How To Fit Kitchen Cabinets

July 5, 2020

Fitting new kitchen cabinets can be one of the most affordable and effective ways of revamping an entire kitchen. Thankfully, it's also a relatively easy task.

Most kitchen base and wall units are manufactured in standardised sizes, so the installation tends to be similar. Nevertheless, consult the manufacturer’s guidelines in case your cabinets have any special installation requirements.

Floor cabinet installation

Step 1 – Mark horizontal lines

Use a pencil and a spirit level to create a precise horizontal line on your wall, marking where the top of your cabinets will be. Be sure to take into account the height of the cabinet legs (which may be adjustable) and the height of all surrounding units and appliances.

Step 2 – Position the corner units

Take your assembled corner units and position them in the appropriate locations, adjusting the legs to the required height. Make sure they are flawlessly level with a spirit level, before moving the adjoining cabinets into place and repeating the process.

Step 3 – Clamp the cabinets securely

Use an appropriate clamp to hold two adjoining units together, before drilling pilot holes for the hinges. Your objective is to drill through the first unit and only slightly into those adjoining, so they can be screwed together for a firm hold.

Step 4 – Cover gaps with corner posts

Your kitchen cabinet kit should incorporate matching corner posts. These should now be installed to cover the corner gaps between the cabinets. You’ll find installation guidelines in the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 5 – Secure to the walls

The final step is fixing your kitchen cabinets securely to the walls, using a series of brackets. Be extremely careful when checking for cables and pipes that may be hidden behind the walls, before drilling holes.

Wall cabinet installation

Step 1 – Take accurate measurements

Use a tape measure, pencil and spirit level to mark where the bottom of the wall cabinets should align. You’ll want to ensure that your raised kitchen cabinets are accessible, while complementing the rest of your kitchen. Next, mark vertical lines where your new cabinets will meet and end.

Step 2 – Mount the wall brackets

Use the manufacturer’s guidelines to establish exactly where the cabinet wall brackets should be positioned. In most instances, two wall brackets are installed to the top corners of each unit. Be mindful of the fitting's suitability for your wall. The brackets may be expected to carry an extremely heavy load. If in doubt at this stage, consider seeking expert support.

Step 3 – Carefully hang your cabinets

Carefully position your cabinets with care. There is always a very slight chance the brackets may come loose. If all is well, precisely adjust the alignment of your cabinets using the adjustment screws. These are usually located in the top corners of each cabinet. Continue making adjustments from one cabinet to the next until they’re perfectly aligned with one another.

Cabinet installation safety

Ensure you take the necessary health and safety precautions from start to finish. This includes the use of the appropriate personal protective equipment. Under no circumstances attempt a difficult or dangerous tasks alone. If you are inexperienced at installing cabinets, consider hiring help.