alaichoy

Our counters need to be swapped out - how much work is this really?

Alai C
July 10, 2019

Our Wolf Induction rangetop was supposed to be flush installed but somehow our counter people did not have this on their shop notes and the counter was not cut correctly. The counter was installed, backsplash finished and then weeks later when the cooktop was finally installed (and sealed...) I realized that it was not installed correctly.


We actually have an additional piece of slab so materials are not the issue. How much work is involved to remove the counter - would it really damage the work already complete? TIA

Comments (35)

  • wekick

    This is something to ask your countertop installers. It probably depends in the design of your kitchen and what the countertops are made of.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    Photos please. I'm very skeptical that the top needs to be pulled to make the rangetop fit properly.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    We need pictures and the cooktop should have been on site for templating, my fabricator actually likes sinks and cooktops in his shop.

  • Alai C

    The cooktop was on site when the counter was templated and installed. I think was an actual miss in communication and the counter folks didn’t know flush install was the plan. Now I’m just trying to figure out if it’s possible to correct without a huge mess and a lot of damage.
    Thanks!

  • geoffrey_b

    Looks good to me. I'd leave well enough alone.

  • PRO
    GreenDesigns

    Dont buy trouble for something completely functionally insignificant. It’s fine.

  • Lee Baer

    I'm not sure I see what the problem is? It looks perfectly fine to me. Once you move in and decorate and have things in the kitchen you'll forget about this issue.

  • pippabean_5b

    How thick is your counter? We had planned a flush install of our 36" Bosch Induction cook top but our quartz fabricator wouldn't agree to do it, due to the thinness of our quartz counter. I don't remember how thin it is now, but less then an inch, that's for sure. Maybe 5/8"?

    We didn't argue, as we could see the potential risk.

  • kevinande

    If you rub your hand across there would be little or no transition between the two? Is this what you are trying to accomplish? If so any competent fabricator should be able to simply remove the cook top. Once that is done they can do what you want right on site. It will be dusty and very messy, but it can be done. That would be preferable to removing the counter top. Personally I think it looks fine, however I do understand it is not what you wanted.

  • Alai C

    Besides the look of the flush install, we are also concerned with the exposed glass edges. We had, in fact, originally wanted the framed model but upon seeing a friend’s kitchen with the flush install, much preferred that (for look and ease of cleaning no stainless steel frame to clean around). This decision was made well before any appliances or materials were purchased and we were told it was possible.

    The counter thickness, I believe is 1.25 mitered.

    Thank you everyone for your thoughts. I’m really hoping it can be completed onsite - we’ve lived through dust-opolis (we did not move out for the remodel but, fortunately, have been camped out in our in-law since Feb) and would just like this final-ish detail ironed out. On top of this, we’re making other concessions - it’s a zero sum game for sure but this was one of the things we were really looking forward to so a bit disappointing if it cannot be accomplished.

    Thanks!

  • Alai C

    Yes, kevinade (is there an @reply function I’m missing?), looking for smooth transition without the glass “sitting” on the counter. There may be a slight groove that would be filled in (I assume with silicone). The appliance manual has the measurements for the appropriate cutting. It was just completely missed so now we’re paying for inattention to a detail.

  • Alai C

    Whoops, correction, counter is 1.5” thick.

  • pippabean_5b

    So, no structural reason not to go ahead with having it installed flush.

    Don't swap out the existing slab, as the fabricator will just have to rout/grind out a ledge for the cooktop to sit upon. That's the area that the cooktop sits on now. All you do is lower it. There'll be some dust, but they'll use an attached vacuum system. Not a big deal. Much better than removing the existing counter.

    Good luck!

  • acm

    Yeah, the risk in taking off the whole counter is, among other things, wrecking the backsplash. Usually both are replaced at once for good reason!


    Agree that if they're "routing out" a sunken zone for the cook top, they should do it onsite. Just make sure there's nothing nearby or underneath and allow time for cleaning!

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    Please.......leave that alone.To any fabricator, that IS flush to the top. What you are talking about is inset/flush. It won't look any better than it does now. It is crazy to even take the chance.

    What you have now is extremely simple to maintain , a cinch to clean around. Its already sleek. Call off the dogs. Ask your "flush friend" how she picks the crumbs/grease out of the micro groove. Grime gets in even a hairline space..............just saying.

  • PRO
    RCKsinks Inc.

    Ok , I completely understand what you are looking for. Having the range top look like it is literally part of the counter.But realize that due to thermal expansion and contraction once you 'let in" the top you will have to leave a gap between the edge of the top and the countertop itself. Guessing 3/32 of an inch all the way around. I know that is not what the pictures show in the magazines- but remember, those are contrived images . You create a slot around that range top and you will be digging crud out of there with a knife every time you turn around.And the odds of hitting the perfect alignment of the countertop edge to the range top edge , even with a cnc cut, are pretty debatable. The way it is installed is correct. Been at this for 40 years .

  • oldryder

    I am a fabricator. IMHO it is installed correctly. The previous posts about a necessary gap between the inset cutout and the actual cooktop are correct. Looks great. Enjoy it.

