Gap behind countertops

kjmamaFebruary 7, 2010


We are moving to a house with a huge gap behind the countertops in parts. What is the best way to fill the gap?

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Have no idea what size the gaps are or why the gaps are there. Also would be better to know what countertop material and backsplash material are there.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 11:45PM
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OK sorry, The countertop is laminate with a wooden strip nearest to the wall, like an edge treatment. The gap is about 1/2 inch in some spots. I'm not sure why. It seems to me that a DIYer put in the cabinets and countertops. They are both rather low grade quality. I guess it could be too that the wall is not straight?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 9:10AM
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The wall is (almost) never straight.

What's the backsplash like? If it's not a postform top (with a built-in backsplash) then gaps like this are often covered by a short (~4") backsplash made of particleboard, covered with matching laminate.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 10:30AM
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"The wall is (almost) never straight"

That's why it's important to scribe the back or backsplash of the counter to the contours of the wall. You might consider having a pro re-install the counter top as 1/2" gap is pretty severe and hard to fill without getting ugly.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 1:44PM
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Sierraeast - I did not know you could reinstall them? Do you have any idea how the cost would compare to new counter tops? What kind of pro would do that kind of work?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 5:02PM
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If they installed them using brackets,(you'll see them on the underside), it would be fairly easy to re-install, although I say that without seeing your actual situation. If they are glue down, it's a little more involved but I would first try a reputable cabinet shop that does counter work and get their take on it.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 7:34PM
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The countertop is flat, no preformed backsplash?

And the wooden strip is intended to be trim?

If so, the easier fix would be to remove that wood and either flatten the wall(done by applying sheetrock compound to fill the dips)or by installing a thicker backsplash. Tile, the aforementioned MDF/laminate, or a composite material.

Just use caulk to fill the space between the countertop/backsplash as grout will crack.

These ideas would be easier than moving the countertop, since even after moving it, some kind of backsplash will be needed.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 11:36PM
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No, sorry there is a backsplash. It appears to be added on, not preformed.This is the best picture I have at the moment. That will help my description of the wooden trim. I don't have a picture of the gaps. The space is way to big to caulk.

From [VA house]( From [on the other side](
    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 8:54AM
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Usually people who are installing something that nice know how to do that better. Then, again, the fault here is to the drywallers as well as the countertop installers.

Is this a new house?

If so, the builder needs to fix that. If it is a remodel, the GC or remodeler is at fault.

If you have to fix it and feel capable, you could do the following:

1. Tape the top trim mon the backsplash. Use blue painters tape. Then cover the countertop with brown craft paper.

2. Using a hand sanding pad, scuff the paint on the wall above the counter.

3. Using a wide(12" or 14" drywall knife--those look like a really wide putty knife), apply dry wall joint compound on the wall to fill the gaps. Don't try to fill a 1/2" gap the first time. Do it in two separate applications. You could use regular mud-let dry for at least 12 hours. Or use 'hot' mud, which can dry in a couple hours.

4. Sand smooth with a dry wall sanding pad and drywall sandpaper.

5. Prime and paint.

6. There will still be a small gap. Use a colored caulk to fill that gap.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 10:33AM
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Thanks Handymac
No, the house is not new and we are fixing it up ourselves with the exception of some already completed electrical.
We are the ones left to do this. Thanks for the help

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 6:10PM
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Hello, How about a piece of quarter round?It will cover the gap and is flexible enough to follow the wall. You can also buy prefinished that will complement your decor.
Good Luck Woodbutcher

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 7:04PM
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