Kitchen countertop project -- installation complete

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The countertop replacement is now complete. Many thanks to Robotoy and Leon for suggestions during the project. Robotoy's recommendations regarding the seaming for the peninsula piece and other installation tips were extremely helpful.
<http://mklange.cnc.net/KitchenCountertop.html
Home page: <http://mklange.cnc.net
The only remaining details are applying Watco wipe-on poly to the peninsula backsplash and the microwave shelf base. That will occur over the next several days.
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Looks great, glad to help. Is that a genuine Kohler sink or one of those new-fangled acrylics? I really like the lowered spillway between the two compartments....handy for scrubbing veggies. You'll have years of joy from this work. Then we'll walk you through a solid surface project. *S* Looks totally professional. Wilsonart has a winner with that pattern. But, I have to ask....: Why is only one side of the peninsula trimmed with wood?
r
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Robatoy wrote:

Sink is real cast iron, not sure if it's Kohler or not; it came with the house.

After considering the fact that the working side of the peninsula is going to be subjected to liquid spills and other nastiness, we decided that making the edging with laminate would be more durable and sanitary in the long run. The other side of the peninsula can be the good-looking side, the inside is the working side.

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Almost certainly a classic (big-buck) Kohler then. If you're not going to an undermount, then that's the way to go in my opinion. I really like those sinks, but my hernia doesn't. <G>
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Robatoy wrote:
... snip

Yeah boy, I hear ya' That was the other thing that having help with the installation paid big time. Had no idea that sucker weighed as much as it did.
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Snip

Oh those are fun to put in. I recall putting in our Olympic sized Kohler sink some 15 years ago. 150 lbs and the 2 sides were different depths. I used a screw jack to lower it down onto the caulk around the hole.
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Leon wrote:

Wow. This was about 70 or so pounds, that was bad enough.
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Robatoy said:

Looks very eloquent - much, much better than the "covers all ills" sierra tile - and professionally done as well. At least until you put all that junk back on the counter. ;-)

<...>
Could it be to avoid wear on the "more frequently rubbed against by the prep cook" wooden surfaces? Perhaps a late fix for a math error. :~)
Greg G.
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Well, I can see I'm gonna have to start slowing down on my drinkin' again. I missed the whole thread on the new countertops.
They really look nice with a great job on the install.
Mark, how did you input on your cherry edge trim?
Robert
PS: Good job getting the helper involved, too.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Gotta be careful with some of these threads, blink and they're gone. ;-)

Thanks

Not sure what you are asking. The trim is glued to the base material. The peninsula laminate laps the trim by about 1/4" in order to allow a spill-over path.

Man, that was essential for the peninsula, no way I could have got that from the shop to the house without needing one of those operations like Robatoy just had. ;-)
The bonus was that Bruce jumped in while I was attaching the top and wired the disposal. In addition, he just went to re-attaching the plumbing after the sink was in. That was a real life-saver -- I hate plumbing, he claims he's never had a job leak. win-win
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So did you mill a small receiver on the top of the trim to accomodate the lap, or did you lay it on top of the trim?
Another thing, I swear that pic of the peninsula taken from the dishwasher side (the one with the plywood in front of the diswasher) looks like the laminate was rolled over that edge. Did I miss something else? Don't tell me you rolled over the edge with a heat gun...


Man.. I thought I was kind of an old school guy. Your helper in the amber shooting glasses couldn't be more than 12. If you already have him out on jobs working on plumbing, you are one hard core guy.
Just kiddin' here. ;^)
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

The trim was cut flush with the substrate and the laminate laid on top.

No, the edge was trimmed with laminate, then the top attached and trimmed flush. I did not attempt to roll over the edge.

12 is about right. I was lucky to get him to actually help and enjoy helping with the tear-out. Plumbing? forget it.

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SNIP
Thanks for the replies, Mark. I wasn't familiar with that particular laminate, so anything I can learn is always a plus for me. From the pics, it sure looks like granite to me.
I agree with putting the wood on the "show side" and the laminate on the work side. Many homes I have been in that have that trim detail have wood that is discolored, disjoined from the top, and in some cases, ruined for anything buy paint.
My kitchen is almost a second shop, and it is a hard working kitchen. I have never seen anything but stainless hold up as well as a really good high pressure laminate with as little care as they require. I know the next set of tops to go in my house will be some kind of laminate.
That being said, I haven't put in a laminate kitchen in a long time. I have a post formed guy like Rob that does the laminate tops, another guy for granite/Silestone/Corian, and another for cultured marble which has been relegated to bathrooms now for many years. I have only done a few bathroom tops that require something from the Ralph Lauren color palette in some time.
In fact, it has probably been five years (more?) or so since I made plywood/MDF kitchen tops and applied the laminate out in the field like we did in the old days.
Robert
I hope you let us know how that particular product stands up to use in the next few months.
Robert
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wrote:

