My Kitchen Facelift Journey part2

greenhavenApril 13, 2014

firsthouse_mp was kind enough to inform me that my first thread would close after 150 posts, so I started this one up.

Today is Sunday, and yesterday I hung most of the rest of the cabinet doors. I have left off the island doors because I do not have the right paint color for them, yet.

I also made a trip to the BBS to get trim boards for the island, three more upper cabinet end panels, and a hardware attaching template.

I will post some photos later.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Kitchen Facelift Journey part 1

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Nothing done on the kitchen front. The wind was bad enough to blow a piece of drywall OFF the wall upstairs though, so that might be tomorrows project.

To be fair, it was being held in only by masking tape...and I did NOT do this, lol!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 10:02PM
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Well it's looking great and I'm totally amazed and awed by all that you've done so far with minimal help. It's been fun to watch the progression!
(This weather is crazy everywhere.)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:48AM
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I installed most of the cabinet hardware yesterday, still have drawers to do. Messed up couple of them, repair work to begin today. Pics to follow.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 4:28PM
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Okay, a quickie update!

I have not been making as much progress in the kitchen, as I have had my DIL and baby grandson staying with us this week. I have managed to get a little done, though!
I started attaching cabinet hardware, and that was a real education. I did some reading before starting, and made the decision to purchase an installation template. This made the job infinitely easier, but was not fool-proof, as you will see.

Since there is a marked center-line as a base on the template the first thing I did was find exact center of my drawers and make a light pencil mark.

Then I lined up the centerline of the template with the center mark on the drawers, and marked the holes corresponding with the width of my handles and on the 3” line. Even though my two lower drawers are larger I will use this 3” line to mark all handle placement.

The template for the doors was even easier. With flanges for the inner sides and bottoms, it was easy to place and I only needed to decide how high to place the handles and which holes corresponded with the handle length.

My handles had these little “pegs” on the door side to accommodate the screws that will hold it to the cabinet, so I had to choose a drill bit size that would allow these pegs to inset into the cabinets. A ¼” bit proved to be the right size!

Then it was a simple matter of placing the drill bit on my marks and drilling carefully through the door. It was an ignorant, bliss, however….

The first few doors went fine, placed the handle pegs in the holes and ran the screws from the back and tightened them down well but not too tight.

It was not until the first time my drill bit noticeably “walked” on me that I realized all might not be well. When a drill bit “walks” it means that as you start drilling it slips off the mark before catching into the drilling surface and creating the hole. Can you hear me groaning?

I went back and examined the holes I had already drilled, and most handle placements seemed fine. There were definitely some that were not, however.

Also, just because I used the template does not mean that the holes were exactly where they needed to be. For instance, on this cabinet I tried several times to “stretch” the handle pegs into holes that were slightly too far apart. Each time the handle slipped it left this charming black streak across my newly-painted cabinets.

But this door, and one other like it, I fixed by placing my drill bit back in the hole, pressing it gently against the bottom of the hole, and drilling out a little further, effectively enlarging the hole and allowing the pegs to fit.

Because the part of the handle over the holes was a lot larger I could get away with this and it is unnoticeable….except for the screw in the back! The pan head of the screw barely avoids fitting all the way down in the hole! So I did not tighten quite as hard as I would have otherwise, and gave thanks that this was a less-used cabinet. Another option would be to purchase another screw of the same thread pattern and diameter, but a little longer to accommodate a washer that would prevent the screw landing inside the hole.

The holes where the drill bit walked were another matter entirely. I could not simply re-drill another hole, because it would be too close to the current hole. The only other option available to me, other than purchasing new doors, was to purchase some paintable, drill-able wood filler and fill those puppies up.

That is pretty much where I am, now, waiting to sand down the filled holes and drill new ones. OH! And giving thanks yet again that I realized I marked the wrong handle width for my drawer hands before I drilled those holes. Whew!

And just for funsies, a couple random pictures. The first one I saw on my preview screen after taking a picture and setting the camera down on the stove top. I recently got these super-cute little crocks to hold my coffee fixings, and I thought this was a fun shot. The other is of my bitty grandson finding the cabinets for the first time since learning to crawl a week ago! Love that kid…but little did he know that if he had turned that last susan a liiiitle further he would have discovered grampy’s hidden stash of jack Daniels, lol!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 8:53AM
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Adorable grandson! Thanks for the updates!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:25AM
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greenhaven, cute little tyke. Fun times.

I've missed your first thread and must go back and read it. But I found this tale of drilling for pulls to be very interesting and illustrative of real world, real people situations. I'm looking forward to seeing how the wood fill turns out after you sand, paint and re-drill.

I know all about drill bits walking. I refinished a desk and cursed myself that I didn't drill the holes before working on a beautiful finish. I don't know if it's kosher, but I put blue tape over my hole locations, hoping that any walking would be corrected before it broke through the tape. It turned out okay.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 10:58AM
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To avoid the drill bit walking: tap a small nail onto your marks, just enough to make an indent in the wood, to hold the drill bit in place.

And since the "pegs" don't go all the way through, you could use a smaller bit (just big enough for the screw first, then follow with your larger bit, drilling just deep enough for the peg.

