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Can You Install Kitchen Cabinets on Your Own?

by Shannon Dauphin

When you start looking into a kitchen remodel, it can be tempting to cut corners a bit. Sure, you might not have the construction savvy to hang those top cabinets, but what about the base cabinets? The key to installing base kitchen cabinets is keeping everything plumb and level.

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Tips for Installing Kitchen Cabinets

Want to give those base cabinets a shot? Here's how:

  • Check out the floor. In newer homes, good construction techniques often mean walls are perfectly straight and floors are perfectly flat. But in older homes, that might not be the case. The base cabinets you install must be perfectly level, and that might require using shims to bolster some of the cabinets.
  • Look at the corners. Are your corners at perfect 90-degree angles? If they aren't, you have to get creative with installation of the cabinets, usually using shims.
  • Fasten the cabinets together with a clamp before attaching the unit to the wall. This helps ensure that the entire unit stays sturdy and straight.
  • The cabinets must be perfectly aligned, perfectly vertical, and level across the top, from back to front. Using a level and shims, make sure the cabinets are in perfect plumb and level line before attaching them permanently to the walls.
  • Fasteners should always be driven through studs. Anything less and you run the risk of cabinets shifting or even collapsing under the weight of a countertop.
  • After the countertop is on, add the hardware and doors. Take your time to ensure that each door and drawer is aligned perfectly in its proper place.

A great deal of work goes into installing kitchen cabinets. If you are unsure about any aspect of the project, turn to a kitchen remodeling contractor to handle the work for you.


About the Author

Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

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