DIY Kitchen Cabinet Installation

DIY Kitchen Cabinet Installation

Are you someone who prefers going the DIY route when it comes to home renovations? If you’ve been considering giving your home kitchen a makeover with some new cabinetry, this is the article for you. Installing your own kitchen cabinets can seem like a daunting or even undefeatable task, but we’re here to prove that wrong. Today, we will outline all the steps and tools you will need to install your own kitchen cabinets, so read on to find out more! 

Gather Your Tools 

First order of matter — getting all the tools you need to get the job done right. In order to ensure that you don’t face any potential challenges, having the right tools is essential. Whether you’re looking at standard DIY tools, cordless tools or even measuring guides, ensuring that everything is ready prior to beginning your renovation is key. 

Here is a list of some of the tools you will need to install kitchen cabinets:

  • Tape Measure
  • Spirit Level
  • Cordless Drill
  • Carpenter’s Pencil
  • Screwdriver Set
  • Drywall Screws
  • Twist Drill Bits 
  • Ready To Assemble Kitchen Cabinets

Inspect Your Cabinets

Once you have acquired your ready to assemble cabinets, it is important that you give them a thorough inspection. Open the packaging for and have a good look to ensure that you have all of the pieces needed – shelves, doors, drawer fronts and cabinet boxes. Check for damage and be sure that any extra trim and filler strips that you may have ordered were included in your delivery. If all is well, proceed to the next step! 

Locate High Spots

The next step is to locate the highest point on the floor. This is an incredibly important step as it serves as the reference point for your entire installation. Be sure to take your time to get this right in order to avoid any potential disasters later in the process.

To find the highest spot on the floor:

  1. Lay a 8-foot-long, 2-inch x 4-inch board on the floor against a wall and place your spirit level on top of it.
  1. Shim the low end until you can get a level reading. Remember to place a mark on the floor with your carpenter’s pencil to indicate the high end.
  1. Repeat the same process 24 inches out from the wall, running the straight edge parallel to the wall where the front of your cabinets will sit. 
  1. Compare the high point on the front of the cabinets with the back that is along the wall. Use whichever of the 2 points that is higher as your reference mark.

Test Fit Base Cabinets

Now that you have located the highest point, it is time to test fit your base cabinets. Check your cabinet layout by dry-fitting all the base elements, starting with the corner pieces. If the layout requires filler strips, make sure to leave spaces for those, too. When all your cabinets are in their correct place, be sure to check that doors and drawers clear one another. In most instances, you won’t encounter any issues as long as your cabinets are not faulty.

After you have inspected the layout, remove shelves, doors and drawers. Remember to mark them and their matching cabinets in order to avoid any confusion. 

Take It Outside

Now that you are satisfied with your layout, it is time to move the cabinets out of the room.

Carefully measure your corner cabinets and label each base cabinet and appliance location on the wall. Use a probe with nails to find and mark stud locations just above the horizontal leveling line. It is now time to start the installation! 

Begin Corner Installation

It is always advised that you start your installation in a corner where two runs of cabinets will come together. 

To begin corner installation:

  1. Remove cabinet doors. Set aside.
  2. Transfer stud locations to the cabinet and start a screw in the installation rail.
  3. Place the corner cabinet into position on the wall stud marking. 
  4. Use a spirit level to be sure that the cabinet is perfectly straight. 
  5. Mount the cabinet to the wall with hardware that is suitable for the type of wall you have. 
  6. Once installed, work outward at either side to install remaining cabinets. 

Attach Remaining Cabinets

Now that your corner installation is done, it is time to attach all remaining cabinets using a few C-clamps to assist you. You will need to adjust and re-clamp the second cabinet until it is flush with the first one. Insert shim as needed. 

Next up, drill a hole in the face frame right above each door hinge. Attach your second cabinet to the first with a 5cm, #8 screw. Repeat process with remaining cabinets.

Note: Only tighten mounting screws once all the cabinets have been attached and you have ensured that they are all level.

Final Steps

The final steps to complete your installation is to adjust your drawers. To do so: 

  1. Loosen the screws holding the drawer glides and adjust the drawer to align. Tighten screws.. 
  2. Drill a 1/8-inchhole through the second hole below the drawer glide and drive a 5/8-inch, #8 screw to secure.
  3. Examine cabinet drawers and doors from the front to check alignment.


And there you have it — a simplified guide on how you can do your own DIY kitchen cabinet installation at home. Do note that the above instructions are based on the most common cabinet installation methods. It is important that you always read the manufacturer’s directions and always use the recommended installation method for your particular product. All the best!

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