A few weeks ago I mentioned that Wilsonart was trying to goad me into a kitchen renovation when clearly I’ve got haylofts to build and bathrooms to tear out. They are a company that loves all things kitchen, so I can’t blame them, but a girl’s got to have priorities. Still, with an in-progress bathroom rebuild, and the inevitable moment where I take a paintbrush to the kitchen creeping closer every time I walk through that room, I’ve been thinking a lot about some of my previous kitchen and bath projects.
To date, I’ve renovated three kitchens and four full bathrooms, and that was before I bought this 3000 square foot project.
I’ve still got one kitchen and three baths to go in this house. I am in renovation heaven.
Since it’s in my nature to want to try new things when building stuff, I’ve used different materials in almost all of those projects. If we look at the countertops alone, I’m all across the board. Check this out…
The kitchen in my first house started out like this…
That’s an old, yellowing laminate countertop that had to go. As it turned out, the house sprung a leak in the middle of winter and the entire kitchen had to go, which is how I ended up with this…
Same kitchen, fifty gray hairs later. (At that point in my life I thought it would be my first and last kitchen renovation. Ha. Ha ha. Joke is definitely on me.)
The blue tile countertops are still one of my favorite features of that house. Not only did it satisfy my need to DIY, but the ceramic was both heat and stain resistant. The downside here is that the countertops aren’t one smooth, solid surface, and there are a lot of grout lines that need to be sealed.
While I’ll definitely use tile for bathroom countertops in the future, I’m not sure I’d go that way again in a larger kitchen.
At Memorial, I also went tiles on the counter in the garage “kitchenette” that we used for a year, but these were huge 24” long behemoths, which, one they were installed, were pretty much indestructible.
This was my first taste of the benefits of a smooth, solid-surface kitchen countertop. (Even though there wasn’t much of it.
And, speaking of things that were pretty much indestructible, I went with concrete counters in the master bath at Memorial.
I love the look of these things. Love. Let me tell you though, they were an exceptionally large pain in the ass to pour and stain. Of all the surfaces I’ve worked with, I’d probably be least likely to do this again.
For the Memorial kitchen, however, I went to the other end of the indestructible scale.
Hello, butcher block. You are gorgeous, but require more coddling than a chicken with anxiety issues (ask me how I know.)
Installation on the butcher block wasn’t too bad, actually. It was as easy to cut as any other type of 2” thick wood, it was just nerve-wracking as hell. The real challenge with these are keeping the wood looking good. Maybe you’ve noticed this before, but I’m kind of a walking disaster. That means either accepting the counters are going to be scratched and stain, or wrapping them in Kevlar.
So that, my friends, is where my legitimate countertop experience ends. You’ll notice that even after coming up with some good ideas last time I wrote about the kitchen I haven’t actually started tearing into it. You may also notice I rolled my trusty SUV a few weeks ago and have since had to buy two vehicles to replace it… as you can imagine, my kitchen renovation budget has dwindled significantly.
At times like this I wonder how it is we’ve managed to put a man on the moon and a computer in our pockets, and yet haven’t been able to come up with an option for awesome-looking counters without having to sell a kidney on the black market to afford them.
Oh, wait, look at this…
Wilsonart clearly loves your kidneys and wants you to keep them intact because these HD countertops are definitely not your grandmothers avocado green laminate. I mean, that looks like granite. (According to Wilsonart, you also don’t have to worry about the whole staining-scratching-chipping issues that come with natural stone, and … what’s that sound I hear? I think my wallet just sighed with relief.)
So the good news is that those of us who are keeping an eye on our budget can still tear into our kitchens when the mood strikes. Which, around here could be pretty much any second. I’m super planful like that.
Disclaimer: Wilsonart is at it again. They totally sponsored this post, and I kind of feel like they are going to keep goading me to talk about kitchens until I break down and start painting mine. But I’ve got way more self-control than that, guys. Way more.