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Old Mar 14th, 07, 1:38 am   #1
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Granite needs plywood??

I'm not sure which forum to post this in, so feel free to move it!

We've put in our Adel MB cabinets and we've got our appliances in place. We've talked with the granite guy, and it should get installed in about 2 weeks. He said we needed to install the plywood (to go under the granite). [We're not questioning US installing it - b/c he's a friend of the family and is giving us a good price, so we don't mind doing that work ourselves... even though we have no clue what we're doing.]

So, the granite we're getting is just normal (no fancy hangover bullnosing). I assume the plywood is for spreading out the weight of the granite? (I've been reading all the threads that pull up when I search for "granite" & "plywood".) But I just can't figure out what kind of plywood we need to buy. Do we need 3/4", or 5/8"? I was talking to DH about it last night, and (granted he was VERY tired) he thought he remembered the granite guy saying we could even use 1/4" plywood if we wanted!

I guess my question is - we do need plywood, right? What size do we need to get?

And, while we're at it, I did see the thread with the pics of the edgebanding and directions for getting it to be the right color to match the Adel MB. Do I need to get the 3/4" plywood in order to make that happen? If we just use 5/8" plywood, would we still need to do the edgebanding?

This kitchen is looking SO good right now... I don't want want to mess anything up here with the finish line in sight!

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Old Mar 14th, 07, 3:23 am   #2
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Yep - for weight distribution. Granite isn't as strong as some people think it is, and must be very well supported.

The slabs are typically cut to about 3/4" in thickness; you will want 3/4" plywood for an underlayment. Typically, the slabs are bullnosed on the front edge to conceal the plywood and to give it the effect that it's a lot thicker.

Make sure the top is flat and smooth ( ie . ACX grade plywood or better). Screw in the plywood from the underside instead, as not to have any screw heads protruding.

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Old Mar 14th, 07, 9:24 am   #3
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eltaz, you said there is no "fancy bullnose" but what is the edge? that is the major thing to take into consideration when choosing the thickness. Narf is right about ikea cabs needing 3/4 when a full bullnose is done, otherwise your doors and drawers will "squeak" in spots where the granite dips a bit; nothing is perfect

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Old Mar 14th, 07, 9:37 am   #4
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This DIY place says to use 3/4" plywood. They have installation instructions here:
http://www.valuestone.com/installation.html


I saw a picture here where the 3/4" plywood was concealed with a ripped down piece of deco strip. I think. It's been a while since I saw it...

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Old Mar 14th, 07, 10:45 am   #5
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It's what I would call a 1/2 bullnose - the top half is curved, but the bottom part is a straight 90 angle. And it's not built down at all. So, technically you could put it directly on the cabinets and the drawers/doors would be able to open (though they would probably scrape a tad). I know it doesn't look as wealthy/nice, but we're really wanting to save money... plus we didn't want the double bullnose, b/c I've read that spilled liquids will just follow that 2nd bullnose and go straight into the cabinets rather that fall onto the floor.

So, we don't need the plywood for clearance, per se, though it will help it not scrape.

So, really, the 3/4" or the 5/8" is simply for weight dispersion, but I want to be sure to get the right one.

And, yeah, I did bookmark those pics b/c they're so helpful:
granite countertop edge thickness

http://render2.snapfish.com/render2/.../of=50,332,443

http://render2.snapfish.com/render2/.../of=50,332,442

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Old Mar 14th, 07, 10:49 am   #6
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I got my granite from the link C.B. posted. It has a regular bullnose, but it doesn't curl down over the plywood. That edge of the plywood is exposed, so I think you would want edge-banding regardless of thickness. The guy at valuestone.com recommends 3/4" ply because that is the size the pre-fab edge-banding comes in. He said I could do thinner plywood and still satisfy structural needs, but it just looks better-proportioned and is easier to do 3/4" - you don't have to trim the edge-banding if you're careful. If you click on my gallery photos in the link on the left, you might get a glimpse at what mine looks like.
Kathy

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Old Mar 14th, 07, 11:24 am   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.B View Post
I saw a picture here where the 3/4" plywood was concealed with a ripped down piece of deco strip. I think. It's been a while since I saw it...
That was us - another Valuestone customer



More details here

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Old Mar 14th, 07, 4:42 pm   #8
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not to hijack but...

I was all set to have out 3cm, 1/2 bullnose granite slab placed directly on our cabs when I saw this thread (floor installed today, so granite as quickly as I can assemble cabs, make 3 mods, and install).

Should I put plywood on top of the cabinets? Is it necessary? Will my doors definitely scrape if I don't?

I don't have much experience with frameless cabinets, and no experience with granite, so I'm starting to panic. These questions have all probably been answered a million times on this forum and maybe even in this thread, but I start to have a minor panic attack every time I start reading here, so having the questions answered directly might help alleviate my fear. If the answer is that I need plywood, at least I'm not past the point of no return and I can install some...

Actually, a plywood layer under the granite would help with the "efficient" Susan pole install, dishwasher cover panel on an end run and attaching the dishwasher to the countertops, so it might be a good idea anyway...

Thanks,
Josh

And soory about the thread-jack ELTAZ2...

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Last edited by SlithyToves; Mar 14th, 07 at 5:00 pm..
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Old Mar 14th, 07, 5:00 pm   #9
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josh, they won't absolutely scrape. my mom only used 5/8 on her full bullnose (future i'll always use 3/4 for a full bullnose) and out of 10 cabinets that have either drawers or doors with 14 various individual drawer or doors operating against the granite, only 1 scrapes, and that's in the bathroom where idiot contractor installed (reinstalled, should i say) the cabinets and i can't help but think it was him, not the cabinet.
the drawers and doors are adjustable, so if there is a clearance issue you might be able to adjust the doors/drawer fronts downward for clearance....

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Old Mar 14th, 07, 5:19 pm   #10
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To Josh: 3cm granite doesn't need a plywood base. Only 2cm (or 3/4") granite needs a plywood base. ELTAZ2's original post was about 2cm granite.

I have 3cm granite countertops installed directly on top of my IKEA cabinets, and they look great. So no need to worry! (Obviously 2cm slabs with a plywood base are great too, however--there are pros and cons with both options.)

My one tip is to make sure to wash the underside of the granite countertops after they're installed, before you put the drawers in or fill up the cabinets. Mine were very dusty with rock dust. (This isn't a problem with the 2cm granite, since the bottom of the granite is sitting on top of the plywood base.)

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