Kitchen Facelift Update

Continuing along the journey of our slowest kitchen “renovation” ever, the next big step was replacing the old Corian countertops. Most people probably don’t mind Corian since it is a solid surface material (no seams!), but our counters were in rough shape and the color made the kitchen look pretty dated. Out with the old and in with the new!

After looking at a lot of images online and in Home Depot and Lowe’s we decided on Black Pearl granite. In our area, it was priced in the high $30s up to $50 a square foot. We settled on using Legacy Granite, and they quickly came out and created the template and were ready to install the granite just a few days later.

Unfortunately WE were not ready for them that quickly. We also purchased a new gas cooktop (since it would require a custom sized cut), but quickly found out that the existing cooktop did not have a separate gas shut off valve. In order to disconnect the old cooktop we had to turn off the gas to our entire house, which was a total PITA. This is probably against code, so we had a handyman come out and install a shut off valve just for the cooktop. Problem solved!

New cooktop — Kenmore Elite gas downdraft

The actual installation of the granite turned out great, but then it was on us to put the rest of the kitchen back together. After multiple trips to Home Depot, we finally got the right parts to hook up the cooktop again (it’s a little trickier than a normal cooktop since it has a downdraft vent). Then we decided that we were not capable of DIYing putting our sink and disposal back together. We needed someone to hook up the new faucet, re-attach the garbage disposal, and re-configure all of the pipes below the sink since we had gone from a 2 bowl sink to a single bowl sink. Among all of this mess, we probably went a week and a half without a functioning sink in our kitchen. Not recommended!

New sink and faucet — Delta Leland Single-Handle Pull-Down Sprayer in Arctic Stainless. Sink was provided by the granite fabricators.

Finally the last thing to address was the dreaded “gap”. We had been warned that there would be a small gap between the bottom of the backsplash and the top of the new granite counters since they were thinner than the existing Corian. I kept thinking it wouldn’t be that big of a deal and we’d just put in some caulk and call it a day. Well the gap turned out to be more noticeable than expected. The short term solution was to cover the gap along the entire stretch of counters with a small piece of moulding. We bought the moulding, painted it and then installed it just with some strong adhesive. Eventually we would like to replace the backsplash, but it could end up being somewhat costly since it needs to be removed, the drywall needs to be replaced, and then the new backsplash would be installed.

So after all of that a simple job of replacing the counters turned into a much bigger ordeal than we originally anticipated. It was definitely worth the effort, but we were both ready to pull our hair out with one thing after another slowing us down from the “final” reveal.

Of course we have to look back at the (way) before — this is from closing day.

Closing Day

And here we are today, almost 4 years later with new wall paint, refinished floors, painted cabinets, and now new countertops, cooktop, sink and faucet.



We’ll slowly work on replacing the rest of the appliances to stainless steel since most of them are original to the house and don’t work all that well. Plus it will help break up so much of the black everywhere!


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