Gap between granite and cabinets

paintpantherJune 28, 2009

Finally got our granite installed, yay!!!

Overall i think it went okay. There were little problems here and there such as...our cabinets apparently were not leveled so now the granite does not sit right on top of the cabinet. Here is a picture:

If you look closely the gap is between the brown (original paint of cabinet and we painted it white) and the granite. You can see the white parts which are the caulking. Fab did ask us to get moulding to add support to the granite otherwise granite can break if too much pressure.

What do you experts think?

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Hmmm... definitely need to do something there. Moulding is a good option. Do you have a far-away picture? How bad does it look from a distance?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 1:50AM
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From far you cant see it at all:

I know cabinets not leveling is common, thats what we call builder quality eh!?! Anyways, was just wondering what people do to fix the issue. The fact that we are recommended to put in moulding to support after the installation, is it common?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 2:31PM
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I love your granite. Wonderful choice! Now on to the
issue. Have you heard of shoe, cove or trim molding?
I did not until my Reno began.
First shoe or trim molding will probably not support the
counter. I am sure the intaller just meant to make it look
finished. My installer also used shims to make it level
despite my crooked kitchen.

Hopefully Stonegirl or Kevin (rock experts)can chime in.

My Granite installer did NOT install the modling we used
either. We did this ourselves. It is really easy to do if
you can cut and measure. You can buy it at a lumber yard
or Homedepot, Lowes ... Here is what mine looks like. I am
hoping this photo can explain it for you.

This is still in reno process more trim to come.
But if you look above the drawer you will see a P shape.
This is the molding above our cabinets below the granite.
We installed this ourselves.

And here is an image of various trim styles.
Maybe these visuals can help explain.

Good luck, meanwhile enjoy that beautiful rock.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 7:04PM
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I think I can count the times we had perfectly level cabinets on an install on one finger. No serious - more often than not there are gaps between the stone and the cabinets, and your gaps are very small, compared to some I have seen. The fact that you have the contrast between the original color and the paint makes it a lot harder to look at.

The suggestion of adding molding is a great (and often made!) one and you would be surprised at the difference it will make. It is not up to the stone guy to do the molding - it is the GC or home owner's responsibility. The stone guy just needs to ensure that the stone is installed and supported (most often shims will be used in the low spots)

Your stone looks gorgeous!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 9:28PM
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Thanks Boxerpups/stonegirl your posts are very very helpful.

You have no idea how much better I feel now that ours is not a rare case, and that his suggestion is common. No i dont know what is shim or cove, i do know what is trim molding and thats what we are going to use to fix this issue.

I am just a bit confused though. Boxerpups in your post you said the molding is not used for support. But thats exactly what fabricator said the molding is used for. So should i be concerned the molding wont give enough support to the granite? We are so afraid to lean on that area of the granite, i always have to remind myself!!

Thanks again for the info, oh and also, thanks guys for the compliments, yes we are quite happy with how it turns out. Still have lots to do though, we try not to do the molding yet until maybe next week, just to let the granite settle.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 12:24PM
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The moulding will not support the weight of the granite. You need to add shims in the gaps between the cabinet and the countertop. Once it is properly shimmed, then add moulding to cover the gap.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 2:34PM
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Hi Paintpanther,

I have to agree with Glenster-jr.
The molding will not hold up the granite. I would call the
granite installer and just ask if it is okay to lean on
that part of the granite. And ask what kind of molding
needs to be used for support?

Or e-mail stonegirl to see if she knows about the
support needed.

I would never walk on my granite but I can lean on it,
put large pots and pans, grocery bags and not worry
about support. I would find out so that you can feel good
using that beautiful stone.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 4:16PM
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Fori is not pleased

It looks like it IS shimmed, but it's hard to be sure from here. Do find out for certain, then finish painting! I'm not sure you'll even need trim to make it look good once painted--and probably nothing much bigger than a pencil.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 4:48PM
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Hello Glenstr_jr and Boxerpups, thanks for the responses.

Can you explain what is shim? I tried googling it but i am not getting a good grasp of how to do it? Is it some type of liquid that i squeeze into the gap to fill up the gap?

My fab said before we put the molding, we dont want to put too much weight at that one spot otherwise the granite can break. I have been careful with it and not lean on it which many times i almost did. My plumber was just here and i have to keep reminding him i feel so bad because that gap is right where the sink cabinet is.

