Knowing how to install kitchen cabinets may seem intimidating, but the techniques are really simple. With a correct cabinet plan, your main task is to find the best starting point and keep everything level. You don’t have to hire a professional but you need a fair amount of DIY skills and some basic tools. You’ll also need at least one helper to lift and hold cabinets in place during the fastening process.

Unpack your cabinets and ensure all components are included. If the cabinets are disassembled, follow manufacturer instructions and wait until after installation to add drawers, doors, and shelves. The first wall and base cabinets are key as you are to install them level from back to front and side to side for the others to follow suit.

Start by installing the upper wall cabinets. This ensures the base cabinets are not in your way during the necessary lifting and fastening. As wall cabinets are heavy, you must use screws that go through a strong part of the cabinet such as a support rail that runs along the cabinet’s back.

Installing wall cabinets

Use a baseline to establish the marks for the bottom of the upper cabinets and the top of the base cabinets. Use a stud finder to locate the wall studs and mark their locations with a pencil. Screw a temporary support rail aligning the top edge of the rail with the bottom edge of the wall cabinets. The rail will help you to support the upper cabinets then level and shim them before fastening them to the wall studs.

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Installing base cabinets

Begin by installing the end or corner base cabinet. You can use shims to level it and raise it up to the high point of the floor so that its upper edge aligns with the line marked on the wall. Once you’re sure it’s level from front to back and side to side, you can screw it to the wall studs before aligning adjoining cabinets.