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A Reader Inspired Change for My Kitchen

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Today I am turning the tables here on the blog.

I am sharing something vintage, but brand shiny new for my kitchen. Adding this item wasn’t an idea I came up with though. It was inspired by one of you… a reader.

A few months ago, Shari R. wrote to me about something she uses in her kitchen. She wrote:

I can’t remember if I ever shared this with you when you first did the countertop makeover …
Your “wood” cutting board insert to the left of your cooktop looks like the Vance Industries Surface Saver I had/have in my previous and current homes. If you are interested in replacing the wood-look section with something that blends in more with your countertop, you might be able to get a replacement insert

1970's brown wood Kitchen before makeover

Say what? The original tempered glass cutting board in my kitchen before I made it over was 40+ years old – from the 1970’s Avocado Green decorating era. I didn’t even consider when making over the kitchen that the company that made the cutting board still existed or what that company was even called.

Butcher block cutting board in set in kitchen counter with stainless steel friend.

All I knew was that I didn’t want the avocado color, so when making over my kitchen, I figured out a way to fill the cut-out in the counter by having a large wood cutting board I bought at HomeGoods cut to size to place in the original metal frame.

Photo of a kitchen painted white.

This worked and looked just fine for a few years, I was very happy with it. But, time changes things – like the color of my kitchen floor.

Over the summer, goodbye orange floor, hello… Bona stained floor in the color of Driftwood Grey.

After the floor update, the color of the butcher block, even though we didn’t use it to cut things on (I wanted to keep it as nice as possible) was becoming orange with age. I didn’t like how it looked anymore.

So when Shari wrote telling me what the tempered glass cutting board I originally had was called, I did a Google search and found that the company was still around and they even had a website.

The cutting boards are still sold, no longer in avocado green, but in more neutral colors… white, beige, black, grey graphic grid, and even a few with floral motifs.

Still available after 40+ years!

Here is how the company describes their product:

Built-In Surface Saver® allows you to build a tempered glass cutting board right into your countertop, providing a sanitary, durable, heat-resistant surface that resists stains and odors. Often used to repair damaged countertops, the Surface Saver can be installed into an existing surface or a new installation.

How to install a Vance Tempered Glass Surface Saver

Since my countertop already had the cut-out opening, I looked on the website to see if they still sold the board in white in the size I needed. They did… on Amazon. I bought it.

We did have to trim a little of the counter at each corner with a jigsaw for a perfect fit, but once we did that…

Vance Tempered Glass Surface Saver cutting board set in the counter.

…the shiny, brand new, 40+ year old tempered glass cutting board fit right in. :-)

Once the cut-out in the counter is made, the cutting board pops right in. It is secured with screw-on clips that are attached underneath. All I needed was a Phillips head screwdriver to install it.

Grapefruit being cut on a tempered glass in-set in counter cutting board.

What I am loving about it is that it is so easy to keep clean. I can even actually use the area now to cut things or place items hot out of the oven on. Unlike the butcher block that stained easily and began to have an odor.

Tempered glass in counter cutting board on kitchen counter

Being able to cut anything now without having to bring out a cutting board is also extra nice since my kitchen counters are painted Formica to look like Carrara marble that we can’t cut or put anything hot down on.

free standing island for small kitchens

My kitchen is small, so I have to be creative in finding ways for it to best function for our needs.

Last year, I added a rolling metal industrial style table to the center of the kitchen to act as a kitchen island. It has been wonderful. Now I could not imagine my kitchen without it.

Small kitchen counter with glass cutting board in-set into counter.

I think that is what my new, but vintage style, tempered glass cutting board is going to become for me – How did I live without it?

How to Hang Framed Art on a Tiled Kitchen Backsplash

Update: A few readers have left comments asking how I hung the framed art that I bought at Hobby Lobby on the tile backsplash shown in the photo above.

I used Command Brand Picture Hanging Strips.

  • To hang a picture frame on a kitchen counter backsplash, use Command Brand Picture Hanging Strips. If you are not familiar with these, they come in different sizes to be used with light, medium or heavier weighted objects. I used 2 of the medium size to hang this frame.

One thing I truly enjoy about writing a blog is the interaction I can have with readers far and wide. All of you hold ideas and knowledge about so many things.

Since other readers can read all the comments in any post, it is a great place to share ideas that can help someone you may not know in real life.

So don’t hesitate to comment on posts when you have ideas to share. All of us can benefit from your knowledge.

Thanks Shari for telling me what you knew. XO

Photos showing the process for installing a Vance Tempered glass kitchen counter Surface Saver

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  1. I love the white for a kitchen so bright . Another thing you could do in the future is to purchase a vintage tea wagon, then painted it.
    Your kitchen looks cozy and just BEAUTIFUL. It is nice to see people just using what they have and make it there home!
    Take care, from Canada. you did a great job!!!!!

    1. Hi Marty – I know.. :-) and to think I didn’t know they were still made when I redid my kitchen. I really like the clean fresh look it gives my counter now.

  2. Diane, The new cutting board looks great. I have a similar one that is not installed but always out on my counter. I don’t usually cut on it though. Just wondering if glass is wreaking havoc with your knives?

    1. Hi Cyndi – I haven’t really noticed the knives becoming duller than usual. I know glass can damage the blades over time. I think if I was a real foodie and was cooking and chopping all the time, I would want wood. For me and my cooking skills :-) , I am liking the ease of the glass and will sharpen more.them

  3. I noticed you have a picture ‘hanging’ on the backsplash tile in your kitchen. How did you do that without drilling a hole??

    Thanks so much,
    Cathy – An avid Canadian fan