The countdown for our new kitchen countertops is on. If you missed the big ol’ announcement that I finally decided on white acrylic, catch yourself up on the state of affairs, and then come on over to the countertop par-tay.
The kitchen countertop ordering process ended up being much easier than I expected that it might have been. I spent several hours with an associate in our local Lowe’s with a pencil sketch of our kitchen in my own measurements so that the associate could reconstruct the design in her system and then quote the job (and charge me right then and there). It was at this time that I decided on the white allen & roth acrylic countertops (same perks as Corian, different brand name) as well as an undermount stainless sink.
Pete and I went back and forth on the choice of stainless or an integrated acrylic sink several times during the course of that meeting; I had heard mixed reviews on the integrated sinks which essentially appear to transition from countertop to a sink of the same material as one fluid line. The single greatest stated downside was that they’re inclined to stain more quickly than the same countertop surface because the typical homeowner leaves coffee cups, wine glasses, dirty dishes to sit, heightening the likelihood that foods and drinks will be sitting in direct contact with the material for a longer period of time, yielding a faster discoloration. Now, of course, if the sink is acrylic and it’s easy enough to buff out the discolorations from the countertop gently with a piece of fine grade sandpaper, you’d think it would be easy enough to keep up with a sink that was varying in color, but everyone I asked directly about it made that face where they bite their lower lip, squinted their eyes, and tilt their head as to say “Oh, honey. It’s going to happen no matter how hard you try.” And with that inferred, I can pretty much tell you now that discoloration would happen for us within 2 days of getting our new sink – a new sink isn’t going to force us to ditch our methods of convenience long-term.
The staining potential was enough to discourage me from acrylic sinks, but when I decided on allen & roth’s “white” acrylic (which, in a kitchen of our size brought down our cost $300 from the quote of DuPont Corian), I learned that the integrated sink options were only available in “Arctic White,” “Fashion White,” and “Bisque”. What the eff kind of name is Fashion White? In any case, my plain “White” countertops would never be exactly the same color white as the Arctic or Fashion White sinks, and that was the real kicker after spending 2 hours debating on the phone with 1-bar of cell reception beneath glowing florescent bulbs to Pete, who was at home. Stainless sink, it shall be.
We have a double bowl stainless sink now and like it quite a lot thank-you-very-much. The stainless undermount will be nice though, a little more upscale than the drop-in design that is working with our laminate. The stainless sink was also nicely a free option by the manufacturer (although remember that I mentioned once before that the cost to install the sink isn’t free, hint-hint-that’s-how-they-get-you), so we opted once again for the double sink that has two bowls of equal size.
Once my order was in the Lowe’s queue, I was able to schedule an in-home consultation with an engineer who came to the house to do the real measurements and drawings to ensure that my countertops were measured and ordered precisely (note, if I had mis-measured and under- or over-paid, the store would have recalculated my order). Before that appointment could happen, I had to source a new faucet set so that the engineer could accurately factor in how many holes would need to be drilled in proportion to my undermount sink, and this is where my friends at Delta Faucet came in by agreeing to provide us one of their products: The Delta Lewiston Touch2O faucet with a dual-function pull-out spout and accompanying soap dispenser.
I liked the Touch2O technology when I had an opportunity to install it myself during a blogger event at Delta’s Headquarters last year, and I’m really excited to install it in my own home.
Worth noting about this Lewiston product:
Armed with our new faucet, I scheduled the appointment to have our cabinets measured for countertops, and spent a morning prepping the kitchen for our serviceman, who needed all appliances removed from the countertop in order to take accurate measurements. It’s never looked so clean.
Much of the countertop was taped off at one point in the process. In this next photo, you’ll see the one and only change that we’re making to the size of our countertops, in that we’re shortening the counter that currently extends 24″ to the left of the stove down to 12″ to only sit on top of the countertop that’s there. Why, you wonder? The 24″ space is a junk magnet, and without it we’re hopeful that our kitchen won’t look so eternally messy.
With the eased edge option solidified, the engineer also went through the whole kitchen with me to identify where other curves would be integrated for a finished look (around the exposed edge to the left of the stove is one of those places).
We’re days away from the real install, but I’ve already started to prep the space. In the timely spirit of halloween, check out this old photo that I found tucked beneath a small section of countertop yesterday evening! As held in our living room, it’s fun to see what the house looked like a long time ago (presumably early 90′s based on when the kitchen was renovated).
Check back in a few days to see our progress!