Category Archives: Countertop

I can hear myself think but the floor vibrates a little

Interesting development.  But first, the accomplishment!

I’d built the dishwasher side wall with a 2 inch wide piece of birch at the top – horizontally – to give extra surface for the soapstone to rest upon.  All well and good until we had the stone in place and then messed around with the dishwasher and realized I couldn’t level it to where it needed to be because of a square 3/4 inch of that piece of birch at the front of that wall.  I finally cut enough of it back yesterday to allow me to level it.  Did that part today and then attached the Granite Grabbers.  Super easy – if they really do end up working long term, I would totally buy them again.

So yea us – we don’t have to play catch the dishes with the tipping dishwasher anymore!  And putting the toe-kick piece back on the front of the dishwasher has muffled a decent amount of the sound, so I can hear myself think again.

Here is the interesting part.  Walk through this with me –  the floor acts as a single structure because of the underlayment beneath the tile; the cabinets are attached to the walls and sit on the floor; the soapstone is attached to the cabinets with silicone; NOW, the dishwasher is attached to the soapstone via the Granite Grabbers.  Do you know what happens now?  You can feel the vibration of the dishwasher along the tile ANYWHERE you stand in the kitchen.


Edited the title of this post on 01/15/10:  While I live in “earthquake country” aka California, and people make cavalier comments about the earth moving, the devastation in Haiti reminds us that the big one could hit at any time and any place.  This planet is a living entity and periodically needs to stretch its bones – many times, to the devastation of its inhabitants.



Filed under Countertop, Dishwasher, Kitchen

The scary part is done now. Still tons left.

It has been a number of days/weeks since my last post and the last two weeks were a doozy.  This entire project has been peppered with me insisting that I’d planned enough time for any eventuality, doubled it, tripled it again.  And then still- pedal to the metal – we took twice as long to finish any one thing.  This last push was incredibly difficult with the overriding knowledge that it was the most expensive of the products going into the kitchen, the easiest to break, the heaviest to move.

We had hiccups at almost every step.  The initial movement of the slab in the garage, we broke the “arm” that made up the front of the sink (epoxy really IS my friend – whew!).  The faucet holes drilled easily in a few seconds with a paddle bit, but the hole for the dishwasher air gap took me, him, our next door neighbor, AND his drill almost an hour.  Building the dishwasher side was easy, but attaching it to the tiny area we left un-tiled wasn’t quick.  Attaching the false front to the sink cabinet took HOURS (and is crooked.  Whatever.  I didn’t notice off the bat and we can’t change it now.  It will be fine.)  Actually LIFTING the slab took him, the BEST UNCLE EVER, and our next door neighbor almost everything they had.  Much grunting, much heart pounding.   But it is beautiful!!

Unraveling the craziness of those two weeks will take me a few posts at least.  In the meantime,

Oh, and the dishwasher broke.  But it is fixed now.  Again, another long story.





Second view. The slab on the "L" is not yet attached.


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Filed under Countertop, Faucet, Kitchen, Sink

Really, I am still working on the kitchen

I’ve been avoiding adding new posts about the kitchen.   Crap on a cracker, this thing is taking forEVER.  We’ve been taking photos of each minor achievement, but I’m thinking no one needs to see the difference between loveliness in the freshly painted interior of the undersink cabinet compared with its pre-painted former self.  Um, ick.  So a quick catch up for you:

  1. Some cabinet doors have been hung.
  2. Of what is hanging, hardware has been added
  3. There was a small piece of veneer on the inside of where the range hood hangs that needed to be removed because I didn’t account for the width of the hood with the veneer.  This has not been repaired yet.
  4. The “wall” between the cabinet next to the sink and its partner to the left was cut to allow for a true blind corner.  This still needs to be trimmed & painted – both for aesthetic reasons and so that no one scrapes themselves on jagged wood.
  5. The cabinet above the dishwasher has been veneered.  It is my best work.  Which saddens me only because the cabinets I’ve already done aren’t.  Fortunately, since the whole “L” bottom cabinet set needs to be veneered, those will be super-nice.  Funny how doing things freehand ends up being better than following directions.
  6. Oh yes, the range hood is up and the ducting is nearly completely done.  Just some aluminum tape and we are golden.
  7. All the cabinet drawer fronts have been cut down to accept the new drawer fronts.  Those are still to be attached though.
  8. A slight bit more build out is needed for the 42 lower.  I need to add a filler piece at the corner else the knob on the adjacent cabinet will hit the drawer.
  9. The lip to set the sink into the plywood has been routed out.  This was no small feat and ended up with me attaching a patio door steel ball bearing to the bottom of the router as a guide to run it along the curve.  It totally worked.  When this is done, I will eventually take a class of some sort on how to work a router.  I have a feeling it would be fun once I get the nuances down.

