in Kitchen Remodeling
Here is an explanation
the major steps taken to remodel an existing kitchen. However, it is not
meant to be a complete guide to kitchen remodeling. Depending on the
scope of your particular project, you may also be involved with tearing
out walls and replacing windows and doors as well as upgrading the
electrical and plumbing systems.
exercise your do it yourself skills, develop safe work habits and stick
Work patiently. If
you become confused, frustrated or in too much of a hurry, chances are
greater that mistakes will be made.
Read and follow
the specific safety rules of every tool and material you will be
Unplug tools when
changing blades or making adjustments.
Wear heavy soled
boots on any construction site; rubber soles when working on the roof;
gloves while handling lumber; and protective eyewear whenever power
tools are in operation.
protection when using power tools as some operate at levels that can
Tie long hair back
so as not to catch it accidentally in power tools.
Keep work surfaces
and traffic areas free from scraps and debris.
appropriate tool for the job and keep all tools sharp and in good
If an object is
too heavy or awkward, get assistance in moving it; bend from the knees
when picking up large and heavy items.
Hard hats are
recommended when working under or around overhead construction.
Turn off all
utilities before beginning work. Remember that pilot lights must be
Use the proper
protection, take precautions and plan ahead. Never bypass safety to
save money or rush a project.
Kitchen Remodeling - Uninstalling Kitchen Appliances
Because all appliances are different, we suggest consulting the
instructions for the individual appliance when dismantling. If you no
longer have the literature or something is not clear to you, seek
if modifications have been made to your kitchen in the past, it will be
a good idea to measure the door openings and the larger appliances
before attempting to get them through the doorways. Old carpet samples
or large pieces of cardboard are great for sliding appliances out of
position, while at the same time, protecting the floor from gouges or
Remodeling - Uninstalling Kitchen Plumbing
1.To disconnect the Dishwasher you will need to trace your lines from
under the sink where they ma have been threaded through holes in the
cabinetry. A small diameter copper pipe will be the water supply line,
a black rubber pipe will go to the air gap or the disposal, and the
power cord will be nearby. If you do not find these under the sink,
look for mounting brackets on either side of the dishwasher at floor
level. Disconnect these.
Then, slowly and carefully pull the dishwasher forward (you will need
to pull hard) until you have enough access to work behind it.
Dishwashers are not usually hardwired so you will probably only have
to disconnect the plug from the outlet. If yours happens to be one of
those that is directly wired, make sure the electricity is turned off
at the circuit box before disconnecting the wires from their junction
box and capping the wires that remain in the box.
2. The next step is
to turn the water off at the shut off valve and detach the rubber hose
at the air gap or the waste fitting or the collar of the garbage
disposal. Loosen the screw clamps on the hose fittings or unthread the
pipe fittings and disconnect the waste line from the plumbing system.
Feed the hose through the cabinet to the back of the dishwasher. Then
pull the unit forward onto your dolly.
3. To disconnect the
Sink and remove the Garbage Disposal, shut off the water supply at the
shut off valves below the sink. If these valves are not present, it
will be necessary to shut off the main valve. You will not be able to
turn the water back on until you have installed a shut off valve or
reconnected the sink. Installing a shut off valve can be difficult as
you need to get ALL the water out of the supply lines before screwing
the fittings on. You will need a plumbers wrench to disconnect the
fittings at the sink and cap them with caps of the same metal and
threading as your pipes.
4. Place a bucket
under the trap to catch the water that stands in the trap. You will
need a 1 - 1-1/2" pipe wrench to disconnect the chrome fittings
between the garbage disposal or the sink and the P-trap.
5. To disconnect the
garbage disposal, pull the plug out of the socket; or, if yours is
directly wired, turn off the power and disconnect the wires at the
box. Cap those wires, remaining in the box, as described previously.
Unscrew the screws that hold the disposal to the bottom of the sink or
unclasp the snap ring and rubber sleeve. The unit will then drop down.
If you plan to reuse it, store it carefully with the P-trap.
