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nkripted
Sagging upper cabinets

Hi there folks,

Long time lurker, first time poster. :D

I've got a bit of a problem with my upper cabinets over my fridge and freezer. The wife decided she wanted a side by side full fridge and freezer combo to have a built in look. The opening is about 66 inches by 80ish inches.

We have 9 foot ceilings with approximately 1 foot gap between the top of the cabinets to the actual ceiling.

The cabinet guys installed 2 upper cabinets with a total of 4 doors over the opening connecting them to the sides with large sheets of nice trim board about 3/4 inch.

The problem is that the cabinets are not attached to the wall so all the platters and other stuff are putting weight on the unit and pulling the middle down which causes the two middle doors to not open as they butt up against the metal trim (for the built in look).

Any suggestions on fixing this issue? I'll take a picture tonight and post it on here.

thanks,
nkripted

MLB Construction
Re: Sagging upper cabinets

do the backside of the cabinets butt up agaqinst the wall or are they a shorter depth due to the fact that they're over the fridge?

nkripted
Re: Sagging upper cabinets

They do not butt up against the wall. There is a maybe 5 inch gap between the back of the cabinet and the wall. :(

On my way home...I'll be on line in about 2hours :(

thanks for the feedback :)

A. Spruce
Re: Sagging upper cabinets

The cabinets need to be fastened to the framing within the wall to keep them from sagging OR be designed and built to support themselves over that span. It was a careless and/or incompetent installer who would do otherwise.

You might be able to build a support frame behind the cabinets to carry them. If the cabinets are sturdy enough to be hung from the top, you could span the gap with three or four 2x4's laid flat over the depth of the cabinet. Another alternative would be to support the span from the bottom, though this will probably create clearance issues with the fridge/freezer.

The best option would be to have a custom cabinet made for the space that would span the opening and attach to the wall and adjoining cabinets on either side.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Sagging upper cabinets

Part of the problem is the weight of the contents. Yes, its a nice place to store all those large, heavy, seldom used items, but the cabinets don't like it too much.

Aside from replacing the cabinets;

1- Remove the cabinets
2- Determine if the cabinets are fixable. It may take a few days of adjusting bar clamps to get them back to shape.
3- Once back to shape, stiffen the cabinets with tube steel carefully hidden from normal view.
4- Re-install the cabinets.

nkripted
Re: Sagging upper cabinets

Thanks for the replies guys...

Would the tube steel go underneath? i have about a foot between the top of the fridge and the cabinets.

Would using L shaped steel trusses underneath work as well??

thanks for the help :)

dj1
Re: Sagging upper cabinets
nkripted wrote:

Thanks for the replies guys...

Would the tube steel go underneath? i have about a foot between the top of the fridge and the cabinets.

Would using L shaped steel trusses underneath work as well??

thanks for the help :)

Attaching to the wall framing is better than L shape steel trusses.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Sagging upper cabinets

I think that adding a strong-back or two to the cabinet boxes might make them into an assembly capable of supporting themselves and the contents.
I have to assume that they have faceframes; The bottom chord will be in tension, so letting in a length of threaded rod with washers and nuts at the ends will prevent the bottoms from spreading. The rod should be as close as possible to the floor of the cabinets, and the washers must be as large (in area) as will fit.
The top of the cabinet assembly is in compression, but must be strengthened against flexing downward. Steel plate or angle will do for the task, but a few slits will need to be made in the box's sides to admit the angle. Then plenty of screws (#12x3/4") to attach it.
These two different steel elements will unite the two boxes into a structural unit.
I would do one more thing: build out some framing behind the cabinets to fill the 5" air space and give some fastening for the cabinets to the wall. It's unconscionable that the installers did not even do this.
It was wishful thinking to mount it as they did.
Casey

A. Spruce
Re: Sagging upper cabinets

Personally, I think you guys are getting carried away with all your steel reinforcement. Think about it, the typical cabinet is designed to be hung on the wall and have no other support. It then stands to reason that with something solid to anchor the back of the cabinets to would solve the sagging problem. Sombreuil_mongrel's suggestion of filling in the 5" air space behind the cabinet with structural framing and attaching the cabinets to that, is a good one. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, frame it up with 2x4 and give it a 3/4" plywood skin, this will be more than enough to support the cabinets and contents. This framed header could then be attached to the cabinets on either side of the refrigerator, it doesn't have to be attached to the wall itself, though it could be for even more strength and stability.

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