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How To Install Kitchen Cabinets By Yourself – Complete Guide

Cabinets are an essential component of any kitchen that it’s tough to imagine doing yourself. It may appear challenging to learn how to install kitchen cabinets yourself, but the procedures are pretty straightforward. While it requires some skill, time, and a couple of pairs of helping hands, even first-time homeowners can complete a kitchen cabinet installation independently.

Finding the optimum starting position and keeping everything level is the key. In this guide on installing kitchen cabinets by yourself, we’ll show you how to plan out cabinet placement ahead of time so you don’t make any mistakes. Kitchen cabinet installation usually takes less than a day. You’ll save at least $500 in installation fees, depending on the size and complexity of your kitchen.

A complete guide on installing kitchen cabinets contains every essential tip for installing cabinets yourself. A housewife doesn’t think of creative ways and always depends on others. However, if the multi-working women start being productive, the house will develop positive changes. Usually, we see many women asking How to install cabinets? You can quickly do the job by going through this guide.

What You’ll Need To Install Kitchen Cabinets

You need to read some primary material and process before installing your cabinets. The details are mentioned below:

Required Material

You will need the following material for installing kitchen cabinets:

  1. Cabinets Of Your Choice (Floor Cabinets Or Wall Cabinets)

  2. Stud Finder

  3. Tape Measure

  4. Contractor’s Pencil

  5. 2’ Level

  6. 8’ Level

  7. Shims

  8. Screws

This is the list of most essential materials required for the installation. Without any of these, you can’t complete the installation process.


Tools required for the installation of cabinets are listed below;

  1. Circular Saw

  2. Clamps

  3. Countersink Drill Bit

  4. Drill/Driver – Cordless

  5. Jigsaw

  6. 4 Ft. Level

  7. 4-In-1 Screwdriver

  8. Belt Sander

  9. Block Plane

  10. Drill Bit Set

Getting The Space Ready

After you have successfully gathered the essential material, the next step is to prepare the space for the installation by considering the following steps:

  1. Firstly select between 4-foot level and 8-foot level. To ensure the correct placement of the cabinets, check the kitchen corners, which must be straight and upright.

  2. Keenly observe any bumps or dips that can be a problem during installation. Wrong angles can delay the process of building.

  3. As you prepare the space for installation, you first have to clear all the space. The next step is to mark the positions of the kitchen furniture. Before installing the cabinets, run the electrical lines for the stove, dishwasher, garbage bins, fridge, and exhaust fan.

  4. The next important step is to place a bin every four feet. You can put it anywhere. You have a strategy to use foldable equipment.

  5. You need to check for the supply and drain lines, wall-mounted switches, and cabinet lights while preparing the space for the installation.

  6. Check to see if the cap is attached to the drain pipe.

prepare the space for the installation of cabinet frame and installing base cabinets

Initial Considerations For Installing Kitchen Cabinets

Now after preparing the required space, the work hasn’t ended yet. It would help if you still took the following initial considerations for installing cabinets:

Considerations For Installing adjoining cabinets and install base cabinets

Remove Existing Cabinetry

To install the new cabinetry, you need first to remove the existing cabinetry. It would help if you had a helping hand for clearing the cabinets. Switch off all the supplies to the kitchen. Check for gas, electrical, and water/plumbing supply lines that are properly turned off.

Now proceed towards removing the cabinets. Firstly, remove the doors of all cabinets. Then remove the drawers of all cabinets. Don’t forget to remove all the other appliances connected with the cabinets. If you remove the existing cabinetry carefully, you can sell it or save it for future use.

Remove the current cabinetry sink, countertop, cornice, and toe kicks. The last step in removing the existing cabinetry is taking off the cabinetry frames by removing the screws. Clear the back of the existing cabinetry by pulling everything out of the wall.

Get A Helping Hand Or Two

Although the installation of kitchen cabinets yourself is not a challenging task. But you need a helping hand or two If you are doing it yourself. You may call a friend for the job. An expert can be available for your help too.

But if you have to call an expert, then the point of installation on your own won’t stay there. If any of your expert relatives are available for your help free of cost, then quickly avail of the offer as some steps need a helping hand for completion.

Plan At Least The Entire Day

Whenever you perform a task, do it with perfection. Installation of kitchen cabinets by yourself is not a task of some hours. You need to spare a whole day to perform the task with accuracy. The more time you give it, the more perfection it will have! Take a day off from your job and leave everything else for installing the kitchen cabinets by yourself.

