The last big project

My to do list has gotten a bit shorter in recent weeks, but one major project has remained: the kitchen counters. Yesterday was template day. The laminate is finally going to go!

Do you all think I'm crazy not to be picking my slab? The company I'm using has a slab yard in Manassas, which is two hours away from here. I was going to stop by on my way home from a business trip, but my schedule was too tight. If I wasn't trying to slowly separate myself from this place, I'd be all over this.

One decision I had to make (and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this) was about the back splash. Currently, the laminate counters have back splashes that go about four inches up the wall...

In my forever home, I'd probably want the counters to end at the wall, not extend up it. I'd install some tile on the walls between the counters and the cabinets. However, with outlets all over the place and my magnetic spice racks taking up one wall in the kitchen, I decided that I would duplicate what was done already and have a "poor man's" back splash installed.

Pre-paint, but you can see the spice racks here

I'm going to the granite place today to sign the contract and make my deposit. I can still change the back splash you think I should?


  1. I personally like the backsplash - makes cleanup easier. At least for a messy cook like me. :)

  2. Can't wait to see the finished results. Not sure what my opinion on the backsplashes are...I think you'll be fine to leave them off.

  3. definitely pick out your own slab! Remember the problem you had with the marble tiles? There are great variations in the colors, veining, etc. And for the cost, it is worth the drive to ensure you get what you envisioned. We signed our name to the back to make sure we received what we picked out. You run the risk of them giving you their worst piece (my cynical self says) if you leave the choice up to them.
    A backsplah is a nice addition, but your choice.

  4. I have the same opinion as you regarding backsplashes, but I think you made the right choice here. And really, it's going to look so great I'm sure no one will ever think about it being any different :)

  5. I didn't pick out my slab and was totally blindsided by the difference from the sample: (it was okay, but different).
    I think your plan with the backsplash is fine- I would have probably done the same thing if I felt like it made sense for my space.

  6. Thats measuring, not templating, and there is a difference. That graph paper is going to get faxed to Manassas (the downside of using a fabricator so far away)and your countertop will be cut based on numbers and angles represented. Templating is making true reproductions of your counters, typically with thin strips of light plywood. Then those are laid out and traced on granite, leaving less chance for errors.
    May I ask if they're giving you a remnant rate, as you need so little stone? And if you gave any thought to either making the piece that sits on the kneewall behind the sink deeper so it would have more overhang and be perhaps easier to eat at, or if its to be more decorative, using a material other than granite?
    Also, there are no measurements on that graph paper for a sink cut out. Once that cut out is made, the slab becomes very fragile... so maybe they are doing that here rather than risking a two hour trip and the chance for breakage? Problem is, the installers may be planning to make that cut with the counter installed. I can not tell you how much mess that makes! Hope you have that covered, not just with your salesman, but with the installers as well.

  7. A template was made. I did not take pictures of the man doing the work, out of respect for his privacy.

    -Jeannine via iPhone

  8. Thought of one other thing I wish I had done. We have no overhang on ours and this makes cleaning the countertops a little more difficult. Having an extra inch so you can put your hand under when wiping is a small thing but very convenient. Hope your project comes out beautifully.

  9. Okay, I'm back in town and thought I'd address Anonymous (aka Kurt or At least, the writing style fits with Kurt's.

    My granite company is in Charlottesville. Most companies here have slab yards outside of town (one big one is in Palmyra, another is out closer to Richmond than Charlottesville). Of the two companies I know that have slab yards in town, one can't even maintain a website and the other, which barely has a yard, was illusive about their pricing (didn't want to itemize their estimate...surprising this they are a pretty big name).

    This project has been a long time coming! I started visiting companies a year ago. I've done a lot of research.


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