Building our new house:
-- Countertops --
-- Porch ceilings --
On 13 May our kitchen countertops were installed. The tops are made of
Silestone and the color is Ivory Coast. Here's a link to the
Silestone website where you can read about the product and see color
samples. Silestone is a quartz product -- quartz rock is ground into tiny
particles and mixed with a poylmer then formed into sheets consisting of 93
percent quartz and 7 percent polymer.
Our countertops were made and installed by Kitchen Encounters in
Fredericksburg, VA. Here's a picture of the installation crew unloading
the slabs of Silestone.
After the kitchen cabinets are in place, a technician from the countertops
supplier comes to the house and makes a template. The tech measures
the size of the cabinets and allows for:
- Overhang -- at least 1-1/2 inches of overhang; that is, the
countertops do not stop at the edge of the cabinet.
- Location of holes that penetrate the countertop -- sinks,
cooktops, faucets, etc. When the tech comes to make the template,
anything that penetrates the countertop must be on-site so the tech can get
the measurements -- sinks, cooktop, and the like.
- Seams. The countertops are designed to have as few seams as
possible. No matter how carefully the workmen install the countertops,
you will still be able to detect seams in the product, so, they want as few
seams as possible. Our tops have only one seam and, if we didn't know
where it is, we couldn't detect it.
And here's a photo of the kitchen with some of the tops installed.
This is what you are looking at:
- Countertop has been installed on the cabinets along the far wall.
- Notice the yellow drill lying on the countertop -- this is where
we will install the gas cooktop. The installers will use a
grinder to cut a hole in the countertop to accommodate the cooktop.
- The main kitchen sink will be under the window on the left edge
of the photo -- they will cut a hole there for the sink.
- The structure in the front of this photo is the kitchen island.
The cabinets that make up the island face toward the wall. The trim
around the cabinet is almost complete -- note the parts of the trim that
stick down -- we will install wooden brackets here to support the countertop
which will overhang 12 inches to make a counter where people can sit at the
Here's another view of the same area:
This photo shows the kitchen island. Note there are three cabinets --
count from right to left starting in the bottom right corner of the photo.
The two end cabinets have one shallow drawer on top and two deep drawers while
the center cabinets has two very deep drawers. These drawers will hold
pots and pans. The far end of the island is a bookcase that faces toward
the back wall -- this is for cookbooks.
Notice the yellow grinder lying on the countertop underneath three big blue
spots. Underneath this grinder is a big opening in the cabinets --
the dishwasher goes here. The main sink goes under the window. Out of the
photo to the left is another set of cabinets where we will install a smaller
sink for food preparation. The big blue spots on the walls are electrical
switches and outlets -- we removed the cover plates and covered the switches and
outlets with blue masking tape to protect them while we paint the walls -- some
of the outlets have not yet been taped. The wires that are hanging out of
the walls are where we will install under-cabinet lights and an exhaust hood
(over the gas cooktop).
Here's a photo of the front porch ceiling.
The house has real front and back porches -- you have seen photos of the
porches in previous photos. The porch floors are tongue-and-groove pine
glued and screwed into the porch frame. The ceilings are real pine
beadboard, glued and nailed into the ceiling framing. The color rendition
in this picture is not exactly accurate -- the porch ceiling is painted pale
blue. The paint is Benjamin Moore MooreLife Acrylic Flat Latex Exterior
paint -- it's a custom-mixed color mixed to match a Laura Ashley Home color
called Cassiopeia. The white parts are painted with Benjamin Moore
MooreGlo Acrylic House and Trim paint in a stock color, Brilliant White.
The porch floor has not been painted. When our hardwood floors are
installed, we will have the installers sand the porch floors to remove all the
trash and dirt that have been ground into the wood during construction then
we'll apply a Cabot primer and Cabot Solid Porch and Floor stain -- color to be
A blue beadboard porch ceiling is a tradition on old Southern homes were the
two of us grew up. These porch ceilings and floors were a a lot more
expensive than vinyl and they will be more trouble to maintain but nothing else
looks like the real thing.
This photo is slightly closer to the porch. The round white things in
the ceiling are recessed lights.
The columns were custom manufactured by
Lail Millwork in Richmond, VA.
They are building a customized stairway for the front porch that will be
installed just before the house is completed.