Thursday, January 22, 2009

Extra Tileboard?

I had some extra tileboard from the island project in the previous post. So I cut them out and inserted them behind the pantry doors. Some fit super snug and others...well, I mismeasured somewhere along the way. But a couple of strips of double sided tape were an easy fix.

Now I can keep inventory of what's the cabinets, or write myself notes of things I need to pick up because we're running low.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Alternative to the Standard Kitchen Island Cover Panel

Anyone that knows me, knows that my life revolves around my daughter. And as an artist myself, I'm happy to help encourage her artistic tendencies. Which is why I didn't want to do the usual cover panel backed island. It just felt so...well, everyone does it...and I'm pretty anti-follow the crowd. That's when I decided to cover the back of the island with tile board.

Tile board is the poor man's dry erase board at only $10 for a 4'x8' piece at any of the big box stores. Super easy to cut. And I've read some people complain out shadowing from markers, I've had no problem. I use name brand dry erase markers (I bought ones with built in erasers) and the dry erase spray solution for clean up.

I'm also big on keeping old material and finding new uses for it. I'm sure there were things I could have bought that were fancier but I'm more about reuse and recycle than spending money I don't have on crap that I don't really need. Thus my choice of trimming out the tile board.
I installed laminate hardwood in the family and had these pieces from the transition strips left over. So I stuck the metal piece from the transition strip onto its plastic backing and using double sided tape, stuck it to the top of the tile board so I could display her artwork with magnets.
Then using some industrial Velcro, I ran the plastic tooth part down the side of the island and wrapped the fuzzy part around each marker.

Then using the other part of the transition strips I didn't need, I nailed on two pieces about a foot apart. As you can see in the pic below, it has a nice little grove in it.

Now I can place her artwork in between the the rails. Why display so much art on over the tile board? Because my daughters too young to want to draw big murals, so the back of the island is often very white and plain. This is a simple way to dress it up.
When she's older and outgrown this, I'll probably take down the rails, arrange her artwork in a big collage and secure it behind a piece of plexiglass. Of course, we have a long way before that happens...maybe I'll decide to run with the crowd and buy a cover panel...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Got Wavy Walls and Gaps Behind Your Countertop?

Apparently, the original not so good contractors thought the terms level and flush were just suggestions, but not something to aspire too. So my kitchen walls are wavy...very wavy in some spots kinda okay in others.

Now when you install cabinets, everything needs to be level and straight, which means if you have wavy walls you must shim the cabinets (put small pieces of wood behind them so everything winds up straight). This will leave with a gap.

In my case, the gap was barely noticeable in some spots, but in others were closer to an inch...if not wider. Fortunately, it's not something you notice...especially since I don't have a backsplash. But the problem is, things fall in between the wall and counter more often than you'd think.

First I thought I'd buy a piece of laminate and cut and glue the appropriate pieces necessary to cover the gap. That was before I realized a sheet of laminate was almost $50. Then I had a blast of inspiration. Backer rod, aka Caulk Saver.

Basically, it's this foam that you shove into big gaps and caulk over. This way you're not using a tube of caulk every five inches. Here is one of the smaller gaps behind the counter...see, not so noticeable, just very annoying.

Now when you put in the backer rod, it doesn't necessarily have to be a perfect snug fit all the way through. I tucked it in at one corner, then held it up along the gap as I caulked. Once there was enough caulk on it, it held in place.

I didn't take any pics with the caulk in, because it's still drying. If you have to use the ginormous amounts of caulk I did, it'll probably take a few days to dry. Use clear...unless you're able to find another color caulk that'll blend into your counter.
As for the inch plus sections of gap, I used foam pipe insulation. I cut it in half, tucked it in and caulked right over it. This whole easy fix cost me around $10 of material I already had. Definitely cheaper than the laminate and involved a lot less work and time on my part.
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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Got Extra Supplies? Need to Trash Old Cabinets? Why Not Get a Tax Write Off to do it?

Wish I knew about this last year....apparently Habitat for Humanity runs Habitat ReStores where they sell all sorts of furniture and building supplies at a fraction of the cost to help raise money for their cause.

Why get a dumpster for those kitchen cabinets...donate them! Sick of your appliances and want to upgrade...donate them! You get the idea, now go check out their site:

Habitat ReStores