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purplewatermelon

Please help! Gaps in kitchen cabinetry.

Opal
8 years ago
I am really upset. Our Medallion white cabinets have been installed and these are some of the gaps and finishing nail marks. How can the stick of wax they give you cover up all of this? I am considering having the gaps and holes filled in with putty and having the entire cabinetry re painted. That means we will have to paint over the factory finish. Any advice is appreciated.

Comments (61)

  • Opal
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    When I wrote to the company (Elkay who manufactures Medallion Cabinets) requesting help, I got a two sentence reply telling me to hire a contractor.
  • Opal
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    Unfortunately, we also found these very unprofessional and offensive names of the 'persons' who reviewed the quality of our cabinets. And, I have also attached a photo of a bowed cabinet for which we paid thousands of dollars. We feel like we have been deceived by Elkay Manufacturing Company, which makes me sad:(
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  • S. Thomas Kutch
    8 years ago
    As far as the juvenile sign offs of quality control on the cabinets, I most definitely would bring those to the attention of the company, as it seems Elkay apparently has more QC training needed among their staff..........

    As to the other problems you've shown here, those have nothing to do with Elkay unless it was their installer who did the work. All of the defects you've shown are from someone who didn't know what they were doing with the cutting of the trim and the installation. Spending an additional $4200 is one solution, but then what's to avoid getting an unsatisfactory finish from your new paint contractor? I think you're hunting guppies with a whale harpoon here. The defects with the trim (gaps and nail holes) can be fixed by a competent finish carpenter or totally replaced. It's far easier to match the finish of new trim to that of the cabinets.
    Opal thanked S. Thomas Kutch
  • PRO
    Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
    8 years ago
    The inspection stickers are unfortunate, I would contact Medallion about that. You can also contact them about the bowed cabinet. They should replace that. But the gaps and nail holes in the crown molding are the installer's fault and that is who you need to speak with. Unless Medallion provided the installers, they can't be held responsible for a bad job. Who did you buy the cabinets from? They should be your advocate in working with Medallion to replace what is their responsibility.
    Opal thanked Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
  • agevm
    8 years ago
    We have Medallion cabinets as well. This is the installer's responsibility as noted above. If the company you bought the Medallion from supplied you with the installer, you need to go back to them. If they do not help you, then go to their Medallion rep so the rep knows their installers are not making Medallion look very good at all. Good luck!!
    Opal thanked agevm
  • PRO
    Al Fortunato Furnituremaker
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    The poor trim job is the installer's fault. It shouldn't be just caulked or filled and painted over, especially out of your pocket. The joints should be a lot tighter than they are. Nail holes should have been filled. The old saying that "caulk and paint make a carpenter what he aint" shouldn't be applied here, it should be redone correctly by a qualified finish carpenter.
    Opal thanked Al Fortunato Furnituremaker
  • PRO
    ProSource Memphis
    8 years ago
    I have never had an issue with any cabinet company not standing behind their product. If they send a product with an issue, like a warped door, all I need to do is to call them and it's replaced ASAP.

    The issues that you show are NOT defects from the cabinet company. It's like blaming Ford for making a defective product when the driver you hired to take you from A to B has an accident. It's the drivers fault. And this is the INSTALLER'S fault.

    Who installed the cabinets? Did you sign off on the install and give him his money? Have you spoken with him about the issues? What did he say.

    The cabinet company told you to talk to the contractor, and they were correct in doing so. So, have you talked to the contractor who did the install?
    Opal thanked ProSource Memphis
  • Opal
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Yes, I have talked with the installer. Essentially, I have two issues. One with the installer and the other with Elkay (Medallion).
  • PRO
    Built By Newkirk
    8 years ago
    A number of items are contributing to your dissatisfaction. Which all lead directly to having a qualified, licensed, & insured contractor who will take responsibility for the poor workmanship and their trade contractors for the "whole" project. Your questions of how to fix the poor carpentry need to be redirected back to who you contracted with. Hopefully payments you have made, coincide with the amount of work done to date and your satisfaction of that work. If they are professionals, they should correct the poor installation with out you needing to spend any additional money to repaint pre-finished cabinets including replacing any materials(crown, base, etc that came with the cabinets). The material that has already been cut may need to be replaced because it might now be to short to re-cut the correct miters etc.