I can't believe how much you've accomplished in such a short time! (at least it seems like a short time from this side of the computer, but then again, that's what my brother said about my pregnancy, and that lasted forever!)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:34AM
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annkh, thanks for the tips about drilling. I thought I was the only one who got walking drill bits. :p

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:43AM
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That IS a great tip, thanks annkh. It occurred to me this afternoon, in a nap dream, I kid you not, that I had read to use an awl to punch a little starter hole, effectively the same thing ann said.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 1:51PM
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I learned that tip from my Mom :)

Here's another, completely unrelated tip from my mother, the Fix and Repair queen: When you open a fresh can of paint, tap a couple of nail holes into the groove into which the lid fits. When you pour from the can into a paint tray, the excess can drip back into the can.

If you hide your favorite tools in your underwear drawer, your 9-yr-old son won't find them (and lose them in the woods behind the house).

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:28PM
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Ann, I use that paint can trick all the time!! I find it still drips but not nearly as much. I also use the smaller bit, then screw trick too.

Greenhaven, cute baby!! Your reno is really coming along. I'm enjoying watching it.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:49PM
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If that oak is 25 years old like mine, it's hard as a rock. Definitely start with a smaller bit to make pilot holes. Also, drilling the holes while the doors are mounted is harder. Having them down on a flat surface will make it much easier.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 5:49PM
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new DIY movie coming soon!

'drill bits walking'

great tips on drilling... I knew that making a 'starter spot' should be done - not that I ever remember it WHEN I'm drilling something. SIGH!

I need to put those notes on a 3x5 card and tape to the inner side of a cabinet door... so I can find it when needed.

also, good other tips posted from 'mom' ! love that last one.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 6:09PM
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I love this forum, so many great things happen here. such great tips1

I did hardly anything reno wise e4xcept sand my filled holes and add a bit more filler for flush fill.

What I did do is recruit my DIL to help me fill and organize my cabinegts. That was totally rewarding and I cant wait to cook something even if the kitchen is not finished.

Tomorrow I simply must cut plywood for the tops of the new base cabs. Cooking next to them is really making a mess.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 9:53PM
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Holy crow! Got a quote of nearly 1300 bucks for backsplash install...more than twice what I actually paid for the tile itself and it was not cheap tile.

Looks like momma might get to try her hand at tiling after all...

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 11:45AM
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You are going to be your very own DIY channel here after we watch you master tiling, too!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 12:36PM
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Ha ha, master tiling! I am having seriously second (third?) thoughts about tiling after today's attempt to remedy my misplaced drilling.

I let the wood filler cure plenty long, even longer than the recommended 8 hours. The problem was that the wood filler was so much softer than the actual oak that when I went to drill the bit still "fell" into the softer hole.

I was left with two choices at that point:

1. purchase new doors, finish and re-drill
2. widen the holes enough to get the handles as near to straight as possible and hope the handles covered the hole well enough and the screws would still catch properly in the back.

I opted for number 2, and it is barely okay. The handles are still off, but you have to look harder for it and if you didn't know it was a problem you might not even notice. I still might have to purchase washers for a couple of them, but we will see how it goes. So far this has been my biggest blunder and biggest disappointment yet, but if this ends up being the worst of it I will be satisfied in the end.

Today I also got the holes drilled for the drawers after determining the new right placement. Unfortunately the screws provided with the handles are not long enough to go through both the drawer box and the drawer front, so I will have to purchase new ones of the same diameter and thread type, but a 1/4" longer. It will be a minor expense at worst.

eta: for todays' drilling I took annkh's advice for using a nail to start the hole to avoid walking bits, and it worked like a dream! I could just as easily have used an awl, if I had actually known where my awl was, lol.

As it was, I used the hammer to tap the nail into the wood just far enough to get past the sharp tip and it was enough to trap the tip of the drill bit.

This post was edited by greenhaven on Thu, Apr 17, 14 at 14:24

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:22PM
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I like using Brad Point drill bits for drilling wood. They are much less likely to walk.

This post was edited by gpraceman on Thu, Apr 17, 14 at 14:49

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:30PM
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I tiled the backsplash at our old house. It was tedious, but not too difficult. There are lots of good how to videos on youtube, just do your research and take your time. The most important thing is to keep level, even tiny variances get compounded and become problematic a few feet down the line!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:33PM
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Yea! Glad the trick worked out for you.

After seeing what you've been able to accomplish thus far, I have no doubt that you could do a fantastic job tiling your backsplash. Or shingling the house. Or building a barn. You rock, girl!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:56PM
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Bondo girl here for filling holes. Tougher than wood filler when do have to sand to get smooth, but since your cabinets are painted, not a problem.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 3:41PM
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Stuck doing the boring, tedious stuff today; sanding, painting trim, hanging end panels.

Untilll....dun-dun-DUN! My stove hood is in at Menards! Wahoo! Going to get it now, and hoping they restocked my handles because I am short two drawers and a door.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 2:51PM
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cool, part II! You are awsome!!

I am enjoying this!

a cheap low tech solution to the walking drill bit is to take a nail and a hammer and make a divot after you mark the hole position. as the bit becomes dull, it will want to walk.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 6:40PM
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Got a ton of little tedious things out of the way today, like second coats for some face frames, painted and hung island doors, installed rest of the hardware and painted and started hanging end panels.

