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Granite Sings to my Soul

December 21, 2012

dining tableThe granite installers from Walker Stone (Paducah, KY) came today, lugging five pieces of  “African Tapestry” granite for my kitchen counter tops and peninsula dining table.I love the lines flowing through it and the quartz crystal detail. It literally sings to my soul. No, it’s not totally black like I thought I’d go with in the beginning, nor is it the “Birth of the Universe” piece I was so crazy about. (That piece was either sold or when they brought it out into the light of day, it looked so different, it had no energy for me and I had to give up on it. African Tapestry was a close second though and I am delighted with my decision.

I built my own lower kitchen cabinets and was new-parent worried that they wouldn’t support the weight of the granite. Three-quarter inch birch plywood held together with glue, nails, AND screws… They are holding up just fine and I am reaffirmed in my belief that homemade cabinets beat pressed wood cabinets from Lowes for strength. Now for the asthetics…Am going to go with simple doors that I will treat with bamboo veneer.

I spent three days this past week building a pedestal for the table. That darned thing was incredibly hard to make solid so it wouldn’t jiggle. It took me several tries and a few all-nighters to get it right. Had to  drill through the floor in sixteen places and bolt the frame to cross-wise 2×4’s under the floor in the basement. As my design for a narrow pedestal would be expected to support over 800 pounds of granite and steel, I had to be certain that it would be totally rock solid. Then another little detail to deal with were the fourteen inch extensions all around the perimeter. They meant I either use corbels or steel supports for the granite. Granite is strong but still needs something to rest on. I dislike corbels because people are always banging their knees on them. Enter my ex-husband.

As an expert metal fabricator, Vegan of Vegan Metal Fabricators designed and built me a double layer of 3/16’s inch steel plate. His workers practiced kickboxing the installed piece of steel and we tried to get everyone in the house to climb up and SIT on it- not a jiggle. I was so impressed. Occasionally, an ex-husband comes in mighty handy. Never mind the fact that I still have to PAY him for this.

During my granite exploration, I discovered the incredible beauty of “exotics.” I decided to make granite an art form in my humble home whenever possible.  Here is a scene from today’s install where the guys from Walker Stone installed a 200 pound piece of veined marble on my hallway wall. They cut away the drywall and beefed up the 2×4’s with 2×6 cross members. Then they slathered both epoxy AND silicone on the wood and literally GLUED the granite directly to the wall studs. Here they are screwing in shims to keep it in place until the adhesives harden. Tomorrow I wouldn’t be able to tear it off the wall if I tried. Will touch up the drywall around the perimeter and paint it a color to make the marble pop. I’ve got a track light to install above it for added effect. I call it “A Force of Nature” as the veins are reminiscent of a tornado and rain.

putting up wall granite

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan Munroe permalink
    December 25, 2012 12:20 pm

    BEAUTIFUL! It sounds like you did a great job.

    Anything is stronger than pressed wood, esp if it gets damp.

    You’re one of those kids who liked to throw rocks, aren’t you? And now you’re going to collect them — love it!



    • December 26, 2012 9:11 am

      Thanks, Sue. Actually, I was always one of those kids that collected rocks and fossils. I can SKIM rocks pretty good though given a body of water.


  2. December 23, 2012 6:50 am

    Thanks to both of you. It might not turn out perfect or as impactful as I’d envisioned, but every project makes me feel closer to “fine.” It’s addictive.


  3. Kimberly permalink
    December 22, 2012 2:03 pm

    You are reminding me of my ‘handyman’ mother. She was always building cool projects for the home, like extra shelving in unused spaces and an ‘in-wall cabinet’ in a too small bathroom. Always with such artistic flair. Go you!


  4. December 21, 2012 10:27 pm

    you never cease to amaze me 😉 I love your talent, creativity and the sweetness of your soul!
    Love you!
    Lunch soon!


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