    I am not clear on the cabinet defects. If there any, the contractor should also be able to help you get the cabinet manufacture to stand by the product and replace if necessary. The inspection sticker sign-offs definitely leave a bad impression.

    There are any number of contract and scope of work details/variations that you may have in agreement with the "contractors" doing the work. That makes it difficult to help on what your course of action is. I am hopeful you have a well detailed scope of work and respectable contractor to voice your concerns and negotiate how to work things out. If you know the company that did the work has the ability to do better maybe by bringing one of their more qualified carpenters or the boss - before you spend any more of your own time and money, go back to them. if not, weigh your alternatives, what your willing to live with, additional costs, legal concerns, etc. - you may need bite the bullet and live and learn. Speaking of which, maybe that's why your asking about painting brand new pre-finished cabinets.
    Opal thanked Built By Newkirk
  • Marilyn Wilkie
    8 years ago
    The bowed cabinet is the cabinet company's responsibility. They manufactured it. And, as you said the installer is responsible for the poor workmanship on the trim. How did you find the installer?
    Opal thanked Marilyn Wilkie
  • PRO
    ProSource Memphis
    8 years ago
    I'm not doubting that the cabinet appears to be bowed, But, what that picture looks like to me is that the trim piece was cut too long, so the other shorter one has to move away from the cabinet to intersect it correctly. Pictures can be deceiving from different angles though. But, from the rest of the work shown, I'd suspect the installer again over the cabinet line. Medallion has a pretty good rep for both turning out great cabinetry, and being responsive to the minor issues that manage to slip through quality control. I'd be curious as to where this installer came from? Cabinet shop referral? Employee? GC carpenter or employee? Self install?
    Opal thanked ProSource Memphis
  • sgoldcamp
    8 years ago
    This looks like the trim not the cabinetry. I just fully renovated my kitchen. The cabinet contractor installed molding and cabinets, but they do not do caulking and painting. You need to fire a good painter to caulk and paint the nail holes and trim. The trim cannot be installed tightly because you need some room for expansion. Caulk will give you a continuous look and allow for wood expansion.
    Opal thanked sgoldcamp
  • PRO
    Opal thanked S.J. Janis Company, Inc.
  • PRO
    Al Fortunato Furnituremaker
    8 years ago
    @sgoldcamp; Trim can and should be installed tightly. Wood expands and contracts along it's width, and a miniscule amount lengthwise. Interior corners should be coped, and outer corners butted tight. If this was not a paint job how would the cracks be hidden with caulk on naturally finished trim? This trim was not cut and fit to the cabinet installation and walls.
    Opal thanked Al Fortunato Furnituremaker
  • _sophiewheeler
    8 years ago
    Installer error all the way. Cabinet manufacturer has zilch to do with it. It's unfortunate that the OP felt the need to call them out on something that isn't their fault at all. And then wrote a negative review for them as well. Where is the negative review for the hack that actually screwed up the job? It's all too true that a good installer can take 3K worth of cabinets and make them look like 30K worth. And a bad installer can take 30K worth of cabinets and make them look like 3K worth.