Oh, and gave island two more coats of paint. It will need a third to completely cover the grey, but that's okay. I decided to go ahead and match the perimeter cabs for several reasons:

1. I accidentally painted the drawers fronts the perimeter color
2. It is quite far to go to Ace and get a quart of paont in the right finish amd I am getting lazy
3. Interestingly, the way the light shifts around in the kitchen either the island or perimeters look darker grey anyway
4. The tile I am using for my 'tile rug' in the space where the laminate is open looks a lot more cohesive with the light than the grey.

Four more days until countertops go in! Yay! My goal is to be ABB by the time those puppies are laid.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 9:25PM
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Got my stove hood hung today, and of all things it fit all but perfectly over the mounting screws from the old one! I still have to wire up the electrical but that is extremely to black, white to white, ground to the grounding screw, voila!

Finished hanging end panels today, too. Had a bunch of other pressing repair stuff to do, plus got my lumber for the horse's shelter!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 7:37PM
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I noticed that the guys that drill the holes in my cabinets for the light fixtures (upper library bookcases), that they blue taped over the entire area where they were making a 4" hole. I have a feeling that this helps with placement and also with slippage and protecting the area around the drill. Why not blue tape the edge where you will drill to protect it and place your pen marks right on top of the tape? Just drill right through the blue tape?

Greenhaven, I still love reading all your posts and seeing your gumption! And you love contemplating making a grand chicken coop and am wondering if I have it in me to build the thing. I am considering re-working a Home Depot shed.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 12:54AM
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firsthouse, you can do it1 If you have never kept chickens then start small. Six is a pretty good starter. Then you can start small on your coop, too.

You can check out the Backyard Chickens forum for all sorts of great info including different coop setups.

Blue tape is also awesome for preventing chipping and splintering while drillling.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 8:27AM
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Hi there! Just catching up. I stopped getting the email for some reason.

Drilling handles.
I see you got the pilot hole/poke a spot tip for your handles.

Screws. You can also use a nice, small washer on the inside of the door. It covers the hole, but with the bigger hole, it also stops the screw from being pulled through the drawer.

Drawer handles or knobs: Definitely put painters tape vertically on the drawer face, so you can freely write the center marks on it. Drill your holes before you reattach the drawer faces if you can. It's MUCH easier!

Chickens: I live in the country and have more than enough space. However, a few nights ago my cat growled (growled!?) and when I looked out the slider, there stood a gorgeous red fox looking in. He saw us, I guess, and leisurely trotted off. I also have a rabbit's warren in the garden right in front of my door. Cats aren't going out right now, but stopping the fox? [head shake]

Fox = no chickens. Before the fox makes it "no chickens."

Keep up the good work! I'm currently procrastinating on making the doors for a W3636 wall cabinet I've made. Borrowed a friend's table top table saw so perhaps I can cut things a little straighter! :) However, inertia has set in.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 1:24PM
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Oooh, inertia can be bad. I am about burned out now but th end is in sight for me1

In all the years I have kept chickens I have never lost one to predators, and we lived surrounded by them. The key is nighttime lockup and predator proof coops.

Speaking of inertia all I want to do is sleep today1 two more days until I have my counters, I am sooo ready.

It seems I have lost some trim pieces, so it will be a trip to HD for me today. I still have those blasted LS doors to deal with, too, as well as wall painting and trimming the island.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 3:53PM
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Just wanted to chime in to cheer you on toward the finish line. You'll get a real lift seeing your new countertops!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:51PM
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Go greenhaven go!

Kitchen reno progress is like molasses over here, so I'm happy to read that you are continually plugging away!

Can't wait to see your counters! I miss counters.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 7:08PM
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Hang in there, feisty1 I admire your chops for a full reno. God save me if I ever get there.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 7:23PM
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Tomorrow is countertop day! We had decided to maven the installers remove the old one for a nominal fee, but when I called to give them the heads-up they asked for I was told their schedule is so full they would have to put it off another week. I said noooo thank you! So I guess I am prepping for install tonight.

Painted the soffits today, and primed my window frame. I have pictures but haven't gotten them off the camera yet, and now I hear the horse is coming home on Saturday! I am so wicked excited, I miss her madly!

So now I have a bajillion and one high-priority things to acomplish in the next three days. I wonder which ones will gall through the cracks? Lol!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 2:44PM
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Woot!!!! You're almost there! Having the counters in will make you sooooo happy :D

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 5:10PM
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Can't believe how much you've got done in a month! I admire your tenacity and all you've accomplished. Hope your countertop install goes smoothly tomorrow!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 10:44PM
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Well, after getting word that my choice was to have the installers remove my old counters and push the install another week or to remove them myself and stay on track for tomorrow’s install. I am NOT waiting another week, so I had to get busy!

Today I painted soffits, which included having to take a last bit of border down where I needed to paint. Just a quick pic to show how nicely it scraped off after peeling the facing and wetting it just a little bit. I will scrape the rest of that stuff some other time.

Then I sanded and primed my window trim, using a medium-grit sanding sponge. The great thing about the sanding sponge (why don’t I have a pic??) is that it molds to the irregular surface of the trim and gets it thoroughly scuffed. I washed all the dust off; most would use a tacky cloth but not having any on hand I just washed and dried thoroughly with a dampened kitchen rag. Then I primed with my Gripper primer, both the trim and the wee bit of reveal on the frame itself. I still might paint more of the inside of the frame, but I will see how this looks, first.

