How to Install Kitchen Base Cabinets Part 1

What You'll Need
Stud finder
Tape measure
Pencil and paper
Ledger board
Wood shim
Base cabinet

The kitchen is one area in the house where a good home improvement project will uplift the look of the entire space and simple projects like installing new kitchen base cabinets can do wonders.

There are several steps involved in installing kitchen base cabinets and each procedure is important to get these cabinets installed properly. The first part in putting up your new kitchen base cabinets is to determine where the location of the studs are and how to appropriately install each cabinet.

Step 1 – Measure the Walls

You need to measure the height of the cabinets as well as the back splashes needed. Generally, you need to add an additional 1 1/2 inches for any standard type countertops. A standard back splash requires 18 inches.

Also, measure the height from the floor up to the bottom of the upper cabinets.

Step 2 – Mark the Walls

Once you have measured the total height, mark this with your pencil. Draw a horizontal line across the kitchen wall. This will serve as your guideline when you start to install the kitchen cabinets. When drawing the horizontal line, use your level to make sure that the line is straight.

Step 3 – Finding the Studs

The next step to installing kitchen base cabinets is to locate the studs on the wall. Wall studs are the vertical wood pieces, usually 2x4 inches, that make up the frame of the walls. To properly secure the cabinets, attach them to these studs. To do this it is vital to know where they are. You can use the stud finder to find the studs in your walls.

Step 4 – Marking the Studs

Once you have located all the studs in the space where the cabinets will be installed it is now time to mark them using your pencil. Make sure that you mark all the location of the studs—you do not want to end up cutting a stud by mistake.

Step 5 – Securing the Ledger

After you have marked all the location of the studs, you can now put in a ledger board. A ledger board is a long piece of wood that will temporarily support the cabinets while they are being installed. Drill the ledger board onto the wall starting from the horizontal line you drew when you measured the entire height of the cabinet.

Step 6 - Installing the First Cabinet

When installing base cabinets, fitting the first cabinet or the corner cabinet is often the most crucial since it can more or less determine how the rest will fit in. It is advisable to test fit the cabinets first before securing them in place to make sure that you have the right fit.

Raise the first cabinet using a wood shim until it reaches the reference line you drew. Make sure that the first cabinet is level in all the directions. After making sure that the cabinet is leveled, screw the ledger of the base cabinet into the wall studs.