6. Use your plumber's
wrench to disconnect the water supply lines to the sink; then, open
the faucets to let the water drain. You will have to crawl into the
cabinet under the sink to locate the connections (nuts) between the
faucet lines and the hot and cold water lines. loosen and remove those
nuts that connect the faucet to the sink. Pull out the faucet and, if
you plan on reusing it, store it carefully with the nuts and the
copper and chrome connections.
7. If your sink is
recessed under tiles, you may have to remove some tiles. This will
enable you to remove t e entire counter- top unit in one piece. A
self-rimming stainless sink or a surface mounted sink may be attached
with clips underneath the counter top. loosen the clips with a
screwdriver and you should have no trouble wriggling them free. A
self-rimming porcelain sink must be pried loose from the adhesive
before it can be lifted out.
Note: The old cast iron sinks are much heavier than other types. If this is
the type you are removing, you will need an extra pair of hands when
- Uninstalling Kitchen Cabinets
1. Once the sink
and its fittings have been removed, the next step will be to disassemble
the counter tops and remove the cabinets. For this you will need a
hammer, pry-bar, putty knife, screwdriver, crowbar, ladder and saw. Many
counter tops are made of plywood, nailed to the base cabinets, with the
finish material laid on top. With the exception of a plastic laminated
counter top, the only part worth saving is the finish material - the
tile, marble or wood.
Tile can be
difficult to save as they are mostly glass and could crack and fly off
in pieces. Synthetic marble slabs can usually be pried off with a putty
knife and the appropriate solvent Plastic laminate counter tops and wood
slabs are generally nailed or screwed to the base cabinet. These
fasteners are located by looking up under the counter top inside the
2. At this point,
you will be ready to remove the cabinets from their permanent positions.
We recommend that you remove the base units first so that you can get
underneath the wall cabinets for easier disassembly.
3. It will make
the job much easier if you remove all doors and drawers before
attempting to remove the cabinets. Then you can easily look inside the
cabinet to see where and by what means it is attached.
4. If the units
are attached to each other, you can either detach them and lower them
separately or lower them as one. If you plan to reuse the hardware,
clean and store all the pulls, knobs and their screws in plastic bags.
Cabinets can be attached in a variety of ways.
Older types are usually
nailed to the wall, to the soffit and/or to each other and may even be
built into the wall itself. (in this latter case it will be necessary to
demolish all or part of the wall.) Newer units will more likely be held
into place with screws. Some models may even be hung on metal or wood
Metal cabinets are
usually attached with hangers. These can simply be lifted out and away
from the wall at the bottom then lifted up off of the hangers . Unscrew
the hangers from the wall. If screws were use, remove them. If the
cabinet is nailed into place, ease the flat end of a pry bar between the
unit and the wall. Do this at both the top and the bottom.
Pry the cabinet
loose while another person supports it from below. Add a block of wood
between the wall surface and the pry-bar to avoid marring the wall. If
this method does not loosen the nails, pound the cabinet toward the wall
in an effort to make the nail heads protrude enough to draw them out.
5. Lower cabinets
are often attached to the wall at the top and can be unscrewed or pried
loose. Remove the cove molding or carefully pry away the baseboard at
the floor. Remove any nails and lift the cabinet away from the wall.
Preparation for Installation of a New Kitchen Walls, Floors and
the demolition phase, there is usually some preparatory work to be done
before you can install your new kitchen. If extensive structural,
electrical, plumbing, drywall or paneling work is included in your plans
it should take place at this time as well.
Gouges or holes in
the walls must be repaired with wall board compound, spackle, or
patching plaster. Stuff larger holes with newspaper or fine wire mesh
to hold the compound. If you have gaping holes or many gouges it may
be necessary to replace the surface with dry wall.
installing new cabinets will call or some changes in the position of
the cabinets, requiring that the walls be painted. If drywall or large
patches of filler are being used to prepare the walls, a coat of
sealer or primer should be applied before the color coat.
