Seriously! You’re still at it? I thought you were done? I can hear you wondering 😉
Well, yeah! I am actually done 🙂 For those of you that think this job have taken forever (which it did), day 8 was actually Monday this week. There was just a few days I was too tired to even write about the days work, that it’s taken me a few extra days to get it all out here on the blog 😉
Day 8 – clean up day!
The last day of kitchen work was pretty much dedicated to getting the last bits and pieces in order.
I decided that since I was going to do all this work on the kitchen, I might as well do the yearly cleaning of the kitchen at the same time. You know, that job where you empty everything in your drawers and cabinets, and wash the units and the stuff in the unit.
After using the grinder on the kitchen counter, there really wasn’t much choice in the matter. There was this fine layer of laminate dust on the shelves in my upper cabinets, so I just went ahead and washed them down, and put the glasses and plates through a quick cycle in the washing machine (some got washed by hand). And at the same time did all my other kitchen shelves and drawers. It’s nice to get a completely clean kitchen and knowing that everything inside the cabinets are all neat as well. Christmas cleaning – check 😉
After everything was nicely put away and I had my kitchen back, it was time for that last crucial detail that needed to be done. Caulking (with silicone) around the countertop to make sure no water could go were it shouldn’t go.
Since the crack between the countetop and the backsplash, was barely there, I decided to use blue tape to help me out. I taped the kitchen counter and taped the backsplash, so only the crack to put the clear silicone sealant in, would be open. This helped a lot in being able to push silicone into the crack without being worried about getting any mess on the countertop or backsplash. If I may say so myself, the end result is really nice. You can’t really see that there is any silicone there except for a little bit of glitter when the light hits right.
I used the same idea when putting in the silicone between the wall and countertop, and side cabinet and countertop. It gave me the opportunity to really mash as much as I wanted into the crack without making any mess whatsoever 😉
One final wipe of the kitchen counter, and that concludes the kitchen project 2014.
I have to admit, it’s been a lot of work, just to have your kitchen end up looking exactly like before. But at least now I have a functioning sink + LED light instead of halogen lights, so if nothing else, my electric bill should hopefully be better 😉
Cooktop and oven time.
As easy as the plumbing was, the harder this was…
What we needed to do was cut out the hole for the cooktop. First we measured everything out. We put the cooktop upside down on the counter, in exactly the spot where we wanted it, drew a line around it, removed the cooktop and measured about 6 mm in from the line we drew, and drew up the cutting lines. The cooktop “lip” was only 10 mm, and we needed a tiny bit of wiggle room, so we decided to go for approx 6 mm so that the “lip” still had some support.
I told you my countertop consist of a 10 mm thick laminate, right? Well let me tell you, 10 mm of pure laminate is hard, super hard to cut in. I remember when we installed the original countertop, how my dad swore more than once over how hard is was to cut the darn thing with a jigsaw. Not only was it hard (I believe my dad broke a sweat and a blade) but it also took forever. So this time around I thought maybe I could use something else.
First I tried my Bosch Oscillation multi tool – effective, but still very slow going, so I figured… nahhh.
OK, what’s next…. well there is the grinder… Which is a scary effective product, and it’s fast, almost too fast. “Boy do you need a steady hand if your going to try that, because if you are just a tiny bit off, you’ll ruin everything”. Hmmm, would I, would I even dare to? Thankfully I still had the cut off from the original plate, so I could practise 🙂 It was fast… I decided to take a chance..
NOW, I would NEVER recommend anyone ever doing this, you would have to have a rock steady hand, and a sick amount of confident, and it can still go wrong, very wrong! So NO, do not ever use a grinder to cut out the hole for a cooker in a kitchen bench. Please use a jigsaw as the instillation guide will tell you to do.
Having said that, I used one! The only reason I even contemplated using one, was because I spent all summer last year cutting slate with a grinder (Summer project 2013 – putting down 56 square metres of slate at the front of my house). And I knew I could cut a straight line. Unless you use a grinder for a living, please do not be as insane as me 😉
I knew the grinder would produce an insane amount of laminate dust, so we covered up the area really well to try to keep the dust contained. Even so, it still seeped a little into my kitchen cabinets and onto the floor. This was not really a big deal, as I had decided that part of the kitchen “renovation” would also include cleaning all my kitchen stuff, and all my kitchen cabinets (saves me from doing it for Christmas).
OK, here goes, I’m all decked out in protective gear, mask, glasses and ear protectors. The kitchen is all decked out in plastic, tape and I have this big “bag” behind me that will collect most of the dust. And, I’m nervous! What if I muck this up?
Well, I’m proud to say – I didn’t 🙂
The hole got cut, and fitted to perfection. The cooktop slotted nicely into it’s hole, exactly as planned. Phew…
Putting the oven in it’s place afterwards took all but two minutes.
A good vacuum, and a washing later and this concluded the work for the day.
Only one more day to go…
After our rather stressful day 4, our next task – putting in the new countertop – was almost (I said, almost) easy.
We had decided that the task that day, would be put in the countertop, and then relax! Little did we know it would take longer than we thought 😉
My countertop consists of a 10 mm thick laminate + a 30 mm thick aluminium list. To support the laminate, there are some support bars across the underside of the countertop. As you can see from picture 1 below. These support bars are normally spaced so that they will rest on the under cabinet walls, to make everything really strong and supporting. On the original countertop, the support bars were placed correctly, on the new replacement countertop, they didn’t bother about taking this consideration, and it turns out the support bars were in the wrong place. As an example, one of them was right smack in the middle of where my cooker was supposed to go!
