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Installing full overlay cabinets with 1/8" reveals to walls2/28
I need some advice in advance of tackling a very difficult install. We're doing a large contemporary cabinetry project, and my customer wants not only 1/8" reveals between all doors and drawerfronts, but 1/8" reveals between doors/drawerfronts and adjacent walls. No fillers.
Our original bid was based on frameless cabinets with 3/4" fillers scribed to the walls -- but the customer's expectations are now evolving. Having seen 1/8" reveals on cabinetry walls in our showroom, she wants them everywhere.
The builder (this is a new home under construction) promises that all walls and ceilings will be "plumb & level" -- but 1/8" reveals mean ZERO margin for error.
I can't rely on job-site perfection -- and can't modify/rebuild frameless boxes on site to accomodate out-of-plumb walls or out-of-square niches. And my job site measurements are never accurate to within 1/16" anyhow.
I'm thinking of changing the construction of the cabinets to full overlay faceframe with 1/4" scribe on wall ends and then sizing/fabricating the doors AFTER the boxes are installed in place.
There's got to be an easier solution. Anyone ever did this before -- without getting skinned alive?
I usually use a 1-1/2" scribe that is in-plane with the doors. It looks clean and modern, and addresses other issues as well, such as pull clearance for inside corners, drawer clearance of casings, out of square alcoves, drawer slide wobble... you get the idea. I doubt that the builder, regardless of how new he is will guarantee a parallel plane tolerance of +/- 1/32" between critical facing walls. A sheetrock crew doing a great job could f that up in a blink while getting a pretty corner. In other words, he has no quality control tools to insure that the walls would be to the spec that you need; he can do a great job building the house square and level, and still fail on this point.
Mark, thanks for your advice. Great minds must think alike. I started out with the 1 1/2" flush scribes. That was the solution that just got veto'd last night. My homeowner just doesn't like the idea of 1 1/2" strips (or 1" or 3/4") running up and down alongside each wall. Your Plan B is kind of where I'm at. I'm hoping someone else can give me Plan C.
Without taking into account door casings, baseboards, window stools, electrical outlets and switches, air registers, ect....
Nice one Jim; sorry for using up all the "f"'s.
Obviously this is a pain & can cause lots of headaches when it comes to pulls, drawers pulling out, base boards, etc. Assuming you can get those signed off on (in writing that these are not your responsiblity) & you are being paid accordingly why not just get the boxes as tight as possible and oversize the door on the end of the run (a fat right stile or left stile depending on the wall you are butting into) and trim the door to fit on site. Obviously this limits your outside profile but I'm guessing if this 1/8 reveal is such a big deal it's probably a modern look with no outside. Otherwise you could just build the last door to fit.
You would then just put in a 1/8" "scribe" molding flush with the edgebanding so you don't have a gap between the box and the wall...
I would not do it.
It's a long shot but any chance they'd go for a filler the same width as the stiles with an 1/8" gap from the walls? Perhaps they wouldn't think that was as noticeable as a narrow filler that breaks the rhythm.
I agree with mastercabman. This is one of those things that requires schooling the customer.
I agree with everyone who says to avoid it; Conditions have to be near to perfect to do it. I'd make up a mock-up of the situation to demonstrate the clearance issues- pulls denting walls, needing to keep the hinges adjusted all the time (maintenance $ ) etc. Then , if they still want to go for it, get them to sign off on it so you'll get paid to come and adjust everything all the time.
This is just a battle in the making. Not worth the fight for all the reasons already given. Real site conditions will never ever match her expectations. To top it off as the studs dry the walls will probably move some. It will be "your" problem, again.
Thanks everyone for your ideas and advice.
A lot of these ideas are complicated by the fact that the doors here are veneered flat slabs in plane-sawn walnut -- vertically grain-matched.
I really like the Alan Gage's idea of standing the box off the wall by 1/8" with (I would guess) a recessed filler. That "shadow line" effect might sell here.
I went to the job site yesterday and checked the plumbness of the walls (not yet sheetrocked). While it is framed extraordinarily well, only 20% of the walls are "perfectly" plumb (plumb to better than 1/16" in 4 feet). Most are out of plumb by 1/8" or so in 4 feet, with a handful by 1/4" in 4 feet. In some wall niches, opposite walls are each out of plumb in opposite directions -- causing a variation in width of 1/4" across the opening. Most of the problem are the studs themselves -- the wood is just not perfectly straight.
A lot of this can be fixed during sheetrocking -- if the sheetrocker is willing to shim his sheetrock to improve plumbness of walls (a big "IF").
Big meeting with builder and customer tomorrow. I plan to use many of your ideas to see if I can move this to a reasonable compromise. Thanks!
Doesn't really matter how square are the studs,by the time they drywall,tape and mud the inside corners,it 's just going to be out anyway.
1/8 is not enough for standard wood framing. If they insist upon this detail I would put some grounds in the framing that would be hidden by the cabinetry and were placed exactly for installation. Make the drywall guy float his finish to them. Or else install the cabinet and have it floated then.
I like the idea of having the taper floating to plumb and level grounds. It would be the builders job to create the Flat, Plumb & Level. What if you installed the boxes using a 3/8" or so filler then overlayed doors and drawer fronts to leave the 1/8" reveal to the wall? Size the doors after the boxes are installed then use hindges with greater overlay.
Make the kitchen minus the doors that go to the walls. Make templates for the final doors.
Include in your contract stipulations that the doors will function properly at time of the installation but due to wood movement of both the wall and the cabinets you cannot guarantee functionality after you leave.
Charge them accordingly for the extra trips and out of sequence work.
Insist that the builder have the walls perfectly flat with a skim coat. Must be straight and plumb within 1/16" over 8' or whatever the height of the ceiling is. Recommend that they use metal studding in the areas where the cabinets will meet the wall to provide stability in the long run.
Or like others said, school the home owner.
So what happened?
The only way to get a wall that straight is to have the Cabinet guy make it. Install your cabinets plumb and level before the wall is built. Attach a full height panel to the sides of your cabinets and have the framer build to it.
I'd recommend using a jig knife and reinstituting the percolator before you sundrate the wood and install the insulator. That's how I'd do it, anyway.