39 week checkup today, and, to quote the doc, "There's nothing happening." My cervix remains tight, though soft, and baby is floating pretty high in my pelvis. Looks like the little guy/gal is holding out till I get more work done on the kitchen.
Baby's due in less than 2 weeks, altho I'm expecting him/her to be a little late. We have a car seat, so we will actually be able to take the little critter home from the hospital -- assuming they don't judge us to be completely unfit parents and send baby into foster care. I am huge and lumbering around like a beached sea creature. Help! Somebody please lift me off the couch!
Today is Mother's Day, which for some reason I'm thinking of as "my last Mother's Day of freedom." Hmmm...
Kitchen floor is in. This will be a big week in home improvement: Thursday, the Caesarstone countertops go in; Friday, the new carpet gets installed; Saturday, the contractor returns and installs the plumbing and appliances. So, by Sunday a week, my kitchen should be functional again! (Yes, I'm knocking on wood right now.)
(May 4, 2006 -- originally posted to the THS GardenWeb Kitchen Forum)
I finally had my Caesarstone template done today. I thought I'd share the details for anyone who's curious. The whole process was a mystery to me, and it's been a bit of a bumpy ride.
Caveat: This is just the way my fabricator happened to do things; I'm sure others do it differently.
First of all, here's what I'm getting: Material: Caesarstone Color: Peppercorn Thickness: 3 cm (about 1-1/4") Edge: Flat polished eased edge (the "eased" just means they very slightly round off the sharp square edges -- it's standard when you get a flat edge) Details: Undermount stainless sink, small bar overhang, greenhouse window sill
Templating process: The templaters used pre-cut strips of PVC, which they laid out on top of my cabinets and stapled down. I was impressed with how careful they were to make sure things were square and accurately measured. Once everything was laid out, they used some sort of acrylic glue (similar to nail polish) to permanently affix the PVC strips to each other. Here's a picture of one of the simpler template areas:
Once everything was figured out, glued up, and annotated, they removed all the staples they'd used hold things in place. Then the took the template away:
Back at the shop, they'll lay the template onto the Caesarstone slab and trace it before cutting. (It's just like making a dress!)
Overall, the templating took about 3 hours.
Sink: Normally for undermount sinks, they just take the paper template that comes with the sink and use that in the shop. Because my sink was custom-made, they had to take the actual sink with them. For reveals, they gave me a choice of 1/4" reveal, no reveal, and 1/4" negative reveal. (I think this is a more limited choice than most fabricators offer.)
The sink will be installed with about 3" from the front edge of the countertop to the front of the sink bowl. Because my sink is so big relative to my cabinet (30" sink, 30" cabinet), it will be supported front and sides by the cabinet itself. There will need to be some support for the back of the sink, but the template guys promised me the installers will take care of putting in a strip of plywood for this purpose. One nice thing: because my sink lip is 1/16" thick, it doesn't need to be recessed into the cabinet sides at all.
3cm versus 2cm: I had specified 3cm countertops, but later realized that we should use the 2cm material for the backsplash and the greenhouse window ledge. Since I hadn't asked for this before, it may slow down my fabrication by a few days if they have to order the material. D'oh! Should've mentioned this earlier...
The plywood saga: This is where things got really absurd. On the instruction of my kitchen dealer (through whom I'm getting the countertops) I paid my contractor $300 to install 5/8" plywood on top of all of my cabinets as decking for the countertop. Now, I didn't want the decking, because it requires some sort of finished material to hide the plywood edge. And I especially didn't like it after it was installed, because I realized that my drawer fronts are already pretty far below the tops of the cabinets, and the decking made this even more noticeable. But the kitchen guy told me I had to have it.
Last Thursday the template guy shows up and tells me, no -- I don't need decking, and in fact they prefer no decking for the 3cm installations. We reschedule the template date.
So, my husband and I remove all the plywood. I jerry-rig some temporary corbels for the bar overhang. (Note, I am 8 months pregnant while doing all this stuff.)
Today (Thursday, a week later), the original template guys shows up, this time with a more experienced guy to help him. He tells me that I do in fact need some plywood. But it needs to be 6-8" wide strips installed flush with the cabinet tops, roughly one for each cabinet. This is to give the installers some material to put the glue on; apparently the 1/2" cabinet sides just aren't enough surface area. So I guess me and my big pregnant self will be playing with plywood and power tools once again. (I have only myself to blame, since I'm just too cheap to have my contractor come back in to do this!)
Supporting the bar: We were faced with one big issue: how to support the countertop overhang? When we had decking, the contractor had recessed steel strips into the plywood. But now that the decking's gone, we needed another plan. Our two options were: 1) steel supports routed into the underside of the Caesarstone, or 2) corbel or bracket supports. I decided to with #2, just because it's a little simpler and I'd like to get my kitchen done before hell freezes over or my baby arrives.
A note about this: Numerous people related to this installation have told me that I don't need supports if the overhang is 12" or less. In my particular situation, I made the call that I do need supports, because the pony wall supporting the overhang is very small and to one side of the overhang, and I felt there would be a real problem with cantilevering. I'm sure in normal situations that 12" rule is just fine.
OK, I think that's about it. Damn, this stuff is ridiculously complicated.
OK, not really. But today I had my first real food since Saturday night, when I came down with a nasty stomach flu. (Have you seen the Little Britain skit with the woman who pukes all over everyone? That was me on Sunday).
I've been subsisting on water, Gatorade, and white toast for several days, with the result that I'd lost 5 pounds at my two-week prenatal checkup yesterday. Schmiegel was hungry! So today he got some chicken and rice, courtesy of Stouffers. It's been several minutes, and I haven't gacked yet...a good sign, I hope.