Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Chip Off the Ol' Butcherblock and even the Kitchen Sink

Before: left side
By far, the most difficult part of our little reno project was installing the counters and sink.  Which, by the way, is why we enlisted the expert help of a good friend and board of trustee member.  Thanks Jay!!

Before: right side
Why we chose butcherblock:  How ridiculous would it be for me to go grocery shopping at Walmart wearing Versace and diamonds? (Yeah, cause I own either...:::smirk:::)  That's how I felt about putting granite in our little country kitchen.  It just doesn't seem appropriate.  I wanted something that said, "Hello, I'm a friendly little kitchen, and I will work really hard to make sure your dinners are yummy for your family."  Yes, my house speaks to me. :)  Oh, that, and the fact that granite's way out of our budget.  Still, I have to say, I LOVE the butcherblock.
Maple Butcherblock

Where we got the butcherblock:  Well, I did a lot...and I mean a LOT of research on the internet about butcherblock.  How to install, where to buy, how to care for ... etc.  It came down to two choices.  IKEA makes a good looking butcherblock counter that seems to work really well for most people.  It's slightly thinner (1 1/4" vs. 1 1/2" )  and the nearest store is in Chicago.  Or for slightly more money (really, just pennies considering the gas to Chicago), we could go to Lumber Liquidators in Davenport and get the 1 1/2" thick maple.  Done deal.  We figured we would need two 8' slabs to do the entire kitchen.  I told you it was small.

Old counters removed
How "we" installed the butcherblock:  Yeah.  All I can say, is that every parsonage should be so blessed as to have a trustee like Jay.  The man is meticulous at his work.  And although he's more familiar with flooring, he's just as fantastic with counters.  There were no shortcuts taken in installing our counters.  He sanded, sanded and sanded some more... he tongue and grooved for a perfect fit, he basically treated our humble little kitchen like it was to service kings and queens.  He sacrificially spent ALL day away from his family in order to put my kitchen together.  We so appreciate it!
No mitering here.  The sink piece was tongue and grooved
with the edge pieces creating a very snug fit. 

Waterlox... on half.  
How we care for the butcherblock:  After the installation, I sanded the entire surface of the butcherblock with a fine grade sandpaper, wiped the dust away and applied the first coat of sealant.  Consistently, my research concluded with Waterlox being voted as THEE best sealant for butcherblock counters.  Over and over and over again, it was praised as the 
most popular choice.  How could I argue with that?  The only problem... I couldn't find the stuff anywhere!  I ended up just ordering it over the internet from the Waterlox site.  I liberally applied three coats, waiting 24 hours between each coat for drying.  With each pass, the counters became richer in color. I was getting pretty excited.

As for the sink, I threw caution... and budget... into the wind.  I tried, seriously, I did try to want a stainless steel sink.  Truly.  But it just wasn't happening.  My first wish was an apron farmhouse sink, but the dishwasher door made it impossible to have a sink that stuck out any farther than the cabinets, so that was a no-go.  After a few days of mourning the death of my dream, I tried to suck it up and envision a common stainless steel sink... Just wasn't happening.  On a trip to Home Depot I found it.  An espresso-colored, granite/resin composite sink.  Such a thing of beauty.  Rejuvenated hope. (dramatic much?)

Granite composite sink and new faucet
Our personal superhero...  His face is shielded in order
to protect his secret identity.

Jay continued his ministry to our parsonage kitchen by installing the sink AND the disposal.  I even have a little button on the sink that activates the disposal.  So cool.  

 So we are getting closer to finishing.  Still to come:  Backsplash, lighting, and finishing touches!!  I'd better get working on those curtains!

1 comment:

  1. i LOVE your sink!! You are sure inspiring when it comes to DIY redos! You go girl! =) Hope you're all well. =)


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