Before You Get Started

Mark all the wall studs.

Find a helper because this is not a one-person project. Work in pairs as cabinets can be heavy.

It is best to hang the upper cabinets first so the lower ones won't be in the way during installation.

Always wear safety glasses when working with power tools.

Step 1

Measure and Mark For Position

Measure the height of the base cabinets. Most standard cabinets are 34-1/2” tall. Add 1-1/2” for a standard countertop and 18 inches for a standard backsplash, (though you may want a 20-inch backsplash to make room for small appliances). With an 18-inch backsplash, the total measurement should be 54 inches from the floor to the bottom of the upper cabinets. If your floor is not level, be sure to measure from the highest point along the wall.

Draw a horizontal line across the wall at this 54-inch point which will serve as a guide for hanging the cabinets. Be sure to use a level to assure this line is true horizontal.

Note: Pay careful attention to the position of all electrical wiring and plumbing.

Step 2

Attach a Ledger Board to the Wall

It is best to hang the upper cabinets first so the lower ones won't be in the way during installation.

Secure a ledger (support) board to the wall at the 54-inch mark, screwing it into the marked studs to temporarily support the weight of the cabinets during the installation. Be sure the doors and hardware are removed from the cabinets to make them lighter and easier to install.

Step 3



Attach the First Upper Cabinet

Attach as many cabinets together as you can safely lift and install on the ledger board -- usually two. Use clamps to fix the stiles (the vertical pieces on the face of the cabinet frames) of the cabinets together and check for plumb, making sure the fronts of the cabinets are flush.

Predrill and secure the two cabinets together at the stile using screws. (Pre-drilling pilot holes will save the cabinets from splintering or marring.)

Affix one screw on the top and one on the bottom in the front and back where the two cabinets meet.

Lift the cabinets onto the ledger board and check for plumb and level. Shim the cabinets if necessary. Attach the cabinet(s) to the wall with screws directly into the stud.

Step 4

Install the Rest of the Upper Cabinets

Once the first cabinet is in place the remaining cabinets can be installed by clamping it to the adjacent cabinet. Secure the cabinet to the wall first and then to its neighboring cabinet (Image 1).

Repeat this process for all of the wall cabinets. If a gap exists between wall and the last cabinet, use a filler bar (supplied by the manufacturer) to enclose the gap. Before securing the last cabinet, measure, mark, cut and secure this piece to the side of the last cabinet.

After all the cabinets are in place, attach the doors and hardware. Remove the ledger board when you are finished installing the wall cabinets.

Step 5

Measure for the Lower Cabinets

If the floor isn't level, find the highest point in the floor along the wall where the cabinets will be installed. It’s best to try to start the base cabinet installation as close to this high point as possible -- it's easier to shim under the cabinets on the lower spots to make them level with this first one, rather than starting on a low point and having to trim the bottoms of the cabinets while working "uphill".

If the floor is level, start the install on the corner cabinet, it will help you to stay level through the rest of the installation.

Measure base cabinets and use the pencil and level to mark a level line on the wall from the high point in the floor to the cabinet height. Be sure to use a level to assure this line will be true horizontal. This is the guide to be followed for installation.

Use the stud finder to locate and mark the studs along this line around the room.

For the sink cabinet, use shims where necessary to adjust for level. Measure the wall for the plumbing fixtures (Image 1).

Transfer those measurements to the sink cabinet and using a hole saw, cut holes for the plumbing cutting from the inside of the cabinet (Image 2).

Dry fit your first cabinet into place and check for level across the top. If needed, shim until level.

Predrill through the top framing piece into the wall studs and secure the cabinet into place with screws. Re-check level after securing the cabinet.

Repeat this process until all of the base cabinets are installed. Attach the
doors and hardware after all of your cabinets are in place.

Step 6

Install Remaining Cabinets

Once level, secure the cabinet to the wall by screwing into the studs. Continue installing base cabinets in the same fashion using shims, clamps and securing the cabinets to the studs as well as the adjacent cabinets.

When all the cabinets are in place attach the doors and install drawers and desired hardware.