Q: My house was built around 1955. Ten years ago I remodeled the kitchen – the room was gutted and everything replaced. The stove put in at that time was not leveled. I knew this because the food in the frying pan would roll to one side, but I didn’t know I could do anything about it.
Recently we had a new slide-in stove installed. This stove was leveled by the installers sent by the company we bought it from. They worked for more than an hour trying to level the stove to the Corian counter on three sides. The back of the stove fit fine, but as the stove and counter moved away from the back, a gap opened between the stove and the counter, with the stove sitting a little higher.
Even after leveling, there were gaps between the sides of the stove and the counter. I am concerned about crumbs or spills falling through the gaps. Is there some way I can fix this?
A: We’ve racked our brains to come up with a solution that is on the level, but there doesn’t seem to be one we’d be happy with.
We suspect that your problem started 10 years ago, when you remodeled your kitchen. Because your new stove has been leveled, and your existing countertops and the stove still don’t meet, we think the cabinets and countertops are not level or, for that matter, square.
To make the best of the situation, we suggest that you try the easiest, least costly solutions first.
Double-check the stove. Is the new stove really on the level? If not, level it and see if this helps. This suggestion is a close cousin to the adage “Measure twice, cut once,” and it could solve the problem without cost.
If that doesn’t do it, try adjusting the stove in the opening so that the height of the stove is even with the countertop, even if the adjustment puts the stove out of level. Cook and bake with this awhile and see if you can live with it.
If this fails, perhaps the countertop can be adjusted and leveled to meet the height of your stove. This would be difficult, but maybe not impossible. To explore this option, contact a shop that manufactures and installs Corian countertops. You can locate one through a cabinet shop, or try Lowe’s or Home Depot for names of installers.
If adjustment is not possible, maybe your countertops can be modified to fill the gap. A wedge of Corian could be cut and installed to fill the gap between the stove and the countertop.
Also check with the retailer you bought the stove from. They may have faced this issue before, and they may make a product to bridge the gap.
Tip of the week: Laura’s problem could easily have been prevented a decade ago when her kitchen was remodeled. Always pay special attention when installing cabinets to make sure they are plumb, square and level.
In many older houses, walls can be out of square and floors out of level. Install shims (wedges of wood) to plumb, square and level the cabinets.
In this case, a level cabinet installation might have made for a level countertop installation and a seamless fit between the new stove and the existing countertops.
Bill and Kevin Burnett will attempt to answer your questions, although the volume of e-mail sometimes makes this impossible. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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