Well, that would be an easy fix. Right? Ehhh, nope! Not only was the support bars screwed on, they were also super-glued to the laminate! I think it took me half an hour just removing the one that was “in the middle of my cooker”. Oh, no… was this looking to be a long days work after all…
We decided that rather than move the other ones to the area that they needed to be, we would just add bars instead. So that’s what we did, we used the one we removed and stole one from the old countertop 😉 And what you see on picture no 1, is a countertop ready to be installed.
The installation it self wasn’t hard work, we had to juggle it a little to sneak it in between the cabinet and the backsplash above. But! Turns out I had not managed to remove enough of the old silicone that was used for the old one, so the new one wouldn’t go all the way to the wall. Darn…
Not allot of ways around that one, other than spend the next half hour, cleaning away all old silicone, and then give the wall a quick repaint to make sure it’s protected.
Have a coffee break and try again…
Second time around, woohoo, it fit 🙂
Wonderful! So we pulled it out again, put some silicone at the wall, and underneath the backsplash fittings and showed the countertop back into it’s place. And the next half hour was spent fastening the countertop to the cabinets, just to make sure it ain’t going anywhere 😉
So NOW we could have a well deserved home-made apple juice break!!!
Followed up by a little clean-up! And as you can see, I’m putting my friend to work 😉
I bet you guys are curious about how my kitchen project is going 🙂
Well, let me tell you! I was seriously NOT loving my kitchen countertop a few days ago!
There was a moment during day 4, that I was thinking about just posting one sentence on my blog, saying “damn that countertop”. This was probably after having spent at least 1,5 – 2 hours doing nothing but try to pry that darn thing off my wall, and I was warm, tired and feed up with the lot of it 😉
So let me backtrack a little…
We started up reasonable well mid day. We removed all the drawers, everything in the cabinet, the oven and even the cooker came out really easy. We moved over to the dishwasher, turned off the water, managed to remove the dishwasher hoses with not to much trouble (even though it was cramped under the sink) and moved the dishwasher away. Moved on to loosening the plumbing for the sink and tap. We got to all the screws to the countertop and got all that out, easy peasy. All took but a hours or so.
And then we were ready for the countertop, and let me tell you, it was ready for us, ready for us to NOT move it 😉
I have to explain a little – we kinda new we would have trouble. You see I have a backsplash over the countertop, that, because of the way it was fastened to the wall (clip system) there was no way to remove it. It was either break the glass, or tear the fittings from the wall (leaving big holes in the plaster), and I didn’t fancy doing either, since I kinda wanted to keep the backsplash intact.
So we had to move around the issue. Now, that wouldn’t have been a problem, if it hadn’t been for the fact that my dad did such a super job, using silicone when we put the countertop in (which was absolutely the correct thing to do). There was silicone between the countetop and wall, and there was silicone between the countetop and the backsplash sitting on top. And since there was NO way to get to the silicone between the countertop and the back wall (because of the backsplash) you can see why we were having such trouble.
After cutting whatever silicone we could get to, pulling and prodding, “tearing” and swearing 😉 throwing our muscles to the thing, with no effect. We seriously started to contemplate removing the kitchen cabinets under the countertop, so that we could knock the damn thing off the wall (this was about 1,5 hours into trying to pry it loose)….
OK, one more try, see if we can trick the damn thing. I managed to get to the silicone between the back wall and countertop where my dishwasher normally are, and that did the trick, we managed to loosen just enough that we got some momentum going and started to slowly tear the top loose. 30 minutes later… and it was off…
I am soooooo glad I have a strong friend helping me out, there is no way this would have gone as well if not…
As you can see, from the picture below, we tore a little wall with us, but that was an easy fix. Remove the loose paper, and give it a few licks of paint, and presto… we were ready for day 5 🙂
It’s seem like I’m working on a “thousand” small projects these days. I’ll tell you all about them, but right now I want to let you in on one of the “bigger” ones.
I have a reasonable new house (2006) and there is no reason why this should have happened at all, but a few months ago (July I think) my kitchen sink, an under-mount stainless steel sink, suddenly came loose from the kitchen counter!!! Not a fun moment, believe me!
Well that didn’t make sense to me that an expensive under-mounted sink suddenly should come loose after only a few years. So I went down to the kitchen store and complained. It seems like the people I ordered my kitchen countertop from, thought the same.
There is no way to fix the under-mounted sink in it’s place, they told me this has to be done at the factory. So they decided to give me a new countertop and sink, even though it was outside of warranty. Which I have to say, was nice of them! Now, installation on the other hand, not included…
Fast forward to late September and I picked up my new kitchen counter. Which is currently laying on my living room floor 🙂
It’s time to tackle the kitchen project, so over the next few days a friend of mine have dedicated some time to help me out.
While working on the kitchen any ways, I figured this is a good time as ever, to fix some issues I’ve had with one of my under cabinet spotlights, that never really would work. So I’ve decided to go ahead and swap all my cabinet lights, over to new LED lights. Just to really give us some work 😉
As you know, my kitchen ain’t big, so swapping things out, pretty much means tearing the kitchen “apart”. Groan!!
I figured I might as well let you in on the chaos in my house, so I’ll be posting as we move along.
Wish us luck, will ya! 🙂