After evening had fallen and all food chores were finished it was time to dismantle the counters. I started with the island, the easiest one. Four easy-to-reach screws and done!

The sink cab was not much harder for removing the four screws, but I did have to take apart the plumbing. DH said he had never seen water supply lines hard-piped straight to the faucet, particularly since this house was built in ’01. Usually they are a flexible hose-type connection or PEX, so we had no choice but to straight up cut the copper tubes.

First though turn the water off! There were three gate valves, one for hot water, one for cold and one for the dishwasher. A few turns clockwise tightens them down and stops water flow. In this picture you can see the valve for the DW and the installed water hammer arrestor. That absorbs shock from sudden pressure changes and keeps your pipes from banging around.

These were the tools used to get the job done, a standard plumbing wrench and a pipe cutter. I always feel the wrench is way overkill, but only a couple of turns loosened the coupler enough to slide it down.

Copper pipes/tubing is very soft, so cutting it with one of these pipe cutters is a breeze. The thing clamps around the pipe and holds a sharp metal cutting disk against the pipe. Then the cutter gets spun around the pipe, and gets snugged down every couple of turns or so. The increasing pressure on the pipe by the disk makes a gradual cut with little effort.

So, first I loosened the coupler rings on the drains, let them slide down, and done! Easy peasey!

Then I cut the pipes to free the sink/faucet to come away with the countertop. DH says he will have to do some thinkin' to figure out how to re-connect the supply lines to the new faucet. I am not a plumber, so I am leaving the thinking to him!

Next I tackled the counter where it attached to the LS cab. I knew it had one accessible screw in the top near the front, but could not figure out why it would not free up once that was out….until I had another aha moment like on the island! Sure enough, an end panel was hiding the remaining attachment.

One last point of connection; the dishwasher. I knew the DW was attached to the counter via these brackets on the front, although these are for DW stabilization. I had a sinking feeling I was going to have to pull out the DW because that was no false end panel on the outside.


So, yeah. Turned off water supply, unscrewed the connector hose, disconnected the drain hose, and slide that thing out. I did not take pics here because DH got up out of bed to help me with this and help carry the soon-to-be-detached counters to the garage. But it slid out easily enough, and we did not have to do any drastic disconnects to access the screws (three of them!) holding the counter to that end/filler piece.

Free at last!

The very last thing I did was to shim and level the new cabinet beside the LS in preparation for attachment to the wall. Given that DH was back in bed I decided to save the drilling for first thing tomorrow morning. :o)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 11:37PM
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I finally had time to catch up on your progress, you are really coming along! I enjoy your humor as you meet and overcome obstacles - well done! I look forward to your final result.

I know I'm days late on this issue - but a fix I've used for a slightly misplaced drill hole is to use wood glue and a dowel to fill it in. It still needs a little filler and sanding, but does give a more solid spot to put the proper one.

I'm going through my own diy remodel, and have a similar kitchen layout. I can almost literally feel your pain: 'oh crap!' is a daily saying around here, lol. I'm excited about my own kitchen, but getting very tired of washing dishes in the laundry room and walking around big hulking cabinets waiting to be installed.

Good luck, and keep the stories coming!


    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:12AM
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psbjmb, that's right! I had heard that once a gamillion years ago and had forgotten. That would have been a really, really good solution.

I am so close to done I can practically taste it! Or maybe that is the adhesive seam filler they are using on my countertops. I am hiding upstairs while they finish the sink hole noisy!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 10:31AM
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Counters are in and lovely! They look really, really good! I spent all afternoon digging post holes and setting posts so I did not discover until late that the drain kit for the sink had one drain flange that was bent. But DH and I played around under the sink until I knew just what I needed to pick up for parts, so tomorrow we should get the sink installed and all the electrical finished.

We are going to shop for a new stove. :o) I balked at first, but now I say "Yuck!" Plus, with a 13 year-old stove I am just postponing the inevitable anyway.

Tomorrow first thing I am exchanging the drain kit, picking up miscellaneous plumbing parts and checking on the status of my backsplash. I am also going to choose a new tile for my "tile rug" where the island was.

I did discover I really dislike plumbing. The insides of pipes are gross! And the tight work spaces are annoying at best.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 9:10PM
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Wow! Looking so good! I can't wait to see the counters a bit better!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 11:42PM
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Looking good, GH! Can't wait for the final reveal, though I have thoroughly enjoyed watching your amazing progress.

I wanted to reuse my old range too, but after we remodeled, the poor thing looked so old and pathetic. Now I'm regretting my choice - even though the old white range looked horrible in the new kitchen, where all other appliances were stainless, the black top on the new stove is a bear to keep clean. I have to really work to eliminate streaks, where with the old one I could wipe and go (yes, microfiber is my friend, but it's still more work).

