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How to Make a Cabinet Fit Tight to The Wall

October 7th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

When you are installing kitchen, bathroom vanity, or office cabinetry, how do you make a cabinet fit tight to the wall? Humps and dips in walls can create difficult situations when you are trying to install cupboards. I’m going to share with you a few tips that will help you with the problem of fitting a cabinet to an uneven surface. Read

It’s sad, but always the truth, cabinets are made plumb, level and square; the walls, floors and ceilings are rarely that way.

You should never use large amounts of caulking to fill in the gaps.

Sometimes it’s OK to install a cabinet a little out of plumb so that it rests against the wall nicely. Just be careful that you don’t get it so out of whack or rack that the doors and drawers don’t operate properly.

Ways to make a base, upper or tall cabinet work on a crooked wall.

1) Find the hump in the wall and scribe (or, “cut off”) the back of the cabinet so that it will rest tightly to the wall’s surface.

2) Shim out the boxes in certain places, in a run of cupboards, so that the one with the finished side will rest tight to the wall.

3) Cut out the dry wall. You would do this by getting the cabinets in the exact position that they will be in once they are totally fastened to the walls and mark the dry wall with a pencil. Using a razor knife, cut out the drywall where every the hump is located that is causing the kitchen or vanity cabinets to stick out from the wall too much. Remove how ever much drywall is necessary to get the cabinetry to move back enough for them to set tight to the back-wall.

4) Use cheater molding. Add a small strip of decorative molding over where the gap is. This should only be done in extreme cases. Cheater molding always reminds me of something that I might see in a mobile home. Custom cabinet installations should be just that, “custom fit to the surrounding walls.”

Base cabinets can be set so that they are off of the back wall. This is a common occurrence when the floors are level but the walls are not plumb or straight. The only time it is not acceptable is when there’s a finished end that has a large gap. Many times cabinets will get special end panels installed that can be scribed to the back wall. Once the cabinets are installed the decorative door panels are fitted to fit the out of plumb area. This will cover over the area where the cabinet does not fit tight to the wall.

How you decide to make the cabinet fit tight to the wall is going to depend upon the way the boxes are built. Some cupboards only have flat backs on them with no additional back-scribe that can be cut. This makes it difficult to fit a kitchen, or bathroom cabinet to a wall that is out of plumb. However you decide to get the box tighter to the wall’s surface, using a large caulking bead should never be an option.

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