Kitchen plinth gap

Discussion in 'Kitchen Fitters' Talk' started by Jen Butler, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. Jen Butler

    Jen Butler New Member

    We’ve just had a kitchen fitted & have noticed the fitter left a 15mm+ gap between the top of the plinth & the bottom of the units. It can be seen from the living room. The gap is 22mm on the breakfast island. The unit heights are now 910mm without worktops (coming this week) which will make them above average height & too tall for me at only 5ft. We’ve challenged him & he says the gap is for ventilation & the height is correct. My own research contradicts this, also the Howdens manual he worked from! I really want to get him the lower the units but he’s refusing. Please could any professional fitters out there give me their opinion.
  2. Dream_Home

    Dream_Home Active Member

    Just another example of a know it all.....know absolutely nothing.

    The gap should be 150mm maybe a bit more in places if there is a run on the floor.

    Any appliance that requires ventilation i.e.fridge will state that it requires a vent to be installed in the plinth.

    Get him out and make him fix it.

    Also If you have a larder unit then he will more than likely basically have to start again, as if he drops the larder down then the wall units will be off as you would normally level the wall units from the larder.

    Out of curiosity ask him what he is ventilating.......maybe making sure the insect have air.
    Kitfit likes this.
  3. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    Remind him that you are the customer and he should be working to your requirements

    All decent kitchen units have adjustable legs so they can be dropped down. At 910 before worktops you certainly will struggle - mine are 920 unit & 960 worktop - a standard should be 900 finished so 860 before worktops and if you are just 5' then potentially down at somewhere around 850 finished.

    Do not let him do any more until this is resolved.
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Active Member

    Ventilation, lol. Nice excuse.
    I must say that unless you mentioned the height of the units being an issue before he started, it is not that out of order to have them set to 910. It may be too much work for him to drop the units now, so he may well resist.
    The gaps are easily sorted, worst case he can just use some trim over them.
  5. CosD

    CosD Active Member

    There is a lower and upper recommended limit for worktop height, and it seems he has exceeded that; Presumably he also met you, and seeing that you are not a basketball player (I jest), he should have used some common sense and at least discussed it with you. Either way you are the customer and he needs to rectify this before the worktops are fitted when it will be too late.

    Insist he changes it to your liking, no negotiation!
  6. Jen Butler

    Jen Butler New Member

    Thanks for the helpful comments. More ammunition! Had a conversation with him now & he still insists his gap & the unit heights are correct. Also that, even though unsealed, the tops would not be affected by moisture. But then he thinks we wouldn’t have a problem with mice getting in behind the cupboards but we live in the country & most definitely would. Anyway he’s reluctantly agreed to come back to lower the majority of the units.
  7. Tilt

    Tilt Screwfix Select

    Is that to your satisfaction???
    Have you discussed EXACTLY what the fitter intends to do.

    Ideally a fitter would either
    (1) work from the highest point on the floor (found by using a spirit level at the point where the plinth is to sit) and set the unit height there, just high enough to fit the plinth under (so the height of the plinth + a few mm) and then level the rest of adjoining units level to that....
    (2) Accept that the plinths will need to be cut to height or even scribed to suit the floor, taking into account where it is visible from.

    Not often is it necessary to cut the plinths though if you get the start point height right IMO.
  8. Nis999

    Nis999 Member

    Have you allowed for the thickness of flooring to go under the plinths or is it already done?
  9. Jen Butler

    Jen Butler New Member

    Already done.
  10. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    Howdens kick boards are usually 165mm so I set the units at 170 to allow 5mm gap. This is set from the lowest point of the floor. This also presumes flooring is fitted. Sounds like allowances haven’t been made for out of level floors.
  11. Tilt

    Tilt Screwfix Select

    If the floor is more than 5mm out of level do you then scribe the plinth around the highest point of the floor???

    Fair enough if you do. And sometimes it will depend on how large the kitchen is if any discrepancies / gaps are visible.
  12. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    That would be on a "normal" kitchen. The OP is 5' or 1.5m tall so an installation should take that into consideration and drop the overall height by a suitable amount and that could be 50, 75, 100 mm.
  13. Jen Butler

    Jen Butler New Member

    Many thanks for all the responses so far.

    To clarify, the fitter had already tiled the floor including under the units. The 30ml granite worktops are due this week & our fitter was aware of this but our guess is he has not catered for them &when setting the unit height at 910mm. If it wasn’t for the height issue, we would accept trim being added to the plinths to cover the gap but unfortunately height is an issue, particularly for me. The worktop height would not be ergonomic & the working height for me at our gas hob would be unsafe.

    it is a big job to lower the very long run of units as it includes sink & dishwasher plumbing. However, as lowering the island (which was to be long awaited my main pastry/pasta/cake making worktop) would be more costly because of replacing the glued sides & back panel, we feel we have to insist on the lowering of the other units.
  14. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    A completely bog standard unit height would be 870mm, not the fitter has robbed you of 40mm straight away. He could have gone lower than 870mm but that depends if the dishwasher is freestanding or integrated ?
    As a kitchen fitter and also a very short legged kitchen fitter (5ft 3ins) i am fully aware of these issues :D If you are only 5ft tall and are spending to have your dream kitchen, in all honesty you should absolutely insist he lowers everything including the Island units. The sides and back panels should have been screw fixed anyway to the island, it's only a case of taking them off and re cutting the bottoms. Even if he has glued them, it's up to him to pay to replace them.
    Kitfit and longboat like this.
  15. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    correct, but I was speaking generally. Every job whether kitchen, bathroom etc is made as bespoke as possible to the client, however, there are limitations in kitchens due to appliances.
  16. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    You don’t always have a lot of choice, but as per my reply above, you also have to take into account where appliances are located. Sometimes a compromise is required regarding floor levels. I scribe kick boards where necessary but aim for a 5mm gap at the top. If the floor is a disaster, then I’ll suggest remedial work before the fit.

    It only takes a few minutes to set up a laser and do a survey with a staff, but I find the lowest point and work from there.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
  17. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    Was not supposed to be a dig at your reply, but putting some more context into it for the OP to help her argument.

    Some friends bought a house a few years back - previously owned by a "midget". In front of all kitchen units was a 150mm plinth, and the toilet had 1 100 step and 200 plinth!
    CGN likes this.
  18. Red Star Boats

    Red Star Boats Active Member

    I think we call them “little people” now.
    Kingscurate likes this.
  19. Jen Butler

    Jen Butler New Member

    Thanks all for your comments. I’m delighted to say our fitter returned & after some discussion worked until late into the evening lowering all the units. After some gentle persuasion he also lowered the island. He eventually conceded they were a bit high & although initially told me it would be difficult to cut the plinths down (really?), did so to achieve the correct height & close the over-sized gap. I’m very happy at the outcome although I could have done without the added stress but at least it was resolved amicably in the end. I hope some of the responses above might be useful to others.
    CGN and furious_customer like this.
  20. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    Good to hear you have sorted it ... I know what it is like with a kitchen at the wrong height. I am 6'3" (1m90) with a tall wife and daughter in between - for us a low kitchen is just as awkward as a high kitchen is for you. We would always have to bend - with resulting back ache, whereas you will always be stretching up or have compressed shoulder.
    Kingscurate likes this.

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