Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Never Thought I’d Get Granite!!

I can’t even believe that I am writing this post right now!  I am so excited to show you what we have been up to for the last couple of weeks! 

But first, let me start at the beginning (and sorry to say—this may be a long story—as I have a hard time condensing all the details).

When we moved into this house we weren’t in love with the countertops in the kitchen.  Here is a picture from the previous owners (because I didn’t take any before pictures).


They aren’t awful—just nothing special.  They look like just plain laminate countertops—but in fact they had the texture of Linoleum.  They were dimply and very textured and so they were hard to keep clean and not great for things that you need a flat surface for.

So—when we moved in we had priced out new countertops and specifically granite.  ONLY to find out that it was WAY more expensive than we thought and was going to be and so consequently was out of our budget for at least a few years.

Then I remembered a kitchen makeover I have been CRUSHING on a since forever.  The gal at Starter Home to Dream Home did this amazing kitchen makeover by painting her existing cabinets, getting new hardware, adding some fun chunky molding to her island and topping it all off with some awesome granite countertops.  AND the best part is that they did it all themselves—even the granite.  They used “mini slabs” (which we will talk about later) instead of slab granite and did all the work themselves and saved a ton of money.

Well when I looked at this—I was SO excited—I wanted to do it too.  However, my hubby took one look at it and said NO WAY was he going to make his first tiling project a granite countertop.  And I don’t blame him—it looked like it could be kind of tricky.  So I sadly tucked away my hopes and dreams for a new countertop.

That is until we met Steve.

On the 4th of July we met this awesome guy who is a tile and granite layer and was interested in trading services with my hubby!!!!  And the funny thing is that he does the EXACT same method of using MINI SLABS to make his countertops and gets his product from the EXACT same place (Oregon Stone and Marble) as my kitchen crush!!!  (How crazy is that?!)  And since most of the expense of Granite countertops is the installation—so by trading out the labor we could actually afford to make this happen!!

So all of a sudden—out of the blue--we were choosing granite for our new countertops!!!

So here is the low down on using mini slabs.  These babies come in 18x26” pieces and run around $15/square foot (which makes them a really affordable alternative to slab granite that runs a bajillion a square foot).  Most countertops are 25” deep.  So each piece can have 1”cut off the back of it and attached to the front underneath to create a finished front edge like this:

Mini Slabprofiles


We had several options to choose from (not as wide a variety as when you choose a slab—but not a bad selection either).  Click HERE to see all our choices—but just know that the real samples are often very different from the pictures you see on the screen!

We narrowed it down to these 2 finalists:

Giallo Santa Cecilia (the one from my kitchen crush)

Santa Cecilia

and Giallo Vincenza


So after much deliberation—we chose the Giallo Vincenza—because we loved the contrast of the darker countertops to our soon to be painted white cabinetry and felt it worked better with our current decorating pallet.  And this granite has TONS of fun visual texture and sparkly pieces in it.  It is truly beautiful.

So since we were going to be doing the countertops—we couldn’t put our old porcelain sink back in--of course we needed a new under mount sink.  I found this 16 gauge stainless steel sink on ebay for $119 including shipping:

New Sink

Which is a GOOD deal for a sink people.  Those suckers are expensive!!  (and it is especially a good deal because I just sold the old porcelain one on craigslist for $50!  So its really like I got this one for $69!)

And then we needed a new faucet (we honestly did—because ours has been on its death bed long for a long time).  I found this one on ebay also for $119 (this same faucet was $200 at Home Depot and Lowes) and also included free shipping):



And funny to note—After I had purchased it—I went back to my crush kitchen and found that she had the EXACT SAME FAUCET!!  I swear that I didn’t know she had this one.  I just found one I liked at a good price!  Again—how funny!

And finally—We are installing our new to us Down Draft Oven. 

jenn air stove

We bought this oven on craigslist for $600 before we even moved into our house.  We knew we would eventually take down the over head cabinets above the range and that would take the fan with it—so we would need an oven that vents down and out.  And these ovens cost between $1600-$2000 new.  So when we found this for $600—we jumped on it and bought it.  It has been sitting in our garage all this time waiting for us to rework the venting and electrical to get it in.

So we have been busy with demolition, and reconstruction for over a week. 

No stove and no sink:



Oh yah—and did I mention that we decided to do the counters in the little downstairs bathroom while we were at it?  So we had demo and chaos in there too.


And I have missed my sink and my stove/oven like crazy!!!   We have been washing all our dishes in our laundry room sink—thank goodness for that or we would have had to haul them all up the stairs to the bathtub!

It has been an inconvenience to have everything torn up.  But I feel SO blessed that we will have such a beautiful kitchen!  And I think it has been good for our kids to learn to work together to wash dishes the old fashioned way.


And it is now almost over!  I should be able to show you the finished product very soon!


  1. Sharon, i can totally relate to washing the dishes in the laundry room. When we were remodeling our kitchen, the only functional sink was in the bathroom. I was SOOO happy to get my countertops and sink installed! We got Corian countertops.. which I thought I would love, but I have discovered I only like them. Wouldn't do that choice again.

    I'm excited to see your finished project!

  2. I can't wait to see your remodeled kitchen. I've been blog stalking you now for months and I love all your stuff. I am constantly showing my husband all the wonderful things you and your husband do on the cheap. We have just 3 children and are looking for a home to buy. Many of the houses in our price range need a lot of work but it's nice seeing normal people do great makeovers on the cheaper side and it look great too. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  3. Ahhh! Cliff hanger! Not cool :D

  4. seriously! I was so excited to see it and then...nothing!!! ahhh you're killing me

  5. I felt the same way as Jen and Jamie...especially cause I know THAT THEY ARE ALREADY DONE!!! STINker!!!!!

  6. I finally (after years of wishing but never expecting) got that same granite in my kitchen. I have white cabinets and think it looks great!

  7. I love your blog! I can totally relate. I just had NJ Granite Countertops put into our home in New Jersey. We went back and forth on the decision, but are totally in love with the look. Best of luck!

  8. Beautiful job! I am so jealous, I desperately want Granite Countertops in my New Jersey home! I found a really great faux option that I think I will try but if that doesn't work, I will just have to convince the hubby that the money for real granite will be well worth it! Good Luck!

  9. I just bought a house and I had to redo the kitchen too. What a mess, but well worth it. I have to most beautiful granite countertops and amazing cabinets. I cant wait to see pictures of your finished kitchen!

  10. My husband and I have been looking to change our countertops for ages. It's just that were not sure what to replace it with. Our countertop is made of tiles, and we're not sure if it's a good idea to exchange the tiles for granites. But this post inspired me to change the kitchen and the bathrooms. My husband will have a heart attack after this one. LOL!

  11. I really like how the finished job looks. Superb work. Nice. Kitchen Countertops

  12. this post is very short and straight and give the clear vision regarding granite. i wish you have explain a little further but this is great information.
    granite edmonton
    granite countertops edmonton


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