Appliances too high for worktop, end panels too low

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Ok so our new kitchen is almost fitted but the worktop supplier said there should be a gap between worktop and appliances - not sure why our carpenter didn’t keep the end panels between units as oversize, instead he trimmed them down to line up with them! He actually says he trimmed them to line up with the other side of the sink and base unit. Why didn’t he bring the unit further up ?

How do we solve this ? Can we do it ourselves? Can’t find anyone interested in fixing what might be looked upon as boring or fiddly job- can we do this ourselves? What’s the best solution, bring base unit and sink up (but what about plinths they’ll need redoing right?), or somewhat stick long pieces of panel on top of existing end panels to make them higher and so create a gap between the appliances and worktop ??

Finally the sink needs to be brought forward and disconnected / is that easy to do ?
 

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By "a gap between the worktop and appliances" do you mean between the top of the appliance and the underside of the worktop? The appliances have adjustable feet beneath them - are you sure the fitter hasn't jacked the feet up? One thing you will need to do is to check the height at the top of the units. In a standard kitchen this should be somewhere around 870mm (150mm of plinth + 720mm of base cabinet). What height are your cabinets now?

That 870mm normally gives you 20 to 40mm working space between the top of the appliances and the underside of the worktop (with my Bosch appliances about 30mm - our washer and dryer are both about 840mm high). Are your kitchen units lower than that? If no, then lower the feet on the appliances (they are threaded). If yes, and the appliance feet aren't jacked up, then the cabinets will need to be jacked up a bit to give you the required clearance; the cabinet feet are adjustable, but the cabinets may also have been fixed to the wall (screws, angle brackets, etc) so they will need to be unfixed, lifted, levelled then refixed, the plumbing for the sink will also need to be altered (see below) and you'll need to replace the decor end panels as they will end up cut too short (sorry, but joinery and kitchen fitting are subtractive trades - you can't weld extensions on!).

As to to sink, there are two main connections - the taps and the waste. The taps hopefully won't be an issue, because most taps are fitted on flexible hoses these days, which gives you a bit of leeway to move the sink. The waste will in all liklihood be 40mm plastic which may need a straight section cutting out and replacing with a longer one - waterpump pliers, hacksaw and deburrer job if the waste is push fit or compression fit (for a DIY job I'd do the same if the original were solvent weld pipe, the only difference is that it would need a couple of extra straight connectors). Your biggest problem is likely to be freeing the sink from the cabinet - Belfast sinks are normally bedded onto the cabinet with a generous amount of silicone sealant and that will need to be cut, which can be a PIA job. BTW the infill panel to the right of the sink with a bare chipboard top is asking for trouble - all cut edges around the sink need to be completely sealed with something waterproof (e.g. silicone, etc) before the top is installed (there is no guarantee that the granite fitters will do the job - I assume the tops are to be granite from what you wrote plus the fact that it's a Belfast sink)

Basically, if the appliances can't be lowered, you are looking at a partial refitting of the base cabinets plus new decor panels. I think your fitter has stuffed up the job and should be redoing thIngs at his own expense - I doubt he'll like that, though
 
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It's all in the setting out and understanding the product and any appliances, freestanding or integrated that are being installed, secondly you have to run a datum line around the kitchen before you do anything to see how far out the floor is.

Most kitchen base unit heights are 720mm plus 150mm plinth so 870mm total.

The problems evolve when the fitter doesn't check the floor, if your fitter has set 870mm at the lowest point and the floor is 30mm out, at the highest point the total cabinet height will 840mm.

Yes normally the gap between the top of a freestanding appliance and the underside of the worktop is about 30mm, but this isn't set in stone.

Personally I would of measured the height of the tallest freestanding appliance plus 30mm and marked the wall at the point where this appliance is to be sited, I would then set my first datum from this and measure floor heights from this point then adjust accordingly, you may end up with just 10mm above the appliance if the floor is wildly out.

In your case, if the appliances do not fit under the worktop, the whole kitchen has to be refitted higher up and all end panels will have to be replaced.
 
Alot of plinths stop a few mm short of the bottom shelf to allow circulation. They are usually clipped to the base unit legs and have a rubber/plastic edge strip along the floor level, so you won't see the gap under the base shelf.
 
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Ok so our new kitchen is almost fitted but the worktop supplier said there should be a gap between worktop and appliances - not sure why our carpenter didn’t keep the end panels between units as oversize, instead he trimmed them down to line up with them! He actually says he trimmed them to line up with the other side of the sink and base unit. Why didn’t he bring the unit further up ?

How do we solve this ? Can we do it ourselves? Can’t find anyone interested in fixing what might be looked upon as boring or fiddly job- can we do this ourselves? What’s the best solution, bring base unit and sink up (but what about plinths they’ll need redoing right?), or somewhat stick long pieces of panel on top of existing end panels to make them higher and so create a gap between the appliances and worktop ??

Finally the sink needs to be brought forward and disconnected / is that easy to do ?

Surely the sink needs to be raised as well? It looks quite a bit lower than the worktop height
 
Surely the sink needs to be raised as well? It looks quite a bit lower than the worktop height
It's a Belfast, I expect the worktop is either Oak, Stone or Compact Laminate, the worktop sits over the top Belfast normally with a 10mm lip and drainer grooves are routered into the worktop surface.
 
