Is remodeling your kitchen on your wishlist? Do you want to make some upgrades but can’t justify the high price right now? How to install kitchen cabinets is a great way to give your kitchen a facelift without breaking the bank.

While hiring someone to install new kitchen cabinets can cost you hundreds of dollars, you can save some money if you take a little time and install the cabinets yourself. We will tell you how to install kitchen cabinets. And give you some helpful pointers about what to look for when shopping for new cabinets.

How To Install Kitchen Cabinets

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There are a few things to consider before you learn how to install kitchen cabinets. Take time to prepare for the install; you’re less likely to encounter frustrations that often arise during DIY projects.

Creating A Budget When Shopping For Cabinets

Depending on the amount, type, and size of cabinets you plan on installing. The money you spend may be anywhere from less than or well above $$$ for each cabinet.

In creating a budget when shopping for cabinets, you’ll need to add a little financial cushioning. You need to buy tools and equipment to help with the install.

SystemBuild Kendall 54" Wall Cabinet, White
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Elite 32" Base Cabinet
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Sauder Homeplus Storage Cabinet, Sienna Oak finish
  • Four adjustable shelves
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Take Your Time When Choosing Your Cabinets

Some homeowners have a “dream” cabinet while others are unsure of what they want (they just know they want new cabinets). Since new kitchen cabinets are a substantial financial investment and permanent addition to your kitchen, you should shop around, make price comparisons, ask friends and family for feedback, and take your time when selecting your new cabinets.

It may be tempting to buy the cheapest and the first cabinets you come across, but they may not be your best option, and you may be less than happy about how your kitchen looks in the end.

Consider The Size And Quantity

The easiest install would be replacing old cabinets with new ones. Using the exact size but depending on the style. You may have a hard time finding the same size.

Many people choose to install new cabinets because they need more space. While others want smaller cabinets but more of them in the kitchen. Whether downsizing or adding more cabinets, be prepared to patch up spots on your kitchen wall.

Make Enough Time To Install

Even if you have basic carpentry skills, you should be able to install new cabinets without too much trouble. It’s important to set aside a good chunk of time and see if you can get someone to help you. Installing cabinets on your own is not impossible. But it can be a little tricky and even a little bit dangerous if you’re not prepared.

It’s best to set aside a day or two to install your cabinets. While many professionals can have a full set of cabinets installed in half a day. Keep in mind that cabinet installation is what they do for a living.

Removing Old Cabinets

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Whether you are simply replacing old cabinets with new cabinets or are adding new cabinets to a wall in your kitchen. You’re likely to encounter different challenges and may have to adjust your time and plan accordingly.

Taking down old cabinets may take part of a weekend, depending on how much you need to remove. There are many factors to consider, so it’s best to prepare for the unexpected.

Home improvement shows make removing cabinets look easy, particularly when they demolish them off the wall. You’re best off taking your time to carefully take them apart, as you are less likely to cause damage to the walls.

Disconnecting electricity and shutting off water in the kitchen can help keep major issues at bay and can keep you safer while working on.

Installing New Kitchen Cabinets

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For this article, we will give you some step-by-step instructions on how to install new kitchen cabinets on a wall where no cabinets were previously installed.

If you are replacing cabinets and installing new ones in the same space, you may need to take some extra steps while installing. You can do your own research or even get some helpful advice from a professional at your local hardware or home store. You can still install cabinets on your own, just be aware that it may take a little bit longer.

The instructions we give you may not be entirely applicable to your DIY project; our directions are intended to be basic step-by-step tips. Depending on the size, quantity, and type of cabinets you are installing, your instructions may be different.

A Few Tips Before You Get Started

As with all DIY projects you should make sure you have all the tools and supplies you need.

Use safety goggles and have a basic understanding of how to use the tools needed for the job. If an instructional manual comes with any of your tools, hardware, or the cabinets themselves, keep it on hand at all times during the project. When measuring, always measure two or three times to ensure accuracy.

Don’t forget to ask for help when you need it as it can keep you from getting hurt and can help make the project less stressful.

Starting Your Install

Remember, these are some basic installation steps (for upper wall cabinets). They should give you enough information to teach you how to install new kitchen cabinets.

Step 1: Measure And Put Marks On The Wall

measure the wall
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Taking the time to create an accurate layout will save lots of time and trouble later on in the project. Measuring from the highest point in the floor, use a level to make a line that marks the top of the lower (or base) cabinets.

The next step is to measure up 19.5” from that line and draw another line for the bottom of the upper cabinet. Take time to make the lines clear (rather than just small marks); don’t forget to label where appliances go as well as stud locations.

Step 2: Remove Cabinet Drawers, Doors, and Shelves

remove door before installing
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Before you can install the cabinet, you will need to remove the shelves, doors, and drawers. Not only will this free up a little weight but it will make the installation much easier. Store the hardware and screws in a place where you won’t lose them and use painter’s tape to make notes on cabinet doors or drawers if necessary.

Step 3: Always Start With The Upper Cabinets Whenever Possible

start with the upper cabinet
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Since these steps focus on installing upper kitchen cabinets, it’s always easiest to hang the upper cabinets whenever you can. Not only do you have a better chance of installing them more securely and leveled, but you also don’t have to worry about trying to work around base cabinets.

If you are replacing upper cabinets but leaving the lower cabinets as is, you can still install the upper cabinets, but it might be a little more work.

Step 4: Use Good Screws And Always Screw Into A Wall Stud

use good screws for the wall stud
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As we mentioned earlier, you should know where the studs are located on the wall and have them marked clearly. As you finish up installing your upper cabinets, always use good screws and make sure you are anchored into a stud.

Trying to balance a cabinet and get a good position with your drill can be a little tricky, even if you’re using a temporary ledger (a piece of wood screwed into the wall to offer support for the cabinet). Don’t hesitate to ask a friend or family member for help.

What kind of screws should you use? Don’t use drywall screws. Instead, consider using self-countersinking screws. Need some advice? Ask a professional at your local hardware store. Splurging on a high-quality self-countersinking screw will save you trouble later on.

Step 5: Put Doors and Hardware Back On The Cabinets

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Now that you’ve installed your cabinets, you can put your doors and hardware back on.

A Note On Base Cabinets

installing base cabinets
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Installing lower cabinets uses many of the same steps as upper cabinets. Some people say it’s easier; others say that it’s a little more labor intensive. It all depends on whether or not you need to make space for pipes and other hidden features.

Check out these helpful tips on installing lower cabinets, and there are plenty of DIY videos available online as well. If you can install upper cabinets, you can definitely handle the task of base cabinets. This video is a great resource!

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