Sorry i know very little about these stuff, any help is appreciated!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 4:58PM
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Fori is not pleased

A shim is a thin chunk of wood used to level just about everything. But if your fabricator said not to lean...hrmmm something is amiss.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 5:00PM
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Hello fori, if shim is a piece of wood than there is no shim in there, there is a lot of caulking which you can see in the picture as the random spots that are connected from the granite to the cabinet.

OH I AM STRESSED!!!!! Whatever happened to a perfect installation.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 5:18PM
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here is a better picture with flash, you can see the white spots (caulking) that goes from the granite to the cabinets:

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 5:24PM
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A shim is a small piece of wood (here) inserted between the top of the counter and the stone to help level out the unevenness of the cabinets. Usually this would be put down before/during the granite install to provide the support needed. Apparently this guy didn't do it, which seems pretty dumb to me.

The trim moulding you would then use would be applied to the cabinet up tight against the stone in order to cover the bit you didn't paint as well as the shims and glue that you would see. The trim moulding would be attached with small nails (a brad nailer will do it). It would not be weight-bearing.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 6:28PM
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okay..... so does it mean it is too late to do shim, and we are pretty much stuck with a granite countertop we always will be afraid to break?


    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 6:38PM
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Fori is not pleased

But there could be shims in the middle somewhere, or behind the caulk...but then if the guy said not to lean on it...THAT I don't get. Especially since it looks so nice! (Meaning it doesn't LOOK like an amateur job.)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 6:48PM
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That looks like the front edge of your sink? If so, it's probably a good idea to shim as the granite will be weak in that area.

Looks like it might actually be a perfect fit for the free paint stirring sticks they give out at HD. Might want to swing by and grab a few and see if you can squeeze them in there. If they fit then you can just cut them down to size.

Another option is to buy wood veneer at a wood hobby shop like Rockler. Just glue up as many pieces as you need to get the right thickness, or they generally have thin small pieces of "craft wood" you can buy and use too.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 7:25PM
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fori: my fab is not an amateur that i am pretty sure. other than these few not so major (i hope) issues we have, i really have no complaint with his work, considering he was able to fit our kitchen on one slab(was going to buy two slabs) and still come out beautifully.

i am pretty sure there is no shim because we were watching the entire process. and am 99% sure he didnt put any type of wood between granite and the cabinets.

Funny thing is he told us not to put weight on it. then later on he was leaning on it, right in that area!! i screamed and told him not to lean on it, then he said, oh dont worry, if i break it, i will pay for it. so i dont know!??!

chiefneil: yes it is the front of our sink cabinet. we do have stirring sticks thanks for the suggestion, will try if it will fit it there.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 10:00PM
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Fori is not pleased

You can buy packs of shims at HD or hardware stores, often in the door section. they're wedge shaped so you stuff them in as far as they go and knock off the extra (being careful not to hit the counter of course!).

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 11:23PM
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Shims can be made of wood (cheap) or plastic (not so cheap). Free paint stirring sticks are a good suggestion IF they match the gap you have. Depending on the configuration of your cabinets, sometimes strips of lunber or plywood can be glued & screwed to the inside of the cabinet front and positioned to support the granite. This solution is much easier when done before the granite is installed. I thought fabricators/installers were supposed to check the cabinets for level before installation of the counter tops.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 9:47AM
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we didnt do template, loooooong story....

anyways, i like the idea of glueing lumber strips to the inside front of the cabinet. maybe that along with the molding, we can add good enough support for the granite?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 1:15PM
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I don't have any comments about the molding supporting the granite, but I wanted to let you know we ran into the same thing ourselves. Our old laminate counters covered that area at the top of the cabinets and so we just never thought of it. We have molding to put in that spot but just haven't gotten around to it yet. Here's a pic of what ours looks like right now.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 5:52PM
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thanks Patty for the picture.

buti am confused. Am i seeing it right? thats a huge gap between the cabinets and the granite?!? Or is that piece of wood that run across part of he cabinet? If it is, yours look pretty leveled? but there is still gap between that piece of wood and the granite. Can you explain a little more?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 10:09PM
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That wood running across is part of the cabinet, but there isn't really a gap, (between the granite and wood) just shadows I think. The granite is sitting on the wood that you see there. I'll post a pic again once the molding is up, no telling how long that will be though. :)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 12:35AM
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