Kitchen Update 2

Where did the last update leave off? Right, the countertop hadn’t been measured correctly. We decided we like the way the appliances look, the dishwasher and fridge blend into the cabinets and the oven and cooktop really stand out.

So, a different set of guys came back with correctly-measured pieces and started installing them. We’d noticed that it was really, really easy to pinch fingers between the countertop edge and the dishwasher, so I asked if they could add the lift that the other ones had talked about. They said that all they could do was cut the back off of the countertop, to push it back, totally not understanding what I was saying, that I wanted the countertop up, not back. So I slouched and rubbed the not-very-big pooch and said that I didn’t want anyone’s fingers to get pinched, and then they seemed to understand. And added about a quarter inch of wood to the edge to lift the countertop up enough that fingers wouldn’t get pinched. Made some of the reinforcing we’d done useless, but whatever. It was done the way I wanted it. In addition, when they were about to glue it all down, I asked about the round cutout, and they tried to tell me it wasn’t in the measure. I pointed to their drawing and said “This cutout”, a circle within it. “Oooh,” they said, “we can cut that now, what’s going in it?” “Recycling’s going under it,” I said. “Oh, we can’t cut that now if you want a polished edge, we’ll have to take it back to the shop. Is that really what you want?” “Yes, it is. It’s what I’ve paid for.” They installed the sink and checked the faucet cuts and put the cooktop in. At least we had a working sink and cooktop (after TCB hooked up the power when he got home and put the drain together when the epoxy dried.)

So, back that piece went. And a few days later, the original crew came out to install that piece and epoxy it all together. Yay, working sink! Yay, completed countertop! Yay tucked-away recycling!
Already messy, but finished, counter!Shiny!Recycling hole

I had some paint touch-ups and dent-filling to do, like where they had taken nails out of the cabinets (and pounded on the face, grr…) TCB worked very hard on the crown molding around the top. And put in the little trim where cabinets met and met the wall. And we put the fridge back into place. Yaaaay! Fridge in the kichen! Still took a few days before we both readjusted to going into the kitchen instead of the dining room to get stuff from it.
Dude in the kitchenLight above the sink
Things progressed a little slowly with the heat and social obligations, but we got back to it. We needed some guidance on tiling the backsplash, because TCB wasn’t sure that my “we just seal it and can start tiling” was correct. We went to the tile guy at a company store who said that yes, sealing it and starting it was totally fine, make sure to use non-sanded grout with glass tile, and this is a great job for SimpleMat instead of thinset. SimpleMat is an adhesive-based product for backsplash and countertop projects (nothing that gets heavy water use, like a shower), doesn’t need to dry and you can start grouting almost immediately. Heck yeah, that sounded easier than thinset!
Sealed the backsplash
Sealed backsplash
Stuck on the SimpleMat
With Simple MatSink side with the mat

TCB rented a tile saw and put the tile up. We were ready to grout in a day. We didn’t- I’d gone to a teammate’s wedding reception and left TCB to stick up tile by himself. When I got home, he was exhausted, I was tired, and it was time for bed. But it looked awesome.
WhoaTiled

The next day, we grouted the tile. Or: I grouted, TCB cleaned up after.
GroutingCleaning tileWorking together
Grouting is a surprisingly good full-body workout! Definitely took a lot of arm and ab strength to get it pushed between all the tiles, especially as I got near the end of the grout. Looked pretty nice when finished.
New stanceOne sideOther side
Looked even nicer when it dried and we took up the paper.
Clean countertopWithout paper

And then, with the backsplash tiled and the countertop in and the floor done and all the green painted in the back of the cabinets… it was time to do some math and work on the cabinet doors. I did the math, TCB did the cutting. I pouted a little the first day because he hogged the router. My router that he’d gotten me as a Christmas present, that I’d already been cutting practice doors with, and wouldn’t let me touch it except to set it up for him to play with. And when I pointed it out and he “let” me use it, the new wood kicked so much that I wasn’t really comfortable using it. I think we both had visions of an ER trip with a cabinet stile sticking out of the pooch. So I stuck to doing the math and instructing TCB on how it should all be cut.
Jeremy's turnRails & silesHm, getting farther away
He did a pretty good jorb, though. Made a jig to drill the knobs to the right place and another jig for the hinges.
Trial doorsNeed to paintAaah, doors
And I filled and sanded and painted the doors when he was done. So much sanding. So much painting. After too many Braxton Hicks contractions out in the sun, TCB set me up a cooling station in the house, refilling my water and making sure I could cool off. But after spending a day helping me out in the sun, he set me up a painting station inside. And I painted and painted and got help from Meghan to finish all the priming, and kept painting. Paint! And TCB put up the doors when I finished them. I’ve been lining the shelves and we’re putting things away. It’s so nice to have the kitchen get usable again.
KitchenAid mixer, you go in your home!Aaah, doorsDrawers!
And that’s where we are today. Still have some more painting to do, but this weekend is designated for working on the baby room stuff.
Oven side, bottom doors are doneSink side

Next steps: finish painting, finish lining the shelves (surprising how much stuff sticks to the paint), unpack the kitchen and put it away, fix the ceiling, paint the ceiling. And get a piece of glass recut, install lights in upper cabinets. And then we’re done?

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