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Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Posted by jerzeegirl 9 (My Page) on
Thu, May 24, 12 at 22:52

I really like my old kitchen. It has a great work triangle. The cabinets, which were built in place 27 years ago, are still solid and in relatively good condition. I probably would not think of remodel except the original appliances desperately need replacing, the countertop has seen better days, and the soffits must go. The 48" pantry is nice but things tend to get pushed to the back and lost. Although the floor is in excellent condition, it's dated. Also any refrigerator I buy will be larger than the one I currently have so that upper cabinet and end panel will need to be modified.

For the sake of the environment I would rather try to make improvements to what I have rather than have it end up in a landfill, but I think it's probably a lost cause and I need to think about replacing this kitchen.

Nevertheless, please take a look at my pictures and let me know whether you vote for demo-ing it and getting a new one or trying to improve on what is already there. Any creative ideas about what to do with the space would be much appreciated.

Here is a link that might be useful: pictures


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

OMG. This was supposed to be in the Kitchen Forum! I can't believe I did that! Sorry!


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

lol - I spend a lot of time at the Kitchens forum and you had me scratching my head and doublechecking my URL.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

JG, even though this isn't kitchens, let me asnwer you anyway-- what about donating the old cabinets, etc. to Habitat for Humanity Restore?

Quite honestly, I don't see anything wrong with the floor. I don't even think it really looks dated. Yes, 8x8's were big a while ago, but I'm still installing them. As for the countertops, yeah, they kinda need to be updated. Formica with rounded corners.... especially WHITE formica!! :-) Concerning the cabinet over the fridge, that shouldn't be a problem to get a smaller box, and then cut down the door ane relaminate the bottom of it.

Working with what you have is definitely doable.

P.S.-- LOVE the Corgi!! :-)


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Since you asked...I'm with Bill on the floor. since you've got good solid cabs, why not have them re-faced? New quality cabs are to the moon $$$, and re-facing is reasonable. Looks like you've only got the one window, so you might consider facing a few of the uppers with glass doors--creates an illusion of light and openness.

Definitely gotta change up that countertop; some color?

Hope this helps--just needs a little face-lift, that's all. It's a nice room. :)


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Seeing this is here, what are soffits?


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Soffits are those boxes that the upper cabinets are hanging from. I was actually wondering if technically they are soffits (bad) or a tray ceiling (trendy).

The floor tiles are actually 6 x 6" - that's alotta grout (although amazingly for 27 years old grout surprisingly clean). We were told the guy who built the house was an architect - maybe 6 x 6's were in vogue back then!

Habitat is a great idea. They will even remove the cabinets for us but I am skeptical whether that can be done since they were built in place and the face frames appear to be connected. I guess I will leave that up to them if we decide to demo.


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Thanks, now back to our regularly scheduled programming...


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

I will work for food.

That would be an awesome remodel. Bill, let's team up and meet there on Tuesday!:)


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That was an expensive kitchen. Well-done plastic lam fronts are not cheap. Knife-hinges were trendy and they are a real pain in the you-know-what to install.

I agree, those cabs should be salvaged if you do new cabs. Even if they are built-in, I think you can find someone with the know-how and willingness to get them out without wrecking them.


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You are funny, JZ!

What do you REALLY want to do? If I were planning on sticking with the same floor plan, and just wanted to update, I would be looking into getting new doors for the cabinets. You probably have solid wood boxes, and they come at a premium today. I had no choice but to gut my kitchen, as the floor plan was awful and the cabinets flimsy. The cost for new, solid wood custom cabinets was our single biggest expense.

Our KIDS hired a kitchen designer for a couple of hours, to advise us in our home about options. (What does THAT tell you about my former kitchen? LOL!) We ended up hiring her for the remodel, and she saved us a ton of money.

If you're asking strangers if you need to do something, then I think the answer is pretty clear. Go for it! You deserve to have a kitchen you love, whether you redo the whole thing, or just upgrade it. Get a good KD and you won't be sorry.


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Regarding the OP question, I say that is a perfectly fine kitchen. What earthly reason is there to tear it out and use up resources making a new one?


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I agree with Nik, I believe if you want to do something in your house and you can afford to do it then it should be done. Life is to short to not be happy with the surrounding that you spend so much time living that short life.

Just do not do it because you see everybody doing their kitchen though. I swear if I see another granite countertop I will scream. It is so what everybody has. I like to be different. It reminds me of when we see old houses and every bathroom was pink. I enjoy it when I see someone going with something different in their kitchen.


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Brush-- That can be done. :-) I night be easy, but I make up for it by being cheap. :-)

JG-- as for the grout, there are a couple of choices. First, you can go the easy route, and have them steam cleaned, or even get a steamer and do it yourself. Secondly, you've seen the advice I've given concerning Oxyclean, a brish, and wet vac. Lastly, you can always use a grout colorant, permanently seal them, and that will put a coating on the surface that's almost impossible to stain, or for stuff to stick to.


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I think the cabinets look great. The countertop needs to be changed for sure. Right now everything is drab tan, so adding color to the counter would really spice up the space. I'm not thrilled with the floor. How about adding some colorful throw rugs rather than change the whole floor?

Ikea makes some nice pull-out tall cabinets. Maybe you could do something like that with the pantry where now everything gets lost in the back.


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Since you asked: it looks drab and dark to me. Is it possible to put in a skylight? If not, I think painting the walls a brighter hue might help with its facelift. Or maybe I'm missing paintings on the walls?


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  • Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
    Fri, May 25, 12 at 9:59

I like it as is but might brighten it up as WN and others suggests with a new brighter paint job, and possibly a more modern energy efficient and bigger window. I'd also replace the ceiling fan with a 5 blader with a kitchen complimentary light fixture.


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We had similarly colored kitchen and (low-budgetedly) painted the cupboards and all with a high quality semi-gloss off-white paint. Replaced floor with some of that Pergo stuff, and replaced the countertops with cherry butcher block - bought off the web for far less than you'd think. Although getting it off the truck and into the kitchen required some physics.


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Two suggestions... though some like electric, I would replace the stove and go with gas if I could. The reasoning behind this is boil-overs and power outages. If you've ever experienced these during bad weather or horrid winter storms, gas is still working and you can still cook and keep the kitchen warm by baking or oven use. With gas, a flick of the knob stops the heat, and nothing boils over... with electric, you must remove the pot from the burner. I also don't like the fact that electric burners can be dark in color, but still hot... had a cat burn his poor little feet jumping up on the counter once... my Mom had electric. I much prefer gas, or propane if you're rural.

My second suggestion would be using a bright paint color scheme to liven it up a bit... or perhaps a Caribbean color theme of aqua and coral, maybe a touch of South America with bright orange, yellow, blue, or red, with regards to paint... or if you don't want to paint, perhaps some artwork and bright throw rugs for the space.

I agree with Bill... the tile floor is fine. Doesn't look like anything needs doing there.

If you decide to do nothing, I can easily picture some artwork in the same monochromatic color scheme, but with a touch of beige/pink and olive green... as in a floral painting/print... perhaps several in varying sizes.

I'm much more eclectic, must have plants everywhere, and though it's a nice work space, it's too monochromatic for my tastes. But then, it's YOUR kitchen, Jerzee... you have to live and cook in it, so you have to do what makes YOU happy! :-)

I do like the suggestion of donating to Habitat, though...

In my opinion, it just needs a little color, a little life! You have great incoming light... I'd have that whole back window space taken up with hanging plants or orchids! And I'd have a tree or tall plant of some kind by the sliding glass door, in the corner. :-)

I'm sure whatever you decide, it'll be fine... remember, you're the cook, and it's your kitchen!


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  • Posted by natal Louisiana 8b (My Page) on
    Fri, May 25, 12 at 10:58

Getting rid of those soffits will definitely help with brightening up the space. A few more cans or alternative lighting might be a good idea too.

If the cabinets are in good shape consider resurfacing. What type of shelving is in the pantry? Could it be reconfigured to offer more efficient storage?

Floors look good, but my choice would be wood ... something to warm the space. A new countertop too for the same reason.


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Different lighting is a must. Under cabinet lighting works miracles too.

For an update:

I would build up the doors with molding and panels, then prep and paint them to a color of your choice. No need to toss those fronts! You can even change hardware and the location at that time.

Add roll out trays wherever possible if you don't already have them. Including the pantry.

A built in water cooler. Either above or below the counter.

Formica offers dramatic laminates. Some even look better than granite! And it's reasonable.

Do you ever step in that dog bowl? I would tuck the dog feeding station behind and built into the dishwasher cabinet.


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  • Posted by natal Louisiana 8b (My Page) on
    Fri, May 25, 12 at 11:33

Under cabinet lighting works miracles too.

Yes it does! I turn mine on first thing in the morning and keep them on all day. I rarely use the cans.


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I see JZ has a lot of help spending money!

;)


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I hope she's a member of the 1%!..


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You guys are awesome! Thanks for all the good feedback.

Ha ha, brush. Do the 1% think of Ikea when it comes to remodeling their kitchens? If so, then I'm guilty as charged. I'll feed you and Bill if you want to come down. I am close to the best beach in the US (Siesta Key). I don't know if you like sports fishing but a couple of guys I know went fishing yesterday and caught 7 tarpon.

