Alcove cupboard options in damp corner

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by Grout Expectations, 15 Jun 2021.

  1. Grout Expectations

    Grout Expectations

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    Hi all
    I’ve been doing lots of online reading about making some alcove cupboards with floating shelves above and just have a few head-scratchy bits left, that don’t seem to be covered elsewhere so I need the help of those that know more than I



    Main questions are:



    Cupboards

    Key issues I have are:

    The house is 1930’s and suffers from condensation (previous owners helpfully closed all fireplaces without venting, covered air bricks etc. etc. – all of which is being sorted).

    On the plan attached, the wall to the right is an external single-skin wall and is prone to condensation (fitted wardrobes upstairs on the same wall had some damp issues, not awful, but enough to be a problem) so I don’t feel that I can just box in the right hand side without causing problems. I also don’t think I can simply insulate on that side of the cupboard as that wall has a double socket, cable entry and phone entry.

    I’ve also been torn between: Building a carcass on a plinth and fitting it in with fillets at the sides etc. which feels slightly trickier, but perhaps more ‘proper’ and would allow for easy fitting of Blum hinges which are my preference

    or the (sorry, don’t know the term, but the ‘use the walls of the alcoves as the sides of the cupboard so you are essentially making shelves with a frontage and doors on’) method, which leaves the whole space open and perhaps gives better airflow.



    My thinking thus far has been: as the right alcove is wider than the left, if I create a two-door cupboard for each alcove that match, then on the extra panel on the right alcove use a decorative panel/grille that allows airflow and pair this with a few holes in the RH side of the cupboard top?

    If using the carcass method I would make a carcass for the two doors section of the cupboard with essentially a long fillet that holds the decorative grill (I guess making holes on the RH side of the carcass would help airflow too)



    So, carcass or the other way (can you fit Blum hinges the other way. Would need to be face-frame ones?) and is there any better way to stop condensation (having router and Virgin box in the cupboard will potentially create enough heat to negate issues but I can’t bank on that)



    Shelves

    Around 50mm thickness seems about right and the widest span is 1170mm so I’m planning on making frame/torsion-box style topped with a thicker sheet and bottomed with a thinner one.

    Given the span, would it be better to use ply or could I get away with MRMDF. I’m thinking 18mm on the top, 6mm on the bottom? Then for the front, making stripwood mouldings with my tracksaw from interior cladding (as per Gosforth Handymans’s tip video here How To Get Cheap Stripwood Mouldings - Gosforth Handyman)

    What I’ve seen so far often just describes the frame of the shelves to be made of ‘batten’ but isn’t that specific about which type. Should it be hardwood for stiffness or can I get away with a softwood? Should I just be searching for ‘planed edge timber’?



    Sorry, this is an incredibly long-winded post and I may not have been as clear as I might, but thanks in advance for any advice. Also, forgive my newbie Sketchup skills, it’s the first time I’ve used it, so it’s missing detail like the cupboard top overhang and the colours are off as I think I should have coloured earlier in the process. After tearing my hair out for a couple of hours I decided that colours I could live without this time:)
    Any thoughts welcome

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Address the damp problems don't accommodate them.
     
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  4. Grout Expectations

    Grout Expectations

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    Completely agree foxhole, but as I mentioned, I am working to remove (or have already) all the obvious causes of damp (capping chimneys, venting closed fireplaces, fitting extractors etc.) but with the best will in the world, As it's a single skin wall and the room is next to the kitchen, there's always a chance of some condensation on a cold wall so I'd rather give myself the best chance of not seeing any mould once it's built.
     
  5. foxhole

    foxhole

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    If air can’t get to the wall then neither can mould as the spores are airborne.
     
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