Small kitchen/question about counter material

mama goose_gw zn6OHApril 18, 2010

Hi, I just joined gardenweb, and I've really enjoyed reading everyone's posts. I'm also fairly new to internet use, and the amount of information available is amazing.

Our home started life as a 900sf foursquare cottage with two small bedrooms tucked into the attic eaves. Our home has been added onto several times, and we are adding on again, which will probably take us over the 2000sf 'small home limit.' So, I thought I'd better join gardenweb NOW, although I will always have a small home state of mind. The original part of our house doesn't have closets, except for a tiny 'under-the-stairs' cubby, big enough for a few coats and my vacuum cleaner. Our addition has 18 feet of closets!!! I'm thrilled! I know that when they are finished that space will fill up quickly, but I'm dreaming about how I'll arrange everything. Do I need to get out more?!

I just posted the following questions to the Kitchens forum, but if anyone here has advice or info, I'd welcome it:

We own a home built in the 1920's, and I'd like to give my 13x13 kitchen a vintage look. I currently have off-white painted cabinets which I will keep, and laminate countertops which I need to replace. I love the look of soapstone, but unfortunately it's way outside my budget. I'm considering black marble tile for the counters, with a carrera slab for a free-standing baking center. I am repurposing a small (30x30) vintage carrera slab that I already own, for the baking center, and I have 12x12 'New St.Laurent' tiles for the counter. I've searched on 'marble' and found some beautiful kitchens with carrera/soapstone, and carrera/black granite, but no black marble.

Is there a reason that black marble isn't used often in kitchens? Does anyone have pictures of kitchens with black marble counters and/or backsplashes?

I've read all about sealing and etching on the marble forums, and I've even been using a couple of sealed sample tiles beside the stove and sink to make sure that I can live with the 'patina.' So far, no problems.

I'd also like to re-use another carrera slab (former coffee table top) to make open shelves. It is 54x18, ap. an inch thick, and will be cut in half length-wise to make two shelves. Does anyone have advice for mounting marble shelves? My DH can't wait to get started--NOT!

Thank you all for any information you can provide.

(Sorry for the long post, and multiple subjects.)

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OH Sounds like you have lots of good ideas. The only time I had black marble it was an antique wash stand and it had a glass ring on it that I never could get out.

Love your ideas of using some of what you have in your revamped kitchen. Pictures would be great if you can do that.

And I do not think any one will send the internet police after you if you post on a small house board with over 2000 SQ FT house. So Welcome.Mama_Goose


    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 10:58PM
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Hi Again Mama_Goose Found this thread for you to maybe help with pictures. Saw your request on another thread and thought you might find it faster here.


Here is a link that might be useful: Posting Pictures Explained

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 11:32PM
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"I'm dreaming about how I'll arrange everything. Do I need to get out more?!"

me too then! lol!

hey, i wanna be the internet police and check everyone's sq footage. You could say you have 1999 sq ft.

i know almost nothing about marble. what it looks like is about it. are you moving any appliance locations? like moving the sink, stove from where it is now?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 12:30AM
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Have you done a search on the Kitchen Forum? Try Black and your composite, especially in their gallery.

Great to have you here. And I like tile counters.

The sites above were from a google image result for "black marble kitchen counter". A lot of ideas showed up for your color combination. Most are solid, but still good for seeing black. I liked the ones seen.

Below is a link to a tile discussion. Go down 3/4 of the forum and see Bill's black kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bill's black kitchen counter

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 7:19AM
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I do not plan on tile counter tops at all. We do have porcelain tile floors in our sun porch and in our new tiny bath. We will have them also in the master bath.

But for the kitchen, when we eventually get around to the counters, the sink side of our galley kitchen will be Silestone quartz slab. The stove side of the galley kitchen will, IF I CAN FIND IT, be stainless steel. I have a small buffet and a rolling cart with a stainless top, and it wears very well. When DH put the first scratches on it, I was bummed out, but now it is reaching a patina stage, and quite the nice look overall.

