All posts tagged kitchen
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A kitchen island is an excellent addition to any kitchen. It provides extra storage, an additional surface for preparing food and can be customized to fit your needs. We particularly like this DIY kitchen island from Popular Mechanics because it has a counter-height work-station with drawers, a pullout waste bin, a storage shelf and a drop-leaf top. And, because the island isn’t nailed down-you can relocate it to suit the occasion, and take it with you if you move.
Keep in mind that Eco Glue Premium Wood Adhesive can be used not only when a plan calls for adhesive, but also in place of nails or other fasteners for a more streamlined look.
Cutting Plate Slots
First, build up leg blanks by gluing together full 1 x 3-in. poplar boards with Eco Glue Premium Wood Adhesive. While the glue is drying, make the face-frame parts and the stretchers. Cut double plate slots 1/4 in. apart in the 1-in. stock, using a 1/4-in. spacer under the plate joiner to register the second slots. Then cut single plate slots in the 3/4-in. plywood panel without using a spacer. Transfer the plate locations to the legs. Use a 3/4-in. spacer followed by stacked 3/4- and 1/4-in. spacers to register the double slots that match the face-frame slots.
Assemble the back face frame and front face frame with glue and plates, double-check that the assemblies are square, and leave them clamped for at least an hour. Join the stretchers to the face frames with glue and plates. Note that the rear stretcher fits inside the face frame, while the front stretcher simply joins the top end of the mullion. Be especially careful with this joint. Until the side/leg assemblies are in place, this stretcher joint can break. When the glue has dried, join both face frames to the partition panel. Drive a screw through each stretcher and into the partition top edge to strengthen the joints, and fit the back panel. At this point, it’s time to glue the two leg assemblies to the case, one at a time.
With most of the island assembled, glue and screw the support strips for the floor of the waste-bin compartment, and glue and nail the floor in place. Set the nails and fill the holes with FAMOWOOD Wood Filler. Make the open shelf by fastening poplar boards to the lower rails, notching the first and last pieces to fit around the legs and frame pieces. Screw the boards in place through counterbored screwholes and then plug the holes. A shim ensures uniform spacing.
Assemble the main top from 5-in.-wide cherry boards. Strictly speaking, you don’t have to use plate joints in the assembly, but we did because they help in alignment. They’ll also add a little extra strength if some of the joints are less than perfect. Note that the drop leaf has end boards that help keep the assembly flat. Lay out the drop-leaf hinge mortises and remove most of the waste with a router-then finish up with a chisel and install the hinges. Attach the top with screws that pass through elongated holes in the stretchers. The holes allow the top to move seasonally.
Drawer and Waste Bin
The drawers are made with dadoes, grooves and rabbets, which produce strong, locking joints. We made these cuts on a table saw with a dado blade, but a router table will work, too. Assemble the drawer boxes with nails and glue. Install spacers and blocking around the partition to support the drawer slides. Fit the drawer faces after the drawer boxes are in place so you can adjust the faces for a uniform gap all around. Screw the waste-bin hardware to the floor of its compartment. Then, edge the plywood waste-bin door with poplar and install the door.
For a great paint finish on the base and drawer fronts, sand with 120-, 150- and 220-grit paper, and apply a latex primer. Lightly sand the primer with 220-grit paper, remove all the dust, then apply two coats of a quality latex paint. We finished the drawer boxes and top pieces with three coats of alkyd varnish, lightly sanding between coats. When the final coat is dry, rub the surface with 4/0 steel wool.
Here are some other great DIY kitchen island instructionals:
DIY Network – How to Build a Custom Kitchen Island
Do It Yourself – Building a Kitchen Island in Four Easy Steps
It is the middle of August, but summer isn’t over yet and there’s still plenty of time to complete those home improvement projects you haven’t checked off your list. If you’re kitchen needs a little facelift, consider updating the countertops with new laminate. Laminate is affordable, easy to care for and available in a wide variety of colors, so it’s easy to find a design to match your lifestyle and taste.
If this is your first time tackling a project like this, we recommend asking a friend to help you. You’ll appreciate the extra hand as well as the company as this can take several hours.
Materials & Tools:
- Belt sander
- Caulk gun
- Rubber mallet
- Saw horses
- EcoGlue Premium Wood Adhesive
- Safety glasses
- Manufactured countertop
- Drawing compass
- Miter clamp kit
- Silicone caulk
- Carpenter pencil
Tips before getting started:
When you measure for your countertop, be sure to include the counter overhang, which is usually between 3/4″ – 1″ in front and on open ends.
The point where two counters meet in a corner must be square. Make a mark 3′ from the corner on one wall and 4′ from the corner on the other wall. If the distance between marks isn’t 5′, consider having a professional make and install a custom counter.
Make all measurements twice for accuracy.
Note: You can custom make your own countertop, or you can select a stock countertop from a home improvement center. Many color and pattern combinations are available.
Shut off power at the breaker box for any electrical appliances under the countertop. Then shut off the water supply at the valves under the countertop.
Double-check to ensure your sawhorses are level and stable before placing the countertop on them.
Step 1: Set and Level the Countertop
- Set and clamp the countertop in place.
- Shim as needed to make it level.
- Check for gaps between the backsplash and the wall. If the gaps are narrow, fill them in with caulk and proceed to step four. If the gaps are large, follow steps two and three below.
- Set a drawing compass to the span of the largest gap between the backsplash and the wall.
- Set the compass point next to the wall and the marker on the backsplash.
- Pull the compass along the wall to mark what will need to be removed on the backsplash.
