Light rail and backsplash

brightmJuly 30, 2014

Third day of cabinet install. Just a couple actual cabinets and lots of trim and molding. The installer is saying not to install the light rail until after the backsplash. I'm not planning on doing the backsplash for at least a couple months (and you know what that means).

Should I have him install it? Couldn't the tile guys cut off enough to fit the backsplash in behind it? Or tile around it?

Or go with his recommendation and wait?

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That never occurred to me until we got ready to put up the backsplash and we had already put up the light rail. It would be very difficult to cut the tile to fit around the light rail, so we had to remove the light rail and shorten it. We put it back up after the backsplash. I would suggest you wait.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:22PM
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Thanks edb2n - How difficult was it to remove and put back? When I say it'll be a couple months, I know that could stretch into a year. ;) I'm worried about storing the stuff somewhere, as well as leaving things open with the GC. I feel like we could have some 'differences of opinion' towards the end of things and would like to wrap things up with him ASAP.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:26PM
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A multi-tool can take a tile's thickness out of the light rail while it's still attached to the cabinet if you have someone with some skill operating it. Otherwise, remove that section and shorten it up a tad. Not every tile person has the skill to do this. I'd want a cabinet guy to do this if it were me. Better safe than sorry and all of that.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:27PM
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Thanks LWO. I kept saying that to the parties involved. "Isn't there a way just to cut a sliver off the end like THIS." Everyone said no. So I guess those are the people you DON'T get to do it. ;)

I have another contractor coming over Friday to do a few things. I'll ask him about it.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:02PM
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My light rail is simple to remove: a few screws and it all comes off. The sections with mitred corners have been reinforced with finishing nails and caulk. If yours is similar, I would leave it up, remove it when you do the backsplash, then trim the tiny bit off the ends that meet the tiles. It'll be a straight cut, no funny angles.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:07PM
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Ours removes with screws too. It's a simple L shaped piece.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:28PM
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My cabinet guys installed the light rail and my skilled tile guy put up backsplash around it with no problems. My backsplash was 4x8 porcelain tiles that were easily sourced if there had been an issue.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:53PM
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Do you already have your tile picked? If so, you could go ahead and put up the light rail but leave a gap to slide the tile behind. Remember to allow for your thinset.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 5:40PM
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edb2n, I like that idea the best. And then if it's okay, no need to take down or remove. If it's not okay, then you remove. Err a bit on the tight side I'd think. I will poke around for thinset thicknesses.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 7:09PM
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Thickness of the thinset will be determined by the depth of the notches in your trowel, which depends on the size of the tile. I believe mine was 1/8" for 1" hex tile.

What color are your cabs? If they are painted you could use a little caulk if the light rail comes out a bit short. (I know this from personal experience...)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:12AM
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Cabinets are natural cherry.

We know the type/line/manufacturer of the tile. We don't know what size or shape yet (or color).

I talked to the cabinet installer before he left today. He said this would be good. (But I don't know when he'll be back to do it.) :( He just has some trim and adjusting to do, plus, now the lightrail.

I'm thinking add 1/8" + tile.

Thanks guys!

This post was edited by cal_quail on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 0:40

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:39AM
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My cabinet installers left a gap at the back. I had a tile on site for him. The tile went in perfectly.

Or you could just have him come back later to put it up for you. But expect to possibly be asked to pay a trip charge.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 1:33PM
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Right. I'm trying to avoid a trip charge. I want him to do everything that he can because it's here. I don't want him to come up with reasons to have trips later.

New question that's light rail related. :)

I'm installing my UCL. I'm trying to decide how to span the range. Meaning I'm trying to decide where to drill the holes to run the cord up into one cabinet, across, and down into the next. Since I don't have the light rail yet, I'm not sure how it works. On the bottom of a wall cabinet on the side of an opening for the range/hood, will the light rail run back perpendicular to the wall? I assume so, but I want to make sure before I put a hole somewhere that I shouldn't.

I'm thinking I want a hole in the corner of each cabinet, next to the wall. I think I need to measure out from the wall to clear back of cabinet, and measure in from the side to avoid the light rail (assuming it runs back to the wall...I think it must).

Also, any recommendations what to use to tack up the cords. Blue tape is working swell for now. Maybe I just leave that until the light rails are in?

This post was edited by cal_quail on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 14:41

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:29PM
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Those EL UCL looks great. I am not sure I understand how the light rail makes a difference in the installation. I would clip the wires from the first fixture on the bottom of the cabinet till you reach the wall, then drill a hole in the corner of the left cabinet and run the wire up vertically till you reach the same height as the above the range cabinet. Then run the wire across the back of the OTR cabinet and vertically down the right side cabinet and a hole in the bottom and plug to the next fixture. Basically follow the cutout but on the inside of the cabinet. The wires will be inside the cabinet but you should be able to attach it to the cabinets and keep it from interfering with daily usage.
I so wanted the slim profile bars but some communication errors have forced us to look for a direct wire option. I am hoping they will be hidden by 3/4" light rail as the electrician claims they are only 0.5" thick.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:41PM
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You can direct wire these EL lights I think, you'd just direct wire the power supply, I think. Call them, they're really nice.

I was questioning how far out to go from the inside/range edge of the upper cab. I did it based on the assumption the light rail returns back to the wall. I googled images and I think I'm right.

My only miscalculation with the EL system was that the 78" cord isn't long enough to go to the back wall, up the wall to the upper cabinet (or even up to the lower edge of where the vent hood will be), across and back down and to the front to the next fixture. I ordered a splitter from EL. Shipping will be about 2-3 times as much as the fixture. :( My fault for not measuring/adding lengths before hand. But it was super easy and super fun. (I had one clip that was wonky and they're sending that no charge.)

I got the touch dimmers. I was told they'd work with a wall switch. Turns out they 'work' but default to off when the power goes off, so you would have to walk over to each dimmer and turn them on after turning on the light switch. So...I'll hang on to them and see if we think there would ever be a need to dim, but I also may see about returning them.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:49PM
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If you have your light rail, you can measure how wide it is (or hold it up under your cabinet and make a mark); then just drill your holes past that mark. This is based on the assumption that I am understanding what you were talking about, of course.... :) Most light rails are 3/4" wide I think; at least the ones I've looked at in my research...

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 7:02PM
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