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Installing Kitchen Cabinets

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Beer Belly, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    I'm going to be starting my Kitchen projects in a few weeks, and just trying to make sure what I'm thinking of doing is not so out line. I was told that after getting all my height / level measurements, to run a 1x3 on the wall to help hold the Cabinets up in place why I check for level, plumb, shim, and mount.....what I was thinking of doing, is instead of one single strip, run a few pieces....like two for each cabinet ?. Two reasons for this...one ~finding a straight stick longer than 2 feet around here is close to impossible, and two ~ it'll give me space if I need to shim from the bottom of the Wall Cabinet.....if each one is at the level / height line, does it make a difference ?

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  2. yooperdave

    yooperdave Minister of Fire

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    I don't quite understand what the 1x3 is there for? Is it a temporary piece just to "balance" the upper cabinet on while you attach it to the wall? If so, you'll end up with some holes in your wall to deal with.
    If you are using the 1x3 to first mount to the wall and then mount the cabinets to the 1x3, you'll end up with a space to fill in on any exposed side of the cabinets. If you use it for the lower cabinets, you will end up with the same space behind the backsplash of the counter top, or, if you push the counter top/backsplash all the way against the back wall, a miss-fitting counter top in relation to the base cabinets.
  3. bholler

    bholler Minister of Fire

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    you can use what ever you want but ith a long straight board will be much easier to make sure every thing is straight. Using little pieces gives you lots of opportunity to mess up. And hang the uppers first I see all these diy shows where they put the base in first then you have to reach over the bases to get the uppers attached.
    Joful and Warm_in_NH like this.
  4. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    The Base Cabinets will be done last. The 1x3 will be help hold the Wall Cabinets up while I mount them to the wall. I'm gonna do my best to find a straight 1x3.....I guess if it's not totally straight, I can force it straight, and screw to the studs, as long as it meets the level line.
  5. KB007

    KB007 Feeling the Heat

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    I have always just screwed the cabinets to the studs. For lowers it's really just to hold them there, not like they're going anywhere. Any gaps from wall imperfection get covered by backsplash. For uppers, they need to attach to the studs unless you're using those mounting brackets from Ikrappa. If there are gaps, trim them out with something.

    I usually do the bases first, but that's because I've usually had to do it alone and for a heavy upper, I cut a couple of 2x4s to rest it on while I get ready to drive the screws in.
  6. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    I did see where Bob Vila did Base Cabinets first, the used pieces of 2x4 verticle to hold the Wall Cabinets....didn't think much of that idea. Check it out.....7 Min, 20 sec into video
  7. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    2x4's seems doable no doubt, but I'd think the Base Cabinets would be in the way
  8. bholler

    bholler Minister of Fire

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    When I used to make custom cabinets we made them with hanging rails in the back made of wood but same idea as the ikea stuff it made it really easy. But that wont help you. And yes I have found the few times I did it the base were definatly in the way.
  9. GENECOP

    GENECOP Member

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    Using a kleet for the uppers makes things easier for sure.....before that your first step should be to locate and mark your framing....this will set you up to install the cabinets.....and also let you install your kleet into framing which will allow you to straighten the kleet as you install it.....don't use separate pieces of wood....strike a line on the wall and straighten the wood as you go....
    Joful, Warm_in_NH and Beer Belly like this.
  10. GENECOP

    GENECOP Member

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    One more thing....have clamps, the right length screws and a Good countersink bit....while shimming is important what is really going to make the uppers sit nicely is joining them to each other as you go...Shimming is second to that.....Finally do not just hang the uppers without considering the base cabinets.....the entire kitchen must be layed out before a single cabinet gets hung....good luck..
    Warm_in_NH likes this.
  11. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    I'm gonna measure, and draw where each Cabinet (upper and lower) should land on the walls.....according to the plans, everything should land where it needs to be, but we all know how that works out.....I'll keep everybody updated
  12. GENECOP

    GENECOP Member

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    Don't forget to include filler strips......
    Beer Belly likes this.
  13. Warm_in_NH

    Warm_in_NH Feeling the Heat

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    I've put them up both with and without the wall cleat. Cleat always made it easier. Snap a line and move the wood to the snapped line. Red chalk is permanent and I've seen it bleed through paint, so blue is probably best or another less permanent color (it's labeled on the bottle somewhere)

    As you screw them to the studs (with proper cabinet screws that have washer like heads) don't completely tighten the hanging screws until you flush the front stiles, clamp them and screw them together then tighten screws to walls w shims if needed.

    Take your time. Double check everything before drilling, it'll go smoothly.

