Urgent Granite Question--Fabricators Here Soon

sail_awayMarch 29, 2013

Can a 3 cm granite edge be built up and, if so, how does it look? We took the countertops off of our cabinets and discovered that the builder had inserted a 7/8" strip of wood all around the top of the cabinets. It was hidden by the molded Formica overhang, so that you couldn't see it.

We have ordered 3 cm granite slabs and the fabricators will be coming later today. So I'm wondering if they can build up the 3 cm granite to help cover the extra strip of wood on the top of our cabinets.

We have to put back the 7/8" strips (The reason we have to do so is that we have several full-length wall cabinets that the granite will run up to, and the granite has to be elevated that much because the side panels on the cabinets won't come all the way down to the granite if the 7/8" strips are not replaced.) DH will get matching oak trim and stain it to match, but it will show if we just have the 3 cm slabs put on top. DH thinks once the countertops are put in, it will blend it and not be that bad. I really didn't want a built up edge, as I like the cleaner look without, but I'm thinking that would be the best solution at this point.

So two questions: (1) Can 3 cm granite edges be built up? How do they look? (2) Would it look better to just have the 7/8" strip matching our cabinets put in and hope the overhang of the granite keeps them from being too obvious?

I'm feeling pressured to make an immediate decision since the fabricators are coming, but I'd really rather wait and have them come later, after we get the 7/8" strips in and see what they look like and try to visualize it with the
granite to see if I can live with it. Having the edges built up would, I'm sure, be an added cost, and we have already maxed out our budget.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.

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One other idea was to increase the overhang slightly to hide the extra strip of wood. However, I still feel like I'd be more sure of what would be best if we could get the extra strip of wood in and then see how it looks. DH is pushing to go ahead and get the job done, though, as a delay at this point will push us back quite a bit longer.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Delay. Decisions like this aren't well thought out when you're running up against a deadline - the chances of regret grow exponentially. It would be good to have the fabricator have a look at the situation and go over the options with you. With luck, he's seen this before and will have some perspective on what can be done. Maybe he'll have a solution you haven't thought of.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 1:04PM
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So you don't think we need to cancel the appointment for templating? I was thinking we should go get the wood strips and put them in so we can better visualize what the best solution might be. So I thought we should reschedule the templating. They are coming from about 25-30 miles away. It would be nice to get their input, though.

Getting DH to agree to a delay is another matter ...

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 1:10PM
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Also, another question: If we haven't put in the wood strips yet, will they be able to template accurately. DH says they will, but I have my doubts. He's not willing to call them and reschedule at this point.

Another update, on the positive, side, the necessary wood strips will be more like 3/8" to 1/2" at the most---probably closer to 3/8". So it's a little more likely that, with the overhang, it would be okay. [EDIT: Took more precise measurements, and the wood strip will need to be 7/16"]

This post was edited by sail-away on Fri, Mar 29, 13 at 14:00

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 1:28PM
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You do NOT want to put granite on laminate build up strips. The cabinet skin should have been put on before the counters were installed. Order a new one and remove the build up strips.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 2:30PM
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live wire oak, Can't order new cabinet skins, as our cabinets are 20+ years old and they probably wouldn't match. It's not just a skin, but a very thin board.

I think I'm not explaining properly---we will put 7/16" oak strips along the front edges of the cabinets, to replace the wood strips they had before. Then we plan to talk with the fabricators regarding other reinforcing we plan or should do before they install the countertops.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 3:56PM
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Okay here's a solution. You take off the wooden strips and put plywood decking on the tops of the cabinets. Then you use a 2cm granite and have the fabricators build up the edge. About half the country uses the thinner granite with plywood. live wire oak is right....you don't want your granite sitting on flimsy strips of wood. The plywood would be much better.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 4:23PM
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Not sure if I understand the exact problem, but you are saying they put a board under your old counters, on top of the cabs? Maybe you could elevate them even more, and put a nice crown or maybe it would be a casing.....are you getting a tile backsplash? Maybe a strip of small matching tiles? That would be unique and maybe cheaper than a build up, though you get more wow with a build up and any tile or moulding would be barely noticeable.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 4:31PM
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Then a sidesplash is the solution to hide the bit of missing skin. Not a big deal at all. It's done every day.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 4:43PM
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Thanks, everyone, for your help. The reason we ran into this problem was that the contractor had added some pieces of wood over the framing, I guess, to compensate for how thin the Formica was. Because of everything else built around those measurements, we needed to find a way to make the counters 7/16" taller. After discussing with the guy doing the templating, he and DH decided to go ahead with the 7/16" pieces of oak over the original framing of the cabinet.

I still wanted to wait until DH had the 7/16" wood was installed before the fabricating started, just to be sure I was satisfied with the look; but we're going ahead with it. DH is going to try to get enough of the wood added to the top of the cabinet frames to enable me to get a better idea of how it will look.

After having seen a mock-up with a granite sample and a small piece of trim oak, I think it will look better than I originally thought. With the standard 1.5" granite overhang,I really had to look to see that there was an extra piece of wood at the top of the cabinets.

This will definitely be better for the budget, too.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 12:34AM
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Be sure to take pictures of this from beginning to end. I'm a little quite (!) confused about what this looks like. Glad the template guy seemed to know exactly the solution.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 1:23AM
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Cindy Noll

We had to add 3/4 inch maple strips to our cabinets in order to have the height to put in the dishwasher, as we added 3/4 wood floors. They were stained to match & are not noticeable under the 1 1/2 inch overhang. There is no problem putting solid wood strips on top of solid cabinets.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 9:04AM
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