  • pippabean_5b

    My sister (in Europe) has had an inset-flush induction cooktop for several years. No open gap. The gap was filled with a specialty silicone that can take heat and which stays soft enough to move when and if the cooktop expands. I've used her cooktop many times when staying with her, no need for specially cleaning of the filled in area. It's very narrow and barely visible anyway

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    Alai C

    If the fabricator has said " Sure, no problem , so sorry, we'll just come back and route out a groove, pop that sucker back in, and run the silicone around the edges, see you Thursday'....................get ear plugs and a huge mop.

    If they said, " Oh, better we should cut you a new top, or take that top to the shop", you will risk the backsplash.

    There's a reason they don't cut these at your home. They wear yellow plastic slickers, boots, and stand in muddy water in these shops....on concrete floors, amid deafening noise and that slop on the floor . That's why even a grommet hole cut in, in your home, will send your cat to the roof line in short order.

    So.......what has your fabricator said?

  • rinq

    The inset is computer cut.


    What did you sign for when ordering?

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    "Heat Resistance CaesarStone can tolerate moderately hot temperatures for brief periods of time. Prolonged exposure will result in discoloring or other types of damage.

    Please inform your customers that they should avoid direct contact between hot pots and the CaesarStone surface. Excessive localized heat may damage the surface or cause hairline cracks to appear. We always require using an insulator/hot pad/trivet especially when using cooking units like electric fry pans/woks/kettles."

    The top in question appears to be engineered stone. For that reason, and above, I would not recommend flush mounting this appliance.

    A flush cutout would have to be made on a CNC machine from a DXF file from the manufacturer. Not happening on site.

    Cooktop manufacturers often specify not using any pan larger than the burner, but that rule isn't always followed. One pan one time and your top is fried or cracked. You've at least got a chance when mounted as shown.

    Were I your fabricator, I wouldn't do it. No amount of money can remove the pictures of the failed top from the interwebby and take my name off it. "We told her not to do it" just doesn't cut it.

  • PRO
    RCKsinks Inc.

    I checked the Wolf website and it does say "can be flushed mounted, provide a recess" but cannot find any specific cutsheets . Do you have the original installation guide ?

  • Alai C

    Fabricator hasn’t agreed to do anything yet but is meeting with the builder/us next week.

  • Alai C

    Phew, thanks all for your time and responses! I agree, there’s nothing technically wrong with how it’s installed now (except that that was not what we requested).

  • PRO
    RCKsinks Inc.

    @ Alai C . Ok. So I was close- 2/32 vs 3/32 gap. Doesn't call out for any sealant . You could try contacting their tech dept. to see if putting a sealant in the gap voids the warranty.

    Option 1 #If it does- we are back to a grime collecting edge.

    Option2# If it doesn't- and they have a recommended sealant- then it all comes back to whether you have a specific write up with your fabricators for flush mount . ( basically who pays for this)

    Just me personally- I think your whole kitchen looks gorgeous .

  • Alai C

    Rinq- our original order just had a regular cut in the middle. Unfortunately, as we’re first time homeowners (remodelees?), I didn’t know what to look for until, too, late. Now that we know better, lesson learned that we need to scrutinize all plans! (Though this kitchen is it for a loooooooong time).

  • Alai C

    @RCKsinks - thank you! I really appreciate your thoughts. We are really happy with most of it for sure and are extremely glad to be back upstairs.

  • Apple JT

    That looks fabulous - I'd be thrilled. Never seen back splash like that before - it looks great and very stylish!

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    From what I see on the cut sheet this top is purposely made to be inset that is why it has no trim so IMO it should be inset .

  • rinq

    Hardly any induction cooktop has a stainless trim anymore, Patricia. But just a few types are suitable to build flush into the countertop.

  • PRO
    GreenDesigns

    Do you want to see what scorched quartz looks like if someone accidentally uses an oversized pan? The top itself won’t heat up, but it can heat a pan to glowing red. Quartz has a significant plastic component. Once you burn it, it’s done for. No fixing it.


    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5539959/miele-gas-range-self-clean-issue-with-dupont-zodiac-quartz-backsplash

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC

    "From what I see on the cut sheet this top is purposely made to be inset that is why it has no trim so IMO it should be inset."


    The manufacturer makes the appliance, they do not make the countertop into which their appliance may be flush mounted. Flush mounting this appliance into engineered stone will be disastrous eventually, I promise.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    It is natural on a new and just paid for ANYTHING, to search for 100% perfection, however you define it. It's also possible to screw up half a house in search of it. I have vivid memories of a first meet at the home of a potential client: Blue tape "spots" all over the new floor, just as many on the walls, a hang tag still on a brand new sofa, ( a 64th of an inch variation in the hang on the skirt...) , "I can't remove the tag, we're in litigation on that with the store" , blue tape on a deck at the tub and a single tile with a hairline crack 1/4 long in a far corner under the window , get the magnifying glass!!!.......a curtain maker/ installer in tears with a 32nd of an inch variation in a hem, bawling in the bedroom.

    Know what I did? RAN FOR MY LIFE. I ran like Forrest Gump.......and I never even glanced back.

    Horsing around with that top, won't change the quality of the food prepared on the cooker, won't change the wine enjoyed with friends at the island, and won't be thought of beyond the first month of cooking perfect, or imperfect meals in that kitchen. Bet me on that : )

  • rinq

    Did I already say it looks fine as is? My advice: Leave it. No more hassle, no chances of ruining that happy looking backsplash, no risk of any other damage or decoloration. :)

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