Leveling base cabinets
..Installing new cabinets this weekend, getting ready for the granite installers next week. I know that they need to be plumb and level, and that the face frames all need to line up to look good.
I have started setting my base cabinets in place, starting with the corner. Getting it all lined up sure is not as easy as I had hoped. I think it kind of odd, because ther were NO shims at all on the old cabinets I removed. (go figure)
So my questions are regarding getting the new cabinets all aligned and leveled.....
>Is it more important to get the face frames aligned? or the tops of the boxes? I have one box, where the face is perfectly lined up, but one of the box sides seems to be ~1/16" lower that it's adjacent box.
>How much 'tolerance' is there when leveling these cabinets? Even with precision machine work, there are acceptable tolerances that give you some working parameters. So, if I am within a 1/16" in a 3' run..... is that ok? I am working towards perfection, but how close is 'good enough' ?
>Will the granite installer be prepared to correct for small imperfections in the mounting surface? Do they shim up the granite, if needed?
i will be installing new cabs in a few weeks.
imo, the faces should be as perfect as possible. after all, that is what you SEE. if the tops are a little off, you could shave or shim what is needed.
my last granite install. the installers had shims to fill the little gaps. i think 1/16th is nothing to them.
My experience was similar to FixnIt. I built my own cabinets for my kitchen, and had a granite installer put in the top. I forced the cabinets to line up along the face by screwing the cabinets together through the face frame. That is how the old cabinets were done, seems pretty common. Of course the floor was out of level, so I shimmed the cabinets underneath as necessary to achieve level cabinets along the top. Even at that, the cabinets were not perfectly aligned along the top, but the granite installers put in shims as needed, and never said a word, it seems like this is standard. Maximum shim was about 1/4 inch for the granite. In the end, the granite top was perfectly level.
You start by finding the high spot in the floor and checking out any corners with the 3, 4, 5, method to see if they are square. And yeah, shim, shim, shim! The plastic ones that are non compressible are preferred to the wooden ones. And don't forget to shim from two directions, not just one. >< You want things fully supported on those little point loads. Then go back and add even more shims to be sure that it's better supported.
Shimming granite also creates point loads, which puts stress on your stone, cabinets, and floor. Sometimes, it's unavoidable, but if you have shims under your granite, and that aligns with an invisible internal fissure, then you can potentially have a crack. And it won't be the granite people's fault.
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