Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

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Kennedy
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Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by Kennedy »

I have little skills in the home improvement area. However, I watched an online tutorial regarding hanging upper cabinets, and it appears to be a project that I could do, with some help.

I will need two upper cabinets (one 30 inches wide and the other is 12 inches), both to be hung side-by-side.

Any thoughts as to the difficulty level of this project and if there are any "insider" tips to make the project easier for me to do?
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Kenkat
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by Kenkat »

Kennedy wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 7:05 pm I have little skills in the home improvement area. However, I watched an online tutorial regarding hanging upper cabinets, and it appears to be a project that I could do, with some help.

I will need two upper cabinets (one 30 inches wide and the other is 12 inches), both to be hung side-by-side.

Any thoughts as to the difficulty level of this project and if there are any "insider" tips to make the project easier for me to do?
Seems doable if you have some help and some basic tools. A laser level, a stud finder and a cordless drill / driver and a carpenter square and/or measuring tape come to mind in the tool department.
JoinToday
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by JoinToday »

I don't think it is that hard, but:

1. Use the right kind of screw, definitely not drywall screws (too brittle). I am not sure what is typically used, but I would use some sort of structural screw with a washer
2. Make sure you screw into a stud, not just drywall (wood framing I am assuming)
3. If the cabinet abut one another, screw the cabinets together also.

How much weight do you expect the shelves to carry?

Some installations use a french cleat
I wish I had learned about index funds 25 years ago
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MP123
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by MP123 »

Very easy, and you'll be surprised at how little is holding up a cabinet full of stuff.

One tip would be to screw a piece of trim or something like that at the right height on the wall to make a little ledge to rest the cabinet on. Lift it up, set on the ledge, and screw away. That will keep the cabinets aligned too. Remove when done.

Oh, and mark the stud locations below where the cabinet goes so you can see them when it's in place. :happy
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cockersx3
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by cockersx3 »

Nah, this is pretty straightforward. Make sure you drill to studs and also pre-drill before screwing cabinets together or to trim pieces. If putting one of the cabinets against a wall, you may need to add a trim piece to leave enough room to open the door all the way on the cabinet.

One thing that's helped me is to temporarily install a 2x4 on the wall directly underneath the cabinets, and make sure to install it level. You can then use it to temporaily hold the weight of the cabinets as you mount them against the wall. Once all the cabinets are up, remove the 2x4 and patch the drywall holes.

Good luck!
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Kennedy
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by Kennedy »

MP123 wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 7:26 pm
One tip would be to screw a piece of trim or something like that at the right height on the wall to make a little ledge to rest the cabinet on. Lift it up, set on the ledge, and screw away. That will keep the cabinets aligned too. Remove when done.

Yes, I saw the "ledge" tip on a video. I was wondering how you do this without creating holes in the walls that I will need to patch? Or maybe I just need to fill and paint the screw holes after removing the ledge?
runner3081
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by runner3081 »

Nope, not at all. Have done it a few times. As of others have mentioned, just use the right tools and it is a breeze.
sergio
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by sergio »

Easy in principal if you know where the studs are, have the tools, and a second person.

If your walls and ceilings are not straight it could be a bit tricky to get things to look nice.
whomever
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by whomever »

These make it a breeze:

https://www.fastcap.com/product/little-hand

That's assuming the lower cabinets are in; if not, there is a taller version '3d hand'.
You could improvise something similar with a car scissors jack(s).

Use the right screws, and make sure you are hitting the studs. I've seen pics where the loaded cabinets fell, and it is tough on the china :-(.

The hardest part might be scribing the edges to the wall (unless you're just covering the gaps with trim). And if you're doing a wall of them, you want them all to match; I made a mistake once of getting the first one to fit perfectly, and then had problems fitting the subsequent ones. Ideally, the scribing/fitting will be mostly just at the ends.
123
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by 123 »

Consider the visual appearance and line-up of the cabinets. If you have lower cabinets the units directly above should be aligned in terms of cabinet width and door width (this could impact the width of the cabinet(s) you purchase. Similarly the height of the cabinets above the floor should be consistent with nearby cabinets (which could be in the next room). When you purchase cabinets consider carefully the vertical height of cabinets you purchase (some come in a variety of vertical heights). If there are other upper cabinets nearby (could be in a nearby room) you might want to use the same vertical height. If the cabinets are going in a laundry room or garage you might want to max the height for storage.

If there are other upper cabinets nearby that have crown moldings you might want to think about those as well for a consistent look. Not necessarily difficult just something else to plan ahead.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
Dottie57
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by Dottie57 »

JoinToday wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 7:20 pm I don't think it is that hard, but:

1. Use the right kind of screw, definitely not drywall screws (too brittle). I am not sure what is typically used, but I would use some sort of structural screw with a washer
2. Make sure you screw into a stud, not just drywall (wood framing I am assuming)
3. If the cabinet abut one another, screw the cabinets together also.

