My 'slabs' are here!

senator13August 1, 2011

My slabs were installed this weekend. I really think they look nice with the cabinets

From Finished counter

I like their flat matte finish too

From Finished counter

The counter was done flush mount to the sink

From Finished counter

How it all looks together

From Finished counter

P.S. Yes, my "slabs" are laminate (Arborite, Black Grit). Originally, I had planned on going with a leathered black granite, because like many, I like the look of soapstone but I don't think I could live with the patina. In the end, I realized that although the feel of natural stone is far superior to any laminate in my mind, my laminate counters have always been very functional, easy to care for, and a good value for the money. My husband build these, so in total we spent around $500-even using plywood instead of MDF for the substrate material. I have 77 sq. feet of counter, so the cheapest granite would have been over $6,000 for that space. So, for me, it was a good decision. I hope my "slabs" inspire others who are considering laminate!

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KitchenCabinetKings

Nice color contrast between the cabinets and the counters. Also, kudos to the savy shopping, great savings!

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen Cabinet Kings

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:09PM
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dianalo

I thought you had quartz there until you 'fessed up, lol. I love the sleek look of the counters and they will serve you well over many years with no fuss.

btw - what is your flooring?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:12PM
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senator13

Oooh, quartz. Hmmm, maybe I will try and say that to everyone before they touch it!

I have Marmoleum sheet, dinalo. I know you had problems with your Marmo floor, and that is really too bad. We are not living in our house yet, but we haven't had any problems with scratches on ours, even with some of the equiptment they have been hawling in and out of the house. Fingers crossed, because I do really like it.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:25PM
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Redhead47

Looks great!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:36PM
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farmgirlinky

I love the quiet grey! And was just visiting my sister in Kentucky, who still has the green laminate counters my parents installed in 1954: they looked great. Your project is shaping up so well.
Lynn

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:52PM
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Mugsy42

I love the counters and the sink. What a great kitchen!

I *heart* your "slabs."

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 11:01PM
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senator13

Thanks, Lynn. Although if I knew where you lived, your BEAUTIFUL soapstone counters and fir cabinets would be in great danger! As well as your subway tile, your open shelves, your light rail.... ;0

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 11:02PM
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flwrs_n_co

Your counters look great with your beautiful cabs! I love the matte finish. Is it the cashmere finish? Your kitchen is looking great; I bet you can't wait to start using it!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 11:09PM
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senator13

Yes, it is the cashmere finish. You must be familiar with Aborite.

I am very excited to use our new kitchen (and the house that it is in, too!) I think we should have our occupancy permit in the next week or so. Fingers crossed!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 11:23PM
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elba1

Looks great!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 7:30AM
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LRy511

Wow, the counter tops looks great! I thought they were granite!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 8:03AM
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francoise47

Your counters look great -- and perfect aesthetically with the rest of your kitchen. I happily cooked in kitchens with formica from 1960s to 1998. I've always thought they were such a sensible choice. And they still look 'just right' to me. I'm sure your kitchen is going to inspire many. Beautiful job!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 8:16AM
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senator13

Thanks, everyone. Here are some pictures of them being built. We use 2 plywood boards (3/4" thick) to build them up to 1 1/2". Then they applied the contact cement, laid the Arborite Black Grit, rolled it and used a router to cut the edges. The edges were the tricky part, but it got easier as they went I think. There are a couple of areas that could be a little better, but to most people, they will go unnoticed, especially since I will have dirty dishes on them most of the time :) From Finished counter From Finished counter From Finished counter

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 8:21AM
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ellendi

Yes, they look terrific. What brand are they? I would like to store the info for future reference. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 8:32AM
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senator13

They are Arborite, in Black Grit. We bought the laminate sheet from Cabinetparts.com I believe each 5x12' sheet was around $95.00.

We had previously found a countertop fabricator that also could have done any brand we wanted (Nevemar, Pionite, WilsonArt, Formica, Arborite). He was reasonable compared to the big box stores ($2,000 verses $3800 at Lowes), but in the end, my husband decided to do them.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 8:45AM
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boylanite2

WOW.... BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Your husband did an amazing job. I never would have guessed they were diy!

