If you're interested in earning more money per job with little extra expense in material and time, offering your customers a hard-seamed backsplash adds value and profits.
Using the following methods, solid surface field technicians can install a loose 4-in.-high backsplash to a countertop with joint adhesive, leaving a color-matching "mini-cove" made of joint adhesive which will out-perform silicone. Additionally, because the splash is not stuck to the wall, you will not get callbacks for the top dropping away from the splash.
When selling this application to a customer, it would be wise to show a sample of it using the exact adhesive color so there are no unmet expectations to face once the work has been accomplished. Showing a sample helps illustrate to the customer the benefit of upgrading to a hard-seamed backsplash from silicone, and may even lead to further upgrades like an actual coved backsplash, which is even more profitable.
Before beginning, you're going to need to make and/or obtain the following:
• (20) 1- by 8-in. plastic laminate shims, don't use
• (15) ¾- by 2- by 4-in. MDF edge chocks with a 1½-in. long (or countertop thickness) by 1-in. deep dado in the center of each (see Figure 1)
• (15) ½- by ¾- by 24¼-in. (for installing 25½-in. tops) MDF "springers"
• (1) 1- by 4-in. plastic laminate shim with 1⁄8-in.
• (1) Spray bottle filled with Mist (Pre Tooling Mist for Silicone manufactured by Color Rite, Yukon, Okla.)First, how level are the cabinets? Every shop varies on how level they require cabinets to be, but for this technique to work properly, the cabinets can be out of level. However, they must be able to be shimmed flat. Filling 1⁄16-in. gaps can work with silicone, but won't fly here.
Having checked and shimmed the cabinets as needed, install the top on the cabinets and cut the splashes to length, leaving 1⁄16-in. gap at each wall. Check the fit between the bottom of the splash and the top of the deck and shim out any gaps larger then 1⁄32 in.