Bathroon Vanity Install Issue - This was supposed to be the simple part!

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by jdbs3, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. jdbs3

    jdbs3 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Just completed a tile floor; now reinstalling a single sink vanity with a new granite counter top. This was supposed to be the simple part. Wrong!

    The base of the vanity sits firmly on the tile and does not rock in any direction. So is it level - no! Placing a level around the top perimeter shows the left front side needs to be shimmed by ~3/16", and the back sides by ~1/16".

    Additionally, placing the granite top on the vanity shows a gap of ~1/16' in the front right corner. So while the vanity does not rock, the granite top will.

    The height of the vanity left side is 30 1/2" high, while the right is 30 9/16" high. You would expect with the right side 1/16" higher, that there would not be the 1/16" gap under the top on the right front.

    The floor in front of the vanity is close to level, possibly off by 1/32". Front to back the floor is off by ~1/16".

    So I have 2 problems: 1) assuring both the vanity and the granite top are level, and 2) assuring the granite top does not rock.

    But the #'s don't seem to work. Given the vanity top does not rock both with and without the granite top, I don't see how shimming under the bottom of the vanity will resolve either of these problems. If I raise the left front ~3/16", then the left side would be ~1/8" higher than the left side; I'd expect this would throw off the granite top even more.

    Another alternative might be to leave the vanity as is on the floor, and plane the perimeter down. But planing of 3/16" from left to right and 1/16" from front to back, while assuring the perimeter all comes out level would seem to be a very difficult task to get right.

    If I don't care about the top being perfectly level, then just shimming the right front corner of the top would eliminate the rocking.

    While I expect the solutions will be trial and error, what is the best way to proceed? And is just shimming the top right corner sufficient to resolve the granite from rocking and avoid the granite from cracking in the future?

    thanks
     
  2. dj2

    dj2 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    1st problem: the floor is off, but you can live with that.
    2nd problem: the vanity is off, you better make it level, otherwise your top will never will be level.
    3rd problem: your granite is not perfect, you can work around it by shimming.

    So what do you have to do now? the tiles are already set, start with the vanity.
     
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  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Land of Cheese
    I tend to believe that you are over thinking this. I use pocket change to level the top and then carefully set it in a bead of clear silicone on the vanity, which will provide adequate support for the life of the unit.
     
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Normally I would shim if needed to make sure the box is level, regardless of the floor condition.

    Then the counter can set on a level box. A few dabs of caulk will settle down the countertop to the frame of the box.
     
  6. jdbs3

    jdbs3 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Update

    Terry,

    Ok, I'll do this. But from what I have seen, while the vanity will now be level, the granite top will still rock with the 1/16" under the right front corner.

    I called the manufacturer and asked about putting a shim under that corner. This steadies it. They said they would not recommend doing this; that it might lead to the granite top cracking in the future. Not sure why since I got this feedback from a consumer relations rep who called the manufacturer.

    The only other thing I can think of is to plane down 90% of the top until all sides are now level. But as noted, I'm not convinced this is easily doable given corner bracing, etc.

    Is this the correct/best way to resolve the rocking top? Or are their other alternatives?

    thanks
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Yeah, well that's why I would put a few drops of clear polyseamseal between the granite and cabinet.
    We're not talking 3/8"
    You can barely see light through the crack with 1/16"
     
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Get out a long straight-edge and see what's really happening. My guess is that the vanity is bending to fit the floor. THen, if you screwed it to the wall to anchor it, that can mess things up, too. Course, the vanity could be off. Granit slabs are usually quite flat, course, there's always the exceptions. Was this a pre-made one, or one you had made? Some of the premade ones (i.e., with the sink hole and faucet holes already in them) are volume manufacturered overseas (China?), and the slab they used may not be the best quality.

    Is the slab 2cm or 3cm thick? the thinner stuff is more likely to crack if you don't take care in shimming well and often enough to fill gaps. The thicker stuff is stronger. But, some granites are much stronger than others. If it was a premade top, there may be some veins in it that weaken things.

    Is the backsplash attached (if it has one)? Your wall may very well not be totally flat or plumb - this is not that unusual, especially if there's a drywall seam in the equation...that often creates a wide hump in the wall.

    To get the vanity to sit right, you may need shims at the back to accommodate any inconsistencies...if you screw it to an uneven wall, guess what, it will warp the cabinet if it doesn't break a seam.
     
  9. VDIY2015

    VDIY2015 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Location:
    Illinois
    I am also prepared to install a new granite vanity top with a separate backsplash. Is it necessary for the backsplash to attach to the wall as well as the vanity top? I ask because I have already installed my baseboard trim and the vanity sits about 1/2 inch from the wall because of the trim. The vanity cabinet is open at the bottom. So, cutting into the trim to create a decorative cut to encase the legs of the vanity cabinet is work I don't want to necessarily do.
     
  10. DougB

    DougB Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Occupation:
    Software Developer / Engineer
    Location:
    Minneapolis - Land of 10,000 taxes
    I remodeled our kitchen about 8 yrs ago. I had a professional granite company fabricate and install the tops.

    I had the base cabinets level, and screwed to the wall. There were places where the granite was not level / rocked a bit. The installers had boxes of thin, plastic like shims. They shimmed in a few places and used silicon.
     
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