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We had our laminate kitchen worktops fitted yesterday. The fitters were really friendly and gave us some other advice about our kitchen whilst fitting and we thought it was okay. But after they had left we noticed some problems.

There was one joint and a gap for a free-standing oven.

The first problem is that the corner isn't squareenter image description here

The corner units are at 90 degrees and the fitters responded this morning that the walls aren't straight so they couldn't fit a 90 degree corner. Our feeling is that the worktops could have been scribed to make the corner a right angle.

The second problem is that the overhang isn't even - ranging from 9mm to 27mm in different places. We've also got an uneven overhang next to the oven making there not enough room in one place and making it look very strange.

Thirdly, because the wall isn't flat we have large gaps (>10mm) at the back. The fitters at the time said we could make this up when we tiled and I believed him but now looking online it looks like they should have scribed the worktop into the wall.

On top of all this the join isn't done very well - it's not smooth i.e. there's a ridge along it and a large gap at the front has been filled with Colorfill joint sealant.

We've complained and they've said it's not their fault our walls aren't straight and we were happy with it when they were doing it. What do people think our options are? We haven't paid them yet!

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-1 The "what are our options... we haven't paid them yet" is a legal/contractor question. Much of the rest of this appears to be a borderline rant. Both of those are off topic (see the faq). You could fix this by asking questions of how to do this right (should a counter follow the wall or cabinet face, how big of a gap is appropriate, should the wall be straight or the counter scribed... etc). –  BMitch Jun 7 '13 at 16:13
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+1 - I think this is a good question asking if a job was done professionally. –  DMoore Jun 7 '13 at 16:18

1 Answer 1

You should have fixed the walls before they put up the counter tops up. I understand the company's frustration with your set up.

However the real frustration should have been with the sales person or the person taking the measurements. They should have noticed this and discussed possible solutions during the initial phase.

The fabricators/installers were basically screwed and the installers made the situation worse. First I am sure your contract talks about an overhang. Having a consistent overhang is part of any countertop installation. This should be fixed.

However I do not think them scribing the entire back of the counter to fit your curvy wall is normal. Again they missed this. You are paying for a service and part of that is them being able to measure things. (If no one came out to your house and you just sent in measurements though my opinion reverses)

If you just have drywall above countertops there is a solution... If it works in your kitchen you can. Have them install counters with an consistent overhang. Then you could add another layer of drywall -thickness determined on how much you need to notch in your worst spot (and you can notch existing drywall too). Then you will cover drywall notch with backsplash. If they gave you some 6 inch pieces of your counter material it would probably look great.

On the other issues... The 90 degree thing - tops don't need to be at 90 they need to match cabinets. So again worry about the overhang consistency. On the joins - they should be sanded properly. There should be no ridge. It would be normal to have a very small amount of filler. The really good companies make it almost seamless and the bad ones have huge joins.

Focus on the front of the countertops. Make sure they line up the same with all cabinets. Mention that you will let them notch into your existing wall - help them out and give them options. If they can scribe one straight line in the back - that might be an option too and combining that with notching might work without additional drywall. Also I would really ask them about a matching backsplash since tiling might not cover a wide gap in the back.

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The disadvantage of adding drywall is that if the cabinets don't span the entire wall length then you have a big drywall job to do. If the do span the whole wall it can be up with first coat of mud in 45 mins. –  DMoore Jun 7 '13 at 16:41

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