In DH's house up north, he installed Silestone kitchen counters in the color STELLAR SNOW. It has lots of sparkly flecks in it. You do not see bread crumbs from the toaster, and you have to run your hand over the surface to find the spots that need wiping down. It always looks neat and clean, even when not perfectly wiped down. And it NEVER NEEDS SEALING. It is also antimicrobial, sanitary. So that is why we will be installing Silestone quartz on at least half of the kitchen in Alabama.

I think marble is exquisite, but will require more attention than I am willing to give to it.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:13AM
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Welcome mama_goose. Can't wait to see pics of your house & your addition. Take pix all the way through.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 11:25AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Chris, thank you for the welcome, and the picture-posting info. It's good to know that there is a 'practice forum'--I'll try it soon! I love antiques, and even with a water ring, your wash stand sounds lovely. I etched my polished marble sample tiles myself, just to experiment, and then 'honed' them with 180-grit sandpaper. I then etched them again with vinegar, ketchup, etc., and lightly re-sanded them wet, to see if that worked. On some I had to use 150-grit, and then 180-grit, and it worked pretty well. It worked better on the tiles before they were sealed. I also dropped a piece of broken tile into a container of vinegar and grew some beautiful calcium carbonate(?) crystals. Remember the ones we used to grow using a lump of coal and ammonia?

desertsteph, thanks for the tip--I have exactly 1999sf! ;)
And a husband who wants to do only a minimum remodel on our kitchen, since he has been working on the addition for two years. We won't be moving the sink because of plumbing, but I do want to relocate my stove to an outside wall in order to install a vented hood. The fridge will be moved over and built in, and the flooring replaced. Due to budget constraints and my quest for a vintage look, I plan to use vinyl, which we now have, and which has held up nicely to my active family's traffic. I'd also like to remove part of the wall between the kitchen and DR. The PO had removed a wall between the two front rooms, making one 13x26 living-room space, and we love it. I've been told that the second family to own the house raised six girls in the original 900sf. Even though it is old and needs work, I feel lucky to have this house, and I'm so glad that I found the gardenweb forum before we actually started the kitchen redo--I'm looking forward to benefiting from everyone's experience and advice.

emagineer, thank you for taking the time to provide the links. I had searched on 'marble' on all the gardenweb forums, and found lots of info. I also searched the forums for 'black marble' but found no results. I've spent hours looking at the FKB, and vintage kitchens on google images. Thank goodness that I found gardenweb, if only to put a name to my 'affliction'--TKO. So nice to know that I'm not the only one suffering from this! I like tile, too. Last year we re-purposed an antique sideboard into a bathroom vanity with a tile top. Every time I walk into that bathroom I love it even more! If I feel the same way when the kitchen counters are finished, I'll be ecstatic! Gotta go see Bill's kitchen...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 12:27PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Sorry, moccasinlanding and marti8a, I started composing my message and got sidetracked...thank you for the info and the welcome.

I found the marble tiles that I want at a well known home improvement store for $1.48 each. I'm sure they are seconds, but beautiful all the same. With the underlayment, backer-board, etc., they'll still cost less that mid-range laminate, and I just love the idea of real stone. Besides, at that price, if they last only a few years, I can scrap the counters and go back to laminate. From what I've read about quartz counters, they would definitely be out of my price range, but the low-maintenance sounds great.

Thanks again to everyone!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 12:43PM
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Mama Goose, you have found a great place which will welcome all your thinking-out-loud, all your what-ifs, all your doubts, and all your big bright IDEAS!! What's more, we will all celebrate each milestone toward your completed projects.

As for the photo uploads, I had to set up a free account with tinypic but some folks use photobucket and maybe a few others. The real knack for it is recognizing which line of "code" you need to insert in your posting. Sometimes I forget, and just insert all of them. When I preview, then code did not work I take out before submitting the post.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 6:25PM
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use the html code. we loooove to see pics!

