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Unread 10-01-2009, 09:43 PM   #1
Muddman
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Kitchen Makeover

So I enjoy when I get to practice my trade on one of my family members houses. This time it was my parents. They bought a nice big house by a lake in Minnesota a year ago. It was only two years old and custom build for the previous homeowners. Their taste left a little to be desired for me, and there was a few areas that it seemed like they ran out of money. For example the kitchen has really nice cherry cabinets, and granite tops by the stove, but then Formica everywhere else, ewe. So I told them I would have to do a little update for them.

I decided to make new concrete countertops to replace the Formica, and replace the blah tile on the backsplash.

Here are the before pictures......
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Unread 10-01-2009, 09:47 PM   #2
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I decided I wanted to do something really interesting for the backsplash. I drew up a few designs in Google Sketch-Up. This is the one I decided on. The middle section is random but balanced. Then the top and bottom pieces start at the midpoints of the middle pieces to give it some symmetry. I placed the lines on a grid at half inch intervals to make my cuts easy to measure and layout.
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Unread 10-01-2009, 09:56 PM   #3
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I used three types of natural stone, two different limestones and a dark travertine. The kitchen already had a lot of color in it so I wanted to stay muted with the colors, but add interest with pattern.
I started by making a cut list for the middle pieces directly from my program. I made spacers to get the heights right. Then I cut the bottom and top pieces right from my schematic, but then did the height from direct measurements. Each piece was cut out and then the edges slightly rounded with a diamond hand polishing pad. It took forever.
If I were to do it all again I think I would make a template of the backsplash area, then pre-cut all the tiles before setting them.
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Unread 10-01-2009, 09:58 PM   #4
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I made a few dozen samples for the countertop for my Parents to choose from. They decided on a brown base color with maremac sand and medium sized multi-colored stones.
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Unread 10-01-2009, 10:00 PM   #5
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Here are the finished pics. I kind of wanted to go with a dark grout to show off my precise grout lines, but I like what we went with.
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Unread 10-01-2009, 10:02 PM   #6
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Hauling a half ton of countertops from St Louis to Minnesota was nerve wracking, but in the end worth it. And my folks loved it.
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Unread 10-01-2009, 10:13 PM   #7
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Gregg,

Do you use a table mount or hand held vibrator for your concrete? I'm wondering if the table mounted types are that much better.
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Unread 10-01-2009, 10:43 PM   #8
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Greg, I really like that splash. I have been using sketchup more & more to sell jobs.

What lake is the folks house on?
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Unread 10-02-2009, 04:41 AM   #9
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really nice work!!
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Unread 10-02-2009, 06:48 AM   #10
Muddman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
Do you use a table mount or hand held vibrator for your concrete? I'm wondering if the table mounted types are that much better.
I have been using a hand held dewalt cordless pencil vibrator. I used a plug in pencil vibrator before but it was to unruly. However the mix I use now is so thick and viscous the pencil aint doing the trick any more. I am looking into getting a vibco table mount vibrator. If you have thinner mixes the pencil works fine though. I have seen videos of the table mounts in action and they seem to be much more effective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim
Greg, I really like that splash. I have been using sketchup more & more to sell jobs.

What lake is the folks house on?
Yes I love sketch up too. It is easy to use and free. I use it a lot for room mock ups and countertops.

They live on a little lake called Belmont Lake, which is about 10 miles south of Ottertail lake, if you know where that is.
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Unread 10-02-2009, 11:08 AM   #11
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that's gotta be one of the most inventive ideas I've seen here - really nice job, I'm probably going to steal the concept, just so you know.
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Unread 10-02-2009, 03:22 PM   #12
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nicejob mud boy sweet splash
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Unread 10-02-2009, 04:03 PM   #13
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Yeah looks good, kinda like an updated retro 70's look.
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Unread 10-03-2009, 12:37 AM   #14
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This was posted in another thread but I wanted to answer it here,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janna
Mudman- that backsplash is insane!

Great job. I remember the drawings you posted. It takes a creative mind to create abstract concepts- patterns that work. I cheat- I look at stuff in nature and copy it. The few abstracts I did were made by throwing different bunches of tile scraps on a background tile until it'd suddenly look good. It takes serious vision to make the colors look right with what you made. how long did the whole project take- from drawing to finished? (I'm wondering how fast/slow I am compared to
others out there)
Janna,
Thanks. Well, I was working on the final polish and sealing of the countertops at the same time, but if I had to guess probably 100-150 man hours. That includes the time my folks put in helping. I had my dad doing some of the simple cuts, and both of them finishing the edges of the tile with the diamond pad and sealing tiles before they were set.
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Unread 10-12-2009, 09:39 PM   #15
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OMG, mudman, I just came across this thread and I *wish* I'd seen this when I had my laundry room backsplash to do! I couldn't have done it as fabulously as you, but I would have tried . Seriously, that is something *new* in backsplashes, and I've seen a lot of them over the past 5 years. Just beautiful and COOL. Really wonderful. Yes, in case I'm being uncllear, I really really love that backsplash! Congratulations and I'm going to try to save some pics as inspiration for what *can* be done with offcuts and just a few feet of any given stone (I shop at HabitatfH stores and such and find a few feet of a beautiful stone tile, not enough in itself for a backsplash but the way you do it you bring unity in the repetition of a few elements.)

And the concrete countertop -- *gorgeous* too!

What a good son you are!
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