Installing DIY Countertops from Lowe’s (Or Home Depot)

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops

Next on our list of kitchen reno: installing new counter tops. Not that I wasn’t a fan of the apple green, but these counters had definitely seen better days. And there was no way I was ever going to get them clean to my standards… So with some help from Adam’s parents (Thanks!!!!!) we stopped by Home Depot and Lowe’s to see what was available.

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops

I totally fell for this white and black Bellanger Ouro Romano marble-looking laminate, but with nearly DOUBLE the price tag, it just wasn’t worth it. Sorry gorgeous, you’d end up in the dump in 2 years anyway!

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops

Then the store was out of twine or something to help us tie down my hatch (yes, I use my Volvo like a truck all the time), so I picked up the cheapest one I could find… Apparently 7lb twine means it can only hold down 7lbs of force. OOPS! It took a few tries, but we eventually got it secured. And took all back roads to get home.

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops

Then we skip ahead 6 days and quite a bit. Adam and his work friend Ryan (thanks for your help!!!) tackled the counter tops the day after 4th of July. And I do mean tackled. They were at it for almost 11 hours, before the sink was even installed.

Hence the minimal and blurry photos (the camera was still on sparkler settings!). But you can get the general idea.

Day 1

Step 1: Remove old counter tops. Dispose of them before wife gets home from work.

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops
Forget to clean up the 40 years of dust on top of the dish washer. It’s ok, she’ll clean it later (yes, I did).

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops
Step 2: Forget to take photos, but essentially measure and cut the counter tops to size. Probably a good thing to not have the expensive camera near all that dust anyway.

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops
Step 3: Mitre the counter tops in the corner. AKA attach them together with the kit of bolts and screws.

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops
Step 4: Use a combination of wood glue, screws, and brute force to secure the counter tops to the cabinets. The stack of random cement bricks will come in handy. Try not to scratch the new counter tops.

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops
Step 5: Cut a hole out of the counter for the sink. Never mind that the instructions say to do this before attaching to the cabinets. That’s in a perfect world, and this is a 40-year-old kitchen. Ryan will do this, Jen will hide with Daphne. Adam will tinker with the Glacier Bay faucet Jen bought off eBay. This faucet will leak for several hours. Adam will spend several hours (tomorrow) trying to stop the leak, only to find that the faucet came with a broken hose. Jen will never buy another Glacier Bay faucet, especially off eBay.

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops

Day 2

Step 6: Get any adapters you may need to fit the new faucet piping to the current kitchen pipes.

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops, plumbing adapter

We have copper pipe from 1948 which has a non-standard adapter. Adam  made 5 trips to various hardware stores (and a plumbing specialty store) before finding the adapter that will fit. If you have older piping and don’t plan on replacing it, check on your connections before starting any plumbing project, otherwise you might not be able to find it on a Saturday afternoon and have to wait until Monday, thus screwing up your plumbing in the process.

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops

Step 7: Attach the new faucet to the sink. Place the sink into the hole that you cut last night. Hook everything up and turn the water on, pray to god it doesn’t flood.

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops, teflon tape

Step 8: Notice there is a leak coming out of the connection between the adapter and the piping. Wrap with teflon tape 10 times to make a solid seal. Don’t only do it 2-3 times, go 10 and max it out. Otherwise you’ll keep leaking all day.

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops

Step 9: Notice you still have a leak somewhere else. Awesome. Spend 8 hours tinkering with  Glacier Bay faucet from eBay. At this point you figure out that Jen shouldn’t be buying Glacier Bay faucets off of eBay. The hose for this faucet is broken. We tried to replace the hose with a new one. Nope, don’t waste your time and dolla dolla bills doing that. Just go buy a new faucet and try to get your money back out of eBay. We are still doing that…

At 9 pm, we decide to throw in the towel and get a new faucet. Drive to Delaware, buy a faucet from Lowe’s. Install in 30 minutes.

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops

Step 10: Now that nothing is leaking and the new faucet is working, install PVC pipe below the sink. It leaks too. Adam will realize that he put a piece on upside-down. Be glad you married an engineer.

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops
jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops
jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops

Step 11: Use some Barkeeper’s Friend to clean up the sink. Then glue sink into place. Eventually, you will caulk around the edges of the sink, but not today.

jen darling, installing diy kitchen countertops

Look at that gorgeous faucet and those pretty counter tops!

Have you ever done a project like this? What problems did you run into and how did you fix them?

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