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

1
Prepare the laying

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

Top tip

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

2
Wall cabinets installation

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

3
Base cabinets installation

  • 3.1 Remove the doors and drawers from the base cabinets.
  • 3.2 Mark the location of the studs on the back of the cabinets.
  • 3.3 Put up the corner cabinet, aligning it with the 34 ½ inch guide line on the wall.
  • 3.4 Check 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.
  • 3.5 Make 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.
  • 3.6 Screw the cabinet into the shims and studs. Cut out the excess shims.
  • 3.7 Position the adjacent cabinet and put shims to make sure the face is levelled with the corner cabinet.
  • 3.8 Fill all spaces on the back of the cabinet with shims installed along the studs.
  • 3.9 Screw the cabinet into the studs.
  • 3.10 Fix the cabinet to the corner cabinet using clamps.
  • 3.11 Pre-drill and screw just above the top and bottom drawer slides, inside the cabinet, front and back.
  • 3.12 Install all cabinets the same way.

4
Prepare sink cabinet

  • 4.1 Measure the exact position of the pipes in relation to the wall and adjacent cabinet.
  • 4.2 Transfer these measurements to the base of the cabinet receiving the sink with a pencil and a combination square.
  • 4.3 Check your measurements. If in doubt, use a paper template.
  • 4.4 Drill 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.
  • 4.5 Align and level the cabinet with shims.
  • 4.6 Screw and fix to the adjacent cabinet and studs.

5
Finishing the installation of the cabinets

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

Top tip

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

6
Adjusting the countertop

  • 6.1 Put 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.
  • 6.2 Determine the widest space between the backsplash and the wall.
  • 6.3 Mark along the backsplash using a compass and pencil wherever it touches the surface.
  • 6.4 Check if adjustments are needed in the corner sections. Use a compass if needed.
  • 6.5 Remove the countertop and sand the edge of the backsplash to the marked line. Adjust the corner sections.

7
Countertop installation

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

Top 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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