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6 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Kitchen Cabinet Installation

Kitchen cabinet installation is an important part of any home renovation. Unfortunately, many homeowners underestimate the complexity of the process and inadvertently make mistakes that can be costly or difficult to fix later on. As someone who has undergone a full kitchen remodel myself, I want to pass on some of the lessons I learned to help you avoid these common kitchen cabinet installation mistakes. From improperly measuring your space to not accounting for appliances, small errors can turn into big headaches down the road. In this post, I’ll share the top six mistakes I’ve witnessed over the years and provide tips to help you install your new cabinets smoothly and successfully.

Mistake 1: Not Checking Measurements Twice Before Cutting

Most common mistake that many people make is not double-checking their measurements before cutting. It may seem like a small oversight, but it can lead to big problems down the line. Before you make any cuts, take the time to measure twice, or even three times, to ensure that you have the correct dimensions. Investing a little extra time and effort now can save you from having to redo your work or even worse, replacing your entire cabinet later on.




To remedy the mistake of not double-checking measurements before cutting, make it a rule to measure twice, or even thrice, before making any cuts. Take the time to use a reliable measuring tool, ensuring accuracy in dimensions. Additionally, consider having someone else verify the measurements independently. This extra step might seem time-consuming initially, but it significantly reduces the risk of errors. Investing a bit more time in the measuring phase can save you from the frustration and added expenses of having to redo or replace poorly cut materials later on.

Mistake 2: Forgetting to Prepare Walls Properly

When it comes to installing new cabinets, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and rush through the process. However, it’s crucial not to neglect the preparation of your walls before installation. Failing to do so could result in serious issues down the line, such as the cabinets falling off the walls or appearing uneven.


Worker repairman puts large ceramic tiles on the walls in the room


To address the oversight of neglecting wall preparation, start by thoroughly inspecting the walls where you plan to install cabinets. Address any irregularities, such as bumps or uneven surfaces, by sanding or filling them appropriately. Use a level to confirm that the walls are straight, ensuring a stable foundation for your cabinets. Additionally, be diligent in locating and marking wall studs, as securing cabinets to these studs is crucial for stability. Taking the time to adequately prepare the walls will contribute to a seamless and secure cabinet installation.

Mistake 3: Not Planning Your Layout

If you’re installing new cabinets in your home, it can be tempting to skip the planning phase and just dive in. After all, how hard can it be? However, not planning your layout can lead to some serious problems down the road. Maybe cabinets won’t open all the way because they’re too close to each other, or you’ll be forced to shuffle appliances around because of suboptimal placement.

Kitchen Layouts


To rectify the mistake of neglecting to plan your cabinet layout, resist the urge to jump into installation without careful consideration. Before starting, take measurements of the available space, considering the dimensions and layout of appliances. Sketch out a rough plan on paper, visualizing the arrangement of cabinets and ensuring adequate space between them. This thoughtful approach helps prevent issues like cramped spaces or interference with the operation of cabinet doors and drawers. Planning your layout in advance contributes to a more functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen.


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Mistake 4: Installing Levelers Incorrectly

When installing new cabinets, it’s important to ensure that everything is level and secure. This includes the use of levelers – small adjustable feet that help balance the weight of the cabinets and prevent them from tipping over. However, installing levelers incorrectly can have serious consequences. If the cabinet isn’t balanced properly, it could lead to cracks, splits, or even the entire structure collapsing. Not only does this pose a danger to you and your family, but it can also lead to costly repairs down the line. That’s why it’s essential to take the extra time and care to properly install levelers.



To fix the error of incorrectly installing levelers, pay careful attention to the manufacturer’s instructions for your cabinets. Ensure that levelers are securely attached to the cabinet base and adjusted to provide stable support. Use a level to confirm the horizontal alignment of the cabinets during installation. If needed, make adjustments to the levelers to achieve balance. Taking the time to correctly install levelers is crucial for preventing structural issues, ensuring your cabinets remain stable and secure over time.

Mistake 5: Placing Cabinets Carelessly

When installing new cabinets in your home, it’s important to be mindful of their placement. Careless installation can lead to a variety of issues, like doors that don’t close properly, drawers that won’t slide smoothly, and unsightly gaps that detract from the appearance of the cabinetry. To avoid these problems, take the time to measure carefully and plan out the placement of each cabinet.



To address the issue of careless cabinet placement, start by carefully measuring and marking the intended locations for each cabinet. Use a level to ensure cabinets are installed evenly and aligned correctly. Be mindful of clearances for doors and drawers, ensuring they can operate smoothly without obstruction. Take the time to make precise adjustments during installation, avoiding gaps and misalignments. Thoughtful and careful placement of cabinets contributes not only to a polished appearance but also to the functionality of your kitchen space.


Mistake 6: Tightening Screws Too Much

When it comes to installing new cabinets, one common mistake people make is tightening the screws too much. While it may seem like a good idea to secure the cabinets to the wall as tightly as possible, over-tightening the screws can actually do more harm than good. Not only can it cause the cabinet to crack or split, but it can also make it difficult to adjust or remove the cabinets in the future.



Instead, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use a torque screwdriver to ensure that the screws are tightened to the appropriate level. This will not only protect your cabinets, but it will also make it easier to make adjustments or repairs down the line. So next time you’re installing new cabinets, remember: a little bit of restraint can go a long way!

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Nelson Cabinetry

Nelson Cabinetry is an online distributor of high quality kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. We pride ourselves in delivering a high quality product via an easy to use, convenient website. Placing your cabinet order has never been easier and you can do so from the comfort of your home, office or job site.


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Evan Nelson

Evan Nelson

Evan Nelson is a skilled content writer with over 5 years of experience specializing in kitchen and bath design. His expertise in the field and ability to convey complex ideas in an accessible way have made his articles a valuable resource for homeowners and design enthusiasts alike. Evan's insights have been featured in top publications like Homes & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Real Homes. He focuses on providing practical advice, innovative ideas, and detailed guides to help readers make informed decisions about their kitchen spaces. With a passion for creating content that educates and inspires, Evan's writing helps transform kitchen dreams into reality.

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