wonderfully made: Kitchen remodel recap 1

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kitchen remodel recap 1

I posted about our kitchen remodel here and I feel like it's about time I recap the event for anyone who is interested! 

Mark and I did this totally DIY with the help of his dad. The whole process (demo, prep, and install) took about 2 weeks. We didn't take any extra days off and just worked at night and on the weekends. Our house was a mess, but we are really happy with the results and how quickly we were able to get it done!

Before we started anything, I researched butcher block counters, tile, and sinks to get an idea of what our budget needed to be. 

I looked at a few different butcher block counter vendors including Ikea and Lumber Liquidators as well as more speciality shops in California and elsewhere. While many people seem to love Ikea butcher blocks, we didn't want to go with them because they only sell their counters in 6' lengths, and our longest counter was almost 12', which would require a seam in the middle. No-go. We turned to Lumber Liquidators and were pleased because they had multiple choices of counters and a good price point. Plus, they were able to honor my design discount so we ended up getting two 12'x25"x1.5"D counters for $714 including shipping. It took about 7 days for them to arrive and then Mark and his dad picked them up at the Mesquite store. 

Next up was tile. We wanted to keep this a low budget project as well as easy and pretty mainstream because one day we will want to sell our house and we want our kitchen to appeal to many tastes. From the beginning we were sold on subway tiles, which are about the cheapest tile you can get. They are 3"x6" and we got the Daltile arctic white color at $0.22 per tile. They are $1.84/sq ft and $18.40 for a box (which covers 10 sq ft). We bought them by the box and we bought 6 boxes, so it ended up costing us $110.40. However, we didn't use all 6 boxes and were able to return most of the last box, which they let you do!

Last was a sink. We wanted to go undermount with the butcher block countertops. While we would have loved a farmhouse sink, we didn't want to spend over $1000 to get a quality one. At first, Mark really wanted a double basin sink because he thought we could wash dishes in one side and have them dry or use the other side for something else. I, on the other hand, saw the value in a single basin large sink because the dishes that we do wash in the sink are typically too big to fit in the dishwasher, so the sink needed to be pretty big in order to handle them. Plus, we had a large and deep single basin sink at our apartment and we loved it. So, we agreed on the single basin sink and found a good one on Amazon for about $100. We had a leftover gift card from our wedding so we cut the cost in half and only paid $50 out of pocket.

All of those items got here right on time and we started demo the weekend before Thanksgiving. 

First, we pulled the trim piece off of our horrible tile counters to see what we were working with. As suspected, they were made of plywood, backerboard, thinset, and tile. 

Knowing how we needed to remove the counters, we then got to work on the backsplash. It took us all about 3-4 hours to carefully chip the large tiles off of the drywall. (Nope, no backerboard here.)

The counter tiles came off really easy, so that wasn't so bad!

Mark broke out the protective eyewear after a few chunks went flying.

While the boys did that, I got to work on my beautiful new counters. Here they are still in the box, with my stain samples on top. I bought the two stains on the left first, but didn't like either, so I went back to Home Depot and grabbed more. We knew we would be cutting this end of the counter off for the shortest side of the kitchen, so I put my swatches here. I took a vote on Instagram, but we chose to go with the top stain, called Honey.

The guys were done with demo, so they lugged in the VERY heavy counters to measure.

Since they were so heavy and because they wanted a tight fit, they measured and cut right there in the kitchen. Talk about sawdust! We found out that our counters were made of one of the hardest woods out there and we had to rent some heavy duty saws from Home Depot to make these important cuts.

They positioned each cut to end at the wall, just in case it wasn't perfect. 

I really liked the natural look of the counters too! We had so many options as fair as stain and finish, but we both wanted something pretty dark but still natural, which is why we chose the stain that we did. 

That's part one of our remodel. If you are planning to do something similar or just want to ask questions, feel free to comment or email and I'd be happy to share!

Next up: staining those bad boys!


  1. Wow, what a project! I bet it'll look amazing when you're done :)

    1. Thanks girl! We actually finished it up last year and I blogged about it in December. This post was just about the details! ;)


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