How to Install Kitchen Base Cabinets | A Step by Step Guide

by | About

Every homeowner needs to know how to install kitchen base cabinets and the steps that go into the process. These pieces of furniture are the real workhorse of the kitchen and are very vital to its organization.

How to Install Kitchen Base Cabinets | A Step by Step Guide

If you are looking for a way to upgrade the look of your kitchen, installing new base cabinets is one way to do it.

Kitchen Base cabinets are typically made of wood and come in both painted or stained finishes.

In this article, we will discuss how to install kitchen base cabinets step by step so that you can create the perfect kitchen!

What are Kitchen Base Cabinets

You can divide kitchen cabinets into two classifications: wall cabinets and base cabinets. As the name suggests, wall cabinets hang and mount onto the wall.

Meanwhile, base cabinets rest on the floor and provide support for sinks, cooktops, and countertops.

Kitchen base cabinets direct and define the floor plan of the kitchen. Since these cabinets are not movable, you would have to layout your kitchen according to their position.

Kitchen base cabinets usually have exposed legs. However, you may attach a strip of wood called the toe-kick to conceal the cabinet legs.

This type of kitchen cabinet usually has a height of 34 1/2 inches. When you add a countertop on top of the kitchen base cabinets, this value may increase to about 36 inches.

You can always adjust the height of your kitchen base cabinet according to your preference.

How to Install Kitchen Base Cabinets

Proper installation is essential to preserve the functional and aesthetic qualities of kitchen base cabinets.

Base cabinets must be strategically placed and installed because they define the spatial organization of the kitchen.

Homeowners must ensure that the cabinets are secure, square, and level to maintain the smooth opening of drawers and doors.

Furthermore, kitchen base cabinets must be stable enough to provide enough support for countertops and other fixtures.

With proper knowledge and the right tools, anybody can install kitchen base cabinets.

But first, one must ensure that they get the first step. Getting things right from the beginning will ensure that everything else in the next steps will fall into place.

Follow these steps carefully to know how to install kitchen base cabinets.

  • Step 1: Conduct Measurements and Mark the Wall

First, you must measure the height of your kitchen base cabinets. Ensure that all values you obtain are precise and accurate.

Remember to add 18-20 inches for the backsplash to make room for small kitchen appliances.

If your kitchen floor is not level, take your measurements from the highest point along the kitchen wall. Next, use your stud finder to look for the wall studs.

The wall studs are crucial to support the weight of the base cabinets sturdily. Moreover, carefully take note of the location of plumbing and electrical wiring.

  • Step 2: Secure the Ledger Board

Secure a support board or a ledger board to the kitchen wall. You may screw it into the studs you have previously marked to support the cabinet weight temporarily during installation.

Remove the hardware and the door from the base cabinets to decrease their weight. Doing this will make the kitchen cabinets lighter and thus easier to install.

  • Step 3: Install the Kitchen Base Cabinets

The next step in the “how to install kitchen base cabinets” list is the installation proper. Begin the installation as close to the highest point on the floor as possible if your floor is not level.

Note that it is always easier to fill up space on the lower spots to make the cabinets level. Working uphill would be a much tedious strategy since it involves trimming the bottom part of the cabinet.

Measure your kitchen base cabinets and use a pencil and a level to mark a line on the wall. This line will start at the high point on the floor and end at the cabinet height.

This line should be purely horizontal, and you will follow this closely during installation. Make use of your stud finder to mark studs along this line around the kitchen.

Dry fit your first cabinet into place to check for level across its top surface. Shim until level; a shim is a tiny piece of wood used to level cabinets.

Then, you can now pre-drill through the top framing piece into the studs on the wall. Secure the base cabinet into place using screws and recheck the level after screwing.

Repeat until you have finished installing all the base cabinets. Now, you know how to install kitchen base cabinets!

  • Step 4: Check for Visual Perfection

This last step does not require as much work as the previous procedures but is just as crucial. Rely on your visual capabilities to level your kitchen base cabinets.

Visual perfection will reflect the functionality of your kitchen base cabinets. You must ensure that the sections of your base cabinets are level with each other.

With that, you can install countertops smoothly and correctly over the cabinets.

You should make sure that your kitchen base cabinets are level with gravity. Doing so will ensure that round objects remain on the countertop.

If your kitchen base cabinets are not level, your apples and eggs will easily roll and fall to the ground. Use shims as necessary.

How to Install Kitchen Cabinet Hinges

Remember when you removed the doors and other hardware before installing the kitchen base cabinets?

Now, you have to put them back! Knowing how to install kitchen cabinet hinges is just as important as learning how to install kitchen base cabinets.

Without further ado, here is everything you need to know about how to install kitchen cabinet hinges.

  • Count the number of hinges you need.

In determining how to install kitchen cabinet hinges, the first step is to count the hinges required for the door to open smoothly.

Larger kitchen cabinet doors may require more hinges. Also, consider the weight of your kitchen cabinet door.

  • Drill the hinge holes on your cabinet doors.

The next step in our “how to install kitchen cabinet hinges” list is to drill the holes. Check the diameter of the hole and make sure that the size is correct.

There are different hole sizes for drills; this part is easy to get wrong if you are not careful. Having wrong measurements in this step will cause the project to fail.

We surely would not want that!

  • Fit the mounting plate.

There are different types of hinge applications. Some of these are the full and half overlay hinge application and inset hinge application.

Conduct research regarding the appropriate instructions for your specific cabinet hinges. With that, you ensure that all steps you follow are correct.

  • Attach the hinge to the plate.

The final step in how to install kitchen cabinet hinges is the hinge attachment proper. The kitchen cabinet door hinges may be clip-on or slide-on.

Depending on their variation, you will have to follow a different set of protocols. Read the manual that came with your hinges to know the specific directions for this step.

Completing this step means that you now know all the steps to how to install kitchen base cabinets!

You Now Know How to Install Kitchen Base Cabinets!

We hope this article gave you all the knowledge you needed about kitchen base cabinet installation. Remember to keep these pointers in mind always to maintain a smooth and easy process.

Take our advice on how to install kitchen base cabinets to heart so you will not have any issues. W

e know you can do it, and if a problem comes up, feel free to refer to this guide again!


How to Choose Kitchen Cabinet Installers Near Me

Can I Install Kitchen Cabinets Myself | DIY Installation 101