Sunday, January 11, 2009

Got Wavy Walls and Gaps Behind Your Countertop?

Apparently, the original not so good contractors thought the terms level and flush were just suggestions, but not something to aspire too. So my kitchen walls are wavy...very wavy in some spots kinda okay in others.

Now when you install cabinets, everything needs to be level and straight, which means if you have wavy walls you must shim the cabinets (put small pieces of wood behind them so everything winds up straight). This will leave with a gap.

In my case, the gap was barely noticeable in some spots, but in others were closer to an inch...if not wider. Fortunately, it's not something you notice...especially since I don't have a backsplash. But the problem is, things fall in between the wall and counter more often than you'd think.

First I thought I'd buy a piece of laminate and cut and glue the appropriate pieces necessary to cover the gap. That was before I realized a sheet of laminate was almost $50. Then I had a blast of inspiration. Backer rod, aka Caulk Saver.

Basically, it's this foam that you shove into big gaps and caulk over. This way you're not using a tube of caulk every five inches. Here is one of the smaller gaps behind the counter...see, not so noticeable, just very annoying.

Now when you put in the backer rod, it doesn't necessarily have to be a perfect snug fit all the way through. I tucked it in at one corner, then held it up along the gap as I caulked. Once there was enough caulk on it, it held in place.

I didn't take any pics with the caulk in, because it's still drying. If you have to use the ginormous amounts of caulk I did, it'll probably take a few days to dry. Use clear...unless you're able to find another color caulk that'll blend into your counter.
As for the inch plus sections of gap, I used foam pipe insulation. I cut it in half, tucked it in and caulked right over it. This whole easy fix cost me around $10 of material I already had. Definitely cheaper than the laminate and involved a lot less work and time on my part.
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  1. Great idea. I love your kitchen - good job! All of the pull out cabinets are my fav. Are the wall cabinets pull out also, or did you just place the handles in the middle, so it looks uniform? I've been using Ikea's planner all weekend designing our kitchen with Adel Medium brown :)

  2. Thanks! You're right about the handles, I kept them in the middle so everything's uniform. The 12" deep cabs (ie wall cabs) are like traditional cabs. The two pantries have pull out drawers in them, but the doors themselves open normally. Although, I might be converting one so the face of it pulls out (it's hitting my oven door handle).

    That planner can be a pain sometimes, but it was great for me. My original design included lots of wall cabinets, them I posted my plan on and got some various opinions. This one person Zenoforum posted a design that I liked so much...w/ the exception of moving around appliances...that it's more or less what I wound up doing. All those wall cabs would've been overkill...I barely use the handful of wall cabs I have now!

    Good luck and remember, when designing the kitchen, the most important thing is to imagine yourself standing in it as functional as possible? And don't worry about what other people have or do or what's trendy, do whatever makes you happy!

    Thanks for reading!


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