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Old 06-11-2009, 10:25 AM   #1
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Cracked Countertop

I had noticed that the kitchen counter to back splash gap had been getting wider since I bought the coach a year ago. I have since found out why. On the front edge of the cabinet, there are a couple screws that go through the cabinet (behind a trim piece) and into the aluminum frame of the slide. The factory apparently did not align things very well and they just barely caught the aluminum square tubing. The screws pulled out, which cause the front of the cabinet to drop which flexed the countertop and hence I have about 30" of several cracks across the counter through the cooktop opening and out the other side.

Now that I have the countertop removed and being repaired, I can see how the cabinet construction was put together. There are several areas that need to be strengthed.

When we removed the countertop, it was screwed in 2 places and only had silicone in a couple places around the screws. It looked like they put silicon along the back edge but the countertop never touched it.

My question is should I have them silicone the entire edge where the countertop meets the cabinet? This is how they would do the install in a residential kitchen. In fact, Dupont recommends that you don't use screws at all. I am wondering with all the movement in a coach, did they not put silicone everywhere for a reason or just didn't do the install properly at the factory.

Does anyone have experience with countertop installs in the coaches?

thanks.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:29 AM   #2
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Has anyone had a countertop replaced in their coach? How was the install done?

Thanks,
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:47 AM   #3
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cracked counter

I have done solid surface counters for custom kitchens and the first thing I would mention is that if it is cracked that is easily repairable with the same two part epoxy that is used on the initial fabrication. As to installation I would simply use silicone all around and make sure it sets solidly on it. One of the cautions from any of the material manufactures is that the top of the cabinets are even to prevent cracks. The silicone material will give with rv motion so this should not be a problem
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:24 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply. I am trying to understand the pro's and con's of various mounting methods.

I was thinking it should be glued all the way around as well. It did have 2 screws and I am thinking I won't put these back in and just let the silicone take care of it but wanted other opinions.

Since I found the problem with the cabinet dropping, I will make this better than before and keep the top of cabinet even and stronger so it won't pull apart again.
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:20 PM   #5
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mhansen,
I am not a pro at this, so feel free to disregard what I say. But, my understanding is that the silicone is only a caulk to keep water from getting behind the sink and splash-guard. It is not intended to add anything to the structural integrity of the whole thing. Consequently, you need to make sure that the back-splash and sink are firmly attached to the wall and the sink cabinet is firmly supported before you do the caulking/sealing. If anything, I would think you want to add more screws, not less, to the installation. (Although, on our coach -- 2003 Beaver Patriot -- the back of the cabinet is basically an open frame and adding more screws would be very difficult.) I seriously doubt that the silicone would hold things together in the long run.

Just a thought.
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:37 PM   #6
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If the silicone location is under the counter-top and on top of the cabinet, I would not hesitate to fully bed the counter onto the cabinet frame w/a thick bead of silicone. This will provide for good spreading of weight to the cabinet below. I wouldn't count on that to fasten the counter in place, however, and would have the new or repaired top reinforced in places where I could install some screws. The counter guy should know how to reinforce (double thickness blocks epoxied to underside of counter, or maybe aluminum angle, I've seen it different ways) where appropriate, then screw to the cabinet structure; shouldn't take too many locations for actual screws.
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:59 PM   #7
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I have been without e-mail so just got a chance to see the replies and I would just like to point out that if you put screws in solid surface materials most manufactures will not warrantee the installation and the standard practice in both attaching to the wall and cabinets is silicone as it acts as an adhesive as well as sealing the joint
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