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Mar 31, 2013
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Installing Kitchen Cabinets ProperlyModular kitchen cabinets may seem easy, simple and cheap compared to custom-built kitchens, but may not always be easy to install yourself. Kitchen cabinet installment doesn’t always require hiring a professional, but it does take a great deal of do-it-yourself skills, tools and patience. Cabinets might be nice and new, but you may find your walls and floors are old, out of square, and don’t sit plumb in the way you need. Installing your own kitchen cabinets can be challenging. If you go this route, get a helper if you can. It’s always harder working by yourself.

  • Proper Strip Out- This takes place before the job starts. If you’re replacing outdated, older cabinets, remove original cabinets carefully to avoid damaging the walls. Use masking tape to label and number each cabinet or pantry and drawer front. Place the corresponding number on the corresponding cabinet. This helps match them up later.

    Existing cabinets can be used for critical measurements or as patterns for new cabinets. The best strategy for removal is to take off all of the doors, pull out the drawers, and lift out any removable shelves. Most cabinets are secured to wall framing members through their backs with nails or screws.

  • Measure and Adjust- When floors and walls are uneven, even brand new cabinets won’t sit evenly against them. Adjust the legs that go beneath most modular cabinetry so each cabinet can sit firmly on the floor. For other adjustments, make sure sides, tops, and bottoms are as level and fitted as possible.

    To do this, follow the following steps:

    • Draw a level line across the wall where installation will take place.
    • In a corner or at one end of a run of base units, set the first cabinet in place. Use packing or adjustable leg supports under the low spots. This will help make sure the cabinet is level.
    • You may have to scribe the side of the cabinet to make it fit squarely against the wall by leveling the cabinet and setting a compass to the widest part of the gap between the wall and the cabinet.
    • Run the compass point along the wall. Mark the cabinet side, indicating where you need to cut away part of the cabinet.
    • To cut the line, use a jigsaw, belt sander or a handsaw.

    To make sure there are no gaps between them, base cabinets should be screwed together. Installers may recommend doing this before you set the cabinets into place, to keep them lined up correctly.

  • Attaching Cabinets to Walls- Getting cabinet to sit squarely and evenly is challenging. Attaching them to the wall so they can’t go anywhere is as well. They have different anchoring requirements which depend on manufacturer recommendations. Make sure you don’t want use the wrong screws or anchors and have the cabinets be at risk.

    Lightly mark the positions of the wall studs before you start. Measure where they fall along the back of the cabinets, transfer the measurements to the cabinet backs, and pre-drill holes in the nailing strips before putting up the cabinets to guarantee secure cabinetry that goes up quickly.

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