"And a husband who wants to do only a minimum remodel on our kitchen, since he has been working on the addition for two years."

so, how far along is it now? I've been 'attempting' to move for over a year. can't say I'm very far along on it... i might have somewhere around 10 boxes packed. small ones. thrown out a good amount of stuff tho. I'd be happy just to get my bed set up there and get electricity turned on... dbf needs to move that sucker here first tho. then it's about a 20 ft move. your dh is probably doing better than i am.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 3:17PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

desertsteph, the addition was planned as a family dining room (for the extended families, 20 or so people), and a playroom for the grandkids. It's usable as such--trim and flooring not finished, so the work has slowed down. Now it's kinda 'if we get to it, we get to it.' Last week we hung the last set of closet doors, but haven't finished the shelves. The room was added on to one side of my kitchen, so I lost several feet of counter and cabinets to a new doorway. For two years I've been living with a piece of T111 house-siding as a counter beside my stove. Can't wait to show you that pic! BTW, it's only two steps from the sink, so relatively low fire hazard.

I've lived in 9 different houses in my adult life. I don't plan to move again until I can walk (or be carried) out and leave everything here for the kids. If one of them wants the house, he or she can move us!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 4:16PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

moccasinlanding and everyone, thank you for the information and encouragement. It will be nice to sign in and say 'Look what we did this week!' A great incentive to get to work!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 4:34PM
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LOL I totally understand unfinished. Lived in the house we built for three years before doing carpet in it. I am sure in good time you will get it done.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 9:42PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

These pictures are mostly of our addition, with a couple of kitchen tile samples thrown in. Click on each picture for captions. (You all probably already know that.) Any questions or suggestions are welcome. Thanks

Here is a link that might be useful: new addition/play room/closets

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 8:16PM
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Mama-goose, love your addition! Leaving room to add a wall if needed was a stroke of genius. I just have one question - can I store my chairs and table in your closet too? lol

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 10:45PM
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WOW Mama-goose. I really enjoyed looking through your pictures. Lots of thought has gone into your room. I am sure you will get it done. What is finished so far looks wonderful. I love the window seats and the storage to die for. Pretty colors too. I would not be discouraged with all you have done. It all is lovely. You have a lot going on in there and so much completed. Would have taken me forever , more likely IF ever to get it done.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 12:16AM
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Really enjoy the photos and your progress. I love the window seat, haven't most of us wanted one as a child? Great layout you have and so many options. Keep us updated.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 8:42AM
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This may or may not help you in considering marble tile (which I think would be pretty), but I have a marble lazy susan someone gave me that I keep by the stove and store oft-used items on it: balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt/pepper/garlic, and wooden utensils in the middle, in a separate marble holder. The LS is charcoal gray and white, the utensil holder is mainly white w/bits of pale gray.

Anyway, I just cleaned it off and looked at it. After about 7 years of abuse, it has a few spots of etching and an etched ring (probably from the balsamic vinegar bottle). When light reflects off it, the etching marks make it look dirty. However, I do not find the etching to be off-putting at all (but I spent several years working in labs and the counters in labs get quite the patina as well...). I'm not a shiny granite person, but the shiny marble is prettier than granite, seems less formal, and etching doesn't mar the appearance IMHO.

The only reason I wouldn't want hard counters like marble or granite (or concrete or soapstone etc) is b/c I often knock dishes against the counter -- especially unloading the diswasher -- and I would have a lot of breakage. Our counters are made from plastic (LivingStone) and I love them! In my dream kitchen, I would still choose LS/Corian/Hi-Macs type of counters but have a SECTION for baking etc that would be marble, granite, or soapstone. That would be in my dream kitchen, designed for how I live (klutz) not for how I wished I lived ;-)

I think if you want marble, go for it!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 2:10PM
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Melle your reasons are the same as mine for not having the hard surfaces. I drop things so easily with my hands getting older loosing my grip. Hehehe More than one way to do that. I have fun vintage dishes and really hope they last me the rest of my life. Would not happen with even tile on my counter.

