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How to Install Kitchen Cabinets (May 27, 2010)
How to Install Kitchen Cabinets
Expert illustrated directions showing how to install kitchen cabinets step-by-step
Installing new cabinets doesn't necessary require hiring a professional--but it does take a fair amount of do-it-yourself skills and basic tools. Installing them level, plumb, and flush with each other is critical to ensuring that they work properly and look great.
The first wall and base cabinets are key--if you get them installed level from back to front and side to side, the other cabinets should follow suit. It's easiest to start with the wall-mounted cabinets so the base cabinets won't obstruct your work.
If you're replacing outdated cabinets, remove the old cabinets carefully so you don't damage the walls and so you can use the existing cabinets for taking critical measurements (or, in some cases, as patterns for new cabinets). The best strategy for removal is to take off all of the doors, pull out the drawers, and lift out any removable shelves.
Most cabinets are secured to wall framing members through their backs with nails or screws, which you will need to pull. Be sure to have a helper when you remove upper cabinets--as you extract the fasteners, you'll need help holding the heavy cabinets. If cabinets are screwed together through their side panels, also remove these screws so you can take them out one-by-one.