Unlevel Cabinets For Granite......HELP - Building & Construction - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 01-17-2011, 12:38 PM   #1
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Unlevel cabinets for granite......HELP

I am getting granite counter-tops and they just came out today to measure for the template. They said that my cabinets are not level and that they would need to level them before the install. Here's my question, does anyone know if this is something I could do on my own and save the $500 that they want to charge? I currently have laminate counter-tops right now.
Can anyone tell me the process of doing this including what tools I would need such as specific levels?

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Old 01-17-2011, 08:53 PM   #2
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This can be done with a six foot level but I suspect it would be a PITA.

Rent or borrow a laser level. Remove the current top. Set your laser level to cast a level line 1" above your cabinet tops. Measure down from the laser to the top of the cabinets at each corner of each cabinet. The corner with the smallest number is your highest point of the cabinets.

Now reset your laser to the same height as the high point of your cabinets. Shim the tops of each cabinet until they meet the laser. Now they are level.

Not sure what the best material to shin from the top is, as I have always done this from a new install, underneath.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:13 PM   #3
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I have had better success with a six foot level than some of the laser levels. One thing to mention is that flat is more important than level. Level is the goal We would usually work towards but if your house is tipped one end to the other I would be much more concerned with creating a flat surface than a level one in this scenario. I think it is something you could reasonably do. Does your granite installer want plywood down to put the granite on. If so find out what size and you can use that as a base and shim between it and the cabinet with some door shims. You don't want more than about 8" between your shims.

I love my stabila brand levels and would recommend them to anyone. That said they are on the higher price end for a level and what I think you need more is a great straight edge. You don't want it to rock or have a low spot across your base when you are finished.

Hopefully your granite installer would be willing to give you a few pointers as to what they are expecting when you are finished. $500 seems a little high to just level the tops of your cabinets. They might have a different approach in mind such as actually adjusting the bases but I doubt it. It might also be much worse than I can imagine, although I have installed cabinets across some floors that varied 3 inches across the room.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:49 PM   #4
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Here's the deal. If you can afford the upgrade to granite, you should be able to afford to do it correctly. Ask the installer what you are getting for the $500. If they are just going to shim the granite level, $500 is high and you will have a horrible looking install.

To do it correctly, the cabinets should be adjusted to level, or at least flat.
If that is the case, $500 is a good value, if it's done professionally.

My guess is, a granite installer knows very little about a cabinet installation. Their trade is very specialized in a field far from carpentry.
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:25 PM   #5
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Depends on how different they are in elevation of each other (flat), as mentioned. If it requires disconnecting and removing some, let them do it. As they have already template them, you are now responsible for the counter-tops to fit after you work on them. You could have them come template again after your work and pay extra for the first visit if you are contracting the work yourself. If you do major work to level them and it doesn't fit, it MAY be your fault. I hope you have some experience in this, as to the correct shim above bread boards or the dishwasher fasteners if you shim too much..... Plywood as underlayed shiming as mentioned. There is so much that can go wrong here.... may also need a longer tail-piece for the sink drain.
I agree with Loneframer on the cost.

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