12 January 2012

Kitchen Aid

"If you give a mouse a cookie..."

I could write a grown up version of this beloved children's tale - "If You Fix a Leaky Faucet". Or something like that.

That's how it started. My faucet leaked. For ages.

One day, [nerd alert] I quietly slid a cup under the faucet, averting my eyes so I couldn't catch myself proactively trying to figure out anything about that faucet. After five minutes, I measured the amount of water in the cup, ran some numbers, and figured that faucet was losing over two gallons of water every. single. day. [/nerd alert]

My previous attempt to fix the faucet (three months ago) involved changing the O-ring under (above?) the aerator. Didn't work, and I ignored it for...well, three months.

So I decided to buy a faucet. I went to Home Depot, which is much like a bookstore to me, in that I could bankrupt us if it weren't for wasting our money on those luxuries like utilities, house and car payments, food... I put my metaphoric blinders on and made a beeline for the faucets. Okay, not exactly a beeline - I detoured through the tile to drool over the tile saws just a little.

In the faucet aisle, I found a very nice brushed nickel faucet for a very reasonable $88. I had already decided that I wanted a nicer faucet than the construction-grade-bought-in-bulk faucet leaking in my sink. That wouldn't be difficult to accomplish, really. So I chose the brushed nickel faucet to match the handles on my cabinets and drawers. I wonder who decided that brushed nickel complimented orangey maple cabinets?

Just for kicks, because I am familiar with how Home Depot often hides their clearance items in plain sight, I scanned the shelves looking for the yellow clearance tag. Found several tags... for only 10% off, or on ugly faucets, and worse, 10% off an ugly faucet. Then I found one that made me blink, squint, wonder if I needed new glasses, and finally bend down to examine closer - $100 off! A Tuscan bronze faucet! For $35, I forgave the single handle-ness of that gorgeous faucet, and bought it. No brushed nickel for my kitchen! I quite like the look of oiled bronze, or as they called it, Tuscan bronze.

Thursday morning, while my kiddos were getting ready for school, seemed like a great time for starting a faucet exchange program. Because a fifth grader and a sixth grader have no need for mom's supervision or for using the kitchen sink while getting ready for school. hahahaha! I put a kink or two in their morning routines, and nearly broke my back a few times, making sure they were out the door on time. But out the door they went, and under the sink I went. Of course, my horizontal tummy offered the purrfect vantage point for Patches to supervise my work.

I'll spare you the gory, back bruising details.

Three hours later, my faucet was gleaming quite nicely. I'm pretty sure it winked at me. The thing probably knew what was coming, and was having a moment of amusement at my expense.

My darling husband came home and liked the faucet so much that it reminded him that we had other ideas for the kitchen, like the Giani Granite paint kit for painting the counters to look like granite, and getting a new sink, and well, the food waste disposer wasn't working, and the faucet matched nothing in the room.

Oh dear... we were giving a mouse a cookie.

Yes, that very evening, we bought paint, sink, and food waste disposer, and electrical cord for said disposer because oddly, the gizmo does not come with a cord attached! Isn't that helpful?

And by 6pm that evening, I was removing the faucet I had installed that very morning. And the sink. And taking all the stuff off the counters to scrub them.

If you want an inexpensive way to change the look of your kitchen, I highly recommend the paint kits sold by Giani Granite. Over the next few days, Our counters went from white-ish and plain to glossy and looking much like a real granite counter top. Very pretty, and significantly less costly than actual granite.

Once the counters were finished, it was time to drop in the new sink. My husband and I attached the disposal to our new sink, installed the drain kits, and lifted the sink up and over...

Guess what?

The drains on the new sink did not align with the old plumbing. Three days of having no kitchen sink were wearing on us, and this last hurdle seemed almost insurmountable.

After some studying, I figured out that all the straight pipes needed to be shortened. I snapped a few pics of the plumbing and ran off to Lowe's, where I match the pieces of the plumbing puzzle. Once at home, I grabbed my hack saw and started working. It was time consuming, not difficult. In fact, I was able to use more of the existing plumbing than I originally thought.

The next morning, I plugged everything in, turned on the water, gave the plumbing collars a final hand tightening, and...

nothing exploded.

All worked fine.

Now? The cabinet handles don't match my faucet...