Fitting a kitchen - help

Discussion in 'Other Trades Talk' started by Sean Hodges, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges New Member

    Hey, I'll have you know I have a day job - looking for oil in the North Sea. If it wasn't for the internet I'd probably be hard at work interpreting seismic and sending drilling rigs off to poke holes in the seabed.
    DeWalt has nothing on those things; £100,000 per day to hire, diameter of drill bit 8", length of drill bit up to 6000m.
  2. jasonb

    jasonb New Member

    Good to hear you are getting on with your kitchen sean.

    Here are some more photos of the stripped out shell that I posted early on in this thread. All complete except 1 door and 2 draws and the flooring. All work by me except plastering and Granite worktops.

    The kitchen is in the home of a kitchen designer / supplier so she got everything at trade but has got little change out of £20k.

    Any questions or comments welcome.

  3. devil's advocate

    devil's advocate New Member

    Comments? Well, she's got the same electrical sockets as I fitted to mine...

    It's certainly very impressive; it must be very rewarding to see such a transformation from a gutted room.

    How do they join granite worktops at corners?

    (...and what was it like working for a kitchen designer - slightly worrying?!)
  4. jasonb

    jasonb New Member


    They join just butt join the granite with an epoxy that is tinted to suit the granite, sets in about 5mins then it can be scraped off with a stanley blade and a quick rub with wire wool.

    The hob cutout is done using two narrow strips front and back, these joints are reinforced with metal plates in grooves, just like biscuit joints, and plenty of epoxy.

    The upstands are held to the walls with blobs of silicon and a bead of the same where they join the top.

    I fitted a kitchen earlier in the year that the designer supplied, the client wanted me to fit it mot one of her regular fitters as I had done work for them before. Without sounding big headed she was so pleased with the results that she asked me to fit her own. Now she wants me to make her an oak kitchen table and refit the bedroom as well as the offer of fitting more kitchens for her at any time.

  5. devil's advocate

    devil's advocate New Member

    Thanks for that, Jason. I presume they have to get the joint in the worktop pretty well perfect so that it looks continuous? I can't believe the hob cutouts are done in two pieces!

    I used to fit kitchens professionally some 20 years ago, so can appreciate the work - and skill - that went into the kitchen in your pics; very tasty indeed.

    I've also seen the your dove-tail joints on another posting - a man of many talents!
  6. jasonb

    jasonb New Member

    Thats right devil, they spend a long time getting the pieces level, no matter how good the units have been set up, the weight of the granite makes them settle, so it requires a tweek of the legs and the odd plastic shim.

    The main reason for doing the hob that way is that there is very little left once the hole is cut and the top would break easily (infact they broke the upstand that was going infront of the chimney breast into three)

    And when I'm not working wood for a living, here's what I like to do with it:

  7. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges New Member

    I've now got the tall cupboards in place, the oven is installed and working.
    Worktops were delivered this morning and all the base units are assembled. Next task is to get these levelled and ready to put the tops on.

    Now everything is being held up by the lack of activity by the chap who is supposed to finish off the floor tiles, tile the splashback and paint the walls.

    Wife due back Saturday afternoon.....
  8. screwfox

    screwfox New Member


    Great kitchen!
    Who do you use for the granite tops?

    Do you make your own carcases? What from? (I'm thinking of making mine from 18mm wbp ply.)

  9. jasonb

    jasonb New Member

    Thanks Screwfox

    The granite for this kitchen was supplied by a company on the South coast that the kitchen designer always uses (they also do all the worktops for Mark Wilkinson among others) It's called butterfly blue and is a bit like galaxy nero but without the gold flecks and has a blue/grey tinge, still costs as much as the galaxy though.

    This kitchen had pre assembled carcases but when I make carcases I use 18mm Melamine faced chipboard which is available from any good board supplier in 8'x4' sheets they will also have the edging in 50m rolls.

    Unless you have access to a decent table saw with cross cut carriage and some form of jointing equipment like a biscuit joiner I would suggest you go for off the shelf carcases. If you go the ply route I would stay away from standard WBP ply and go for Birch ply which has a much better surface and no hollow spots.