But I LOVE the look of Marble. So classic so pretty. And a marble baking area to die for.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 4:45PM
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Hi mama_goose, just wanted to say that I really like your addition! You have done a wonderful job.
Doesn't DIY take a long time? I feel like we are never ever going to be done. As soon as one 'project' is finished, there's another one waiting to be done.
Good luck with choosing your counters. I know you'll get some wonderful advice both here and in the kitchen forum. :)
The only thing I thought I'd add is that the 'hardness factor' is why we are not going with stone/granite etc., as the others have mentioned. I am pretty klutzy, and I'm sure that I'd lose the vast majority of my dishes simply from dropping them.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 8:12PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

idie2live, bring your chairs and tables and come on over--we'll have a potluck! Oh, heck, everyone come along!

shades and emagineer, thanks for the encouragement. Yes, I've always wanted a window seat, and when I planned these, I could just imagine my grandkids curled up reading books in them. Yeah, I know--wishful thinking--they'll probably be playing computer games!

melle, thanks for the info and encouragement. I've done some testing (and a lot of obsessing). Here's a link to my thread in the Kitchens Forum:

Here is a link that might be useful: marble testing thread

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 8:16PM
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Oh mymymymy! That window seat is exactly what I'm going for in my dining room! It is gorgeous, love it.
Now, how many people help you do the cooking? It looks like you made room for assigning a couple of tasks to extra hands. You say small kitchen, but it looks nice sized to me. Maybe I've just been spacially challenged for way too long. :)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 6:42PM
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"your reasons are the same as mine for not having the hard surfaces. I drop things so easily with my hands getting older loosing my grip."

me too. sometimes my hands shake - if I'm over tired, upset, rushed... could happen anytime! and I have 2 trigger thumbs. things can go from my hands to the floor in nothing flat!

I love your new room and all of the storage! that's awesome. can't have too much of that! I have a huge storage cab in the LR (will go into my work room in the new place). I put in 2 shallow shelves in the center area. that way I could reach things easier. I did the same for the top shelf. they're about half the depth of the other shelves. with all really deep shelves stuff was buried behind stuff and more stuff. this way I can put things more often accessed on those 2 center shelves and even the lower one as it's half 'open' (I can even put taller stuff on the outer half of that shelf since it's not covered by the shelf above it). If the top shelf came all the way out to the doors I'd never be able to see what's on it or reach anything - it's too high up!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 1:44AM
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Your house is delightful! But there's a reason you don't see a lot of black marble in kitchens--etches are more noticeable than in white marble, and for less than the cost of good black marble you can get a lot of other dark materials that are much more bulletproof, like dark granites.

If you seriously consider the dark tile, get a sample, bring it home, pour ketchup and vinegar and lemon juice and coffee on it and let it stand overnight, then see if you think you can live with the results.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 2:59PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Thanks, Missy, I think it's more like 'one project leads to another!' I agree with both you and desertsteph--my dishes may be collateral damage for my lust for stone!

moccasinlanding, thank you! We usually have pot luck, everyone is assigned a dish, although by now we all have our special dishes and favorites. My sisters are my main helpers (because they understand me, and they don't want to host all the family dinners, LOL), and when we start the clean-up, everyone trades the left-over goodies--no one leaves empty-handed.

Our kitchen is 13x13, one of the original 'foursquare' rooms. All of our family and friends enter through the back door, into the kitchen, so sometimes it seems pretty small. Until we had to cut a new doorway, everything was set up efficiently for one cook. Now we've created an awkward traffic pattern that will be corrected when we relocate the stove.

desertsteph, thank you--your cabinet sounds great. Our new closets are only 16 inches deep, so that everything is easily accessible, like yours is. I love cabinets and shelves! People are different--my mother loves tables--dining tables, drop-leaf tables, end-tables, which is great because almost every table I own came from her, but when we go antiquing, I look at bookshelves and flatwalls!
How long before you move to the new place?

writersblock, thank you for the compliment. Great advice--I've been 'abusing' my sample tiles for a couple of months, and I'm still in love...sigh...

