floating cabinets are not level but the countertop got installed!

lisewangJanuary 29, 2013

Obviously we should have double checked this before the carpenter left, but didn't and now that the Quartz counter top is installed, what are the options? It is almost a full 3/4" lower on one end than the other...over an 8 foot span on the floating vanity.

It is not visible to the eye except we noticed it when we saw the outlets were not at the same height from the top of the counter so we started measuring. Seems the carpenter measured off an unlevel floor perhaps.

Should we...
1)try to raise the counter top height with the quartz counter on it by supporting the cabinets with jacks or something? then raise to level and re-attach to wall? (Could be super heavy...but told that quartz is lighter and stronger than granite)
OR
2)have the counter top installers remove the counter top and call the carpenter back to get them level, then reinstall the counter top and sink (an under mount style)Not even sure that is possible without damaging the counter or sink?
OR
3)adjust the outlets so they all match and decide to live with it, hoping no one will ever measure it, and call it a lesson learned...? (there is still time to do that without it showing as we are tiling the backsplash)

4)another idea?
What is the best way to handle this at this point?

THIS is why you shouldn't try to be your own General Contractor!

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Sophie Wheeler

Measuring means nothing. Your floor or ceiling could be the wonky culprit. And most likely is. Put a 4' level on the counter. A decent fabricator is unlikely to have installed something that is as out of level as you say it is. (Although anything is possible.)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 7:56PM
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elphaba_gw

Our floating bath countertop is not level either but I think it is by less than 3/4 inch (can't remember exactly). Our house is old and has had foundation work but we also have pier and beam so there is always shifting below.

Our contractor mentioned it in a way that had I not been there with a tape measure (for another reason), I don't think he would have said anything. Ours is 8ft also but we have only one outlet (2 others are inside med cabinets). If I were you, I would have the outlets match the counter.

The fact that ours isn't level doesn't bother me as much as the very poor communication of our contractor. The quality of his work is beyond exceptional but his communication skill is very below average. I've resigned to not being able to have both since I have worked with quite a few contractors at this point. The quality is more important, oh well.

I agree about the difficulty of being your own GC. But I don't think the solution is to hire a GC. I think it is to buy a house that doesn't need remodeling or if I may be VERY cynical here, don't buy a house, just rent! (Of course the best way is DIY but that "ship has sailed".)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 8:01PM
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Fori is not pleased

I'd adjust the outlets. (First make sure it's not so unlevel that things roll off it.)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:45PM
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catbuilder

If it's not visible to the eye, then I seriously doubt it is out of level that much. There is no way you could not notice it being out of level 3/4" in 8 feet. Don't use a tape measure, use a level (the longer the better). The outlets were probably installed a set distance from the floor or ceiling, which most likely is not level. Have one of the outlets moved so they are level with each other (which is not necessarily going to be the same height from the floor). If the vanity truly is not level, then you should remove the counter top and re-install the cabinets. As the GC, you will have to negotiate who will be responsible for this.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:03AM
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catbuilder

If it's not visible to the eye, then I seriously doubt it is out of level that much. There is no way you could not notice it being out of level 3/4" in 8 feet. Don't use a tape measure, use a level (the longer the better). The outlets were probably installed a set distance from the floor or ceiling, which most likely is not level. Have one of the outlets moved so they are level with each other (which is not necessarily going to be the same height from the floor). If the vanity truly is not level, then you should remove the counter top and re-install the cabinets. As the GC, you will have to negotiate who will be responsible for this.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 9:04AM
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doug_gb

The outlets should be level, and the cabinet should be level.

It's both the electrician's and carpenter's responsibility to install their work properly

If the counter is really off as much as you say, it's the carpenter's responseability to fix it. I can't believe that he didn't check, nor did the countertop installers.

Your workmen appear to be hacks.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 12:57PM
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enduring

I vote for option #2. In my opinion there should have been no reason the carpenter didn't level that counter. I wouldn't want my outlets moved out of level, if you tile the wall, it will effect the placement/look at each outlet. Your counter needs to be removed by the fabricators in my opinion. To be honest I can't imagine a carpenter measuring the height off of the floor. It should be level level level. There is no other idea that comes to my mind.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 1:08PM
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lisewang

Thanks for the responses. We got a large level on it and it is level, so that's good. The measurements from the floor were based on a floor that was not level, so the electrician installed the outlets on studs at the same height, (assuming a level floor) but will need to be adjusted to be level with the countertop. Fortunately we can still adjust those and then do the tile backsplash over/around them so it won't show.

Thanks again for the great responses!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:20PM
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enduring

Whats up with electricians??? You would think they would install them level. My electrician measured from the floor in my kitchen in 2011! He is a great guy but I wonder what he was thinking. I had him redo it which he did nicely. I explained the need for level from the standpoint of tiling my backsplash. My floor isn't level either. But my cabinets, counter, and outlets are.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 2:52PM
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elphaba_gw

lisewang - yes, the same thing with ours. I said "not level" but I really meant that the floor was not level and that the countertop was, thus the discrepancy. Our contractor used some kind of a special laser device (not portable) that was rather impressive - it flashed continuously around the room and allowed him to be certain all the tile and counters, etc. were on the same level. We've already had foundation leveled 3 years ago. Don't think we will go there again.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 8:16PM
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teds12

I just had 3 cm quartz countertop installed onto a completely serviceable set of 1979 walnut motif cabinets over a 50 foot x 2.2 foot wide kitchen cabinent run.
(The only thing missing compared to today's products is the concealed European hinges/springs - happily I convinced my wife that my old hinges, although a bit old-fashioned, are serviceable,

Counter guys came and templated the job putting a joint mid-point at the new composite white sink placement and at one side of the stovetop.

The templaters were then the installers a week later. After they prepositioned the 3 pieces of ca. 500 pounds quartz pieces they called my attention to the fact that my cabinents were not level and proposed some "on the fly" leveling with wedges along the entire 50 foot run. Because that effort seemed to me to be unruly amd imprecise, I told them just to minimize discontinuities at the sink and cooktop joints while I wasn't looking.
The project turned out great with an almost imperceptable lack of parallelism at the vertical at the front sink joint (This avoided shimming all over the place to correct a 0.5" runout error over the 50 foot run which except to a 0.16" modestly imperfect joint; because it is quartz, one cannot tell much by looking, but the level tells the story with which I easily live with!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 2:44AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Teds12- You will be fine until you spill liquids. Hope it all flows to the sink...

-Babka

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:55AM
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