Replacing your kitchen cabinets can have a high toll and can be a fairly costly project, especially if you don’t do it right the first time and have to redo any of the steps. Here is a brief guide on installing pre-fabricated kitchen cabinets and 10 important tips to remember for an easy and successful installation.
Unless you have a huge budget for remodeling your kitchen or are installing for the first time I suggest trying to salvage any existing cabinets already there by sanding, varnishing, painting and patching if necessary. If you’re heart is set on a brand new set of shiny cabinets then here’s how to do it.
1. Always measure before hand and measure more then once to be absolutely sure on your measurements before ordering cabinets and planning any further. Make sure you have enough space and look for details in this space that will affect the placement of your cabinets, such as studs, electrical fixtures or existing cabinets.
2. Prepare the room before you start your project, don’t just jump in unprepared. If you are painting your walls, do it first for a clean job so that you are not stuck painting around your new kitchen cabinets. Fully remove any existing cabinets you plan on taking out first, and make sure you take out all of the old cabinet debris off the wall. Leave all of the wall and be careful as you may need to patch sections if they are damaged from the past cabinets as you still need the wall to be sturdy and secure enough to hold the cabinets safely.
3. Mark the studs you have located on the wall. This is where you will mount your support boards horizontally across to help fasten your cabinets securely. Make sure to measure carefully and stick to the plan here. Use a pencil that you can lightly mark and see but can also be erased.
4. If you are installing cabinets that wrap around a corner or meet at two walls always install the corner unit first as this is the heaviest of the bunch and make sure you’re cabinets are level while installing. Use a level tool to help you do this.
5. Don’t try to do this project alone. It is a big project and needs an extra pair of hands or two. Ask a friend, family member or do it together with your partner as a couple project for your new kitchen. This will help you pull off the job smoothly and help avoid accidents for heavier sets. Also a helping hand can create it easy for you to mount the cabinets straight which is important so that you do not offset all of your cabinets.
6. When installing the next cabinets make sure they are flush by shimming it into the correct position and then securing it with clamps while you are screwing it in with your drill and long cabinets screws. These clamps will really tie the job together and help you get ahead on your first steps in installing your kitchen cabinets. I do not suggest trying to install cabinets without the clamps. Take this step slow and do not rush your project for the best results.
7. If installing both ground level and upper cabinets in your kitchen make sure you install the upper cabinets first and finish the job before beginning the lower set of cabinets. This will ensure you have enough space and it is much easier to do then trying base cabinets first as they do not have to be lifted above your head. You can also easily slide them up against the wall making the base cabinets very simple after raised cabinets. Safety first, you don’t want to drop your cabinets which could harm yourself and damage your cabinets. You don’t want to have to wait for a new order to be shipped in before finishing your project.
8. Before installing the cabinets on the wall do any alterations to the cabinets that need to be done for electrical lines or plumbing wires. Make sure to measure accurately for these cutouts for the proper sizes of pipes and to put it in the exact location. Use a jigsaw to do this safely.
9. After the cabinets are securely installed you will attach the doors using the proper screwdriver and hinges provided with your cabinet sets. Cut off any extra shim with a quality utility razor blade tool to clean up your new set of cabinets; be gentle and careful though and do not remove anything that is not protruding.
10. If installing base cabinets finish them off with the proper gap covering boards provided and small finishing nails. Remember to countersink the nail with a specialty tool created to make your nails to lay flush with the surface you are nailing. Then use a wax pencil for the finishing touch of filling in the holes for perfection.
The most important thing about installing kitchen cabinets is to follow the process step by step and to make sure you have the correct measurements. Search online on sites such as YouTube and the DIY Network or ask your favorite hardware store for videos and pictures to help you better understand what this project entails. Good luck and enjoy your beautiful new kitchen cabinets.