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Old 08-25-2010, 07:55 AM   #1
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How to tell if corners are square?


How can I tell if a corner is exactly square?

I want to take off my old countertops and put on those pre-fab ones at home depot but I have heard to make sure my walls/counters are square.

I used a protractor, measured 90 degrees at the corners but I don't know if that is sufficient.

Thanks

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Old 08-25-2010, 08:11 AM   #2
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How to tell if corners are square?


you could just take a builders square, stick one edge on one wall, the other edge on the other wall. if all edges lay flat, you'll know two things
1) you are square
2) the guy that built my house didn't build yours

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Old 08-25-2010, 10:37 AM   #3
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How to tell if corners are square?


carefully measure 3 feet along one wall, 4 feet along the other wall, then you should have 5 feet between those marks.
alternately, if you have some sort of CAD package available, mark the length of the finished countertop on the wall then measure between the marks. use the CAD package to draw out the top and include a 'diagonal' measurement to see what the angles are.

don't assume the corners are square or that the walls are straight. plan to scribe the countertop or back splash.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:29 AM   #4
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How to tell if corners are square?


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carefully measure 3 feet along one wall, 4 feet along the other wall, then you should have 5 feet between those marks.
alternately, if you have some sort of CAD package available, mark the length of the finished countertop on the wall then measure between the marks. use the CAD package to draw out the top and include a 'diagonal' measurement to see what the angles are.

don't assume the corners are square or that the walls are straight. plan to scribe the countertop or back splash.
So using this method I got 36", 48" and 58.5" - so dang, I guess my corners are not completely square. Is that enough to fudge to get countertops to fit ok though? I don't mind small gaps <0.5". My current laminate ones do not look like they were cut at all and it looks fine. Just trying to do this on a budget do not own a miter saw nor have the finances or desire to really buy one right now.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:48 AM   #5
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How to tell if corners are square?


Just doing it in my head, kinda quick, that should put you somewhere real close to 87 degrees. Which means that your backs will be longer than your fronts... so be sure to measure at the back so you will be long enough.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:55 AM   #6
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How to tell if corners are square?


Alright, good info. I just realized that is what the scribing part is for - to even out the edges and make it fit better - and that I actually don't need a miter saw to make that cut in this situation. Thanks again, I'm sure I'll have other posts as the project progresses, new things always seem to come up...
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:23 PM   #7
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How to tell if corners are square?


another thing you could do is install the countertop and then have a drywall taper skim in the void areas.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:03 AM   #8
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How to tell if corners are square?


What are you using for a back splash? if its the type that is 1" thick laminate particle board it should cover any minor voids. If your going with a tile backsplash you may need to skim like oldrivers mentioned
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:13 AM   #9
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How to tell if corners are square?


indeed, Williet, is correct. I get 87.05 degrees on my drawing.
if the countertop can be 'site-built' using sheet goods you might be able to make the top and place it with a minimal amount of scribing.
if the store bought pieces include a built-in back splash, see if there is an outfit in your area which can cut the top to your measurements.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:42 PM   #10
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How to tell if corners are square?


OK, ok, so I was a 20th of a degree off. I promise I'll try to do better next time.
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:59 PM   #11
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How to tell if corners are square?


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OK, ok, so I was a 20th of a degree off. I promise I'll try to do better next time.
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:05 PM   #12
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How to tell if corners are square?


My last house I had HD come out & measure
They cut, assembled & delivered the 2 countertops for around $400
I installed them...that was over 8 years ago
My corners were off just a little
But since I was tiling very hard to notice

The material for me to buy would have been around $300 as I recall
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:25 PM   #13
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How to tell if corners are square?


I forgot about the 3X4X5 method. I always used the diagonal as the square root of 2. That is lay out both sides the same distance and measure the diagonal. It should be the square root of 2 (1.414) X the side. I used this method to lay out a large fenced in area and it worked well because of the long distances involved. Your method is a lot easier for small areas, however. Always nice to know other ways of doing things!

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