How much weight do you expect the shelves to carry?

Some installations use a french cleat
I believe my cabinets used the cleat. Rock solid.
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MP123
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by MP123 »

Kennedy wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 7:30 pm
MP123 wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 7:26 pm
One tip would be to screw a piece of trim or something like that at the right height on the wall to make a little ledge to rest the cabinet on. Lift it up, set on the ledge, and screw away. That will keep the cabinets aligned too. Remove when done.

Yes, I saw the "ledge" tip on a video. I was wondering how you do this without creating holes in the walls that I will need to patch? Or maybe I just need to fill and paint the screw holes after removing the ledge?
Yes, just minor filling and paint. Unless you're going to put a tile backspash or something over it.

Are these kitchen cabinets? Much easier to do the uppers first and then the lowers.
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Kennedy
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by Kennedy »

MP123 wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 8:25 pm
Kennedy wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 7:30 pm
MP123 wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 7:26 pm
One tip would be to screw a piece of trim or something like that at the right height on the wall to make a little ledge to rest the cabinet on. Lift it up, set on the ledge, and screw away. That will keep the cabinets aligned too. Remove when done.

Yes, I saw the "ledge" tip on a video. I was wondering how you do this without creating holes in the walls that I will need to patch? Or maybe I just need to fill and paint the screw holes after removing the ledge?
Yes, just minor filling and paint. Unless you're going to put a tile backspash or something over it.

Are these kitchen cabinets? Much easier to do the uppers first and then the lowers.
These are not kitchen cabinets. They are just cabinets I want to install over a "mud area" bench to store photo albums.
jakepeters
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by jakepeters »

Others have given good advice, so I'll just mention the screws I've used in a kitchen remodel:

GRK CAB8212HP Cabinet HandyPak 8 by 2-1/2-Inch screws

I used these to attach the cabinets to the studs through 1/2 inch drywall. Shorter could be ok, but I'm partial to a bit of overkill.

I had no problem using these.

I don't think you'd need exactly these , but wanted to give a specific example.

These screws have a torx T-15 tip and I think a bit was included in the box (not 100% sure). Also, the head has a wider flange, like if you added a washer, which is there to provide a bit more holding strength as cabinet backs are typically thin plywood.

I'd recommend using a length of 1x2" inside the cabinet along the top back edge and screw through that into the stud (hopefully two for the wider cabinet), which should completely eliminate the risk of the screw heads tearing through the cabinet back under load.

JP
FeesR-BullNotBullish
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish »

My biggest tip is to be patient. This is a project I'd tackle, but I always think these things will take a couple hours and they end up occupying half a day or longer.
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lthenderson
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by lthenderson »

I installed an entire kitchen's worth of cabinets here in the last six months all by my lonesome so it definitely can be done. For a one person operation, definitely install a ledger board on the bottom edge of the cabinets to give you a place to rest the cabinet on while you adjust your ladder, etc. Definitely use cabinet screws (this is what they are called in the hardware store) to attach them to the wall. They have wide flat heads on them to spread the load out and prevent the head from pulling through the cabinet back. Mark your stud locations above and below the area the cabinet will cover before starting to help you get screws into studs. I will usually measure and predrill my screw locations through the cabinet back while it is sitting on the ground so when I have it up on the ledger board, there is no question where the screw will go. Once you have the first cabinet up (I always start in a corner but this doesn't appear to be your case), have a couple quick clamps handy for when you go to put the next one in line up. You set it on the ledger board and then clamp it to the neighboring cabinet already attached to the wall and then it will stay in place as you adjust your ladder, find your cabinet screws and drill, etc. The quick clamps also come in really handy when you are screwing the front trim of adjacent cabinets together by holding them tight together and flush so that you don't end up with a lot of unsightly gaps. If you wall is wavy/out of square and you need to use shims, I will figure out how much by sliding the shim behind the cabinet until everything is plumb and square and then mark the cabinet edge on the portion of the shim sticking out. Set your cabinet down and then screw the shim into place (predrilling them because they often are brittle and will split) so that it won't slide out of place when putting your cabinet back up into place.

You didn't mention what sort of cabinets you had but from experience, cabinets with overlay doors are a much more forgiving cabinet to install as a DIY project than ones with inset doors. So if yo haven't picked out your cabinets yet, keep that in mind.
michaeljc70
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Re: Is it difficult to hang upper cabinets?

Post by michaeljc70 »

This is a fairly easy job. As the post above says, you may need shims if the walls aren't straight. If you are putting a cabinet in the corner that can lead to problems if the wall isn't straight. Trim pieces are often used in the corner that can be scribed to the wall (cut to follow the walls shape).

Getting them level and into the studs is the most important thing.
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