Fitting kitchen cupboards requires some carpentry skills and some common sense but most of all it requires that you know the basics of how and why you are doing what you are told to do by the instructions. This is because most units are put together the same way or at least using the same principles and as long as you are aware of this you can cope quite easily with any of the slight variances that exist between all the different suppliers.
Some kitchen wall units are hung onto brackets and others are screwed through the back or sides. The ones that are supposed to be screwed through the back or sides will always have special strengthening timbers fitted or they will be made up of 15mm boards. You should never attempt to hold up a unit by screwing through a flimsy hardboard back.
In this project we install two of each kind of kitchen wall unit. Two with hanging brackets at each side and two (horizontal) units which screw directly to the wall. These are also fixed to the units which are hung. The blue colour is the protective wrapping these units come with.
The first job is to set out your units properly. Wall units are usually fitted or hung with the bottom of the unit 600mm above the worktop to give enough head height for working on the worktop. The first job with hung units is to work out where the wall brackets will go. The manufacturers instructions will show you the distance from the bottom of the unit to the hanging bracket in the unit and this can be marked on the wall, along with the distance between the brackets. If you have a lot of wall units to hang its a great idea to mark the height of the wall unit brackets at both ends of the wall and ping a line between them using a chalk line.
Once the wall brackets are fixed you can fix the cupboard brackets inside the cupboard. The back board of the wall unit will have two cut outs for the hanging arm of the bracket to fit through. There are two screws at the back of the internal wall unit bracket. One adjusts the height of the bracket for fine tuning on the wall and the other pulls the unit in towards the wall to keep it tight against it.
For this project we now had to fit two horizontal units which did not come with hanging brackets. We fixed through the back after setting out the height and marking it on the wall as we did with the wall unit brackets. They were then fixed as shown in our fixing to masonry project. For additional strength we fixed screws into the horizontal units through the inside of the vertical units but to make sure this did not look unsightly we put the screws in behind the hinges.
The left hand image shows the holes which are in place for the hinge to be fixed to and we have placed a screw in between these to fix through to the vertical unit. Using simple tricks like this keeps every job neat and tidy as well as doubling up on safety and strength. Always make sure your units are plumb and level with a spirit level. If they are not it makes fitting the doors properly very hard work indeed.
Why not check out our video section on kitchen cabinets to watch a two part film on installing kitchen cabinets.