At Each Stage, Double-Check Your Measurements

What do you do after taking an exam or performing a task? You keenly observe the perfection of each job. You have to do the same while installing kitchen cabinets. You have a whole day for the installation and a helping hand too. So don’t hurry. Relax your mind. Take short breaks in between to do tasks perfectly with freshness.

A single wrong measure can harm the whole process. Some bumps and digs are too small to be observed with the naked eye. So, you can’t get your measurement. Double-check your measurements at each step. Otherwise, you will regret it after completing the installation.

How To Install Kitchen Cabinets – Important Steps!

After collecting the tools, preparing the space, and taking the initial considerations, it’s time to know “How to install kitchen cabinets?”

Choose Your Starting Point

Start the process by marking the guidelines. Decide the depth of your cabinets and keep them on the floor. After observing the depth, mark the height of the cabinets. Use a level for maintaining the appropriate size. Exaggerate the line concerning the work area. If you have decided to put a floating floor after the cabinets, you have to be careful about the height of the floating floor over the flooring.

This will help the appliances fit under the countertops easily. The upper cabinets get a visual representation by marking the studs inside the lines. If you draw the plan of your cabinets and appliances on the walls, it will be much easier.

Make Sure You’ve Got The Appropriate Cabinets.

Cabinets are of different types. Face frame cabinets cover the front of the cabinet because the frame thickness is 3-4 inches. Another type is the frameless cabinets. Such cabinets are also called “European Style cabinets.” Their method of installation is different because they are frameless.

When you draw directions and mark locations for appliances, observe the layout closely. This will help you locate the correct swinging motion of the cabinet door. After double-checking your design, make a printout of it. You will need it for guidance while installing the kitchen cabinets.

Don’t trust blindly when the cabinets arrive. Check each of the cabinets closely. In the majority of the cases, some corners of the cabinets are damaged, parts are missing, or it doesn’t fit on the plan.

Prepare The Area

Before starting the installation process, install the finished flooring. Then look for the rough wiring and plumbing. After flooring and cabinet installation, no more flooring is preferred. This will save the previous following from construction damage.

While removing the existing cabinets, you can take their marking if installed accurately. By removing them carefully, you will save the walls from damage. Start by removing the removable shelves, then proceed towards the doors and then the drawers of the cabinets.

You could have fixed the existing cabinets to the wall with nails or screws. Pull all of them out carefully. It’s not much difficult to remove the lower cabinets. But for removing the upper cabinets, you will need a helper. That helper will hold the cabinets while you pull the screws out of the cabinets.

Don’t rush while removing the cabinets. There are chances of screwing the cabinets together through the side panels. So, by screwing out the side panels, you will remove the cabinet one by one.

The back wall needs to be straight and smooth for the installation of the cabinets. You can use a straightedge to check the straightness of the walls. Make the wall bump-free. Count the components of the cabinets when they arrive. Take help from the manufacturer’s guidelines to sort out the disassembled cabinets.

 Wall-mounted cabinets will be suitable to start with. Most of the time, taking part in the task is to install the base cabinets and the first wall. If you succeed in placing them correctly, the remaining cabinets will follow a similar outline. This will not disturb you during the installation of the base cabinets.

Install Upper Cabinets

After these steps, you are prepared for further steps towards the installation.

Draw Lines

Before installing upper cabinets, you need to mark the reference lines on the wall. Start with drawing lines on the wall. The distance of the line must be 48 inches off the floor. Use chalk to highlight the line. Join the highest point with the other issues. The height of each cabinet must be 34 inches from the floor.

Find The Wall Studs

Mark the appliances and cabinets on the wall. After using the chalk, mark the studs. For the bottom edge of the upper cabinets, keep 16 to 17 inches from the base cabinet. This layout will also be highlighted with the chalk. On both layout lines, find the stud. Dig the hole. This will confirm the location of the studs.

Install A 1-By-3 Temporary Support Rail

Rail is used for the support of the cabinets. Install a temporary support rail that measures 1-by-3 by the wall. This rail will be aligned to the bottom edge cabinets. You can attach it to the wall by using studs. Use three or four 2 inches screws for connecting it by the wall.

