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Old 09-13-2013, 11:20 PM   #1
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Preping new cabinets for granite


Doing a full kitchen remodel. All new cabinets flooring etc. We are finishing up the dry-wall this weekend and hope to start installing the cabinets next week. We have a granite contractor lined up to install new granite counter tops, and just had a few questions for the forum.

Anything special I should know to make sure my cabinets are set up and ready for granite (vs a typical formica counter)?

Is it normal (or typical) to install a sub-counter surface that goes under the granite? I have seen some illustrations on the web that show a sub-surface of ply-wood, and some without it.

We are installing a large single under-mount stainless sink. It seems that there are more than one way to mount these. I have seen a sub-counter surface with a routered groove to let the undermount sink sit flushwith the top of the sub-surface. And some seem to just mount the sink to the underside of the granite with little clips. What is best / or normal???

I also have a center island that will have to be secured to the floor. It will also have a granite counter-top, so I really need to make sure its well secured to the floor. I am planning to just use screws tying it into the sub-floor.

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Old 09-14-2013, 05:59 AM   #2
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Preping new cabinets for granite


Not sure why your not asking the countertop company the questions about the top prep work. How it's prepped would depend on the thickness of the top.
The island should be attached to the floor by first screwing down 2 X 4's to the floor cut to length so that the base of the cabinet slips over then. Then it's screw through the sides to attach to the 2X's.
I'd used trim head screws.

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Old 09-14-2013, 06:42 AM   #3
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Preping new cabinets for granite


That 'sub counter' that you have seen is used with thinner granite with a thickened edge---that is a west coast style of fabricating a top---

In our area, that is not done.

To ensure a good top install---shim the base cabinets well----use your longest level and get the bases as perfect as possible---like a pool table---

add a temporary scrap of blocking to keep the dishwasher opening from shifting during the granite installation.

If you have a lazy Susan---add a ledger to the wall behind the unit for the back of the counter--

The counter top gang will mount your sink---there are several right way to do this--let the pros on the job use the method they are good at.

Have your faucet on hand---they will need it to make sure the hole placements and sizes are right.

Many dishwashers use top mount (drilled into counter) or Side mount (screwed into cabinet face frame.)

Know which one you will be using---you don't want to pay for a service call to drill two little holes---
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:59 AM   #4
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Preping new cabinets for granite


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Not sure why your not asking the countertop company the questions about the top prep work. How it's prepped would depend on the thickness of the top.
I do plan to discuss this with them. I just like to have an unbiased perspective on how it "should" be done. Normally I just Google it, but in this case, I found more than one option, and no clear answer. Thats one reason why forums like this exist! Right?

Quote:
The island should be attached to the floor by first screwing down 2 X 4's to the floor cut to length so that the base of the cabinet slips over then. Then it's screw through the sides to attach to the 2X's.
I'd used trim head screws.
Thanks for this advice. I did not feel good about trying to screw the cabinets directly to the floor. This method seems like a very good approach.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:06 AM   #5
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Preping new cabinets for granite


The big thing is LEVEL LEVEL LEVEL and picking a good stone fabricator. If the cabinets are installed correctly, and level in all dimensions, then your installers won't have an issue with the templating process. If you are doing the cabinet install, be sure you understand the process. It's not just screwing boxes to the wall. A good installer can take 5K worth of cabinets and make them look like 50K. A poor installer can take 50K worth of cabinets and make them look like the "before" kitchen that needs to be ripped out.

You need to discuss the sink installation method with your fabricator. If they tell you that they use silicone to adhere the sink, then pass them by. They are hacks. They need to use some mechanical means of attaching the sink, be it clips, a constructed cradle, or a sink-setter. The silicone is only there to provide water sealing.

If your fabricators are true professionals and are doing the job correctly, they won't mind a few questions as to specifics. If they are low cost Bubba's who fabricate in a back yard shed with a garden hose and angle grinder......they won't want to answer the questions, or you to see their shop.
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Old 09-14-2013, 03:52 PM   #6
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Preping new cabinets for granite


Thanks for the tips....

I met with our Granite installer a couple months ago, when we were planning the project. I have seen their shop and they seem to be a pretty good operation.

10-4 on the level comments. I am installing the cabinets myself, with the help of an experienced friend.

And.... We spend right at $11,000 on the cabinets, so I definately don't want to screw up the install and make it look crappy.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:31 PM   #7
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Preping new cabinets for granite


Pony makes a wonderful face frame clamp---I used wood hand screw clamps for years with good results--but the Pony face frame clamps are so nice--

Menards has them---
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:14 PM   #8
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Preping new cabinets for granite


On the west coast(So. Cal.) we have two options for 'normal' installs. The first is 2cm with a plywood base. The second is 3cm without the plywood.
Option one saves about 500.00 on an average kitchen. I've always used 3cm.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:29 AM   #9
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Preping new cabinets for granite


I substrate solid surface, marble, and granite with " plywood. My normal course of kitchen fabrication is to cut out all the countertops in " plywood, if it will be used for a substrate. If not I use anything for a template, like ". I cut the tops to fit the kitchen however they go. I draw right on those tops the base cabinets, and the upper cabinets. As the boxes get built, they should sit on the templates right as they go.

Doing it that way eliminates any problems with spacing, or hardware or drawers hitting each other, etc. IOW, if the tops are made to fit the job, and the cabinets fit on the drawings on the top, the cabinets will fit the job.

But getting back to the granite, the " plywood I use for the tops go to the stone guys. If they want, they can check them for fit, or alter them to go under the granite. Granite is some hard stuff, but it can crack. It seems to work out better when there is plywood underneath, and is easier to align (shim) joints.

As for securing an island, I would rather use wood stock on the floor other than construction grade, as that can get whacky. I'd use Poplar. If you are joining face frames after installation, check for clamps pulling the boxes out of square. It may not be obvious if the cabinets are installed without the doors. Once the doors go on, there may not be enough hinge adjustment to align them.






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Old 10-04-2013, 07:34 PM   #10
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Preping new cabinets for granite


Thanks for all theinput.

I have my floor all intalled (for the kitchen at least). I put in a plywood subfloor under the cabinet bases as well as the island. Its set up so I have the ply at ~1/16" higher than the floating bamboo floor. I am using a 2mm sound/vapor barrier, so the gap is not exact, but the ply base is deffinately a little higher than the floating floor.

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?

Thanks again!!

Mark
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:55 AM   #11
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Preping new cabinets for granite


caveeagle,

You need to find the highest part of the floor where the boxes go and make all the boxes that height. The faces and top should be level. Boxes should be level across all directions.

Hope this makes sense.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:37 AM   #12
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Preping new cabinets for granite


here is a tip i came up with.

fridges and DW's can ready mess up a nice floor, when pulling them out/in.
what i did = use plywood or boards to make the base for these to set on. make them so that they are about 1/8" higher than the finished flooring. when it comes time to remove the DW/fridge out from their space. put down a piece of masonite, to roll the units onto.
this leaves the flooring undamaged.
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