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Update, from oak & tile to white painted cabinets & granite

14 years ago

My husband and I decided to update our oak and tile kitchen a bit as we plan to put our house on the market within the next year or so. The idea was that it would be nice to be in the house to enjoy the updated kitchen for a while before selling the house.

Most of the houses for sale in my area have ads that scream out granite and stainless steel kitchens, and all the real estate agents with whom we've conferred have been pretty convincing that this kind of upgrade (plus "status" appliances) was needed for a quick sale.

Naturally the advice from this forum has been invaluable - I used what I learned here at almost every step of the way.

We had a couple of splurges, but mainly tried to get all materials as cheaply as possible. We also decided not to do the painting ourselves but to hire a painter we'd used before. He and his crew did a wonderful job, and did it all in 5 days (it would have taken me months).

I'll list the details of what we bought and the cost below; for those who don't care about that kind of stuff, just skip to the pictures at the end. Total cost was just under $15,000.

The cabinets were custom-made for the previous owner and are in very good shape, with solid wood inside and out. They're framed and the drawers waste a tremendous amount of space. If I'd had more money I would have replaced the 4-drawer cabinet with a better set of drawers, as there's at least 2 inches lost on both the height and width of each drawer. That wasn't in the budget, but my next kitchen will be more efficient.

We ditched the trash compactor (never used it) and added a 2-container Rev-a-shelf pullout trash cabinet.

The granite is Ubatuba Gold and has some lovely gold and copper sparkles in it. The granite yard had about 10 slabs on clearance for $300 each. There were issues; most had a crack right down the middle, and others had deep scratches. My fabricator made it work using 3 slabs with some creative layout of the templates. We had to offset the seam to the side of the sink a little (rather than centered) but otherwise the cracks and scratches became a non-issue. I was happy with the price. The edge is beveled.

Cabinets were cleaned and painted with 2 coats of oil-based primer and then 2 coats of oil-based top coat (Benjamin Moore Linen White, based on recommendations here). It looks creamier in person than in the photos. Walls are SW Restrained Gold, ceiling is KM Swiss Coffee.

The sink came from MR Direct which a poster here led me to after I asked about the (out of stock) Ticor S113.

Ticor sink thread

I didn't do a lot of research on the faucet - I'd used Hansgrohe in my master bath and knew it to be good quality, so when I saw a kitchen faucet at Costco I grabbed it.

The knobs will come from and are manufactured by Jeffrey Alexander, style is Milan. I saw them in cawfeegirl's kitchen and thought they looked great. I'm still waiting for them to arrive, thus all the little holes in the cabinets. cawfeegirl's kitchen

The double oven was a splurge, purchased online from AJ Madison; free shipping and no sales tax. The top is convection.

Microwave is a Sharp with a custom trim kit, as it's sold as a counter-top rather than built-in microwave.

I didn't get the "stainless" Jenn-Air downdraft cooktop because it was $300 more than the black one, and the only difference was 2 narrow strips of stainless steel on the top & bottom of the stove. I had to get downdraft because I didn't want to install an overhead fan above the peninsula; the technology hasn't improved much in the 20 years since the original downdraft was installed, unfortunately. A better option would have been to move the stove to the wall where the microwave is, reconfigure those cabinets and add a fan there, but that wasn't in the budget.

Dishwasher is Kenmore - we just put it in a couple of years ago and kept it even though it lacks "status" and is black rather than stainless (oh well). DH loves it (he does the dishes).

Fridge is GE Profile, also purchased a couple of years ago.

As for the backsplash, I decided to save money and not have it tiled. Keeping it as drywall was an option (every granite fabricator of course thought this was nuts). However I ultimately decided to use the granite behind the sink, and continued it around the rest of the "U" of that counter. I'm going to live without a backsplash on the perimeter counters for a while but always have the option to either tile there or have my fabricator install a 5" splash of granite (there's enough left over).

The light fixture was purchased at Bellacore a couple of years ago, and moved from the upstairs hall down to the kitchen. It matches a larger chandelier in the entrance hall to the house.

I took down the valances and haven't decided whether or not to add a window treatment. DH votes for no window treatments. The kitchen is at the back of the house and privacy isn't an issue. We might replace the can lights with something more up-to-date, but are leaving them for now.

More details:


Granite - 75 square feet ubatuba gold (3 slabs) $1000

Stove - Jenn-Air downdraft $1302

Sink - MR Direct $175 MR Direct

Faucet - Hansgrohe Metro from Costco $200

Oven - Bosch double oven $2000 AJ Madison

Microwave and custom trim kit - Sharp $450

Trash pull-out - Rev-a-shelf 300

light fixture - reused one from hallway, replaced it with an Ikea one $10

Knobs and drawer pulls - Jeffrey Alexander Milan $200 Myhomehardware


Counter - granite fabrication and install $3500

painting $2500

All other labor (demolition, carpentry, appliance install, plumbing) $2700

Sold original downdraft stove ($75)

Sold old microwave ($100)

Gave away original oven on Freecycle 0

Total Kitchen facelift: $14662







Wider angle

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