Step 1: Remove the old kitchen cabinets
(If this project is a new home, then skip to Step 4)
Clear everything out of your old cabinets. Shut off all the water supply lines and electricity to the kitchen. Remove all appliances and if possible move them to another room for adequate space and ease of installation.
If you plan to reuse your existing sink and taps, remove them carefully using the proper tools and store them safely away from the work area.
Remove the old cabinets and countertops, in addition to any mouldings and baseboards that may interfere with the new cabinets. When removing upper cabinets rom the wall, be sure to have someone to support the cabinet’s weight while removing the last few screws or nails to prevent the cabinet from falling causing unnecessary injury and damage.
Repair any damage to the wall surfaces resulting from the removal of the old kitchen.
Step 2: Prepare to install your new kitchen
Start by determining the highest point in the floor along the walls where the cabinets are being installed. To determine this point, check the floor with a level.
Tip: Tape a level to the edge of a longer straight edge such as a toe kick moulding to check a larger area.
Once you find the highest point, measure up 34 ½” and use a straight edge to draw a level line on the wall where the new base cabinets will be installed. This line determines the base cabinet height. From the base cabinet line, measure up 50 ?” and draw a parallel line on the wall where the new wall cabinets will be installed. This line determines the wall cabinet height.
Tip: If you are installing a pantry then draw the upper cabinet line from top of pantry once it is installed.
Step 3: Preparing your kitchen for installation
Mark the location of all of the studs on the walls that will support the new cabinets using either a magnetic stud finder or a hammer and small
finishing nail. It is very important to ensure the cabinets are attached to wall studs to provide the required support.
Remove all the packaging, doors, drawers, false fronts , and removable shelving from the new set of cabinets prior to installation. Use a pen and pieces of tape to number the parts and the corresponding cabinet they came from. This helps to reduce the weight and prevent injury or damage from swinging doors, sliding drawers, and falling shelves during installation. The cabinets are equipped with fully adjustable clip hinges which allows the doors to be removed easily. At the end of the hinge facing the inside of the cabinet, there is a clip.
Tip: To help visualize the location of the new cabinets, draw an outline on the walls where they will be attached by measuring the width of the cabinets and transferring the measurement to the proper location.
Tip: Some people find it useful to attach a piece of wood to the wall to mark the level line and offer support when hanging wall cabinets.
Step 4: Install the base cabinets
Always start with the corner cabinet. If there is no corner cabinet, start from one end.
Shim base cabinets up to line on wall. Then level cabinets from front to back and place shims at stud and floor locations if there is a gap. Follow the 34 ½” line and attach the cabinet through the cabinet back to all available studs behind the cabinet using the 2 ½” screws.
Tip: measure from inside of cabinet gable to center of wall stud then transfer measurement inside cabinet for screw location.
Begin by moving the base cabinet into the proper location. Using wood shims, shim the cabinet up to the 34 ½” line and check the top with a level and shim accordingly. The toe kick moulding installed after will hide the shims.
If your base corner cabinet is round, secure it to the adjacent cabinets before you level and position it.
If there is not an adjacent cabinet to the round cabinet, leave it detached until the countertops are installed. Secure it to the underside of the countertop to keep it in position.
Tip: To break off the excess shim, score the shim with a utility knife and break the extra section off. Make sure the shims do not stick out past the cabinet’s sides.
Move the next cabinet into position so the side sits flush and precisely against the side of the installed corner cabinet. Clamp the two cabinets together using C-clamps or quick grip clamps and shim under the cabinet if necessary.
Align front edges as well as the top and bottom. Check to make sure the cabinet is level. Use the 1 ?” screws included in the installation kit to attach the cabinets together. To prevent splitting or cracking, you can pre-drill these holes beforehand with a countersink bit. Use four screws to attach the cabinets together. Finish installing the remainder of the base cabinets using the same procedure.
Tip: Every time you install a new wall or base cabinet, position your level across the top of it and the last cabinet you installed to make sure they are lined up with each other perfectly.
Tip: Always pre-fit the cabinets before securing them permanently to avoid unwanted screw holes inside your new cabinets.
Step 5: Install the wall cabinets
The procedure for installing wall cabinets is similar to installing the base cabinets. Always start with the corner cabinet and if there isn’t one, start at one end. Position the cabinet so the top is flush with the pre-drawn 84 ?” level line. Check to ensure the cabinet is level and in the precise location.
Secure the cabinet to the studs through the back of the cabinet at the top and bottom using the 2 ½” screws included in the installation kit. It is recommended that at least two screws at the top and two at the bottom are used to support each cabinet. Tip: leave screws loose to help align and fasten adjacent cabinets. Once they are all connected, shim gaps at walls if needed and tighten screws.
Similar to the installation procedure for base cabinets, move the next cabinet into place and align front edges use c-clamps or quick grip clamps to clamp the two cabinets together. Shim behind the cabinet if necessary and ensure the cabinet is level. Screw the cabinets together using 1 ?” screws and then secure it to the studs using the 2 ½” screws. Finish installing the remainder of the wall cabinets using the same procedure.
