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The Kitchen Counter

Most years, I spend the week before Christmas in a flurry of baking, gift making, and gift wrapping. This year, I spent a few days replacing the kitchen counter around the sink.

You may recall that a few years ago, I put in a whole new cabinet, sink, and countertop in the kitchen. The cabinet setup that had been there was very badly damaged and rotting, and we ended up replacing everything.

We decided to put in a tiled countertop the first time around, but not without some apprehension. The biggest concern was that we were not sure how well it would hold up over time. But tile countertops are not unheard of, so we decided to do it.

Everything looked great and held up well at first, but there were a few things that I could have done differently, and ultimately, it caused a few tiles to fall off, and the plywood around the faucet to rot. Recently, the damage became very bad, to the point that the faucet fell over.

Dismantling the countertop was a very frustrating project! Messy, too.

I had wanted to do repairs on the counter throughout the past year, but it was challenging to get around to. I’ll blame it on covid! I needed an empty sink and a dry countertop for days in order to do it properly, and that’s hard to do without having the kids gone for a few days… which I wasn’t able to make happen for about a year.

Yes, I was on the verge of tears after ripping all of this out. I loved the bright white counter!

I did do repairs about six months ago, but it was too little too late. It held up for awhile, but a couple of the tiles popped out again, and gradually, the hole the water lines fed through got more and more damaged. I gave a lot of thought to how I could fix it and what went wrong, so when I had to do a better repair, I had a few ideas of how to fix it.

When the faucet fell over, it was obviously time to make the repairs, only, at that point, it was really too late for repairs, and I ultimately had to replace the entire countertop. It was disappointing that my tile work failed, and even more disappointing that so much tile broke while I was pulling it off. I had hoped to at least be able to retile it.

Thankfully, cutting the new countertop wasn’t too difficult of a task. I decided to do it in the dining room because I knew I’d have to fit the counter more than once, and I didn’t want to haul it back and forth from the garage. Butcher block is heavy!

My plans changed with the broken tile, and we decided to put in a butcherblock countertop instead. We also had to replace the faucet as ours had a few short-comings. It took one day to remove everything and cut out the new counter. The following day, I stained and finished the counter and installed the faucet. And the third day, I retiled the backsplash.

Don’t mind the mess… The new countertop matches nicely with the island. We actually gained about two inches of counter space on the left side. Not that we use it much, but the kids inevitably balance a cup there, so now it’s at least a little less precarious!

I still have to give the whole cabinet a fresh coat of paint. There was some damage to the paint when I was removing the countertop, and there were a few chips, holes, and cracks to fill.

Counter finished, faucet in, tile re-installed! I have since grouted the backsplash, but the painting still needs to be done. I guess I’m waiting for a day when the kids are gone for a couple of hours so it doesn’t get touched.

It was a bit of a frustrating project…. I didn’t want to do it (as I said before, I was disappointed about replacing the tile), it was generally stressful as I encountered numerous issues along the way, and it was especially frustrating that we had to invest more money on this project after just a few short years (and not a small amount, I might add).

However, I do like how it looks, and I feel much more confident in this counter than I did the previous one. Now I just pray it holds up well! And I am incredibly grateful that we were able to make it happen in a year that was just absolute insanity.

Love and Blessings~Danielle

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