I have learned so much about installing brand new kitchen cabinets from experience over the years. I have also made countless mistakes and I wanted to write an step-by-step how to guide for installing kitchen cabinets. I hope this article will prove useful and helpful to anyone who reads it. If you have any questions, make sure you contact me!
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Note: before you begin installing any cabinets always double check that you are completed with all other tasks i.e. repairs, painting, flooring, etc.
Step 1: Order the cabinets and assemble vital devices and products
Setting up new kitchen cabinets might seem intimidating, however the strategies are really quite basic. Consider it as screwing a series of boxes to the wall and to one another in the correct sequence. If your cabinet strategy is ideal, your main job is to discover the best beginning point and keep everything level. In this story we’ll show you ways to master these essential steps. We’ll tell you how to lay out the cabinet positions ahead of time to stay clear of errors. Then we’ll show you the best ways to install the base cabinets so they’re completely lined up and all set to be measured for the brand-new counter top. Last, we’ll show you a simple approach for installing the upper wall cabinets The whole job typically takes less than a day. And depending on how big and fancy your kitchen area is, you’ll save a minimum of $500 (and probably a lot more) in installation charges.
You just need a few standard tools to do a first-class task. You’ll need an accurate 4-ft. level, a screw weapon powerful sufficient to drive 2-1/2-in. screws and a couple of excellent screw clamps that open to at least 8 in. Purchase a 1/8-in. combination drill/countersink bit for predrilling the screw holes. You’ll also require a block plane or belt sander for fine tuning the cuts to fit. A 1-lb. box of 2-1/2-in. screws and three packages of shims will certainly suffice for almost any kitchen packed with cabinets.
Ensure you have the best cabinets.
The cabinets shown are called “face frame” cabinets, suggesting they have a 3/4-in.- thick frame surrounding the front of the cabinet box. “European” design (also called “frameless”) cabinets are simple boxes without the face frame, and they need a couple of special installation steps that we will not cover in this short article.
We will not cover planning and buying your cabinets here either. Almost any home center or lumberyard that sells factory- constructed cabinets will certainly help you custom-design your kitchen cabinet layout. All the personnel needs is an illustration of your existing kitchen area layout total with specific appliance areas and room dimensions. However before you complete the order, carefully examine the computer screen and/or printout to make certain doors swing the right direction, end cabinets have finished panels on the ends, and toe-kick boards (1/4-in.-thick strips of completed wood for trimming cabinet bases) and filler strips are included. We highly recommend that you order a minimum of two extra filler strips for backups in case of miscuts. Keep a copy of the hard copy; you’ll need it to assist your installation.
When your cabinets show up, open up the boxes immediately and validate that each cabinet matches the one on the plan, all the parts are consisted of and there’s no damage. A single mistake can postpone the whole job. In our order, one cabinet was 6 in. undersized, the toe-kick trim boards were missing and 2 of the cabinets were seriously damaged. Believe me, it occurs!
Step 2: Base cabinets: Set the cabinet height and cabinet order
Find the greatest area on the floor
Many kitchen area floors are really flat, particularly in homes less than 40 years old. But it’s constantly best to confirm that by trying to find the greatest area on the floor anywhere a cabinet will sit. You’ll measure up from that spot and draw a level line to define the top of all of the base cabinets (Picture 1).
Find that area with a straight 8-ft.- long 2×4 (or much shorter to fit in between completion walls if needed) and a 4-ft. level. Rest the 2×4 with the level on the top about 1 ft. away and parallel to the wall and shim the 2×4 up until it’s level. Then mark the greatest spot on the floor and repeat near any other walls that will have cabinets Continue till you discover the highest spot. If you have two high spots, rest the board on both and discover the greatest one. Measure up the wall behind that area precisely 34-1/2 in. (conventional cabinet height) and mark the wall at that point. Utilizing that mark as a starting point, draw a level line along the walls anywhere base cabinets are planned (Photo 1).
Test-fit the base cabinets.
