Step 4: Hang the upper cabinets

tom silva hanging upper kitchen cabinets with two helpers
Photo: David Carmack
«»
With one or two helpers, lift the upper cabinet assembly into the corner and rest it on the cleat. As a helper steadies the assembly, check the cabinet face with a level to see if it's plumb. If it is, drive four 2½-inch deck screws (with washers) through the back of the cabinet, top and bottom, and into the studs. If it's not, slip shims between the cabinet back and the wall at the stud locations. (To shim out the bottom, remove the cleat.) When the cabinet is plumb, screw it through the shims to the studs. Lift the remaining cabinets onto the cleat, align their faces flush with those already installed, and clamp and screw the edges together (see STEP 3). Shim cabinets as necessary, then fasten them to the studs through the shims with the 2½-inch deck screws and washers. Close any gap between the wall and the end cabinet by scribing its stile or back edge, or by covering the gap with trim.
Ask TOH users about Cabinets & Shelving

Contribute to This Story Below

    Tools List

    • drill
      Cordless drill with bit set
    • ratcheting screwdriver
      4-in-1 screwdriver
    • finish hammer
      Hammer
    • chalk line
      Chalk line
    • 100-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • folding ruler
      Folding rule
    • bubble level
      Bubble level
    • block plane
      Block plane
    • pencil compass
      Compass
    • bar clamps
      Bar clamps
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • chisel
      Chisel
    • framing square
      Framing square
    • ladder
      Ladder

    Shopping List

    1. Carcass
    "Look for a good, heavy box, one with a thick solid back to screw securely to the wall," says Tom. He favors plywood over particleboard of MDF

    2. Finishes
    Catalyzed lacquers or conversion varnishes are toughest

    3. Fasteners
    Screws are best, but staples ad brads are typically used

    4. Drawers
    Dovetail joints and fully extending drawer slides are best

    5. Hinges
    Cup hinges, also known as European or concealed hingers are eay to adjust

    6. Hardwood glue
    for securing trim joints

    7. Wood shims
    for making cabinets plumb and level

    8. 2 1/2-inch deck screws with washers
    for anchoring cabinets to studs (drywall screws can snap)