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Repairing countertop trim

anontemp123's picture

I had a damaged part of my countertop trim repaired.  This is the best the contractor could do.  If it can't be affordably repaired better than this, I can live with it.  Any ideas? (Click pictures for larger view.)


You're right -- that's (post #212188, reply #1 of 19)

You're right -- that's probably the best that contractor can do.  Which is why most projects like this are either tasks for a highly skilled specialist or they are Do-It-Yourself projects where you simply take the time to figure it out and do it right.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Bah! That s crap work. Hire a (post #212188, reply #2 of 19)

Bah! That s crap work. Hire a decent carpenter who can make a proper repair.  Contractors do not necessairly have any construction skills at all.

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

goodness! you should ask (post #212188, reply #3 of 19)


you should ask for a refund!!! 

pulling the whole side trim off and replacing it would be a seamless repair (if the same profile is available).

The countertop surface does (post #212188, reply #5 of 19)

The countertop surface does need repairing at that point, if not being replaced.  Several options there, depending on what the current surface is and how neat a job you want.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

It's a pretty affordable (post #212188, reply #6 of 19)

It's a pretty affordable countertop.  It's not granite or marble or anything of that sort.  How would I go about identifying it?

The words "black epoxy" are stuck in my head.  Someone must have said that to me as a solution to fill in the gap.

The reasonable options for (post #212188, reply #7 of 19)

The reasonable options for the countertop material (having eliminated granite and marble) are Formica/"laminate", Corian/"solid surface", and "quartz".

An epoxy-like material would generally be used for the last two, only the specific material used would tend to be different for the two cases. 

For Formica/"laminate" you might (short of complete replacement or overlay) either route out a small section of the top and glue a piece of laminate to the substrate, or use yet a third sort of epoxy-like compound (probably not epoxy but something like polyester). 

And for Corian/"solid surface" another option is to cut out the missing section to be a uniform rectangle, then glue in a replacement piece of (approximately) the same color.  This is probably preferred for larger patches, and is within the capabilities of a DIYer (whereas doing the same on quartz or granite or marble isn't).

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

From those descriptions, and (post #212188, reply #14 of 19)

From those descriptions, and reading some more, it looks like "laminate" to me.  Here's a picture with some of the trim removed.

This actually was performed (post #212188, reply #4 of 19)

This actually was performed by a carpenter who had almost all A ratings on Angie's List.  He was also the most expensive of the three carpenters I had over for estimates.  In the carpenter's defense, he told me ahead of time what his plan was, and I told him I understood this was a best effort type of thing, but this was worse than the worst case I imagined.

I wish I could find highly skilled specialists, but after going through more than 25 "contractors" on our renovation project, I've only found 2.

I was told this was as close a match to the existing profile that was available.  One person recommend taking off the trim from the whole countertop and replacing it all.  I thought this was asking for more trouble.  E.g., what if the trim doesn't come off clean?

How difficult is it to take the trim off myself?  Can I just pry it?  What tools do I need?

first thing that comes to (post #212188, reply #8 of 19)

first thing that comes to mind is WHY?

why 25 contractors?

licensed companies who will permit their work may not be any better than the 25 guys you had come in but at least they will involve the city code officials and they will demand minimum standards...

from the looks of the chip near the repair i would think some kint of laminate. if this is the case it will be very inexpensive to repair if you damage it attempting a repair.

i would try and make a cut line with a blade along the top laminated/trim connection and break any bond (if any). then triy and "roll" the trim under the countertop. once its bond is broken you can pry it.

Mark (post #212188, reply #9 of 19)

it always amazes me the apparent volume of unskilled people with no eye nor conscience in the building trades.



as to the topic, to me it looks like someone removed a wall or post at the end of a counter and couldn't figure out how to cut the top and replicate the trim.  Not even trying to match the trim detail and sloppily slapping up OG stop was the icing on the cake.  Now, if he only paid him 20 bucks........

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

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Yeah, looking at that picture (post #212188, reply #10 of 19)

Yeah, looking at that picture it almost seems like the replacement piece is oak, while the original is pine.

And odds are pretty good that when the wall/post was pulled out there was some matching trim on it that could have been reused here.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

I found a contractor couple (post #212188, reply #15 of 19)

I found a contractor couple days ago who's been pretty good thus far.  I asked him today, "Are you sure the original isn't pine?"  He said, "No."  I asked, "How do you know?"  He replied, "Because of the sticker that reads 'oak'."

