Installing kitchen cabinets is a project that most do-it-yourselfers can handle without a problem for home improvement. If you have some basic skills and care the results obtained by doing it yourself can be just as good as if a professional did it; and save you money to boot.
A key to installing cabinets is making sure that they are level. If you don’t have two or three people available to hold the cabinets and help you install them you can use a support or a jack.
You can build a simple T-shaped brace from wood, place it under the cabinet, and then insert the jack underneath of the cabinet. You can also use specialized support systems made for installing cabinets. Be sure to use multiple supports to make sure that the cabinets don’t wobble.
If the bottom cabinets are already installed you can use metal stain buckets and phone books on top of them to position the top cabinets? This works in a pinch but jacks made for installing cabinets would obviously be the ideal solution.
Once you have the cabinets positioned you will have to locate the studs in the wall that you will be attaching the cabinets to. Never attempt to attach cabinets to the drywall by itself. The studs located in the walls of most homes’ inner walls will be placed sixteen inches apart.
To locate them you can use the sixteen-inch guideline as a starting point and then use an electronic stud location device to find their exact positions within the wall. You should be attempting to locate the center of each stud as this is the ideal location to drive the fastener into.
To make this easier you can draw the locations of the stud centers onto the wall and then pre-drill the holes for the fasteners using a bit slightly smaller than the screw itself. You also will need to drive any holes for wiring before installing the cabinet units themselves.
You should double-check your measurements by making them both on the wall and on the actual cabinets. You should try to provide for eighteen inches of clearance between the cabinets and the countertops.
For a more secure cabinet, you should drill and fasten the unit through the trim or supports rather than through the back wall which is often thin. This may not be possible for the cabinets that you choose but if you can do it this way it’s much better. Also, be sure to use three-inch screws for the major support fasteners that hold the cabinets to the wall.
If you wish to add additional support to your cabinets you can take a one-inch thick strip of wood that is 2 inches tall and screw it into the wall where a stud exists. It’s possible to attach the support strips first but if you need to tweak the cabinet position and this could present a problem.