Customizing And Installing Your New Kitchen Cabinets

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If you are looking to remodel your kitchen, the cabinets are a great place to start. Cabinets are highly customizable, and can give your kitchen a personal, unique look that serves a practical purpose. Read the information posted below to determine the style of your new cabinets, and learn how to install them yourself with a few simple tools.

Selecting A Wood

Choosing the right kind of wood for your new cabinets can make all the difference in terms of color, durability, and price. The most commonly used cabinet woods are:

  • Birch
    • Birch is the entry-level wood for most cabinets due to its significant affordability.
    • This wood is very moderately colored, and is commonly stained to give off the initial appearance of a more expensive wood.
  • Hickory
    • Hickory is slightly more expensive than birch, but is less prone to inconsistencies in the grain pattern.
    • Hickory is more yellow in color than birch, which tempts many cabinet makers to leave the wood unstained to give off a rustic, simplistic style.
  • Cherry
    • Cherry wood is harder and more durable than both birch and hickory, but is more expensive.
    • This type of wood is brown with a slight hint of red, thus earning the name "cherry" wood.
    • Cherry wood is extremely versatile, and can be used in many different kitchen styles without paint or stain.
  • Oak
    • Oak is the most durable of all the standard cabinet woods, but you will pay more for this level of quality.
    • There are many different types of oak with varying colors, but the grain pattern remains the same throughout all oaks.

While there are many more types of wood that you could use for your cabinets like pine, ash, and maple, the types of wood listed above are the most common types of kitchen wood due to their versatility. Once you have chosen a type of wood for your new cabinets, you can begin to install them.

Installing Your Cabinets

Once your cabinets have been assembled from the wood that you have chosen, you can finally get to work. Installing cabinets can be difficult and time consuming, so make sure to enlist the assistance of a friend, neighbor, or family member before beginning this job.

To install new cabinets:

  1. Remove any furniture, appliances, or countertops from the kitchen.
    • This will make it much easier to maneuver your new cabinets throughout the kitchen and provide space for your tools and supplies.
  2. Outline your cabinet locations.
    • Using a stud finder, outline each stud with a pencil. These studs will be the primary support for your upper cabinets.
    • Once you have located the studs in the walls, determine the height at which your cabinets will hang using a tape measure.
    • The horizontal location of each stud plus the chosen vertical height from the ground will intersect, giving you a single point at which to begin hanging the first cabinet.
  3. Install the upper cabinets.
    • Have one or two people hold the cabinet up to the wall while you use a drill and a set of deck screws to attach the cabinet to the stud.
    • Use a carpenter's level to make sure that the cabinet is perfectly level before securing the cabinet to the wall.
    • Do not use screws less than 2" in length, as small screws will not hold a fully stocked cabinet without sagging over time. Consider 3" screws for heavier woods such as cherry or oak.
    • Moving horizontally, continue hanging your upper cabinets in this manner, making sure that they are lined up and flush with each other.
  4. Install the lower cabinets.
    • Installing the lower cabinets is much easier than installing the upper cabinets since no one will need to suspend the cabinet in the air while you secure it in place with your drill.
    • Start from a corner and work your way around the room. This will ensure that all of your lower cabinets are in line and joined together.
    • Make sure to measure out space for your dishwasher, oven, sink, and refrigerator.

A Job Well Done

As you can see, choosing your own cabinet wood and installing the cabinets yourself is not a remarkably difficult process. You will be saving money by doing the work on your own, and the finished product will be  personalized, custom cabinetry in your  kitchen that you have had designed in the manner that you have chosen. 


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