Kitchen cabinets installation

Transform your kitchen into a trendy and functional one just by adding new cabinets and changing the counter. It's simple; just follow the guide.

Difficulty level : 
Duration : 
6 hours

Prepare the laying

  • 1.1Make sure you have all the cabinets and that they are in good condition.
  • 1.2Mark the position of the studs where the cabinets will be installed.
  • 1.3Draw pencil lines with a 4-foot level, from ceiling to floor, where each stud is located.
  • 1.4Mark down the height of the base cabinets at 34 ½ inches from the floor, as well as the bottom of the wall cabinets, at 54 inches.
  • 1.5For each mark, draw a levelled line on the wall.
  • 1.6Indicate the location of each cabinet on the wall.
  • 1.7Cut 1x3 or 1x4 the length of the wall cabinets.
  • 1.8Align the top with the 54-inch guide line and screw into the mountings.
  • 1.9Install supports wherever wall cabinets will be hanged.

Pro Tip

Always wear safety goggles when using a drill, a hammer, or a saw.

Wall cabinets installation

  • 2.1Remove cabinet doors to facilitate installation.
  • 2.2Install 1x3s or 1x4s for wall cabinets below the pencil line made previously.
  • 2.3Mark the location of the studs inside the cabinets by measuring from the corner, and pre-drill small holes.
  • 2.4Put the corner cabinet on the 1x3s or 1x4s and hold it upright against the wall.
  • 2.5Put a level against the edge of the cabinet and make sure that it is straight both vertically and horizontally.
  • 2.6Straighten up the cabinet and fill the gap between the wall and the cabinet with shims inserted along the studs.
  • 2.7Drill # 8 screws of 2 ½ or 3 inches through the back of the cabinet and the hidden support rails into the shims and studs.
  • 2.8On the next cabinet, mark the location of the studs inside and pre-drill small holes.
  • 2.9Lift the adjacent wall cabinet and put it on the 1x3s or 1x4s.
  • 2.10Align the front of the cabinet with the corner cabinet you just installed. Attach together at the top and bottom, using quick-action clamps.
  • 2.11Make sure the cabinet is straight and fill the spaces on the wall with shims where there are studs.
  • 2.12Screw the wall cabinet to the corner cabinet with # 8 screws of 1 ¼ inches.
  • 2.13Then screw the cabinet to the wall, in the mountings.
  • 2.14Install the other cabinets in the same way.
  • 2.15Remove the 1x3s or 1x4s once you completed the installation.

Base cabinets installation

  • 3.1Remove the doors and drawers from the base cabinets.
  • 3.2Mark the location of the studs on the back of the cabinets.
  • 3.3Put up the corner cabinet, aligning it with the 34 ½ inch guide line on the wall.
  • 3.4Check the level at the front of the cabinet. Protect the floor with a cardboard sheet and then, using a hammer and a block of wood, put a shim under the front of the side panel, until the cabinet is levelled. Do the same thing on the other side.
  • 3.5Make sure the cabinet is levelled, as you did for the corner cabinet, by filling the spaces between the walls and the cabinet with shims on the studs.
  • 3.6Screw the cabinet into the shims and studs. Cut out the excess shims.
  • 3.7Position the adjacent cabinet and put shims to make sure the face is levelled with the corner cabinet.
  • 3.8Fill all spaces on the back of the cabinet with shims installed along the studs.
  • 3.9Screw the cabinet into the studs.
  • 3.10Fix the cabinet to the corner cabinet using clamps.
  • 3.11Pre-drill and screw just above the top and bottom drawer slides, inside the cabinet, front and back.
  • 3.12Install all cabinets the same way.

Prepare sink cabinet

  • 4.1Measure the exact position of the pipes in relation to the wall and adjacent cabinet.
  • 4.2Transfer these measurements to the base of the cabinet receiving the sink with a pencil and a combination square.
  • 4.3Check your measurements. If in doubt, use a paper template.
  • 4.4Drill holes for water supply hoses with a drill and flat wick of ¾ inch or 1 inch. Drill the hole for the drainpipe with a saw bell and a 2-inch hole saw.
  • 4.5Align and level the cabinet with shims.
  • 4.6Screw and fix to the adjacent cabinet and studs.

Finishing the installation of the cabinets

  • 5.1Install the filler strips, if necessary, between the edge of the cabinets and the adjacent wall.
  • 5.2Install finishing panels for the dishwasher or refrigerator.
  • 5.3Cut and fix kick plates under the base cabinets with finishing nails.
  • 5.4Drive the nails, fill in the holes and touch up with a matching paint.
  • 5.5Put back the doors and drawers.
  • 5.6Use a template to install door handles and knobs.

Pro Tip

To make a clean line when cutting laminated materials, put a masking tape and cut along a guide securely fixed to the material.

Adjusting the countertop

  • 6.1Put the countertop sections on the base cabinets, and glue them as close to the wall as possible. Adjust the corner sections. Level with shims if needed.
  • 6.2Determine the widest space between the backsplash and the wall.
  • 6.3Mark along the backsplash using a compass and pencil wherever it touches the surface.
  • 6.4Check if adjustments are needed in the corner sections. Use a compass if needed.
  • 6.5Remove the countertop and sand the edge of the backsplash to the marked line. Adjust the corner sections.

Countertop installation

  • 7.1Apply a layer of silicone caulk along one of the corner countertop sections.
  • 7.2Glue the two sections by pressing and allowing the excess silicone to overflow along the joint.
  • 7.3Insert the bolts (provided), under the countertop, into the clamping recesses along both sides of the joint. Tighten with a 7/16 inch wrench.
  • 7.4Check the adjustment.
  • 7.5Allow the caulk to dry completely, remove the excess.
  • 7.6Put the attached countertop sections on the floor cabinets.
  • 7.7Screw, under the counter, into the upper supports of the corners of each cabinet.
  • 7.8Caulk along the joint between backsplash and wall.

Pro Tip

Countertop sections must be joined with bolts, from below, before being attached to the cabinets. The short sections can be turned once in place, but the longer sections need to be prepared beforehand.

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