How to Install Kitchen Cabinets | This Old House

How to Install Kitchen Cabinets | This Old House



to get started here I want to simply add up all of these numbers in this run and when I get the total I'll put a reference on the wall and start installing our cabinets I've taken that total and I measured from this wall in the kitchen down here all the way down to the end of where the cabinets will be in that number totaled out at two hundred and four and a half inches of drawn a plumb line and why is that line important that establishes the cabinets on this wall from right to left next thing I want to establish is the height of the cabinets I need to know where the refrigerator is going and the height of the refrigerator okay we're planning a refrigerator right over here and it measures 70 and 1/8 inches tall okay next I want to do is take a piece of finish flooring and place it on our floor and measure up 70 and 3/8 that gives us a quarter of an inch clearance for the refrigerator that line is a reference that I can establish the height of all of our other cabinets I have a cabinet over the refrigerator I have a microwave cabinet here I've measured down from under the microwave cabinet to the top of our countertop allowed 16 inches I've drawn a line here which represents the top of the base cabinets and now we're ready to screw the cabinets to the wall okay I'm going to start down here and I like to start with the top cabinets so the bottom cabinets won't be in our way now I get lucky here there's actually an opening right here that I can see the first stud in the wall what I simply will do is I will take a finish nail and I'll drive it into the wall to verify that stud okay now I'm going to go over a little further locate the next one should be right here now I'm going to measure from the edge of the cabinet to our first stud which is four and three quarters of an inch and our second stud is 15 and three quarters of an inch now I'm simply going to transfer those measurements to the back of our cabinet four and three quarters 15 and three quarters now I want to drill four holes in the back of the cabinet that will ensure that when we put the cabinet on the wall the screws will go into the studs okay now that the four holes are drilled and to save our back we're going to place the top cabinet on this cabinet jack which will hold the cabinet into position okay now let's take that small level in put it under the cabinet and check it for level back to me just to hear OOP right there okay take the level now to screw the cabinet to the wall I'm simply going to use a two and a half inch deck screw I actually have a cabinet washer attached to the deck screw to give me more surface area on attaching the screw to the cap okay now we want to check the cabinet for plumb front to back put the level right on the front see the bubble oh that's good alright now we can screw all the screws in that's our first cabinet now we're ready for the cabinet over the stove top but I have to cut a hole in it first to connect the duct to the hood all right buddy you want to clamp those two together okay grab the other clamp that's good that looks good now I'm going to put a screw over here on the top hold the cabinet so it won't fall now I want to screw the two cabinets together using an inch and a quarter screw just behind the style okay now I want to take a six-foot level and lay it on the face of the upper cabinet and I want to make sure that the cabinet is straight take my filler and oh yeah I got a space right behind the level that means that the wall is bowed in so to straighten it I'm simply going to loosen the screws in the back of the cabinet starla shim behind the cabinet that will pull the bowl out alright let's check it one more time that's good alright I'll just tighten up the screw just snug it right up there Brennan now what we're doing is we've actually laid all of the base cabinets on their back and I've laid a piece of plywood on the floor first to lay all the base cabinets on keeping them flat what I want to do is I want to screw the cabinet's together as a unit using these inch and a quarter panhead screws should make it easier for installation now I'm truing the cabinets up to each other let me show you what I mean if I measure across the face of this cabinet I've got 17 and 13 16 if I measure back here I've got 17 and 9 16 what I need to do is make this space equal so I'm simply going to drive a shim in bringing the cabinet out until I get 17 and 13 16 done now I'll just put a clamp on to hold it and I'll check the middle now I'll just screw them together okay that's close enough for now now because your floor is so uneven and your finished floor which is a full three quarters of an inch is not installed yet we need to bring your cabinets up to this line now that's a full inch and a quarter off of this cabinet right now now it's too much to use shim so what I've done is I've ripped the filler strip down that I will install under the cabinet's shimming it in making it level then installing the cabinets on this Phyllis trip but to do it I have to remove the cabinet's first break off the excess shims and we're ready put the cabinet back up now we're going to set the cabinet on the Philip that's it let's put a level on it and see how we did perfect now I'm going to shove it in place and screw it to the studs

42 thoughts on “How to Install Kitchen Cabinets | This Old House

  1. So far after watching his videos he never shows you what to do if your cabinet does not hit a stud and I only had one start because not every cabinet is 16 in apart

  2. Been doing this for over 25 years. Putting in flooring first is almost never done. What if tile was going down over plywood subfloor? Screwing through tile just made your job harder. Also what if you need shims or a toe screw if it's hardwood flooring you'll screw up the finish.

  3. Been doing this for over 25 years. Putting in flooring first is almost never done. What if tile was going down over plywood subfloor? Screwing through tile just made your job harder.

  4. 17 and 13/16 …. Is this video a joke or do people really use inches when doing construction and woodworking?

  5. it's mind-blogging all the important details left out in this video. Praying for miracles to all the people who follow this procedure

  6. Tommy this is the first time I've ever seen you do a job I did not like I really think the floor should have went in first.

  7. Build houses properly with brick and you don't have to worry about stud positions. Also, have Americans not woken up yet to putting adjustable legs on base units, and adjustable hangers for the wall units? W'e've had them here in the UK / Europe for decades. So much simpler to fit.

  8. Not only don you need to locate the stud, you need to locate the center of the stud so when the cabinet is in place and your putting the screws in, they don't glance off the side of the stud or come close to the edge of the stud which will weaken in time.

  9. Find the high spot in your floor first. Screw your wall cabinets together as a unit and hang on a ledger as a unit. I always install base cabinets beginning at the high point, one at a time. And shim, clamp each together. Also I screw cabinets together through the face frame by pre-drilling and screwing. Much stronger.

  10. I would just install them one at a time. This method looks way too tedious. I'm not even sure if half of this work is necessary. It's just cabinets.

  11. our kitchen cabinets are on the north wall of house and get really cold inside. What would be a good type of insulation to use inside of cabinets?

  12. Hard to tell what Tom is doing here. I see one screw in the frame for apparently joining adjacent cabinets, then he adds one (or more?) to join the side panels of those adjacent cabinets. That last procedure is seldom if ever recommended by cabinet manufacturers.

  13. Nice video, right to the point. Would you recommend finish nails instead of screws for holding the cabinets together?

  14. What do you do with the Shims after? Especially the ones at the base of the lower cabinets? How do you hide them?

  15. Can someone tell me why it is not better to start installation from a corner out? I feel like there is more change of error through irregularities of the cabinets and imperfection in installation. When you get to the corner, you could be either short or long?

  16. One good reason to put flooring under cabinets is in case you ever want to redo the kitchen in 10 years. You will be able to move things around without trying to match in a floor.
    2nd reason not so good. Should you need to alter the kitchen to accommodate someone that now has to use a wheelchair ie: sink or cooktop, the floor is already in.
    I t will cost more in terms of labor to have the floor installed later
    There is a real good chance that the floor guys will bang up and splash stain/finish on the cabinetry
    Cabinets should be screwed together through the face frames-preferably hidden behind the hinges. Putting screws behind the frame places stress that will force the frames to leave a gap- if not today, it will happen

  17. Oh forgot to ask, can you fix upper cabinets that are separating from the wall, or do I need to actually replace them?  Dang things are only 9 years old.

  18. First cabinet video on YT I seen somebody checking flush fitting of face and fixing it with shims.  Matter of fact most YT videos on cabinets I do not see them using shims at all.  Is that normal not to use shims?

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