Kitchen day 10: Countertops!
Countertops are in! Yay!
Instead of writing the whole thing afterwards, I wrote a journal as it happened.
12:15: The installers were supposed to arrive at around 9, but they got delayed and didn’t show up until 11:15. They took some time to figure out how they were going to install the bar top, and ended up going with some braces that required more minor modification of the wall underneath it which will require more sheetrock patching and surfacing. So hopefully the contractor will take care of that tomorrow, although it’s mostly hidden from view so I would probably be capable of just doing it myself well enough anyway.
They also seemed to be concerned about the sink cutout but I don’t understand enough Spanish to effectively eavesdrop in on that, and they didn’t raise any questions to me so presumably they have a plan of attack on it.
12:20: Ah, they’re routing out part of the sink cabinet, presumably to fix the placement of the sink basin.
They aren’t sure how long it’ll take and I have to leave around 4:30 PM for an appointment, and I won’t be back until 6:30. But if they finish up while I’m gone I have a procedure they can follow to keep my place secure.
1:37: After hearing a lot of activity in the kitchen they have taken another pause. I snuck in to get some lunch and a big chunk of the countertop is partially in place, but they seem to be consulting things. Did something not get sized right? Whatever the case, I’m staying out of their way as much as I can.
2:20: Snuck another peek. The sink and prep area are done and look fantastic. They are having trouble installing the bartop; it seems to have been cut just very slightly too long. Uh oh.
Watching them work makes me appreciate just how much on-their-toes thinking they have to do and also how much physical effort it takes to do certain things. I absolutely would not be able to do this job.
2:22: Their solution: grind the slab down. Where are my noise canceling headphones?
2:25: Looks like it’s fitting better now.
I wonder how it’s going to be attached in place. I assume there will be some silicone adhesive to couple the slab with the support braces. The braces don’t have any holes for attaching it with screws or anything, but I assume there’s also thermal expansion reasons to not want to do that. Looking up DIY stuff online indicates that this would indeed be attached with an adhesive.
2:40: I kind of regret not taking pictures of the process as it’s happening, but I don’t want them to have to worry that I might be someone they have to worry about, y'know?
3:05: Looks like the last few slabs are going into place. I think all that’s left after that is the backsplash. Maybe they’ll be done really soon! Hopefully what’s left won’t take more than an hour.
3:54: It’s looking really good. I asked if I could take some photos and they said it was fine, so I did. I also asked how much longer it’ll take and they said “an hour, an hour and a half.” So I’ll just have to show them how they can lock my place up when they leave.
4:15: Showed them the lockup method, and also settled on faucet and soap dispenser placement
6:30: Got home and they were still working on stuff – but it’s very nearly done! Yay! And it looks fantastic.
I do wonder what it is about this whole process that basically everyone who’s worked on my kitchen has vastly underestimated the amount of time it’s going to take. But who cares at this point.
7:00: They are done.
8:30: The previous bar installation problems left some pretty big gashes in the wall, so I took the initiative to patch them. Which then made a mess, and cleaning that mess made me discover that the clear caulk between the counter and the backsplash hadn’t quite cured yet, so long story short I’m going to have to re-caulk that at some point. Not a huge deal, I don’t think.
Oh also the side outlet seems to have gone dead and I can’t reset the GFI. Hopefully it’s something silly; the electrician will definitely be dealing with that on Friday (since that’s the outlet he’ll be splicing the range hood wiring off of).
The stove nook isn’t quite square, which isn’t surprising because nothing in the room is square. So there’s an awkward gap both to the left and behind the stove, which can’t be easily filled. Even relocating the stove’s outlet won’t quite address this. That is rather disappointing. Hopefully the contractor will have an idea on how to deal with this. Hopefully not involving black caulk or something similarly silly. Maybe after the stove gets its final resting place I could get the countertop folks to fashion some filler pieces from the offcuts? I guess I should ask the countertop folks if that’s a possibility.
They forgot to cut the pastry board, and they said they’d deliver that sometime in the future, so there’s probably still a chance to get some filler pieces made, right? It’s worth asking anyway.
Also, I wish they’d put the faucet and soap dispenser holes a little further forward. Their placement is fine, it could just be a little nicer for my fixtures. But, such a minor issue to complain about. I’m really reaching.
There’s also a slightly visible seam between the two main countertop sections, and a couple of slightly visible seams in the backsplash (one of which is hidden behind the faucet, at least). Again, incredibly minor nitpick.
But anyway! Even with those slight issues, things are great.
The sink is also a lot deeper than most sinks (I bought the deepest one I could find, to make up for the lack of width) and I have no idea how the contractor is going to install the faucet and soap dispenser. I tried to do a test fitting and it’s going to be pretty tricky. I feel like it would have been better to install those things before the sink. Maybe the sink can be removed? I have no idea how it’s mounted, but I’m pretty sure I saw them install it after the countertop went down so maybe it’s just held on with some clips? I dunno.
MY KITCHEN IS ALMOST DONE.
(Well, modulo the over-refrigerator revisions I want to do, and the changes to the wall cabinet I mentioned yesterday. But those are both incredibly straightforward, and just need me convincing the designer to let me order the fucking things I asked for.)
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