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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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Lighting completed

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 arrival of the appliances and some other odds and ends, and now for the completed lighting.

The lighting and wiring in my new kitchen is FINALLY completed. Everyone always says how key lighting is in a space and guess what? They're RIGHT!! The kitchen looked great once the cabinets were in but now that it's properly lit, WOW - the cabinets look even more fabulous. What a difference from the old kitchen, with one ceiling fan with 3 lights, and a lamp on the counter. Now I have 9 potlights, 3 pendants, 2 wall lamps and under-cabinet light strips. Funny thing is now that the kitchen is so well lit, all the other rooms have such crappy lighting in comparison.

Here are a few photos of the kitchen taken right after the electrician finished up (hood fan was mid-installation).

The pendants I bought at Crawford Alexander turned out to be a perfect fit with the look I was going for. They are industrial and fun and quirky...and since I have no dining table yet, everyone is cursing them because we've all bashed our heads on them numerous times. I have regular bulbs in them but because of the shape of them they give off hardly any light so I have to pick up some floodlights to use instead.

I am so happy I finally decided to purchase Tolomeos. I have always loved them but never splurged until now. And I am SO GLAD I did. I love how they look on either side of the stove and they provide great task lighting. The following photos also show the stove in place, the hood fan and the stove's backsplash installed.

Note on the backsplash: The one I had seen at the appliance store was over $500. I had this one made for $150. I need to find some shelves to attach to it to hold spice jars, utensils etc.

Potlights are a must, as I quickly learned. I had no clue on where they should go or how many I should have, so I got alot of help from my electrician. There are 9 in total, strategically placed over the sink, the stove, the fridge, the pantry and a few others. They illuminate the cabinets and appliances beautifully. They were a headache to install because the drywall and wood panelling in the ceiling had to come down so they could go up, but it was well worth it.

There are also lighting strips installed under the upper cabinets that are great to illuminate the countertop on that end of the kitchen where I will probably end up doing the most prepping. The uppers are not built with an overhang so my contractor has built a simple valance to hide the lighting strips and wires but hasn't completed it yet because he has to re-stain it in the hopes of matching the cabinet colour. There are 2 strips, and they have a low setting that gives off a yellowish light and a high setting that gives off a bright white light. Hard to photograph but here's the idea.

Later on this week I'll show you what all this looks like with the countertop installed. All I can say is WOW. And WOW.