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 8:02PM
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>I've been 'abusing' my sample tiles for a couple of months, and I'm still in love...sigh...

Then do it!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:38AM
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desertsteph, have your blood sugar checked when you get those spells of shaking. That is what I still do when I get a sugar low reading below 70, and I am a Type 2 diabetic.

Shades, when YOU drop things, you don't lose, you have more material for your mosaic work. Are you SURE you do it accidentally? :)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 11:20AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Hi, All,

I baked bread yesterday, and although I don't plan to use the black marble on the baking center, I decided to experiment. After stirring the yeast medium I laid the spoon down on the marble sample for a few minutes--the time it took to mix and knead the dough. After wiping up the residue, I noticed a light etch. While I was shaping the loaves later, I also put my 'resting' dough on the tile. There was a light etch left from each ball. I find this strange because marble is used for bakery tables. Since yeast dough usually needs to stay warm, I probably won't be using the marble as a kneading surface--I have a nice big wooden board.

Anyway, I used the sanding sponge on the clean marble, and the etches disappeared with a little buffing.

My husband likes using epoxy grout, so while I was experimenting, I mixed the vinegar/water solution used to clean excess epoxy grout, to see if the weak solution would etch the marble. No etches after 5-10 minutes, but after letting the solution set on the marble for an hour and a half I had a light etch that was easily buffed out. I hope you aren't bored outta your gourds by all my marble-babble!

shades-of-idaho: If you are passing this way--how do you feel about epoxy grout? Thanks, Anita

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 3:26PM
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mocassin - thx for the idea! i'll mention it to my doc when I go in the first of June. He knows I shake but hasn't mentioned that! he did send me to a neurologist yrs ago to check me for Parkinson's tho. It seems to mostly happen at certain times - are those times normally when sugar might be low? the lab will do a sugar test about a wk before I go to the doctor.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 2:59AM
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Off subject, but I would recommend a "Neuro Movement Specialist". They diagnose quickly.

What you are describing could be writers cramp, which is actually Dystonia. There are many forms of this, mine is called Focal and is cervical/neck. It does come on when tired or under stress, related to brain function. MRIs, etc. will not show anything, an irritation for most doctors.

A complete neuro observation by a movement specialist is necessary. Many people go for years without getting an answer. You can find neuros who specialize in this and know immediately what it is.

They have it controlled very well for me. And has not gotten worse, few realize I even have this.

I do caution you on doing a search for Dystonia, it can make you fear the worse. If you do, just read the info on focal or basic diagnosis. There are too many types to diagnose yourself or read into. Ask your doctor is this is a possiblity should you need a referral. Interestingly most doctors do not know much at all about Dystonia.

Also, do not take what I am sharing as a diagnosis. Just some info for you to consider.

Guess I'm the shout out for educating on Dystonia. The organization has done a great deal in getting information to the public and still few know about it, even though it affects a larger than realized number of people.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 5:52AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Hi, all,

I'm resurrecting this thread to show you what I've been doing the last few days (while I've been 'incommunicado', LOL).

fori, in the KITCHENS forum, suggested that I do a 'mock-up' of a marble tile counter, when I was testing my tiles. I decided to use the 'reject' marble tiles for my prep-sink in the new addition. The ten tiles that I used cost $14.80, the substrate materials cost ap. $30.00. Tile adhesive and grout for both the counter and backsplash will be ap.$32.00. I used mostly scrap tiles for the backsplash, but the tiles that I bought cost $15.00. If you're keeping score, that's almost $92.00 for the counter and backsplash.