Major items still to be done:

  1. Test cut the faucet holes into scrap soapstone.
  2. Cut the faucet holes into the real soapstone.
  3. Pull off sink area counters; detach sink etc…
  4. Pull cabinet away from wall and shim up.
  5. Finish dishwasher side panel to match the shimmed height (will also attach a ledger board to the wall to assist in holding up the soapstone.
  6. Install sink, counters, faucet.
  7. Rebuild soffits.
  8. Build closet.
  9. Back door.
  10. All trim.
  11. Oh yeah – THE BACKSPLASH.

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Filed under Cabinets, Carpentry, Countertop, Faucet, Kitchen, Sink

Fields of stone

Let me fill you in on the interesting task of cutting the small soapstone slab that belongs on the narrow counter to the left of the stove.

Bought a diamond blade at Sears for $16 bucks when we were back east.  Seemed challenging to find a 7 inch blade at Home Depot or the other 3 places he went to purchase one back in July.   You cannot get a diamond blade for a cordless circular saw – apparently you need “real” electricity rather than battery to support the blade’s cutting power.  Whatever, dude.  I can’t work the 7 inch saw.  Too heavy and the motor is on the left.  I will hurt myself if I try.  So hubby to the rescue.

Can’t do a straight cut without a guide.  Stone too wonky.  Attempted to setup the neighbor’s table saw and load our blade onto it until we realized that the table saw needed a 10″ blade.  Back to Home Depot.  Woops!  Those suckers are $80 bucks.  I’m nearly ready to bring the slab back to the city to have the professionals cut it.  Then calmer thoughts prevailed and we decided a call to the Tool Lending Library was in order.  Ty to the rescue!  He hooked us up with a clamped guide.  We made the attempt this evening and voila!


Check.  Us.  Out.

Check. Us. Out.



See my arm covered in dust?  This stuff flew around the WHOLE backyard - over 12 feet high

See my arm covered in dust? This stuff flew around the WHOLE backyard - over 12 feet high



Different veining pattern.  Still gorgeous.

Different veining pattern. Still gorgeous.



Filed under Countertop, Kitchen

Uh…I did an oopsey.

So remember how I said that the dishwasher isn’t attached to anything right now?  But it still works, so we use it carefully and hold it up while opening the racks to load and unload? Until the Granite Grabbers can be attached to the yet to be installed countertops?

Something was weird about how it kept wanted to tip forward for even the slightest thing just now.  Perhaps I should have been more zen about the weird.  Because I turned around for a second – yup, a SECOND – and the whole thing came crashing down.  Full.  Casualties include a few glasses and the mug with my name on it that my dear little girl picked out especially for me when she went to Yosemite last year.

I contemplated taking a picture of the up-ended dishwasher.  I came to my senses quickly enough and decided to clean up the damn mess I just made instead.  So you’ll have to picture the destruction for yourself.

I WANT MY SOAPSTONE.  NOW.  However, much to do before the countertops on that side of the room are ready.

I’m going to run the dishwasher now.  It doesn’t look like the fall caused the water line or drain hose to break.  I suppose I’ll find that out soon enough.


Filed under Countertop, Dishwasher, Kitchen

A place to put the crockpot!

1.  I cut the toekicks down to accomodate for the height difference we forgot about last week.

2.  We levelled and installed the 30 inch lower cabinet.

3.  I did an adequate job on the veneering for that cabinet.  Not great.

4.  Through sheer force of will, the two of us managed to carry a 300 pound slab of soapstone up from the garage and popped it on top of that bad boy.  Truthfully, he carried a much greater proportional share, but I carried enough of the weight to have me huffing and puffing and feeling a wee bit lightheaded the rest of the day.

So here you go – another glimpse of the future kitchen!  And we now have a place to put the crockpot, so it is CHICKEN GUMBO for dinner tonight!!!

The dining room floor was a waystation until we were ready.  I slipped my hands out of my gloves so we could lay it down.

The dining room floor was a waystation until we were ready. I slipped my hands out of my gloves so we could lay it down.

The adequately veneered 30" cabinet

The adequately veneered 30" cabinet

Rubbing in the mineral oil coating

Rubbing in the mineral oil coating

This stuff is CRAZY pretty.

This stuff is CRAZY pretty.


Filed under Cabinets, Countertop, Kitchen

Well that’s funny.

All set to fasten the 30″ inch bottom cabinet to the right side of the stove today.  Leveled nicely front to back and side to side.  Then I was staring at the stove.  Which was exactly the same height as the cabinet.  Hmmm.  Let’s get the soapstone sample.

Wow, that sucker is 1 1/2 inches thick – can we raise the stove?

Yes.  But then the cooktop is practically up to my chin.  And the stove now looks like it is up on stilts.  Hmmm.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah……  We raised the floor.  Like an inch or so.  What to do?

Looks like I’m cutting the toekicks down.  I think it is funny that of ALL the things I’d thought through, I never even saw that one coming.

Feh.  I’ll get to it this week.  Or Labor Day weekend.  I’ll need to sit with it a bit to decide how much to cut off the bottom.  Plenty of other stuff to get to in the meantime.


Filed under Cabinets, Countertop, Kitchen