Locate and mark
the wall studs on the floor and ceiling as a reference for attaching
the new cabinetry.
plan to replace your floor, the time to prepare for it is BEFORE
installing the cabinets and permanent appliances. Ceramic tile floors
are usually placed before the installation of cabinets while vinyl
flooring can be laid either before or after the cabinets are in place.
If the new floor will go directly on top of the existing one, it is very
important to fill any areas that may have dipped, buckled or bulged, as
well as any holes or gouges, and nail down protruding boards. Remove
glue or paint that may have spilled. Countersink nail and screw heads
that are sticking up above the surface. If the old floor is embossed or
has dips and/or hollows in it, these should be filled in with cement
filler using a 5 to 10-inch wide putty knife.
damaged floors must be repaired before laying down a new floor. You will
need to remove the existing flooring to expose the damaged subfloor.
Damaged portions of sub-flooring must be replaced. Should you find the
entire sub floor to be too badly damaged for salvage, it will be best to
lay new one. This can be laid directly on top of the existing floor.
ORDER OF INSTALLATION
instructions are to be used as a guide but you should always follow the
specific manufacturer's instructions where there are deviations. Putting
the kitchen together should occur in a logical sequence.
Primer and paint
vinyl or hardwood flooring*
Base cabinets and
drawers and hardware
Plywood base for
Counter tops -
wood, marble, tile
sink & fittings
Over the range
Wall oven and
freezer, trash compactor & icemaker
NOTE: Hardwood flooring and ceramic tile are always laid before cabinets
are installed while vinyl flooring can be placed after the cabinetry is
Installing New Kitchen Cabinets
Most Common Mistakes:
level or plumb,
Not attaching to
Damaging the walls
Not cutting sink
opening to proper dimension,
not properly fitted and installed,
Not making exact
fits and cuts, or
Not installing all
Whenever installing stock cabinets, accurate measurements are critical
to assure a snug fit. Custom made cabinetry is usually sold with a
warranty conditional on having the cabinets installed by the dealer. In
fact, the dealer will probably send someone out to make their own
ready-made cabinets come with a scribe allowance at the edges to allow
you to adapt them to irregular walls. Scribing simply involves running a
strip of masking tape along the side to be scribed; then, positioning
the cabinet. (See Fig. J) Set the points of a pencil compass to the
width of the widest gap between the side of the cabinet and the wall.
Run the compass down the wall and the irregularities will be pencil
marked on the tape. Now you can plane or sand down to the line so the
cabinet will rest flush against the wall. If the scribe edge is not
included on your cabinets or if your cabinets go all the way to the
ceiling, plan on trimming the edges with a small piece of molding.
easier to install the upper wall cabinets first because you have room to
work with them. Since they will hang from the wall, you must make
certain they are securely attached.
installing any of our new cabinets, remove all the drawers, doors and
hardware and label them as to their original locations for quick
reassembly. This will make the units much lighter a n more manageable.
Use a chalk line
to mark the position of the wall studs on the walls from ceiling to
Measure the height
of the base cabinets. If your floor is not level, measure from the
highest point. Add to that measurement the thickness oft e counter
top. Measure this distance up from the floor and draw a horizontal
line across the wall. Use a level to assure this line will be true
horizontal. This will indicate the surface of the counter top.
Measure to another
point above the line to where the bottom of the upper cabinet will
rest (usually 18' to 19" above your 1st line) and draw another
horizontal line across the wall. This line (approximately 54 inches
above the floor) should also be made with a level to assure it is true
horizontal and parallel to the line for the counter top.
Nail a temporary l
x 2 ledger board to the wall so that the top of the board is even with
the line for the upper cabinets.
Be sure you are nailing into the studs. Now mark the cabinet widths
along the length of the ledger strip.