WN: The house is in one of those grove-y neighborhoods - an oak and pine hammock - so there are trees everywhere and the house is shaded which I guess is a good thing in Florida. I am not sure that putting a skylight in would bring it lots of additional light because of the trees. I have heard lots of good things about CREE LED lights - they make a warmer color LED bulb - and so I think I would like to install those in the ceiling. I am planning undercounter lights too. I'm hearing you about the drabness - I am hoping my DH and I would be able to decide on a nice colorful backsplash without an act of Congress.

Jodi: we are planning to convert to a propane - we've had enough of the electric stove. My DH brews beer and it's hard to do on the electric range, especially since only two burners are working.

natal: The soffits are kind of oppressive and large and I agree that with the soffits gone the room will feel ligher. Also the cabinets are only 15.5 inches off the countertop and that also adds to the heaviness of the soffits (like they are crushing the cabinets down).

Regarding the OP question, I say that is a perfectly fine kitchen. What earthly reason is there to tear it out and use up resources making a new one?

pnbrown, I am so glad you asked this question because I hear where you're coming from. However, whether we like it or not, we are aging and there are certain things that can be done which would be helpful in the future . For example, a wall oven would be great instead of lifting that heavy turkey from the oven. Microwave over the range can be dangerous. It would be nice to have drawers so we don't have to get on our knees to get something from the back of the cabinet. Small things like that which can make it easier. The appliances are electricity guzzlers - none of them are Energy Star - and so I figure I will be doing the earth a favor by getting rid of them. I would imagine that recyclers melt down the various metals and not much goes into the landfill. We are planning to buy American made appliances so hopefully we will be contributing to the economic recovery a teeny bit.

nik: A designer (referee) might be a good idea especially if he or she can act as a deciding vote when DH and I start disagreeing!

Well I still don't know what to do about the kitchen but it sure has been fun hearing your opinions!


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Siesta Key?? I thought you were down around Tampa?

I see JZ has a lot of help spending money!

Actually, trying to SAVE her some money.


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  • Posted by natal Louisiana 8b (My Page) on
    Fri, May 25, 12 at 23:00

Drawers are a blessing! I went from 6 in the old kitchen to 17 in the new. Never had a microwave until we did the remodel and needed one during the year long process. It earned a permanent home inside the pantry.


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Bill, we left Tampa about 3 years ago. Moved to Miami for just over a year and did not care for it. So moved back to the west coast. We're about one hour south of Tampa.

Natal, I love your pantry - I like that you can see everything from front to back. In my pantry (and in my current refrigerator) there are things I haven't seen in months because they get pushed to the back and disappear! I really want pullouts in the new pantry and that the only thing I am really adamant about. Everything else is negotiable.

I can't believe that you all now know what my kitchen looks like - lol!


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Love the Corgi. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen forum years ago when we redid ours. My old kitchen in my very old house (c1840) was about the age of yours and looked just like it. Same cabinets, same pulls, same countertop. They were put in by architects when they lived here in the 60's. I immediately painted them sage green. We also had white Formica. The green seemed too dark, so I repainted them white. I ripped out(rather two burly men we hired did) seven layers of linoleum and tile to get to the original wood floors which I kept. We gutted the whole kitchen and husband took the cabinets and used them in the carriage house and the basement to store stuff, so nothing was taken to the land fill. We had Plain&Fancy with headquarters nearby design our kitchen, and almost a decade later, I would not change a thing. Your style in Florida is probably much different than mine in an old house in PA. We used two different cabinets, ..Shaker and raised panels and two different colors..cream and sage green. We went with soapstone counters and butcherblock for the island. The designer built a corner cupboard for all the food which is the best feature. It's two steps from the sink which is a single huge soapstone. I went from electric to gas and never would go back. Love gas. My only worry is everything is built in so if an appliance dies, I hope I can get one to accommodate the wood panels. >>Good luck. You'll get a lot of good ideas on the KF. What's your dog's name?


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Hate to tell ya, JG, but the best beach in the US is here on MV. Nothing in fla is remotely close. Anyway, west coast fla is lacking those important features we call 'waves'. Heck, might as well be a lake.


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pnb: Siesta Key beach is different from the others. The sand is made of quartz and it's pure white. You can walk on in in the blazing sun without shoes. It's really kind of amazing. And there are waves. Sometimes really big ones. I have never been to MV but love the Cape and Maine.

lily: The corgi's name is Ted - people will stop us on the street to tell us how cute he is. He's a rescue and we've had him for about four years.

How are your soapstone counters holding up? Do you gets dings and rings? I want ss so bad! I have three samples of ss (there's actually a ss place down here) that I was experimenting with. The softest one held the oil just fine. But the harder varieties revert to grey very quickly. I am really worried about getting soft ss since we are so clumsy and I'm sure will be chipping and dinging the stone, but I don't want to get the hard variety and have to oil it every other day - that's not practical for us.

Here is a link that might be useful: Siesta Key


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" I don't know if you like sports fishing ....."

I saw what you did there, to lure Bill.....


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Living rurally, I don't know what the heck we'd do without propane for the stoves, water heaters, furnaces... and the water heaters are on-demand, which take up so much less space and are so money-saving! They cost more to purchase at the outset, but the money saved just can't compare!

I'm actually stove-less at the moment, but we do fine... and I could use the one downstairs if I wanted to... but our diet is not the same, so we wouldn't use it often enough to have one put in.

Now, Lily's kitchen sounds nice... except for the single sink. I do prefer double sinks for washing dishes. With only two of us, using a dishwasher would be a huge waste of energy.

As I said, I'm much more eclectic and unique... I like a mix of styles and colors... and that old wood floor sounds wonderful!

I once, long ago, spend a very good amount of time removing indoor/outdoor carpeting from a kitchen and two baths... the type with the foam rubber backing... you know the kind? What a pain! But I found beautiful tile underneath, and I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would cover it with hideous green carpet! Especially in the two rooms of a home that get the most spills, and contain the most bacteria! Ew!

I have to say, Jerzee... I envy you the location you're in. As kids, we vacationed in Florida 2 weeks every year... and I just adored it! We spent a lot of time walking the beaches of Ft. De Soto Park, near the St. Pete/Clearwater area. If I could only get my husband out of the northern states... (sigh). I really despise the cold.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

JZ,

We wasted SO MUCH TIME trying to figure out what to do in our kitchen. In fact, I joined GW years ago because of the kitchen forum. I learned a lot from reading that forum, but what finally got the ball rolling for us was the feedback from someone who could stand in our kitchen and help us understand why some of our ideas were good, and others might not be as great as we had thought the were. A really helpful thing the KT did was ask the obvious question: What do you like about your kitchen and what do you not like? If you and DH have not done sat down to do that, you might be surprised at what you learn!

One of the best suggestions I got from the kitchen forum allowed us to have an island. Instead of moving a load bearing wall to widen the room, we put custom floor to ceiling cabinets about a foot deep along the entire far wall of the kitchen. It is a pantry with plenty of room for storage. The top cabinets are glass, have dimming lights, and can be used for display. That left room for an island. The other thing I got from GW was deciding to get drawers for my dishes and pots and pans. At 5'1" I was sick of having to reach for everything.
Good luck with your project! Getting that kitchen made just for me was way better than getting a new house and worth every penny. Custom cabinets helped people in my community, the quality was amazing, and they cost LESS than ordering premade ones!


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If the money is there, I would be a proponent of tearing the cabinets and floor tiles out and starting new. I think the kitchen (including the floor) is quite dated, although still in great shape and functional. It definitely has that early 80's type of look.

I think a slate tile floor would look nice, with wood cabinets and a granite counter top...that's just my opinion though.


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I almost posted this yesterday-now knowing you are in Florida I do want to caution you in your plans that include removing the sofits-you need to know if they are there to disguise something-usually HVAC or even plumbing-that is the usual reason for 'fir downs' which real estate people turned into 'tray ceilings' sounds so much more attractive. Because yours project past the space over the cabinets I would be suspicious they have a larger role than just being decorative and covering that awkward dust catching area above the cabinets-but maybe not. We have this special looker thingy-you make a little hole and insert this little camera probe thing-originally for plumbers so you can see.


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JZ..I LOVE my soapstone and have had no regrets. I met a person on KF when we were deciding. She became a very good friend ,and we both love our soapstone and would have nothing else. It will never ever be dated. They had soapstone counters 200 years ago in New England and they are still standing. I have a SS footwarmer , circa 1820, and it's patina is beautiful and is not chipped at all. I have Vermont SS and I can't tell you if it's soft or hard. One great thing is you can take anything out of the oven or stove top and sit in directly on the SS. I have no rings, no marks at all after ten year. I have a hard edge and it may get a little less hard with wear. I don't have a lot of veins running thru mine but that's what I wanted. It's a darkish grey, but when I oil it every month or two with just mineral oil, it gets black with a rich look.

As for the sink, I have a dishwasher beside it so don't use it for dishes, so I got a super deep, super big one. I have a foot deep apron and the sink is 2' square and 10 inches deep. I have a big box window with almost 2 foot soapstone windowsill with tons of plants on it. The sink is great for putting all plants in it for watering. heck I could probably bathe a horse in it..lol.

