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These pictures show the gap between my counter and the wall, and re-caulking is only part of what I want to do. It was suggested to me that the cabinet is coming apart from the wall and I should try to see if I can somehow tighten the bolts that hold it to the wall, but I can't really see where those are. If I try to pick up or push the cabinet it doesn't really budge. Any ideas?

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    Looks like at least one of the screws holding the cabinet to the wall, is in the upper right corner above the triangular blocking. You can see it in the first image inside the cabinet, if you look close enough. – Tester101 Apr 18 '14 at 11:37
  • I do see that one, I'll try tightening it. Any idea where these kinds of screws are supposed to be? Seems odd for there to just be one, I feel like I'm just not looking in the right place. – Rich Apr 18 '14 at 12:02
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    is this a new gap, or has it been there right along and caulk filled before? Is the counter level now? – shirlock homes Apr 18 '14 at 12:11
  • It was caulk-filled before, you can't quite see in the picture that I peeled some away. The gap is I think a slow development. I am fairly sure it wasn't there when I bought the house 7 years ago but honestly wasn't paying super close attention over time. Just noticed how wide this gap was now. – Rich Apr 18 '14 at 12:18
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    Instead of tightening an existing screw, it might be easier just to drill a new one in nearby. – DA01 Apr 18 '14 at 16:27

The screws attaching the cabinet to the wall are placed at every stud, near the top of the cabinet where you see the solid wood. Studs are typically spaced every 16" and can be found with a stud finder. The cabinets will be attached to each other, so look for screws in adjacent cabinets, too, tightening everything uniformly. There should also be something holding the cabinet down to the floor, behind the toe kick on the front.

What you need to find out is why the cabinet is pulling away. Perhaps it's just caulk drying and shrinking. It's possible your floor is settling/sagging in the middle of the room. Or the outside walls could be going out of plumb. Some of these, like sagging floor joists, could indicate other problems that need to be solved first.

To fix the problem, you could remount the counter top tighter to the wall. But 99% of us would simply add more caulk.

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  • Thank you. In your opinion what is the best way to fill such a gap (nearly 1/2 inch) with caulk? I have heard of inserting foam or cardboard into the gap to support the caulk while it dries, but I have no idea is that is a good idea or not. – Rich Apr 18 '14 at 14:32
  • Shimming the front edge of the countertop could eliminate some of the gap and thus minimize the amount of caulk needed. However, you'd have to figure how to detach and reattach countertop to do it. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 18 '14 at 14:48
  • The foam is referred to as backer rod, available at hardware stores. At 1/2", it's not a bad idea to push some in the gap, it just gives the caulk something to support it. – BMitch Apr 18 '14 at 19:39

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