DIY Network

How to Install Flat Packed Cabinets

Flat-packed cabinets are a stylish and affordable way to add storage to a kitchen. Learn how to install flat-packed cabinets with these easy step-by-step directions.

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flat packed cabinets add storage to kitchen
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $1,000 - $2,500

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Make the Adjustments To the Cabinets

Cabinets that are going to work as a unit need to be adjusted so they are the same height (Image 1). This is where the adjustable legs come in — you can adjust the screws to lower or raise the cabinets. To make more precise adjustments, a screwdriver will turn the feet (Image 2) despite the weight of the cabinet.

Step 2: Connect the Units

Clamp the units together (Image 1) — making sure they are flush.
Drill through the shelf holes using a 3/16th inch bit. Insert union bolts to connect the two units (Image 2). Approximately eight bolts are used

Step 3: Line up the Cabinets

To line the cabinets up so that they are flush, we used spacer boxes. The boxes were attached to the concrete using a Ramset (power actuated nailer). Ramsets use cartridges similar to those in guns, but instead of bullets they fire concrete nails which is much faster than using a drill and bolts because an anchor is not needed.

boxes were attached to concrete using a ramset

Step 4: Install the Hinges

Check plumb and level as you install the cabinets and attach them to the walls.
The first thing you do, is install the hinges. The hinges for these doors were simple. One part is screwed into the cabinet box (Image 1), and the other part has a couple of dimples that goes into the holes — you don't need screws (Image 2). When you close the cap, the cam will push out and seal the hinge in place. The two sections of hinge snap together (Image 3) and come apart just as easily.

Step 5: Connect the Drawers

Like the cabinets, the drawers come unassembled in flat packs. Screw the rails into the holes on side of the cabinets, and then just slide the drawers in place.

connect the drawers

Step 6: Attach the Skins

You can order extra skin material with your cabinets. Use it to fill in gaps around the cabinets. Skins come in various sizes and thicknesses.
To attach the skins, start with a bead of panel adhesive, but don't overdo it. The glue should hold it, but drive a few screws from the inside to make sure the skin is secure.

attach the skins




  • Spiral kitchen leg (model: 303-XL36SP/color: Cherry); custom mortising (model: CM01); custom-length aprons (model: A400/color: Cherry) and applied bead moldings (model: M660/color: Cherry) from Classic Designs by Matthew Burak
  • Wood for tabletop (reclaimed Douglas Fir) from Manomin Resawn Timbers