So far we had been keeping drawers and doors in the basement to avoid dinging things up before we had to. We didn't want to worry about granite installers or appliance delivery guys accidentally banging tools into brand new cabinets. So this past weekend we finally installed all the doors and drawers!
The doors we chose were full-overlay meaning that the cabinet doors cover the frame basically from edge to edge. There was no big reason I chose this other than it was what I liked.
The style I chose was a good balance between a bit of detail and a simple classic shaker style. It's hard to put into words what I was looking for, but I knew it when I saw it. I also knew I wanted white painted cabinets. Now the designer cautioned me against paint saying it doesn't wear as well as stained cabinets, and while this may be true, I wanted what I wanted. I didn't want to settle for a stain and then spend the next 5 years wishing I had just picked what I really wanted.
I love them. They are perfect! Or not exactly perfect.... I'll explain that.
Painted cabinet doors are not perfect. The paint is like a shell over wood and because wood expands and contracts, it is expected and totally normal for there to be joint lines where the pieces of the door are originally glued together. What I noticed when we installed the cabinets is that some of the joint lines were HUGE. I didn't like it. It bothered me. And one of the cabinet doors had some chipped paint.
Ok, I get that over time we might end up with paint chips, dings, dents, and big joint lines, but I thought things should be pretty darn perfect on day one. And so I called my designer and she came by the house. We talked over a few things and she's having 2 of the doors replaced.
I can't say enough how important it is to work with someone you like for this kind of project. I had a few really glowing recommendations about our cabinet place and my whole experience working with these folks has been fantastic. They want their customers to be thrilled with their results - and I am! They are making things right, they asked a lot of great questions so that by the time I handed over large sums of money I was confident in my choices and excited. So my best advice on a big renovation is to pick a good cabinet place (do you think a big box store would bend over backwards to make sure I was happy???)
Since this is our first kitchen renovation, I don't know how common this is, but we waited on putting doors on the cabinets until the granite counter top was installed. We wanted to reduce the risk of any dings from people moving big things around. Last week was Granite Day. It was quite exciting as it meant a return to a true kitchen-like space for us.
The template guy came and was in and out in about 30 minutes. He basically used what looked like thin plywood and shims and hot glue to create the exact shape of our kitchen counter. He marked out where the sink and faucet would go, ,as well as noting any other special instructions (rounded corners, etc.). Then about a week and a half later it was time for installation.
Our kitchen was in 4 pieces of stone - two small ones and then 2 larger ones that were epoxied together. To seal that seam, the installers used a pretty cool device that used vacuum pressure to push the two separate slab pieces together. The resulting seam is so tiny, you really can't see it.
Here's a photo from the installation - the white things on the counter grab the slabs and use a vacuum (hot a hoover - but a strong suction force powered by an air compressor) to pull the two pieces together.
The installers also put the sink in place. We opted not to have them attach the dishwasher as it would have needed to be leveled before the granite installers arrived. We will attach it directly to the cabinets when it's ready.
So where are we? Done? Nope, but we are now back to having a usable kitchen space :)