I'm with Nik about islands. Love them and didn't have one before. We eat at ours all the time. Even though we totally demolished, the foot print remained virtually unchanged. I think you have a nice plan which you may want to keep if it works for you. I'd replace the floor too. We built a powder room off the kitchen and put in 8" dark reddish brown tile with DARK matching grout.

Ask Bill what he thinks of SS. I may be biased. He's the expert. I think Granite may get dated.


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Well, the countertop is a great dilemma for us because the last kitchen we did (which is still on view at finishedkitchens.com) was for a bungalow type house and we used honed black pearl granite which we just loved. My husband wants to do the same exact countertop here but I think that black might be too dark. I love the single bowl sinks too - just big enough to bathe a corgi. I would love to do marble but I am not going to win that battle.

patriciae: The soffits are empty. I can go up in the attic and see the top of the kitchen (! - funny!). No problems there. I can see the design element of soffits - really I can - but I can also see cabinets to the ceiling with a nice piece of crown molding.

jodi: Fort DeSoto is where we used to go when we lived in Tampa. There's a great dog beach there that we used to go to. Although I do miss some of the wonderful northern plants, I still wouldn't move back because I hate the cold weather (and luckily so does my DH).

krycek: what you are saying is exactly what we have in mind except for the floor. Nobody loves slate more than I do but I think the floor has to be lighter than slate - I was thinking continuing the hardwood from the rest of the house into the kitchen or check out this tile - 12 x 24" I am drooling over it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cenere is the color I love


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nik: Was your KD an independent designer or did she sell cabinets too? I think we can use the help of someone with a neutral eye who is not trying to sell something. DH and I don't always see eye to eye but since he's the main cook his input is quite important. Honestly I would be happy with very very nice appliances and Ikea cabinets. To me it's the appliances that make the kitchen!


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Great! I dont see the design element of Soffits myself-I also dislike can lights and that is where they are so often put-yuck. I agree with the people who are telling you, you need drawers-everyone needs drawers. My grandfather put in pullouts for my grandmother 60 years ago-they did not work so well without the hardware of today but the idea was a good one.
I have slate countertops and I really love those-if you can get hard slate. I know someone who had slate with a slate sink built in-gorgeous. Mine are recycled chalk boards from the renovation of the Seattle school system-installed upside down. You oil them just like soapstone. If I could have afforded it I would have gone with green soapstone though..sigh. I would worry about granite dating too-everyone gets it now it is so cheap-right with 'the stainless steel appliances' Never mind what brand as if they were all equal. Who would think something like Corian would be a reason for a person to not buy a house?


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patriciae, I think the granite is a regional thing along with "do what everybody" is doing thing.

I was selling one of my houses and the Realtor specifically advised me not to put granite in the kitchen because she had so many people say Oh No not another granite counter kitchen. Since I was just fixing the house up I found a piece of green marble. The house sold real fast. It was different.

I know I could not live with some of the granite because there are some desgins that are so busy my eyes see a messy kitchen.

I guess it is like back in the old days when everybody wanted harvest gold appliances and pink bathrooms. lol


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JZ,

Our KD works for herself and works with a lot of different people. She took us to different showrooms that sold different brands of cabinets. I had seen something on KF about some people getting Ikea cabinets and having a carpenter build new fronts. She would have even worked with us on that, but we got such quality from a cabinet maker she knew that we forgot about that and went with having him build them for us.

From reading KF, I knew that KDs sometimes try to get clients to buy a brand they sell, but she doesn't sell them. She just knows a lot about them.

We saw a lot of different brands, so by the time we looked at the work of the custom guy we knew that his work and materials could compete with the best of them, but at a much better price.


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I have to put in my two cents. I have had an induction cooktop for almost 5 years. We rented an ancient house in Provence in 2006 with a new kitchen that had an induction cooktop and after just one day of cooking on it, I was hooked.

If you don't have to worry about power outages it has all the advantages of gas and none of the disadvantages (like heating up the kitchen or catching a sleeve on fire which happened to me when I still had gas). It is much more efficient and faster than gas and the "boost" setting boils a quart of water in about a minute. Plus, unlike gas or electric, it's a breeze to clean as the pan cooks the food, not the appliance which just induces the magnetic molecules in the pan to heat up. Just a wipe cleans it up. If anything boils over (which is rare due to the control I have over the power/heat), I just wipe it up while the pot continues to cook. I have automatic timers on each burner so have perfect soft-boiled eggs and don't burn potatoes or other veggies as the "burner" turns off if I forget about it. And, it's cool, cool, cool. I made pancakes on DD's gas cooktop when visiting her and was sweating from the heat that escaped around the pan (she lives in the high desert of CA). And, the cooktop is so shallow in depth that I have a drawer right under it which contains my utensils. There are a lot more brands available now and they are coming down in price and Bosch has the timed burners (which I would never do without). In 2006, when we returned from France, I read on the KF about a company in NC that imported them from Great Britain, and I went through that company as there were only Kenmore and a couple of very expensive brands available in the US then. I love, love, love it. And, it is so sleek looking on my lyptus butcherblock island.

I've canned on it as my enamel canner works great (a magnet has to stick to the bottom of the pan for it to work with induction), although I have to remove the drawer underneath as there is a lot of heat build-up with canning. I also use my carbon steel wok on it, so haven't been confined to only certain types of cooking.

If you already have electric, an induction would hook right up to the power. It may cost a little more than gas but the savings in changing out to gas would probably offset the higher price of induction over gas.


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We're about one hour south of Tampa.

I've got a guy from Tampa who is every bit as good as I am, if you need a tile guy. You couldn't ask for better. His name is Brian Shute, and his link is below.

Ask Bill what he thinks of SS. I may be biased. He's the expert. I think Granite may get dated.

I don't think granite OR soapstone will ever be "dated" so to speak. You might get certain COLORS of granite-- one that were over used, like ubatuba-- THOSE may become dated, but overall? no way. Soapstone is a beautiful countertop material. I never met s SS countertop I didn't like. :-) BUT..... you have to be prepared to keep up the maintenence on it, keeping it oiled.

I dont see the design element of Soffits myself

Pat, my heart be still. There's FINALLY something you and I can agree on. :-) For me, it makes a room feel claustriphobic, and in fact, when I first opened this thread a few minutes ago, that was going to be my next comment.

To me it's the appliances that make the kitchen!

I see a Wolf/ Subzero catalog in your future!! LOL I hope your stocks are doing well!! :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Ceramictec


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

  • Posted by natal Louisiana 8b (My Page) on
    Sat, May 26, 12 at 17:21

I don't think granite OR soapstone will ever be "dated" so to speak.

Agree! I love the look of soapstone, but not the maintenance. I used both granite and quartz in the kitchen. Also splurged on the appliances. Thought about refurbishing the old O'Keefe & Merrit, but in the end bought new.


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I totally agree about soffits. JZ..We were thinking of honed granite when we did our kitchen but went with the SS and had no regrets. If you don't want an austere black look SS might work for you. I rarely oil mine but that's the only time it's really dark. It's more mellow looking the rest of the time.

My kitchen designer was the president of Plain&Fancy. We had already decided on them but were impressed with Home Depot's kitchens and their young designer too. But our quirky house needed custom. I love Ikea. Nate Berkus uses their products all the time in his redos. .


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I have Ubatuba....wahhh I'm crushed, Bill! Nah, :) I hear ya...but it is so neutral - I still love it after 7 years. Not outdated, perhaps pedestrian and unoriginal though... wah I'm crushed again ;)

LOVE soapstone with all my heart - would so do it if I had the right kitchen. White cabinets and soapstone (marble baking center)...I wannit.

Nice, Natal!

Good luck, Jerzee - looks beautiful where you live. Keep us posted on this side!


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This is the thread from KF that frightened me about soapstone. Read it and weep!

Here is a link that might be useful: Life with Soapstone


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Maggie-- I agree. It's the perfect stone for a dark neutral, so as to accent some other part of the kitchen. Problem is it works TOO well, and was way over used. Even in my own pics, I can't count the number of countertops that are ubatuba-- slab OR tile. It was over used, but for a reason-- it was that good in that many circumstances.

One other comment about ubatuba-- those who like soapstone, but without the maint., this is your answer-- doesn't even need sealing!


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So true, Bill!


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I can see changing the cabinets for Ikea. I love their soft close drawers. They make great drawers for the lower cabinets that seem so much easier to use than standard shelves. You don't end up losing things in the back.


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JZ, that is what I heard about soapstone.

Wouldn't have fit my retirement house, as I actually cook a lot and I'm pretty rough on finishes.

I went with granite this time, having replaced the cheap off brand "Formica" kitchen countertops with Silestone in the last house not long before we sold it.

As far as anything being "dated," that of course is subjective--I think some trends either become classics or become dated. Twenty years from now we will still be seeing granite, pot fillers and apron sinks? Pendant lights hanging over an island? The ubiquitous "cubbies" in the mud room or laundry room with hooks for coats and backpacks?

After almost twenty years, I think granite is more "classic" because it is tough, durable, easy to care for and beautiful. The granite in my kitchen requires less maintenance than any hard surface or tile surface I had prior to the granite.