Most of the times, the corner cabinets identify where the rest of the cabinets go. That’s especially true with lazy Susan corner cabinets, which have face frames facing 2 directions and need to meet adjacent cabinets perfectly. Our cooking area’s “blind-corner” cabinets (Photo 2) are a bit more flexible. Check your cabinet layout by “dry-fitting” all the base cabinets, beginning with the corner ones, and setting all the cabinets in place as tightly together as possible. If the layout requires filler strips, ensure to leave spaces for those, too. With the cabinets in place, check to ensure drawers and doors clear one another, appliance openings are the proper widths and sink bases center under windows above. Unless your cabinet plan is flawed, any modifications you’ll need to make are simply a matter of tearing filler strips narrower or utilizing larger ones. Next, remove the racks, drawers and doors and mark them and their matching cabinets with numbered masking tape to save time and confusion later. Then move the cabinets from the room.
Starting with the corner cabinets, thoroughly measure, draw and label each base cabinet and device place on the wall. Make use of a 4-ft. level and a pencil (Photo 1). The marks ought to reflect the width of the face frame, not the cabinet back. (The cabinet back is actually 1/2 in. narrower than the front, 1/4 in. on each side.) Utilize a stud finder or probe with nails to find and mark the stud locations simply above the horizontal leveling line.
Step 3: Base cabinets: Level and set the boxes
Position the corner cabinets 1/4 in. far from the vertical positioning lines. Shim the base up until the cabinet top is even with the horizontal leveling line and then level and shim the cabinet front to back (Image 2). If there’s a gap between the wall and the cabinet back (the wall isn’t really precisely plumb or straight), slip in shims and run screws into the studs through the cabinet back about 1 in. below the top (see Photo 8). After all the base cabinets are set, score the shims with an utility knife and snap them off even with the cabinet top.
Position, level and shim the next cabinet and clamp it to the first cabinet (Picture 3). Run your fingers over the joint and you’ll have the ability to feel if it’s crooked. Loosen each clamp one at a time and fine-tune the cabinet frames up until they’re perfectly flush, then re-tighten the clamp. Be fussy! In some cases you’ll have to loosen the screws holding the previous cabinet against the wall and pull it away slightly to get the frames lined up. When you’re satisfied, drill pilot holes through the frames 1 to 2 in. from the top and bottom of the cabinet interior.
Make certain you’re drilling directly. The most common error is to run the bit through the front of the cabinet frame! With the face-frame screws in place, eliminate the clamps and screw the cabinet to the wall. Repeat the same procedure for each successive cabinet.
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Step 4: Base cabinets: Add filler strips
Bring in filler strips any place the cabinets lose of walls as we show in Photos 4– 6 or any place the strategy calls for them. Leave the appropriate spaces for appliances. Some integrated home appliances like dishwashers need really specific openings.
All makers offer filler strips to match the wood type and finish of their cabinets. Typically they’ll provide widths about 3, 6 and 8 in. cut in the same lengths as the height of the cabinet face frames. They fill areas between end cabinets and walls, create extra areas between cabinets or in between cabinets and devices for drawers and doors to clear, and close odd spaces (Photo 4).
Areas in between cabinets and walls are rarely even, so you’ll have to taper numerous filler strips. The very best method is to overcut slightly (1/16 in.), then airplane or belt-sand the edge back. The 10-degree bevel simplifies this procedure (Pictures 5 and 6). If you have a large piece left over, protect the surface with masking tape as we show and implement it in other places. You will not be able to clamp filler strips when they protest walls, so fit them firmly to make drilling and screwing them to the cabinet simpler. Fillers that are less than 6 in. large can “drift” against the wall and require no support. However fillers more than 6 in. wide need to be supported. Nail them to a 1×2 backer board that’s glued to the drywall directly behind the filler.
