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How to build a kitchen base cabinet

Building a kitchen base cabinet

Our guide will show you how to install base cabinets. Starting from marking up the wall, you’ll find out where best to position your cabinets, how to account for piping and skirting boards, how to attach cabinets to one another, how to fit a side panel and cut it to size. Follow the steps outlined and you’ll have base units that not only provide essential storage but are sturdy and level enough to support your kitchen worktop.

Preparation

If you have a timber frame wall, identify the secure fixing points before starting the installation process. Also check the walls for internal pipes and wires. If you need to factor in skirting boards or external pipes, bear this in mind from the outset. Make sure you have all necessary parts, too.

Aftercare

Use a cleaning product appropriate for the cabinet surface to avoid damaging the material. You should be able to find guidance for this in the manufacturer's instructions.

Wickes Tip

Beware of uneven flooring. If your flooring is uneven, you should adjust the legs of your cabinets until they are level before fully installing your cabinets. We have used spring loaded G-Clamps with non marking pads here. If you are using a cast iron clamp, it's a good idea to use offcuts of card on your cabinets to protect them from marks.

Safety

  • When using a circular saw or jigsaw, you should always use protective goggles, gloves and a face mask. Goggles and gloves should be used when drilling. Before drilling into walls and floors, always remember to check for pipes and wires using a cable and pipe detector.

Step by step instructions

step 1 of building a base cabinet
1

Take the side panels and place them on the floor as shown above with the holes facing up.

step 2 of building a base cabinet
2

On the outside edge of each panel, screw cam studs into the top and bottom holes. On the back edge, close to the groove, leave the corner holes empty and screw cam studs into the next hole at the top and bottom. These will connect the panels to the top struts and bottom panel using locking cams.

step 3 of building a base cabinet
3

For extra strength, place four dowels into each side panel. Two will go in the holes you left empty near the groove.The third will go in the top outside corner next to the cam stud. At the bottom outside corner, leave the hole next to the cam stud empty and place the fourth dowel in the next hole along.

step 4 of building a base cabinet
4

Place the locking cams into the large holes in the top struts and bottom panel.

step 5 of building a base cabinet
5

Make sure the arrows on the locking cams point toward the outside edge of the strut, this means they are unlocked and can receive the cam studs.

step 6 of building a base cabinet
6

Gently place the top struts onto one of the side panels, sliding them down onto the dowels and cam studs.

step 7 of building a base cabinet
7

Secure the cam locks by turning firmly clockwise using a screwdriver, being careful not to over tighten.

step 8 of building a base cabinet
8

Slot the bottom panel onto the same side panel as you've attached the top struts to and secure the cam studs.

step 9 of building a base cabinet
9

Carefully slot the second side panel onto the base panel and top struts and secure the cam locks.

step 10 of building a base cabinet
10

The back panel will slide in along the groove created by the base panel and side panels. Secure it to the back top strut using the three screws provided.

step 11 of building a base cabinet
11

Place the four leg sleeves onto the bottom of the base panel, making sure the small overhang on each supports the base of the side panels. Tap in the lugs and secure with the screws.

step 12 of building a base cabinet
12

Place the four legs into the sleeves. Turn the cabinet onto its legs, being careful not to put pressure on any of the legs at an angle, and twist the legs to adjust the height.

How to hang a wall cabinet

Hanging a wall cabinet in the kitchen

Wall cabinets offer handy storage and can be a great design feature in any kitchen. But they must be hung securely, evenly and in the correct place. Our guide will show you how to hang your new kitchen cabinets no matter if you’re working with masonry or timber frame walls. You’ll find out how to mark up your walls, how to check for cables and pipes, where to position the cabinets, ensure they’re level and finally, how to fix and secure them to the wall.

Preparation

Before you do anything, find out whether you have masonry or timber frame walls. With masonry walls, cabinets can be hung anywhere. With timber frame walls, you need to identify secure points onto which the wall brackets can be fixed. This is important as it could affect the final design of your kitchen, and the size of the cabinets you’re able to hang.

Aftercare

After hanging your wall cabinets, secure them to each other with screws to increase their strength. Find more information on this technique on our help and advice page for 'how to install base cabinets'.

Wickes Tip

Hanging a large wall cabinet is a two-person job, so make sure you have help so you can ensure it hangs safely and securely on the wall. When fixing doors and handles, make sure you use a stepladder rather than standing on the base cabinets or worktop as this can cause unnecessary damage. Always ensure your wall cabinets are level with a spirit level.

Safety

  • Always wear safety goggles and gloves when drilling.

Step by step instructions

step 1 of installing a kitchen wall cabinet
1

Starting in a corner, draw a line at the height where you want the bottom of your cabinet to be using a measuring tape, spirit level and pencil.

step 2 of installing a kitchen wall cabinet
2

Use the spirit level to mark exactly where the outline of the cabinet will be, making sure the corners are clearly defined.

step 3 of installing a kitchen wall cabinet
3

At the back of the cabinet, you’ll find the hooks that will attach it to the wall bracket. Using a tape measure, measure the distance these hooks are from top and side of cabinet.

step 4 of installing a kitchen wall cabinet
4

Mark these measurements onto the outline you’ve drawn on the wall so you know where the brackets need to be positioned.

step 5 of installing a kitchen wall cabinet
5

Use the brackets as a guide to mark the exact position of the screw holes.

step 6 of installing a kitchen base cabinet
6

Use a drill bit and drill setting appropriate to your wall type to create the holes. Place wall plugs into the holes and screw the brackets into place.

step 7 of installing a kitchen wall cabinet
7

Lift the cabinet into place slightly above the brackets and carefully lower it down so that the cabinet brackets hook onto the wall brackets.

step 8 of installing a kitchen wall cabinet
8

To make sure the cabinet is level, use a spirit level and a screwdriver to adjust the adjuster block inside the cabinet. Clamp and screw adjacent cabinets together and then use the spirit level to check they are all level.