Cooktop Installation Tradeoffs

TrebruchetAugust 21, 2014

One of the burners is out on this cooktop. The owner has purchased the replacement model, but it's 5/8" deeper that this one, touches the built-in oven below, making the bottom of the flange 5/8" higher than the deck. The Lowe's installer suggested fabricating a stone perimeter strip to fill the gap. I'm going to lower the base cabinet holding the oven. Note the shiny vinyl baseboard. It's stuck in place and will have to be cut to allow the cabinet removal. Those cuts will have to be covered.

The feet have run out of adjustment, meaning the female and male screw ends will have to be shortened to get the cabinet low enough.

An important part of this job is making sure what you're doing complies with the manufacturer's installation instructions. This tag is on the oven and there is a similar tag on the new cooktop. Looks like we've got compatibility, although I don't think the new cooktop model had been created when the oven stamp was placed.

The new cooktop is properly installed. The full-length cabinet base is now wood painted to match the vinyl.

Here's the tradeoff. Instead of having a stone perimeter around the new cooktop as suggested by Lowe's, there is a piece of molding on top of the base cabinet front continuing the line between the drawers. The customers are delighted.

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Really nicely done.
Clearly shows that a little more logical thought (and probably the skills involved to come up with The Thought) come to a much more sensible solution.

Sometimes, since my skills are nonexistent just developing, I find I have to stop and go have some coffee or take a nap before I come to a good solution.

Tell me. Did you just take a look at this and say, "Well, that's not what we're gonna do here." or did you need to think about it? Seems so practical!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 7:51AM
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"Tell me. Did you just take a look at this and say, "Well, that's not what we're gonna do here." or did you need to think about it?"


This is what I love about my work. You never know just what you will find or determine or risk or try until the day of.

I'm pretty confident as to what I can pull off and what I can't. I recently forgot about pulling a dishwasher to get at some SSV when the homeowner advised me the plumbers had big problems with the connection.

It's very seat-of-the-pants. I like that.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 12:48AM
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CEFreeman wrote:

> I find I have to stop and go have some coffee or take a nap before I come to a good solution.

I think this is the beginning of wisdom in DIY work. With the above job there are probably a dozen ways in which the task could have been approached, in addition to the Lowe's guy's solution or the one Trebuchet took. Some of the other possible solutions are really bad ideas

You could remove the countertop, and shim the entire thing higher or raise all of the cabinets but the oven one -- which would likely result in a broken countertop.

You could modify the cooktop or the oven so that they would not interfere with each other -- which would likely result in an electrical hazard or a fire hazard or one of the two appliances no longer working and voiding any warranty.

You could order yet another cooktop and/or a different oven which might work, but that would take weeks and cost quite a bit.

As a still-learning DIYer pausing to think through the possible solutions and possible ramifications of those solutions is a good idea, since starting down one route might either preclude another, better solution, or at least make it more difficult or more costly.

With Trebuchet and his level of experience, some of the "bad idea" solutions may have entered his brain, and were likely quickly discarded perhaps which a silent chuckle of "yeah, that'd be a bad idea", or perhaps before even rising to the level of conscious thought. The remaining reasonable solutions were then weighed against the constraints of time, available tools and materials, aesthetics, and cost.

A DIYer would likely weigh the constraints differently than a professional like Trebuchet since he must consider consider his costs of traveling to the jobsite and the costs of his time, as well as the requirements and desires of the client. A DIY'er trip charge to the jobsite is usually zero since they live there, and their cost for their time is low enough that thinking about the options over coffee or overnight or over a week or two, can make sense.

The great thing is that professionals like Trebuchet are willing to share their experience here on this forum both proactively by showing and explaining how he accomplished a project, as well as on an as-needed basis by answering specific questions.

Thanks to you Trebuchet.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 1:02PM
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The real lesson here for folks doing/undergoing remodeling is to be ready to make tradeoffs.

People get a vision in their heads and are excited about their plans and dreams coming to fruition. Life is full of tradeoffs, and the most important part of a contractor's job is gauging the sophistication level and/or fussiness of potential customers.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 5:46PM
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