Problem with new kitchen worktop.

Our new worktop (one of those black high-gloss finishes) has swollen a little, around a joint next to the sink. The swelling isn't too bad, but with the surface being high-gloss, when you stand back and survey the new kitchen, it stands out like the Matterhorn would if you moved it to East Anglia. The joint was obviously not sealed adequately (just one of many poorly-done jobs by our builder). Is it too late to do anything about it? I'm sure it is, but I may as well ask! Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 29/12/2003 Steve a wrote :

You certainly will not be able to improve it, though might be able to prevent it getting worse....
I would be inclined to lift the sink out, spread silicon sealant around the cut edge to seal it, then cleanup and reseal the sink.
If the house is still under guarantee have the builder replace the entire worktop FOC.
--

Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (Lap)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Do you know what it's made from? or what make it is?
Thanks
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Its some sort of chipboard I think, with a very high-gloss laminate. Its by Axiom Worksurface Solutions. Wife has suggested trying an iron, protected by cloth, to try to smooth out the swelling, but I'm not sure about that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The problem isn't around the sink. Its the joining of the worktop to the breakfast-bar, which is an inch or two from the side of the sink. As I've just said in another reply, my wife has suggested using an iron, but I thnk I'd prefer to leave it alone. The swelling seems a little better than yesterday.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I don't rate your chances that high of rescuing this worktop. Once it has suffered from water ingress then swelling is a natural reaction.
One possible thing which could be tried for a swollen worktop would be to use some G cramps holding a stout piece of timber either side so as to compress it back into shape as it dries out.
However, it's probable you don't have the necessary access to the worktop area you need to facililtate this repair.
Your average kitchen worktop isn't that expensive so I'd go down the route of replacing rather than repairing. Bad time of year to be considering that though - you'd probably be cutting outside and with the cold climate that isn't the greatest idea.
PoP
Replying to the email address given by my news reader will result in your own email address being instantly added to my anti-spam database! If you really want to contact me try changing the prefix in the given email address to my newsgroup posting name.....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

and fixes it properly this time. If the worktop is being damaged by his poor fitting, then why should you suffer.
Do not try and fix this yourself yet as this will give the builder the excuse that you broke the seal etc and you are at fault. Either way act fast before it gets worse.
Richard
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I guess you're right, but we really don't want all the hassle and mess all over again, and besides that, the builder was a friend of a friend, and the job was a cash-in-hand one. Do I actually have any comeback, legally? My friend is now an ex-friend (he is the builder's labourer), and to be honest I would prefer not to have them back in our house, though I'll have to talk this over with my wife... we may call him yet.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

You would really need to check with Trading Standards at the local authority about that. One obvious problem is that presumably you don't have a receipt.?? This may make life difficult if you needed to prove that he did the work. On the other hand, if this was a cash job and the people concerned are not declaring it for tax purposes, then they probably would not want to see the matter raised in a court of law.

This may turn out to be the biggest issue. They made a mess of the job once, what is to say that they would not do so again.
My gut feel would be to chalk this one up to experience and get the worktop replaced by a competent kitchen fitter if you can't DIY it.
While on the subject of the builder, is the rest of the work satisfactory? Was anything done that requires a Building Regulations application or planning permission? If so was that obtained? I only make the point because if there was no paper trail with regard to payment then could it have happened in other ways as well? This is important, not so much because I am in any way an advocate in involving officialdom in things but because you could have a problem if you want to sell the property later and the documentation if it was required is not in place. This can be resolved, but in view of the kitchen situation, time may be important.
.andy
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, this is what we're going to do. This morning, the swelling doesn't look as bad - perhaps it has dried out a little. Its still there, but we're going to seal the joint better, and accept it. When we chose this worktop, we figured on having to replace it sooner than a normal worktop anyway (though not after 2 months!) as it does seem to scratch rather easily if you're not careful. We'll get someone reputable next time.

No building regs or permissions were required for anything we've had done, as far as we know- it was all minor works really. A wall was knocked down, but it wasn't a supporting one. The back doorway was enlarged to take a large window, and a window opening was extended to the floor to take patio doors.
Most of the work is fine, but there are some details that have disappointed us. The builder made a channel in the floor to take the new wiring. I expressed concern about it at the time, but he said he'd place metal capping over it before concreting it in. I later had to chisel off an area of this concrete when tiling the floor, and guess what... no metal capping. The wires are about 40mm below the surface of the tiles. The wiring to the mains-sockets is just plastered into the wall. I've since been told they should be in conduit. Its too late now!
Thanks for your reply Andy.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Steve" wrote | > While on the subject of the builder, is the rest of the work | > satisfactory? Was anything done that requires a Building Regulations | > application or planning permission? | No building regs or permissions were required for anything we've had done, | as far as we know- it was all minor works really. #
* A wall was knocked down, * The back doorway was enlarged to take a large window, * a window opening was extended to the floor to take patio doors.
AIUI all these may or will require a Building Regs application in England and Wales (eg the windows will depend on whether you use a FENSA registered contractor who can self-certify)
Owain
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Certainly I wouldn't use the iron idea, or certainly not steam. Chipboard swells wih moisture which is what has happened here. I suspect that the best you can hope for is to stabilise the situation. I'm wondering whether getting something into the gap that will soak into the board without swelling it but will exclude the water would work. I'm thinking of something like a thinned out spirit based varnish or something like that. I would practice on the end of some scrap chipboard before you try this though. There may be better solutions as well.
An iron with steam does work really well on natural wood surfaces that have been compressed in some way. I've just been cutting some beech worktops for a desk for my office and there are one or two very slight indent marks on the surface. A steam iron and a teatowel did a great job of fixing this. The grain swells and recovers the original shape.
However, this is not what you need for your worktop. I would also be concerned about the laminate cracking when heat is applied after the mechanical movement that has happened.

A high gloss laminate is going to show every blemish unfortunately.

If new windows or doors were fitted, then they must conform to certain standards for heat loss (double glazed, probably low emissivity glass) and for the doors be toughened or laminated. This is in part I and part L1 of the Building Regulations, IIRC. To comply, you either have to employ a contractor who is registered with FENSA, or submit a building notice to the local authority building control. You can check with FENSA as to whether the builder is registered.
In all likelihood, the window and door used is technically compliant - you could check with the manufacturer - but strictly speaking, if the builder was not FENSA registered, you need to do a regularisation exercise at the local authority. Realistically, nobody is likely to come around and clap you in irons if you don't; - the rub comes when you try to sell the house. You will be asked by a buyer's solicitor whether any controlled works have been done, and will have to answer that they have. A surveyor might spot it anyway.

They need to be at least 50mm to not need metal capping - and it does need to be substantial.

As long as the cables run vertically or horizontally the whole way from the sockets you don't need to have conduit or covering. It is also permissible to run cables buried only in plaster in vertical bands 150mm from room corners and horizontal ones 150mm from the tops of walls. You can't use the corresponding band 150mm up from the floor (i.e. behind where skirtings go.)
In fact, solid metal conduits require that the ratings of cables are recalculated because the conduit reduces the rate at which heat can be dissipated from the cables.

.andy
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

One of the things I am beginning to learn by experience is not to do jobs for friends. It's not that the job won't be done to an acceptable standard, but I find it makes it all too easy to provide a discount "for a mate", and I end up paying the price.
PoP
Replying to the email address given by my news reader will result in your own email address being instantly added to my anti-spam database! If you really want to contact me try changing the prefix in the given email address to my newsgroup posting name.....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A lesson I learned a long time ago but occasionally have weak moments and say yes
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.