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Wooden kitchen worktops - sequence of installing

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Forum topic by bluekingfisher posted 865 days ago 1383 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bluekingfisher

992 posts in 1585 days


865 days ago

Ladies, Gents, kitchen installers or experienced work top fitters – I would dearly appreciate your advice on the sequence of installing wooden kitchen worktops from those that have undertaken the job.

Having now gutted our kitchen, I will this weekend be attempting for the first time to install the work tops in our kitchen. I have done quite a bit of research, but there are always little bits that never quite seem to be made clear and I would therefore appreciate any advice on the following on how to go about making a nice clean job.

What I propose to do is offer my proposed sequence of installing the w/tops and if I am going about it the wrong way would hope others with the experience could point me in the right direction.

There will be three worktops set out in a “U” configuration. As you walk into the kitchen, there will be the left side w/top of the “U” abutted against the wall (aproxx 7’ of run). This w/top will host the oven and hob (requiring it to be cut out to allow fitting of the hob). The base run of the U will host the sink (aprox 8’) and the right w/top will also double as the breakfast bar and will be 7’ long and 3’ wide.

The meeting points between the base w/top (sink side) and two right angled w/tops will be straight butt joints, rather than a male/female scribed joint normally used in laminated work tops.

The w/tops are presently all over siize, so I was thinking of cutting to rough lenght, how much do I leave as a margin? 2/3”?

I would think the walls won’t be bang on square so the existing square cut factory ends will require some tweeking to ensure a tight fit.

So, here are my thoughts on how to go about it.

1. Cut all w/tops to rough lenght
2. Rest left hand w/top (hob) on to of base cabinets along wall using it as a rough reference.
3. Scribe and cut to walls ensuring an even overhang of the base units.
4. Offer up base w/top (sink w/top) ensuring the butt joint is square while ensuring an even overhang of base units and also paralell to wall.
5. Now, with hopefully these two w/tops at right angles to one another I can then offer up the breakfast bar worktop.
6. It is at this point I am a little unsure as how to proceed with regards to marking and cutting. I was intending to leave this end of the sink w/top a little over lenght to allow for final measurement and ultimate fitting.
7. Having set the b/bar w/top in the desired location bring the sink w/top up to it and using the b/bar as the gauge, use a pencil from beneath to scribe the line of the meeting w/tops?
8. Cut sink worktop along this line? Whats the best way to cut to ensure a perfectly straight line….....Router with straight edge??
9. W/tops should now all be in final position.
10. Mark positions for sink and hob cut outs
11. Mark positions for underneath connector bolts.
12. Remove w/tops and rout holes for connector bolts on the underside of w/tops ( I have a w/top jig for this)
13. Cut out holes for both hob and sink in respective w/tops
14. Relocate w/tops into desired final location.
15. Attach/screw first w/top (Hob/oven) to wall & base units
16. Offer up sink w/top to hob w/top and connect using connector bolts. How tightly do I tighten the bolts….do I allow for movement or tighten the connector bolts fully. I was also thinking of using a bead of silicone caulk to prevent water egress at the butt joints?
17. Secure sink w/top in place to base units & wall.
18. Offer up b/ar wortop and connect using connector bolts
19. Secure b/bar to base units.
20. Apply liberal coats of Danish oil to protect and reduce movement.

I hope this is about right as far as the sequence goes but i have a couple more queries if you don’t mind considering.

20. How much of a gap should I allow for expansion between work tops and the walls?
21. When I connect the worktops using the connector bolts, does the action of tightening the bolt pull the worktops out of line?
22. I have read that the w/tops should be fixed securing at the front edge and not so securily/robustly at the back where the w/tops are affixed to the the wall. I understand this will prevent the worktop pulling the eventual tile/ caulk from the wall.

I have already given all w/tops 4 coats of Danish oil on the underside to reduce distortion.

I know this has been a little long winded topic to read, so thank you all for taking the time to read and consider, but I hope I can benefit from those who have experience of this job, or do it for a living.

I would however also appreciate it greatly if you have not carried out this job, not to offer advice on how you think it should be undertaken. I don’t want to appear ungrateful or rude but I’m confused enough not to be given conflicting info lol.

Thanks again all.