BTW...what size height are your cabinets? My uppers are going to be the same style as yours...if my cabinet makers ever finishes up the job that is! :)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 8:55AM
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senator13

Boylanite-

Thanks! My husband is very particular about the work he does, which is why I "let" him build the counters ;)

They are 42", I believe the includes the moulding at the top. As you can see, our cellings are sloped, so at the 8' part, 42" was just right.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 8:59AM
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desertsteph

your counter top is beautiful! I love the matte look. I'm also partial to laminate.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 10:43AM
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pamike1

From the pictures, I would have never guessed they weren't slabs of soapstone or honed black granite. They look soft and smooth, not at all like my old laminate. Thought it was time to get my glasses checked! Oh and I love the QS oak cabs too, beautiful combination.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 11:46AM
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gbsim1

Love it! Great job with ALL of your material choices.... you've got a great feel and flow going!
I'm planning on using Marmoleum also.... what color did you choose? Any seams?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 11:50AM
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senator13

We used the sheet in Caribbean. We have one seam in the kitchen which is not at all noticible. Even to me,and I saw them put it in!

At the bottom (left) you can see where the plywood is showing. That is where the seam is. In the next picture it is covered with the marmoleum, but the seam is undetectable. We did not have our seams welded. From Marmo floor From Marmo floor

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 11:58AM
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palimpsest

All the materials look great. Laminate is still a very practical choice. Other than not being able to set very hot things on it, it is a pretty durable and low maintenance material.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 12:06PM
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timber.j

Looks great!

I like how you handled the sink/laminate transition.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 1:03PM
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lazydaisynot

Your kitchen looks terrific. Love the warm wood with the dark pulls and countertops.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 1:40PM
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chocolatebunny

Glad to see another laminate fan! I too thought they were honed granite. We have white laminate righ now and considered dark like your for a while but DH is afraid they will make the kitchen too dark. Our cabinets are darker than yours however.

I will have to check out Arborite again. They are considerably less expensive then Formica and WilsonArt.

Great job!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 2:25PM
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Lake_Girl

I wish I could see the edge treatment a little better. This is where I'm not a big fan of laminate. I don't like the seam. Otherwise it's great (it's all we've ever had)! However, my kitchen is so small, I think we can do a diy soapstone fairly reasonably. Can you tell me how you did the edge treatment and around the sink?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 5:33PM
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senator13

Lake_Girl,

I will take some close-ups tommorrow when I am at the house and get back to you on the edges and sink-okay!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 6:24PM
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mcmjilly

Good job! I love seeing that stone isn't absolutely necessary!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 7:36PM
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gbsim1

Thanks for the Marmo pictures! Caribbean is one of my top contenders for color so it's great to see some real life photos.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 3:32PM
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senator13

Lake_Girl,

Here are some pictures of how we handled the sink and the edges.

The sink cabinet was built so that the sink rests on it. Obiously, the cabinet maker knew this when he built it so it could support the 135 lb cast iron sink. Also, the Kohler Dickinson sink that we bought is a tile-in, so it could be flush mounted. We had him build it so that the sink would be 1/8" higher than the counters. My husband then ran a thin bead of clear silicone around the sink. He also made the counters out of plywood instead of MDF so there would be less issues if water got in the seams somehow.

As for the edges, it helps that we have a dark counter. All I did was the "sharpie" treatment on them. Although I think if I have to do touch-up, I may try the Martha Stewart charcoal. The black is a little too dark, but it really is not noticible unless you have your eyeballs up to it to see it. The seams have always bothered me too, which is why we used postform in our current kitchen. However, because the exposed ends, postform wasn't going to work as well in this kitchen.

I took the pictures at approximately 2 ft, 1 + ft and 8" away.

Again, it might not be perfect, but it is definitely good enough for me! From Sink and laminate edges From Sink and laminate edges From Sink and laminate edges From Sink and laminate edges From Sink and laminate edges

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 7:25PM
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sue_b

I am so appreciative of your sharing a laminate success story. You have made a beautiful space and I love your choice of Marmoleum color. I congratulate your husband on a job well done.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 12:09PM
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senator13

Sue_b,

That is very sweet! Thank you so much. I am greatful for everyone that has shared their advice/feedback on this forum, and am happy to do the same. We are about a week out from moving in, so I am really excited to make it a beautiful, lived-in, space!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 2:36PM
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Lake_Girl

That looks really great! It's nice to be able to use the farmhouse sink AND laminate. We would be putting a new sink on existing cabinets, so I don't think a farmhouse sink will work for us :( But yours looks really nice! Thanks for the details!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 4:40PM
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Studioist

I always love to see people using more affordable and attainable choices and I think laminate pairs well with Marmoleum.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 4:57PM
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beachpea3

Senator13 - Your new kitchen makes a refreshing statement! Love everything you have done. Congratulations! You and your DH are very clever to DIY!...(Not all of us have that kind of hometeam talent).

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 5:27PM
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senator13

Lake_Girl,

You may still have some options if you really want a farm sink. I originally looked at getting this Kohler sink. The advantage is that it is wall mounted and self-rimming. So no issues with water/laminate or the weight since it gets mounted to the wall. Plus they come in several standard sizes for cabs and fun colors!

