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Old 11-28-2009, 02:09 PM   #1
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


I posted the earlier part of this question, after discovering a kitchen wall was 1/2" shorter than the span of already-purchased cabinetry to go there. No, this should not have happened as the framers had the exact measurements, but that's where I am now. This remodel has been done gradually over a period of years after a fire, so I cannot back up a lot.

I understand that the cabinets can be shaved down to fit. They are Bertch Legacy Clairmont. I measured the base cabinet (actually lavatory base, but same as kitchen), and the face extends beyond the cabinet 1/4" on each side. However, the door on one side is 1/4" from the edge and the door on the other side is only 1/8" from the edge -- is this unusual? is it a problem?

Is cabinet size always reduced on the face? If so, there will be unfinished edges, right? So they will all need to be repainted? (They're painted white - very simple lines. Paint not matching would show up.)

Someone suggested removing cabinet backs and downsizing whole cabinets where the work would not show. Wouldn't that weaken the cabinets?

Lastly, I just today recalled seeing the workers putting plywood over the studs in the kitchen. I thought they were doing this to provide backing for the cabinets, but wouldn't the cabinets just go on the studs? If there is plywood there, would it be simpler to take it off one side wall than downsizing cabinets? (The celing is off now, for lighting.)

Input and ideas will be appreciated!


Last edited by Annie5; 11-28-2009 at 02:11 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-28-2009, 02:21 PM   #2
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


Could you order any of the cabinets in a smaller size (say, substitute a 21" cabinet for a current 24" cabinet) and then use a filler strip?

If possible, pictures and a layout of your cabinets would probably garner you more insight.

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Old 11-28-2009, 03:26 PM   #3
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


It's the exterior wall, 138" in plan, 137 1/2 as is.

I'm told the walls are level, plumb and square. At 6' in from the exterior wall, it's 137 3/4+.
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Last edited by Annie5; 11-28-2009 at 04:24 PM. Reason: a word that didn't make sense
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Old 11-28-2009, 03:59 PM   #4
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


If I understand this correctly your walls are "toed into" the corner, once you get that 6' out the dimensions work out? If so then set your corner base mark the wall, mark & cut out the sheetrock. You may have to do this in both corners, slip cab's all to one side to get other corner cab in, then center them, as long as you can get both sides to line up after the corner bases then you should be ok.
A second common problem is the spackling very common for overbuildup in the corners.
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Old 11-28-2009, 04:08 PM   #5
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


The accepted way to handle this so it does not show is to plane the eight edges of those base cabinets along the offending wall. It's about 1/8" off each cabinet edge.

It's not hard to do, and will take about 45 minutes. Your door hinges should have enough adjustment to center them up as needed.
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Old 11-28-2009, 04:14 PM   #6
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


At the exterior wall corners (wall sink is on), the measurement across is 137 1/2" , 1/2" less than the cabinets (138"), maybe a hair less 3' up the wall.

At two feet and six feet away from that wall, the measurement across is 137 5/8.

At 6'9" from the exterior wall (corner of eating counter stud wall), it's
137 3/4+.

Would it still be possible to do what you are suggesting?
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Old 11-28-2009, 04:20 PM   #7
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


I'm glad to know the planing is not a major issue.

I'm still wondering about the need to paint, though. Some cabinets don't have cabinets next to them (next to appliances or at the end). With any of the cabinets, it seems if the side edge of the face is planed, it would be noticeable at the front corner.

What am I missing here?

PS - I'm glad to know the door hinges can be adjusted to even them up.

Last edited by Annie5; 11-28-2009 at 04:28 PM. Reason: PS
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Old 11-28-2009, 04:37 PM   #8
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


So if I get this right the cabinets are 138", the wall is 137 1/2" at the floor and tapers away to 137 3/4" . Is the 36" wall new, and if so drywalled and taped? Just wondering if the easiest thing to do would be to change that wall to gain. If so than you might want to change it to add 2" or so to allow for the wall out of plumb (I'm assuming the existing one) and add a filler as previously suggested that could be "tapered" to fit snug.

Woops I just looked at your plans again. It's the wall with the sink included huh. OK than that's different. Let me look closer and I still am not sure about what you mean about 6' in? 6' in from what?
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Last edited by Paulie; 11-28-2009 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:00 PM   #9
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


We also measured the walls 3' up and they were the same as at the floor, 1/16" difference at most. Used 4' level too - bubble inside lines.

All the walls are new, sheetrocked and taped. But if it provided a better solution, I'd take a wall out. As I said above, there may be plywood that could come out to provide space.

When you speak of the 36" wall, do you mean the wall by the refrigerator? That side wall measurement is okay (96"). It's the wall with the sink on it that's short. Or am I not understanding something?
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:04 PM   #10
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


OK, I think I got it now, like skyhook said the walls are toed, not square with the 138" wall, existing. They then taper out to 137 3/4's. Your problem is getting your sink base and corner cabinets in squeezed in a 1/2" but after that it's not a issue. I agree with willie T plane them (equal amount on every one). By doing it that way you can keep your new cabinets square and not have a problem with your counter top either.
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Last edited by Paulie; 11-28-2009 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 11-28-2009, 05:49 PM   #11
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


OOOOOOOOOOOPS Ouch Paulie Ya got me on that one. COUNTERTOP darn YEP thats gonna get ya!!!!!!
Annie; This plywood under the rock has me baffeled? Why is it there?
Right at this moment I am very inclined,if this were my mine to fix, PRESUMING that plywood does exist: I would rip that wall apart, remove the rock, the plywood, then re rock with 3/8 rock, in theory that would give you a whole 1/8" to spare.
Wille< I have cut the scribes many times but usually with so many to do, somehow,somewhere you lose clearance to open the doors against the walls :{ .

Overall I think redo wall is easiest,fastest,safest way to go
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:30 PM   #12
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


[QUOTE=skymaster;358723]OOOOOOOOOOOPS Ouch Paulie Ya got me on that one. COUNTERTOP darn YEP thats gonna get ya!!!!!!
Annie; This plywood under the rock has me baffeled? Why is it there?

Plywood is installed so you don't have the problem of only having one stud per cabinet. I've done it BEFORE ordering cabinets and finding the problem of only having one or sometimes none with the smaller cabinets. The other better solution is recessing a 2 x 6 around the walls as a nailer but it always comes down to budget.
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:44 PM   #13
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


I've always seen plywood or nailing strips nailed right to the studs
Never on top of the sheetrock - more or less flush with the sheetrock
The recessed studs is a bit more work
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:00 PM   #14
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


Yeah I guessed I missed that the ply was on top of the wall board. No never seen that! Very odd that the cabinet guys didn't catch the "toed in" walls. The 2 x 6 recessed nailer is time consuming but it's great to never have to find a stud and screw into 2x every time. I've seen it done by cutting right on top of the existing drywall all the way around the kitchen and notching it flush to the drywall. Like you say lot's of work and it all depends on the budget.
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Last edited by Paulie; 11-28-2009 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:42 PM   #15
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Wall too short for cabinets - more info, more questions


ANNIE5--WILLY T suggested the safest-and most frequently-used method.

I went to the cabinet makers web site,but could not find the exact model you mentioned.

Are you doing the install your self? A good cabinet installer should know how to do this without letting the work show.

The method I use involves a router with a follower bit.

For a novice ,I believe a plane may be a safer way to go.--MIKE--

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