how to install cabinets

jaansuMarch 4, 2014

I will be installing kitchen cabinets we bought for a utility room. Not really different from a kitchen except there will be no plumbing of appliances. This will be my first time leveling cabinets, cutting filler strips, installing crown molding and such. I was wondering if anyone can point me to a useful resource, be it on the web or a DIY book.

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geoffrey_b

Here's what I have done:

If you can temporarily fasten a 1x4 to the wall to support the bottome edge of the cabinet. Make sure it's level.

Find the studs, and mark their location on the inside of the cabinets, and inch or so from the top.

When you look at the back of the cabinet you will notice that there is a solid strip of wood running across the top (and maybe the bottom). The cabinet should be fastened to the wall in that area. Drill holes in the cabinet back for the mounting screws - at the stud location.

Remove the cabinet doors.

If cabinets are side by side, it will be neater if you screw them together - near the front - use a trim head (small head) screw.

Get everything ready: Screws, ladder, screw gun..

With a helper lift the cabinets and rest them on the 1x4.

Now screw the cabinet to the wall!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 2:33PM
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Sophie Wheeler

That doesn't begin to cover the hard part. Your walls won't be straight and plumb and there will be all kinds of shimming and scribing involved. Do you have a table saw, jigsaw, coping saw, 2 different cordless screw drivers, at least a half dozen clamps, a brad nailer, and good upper body strength. And the knowledge to use all of those tools.

If you do 't have the tools and skills, hire a pro.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 8:14PM
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kirkhall

Be sure to get the right screws. And, I found that it was easiest to "soap" them. I used youtube, actually. Find a DIY cabinet company (something that is RTA) and see if they have an install videos for you.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:12PM
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Trebruchet

jaansu:

Start by finding the highest point in the floor; you'll shim everything else up from there. Remember, you can't "rack" a cabinet, if you do, the door won't shut properly. Racking is when you pull it out of square by not shimming properly.

Watch a few videos and read a few articles. This is as good a place as any to take a first shot.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 10:34PM
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snookums2

Go to one of the major cab manufactucrer websites. You will find detailed instructions with diagrams. Some might have videos. You can do it! You might find some additional help on the woodworking forum.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 11:09PM
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live_wire_oak

Here are some (very) simplified instructions from my mid grade line, but they don't cover the more difficult aspects.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kemper Cabinet Installation Instructions

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:44AM
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geoffrey_b

@hollysprings: "Do you have a table saw, jigsaw, coping saw, 2 different cordless screw drivers, at least a half dozen clamps, a brad nailer,"

Talk about making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:19PM
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Trebruchet

Geoffrey_B:

In all fairness, lwo, hollysprings, and I have seen homeowners get into big trouble attempting DIY cabinet installation, however, the OP said this was a utility room which seems like a fairly safe place to experiment.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:44PM
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jaansu

thanks for the hints, particularly looking for the high point of the floor. I guess using a 4' level is the way to do this?

Actually, I would like to find something with more details; i.e. size of screws to use to attach to studs, how to attach cabs to each other, centering in room so that filler strips are about equal. Is anyone aware of a good website pdf on this or better a DIY book that I can order on line? It is still $10K of cabs so I don't want to do anything I can't fix.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 10:45AM
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snoonyb

"It is still $10K of cabs"

This could be a single cab., or 100, depending upon the type, quality and design.

"Actually, I would like to find something with more details;"

If they are "bag-n-box" have you been to the mfg's site? As there may be a PDF there.

" looking for the high point of the floor"

Which, if the high point is at one of the walls that is at the end of the cab. run, can mean the ceiling will follow..

There are a number of us who have similar/disimilar methods of installation, which will also vary by the type, style and design of the product.

Who is the mfg?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 1:04PM
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rwiegand

Using a French cleat makes installing uppers almost trivial. One piece is screwed to the wall at the studs the entire length of the run, the other to the back of each cabinet. You can then hang the cabinets and slide them back and forth as needed without having to support their weight while you are adjusting them and anchoring them in place. They are great for supporting really heavy cabinets as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: French cleat

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 5:16PM
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PRO
Sophie Wheeler

There are no instructions that cover every possible field conditions. You have to have a decent of finish carpentry experience to even begin to tackle this if you want it to come out right. If you don't care about gaps against the wall, molding miscuts, and gaps between cabinets, that's one thing. If you have high standards and a low experience level, this isn't a DIY job. If you have a decent amount of experience, go slow, and aren't a complete perfectionist, then you may be happy with your work.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 9:07PM
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snookums2

Google is your friend.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 12:06PM
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jackfre

I think I would invest in a laser level and check the floor, wall and ceiling for plumb level and square. I would then make my decision as to whether or not to go forward in the DIY mode based upon how pl&s everything is. $10k worth of utility room cabinets sounds like quite a lot and if everything is way out, or at least "far out man", you will be better off getting someone in the know to do it. I have a PLS180 laser level that has been great for this kind of work.

We just had the kitchen both baths and laundry cabinets installed in our place. The cabinet guys were in and out in no time. The lead guy Said "It is so nice to work in a space where everything lines up". The soapstone counter top guys were saying the same thing. I, of course, said that seeing as how it was so easy that I probably deserved a rebate. Well, you can guess how that went;)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 1:27PM
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