David

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan


10 replies so far

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1603 days


#1 posted 865 days ago

Yes David I have installed only a few !
Reading your description I am concerned about butting the tops in a U shape kitchen. No mention of a 45 degree cut where you are joining them.! You are going to have edge grain butting against long grain.
1): This is going to look like a “Home handyman did the job”, I suggest taking the time and doing the miter.
2): No mention of what wood is used for counter top, therefore your wood movement is going to vary depending of type of wood used, humidity level and temperature of your home. After your top is acclimatized and the house is kept at relatively constant temperature, you will most likely NOT see much movement at all.
CHEERS !
(Please post pictures of your completed project)

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3356 posts in 2566 days


#2 posted 865 days ago

Install long top first, scribe to wall, cut for sink, then butt others to the long top. If the wall aren’t too bad, a sit-on backsplash will cover irregularities.
I would miter the joints and use clear silicone sealer to waterproof. Spread a coat of sealer, butt the miters, then tighten the joints with the bolts.
I assume that the tops a “butcher block” edge grain?
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View bluekingfisher's profile

bluekingfisher

992 posts in 1585 days


#3 posted 865 days ago

Chips/Bill, thanks for the feedback fellahs.

The wood is Walnut, albeit small staves to create the overall top.

Wow, a miter brings in a whole new dimension. Whats the best way to mark out and subsequently make the cut.

Surely there is no margin for error making it a mitre cut?

David

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View jonmulzer's profile

jonmulzer

48 posts in 1272 days


#4 posted 865 days ago

I agree with the above, the countertops really should be mitered where they meet. If you butt them together, where they converge the grain meeting at a perpendicular angle is not very aesthetically pleasing. It is actually kind of hard on the eyes. Your eyes try to follow the grain lines and then run straight into a roadblock of grain lines running the other way.

What is a “hob”?

View bluekingfisher's profile

bluekingfisher

992 posts in 1585 days


#5 posted 865 days ago

A hob is the top idependent part of a cooker/stove. It has the gas rings/hot plates for heating the saucepans.

It is the general term used here in the UK. Don’t know what it is called in the US or other areas I’m afraid.

David

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View jonmulzer's profile

jonmulzer

48 posts in 1272 days


#6 posted 865 days ago

Ahhhhh, gotcha. We call them cooktops here. Makes sense, the hob was a place to warm foods on a hearth wasn’t it?

You English folk really need to learn how to speak….....nevermind, we are the ones that are wrong. :)

View bluekingfisher's profile

bluekingfisher

992 posts in 1585 days


#7 posted 865 days ago

Cook tops – Right, got it, I’m actually Scots, which brings an even different perspective to speaking English lol

So much lost in translation – but we got there in the end?

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View jonmulzer's profile

jonmulzer

48 posts in 1272 days


#8 posted 865 days ago

Always. I was just having a bit of fun. I have some POMey friends who constantly remind me that they were the ones that invented the language so it is colour, theatre and aluminium. :)

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1603 days


#9 posted 865 days ago

David. The miter is not that hard. Mark it out using a measure method. 2ft one way – 2ft @ 90 degrees, Use a straight edge guide to run whatever tool you cut with . Make your cut on the outside of the line you need. Scribe the line with sharp knife.This can then be hand planed or use belt sander to fit right on the mark. Always run the belt sander pulling down to avoid tearout on countertop. Patience man ! It has been done a few times. OR if you have access to counter making shop they might cut the 45angle for a fee. I once paid only $25 for shop that had the saw to make the cut.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View bluekingfisher's profile

bluekingfisher

992 posts in 1585 days


#10 posted 865 days ago

Jon – I tried to gleen some info on your own whereabouts, but your account reveals little lol – you’re not some kind of secret squirrel are you? the term Pomey would indicate your are in Oz or N Zealand?? although they tend to spell the same as us…....generally!

Like I say, I’m a Scotsman, so the term Pomey is an even greater insult lol. (kidding)

P.O.M.E. = Prisoner of Mother England, printed on the shirts of those deported to Australia in the 16th & 17th Century for such despicable crimes such as stealing bread or hunting the kings deer. Just a little bit of history there lol.

CHIPS – thanks pal, that is probably the best way to go, might take a little more tweeking and time to cut/plane/sand etc but eventually I think the end result will look better and hold up better to movement.

I have the week off work next week so I have plenty of time to get it right. I also have a pal coming over to help me hump the work tops around.

Thanks again fellahs, once agin LJ has comne up trumps with the assistance.

Regards.

David

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

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