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I bought a home and it has a tiled counter top with a wood molding on it. now the gap between them is large and food goes in there plus it does not look good for rental.

how do I fill it, got an estimate from a tile co. over 1000 :(..

pls. let me know if you have any suggestion.

also , the wood molding i wanted a white oak, but none of the home centers sell it.. so if you have any other suggestions pls. let me know.

countertop_1

countertop_2

countertop_2

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    The best fix for that junk-quality countertop/cabinetry is to replace the whole mess. White oak is trivially available at an actual lumberyard dealing in hardwoods so shop somewhere other than Home Cheapo for that. But slapping some white oak on poorly fitted falling-apart plywood won't make it "nice."
    – Ecnerwal
    Jun 8, 2023 at 12:24
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    There was once grout filling that gap by the look of the remains in places, but it likely cracked & fell out as a result of that trim piece not being firmly attached to the plywood underneath. Whatever you decide to use to replace that trim, Id suggest you use both nails and something like a polyurethane construction adhesive to attach it, and then also use a flexible grout to fill the gap afterwards.
    – brhans
    Jun 8, 2023 at 12:28
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    The abomination in the last picture seals the deal for me - raw plywood all the way to countertop level? Some sort of hack job far beyond the "has aged poorly" in the first two pictures.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jun 8, 2023 at 12:54

3 Answers 3

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If you're stuck with those countertops for now (too broke, don't yet know what you want to replace with, etc.), scrape out the old grout and caulk the edge with a color-matching caulk.

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  • Thank you, I may try that, but if I try to take this trim out, I bet it will break, and I am not able to find similar size oak trim
    – sendi
    Jun 8, 2023 at 22:58
  • @sendi even if you don't remove the grout, temporary caulking is probably your best bet.
    – Huesmann
    Jun 9, 2023 at 18:30
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I think if you put caulk in that gap it will still collect food and become unpleasant. Best thing is to eliminate the gap.

Remove the wood strip. Leave the tile edges exposed. Use black paint or black iron-on veneer on the exposed plywood edge. Finish the exposed edges of the end wall the same way, in white.

Obviously this should all be replaced. You haven't shown us the condition of the cabinets, floor, etc. If the countertop and end boards are the weakest link, they can be replaced for surprisingly little and if you're showing the place for rent it'll make a big difference.

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  • I disagree. Properly caulked, the wood-tile joint won't collect any more unpleasantness than the existing grouted tile-tile joints. I would think the plywood edge plus thinset/mastic would catch more debris. IDK what happened over the right side of the dishwasher, though.
    – Huesmann
    Jun 8, 2023 at 15:33
  • Thanks for your answer, I am aware it has to go, but cost to remove tiled counter top is way more than formica.. and time. just to fix this they are quoting over $1200
    – sendi
    Jun 8, 2023 at 22:59
  • $1200 to demolish the top? This is a DIY forum. Sledge hammer $20, wrecking bar $20, roll of trash bags $5. 3 hours to wreck it, one hour to clean up. Two trips to the dump in your car: $0. Or palm the trash guys $50. No need for a dumpster. Where does $1200 come from?
    – jay613
    Jun 9, 2023 at 12:14
  • 1200 is only for "repair" like grouting and rebuffing ? and fixing trim
    – sendi
    Jun 10, 2023 at 0:21
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Knock out any loose stuff then fill the open spaces with grout or grout-caulk in a tube, if you can find a matching color.

What else you do depends on a number of factors for a rental. You obviously don't want to over spend and not see a return in the rent. I'm also sure you don't want to be a slumlord. ( slumlords would not look for answers to the problem. They would just leave the problem.) You need to make a good first impression. That bare plywood screams at me that there are "hacked" coverups. Post another question with pics of the entire kitchen. Explain what the issue is there and get yourself answers to correct it. On a scale of 1-10 the grout missing is a 5. The plywood is an 8.

(For reference, I have had rental properties for 40 years. I learned a few things.)

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  • Thank you for your reply, the plywood I had to temporarily put there, when I got this it was exposed and you could see the sideways of the dishwasher that could be a risk
    – sendi
    Jun 8, 2023 at 22:57

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