How to Install Hanging Kitchen Cabinets

Installing Hanging Kitchen CabinetsYour kitchen cabinets are not only the main storage areas of your kitchen, in many cases they also provide the main work area for prepping food; namely, your counter tops. The result is that they play a big role in your décor. Selecting the right cabinets and properly installing them is therefore essential for anyone seeking to create the perfect kitchen atmosphere. Whether you choose to buy prefabricated units or to build your own, the ideal installation should perfectly complement and enhance your kitchen.

Tools You Will Need When Installing Kitchen Cabinets

  • Wood screws
  • A drill, preferably cordless
  • Chalk line
  • A tape measure
  • A carpenter’s level
  • A stud-finder
  • Wood clamps
  • Shims

The Installation Process

While kitchen cabinets are typically simple and straightforward in their construction, the room into which they are to be installed may not be. Numerous factors can impact how a set of cabinets fit with a kitchen, from how straight the corners are to the levelness of the floors. These factors may make the task of putting them in more difficult. Walls and floors will need to be straight and level or it will affect the overall look of the cabinets and may mean that doors will not close properly and that drawers may not fit correctly. Other factors include the materials with which the cabinet is to be constructed, some materials are more fragile than others and may not last as long.

Installing base cabinets in older homes comes with a different set of problems when compared to a similar installation in a newly constructed one. Older homes are where the problems regarding floors that are not level and walls that are not straight tend to come into play. Shims and a carpenter’s level may be used to help with kitchen cabinet installation on unlevel floors. You can draw a straight line on the wall at the standard cabinet height of 34.5 inches to ensure that the cabinets are being installed level. The height is measured from the highest point on the floor.

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It is standard practice to connect base cabinets to each other prior to attaching them to the wall. You will also want to cut out your holes in the backs of your cabinets for water and drain lines. Another good idea is to remove the cabinet doors if the units come with them attached, this is important to do prior to installation as they tend to get in the way and may be damaged during the process. You will want to clamp the cabinets together prior to fastening them with wood screws, this ensures that they are straight when fastened together. It is important to note that in most cases, the wood used to construct kitchen cabinets may be brittle and can crack easily. Pre-drilling holes before inserting wood screws is essential in this case. When fastening kitchen cabinets to a wall, locate your studs as you will be using them to support the cabinet. Note that it is only necessary to insert screws into the top rail of the cabinet when connecting it to the wall.


  • Use filler strips at corners to ensure that doors and drawers have adequate clearance.
  • Ensure that base cabinets are symmetrical with upper cabinets.
  • Use a countersink to ensure that your screw heads do not protrude.

For upper cabinets the process is similar to that used for the base ones, though it may be necessary to use a ledger board to keep it straight while you screw it into place on the wall. Simply remove the ledger board and fill in the holes after the upper cabinets are in place. The final step to your kitchen cabinet installation is to attach the doors and insert the drawers.

Published By:

Budget My Build
P.O. Box 72987
Phoenix, AZ 85050
Office: (602) 579-9660

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