Thursday, June 17, 2010

What could be smarter 2 weeks before the birth of your child than starting a kitchen renovation?

Thats right folks- here we are, with a c-section scheduled for 7/1 at 7:30 am- and a kitchen rehab starting.  While it does sound dramatic, here's what we're doing:

  • Creating storage by enclosing this stupid bar area in the kitchen, making it functional.  Right now the brilliant person who designed our kitchen put in a bar-bar is pushing it, really, its formica countertop supported by a ledge on the wall and a leg at the end.
  • Extending an existing hanging cabinet to include shelves for cookbooks.
  • Getting new countertops
I'm very sure the cabinetry will be taken care of by due date- its the countertops I'm worried about.  Between cost, appearance and function, we still don't know what we want AND can afford.  What I think we want is Silestone/Caesarstone/insert other quartz composite.  What I think we can afford is granite, which I just don't generally like appearance wise, but seems to be less expensive in our 'hood.  Outside of the whole decision making process, I've heard so many horror stories about countertop product not being available at the right time, installers having to do the job twice, taking forever, etc.  Ugh.

Pictures/Plans forthcoming.


Anonymous said...

Good luck ladies. Quite the project you're taking on here... Have you looked into polished concrete countertops? They resemble granite but are stronger and usually cost effective. Overall a really beautiful and unique option.

cindyhoo2 said...

The reno sounds fabulous. On the one hand, it's crazy to do now. On the other hand, it would be crazier to wait until you have an infant in the mix. I hope everything goes according to plan.

Baby Mama, Too said...

If I could give one recommendation about the counter top it would be make sure you ask a lot of questions of the fabricator. Important ones that come to mind, for Granite especially, are what thickness is the stone? 2cm? 3cm? Do they polish the edges? How are seams done/how many seams will you have? Beyond the per square foot cost, what other charges do they have (sink cut out and mounting, radius corners, edge charges?), what kind of sealer do they use?

Price is not always indicative of quality when it comes to granite, there are tons of "Fly by night" fabricators out there advertising really low square footage prices, only to tack on exorbitant back end fees.

Use a reputable fabricator or go through a local kitchen dealer. Typically, if a granite fabricator doesn't work with the Quartz materials I would be wary. The quartz manufacturers will not sell their material to just any body, you have to be certified to fabricate it.

As far as the choice in material, Granite is typically less expensive but there is usually some maintenance involved with it. It will need to be sealed regularly (unless your fabricator is using one of the new lifetime sealers), for some this makes Quartz the better choice. The issue with Quartz is that it can discolor with heat, like if you were to accidentally take a pot off the stove and put it down on the top, you could end up with a discolored mark that cannot be fixed and is not covered by the manufacturer warranty. Both materials can be chipped if something is dropped on the edge just right and there is no good way to fix the chip.

I would avoid the concrete option all together. While it is pretty, stylish and usually cost effective, it can also stain and chip fairly easily if not properly sealed.

Sorry this got a little long, but I wanted to give you some good information to think over!