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Remaining kitchen purchases

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 some of the major purchases I've made for the kitchen such as lighting and appliances, and now it's time for the countertop, sink, faucet and backsplash. One of these I have no clue about and would love some suggestions.

From the get-go I had an idea in mind for the countertop, and I kept going back to it. White. White. White. One of my main goals for this kitchen is to keep it bright and light since the space is small. I thought white countertops would help in this regard. I want to paint the walls white (or really light grey like the rest of the main floor), and thought if this continued on the countertops the space would flow nicely. I am not very knowledgeable on countertop materials, so I started at a kitchen/bath design store and went through samples of granite, marble and man-made stones like Corian, Silestone and Caesarstone. They had a kitchen in their showroom that had the most gorgeous white countertop I had ever seen, and it turned out to be Zodiaq quartz by Dupont. I asked for a quote, and a couple days later the salesperson called and asked if I was sitting down - never a good sign. $4200. WHOA. I then asked for a quote for Corian (turns out it's about as pricey since it's made of mostly petroleum) and honed granite, and they were both a little steep (the Corian was about the same as the quartz, and the granite a bit cheaper). I quickly learned going to a kitchen and bath store is not ideal for selecting a countertop. I went across the street to a granite shop and got a quote about $2000 lower, so going directly to the supplier is obviously a wise choice. But no one makes a white granite, or at least one that is mostly white. I went to Planet Granite a few days ago desperate to finally find something, and I found EXACTLY what I wanted:

It's quartz, Specchio white by Hanstone. I was helped at the shop by Sue, who was an absolute pleasure, and she even went to the back and got the cutter to scrounge up a chunk for me to take home and photograph. Best part is the price. $2400. Not only is the price great but for that price they're doing a double edge of 3/4" slabs, so it will be 1.5" thick (that includes installation and cutting holes for the sink and faucet). I love a thick countertop. And she's charging me for the price of the 3/4". :) I also asked for a really squared edge, not the typical pencil edge they do. I am so stoked to see what it looks like finished. It seems to be a pretty durable material, as I will have cats jumping on and off of it so it was important that it withstand claws. Greentea had sent me a sample piece from a cabinet in the stain I chose so I brought it with me and I think it's going to look awesome.

Now for the sink. I also had an idea from the start about what type of sink I wanted. It had to have squared edges for a more modern look. Turns out those sinks are quite a bit more expensive. I wanted it undermount, and I figured since I'll have no dishwasher that I should get a double bowl. I ended up with a single bowl, but a REALLY large one. And as far as sinks go, it's awfully pretty.

It's by Barazza, is 70cm x 40cm and 20cm deep, and ended up costing about $930. I love that it's deep and wide so I can pile it with dirty dishes. :)

The last thing I purchased was the faucet, and at this point I was more than mildly concerned about my finances. I had always wanted a restaurant style faucet, but it seems they are just nice to look at instead of functional. I ended up at Boone Plumbing thanks to a tip from my boss, and yet another great salesperson (Sebastien) helped me out. I didn't have much criteria for a faucet, except I like the one-handle models, preferred brushed stainless to chrome, and thought a pull-down spout would be handy. I decided on this one:

It's by Moen, and was priced at $375. When Sebastien was putting the order in, I asked him if it would be on Moen's website so I can get a photo of it (I'm still waiting for it to arrive), since I had to post it on the blog. When he heard my story about the kitchen blog he said he would give me a discount, and only charged me $310. Gotta love that.

Last thing is the backsplash. And this is where I have NO CLUE. It would be a small area, below the uppers on the new fridge wall. Actually, I have no idea if I should even do a backsplash. I think it would be a good idea since that area is visible as soon as you walk in the front door. I just haven't had much time to give it any thought. I figured I would ask you guys for suggestions since I really have no idea on style, colour...anything. With the hectic state of things here, any help would be very much appreciated.

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