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How To Install Kitchen Base Cabinets

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How To Install Kitchen Base Cabinets

Day Upgrade your kitchen’s appearance and storage space by installing base cabinets Base kitchen cabinets are a storage staple in every home, and something you can install on your own with some time and plenty of careful planning. Get your kitchen started with wall cabinets (if applicable), before installing base cabinets. Just like with wall kitchen cabinets, start in a corner, mark your reference lines and then work your way around the room. This guide will teach you how to install base cabinets following these steps. WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS PROJECT Tape measure Clamps Utility knife 4-foot level Stud finder Hammer Electric drill Drill bits Chalkline Jig saw Hole saw Nail set Cabinets 1 1/4-inch drywall screws 2 1/2-inch drywall screws Trim moulding 4d finishing nails TOOLS Tape measure Clamps Utility knife 4-foot level Stud finder Hammer Electric drill Drill bits Chalkline Jig saw Hole saw Nail set MATERIALS Cabinets 1 1/4-inch drywall screws 2 1/2-inch drywall screws Trim moulding 4d finishing nails 1 Put the corner cabinet in place • Leave a space between the cabinet and wall as recommended by the cabinet manufacturer. Shim beneath the cabinet to align it with the top-of-cabinet line you drew on the wall. • Check for level and plumb, and add additional shims as necessary. The corner cabinet sets the trend for all of your other base cabinets, so take the time to this step well. Tip: The toe-kick, other cabinets, and counter top that you’ll install later will hide your shims, so it’s OK to leave them sticking out for now. 2 DRILL AND COUNTERSINK PILOT HOLES INTO THE BACK OF THE CORNER CABINET • Drill one hole at each stud, through any shims. • Drive screws partway into the wall. Check for level again, shim as necessary, and drive the screws home. 3 Set the neighboring cabinet in place • Install doors and drawers, verifying that they’ll open. • If necessary, attach a filler strip between the cabinets. You can usually order the fillers at the same time as your cabinets. • Clamp the filler flush with the front of the cabinet. • Drill and countersink pilot holes into the edge of the filler and screw the filler to the cabinet. 4 Check the second cabinet for level and plumb • Shim at the floor or wall if necessary. • Begin assembling the row of base cabinets, making any cutouts for plumbing or wiring, as in Step Five. 5 Drill and cut holes for wiring and pipes • Subtract the thickness of the side of the sink cabinet, and mark the pipe locations on the cabinets. • Drill at the marks with a spade bit or hole saw to cut holes for the pipes. 6 Install the remaining base cabinets • Check for level and plumb, shimming as you go. • When all cabinets are in position, step back and check the entire set for alignment, level and plumb before proceeding. 7 Drill & countersink the pilot holes • Attach the cabinets to the studs with at least two screws in each mounting rail, while attaching the cabinets to each other with at least four drywall screws. • Once all cabinets are securely in place, trim off the exposed shims with a utility knife. 8 Install a toe-kick to cover the gap along the bottom • Nail a plain 3/4-inch filler strip in place, then attach a thinner piece that is finished to match the cabinet. • Use a pneumatic brad nailer, or drill pilot holes and drive 4d finishing nails through the toe-kick into the cabinets. • Now you’re ready to install your doors, drawers, appliances and countertops.
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How To Install Kitchen Base Cabinets