    So, why isn't the installer already on site replacing that crown---that HE bought? What does the chain of command for the project look like? Is there a GC at the helm who can put some pressure on him because he might get future jobs through him? Or the KD? If the installer was sourced through them, where are they?
    Opal thanked _sophiewheeler
  • Anna Negron
    8 years ago
    jenakeroyd, i'm not a contractor or a designer, i'm a fan of design and even i can see this job as a poor quality job. As a kindred customer, start screaming! get the company's president or CEO's attention, file a claim with the BBB, and the federal trade commission...start a petition... inform all the your neighbors and friends..the last thing a business owner wants is bad publicity when it comes to poor quality work. that's why i love this site, i admire the professional's comments and advice. we spend our hard earned money for products we deserve to be satisfied with the completed job and if we are not we have every right to demand either they correct it or refund a portion of the money. Good luck keep us houzzers informed...regards, bella418
    Opal thanked Anna Negron
  • agevm
    8 years ago
    Regarding inspection stickers: As I already told you we have Medallion cabinets as well and a week and a half ago we had a built in desk installed, that was also Medallion, the same as our kitchen. We haven't selected our stone for the top of it and so I checked out our inspection stickers today and all of our boxes only have QA numbers on the sticker. We have a Medallion vanity still in the box and the same thing. It has the QA stamp with numbers. Yours has numbers as well. There are no names on any of our boxes. I'm no detective, but if you look at the letter similarity it looks like just one culprit. Are you sure it came directly out of the box that way?
    Opal thanked agevm
  • agevm
    8 years ago
    Also, we had one cracked drawer and the stain was smeared on two of the drawers so we called the people we ordered our cabinets from and the Medallion is sending us new fronts right away.
  • agevm
    8 years ago
    Who did you order your cabinets from?
  • Marilyn Wilkie
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    Sophie Wheeler (Green and Wheeler), she said the cabinet is warped. Did you not read that. The picture also shows that the trim on that cabinet looks awful. The reveal along the vertical section in that photo looks like it is increasing toward the bottom. That could just be the angle of the photo though. There is a big gap at the end and it's a butt joint. I would say a warped cabinet is the manufacturers problem. The trim is the installer's problem.
  • _sophiewheeler
    8 years ago
    That is field applied base trim. Which was cut incorrectly. By the installer.
  • PRO
    Chermac Builders Inc
    8 years ago
    From the sounds of it you purchased the cabinetry from one place, then hired an installer to do the installation. Someone indicated there was a warped cabinet, which if true, that would be a manufacturing issue that should be addressed with Medallion. If there is a rep in your area I would suggest you have them look at any warping present in the cabinetry, or doors. As to the moulding photos you've shown, I agree with some of the other pro's in that this appears to be an installation issue. Often, installers are not paid much to install cabinetry, and they are often not financially solvent enough to take care of replacing mouldings and working out of their own pocket. This is unfortunate, but often the case. When problems arise it can be difficult to get them to take care of them, especially if they've been paid. If the cabinetry is factory finished, I would not recommend painting them if it is just a moulding "gap" issue. If your installer is unwilling to make it right, my suggestion would be to purchase new mouldings, then find a reputable finish carpentry contractor that regularly installs cabinetry. Check their reputation, references, and make sure they are financial responsible, then have them replace the mouldings. It will be much less expensive to deal with the moulding gap issues than to paint all of the cabinetry. Another option is to simply have a good painting contractor address just the mouldings. Either way, painting the cabinetry will be an expensive proposition.
    Opal thanked Chermac Builders Inc
  • 7768
    8 years ago
    I am curious too as to who you had install the cabinets? Was it a professional?
  • Opal
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Thank you for all of your feedback. While I contacted Medallion once with no luck, on second try and with help from the company who sold us the product they are coming to our home to inspect the situation. I will update later.
  • Kelly Lawler
    8 years ago
    I was literally going to place my order for my Medallion cabinets today, but am still waffling between the White Icing and Divinity finishes. I found your thread and am now nervous! I had your same concerns about the colors. I think I'll wait to see how your situation is remedied before I place my order. Can you tell me if you were at least happy with the color of the Divinity finish? Is it at all yellow as you had worried? Does it read as soft white in your room? I hope that your installer and Medallion make things right for you. I would be worried about repainting the body of the cabinets on site, as I believe the factory finish is almost more like a stain, and is much more durable than paint that would be used on site....especially in CA where I live, air quality standards don't even allow the kind of finish used in the factory out of state where they are manufactured . Good luck to you.
  • PRO
    ALARA CONSTRUCTION, LLC.
    8 years ago
    From the pictures you have shown, It is the installer who wrongfully miter them and installed them incorrectly. Most likely manufacurer will void the warranty. Get back at your contractor and if they will not correct the problem, contact your states atorney generals office.
    Opal thanked ALARA CONSTRUCTION, LLC.
  • J Petempich
    8 years ago
    Does Medallion provide the installer for you or is that a separate contract? I imagine the trim pieces match the paint exactly and are sold by Medallion. Don't repaint the cupboards the factory paint will always be the best. If you want a smaller gap you need to have them reorder the trim pieces only and have it done right. Otherwise you need to counter sink the nails and fill in the holes fill in the gap and touch up the paint. If you haven't paid in full I would do the work and refuse to pay the full amount. Take plenty of pictures before doing it and call them. This isn't finished.
    Opal thanked J Petempich
  • _sophiewheeler
    8 years ago
    So, WHO installed this mess? That's whose name should get dragged through the mud, but that info has been lacking. Was the cabinet butcher an amateur? Family friend? Relative?
  • Opal
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    With all of your help, I have realized that this was an installation mistake. The installer came with recommendations and a history of cabinet install. Medallion will be looking at the install tomorrow.
  • agevm
    8 years ago
    We have over 40 linear feet, upper and lower cabinets in our kitchen and wet bar that are Medallion, and we just had a 9 ft. desk installed by Medallion. As I mentioned before, we had a problem with two drawers and they are being replaced by Medallion, no problem. They are Cherry with an Ebony glaze and we have found after two years, the finish still looks perfect. I cook every day/night and so the kitchen gets a lot of use. If you are considering Medallion, I think you will be very happy with them. Jenakeroyd, I know from going through a large remodel how stressful this all is. I don't know what we would have done if our installer handed us the wax crayon and said this is what you do. That is their job to complete. Sometimes when walls are not straight the crown does not match up perfectly. Same with baseboards. But, they can be made to look as if there was never a gap. I hope this all gets resolved for you soon so you can move on. Let us know the outcome as you have had a lot of great imput from the Houzz family pros and nonpros.
    Opal thanked agevm
  • wvugal
    8 years ago
    We had Medallion quartersawn oak cabinets installed last month, and the boxes that they came in had stickers on them that had handwritten names on them, too. The names were not nearly as "colorful" as those that were on your cabinets, though! We were very pleased with the quality of the cabinets, and our contractor was also impressed. Hope that things work out for you.
    Opal thanked wvugal
  • J Petempich
    8 years ago
    If you have any handwriting of the installer I would be checking that also.
    Opal thanked J Petempich
  • Opal
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Agevm - thank you for your thoughtful message. You are absolutely right - this has been very stressful:( Like I said earlier, we are repeat Medallion customers. I am hoping all of this can be resolved.
  • PRO
    Al Fortunato Furnituremaker
    8 years ago
    "Sometimes when walls are not straight the crown does not match up perfectly."

