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Unread 10-14-2010, 07:52 AM   #1
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New backsplash counter level issues

Hi y'all. Been lurking for a few weeks getting ready to install a back splash in my kitchen. I recently had granite installed and removed my old laminate. The installers did a fairly good job. I have an L shaped kitchen with 2 walls being tiled. The main wall with stove is 9' and an adjacent 5' wall. The entire 9' wall is leveled perfectly. I have a sink set at a 45 and the old counter tops did not have enough support in that area so they built a bunch of supports and really leveled everything up for me. when I turn the corner on the 5' wall it appears to drop off about 1/4" over 5feet. I know it's the cabinets that aren't set correctly. The installer shimmed the front of the granite a bit. but I don't know if it is acceptable to shim it even more in the back. Do I:

1. Call the installer and have him re-shim the slab?
2. just run the first row along the un-leveled surface and correct under the cabinets?
3. Set the first row at the lowest point and shave down the tile as it goes?
4. something else?

I have chosen a 3x6 honed filled travertine tile set with a 3 row mosaic above the first row of subways. I know some DIY folk would just "figure it out" as they go. Unfortunately for me everything needs to be "perfect" before I even start buying thinset.

Don't ask my wife about how long it took me to figure out how to run electric for under cabinet lighting If I even say Xenon around her she'll kick me. And don't think for a minute that after I installed the lights she didn't say: Are you supposed to see that wire!!!

Thanks in advance
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Unread 10-14-2010, 08:01 AM   #2
Tile Contractor -- Seattle, WA.
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Are the upper cabs level? if they're out the same as the slab you could probably follow.

So there is a gap beneath the slab and the top of the lower cabs? Can't picture exactly what you got there.

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Unread 10-14-2010, 08:07 AM   #3
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The upper cabinets are pretty level. Much more so than the counter top. The granite it sitting perfectly flat on the lower cabinets it's just that those cabinets slope down I am guessing they follow the floor and I can almost guarantee they didn't shim the bottoms when built. (long before I moved in).

Does that answer your question? Thanks

They ended up shimming the counter top to reduce any places where the cabinets weren't touching the granite. There are a few spots that just had high and low spots and they just filled them in with wood. i don't think they actually shimmed to level...so there aren't any gaps.
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Unread 10-14-2010, 08:09 AM   #4
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If it's a uniform drop resulting in only 1/4" over 5 feet, I'd really be inclined to leave it as it is. Is it enough for an egg to roll on? If not, your internal gimbals won't really pick that up. Just set the splash uniformly against the slab all around.

I'd be really concerned about the slab snapping around the sink cutout if you try and re-shim it at this point, just for the sake of a 1/4" on the far end.


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Unread 10-14-2010, 08:14 AM   #5
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No noticeable movement of objects on the counter. When I looked at the level I was actually surprised it wasn't level. It looks dead on. The side with the sink is a really large single slab but that is the side that is perfect. The unlevel slab I am referring to is a small section 5' long and standard counter depth. There is an over range separating the two counters. Thanks for all the help guys.
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