Mark Up the Wall First A good cabinet installation starts with a good layout. Measure from the highest point in the floor and draw a level line marking the top of the base cabinets. Measure up 19-1/2 in. from that line and draw another line for the bottom of the upper cabinets. Label the location of the cabinets and appliances on the wall. Draw a vertical line to line up the edge of the first cabinet to be installed. Finally, mark the stud locations. Remove Cabinet Doors and Drawers Removing shelves, doors and drawers makes installation easier and prevents damage. Mark the location of the doors on painter’s tape, and make a pencil mark at the top of the hinges so you have a good starting point when you reinstall them. Remember that many upper cabinets have no designated top or bottom. They can be hung either direction depending on which way you want the doors to swing. So decide that before you mark the hinges. Shim Large Bows Most of the time you can shim the cabinets as you go, but if there’s an extreme bow in the wall (more than 3/8 in.), shim it out before you hang the cabinet. If you don’t, you may accidentally pull the back off the cabinet while fastening it into place. Hold a level across the wall, and slide a shim up from the bottom (go in from the top when you’re doing the top side) until it’s snug. Then pin or tape it into place. Swipe Here For Next Slide Start With the Upper Cabinets It’s easier to hang the uppers when you’re not hanging way over the base cabinets. Rest the uppers on a ledger board—it’ll ensure a nice, straight alignment and eliminate the frustration of holding the cabinets in place while screwing them to the wall. Clamp, Drill and Fasten When connecting two cabinets to each other, line up the face frames and clamp them together. Both cabinets should be fastened to the wall at this point, but you may have to loosen one cabinet or the other to get the frames to line up perfectly. Hand-screw clamps don’t flex, and less flex means a tighter grip. Predrill a 1/8-in. hole before screwing them together with a 2-1/2-in. screw. Choose the less noticeable cabinet of the two for drilling and placing the screw head. Use a Block of Wood for Scribing Find the largest distance between the outside of the cabinet and the wall. Take that measurement and make a pencil mark on your filler strip (measure over right to left in this case). Clamp the filler onto the cabinet flush with the inside of the vertical rail. Measure over from the wall to your pencil mark, and make a scribing block that size. Use your block to trace a pencil line down the filler strip. Masking tape on the filler strip helps the pencil line show up better and protects the finish from the saw table. Swipe Here For Next Slide Use Good Screws Many top cabinet makers prefer GRK’s R4 self-countersinking screw. You’ll pay accordingly, but why scrimp on screws when you’re spending thousands of dollars on cabinets? Whatever you do, don’t use drywall screws—they’ll just snap off and you’ll end up with an extra hole. Learn more about the R4 screws at grkfasteners.com. Fasten the Back, Then Shim Line up the base cabinets with the level line on the wall. Fasten the back of the cabinets to that line. Once the backs of the cabinets are level, use shims to level the sides. Take your time on this step—nobody likes to have eggs roll off a slanted countertop. Use 2x2s to Secure Cabinets to the Floor Cabinets that make up islands and peninsulas need to be secured to the floor. Join the island cabinets and set them in place. Trace an outline of the cabinets on the floor. Screw 2x2s to the floor 1/2 in. on the inside of the line to account for the thickness of the cabinets. Anchor the island cabinets to the 2x2s with screws. If needed, place flooring blocks under the 2x2s. Swipe Here For Next Slide Raise the Cabinets for Flooring If the kitchen flooring is going to be hardwood or tile, and you’re installing it after the cabinets, you’ll have to raise the cabinets off the floor or the dishwasher won’t fit under the countertop. Use blocks to represent the finished floor height, and add those distances to the guide line for the base cabinet tops. Hold the blocks back a bit from the front so the flooring can tuck underneath. Your flooring guys will love you for this. Cut Oversize Holes Cutting exact size holes for water lines and drainpipes might impress your spouse or customer, but such precision is likely to result in unnecessary headaches for you. Cutting larger holes makes it easier to slide the cabinet into place and provides wiggle room for minor adjustments. No one’s going to notice the oversize holes once the cabinet is filled with dish soaps, scrubbers and recycling bins. Use the Door Rail as a Guide The location of knobs and pulls isn’t written in stone, but there are some standard practices. One good rule of thumb is to line up a knob with the top of the bottom door rail. If you’re installing door pulls, line up the bottom of the pull with the top of the door rail. Always center them on the door stile. Swipe Here For Next Slide Temporarily Attach the Hardware If you’re not sure about where the knobs and pulls are to be installed, stick a piece of reusable putty adhesive to the hardware and try out different spots. Mark the one you like with a pencil and install the rest of the hardware accordingly. Reusable adhesive is available at hardware and art supply stores. More Collections Installing Kitchen Cabinets How to Install Cabinet Hardware Kitchen Cabinets: 9 Easy Repairs How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets Frameless Kitchen Cabinets

How To Install Kitchen Base Cabinets

How To Install Kitchen Base Cabinets
How To Install Kitchen Base Cabinets
How To Install Kitchen Base Cabinets
How To Install Kitchen Base Cabinets
How To Install Kitchen Base Cabinets

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