Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Counter to popular opinion

I like our kitchen - I do. The light cabinets and the black granite look pictures anyway. Up close, it's clear that someone ran out of of money and chose granite tile instead of actual granite slabs...anything's better than Formica.

Our kitchen when we bought the house

Up close you can see how the edge of the tile is sharp - but at least I can put a pot down anywhere I want to, right?

We added drawer pulls

The real problem in this project isn't even part of the kitchen - that I've learned to live with. The real problem is my laundry room.

Given the fact that our driveway is steep (imagine feeling like you are ready to launch on Space Mountain when you turn into our drive) no one parks in the driveway - everyone parks in the garage...which means everyone enters the house through our garage and laundry room.

The official "before" picture

Short of completely remodeling our house (not that I am against this but Dave is dragging his feet on the subject), I needed to do something to make the laundry room more attractive and welcoming.

A counter over the washer and dryer is the obvious solution but granite is out of the question. Not only is it too expensive but the counter has to be easily removable should we need to access the plumbing behind the washer.

The easy answer was a granite-look Formica top...I can't believe how good they look these days.

Stock Formica comes in 3 colors in 3 lengths

I picked the one on the far right in an effort- for $65 I am getting closer to a nicer entryway...except that the Formica has to be cut to cutting Formica isn't super hard but the danger of chipping is significant. Some experts suggest masking tape and a jigsaw to make the cut - assuming you can cut straight...which I can't.

The only way I have of ensuring a straight cut is using the table saw. So I convinced Dave that we could make the cut if we were very, very careful. The Formica is heavy so it was a two person task and required repositioning the counter three times to cut the various turns.

I was petrified the entire time we were cutting. We had to remove the guard on the table saw so the potential for kickback was great. Luckily, Dave has a steady hand and we made it through unscathed (as did the Formica thankfully). Even then we had to make the final cut of the backsplash using the chop saw. It took us 45 minutes of set-up, discussion and practice runs to complete that single cut. Phew!
A few baskets for soaps and an old jar for loose change makes it clear that it's still a laundry room - just nicer than before.

 The result is cleaner and much more welcoming than it had been. And it's easy to lift the counter if we need to access the hook-ups. 

The counter doesn't go all the way to the way but it leaves space for the hook-ups and the integral backsplash keeps things from falling off the back

For those of you with eagle-eyes - yes, you are right the washer is black (to match the kitchen appliances) and the dryer is blue (to!). I ordered black but they brought me blue...they said they would return it but it would take 3-4 weeks. So I kept it as is (we were desperate to wash bedding) and can now joke about doing laundry until I'm black and blue.


  1. Looks absolutely amazing. I wish I could do that in my laundry room except that I would need new washer and dryer (which are on my list) as mine washer is top load not side load which would be a problem.

  2. Thanks. I like a top loader for felting and craft-related projects but the front loader uses less water.