I'm listing the cost of materials, because this may be a wasted effort--if it doesn't work out, I'll tear it out and start over. If it works, then I'll use the 'good' marble tiles for my kitchen counters, whenever we start the kitchen facelift. We just bought a (necessary) used pick-up truck, so the already small, kitchen budget has disappeared--I'll have ample time to test my new counter.

So far, I LOVE the counter, and my husband, who didn't share my vision of taking highly-polished, second quality tiles, and turning them into something that (I hope) will look like a slab of soapstone or slate on an old chem-lab table, LOVES it, too.

I haven't grouted yet, or sanded the epoxy in the edge seams, and the sink and faucet aren't installed. I plan to paint the cabinet GREEN WILLOW (leftover paint), and maybe repaint the beadboard to the right of the counter. It's SUGAR COOKIE to match the window-seat wall, but I'm thinking the HEAVY CREAM on the other wall would look better with the tile.

There are a few wonky spots in the backsplash, but I cut most of the mosaic pieces myself--cut some of them in the rain, today :(, so maybe the grout will even things out.

Sorry for the long post. If anyone is still reading, here's my 'new baby':

Here is a link that might be useful: Marble counter, mosaic backsplash

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 9:33PM
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mama - I think that BS and counter look great - no wonder you both like it!

emagineer - looks like I hadn't come back to this thread! I do have dystonia! at least according to my doctor. i do need to ask him more about it. I thought it had to do with the left side of my back that is rock hard. it hurts terribly if I have a lot of arm movement - like raking, other yard work, dishes, laundry etc. The neurologist ran lots of tests on me and injected my left back with botox. it really helped. I need to go back to him.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 11:53PM
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OH WOW Mama. GREAT job!! Love the design and how wonderful to be able to use up left overs in such a creative way.

I really wanted to do our kitchen counter in large tiles like you did here but chickkened out. Sorry I did now. LOVE what you have done.

Hoping some day I will finally grout my backs splash. Sigh

I am totally impressed with your workmanship and creativity.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 2:40AM
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Whew, Mama, you knocked this one out of the park!
That is a wonderful design you created, so very prairie style. It is also very different from anything I've seen before in backspashes. Your vision of geometric flowers is bringing beauty to a hidden part of your kitchen. Cannot wait to see how you bring it all together with the paint. Not knowing what HEAVY CREAM looks like, I know it sounds scrumptuous.

Your example is inspiring. Now I have a better idea of what is possible, and won't just settle for any old backsplash when we get to that part of our kitchen redo.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 12:18PM
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Great job Mama! Did you have to use a wet saw to cut the large tiles? I have some marbel tiles that I've had about 15 years, but the thought of using a wet saw worries me.
I also have the tile to make a backsplash behind the stove, but I've been too lazy to do it. Maybe your beautiful work will inspire me to action.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 1:55PM
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Idie, come to think of it, up north DH has a wet saw. I will make sure he brings it down south AFTER he redoes the tile in the upstairs bath up there. He said he'd never put marble or granite tile on a bathroom floor again because it is so slippery. I think he put the polished stuff down, in 12 inch squares, so not many grout lines to give traction. Since that space is so small, and there is need for a new toilet, I'm thinking we could rip that out and put in the basketweave marble mosaic for a reasonable amount, and for a more impressive look.

All this talk about TILE has me revved up and raring to work on something. Hope you find your perfect marble, Mama.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 11:34AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Thanks, desertsteph, after looking at it for a few days, I think my hubby likes it more that I!

shades, knowing that you do mosaic work, I'm flattered. The only tricky part is making sure that the counter tiles are level--my husband helped with that task. Save the grouting for a rainy day, but make sure you cut tiles on a day that is warm and DRY.

idie, we do have a wet saw--it's my favorite power tool. When we were planning the redo on our bathroom, we decided that by doing the tile ourselves, we could pay for the tile saw. (Cost ap $140.00 last year at Lowe's). We also tiled my mother's shower and sink surround as a Christmas gift, and we'll use the saw for our kitchen and new bathroom. It was well worth the investment, and it is FUN. But, I wouldn't recommend using a wet saw in December in Ohio--I've cut tile when the water was freezing on the deck. BRRRRRRR!

moccasin, I bought about three times more tile than I thought I needed for the kitchen counters. I then culled the bad tiles (cracked corners, wide fissures, gravelly deposits). I used the best of the 'reject' tiles for the sink counter. The tiles were only $1.48 each, and I'll find a garden project for those that aren't used in the kitchen. With our creaky, warped floors I'd never try to lay marble or ceramic tile on them.