It's a Belfast, I expect the worktop is either Oak, Stone or Compact Laminate, the worktop sits over the top Belfast normally with a 10mm lip and drainer grooves are routered into the worktop surface.

But shouldn't it (the underside of the worktop only be 3-5mm lower than the worktop)? It currently looks much lower than that.

I must admit that I have only ever fitted a solid wood worktop over a Belfast sink once. I used the longest lower bearing Trend router bit that I could find and used that. From memory, the over hang was only about 5 or 6mm. He didn't want drainer grooves and TBH, I didn't have a template to do them. He is a mate of mine.

I did the work in 2016. Last year I was there to join another iroko worktop to the existing one along the long length after he had a side extension built. The sink area was fine other than slight staining where wet hands turn the taps off.

With regards to the 10mm overhang lip- is that to accommodate a drip groove on the underside?
 
But shouldn't it (the underside of the worktop only be 3-5mm lower than the worktop)? It currently looks much lower than that.

I must admit that I have only ever fitted a solid wood worktop over a Belfast sink once. I used the longest lower bearing Trend router bit that I could find and used that. From memory, the over hang was only about 5 or 6mm. He didn't want drainer grooves and TBH, I didn't have a template to do them. He is a mate of mine.

I did the work in 2016. Last year I was there to join another iroko worktop to the existing one along the long length after he had a side extension built. The sink area was fine other than slight staining where wet hands turn the taps off.

With regards to the 10mm overhang lip- is that to accommodate a drip groove on the underside?
I'm not sure about that kitchen fit it looks like a bit of a dogs dinner tbh....

To answer your question, on solid wood I do put a drip groove on the underside of the lip, I would do overhang at 8-10mm and similar for compact lam, I don't use a bearing guide though. I generally flip the sink upside down onto a piece of 12mm and trace around the inside of the sink for the internal sink size, once cut I clamp it to the top of the work top and use a flute cutter with a 30mm Guide Bush, conveniently the distance from.the outside of the Bush to a 12.7 mm cutter is 8.5.mm which is perfect for the overhang.

Incidentally, yes the Belfast is to low, i aim for 2-3 mm just enough for a nice silucone seal, and it should of been pulled forwards about 30mm, they are not supposed to be flush with cabinets.

I am currently having a long overdue rest from kitchens, I kid you not, I fitted 48 last year, not bad for a Carpenter
 
Thanks for all the information, and latest replies Oops. Chirpychippy and Conny and the lengthy reply Jobandknock. some of which is a bit technical for me lol. Wish one if you had fitted our kitchen

Yes, the base unit height as installed is 87cm tall, within that is a plinth of 16cm. The base unit is 53cm wide, and the worktop will be quartz 20mm. Incidentally I remember noticing how low the Belfast sink was at the very beginning (not even knowing anything about the height needed in relation to appliances) and asked our builder then why it was so low and his answer was they are always lower plus you can’t have it higher as the plinth wood supplied wouldn’t fit underneath as it’s not tall enough….
 
It's a Belfast, I expect the worktop is either Oak, Stone or Compact Laminate, the worktop sits over the top Belfast normally with a 10mm lip and drainer grooves are routered into the worktop susurface.
Surely if the guy is a kitchen fitter or joiner he'd fit his own worktops, other than a stone or quartz top?
 
Yes, the base unit height as installed is 87cm tall
In that case, screw in the appliance legs.
Worst case, you can remove the top on most machines; two screws at the back and slide forward.
That will give you 30mm clearance.
 
... asked our builder then why it was so low and his answer was they are always lower plus you can’t have it higher as the plinth wood supplied wouldn’t fit underneath as it’s not tall enough….
You often have to cut the plinth to suit the units - it's not uncommon to have to trim this, regardless of what your builder says.

What is the height of the top of the unit adjacent to the appliances (trying to ascertain if the appliances have been jacked up on their feet or not)?
 
Surely if the guy is a kitchen fitter or joiner he'd fit his own worktops, other than a stone or quartz top?
The conversation I was having with Opps was "in general" but I actually misinterpreted the point of the sink being to low, then went onto to waffle on about undermount applications.

I have been called to kitchen installations where the "fitter" can't fit the laminate, compact laminate, fake corian, etc etc.
 
Ok so our new kitchen is almost fitted but the worktop supplier said there should be a gap between worktop and appliances - not sure why our carpenter didn’t keep the end panels between units as oversize, instead he trimmed them down to line up with them! He actually says he trimmed them to line up with the other side of the sink and base unit. Why didn’t he bring the unit further up ?

How do we solve this ? Can we do it ourselves? Can’t find anyone interested in fixing what might be looked upon as boring or fiddly job- can we do this ourselves? What’s the best solution, bring base unit and sink up (but what about plinths they’ll need redoing right?), or somewhat stick long pieces of panel on top of existing end panels to make them higher and so create a gap between the appliances and worktop ??

Finally the sink needs to be brought forward and disconnected / is that easy to do ?
Can you please measure the floor to top of end panel height to the right of the Belfast sink but at the back of the unit?
 
I have been called to kitchen installations where the "fitter" can't fit the laminate, compact laminate, fake corian, etc etc.
The only ones I could never fit were granite and quartz - neither if which I'd ever want to handle myself due to weight! Laminate, compact laminate, solid wood and a lot of "sectional" (pre-made) solid surface should surely come within the remit of a competent kitchen fitter - bespoke solid surface is a bit different, but not that common these days
 

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