Appliance Alterations

This Corian cooktop cutout failure is suffering from a severe case of heat distortion. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull it back into shape. It did not have the manufacturer specified tool marks removed, there was no 1/16” radii on the top and bottom edges, and the heat conductive tape did not wrap over the deck; all fabricator error. Note the heavy contamination.

I clamped a straightedge when I brought the sides together so the strain was more evenly distributed. If it breaks, it breaks, but on this repair, preserving the edge profile is paramount. Blending a profile from a router bit that wasn’t the original can be time consuming.

The edge profile has been preserved, but the contamination is evident, despite repeated cleaning. I’ll have to do an insert repair to remove it.

Fortunately, there is plenty of repair material available under the cooktop. I took a few rips from the left side for insert material for the rear and side cracks and took a larger block from the right side for the front rail repair.

Finished. All the tool marks have been removed from the cutout, the top and bottom radii are made, and the heat conductive tape is properly overlapping the deck.

I get a surprising amount of calls to alter tops after new appliances are purchased. I wish more customers would calculate the cost of these alterations into their new appliance budget, as they seem to think that these costs are somehow my fault. Recently, I charged a customer around $600.00 for pulling his built-in oven and altering the cabinet base to accommodate the new slide-in style range. In addition to the countertop alterations, the gas and electric had to be relocated to the appliance manufacturer’s specified area, or the range couldn’t be slid into its proper place. Labor on these jobs adds up quickly.

I foolishly waived my appliance-must-be-on-site rule recently and it cost me an unpaid callback. The customer had the manufacturer’s cutout specifications, I followed them exactly, yet when the stove finally arrived, it couldn’t slide into the new opening. General Electric, the manufacturer, was wrong.