I'm adding a link to basketweave (free shipping!) tile, and here's a link to my newly painted cabinet:

Here is a link that might be useful: Digitex mosaic tile

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 2:08PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH


The counter and backsplash are grouted, and the cabinet is finished, although I may replace the doors, see pics 16, 17, 18. Please let me know what you think about the doors. I finished and painted the drywall, and repainted the beadboard sidesplash using 'Heavy Cream.' I decided the 'Sugar Cooky' color was too peachy.

Working with the black marble was so much fun, I think I'll use it for the backsplash for the adjacent kitchen sink, as well as one of the counters in the kitchen. I recently scored some used school science-lab tables from craigslist--this style, but 30x54, for $25.00 EACH. We're planning to use the tops for part of our counters, especially the sink counter, since they are virtually bullet-proof. (Really over-kill for a home kitchen, but $25.00! That's less than $2.50/sf for the tops alone.) I know that the epoxy resin can be scratched, but I've always had laminate--I don't cut directly on the counters, or drag anything that might scratch. I've read that light scratches can be sanded out of the resin. The tops are solid, and HEAVY, almost as heavy as marble, so while the cabinets will have to be reinforced, no substrate is necessary.

My FIL is using one of the oak table frames for a work-table, and my hubby has plans for the other three. What a deal!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 11:09AM
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Yes, quite a deal! I bought $800 worth of lab counters and steel cabinets last fall. I was hoping to use them as a kitchen, but DH did not like it and I could not work out a good plan, so I now have excellent garage cabinets and once our kitchen remodel is done, I can finish organizing the garage! I just love how you did that sink, counter, and backsplash in the playroom. I have one uestion - why martini glasses in the children's playroom? Ha ha, that is the first thing that came to mind when I saw your inventive, beautiful backsplash pictures! Your room is so nice for your family gatherings and I love the playful attitude you used throughout. And so practical with the storage - just a great use of space. I cannot wait to see your kitchen!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 11:37PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Thanks, nancy, LOL when I see the mess that the kids usually leave, I could use a drink!!

I like your under-construction kitchen--much better than steel cabinets. I can remember my grandmother's old steel cabinets and porcelain drainboard/sink. I also appreciate another 'salvage' enthusiast, and it's so great that you'll have all those cabinets and counters to organize your garage.

Have you tried cleaning or sanding the resin counters?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 10:32AM
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Wow mama goose, your cabinet is gorgeous! I've never considered tile, but I would after seeing yours. And the backsplash is a work of art! I thought I had commented on your addition, but didn't see it here, so maybe I just thought it. I really like the window seats and all the closets. I think that is the hardest part of living in a small house - lack of storage.

I've lived in a state of unfinished for so long, I can't imagine anything else.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 11:50AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Thanks, marti8a!

LOL, the next time someone asks me what state I live in, I'm going to follow your lead and say, "Unfinished!"

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 2:43PM
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WOW Mama-goose I love the idea of using the lab table tops. And great score for you. Those are great!!

Also your seeds ARE in the mail. Finally.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 10:34PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Thanks, Chris!

I've been thinking about using one of the lab-table frames for my

, and using it as a potting bench. It's already setting against the back wall of the house and there's pea-gravel in that area, so if I spill water, it will drain. That would be a great place for some new columbine plants, too--they seem to have no problem sprouting in gravel. Thank you again, I'll be watching the mail.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 9:26AM
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How on earth did you score those lab tables? What a find! And using the sink as a potting table top will be perfect. It will in the future look very nice outside your old buttery. hehehehe...I am relentless in finding projects for other people!