We found a GE range on clearance at Sears, which helped.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 10:36AM
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annkh, I found a floor model clearance on a SS stove this morning! Subtract the balance I had on my store credit and I paid only a couple hundred bucks for it! It is nothing special but it will look a ton better, and for that price I could not say no!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 1:12PM
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Whoo Hoo! I'm thrilled for you!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 1:20PM
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Wow, a new stove, greenhaven!!! Way to go!!! I'm so happy for you that you've decided to upgrade now. Your "new" kitchen should have that finished look.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 6:17PM
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    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 9:26PM
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So today was consumed with getting the parts I needed to finish the under-sink plumbing and, well, doing the under-sink plumbing. I am NOT going to give a blow-by-blow accounting because it involved some very naughty words and fit-pitching and tool-tossing. The worst day by far, but not a disaster so i still count my blessings.

The sink is in! The first true "crisis" during this whole remodel was getting all the parts onto the new sink, including the clips that clamp it onto the countertop, getting a nice, fat bead of caulk on it, flipping it into the hole in the counter and discovering the clips are not adequate for the 1 1/4" thickness of the new countertop. Local hardware is closed, Home Depot is a twenty minute drive away, no one is answering their department phones and the caulk is curing.

I made the loop through the customer service phone system two full times before i got random department that actually had the plumbing guy right there with them! I explained my problem and my panic and he said "No worries, we can help you with that." Boy howdy, did he ever! He located clip kits for thicker countertops, walked them to the contractor service desk so all I had to do was zip in and zip out. The gal behind the desk said, "Oh, we are just going to give these to you. Next time buy your sink here." *wink, wink* My new favorite home improvement store!

I rushed back home to get those clips on before the caulk cured; I had left it with my monster cutting board weighing the sink down and the quartz sink cutout on top of that!

The new clips worked a treat and the rest of the job went pretty much without a hitch. That said, it was a royal pain in the you-know-what to get the old clips off and the new ones on while under the sink in the cabinet. Not some of my best moments.

It was, though, a joy to turn on the water and everything worked and nothing leaked! It is so pretty!

No pics of the stove yet, as it looks like a giant saran-wrapped cube in the back of my truck, still. Tomorrow I have have HAVE to get the fence finished or the horse will have no place to hang when she gets here tomorrow! I do not expect that to take long, though, so hopefully the electric will get finished and the stoves swapped.

Another pizza night tonight, crock pot tomorrow, but am cooking a MEAL, baby, in my new kitchen on Sunday! I am way behind where I wanted to be when the counters went in, but a lot has changed since then, and I am fine with it. I still have backsplash to install, trim work to do, walls to paint, LS doors to finish and a floor problem to over come. No biggie, right? LOL

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 11:01PM
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And one little teaser pic! Counters where previously there had been none...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 11:08PM
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nice job, I enjoy watching your progress. I've been there...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 11:09PM
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Greenhaven, you're really a great blogger. You missed a calling in journalism. I would follow a weekly column by you any time.
Take a bow on that sink job. Well done! And you have the new stove already???!!!! You take action while people like me keep ruminating on 200 options available rather than make a decision. Please come to my house and get me whipped into shape so I can get my place finished. By the way, thanks for the teaser photo. It all looks really nice. Love the new granite.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 11:37PM
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Girlie, you should consider painting the underside of your cabinets.
I was looking at the gorgeous counter teaser, then looked to see if you had put a light rail up.
What did I see?
The unpainted underside of your cabs.
Not as pretty as the rest of the kitchen! And a major PIA to paint upside down!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 12:40AM
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Ooooh, the counters and cabinets are looking fantastic! I really admire your DIY grit and how you're getting the job done.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 2:48AM
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greenhaven-have been following silently. Your DIY is amazing. You can without a doubt definitely tile a backsplash - seriously. After all this you have tackled, you will whip that out like nothing. ;) It looks wonderful. Good work and congrats on getting your horse home.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 5:49AM
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CEFreeman said: "Girlie, you should consider painting the underside of your cabinets."

lolol, I thought that same exact thing! Will do! :o)

Texasgal47 said: "Greenhaven, you're really a great blogger. You missed a calling in journalism. I would follow a weekly column by you any time."

Aww, you are too sweet! I do love to write, have kept a blog on-and-off through the years, but I never stay consistent with it. I quit after a trauma with my mother and just never really went back to it.

Thank you, feisty and autumn, and all of you who have been a great encouragement and source of learning. This forum is a real gem!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 6:56AM
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LOVE the granite! I agree with CEFreeman though, gotta paint the undersides of the uppers...

HD gave you the clips???? Gee, when I installed "brazilian cherry" floors from them (paid my cousin who is carpenter, rented the stapler) and then they started cracking, they only refunded me for the flooring, not the labor to install (and rip out), and not even the molding that I ordered later (not knowing we'd need it where wood met tile) and never picked up b/c the flooring was cracking by the time it came in (they determined that the wood had not been properly cured, b/c I DID have HVAC installed in new house and running to acclimate the flooring for a few days before install)!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 9:02AM
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Greenhaven, please make me and yourself happy by buying led light fixtures to go under the wall cabinets and run the wiring for them in the wall before the new backer board goes in for the backsplash. Mount them at the very front portion of the cabinet underside. I bought mine at Loews. They are 1" high and come in various lengths, are dimmable, have held up well so far (3 yrs.) and are not too expensive. I just measured mine and the shortest length is 11.5" so you should be able to even install one on the right side of your new stove. This is not the time to skimp and go cheap. Plus, your new backplash will really not show up well (after all that $$$) without UCL. After the backsplash goes in, paint and install light rail molding. Then you can forget about painting the underside of those cabinets. I promise you'll wonder how you survived without decent task lighting in the kitchen all these years.