You will need to
make a few temporary jacks to support the wall cabinets while you
attach them to the wall. The total length of the jack should reach
from the floor to the bottom of the upper cabinets. Wide blocks of
wood nailed to both ends of a 2 x 4 work well for this purpose. Put
the jacks into position near the ledger.
readying the cabinets for installation, we recommend you first prepare
those cabinets that will house a hood/vent, ducts and plumbing: Place
the cabinet upside down on the floor with the hood in position upside
down on the (bottom of the) cabinet. Trace the outline of the vent
hole onto the base of the cabinet. Drill a starter hole for your sabre
saw, then, cut around the outline and remove the cutout, Next, make a
paper template of the ceiling or wall where the cabinet will be placed
that shows where the end of the duct will enter. Place the template
into position on the cabinet top or back and outline the duct hole.
Again, drill a starter hole and cut out the circle with your sabre
saw. Mark the location of the Wall studs on each cabinet's hanging
cleats; then, drill pilot holes for screws at these points.
Self-drilling bugle head screws can also be used. These require no
pre-drilling, except when using at face frames. With the doors
removed, lift the first cabinet into position onto the ledger board
and the temporary jacks. Check to see that the cabinet is both level
and plumb in position and, if needed, add shims at the back of the
cabinet to bring it into a plumb position.
Screw the 2-1/2 inch No. 8 flathead wood screws through the cleat at
the back of the cabinet and into the wall studs - two at the top and
two at the bottom. Use longer screws if needed to assure at least 1
-1/4" to 1-3/4" penetration into the studs. Each unit should be
attached to a minimum of two studs. If only one stud is located behind
a unit, add a toggle bolt as an additional fastener.
Attach each of the upper cabinets in this manner. Then, go back and
screw the adjacent units together. When connecting adjoining cabinets,
it may be necessary to loosen wall screws to allow the faces of the
cabinet to be attached flush to each other. Use hand screws or a C
clamp with soft wood screws between the jaws of the clamp and the face
frame often cabinet to hold the units flush while you screw them
Recheck all for level and plumb.
Remove the jacks and the ledger board and repair any holes in the
your lower cabinets have freestanding bases, set the bases in position
and level them, shimming if necessary. Also, use a framing square to
square them where your base cabinets meet in a comer. When placing
shim material, place a block of wood between the shim and the hammer
so as not to damage the flooring. Then anchor them to the floor
and place the cabinet units on top of them. Those cabinets without
freestanding bases must be leveled and anchored in position as a unit.
As you set the base cabinets in place, measure and leave room for our
appliances, adding a 1/4 inch for clearance - more if you will be
adding end panels. Check the position of your base units against the
line on the wall, making certain the tops are equally below the line
by the thickness of your counter top.
Attach the cabinet units together so that the faces are flush. Slide a
level down the entire length of the cabinets, adding a shim where
there is a gap or to bring it up to level. Place your level front to
back on the top of the cabinet to check for plumb - a again shimming
if necessary. Then, screw the entire length o cabinets into the wall
with the 2 - inch screws through the top cleat and into the wall
studs. often, due to some unevenness in the wall, there will be gaps
between the back of the cabinet and the wall. To avoid pulling your
cabinets out of kilter as you position them to the wall, shim the gaps
at the fastening point (where the stud is located) before screwing the
cabinet into place.
Island cabinets must have the individual units screwed together and
laced into position before leveling and plumbing on all four sides. I
the base is separate, level and plumb it. Then, fasten it to the floor
With toe nails or angle brackets. Place and anchor the cabinets to the
base. When installing an island unit, it is important to square it to
the cabinets along the wall and to the wall itself, as well as lining
it up properly with the overhead fixtures (stove vent or lighting).
Measure off on both ceiling and floor to determine the exact location.
Installing Pre-Formed Kitchen Counter Tops
common types of countertops are pre-formed and self-rimmed. Pre-formed
tops come assembled from the manufacturer while self-rimmed tops are
built at the jobsite using raw materials (laminates and plywood or
counter tops to the contours of the wall,
Not applying the
finish surface accurately,
Not cutting the
sink opening to the proper dimension,
countertop over the course of the installation,
counter top with screws while fastening it to the base units, or
Preformed counter tops are available only in standard sizes so you'll
generally purchase one a little longer than you need and cut it to
measure for the size counter you will need, add the counter overhang
(usually between 3/4 and 1 inch in front and on open ends) and add it to
the dimensions of your cabinet.
an end splash is to be included, subtract 3/4 inch from the length of
the counter top on that side. Plan your cut for an end which will have
an end cap or end splash. Cut the excess off with a handsaw; but first,
mark the cut line with some masking tape to protect against chipping.
