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Things Needed for Installing Kitchen or Vanity Cabinets

There are a few things (tools) that will be needed if you’re planning on installing your own kitchen or vanity cabinets. It’s possible to do a large amount of the work yourself, but if don’t have some general carpentry skills like working with a saber, jig, table or skill saw, you may want to consider hiring someone to do the cabinetry installation for you.

Some of the biggest snags that you are going to have to deal with are out of plumb walls and out of  level floors when installing cabinets. When you encounter these difficulties, it may be necessary for you to cut some of the cabinets to make things work. Also, in order to make things look neat and clean many of the cupboard parts may have to be fit to the out of shape surrounding elements. It just depends upon the condition of the ceiling, floors and walls that the cupboards will be fastened to.

Here’s a basic list of things that will be needed to install cabinets.

  • Levels-At least, you should have a four and a two foot long level.
    Hand Tools-Things such as a razor knife, straight and phillips screwdrivers, hammer, drill driver bits, drill bits, hole saw (drilling plumbing pipes), butterfly drill bits, putty knife, and diagonal cutters will be needed.
  • Shims-You will need these to help get your cabinets set plum, level and square.
  • Drills-Either cordless or electric will work fine for installing the cabinetry. A hammer drill will be necessary for installing cabinets on concrete walls.
  • Ladder-Obviously your going to need to reach into the upper levels of the kitchen cabinets, but if you’re just installing vanities then you won’t need a ladder.
  • Caulking-Depending on the color of things you may need to get some colored caulking for cabinets. White, almond, antique and bone are available at your local hardware stores.
  • Screws-Various sizes will be necessary depending upon how thick the walls are that you are installing the kitchen or Formica  bathroom cabinets on. If your installing on block walls that have furring strips the length of the screws will be different than if your installation is going to be on regular stud walls.
  • Table Saw-You will need to cut cabinet side scribes and fillers to the proper sizes as you are putting the cabinetry in.
  • Belt Sander-This will be used for making things fit nicely to the contours of the walls, ceiling and floors. When there are dips or humps in the floors and ceilings, the belt sander will help you adjust the cabinet parts so that they follow the shape of surrounding elements. The purpose of the adjustments will be to set the cabinets level and plumb while making them fit nicely to the out of shape contours of the cupboards surroundings. Always fit things and never use over-sized caulk lines.
  • Skill, Jig and Saber Saw-These will be used for cutting things such as toe fillers boards, making sink cut outs in counters, and oftentimes altering the cabinetry sides and backs when necessary.
  • Prop Sticks-These are a must have item. When you are installing upper cabinets, it will be necessary to have these to prop them up with while you are adjusting them plumb level and square. The sticks will hold the cabinets in place while you screw them fast to the walls as well.
  • L-brackets-These will help secure things such as dishwasher panels, or refrigerator panels to floor and walls. There are many applications where these come in handy when installing cabinets.
  • Shop-Vac– We use our shop-vac all of the time in the shop and on the job.

That should cover most of the major things (tools) that will be needed. When you are attempting to install your own kitchen or vanity cabinets, you should never get in a hurry and always take time to make things fit. Installing cupboards is an art and should not be attempted if the end result is going to be boxes attached to walls poorly that are not level and square.

The other unacceptable part of cabinet installation is that there must not be large caulking lines. Even if you purchased colored caulking to match the counters or cabinets, large amounts of the flexible fillers are not acceptable when installing kitchen or bathroom vanity cabinets.

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