This post was edited by Texasgal47 on Sat, Apr 26, 14 at 13:10

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 10:21AM
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Excellent advice on the LED undercabinet lights, they are one of my favorite things in my kitchen.
My parents' kitchen has no UCL, plus their backsplash is dark red Z-Brick with black mastic for "grout"; they still love it, but to me it's like working in a cave.
I love your project and your journal about it. How satisfying it will be when you are done!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:56AM
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Oh you guy are going to get me in trouble! lol DH recommended rather strongly that we wire for UCL while we were doing the outlets, even if we were not ready to do the UCL right now. I am not only going to get The Look, I am going to get The Naughty Look!

Nothing done on the kitchen front, except my new stove is now sitting in the middle of the floor. I built fence all day instead, and now my horse is home! I love this girl, she has been with me for fourteen years and is now 21. This is me (grey shirt squinting into the sun), Tuesday and the gal who hauled her home for me. Pardon me, I am filthy and wind-burned and tired!:

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 5:52PM
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Beautiful horse! And your smile speaks to how happy you must be to have her home.

Your granite counter and sink are lovely. Looking forward to your reveal.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 6:33PM
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she's beautiful! and much more important than a stove!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 11:47PM
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What a beauty!!! I know nothing about horses, but she looks like she has a really sweet disposition. A wonderful ending to a horrendous week. Thanks for the photo. Now we know what Wonder Woman looks like! I hope you stay in bed tomorrow and get some well deserved R & R.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:21AM
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Oh, my she's lovely. And so are you with that big happy smile! Where has she been?

and UCL.
You mean you didn't wire for it?
Girl, what were you thinking!? Have you ever heard of GardenWeb and their kitchen boards? They talk about this all THE TIME. Lighting is important.

[low, dangerous voice] you might deserve the Naughty Look. and he might make YOU do the wiring!

I do wish I had the electrical skills you have. I could be posting progress as you have. Ok, I have finally found something that causes a feeling I can't say I've ever had in my life: envy. Yup. Envy. Progress envy.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 12:21AM
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Thanks for the compliments on my Best Girl! It sounds hokey but Tuesday has been a bigger influence on my life and who I am as a person than nearly anything else. She has been back in IL until we could get set up here in MI. Tired of moving and having to start over yet again.

CEFreeman, I have never had UCL in my whole life with the exception of a plug n play flourescent jobby at our last home because the lighting was so bad. My big flourescent box I have now is ugly but is positioned well for working on the perimeter. It is my island that suffers, even with both kitchen and DR lights on.

Texasgal47, it is quarter after eight and I am lying in bed internet-ing on my Nook. That is a pretty good indication of how my day is going to go, lol!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 8:15AM
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I got nothing done in the Kitchen today as I had to take advantage of the good weather to work on a loafing shed for the horse.

But yesterday I picked up some more tile samples for The Hole in the Floor. Thought I had the perfect one picked out, turns out the floor is way warmer in tone than I thought, but it did look a little flat. I had picked up a couple wood-look tiles, but in 2x4" running bond mosaics. I laid the dark one down and it was meh.

I told myself to lay down the "blonde" one just for funsies and shocker of all shockers, it is perfect! It actually will look like a little rug when I am done, I am soo pleased. Because it is in running bond pattern it will mean I will have to cut some pieces, but it will be so minimal. I am thinking about seeing if that terra cotta-ish tile in the corner comes in a small rectangular piece that i could use as a "border."

Oh, and just to be clear, it is my full intention to widen and lengthen that stretch of cutout to actual "rug" size.

Frankly, it actually made me second-guess my tile choice for the backsplash. This wood-like tile is actually sort of basket-y and I like that a lot!

Here are a couple crappy cell phone pics in crappy lighting because I feel guilty for not taking ore pics. I am so close to finishing, though!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:20PM
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when you make your rug, consider using the the tile in a frame around it, one or two tiles deep... if that makes any sense. post some mock ups here, the opinions here are very helpful.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:29PM
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Will do! It will definitely need a border. Did not even think about using the main tiles, that is a really good idea!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:31PM
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Greenhaven, it looks like you're turning lemons into lemonade. I never would have thought of trying a tile rug--really interesting. It would be interesting to see something like that in real life.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:12PM
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Greenhaven, can I confess I don't want your kitchen renovation to end? There is a whole community of Webbers rooting for you, including of course the entire contingent of women. Keep up the energy level and the chronicles. I bet if you just describe what you are making for every meal in that kitchen you would keep us satisfied through the summer :)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:24PM
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Glad your sweet girl is home and love your basket tile rug!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:10PM
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Oh, POO! I had read back through this and pasted a couple comments I wanted to reply to and accidentally refreshed my page. :o( My apologies for not directly attributing some comments.

I did love those bradpoint drill bits! I will have to add some to my drill bit cache.

To whomever suggested I would reshingle a roof I have only one response: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! As much as I appreciate the vote of confidence I will neeeverrrr reshingle a roof. ;o) Just putting in a few posts has made me so stiff in the mornings I hobble down the stairs. When did I get OLD?

Bondo in the messed up holes was another really good suggestion that I will file away for future reference.

