Friday, November 26, 2010

Our budget-friendly counter-top

The previous owner of our house was named Tim. Tim had a unique way of fixing things, and as we have become more familiar with our home, we have spent much time scratching our heads and asking ‘why did he...?'. We have affectionately begun to refer to these things as Timmy-rigged. One such item is (or should I say, ‘was') our kitchen counter-top on the peninsula. Tim had covered the surface of that island-peninsula with the same flooring material he put throughout the main floor of the house, a thin sort of rubber, made-to-look like wood (including faux woodgrain texture). It looked pretty, but besides being of a somewhat dubious food-safe nature, it had the texture and cracks between the ‘planks', which limited the use and made clean-up much more difficult.
The old "Timmy-rigged" counter-top
In frustration, we started looking for something to replace this counter, and we discovered why Tim had done what he did. I may be the only person that didn't know this, but kitchen counters are expensive. This particular space was 3'5"x5'5", and when I started pricing different materials marketed for this application, I was shocked. Silly me, I figured it was one little rectangular, no-frills counter area, ‘how much could it cost?'. I was looking for something that was non-porous, easy to work on and clean up, and I got pretty discouraged until we hit upon an idea. Glass. Hubby's office was replacing a piece of tempered glass, and the glass company was going to be at work the next day. Thinking that perhaps this was kismet, I asked Dear Hubby to get a quote, but braced myself for the possibility that we were going to get a number either out of reach, or one that would require us to set it as a future goal. Reasonable numbers came back, and we were offered a sizable discount if we ordered now, rather than later. When we were bouncing the idea off of Dear In-laws, they approved of the concept and further bolstered the plan with an offer of assistance. They were planning to send us some money for Christmas, and they said they would send it early so that we could make this our Christmas present. They bought the glass and we bough the rest of the materials, and the whole thing came in under $250 in total costs. You can't beat that with a stick. No, seriously, please don't beat it with a stick. It is, after all, a piece of glass, LOL. This was another reason that we decided to keep this holiday season simple, since this would give us a long-term benefit for our everyday lives.

We used rolls of cork to fill in the top because the trim was higher than the center.
The cork was a near-perfect fit.
Our first step was to cover the flooring with cork, to level the surface and provide sound insulation. Then we screwed a piece of plywood to the top of the peninsula. Hubby added ½" trim, and then we added the glass.

Not fancy, but pretty, and so easy to clean up. A few swipes of a bench knife, and a quick wipe-down, and dough is gone.
This is where I stand most of the time when I am prepping food. I get to look out and see our woods. :)
                       And viola! We have a budget-friendly new counter-top.
                                 I guess this has now been Ray/Heidi-rigged. :)

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