Last week I made the dreaded trek to IKEA because, lets face it, no one can beat their prices on kitchen counters and shelving. I highly regretted the choice after we rounded the third hour in the waiting Q for them to bring our items from the back… but alas we ate the meatballs, bought the randoms and made it out with our dignity intact.
Our new home has asked a lot of us during these past few weeks but we have risen to the challenge. This week ushered in new downstairs flooring and a refreshed (in-progress) kitchen. Once the flooring was in we got to work on our new butcher block counter tops. Thankfully my dad joined in and the whole process was much smoother than I originally anticipated. During our trip to IKEA I selected Karlby butcher block counters in birch. I also grabbed Ekby shelving and brackets to create a slightly industrial looking open shelving area in the kitchen. These brackets are really cool and could be used with any type of wood to create the look you want. Without further delay I’ll take you through a basic idea of how our installation went down and how we are feeling about everything as we finish up our kitchen remodel and refresh.
The first step was to demo and pull out the existing laminate countertops. This was easy enough, with only a few challenges in the sink area. Calvin also took this opportunity to change out the water line and drain hose for the dishwasher, thus the face down appliance in the middle of the floor. We also installed some additional bottom cabinetry because the kitchen needed a bit more counter and storage space to accommodate our family of six.
After demo-hour we measured and measured again and came up with the plan for our cuts. Making that first cut was a lot less nerve-wracking because we had so many eyes on the project. (A big thanks goes out to my dad who came to help and lend his tools!)
We saved the corner, where the sink lives, for very last. There were two angles to consider with this piece and we wanted to be sure we were satisfied with the adjacent counter cuts before proceeding. It turned out beautifully! We are currently working on finishing up the plumbing in this area and will be able to share our experience with IKEA sinks and faucets soon! For now it’s sitting there while I figure out all the things.
We used a mixture of sawdust from the cuts, gorilla wood glue and wood filler to seal up the places where the counter pieces meet. After all the counters were in I sealed them all up with a wood conditioner. I’m still contemplating whether I want them to remain natural or if a stain would be preferable. Next week I’ll be adding a coat of Coastal Blue Milk Paint by General Finishes to the lower cabinets and Antique White to the uppers. Until then… it’s a whole lot of wood to look at.
The counters all went in better than I had hoped. It took roughly four hours to do all the cuts and install. They seem to be durable, but only time will tell. I’ll be sure to update here in about six months to give you an update. Stay tuned for paint, backsplash and hardware coming next week. It’s going to be so much fun to share the completed kitchen! The current debate is whether to stay on trend with white subway or to take a departure and do something fun with patterned white tile. What would you do?