And I was alternately shaking my head with embarrassment and amusement at my horrible typing. I can plainly see when I was visiting the forum on my Nook rather than using my actual computer keyboard. What a dork!

Most of all, what I have gotten from re-reading through this part 2 is two things:

1. I am dead serious when I say the encouragement I get here is one of the most influential things on my motivation to keep going. I am very tired and have a long list of things that need doing even after the kitchen and shed are done and I desperately appreciate the support.

I am the very first one to say "Get of the computer and make some "real" friends!" But the truth is that being brand-new to Michigan has left me rather bereft of RL people on whom I can call and getting to know you all, even through the relative anonymity of the Web, has helped me feel a little less lonely. And your collective knowledge has not only taught me so very much about this kitchen stuff but also about myself, believe it or not.

2. Looking again at the teaser pic of my "coffee center" actually made me tear up a little. It is a profound sense of relief that I am near the end of this project and I am very, very happy with the results so far.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:27PM
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Have you thought about the tiles having an intentionally jagged edge by cutting into the planks? I once saw a large transition done where the tiles kind of "faded" into the planks and it looked great. Looked less formal than a rectangular inset. Just an idea. Wish I could find a photo to show you.

I envy your lifestyle. My daughter would go insane with joy living with a horse on the property.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:39PM
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Oh, dearheart, I get it.
I must go to MI this summer to pick up things of my mom's. My sister is buying her house, but she left certain things to the 3 of us. Perhaps at that point, we could meet IRL. It might be fun and I can make a detour!

I've been online since 1989. We used to pay by the byte transmitted, which is where emoticons and acronyms came from .

I've met wonderful people IRL, but I've also had dear (online) friends disappear or die. I have a file on my desktop my sisters know about for when I go to the big renovation in the sky. Whom to call, where to post, and to whom my entire garden (3 acres) should be dug up and given. Then they can sell this hopefully-done project of a home.

In the meanwhile, I also live a rather solitary life. I moved out here with my now-ex-dh, and since he's history (thank GOD) I only work. I don't go out alone, other than my Friday steak + 1 (or 2) glasses of wine. I certainly don't date with my debt load, plus, I intimidate people (read: men, as far as I get it) eventually. So... why bother when I can come home, have a glass of wine and see what others are doing here. :) Not so bad.

You have your beautiful horse, and I have (now) 6 cats and my old girl dog, Morgan. Incredible, unconditional love, right? :)

The encouragement here is incredible and I understand. I'm sure actually, most here get it! Ya' ain't alone, chickie!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:40PM
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CEFreeman, of course!!! Drop me an email when you know you are coming this way!

Feisty, my jaw literally dropped when I read your suggestion. I think it could be absolutely fabulous! Like "fringe!" I know exactly what you are talking about, and with the nifty cutting gadgets available for rent these days it is very, very doable. Brilliant!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:49PM
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Wow - I just read through your posts and am amazed at your progress! Its no wonder you're tired! I can't wait to see it all done. Your kitchen looks wonderful and your determination and stamina are very motivating for me to start remodeling my kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:03AM
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You and your horse both look so happy to see each other. Your reno is really moving along! Awesome work.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:18AM
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I have been so lazy and distracted and tired that to say I got the new stove in place today sounds so exciting and special! But it was not. Exciting, yes. Special, no. It took all of five minutes to attach the new cord, another five to slide the new one into the place of the old, and maybe another ten to figure out how to hold that stiff, curly cord out of the way enough to allow the stove to go back as far as it should.

I have company coming in four weeks, so now I really need to get my hiney in gear!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:41PM
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My tile for the backsplash is finally here! Now I have to commit to my homework on installation. If anyone has some good links regarding beginner tiling that would be great!

My goal for tomorrow is to finish my trim work and/or the electrical. With onset of spring the kitchen has taken a back seat but I still already love all the space I have to work in.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 11:53PM
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Your horse looks like a real sweetheart & happy to be home. I can't believe this might be coming to the end. What's our next project?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 3:22AM
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Ohhhh romy...I cannot even fathom, lol! Actually, I can...I just don't want to! We have a nasty jetted tub with no shower in our "master" bath. The plan is to rip that out and create a big walk-in shower.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 8:37AM
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before you figure out how to install the tile, spend at least a few hours figuring out the layout, decide how wide your grout joints will be when you try the layouts.

I am really enjoying your thread here, greenhaven!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 8:42AM
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Thanks, detroit_burb! They are 2x4 honed marble in running bond pattern on a mesh back, so layout will not be too difficult. ;o)

But I started another thread regarding installation, since this is my first time doing tiling. Feel free to chime in there if there are additional important things I must consider.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 8:54AM
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In light of another thread on reno fatigue I thought I would post a quick update.

I am definitely suffering reno fatigue, although I hardly deserve to when others have been hammering away at theirs for so long. But I've got it, and a long, long list of other things that need to be done. The stress of the move is finally, finally catching up to me, too, and I took an emotional nosedive. I have been treading water, but am okay with that, for now.

So I did finally sand and prime my lazy susan doors, which I have been putting of for forever because...well, I am sick of sanding and painting, lol!

But I did it, and found the trim pieces I needed for above the upper cabs and sanded and primed those, too. I had to pick up a new board for filler trim on the far right end of the new run, too, but got it and am ready to prime and paint.

