Cabinet and Millwork Installation

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Back splashes popping off everywhere!

Mike Member

I've been installing commercial millwork as a sub. for 10 years and suddenly about a year an a half ago I started getting call backs from my biggest client about 4" back splashes I've installed coming loose from the wall. I've used Loctite premium adhesive for the last 6 or 7 years and have never had a problem until about a year an a half ago. I apply my glue in quarter size amounts about every 6 to 8 inches, use hot glue and clamp. Is anyone else experiencing this problem? The core of these splashes is particle board.

11/5/14       #2: Back splashes popping off everywher ...
Kip  Member


I had one pop off about three weeks ago. It had been on exactly one year. I used liquid nails to adhere it, there was absolutely no evidence of excess moisture or heat. Nothing out of the ordinary, it just warped and popped off, it was kinda freaky. I have no idea what could cause the particle board to suddenly bend warp like that. Sorry I can't offer any solution.

11/6/14       #3: Back splashes popping off everywher ...
james mcgrew Member

Look at the paint and adhesion surface, insure over curing time with bracing,,

we have had a hang of a time with a reputable solid surface adhesive not curing or slow as P$$$ ,, American business model now crappy material.

11/7/14       #4: Back splashes popping off everywher ...

Use smart clips to attach your splashes and you'll never have a problem .

11/7/14       #5: Back splashes popping off everywher ...
Kip  Member


I'll second the smartclips. They are great, I just hate the hassle of routing the bottom of the splash especially if they are long.

11/7/14       #6: Back splashes popping off everywher ...
Mike Member

Thanks for the tip on the smart clips! Most of my installs are in office buildings where there is a drastic 20+ degree temp change on the weekends, which is probably the culprit. I'm just puzzled as to why I've had so many issues in the past 18 months compared to the years before. The one thing I've done differently in the past few years since I started having this issue is the use of vertical "kicker" sticks between the wall cabs and splash over night thinking this would help with the bond. The installs turn out looking better since the splash is glued SO tight to the top. (And the tops are installed level). Any thoughts on if this could be my problem? If the top expands up and the joints are super tight could this be breaking the back splash loose.. This issue is driving me nuts!

11/10/14       #7: Back splashes popping off everywher ...

Our approach has been edgeband the bottom in PVC, then laminate face & back and band the top edge with laminate. Advantage is that we have balanced construction and no water entry point.

Attachment: bead of silicone between counter and splash. PL400 blobs, Hot melt temporary hold. Spring stick kickers. Caulk top edge. All of our work is commercial, so steel studs are the norm. No warping over time!

11/12/14       #8: Back splashes popping off everywher ...

Smartclips and you will never again have a worry.

Set up a dedicated router table w/infeed/outfeed tables and route the entire length of the splash, minus any finished ends.

We have on occasion glued a splash or two to the wall, and in my opinion takes more time messing with prop sticks.

Also many of our installs have no uppers to prop off of.


11/26/14       #9: Back splashes popping off everywher ...
Mark B Member

I could see where your kicker strips could easily be adding a lot of pressure in the vertical axis that wasnt there before. This may have been the straw that broke the camels back. quarter sized dollops are not really a lot of holding power when you begint to consider shear. Imagine a floor tile bedded in a full bed of thinset. Very strong. But very weak in shear. Even the vibration of a washer can create enough shear to loosen a tile.

The same could be the case here. You had the temp swings but now youve added springing the splash down tight to the top. Your adhesive has to resist the material wanting to get back to straight AND the temp swings.

Id say if your going to keep trying with the vertical kickers pickup some disposable notched squeegees and bed the bulk of the splash in adhesive. Or better yet pick up a vinyl cove base nozzle for your caulking gun and just run a full bed on the back of the splash and see what happens.

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