Wednesday, July 14, 2010
This all started before we moved into the house. Someone made a kitchen peninsula with a bar, but failed at math and made the bar overhang precariously by the back burners. The work-around would be just to use the front burners. This was great as long as the front burners worked, but they soon failed. There were many attempts to fix the Kitchenaid cooktop to no avail. So we have burn marks on the Formica back splash. Finally, the family faced the reality that the cooktop needed to be replace as well as the counter top.
What we will do is to make the peninsula all one level since we never used the bar as a bar. Then replace both the cooktop and the Formica counter. The new counter will be 5' x 3' and the cooktop will be 30" to allow for workspace.
After long research and comparing all the cooktops in person with our largest pots, we ultimately decided on the Wolf 30" gas cooktop. Initially we were interested in the open burner cooktop from Blue Star. With its 22k btu burner, I was worried about whether our kitchen was able to deal with the heat generated and have the expertise to make sure we had the gas lines for it. Then I researched comparable cooktops from Viking, Thermador, and Miele. They were all in the $1500 - $1700 price range. We did look at lower end cooktops with our pots and pans, but nothing looked that good. Our Kitchenaid that we paid $900.00 didn't last 5 years until it started giving out. The mid-range GE Profile and Monogram cooktops didn't really float our boat when we saw them in person with our pots. The Wolf had the most room for our biggest pans we use and had the controls on the side instead of the front. It seemed to be the most solid. We liked the knobs and the dual burner system on all 4 burners. You can turn on the burners by turning it on high to low cooking that would control the top burner. Then you can press down the knob and go into simmer mode which is a feature I cannot wait to explore.
I did the research and Wolf had the best burners. Best simmer. Really strong boiling. The majority of our cooking is boiling, steaming, simmer, and saute.
In person, the burners just looked better -- made of a composite material that is considered to be superior.
At first, I didn't want Formica Laminate. I did order many samples just in case the quotes on solid surfaces (ie. Corian) and Quartz (Caesarstone) were too high. You would think that only having 15 sq ft of counter would be cheaper than $1,500.00 dollars or $1,920.00 dollars for the Caesarstone. My instincts were right. When we saw the quote for Formica for one counter, we figured that we could go ahead and have the other counter done as well. That means that I was unleashed in the color I can choose. So I think I am going to go with the honed Madras Indian Slate (pictured here).
I think that to go with a marble like surface for this kitchen is a little silly. We have a small kitchen, so going with a more modestly scaled slate is the way to go.
The honed Madras Indian Slate also has a matte testure to it that I like. Many of the top of the line HD Wilsonart that I was considering had too much shine to it, even though I liked the design on them. The Madras Indian Slate has golden hue that picks up the floors and the current cabinets. Since the color scheme in the house is blue and green, I appreciate that this surface features green and blues. You can also see wisps of cream and brown. I decided against a light color surface because it would hide stains better. With my light washed maple I figured that it would be a nice contrast.
It is true that I wanted Caesarstone over laminate. It just didn't make sense to do so now when we were not doing a major redesign and we have a son who is almost 7. I can see when he is a teenager and his friends are over looking for food things can go wrong. I would rather spend the money on high quality appliances for now and the near future, because that effects the functioning of the kitchen. This house is going to be in the family for a long time, so we do not have to think about putting surfaces to please potential buyers. If that were so I think we would have invested in a neutral quartz top.
The picture above gave me an idea that we can paint the cabinets this green color if we want to change up the kitchen even more. I really want to steal this look. I am still looking at green paint we can use for the cabinets and a wall color.
My long term vision for this kitchen is to redo the corner by the cooktop where the wall oven and refrigerator. I would replace the oven, when it fails, with a double oven. I would take out the current refrigerator and get a larger one and put it at the end of the counter with the sink on it. This would give us room to replace the 27" oven witha 30 or 36 inch double oven. Then we can put a counter for additional space and put the microwave and shelving there. Where we would put a large refrigerator (not too big for the scale of the kitchen) we can continue the cabinets into the breakfast nook to provide the storage space we lost with the double oven.
What we are doing now I will be sure to post before and after photos to let you in on the fun.