You may be thinking I really want to install new cabinets in my kitchen, but I don’t want to pay someone to do it for me. Well stick around and we’ll show you how to install those new cabinets yourself. When your new cabinets arrive, arrange them in the order they’ll be installed. This will allow you to find the right cabinet when you need it. Remove the old countertop and cabinets. For older homes, it’s a good time to repair uneven walls and add adequate insulation. If you want to also add new flooring, now is the best time to do it while the cabinets are out.
Also, prime and paint the walls before the new cabinets go in. Start installing your new cabinets by finding the high point of your floor. A long straight edge or laser level will help you do this. From that point measure up thirty-four and a half inches, and make a mark. This indicates the top of the base cabinets. Make a second horizontal line at fifty-four inches from the high point on the floor. This is the bottom height of the wall cabinet. If the finished floor is not yet installed, remember to add the thickness of the floor material to the height of the lines on the wall. Now locate and mark all the wall studs.
Make sure there is at least one stud behind each center cabinet and two studs behind end cabinets. In most kitchens, it’s best to begin by installing the wall cabinets. That way there won’t be any base cabinets to work around and you can more easily use a step ladder. Remove the cabinet doors, and starting in the corner, measure from the corner of the wall to the first wall stud.
Transfer this measurement to the back of the cabinet and mark. Drill three one-eighth inch holes along this line for thirty-inch tall cabinets. Place the cabinet up to the fifty-four-inch reference line on the wall. Screw the cabinet into place, but don’t tighten the screws all the way just yet. Make sure it’s level in all directions. It’s critical that the first cabinet is square because it could otherwise throw off the entire installation.
This will allow you to make any minor adjustments after you install the rest of the wall cabinets. Now place the next cabinet up to the reference line on the wall. Align the bottom and sides with the other cabinet, and attach it to the wall, but don’t tighten all the way. Clamp the face frames of the two cabinets together making sure they are flush on the front and bottom. Drill a nine sixty-fourths inch hole into the first face frame. Then change to a one-eighth inch bit and drill into the second face frame. This will allow the second face frame to be drawn up tight when they are screwed together. Two number eight two and a half inch screws are recommended for each thirty-inch tall wall cabinet. Make sure the wall cabinets are straight and level. Then screw in the wall screws all the way.
Install only one wall cabinet at a time, making sure each is square and level. For base and tall cabinet installation also start in the corner. Mount the corner cabinet to the wall using the line marked at thirty-four and a half inches as a guide. You may need shims to bring the cabinet up to the line. Make sure it is level and square before attaching it to the wall. If the corner cabinet is a lazy Suzan type, a one by two-inch wood strip must be placed at the thirty-four and a half inch line to help support the counter top.
Be sure the corner cabinet is square to both walls so there are a true ninety-degree corner and a straight line for the remaining cabinets. Align the face frames, clamp them, and screw them together with the same as the wall cabinets. Add shims if there are gaps between the wall and the back of the cabinet or between the floor and the bottom of the cabinet. A level placed across the front and back of the base cabinets will tell you if the cabinets are straight.
Attach the base cabinets to the wall in the same way as the wall cabinets. Double check all cabinets to make sure they are straight and level. Now that the wall and base cabinets have been installed, it’s time to add the doors, drawers, and shelves. If the doors do not line up vertically, the hinges can be adjusted for depth, height, and side clearance with a screwdriver. Other finishing touches include the installation of the countertop, the toe kick to cover up gaps between the base cabinets, the installation of handles and pulls, and moldings and trim. Find all the materials for this and other projects at your nearest Menards. To stay up to date on all of Menard’s how-to projects, subscribe to our channel here.
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