Step 5: Base cabinets: Make plumbing and electrical cutouts
You’ll probably have to cut openings for the drain and water supply lines and for outlets (Picture 7). Set out the openings by determining from the layout lines at the top and side, and then transfer those numbers to the back of the cabinet. To prevent confusion, do the layout deal with the cabinet near its position and in the ideal positioning. Drill holes for water system lines and starter holes for square openings with a 1-in. spade bit. Stop drilling when the tip just permeates the back, and complete the holes from the within the cabinet to prevent splintering the cabinet interior. Cut square openings with a jigsaw. If your drain line tasks from the wall at an angle, simply cut a rectangular hole around it as we did.
Step 6: Set the peninsula cabinets
Level and screw the first peninsula cabinet to the adjacent basic base cabinet. You’ll probably need to fill a 1/4-in. space with shims prior to screwing it to the wall studs (Image 8). If the very first peninsula cabinet is only 2 ft. wide, you might need to clamp and screw filler strips to the frame so doors and drawers in the next cabinet will certainly have operating clearance at the inside corner. This should be marked on your strategy.
After the very first peninsula cabinet is in location, anchor the cabinets that follow to irreversible blocks on the floor. To do that, position the next peninsula cabinet and describe its base upon the floor with a pencil (Image 9). Then screw 2-by blocking to the floor after enabling the cabinet base density (Picture 10). Do not try to position or cut the blocks completely. They can be except the cabinet end by a number of inches and back from the inside of the cabinet 1/8 in. or so. That way you will not have to have a hard time to fit the cabinet over the blocks. Screw the blocks into the subfloor with 2-1/2-in. screws spaced about every foot. Set the cabinet into place, level it with shims, then clamp and screw it to the neighboring cabinet and into the blocking.
Anchor island cabinets utilizing the same positioning and blocking strategies we show for the peninsula cabinets However, it’s most competent to install your upper cabinets prior to beginning on an island to keep a clear work area in the middle of the kitchen.
Step 7: Install the upper cabinets.
The only challenging part about hanging upper cabinets is supporting them in precisely the best position while you screw them to the wall and one another. That’s a challenging, uncomfortable task, particularly if you’re working alone. The ledger technique simplifies this (Photo 12). It’s a fail-safe method, but you’ll have to accept a little bit of patching and paint retouching to repair the screw holes left from the ledger.
Start by making a light pencil mark 19-1/2 in. up from the lower cabinets (it’ll be 18 in. after the countertop is set up) then mark the stud locations implementing the ones below as a guide. Next, transfer the cabinet placing lines from below (Image 12) and screw a 1×2 ledger to the studs even with the layout lines. It’s most competent to prestart the cabinet screws before hoisting the cabinets up onto the ledger. Image 13 reveals an easy technique to obtain the screws in the ideal location utilizing the cabinet positioning lines and the stud areas on the wall then moving them to the cabinet. You’ll commonly discover that a cabinet, specifically a slim one, will have only one stud behind it. Do not stress; the other cabinets will certainly help support it too.
Start any corner cabinets initially. Area the first end cabinet exactly 1/4 in. far from the design line and screw it to the wall. Be specific with the very first cabinet due to the fact that it will certainly specify the locations of all the remainder of the cabinets on that wall.
Start the screws and raise the next cabinet into place, snugging its frame versus the neighboring one, and screw it to the wall. Next, align the frames and clamp them together as you did with the base cabinets (Image 15). You’ll most likely have to back out the stud screws somewhat in one or both cabinets to obtain the frames to line up perfectly. That’s fine– leave the screws backed out while you clamp, drill and screw the frames together.
Step 8: Finish with doors and trim
Round off the cabinets by cutting, fitting and nailing the toe-kick boards to the bases. They’ll be 4 in. wide, but on irregular floors, you could have to tear them narrower to get them to fit. If you have bad gaps between the floor and the toe-kicks, add base shoe contoured to fit the floor. Wherever cabinets have actually finished ends, run the toe-kick boards 1/4 in. past the cabinet for a great look. Finish up by slipping the drawers into their slides and reattaching the doors (Picture 16). Change the hinges up until the doors line up completely, and move on to setting up the door and drawer pulls.