How to Install Kitchen Base Cabinets Yourself – DIY Guide

by admin on March 8, 2013 · 0 comments

If you want to truly get your money's worth out of your kitchen renovation, you are going to want to do as much work as you can by yourself. It doesn't matter if you bought some top of the line, custom manufactured pieces, or if you bought the cheapest ones at the home improvement store, you will always save extra if you do the work on your own. One of the easier things you can do in your kitchen renovation is installing your base cabinets.


  • Before you begin, you will want to "dry fit" all of your base units into place. To do this, simply place all units into the spot you desire them in without attaching them. Make sure that you test out all of the doors and drawers to assure they won't interfere with each other, your walls, or appliances that are nearby. If you have any "blind corner cabinets" remember that they will not reach both walls in their corner.
  • Next, take out all of the drawers, take off all of the doors, and label them with a piece of masking tape. Mark each drawer or door with a number, and mark the corresponding spot on the unit it goes to with the same number for less confusion later.
  • If you attach adjacent cabinets together before anchoring them to the wall, you will find that you have a much easier time when it comes to leveling them. Simply clamp the cabinets together loosely while they are in place from your dry fit earlier.
  • Once the cabinets are clamped together, use shims and a long level to make adjustments so that the cabinets are level from front to back, and side to side. You also need to make sure that the front of each cabinet is even with the ones on either side of it while you shim and level. This step generally takes a good deal of time.
  • Pre-drill a 1/8th inch hole through the inside of the front frame of one cabinet, and into the next cabinet, make sure the hole is at least 2 inches deep.
  • Check for level, and that the front faces are plumb on the two cabinets you are attaching together, and then put your screw into place. Repeat for all cabinets.
  • Starting in a corner, or at an obstructed end (an end near an appliance, or a wall) clamp into place a "filler piece" if needed. This will be a flat board sent with your cabinets, if you ordered one, and is used to fill any visible gaps between walls or appliances, and the end of the cabinets.
  • Attach the filler piece just as you attached the cabinets together earlier through the inside of the face piece of the cabinet.
  • Now, attach the "blind panel" to the side of the cabinet by pre-drilling through it into the cabinet face as before, but go through the panel instead of through the cabinet. The blind panel is a piece that goes on the very end of the cabinets on the inside so that you cannot see any open space left between the wall, or appliance, and the end of the cabinets.
  • Next, check for any gaps between the wall studs and the back of the cabinets. If there are gaps shim them before moving on.
  • Check for level once more, and make any adjustments needed, and attach the cabinet to the wall by pre-drilling a hole through any shims, and into the wall studs.
  • Screw the cabinet into the wall through the shim, doing so will ensure that the base unit stays square during and after the operation. Repeat for all cabinets.
  • Now, with the marks you made on the tape before, match up and replace all of your doors, and slide your drawers into place.

Hopefully the length of the procedure didn't scare you away from trying it yourself. If it did though, you likely know someone who has done this sort of thing before who can lend a hand, or if not, you can call a professional in to do it for you. Calling in a professional won't save you any money, but it will save you piece of mind, especially if you are one of those people who get a lot of stress the minute that your home improvement projects come off the tracks slightly.

If it is something you think you can do, go right ahead, you'll feel great in the end, and every time that you look at them, you'll remember back to a job well done. If you are willing to try it, perhaps you should check out the Home and Garden Project for more advice on renovations and general home improvement knowledge.

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