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» How to Install Kitchen Cabinets

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > How to Install Kitchen Cabinets
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If you’re looking to save a little money on your kitchen cabinets, consider installing them yourself.

With the right hardware and some careful planning, the process is actually very easy.

It’s a good idea to tackle your kitchen cabinet installation with a helper, though, because it’s really tough to juggle those cabinets by yourself.

Read on to learn how to install kitchen cabinets yourself!

  • First, put the cabinets together using the directions that came with them.
  • Use a pencil to mark off the cabinet placement. Make sure that they’ll be level, won’t block off your electrical outlets, will allow you to use your existing plumbing, and things like that. It would be horrible to finish the installation and learn that your sink won’t work.
  • You can install either the wall or the floor units first; it doesn’t really matter. These directions tell you to install the floor units first, but feel free to switch it around if that seems easier to you.
  • Use a stud finder to locate the studs for each cabinet. Make sure to secure the cabinets to the studs, and use cabinet screws as opposed to drywall screws. Drywall screws just can’t handle the weight of kitchen cabinets.
  • Drill guide holes. This helps to keep your cabinets from splintering and makes for the cleanest joins.
  • Attach each cabinet to the wall studs using a cabinet screw at the top and bottom of the cabinet unit. For heavier cabinets, it’s not a bad idea to add extra screws to support the weight.
  • Check each cabinet to make sure that it’s level before attaching it to anything. You may need to add filler material like wood scraps or tile underlayment underneath the units to make your cabinets level.
  • Install the corner cabinets first, because there’s no way you’re going to move that wall if you end up with less space than you expected! Then install the other pieces around them. If you have gaps between the units or need to move one down to accommodate the wiring or plumbing, insert a wood panel between the units.
  • When it comes to installing non-corner units, it’s a good idea to attach them to each other, and then attach them to the wall. This insures that the front panels are flat and flush with each other.
  • For the wall units, the process is pretty much the same, although if you’ve got really heavy ones, you will probably need to install wood pieces called “shims” underneath to help support the weight.
  • You can always have a partner hold up the cabinets, but if you’ve followed the recommendation to connect the cabinets in a row before putting them up, it’s going to be tough to support all that weight. Try stacking buckets or paint cans underneath the units to help keep them up there. It’s still a good idea to have your partner hold on; it would be really horrible if they fell over and were dented or broken.
  • Once you’ve gotten all of the screws in place, carefully remove your supports.

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