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How to – setting a cabinet between 2 parallel walls

This topic contains 27 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  58Chev 1 year, 10 months ago.

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  • #615499

    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    Setting some cabinets can be easy but one of the most difficult cabinet installs, in my opinion, is when you have one single cabinet with the face perpendicular to 2 parallel walls. There are a couple of ways to make things easier even before you start installing the cabinet. If you have access to the space before drywall goes up take this opportunity to make sure that blocking is in the wall behind where the faceframe will hit the drywall. Also ensure that the framing is square or even a little out of square, wider in the front than the back. If the framing is narrower in the front this will make it very hard to impossible to settle cabinet in.


    Once you have the cabinet ready to install the first thing you want to do is lay everything thing out. Determine the height and depth of the cabinet. If setting a vanity like shown don’t forget to include things like the counter for your finished height. You want to make a a couple lines where the cabinet will set. One for the top on the back wall, make sure it’s level, a couple of plumb lines on the side walls where the face frame will hit. And finally one on the floor where the kick with will set. Make sure that they are all in the proper place and check for square and level.


    Next you want to establish the center of the space and mark it on the front kick space line. If you have plumbing, electrical, or anything else protruding that needs to come into the cabinet space, bring that center line back to the wall with a square off of the front line.

    Next measure from the center and top lines to any electric, plumbing, etc that needs to come into the cabinet. Transfer the center line to the back of the cabinet and mirror your measurements. Then cut out the holes to the according sizes.

    Next you want to check both walls where the face frames will hit with a strait edge. If the walls are relatively strait you can continue on. Of there are dips or humps a template of each wall will have to be made. Take a thinner piece of wood or mdf, I find masonite works well. And cut it the same length of the face frame. Hold it up to the wall and scribe it. It doesn’t have to be plumb for this method, as long as it follows the wall you are good.

    Next you want to set up a laser so that it hits the center mark perfectly. If you don’t have a laser either a level or plumb Bob can be set up so that you can get a plumb line off the center above the front kick line.

    Next you need to measure from the wall to the center on all four corners where the face frame hits

    Now you need to find the center of the face frame of the cabinet. Make a little mark for the center on the top and bottom then measure over from the center marks to the side the same measurement you got when measuring the wall and make the marks.

    Now if your wall was wavy and a template was made take the template and lay it on the face frame for the corresponding side. Line up the top and bottom corners of the template to the top and bottom marks that were measured over from center. Then trace the template on to the face frame. If the wall was strait, cut a strait line connecting the points. Put a little bit of a bevel to make the joint tight against the wall.

    Now make sure the height will work by either cutting it short enough to shim it up if base or kick will cover the gap. Or plan on scribing it to the floor of needed. Next the time has come to slide it in place.

    Shim and level up the cabinet to the line that was marked earlier. If scribing off the bottom you will have to take it back out I’m order to do that.

    After the cabinet is in place locate the studs or blocking and predill where the screws will be hidden and screw it in. If you were able to put blocking in or there is a stud where the faceframe meets the wall put a screw or two close to the face frame so that the wall will be sucked tight to the face frame.

    After this the cabinet should be ready for trim, countertops, etc.

    #615505

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Have you ever set a vanity without a laser?

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #615506

    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    Have you ever set a vanity without a laser?

    Yes I have plenty of times and I even said in the article how to set it without one. But the laser just makes so easy

    #615509

    kswiss
    Pro
    edmonton, AB

    Have you ever set a vanity without a laser?

    Yes I have plenty of times and I even said in the article how to set it without one. But the laser just makes so easy

    Thanks for the great tutorial. Im enjoying the more informative posts lately, it’s nice to come here and pick up some knowledge.

    #615513

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Have you ever set a vanity without a laser?

    Yes I have plenty of times and I even said in the article how to set it without one. But the laser just makes so easy

    Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t read the whole thing. Too long for my attention span. I was just wondering because I have never used a laser to set a vanity.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #615519

    RonW
    Pro
    Holladay, Tn

    Nice install. Some great tips on new construction.
    Might not have been able to do it this way if the window was already finished.

    Ron

    A Working Pro since 1994!

    Member since March 26, 2014.

    #615524

    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    Nice install. Some great tips on new construction.
    Might not have been able to do it this way if the window was already finished.

    Funny thing is another carpenter had already trimmed out the windows when we went to install the cabinets and I had to take the trim back off.

    #615527

    madman_us
    Pro
    Palm Springs, CA

    Setting some cabinets can be easy but one of the most difficult cabinet installs

    Thank you very much for the great How-to “tutorial”. I definitely enjoyed reading your post. It’s great to see a quality thread/post like that. It was definitely worth my time to read it.

    "If you're going to do something, do it right the first time"
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    Palm Springs, CA

    #615530

    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    great article austin. its interesting how something that seems so simple can actually have many steps to it.. dealng with pipes in that stub out of the wall and all.. scribing, trimming.. adjusting doors

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #615536

    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    I just realized that some of the pictures got screwed up. Some were missing and some were out of order. They are fixed now.

    #615538

    Warren6810
    Pro
    Akron, OH

    I just realized that some of the pictures got screwed up. Some were missing and some were out of order. They are fixed now.

    I noticed that when I scrolled through the first time. You had a pic halfway through that said “ready for trim”, and then at the end it was there again. Nice job on the tutorial. I too have never used a laser for a vanity install, but I could see the benefit of using it under certain circumstances.

    #615541

    WoodsConstruction
    Pro
    Sudbury, ON

    Great tutorial and very detailed. I even found a new use for my laser!

    #615554

    Can’t argue with the results that were the outcome. That looks really nice.

    My You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5AretE3xPoVDV61AxUdUA

    I don't do a fast job. I don't do a slow job. I do a half fast job.

    #615558

    utopia78
    Pro
    Toronto, ON

    Great post and howto @austin! Quite a few tips there that I’ll keep in mind if I’m doing cabinets and also some great tips to keep in mind in general when doing cutouts and such.

    A Working Pro since 2004

    #615580

    Great learning experience here Austin. Thank you! Lessons learned with all the prep work.

    #615585

    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    Great learning experience here Austin. Thank you! Lessons learned with all the prep work.

    No problem and yeah prep is key, spending all that time laying out and citing and measuring made the cabinet slide in the first time and have a tight fit.

    #615617

    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Austin Thank you for the excellent how to. Very well written and informative.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    #615635

    TopNotch
    Pro
    elmwood park, NJ

    Thats the right way to think it out……nice job Austin

    As I was following along, I thought the electric whips were very low and the cut out for the medicine cabinet. Then of course seeing the rest of the photos cleared it up.

    Shame the wasnt and wiggle room for a filler that would have helped.

    Working Pro since 1993

    Tom M

    #615637

    @austin

    That is a great tutorial, and has been bookmarked! Thank you

    #615640

    smallerstick
    Pro
    Listowel, ON

    I read it last night and again this morning. Excellent step-by-step tutorial with lots of worthwhile tips along the way.

    I like the way every step is planned in advance then precisely executed. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought stupid than to open your mouth and remove all traces of doubt.

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