Home renovation: how to install kitchen cabinets

The kitchen will soon be transformed into a worksite and the old cabinets discarded! That means you’ll also have to install new ones. Wondering how to install kitchen cabinets? Here are some tips to help you do a good job.

Home renovation: how to install kitchen cabinets

1. Measure the kitchen

Use graph paper to make a plan of the kitchen to scale. Clearly indicate the dimensions of the room and the location of appliances, doors, and windows. Show this plan to an expert at your local renovation centre when the time comes to purchase your cabinets. He or she can bring you right up to speed on how to install kitchen cabinets.

2. Prepare the room

The kitchen has to be prepared before you start your work.

  • Remove the old cabinets and countertops.
  • Move appliances out of the way.
  • Turn off the water and electricity.
  • Locate and mark the location of the studs.
  • Draw a level horizontal line at 87.63 centimetres (34.5 inches) off the floor; this is the standard height of cabinets. If the floor is uneven, measure from the highest point.
  • Draw a horizontal line at 137.16 centimetres (54 inches) from the floor to indicate where the bottoms of the wall cabinets should be.
  • Attach a temporary ledger or support board (2.54 cm x 7.62 cm or 1 inch x 3 inches) along the uprights to support the wall cabinets during installation.

3. Install base cabinets

  • Install the end module (often the corner module) by aligning with the line you drew.
  • Make sure it is plumb and level (use shims if necessary).
  • Screw it to the wall.
  • Install the adjacent modules.
  • Measure the location of the pipes then drill a hole in the sink unit before attaching it.
  • Install the countertops.

4. Hang the wall cabinets

Since the wall cabinets are heavy, two people are required to perform the following steps.

  • Hang the end wall cabinet on the temporary support board.
  • Make sure it is level in all directions.
  • Screw it in place.
  • Hang the adjacent modules.
  • Remove the temporary support board.
  • Install any moldings or backsplash.

5. Install the hinges.

The following must be done for each door:

  • Align the door on the cabinet and mark its location
  • Separate the hinge bracket (the T-shaped piece)
  • Install the hinges at 7.62 centimetres (three inches) from the top and bottom of the door
  • Install the mounting brackets
  • Place and align the door

The final touch

Now all that’s left to install are the handles.

  • Measure the distance between the handle’s two screws and transfer this measurement to the centre of the drawer.
  • On the doors, the handles must be installed at 3.8 or 5.1 centimetres (1 1/2 or 2 inches) from the corner.
  • Drill holes and screw on the handles.

Now that the project is finished, you’re a real expert on how to install kitchen cabinets! For invaluable advice throughout your renovation, talk to the experts at a home renovation centre. If your DIY skills don’t feel up to snuff, you could always entrust the installation of your kitchen cabinets to a professional cabinetmaker or handyman.

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