Slate floors--LOVE MINE! If I didn't know it was dirty, I just wouldn't sweep them. They don't show dirt. I'm a big (real) slate fan, even used it on the terrace and other hardscape.

Aren't you glad you accidentally posted here? ;)


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demi: I AM glad I posted here. I am getting a better response here than over at the KF. That's because you guys will discuss ANYTHING! lol.

I think Dockside convinced me that induction is the way to go. I just talked to DH and he's game (a minor miracle).

We just had the obligatory granite, soapstone, marble fight. He wants honed granite and I want either soapstone or marble, but I'm not going to win that one. However, I think I may have won the frameless vs. framed battle. I want frameless.

We just did nik's "likes and dislikes" list and basically there were no surprises-we dislike the functionality of the cabinets, the appliances, the countertop, the floor (because it will look odd with new cabinets), the soffits. But we liked the visual simplicity, the layout, the triangle, the eat in area so that's a good start. That makes it simple - keep the basic layout, change the stuff that's in it. Easy.


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Okay, I was out this evening for dinner. I saw the "life with soapstone" and that's not mine. Maybe Bill can tell about the different grades. After oiling mine which I do less than once a month taking less than five minutes, and I sit a wet glass on it, it doesn't leave a ring. Now because I wash down my counters with a soapy rag a few times a day, eventually the oil will dissipate. But the result is a dark grey look rather than a deeper polished look. Actually with my old house..a better look. I can honestly say I have no nicks or any marks after all these years. However it is very hard and if you drop a glass like I did the other day, it shatters into a gazillion pieces.

I know my kitchen will never ever be dated. It has 173 year old floors,horsehair plaster white walls with chair rail, shaker/raised panel style cabinets and the soapstone counter and sink. The appliances will be the only dated pieces. However my 1971 kitchen was another matter. And I take full credit. Dark stained cabinets with porcelain knobs, red brick vinyl flooring and olive drab textured formica counter, double stainless sink. Oh I forgot ..the avocado stove, refrig and dishwasher. Yikes. I'd love to see that 70's nightmare today.

As far as what will be dated in 20 years. Apron sinks won't be as they've been around for generations. Cubbies will still be in vogue for storage . I don't have them but my daughter and many of her friends do. I'm guessing pendant lights will still be over islands. Mine are from Lowes but I'd like to find industrial really old ones somewhere in a restoration place.

JZ..Doesn't honed granite require maintenance? I'm only on my second bottle of mineral oil which shows you how often I oil.

I actually just read that long thread. I think only two or three people were disappointed with SS. The last picture looks like mine when I have oiled it. I definitely do not have the water ring problem. Never saw a ring. After a long time, it does get blotchy, but a swipe of mineral oil takes three minutes. These women on that forum cracked me up with their OCD. I do know about water rings though. After this last decade my butcherblock needed refinishing so my trusted contractor took it away and did it for me. It looked nice but to my horror, when dishes were removed from the dishwasher and put there, they left rings. In fact my water glass did. He took it away, sanded it again and did another finish which really has held up. So I hate water rings as much as the OCD women.,.


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I have black honed granite on my island and in my laundry room. The laundry is absolute black. The island is something different (can't think of the name of it at the moment)
Neither requires sealing. They do not leave water rings.

About once a week I use a spray bottle of liquid green to wipe them down and then I dry them with a microfiber cloth.
In between, I just wipe them the same way you would any kitchen counter.
For my regular granite in the rest of the kitchen I use alcohol and water in a spray bottle.


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Lily, we once rented an old, old Victorian farmhouse... it was a handcrafted beauty, but the plaster walls were so well made that you could NOT get a picture nail to penetrate! It was most frustrating, as I have a lot of things I wanted to hang on those walls!

They sure don't build things like they used to! :-)


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JG, you don't want marble in the kitchen. Even honed, it will show etching from food acids, unless you're ready to accept those blemishes as "patina".


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I don't understand the backlash against granite...I absolutely love our granite counter tops and could not go back to anything else. I can cut directly on it, put hot pots directly on it...it's my dream material. I've been very difficult on the granite (I clean it with "real" cleaning products) and it still looks brand new (just seal it every once in a while).


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So what I'm getting is ALL counter materials need treatment of some kind. I'd never want marble even though it's beautiful because I've heard it stains.. like if you spill red wine on it.

jodi. I don't have a problem hanging things on my horsehair plaster walls. I have almost every square inch covered with my "stuff", but it's really hard pounding when you hit a lath.


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Everyone makes the choice that works best for their budget and lifestyle. No need to prove one's choice is superior than another's.


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oh and...

..and for the record I have 80's orange...I guess formica don't even know countertops in our place upstate and I adore them! Not a mark and zippo maintenance besides wiping down.


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kry: I am so TKO that I read this as "I don't understand the backsplash against granite". I couldn't figure out what you would have a problem with a backsplash!

Last kitchen I had honed black pearl granite and it was bulletproof. I would try cleaning it with every substance just to see if anything affected it and it never changed. I loved it! I am just worried about black granite being too dark since one of the biggest criticism's is that the kitchen needs some more light.


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The 60 plus posts on this thread so far prove that people have more going on in their lives than arguing politics

I was trying to think where I got the soapstone bug, and then I remembered Martha Stewart had it in her 1800 house in Westport Conn. where she used to televise her TV show. I loved the look of her kitchen and figured she of all people, being the worlds' foremost cook , entertainer ,decorator( at least in HER mind) should know what worked well.


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  • Posted by natal Louisiana 8b (My Page) on
    Sun, May 27, 12 at 14:33

love our granite counter tops and could not go back to anything else. I can cut directly on it, put hot pots directly on it.

I don't do either. Never did with Formica in the old kitchen and not about to start now. Cutting on granite or quartz is definitely not good for your knives.

I am just worried about black granite being too dark since one of the biggest criticism's is that the kitchen needs some more light.

If you're planning under cabinet lights that won't be an issue.


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Martha is where I fell in love with soapstone, too Lily....and her entire house, her dogs, the garden...lol


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Yeah, I miss that Maggie. Her studio show just isn't the same. Loved her old house , gardens, and pets.


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She came to Old Westbury Gardens here to film her show. My friend works there. She said the entire staff was floored by her. Her knowledge of the plants and fauna, her since interest in knowing more and speaking with them and her professionalism won them over. She did apparently admonish the crew about cleaning up their lunch mess, but they seemed to enjoy working for her.

Random...sowwwy. Just some Martha love! She is exactly what she appears to be...good and bad but the real deal.


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jz, you made the right decision re frameless cabinets. I know whereof I speak. It doesn't make any real difference in cabinets, but a huge difference in drawers. A lot more room. And, that's important for almost all kitchens. I have frameless in my island (which is newer than the rest of the cabinets) and I wouldn't be able to have a drawer under the induction cooktop if the cabinet was a framed one. The top frame would cut out so much space that a ladle wouldn't allow the drawer to close.


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Jodik it was probably not the plaster it sounds like your problem was what I have with my house. Behind that plaster is concrete, rebar, terracotta another layer of concrete then the outside brick. My contractor said he had never seen walls that thick before. I have to use concrete drill to hang a pic. They made houses to last back then. I love my old house.

Carrara Marble, and Soapstone is considered high end in my area. I guess because they use granite as a builder standard now and as Bill said some have been over used so much it is considered low end improvement. That is what my Realtor was explaining why it was not a good idea if I was going to do improvements for the sale not to use granite.

You would expect Martha Stewart to have the high end kitchens materials. She would never have the commoners countertop material. Everybody remembers the OTK.

When I see Carra Marble I always think of the old houses DC tour. Of course they had household help and it has stood the test of time of being homes of the elite society. They would never have what the commoners could afford to have in their homes. The counters were gorgeous. Maybe the marble they sell today is the quality of what was used in the old days.

My first house I wanted Marble as newly wed we could not afford a slab so we used Carra Marble tiles it never stained or was honed in 10 years. But we were not wine drinkers. I loved that white kitchen.

I guess any improvements depends on area and how long you plan to live in the house.


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Could be... don't know what these walls were made of or how thick, but damn! Talk about well built! And the crown molding... wow! And all the kitchen built-ins... and the fancy brass hardware and arched double doors... it was such a nice place! Too bad we couldn't have bought it... but it wasn't for sale.


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Jodik that sounds gorgeous. You do not see that kind of character in today's homes.

I should have had a camera when my contractor said it would be easy to remove a closet to enlarge the bathroom. He picked up his hammer and hit the wall and almost broke his wrist when the hammer bounced back at him. lol
e You could not pay me to buy one of these new cardboard boxes they are throwing up now. It does not matter if they put granite on the counters the houses will not be standing in 30 years anyway.

Okay I have gone off topic. Sorry jerzeegirl, blame Lily and Jodik. They touched on my love of architecture and This Old House.


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JZ,Until our remodel, I had never had anything but Formica. I like the way my granite always looks clean, even when it isn't. No problems so far with any marks, etching, chips or anything else. It looks beautiful all the time. I chose one with a creamy-beige background and lots of tan and brownish "garnets" and white and black stuff mixed in. Goes great with my white cabinets. Mine was from the least expensive level, but my KD explained that lower price just means there is lots of that particular stone available. It's not about being lesser quality, it's about supply and demand.

