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Kitchen Photos: 16 Sep 2002



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The old kitchen. In this 10x12 space, there's only 32" of space between the front of the range (partially hidden by the knife block) and the edge of the sink counter. The compactor is in the island, not visible here, facing the dishwasher door at the right. You can't open both the compactor and the dishwasher at the same time.

The cabinets shown in the island are only 3" deep inside – to allow room for range and compactor – only good for spices, bottles, and some narrow things. To the right of the range there are four full-depth drawers. Not much storage under the island. We had replaced the butcher-block island countertop with Wilsonart SSV solid-surface material.

There is about 28" of space between the fridge and the island; this was 5" worse before we installed the counter-depth refrigerator.

In the right foreground, outside the photo, is the eating area. The traffic pattern is abysmal: microwave, toaster-oven, and coffee jammed in a corner. Dishes and glassware in the wall cabinets over the toaster-oven. Fridge far from the table. Everyone walks around the counter on both sides to get anywhere! The dishwasher blocks most of the space between island and sink counters.

There is another 16"-deep countertop to the left, outside the photo, dividing kitchen and living room. There are five base cabinets and drawers here, which helps tremendously with storage.

This room was gutted and turned into a TV/stereo area, since it's open to the living room.

The New Kitchen (above) is an added room, extending the house west beyond the old eating area. The room is 17x28, about 475sqft.





Looking east. This photo is taken from the NW corner, in the dining area. The archway looks into the old kitchen. The archway is in a double-thick wall: we cut out the bay window and framed a full four walls for the new room, then joined it to the existing exterior wall. Thus there was no need to bring the old room up to current California earthquake codes.

The short wall in the center is about 60" tall; its purpose is mainly to hide the cooking area from guests as they enter through the archway. They'll see the view first, then can turn and see the business-area of the kitchen. It also provides a convenient place for the heating thermostat, a light switch, and an outlet (not visible here). The two boxes near the top provide power, CAT5, and coax lines for the top of the cabinets in that corner. I don't know what will go atop them, but it's a nice display area, so wiring it made sense. The small white block in the sun is a GFCI outlet that will end up inside a cabinet containing a small microwave for use while I cook. (The other, larger, micro will sit on the countertop along the sink wall.)

The island, about 4x8ft, will go where that block of wood is on the floor; there will be two stools about where the loop is in the extension cord. It'll be 42" from the front of the range at the left. There's a full 36" between the end of the short wall and the edge of the island.

Two 90"-tall pantry cabinets go in the right rear corner. They'll cover the black vent pipes down near the floor. The two boxes near the ceiling in that corner provide power and coax for a small FM radio atop the tall cabinet. French doors open onto the front deck, which continues to the front door on the east side of the old kitchen. This deck opens onto the driveway, for easy access by guests (or when we buy groceries).

Naturally, you can't miss the Techlighting Monorail track lighting, which I installed a few days before shooting the photo (15 Sep 2002). More details follow later in the story.

Skylights are 2x4ft; the pair shown can be cranked open. One above the archway (not visible, but that's its shaft of light) and over the main sink are fixed.

The hood is a 54" Vent-A-Hood Emerald model, 600cfm. It's mounted so that it will be about 72-73" above the finished floor, or about 36" above the range.






The view, looking west.We overlook a county park and the Pacific Ocean. The photo is taken from about the archway area, looking west. No, that isn't our dining table, but that's where it will go. You can see the screens on the outermost windows; they're casements for the prevailing ocean breeze, which comes right at this corner. The light on the floor is from the skylight over the main sink, to the left outside the frame.





Closeup of view. The visible houses are the only ones that can be built here, so the view is unblockable. The county park is where the flagpole is. Behind the row of cypress trees (seen in the leftmost window) is a coarse sandy beach. It's not a swimming beach, so it has no crowds. Every July 4, the park is packed all day for the town festivities, followed by the fireworks show from the beach behind the park. I thought we had ringside seats before, but the view from this window is even better!





The South Wall. The double main sinks will be centered under the four-foot-wide window where the shop vac sits. The only upper cabinets will go between the window and the west wall (about where the ladder is now.) This entire wall is countertop and base cabinets (actually drawer bases) from the milk crate to the corner at the right.






Looking northeast, from the main sink toward the range. The light areas on the north wall, flanking the range area, are from the skylights above the island (seen in the first photo.)






The floor. The room has hydronic radiant heating. The subfloor is built from WarmBoard panels, which are a composition-ply material similar to 1-1/8" plywood. The top (green) surface is a 1/32" layer of aluminum. Grooves every 12 inches hold cross-linked polyethelene (PEX) tubing, which carries hot water to heat the room.

Typical hydronic installations are done by attaching tubing to a plywood subfloor, then pouring a layer of cement or concrete over the tubes. The finished floor is then applied atop the concrete. Other systems install the tubing below the floor, with metal reflector sheets below the tubes to reflect heat upward. The WarmBoard system is more efficient and has quicker response than those traditional systems. The tubes are glued down and the finished floor applied. Tubing can be farther apart than with traditional methods, because the increased efficiency requires lower heat.

The WarmBoard panels come with either a full 8-foot set of parallel grooves, or there are U-turn panels with turns at each foot. Using a router bit supplied by WarmBoard, we routed several custom u-turns into the floor to reverse the tubing direction, so that no tubes run under any cabinetry, appliances, or the island. This serves two purposes: the cabinets are not heated, and the cabinet installers won't damage tubing if they attach to the floor.

One run of tubing ducks beneath t