How to hang cabinets: Everything you need to know

Learning how to hang cabinets yourself will save loads of money on your kitchen remodel. Our simple guide explains how to install wall cabinets, along with tips and tricks of the trade.

Step 1: How to hang cabinets – preparation

Before beginning, take the time to prepare the work space. Without proper planning and materials, you could end up with crooked cabinets, broken electrical lines, or gaps in the walls.

Here are the steps to follow before installing new kitchen cabinets.

  1. Locate all wall studs. Using a stud finder, locate and mark the middle of all the studs.
  2. Measure 54 inches from the floor. Using a level, draw a straight line to mark where your ledger board will go. 
  3. Attach a ledger board to the wall at the stud line. 
  4. Remove doors on your cabinets.  
  5. Clamp cabinets together for precise installation. Only clamp together as many as you can safely lift at once. 
  6. Screw the cabinets together. Connect the cabinets together as indicated on instructions. 
  7. Pre-drill holes on the hanging rail located on the back of the cabinet. Measure the distance from the wall to stud, then measure the same distance on the back of the cabinet. This ensures you affix the cabinets precisely in the middle of the stud.

Avoid the shock of unexpected damages! If your cabinets have a lighting system, check if electrical wiring is running through the middle of your hanging rail. If this is the case, choose cabinet screws that are the correct length and won’t cut through the electrical wiring.

Step 2: How to mount wall cabinets

After you have prepared the working space, you’re ready to install the new kitchen cabinet. Here’s how to hang wall cabinets:

  1. Lift the cabinets. Place the bottom of the cabinets on the ledger board, and push the cabinet unit into place on the wall.
  2. Screw mounting screws into the pre-drilled holes on the hanging rail, making sure you’re attaching the cabinets directly onto the studs. If your walls are uneven, use shims along the back of the cabinets. This prevents bowing of the cabinets when you drill them into place.  
  3. Check that the cabinets are level, and plumb against the wall before mounting the next set of cabinets. 
  4. Repeat the process on the next set of cabinets until the installation is complete.

Step 3: How to finish installing wall cabinets

Once your new cabinets are securely attached to the wall, you’re ready for the finishing touches. Here’s how to finish installing upper cabinets.

  1. Remove any clamps holding the cabinets together.  
  2. Tighten screws along the interior connecting both the wall and the adjoining cabinets, making sure screws are secure and cabinets are sturdy. 
  3. Reattach the cabinet doors, making sure all are working correctly. 
  4. Remove the ledger board from the wall. 
  5. Seal the perimeter of the cabinets with an acrylic based or MS-polymer based sealant or a filler strip.

Time for the final touches! Use a sealant along the edges where your cabinet meets the wall or backsplash. Loctite Polyseamseal Tub and Tile Adhesive Caulk can be easily painted over, acts as a barrier for insects, and is perfect for filling gaps between cabinets and walls.