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mgblenk 04-23-2011 10:20 PM

Drywall missing behind cabinets
I had a kitchen remodel (gutted) that finished last September. In February I discovered that the contractor must have measured incorrectly and to give himself an extra 3/8" he attached a section of exterior wall cabinets directly to the studs. I found this because there was frost on the inside of one cabinet. I then looked between two cabinets and could see the insulation. It wasn't anything I would normally notice. What will happen without the drywall?

Ron6519 04-24-2011 07:38 AM

The issue is the frost. Something is incorrect with the insulation and the vapor barrier. The sheetrock provides a very small insulating factor. It does protect the wood from immediate flame contact in case of fire.
You might be able to rework the cabinets to fit the sheetrock in. In any case you'll need to remove them to address the frost issue.
Post some photos of the area.

ccarlisle 04-24-2011 09:49 AM

We don't know if there's a vapour barrier or not nor do we know if the BC at the OP's location might even call for one...but taking him at his word, all he sees is insulation. The issue with the frost then becomes one of air circulation because frost indicates low relative temperatures and high humidity. Air circulation means loss of heat either way. But had there been drywall, the air cirulation would have been less...

But depending on where the OP lives, the lack of vb is a bigger issue, after all, half of the 'insulation value' comes from stopping air movement as well as putting in the fibreglass (or whatever there is).

dberladyn 04-24-2011 11:28 AM


Your "contractor" was an a******. I'd recommend removing the cabinets, like the others have said you have bigger issues than simply missing drywall. The other posters are right in everything they say, but if your ONLY problem was the missing drywall the drawbacks would be a small factor in fireproofing, but mainly a lack of protection for your insulation/vapour barrier, not to mention appearance.

mgblenk 04-24-2011 08:21 PM

Thanks for replies. There is a vapor barrier on the inside face of the fiberglass insulation. I live in Buffalo, NY so it gets cold in the winter. I am sure the drywall is missing because
1. I can see the insulation in the narrow space between the cabinets and
2. The cabinets on the other side of the window stick out an additional 3/8 inch.

You are correct the guy is an a******. Ended up firing him for other reasons at the end. I have little ability to move the cabinets without tearing out the entire 3 walls of cabinetry on upper and lower and probably needing a new countertop also. It was a tight fit to start. We moved an inside wall to fit the cabinetry but he didn't give himself any extra. He must have started installing at the inside wall and just ran out of space so he got an extra 3/8" by removing the drywall.

Bottom line I want to know what kind of damage may occur. Can I drill a hole and spray some insulating foam where I see the frost?

Thanks for input.

Willie T 04-24-2011 08:30 PM

Hummm. You have 3/8" drywall?

mgblenk 04-24-2011 08:37 PM

Is that an odd size drywall? I got that by the difference in the face of the cabinets from the wall on either side of a window that is between where the problem is.

Ron6519 04-24-2011 10:27 PM


Originally Posted by mgblenk (Post 635796)
Is that an odd size drywall? I got that by the difference in the face of the cabinets from the wall on either side of a window that is between where the problem is.

The 3/8" drywall isn't generally used alone as it is more easily damaged then 1/2" drywall.
You can't fix the issue by filling a hole with foam.
The cabinets would need to be removed.

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