How To Install Kitchen Pantry Cabinets
Today’s project was to install pantry cabinets made by Bertch Legacy. The cabinets that the customer chose is called Royale Birch with white paint & brown glaze and will fill the recessed area shown below.
The homeowner decided that adding cabinets to this unused wall would improve their organization, enhance storage and provide a nice looking focal point.
The new cabinets will replace the thin single shelf unit in the photo below. By the way take a look at the wall corner next to this cabinet, see the lean? Think the floor is out of level? I’d say yes.
Floors and walls are rarely plumb and level, I always expect to add shims to compensate for structural imperfections.
The space measured 66″ wide so I ordered two cabinets one was 33″ wide and the other was 30″ wide. I planned on using two sets of filler strips to cover the gaps. Filler strips are pre-finished pieces of wood that can be cut to a specific width to fill in gaps or space units apart.
After checking that all of my cabinet parts were on site and accounted for the next step in this project was to remove the baseboard inside the recessed area.
The homeowner decided that the outlet shown above and the light switch shown below would not be moved and instead opted to have them installed inside the cabinet.
Once a hole was cut in the cabinet an extension box was installed and the light switch was
mounted inside cabinet.
After cutting the hole for the light switch we mounted a filler strip to the left side of this pantry cabinet.
The filler strip was cut to 1-3/4″ wide and I used 2″ screws and counter sunk them 3/8″ before securing the filler strip to the cabinet. Always think of screw placement and how you might be able to hide them.
Using clamps to keep the filler strip and frame flush and the seam tight I then apply screws in from the filler strip side and into the cabinet frame, hiding them.
I used a tapered drill bit with an integrated counter sink bit. [shown below]
After installing the left side filler strip I joined the second cabinet to the first the same way as the filler strip. I often try to hide the screws behind the door hinges or in other areas that are less noticeable.
Use care when choosing your screw length for each connection (cabinet stile widths may vary), making sure the screw is as long as possible but at least 1/4 in. shy of going through the stile when countersunk.
Also make sure you pre-drill every hole with a drill bit as long as the screw your using.
The last component to be installed was the far right filler strip. After dry fitting the cabinet in the recessed area, I measured the width of the final filler strip, installed it and slipped the unit into its new home.
The photo below show the cabinets and both filler strips installed. The cabinet protruded out from the wall on the right side so I left the filler strip wider to cover the seam of the walls corner.
The floor was badly out of level so I used a combination of shimming and cutting the bottoms of the cabinets to ensure that they sat level and plumb along the wall.
After joining them together I secured them into the back wall studs with 2-1/2″ screws.
Level base cabinets side-to-side and front-to-back by inserting cedar shims under the frame of the unit
Care was taken to hide the screws in the top half of the cabinet since the doors will have glass panels.
To reduce weight and improve maneuverability, I removed the doors, labeling the parts with painter’s tape.
After getting the cabinets in I installed the toe kick board on the bottom and tied in the baseboard trim.
The toe kick board is a finished trim board that installs at the floor level and covers the bottom of two cabinets and gives the appearance that the unit is once piece.
To attach the toe kick, I use adhesive caulk and secure the piece with finish nails.
The crown molding was the last item to be installed before setting the glass doors. A continuous crown adds style and always makes a bank of cabinets look like a single unit.
I used a coping saw to cut the left side of this crown to fit into the adjacent door trim profile. I attached the crown to the cabinet with adhesive caulk and secured the piece with brad nails, using a finishing putty stick to hide the brad nail holes.
The pantry doors were the last items to mounted. I removed them during the installation to keep them safe and out of the way. Once installed I adjusted them for proper reveals and fit.
Finished. Read: How to install kitchen cabinets