Cabinet and Millwork Installation

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Installing up to a stacked stone fireplace

Builderbob Member

We have a job to install built ins on both sides of a stacked stone fireplace. I is captured on both ends (one end being the fireplace) and will be European cabinets with a 1 1/2" top.There is so much irregularity and taking the top in and out to scribe would not be a great working solution. I suggested having the rock removed and put back in (which I think would give the best results) but, the tile guy said he doesn't want to
Any suggestions are appreciated!

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9/6/18       #2: Installing up to a stacked stone fi ...

I've seen people scribe cut mantels around the rockwork (3/4" thick ply, in box shape, to give the appearance of a 4" thick lumber slab). It was an exceptional amount of work obviously and not one for the faint of heart. But that's what they paid for.

In your situation, I would not try to tie the cabinets in with the stone. I'd put a decorative (painted/stained) plywood slab on the sides that join the fireplace, and leave an intentional gap of about 2-3".

If they don't like that, double your price and scribe cut that filler around all that rock, it can be done.

Just make your filler a piece of 1/4" and use a scroll saw and spindle sander to dial in an acceptable fit.

9/6/18       #3: Installing up to a stacked stone fi ...
Builderbob Member

Thanks, for the cabinets I agree, a scribed piece could be done. The 1 1/2" top would be another issue especially since it is captured between the fireplace and another wall.

9/6/18       #4: Installing up to a stacked stone fi ...
Bob Carreiro

Have done a few similar scribes.
Use 1/8” ply to scribe at the top height and the spacer style. Once satisfied fit, transfer to the cab top and spacer style.

If this is wall to wall, use 1/8” ply strips, 3-4” wide hot-glued together with corner bracing as needed to duplicated the walls anf fireplace. At the shop, transfer the u-shaped scribe to the cab top.

9/9/18       #5: Installing up to a stacked stone fi ...
Matt Calnen

Anyway to have the tile guy cut the stone out where the cabinet goes? Looks like fake rock so it should cut easy. Then just put in a filler that goes behind the rock and have him regrout to the filler. Set the counter top height to one of the joint seams and that will tuck under as well. In new construction we usually put in removable blocking for the stone guys to go around so when we would have a similar setup. Hope that’s an option.

9/11/18       #6: Installing up to a stacked stone fi ...

The builder or customers have no clue.

As Matt mentioned they should have screw a 2x4 to the wall exactly where the cabinet would land.

Those are definitely the work rocks I've ever seen. I understand that the front of the wall is supposed to be highly irregular, but the sides?

The biggest problem of all is the cabinetry style. Basic blah euro stuff up against the Fred Flintstone mantle. Do they expect you to use a 3" scribe cut to nothing in places against a perfectly flat/straight euro cabinet?

No one had a clue. I can scribe that air tight. Its going to cost you. Its going to be scribed out of 3/4" x 4" wood.

As an alternative you could install you cabinet tight to the rocks. Use a couple of cans of poly spray foam to fill the void(scribe) and paint it.

9/13/18       #7: Installing up to a stacked stone fi ...
rich c.

First I'd throw a level up against that to get an idea of just how wide the scribe has to be. Then mock up a piece of solid stock that defines the edge of the box, and have a meeting. That scribe might have to be 3" wide!

9/18/18       #8: Installing up to a stacked stone fi ...
Family Man

Cabinetry should have gone in before the rock...too late now. Somebody is going to pay. They didn't do it right, they are the ones that should pay.

9/21/18       #9: Installing up to a stacked stone fi ...
MarkB Member

No way on cabs before the stone. That makes NO sense. In any accurate installation the trim would always go in after the stone. You wouldnt set cabs in a rough framed structure and let the masons lay up to the cabs.

Its your job to scribe to the stone. We do this all the time. Its tedious and has a cost associated but thats just the way the world works.

If you were working in a true stone home (yest they still build them) would you set the door trims before the stone masons build the walls? No.

Get out your dividers, your saber saw, coping saw, and rasps, and scribe your fillers into the stone. Its not very hard but requires patience and perseverance.

The HGTV world of installing finished flooring under cabs, putting down base after tile with ugly gaps below, doesnt apply. If your in that world just slap a piece of S4S againsts the rock and caulk it with a 55 gallon drum of Alex.

9/21/18       #10: Installing up to a stacked stone fi ...
Family Man

Shocking! I've been doing it wrong and been getting fantastic results once a week for fifteen years. I'll change immediately!

9/24/18       #11: Installing up to a stacked stone fi ...
Adam B Member

Mark B,

You are definitely in the minority on this. 26+ years of residential new construction, and not 1 time have I ever been involved in a project that intentionally installed stone on a fireplace prior to the cabinets. Install cabinets first using a wide stile/filler. Install stone directly up to the installed piece and be on your way.
I guarantee this will yield better results than the method you describe.

10/20/18       #12: Installing up to a stacked stone fi ...
Bruce H

I have the builder mock up the cabinet end with cdx plywood and then rock is set. my cabinet slides into this pocket. A little planning goes a long ways. You are either going to grind the rock or scribe. Either way they pay.

3/21/19       #13: Installing up to a stacked stone fi ...
John Bishop  Member

We have done this for a long time. We never scribe to stone its just too deep a cut and once done it looks silly to see the piece stepping in and out. Keep a straight line it looks more professional and gives it more of an architectural look.

Best of luck

D. John Bishop

3/22/19       #14: Installing up to a stacked stone fi ...
Pat Gilbert

I haven't done it this way but it sounded ok to me as an option

Scribe in to the main parts, it looks stupid to scribe in to every part, then back fill it with mortar like you would with caulk

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