Monday, June 28, 2010

From Laminate to Granite- The Transformation

Yesterday I showed you the before and after of my kitchen countertops and backsplash. Today I thought I'd show you how we arrived at the finished product. It took us two weeks from the time the granite was installed to the finished kitchen, but we did throw a graduation/birthday party  last weekend!

 Here's what our kitchen looked like with a neutral laminate and plain, smooth tile backsplash.
 The granite guys made a template out of strips of corrugated plastic that they glued together with a glue gun. They left some glue on the countertop which didn't need to be scraped off since the laminate was being removed in a couple of days.

 Mr. Fanatic thought it would be funny to write on the counters the morning before the installers came. The installers thought it was funny, too.

The first thing that had to be done was to take down the microwave that was above the cooktop and take the covers off of the electrical outlets and switches.

The guys removed the tile backsplash first. The sheetrock was damaged, so it was taken completely out.

The demolition and granite installation took one day. At this point, I really wasn't loving the granite. It looked too busy and blah.
While we were standing in front of this wall looking at the inside of the wall, I said "please don't get mad mad at me, but how difficult would it be to install cabinet lighting now that the sheetrock is off?" Fortunately, he was thinking the same thing! It took us an extra day to do this, but it was worth it!
So, off to Lowe's we went. Thank goodness it is only 5 minutes away.
Here's the lighting installed. The lights only cost us about $50. The lighting really shows off the granite.

New sheetrock installed.

Tile is being installed...Tiling on a diagonal is a little more work.

Accent tiles were installed every couple of tiles.

Since the lighting took us an extra day on the weekend, Mr. Fanatic tiled a section after work each evening.

I was so happy to get to this point - the installation of the grout. The grout is smeared all over the tile and fills in the holes on the face of the tile.

The grout is then wiped down several times. The following day we used an enhancer sealer. The enhancer darkens the tile . You can see that the tile is much whiter before the enhancer is applied.

I bought these lovely corbels and primed and painted them.

They were installed using liquid nails.

Getting closer to being finished...
After the liquid nails dried the molding was installed at the top of the bar wall below the granite and between the corbels. A little caulk applied and a little paint on the molding and it's all finished! The tile backsplash cost about $475 with the tile, mastic, grout and sealer.
So pretty! We were thinking of ordering some light rail to cover the lighting, but they barely show.
So there you have it... how we arrived at our finished countertops and backsplash. It took a little longer than expected, but the finished project looks great and we are happy with it. Now, if it helps us sell our house we will be ecstatic! The news about the housing market hasn't been good lately, but we won't know unless we try. And, we REALLY are ready for a smaller house, especially after all of the projects we've done since January. I will have to do a recap of them all sometime soon!
I wish you all have a great week! Hopefully it will be a little cooler  for all of us who have been experiencing such HOT weather! All of you in SoCal- I am really a little  jealous of your mid 70 degree weather!
Happy Monday!!!


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  1. Absolutely stunning! I love the tile back splash and the granite! Very elegant addition to your kitchen.

  2. Truly this was fantastic what you and the Mr. accomplished together!~ I just love all your choices too...and I do not see the under mount lighting at all...just the nice light they are giving.

  3. Love the transformation. The lighting is wonderful. We added them to our kitchen and what a pleasure they are. Love the extra light. Hugs, Marty

  4. Lovely, I'll bet it's nice having your kitchen (and your life!) back.

  5. I'm very impressed that you and your hubby worked together and got this acomplished. Your kitchen is very beautiful and you should feel very proud to look at it and say "we did this ourselves"! Good job!

  6. I'm so jealous you are completely finished in such a short time! My kitchen remodel is still in the works! I've yet to pick out backsplash tile for my new kitchen. I love your selection! Nice inspiration!

  7. Hi Pam -
    Thanks for leaving me such a nice comment. Your kitchen is beautiful. I love that you included the under cabinet lights - so many people forget how important lighting is to the decor. I bet it looks really nice at night.

  8. that looks great. i can't wait til we redo our kitchen, but that is a long way away!

  9. It is gorgeous. We are just finishing up out kitchen. I have not posted any photos yet...I was so happy to lose my ugly old counter that you wrote on them!

    I am following you now...thought I already was..oops!

  10. Your kitchen turned out amazing! Great job.

  11. Gorgeous! I love the corbels. I hope this is helpful to get your house sold.

  12. Those corbels are fabulous ! Love it all ...
    Happy 4th to you & yours
    hugs from Savannah, Cherry

  13. Greetings! It looks beautiful! You must be SO happy every time you look at it. I'll bet you just sat there for awhile staring at how nice it looked, no? I know that I do that whenever I have redone something! Congrats on the great job!
    Best regards,

  14. i'm planning to use granite on our kitchen counters as well. thanks for giving me some idea.

  15. It looks beautiful! Found your blog thru The Shabby Chic Cottage. :)

  16. Oh, what a difference. That's beautiful. Love the stone backsplash with the granite!! I have those same under counter lights! They really give a lot of light!

  17. Wow! Your kitchen turned out beautiful! Are you sure you want to move -- it's so gorgeous! :) I especially love the little touches that you put in -- like the corbels and the under the cabinet lights! It looks fab!

  18. Your kitchen turned out so beautiful! I love the granite and backsplash! The under counter lighting is just perfect! I like the little round lights! I have some nasty ole long lights about 36" and we're going to change them. I may look into these little pot lights!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)


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