How do you install kitchen wall cabinets?

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ April 27, 2013 ~ No Comments

I want to hang some new wall cabinets in my kitchen. What is the best way to do this? What type of screws should I use to hang the cabinets that will hold a lot of weight (dishes,etc.)? Thank you.

-Steve B.

Brett Kulina

Steve, when installing wall mounted kitchen cabinets, it is important to securely attach the cabinets to the underlying wall studs or to some other solid wood backing that is an integral part of the wall framing. DO NOT attach your cabinets solely to unsupported drywall with EZ anchors, or other similar drywall anchors because that connection is not strong enough to support the weight of the cabinet (and its contents) over the long haul.

Ideally, I prefer to attach each cabinet to two wall studs, using 4-6 cabinet screws. If the specific layout of your cabinets does not line up with at least two vertical studs, then you may have to install some wood backing under the existing drywall on which to hang the cabinets. Keep in mind, most builders usually install rows of horizontal wood backing when framing kitchen walls, which facilitates almost any future cabinet layout and installation. You should use a stud detector tool to locate the studs in your kitchen's existing wall framing and determine if there is already horizontal wood backing situated between the studs.

Once you have determined that there is adequate framing to support your new cabinets, then you can position the units in place and set the screws. When positioning the cabinets, you will either need two helpers to hold the cabinet in place, or you can temporarily support the cabinets on some wood blocking that is stacked on the counter tops. Either way, make sure that the cabinets are level before you set all of the fasteners.

Although there are several quality brands of fasteners available, I like to use GRK #8 x 3 1/8" cabinet screws because these washer-head screws are self tapping and have a star head drive pattern, which helps prevent tear out during installation. Some other brands utilize a #2 square-head drive, which works well, while others rely on a Phillips-head drive, which I generally avoid altogether.

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