Step 3: Remove Countertop and Clamp to Sawhorses
- Remove the countertop and clamp it in place on sawhorses.
- Use a belt sander to sand the backsplash to the line drawn with the compass.
- Place the countertop on the cabinet and ensure the backsplash is flush against the wall.
Step 4: Glue Edges Together
- Where two pieces of the cabinet meet, glue them together with the glue from a miter-clamp kit. If the kit has no glue, apply a thin bead of silicone caulk to the edges of both pieces.
- Apply EcoGlue Premium Wood Adhesive to the rest of the edges and press together.
Step 5: Tighten Miter Clamps
- Make sure the entire surface is flush at the seam along the front edge of the counter.
- Tighten the nearest miter clamp and wipe away any excess glue.
- Stand behind the backsplash and push the countertop up and down as needed to make the seam flush along the back of the counter.
- Tighten the miter clamp nearest the backsplash.
- If one side of the seam is higher than the other, protect the surface with a piece of wood and tap the countertop with a rubber mallet.
- When the seam is level, tighten the remaining miter clamps.
Step 7: Fasten the Countertop to the Cabinet
Note: Check the length of every screw carefully before driving it into the countertop.
- If the cabinet has a top surface, fasten the countertop by screwing up through the bottom of the cabinet top into the countertop. If the cabinets have no tops, screw through the front rail and any blocks built into the cabinet.
- Seal the seam between the backsplash and the wall with silicone caulk that matches the color of the countertop.
- Your countertop installation is complete!
Updating the backsplash in your kitchen can do wonders for the look and feel of the room. It can act as a focal point in the kitchen with decorative designs or be more subtle with simple tiling in the background.
Luckily, no matter what look you are trying to achieve this is a relatively easy DIY project. Before you get started, if you need a little inspiration be sure to check out some of these fantastic kitchens from Apartment Therapy! They’ve got all kinds of backsplash ideas from brick-like tiles to colorful accent tiles and decorative shaped tiles.
Tools & Materials
- Glass tiles
- Unsanded grout
- Adhesive such as EcoGlue Extreme or E-6000
- Speed square
- 1/8″ tile spacers
- Safety glasses
- Tape measure
- Wet saw
- 3/16″ square-notched trowel
- Rubi cutter
- Grinding stone
First you want to measure and lay out the backsplash. Measure from top of counter to bottom of cabinet and plan your tile layout. Incorporate any accent tiles that you have planned for the design.
Mark the center point of the wall and, with a level, draw a horizontal line across the wall from end to end. Also measure up from the finished countertop to the bottom lip of the upper cabinets to determine the number of tile rows needed. Make sure to include 1/8” grout lines in your measurements.
If you are keeping a countertop with a pre-built backsplash (common with laminate countertops), use the top of that backsplash as the base line for your first row of tiles.
Determine whether you will need to cut tiles at either end of the wall or for the row abutting the upper cabinets.
Mix the thin-set mortar according to manufacturer’s directions. Add mortar to water a little at a time while stirring; when ready it should be the consistency of creamy peanut butter.
Wait about 10 minutes after the mortar is mixed to let it set.
Apply thin-set to the wall with a 3/16-inch notched trowel to ensure proper depth. Apply thin-set in smooth, even strokes.
Cover about a 2-square-foot area at a time. Keep a sponge and water handy for cleaning as you go. Thin-set will stay workable for about 45 minutes but don’t apply too much at a time.
A word of caution about glass tiles behind cook stoves: Some glass tiles have a much higher rate of expansion and contraction than do ceramic tiles. Ask the tile retailer (or manufacturer) for a movement joint schedule to help determine if you need to set grout lines slightly wider behind a hot stove. Also, some adhesives and sealants may react with the back coatings of some glass tiles, so make sure the manufacturer supplies you with a list of compatible adhesives and sealants.
Starting with your bottom row of tiles, apply tiles to the thin-set. Press and wiggle each tile to set into the mortar, keeping each flat, plumb and level.
Use 1/8-inch spacers to keep a consistent space between tiles as you go. You can pull out the spacers when the mortar starts to dry.
Add accent tiles or liner bars where you designed them.
Keep an eye on vertical and horizontal lines and use the level to keep you honest.
You can cut glass tiles to size using a manually operated Rubi cutter. Set the tile stop to the correct width, put the cutting blade down and score the tile with one smooth motion. Pull down the handle to snap the tile into two pieces. You may need to practice on several tiles to perfect the smooth motion that minimizes unwanted mistakes.
If the cut end tiles are to be exposed, polish the cut edges with a grinding stone to give the tiles a more finished look.
If you’ve got a lot of cutting to do or several difficult compound cuts like fitting tiles around electrical outlets, it’s best to use a wet saw to cut the tiles. Though it can cost $40 to $50 a day to rent, a wet saw can make the job of cutting tiles go very smoothly.
To avoid scratching the glass tiles, grout with unsanded grout.
After the mortar sets and the tiles have been cleaned of any excess mortar, mix up the unsanded grout to the consistency recommended by the manufacturer’s directions.
Apply the grout with a float, gliding over the tiles at a 45-degree angle . Don’t apply too much pressure or you might sink the tiles into the thin-set or push them out of plumb.
Back off from your work now and again to check that no tiles have moved and everything is in order.
By the time you get to the end of one wall, the first section of tiles should be dry enough to wet sponge. Wipe the grouted tiles clean with a wet sponge, applied at a 45-degree angle, being careful to keep from indenting the grout lines.
When the grout is dry, polish the haze off the tiles with a soft cloth.
For more information on installing your own backsplash, visit the diy network.