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Old 12-10-2009, 06:14 PM   #1
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I had new cabinets and a laminate countertop installed in my L-shaped kitchen. The laminate countertop overhang (lip) is not consistant over the drawer fronts. Some of it is 1/4 inch, some of it is 1/2 inch, and some of it is 3/4 inch. The installer told me the countertop had to be this way because my back wall was not squared. Is this the way it should be? Also, the seam where they put two pieces of the countertop together is not smooth, you can feel the edge of the countertop. I think this seam should be smooth.

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Old 12-10-2009, 06:19 PM   #2
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Without seeing the kitchen it's hard to say, but I think I understand what your installer is saying about the crooked walls and overhanging lip, and I agree with him.

But you should barely be able to feel the seams, they should be pretty smooth and uniform.

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Old 12-10-2009, 06:35 PM   #3
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You can kill out some of that crooked wall with the back splash. I think that is too much out of line. And, the installer should have brought it to your attention prior to installing so you could discuss options.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:32 AM   #4
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I have the same problem but I plan on shimming over the existing plaster walls and installing backer board. Since I am using tile squares it's critical that everything is square or it's going to show via the grout lines.
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Old 12-11-2009, 08:03 PM   #5
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What kind of laminate tops were these? Homedepot style with built in back splash or custom made tops? If they are home depot style you can sand the back of the backsplash some and get them closer. If they are custom made ones then they should of been made to fit the walls and cabinets. With custom made ones it doesnt matter if the walls are out of square.

There could be one other problem. If the cabinets were not installed square or if the front edge of all the cabinets are not in line, then the overhang will not be the same even with a custom counter top.
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:44 AM   #6
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They were suppose to be customized countertops. They were ordered as slabs and then sent to a fabricator.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:41 PM   #7
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I have to agree with 7echo, the installers should have made this more clear and explained that this could happen. Crooked walls are always such a hassle
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:04 PM   #8
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Note that I am not an expert in this area, but here are my thoughts.

Personally I wouldn't accept this. The back edge of the countertops should have been shaped to fit the crooked walls. That is why installers use Templates. Isn't that what customized implies?

So it comes down to: Did you pay for a truly customized install or a less labour intensive method?
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dotsons View Post
They were suppose to be customized countertops. They were ordered as slabs and then sent to a fabricator.
The fabricator needed to come to the site and make story poles the exact size and shape of the cabinets. What he does is take little strips of wood and lay them on top of the cabinets and hot glue them together. This makes a fullsize template. Then the countertop exactly fits the space.
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drtbk4ever View Post
Note that I am not an expert in this area, but here are my thoughts.

Personally I wouldn't accept this. The back edge of the countertops should have been shaped to fit the crooked walls. That is why installers use Templates. Isn't that what customized implies?

So it comes down to: Did you pay for a truly customized install or a less labour intensive method?
I was suppose to have a customized install but they did the less labour intensive method. I have talked to the company who fabricated the countertops and they told me the measurements they received did not take into consideration the out of square wall. I have argued this point with the installer and the big box store who did the work.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:05 AM   #11
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That to me is 100% unacceptable. Just because the individual that came to take the measurements did not do them correctly doesn't mean it is your fault. That is why you went to them right?

If the guy took the measurements correctly, using the strip of plywood technique which is pretty standard, there is no reason that the custom countertops are not just that....custom. That's the whole reason they came to measure!!!!!!!

If you bought off the shelf pre-fabbed tops I could totally understand the variances, but you did not. Complain up the ladder until you get it resolved.

As someone mentioned, you may be able to adjust it and sand some and make some up with the back splash but being off 3/4" could be tough.

No excuse for BS work. Period.

Good luck.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:18 AM   #12
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"If the cabinets were not installed square or if the front edge of all the cabinets are not in line, then the overhang will not be the same". My first thoughts when I read the original posting. I'm not a cabinet/counter-top installer per se. I have a "HandyMan" business and have replaced laminate counter-tops. I was taught by a real cabinet-maker/counter-top maker/installer that the first thing to do after removing the old counter-top is to assure the front line of the base units are level, in-line, and an equal distance from the back wall the base units are installed on. If any one of these three items are not correct, then correct this problem before going any further. I doubt at this point that you could get anywhere with either the counter-top manufacturer, or the installer. It sounds as if they are already brushing you off. IF this problem is really a bother to you, you could always call in someone to remove and re-install the counter-tops with an understanding that you want the reveal to be the same the length of the base units. As far as the seam where the counter-tops meet not being smooth--this is another indication of a "hurry up --then get paid and leave" type install. Sorry. Good Luck, David
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:16 PM   #13
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I have installed many kitchens, that's my main line of work. Most of the time there are bulges in the walls due to plumbing stacks, crooked studs, etc. If the bulge causes the cabinet to stick out, the rest of the cabinets in that line need to be shimmed out to match. I have never had a laminate top company send a rep out to template a job for laminate tops. Usually it isn't necessary unless there is a wierd shaped island or angles involved. I will normally take the measurements and provide an accurate drawing. For wierd islands I have made cardboard templates of the shape for the shop to reproduce. One thing I always do is have the company put ears on the tops. Theses are 1/4" projections on the back edge of the top at both ends. Picture an L-shaped top. There would be two ears that would touch the walls at each end. The rest of the top would not touch the back walls. This allows for deviations and slight out of square walls. The separate backsplashes (3/4" thick by 4" tall) will cover the slight gap caused by the ears.
It sounds like you have a combination of things working against you:
1. Walls that aren't straight. (pretty normal)
2. Cabinets weren't installed to minimize wall deviations.
3. Using big box installers. This isn't to say they are all bad, but you never know who you are getting, and I haven't seen to many good ones.

Most of the jobs I do are getting granite tops, in which case they always send out someone to make templates.

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Old 12-23-2009, 03:50 PM   #14
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A company who specializes in countertops came today to see if the problem with the laminate countertop could be corrected. I was told that the countertop was 1/2" off square and that the cabinets may have not been installed correctly. He suggested that I go with solid surface countertop and that these countertops could be fabricated to fit correctly. Should I do this or try to see if someone else could install laminate countertop that has a consistent overhang over the drawer fronts? The solid surface will cost about $800 more than the laminate.
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:30 PM   #15
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It's installed wrong. The installer should scribe the back wall and then sand/cut the back of the countertop to match the wall leaving a consistent overhang the entire length. The seam should also be smooth as you run your hand across it.

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