Well, I still have to add the toekicks, the back, and the countertop, but
the drawers and fronts are all done and installed for fit. A solid cherry
wine rack will cover the non-matching birch cabinet side.
Any ideas for countertop colour and/or material will be greatly appreciated.
We're thinking something in a charcoal hue, maybe with a bit of speckle.
Laminate? Slate? Granite? Dunno yet....
Comments more than welcome.
Please don't go to all that work to put laminate on top. For our island
(yet to be started), I was pushing for soapstone, but got outvoted. I
really like the look of it. I don't think it will quite get to charcoal,
though. If you're really looking for charcoal with some speckle, I think
you're looking at either granite (maybe Black Galaxy) or quartz (like
Silestone Stellar Night). Personally, I'm not a big fan of the look of
quartz, but since there isn't much natural variation in the Black Galaxy,
the quartz comes pretty close. The quartz has the added benefit of being
pretty much maintenance free.
I'm strongly considering a cherry top to my maple island
I also considered a solid wood top, but it's going to have to take a a lot
of bumps and grinds from food preparation, 40 lb dough mixers, dropped
knives, clunking cutting boards, etc. I love the look of a wood top, but I'm
not sure it would stand up to the abuse of two cooks.
My personal opinion is that you can't go wrong with granite. The nice thing
is that you don't have a whole kitchen worth of cabinets to do. I don't see
where you gave the dimensions, but it looks to be roughly 6 feet long and 2
feet wide, which would make the top roughly12-ish square feet. I just
bought granite tops for my cabinets from a local granite shop at a bit under
$50/SF. My suggestion is to not buy these at a big box store. Find a local
stone guy. Had we bought our granite at Home Depot, it would have been
$80+/SF. For something the size you're looking at, they might even have a
piece "laying around" that they could make a deal on.
I forgot what the one possible drawback to granite was, but we went with
Silestone (some 5 years back), and really like it. We have a really small
kitchen, and didn't want to give up diningroom to expand the kitchen. The
combination of light maple (store-bought) cabinets (with glass doors on the
top cabinets), an off-white speckled Silestone (I believe its "Mont Blanc")
counter and dark blue tiled backsplash makes the kitchen cheery and bigger-
looking than it is.
Granite has to be sealed about once a year. Lots of maintenance that is
not needed with Silestone. We did the same thing about 3 years ago when
we gutted and remodeled the kitchen. Never fails to get compliments
when someone see's it for the first time.
> I forgot what the one possible drawback to granite was......
We went to a local stone guy on the weekend, and he let us bring home a
slab of beautiful granite to look at until Monday under the varying
light conditions. It looked really good, and I'll think we'll go that
route (1-1/4" thick).
It needs to be sealed a couple of times a year, but it's about a 5
minute operation, and is not much different from just wiping down the
The drawer fronts are solid cherry frames, with 1/4 cherry ply panels. They
were different colours to begin with, and after oiling as well, but I really
like the contrast, as opposed to a wall of uniforn tone.
The side panel is birch ply, and doesn't match, but it will be covered by a
wine rack made from solid cherry. The edge banding on the ply cabinets was
ripped from cherry planks, but is mostly covered by the drawer fronts. The
shallow upper drawer fronts are soild cherry, and the center portions were
deliberately made from really dark heartwood.
Our floor is 3-1/2" birch, and I didn't want the business end of the cabinet
to be monotone, but rather play off tones in the floor. I'm in the middle of
building a 7' (my wife and I are both tall...) pull-out pantry, and it will
be done in the same selection of wood.
Perhaps this winter I'll attack the existing cabinets (hideous white
melamine) that the previous owner left us with.
As an interesting side note, when we moved in, the kitchen floor was almost
2" higher than it is now. I felt like Louis Leakey digging down through it.
There was a layer of that horrible, cheap snap-together floating floor,
complete with peeling foil, on top. Below it was a layer of 5/8 ply. Below
that were two layers of lino, each on 3/4 ply. Why tear up the floor when
you can just pile on another layer? There was some crappy moulding on the
step up into the kitchen. Three guys, three circular saws, three crowbars,
and a lot of beer made short work of it.
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