My first before & after!

We don’t have a lot of complaints about our home. Overall, it’s great. But one of the few, and probably top of the list is the kitchen counters. This is our problem:

(Click to enlarge and you’ll see what I mean)

The tiles are too close together and the grout comes out. Or it’s the wrong kind of grout for the size of the gap, sanded vs. not sanded???…I’m not a contractor. Anyway, we’ve eaten lovely grout biscuits in the past. It just lifted right out into the dough I was rolling out.

We can’t afford to replace all of our counters but decided that we could probably find a remnant from a slab of granite for cheap and replace just the top on the island so I’d at least have one solid surface for cooking. We shopped around a bit and were finding that even remnants can be quite spendy!

But inspiration came in the form of a post by Thrifty Decor Chick. She put a new Ikea butcher block top on her island and it’s gorgeous! An Ikea gift card from the in-laws for Christmas solidified our decision.

So this is our kitchen before:

The island is pretty small. Ok, really small. And it usually looks more like this.

Ok, that’s embarrassing.

We carefully took all the tiles off, in case we decide to use them for something later.

Then the top. (Boy, that thing was really on there, too!)

New top went on. I sat on it and held it in place while Jared installed the nifty little brackets that came with it. Thank you, Ikea! You can see we added a little size, about 6 inches on the back and 3 on each side. But that’s not all…

We had enough leftover to make a bar top. I love it!!

We used a blend of natural oils and wax specifically made for butcher blocks to finish it. It really brought out the beautiful color of the wood.

Is it gorgeous?! And a great match to the cabinets.

I’m sharing this project over at:

10 thoughts on “My first before & after!

  1. This came out great. I saw the post on the same blog, and loved it. I am so glad to see how you made it happen in your own house. Maybe there is hope for my kitchen, after all! Found you at Thrifty Decor Chick ~Lori

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