Free shipping

Installing Wall Cabinets

 
 
 

Start by removing all the cabinet doors and drawers: They only make the unit heavier and easier to damage. Get a good 4-foot level and use it constantly. Start with the wall cabinets - they're much easier to hang before the base cabinets are in place. Begin in a corner - about the only way to make sure the cabinet is properly positioned. Once the wall cabinets are up, install the base cabinets. Unlike the wall cabinets, which you installed one at a time, you'll put all of the base cabinets in place and double-check everything before screwing anything to the wall.


 

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS JOB:

TOOLS:

MATERIALS:


 

Step 1

Step 1: Install the upper cabinets first

Install the upper cabinets first


It is easier to install them before the base cabinets are in place. Create a line using the chalk line that runs the bottom length of the wall cabinets. Temporarily drive a couple of long screws into the studs along the line marking the bottom of the upper cabinets to help support them while you're installing. Some installers screw a board, called a ledger, along the entire length of the wall to hold the cabinets. The ledger works as long as the wall is flat and plumb. If it's not, you'll need to shim behind the cabinets to align them, and the ledger would get in the way.

 

Step 2

Step 2: Start installation with corner wall cabinet

Start installation with corner wall cabinet


Place the cabinet on the screws or ledger. If the cabinet isn't plumb, slip shims between the cabinet and wall at the stud lines and adjust as necessary. Drill and countersink two holes in each of the mounting rails inside the cabinet and drive 21⁄2-inch drywall screws through the holes. Check to make sure the cabinet is level  front to back as well as side to side.

 

Step 3

Step 3: Rest the neighboring cabinet on the screw and line up the front with the cabinet you just installed

With a helper, rest the neighboring cabinet on the screw or ledger and line up the front with the cabinet you just installed


Clamp the two cabinets together. Check for level and plumb, and shim between the wall and cabinet as necessary.

 

Step 4

Step 4: Drill holes on frameless cabinet for connectors

On frameless cabinets, such as the ones shown here, drill the holes for connectors


Screw the cabinets together. On framed cabinets, drill holes for 1 ¼-inch drywall screws in the recesses for the hinges to hide them.

  

Step 5

Step 5: Drill and countersink two pilot holes through mounting rails

Drill and countersink two pilot holes through each of the mounting rails, centering, the holes over the studs


(On some wall cabinets, the mounting rails are inside the cabinet. On others, they are hidden by the back.) Drive 2 ½-inch drywall screws through the holes and into the studs.

  

Step 6

Step 6: Check levels of all cabinets and plumb as you go

Hang the rest of the cabinets the way you hung the first ones, checking for level and plumb as you go


Once all the wall cabinets are in place, remove the ledger screws you installed in Step 5. Trim any visible shims flush with the cabinet using a utility knife.

 

Step 7

Step 7: If you have a gap between the back of the last cabinet and the wall, cover it with strip of molding

If you have a slight gap between the back of the last cabinet and the wall, cover it with strip of molding


Cut a piece as long as the cabinet; stain and finish it to match. Nail it in place with a brad gun, and fill the holes with a putty made by the cabinet manufacturer to match the cabinet finish.

 

Step 8

Step 8: If you have a gap between the side of the cabinet and an end wall or appliance, cut a filler strip to close it

If you have a gap between the side of the cabinet and an end wall or appliance, cut a filler strip to close it


The cabinet distributor usually sells these strips. Scribe the strip with a compass and cut along the line with a saber saw. Slip the strip in place and attach it with drywall screws.

  

Step 9

Step 9: Connect two wall cabinets with a valance

A valance is a decorative piece that connects two wall cabinets above a sink


Have someone help you hold the valance in position; drill and countersink pilot holes into the side of the cabinets on each side, and attach the valance with drywall screws.