Corner Wall Cabinet

You will need a helper for installing a corner wall cabinet. Drill pilot holes into the wall studs at the back of the cabinet. You must use long screws to attach the studs through each screw. Then plumb the front edge and level the top of the cabinets. For accurate positioning, drive several screws into each stud. This will ensure safety too.

Install The Adjacent Cabinets

While installing each cabinet, use a clamp for attaching it to the neighbor cabinet. The best strategy for the adjacent cabinets is to drill two 1/8-inch pilot holes. Attach the cabinets by screwing them together.

In the case of frameless cabinets, drill bolt holes and join them by screwing together. Double-check each screw because using the wrong screws can put you in difficulty afterward.

Install Lower Cabinets

After installing the upper cabinets, its turn for the installation of lower cabinets:

Install Lower Cabinets and shim cabinets in horizontal line

Level The Corner Cabinet

For leveling the corner cabinets, use shims. They will raise it to the highest point to align with the will. Check the cabinet from all four sides before screwing it to the wall studs. This will level the cabinet.

Include The First Adjacent Cabinet

Including the first adjacent cabinet will be the same as the previous cabinet. For adjusting the plumb and leveling it, tap shims behind and under the cabinet. Attach the face frames. Tighten the screws from both sides to fasten them permanently.

Screw The Cabinet Back Together

Screw the cabinet back together to finalize the look. Screw the shims into the wall studs. Use a sharp knife to remove the excess material attached to the shims. All the remaining cabinets will be joined in the same manner. So, the lower cabinets will align with the upper ones. Just keep checking the plumbing and level.

Adjust Cabinet Pivots

This step will be performed after adjusting the frame and fitting it through the stud walls. Pivots help the doors slide smoothly. A complete master’s guide is available with the cabinet pivots. So, you will quickly adjust cabinet pivots after going through the manual.

Install The Doors And Toe-Kick – Final Steps!

Finally, you may add your countertops and replace your appliances. Install the toe kick once the devices are in place by cutting it to length using a miter saw and nailing it in place with tiny finish nails. When you’re finished, you may put your cabinet doors on. To complete your kitchen remodel, you may also install any hardware.

Install The Doors And Toe-Kick, drill holes in top edge

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is It Possible For Anyone To Install Kitchen Cabinets Himself?

It may appear that learning how to install kitchen cabinets is a complex undertaking. Still, you won’t need to hire a professional with a few essential tools and general do-it-yourself knowledge. You’ll save a lot of time and work since you won’t have to mask off your new cabinets to avoid paint spatter.

Do You Put Up The Upper Or Lower Cabinets First?

You should always install upper cabinets before lower cabinets. You won’t have to work uncomfortably over the bottom cabinets. Once the cabinets have been constructed, remove any connected doors and place them out of harm’s way. This would reduce the possibility of their being harmed in the process.

How Much Room Should There Be Between The Cabinet And The Wall?

Typically, the base and wall cabinets gap is between 18 and 20 inches. This is low enough for most individuals to easily access the wall cabinet’s stuff. It has adequate space to hold and operate minor appliances while still comfortable using the workplace.

Is It Necessary To Have Kitchen Cabinets That Are Flush With The Wall?

The wall’s squareness and level determine this. The cabinets will be flush fit if the wall is perfectly flat and accurate level. However, because most walls are crooked, a cabinet will protrude from the wall. That entails shimming and correcting for level with trims to conceal flaws.

Is It Necessary For Cabinets To Be Completely Level?

If you want to use your current base cabinets as the foundation for your new countertops, you may need to make some adjustments. The kitchen cabinets must be level in all directions across the plane on which the counter will sit. To level the plane of your cabinets, use shims.

Conclusion – Final Thoughts!

Finally, there are some more kitchen cabinet installation tips for you to consider.

  1. You should usually install cabinets before flooring.

  2. You can place the sink base cabinet under the window if you have one in your kitchen.

You are now fully prepared to furnish your kitchen on your own. You will save time and a lot of money by not looking for an expert. It will give you pleasure too.

A housewife does not conceive of innovative solutions and is reliant on others. However, if the multi-working ladies begin to be productive, the house will change for the better. If given the correct supervision, women can efficiently handle several fundamental duties at home. Many ladies frequently inquire, “How to install kitchen cabinets?” By following this guide, you will complete the task fast.

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