I am putting off painting trim until the backsplash goes in, and have been putting off tiling because I am still not confident enough in the steps. but I AM still doing homework and think I at least have all the materials I need to get started.

Oh! And I finally ordered stools and pendants. I was going to postpone pendants for the island since it might be a while before we get re-wired for that, but as I was narrowing down all my options the two (stools and pendants) just came together and clicked for me.

These are the stools I have on the way:

And two of these pendants:

Thanks to all of you who weighed in on the decision-making process for both of those. Those stools were not on the original list, but the price is right and I think they are a really good fit.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 9:35PM
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The stools and the pendants are great choices. They look current yet slightly rustic in a good way.

Are you planning to have tie-on cushions for your stools? I decided that we will. I've found that cushioned dining chairs have made a huge difference for us, to my surprise. I never realized how uncomfortable hard seating is for some members of my household. Of course, I can choose cushions at my leisure. IKEA alone has quite a selection.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 1:10AM
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I'm glad you were able to decipher my tile to wood transition idea. This is a different tile shape, but I thought I'd show you this inspiration photo:

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 1:16AM
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Oh feisty that is soo cool! If I can pull it off I will, but I have to add some underlayment that will make my tile higher than the laminate, which means a piece of transition trim. :( But that is wiiicked cool!

I do love the stools and pendants, and think they will look great but do wonder whether everything will play nicely when it is all put together again.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 8:05AM
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My stools and pendants came in this past week, and I finally got round to opening the boxes. Love them all even more IRL! Very excited to get the pendants up, even though that will be one of the last things we do and might be awhile. I might "dry hang" them just because they are so dang cool.

My motor has been revved, thanks in no small part to the mutual encouragement we DIY-ers have given each other on the "Let's Finish This Thing!" and "What We Accomplished Today" threads.

DH helped me get the outlet in the island powered, one more new outlet installed above the new lower cabinet where the fridge was, and the stove hood powered up. The lazy susan doors and some trim have been sanded and primes, and await their first coats of paint. I also bought new pieces of trim for fillers that needs cutting, sanding, priming, painting.

Oh, and for all my fellow DIY-ers, a special gift for me, and now from me to you. I think this is what finally did the trick:

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 1:36AM
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LOL, my dh had one of those before he moved cross-continent. But he must have gotten another one because stuff is HAPPENING.

Stuff is happening in your kitchen too I see! The pendants and stools are really great in the photos - glad they are making you happy IRL.

"I have to add some underlayment that will make my tile higher than the laminate, which means a piece of transition trim."

Yes, I guess that is the amazing thing about the photos I've seen. They must all somehow get around the issue of the tile and the wood being different thicknesses right? Because you'd never have the situation where they'd be the same?

I don't know if a crazy transition would look right in your kitchen. You'd know by laying out tiles on your floor I guess?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 2:12AM
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Excellent news in the greenhaven house!!! I do not remember who it was that made the comment about my being able to shingle a house, but I was desperately afraid that was gong to become prophetic after we started losing shingles in the wind storms about a month ago.

Well, I found a local guy who does roofing, he came out and gave a very reasonable estimate and said they do all kinds of work.

"Oh really?" I asked, "What kind of all kinds of things? Like...tiling?"

"Sure! We just finished a beautiful tiling job, we do a LOT of it."

Wahoo! Invite that man in to give me a quote on my backsplash, yes please!

So not only did I find someone to fix the roof he is going to do my backsplash, too. I am SO relieved. I truly believe i *could* do it. But I don't wanna. Truly.

So happy!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 7:03PM
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Yay for lucking into a tiler! In my other house, I tiled a kitchen floor and bathtub surround. Not my favorite thing to do, but I couldn't afford to do it any other way. We also did the BS in this house, but it wasn't a huge area, and the split-face marble is more forgiving.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 5:26PM
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Wonderful news! Glad your windstorm clouds had such a bright silver lining!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 6:09PM
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Perfectly done tiling is a Good Thing :) .

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 6:41PM
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Love your pendants and stools! The comfort thing is really driving/limiting our choices for stools and I'd like to get that done really soon.

You are really on a roll now, especially with your new help and Round Tuits! Thanks for passing those on, we always need a chuckle! I'm thinking many of us are in the same stage and will be finishing close together! Here's to a good week!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 6:50PM
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bbtrix, go get 'em, girl! I am trying not to hold out for hope that The Guy can get it in before company comes on Saturday....trying to be content whatever, but now I am excited to see it come to a close.

I do have to say, especially since the tiling burden has been lifted, that I really, really love my new kitchen space even if it is not perfect and not my dream kitchen. It is so very pleasant to work in and look at!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 7:48PM
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ETA: Oops, lol, forgot to post my kitchen progress! Not much, but I am counting it anyway. Unpacked both pendants and stools and trashed the trash, and assembled the second stool and tucked them both up under the island overhang, even though the floor is still wonky. Not much on the kitchen front, but it is still something. It is (ever so slightly) possible that I will start painting the primed ls doors and trim tonight.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 8:09PM
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Need stool pix in place!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 9:19PM
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Lol, okay! Will be hard to do without capturing the whole kitchen, and have been kind of saving up for my reveal. I will go do it now.

PS, changed my mind. Too dark! Tomorrow.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 9:30PM
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