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Considerations of Coordinating Cabinets and Countertops

We have all heard the HORROR stories of countertops.... The more CUSTOM the project, the more coordination of multiple subcontractors. Below are some considerations.

Island Cabinets and Slab Size Verification:

“Standards” in slab sizes vary between quartz and granite and between vendors.  Islands must be planned with the countertop slab in mind.  This will reduce the risk of an unsightly seam from the cabinetry being planned for a jumbo slab size and the countertop material selected no being available in that size.


Countertop Supports:

Coordinating countertop supports is crucial for both structural integrity and aesthetics. Frameless cabinets require planned areas for support straps, which may not be addressed when cabinets and countertops come from separate sources. This oversight can lead to complications during installation and compromise the stability of the countertops.


Waterfall Countertops:

Waterfall countertops, which extend vertically down the sides of cabinets, have become a popular design choice. When cabinets and countertops are sourced independently, there may be a lack of coordination in planning where electrical outlets should be placed on these vertical surfaces, potentially causing issues during installation, impacting the functionality of the space or worse yet.. having to be cut into the waterfall leg to meet required electrical codes.


Countertop Thickness:

The thickness of countertops is an important consideration when cabinets sit on the countertop surface. When cabinets and countertops are not ordered through the same source, there may be a lack of coordination in accounting for the countertop thickness, which can result in the need to reorder cabinetry to keep the top alignment on the cabinetry.


Directional Styles:

Some materials have directional patterns or veining that should be considered.  There are ways to break up the countertops to best suit these unique pieces.


Communication, Scheduling & Organizing:

When cabinets and countertops are not designed and ordered at the same place, the General Contractor or whomever is acting as that, is responsible for coordinating all the stages between the  subcontractors.  This can lead to miscommunications and delays.


In summary, the potential pitfalls on design to installation on countertops is land mine. These issues can lead to practical and structural problems during installation, as well as impact the overall aesthetics of the finished space. To avoid these pitfalls, it is advisable to involve a designer or design professional who can coordinate the entire process and ensure a seamless and successful integration of cabinets and countertops.

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