DIY Network

How to Install Upper and Base Cabinets

These steps will have you installing new cabinets in your kitchen in no time.

More in Kitchen

  • Time


  • Price Range

    $2,500 - $5,000

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard


Step 1: Connect Upper Cabinet Units Together

For the upper cabinets, connect the wall units together, and draw a line 54" from the floor to mark the bottom of the wall unit. And be sure to mark the stud as well.

Step 2: Raise the Cabinets Into Place

Use the Gil-Lift to raise the top cabinets into place.

Note: A Gil-Lift or similar lift is available at most rental centers for approximately $40 a day.

raise top cabinets into place

Step 3: Attach the Units

Make sure the cabinets are level. Attach the units using 2" screws.

make sure cabinets are level

Step 4: Base Cabinets: Make Measurements

To start the installation of the base cabinets, draw the center line of the window and measure away from that line half the width of the sink base. This will be the right edge of the first cabinet.

start installation of base cabinets

Step 5: Shim and Level the Cabinets

Find the highest point to install the first cabinet, and shim the rest of the cabinets up to that height as you go. Once you make sure the unit is level from front to back as well as side to side, screw the cabinet into the wall.

shim and level cabinets

Step 6: Attach the Cabinets

Before attaching the next cabinet, screw the face frames together, and then attach those cabinets to the wall as well.




  • Cabinet lift (Gil-Lift) from Telpro Inc.
  • Concrete mix (CCM101)/color: Ash/ASH011; mesh (CWM050); edge forms (REF051); penetrating sealer (PSG060); satin seal (SSG065); wax (CCW070) from Buddy Rhodes Studios