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Honored Advisor

Kitchen worktop?

In planning this kitchen remodel for the fall, I have come to a decision point that I would appreciate some Inputt on from trusted friends. Mike and I are in good agreement about some things like relocating one of the FIVE doorways into this small space. Since he cooks as much or more then I do, it is only fair to make sure we are on the same page.

One thing we really need is a bit more worktop and cabinet/ drawer storage, and a few more wall- hung storage shelves. I have
considered adding some base cabinets, but wouldn't be able to match countertops from seven years ago. I have found a workbench at Sam's, stainless with a heavy wooden top that would work in well.
If has four drawers and a nice wide cabinet, and even better, is set on casters. Without any effort, and at roughly a fourth of the
cost of cabinets to try tomatch what's already there, plus no worries about finding a matching top, I can gain a 48- inch worktop for
baking and dairy processing, like my yogurt and cheese making.
Leaving the casters off, the height of the work surface would drop roughly 5-6 inches. Given that I am just a a hair over 5'2"' , standard cabinets are too high to work on comfortably, especially for kneading and rolling out in baking. With Mike at six feet tall, I
wouldn't want to have lower cabinets everywhere, but it sure would be nice for me for the baking/ dairy functions he never performs
I am not worried about the " look". There is a lot of exposed steel and black iron in this kitchen as it will look fine. I know a real workbench is built up strong enough for the heavy stand mixer, and the drawers won't sag under the weight of kitchen tools, if they
can hold wrenches and such. Anything comparatively strong in a purchased island is outrageously expensive, and looks too refined for my taste.
Worst case is, I try it, don't like it, and have a nice workbench for the garage for under $200. Best case is, I get a great work cabinet and save over a thousand bucks. I have done enough of such cross- purposing things over the years here to feel comfortable with
buying the cabinet while Sam has it in stock, and store it until October, when the work is scheduled.

It is almost too easy a choice to make. I am afraid I am missing some potential downside here. Like the look, the quality, the price
and the flexibility.
I am planning to use another maple block top over one more small prep area, and I cannot see any reason not to use this one under my mixer, dough board, etc. It would not be in direct food contact, even though it is fi usher smooth enough to wipe down well if it did. No sink in this work area. Shallow wall grid and cubby storage right above, and deep wooden shelf above that for flour, sugar and meal canisters.
Opinions? Advice?
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4 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Kitchen worktop?

That sounds like a wonderful idea for an island. I have considered that option if I ever build a house myself. Would have to raise the counters anyway for my height. Who really can afford good quality cabinets when the shelving units at Sam's will do?

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Honored Advisor

Re: Kitchen worktop?

This would not really be an island, but a freestanding cabinet, placed against one wall, in the corner where it joins another wall. The more I look at this house, the less it makes any sense to be to build things of great value - say an expensive set of cabinets- into it.

I actually searched Sam's online, and found a six foot cabinet, which has the deeper, graduated drawers on one end, a center cabinet, and then eight shallow drawers on the other great would that be for storing gadgets!?!? More useful than the rest of the cabinets combined.
I can use the six foot length, since the whole thing is a few inches shallower than a normal kitchen cabinet's 24 inches. By moving the entrance into then kitchen from the side entrance/ pantry hallway, I have plenty of room for it. Will probably have to order this one to be delivered to my club, but it only takes 3-10 days, which is very reasonable.

One way I handle the cost of a major project is to plan it out, and spread the purchases for it out over a few weeks to a few months. That usually leaves just the structural stuff, when the men tear out the old, and put back the new.

My store roofer is supposed to come Wednesday, if they can stand it bumping 100 on a shingle roof. Will probably start as soon as dawn breaks...hope no need to postpone.

I am holding up on all of the interior work until the roof is need to put in a beautiful new floor, and take water damage on
it. Once they are done, my days will be jam- packed for a few weeks, working up at the corner.

Thanks for the input. Imwpildmnotmuse diamond ,etsl cabinets in the kitchen, but this stainless is really neat looking.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Kitchen worktop?

