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Cabinet Install on Unsquare wall.

vicktown's picture

I am starting to install base cabinets from IKEA starting with the corner cab and working out in both ddirections to create an L-shaped kitchen. As it turns out the corner is greater than 90 degress so fitting the cabinet tight to both walls cant happen. 

Both runs of the L-shape are the same length although one side is quickly interupted by the stove. I am thinking this break will be useful in getting that run tight to the wall (after the oven), but there will still be about a 1 inch gap behind the cabs if I make the other wall flush. 

How can this be addressed to make the outcome look as good as possible. Should I use shims to bump out the cabinets and then hide try and hide it all with the countertop?


Ideas are welcome

vick (post #207274, reply #1 of 5)

Frameless cabinets provide much less in opportunity to quickly adjust for less than perfect site conditions.

Knowing or anticipating the problems b/4 ordering goes a long way to improving the chances for a good install.  Fill strips and / or other trims that might be available can conceal a myriad bunch of things.

For the installation generally the best method is to split the difference on each side, perhaps pulling a sink cab forward, then dropping back on each side (which also makes for a pretty pleasing look).

If the ends of the runs butt to a wall, then your idea of shimming the gap will work-use a solid strip fastened to the studs to take up most of the gap, cedar shims to fine tune.

How are you going to deal with the uppers (especially at the range)?  I assume that while the wall is out of square, it might be close to plumb, so what's down near the floor will also be up.  Any gap will also be visible along the bottoms of the cabs.  A finished strip at the bottom can return the cab to the wall.  Or, you could build the whole wall out with tapered "stud furring" and new sheetrock to make it right to begin with.


If the ends of the runs are open (don't run into a wall) an extended end panel (either factory installed or added) will fill the gap.  This panel on the side of the last cabinet runs long and is site cut to finish the run.  For frameless, it most probably is an extended 3/4 end panel.

Remember, these problems are alot easier to deal with if planned for.  Scrambling at the last minute to cover your rear isn't always the prudent thing to do.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


If you can gang a run of (post #207274, reply #2 of 5)

If you can gang a run of cabinets together, that may clarify just how out-of-square your corner is. Sometimes, drywallers mud corners heavily which exaggerates, even creates, the problem. I've cut drywall out of corners below the top of the cabinet to square the cabinet in the corner. But, take care in doing this, because, as always, you need to concern yourself with the relation of upper to lower cabinets when setting lowers.

You can shim the cabinets (post #207274, reply #3 of 5)

You can shim the cabinets square but then your tops have to wider which gets you into more money. The common fix for your problem is to cut out the drywall in the corners so the cabinets can sqaure up. Or, gets tops with loose backsplashs, cut the drywall on one end and shim the other. You should end up moving each end just enough that your backsplash will hide the difference.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

  Thanks for the (post #207274, reply #4 of 5)


Thanks for the tips. 
Im still not solid on a fix for this.
One point to add is that one run of the L shape i much longer than the other. One run is about 11 feet and includes the sink while the other run ends quickly at an oven (52" from corner to oven). To make the long run flush against the walls results in about 3/4" gap between the wall and the cabinet at the end of the short run. After this is the oven and then continuing with the cabinets. I was thinking of using the oven as a break and then return the cabinets to the wall after the oven.  
As for the gap. I agree it can be cleaned up at the end with a panel, although it will be hidden by the oven along the side. I assume I just need to hide the gap at the top using the counter top and backsplash, although it will take some tricky tapering of the counter top. 
Cutting into the drywall will not be enough for this job...although it could minimize the gap.
And thankfully, there are no uppers.
Again, thanks for the ideas.
Anything else would be appreciated.

I did not see in the OP if (post #207274, reply #5 of 5)

I did not see in the OP if they are face frame or euro style cabinets.If face frame some of the frames should overhang the boxes for a scribe.You can back bevel these and cheat the difference between a few cabinets,Frameless is harder .If you have any fillers you can do the same with them or buy some narrow fillers and back bevel them if you have room to add them on one of the runs.This and cutting back the drywall at the corner should help.

I always read on these DIY forums of people starting with the corner cabinets.The layout should start at the high point of your floor .That way you can shim the lower cabinets to a level line and have a level counter top.