Completing a Kitchen After 20 Years

Wooden bar
Extending the countertop provides space for a bar overlooking the Estes’ pool.

Extend countertop under window

Michelle wants to extend the countertop past the kitchen window so it becomes a bar — perfect for looking out at the couple’s pool.

The new bar top we’re putting under this window goes right underneath the window sill, so we need to remove the apron before we can install it.

Meanwhile, our electrician, Jeremy, installs two light fixtures (from Linea di Liara) that Michelle has purchased.

Install shelving

Shelf for hanging pots and pans
This shelf will place pots and pans within arm’s reach.

Michelle wants a place to hang pots and pans so they’re easy to grab, so we’re adding a shelf with hooks.

We drill into the mortar joints to install the pot and pan rack (it’s much easier to drill into those than old-school oven-made bricks!)

Michelle also wants to display family pictures and maybe a small plant on open shelving by the bar, so we use scrap wood from the countertops to add staggered floating shelving.

We use dowels — spaced apart 16 inches so they hit the wall’s studs — to attach the shelves.

Post-Production Thoughts

Danny, Chelsea and homeowners Michelle and Chris Estes
Danny, Chelsea and homeowners Chris and Michelle Estes

Chris and Michelle’s kitchen renovation has been ongoing for decades, so even their past improvements had become dated, and they didn’t fit their new lifestyle as empty nesters.
But with a few simple changes, we’ve given the room an entirely new feel.

The new wood countertops add warmth and style that was missing before our work began.
The new kitchen sink is not only enormous, but its clean lines and contemporary style also give the kitchen new life and vitality.
And the bar and pendant lights we added in front of the window extend that feeling throughout the whole space while making the kitchen better suit Chris and Michelle’s lifestyle.
Plus, the floating shelves, and the pot rack, give the room even more style.

And we did it all in just three days, with less than $1,500 in materials.

Other Tips from This Episode

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini: Find Wood Imperfections with Mineral Spirits

You can spot wood imperfections with this pre-staining process. Watch video.

Best New Products with Jodi Marks: Finally! A Light, Ergonomic Carbon Fiber Tacker

DeWalt’s Carbon Fiber Tacker is strong as steel but 50% lighter, and it’s also 25% easier to squeeze.Watch video.

Watch and Learn: How to Finish & Install Wood Countertops

Butcher block is one of the more affordable types of countertop, and installing it is easy. Here’s the step-by-step process. Watch video.


  1. A year ago I had granite countertops installed in my kitchen. Someone asked is I sealed the granite. How does one keep granite clean?

  2. I like the butcher block countertop. I currently have a new dual mount sink with my old laminate kitchen countertop. When I replace my countertop in the future and if I wanted to do a butcher block countertop, can an undermount sink be used with a butcher block countertop? Thank you.

    • Hi, Kathy!
      It’s possible — just seal that butcher block tight! Waterlox is a great option.
      Good luck!

  3. Do not like the little connector piece of wood between the counter top and bar top. Everything else is nice.

  4. We are planning a move, and I’m totally over granite. We are looking at butcher block as a possibility, but I don’t know how thick it should be. Any ideas?

    • Hi, Mary Alice! That’s up to you, but generally, butcher block countertops are between 2 and 12 inches thick.

  5. I am in need of a new “Flush Button” (2 buttons) for my EcoFlush toilet.
    Is such available and what is the cost?
    (There are several numbers stamped on the inside of the tank:
    4339, 4349 & 4349 There is also: 2020)
    Please advise.


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