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I will be installing a laminate countertop on some base cabinets that I've installed. I leveled the cabinets the best I could with a 4-foot level, but the problem is they are cheap, big-box, stock cabinets, and the tops of the frames and cabinet walls are not all even and flush. Obviously I want the final countertop surface to be level. What is the proper way to account for the uneven tops of the base cabinets beneath the countertop? I was thinking of using L-brackets, starting from the highest point I can find and installing them at the same level on each cabinet.

Thanks for your thoughts.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. A picture might help us get a better handle on your problem. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. – Daniel Griscom Sep 23 at 23:02
  • The base cabinets must be shimmed to make them sit level and plumb. Even cheap ones can be set right. – Kris Sep 26 at 12:32
  • @Kris I agree, but when the joints of the cabinets are not flush and square, it's difficult to choose what point on the cabinet should be level and keep the entire box plumb. I did the best I could leveling the cabinets and I ended up installing blocks on the insides of the cabinet walls starting from the highest point and made all of those level with each other. I'll attach corner braces to the blocks to fasten the countertop because the cabinets themselves did not some with any braces installed for fastening the countertop. PSA: avoid Home Depot's Hampton Bay stock cabinets. – Robert St. John Sep 29 at 17:02
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Rather than using "L" brackets why not set the counter top in place and get a few bundles of shims and shim up the difference? The brackets will be difficult to install exactly at the height you need whereas the shims are easy to adjust very small differences. Once everything is level, you can secure the counter top in place. Enjoy it and Good luck.

  • Thanks for your reply. Consider, however, that the cabinets don't currently have any surface to actually screw and secure the counter top down to the cabinet tops. – Robert St. John Sep 24 at 3:33
  • So they don't have the interior corner supports with a hole for counter screw down? Then just shim it and then add a few small l brackets... just be careful not to go through the counter top and out the laminate... Don't laugh... I've seen it many times and it's a perfect way to ruin your day. – JACK Sep 24 at 12:00
  • Thanks. I always try to use appropriate length screws for any joint, especially after the ridiculous screws I took out of the kitchen when I demo'd. – Robert St. John Sep 24 at 13:04

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