When you’re thinking of remodeling your kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, choosing cabinet designs that work with your current layout and installing them can help improve the appearance of the room and provide you with additional storage space. If you want to install your own cabinets, you can do so with the right tools, tips and a little effort. They must be properly secured and level in order to be functional and safe. Consider these cabinet installation instructions during your next project.
Choose the Types of Cabinets
Cabinets are available in a variety of materials, finishes and styles. There are even cabinets that are designed for specific purposes. For instance, some are created to be safety and security products that provide you with a safe place to store sensitive objects like passports, keys and toxic cleaning products. The cabinet designs you choose, cabinet functions and the number of products purchased can affect the time it takes for installation.
Tools and Materials
As with any project, the first step you’ll need to take is gathering all of the tools and materials necessary to your cabinet installation. You will need:
|Level||Cabinets and molding|
|Measuring tape||Drywall screws|
|Carpenter’s pencil||Cabinet screws|
Prepare to Install Cabinets
Before following the cabinet installation tips, you’ll need to prepare the space for the work you’re going to do. If you are replacing your old cabinets, your first step is to remove these cabinets from the space. Do this as carefully as possible to avoid damaging the wall behind them. Be careful not to damage the cupboards, either. You’ll need to measure these so you can pick correctly-sized replacements. Removing old cabinets is best done by:
- Removing the doors
- Taking out any drawers
- Checking to see if any of the shelves can be lifted out
- Using cabinet lifts to keep the cupboards in place as you remove any fasteners
Once this is done, you can take the cabinets off the walls. You should use a straight board to determine if the walls are completely flat. If they aren’t, use your carpenter’s pencil to mark the location of any dips or bumps. Use the stud finder and pencil to mark the locations of the studs behind the wall as well.
If you are remodeling a kitchen, bathroom or any other room where wiring and plumbing needed to be addressed, you need to make sure these tasks are completed prior to beginning the installation process. If you are installing new flooring at the same time as you are putting in new cabinets, you’ll also need to consider whether or not you want to finish the floors below where the cabinets will be installed. There are benefits to both options. By not finishing the floors, you’ll save on the cost of flooring and won’t need to be concerned about the cabinet installation damaging your flooring. If you decide to finish the floors under the cabinets, you’ll have the option of moving the cupboard locations later on without having to add new flooring to the area.
Cabinet Installation Tips
Now that the area is prepared for the work, you can begin installing your cabinets. Keep in mind that wall cabinets should always be installed before base cabinets. This provides you with plenty of room for your cabinet lifts and prevents the base cabinets from getting in your way when you are fastening and leveling the cupboards.
Before you lift the cabinet into the air, you’ll want to take some measurements
- Determine where the bottom of your cabinet will be on the wall, then use the pencil and Stabila level to draw a straight line horizontally. Install a ledger board along this line. This board will help to support the cabinets and ensure each one is level. Check to make sure the ledger board is level.
- The studs on each wall should be marked already. Find the middle of each stud and mark its location below the ledger board. This lets you see the mark when the cabinet is in place.
Once this is done, you can begin installing the cabinets. If you have a corner cabinet, start with this one. Place it on the ledger and use the lift to hold it in place while you screw it to the wall. Use the level to check the top of the cabinet and then plumb of the front edge.
If the cabinet isn’t in the right position, reverse the screws using your drill and place shims behind the cupboard. You can then screw the cabinet back to the wall and check for level and plumb once more.
Next, install any adjacent cabinets:
- Place the cabinet on the ledger board and use the lift to secure it in place while you fasten it to the wall.
- Check the plumb and make sure it is level.
- Secure each cabinet to the one you previously installed using a clamp.
- Connect the two cabinets using bolts. The process of connecting two cabinets together depends on the types of cabinets you have purchased. Face-frame cabinets, for instance, will need two pilot holes drilled into the sides before the bolts can be installed. You can drill holes through unused shelf-peg holes on frameless cabinets and screw the cabinet together.
- After fastening the cabinets together and checking to make sure everything is level again, you can remove the clamps, unscrew the ledger board and repair the screw holes created by the ledger board. You can then install the cabinet doors and shelves.
Installing Base Cabinets
Cabinet installation instructions for base cabinets are very similar to installing wall cabinets, except you won’t need any lifts or ledger board to do so.
- Level, align and shim the corner or end base cabinet.
- Align the next cabinet, shim if necessary and check for level and plumb.
- Clamp cabinets together and screw in place.
- Install doors and shelving.
If you need shims because of bumps or dips in the wall, use a sharp knife or chisel to remove any excess sticking out from above or below the cabinets.
Learning how to install cabinets is simpler than it might seem. With the right tools, some solid cabinet installation tips and a little bit of effort, you can transform the look of your kitchen, bathroom or any other room of your home or office. Find the tools you need to get started now here at Acme Tools.