When we last left you with the kitchen, our layout had changed somewhat, switching the placement of a fridge and a cabinet. Even though we were close to hitting a stopping point — I couldn’t install the dishwasher yet, we needed to make another semihandmade order, and we needed a new cabinet from Ikea — there was one major project that I could take on: countertops.
Getting countertops on and installed is relatively easy. The hardest part was that Kerry took Joey and the kids out of the house, because I needed to get out the big saws in able to cut the countertops to size. This meant that I had to lift and move two 98″ countertops on my own. These things are not light. So this was slow moving, and back breaking, but I was able to slowly get them out onto the porch to make a few cuts with the circular saw.
There were really only two cuts to make. The shorter of the two countertops (on the back wall under the boarded up window) needed to be cut almost in half. Then the longer portion (where the sink ended up) only needed like six inches cut off. It was really nice, though, that we only have the one seam, where the turn happens. There’s no seam in the long, straight, portion.
So the process with counters is just get them on top of the cabinets, make sure they’re level, and then screw them in from the bottom. Where the seam is at the turn, we put some clear-drying caulk to make sure crumbs and dirt don’t fall in there.
Once the counters were on and screwed in, I wanted to tackle the sink. We didn’t really get any pictures of this process because by this point Kerry and the kids got home, and Kerry was keeping the kids away from me and the jigsaw. But you trace the template out in the counters, and then cut it out with a jigsaw. One trick I learned during this process was to use 2x4s underneath the counter where the sink will be. Stand them straight up so that when you’re about to finish cutting out your hole, the whole thing doesn’t just fall in. The 2x4s will hold up the cutout, and not damage any of the counter.
We chose a white enameled cast iron sink. With these Ikea wood counters, it’s possible to do an under-mount but it’s really tricky, and not really worth the effort. We liked the look of this white enameled sink, and it was plenty big. For the faucet, we picked the same version as what we have at our home.
Once the sink was installed (and I even installed a garbage disposal, woohoo!) I decided to put all the doors and fronts on that we could, so we could start to really see what things were going to look like. We put them all on and … you guys … this is starting to feel like a kitchen! We had about a day and a half still left in our trip, and this was pretty much the end of what could be done, and I can’t express how great it felt to be able to wash dishes out in the sink. To be able to just set things on counters. To make mochas on the coffee machine on the counter. For Joey to hide things in drawers and then hours later say, “I put Olly’s shoes in the drawer.” It’s a real kitchen!
We still have plenty to do, but the good thing is we know WHAT to do next. When we started this, it was so overwhelming. Now we have very clear next steps … which I’ll be tackling soon, and I can’t wait to see it progress even more.