My kitchen project from 2011
Been asked a few times about my kitchen project, as I've posted up the 'finished' pics here and there a few times. Figured I'd do a bit of a writeup on it. This was all done in the middle of 2011. The 'After' pics still have some unfinished details as they were taken a while ago. Some of the details in the floor plan diagrams are off, especially the pass-through over the sink and the cabinets over the window (which don't exist).
Cabinets are full custom by a local shop in Toronto. What I discovered during this process is 99% of local custom cabinet builders order their doors and drawer fronts, and the drawers themselves from Cutrite Doors in Waterloo ON. They do custom sized doors in a billion different combinations of molding profiles etc.
The differences from one local shop to another is the construction technique of the carcasses, the hardware they use, the quality of the finishing work on the paint or stain (Cutrite sells raw unfinished doors) and of course the price and support.
The cabinets are full plywood carcasses with MDF doors. We chose MDF because we were painting and didn't want expansion issues. They're holding up perfectly. The finish on them is great. The plywood was a must for me. I didn't want to be looking at fake woodgrain melamine or white interiors. The only difference in cost was the material. Maybe $800 for the entire kitchen.
We've ended up painting pretty much the entire house BM Cloud White.
White marble counters and backsplash (2x4 subway tile), Kraus undermount sink, Kohler Torq bridge faucet.
There are 19 dimmable LED puck lights I wired into the cabinets and for countertop lighting on two different switches. We use them almost exclusively to light the kitchen. I also put 10 recessed lights in the ceiling. The dimmers and all the wiring for the LED's collect in the cabinet above the range hood.
I got the Vent a Hood used on eBay for a great deal. Couldn't stomach paying the new price for that size of hood. It has 2 blowers and the heat lamp add-on. We picked up the warming shelf locally.
I did all the demo work myself (20 yards of material). We're talking drywall on top of lathe/plaster. Tile on top of mesh/cement on top of plank subfloor. Hauled out the back door in garbage cans, dumped into a wheelbarrow and pushed 70 feet up to the bin on the street. It was brutal, especially the ceiling. Thankfully I did the same on the bathroom immediately above the kitchen, so I cleaned out the joists really well. Still bucket loads of 90 year old dust from the lathe and plaster on the ceiling went right into my eyes, ears, nose etc.
Hired out the framing, electrical, plumbing, drywall and tile. I don't use contractors - I prefer to hire my own trades people who do the work themselves as opposed to send in whoever they picked up that morning to do general labor.
Took the opportunity to rip out all the flooring / subfloor on the main floor. It had been done by the previous owner and was crap. He installed thin hardwood on top of the 90 year old plank subfloor in the same direction without securing the planks down with screws or anything. Result was it literally moved under your feet when you walked on it and of course squeaked. So up it all came. We blocked the floor joists and put new 3/4 inch plywood down with construction adhesive and screws. Then I installed the flooring which is solid 3/4" oak.
Did all the trim on the main floor myself as well, using 10" poplar baseboards and replicating the 90 year old window trim (not shown in any of the pics I don't think). Was a ton of work, doing all coping cuts on the inside corners for the baseboards. Mitre cutting 10" baseboards is a chore.
Also had to replace the kitchen window, as we made it shorter to allow counter to run under it. Had a mason do the exterior brick work and move the old sill up (he also knocked the hole in the wall for the Vent a Hood exhaust). Put a nice Anderson awning window in, so we can open it when it's raining.