kitchens (cont.) . . .

by mulberryshoots

"before" kitchen counter, left side

“before” kitchen counter, left side

"before" kitchen, center

“before” kitchen, center


"before" kitchen, right side

“before” kitchen, right side

Today is the day for the soapstone countertop project to begin. I say project because I’m not sure when it will be completed as it is sandwiched in with another job the contractor has in Boston tomorrow.

This morning, I was awakened by G. who said he was leaving to take his mother to the doctor’s and that he thought the new sink we had was too big and too deep to fit into the space. This was a little after 8 a.m. and the soapstone was due to arrive at 10 a.m. I hopped out of bed (literally, since my ankle is still stiff,) got dressed, washed up and got in the car to go to Lowe’s to see if they had a small undermount sink. They had only one in stock and it was approximately the size G. had specified but was still ten inches deep. Along the aisle to the sinks, I happened to see a single mount faucet by Grohe that was much sleeker and simpler than the bulbous Kohler faucet that arrived from Amazon yesterday.

I grabbed the new faucet, the undermount sink and checked out. I decided as long as I was at it that I would drive to the Shrewsbury Home Depot to see what they had in the way of sinks because I wasn’t crazy about the one I had just bought at Lowe’s. All I could think of was getting some hot, black coffee and honey dip donuts but didn’t have time to stop.

Lo and behold, although Home Depot also only had one undermount sink to choose from, it had frontal rounded edges that I had seen and admired previously at another stone cobbler contractor’s shop. It was an Elkay and I bought it while making a mental note that I would come back for a large pot of beautiful chrysanthemums once the countertop job was completed.

When I got home, we unpacked the sink and looked at how it might fit in, allowing for more cooking space. The faucet would be mounted on the right side, giving an asymmetrical look. When I opened up the box for the new faucet, we found that the faucet parts themselves were missing! That’s right, the kit had been previously opened, the long neck of the faucet was missing and other boxes in the kit were opened. The box had been secured with those stiff plastic tapes that you have to cut off with scissors. I had asked someone at Lowe’s whether I could look at the contents before checking out. Now, the worst had happened.

When I went back to the faucet section of Lowe’s, “Dennis” greeted me with a smile and then with a frown when I showed him the inner contents of the box and its missing parts. There was one more box of this particular faucet, the most expensive of the now FOUR faucets that I’d obtained as possible candidates (the Kohler faucets were gigantically bulbous and humongous-looking compared to the scale of the smaller sink.) When we pulled this one out of its wrapping, it was a brushed finish rather than shiny chrome which I actually liked better than the bright finish.

By this time, I’d figured out that the design and choices for our kitchen had been taken over by the Kitchen Gods, that they were now fully in charge and that we were just along for the ride. Towards that end, I silently asked for cosmic helpers of countertops to weigh in to obtain a good outcome for soapstone matching and cutting, carrying soapstone up three flights of stairs and properly finish the job. I thought I detected a slight flutter of wings but maybe that was just my imagination. By this time, we had had three sinks (Kraus, Franke and Elkay) and four faucets (Moen, two Kohler and a Grohe) to choose from. As it turned out, the very last sink and faucet that I found this morning were the ones we liked best so all that running around turned out to be worth it.

The soapstone slabs and workers arrived around 11 a.m. That’s when I learned that they were due to complete a fourth floor Boston job at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow and would have to leave this job and come back later to finish our job. I took my laptop and power cord into the bedroom with a couple of books because I wanted to give them free rein in the kitchen and also didn’t want to look like I was Cleopatra sailing down the Nile eating grapes while they slaved away.

Shortly after the first template was made, I was called down to look at how it would be positioned on the soapstone, especially where the veining would appear. We compromised a little and they’re cutting the stone now. G. will pick up lunch for them at a local shop nearby where one of the workman said he grew up.

Stay tuned for the next installment (literally!) of our new kitchen counter saga. Hopefully soon.