Down here, those old sinks are frequently built into docks out over the water, for fish cleaning. Perfect way to avoid cleaning up fish guts and scales, and it draws other fish to the site. Also, baiting the crab traps with chicken skin and innards, is easier if you do it out there too.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 3:56PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Hi, ML, I found the tables on craigslist, and it happened that they were advertised on a day that my DH was available to go with me. It was a 2 1/2 hr drive, each way, but was very close to the area in central Ohio where I spent 8 years of my childhood.

The tables had been used in a HS science lab until a couple of years ago when a school system consolidated, and no longer needed them. Then they went to a church where they were evidently used for Sunday School or Bible School crafts--think rainbow spatters of paint.

The church had recently been remodeled, and the minister was selling all the old tables. He showed us the brand new stainless steel kitchen facilities and Oh-my-goodness!! It was beautiful! I used to work for a caterer, and I would have loved to roll up my sleeves and try out that kitchen!

Like you, I am always thinking of new projects--after my younger DD dragged home the porcelain sink, she found a cast out stainless steel sink, too--I can have a sink outside every door! I love to see old fixtures repurposed, and our 'relaxed' yard is just the place!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 1:31PM
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Hi Mama-goose,
I have a bunch of the lab tables and have been looking at using them for kitchen counters, too. How hard were they to install and how have they been in terms of use? Do they scratch easily? That has been the biggest complaint I have heard. 1 more question, did you actually cut the lab top yourself (or DH)?

Thank you so much for any advise,

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 8:20PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Hi, HoustonCrafter, our lab table tops are still leaning against a wall--things move slowly around here. My husband plans to use a carbide-tipped blade (notched for plastic), and I'll do the finishing with fine sandpaper, 600-grit, plan to do as much as possible outside to avoid the dust problem.

I've read about the scratching issue--the tables came with a few minor scratches(and old chewing-gum on the underside, LOL), but the scratches don't really bother me too much.

DH plans to reinforce our cabinets to support the weight--that seems to be the major issue. I'll keep you posted.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 10:12PM
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Hi Mama (and Andrea), my fellow re-purposed lab-top owners!

I have not done anything to the lab tops. They were in quite good condition, having come from an auto-supplier that was not really a heavy-duty lab situation, I guess. These resin tops are so heavy that the fellow who sold them to me and set them up did not even connect the counters to the cabs. They are not going to move anywhere without great effort!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 10:27PM
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Mama Goose and Nancy in Mich,
How are the lab counter tops doing after a year of use? How easy was it to install?I am ready to pull the trigger and get it done!!
Input on the down side of lab counter tops would be very helpful!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 4:44PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Wow, what a surprise to see this thread at the top of the page. Very bittersweet, because my last post mentions my husband's plans for the tops. He unexpectedly passed away just a couple of months later--how I wish he was still here. My brother graciously volunteered to help me with the tops. He cut them after I templated, then I finished the sanding, buffing, installation, runnels and seams.

Coincidentally, I just finished cleaning the tops in anticipation of a family celebration planned for this Sunday.

I polish with a cloth saturated with mineral oil, then buff off the excess. Makes them shine like new! They are holding up well--I don't notice any damage or wear, and I sometimes put (semi-)hot pots down beside the stove, although I wouldn't put a large, really hot baking dish from the oven.

One casualty though--my DD dropped the lid to a china tea pot. The lid shattered, but no damage to the counter.

I'm linking my kitchen album, starting with the pics of the counter top, and also the album that has info on the runnels. If you click on my user-name you can find all my albums, as well as my kitchen threads.

houstoncrafter, best of luck!! I haven't been on GW much lately, as I've had some other projects to do, but feel free to email me if you need some hand-holding. :)

Kitchen/lab top pics

DIY Runnels

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 7:30PM
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