Home>Discussions>KITCHENS>Gap between counter and wall
8 posts / 0 new
Last post
Gap between counter and wall

We just had new counters installed in our home. The guys field-measuring had no way of knowing that behind the existing laminate backsplash the plaster had been cut away. When the new counters were installed we were left with a gap at one location. We had the wall patched to make up some of the difference, but we're still left with 1/4"-3/4" gap (1860's house, the walls are not exactly straight).
We plan to tile the wall behind which will make up for part of it but obviously in the larger areas we'll still have an issue.

Of course it occurs on a 5-6 foot piece of wall directly behind the sink, so we'll want to be cautious of making the seal watertight.

Any ideas to properly fill and seal the gap? Thanks

Re: Gap between counter and wall

for a gap that large i would do one of two things,

run a secondary peice or trim along the top of the backsplash, or use backer rod in the gap then silicone caulking

A. Spruce
Re: Gap between counter and wall

When you set the tile, use the mortar set method. This will account for the gap with no problem.

Re: Gap between counter and wall

Thanks! I appreciate it. We had considered the backer rod with silicone (weren't sure if that would fail over time?) but hadn't thought of the mortar bed. We've only done thinset tile before - is it a fairly easy diy project? On either side of this portion of the wall we don't have the gap issue - do you think it's possible to only do the mortar where needed in one area? Seamlessly going from mortar to thinset?

Re: Gap between counter and wall

Thinset is a type of mortar.

Most thinsets have an upper working limit of 1/4" thick. After that you'll need a medium set which can go as far as 3/4" thick behind the tile.

I'd float the wall with hot mud (dry powdered drywall compound) in multiple layers until you get a flat surface to tile over. Use a long straight edge to get it perfectly flat. Multiple thin layers are better than one thick layer and a lot easier to achieve. It will take time however. The big bow in the wall may be difficult to tile without getting lippage on the tiles, depending on the size of the tiles.

To build the wall more than 1/4" use pieces of drywall or cement board as filler, then float those pieces flat to the rest of the wall.

Re: Gap between counter and wall

I don't think it's such a good idea to be building the wall out with thin set (or medium set) whatever. If the curvature of the wall continues right to the ceiling, how are you going to terminate that built up section (short of continuing right to the ceiling). And, if there's a window directly in front of the kitchen sink, that could potentially create additional problems, depending on how well you can smooth out the built up section with the surrounding wall.

Count me in on the decorative trim side instead.

If it were me, I expect I'd find it much easier to simply scribe a decorative piece of red, blue, green or white Corian 1" wide X 1/4" tall X however long your counter top is. Cut along the scribe line with a jig saw, set that on top of the counter top backsplash and caulk it in place (to the wall and to the counter top) with an adhesive grade of silicone caulk (like GE 1700 or Dow Corning 786).

I'm just thinking that the decorative trim scribed and cut to accomodate the curvature of the wall eliminates the need for screeding thin set mortar all over the wall, it eliminates the need for a ceramic tile backsplash, and it eliminates the visible gap that prompted this thread.

Re: Gap between counter and wall

I'm trying to understand why a granite fabricator/installer would make a template/take measurements over an existing counter. Sorry, but in my world this makes absolutely no sense.

Re: Gap between counter and wall

I agree with the previous answer: an experienced installer would never install a new counter top/backsplash over such a wall, without solving the wall problem first.

But now you're dealing with what you have left. Building up with drywall mud may not be strong enough to hold the new wall tiles.

I would cut out the plaster to the framing, then fix the problem at the studs, by adding sister studs to the existing studs, that create a nice straight finish. Then install new drywall and tiles.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.