What Should I Consider When Installing a Wall Cabinet?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2019
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Putting in a new wall cabinet is a great way to enhance the look and function of many areas of the home. Whether replacing kitchen cabinets or installing new bathroom cabinets, there are a few basic steps that will always apply when installing a wall cabinet. Following these tips will make it easier to position the cabinet as well as make sure it is securely fastened to the supporting wall.

Before you ever attempt to hang the cabinet, it is a good idea to draw an outline of the cabinetry on the wall where the installation will take place. This can be accomplished using a tape measure or yard stick and a pencil. The idea is to make sure you have a guide for placing the wall cabinet at exactly the right height and in the ideal position along the surface of the wall. Taking the time to make this simple outline will save a lot of time and frustration.

With the outline in place, locate the wall studs that can be used to install the support rail that will balance the weight of the cabinets. There are battery operated stud finders that will make this task quick and easy. Use your pencil to mark the locations of the studs and then decide where you will drive in screws to secure the support rail and later the wall cabinet unit once it rests on the rail.


After installing the support rail, transfer the locations of the studs to the back of the cabinet unit. Draw in the sites where you want to create pilot holes for the screws in the backing of the wall cabinet. Make sure to drill those holes before mounting the cabinet on the support rail. Also drill a shallow pilot hole at the corresponding locations on the wall itself. This will make it much easier to line up the holes and quickly thread the screws into the wall studs.

Always secure the wall cabinet with a screw near the middle of the space. Before threading any more screws into the studs, use a level to make sure the cabinet is hanging properly on the wall. Nothing undermines a kitchen renovation like a cabinet that is crooked on the wall. Should you need to adjust the height of one corner of the wall cabinet unit, make the adjustment then use the level to make sure the positioning is perfect. Once you are happy with the position, install the remaining support screws.

When installing any cabinets, it is a good idea to have at least one more person present. The other individual can assist you in aligning the cabinet properly and also help hold it in place as the first several screws are threaded into the wall. This is true even when hanging a small cabinet as part of a bathroom renovation. With a second pair of hands and eyes, the job will be much easier to accomplish.


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Post 2

@Markerrag -- It sounds like your parents should have considered changes in technology. They would have been fine had they built a decent cabinet that was as tall as, say, half the wall and effectively leaving a huge, open platform for a larger television set.

As for video tape storage, hopefully that can be converted somehow.

Post 1

One of the most important questions you should ask yourself before installing a cabinet is how useful it will be a decade down the road.

Here's a perfect example. My parents once had a massive cabinet installed in their living room that had just enough space for a 21 inch color television set and video tape storage. It was great when it was built, but when is the last time anyone bothered with a 21 inch tube television and video tapes?

Keep in mind that the cabinet was custom built and cost a lot of cash. Instead of enhancing the value of the home, though, it has probably lowered it because the cabinet is so obsolete.

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