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Am I doing this right?


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  • Am I doing this right?

    Hey All, Looking to put in prebuilt floor and wall cabinets in the kitchen. Im fairly new at this so was wondering if anyone would correct me or offer any helpful tips. So far, this is my understanding of what I should do -

    First- Remove old cabinets from floor and ceiling. Remove sink (with water turned off to house of course)

    Second - Place new floor cabinets. Shim underneath as needed to make them level. At this point do I screw them into floor joists, or into studs on the wall? And is it just a matter of getting a wood screw and screwing them down or is there some special way I should do it?

    Third - Cut out spot for sink and insert sink. I guess I would use some kinda caulk to keep sink in place?

    fourth - Level cabinets for ceiling. Would I use shims between cabinets and ceiling to level? (I have access to a laser level thing which will hopefully make this easy) Screw first cabinet into studs. Hang second cabinet and screw it into studs as well as into the first cabinet and continue until cabinets are hung.

    Thats my basic understanding of what I need to do.. I could be completely off base.. but hey, two days ago I wasnt even sure what a shim was =p

    Thanks in advance for any help!


  • #2
    You kind of have it right.

    1st. Remove all cabinets base and ceiling and clean entire area (nothing worse than working around stuff)

    2nd. Work out what level your going to need to work off, put a level on the floor and find the highest point where cabinets will be installed, from this "highest" point measure up 34.5" and put a mark on the wall, this is going to be your cabinet height for all base cabinets. Either scribe a level line from this point on all wall to have base cabinets or use you laser level to mark the wall.

    Now here is where I think many DIY'ers go astray and make their life hard. It is MUCH easier to install wall cabinets first and not be stretching over base cabinets.

    3rd. Measure up from the base cabinet laser line or scribed line 19.5" (this allows for 1 1/2" of counter top and 18" of free space) level off another line around the walls this will be the bottom line of all wall cabinets. The 18" of free space between base and wall cabinets can be a little more or less (not less than 17" especially if you have an over the range microwave) depending on the height of your wall cabinets and the relation of these cabinets to the ceiling.

    4th. To make life really easy screw a piece of 1x wood to the wall on your level line, this gives you a ledge to sit the wall cabinets while attaching them to the wall.
    Install the corner cabinet first (if you have one) using shims to level it to both walls, attach it to the wall studs. Note: take the doors off all cabinets while installing them, it will make it much easier.
    Install next cabinet to the corner cabinet, leveling against the first cabinet, with a set of clamps clamp the two cabinets together at the face, pre drill a small hole and screw the two cabinet faces together.
    Keep doing this with all cabinets as you work your way around the kitchen wall.

    5th. Base cabinets...... your going to install the corner cabinet first again lifting it if needed up to the level line with shims, make sure that with a level this cabinet is level left to right and back to front and level with your scribed or laser level line, shimming as needed, screw ALL base cabinets to the wall studs, you may need to add a shim behind the cabinet between cabinet and wall stud to take up any gaps. When you do this put a level on the front of the cabinet to make sure you don't pull it off plumb. Do the same for the remaining cabinets, remembering to attach each cabinet to the previous before moving onto the next, this way you will get all the faces nice and level to each other.

    6th. When all cabinets are installed, lay your counter top on the base cabinets and work out where you want the sink to be. Mark the position checking and rechecking before cutting the hole. (remember to cut the hole smaller than the sink, it needs to sit on the counter top) Add a bead if 100% silicone to the edge of the counter top hole and install the sink as per manufacturers instructions, there are a few different ways that sinks install ALL use some form of clamp to pull the sink down onto the counter top unless it is an under mount sink of course.
    Reconnect plumbing.

    7th. Grab a chair, place it beside the fridge, open fridge, grab beer and drink while marveling over your work, sometimes this part is known to take more than one beer.
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
    Every day is a learning day.