Here is a link that might be useful: Kohler Gilford

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 9:03PM
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roarah

Your kitchen is beautiful!!! I am so loving wood these days. all your elements work together in such a classic way yet it still seems very unique and individual!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 10:28PM
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ralphs95

Your kitchen looks great senator13!!

It's really making us think about getting "slabs" like yours for our kitchen renovation.

Can you please tell us about your three pendants over the peninsula and where you got them? We have a cathedral (sloped) ceiling also and are looking for pendants over a similar peninsula. Are these pendants specifically for a sloped ceiling? Was it difficult to get the three pendants to hang down to the same level above the peninsula? Do you know any websites with info about pendant lighting in sloped ceilings?

Thanks for any advice you can provide and congrats on your new kitchen!!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 10:51PM
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senator13

ralph-

The pendants are from an Etsy seller-Lamp Goods. They were the first ones I found that a) were totally reasonablly priced (99.00 each) b) decent quality-she even lets you choose the finish color and the canopy style and c) I needed to find ones on a cord. I think they were a great deal and I highly recommend them! They are up to 75W each, which was fine since we were doing three. The electrician measured them to make sure that they were all the same from the floor. Since they are on cords, nothing else was needed for a sloped celing. She does 3ft cord, but if you need more, she has no problem doing that (we did 4 ft). She also has lots of other corded lights if you wanted to take a look at a different style.

Sloped celings and lights were a bit of a challenge! I didn't want to spend a lot of money (like at Schoolhouse Elec. or Rejuvenations) to get the special fitter for the pole. So I would do a search for "corded pendant lights" in Google.

I hope that helps! Good luck with your kitchen reno.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 7:41AM
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celtinNE

You could have fooled me too! I thought is was honed stone. I love how it's all coming together. I remember when you had your floor installed. It looks great! Do you know when you will be moving in?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:19AM
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Adrienne2011

Wow - this kichen looks very nice. It looks so much like granite that I'll bet guests would have to touch it to know the difference. Very cool!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:36AM
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senator13

celtinNe-
We are having our final permit walk though on Monday! So fingers crossed, we are going to start sleeping there one week from today! I am very excited, but there is a lot to do-like pack! That is not nearly as fun as picking out things for the new house, but oh well :)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:49AM
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celtinNE

Good luck Monday! I hope it all goes smoothly for you. Happy packing and well unpacking. What fun for you!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 9:45AM
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BlueKitten

Beautiful! Great choices, on every front.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 3:47PM
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sparklekitty

Senator - Your "slabs" look great. when I was looking at the photos I thought it reminded me of soapstone but just assumed it was engineered stone (because of the stone centric on GW.) So I think you accomplished your goal and boy I am sure it feels good to have all the dough in your bank (or have spent it on something else you wanted more.)

I hope others are inspired by a beautiful use of laminate.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 4:42PM
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singingmicki

Senator13, can you tell me how your cabinets were finished? They are beautiful, and I'm trying to make decisions on how my own QS white oak cabinets will be finished.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:17PM
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senator13

Singingmicki,

They are finished with Gemini Gem Glo Wiping Stain in Natural. It is a one-coat application that provides a matte oil finish. I love that they feel like wood, not plastic like at all.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:37PM
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dee850

senator13, you have me feeling very inspired about laminate again! Thanks so much for posting the close-ups of the edges and the in-progress pics.

The whole room is fabulous, your cabinets are beautiful. I was going to ask about the finish, too, but I see you've already answered that one. Beautiful job all around!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:42PM
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Samantha111

Thanks for posting your kitchen transformation. It's really great to see other alternatives come together so beautifully!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 10:17AM
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celtinNE

How did Monday go? Hope all was well.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 11:39AM
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senator13

celtinNE-Thanks for asking. We had one thing we had to take care of (handrails on the front steps). It is being re-inspected tomorrow and then hopefully we will be ready. Of course we now have a lot of black widow spiders to kill that apparently we stirred up during the build :(

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 2:18PM
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celtinNE

Good luck tomorrow and sending the luck of the Irish with your spiders. Yuk! Although I did have to take a chipmunk out of the pool this am that apparently committed suicide last night. Double yuk :(

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 3:15PM
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Marc12345

I wish I paid more attention to this thread sooner - you called them a slab, they looked slab-y to me, so I looked at pictures and went on my way without reading the whole post. I'm glad I checked back in, now I can admire the the hands-on craftsmanship a bit more. Kudos! Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 3:32PM
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gingerjenny

I'd love to see the "ginger cherry" but it says the album is private

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 11:08PM
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