Renovating an Investment Condo: Day 13 & 14- Granite and Lighting

We’re doing a lot of multi-tasking in the condo right now; working in almost all the rooms at the same time, but there are inevitable delays in any project like this one. For example, we couldn’t grout the bathroom floor because the electrician was coming to install a junction box for the new light fixture last night and had to be able to walk on the flooring.

So Alex installed the upper cabinets instead. I wanted them as close to the ceiling as possible, and since the ceiling isn’t straight (it’s off by about 1 1/4″),  he had to fiddle with them until I was happy, which meant taking them down and moving them higher.


This afternoon, Solo and Jimmy from Granstone came to install the new countertops.

I purchased 3/4″ Black Pearl granite which looks stunning. Turns out that one of the counter tops was a little short, however,  because Alex  thought Solo was aware that there was a filler (we had the design plans taped up on the wall), and Solo worked from the cabinets, assuming we would tell him if there was a filler, so apologies on that front for sure, Solo!  Anyway, Solo  was terrific, and either he or Jimmy will drop by some evening this week with the new piece. Big shout-out to Granstone for being  so great to deal with.  (Here’s a terrible picture of Solo and Jimmy: I really should have set the flash. Sorry, guys! I’ll do better next time!) DSCN1397

Remember that old kitchen? Once again; below is the “before.”


And here is the after, with the new granite: Just lovely. See how much bigger that space appears with the new 9″ depth cabinets? They also hide the  bulkhead that conceals the risers for up-down plumbing in the building.



I had planned to centre the goose neck faucet in the middle of the back of the sink, but it turns out that that area is not very deep, and with the pulling and pushing on it that is likely to occur, both Jimmy and Solo thought I should put it in one corner of the sink instead. I chose the one that has the blank wall, so I think it will look fine, but it meant I had to get Solo to hold the faucet in two or three different places while I re-oriented my design “vision” for that space.

We had another small  glitch when Jorge was putting up the drywall in the laundry room and I realized that Angel, the electrician, had put the new plug for the dryer high up on the wall, thinking it was a stacked washer and dryer. They’re side-by-side, so he rushed over to fix that problem so the guys could finish drywalling. DSCN1398And then he noticed that there was no plug for the washer, because the previous washer and dryer was a single unit and only used one. So, he’s fixed that too, and while he was at it, I asked him to put in a plug for an iron.

He’s going to do all new Decora switches and plugs for me, upgrade the thermostats for the baseboard heaters,  and move some things around, all for $ 250! Here’s Angel. (Gawd, I really do need a better camera.)

What he also did last night when he was over was install the  new lights and man, do they ever make a difference! Here’s the old MBR closet with those built-in pine cupboards, which I have almost finished painting over with white melamine. (I was going to farm out the drawers for spraying, but when I found out the cost, I decided to do it myself.  I have been painting them in the back yard and hope to be finished tomorrow.)


Here’s the after, with that gorgeous ribbon light, which I think is absolutely stunning.


There’s a second one of these beautiful ribbon lights in the foyer, but in chrome (the one in the MBR closet is brushed nickel). I think I mentioned in an earlier blog post that these were a high-low: the chrome came in at around $ 180 including taxes, at Living Lighting and the brushed nickel was about half that at Lowes. Same manufacturer! Same packaging too. But Lowes only carries the brushed nickel one and I really liked the chrome (assembly required.)


Angel  also installed the new chandalier in the dining room. Only half the bulbs are in place and the arms are pushed up to allow room for us to move things around underneath, but once we have the kitchen appliances in, we’ll add the other bulbs and I’ll adjust the arms to flatten it out. Talk about a statement piece! I love it!


Chad, the plumber (he works with Scott at Aqua Plumbing), is back on Thursday so we are racing to get everything done so that he can connect the shower, both sinks, and appliances.  That means mudding and taping  the new bathroom drywall in the hope that I will be able to sand things down, prime and paint tomorrow  before the vanity goes in. (I have a feeling I’ll be racing the clock on that one.)

Meanwhile, we ran out of 3 x 12″ subway tiles to finish the tub surround yesterday. We were only  two short, but there was a power outage at Cash and Carry Carpet, where I bought them, because of yesterday’s thunderstorms. That meant I couldn’t get the ones we needed until today since George couldn’t get into his stock room. Alex did what he could; he will try to finish that tomorrow morning. (The box hanging down is for the new Nu-tone fan and you can see that they put up new drywall where yesterday there were studs.)


The only thing I changed my mind about is the tile grout. I was going to do a warm gray, the same colour we are using on the floor tiles, but the ceiling once again isn’t level and you can really notice it at the top row of tiles. I think showing the grout lines will draw the eye to that problem, so I ran back to Lowes on Innes Road and swapped the gray grout for white. (Alex above, insists that Mapei brand is the best grout to use, and they are the only store that carries it.)

Tomorrow morning, we are going to meet at Home Depot early to pick up baseboard for the bathroom and laundry room, and a sliding barn door for the master bedroom closet. And then Alex and Jorge are going to work their butts off to try to get everything done for Chad’s arrival Thursday while I run off to do a home inspection!


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