Have you come across any combinations of cabinets and counter tops that stand out to you? I spent a lot of time looking here on the finished kitchens blog, and also on Houzz. If Pinterest was around then, I didn't know about it, but I'll bet there are good pictures there, too. I think that whatever you do in your kitchen will be even better if you can make your window bigger to let in more light.

Natal, That stove ROCKS!


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All of my life I thought older was better.

I have come to the realization that something is not necessarily better just because it's older. Sometimes it is just old!

(Houses, clothing, people).


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I would not trade my 174 year old house for any of the ones being built today. I have almost 50 big windows , very thick horsehair plaster, almost a foot high baseboards and beautifully turned moldings and chair rails in all rooms. Two steep staircases, the front one with a walnut polished railing that goes over two floors. Old random wood floors in all ten rooms, three working fireplaces. But the kitchen with all it's old charm is as modern as any 21st century one,. .The outside clapboard with original louvered shutters on each window are a marvel since they were built by the brothers who were the blacksmith and wagon maker of this town. Every board to the top of this three story house is cut just slightly narrower as you reach the top. Imagine how these two uneducated men cutting down trees on this property which then consisted of over 6 acres and carefully cutting each slightly smaller board to get the illusion of more height . A strong proud house. >>>One big drawback. Small closets in all the bedrooms. Evidently these people had five pieces of clothing..lol. I have wardrobes and armories to compensate. ..Sorry to go off topic.


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oops off topic again. People really???? It is sad when society can think to lump a human being in with things.

For some strange reason I did not think of my mom as just old. She had character, she was important, and a person of timeless beauty. Some have never had that experience so I understand.


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Marquest, my comments were about all of us getting older!~

Lily, your home sounds lovely.

Is it a home that has been in your family for generations?


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No, Demi. We've had it almost 30 years so are the second longest owners. I doubt anyone will beat the first owners. The daughter of the blacksmith who built the house was living here still in 1927 when she was declared of 'weak mind' and the house was sold and nearly torn down. She had been a child before the civil war when it was built and her father was killed in front of our house by southern sharpshooters on their way to Gettysburg who were firing from the train which is over a block away. Of course there was just fields there and this farmhouse sat on six acres at the edge of the small town. She, her brother and mother lived there till 1907 when the brother sold his share to her. In the late 20's a well to do man bought the falling down place , rehabbed it, built a sunroom, a clay tennis court,(long gone) and put in all the boxwoods and flagstone paths. They lived there till 1937 when they sold to a family who lived here till the 60's. That family sold to us in 1983.

Aren't you sorry you asked???lol


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Oh, no, I'm GLAD I asked!

Thanks for sharing those details with me.

I'd love an old home like that.

I wanted to buy a (an to some) historic home but DH did not want the maintenance nightmares; anyway, we found the absolutely perfect property for our home.

I have friends that have lived in family homes for generations and it's always fascinating and interesting to visit. One even has "ghosts."

The Gettysburg area is just beautiful; we were there in 2000 and I hope to return in the next year or so and spend more time than two days!

Enjoy your lovely home; how special to be a steward of all of that history.


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Okay Demi, I am sensitive today this is one of my Mom Holidays I would be spending with her.

Lily that sounds gorgeous. I can just see it in my mind. Those old houses you feel the hands that built them with care and love.

Mine is not as old as yours but I laugh sometime and call it my Erector sets home but I love it. It is 75 yrs young on 4 acres. I talked to the original owner kids about the history and they built it and added rooms as they had the money. Step down living room with 20' ceilings added on, Sunroom step up added when they had the money etc. Each area has its character. Now that bomb shelter I do not know what to say about that. lol


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Demi..Enjoy your trip in the future to Gettysburg. I grew up 20 minutes to the west and now live 30 minutes to the east. So of course every class trip was to the battlefield and family trips as well. My parents liked to eat at the Peacelight restaurant on the battlefield, so we'd go there often. It was torn down years ago as was the huge tower that a former governor built. But being there so many times made me immuned to the history. I know it, but it never affected me until a few months ago. We went to the G-burg Outlets and stopped at Pickett's Charge to walk the dogs who were along. It was totally serene and many of the old farmhouses that were there that day are still standing. I climbed to the top of the Pa monument and saw in the distance the mountains where my hometown is. The sun was almost setting. There were no tourists and everything was silent, and I thought about the horrible carnage that occurred there and all the lives lost. Especially on Memorial Day,it truly is sacred ground.

JZ..Your thread has really been hijacked. Sorry.


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I certainly don't mind, lily, since this thread wasn't even supposed to be here!

I remember visiting Gettysburg and was just so moved by the whole experience. You are right - it really is sacred ground - you can just feel it.


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Thanks, Lily, I intend to reread some of my favorite books about the Battle at Gettysburg before my return. I would love to take my nephew, as he is a Civil War buff.

I know the feeling you are talking about--if one is fortunate enough to be in such a sacred place when others aren't around, or you are gifted with a moment of silence and awareness, it is a soul stirring moment.

In the late nineties I visited the Netherlands and was determined to find the town where Corrie ten Boom lived but could not recall the name. I asked the young people at the tourist assistance center, people on the street--no one even knew who I was talking about (I had heard her speak and met her briefly years earlier when she was speaking in this country).

Finally, I asked an elderly woman at an art gallery and she looked sternly at me with clear blue eyes and only said, "Haarlem." I was aware that not many people wanted to discuss the Nazi occupation but surprised how quickly this bit of history was forgotten.

Anyway, my companion and I drove to Haarlem from Amsterdam, a short drive, and we were the only two in the home. The hostess was a woman from Texas and as my companion wasn't familiar with the story and not nearly as interested, I was allowed to spend all the time I wanted in "The Hiding Place." To stand in that tiny bedroom, step into the closet, and put my hands on the window sill where people escaped to the rooftop, just gave me that feeling you are referring to. I will never forget it, and you can't really get that feeling with twenty tourists smacking gum and shuffling their feet next to you.

I am up very early as a chirping smoke detector is intermittenly tweeting and it woke my dog and me up.
After hauling a ladder up the stairs I still can't quite reach it to disconnect or remove the battery. Tried spraying air and dusting with a broom. No luck.

JZ we really did hijack this thread for sure !


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As long as we're going down this path, my wife desperately wants to go down there next year for the Sesquecentenial Anniversary. Quite a few of her relatives , as well as many from our town were there at the battle, and she's wanted to go to Gettysburg for that reason anyway. Additionally, we're both intrigued by all the stories about the battlefield and surrounding area being one of the most actively haunted places in the country. As much death and trauma as happened there, it's no wonder.


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demi: I think when it starts chirping that means it needs a new battery.


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Chirping smoke detectors drive me batty especially in the middle of the night. It signals the need for a new battery.

Bill, There are many haunted tours given on the battlefield, and if you believe in ghosts, there should be a lot of souls in that area. You can look for your relatives/town soldiers on the various monuments. I have not been in the new visitors center which is quite beautiful. The old cyclorama, a very ugly drum shaped building is still standing but will be demolished. I also heard on the news last night the electric map is up for sale but contains asbestos so it's future is iffy. Supposedly that gave the bet playout of the battle.

When I was a kid G-burg was trashy. Not the battlefield which has always been pristine but the surrounding streets of the town and the public square. Real honkytonk souvenir shops and run down old buildings like the place Lincoln stayed when he gave his historic speech. Steinwehr Ave was a particularly junky street with one fast food place after another. But they got their act together and the square is lovely after much renovation. Lincoln's hotel was restored and G-burg is once again a quaint town.

Being an animal lover and a tree lover , I was disturbed when they cut down ALL trees which were not there in July 1863, and culled many deer which live on the battlefield. The park service wants a stamp in time, I guess.

The reactors do their thing every July 1-3 and you gotta admire them because it's usually beastly hot and they wear the authentic wool uniforms down to the underwear. The women..all the paraphernalia with many layers. But then in the actual battle I think it was almost 100.

Next year WILL be the big 150th celebration.


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Thanks; I know it needs a new battery. I could reach to twist the cover off but on tip toes on the top step of the ladder I couldn't get the battery out. :/ A friend is coming by this afternoon to replace it.

Lily, I had those particular feelings of identifying with the emotions of what transpired there when at Little Round Top. Such bravery and such suffering.


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Interesting thread, I love reading about Gettysburg. We visited there a few times, but not during the reenactment season. Another historic place we've been to many times is the Alamo. It is very impressive in person, especially if you go during the week in off-season to avoid all the pesky tourists. :o) The interior rooms have sort of a church-like quiet and serenity.
Once, hubby and I almost got locked in the garden in the back of the Alamo and the groundskeeper told us "you definitely don't want to get stuck in here at night, it is haunted". He said all the volunteers make sure they lock up and leave before it gets dark.


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Marquest, they just don't build anything like they used to... my niece plunked down $160,000. on a POS quick throw together "new" house in a new subdivision. The walls are so thin and the craftsmanship so shoddy that you can literally hear the next door neighbors when they argue. It's sickening. After only two years, the thing was falling apart.

