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Old 03-19-2009, 07:20 AM   #1
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crown over cabinets in wonky house

OK - I need some experts to help out here.

I am doing a remodel on a kitchen. Its an older house and wasn't built level or has shifted many years ago. The main beam in the basement runs side to side and is about 1.5" lower than the foundation wall where the joists sit. All doors close, no cracks in plaster. It was like they built it this way.

Sooo - in doing the kitchen. I couldn't jack the beam w/o needing to rework the entire rest of the house. I couldn't shim down the ceiling w/o doing demo in the adjacent dining room.

Here I am at the finishing stages, dealing with the slope.

The base cabs are shimmed so they are level, the upper cabs are level.

The design calls for a built up crown above the cabs, tight to the ceiling.

The crown is two pieces. one vertical, directly above the doors, and then an angled piece attached to the vertical and to the ceiling. Make sense?

I have an 8' run of uppers and the gap between the cabs and the ceiling changes 1.25" over 8'. My initial thought was to run the vertical board straight to the cab and the angled board tight to the ceiling. That looks like hell. I thought it wouldn't be too noticeable but it is. If I bring down the angled piece to be straight with the cabs I have a huge gap between the crown and the ceiling.

That's where I left things. I need some advice.

- Do I fill and caulk the gap? how the heck would I caulk it?
- Do I fabricate a piece of tapered trim to fit in there and paint it to match the cabs? Paint to match the ceiling?
- Do I make crown tight to ceiling and live with my enlarging crown? (looks bad but how I thought originally I would do it.)

Thanks all!


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Old 03-19-2009, 11:21 AM   #2
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You need to change the design parameters at this point. The, "tight to the ceiling", scenario is visually unattainable due to the slope.
You would need to drop the angled crown down to keep it level. The house character needs to be removed from the equation.


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Old 03-19-2009, 11:47 AM   #3
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Agreed - That's where I'm at. So, with the crown dropped and straight with the cabinets I have a 1.25" gap on one side and no gap on the other side.

If I do go with the zero gap tapering to 1.25" gap do I:
- fill the gap, and if I do should the fill match the cabs or ceiling?
- Leave the gap (have a visible shadow line)

I'm thinking of ripping some stock and tapering it to match the gap, caulk it in and paint it to match the ceiling. The cabs/crown are factory painted and would be a harder color/finish match.

Thanks for taking the time to reply! Its really appreciated.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:46 PM   #4
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Just my $.02

crown over cabinets in wonky house-gaskill-027.jpg

crown over cabinets in wonky house-gaskill-011.jpg
Are you doing a tile backsplash? if not you could;
1. install uppers slightly out of level, but not as much as ceiling
2. install upper vertical soffit slightly out as well, closer to ceiling tilt
3. install crown to ceiling
4. belt sand the top of the crown to slightly remove some of the top
5. adjust doors accordingly

in this picture the ceiling on the left side, (above fridge) is about 1" lower than the right side. if you look really close you can see it.
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:12 PM   #5
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Looks great!

Cabinets are up, I would prefer not to pull them, plus they are perfectly level, plumb and straight (likely a bad thing I suppose!)

I AM doing a tile backsplash, 4" tiles between granite and uppers. Also have a microwave going in under one cab.

So, tilting cabs a bit moves the gap to where the tile is. Not so good but more room to fudge it tho.

I might be able to tweek doors a little.

The vertical piece above the doors sits in the same plane as the doors. It has a profile sort of like an upside down colonial baseboard. Its detailed edge matches some details on doors. Its pre-painted and the routed grooves in the vertical piece have painted in lines. Tapering this piece to fudge things may look bad. I think the crown may have some paint in the recesses too.

What I am ultimately dealing with is LOTS of horizontal lines.

So, if I use any of your tips I think I may belt sand the crown a bit to skootch it a bit closer to ceiling, also skootch up the crown a bit out of level as well. I have now tapered my space between the crown and the door a little and still have a gap to fill above. My above gap will be smaller and hopefully not noticeable, my taper just below the crown will hopefully not be noticable.

On top of all this, if I can bring some doors up, and some down, and tilt them a bit I can minumize the effect even further.

Thanks for the suggestions! I think I'll start off by seeing what I can do with the doors.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:22 PM   #6
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You should be able to order some square stock ie. toe kick the same color as the cabs./crown from the factory then use that for your filler from the crown to the ceiling that way it's more of a seemless finish.


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