Everything but the kitchen sink

How to replace kitchen cabinets

Renovating your kitchen doesn’t have to be a headache. Read our guide on how to install kitchen cabinets and give your kitchen the fresh new look it deserves.

How to install kitchen cabinets: Where to start

Staring at a gutted kitchen can be intimidating for even the most seasoned DIYers. But with a little planning you will install kitchen cabinets with professional results. Here’s how we recommend you prepare:

  1. Make a note of any electrical outlets, plumbing or gas lines.
  2. Paint or repair the wall if you need to. It’s better to do this now, as it’s a tricker task once you’ve installed the kitchen cabinets.
  3. Grab a stud finder, locate the studs on the wall and carefully draw a line through middle. This has to be precise as you’ll need to mount your kitchen cabinets directly on that line.
  4. Mark the measurements of the new kitchen cabinets, double-checking that the new cabinets will fit correctly.

How to hang kitchen cabinets

Once you’ve prepped the space and materials, it’s time to hang the kitchen cabinets. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Choose a corner to start with (always install the corner cabinets first).
  2. Carefully measure and mark the stud locations on the back of the new cabinet you’re installing. Again, this must be precise as you need to anchor the new cabinet to the middle of the stud.
  3. Pre-drill holes in the back of the new cabinet to match the stud locations on the wall.
  4. Put the cabinet in place, using a level to make sure the cabinets are straight. If it’s uneven, you might need to shim under or behind the cabinet (see below for tips on securing shims in place).
  5. Using a power drill, screw the cabinets in place – but don’t tighten the screws too firmly yet (you’ll do that in step 7).
  6. Repeat the process with remaining cabinets.
  7. Once all the cabinets are in place, it’s time to tighten the screws.
  8. Install the new countertop, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Finishing the job with sealant and glue

If you’re working with uneven walls or gaps, it’s a good idea to secure the shims in place with sealant or glue. This will strengthen your kitchen cabinets and prevent them from warping.

Toe kicks or filler strips are great options to fill gaps between walls and the floor. You can attach them with nails, but we recommend using an all-purpose adhesive like Loctite Extreme Glue No Drip Gel with its high viscosity, making it ideal for vertical jobs like hanging kitchen cabinets.

If you have a gap between the new countertop and backsplash, we recommend using a multipurpose waterproof adhesive to seal it. Loctite Clear Silicone Waterproof Sealant is a great choice as it’s gap filling, impact-resistant, waterproof and won’t crack, peel or shrink!