How to Make Sure Base Cabinets are Level

What You'll Need
Stud finder
Adjustable clamps
Masking tape
Measuring tape
Utility knife
Countersunk wood screws

Base cabinets are a value addition to any modern kitchen, but the main concern regarding their installation is whether they are at the same level as the surrounding units or with the kitchen floor. Instead of hiring a professional, you can level the cabinet yourself.

Step 1: Locating Studs

Using a stud finder, locate where studs are positioned on the wall that the cabinet is to be attached. They are generally placed at 16-inch or 24-inch gaps. Mark these locations clearly so that you can refer it later when attaching the cabinet.

Step 2: Marking Lines

Find where the floor is at the maximum height by using a level. From this point, draw a straight line vertically on the wall surrounding it. Mark the height of the base cabinet you have onto this drawn line. From this point of the line, draw another straight line horizontally across the wall from where the cabinet starts. Check with the level to make it straight. The line will help you understand the upper surface of your cabinet.

Step 3: Shims for Leveling

For the first cabinet unit, take shims made of wood and place them underneath so that the cabinet gets raised up to the point where the line is marked on the wall. The sides, front and back must be flush with each other. Using a drill, make holes at the ends of the cabinet ledger, so that they are at the same level as the studs in the walls. Use 2 ½-inch screws and insert them through the wall into the studs. If the wall at the beginning point is not at a same level, place shims in the lower hollowed areas. Trim the shims with a knife so that it is at the same level as the cabinet’s upper surface. Repeat shimming on the next cabinet unit as well. The faces of the cabinets must also be on the same plane. Once done, secure the cabinets using clamps.

Step 4: Filling and Screwing

Secure the cabinets using countersunk screws. They must be placed with 17-inch to 18-inch gaps between each one, until they sink at least 1 1/2 inches into the front surface of the cabinet. At the same interval, drive in two screws at the cabinet’s back wall. Repeat this if there are more cabinets to be installed. If there is a space in the portion between the wall and the cabinet, place filler strip between it and tape it up at the seams. You can also drill holes at the ends of the strip and then insert screws. Make sure that the strip you place is at the same level as the cabinet’s front face.

All these steps will ensure that the base cabinets in your kitchen are at a perfect level with the walls, floor and with all units installed.