  10. jasonb

    jasonb New Member

    Screwfox, I meant to say that I have used these two companies for granite

    Stone Art in Ewell 020 8393 1143
    Surrey Marble & Granite Co in Hazelmere 01428 651940

  11. screwfox

    screwfox New Member

    Thanks again Jason, where do you buy good quality carcases from?

    (soory for all the questions, just stop answering them when you are bored!)
  12. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges New Member

    I'm going to have to do the worktop soon, particularly since my wife returns on Saturday.
    Can anyone tell me if there are any tips on how to handle the huge and heavy top (3.7m long), after I have made the cutouts, to avoid breaking it at the weak points?
    There will be two of us to do the shifting, but I can still see us struggling to avoid damaging the thing.

    Also, when fitting the sink, I can see that some of the retaining clips will be where the top rests on the carcases. Should I rout a shallow recess out of the worktop, or is it better to modify the carcases?

    Incidentally, I have now put all shelves and doors on the wall cabinets and the kitchen is transformed. I'm beginning to think that doing this was a good idea after all.
  13. jasonb

    jasonb New Member

    Do the cut outs when the worktop is in place if possible otherwise it becomes VERY weak, you can raise it up of the carcases with odd offcuts to save damaging them with a saw.

    Best to notch out the carcases to clear the clips.

  14. big_bad_bob

    big_bad_bob New Member

    Hi Jason

    It's good to see a man who takes real pride in his work - I hope you're still managing to get some work done in between answering all of these questions! If I can just chip in with a couple more:

    Where would you recommend for good qaulity carcases and components like drawers etc? (Maybe mail order - I'm in the Midlands)

    Where would you recommend for door and drawer fronts, cornice etc - solid wood and laminate? (missus hasn't made up her mind yet!)


  15. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges New Member

    I just discovered that the edging strip supplied with the worktops is neither self-adhesive nor iron-on.
    Should I stick it with PVA or is there some special glue for attaching laminate to chipboard edge?

    Handling the worktop after making the cutouts; I can see how it is a good idea to prop it up on off-cuts while cutting out, but then I need to move it away from the carcases to notch out for the retaining clips. I guess I should slide it sideways onto supports?
  16. screwfox

    screwfox New Member


    Use impact adhesive to fix the edging strip

  17. devil's advocate

    devil's advocate New Member

    Hi Sean.

    Can you pull the worktop out far enough to get to the back panel to make your notches? If not, you can try gently lifting the worktop at the front and leaning it back against the splashback wall. Don't lift the <u>complete</u> worktop off the units!!!!!!!
  18. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges New Member

    I just realised I can reach the front of the carcase-tops to do the notch for the sink-retaining clips THROUGH the sink cut-out. The backs I can reach by sliding the worktop forward on the base units.

    I think I've got it now.

    After sticking the edging on with impact adhesive (Evostik?) I will have to trim it down. I have a router bit that is supposedly designed to do this, but it's a scary prospect bringing a spinning cutter close to the worktop surface, even with the little wheel at the end to stop it cutting too deep.

    Do the experienced kitchen fitters use routers to trim the edging, or is it a hand-job? (fnar fnar!)
  19. Tangoman

    Tangoman Well-Known Member

    Hi Sean,

    yep - the laminate trimmer on the router is a scary prospect. I tested mine out first on the back and realised that a slight wobble in my hand would mean damage to the WT surface.

    1) Set the depth of the router just sufficient to cut the laminate so that even if you do wobble you minimise the damage.
    2) Clamp two spacers and a baton to the worktop so that the base plate of the router has something to rest on either side of the cutter - fiddly to set up, but then you are sure to keep the router blade parallel to the worktop surface - i.e. perpendicular to the laminate you are trimming.

  20. jasonb

    jasonb New Member


    Unless you have a very small lightweight router I would suggest you opt for a block plane and file, just a file will do if you don't have a plane.

    As your worktop is long you will have to hold the router horizontally which is very difficult without nicking the worktop.


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