Square-edged worktop-should it have a butt and scribe joint?

25 Nov 2006
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United Kingdom
When my mum got a post-formed laminate worktop the fitter did a great job of the joints using a worktop jig, bolts etc. I think it's called a butt and scribe joint. I've just had a square edged laminate worktops fitted and was told it wouldn't be necessary, instead he's just put them edge to edge and battened them together from below. I'm disappointed - the join is so obvious whereas my mum's is like a hairline join.

The guy who did it is a chippie who fitted all the units together from flat pack but I'm thinking my kitchen fitter should have put a specialist on the worktop because it seems to need a specialised skill.

Anyone got any thoughts on whether square-edged workstops should have butt and scribe joints?

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might it help to put some colour-matched silicone in the joint?
It might, but I'm keen to know what a professional fitter would do. I was expecting something more sophisticated than a block of wood under the worktop - I could probably have managed that myself. (And that same block of wood is currently stopping an applicance from fitting in!) Thanks
The best finish is with a router and biscuit brackets to pull tight together, then matching silicone to make invisible join.

in my opinion.

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Thanks. I have scoured the internet and haven't found one reference to him doing it the way he has. I don't know what to do next - should I ask for them to be redone properly?
It is possible to butt joint the darker tops but the lighter ones are best done with a shallow version of what your mum has, just enough to remove the front laminate edge.

Either way the joint should then be bolted together as this will pull it up nice and tight and filled with a product called "colourfil" which is made for the job and colour matched to the worktop finish.

The kitchen fitter offered to get replacements and play for a third party to fit them as I had expressed concern about his chippie's confidence and experience with worktops.

He's now trying to get the worktops replaced free of charge claiming manufacturing faults. The supplier is coming out to inspect them, but if they refuse (as I believe they will - although there's a mark on one the other three are down to workmanship - chips, scoring etc), what's my recourse?

At the very least you could replace the battening with mending plates which should allow the appliance to fit. If you get your screws in the right place it will pull the worktop together a bit. Still, no substitute for masons mitre, biscuits and clamps.
If, your Chippie\kitchen fitter cannot get the worktops replaced then I would suggest "providing he hasn't silicones the joints" to remove the worktops and router bolt holes intothe underside as if doing a masons mitre then silicone and colourfil prior to bolting them together.

Something worth noting, if the units have not been installed perfectly level then the join will be a right bugger to get right.

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