I hope that this is an appropriate place to post this question, and that the
question is not too stupid.... Apologies otherwise.
We have granite countertops in our kitchen, and about 2 months ago, we
noticed that at one of the joints, (about the dishwasher), one side of the
countertop was just slightly higher than the other.
We had a granite company come and take a look at it to try to fix it, and
they said that actually one side was slightly lower than the other. Mind
you, our house is about 7 years old, and this only happened recently. He
said that to fix it, he'd try to lift the cabinet slightly (about 1/16")
with shims, but he wasn't able to do it. He suggested that we have someone
who was a carpenter do it.
I'm kind of curious if this (raising the cabinet slightly) is even possible?
Aren't the cabinets mounted to the walls/studs in the back?
In any event, how can this be done?
Like I said, this may be a dumb question.
From all the times I have done this, seen it done, and watched someone
else do it, the cabinets are usually mounted to the wall and the other
cabintes (if there are modular). Also around the mounting points there
may be some existing shims, in order to true up the cabinets level and
plumb. Hopefully this connection points were done with screws and you
will just have to back them out, re-shim and screw put them back in. If
these are not modular cabinets, and are built-ins instead, then the
process if adjusting them is a whole lot harder. Also be on the lookout
for any plumbing or electrical lines that may be affected by the
movement of the cabinets.
It is also interesting that new construction (7 years old) had this
much noticable settling. I know settling is something that happens and I
am not bad-mouthing the original builder. I would investigate into the
cause of the settling. Even though this is showing up now, this could be
a onging problem and you will be readjusting the cabinets again or
something else in the future. Look at the door jambs, windows, where the
walls meet the ceiling, at the baseboards, for other signs of settling.
Solve the potential problem first and then go back and solve the symptoms.
Todd, that does seem like the obvious solution, huh? Wonder
why the granite guys didn't think of that?? :) That's how a
slate pool table top is leveled; the pieces are shimmed
Todd L wrote:
Just offhand And with little or no knowledge regarding countertops I did use
some caulking to seat some marble counter tops .I used cauking to even the
load in case of irregularities in the base . If they used the same
technique, and I am sure it is not standard, then some settling may have
Nothing dumb about it, except maybe in the event you take too much advice at
long range without a healthy dose of salt.
The granite is usually glued to a substrate, the substrate is general
screwed, from the granite side, to the cabinet corner braces ... kind of
hard to get to them to do any shimming of the granite, which would be the
JAW had the best troubleshooting post thus far.
If the cabinets settled, there should be room for them to go back up, but
you need to find out "why" before you decide "how" ... it could be something
as simple as weather changes, or as complicated as a crack in the
There are way too many variables to make a guess ... you need to get someone
locally involved, preferably someone you trust and with references.
I'll try to answer/comment on some items in one post initially.
As to why they didn't try to shim the countertop, he said that he didn't
like to do that, but after tying to shim under the cabinet bottom and
failing, he took a look anyway. He said that the builder had put some
kind of adhesive or glue, and the countertops were basically stuck to
the top of the (wooden) cabinets. So he said now the only way would be
to raise the cabinet slightly (thus my original post).
We're kind of curious why his is happening also, and so was he. Turns
out that (believe it or not) he's a geological engineer, and he said
that he'd never seen this happen before.
The thing that is puzzling is that we have ceramic tile on our kitchen
floor, and that has concrete board (I think that's what you call it)
under it, and there's no sign of shifting or cracking at all there. In
other words, it looks like the floor itself hasn't shifted.
I don't know if this is possible, but my wife was kind of theorizing
that the cabinet itself may've compressed (i.e., the cabinets "got
We're trying to get a carpenter or someone to try to shim the cabinet up
(again, it's very slight... I don't think it is even 1/16"), and the
granite guy said that they'd send a couple of people over to re-epoxy
BTW, I'm assuming that when they do the shimming, they would have to
re-screw the screws into different places, not into the same holes,
You mentioned that it is near the dishwasher, I presume also near the sink,
could you have had a leak or gotten water on the floor sometime in the last
year or so?
The reason I ask this is that a lot of cabinets are made from MDF like
material now and the least bit of moisture can make a mess of them.
What is "MDF"?
Funny you should mention the water on the floor, but we actually did find a
leak from the dishwasher.
When you said "make a mess", what did you mean? You mean the "MDF" would
I'm going to have a hard time explaining this, but part of the floor in the
area where the dishwasher was is tiled with ceramic tile, probably about
1/8" to 1/4" thick, and the cabinets are sitting on the tiled area, not on
the concrete board directly.
The leak was onto the concrete area, so I think (thankfully) that the water
didn't directly contact the cabinet bottoms.
Medium density fiberboard. A smooth board used for a lot of cabinets these
days. Biggest problem, unless you get special types, is that it is badly
degraded by water. I think that's probably what Kentucky meant. It tries to
turn back into pulp when it's wet.
Maybe not, but if it did, that's your problem. In some cases, even the toe kick
is made of MDF, though it shouldn't be. That can degrade, then, as well.
Interior plywood also degrades--in its case delaminates--when wet.
"Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a
pleasure." Ambrose Bierce
If there's enough leak to be noticeable, it's quite possible that enough got
into the MDF to make it lose its integrity. Doesn't take a lot of
water--I've seen MDF swell just from seepage around the edge-banding after
I spilled a can of soda (blasted cheap computer table--it's on my list but
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
I'd have to opine that the bit of advice you received and I left tack on
below is about the best you can get on the subject.
The variables that could have caused the problem are numerous and the
possible fixes can be nothing but guesses without a physical inspection of
the lay out.
I would also opine that I would not whole heatedly embrace the granite
company's "it ain't me" pronouncement until you have a qualified and
unbiased pro look at the whole problem and you have a firm understanding of
who was/is responsible for what.
These kind of things can go round and round between main contractors, sub
contractors, suppliers, installers, and whoever until you are totally fed up
with the whole process and wish you'd never seen the counter tops.
Where are you getting your granite?!? I've had a few hundred granite
tops installed by almost a dozen different fabricaters and have NEVER
seen one glued to a substrate and screwed to the cabinet. you are
thinking of other solid surface materials. Wilson Art Gibralter is
fabricated in this manner - but it is NOT granite.
I think you may have misunderstood, I was not describing the sequence of
events of the installation, merely remarking that it may be difficult to
shim the granite afer installtion, which apparently turned out to be true..
Around here the decking/substrate _is_ screwed to the cabinet, the granite
_is_ shimmed level and _is_ glued to the PREVIOUSLY screwed down
decking/substrate, usually with Laticrete 310.
Wilson Art Gibralter is
So are you saying that your granite is only 3/4" thick with a built up
edge similar to a blank for a mica top? A substrate is then screwed
to the cabinets and the built up edge treatment conceals this
substrate? I have never seen that. All the tops I put in are full 1
1/4" thick. They are heavy as all hell, but haven't had one fall
through the floor into the basement yet.
Yep ... I'd bet that the vast majority of the granite countertop
installations on traditional style cabinets done hereabouts are 3/4" slab
with an edge treatment that brings the visible edge to 1 1/2".
I have never seen that. All the tops I put in are full 1
I'd rough guess in the neighborhood of 30+ pounds a s/f?
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.