Gimme an older, well crafted home any day! :-)


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It's too bad people pay good money for shoddy work.

That unfortunately happens frequently when buying tract homes, and at the lower price range, sometimes first time home owners who don't know much or anything in order to determine whether work is substandard or not.

Of course I've seen million dollar homes built so cheaply I can't imagine anyone being gullible enough not to notice the cheap materials and substandard work. Ten years ago people with more credit than sense were snapping up these flimsy behemoths and moving in. Now they're foreclosed on and no one with any sense, much less with money, would consider purchasing one of these structures. A friend in the business said that some of these homes, less than fifteen years old, are being bulldozed.


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Oh Jodik I know what she is going through my sister which was retiring sold her 100 yr old home and purchased a new house in a subdivision in Atlanta and she is having more issues than with her old home. She thought buying a new home she would have no maintenance issues. She is going through so many issues with the builders to get them to fix things.

You cannot get the quality built now unless you are filthy rich and I saw a filthy rich guy build a new house. There was a write up in our local paper of what he put in the property. To accomplish the results he had to import the builders. Most of them came from outside the US. We have very few local craftsmen with the skill to produce what a old home offers.

It was very different watching them build that house vs what I see being built new normally. They used real bricks not pretend brick siding it took them 2 years to build. Not one piece of that house was brought in as a pre-built modular.

The end result is a gorgeous house that when you drive by the house it does not look like a new construction. It is in a very old established neighborhood and it looks identical to the 100 year old houses in the neighborhood.


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Gimme an older, well crafted home any day!

Do your homework. I have several GC's I do work for, You can tell a definite difference literally just walking in the front door who builds a house that will last, and who's looking for the payday, and it has nothing to do with what you see, but rather, what you feel. I've got news for you-- especially with my stepson getting into buying and rehabbing older multi family houses, I'm seeing that same definite difference even in the older homes.


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I could not agree more with you guys. My last house was brand new. When husband was transferred to the Harrisburg office , we didn't have time to build so we bought a house half done so we could pick the amenities. It was one of those pseudo colonial homes(this was the 70's)with metal folding closet doors, even a metal front door. I did request hardwood floors but everyone else opted to carpet which was very shoddy and needed replaced in a few years. Things were always happening in this house which required the builder to come back and fix.

We have lived in this 1840 house for 30 years and have had no problems structurally or otherwise. Many less repairs than the brand new one. My fifty window sills are an inch thick. My original front door is two 1/2 inches thick. We don't use it because we have side and back doors which are 1 and 1/2 and 2 inches thick. I said before my baseboards are a foot. I measured them and they are 8 inches high. The thick horsehair plaster walls make rooms virtually soundproof. I have been in million dollar homes where they don't even have real tile on the bathroom walls and little skinny windowsills. I notice all the details in these mansions and wonder why others don't. But it's the normal now. No thick wood floors or REAL wood doors. Every paneled interior door here is over 1 and 1/2 inches.

Now that's not to say this place isn't a white elephant, but it's mostly because it still has the original clapboard siding which of course needs occasional painting. Husband has always done it using SW Duration paint, but since he isn't getting any younger and has fallen two times in the past decade, that's a problem. In his falls , he wasn't painting but trimming branches in the first one and fell and broke both arms. Over a year ago, he was leaf blowing on the top roof, fell off that ,rolled to the porch roof and fell off that breaking his back and puncturing his lung. So I need to have a list of handymen to keep living here forever.


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Lily, please send me the list. ;)

Since my husband died, it's been difficult finding good, reliable, AND available people to do chores for me that if I could even attempt, would be too dangerous and way more maintenance headaches are from the property--sprinklers, dead trees, septic, etc.

The problem is, even if you could find the tradesmen to perform the quality of work that produced those beautiful old homes one hundred or more years ago, the costs now would be prohibitive.

Workmen's compensation, insurance, transportation costs and other costs that weren't factored in years ago, scarcity of skills, expensive imported materials, etc. drive the costs up so that not many people could afford that kind of work, even people with a lot of money.

Not many people can afford Biltmore anymore, not even the Vanderbilts could !


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We are lucky to have several construction craftsmen within our family, each proficient in different or multiple areas... like carpentry, plumbing and HVAC, electric, tile, etc... so if I could afford to build, I wouldn't have a problem locating everyone I needed to put together a nice home... we simply don't have the funds to build.

But I would never buy a new tract or modular home... even the larger ones cost way more than they're worth.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Not many people can afford Biltmore anymore,

maybe not. But BuiltRIGHT CAN still be affordable. I've got one contractor in particular-- he's a 28-29 year old kid. This kid's father is a big electrical contractor here in town, and that's how he got started. He's doing something right, though-- right through the recession, this kid was building spec homes-- AND SELLING THEM! I'm not talking little saltbox starter homes, either. All the homes we've done were 2-300K. Right now, he's got one that I'm about to start the tile on this monday (1/2 mil., under contract), and he just sunk the foundation for a 2 1/2 million dollar home that I'll most likely be tiling the end of the summer. This kid's homes are ALL rock solid. Additionally, he goes the extra distance to make sure the building is as green as possible-- both the building of it, as well as the energy efficiency of the home once complete.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maine Eco Homes


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Thanks for the link, Bill.

Nice homes; is any of the tile work yours?

We enjoying our several days in Maine immensely and actually discussed a second home there, or at least renting, but wondered about difficult logistics from our part of the country. Of course Bar Harbor was a favorite, but I enjoyed the drive across to New Hampshire.

If I built another house it would be entirely different from this one, either a Texas Hill country stone house, or something like the homes in the link you posted.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

ALL of it is mine. :-)

but I enjoyed the drive across to New Hampshire.

You either went across about an hour north of me through Bethel, or you came past my house here in Bridgton (I live right on U.S. 302), going thru Fryeburg and into Conway, NH. :-)


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Alas, we went north!

No particular route, I was navigator, we left Bar Harbor after lunch and decided to take the scenic route, Hwy 2 through Skowhegen, spent the night at Farmington, then drove over to Gorham the next morning, then down the east side of New Hampshire through Conway, ate lunch at and walked the Canterbury Shaker Farm, then to Concord. Beautiful, beautiful countryside and such sweet time together enjoying the Northeast and the gorgeous fall foliage.

Do many people from the south have vacation homes in Maine?
It was by far our favorite.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Rt 2 is the one that goes thru Bethel. As for summer homes, We have people here in town that come from literally all over the country. Florida, Alabama, Maryland, Mississippi, Utah, Montana, Alaska-- and those are just the ones I know, or have worked for.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

I just wanted to thank you all for your input into whether to demo the kitchen and for making this such a pleasant thread. I really enjoyed hearing all your opinions and they were very helpful. We have decided to do the remodel after all - it seems to make more sense than trying to save the old kitchen which isn't very efficient. I just hope we can get it done before the appliances expire!


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Good luck on your project, JZ.I hope yours goes as smoothly as mine did. I dreaded mine based on horror stories on KF, but it was not a bad experience at all. All worth it in the end. Like having a baby..lol

Demi..About handyman lists. My mother was a widow from age 68 to 91 and she lived in her own house till 90. Her secret was her LIST. This is a small town and most of these were old guys, some retired. This is not happening in our area either. My one guy who has done renovations here is excellent and expensive . But he's not going to clean gutters or wash second story windows or trim dead branches. I need live in help. Ironically the back bedroom in this house has no ceiling molding because supposedly it was the hired man's room.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

JG-- when it comes time to do the tile, go see Brian. You won't be sorry. I promise you.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Thanks, lily. I am sure it will be an adventure - just like the last kitchen we did. High drama. Heavy recriminations. Lots of crying and yelling. Kind of like an the third act of an Italian opera, but eventually it was done, and it came out nice!

bill, I actually have an estimate (which I got at Christmas) from Brian to do a Kerdi shower. We had to postpone it so I think when we do the backsplash we will have him do the shower too.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

jerzeegirl, good luck may it go as smoothly as Lily's. I love to remodel it is fun to see the final product. Please do not forget to keep us updated with your progress.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

After almost a decade, I still love my kitchen and would not change one thing.

For all you old house lovers, daughter and I went to the Symphony showcase home tonight which has been sold for $2.5- 3 million and worth every penny. The best of both worlds. It was built in 1785 and is on a bluff overlooking a creek. It's PA field stone with five bedrooms and 6 baths. It has many little porches and hideaways and even the basement is finished like an old English gentleman's room. The kitchen is to die for,JZ. Huge with so many cupboards and gorgeous views of the many acres surrounding it. The designer is Lee Bachman for RM kitchens,Inc. Maybe you can Google it and see what I'm describing. FAB!!


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

"We have decided to do the remodel after all - it seems to make more sense than trying to save the old kitchen which isn't very efficient. "

Yayyy! I'm so happy you're getting a brand new kitchen!!!! Will you be posting on the kitchen forum? I would love to follow your progress. I'll bet it will go a lot easier for you this time, because you've done it before and kind of know what to expect. Best of luck to you.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

This was a fun and interesting thread to read.

