Kitchen Countertops and Backsplash

If you missed our previous posts on the kitchen renovation, you can get caught up here: Before Photos, Appliances, Design Plans, Demo, and Installing Cabinets and Floors.

The best piece of advice we read when picking out countertops is to see a full slab of the material. That’s pretty obvious if you are choosing a marble or granite, but we decided to go with quartz. Quartz is a man-made material that can look like marble, but the maintenance is so much easier. We checked out the Silestone options from Lowe’s and were sure Lyra was the way to go.

We headed off to the store, ready to place our order. The saleslady said they had a sample kitchen with Lyra in stock we could see. Perfect!

Except – agh! We hated it! The pattern was too small and repetitive. It wasn’t at all what I imagined. We left the store, pretty bummed and without ordering any countertops. The next day, we decided to head over to Fairfax Marble and Granite, where we were able to see many more options. We brought a door sample to hold up against the stone, and the saleslady was so patient and helpful. We decided on Silestone Lagoon, which has a much more muted pattern.

I thought we were done then, but who knew there were so many options for the edge of the stone? I thought all we had to do was pick out the slab, but there are all sorts of beveling upgrades. After seeing examples in the show room, we chose a half-bullnose edge, bringing a gentle curve to a kitchen full of straight lines. That did increase the cost a little bit, but I am very happy with the result.


Two weeks later, we had countertops!

Finally, a functional kitchen was in sight! We had to wait a day for the glue to set, then Pat (with EJ’s help) started to plumb the sink. There may have been a little misunderstanding on my part about where they were in the plumbing process. I had a tiny accident. By that, I mean I washed dishes and the water all went into the cabinet. Fortunately there was a bucket and a towel already in place, and the damage was virtually nonexistent, but I had quite the panic in the meantime!

Oh, and when we unpacked the dishwasher, we sadly discovered a huge dent on the inside and had it exchanged. (Hence the big gap to the left of the sink.) The replacement took many more weeks than we would have liked, but there will always be delays like that in any renovation.


Pat finally did get the sink squared away, we started to move things into the lower cabinets, and Drew came back over for a tiling bonanza! We chose subway tile from The Tile Shop. The project took over 1,000 tiles.

Thanks for your help, Drew! We couldn’t have done it without you!