So the original trim was (post #212188, reply #17 of 19)

So the original trim was likely custom-milled, meaning you will have trouble finding a stock match to that profile.  You need a router and a router table.  (And I'm not referring to your Internet router.)

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

good point on the wall.  i (post #212188, reply #11 of 19)

good point on the wall. 

i mean, yeah we are the best at what we do, so comparing anyone to our standards is not fair (in case dumbnuts gets on and throws a hissy fit, im being sarcastic)...but good god that guys standard of work has been good enough to customers that they have left positive feedback on a website. crazy! maybe he was having an off day...hahah

Yes, the post was removed (post #212188, reply #16 of 19)

Yes, the post was removed quite a few months ago.  At that time, I was told "oh yeah, don't worry, we point up this sort of thing all the time."  If I knew then what I know now, I would have tried to convince my wife to leave the post.

Mark, I think sometimes you (post #212188, reply #13 of 19)

Mark, I think sometimes you all don't realize, just by virtue of being on forums in your spare time, you are one of the select few who truly enjoy your work and strive to do good work.  Minimum standards are still too low, in my opinion.  I realized early on my general contractor wasn't up to my standards.  I went to see other general contractors' work, folks whose proposals I had turned down, and then I also realized there is no correlation between how much a contractor charges and their quality of work.  They were all pretty much the same.There are two general contractor types I've found in our area who can really do (or sub) every job with quality results, and they are booked out a year in advance.  Literally, at this point, I ask contractors if they will use terms like "get the job done", "no one will see it", "effective", "good enough", or my new favorite, "don't worry, if it fails, we have a one year warranty."  Only if they understand where I'm coming from, I will proceed. And they STILL end up using those terms.  It's always the same, "oh yeah, WE would never do something like that, it's not even code, etc etc" but then they so the same thing.  They all know how to game the inspectors.  (Except our gas inspector, that guy was no joke.) And the majority is just eyeball test things.  Like even if you're not a computer technician, if someone repairs a hinge on your laptop with duct tape, it might "get the job done", but you know it's just wrong.  I have to be so exact and precise now, it's overwhelming at times.  But customers are also at fault, in my opinion.  The majority of us just care about what the end result looks on the outside and, in doing so, we have encouraged this behind-the-wall mentality.  In any case, I've come across another great contractor recently who's helped me out the past couple days, and I really hope he sticks around. If, from all this struggle, I can find just one or two more good contractors, it will really help all my friends and family for years to come.  It'll all have been worth it.  Well, that's my rant, thanks for reading.

Edit: Also, I forgot to rant about 8 of the 25 contractors that never showed up or left the job unfinished.  Out of those 8, I still owed money to 4!  I guess they got more lucrative jobs.  The first four , I never checked for licenses or signed contracts. They just stop answering their phones.    But the last four were fully licensed and we had contracts.  They just said they couldn't finish the work due to "health reasons" and don't worry about the balance.  They know it's not worth my time/money to take legal action.

sorry to hear your bad (post #212188, reply #12 of 19)

sorry to hear your bad experience.

code is referenced alot here in regards to do's and dont's on specific trade but it makes me want to scream when I hear the "we do it to code" phrase in relation to building in general.

i guess when they say that they think its a good thing, and i suppose it is if you pride yourself in the minimum standard.

glad you found someone who care about what they do! youll be even better off when you find someone who loves what they do!


best of luck!

Finished! (post #212188, reply #18 of 19)

Thanks for the help everyone. All your hints and clues helped me figure out what to look for when hiring a carpenter for this job.  The carpenter tried to match the stain color three times, but was unable to get a match.  In regular light, you really have to be looking for it to tell.  I wish the formica repair was a bit better, but admittedly that's getting greedy at this point.  He built it up with two layers of epoxy, sanding after each one.  Then he used a car paint chip repair kit. 

Appalling. (post #212188, reply #19 of 19)

I am but an alledgedly humble DIYer, but I wouldn't accept such poor workmanship even if I did it. Egad, what a hack job.

You might have recieved better results from a kitchen / bath cabinent person accustomed to dealing with finish trim, that job looks like something a badly hungover framing carpenter kludged into place.

Good luck.