Monthly Archives: November 2013

Why are they called countertops?

Is it to distinguish them from counterbottoms? Where is the counterbottom, exactly? Eric maintains it would be the floor. We’ll have plenty of time to debate that now that our countertops are IN!

(I would have posted sooner about this momentous occasion, but I’ve been painting the kitchen ceiling and walls, and my neck is so sore from working overhead that my brain turned off for several days.)

Last Tuesday was the big day. I worked from home so I could witness the action firsthand. Duke waited patiently (next to the temporary countertops) for the excitement to begin. He just loves it when people come to work on the kitchen. He’s learned quite a bit about wiring and plumbing by sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong.

Boxer lying on kitchen floor

He thought he was actually going to help install the counters, so he wasn’t too happy about being treated like … a dog.

Boxer behind baby gate

Two burly young men showed up at 10:00 a.m. and started hauling in an enormous slab of Caesarstone almost before Eric and I could clear the old plywood counters out of the way. Nice and shiny already, even with dust on it. It was love at first sight.

installing a Caesarstone countertop

This stuff is great—no seams! It’s cut out of one big slab. They’re so smooooth … did I mention no seams??

Suddenly the other piece appeared.

men bringing countertop up steps

Once all the pieces were in place, the guys started gluing them to the cabinets.

sink counter before cutting

quarts counters

Then came the noisy part: cutting the hole for the sink. They would have done this outside before bringing the countertop in, but with our giant old sink, that wasn’t practical. Besides, I wouldn’t have let them take her out of the house! The sink has short, nubby, cast iron feet a few inches either side of the bowl, which must have sat on some support structure in her original cabinet. I didn’t watch the guys cut the hole, but from this picture, it looks like they simply cut a hole wide enough to accommodate the bowl and the feet.

two men install the sink

The cutting process generated tremendous dust and my only complaint, although I don’t know how it could have been done differently. One guy used the saw while the other followed close behind with a vacuum hose. Even so, thick gray dust settled on everything, like nuclear winter. The guys cleaned up the counters and stove, but left the rest of the house to me. Until we move everything back into the kitchen, thorough cleaning seems hopeless … and pointless. I’m getting really tired of living like this (mumble mumble).

quartz counter with cast iron sink

That night Eric hooked up the plumbing again. Eureka!! We were back in business, and no leaks! Dry as a bone.

We are thrilled with the Caesarstone. It’s kind of a concrete gray, with subtle mottling as if someone had flicked water on the surface. No blingy glitter or sparkles, just a no-nonsense color. If our budget would have allowed, we’d have done soapstone, but I think I’ll be happier with quartz’s ease of care. We use Simple Green or just water to clean them. They feel cool and very hard, like stone (because it is mostly stone). Dishes go clink when I set them down, instead of thunk, like they did on laminate. Sometimes I just wander into the kitchen to gaze at them …

finished counters

On the floor in the corner you can see a sample of our light gray flooring … more on that later!

closeup of quartz counter

I love how the little corner wraps around the pantry cabinet at right. Just think how great this will look with doors on the cabinets!! (That’s a hint, dear.)

counter with sink

This was a huge step toward project completion. I doubt I’ll have my finished kitchen by Thanksgiving, but surely by Christmas … right?? This weekend it’s back to painting for me, even if my neck’s in a brace. From up on the ladder, I’ll have a great view of the countertops!

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