Tip: It may be helpful to make a simple cabinet support to hold the cabinet in place during installation
Step 6: Install fillers
The sides of the cabinets must sit flush to the walls for a truly built-in look. Because modular cabinets are built in standard sizes and walls can be uneven, it is sometimes necessary to install fillers to conceal the extra space. For small gaps, caulking can also be used. Fillers are straight pieces that are cut to fill the gaps between a cabinet and wall. To cut a filler, cover the surface with masking tape and mark the line you need to cut right on the tape. Use a jigsaw or table saw to make your cut. The tape helps prevent tear-out from the saw blade and protects the finish.
Slide the filler into position, and attach it to the cabinet using the 1 ?” screws included in your installation kit or 1” brad nails. Be sure the filler width is wide enough to clear the door trim so the drawers open fully without hitting.
Tip: While determining the location of the fillers during the planning stage, it is best to place them at the end of the cabinet run because they can usually be installed after the cabinets have been installed. If they are placed between cabinets, it is important to install them in the correct location during the installation of the cabinets.
Tip: When cutting melamine covered wood, use masking tape under your pencil line before you cut to prevent chipping or flaking from the saw blade.
Step 7: Install the countertops
Lift the new countertop into place. Check that it is level from end to end and front to back at multiple points along its length. Insert wood shims where necessary or to fill any gaps between the cabinet tops and underside of the counter.
If the gaps are large, set a drawing compass to the span of the largest gap between the backsplash and the wall. Set the compass point next to the wall and the marker on the backsplash and pull the compass along the wall to mark what will need to be removed on the backsplash. Remove the countertop and clamp it in place on sawhorses. Use a belt sander to sand the backsplash to the line drawn with the compass. Place the countertop on the cabinet to ensure the backsplash is flush against the wall.
If Countertop needs to be joined such as a corner then, glue them together with some wood glue and press the edges together.
Ensure the entire surface is flush at the seam along the front edge of the counter. Tighten the nearest mitre clamp and wipe away any excess glue. Stand behind the countertop and push it down as needed to make the seam flush along the back of the counter. Tighten the mitre clamp closest to the backsplash. If one side of the same is higher than the other, protect the surface with a piece of wood and tap the countertop with a hammer. When seam is level, tighten the remaining mitre clamps.
Check the length of every screw carefully so you don’t penetrate the counter surface. Fasten the countertop by screwing up through the bottom of the cabinet top into the countertop using 1 ?” screws.
If you are reusing your original sink, measure and mark the location, then trace the paper hole pattern onto the countertop in the proper place. Use a jigsaw to cut the sink hole in the countertop. To prevent chipping the surface, cover with masking tape and drill a pilot hole for the jigsaw blade.
Install the sink and reconnect the water and drain lines.
Apply a bead of caulking where the countertop or its backsplash meets the wall.
Step 8: Align the drawers and doors
Re-install the drawers, false fronts, and shelving that were removed prior to installation.
Install the cabinet doors and make adjustments using the diagram below. Drawer fronts can be also adjusted using the procedure illustrated below.
Tip: The swing direction of some styles of cabinet doors can be reversed by moving the hinges to the other side of the cabinet, flipping the door and clipping it into position. Be sure to change the swing before drilling any handle holes.
Step 9: Handles and pulls
Once the doors are properly installed and adjusted, install the handles or knobs.
Using your cutting tool and measuring device, cut a piece of the cardboard the same exact dimensions as your cabinet or drawer front, or a portion of it.
Find the center of your template by folding your cardboard in half both long and short ways. Mark your center with a “t”
Mark your hardware holes. Your hardware should come with a diagram that tells you how far apart the holes are. Using that measurement, divided by 2, and measure that distance from your center point and mark your holes.
Punch your holes by tapping a nail through your cardboard.
Place your template on the drawer front, lining up each corner, and mark your holes on the cabinet with a pencil.
Double check your work. You will want to make sure each set of holes is level and also that the holes from one drawer to the next are level.
Clamp a small piece of wood on the back side of your drawer before drilling your holes. This will ensure that you don’t tear off any of the surface of the cabinetry on the back side and create a really clean hole.
Attach your cabinet hardware from the back side of the cabinet or drawer front using the screws provided.
And that’s it! Now you have nice even and straight cabinet hardware with minimal measuring!
Step 10: Mouldings and trim
Lastly, cut the toe kicks to fit and attach with brad nails or adhesive. For corner cabinets, cut the front piece long enough to cover the cut end of the side piece.
Most moulding mitre joints are at a 90° angle and consist of two pieces of moulding cut at opposing 45° angles. When fitted together they should form a tight right angle. For tight mitre joints, nail and glue at joint.
Step 11: Pat yourself on the back!
You have now successfully installed your kitchen cabinets. Congratulations on your beautiful new kitchen!
Long-term Care & Maintenance:
Our finishes are made of the highest quality and will maintain their beauty with simple maintenance. Use warm water, a soft cloth, and mild, non-abrasive soap for cleaning all surfaces. Never use thinners, scrapers, or abrasive cleaners on finishes.