We are doing a medical office, all frameless, melamine interiors, HPL doors and drawer fronts, extremely short lead time, less than perfect concrete floors, steel studs, 4” vinyl base everywhere. We normally use levelers, but the architect rejected our method (don’t ask). On the first office we did for them, we notched all our base cabs for toes.
Since there is vinyl base everywhere, I am thinking of cutting all my base sides (including finished ends) to 30” and using a separate toe base. When they wrap the cabs in vinyl base, you’ll never see the 4” at the bottom. Yield jumps way up.
Can anyone suggest whether a separate toe should be done in the shop (one for each base) or built in long sections to be trimmed as needed by our (sub) installer, or made precisely for each base run?
Also, any suggestions for attaching the toe base to the cab? I can see pocket screws if done in the shop, or “L” brackets, but too slow. I don’t want him to shoot through the deck into the toe (he has done that in the past) - ugly! Has anyone just used Liquid Nails on the toe base and dropped the cab on it? Screws hold it to the wall anyway. Also, from an assembly standpoint, it seems quicker/easier to get a square cab when the deck is flush with the sides. With the integral notch, it seems slower to build and tougher to check for square. Can anyone suggest quicker assembly tips?
From contributor M:
I have done miles of this type of cabinet in the last thirty years. Frameless plastic-laminated cabinets with overlay doors are pretty much the standard for commercial cabinets in the Southern California area.
I always use separate toe bases shop built to the length of the cabinet runs after installation. This allows you to set up a nice straight platform for setting, connecting and aligning a group of modules together to form a complete run of cabinets. I would much rather get the alignment and leveling function out of the way before I start putting down cabinets, which are much heavier and bulkier to align.
I have always attached the toe bases to the wall and then attached the cabinets to the bases with screws through the bottoms of the cabinets into the toe bases.
I use screw caps on the screw heads keyed to the color of the interior melamine and have never had a complaint.
I accomplish the same pre-alignment function for setting the upper-cabinet modules by pre-attaching a cabinet hanging strip to the wall for the uppers to hang from. Labor is really minimized by using these methods.
I just did a dentist office job and we built the cabs with notched base end panels. The notch was 4 1/2", and yes, they wrapped the whole office in the vinyl base as well. There were a lot of exposed base ends and we figured it was the best way to have a nice clean look. I would also be very interested in other options because we spent a good deal of time making them the way we did.
Regarding the side inset of the toe on finished ends, if you are more than 1/2" in (or so), aren't you losing all your support for the side/countertop? We use pocket screws on finished ends (zip-r's on unfinished). I can see where the 1" or more inset would look good. If I inset only 3/8" it would look like a mistake, don't you think?
If you post laminate after assembly, how do you deal with the black line of the laminate over the edgebanded edge? Again we are usually building from panels already laid up with color HPL on one side and white liner on the other (to go with the white melamine interior). Plus, in our area, melamine good one side and glueable the other is more expensive than good both sides.