Saturday, February 8, 2014

Tile redux

As I was working with our kitchen designer this week (more on that later), we determined that a major impediment to the range wall cabinets is the window on the short wall of the kitchen. Essentially it's too low or too left to let us extend the cabinets to the wall. I had thought about it when I was doing the preliminary kitchen layout on the Ikea Home Planner, but I dismissed the idea of moving the window because we didn't want things to get too messy or complicated (i.e. expensive) in here. I thought a floating section of two cabinets flanking the range, with space in between the wall and right cabinet, and the doorway and the left cabinet would be fine.

As we thought about it more though, taking those cabinets the whole length of the wall would give us about 36" more of cabinet and countertop space. That's a pretty big deal in a kitchen this size. I called up our contractor to get an estimate on moving the window up and he said no biggie. It's easy and cheap ($600-750) as long as we're not moving plumbing or electrical, which we wouldn't need to. So for a little over 1K (labor plus the cost of the additional cabinets/counter top), we have more storage space, more prep space, and a more built-in looking kitchen. This is the Ikea mock-up:

That planner software is annoying to work with. I obviously don't want that range hood that low, but it won't let me move it up. But you get the idea. 

So now that our construction budget has increased, we're going to have to cut somewhere else to be responsible remodelers. So the fancy tile I talked about in the last post? Buh-bye. *tear* I'm actually very okay with it, because as I pondered the samples looking at them on the future range wall, I could see our crazy purple dining room wallpaper, and it looked horrible against the blue fez tile. Plus my mom said she'd have seizures looking at it. And we all know Esmeralda will be spending lots of time in the kitchen when she comes to visit, so having our maid seizing all over the place would be a hassle. The crazy needs to be contained to the dining room I think, so we're going classic for the kitchen.

So what is the next best (cheap) option? The ever popular and ubiquitous white subway tile! Always classy, and so budget friendly. To make it a little more interesting, and to hide any food splatter stains, I want to do a black grout, like this:

Pretty, right? The grout lines above are a lot thicker than these ones below:

And I think I like that. A slight variation that I want too, is to use the beveled white subway tiles. I like their pillowy look, and they are not that much pricier. These are about $5 a square foot, and the flat subways are around $2. I guess if we have another unexpected cost creep up, the bevel might have to go, but fingers crossed they can stay!

Pictures 1, 2, and 3 from here, here, and here

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