Specifically, the countertops. We're leaning towards tile because we can DIY, plus nothing in the house is exactly square, so ordering one-piece countertops and expecting them to fit would probably be an exercise in frustration.
But... which tile? What size and what color?
It is a late 80's log home (there are other pics in that gallery) so nothing ultra-modern please.
If you really wanted a one-piece countertop, just know that they can be shimmed so the level/not square issue usually isn't a big problem.
Personally I would want a lighter counter, as a foil to all that wood. Maybe a quartz? Or if you want something more rustic, tumbled marble or travertine would also be really pretty (and comes in a variety of tile formats/sizes.) What's on the floor? That would make a difference as well.
Tile is not near as clean as any other large solid surface and will not be an asset if you sell later.
Try to see what all is out there that is better today, all kinds of concrete, steel, man made and of course from granites on.
Natural rock will always be an asset and it can be made to fit most anything.
Today the cost is even cheaper than tile for most standard, not fancy granite and they will measure and make it fit right.
I was adamant that I wanted tile nine years ago and the builder insisted and insisted and I finally gave in and am very happy with the granite he put on the kitchen counters.
It makes the plain farm house kitchen stand out nicely.
I will add, if you want to use tile, they have very large tiles you may be able to use there and not have so many grout lines to try to keep clean.
I would, while remodeling, consider if I needed the extra cabinets above that counter, that are cutting the kitchen view off the rest of the area.
You may enjoy a more open layout, if you can manage without the extra storage space.
You already have a tile countertop.
Why replace with more tile?
I agree a solid top will have better resale value and stone is the way to go unless you have severe budget restrictions.
Even then, there are DIY products out now that can convert a plain solid surface to something resembling granite, concrete or other solid surface.
I have had granite in my last 2 kitchens and cannot say enough good things about it as a surface.
But if that is priced out of range, consider installing a plain solid countertop and refinishing yourself to resemble a higher-end product.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
I would not re-tile at all. Go with a solid surface that will update your home, not leave it in the 80's. Concrete is an awesome and cost effective solution, but ensure, just like any solid surface, that it is well sealed. Granite, marble, concrete, butcher block, etc. any of those are incredibly poreous and will stain if they aren't sealed well. If they are sealed, they will last and won't stain.
I agree with one of the posters about removing the upper cabinets above the pass through. It will update, brighten and open up your kitchen a lot!
Yes I already have tile... but it's bathroom tile. The previous owners must have gotten a *really* good deal on it, it's in every bathroom plus the kitchen.
And I don't think the grout was originally black...
(Carolprudm, reconsider the use of clorox. Unless your grout is *really* well sealed, you will be re-grouting it after a while! I did that regularly to my kitchen floor in Arizona and spent many hours on my hands and knees fixing it before we put it on the market.)
The floor is wood. Heart pine tongue and groove.
Interesting idea about removing the cabinets over the stovetop. Yes, I could do without them. There would still be 15 upper cabinet doors with three shelves each.
Keeping the grout clean is not a huge issue. The upper cabinets are so tall (and thus, so low over the counters) that nothing much happens on the countertops. All the food prep happens on that center island with the butcher block top. The countertops just collect dishes and appliances.
So... any links to suggestions for what to use? I am completely overwhelmed by the choices at the home improvement stores. And last time I was involved in this process we somehow ended up with *mauve* countertops. (And that was with a decorator from the home builder involved!!)
I'd also like to see something "unbusy" used. Many of the granites are so pattern-heavy and I think that would be a disaster with the wood. And I heartily agree with the above poster who said go light colored. Brightening up the space would be lovely. What about a quartz? The variety of colors/patterns is incredible and there's virtually no maintenance like granite. JMHO...
Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.
I just looked at the picture again and it is a lot of wood and it needs to be brightened up. I mean, I would re-do the whole kitchen. But if that's not in the cards, the these are my suggestions:
Light coloured solid surface countertop
Light coloured (ivory) tiled backsplash
Remove the uppers over the pass through
Remove the valance over the window
Strip, re-stain and oil your butcher block. Go with a natural tone that is lighter than the cabinets.
Put in a new light fixture, even a fan with brighter blades will help
Add under cabinet lighting
I agree that tile is not a great idea. Go for granite, especially given the look of your house. Natural materials will keep the look consistent. There are many granite varieties that aren't busy. Go to a stone yard and have someone walk you around and talk price. You might be surprised at what you can find.
It might seem overwhelming at first, but take the time to really wander and look. Take a camera, take pictures of what you like.
Someone said HGTV is your friend. Go to their website, and "This Old House", too. Search for countertop suggestions. I'd avoid the big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe's until you know more about your options. In my experience their sales people often don't know very much about the specific properties and pros and cons of each surface material.
Even if you do decide on tile on the perimeter counters, I'd replace the butcher block on the island with stone. Look through the remnant stack at a granite yard. You might be able to find a piece at a fraction of the cost with an edge already in place. That's what I've done for smaller bathroom vanity tops in several homes.
Whatever you get make sure it's a lighter color. Dark colors absorb all of the light, even if you have undercabinet lighting. If you get undercabinet get the tiny little round ones, I think they are Zenon or Xenon or something like that, and produce a lot of light for a little wattage. I have a light/med quartz Victoria is the color. The lighter granites like Cecilia or Rita are nice. I prefer quartz because it's tough, and beautiful. The countertop installers even the top of the cabinets so the quartz or granite will fit. And quartz never needs sealing. Stainless steel looks cool, but some can water spot.
I also agree you should remove the cabinets over the cooktop. It's old fashioned, and must drive you crazy when you cook. It cuts you off from everything, and the open look is much nicer.
When I designed my new kitchen I went with natural Hickory cabinets and quartz countertops. I love my Silestone countertop. It's easy to clean, you can put hot pans on it, cut directly on it, it doesn't mark / stain. It does need pro installation. I also have a butcher block island, but the silestone is so much easier to maintain. Not to mention, beautiful. http://www.silestoneusa.com/showroom/kitchens/
I agree with removing the cabinet over the stove, and removing valance. I'd also remount the cabinets about 5 or 6" higher on the wall. It'll open up the area under the cabinets, and make it seem more updated. Either put new cabinets in (in a lighter color), or paint existing cabinets white. Change cabinet hardware to something more current (brushed nickle, chrome, black). Put in a solid surface countertop. If you go with white cabinets, it leaves you a bunch of options. Normally, I'm not a fan of white cabinets, but in a rustic/country type place, it would be fine, and would brighten things up, since you have so much wood. Definitely put in a more updated light fixture.
If you do white cabinets, and a light countertop, do a tiled backsplash with some darker/lighter tiles. The 6"x1" tiles that come on a sheet that have several shades in it would look good. You'd need some dark tiles on the backsplash to ground it, if you have white cabinets and a light countertop.