How to Install Kitchen Cabinets

Learning how to install kitchen cabinets can seem daunting, but the methods are very easy. If your cabinet layout is correct, all you need to do is find the right starting point, keep everything even, and then hammer in all the hardware.

Of course, if you get it wrong the first time around, there will be a lot of wasted time, effort, and money. So, let’s learn how to install kitchen cabinets in Easy Steps. It just takes a little practice, a little planning, and a little measuring.

Mark the location

Before you even start, the first thing you need to do is mark the location where you want to install your cabinet. Use a pencil or marker to mark the location so that you do not make any mistakes when drilling into the wood.

This is especially important if you have glued the trim to the wall, as this can cause an error in drawing the cut line. Please make sure you get it right; otherwise, you will have a hole in your corner instead of the front or back edge.

Marking the location on the wall ahead of time also allows you to tap the end cupboard to the location to get an accurate fit.

Mark the level line

After marking the location, mark the level line to locate the bottom of the front and back edges. You will need to install kitchen cabinets based upon the level line.

If you don’t know how to measure the level line, go to your home improvement store or call a contractor. You want to level the back edge and then mark the level line to ensure a straight line from floor to ceiling.

Mount the doors and drawers

The next step in installing kitchen cabinets is to prepare the surface to mount the doors and drawers. If you don’t have a level and don’t want to install cabinets on a floor that needs to level, you can use an alternate surface prepared for use as a guide.

For example, if you are doing the work yourself, you can prepare plywood or sheet metal by scaring the area smooth with a jigsaw. Once the surface is smooth, draw lines down the inside of the door or drawer you wish to mount using marking pencils or markers.

After drawing the lines, drill pilot holes at each end to hold the screw in. You can then screw the screws in and secure the plywood or sheet metal edges with wood glue.

Measure doors and drawers

Measure and mark the location of the doors and drawers you intend to install. You can either use a level to locate the points or take an offset square. Marking the locations can help you find the proper fit when you install the doors and drawers.

It is also helpful when you decide whether or not you need to replace any hardware.

Install the cabinets

After you have marked and measured the points, you can install the cabinets in the way you designed. If you are replacing hardware, install them from the inside of the wall so that you do not mar the appearance of the outside trim.

Slide the trim around the outside so that you can line up the holes with the opening in the wall. Drill pilot holes in the trim and then use drywall screws to attach the hardware to the wall.

Install side panel

Next, you can install the side panel of the wall cabinets and the countertops. To help keep the walls and countertops in place after installing the cabinet units:

  1. Use shims to position them at the high point of the wall.
  2. Install the screws in the high point as well as in the corners.
  3. Use a level to ensure that the shims line up with the wall.

Final Notes:

When your new kitchen cabinetry is installed, follow all the steps carefully. You can cut strips for doors at this stage if you wish. The door faces will be visible once the doors are open, so make sure the trim is straight.

You can then install the knobs and latches. Follow all the other steps of installing cabinets until you have installed all the hardware.

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