Guide to Hang Your New Kitchen Cabinet
Always use great caution when using power tools. Injuries happen when directions are not properly followed. Remember also to use eye protection and hearing protection when necessary.
Table saws can be dangerous if not used properly. Many fingers have been lost due to negligence. Be sure and check all the tools properly.
Installing cabinets is hard work and requires some skill in using power tools. It is best to have a professional do the job, but it isn’t impossible for a homeowner to do their own kitchen. It is best to have someone who can help you with the lifting because it is hard to hold a cabinet up while attaching it to the wall.
Types of Cabinets
Kitchen cabinets come in many different styles. There are cabinets that are stained, painted, and unfinished. One thing these cabinets have in common is that they all have to be installed. This hub will go with you step by step in the installation of kitchen cabinets.
Even though some cabinets may be taller than standard sizes, this hub will deal with standard size cabinets that will go into a kitchen which has eight-foot-high ceilings.
List of Tools Needed
1. Even though it isn’t impossible to hang cabinets alone, it is always best to have at least one person helping. It is best to have two helpers.
2. A drill is necessary for drilling pilot holes and installing screws in the cabinets. A bit that drives the screws and a 3/16th drill bit for drilling pilot holes.
3. A stud finder to find the studs in the wall. You can buy one for around $10.00.
4. A level to make a level line around the walls where your cabinets are going to be installed. I use a laser level myself.
5. A table saw for ripping fillers where needed. If you don’t own one find a friend who has one or rent one from a tool rental center.
6. A small step ladder.
7. A retractable tape measure.
8. A pencil.
9. Two clamps to clamp cabinets together.
Other Items Needed
- Door shims for shimming cabinets when necessary.
- Three inch pan-head screws (preferably hardened)
- Two and a half in Pan-head screws (also preferably hardened)
You should really have a blueprint to go by when installing kitchen cabinets. A well laid out plan will make the job go smooth and will show each cabinet with the sizes. It is always best to start in a corner and work both ways.
The first thing you should do is to measure up 84 inches from the floor and make a pencil mark. This is the measurement for the top of your cabinets. From that mark, use the level to mark a line all the way around the walls where your cabinets will be installed.
After you have the walls marked, use the stud finder to find a stud. Directions for using the stud finder will be written on the package and should be on the back of the finder itself. Make a mark where the stud is found. You must do this for each wall that receives cabinets.
Once you find a stud, measure 16 inches from that mark and make a mark for your next stud. Do this for each wall. The Tape measure should have highlighted every 16 inches for those who don’t want to do the math themselves.
Hanging the Cabinets
Once everything above is done, it is time to hang your first cabinet. As I said earlier, it is best to start in a corner. Measure from the corner where the first stud is and drill a pilot hole in the corresponding measurement on the cabinet. This allows the screw to be inserted and tightened without splitting the hanging slat. A pilot hole should be drilled also inside the cabinet near the bottom of it in the corresponding spot. Putting the screw inside will keep it hidden when the doors are closed. Use three-inch screws for attaching cabinets to the wall.
Please refer to your blueprint often as you go. If you have room you can set the cabinets in order as needed before you start hanging them.
For the next cabinet, you must drill pilot holes in the back according to the measurement to your stud and also in the face-frame on the side where it will meet the first cabinet you installed. Be sure and drill straight and square to the face-frame to keep the bit from blowing out through the front of it. Use two and a half-inch screws to attach cabinets together.
With each cabinet after the first one, you will be using clamps to help hold the cabinets together as you drill and screw them together. This is also where you need an extra pair of hands. Having help to install cabinets is a must and makes the job go much easier and smoother.
Continue this as you go down the wall making sure the tops of your cabinets are level with the line you drew around the walls earlier. This insures that your cabinets are the same height all the way around and are kept straight.
Unless your cabinets are custom made to fit the space you have, nearly always you will have more wall space than cabinets. You will have to use a filler to take up this space and make the job look finished. Fillers come in three-inch wide pieces and are the length of the height of your cabinets. The filler pieces needed should also be indicated on the blueprint.
What I always do before ripping the fillers is to measure and make sure of my measurements. The table saw is the best tool to rip the fillers as you can control the filler easier than you can a circular saw. I always try and cut the filler one eight-inch wider than the measurement I take. I then run the filler through the saw again removing only what is needed to make it fit. This allows for a much smoother cut of the filler piece.