At-home projects are not only fun, they can also be extremely rewarding. There are many types of DIY projects you can conduct, but one of the most intimidating can be putting up your own cabinets.
However, the process is much easier than it first may seem.Like so many large projects, rather than looking at it in one whole chunk, it is much simpler when broken down into small pieces.
The following tips on how to install kitchen cabinets will showwhy that is.
Start With A Plan
Before you actually begin to set your cabinets up, you need to have a plan. That does not only pertain to how you’re going to physically set them up, it also is in regards to where they’re going to go.
Always plan your cabinets around your kitchen. There is nothing worse than spending a lot of time and energy getting your supplies together only to find out your cabinets won’t fit where you need them to.
This happens quite often and will stop your hard work in its tracks.
Remember, there are a lot of small objects scattered throughout kitchens that can be easy to forget. Even if you think you’ve accounted for all possible obstructions, you might forget one.
When learning how to install kitchen cabinets you should always take plumbing and outlets into account. Understand the sink, gas, stove, and refrigerator as well. Some things can be moved, but others are much more permanent.
The Power of the Pencil
Once you know where you want your cabinet, you next need to create a solid layout.
Everything about your cabinets needs to be extremely precise. To make sure they come out exactly in the way you want, first measure from the highest point in the floor and draw a level line to markthe top of the base cabinets.
Then, draw a second line for the bottom of the upper cabinets.
Once that’s done, you should label the cabinet and any appliances that are on or connected to the wall. That will help you better visualize the finished project and give you an idea of how the process will go.
To finish this step, draw a vertical line to the edge of the first cabinet that you want to install and mark the stud locations.
Those steps take a bit more time, but they will help back your plan and give you a chance to get everything ready.
Raise Cabinets for Flooring
Though this step is not for everyone it, like the first tip, is all about planning.
When going over how to install kitchen cabinets, it can be quite easy to get caught up in your task. So much so, that you can quickly forget about other projects.
This step does not matter for those working in an already finished kitchen, but if you’re putting your cabinets together as part of a larger project or remodel you need to be aware of the flooring.
Not accounting for the floor can be a disaster if you aren’t properly prepared. To avoid those problems, raise your cabinets off the floor before the install.
To measure the amount of space you’ll need, use blocks to see how high the floor will sit. Though this step is not completely necessary it, like so many other tips, will make your life much easier during the remodeling process.
Upper Before Lower
Another handy tip for when starting a cabinet project is to always begin by hanging theupper cabinets first.
People will often start with whatever they believe looks the best or is the most obvious. However, if you install the base cabinets first it is going to be extremely difficult to avoid the uppers.
Going with the uppers first enables you to easily fit everything together, which then eliminates any frustration down the line.
Always Use Reliable Screws
While not as apparent as some of the other tips on this list, another important part of learning how to install kitchen cabinets isto get good screws when building.
Yes, some screws can be much more expensive than others. However, don’t shy away from spending a bit more.Those more expensive options tend to go a long way and will last longer than cheaper drywall screws, which tend to snap when put under stress.
You’re spending quite a bit of money on your cabinets, and you don’t want to take any chances. Good screws ensure they’re anchored in a way that will stop any unexpected future cracks or tears.
Remove Doors and Drawers
After you get your screws, markings, and plan set up, you can start to build and hang yourkitchen cabinets. However, do not simply take what you have and fasten it to the wall.
Rather, always remove the shelves, door, and drawers before you begin. This is an essential tip because it makes installation a much easier process andactively prevents damage to the cabinets.
As with the set up, it is best to mark everything out in pencil to know where to reinstall the doors when the time comes. After that, take everything out and you’re good to go.
Many cabinets come with pre-installed features attached. Though it may seem like taking those off just adds extra and unnecessary time to the building process, this step makes the cabinetsmuch easier to handle.
This step also pays off because it allows you to get into the cabinet and screw it to the wall without any pieces blocking your way.
Clamp, Drill, and Fasten
The next tip in this guide is, when connecting two cabinets, always make sure to clamp, drill, and fasten them together.
As mentioned above, cabinet building is a complex and costly process. Rushing through it may work, but it will likely leave with a subpar product. Rather than dealing with such problems, take the time to carefully put everything together up front.
Once you’ve fastened both cabinets to the wall, line them up as best you can andclamp them together. While any clamp works for this job, hand-screw clamps are extremely efficient because they don’t flex and give you a tight grip on the wood.
After you’ve fastenedthe cabinets, screw them together. Just remember to drill the screw into the cabinet that hides them the best.
Cut Oversized Holes
Many tips laid out in this guideare important to take note of because they are not things you would do intuitively. For example, cutting oversized holes into your cabinets.
When putting your cupboardstogether it is easy to try and strive for holes that perfectly fit. This may be impressive if you can manage it, but it also creates a lot more problems than it is worth.
Rather than attempting to slide your cabinets into the exact right space, you should go a bit wider. That does not mean gooverboard and makegigantic openings, but you do want more space to operate.
That wiggle room will make the cabinets much easier to slide into place, making your job easier. It also allows for a bit of error and gives you the option of makingminoradjustmentsshould you need to.
A perfect fit is great if you get everything in one try, but that’s rarely the case.
While you may worry about how oversized holes willlook when the cabinets are up, almost nobody will notice once they’re filled with different items. You can even add in some extra puttyafter completion to smooth your work out.
Carpenter’s Putty and Wood Support
No matter how ready your cabinets come, there are going to be certain pieces of hardware you need toattach yourself. Though you can eyeball where you want things like knobs and pulls to sit, it is much more efficient if you temporarily attach them and see how theylook.
Take reusable putty (available at most hardware stores) and use it to put the pieces on in different areas. Then, mark the ones you like with a pencil so you can attach them when the time comes.
Beyond that, the final handy tip is to use wood to support your cabinets as you work.
While installing cabinets is typically a multi-person project, using a 1×3 or 1×2 piece of wood to support their weight helps push them back. This is a great way to get some extra leverage if you’re working by yourself.
Though they can still fall forward from that position, this step will ensure they do not slip or slide around as you work.
The Power Of Knowledge
It is easy to assume that putting up cabinets is an involved or overwhelming process, but that simply is not the case. It should be a fun DIY project, and it will be as long asyou follow the above tips.
Understanding how to install kitchen cabinets can be daunting if you don’t know what you’re doing, but as long as you keep these tricks in mindyou’ll be on your way to new home decor in no time at all.