I agree about Martha and how her personal kitchen, home, animals, chicken "coop" and garden beds around her home added magic to her show - when she moved into her studio "kitchen" I quit watching her show. To me, the show lost the magic in the move.

I will admit, a few of her old shows did leave me cold too, - like when she tried to teach me how to make a layered bed - and how to shovel snow from a walkway, leaving a half inch on the walkway for a pleasing visual.

Really?

And I was never a fan of her holiday shows either, though I suspect her die hard fans loved them best.

I liked her regular, everyday shows about cooking, crafts, gardening, collecting, 'expert' guests informing about this and that etc. The older shows were (to me) her best shows.

I haven't watched Martha in years and years. Maybe even in close to a decade, now.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

I hope we were able to help you, Jerzee, in some small way... whether with ideas, or just by getting your creative juices flowing! I wish you the best in this endeavor, and I hope your new kitchen turns out exactly as you plan it! Dare we hope for before, during, and after photos? I'd love to see the completed project! :-)


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Mylab..If you have a change of heart in watching Martha shows, it's too late. She's been cancelled. She was on a few major networks before getting the boot and has been on Hallmark channel for the last few years before they just cancelled her. I totally agree about her shows. She can be quite condescending, can't she? But I loved the shows from her Westport home with the cats and dogs and chickens, and her real life working in the gardens. The studio shows were not nearly as interesting to me.

JZ.. Post your kitchen progress on here too.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Thanks, all for your kind words. I am not very good at designing but this is the plan so far. A couple of changes from the current kitchen, but nothing radical. Let me know if you see anything that is awful.

nik: I have posted in the KF but honestly you guys have been way more helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchen plan, so far....


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

You are definitely ready to demo. I remodeled my kitchen this year by keeping the same floor plan, but adding a lot of carpentry to cabinets (see pics). I also dropped the bar so the island is all one level. Got rid of my 3 pendants (replaced with 3 cans), new crown mold with drop down, new counter tops (granite island, quartz perimeter), new backsplash (carrerra marble), new LED in-cabinet & under-cabinet lighting. Refinished wood floors, painted cabinets, & got new hardware, crystal light fixtures & lucite/chrome bar stools. I had it scheduled so a trade was here every week. It went very quickly & it's awesome now. If I were you, and you don't have a definitive plan, I'd hire a kitchen designer. I've heard great things about them. They may sound expensive, but in the long run, they know what they're doing & know the contractors, so you know the job will be done right. My husband originally just wanted to refinish our floor, paint the cabinets & get new countertops. I said "NO". It would still look the same. For me, it was the carpentry that made the biggest impact in the change of the look of the kitchen.

Check out IKEA. Take very careful measurements & take them in with you on a weekday when they're not as busy. Plan to be there for hours. Consider opening up your kitchen to that room with the tiny door frame. Definitely get new flooring (I love my wood floors, had ceramic in my last kitchen & it was so hard on my joints), get rid of the soffit & countertops & appliances. I don't know the size of your cabinets, so don't know if you could use IKEA doors. It may be more trouble than it's worth. If you got the entire IKEA kitchen, then you would know it would all fit. Definitely put in the tallest cabinets you can. You can do as one person suggested & put the pull up cabinets on top with like a frosted glass door (so you can't see the junk) & light them. I have 10' ceilings & 42" upper cabinets. I still had a lot of room up there. With the addition of the large crown molding, it marries it up well & looks great. Get rid of that fan & put in cans with some decorative lighting as needed, depending on your layout. I couldn't tell what you use the area for on the other side of the bar. Do you have a table there? Consider an island, consider opening the small door, be open to what your designer has to say. Good luck. I'd like to see it when you're finished. I spent most of my money on the counters. My kitchen is big. I got an upgrade granite for counter (Persian Pearl) & a carrerra quartz for the perimeter. I love them both. The next big ticket item was the painting of the cabinets (had it done professionally). They did an awesome job. From there, I got my appliances (oven, microwave & induction cooktop) at IKEA. I love my induction cooktop. I got all my hardware at Home Depot, as well as my LED light strips for in/under cabinet lighting. Bought all the sinks, lights, faucets, & marble on line. My husband & I say that we don't have to go away on vacation, we can just vacation in our kitchen. Hope this helps.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

I love the tall ceilings (10 foot plate height?) in that home and the way the palladian window shape was echoed in the soffit /light box. Very dramatic and I bet that looks awesome at night.
Nice trim carpentry and detail work on the crown/fascia moldings etc.
As Romney might say, everyone should live like this..


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

It's fun to see this mis-posted thread again!

I love your kitchen; it's just gorgeous.

A brief update. I did start the remodel - well, actually the cabinets are being made. We mulled over Ikea for the longest time (we were going to use their boxes and get custom doors) but I decided that I wanted plywood boxes, which Ikea doesn't offer. We are doing a two tone kitchen - espresso brown slab for the base cabinets and creamy white shaker for the uppers. We are getting mostly Bosch appliances including their induction cooktop which will be a learning curve but everyone seems to love them. The floor will be 20 x 20" porcelain "travertine". We debated wood floors but decided they would be trouble since we have two dogs who stay in the kitchen when we are out and we are always spilling stuff. I hate to say it but in Florida tile is usually the right choice. We have started the granite search and are seriously considering leathered lite typhoon bordeaux. Dh and I are fighting tooth and nail about the granite but we both seem to like this one. I can't understand why he doesn't just love White Delicatus like I do.

I don't know how many days or weeks before the cabinets arrive but it's all that we can do to not take a sledgehammer to those ugly soffits!


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

That's a beautiful kitchen, rx. I love the windows, especially.

JZ - have you started or finished your kitchen? We'd all like photos when you're done.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

I installed an Ikea kitchen in August. I was expecting the cabinets to be real crap but in fact I am now rather impressed. Easily the best value for the dollar out there in the low-end pre-fab world.

Also: their version of french-type farm sinks are very clever, and well made. They have the exposed front but put a rim on them on the sides and a wide rim on the back going right to the wall which makes a wood countertop super easy and eliminates the wretched behind-the-sink problem. Good quality porcelain, price can't be beat.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

PN...let us see the pictures! I couple of years ago Consumer Reports had very good things to say about Ikea in terms of value for the money.

JZ...I hope we will get to see your kitchen soon!


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

No pictures, just one of a million little jobs done in my working life. There were some tricky angled cabs and also door openings are trimmed in rough sawn pine which creates quite a contrast with the plasticky white cabs. Walls are base coat plaster, unfinished, window with plaster returns.

So not totally boring.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

jerzeegirl,

I have friend who had a home built in FL 7 years ago & put tile in her kitchen. Now she wishes she would've done wood. I've had wood for 15 years & love it. I have a large golden retriever & she's no problem to my floors. I spill things all the time. I have to say though, I'm in love with my swiffer. I just push the dirt onto the carpet in living room & sweep with vacuum.

You probably can't see from the pic I sent (here's another), but my island is painted a black brown. The rest of the cabinets are white. Did I tell you I love my kitchen. I also love my induction cooktop. I've never had gas before, but my induction cooktop is amazingly like gas (without the clean up). The only problem, I had to buy all new cookware. Oh well, I've had my stuff since the 70's & am keeping for my son for when he gets an apartment. You'll be happy with your induction cooktop. Glad you're using a kitchen designer. Good luck. Post some pictures when completed.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

RX: I love the Persian Pearl - that is actually one of the granites we are looking at. The granite fabricator we like has a slab in his yard but I don't like the way that one looks and I haven't seen it in any of the other granite yards. (-:

We installed wood flooring throughout the rest of the house (except the bathrooms) so I am getting my wood "fix" but honestly the kitchen is just too prone to getting wet. My DH brews beer and during the bottling a lot of it ends up on the floor. We even discussed having the wood urethaned several additional times over the factory finish and the wood installer said that wouldn't really work. The kitchen is also right next to the garage which also adds to the wetness and dirt. Wood floor just ain't gonna happen.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

It's curious how this post, from three months ago, just landed here. JZ, do you have photos of your kitchen yet?


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

So I just wasted 30 minutes reading this thread again. Why did it pop up?

JZ..We're all curious. How's the kitchen going or is it done? Pictures please.

You certainly got a lot of advice here. Reading it again, I come off as a kitchen expert which I'm far from being..lol


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Thanks for asking, lily.

It's done, except for the back splash (ABB (all but backsplash), is what they call it in the Kitchen Forum...lol). Who knew that the tile companies take Christmas week off, which is why there is a delay in getting it done. There will be photographs as soon as the kitchen is complete...hopefully in a week or so.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Can't wait to see the pics. My husband & I are considering remodeling our bathroom. I'm considering the tile that looks like wood. Did you guys look at that? Can't wait to see the pics. My wood floor takes a lot of abuse. We live in MI, so we have a lot of snow, salt, etc. coming in. My family isn't the best about taking off their shoes. The new water based finishes are supposed to hold up so much better than the old oil based finishes without the yellowing that's associated with the oil finishes. I understand your need for tile. I have had tile & wood in my kitchen, & I thought like you that the wood would be a problem. But once you have it & see how it is to maintain, you realize that it's the best. Post the pics (before & after). We want to see them. Good luck. It sounds like at long last you're on the home stretch.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

One of my dogs is not reliable. He has a tendency to pee in the house every once and a while - no rhyme or reason - rare but he does it. Since we keep the two corgis confined in the kitchen when we go out for long stretches, we thought it best to get tile (and we even did epoxy grout - just in case). I have hardwood in every other room of the house (except bathrooms) so I don't feel too deprived! I kind of like the way the tile came out. I used 20 x 20" porcelain tiles in a running bond pattern.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

It's curious how this post, from three months ago, just landed here.

