HOW TO SERIES: How to install kitchen cabinets

Tips on how to Ace your kitchen cabinet installation from our experts at Ace Kitchens in East Hanover New Jersey.

Using an experienced kitchen cabinet installer is always the best way to ensure quality work. There is great value in hiring a professional if you are looking for a smooth and timely job. If you have the time and you are generally “handy” or have general carpentry experience and tools you may want to try your hand at installing your new kitchen or bathroom cabinets. There is a bit of a learning curve so be prepared to work slowly and methodically. As a first timer you will undoubtedly have some “do overs”. You will learn there is much finesse and precision in the art of cabinet installation. The key to a successful kitchen installation is having every cabinet plum level and square. This is critical for the appliances and countertop installation that will follow your cabinet installation. These steps and tips will be sure to help when installing your kitchen but nothing teaches like on the job experience!
  • Make sure you have a good clean design or floor plan with detailed dimensions and cabinet notations
  • Take inventory of your cabinet boxes based on the floor plan or cabinet list. Report any shortages to your dealer immediately
  • Proceed to un box your cabinets and report and damage or defect promptly
  • Stage your cabinets in appropriate area according the floor plan and leave yourself enough space to work
  • Check the floors and walls to see if they are level. (99% of the time they are not)
  • Locate the center of each wall stud and draw a line marking the centerline of the stud on the wall
  • Find the lowest and highest point on the floor and start your cabinet run from the highest point. Use wood shims to correct deviances in the floor. Excessive deviances of more than ¾” will necessitate cutting the bottom toe kick of the cabinets to achieve a level cabinet run
  • All under counter appliances such as dishwasher and range must be set and level at 34.5”
  • Secure base cabinets with 2 ½ screws and metal shields (ring washers) to prevent screw from going though the cabinet
  • Take centerline of studs and transpose dimension onto back of the cabinet hanging rail
  • Check that every cabinet is plum, level and square and correct if needed
  • Install toe kick covers, top and bottom moldings
  • Adjust doors & drawers and install hardware