If you’re DIY installing Kitchen cabinets in a Tiny, Small or even a BIG micro house, following these simple tips will make it go smoother. This example is a Kitchen I personally did a few years back from floor to ceiling.
Now the Tips!
#1 Whether your project is a simple make over or an extensive remodel, consider getting Plan 3D first. This software is easy to use and makes creating rooms or even a complete home very simple. Having the ability to add or change cabinetry and appliances with a few mouse clicks is great! Choosing from thousands of combinations of colors, wood types, cabinet styles, flooring options and counter tops in the convenience of your own home with no pressure makes this process actually fun. Creating your virtual Kitchen, Bath etc… first can possible save hundreds, if not thousands if you end up changing your design mid-stream. All this fun and peace of mind for as little as $14.00 with Plan 3D. Plus you get bragging rights that it was all your idea! There is a link on my site, lower right side at the bottom under ‘My Favorite Program”.
#2 Take time to visualize first whatever activity will be done in the room. In this Kitchens case, efficient cooking is our primary goal followed by food and appliance storage plus great looks. Don’t be limited to the current configuration either. If it’s a complete remodel, power can easily be moved. Plumbing is more challenging and expensive to move but still possible. Consider both present and future needs for this room could save costly additions later on.
#3 Get everything in advance for the project. In this kitchen we were adding a microwave instead of the vent hood, refrigerator with icemaker and dishwasher to make it more modern. Ask yourself… What will I need for doing this? In this case… extra outlets, power for DW and a way to get water across the Kitchen.
#4 Start with a clean slate either by demoing and repairing walls or prepping them first. Mark all the studs if at all possible somewhere around the 4′ height. This will help you gauge the location of studs for both the upper and lower cabinet securing.
#5 Install uppers first by securing a ledger board to the wall with screws. This is for resting the upper cabinets on during instillation. Don’t worry you can easily patch the holes later or place a backsplash over them. Make sure the top of the ledger is level and no less the 58” or 18” above the finished counter top height. Secure each cabinet with no more than one or two 3” screws directly into the studs that you found earlier. At this point level and fasten the faces together with screws by clamping and predrilling the holes first. This guarantees no splitting and shifting of the wood faces and gives you a clean smooth surface on the front. Then finish securing the cabinets to the wall.
“Bonus Tip” Now that the uppers are installed it’s time to move on the base cabinets. If there currently “not” sitting on a finished floor, you can always shim them up or remember they will be at least a ½” lower when the floor is installed. This is a good time to recheck the floor level too. Always start at the highpoint and raise the others up as necessary to meet this finished height.
#6 Installing base cabinets is the same as #5 except no ledger is needed because you have the floor. Make sure all gaps meet MFG’s specs and are even both front and back. Keep a 4’ level handy and keep checking constantly.
At this point you should have a perfect surface for countertops. Now you just have to decide what types!
Marble, Granite, Engineered Stones, Solid Surface, Stainless Steel, Ceramic Tile, Wood/Butcher Block, Concrete, Soapstone or Laminates.
Good luck with your project from Cozy Home Plans!
Cozy, Kevin B Harrington