Are you talking about the one with the handle on one end and striped stainless steel on the fronts? You should be able to put it together. Just take your time with the instructions.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Kitchen worktop?

I can't see a handle in the photo is horizontal striped stainless, cabinet door in center, drawers to either side, wooden top is 1.5 inches thick.
I priced some " garage" cabinets similar to it, but with no drawers, at Lowe's yesterday. Four footer with a composite top was $ 457 plus tax. This one is actually $398 plus tax, for six feet and a real wood top, plus the casters, which I will most likely omit, to lower my work surface, and use on some Seville shelving elsewhere. Two birds with one stone, so to speak.
I will be checking email in a while, to see if they have pulled my set. Pickup is pretty specific as to scheduling...right down to day and hour when you require it. Interesting process. I need a few items that not in stock at my usual club last trip, so needed to go to another club anyway. This one is about ten miles further, in a different city.
This kitchen design is one I am planning out literally to the inch. We will be gaining only about 56 square feet, and maintaining the basics we have now...but re- routing that one entrance will finally give me a place to put the refrigerator into a corner, instead of sticking out on one wall, smack in the middle. It has always irked me. Wish we had done this seven years ago, but we live and learn.
I will be using a neat wooden cubby I got from Pottery Barn over it, with canning widemouth half- pints for spices and room for baking powder and such. Also planning to use one of those CB2 grid storage squares I love for small pantry items next to that for
mixes and other baking items.
Above those, I will extend a deep wooden shelf that I am using at the other end of the wall now, which holds all of my flour, sugar,
meal, etc., in big see- through canisters. Black iron hooks will keep whisks and measuring cups and spoons, sifter, etc. Stand mixer will set on the cabinet top, with it's many attachments in drawers below. Cabinet will be great for baking pans, especially the big
ones I have stuck in a crack by another cabinet right now.
I have decided to re- configure the beverage bar area, too. It is turned wrong in that space, and the whole area just isn't working well. We will be splitting out cold beverages and ice machine next to the refrigerator' s new location...let's me drain the ice maker
through an exterior wall, instead of relying on a condensate pump setup...that will eventually fail, and we will have a soaked floor. That area will keep the blender and sandwich griddler, toaster, and have the maple block top. Over that will be another grid rack,
for condiments, glassware. So, a sandwich and cold drink spot.

Hot tea and coffee will have their own cabinet when I move the mixer and baking pans to the new work cabinet. Once the old
beverage area is stripped out, I can put the sink at its correct turn, with an existing cabinet underneath, and use that area as a cleaning closet...which is what I am robbing on the other side of the kitchen to make room for the refrigerator.
This puts all food and drink prep into the kitchen proper, yields ten feet of open countertop I do not enjoy now, and provides a logical cleaning closet with its own water supply. I will gain a lot of storage for cleansers, so open up a great deal of pantry shelving, too.
We will lose the delicate laminate flooring we mistakenly used in this kitchen about eight years ago...not durable enough for real mopping and workshoes. Plan to match with the old pine look Allure vinyl we love in the rest of this most original old wood part of
the house. May have to use some tile for backsplashes... Can easily match with what we used in the dining room last summer.
If not for the structural issues we are seeing, we could stick with what we have and function. Having to address that requires going
down to the ground in that room anyway, so may as well tweak the design to fix problems we built last time.

Salvaging all our existing cabinets, tops, sinks and appliances will keep costs in line. Other than flooring and the materials for the
structural repair, I am in right around five hundred with the cabinet and cubby/ grid storage units, and can see no more than another five hundred for tile, lighting over my new worktop, and replacing some plumbing pipes and wiring.
Allure is roughly $2 per square foot, so whole room and entry $500 or so, too. Fifteen hundred on top of a whole structurally new flooring system is a decent price for the convenience gained. Cheaper than one month's house payment on a new house this size.
Probably why we keep plugging along with this place....

Mike even came up with a suggestion to build a slight ramp up from the entrance to this room. The step there has always been too high for me, especially carrying heavy totes of groceries. Great suggestion.
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