redish, which is odd because I hate red. But it looks great with the cabinet colour and work with the Moroccan boho look I want.

Thank you Anon, neece and the next anon, I see your point about the chipped look but i love the specs in general. Plus, the was the whitest one the shop had so I didn't have much of a choice.

Thanks Heidi Jo, blog buddy Jo and Bobby Jo. LOL - so many Jo's!!!
Oh Kim it's absolutely stunning. What a work of art. You will probably love this kitchen forever. I'm sure the value of your property has just skyrocketed!

Anna :)
Standing ovation!!
Thank you Villa Anna! I am sure the value of this house has just shot up, and the thought of selling (eventually) is almost frightening! I'll just have to take it all with me when I do! And thanks Brandy!
i am so madly jealous (in a good way for you though kim)... I LOVE it... i'm esp in love with your countertop and sink and faucet... so clean. that's what i want.
aahhhhhhh, gorgeous. I can't wait to see backsplash!

I LOVE this kitchen:-)
Where will your dishwasher go?
Thanks Drey and Robin from OK.

Anon, I forfeited a dishwasher for more cabinet space. I live alone at the moment so there aren't too many dishes to wash.
Love the quartz countertop! So cool to see your gorgeous kitchen blossom before our eyes.
The quartz countertop is beauiful; I love the color. And your kilim looks gorgeous in the space- just perfect!
Thank you susieq and Courtney!
kim it's beautiful. I love the countertop I want to do something similar in my bathroom, same colour. I love the paint on the window frame and the vase. The rug is a lovely warm touch.
C'est vraiment beau! Très belle cuisine. J'aime les luminaires sur le mur et le fait qu'il n'y a pas d'armoires sur ce mur.J'ai un peu de doute concernant le tapis. Et ausi...qu'est-ce que c'est cette construction au desus des armoires? Elle est un peu irregulière comme forme.

Felicitation, Kim! Exelent travail.
okay, I read on a previous post that you are using quartz for part of backsplash. Will you then leave the rest white or go with a color..grey?

Thanks so much for posting this..GREAT IDEA!
wow! it is looking so fantastic!
Thanks Melanie!

Anon - vous avez de doute avec mon tapis???? Au desus des armoires c'est une boîte qui couvre un "duct" pour chauffer la salle de bain en haut. Je dois la peindre. (Je m'excuse ma francais).

Robin, I am doing a quartz backsplash that will go from the coutner to I think 4 inches up. Nothing else. The walls will stay as is (I think) - a very light grey.

Thanks Amy!
Love the counters. Was very eager to see our cabinets with a white counter. Previous kitchens Greentea has done have all used darker counters. Quite happy with the results.

Melanie, if you like the style of our kitchen cabinets, we recently launched a line of bathroom vanities that are based on the Mizuya kitchen cabinets. Another great thing to do for a bathroom vanity is adapting an antique sideboard.
I am loving the completed counters, and the swing arm lights.... totally different, very cool.

-- Janine
I was eager for you guys at Greentea to see the cabinets with a light counter too Mike and I'm glad you like it. And I LOOOVE the idea of an antique sideboard as a bathroom vanity. I do have 2 bathrooms to redo next.... ;)

Thanks Janine!
Like everything about it, even the window and sink off-centered adds interest and, with the vase, takea on an artsy form that is unique. The room is truly a stunner! Congratulations!
We want MORE! LOL, this has been fun:-)
it looks AMAZING!!
Thanks L, Robin and Liz!!
I,m a professional remodeler, and all I can say after seing all of your work done is... Extremly good job! Keep it up ;)

Kitchen remodeling, Bathroom remodel and Basement finishing in Naperville, IL
Thank you Anon, pro remodeler. Means alot as I am a complete reno novice.
I noticed you had problems with Planet Granite. Just wanted to let you know I did too. After doing my kitchen and bathrooms with them (1,000s of $$ later...and my neighbours used them too), I was not happy with one piece. After 2 months of calling and promises to call me back (never) made by a woman other than Sue (Mita or Rita or something), I spoke with the owner who promised to come to my house to deal with it. A month of calling later and I finally got in touch with him and he was nothing but rude.
Your story sounds familiar to mine Anon. Thank you for your input. I am happy to share great Ottawa resources, and more than happy to steer people away from the shitty ones.
Its interesting to note the chipped effect - we had the same problem except worse - be careful before you go with a quartz based product such as Caesarstone as the quartz and certain lights can give a badly chipped appearance. No warranty will cover for the chipped look.
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