HELP, please
January 28, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We have cabinets collapsing after the granite was put in place. The cabinet manufacturer says it isn't their problem -- the designer is at fault; the designer says it is the weight of the granite on the cabinet... the granite guy shrugs and says (zip). I have children and am afraid they will be hurt as the cabinets disintegrate further. Given the locations of the failures, I am hardpressed to think anything other than the cabinet maker isn't monitoring their manufacturing process. Any ideas???
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What kind of designer? Of course, granite is heavy and that should be taken into account when the changes are planned. The designer should know this. Cabinet strength is directly related to their cost. Were these new cabinets or adding granite to existing?
January 28, 2013 at 7:29pm   
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1) You must READ all contracts you signed to see if you accepted any responsibility.
2) I understand your frustration, but the person who made the most money isn't the key to who is responsible or who should be held responsible.
3) The cabinetry could have been damaged during shipment, installation of cabinetry or installation of countertop. If it's breaking at the base of the cabinet, it doesn't sound like a countertop issue. It's unlikely that the weight of the countertop would crumble a cabinet, especially at the bottom, because what holds the weight are the upright pieces of wood on the sides of the cabinet.
Was there any damage on any boxes that the cabinets came in? If so, the shipping company could be at fault. Check the bracing inside the cabinetry. (triangles of wood that are glue or stapled in the front corners.) Is it missing or damaged? (Compare it with bracing inside the other cabinets). If the damage occurred only after the countertop was installed, then it could possibly have been the fault of the installers. however it seems unlikely. Damage is most likely to occur to the top of the base cabinets. When you say 'base' do you mean the bottom of the outside of the cabinet or do you mean the bottom of the inside of the cabinet? Crumbling doesn't sound like a solid wood problem but rather a fiberboard or particle board problem which is more susceptible to water damage which could have happened at any time during manufacturing, shipment or after delivery.
4) Find out what weight the cabinets are designed to hold. Call the granite company and find out what weight per square foot (and at the thickness you have) your granite is. Then you will know if the cabinets you were sold were up to holding the granite or not.
5) Demand that a factory rep come out and look at the cabinets. Listen to what he has to say.

After all that, you should be in a better position to decide who is at fault.
January 28, 2013 at 8:49pm     
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Urbana ~ Designer Ellen Crystal
sometimes key parts of cabinet structure are cut out of the cabinets during installation. This quite common at cooktops & sinks as they have to fit down into cabinet box. Check as was suggested for corner blocks or stretcher rails for their integrity. As well, consider the kick base area. Was it made of wood (plywood), particle board (dry?), or adjustable legs. Are these structurally sound? if for example they are adjustable legs, perhaps they are not extended far enough down to floor in places & therefore not solid enough to brace the cabinet above nor the extra weight of stone. shipping damage maybe cause as well as water damage. was everything inspected as unwrapped. factory rep should be responding as is their reputation on line. Designer may not know enough about structure. All suggestions above by eagle... are very sound... get on it and I hope the problem is solved.
January 29, 2013 at 1:19am   
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