    No walls are perfectly straight, plumb, and square. It is the job of the installer to make it look so. A qualified, experienced finish carpenter will be able to make tight joints. There is no excuse for poor craftsmanship, except incompetence.
  • PRO
    rgkDESIGNS, Inc.
    8 years ago
    horrid .. if it doesn't get resolved to your satisfaction file complaints / lawsuit
  • PRO
    Design on the Square
    8 years ago
    If most of the problems are in the crown molding, you can fill the holes, caulk the joints and get a color matched paint and *just paint the crown*. The difference should be imperceptible if done well and should be a lot cheaper.
  • PRO
    Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
    8 years ago
    Sorry you have to deal with all of this mess. Here's a little unsolicited advice about dealing with the cabinet maker and your former carpenter. If you haven't done so yet, make up a record of the project by date and incident. From ordering the cabinets to delivery to hiring of the installers and so on. Keep all of the correspondence (emails) in a file and continue with this till it's resolved.
    Last, you don't need to be "nice" or socially appropriate with these characters. You're allowed to be as pissed off and insistent as the money you've spent and the aggravation you've endured. Squeaky wheels get the most grease. Whether or not the offensive signatures were added at the factory, by the shipper, or by the installer, let them all know that it's indefensible and grounds for a complaint to the BBB. Since you're posting all of this on Houzz, make the most of it and let them all know that their reputations are being aired online. Motivation in business boils down to two things.
    Money and reputation.
    Opal thanked Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
  • Opal
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    Medallion and the company that sold us the cabinets came to our house today. Both professionals were very respectful and took the situation seriously. I now realize that this was mostly an installation issue. Both are confident that the trim can be re-installed to our and their expectations. Whether the island is bowed or not is still undetermined but they will resolve that either way too. Also, the Medallion rep was apologetic for the initial poor communication from his company. They are also taking the pornographic names seriously (hand-writing analysis). Of course, this delays our move by weeks maybe even a month which is a bit of a bummer but something I can get over. I have updated my review of Medallion and will modify again once this situation is behind us. Thank you for everyone's support, advice, and feedback.
  • Opal
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Kelly Lawler - these cabinets are White Icing not Divinity. I LOVE the color. My walls are Edgecomb Gray (not really gray at all but more of a sandy color). We are in Oregon. The White Icing does not read cool. Next to BM Chantilly Lace, White Icing has more gray in it. Next to Divinity, White Icing seems too white but it is not. It is a lovely, crisp, clean color that goes well with a 'fresh' palette. Once our kitchen is finished, I will post pictures:)
  • agevm
    8 years ago
    Great news! Also good you don't feel like you have to repaint them since you love the color. One thing I loved about Medallion vs. other cabinet makers we looked at is their finish.
    Opal thanked agevm
  • Kelly Lawler
    8 years ago
    Thank you so much for your response. I think I am going with White Icing also. So happy that you are on your way to a resolution. I'm looking forward to the pictures of your completed project!
    Opal thanked Kelly Lawler
  • PRO
    Superior Interior
    8 years ago
    Your contractor took 8' lengths and made the mitre's for these joints. MANY TIMES 8' LENGTHS TWIST because they are old. In my opinion the contractor is at fault. Call them and request a review. RGG.
  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C
    8 years ago
    Call the manufacturer, and ask for a pencil filler for you cabinet, it will blend right in.

