DIY Kitchen Remodel

DIY Kitchen Remodel

I am happy to say that our DIY Kitchen Remodel is done and

we spent just a little over $5,000!

We purchased our home over eight years ago and the plan then was to remodel the kitchen shortly after we moved in. Well, that did not happen…many other projects were completed on our home, but this particular project got put on hold for years.

During this time the appliances were replaced, a wall was removed, a new stove hood was installed; however, the ugly countertops remained. I could have lived with the cabinets and we honestly considered painting them and just replacing the counter-tops, but in the end we decided to replace both the countertop and cabinets. Instead of choosing the quartz countertop that was my first choice for $4400 and putting them on top of so-so cabinets we chose an inexpensive countertop so we had room in the budget for the cabinets I really wanted. We know that we can easily upgrade the countertop in the future if we wish.

I researched and then researched some more on products, just because I didn’t want to spend a lot on our DIY kitchen remodel didn’t mean I didn’t want and nice outcome and the most bang for my buck. There are SO many choices it is paralyzing! We are considering building a new home in the next couple of years if we can find the right piece of property, so that gave us even more of a reason to not overspend and make wise choices.

Our Product Choices for our DIY Kitchen Remodel

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DIY Kitchen Remodel

DIY Kitchen Remodel Cabinets

Our JK Cabinetry white maple cabinets were ordered online from Denver Cabinet Express, and we must have measured four times to confirm everything was correct. JK Cabinetry cabinets are pre-assembled, solid wood cabinets with soft close doors and drawers. I have to say I really enjoy the soft closing feature; for me it is now a necessity, (kind of like heated car seats have become).DIY Kitchen Remodel JK Cabinetry dovetail drawer

We made no changes to the overall layout of the kitchen simply because of its shape and plumbing connections there weren’t any reasonable options. However, we did change a couple of cabinet sizes and styles. Instead of 2-18″ base cabinets, we did 1- 36″ cabinet with drawers and instead of 1- 24″ and 1- 12″ single door we put in 2-18″ that were glass ready to display my colorful Fiesta Ware. Our old upper cabinets were only 30″ tall and we replaced them with 36″ tall cabinets. This did not give us an extra shelf but it definitely gave us extra space!

We ordered 1/8” “Seedy Glass” panels locally for the two glass ready cabinets.

Because we live within 50 miles of the Kent, Washington warehouse they were able to get our cabinets delivered to our home. It was well worth the $250 cost, especially since they were assembled we would have had to rent a truck to get them home.

I took pictures of my old cabinets when they were still installed in my kitchen and listed them on Craigslist. They sold the same day for their listed price of $500! Thankfully the person that purchased the cabinets didn’t need them for a couple of weeks so the transaction worked out well for both of us. Selling them while they were still installed was the best way to market them and they showed much better.

DIY Kitchen Remodel Butcher Block Countertop

Like I said previously, quartz would have been my first choice but trying to keep the budget low for our DIY kitchen remodel we decided on butcher block from Cabinets To Go.  It is less expensive to order in-store than online, so we ordered from the Kent, Washington location. The countertops are special order so it took a couple of weeks for them to arrive. We ordered 2- 25″x12′ for the cabinet countertop, and 1- 36″x76″ for the freestanding island.

To cut the sink and faucet holes we used a router with a  Bosch 1/4″x1″ Straight/Mortising bit . Due to the thickness of the wood, Marcus had to make at least five passes with the router.  The other cuts were made using a circular saw with a new blade attached. All the cuts turned out great!

DIY Kitchen Remodel Dining Room

DIY Kitchen Remodel Finish for Butcher Block -WaterLox

After much research about how to finish our butcher block we choose to purchase a gallon of the Waterlox Original Sealer/Finish 350VOC partly because it would allow you to have an under-mount sink (a top priority for me in the remodel). This product provides a water-resistant finish, however it IS NOT waterproof. The product was not as easy to use as we initially hoped, and we phoned the company a couple of times with questions. They were super helpful, knowledgeable, and kind and gave us some great tips. Based on what they said the low VOC formula actually stinks more and performs not as well as their regular formula. Amazon carries all the Waterlox products including the Original Formula.

