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Backsplash and Knife Bar


gotzero
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We replaced an over-the-stove microwave with a dedicated vent hood as a trial. We ended up loving the hood, and then thought about what to do with the now-exposed drywall. 

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We were unable to get a match for the backsplash tile, and we have a LOT of backsplash, so ripping it all out was not really an option. We thought about dropping the vent hood/getting a lower vent hood (rejected because we really liked the more open space above the stove), using non-matching tile, stainless steel over the drywall, stainless steel from the hood to the stove removing a little tile, etc. We could not settle on any of these options so I decided to try and match the other thing in the area besides the tile and steel, which was the cherry wood of our cabinets. 

 

I went and got a beautiful wide cherry board, and spent a lot of time working it down to ever smaller dimensions as I was unhappy with glueups and could not make a flat and stable surface at the dimensions needed with the grain going the right direction. After a great deal of trial and error, I gave up and went to the specialty plywood supplier and got a beautiful sheet of cherry veneer ¾” plywood and got to work. Surprisingly easy to match the cabinet stain (at least for now, who knows how it will darken with time). Routed out a lip to overlay the board on the tile, got everything correctly dimensioned, and did a test fit. 

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Next, I started working on a contrasting maple knife bar. Found a great piece of figured maple and a pile of neodymium magnets and got routing based on how I assumed this would work from posts from BenS on here and other Internet searches. Rounded corners, did a deep dado cut for magnets, filled in gap behind magnets with stable filler plywood, and figured out how to get everything mounted up without any visible hardware (while still being stable enough horizontally and vertically to hold knives). 

 

Cherry veneer is stained and sealed, plywood should be temperature stable, and the maple is simply treated with mineral oil, like a cutting board. Got to cover up the unsightly bare drywall and add a little bit of storage space in the process. Thanks to this forum for the advice about knife bars, knives, and general cooking passion!

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Well done.My parents had a dedicated vent hood in their house.  They are so awesome.

I have been stuck with the over the stove microwave and fan. No way for me to convert in this house.

 

Are you microwave-less now? 

 

I could go either way, as the microwave is not really that big of deal for us.

 

M.

 

 

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3 hours ago, mike echo said:

Well done.My parents had a dedicated vent hood in their house.  They are so awesome.

I have been stuck with the over the stove microwave and fan. No way for me to convert in this house.

 

Are you microwave-less now? 

 

I could go either way, as the microwave is not really that big of deal for us.

 

M.

 

 

 

The dedicated vent is an improvement, but still not as nice as I like. I have a very well sealed house so I can feel a huge difference using it when I pop a door or window to allow some intake.

 

If it was just me, I could probably take it or leave it. However, I have tiny kids that sometimes need to eat something hot NOW, and for that purpose I cannot see living without it. We bought one that will fit in a cabinet but it is currently on the counter where it will probably sit for three years.

 

My wife has her eye on a microwave/oven instead of our double oven, but I am hoping to hold that off at the very least until the ovens break. The price premium for built-ins sometimes blows my mind. 

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Looks nice!

One thing you might keep an eye on is that any of those knives that are not stainless steel blades will likely be exposed to more water vapor being right above the stove. Probably want to make sure you keep them lightly oiled to lessen the chances of them developing rust spots.

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  • 6 months later...

Great creative idea to use the space.  The contrast between the cherry and the figured maple is really nice.  You said you cut a dado and inset with magnets and filled in the gap behind them with plywood filler.  Was that done to provide a mounting surface other than above and below the magnets, or was there a difference in the thickness of the magnets vs the maple that needed to be addressed?

 

What type of fasteners did you use?

 

Thanks,

 

Steve

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