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the "HOW" of installing base cabinets away from wall

Posted by kirkhall (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 13:27

Hi all,
I tried to revive an old thread (in appliances) that came up when I searched "Gardenweb base cabinet install away from wall". But, I've had no responses over the last couple days, and I hope to do my project this weekend. Can you help?

I want to install "base cabinets" away from the wall in my mudroom, but I am DIYing it and looking for guidance. I know that I can use 2 2x4s to build it out about 3"s. My question is, do you build it out with 2x4s in the horizontal, or do you have to build some support studs to hold those 2x4s in place? (I am thinking, here, about how I would attach the 2x4s to the wall at the upper section of the cabinets, not where they'd sit along the floor).

Has anyone done this who can offer me a "this is what we did, and it is all still in place"? (What kind of screws/fasteners attach your 2x4s to the wall (into studs)?)


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: the "HOW" of installing base cabinets away from wall

I've done it with 2 2x4's placed with the 3" face against the wall. The first one lag bolted thru to the studs with 4 1/2" lags. The second one screwed to the first with 3" screws. Worked great.

RE: the "HOW" of installing base cabinets away from wall

Thanks dseng! I assume, then, that you had the 2x4s in a "rail" like position, going horizonally along the back of the cabinets?

RE: the "HOW" of installing base cabinets away from wall

You will still need to shim the install of the cabs.

RE: the "HOW" of installing base cabinets away from wall

Lag bolts are a bit overkill. Mark the studs and use 3" deck screws for the first board (2 1/2" might work if you sink them into the wood a bit). Then once again for the board on top of it.

RE: the "HOW" of installing base cabinets away from wall

Yes, I have my shim package, left over from the last cabinets I installed.
I am also glad I don't need to put big thick lag bolts into my wall studs. I think I even have some 3"ers around.


RE: the "HOW" of installing base cabinets away from wall

You've got to assess the high spot in the floor, same as any standard install. Then locate the attachment rail in your cabinets, and it's width, and height from the floor. Use a level, and scribe a line around the room that's is the same height as the rail from the high spot in the floor.

Then pre-drill the 2x (or whatever blocking that you choose) and use lag screws to attach it to the studs. Don't overtighten if the walls are out of square. Use shims to keep the blocking square and true. You want to be slightly high or low of the center line so as to leave some "meat" to get your cabinet attachment screw into without hitting the lag screw.

All the rest of the cabinets will need to be shimmed to that high spot so the run will be level all around. The attachment rail should line up with the blocking all the way around the room if you've got the cabinets shimmed properly. Walls that are out of plumb can cause some issues, so you have to be sure to have plenty of shims available and be prepared to have end panels that are scribable that can conceal both the blocking and the wonky walls.

RE: the "HOW" of installing base cabinets away from wall

Oh yeah, you will need an additional ledger board at 34.5" above the floor to support the countertop as well.

RE: the "HOW" of installing base cabinets away from wal

  • Posted by buehl 7a, AHS 5/6 (MD) (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 23:08

So you have a "visual" to help, here's what mine looked like...

The cabinets in front of the bay window were installed 18" forward of the wall. It had to support granite as well.

Bay Window During (inside) photo Window_02a.jpg

To see the bottom, look over on the right...

View toward DR, tile not grouted in this area photo 20080210_KitchenConstruction16__01a.jpg

This post was edited by buehl on Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 23:10

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