I saw this pop up yesterday and opened it and scrolled to bottom. There was spam from some kitchen company or designer. It's gone now. Moderator must have removed. But, that's how it got back to top.

Yay! Looking forward to pictures!


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

jillinnj, thanks for clearing up the mystery. When I saw it pop up I opened and scrolled to the bottom looking for the finished project. The spam was not there and I wondered how it came up from Oct,

jerzeegirl, cannot wait to see the finished project.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Like Lily,I just reread the whole thing--didn't look at the date so thought it was new.

I would have said definitely demo had I see this before. Your old kitchen was so dated. But the Corgi was cute.

My own kitchen is so small that so many of the wonderful ideas mentioned here would not be possible. I would so love to have a separate island that I could walk all around and use from multiple angles. Sigh.

Lily, I grew up in an old house--the original part was built in the middle of the 18th c. Several additions later, the whole farm and its 42 acres were taken over by the state (PA) through eminent domain because they wanted to build a high dam. The dam never got built and our farm plus all the surrounding properties have been turned into a state park. The house was rented out for a while and everything of any value was long ago stolen--mantlepieces, doors with stained glass panes, the old black iron door hinges and latches. It's now boarded up and looking very forlorn. It's destined to be torn down in the next year or two. Sad to see a house that's nearly 300 years old at its core go under the wrecking ball.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

" Since we keep the two corgis confined in the kitchen when we go out for long stretches, we thought it best to get tile (and we even did epoxy grout - just in case)."

Although we have 2 dogs they don't "go" in the house (thank heavens), but they can certainly bring in mud, water, dirty outdoor toys, and occasionally a dead vole. Plus, add me, the household klutz, who tends to drop and spill things, to the point where people worry when I enter the kitchen.

So we put tile in the kitchen and used the epoxy grout in a medium grayish color. That has been indestructible and extremely easy to clean. There have only be a couple of times in 4 years where I actually got down and scrubbed the grout lines (and those were from food spills from me). Vaccuming and damp mopping does the job quite nicely.

The epoxy grout is expensive and seems time-consuming to apply, but well-worth it.

Contrast that with my white tile bathroom floor with the white grout, which has been quite high maintenance. I'm just thankful it's a small room because I'm cleaning grout every 2 or 3 weeks, depending on traffic and usage.

Plus, we use a large, machine-washable area rug as a dirt/dust catcher for a large portion of the floor, keeping the grout underneath very clean and white. It's much less time-consuming to vacuum the rug daily and throw it in the washer once per week than to get down on hands and knees and clean every single grout line.

But using an area rug kind of defeats the purpose of having a pretty tile floor. :-)

I leave the wood floors to the rest of the house, and I love them.

Stunningly gorgeous kitchen, rx. Good on ya.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

lionheart, Bill can probably tell you if what I did was a no, no or not because of experience but...... I can tell you what I did with white grout.

I had a powder room I wanted to make appear larger so I went with white marble tiles flooring and sky blue glass tiles as wall accent tiles.

The floor was driving me crazy trying to keep the white grout white. After taking the grout out and regrouting I brought one of those kid paint brush sets at the dollar store and purchased a can of polyurethane. It took me a few days of painting and dry time but the grout stayed bright and clean the 5 years I lived there and it is one of my rental properties and it still looks good 10 yrs later.

It worked out so well when I put in a garden window I used the leftover white marble on the floor of the window and with all the dirt dripping from the plants a quick wipe and the grout is still white.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Well, I said I would post it and here it is - almost all finished. One door needs to be adjusted and the electrical permit needs to be closed out.

I can't say it was totally fun - it's really hard to be without a kitchen even if it was only for a few weeks. I gained five pounds from eating out every night! And of course there was a lot of research and arguing and whatever else is involved in mutual decision-making.

The star of the kitchen is the induction cooktop - it is amazing to cook on and really great to brew beer with.

We love the way it came out and it is SO MUCH BETTER than the old kitchen. So much easier to cook in and to clean. Thanks all of you who offered your opinions and advice. I really appreciate it!

Here is the link to details and photographs.

Here is a link that might be useful: My kitchen


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Thanks for posting the photos, jg. It's a beautiful kitchen. I'm sure you love it. And the induction cooktop looks so sleek. I also think what you did with the electrical outlets was a good choice. Love it all.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

After taking the grout out and regrouting I brought one of those kid paint brush sets at the dollar store and purchased a can of polyurethane. It took me a few days of painting and dry time but the grout stayed bright and clean the 5 years I lived there and it is one of my rental properties and it still looks good 10 yrs later.

Actually, they make what's called "grout colorant". It's a one part epoxy base coating that just like your poly, will permanently seal the grout (can also change it to any color you wish). Much easier to use (don't have to be so careful when applying it), and it'll be warrantied, being it's the proper product to use, whereas with the poly, you're on your own.

JG-- You must've had a terrific guy doing your backsplash!! :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: groutcolorants.com


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

JZ: Love what you did with the space; also, I am a big fan of tile backsplashes. Black & white--classic. My kitchen floor is black & white porcelain tile. Your whole design is timeless, IMO. ;)


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Very nice, JZ. Timeless. You won't outdate yourself. Your Shaker cabinets are like my sage green ones. I'm glad you went with the two different finishes. My raised panel cabinets are the color of your Shaker ones.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

"The floor was driving me crazy trying to keep the white grout white. After taking the grout out and regrouting I brought one of those kid paint brush sets at the dollar store and purchased a can of polyurethane. It took me a few days of painting and dry time but the grout stayed bright and clean the 5 years I lived there and it is one of my rental properties and it still looks good 10 yrs later."

Marquest, thank you for the suggestion. I've been tempted to try something like this.

The bathroom grout picks up everything but men and money. ;-)

I see Bill has chimed in (Yay, Bill) with a link. Thank you! You just knew there had to be a product for this situation.

========

Like I posted in the kitchen thread - great job, JerzeeGirl!


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Love it JZ. I like the two color cabinet choice and as other's have said that backsplash is awesome. Love the hardware too. Oh Heck I love it all.

Bill I knew you would know something that could fix the problem. warranty was not an issue since I did the install. I did not contract that job. I try to do most of the work myself for my rentals.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

JG, it's really gorgeous. You must be so happy. I love your granite choice. I'm not a big granite fan, but I do love those white granites. I also love the shaker style cabinets (my favorite!). Good job!


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Great kitchen!
Now I have to check out that grout colorant. I have been scrubbing my grout to get it back to it's original colour. It was a little too dark to begin with and would love to go a bit lighter. Thanks for the link.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

One thing I did right in my large powder room off the kitchen which has old wood floors, was to find a grout to match almost the color of the tiles. Out of thousands of choices I picked the tile my daughter picked two years before doing her kitchen remodel, BUT know she hated her light grout, so I matched mine in the powder room, the only room in this ten room house that doesn't have the old wood floor. I'm happy with it.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Enjoy your beautiful new kitchen, JG!


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Hey JZ,

You did an AMAZING job on your kitchen!!! It looks like it was done by a pro. I am so happy for you!

It looks like you and I have the same refrigerator, at least from the outside. Do they change models every year? I love the doors and pull out freezer. The grandchildren love getting their own ice and water from the refrigerator door.

It has been over a year since my kitchen was finished, and I am still thrilled every time I walk in. Both my daughters in law still like to linger in it and still comment on the amazing transformation. I have white cabinets, too. I love how you used the same handles and varied the directions on the lower cabinets.

You did a beautiful job. Thanks for sharing pictures so we could see what the huge change you made. Congratulations, and may you enjoy your beautiful kitchen for many years to come.

Nik


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Thank you all for your kind words. You all were really helpful with your feedback and I really appreciate it! In retrospect there was no way we could get away with remodeling the old kitchen without major retrofitting so I guess my original question was moot. It wasn't an easy three months but I am so happy with the result.

nik: I just love the counterdepth fridge. It's fairly large so everything fits but doesn't get pushed to the back so everything is easier to find. The pull out freezer is huge and the cheese/coldcut drawer is so convenient. We decided to get a smaller fridge and put it in the garage for cokes, seltzers, beer and V8, which are just clutter in the main refrigerator.

Next adventure is the bathrooms, but I need a rest for now! :-)


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 29, 13 at 18:24

Wow! What a lovely space to create in JZ


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

Next adventure is the bathrooms, but I need a rest for now

Brian's still your guy. In fact, if he can't handle the whole thing himself, he can direct you to the best people you need to talk to.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

bill, I had him take the bathroom measurements already! I want him to do a kerdi shower in the master bath. I have been hearing about them so long that I want to see how it's done.


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RE: Is it time to demo this kitchen?

You won't be sorry. It'll be the last time that shower HAS to be redone.


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