Going over books from 2007 I came up with this break-down of what I do.
71 % Solid surface ( Acrylics only NO polyester) 11 % Quartz & Granite 7 % Custom laminate I do NOT do post-formed. 6 % Custom Cabinet installations (Kitchens by others) 5 % Commissioned cabinetry.
The fastest growth is in Quartz, which was less than 1 % in 2006. I template, digitise and e-mail. Then pick up and install. TaDaaaaa!
The Kitchen cabinet installations are usually retail customers who want a complete solution for (usually) new homes. I then buy the kitchens from guys who I already supply with countertops. Everybody wins.
I think I did 2 or 3 post formed countertops last year as favours, but man, I hate that stuff.... and I never touch cultured marble.
The commissioned cabinetry will go up in '08 when Bot comes on line.
r
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Robatoy wrote:
.. snip

Not familiar with the terminology, what is "post-formed"?

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It is the type of countertop that comes in pre-made lengths and has the backsplash and the front edge already attached and wrapped in a thin laminate.
Here's a few pics giving you a peek at what I am talking about. http://www.workbenchmagazine.com/main/wb000-postform01.html
HTH
r
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Robatoy wrote:

Ah, got it. We looked at some of that at Lowe's; it was semi-appealing but couldn't come up with a good solution for the peninsula. They do sell individual sheets, so I could have gone with the post-formed for the wall pieces and made the straight run, but the choices weren't as good as the Wilsonart pattern we liked.
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Now that's pretty amazing to me. Do you think that is the nature of the business you built, or is this a reflection of the building trends in CA? Around here (South Texas), undoubtedly granite is king, with quartz coming in second and marble in there somewhere. Even all our Home Depots and Lowes sell granite and quartz (Silestone and one more that has a pretty wild looking blue color). There are actually only a couple of solid surface guys left here that do it full time.
Most of the homes in the middle class/upper middle class neighborhoods being built by the tract home builders use laminate with wood trim edging. Any other surfaces are upgrades.
I saw an installation of a post formed laminate at a mini parade of homes last year that had no backsplash on the wall side, but had a rolled over laminate edge on the kitchen side that covered a straight downturned edge with a small 45 degree chamfer on the top of the edge. It was factory rolled/formed, and it was >>really<< striking presentation with a coat of lemon oil on it. Don't know who made it, and I was unfamiliar with their installer.
One thing that joined the bird gang and never should have happened to begin with was the tiled counter top. (Right Mark? ;^) ) That never was a good idea, and anyone that has ever tried to clean grout or keep it clean to begin with wouldn't do that. Nor would anyone that cooks; your trivets wobble and shake, and your cutting board has the jitters from the moment you set it down. And tile staining has been such a problem here that one of the local carpet/tile steam cleaners will now rework your tile tops AND regrout them for you. Mark had the right idea on that deal.
Sitting here typing this, I am thinking back. Wow, has the construction business changed. A lot of the people are the same, but the techniques, materials, and methods are so damn different. Once you are out of the slab and framing stage, the guys I knew that quit 25 years ago would be astonished at how different things are.
Robert
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wrote: snip

Laminate has undergone some serious changes in the last few years. Wilsonart has led the way with great colours and finishes and their stuff is very durable. They use actual photographs of granites and marbles. Formica has done well with their 'effects' series.
Now that pros can buy 38 pound (propane-like) cans of spray-able contact adhesives, the lay-up is a cinch with minimal (if any) overspray and because the application is airless, you can do this in- house. The drawback is that the first container hurts, as you need to buy the hose and the sprayer head. The contents are good for about 15 4x8 sheets, so you need to add about $ 25.00 per sheet for adhesive for the first 15. (The kit costs close to $ 350.00) BUT... it makes building custom laminate tops a joy. Well worth it. Add a solid surface edge on the front, and you have a business opportunity that can't miss.
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I actually saw some marble Wilsonart with white oak trim edge that a fellow woodchopper put in a kitchen that I thought was real marble. The backsplashes were shop made with a nice wood cap, so there was no exposed edge anywhere. A tiny bit of sealant at the backsplash to top connection and they were really gorgeous. It was the same green base color with black/white/burgandy veining that my old bank used to have on their marble teller counters.

Is this water based or solvent stuff? The last water based I used was 3M brand, and it was a disaster. I had only used the Wilsonart solvent based before that, and it pretty foolproof. Once bitten though, twice shy. No more water based anything for me unless it is latex paint.

Ahhhh.... if you were only about 2500 miles closer....
We could have some fun.
Robert
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