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Hello all. In the process of remodeling a kitchen, and the corner where this standalone base cabinet is going is quite out of square, to the tune of about 1/2" gap at each end of the cabinet. Next to it will be a fridge. We're doing granite or solid surface countertop with a 3x6 subway tile backsplash.

Countertop/cabinet people, how should I square this cabinet up? Flush to the back wall, flush to the side wall, or split the difference?

My first instinct is to go flush to the side because it'll look better straight-on and the fridge will hide the 1" side gap and the countertop guy will just scribe the back of the countertop to the back wall. But would that throw off the fridge? I dunno. How would you do it?

  • Is there a bulge in the wall to the right side . Can you remove a bit of dry wall in corner to allow the cabinet to slide to the right. A scribe molding to cover the gap on right would be fine too. And why are the ground holes up on your receptacles. – Kris Jan 16 at 3:50
  • Ground holes are up on the receptacles because that's spec. Not really a bulge so much as completely out of square (old house). I think I'd rather do a large scribe mold than chunk out drywall - so you're saying I should put the cabinet flat against the back wall? – JGray502 Jan 16 at 3:56
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    I'm not going to argue about the orientation of the receptacles. Cheers. – JGray502 Jan 16 at 3:58
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    Assuming the walls are straight when the countertop people come to measure they can make a template for that piece. That piece will be made to fit using the template and not require any additional work to install. – Platinum Goose Jan 16 at 15:00
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    I'd consider squaring the cabinets to the grout lines on your tile floor. If it's off too much, it's going to look weird. – aphoria Jan 16 at 15:10
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Assuming you're installing cabinetry along the entire wall, I'd do this:

  1. Find the point on the back wall that sticks out the most.

  2. Measure out one cabinet depth and mark a line over the entire length of the floor. (Use a grout line as a reference-- even if your tiles are off-square, these are the lines your eyes will pick up as square.)

  3. Install cabinets to this line, use shims to fill in the anchor points and the sides if necessary.
  4. Tell the granite cutters that things aren't square, and let them deal with it.

I realize that this particular installation has a standalone on the end. This really doesn't change anything -- You want the fronts of all your cabinets to be on the same line as you'll pick up the tiniest of inconsistencies, even with the fridge breaking the line.

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  • If I see the floor correctly, counter top will be 25" on the right, but may be as wide as 30 on the left. The way you suggest is the way I would do it to, but if the floor is run the way I see it is, that is a difficult call. – Jack Jan 16 at 15:18
  • On closer look, you might be right -- those tiles under the fridge look like they're getting wider. – Chris Cudmore Jan 16 at 16:38
  • Luckily, no other base cabinets on that wall, just the one in the corner. But I can certainly align it to the grout, which is almost exactly parallel/flush to the back wall (the camera warped the perspective) – JGray502 Jan 16 at 22:49
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    I selected your answer as best because of your fourth point. I'd been agonizing a bit over the opposite corner of the room where I have several boxes together in an L shape, and the walls aren't quite as bad as this one but are definitely not square. I went ahead and made sure the cabs were square and straight as a unit, and I'll let the countertop guys deal with the rest lol. – JGray502 Jan 16 at 23:00
  • You can also add a bit of thickness to the backsplash or even a granite/ceramic/porcelain corner bead to cover up any issues with the granite not being flush against the wall – Chris Cudmore Jan 17 at 14:47
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I'd push the cab against the back wall and scribe a filler strip (somewhere between 1/2" and 1-1/2") on the right side.

But realistically, if the counter edge on the left (beside the fridge) is perpendicular to the wall, nobody but you would ever notice.

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If you put the cabinet tight to the right wall and then install the fridge next to it the cabinet will look out of square as it will be 90 degrees from the right wall. A gap will form between the right cabinet and the fridge or the fridge will be skewed.

So as the cabinets run looking at your picture from right wall to left the gap in the back would have to get larger to keep everything looking straight. Get a line on the back wall and follow it to the face of all cabinets to remain true or your fridge would have to sit at an angle to hid the gap on the right. Imagine your cabinets as one large piece of furniture in the front; solid, ridged and all parallel, that is the way they must appear when finished. If that first cabinet is off the end of you furniture (left side of kitchen) will be sticking out with a large gap on the left back wall.

Get a couple packs of shims they are angled and fit together to adjust for these issues, you'll find them in the door section of the home improvement store. You will then be able to adjust each cabinet to fit perfectly and the end result will look professional. Go off the back wall.

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