On the top side of all the countertop we applied four coats of the Waterlox. Since the sink side was the “wet” side of the kitchen, it was recommended to treat the underside, so we treated the bottom side with three coats. We also installed a sheet of stainless steel (recommended) above the dishwasher to avoid moisture getting trapped between the dishwasher and counter.

Reference the Waterlox Kitchen and Bathroom Countertop guide for questions.

I am happy with the end result and they look beautiful!

DIY Kitchen Remodel Undermount sink and orchids

DIY Kitchen Remodel Mosaic Tile for Backsplash

DIY Kitchen Remodel backsplashShopping for backsplash became a hobby of mine. I wanted a simple, clean, smooth look with just a touch of color. Subway tile had been a consideration but I really didn’t want white tile next to the white cabinets with no texture. Every time I would go into a store that carried tile I would browse the tile section.

One day I hit the jackpot at Costco!. Usually Costco only has one style of tile and I had only seen earth tones previously but they finally came thru for me with the perfect mosaic tile. The backsplash is a mixture of frosted class, clear glass and marble and the price was amazing! I purchased boxes with five sheets for what I was looking to pay for one sheet. I made sure I bought plenty since I knew my chances of finding it again was zero.

To install the mosaic tile, we used adhesive mat instead of thin-set. We choose MusselBound which comes in a roll, there is another option called Simple Mat. I can see the benefit of Simple Mat because we had an issue with the MusselBound rolling up on its self when we were trying to attach it to the wall. The adhesive mat makes it easy to do your project in small sections, however, because our wall was irregular the thin-set option may have been better for us.

For grout we used Mapei ready-to-use premixed premium grout in white. The nice thing about this grout is that is for wet areas, stain resistant, and never needs sealing.

For sealing the marble tile we used Miracle Tile, Stone & Grout Sealer.

DIY Kitchen Remodel Cabinet Hardware

DIY Kitchen Remodel hardwareOnce our cabinets were installed it became time to decide on hardware. My preference was stainless steel with some weight to it. Locally, we looked at everything and finally found one style of handle that would work on all the doors and drawers made by Liberty Hardware. We purchased a few from a big box store and installed them on the cabinets we could not open without handles and ordered the balance of them from We were also able to get the same handles in a larger size to replace the handles on the Ikea free-standing island, so all the handles now match in the kitchen. By ordering from we found significant savings.


DIY Kitchen Remodel Stainless SinkDIY Kitchen Remodel Hahn kitchen sink

Never did I think I could love a kitchen sink this much, but boy did we make the right choice with the Hahn Extra Large Single Bowl Stainless Kitchen Sink. We had an old white cast iron Kohler double sink that the finish had worn off of; and it was difficult to keep it clean. With it’s size and configuration, it was always difficult to clean large items and our counters would collect the dishes prior to washing. It is so nice to be able to wash a full cookie sheet and do large cooking/baking project clean-ups in the sink with lots of room to spare.


Other Items we replaced over the years that were not a part of our DIY Kitchen Remodel budget:

Hansgrohe Brushed Stainless Kitchen Faucet

Valore Cascade Under Cabinet Range Hood

Sea Gull 6519EN-98 Painted Shade Pendant, 1-Light 9 Watts, Brushed Stainless

Sliding Barn Door for laundry room/pantry

Varde Ikea Island – no longer available – we found ours on Craigslist

Cost breakdown of our DIY Kitchen Remodel   
Kitchen Cabinets 3854.35
Cabinet Delivery (within 50 miles) 250.00
Butcher Block Countertops / Island 560.00
WaterLox 107.85
Tile 110.67
Cabinet Hardware 145.47
Sink 293.48
Glass  76.09
Adhesive mat for tile 54.31
Tile and stone sealer 10.22
Grout 58.79
Sheet of stainless steel for above dishwasher –approximate– 20.00
Electrical box extenders, new covers (approximate) 20.00
Sold old cabinets as complete set on Craigslist -500.00
Total 5061.23

Colliers Living Life DIY Kitchen Remodel