It has now been 8 weeks since demo day. We thought it would take a month but it took double the time. I guess this is quite common but we were not ready for this since we are waiting for a baby to arrive! Some of the delay had to do with unexpected issues with our project, some with the contractor, and some with the counter company. While it’s been a frustratingly long time, we are finally in the home stretch and it feels SO good!
So lets begin where I last left off!
3 weeks ago we installed the rails and attempted to put in the drawers. Pantries were first since they seemed the easiest. The hardest part was knowing where to put the hinges and how to space each drawer. We ended up dividing the top section in half and the bottom half into thirds equally. We figured if we needed to change that, we could. It’s pretty easy.
Next up were the rest of the cabinets. It was pretty easy to install rails once I did one. The picture below of the 30″ cabinet was a pain because we forgot to install the divider BEFORE installing the cabinet and putting in the temporary counter. The same happened with the sink base cabinet as well. Neither base cabinet came with instructions alluding to needing to do anything else before installing them so you will definitely need to think ahead, look at all of your parts and see when they need to be installed. One thing I found useful was going to the Ikea website and looking at every cabinet’s installation manuals list. I read all the manuals to see what cabinets needed things attached before installation.
While doing rails, we took a break and tested the dish washer and the oven. THEY ARE AWESOME! I’ve never had a dishwasher before so having one now is a big deal for me. And the stove? Oh my goodness, does it bake evenly!
Now that the rails were in and drawers were assembled, it was time to put in handles. We went with Ikea’s Tyda handles because I like the modern look, but I started thinking that maybe having the same handle on every single door would get monotonous.
I googled a bit and found quite a few kitchens I liked that used knobs instead of handles. I didn’t want to change all handles to knobs, but I thought that mixing them would be more interesting. I decided that doors would get knobs, while drawers would get handles. So off to find knobs I like! That took a while…I needed a knob that would go with the Tyda handle: stainless steel and square lines. First stop was Amazon but they didn’t have anything I particularly liked or were unique in any way. Second stop was overstock.com and I found a knob that looked more interesting than the rest. It was stainless steel and square, but it looked more refined and also had a pyramid design. They were also $2/knob so not too bad. Here they are:
So yay! We have the door handles and knobs picked out! Now we had to drill holes to install them. Let me tell you how stupid we both felt when we couldn’t, for the life of us, figure it out. I don’t know what happened to my geometry skills but I was completely useless. We just couldn’t find an easy way to make them all the same! We decided that we wanted the handles in the middle of each drawer, which should have made it easier, but nope. Not so much. I had to sleep on it. Next day I had an epiphany: I’ll cut out cardboards the size of each drawer, find the middle, and measure the size of the handle from there. Voila! That worked pretty well!! We then superimposed the templates onto the drawers, punched holes in the proper place and drilled. And by ‘We’ I mean M 🙂
First drawers are done! We have handles on every drawer and we thing it looks pretty good! And accurate too!
Pantry was next but we first had to find the proper placement of the handles.
One handle installed! Now we need to do the knobs on the upper cabinets. For that we used the Ikea template. That was easier to do than handles, so if you’re looking to make your life easier, use only knobs.
I must say, the knobs are on my top 3 things I love the most about our kitchen!
At this point we had done everything we could do without having counters installed, so the next step was waiting for counters. We waited. And waited. And waited. The stone took FOREVER to come in (about 3 weeks), and then they took another week to schedule the delivery. Our contractor also made the counter support way too big for a 9″ counter so we had to change the size to a 12″ counter. This was one of those mistakes that we are really happy to have happened since it makes the counter more usable, but at the time it was frustrating since it delayed us even more with the counter people. In any case, a few weeks later and it’s counters day! Woo hoo! The contractor came over and installed the roll front cabinet, since it needs to sit on the counter. It was so exciting to see it out, finally!
Counter people arrived and were finally installing the beautiful quartz counter. We went with Caesarstone Organic White because I thought that it would look really sleek with the white uppers and black bottom cabinets. Beautiful stone! It’s very white, shiny, and has a little bit of gray in it for some texture. I didn’t want anything that looked too busy so I feel that this color is perfect for our kitchen.
Counter guys took about 4 hours, only to tell us at 8:30pm, that they forgot to bring a piece. I had to call the next day to schedule ANOTHER delivery to bring the missing piece. Now we had to wait even longer. They ended up delivering the missing piece a couple of days later. I also showed them the horrible job they did with the seams and they should be coming back to try to fix it. It basically looks black on a white counter. Way too visible.
The contractor came the next day to tile. I did not realize just how much I loved my tile until it was installed. I feel like it ties everything together! It’s starting to look like a kitchen!
Next stop was grouting. Contractor came the next day, after the mastic was dry, to grout. It looks decent but unfortunately he left way too much grout on the stone and we can’t clean it up. He will be coming next week to hopefully fix that. I really want the stone to come though since it’s so beautiful.
Good news: we have a kitchen that looks complete! Counters are in, tile is installed, plumbing is installed and all appliances are working. We put back the drawers (which we removed for the counter installation), put liners in each drawer and on each shelf, and filled them up with our kitchen stuff.
Bad news: there are still a few, small things, that need to be done, but nothing major. Grout needs to be cleaned up, pot filler needs to be connected to a water line, crown molding needs to be installed.
So that’s it! We are really excited to be almost done, and we love the look so far! And the Ikea cabinets are really quite utilitarian. I’ve seen other kitchens and none of them have as much space to store stuff as efficiently. Their hardware is incredible! So glad I went with Ikea!