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Old 07-26-2010, 07:17 AM   #1
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Installing upper cabinets when ceiling is not level


Help:

I have a 9' run where I am installing upper cabinets, the floor and the ceiling a significantly sloped (I have not set them yet but it looks like if the bottom cabinet on the far left rests on the floor the cabinet on the far right will need to be shimmed about 1.5". Anyway:

9' run of upper cabinets I have W3018, W1836 (above the stove), W3018, W1836 wine rack (above the ref

The cabinet above the stove is to be mounted offset from the W3018s (pushed up 9" closer to the ceiling)

When I put these up -- especially the unit above the stove it does not look good. The cabinets are plumb and level but due to the ceiling slope (old, not by design) looks crooked. I have some trim to put on the upper cabinets but I think it will make things look worse because the closer the top of the cabinet gets to the ceiling the more pronounced the issue is.

I have seen information about scribing a top starter strip (these are frameless cabinets) but if I hang my cabinets at the standard heights I have about 12" for the top of the cabinet to ceiling on the cabinet to the far left, above 3" on top of the W1836, then 12" for the balance (minus the slope of course).

I have spent lots of time and money to re-do this entire kitchen myself, things are looking really good but if I can't fix this it is going to look like a hack job regardless. please help with any ideas -- bhuck

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Old 07-26-2010, 12:30 PM   #2
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Installing upper cabinets when ceiling is not level


Wow. An inch and a half out is BAD. If the ceilings are as bad as you indicated and can't be corrected with some trim along the top, you've got two choices -

1. Place the cabinets some level below the ceiling. Not a very viable option if you only have eight foot ceilings.

2. Drywall work. You are going to have to add material to the ceiling to get everything close to the low spot. Screw drywall to the ceiling to cover the change in elevation as close as possible. You will use multiple pices of drywall and potentially of different thicknesses. These pieces should be a foot or so wider than your uppers. You'll have a lot of mudding and taping to do. As you feather out away from the cabinets to the center of the room, use thinner and thinner sections of drywall until you can feather mud to the original ceiling. Go as far out as you can go to blend the change. It's going to be a lot of work.

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Old 07-26-2010, 12:40 PM   #3
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Installing upper cabinets when ceiling is not level


At that point why not just rip out the old drywall and just add material to the beams? Then put in new drywall overtop of the perfectly true beams.
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:51 PM   #4
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Installing upper cabinets when ceiling is not level


Since you have 3" in the clear (vertically) above the stove cabinet, that should work out to about 1-1/8" dropdown at near the center of that cabinet to tilt your whole ceiling to a level plane. This is considering beginning at zero on the left (actually 1/2" down for the drywall thickness) and running to the fat end of a 2" (including drywall thickness) dropped wedge on the right.

In other words, cut a half dozen 9' long wedges... tapered from zero to 1-1/2". Just diagonally rip the flat sides of some 9' 2 x 4's.

Fasten them to the ceiling to make a level series of nailers to which to mount new 1/2" ceiling drywall.

Mount new drywall on the nailers.

Finish the new flat, level ceiling and you're done.

(This is the same as DownRiverGuy is suggesting, but without tearing out any drywall.) The only difference is that with this way you will sacrifice about a half inch of ceiling height. Either way, you'll end up with a new, level kitchen ceiling for about one day's work.
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:57 PM   #5
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Installing upper cabinets when ceiling is not level


There's an order to these things. Fix the structural problems first before you set the cabinets. Get in the basement or crawl space and figure out what is causing the settling. Jack it up to level and repair what needs repairing. Then you'll have a level floor and ceiling and the cabinets will install a lot easier too.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:47 PM   #6
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Installing upper cabinets when ceiling is not level


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
Since you have 3" in the clear (vertically) above the stove cabinet, that should work out to about 1-1/8" dropdown at near the center of that cabinet to tilt your whole ceiling to a level plane. This is considering beginning at zero on the left (actually 1/2" down for the drywall thickness) and running to the fat end of a 2" (including drywall thickness) dropped wedge on the right.

In other words, cut a half dozen 9' long wedges... tapered from zero to 1-1/2". Just diagonally rip the flat sides of some 9' 2 x 4's.

Fasten them to the ceiling to make a level series of nailers to which to mount new 1/2" ceiling drywall.

Mount new drywall on the nailers.

Finish the new flat, level ceiling and you're done.

(This is the same as DownRiverGuy is suggesting, but without tearing out any drywall.) The only difference is that with this way you will sacrifice about a half inch of ceiling height. Either way, you'll end up with a new, level kitchen ceiling for about one day's work.

Build it up with shims or build it up with drywall. Either way the result is the same - drywall and mud and feather our where new meets old.
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Old 07-29-2010, 09:07 AM   #7
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Installing upper cabinets when ceiling is not level


Quote:
Originally Posted by jogr View Post
There's an order to these things. Fix the structural problems first before you set the cabinets. Get in the basement or crawl space and figure out what is causing the settling. Jack it up to level and repair what needs repairing. Then you'll have a level floor and ceiling and the cabinets will install a lot easier too.
YUP! I AGREE.... repairing your sagging structure is the best solution.

If u dont want to go that route than I would say tear down the ceiling and get your shims ready......

Re-shim entire ceiling area until it is true again then re-drywall, tape and paint then install your cabinets.

good luck
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:21 PM   #8
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Installing upper cabinets when ceiling is not level


find the lowspot on your ceiling, draw a level line around the room, using woods strips build down from the ceiling to the level line, install new ceiling. I just did this last week in a bathroom, which is smaller, but I also did it on the same customer's kitchen several years ago. A lot of work but worth it.

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