We installed two sets of suspended lights in the kitchen back in 2014. It was one of those things that we installed with every intention of “tweaking” at a later date. However, we never seemed to get around to it! On a couple of occasions we thought it could have been a little bit brighter in the kitchen.
I thought it would just be a case of changing over the light bulbs.
Screwfix stock some slightly brighter 12V LED MR16 bulbs. I thought it would just be a case of swapping the bulbs over. Simples. But no. That didn’t work. Well, it worked for one. But once all the bulbs were replaced, they all went very dim. Some of the new ones stopped working altogether!
Although the difference in the LED bulbs (4W for the old ones and 6W for the new ones) was minimal, it seem enough to tip the old LED drivers over the edge! A quick test with a volt meter showed that the LED drivers where outputting about 4-5V rather than 12V. I later wondered whether it was the defective LED drivers that was producing the dim lighting. However, by this point I had swapped all the bulbs over! I wasn’t going back!
On reflection, the old drivers were 7 years old so they hadn’t done too badly. The replacements were only £15 each on Amazon. Simply changing the drivers over fixed the issue of dim or non-working bulbs.
We are starting to finish off some of the jobs that have been hanging around for a while. One of them is the utility room. We have been using this room for a while, but it has just housed the washing machine and the dryer. Today, we started on installing a couple of cupboards and a work surface. We have bothered with an expensive range of units – this is a utility room after all! But we have picked units and worksurfaces to match the rest of the house.
It has taken us a while to get around to this, but today we started on the utility room. Just a couple of cupboards and a work surface over the washing machine/dryer.
The new chairs and stools arrived for the kitchen today. They were ordered about 6 weeks ago, but unfortunately it was just before the factory in Italy closed for it’s annual holidays.
The chairs and stools came from Nuovo Living out at Redbrick Mill. They are made by Calligaris and these are the New York chairs and stools. The seats are leather and although the colour is listed as being white, in reality the colour is more of an off-white. We knew this before we ordered the chairs as there were swatches of the leather available at Redbrick Mill. It was still a relief to see the same colour chairs and stools arrive today!
Although we had looked for some time for chairs and stools that matched, we dithered a bit when we found these. It was probably more to do with the price than the actual product. We decided to have a cup of coffee in Redbrick Mill while we mulled over our choice. This decision was made slightly easier when we realised that the chairs we were sat on in the café were the same chairs we were considering buying. If they are sturdy enough for us in a retail setting, they will last well in a domestic one. Decision made.
It took us a while to find these chairs and stools, but we got there in the end.
New stools for the island unit that match the chairs for the kitchen table. It took quite a lot of effort to find these.
Last week 2 out of 3 of the kitchen sinks arrived. It was a long journey from the US! Hopefully, the third and final sink should arrive this week (although from the latest emails from the kitchen fitters, this is starting to look unlikely).
The sinks are Silestone Integrity and these are glued to the underneath of the Silestone work surface. The join is exceptionally neat and barely noticeable producing the effect that the work surfaces and sinks are all made out of one piece of granite. The sinks themselves are formed by casting a single block of Silestone and then milling out the shape of the sink.
With two of the sinks onsite we can fit the worktop and hob along the perimeter wall. This happened last Thursday and we managed to get the hob powered up on Saturday. So now we have a partially functioning kitchen. At least we don’t have to go outside to fill up the kettle now!
Two out of the three sinks have arrived, so only the island unit is now without a worksurface (other than cardboard!). Hopefully, the last sink will arrive this week and the kitchen can be completed.
These are two of the three sink bowls that we have been waiting for to arrive from the US. They were built into the worktops and installed last Thursday. Now we have hot and cold water in the kitchen. Yippee!
It looks as if we might have turned a corner on the installation of the kitchen. Fingers crossed.
Although all the cabinets and appliances are in place, the worksurfaces are still waiting to be installed because the sinks have not arrived. The sinks are made of granite (actually, it is a man made substance called Silestone), like the worksurfaces, and are bonded to the underneath of the worksurface so it looks as if it is all made from one piece of stone. The problem is that the sinks are coming from Spain and the overflows have been installed 40mm (yes, 4 cms) from the bottom of the sink – you can’t even get enough water in the sink to cover a mug! I am not quite sure of the rationale here, but I am told that this is how they do it on the continent!
The good news is that sinks manufactured for the American market do not have an overflow at all. So the solution is that we are having to import 3 sinks from the US. Unbelievably, these were manufactured in Spain and then exported to the US. And now we are bringing them back to the UK.
The good news is that 2 of the sinks have arrived in the UK. They are being bonded to the worksurfaces today and are due to be installed on Thursday. With any luck, we can get the sinks plumbed in and the hob installed before the weekend.
The one remaining sink is due in next week. So hopefully, we will have the worksurfaces on the island installed next week.
The tiling in the kitchen is all done. And in just 4 days!
The grout will go off overnight and then in about a week’s time we should be able to turn the underfloor heating back on. It takes this long for the tile adhesive to fully set.
The last bits of upstand were installed this morning, then the whole of the floor has been grouted. We are using a slightly off white (actually Jasmine white) grout to blend in with the colour of the tiles.
It is difficult to see here, but we are using jasmine white grout to blend in with tiles. These should be dry enough to stand on tomorrow and then we can turn the underfloor heating on in about a week (we need to give the tile adhesive time to go off completely).
Almost of the tiles are down in the kitchen – there are just some upstands (tile skirtings) to install at one end of the kitchen.
Tomorrow, the tiles will be grouted before the kitchen appliances are installed on Friday. We are still waiting for an update on the sinks. Until these arrive, the granite worktops cannot be finished or installed. Last we heard, two out of three of them were on their way from Spain!
All of the cuts around the island unit have now been completed. The upstands (tile skirtings) have also been done. Grouting tomorrow.
The tile upstands (tile skirtings) are now in place as well as the tile step into the lounge – there will be timber flooring in the lounge. We have also tiled the window cill to the right of the step. Longer term, there will be some artwork here. The timber flooring in the lounge should be installed later this week (or maybe early next week).
There are a few cuts to do tomorrow plus the upstands (tiled skirtings). Then we should be ready to grout these tiles on Thursday. With any luck, we might get some of the kitchen appliances in before the weekend.
The first of the kitchen tiles were laid today. We hope that all the tiles will down in the kitchen by the end of the week.
It took a couple of hours to work out the best layout for the tiles, but once we start, the tiles go down very quickly.
On a less negative note, we believe that one of the three granite bowls are on their way from Spain. Unfortunately, two of them had overflows fitted 40mm from the bottom of the sink. This is no good for us as you couldn’t even stand a mug up in the sink because the overflow was so low.
With any luck, the one sink without the overflow will allow us to get the island worksurface installed towards the end of the week – hopefully, on Saturday. Godness knows when the other sinks will appear.
The first of the tiles are going down on the kitchen floor. It took John a couple of hours to work out the best way of laying the tiles.
Using a laser to lay the tiles. This ensures that the tiles are perfectly lined up.
End of day 1 and we now have a square of tiles right around the island unit. This is the quick bit. Next are the cut tiless that go around the edge of the kitchen. However, tomorrow it will be possible to walk on these tiles to access all of the kitchen.
Despite the installation of the kitchen being delayed by two weeks, the tiles arrived today. These are due to be fitted next week once the kitchen was fitted (or not). We will go ahead and complete the tiling anyway before the kitchen worksurfaces are installed.
These have been stacked in the porch out of the way. They will be laid next week.
It took about a week between ordering these tiles and them being delivered.
This is one of the kitchen tiles laid next to the new units. These tiles are 60×60 cms and are shipped 4 in a box.