    Watch out for out of square corners. If you start in a corner make sure you're square to the wall you're mounting on and use a filler strip if needed, don't rack your corner cabinet.
    Beer Belly likes this.
  14. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    I was going to measure up from the highest point of the floor, and use a 4 foot level to draw a level line, and attach the 1x3 Cleat. I am going to be putting up a Corner Cabinet to start......if I have a level Cleat along the short wall, and a level Cleat along the long wall (where other Cabinets will be hung, that should pretty much garauntee the Corner Cabinet should be level, and plumb.....but of course we will double & triple check before we drive any screws home.
    [​IMG]
  15. Jonathan70

    Jonathan70 New Member

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    Beer Belly- I've been installing kitchens for years .... I've found hanging uppers 1st is the best way.... Wall cleat , 1 x 3, 2 x4 ..... Forget all those ideas .... Go to local homer or hardware store , buy a 6' length of slotted angle iron , cost about $12-15. Set your steel angle to your level line,,,, don't need giant lags for this... GRK makes the best cabinet installation screws period.nice non stripping torx head ... Leave the screws a smudge loose, check for level again before snugging up... Remove doors & shelves to reduce weight, layout stud location on back wall of cabinet, start cabinet screws in back, raise up onto steel angle & get it done.... I've ganged 3-5 uppers together that way raised up on to steel angle with helper, 1 guy holds while other screws to wall... Any more questions feel free to pm me...
  16. G-rott

    G-rott Member

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    Jonathan70 nailed the instillation process. GRK's are great, they make the process smoother. Just one thing to add that you probably know but it has not been mentioned, screw through the thicker section of the back panel at the top and bottom not just anywhere. Read the instructions from the manufacturer.

    I did 2 warranty calls for cabinets "falling of the walls" while I worked for a local Lumber Co. Both were installed by home owners who screwed the upper cabinets to the studs, through the back panel. The panels were bowed, cracked, and twisted from the strain, many of the screws had pulled through the thin back panels, and the cabinets in both cased where hanging from the few screws that had been "inadvertently" installed in the proper locations.
    Beer Belly likes this.
  17. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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  18. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    Taking down the wall cabinets today.....UGH !....can open....worms everywhere !:eek:
  19. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    Removed upper cabinets and found a wire running for the Microwave running over a stud, not thru it....easy fix
    [​IMG]

    and after cutting out the backsplash, found a ridge for the upper level that causes some issues with relocating an outlet....I should of known...
    [​IMG]

    ....and then the Waste pipe for the upper level runs thru the wall behind the stove where our new plan has a cabinet going....problem is, it is out of plumb, and was causing a big hump in the drywall ( you can see more of the pipe in picture above).....can't do much about getting it plumb, there is a 2x4 blocking any movement that would have to be totally removed....not gonna happen....gotta few things I'm gonna try...thinner sheetrock in that area after I furr out the studs to keep it flush, then cut out whatever hump is there, tape and mud....I ran a straight edge over it, and the pipe is flush with the wall on either side.....
    [​IMG]
  20. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    It's not a real renovation if there isn't something to challenge you and make you curse the former home owner who has just made your work twice as difficult. ;) Me . . . I always worry when a renovation project goes off without a hitch . . . I then start to fret thinking that I must have messed something up and will either flood my house or burn it down accidentally.
    Warm_in_NH likes this.
  21. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    Funny you mention "burning down the house"....being I couldn't relocate the outlet from the built in Pantry to the wall due to the Ridge, I dropped it into the basement and put in a Junction Box for now.....got it all together, screwed the box to a joist, had the Wife turn on the breaker....POP, POP, SPARK, SPARK !!!....what the heck !!!....turns out the screw was a 1/4 inch too long and impaled a wire stapled to the other side of the joist.....good thing it was the wire I was working on and was powered off....had plenty of excess to it, so I just cut and reconnected into the box.....a little excitement.
  22. Warm_in_NH

    Warm_in_NH Feeling the Heat

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    Ahhhh yes. Problems with both plumbing and electrical as you do your project. Starting to sound like a typical renovation. :mad:

    I always caution my customers about the unexpected things that pop up and can increase costs. I've missed out on some jobs over the years because the people thought I was trying to "add extra costs to increase profit". Nothing better than having them call a year or two later for another project and hear the story about how the guy with the lower initial bid ended up costing twice as much due to "unforeseeable issues".

    Took a kitchen out one time, similar looking drain pipe was exposed. We were just cleaning up prepping for the installation when someone flushed the upstairs toilet. A 1/8" stream of water shot across the room. Huh???? There apparently was a cabinet screw into the pipe, somehow it didn't rust out and kept it sealed, when we took them down we took out the screw and opened the hole up. Thankfully someone flushed the toilet or we never would've seen it and I'm sure we would've taken the blame for it after we installed the new kitchen and their cabinets filled with toilet water. :rolleyes:

    Good luck!
  23. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    My Wife put into the budget $400 above the cost of the cabinets to get it done....mind you, I have very few tools for the job, and this morning I told her we are probably gonna need three sheets of sheetrock....her reply "why three, and not two"....I pointed to the open walls, and she sez "you only need two":rolleyes:
  24. Warm_in_NH

    Warm_in_NH Feeling the Heat

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    ;lol;lol;lol;lol;lol

    Oh boy. Sounds like you better figure out a way to make two sheets work! Or let her mud them and then she'll see why its well worth another sheet to eliminate an extra seam. In the end, just remember, she's right, it's that simple.
    Swedishchef and Beer Belly like this.
  25. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    UGH !!!!!.......Electrician coming tomorrow to bring things up to code...not a problem.....called tool rental to get a floor nailer this weekend so I can lay down the Hardwood floor...the soonest is Monday morning (UGH !!!)....then the cabinet maker has specific screws for install (as per instructions).....they'll be in on Wednesday.....Wife sez "do it by the book"....another delay.....BEER TIME !!!

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