    Other then that, whoever did the trim work was off on his miters.
  • PRO
    Cancork Floor Inc.
    8 years ago
    Say Hooray for a manufacturer who stands behind their product. I'm sorry this went on for so long but I am glad to see that a company steps up and works with a client. Good for you and good for Medallion.
  • PRO
    Kevin McAlary/Eagle Associates, Inc
    8 years ago
    You really need to stop bashing your manufacturer and understand your poor installation. You owe Medallion an apology and need to undertand what your complaining about. I'm not saying your should not be disappointed, I would be, but the installation is not done well.
  • PRO
    Sharon Scharrer Design, LLC
    7 years ago

    It is late to weigh on this, but my company sells a lot of painted cabinets, and truth is, wood shrinks after installation, especially up at the ceiling as heat rises. In all fairness to installer, miters can be perfect after installation and a few months later look like this. If installer caulks seams at installation, the wood shrinkage will still happen, and the standard caulking they use will pull apart, crack, and look even worse. It is good to wait, knowing it will shrink, and then apply the right kind of caulk later. Sherwin Williams makes an excellent caulk that doesn't shrink and crack; and they can color match it to the exact shade of the cabinets. For anyone contemplating painted cabinets, please know, that wood expands and contracts, and paint doesn't. Every cabinet company requires a signed paint awareness statement from the customer. Not all cabinet sellers and installers explain the realities of painted cabinetry to the homeowner.

  • PRO
    By Any Design Ltd.
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    A couple of thoughts for you purplewatermelon. This picture.

    The open gap at the top is often fixed by shimming between the top of the crown and the wall. This pulls the piece forward and reduces the gap. Do it to both sides. Then chaulk the top where it meets the ceiling. Sometimes I need to use a small screw like a #5x1.5" wood screw so I can grip the crown with my vice grips. This adds another larger hole to patch later. Sometimes you can get a painters 5n1 tool slide in and twisted to pull it a little while a shim goes in.

    I think this just needs some more nails to pinch it tight. I would use some wood glue and my finger to force some in and nail it a little tighter. Nailing the lower board first should make room for the top crown to pinch in.

    Then the white wood fill later. I would use real nails and pre drill the face board and a hair of the next. Then hand nail and counter sink the nails.

    This should have been filled with a scrap of wood. I would cut a scrap of millwork (painted) down as little plug. Then let it be.

    The millwork is close to perfect and only needs a little more loving to make it right.

  • PRO
    GN Builders L.L.C
    7 years ago

    You shouldn't have such big gaps in your crown miter. Also it seems they used wrong nails, if this was a cabinet crown, they should have used 18 gage nails which gives you a very small hole which is hardly noticeable to begin with. After installation is complete you use the crayon they give you to touch it up and the touch up kit should also come with a magic marker you use that to go over the places where crayon was used and you will have a perfect blend.

  • Alex Murovec
    7 years ago

    That is the sloppiest install I've ever seen. I have run lots of prefinished kitchen crown. You shouldn't be able to get a razor blade in any mitres.

  • PRO
    ACC Cabinetry
    7 years ago

    Installing pre-lacquered white moulding is never easy and installers rarely get enough extra moulding to make every joint prefect. Especially when cabinets are ordered by the home owners or box store designers. You all are being extremely harsh on this installer. Yes he should have set the nail holes and filed both the holes and joints with wax. Even then we are dealing with wood and wood moves.