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How to Install Assembly-Ready Kitchen Cabinets

Spending a winter at home can bring to mind all the improvements that can be made to our homes. Updating a kitchen can be achieved with a fresh coat of paint or, if you’re feeling bold, new cabinets. Instead of having a contractor come into your home, use these steps to install your own kitchen cabinets.

 

Arrange a Cabinet Unit

Assemble each cabinet individually per manufacturer’s instructions. On a hard, level surface, place each cabinet upside down. The tops of the cabinets should make contact with the floor, ensuring that the assembled cabinet unit will be level with the ceiling. With cabinets upside down, arrange them in your desired order. Make sure the fronts of the cabinets are all flush; any irregularities in the back will be remedied later.

Join Individual Cabinets

Screw together all of the cabinets exactly as they lay. A finer screw thread is preferable as it will hold the pieces together more closely. If the sides of any two cabinets form a gap, insert a wooden spacer at the point of drilling. If your installed cabinets will be making contact with the floor, add wood pieces or shims as necessary to make the bottom level. After every cabinet has been joined together, turn the unit right-side-up and make sure the top is level. 

Place and Level Cabinets

If you haven’t already, use a stud finder and trace out any studs or wooden blocks in the wall. With a helper, put the cabinets in place, then measure to ensure they are level, both side to side and front to back. Note that a level cabinet may not perfectly line up with the ceiling or wall. The important thing is that the cabinet itself is level so that items aren’t shifting within the cabinet or even falling out. Add wood blocks or shims to fill any gaps at drill points and areas visible from the outside. 

Attach Cabinets to the Wall

Have your helper hold the shelf in position while you level it a second time. After making pilot holes, drill screws through the cabinet railings and into the studs. Aim for a 12-inch space between each screw. This step of the process works best with screws that are about 3½ inches long, and many professionals recommend using a no. 8 or 10.

Add Finishing Touches

With the cabinet secure, you’re ready to make it pretty. Ensure doors open and close properly. Trim or add shims so that there are no visible gaps and no visible shims. Add matching paint as needed if large blocks of wood were added and caulk for smaller areas. Apply caulk around every visible joint, including the underside. Caulk will not only complete the finished look, but it will actually form a bond that lends added support to the cabinets.

Replacing worn or dated cabinets can improve the appearance of a kitchen and make it feel fresh and inviting. By following these steps, you can install the cabinets yourself while leaving a clean, finished product. Browse kitchen cabinets on the McCarren Supply website, or by visiting us at our store.

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