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Guide to Installing Kitchen Cabinets

Installing your kitchen cabinets seem like a complicated process, but it’s quite simple. It involves screwing the cabinets to the wall in the right order and making sure everything is even. With these simple techniques below, you’ll be a pro. 

Nelson Cabinetry White Shaker Kitchen Collection with Island, Wood Hood, and Glass Door Cabinets
Nelson Cabinetry White Shaker Kitchen Collection with Island, Wood Hood, and Glass Door Cabinets


The first step is to determine the layout of the cabinets in the kitchen. You should measure the area where the cabinets will be installed. When measuring for cabinets, take into consideration plumbing, electrical outlets, and the total size of the room.

Wall cabinets


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After measuring it’s best to install your wall cabinets first. This you’ll do by drilling holes through the cabinet at the top, middle, and bottom rails. Your top and bottom holes should be about 3/4″ from the cabinet’s edge. You’ll do the same for each cabinet. After that, drive the screws into the wall. Be sure not to overtighten them. They should be tight enough to hold the cabinet in place. Keep the faces even and use a twist drill bit to drill through the face frames and connect with the cabinet screws. Continue the process until the very last cabinet. Once all the cabinets are connected, drive in the rear screws and remove the clamps.


→ If you’re installing crown molding, attach it with finish nails.


For installing crown molding tips read our blog post DIY: Installing Crown Moldings for Your Cabinets.

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Base cabinets


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Now that you’ve measured and installed the wall cabinets, installing the base cabinets will be easy. First, start at the high spot on the floor.


→ The high spot is usually the corner or one of the end base cabinets.


Starting with a corner, drill the holes and set the corner cabinet in place. Make the horizontal line on the wall your main guide, and the line on the floor your secondary guide. When everything is right and aligned, drive the screws at the back just tight enough to hold the cabinet in place. Same as with the wall cabinets, drill holes with a twist bit through the face frames and connect the cabinets with screws. Keep in mind that when you get to the sink base, you should cut the holes for plumbing in the back and then just install the cabinet like the rest.


Once you’re done with all cabinets and still have some space left at the end, don’t be alarmed. Instead, set the last cabinet in place without connecting it, and measure the gap at the top and bottom. Mark it and cut the filler strip to fill that space.


When all the cabinets are connected, make sure to tighten the rear screws and remove the clamps. Cut and attach the toe kicks with finish nails.


→ If you’re installing a new floor, this is the best time to do it, unless you’re installing a floating floor.


Cabinet hinges and hardware

The last step in this process is adjusting cabinet hinges. There are many different types of cabinet hinges available, and they usually work the same. You should know that many cabinets have a three-way hinge adjustment. One screw adjusts the depth, another adjusts the side-to-side adjustment and the third screw adjusts the height of the door. Also, besides hinges, the very last step should be choosing and installing your hardware as well.


For installing cabinet hardware tips read our blog post Installing Your Cabinet Hardware Has Never Been Easier With These Three Steps.



The right design of the kitchen is always important for anything so trying our free 3D design service is a starting point. We offer white and gray Shaker-style kitchen cabinets which will go well with every kitchen design.



Looking for new cabinets? Gray Collection or White Collection

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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