Home>Discussions>KITCHENS>the use of scribe molding in a cabinet install as opposed to scribing to the wall
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kct
the use of scribe molding in a cabinet install as opposed to scribing to the wall

a cabinet installer from the company I am buying my Kraftmaid Cabinets from asked to add scribe molding to my order for the cabinet installation. I feel that scribe molding hides poor craftsmanship. I had hoped that the cabinets would be scribed to the wall. the potential installer said no one scribes to the wall anymore. Is this true? Am I asking too much? there are only four side panels that would need to be scribed to the wall (on the top there is a going to be a space between the crown molding and the ceiling)

A. Spruce
Re: the use of scribe molding in a cabinet install as opposed to scribing to the wall

25 years in the biz and I've never seen a scribed cabinet. If your walls are flat enough, it won't be necessary to run a scribe mold, what I would recommend is to have the cabinets installed, then decide if a scribe molding is necessary. You could also caulk the cabinet/wall joint instead of using the molding, if necessary.

You say there are only four panels that would be scribed, that isn't exactly true, any place the cabinet hits the wall and there is a gap, there will need to be scribing, that means at least both sides of every cabinet.

Benjamin
Re: the use of scribe molding in a cabinet install as opposed to scribing to the wall

before switching to my current profession of chimney sweep i was a custom cabinet maker and installer for 12 years and we scribed all of our cabinets where there was a visible seam between the wall and the cabinet. But we built our cabinets to be installed that way off the shelf cabinets have very little room for scribing and it is very rare that they would be scribed.

Mastercarpentry
Re: the use of scribe molding in a cabinet install as opposed to scribing to the wall

It's a question of quality, and that always comes with a cost. Top-grade installs get scribed to the wall, fillers are ordered with the cabinets if needed. Lesser grade installs use scribe molding, which IMHO looks horribly cheap. You can have it either way but if the installer doesn't want to scribe to the walls then they are IMHO not someone qualified to hang cabinets. Scribing to fit is part and parcel of cabinet work, it is the thing which differentiates this from general Trim Carpentry where such detail is not called for. Scribing to the walls will cost you more but it's worth more. It's your cabinets so you make the call but know that you are not stuck with scribe molding even today. Of all common woodwork, I see fewer really good cabinet jobs than any other part mostly because everyone is in such an all-fired hurry to finish and get paid that they will take every shortcut they can get away with. Doing it right takes time and skill, and those skills take time to learn. You can't hurry right.

Phil

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: the use of scribe molding in a cabinet install as opposed to scribing to the wall

I fondly remember the last scribed cabinets we did; to a brick chimney, every mortar line and warpy brick. I had a helper at the time who was a total scribing savant, he got full credit. Cabinets were specially made with extended stiles. Typical krapmade cabinets do not have any facility for scribing, because there is not any margin left to pare away. On 90% of kitchens sribe strip is the rule. Top-top end kitchens have paneled ends or add-on end panels (matching the door style), the end panels have a margin that hides the actual cabinet joint, as they are automatically spaced 1/4" in from the back edge, unless ordered over-size.
Then there's "skins", matching 3/16 veneer plywood that flush out the end caps of cabinet boxes, usually to hide the wood grain melamine particle board that they are made from, these should always be scribed, and are cleaner and cheaper than end panels. Finally, there is thin individual strips of bead board which can be applied over the ends if there's a cottage-y look. The board against the wall gets scribed; this is one of the easiest treatments, and I chose it for my own kitchen.
Casey

Mastercarpentry
Re: the use of scribe molding in a cabinet install as opposed to scribing to the wall

For some real fun, scribe-fit bookcases to an ungrouted cultured stone chimney- on both sides of it. And use custom-finished fillers which were attached to the custom-finished cabinets in the finishing process so that the filler can't be replicated so if you screw up, you buy a whole new very costly bookcase and filler :eek: I've done that twice and I've never been more worried about anything in my life. The end result wasn't perfect but it was mighty close- maybe two business card thicknesses open in a couple places with the rest of the whole thing tight like it should be. Glad I was getting paid hourly on those, both were nearly all-day jobs I could have never estimated. And very glad the other side was a straight, flat wall so I could 'sneak up' on the stone side and stop as soon as I got a fit, then do the straight side afterward wherever it was. Never wanted a drink more than at the end of those either!

Phil

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