Thursday, January 7, 2016

New Cooktop

When we bought this house it had a Jenn-Air cooktop.  One of the burners would only light with a lighter.  I guess I could have bought a new igniter, but it had so many other problems that I didn't want to fix that and then replace it. 


It had a downdraft in the middle of the cooktop to grill when you switched out the burners.  This meant all the drawers below had giant holes cut in them and were mostly unusable.  Who would grill in the house?  Only crazy people.  The cleanup alone would be enough to put me off.  That is why outdoor grills were invented!

The worst problem was that the low heat was medium heat on any other cooktop.  This meant soup or rice could scorch on the bottom.  It you turned the burners below low, then the flame would flicker and may go out.  That would be dangerous.  So don't do that.

After eight years of fixing other, more urgent needs, we finally replaced the cooktop.  Naturally the one I wanted was VERY pricey and had a different cutout from the Jenn-Air.  Our granite counters were not installed in one piece with a cutout for the cooktop.  They had put in one piece on one side and another on the other.  The parts under the cooktop were installed as separate pieces.  I imagine this was a cheaper option.

The piece in the front of the cooktop was installed poorly.  It was tipped forward and down so that there was an obvious ridge at each end.

I have wanted to tile behind the cooktop.  And I didn't want to add tile above the granite backsplash, so we decided to remove the granite backsplash and use it to cut the new pieces for the cooktop. 


The guy from Rock Fab in Roanoke came out and warned us that it was unlikely to come off in one piece.  If installed correctly the backsplash would have to be pounded out and the plaster would be damaged and the granite would be in pieces.  So the good news is the original installers did a poor job there, also. 


It came off in two pieces and we had plenty to fix the front and back pieces to install the cooktop.  It looks great and I highly recommend them.

I am still researching tile backsplashes, but in the meantime I have a fabulous cooktop.


It has two burners that are super low.  They cycle on and off automatically, so that you can keep chocolate melted or fondue at the perfect temperature with no scorching or stirring necessary.  It has one burner with high intensity to boil a giant pan of water for pasta.  The burners are star shaped instead of a circle.  This means the heat is more evenly distributed over the bottom of the pan.

I wish I was getting paid to tell you all these fabulous things.  But I'm not. 


Now I have to repair the plaster.  There are two holes where the pry bar popped through the plaster when removing the backsplash.

First I cut a small piece of a wooden shim and tied a string around it.  I maneuvered it behind the hole in the plaster and held it in place with the string.  I filled the hole with spackling compound and let it dry. 


When you are repairing a big hole the compound will shrink as it dries.  I cut the string and smeared some more compound over the hole.  I placed some mesh over the compound and pressed it in with a taping knife.  I added more compound to cover the mesh.


I think the other hole is too big to use the mesh.  I am worried that when the grout is pushed in to the tile, it will be too much for the repair and sink in.  This would be bad.


I bought a hole patch with metal and mesh and fitted it over the hole.  I pressed some compound in to the mesh around the edges.


When everything dries I will sand it smooth and then it can be tiled over.

We went to Home Depot to order new drawer boxes from Thomasville.  (I am going to get DRAWERS!)  I found something to rub into the stainless cooktop to protect it from spills and stains.  It is supposed to act like wax on a car.  I put two coats on.  It doesn't say how often I will need to use it.  Guess I will find out.


But now I am back in the cooking business.  I made SOUP! 

The only problem is now I need to replace the double ovens.  They don't cook evenly and a convection oven will fix that!  They don't match my new stainless cooktop, but a new one will fix that!  The new one I want has a smaller cutout, but I can build a shelf and buy some trim from Thomasville to fix that!  And all for only THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!  How do I fix that??


  1. Congrats on getting a nice cooktop. The low temps sound great!

  2. We used RockFab for our granite countertops a couple of years ago and they did a fabulous job for us. Can't wait to see your kitchen space when all is done with the backsplash! We also installed a new gas cooktop... we had electric when we bought the house but of course Hubby insisted on gas. It cooks nice! Ours also has a large center burner with 4 smaller ones. Hope you enjoy yours. xox

  3. Looks like you will soon have a great cooking area after all this work, Rebecca. I do miss our gas stove which was so much better to use, but the apt only has electric appliances. We also don't have a microwave and after a year can say it's nit missed in the least. Looking forward to seeing your completed project.