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How To Scribe A Base Cabinet To The Floor

February 11th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

IF the finished floor is not level where you are installing your base cabinetry, I will explain to you how the base cabinet will need to be adjusted so that it sets level and can be scribed to the floor. Please keep in mind that this only has to be done when the cabinetry is being installed on top of finished flooring that is already installed.

Let’s just say that you are installing a 36” vanity on top of tile and the cabinet is about a half of an inch out of level in three feet. Use the following steps to get your bathroom cabinet installed properly.

How To Make A Base Cabinet Level

If you were scribing a vanity cabinet to an out of level floor, here is how you would make it level.

Set the cabinet in place and determine which end of the vanity is the lowest or needs to be raised up in order for the cabinetry to be level.

Now using thin strips of wood such as door shims, cedar shims or anything that will raise it to be level. Place them underneath the toe base until your box is perfectly level.

OK, the next step is to determine the thickness of the void and use a pencil set onto the block of wood so that the led is perfectly even with the highest part of the toe base that is off of the floor.

Using the block with the pencil on top of it. Run the pencil along the toe area from the highest void point to the other end. As you are doing this, you are keeping pressure downward so the block of wood and pencil follow the floor as a guide as it transfers the contour of the floor onto the cabinet base.

Next you will need to cut the line with either a saber saw (or, “jig”) saw or even a skill saw may work. Do not cut exactly on the line but leave a little of the pencil mark so that you can sand the board down perfectly to the line with a belt sander.

Tip: Make sure that you are cutting properly and using the correct blade when you are cutting the finished toe piece.

Leveling a Row of Base Cabinets

IF you have a long row of Base cabinets, you should follow the same steps for leveling them. First, get the entire run leveled using your shims and then start at the highest void point and follow the floors contour as you trace it onto the cabinetry in the row.

If you followed the steps properly, then your cabinet should fit tight to the finished floor now unless you need to scribe it again. Additional scribing is often needed to ensure a tight fit. Once the cabinet is scribed screw it in place. At first this all seems like a challenging venture as your brain begins to process what is happening with the various elements that you’re trying to make level. Leveling base cabinetry becomes easier the more often that you do it. Professional installers never think twice about what has to be shimmed or cut. They just know how to scribe cabinetry without hardly even thinking about it.

Categories: Installation Tips
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