Kitchen Renovation — Almost Done

Just to recap, this is where we were. An ancient and fossilizing Caloric range with one burner broken, the oven knob frozen, and the microwave dead. At that point (and I can’t believe it’s been five months) we’d decided to go with stock formica and be done with it. How wrong we were.

F. our handyman (as opposed to F. my fiance) really really felt strongly that we needed to be serious and grown-up about it and spring for granite countertops. Many trips to many vendors — and it seemed to snow every time we needed to walk around an outdoor lot full of stone slabs — we settled on one. Which was out of stock.

I think it was this, but I’m not even sure any more. Even then, when it was delivered it didn’t look anything like what we’d seen on-line so we rejected it. More trips, more research. Partly compounded by the fact that every kind of granite has three to six different names it can be called.

The best we could do finally was to go by the numbers, bring in a sheet of the tile we were planning on using, and just biting the bullet. Oh, and the contractor seemed to have an awful time returning phone calls. It must be nice to have so much business.

“Ouro Brasil” was the name of what we finally went for, after a half-dozen phone calls we got the guy to come in and take measurements and made an appointment for the following Wednesday. We cleared off the counters, pulled out the drawers, took everything out from under the sink.

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And he didn’t show up. The slab hadn’t been delivered. The slab we saw with our own eyes in the warehouse. Reschedule, Tuesday.

A half-hour late, but they made it, and immediately started pulling out appliances and ripping off the old countertops.

Off they went to the yard to be cut up. Oops, we’re going to keep that faucet thank you, it’s only two years old!

A little extra cutting — they hadn’t drilled the faucet holes (NB: this puts a lot of granite dust in the air if they do it on-site) and needed to trim out a little bit of the window frame.

That afternoon, God bless him, F. (the handyman) showed up to reconnect the plumbing. Don’t get me started on South Orange water, please. And the next day, came back to begin putting up the tile. At first we were a little taken aback by how strong it looked.

But we figured, correctly, that getting the grout in would tone it down.

Still a bit much, but there’s nothing on the counters yet.

But with the new under-the-window shelf and a few necessary items back in place, it breaks it up visually quite nicely.

There’s still a little gap to be filled under the windowsill, and this summer we’ll need to repaint the cabinet doors. But it’s almost there.

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