Smooth the edges of the cut with a file or sandpaper
end splash will be screwed directly onto the edge of the counter top or
into wood batons previously attached to the edge. Apply silicone sealant
to all surfaces to be joined and hold the end splash in place with
C-clamps while driving in the screws.
end cap is a pre-shaped strip of matching laminate which will be glued
to the end of the counter top.
and L-shaped counter tops will need to be ordered mitered or cut to
order as it is difficult to accurately miter these sections at home.
These pre-mitered sections should have small slots for draw bolts cut
into the bottom edges. Again, coat the edges with silicone sealant
before aligning the edges and tightening the bolts.
Fasten the adjoining backsplashes together with wood screws.
with the cabinets, counter tops rarely fit perfectly against the back or
side walls. Often, they come with a scribing strip that can be trimmed
to the exact contours of your irregular walls. Scribing simply involves
running a strip of masking tape along the edge to be scribed then
positioning the counter top. Set the points of a pencil compass to the
width of the widest gap between the counter top and the wall. Run the
compass along the wall and the irregularities will be pencil marked on
the tape. Now you can plane or and down to the line so the counter top
will rest flush against the wall. Follow the same technique for scribing
as explained in the section on cabinets.
Once your contours are correct, position the counter top on the cabinet
base. Check that all is level and shim where needed. Check also that
drawers and doors may be opened freely.
Fasten down the counter top by running screws up from below through the
top frame and corners. If there are no corner brackets, install them on
the base units. This will allow you to install the counter to easily.
Again, self-drilling bugle head screws are great for t is job. Round
head screws work best here because they will not be seen so do not have
to be counter sunk and they bear more weight in this position. Use
screws that will be long enough to reach 1/2 inch into the counter core.
Applying Laminate to Counter Tops
spreading the adhesive for the counter top, it is most easily done with
a paint tray and a mohair-covered paint roller. Lay the cut plastic
laminate on the floor on top of newspapers and roll the contact cement
on, covering the entire surface. Apply a slightly thicker coat of cement
near the edges. Next, cover the counter surface and allow both to dry
about 15 minutes or until the brown paper will not stick to the
dowels work better to keep the laminate from sticking to the cemented
counter surface than brown par when laying the counter top. Place them
at one foot intervals. Then lay the laminate, adhesive side down, on the
wood dowels. Put the factory edge against the backsplash and set the tip
of the diagonal cut into the comer. This corner is where you will begin.
3. Pull out
the wood strip nearest the corner while pressing the laminate into
position. Again, be sure the laminate is exactly where you want it. Use
a sweeping motion so no air bubbles are trapped beneath the laminate.
Work along the counter, pulling out strips of wood and pressing down the
laminate. Then, immediately roll the surface with your rolling pin or
hand roller, applying extra pressure near the edges.
placing the second piece, make certain the diagonal seam at the corner
is very tight and roll the seam thoroughly.
5. If the
laminate fails to form a bond or creates a bubble at some point, place a
piece of the brown wrapping paper over the spot and place a hot iron
(set for cotton) on to of the paper until the laminate feels hot to the
touch. he heat should soften the contact cement enough to regain some of
its stickiness. Then use the roller again with a firm, steady pressure
until the laminate has cooled.
6. Before router trimming the counter top, put
masking tape around the newly laminated edges so as not to mar them.
Router off the excess as you did with the edges, moving the router from
left to right. Then, replace the bit with a 22 degree bevel bit and
bevel the seam at the top of the counter moving, as always, left to
Practice this technique on some scrap before doing the final project.
Finish the bevels with a 14-inch single cut mill
file. Apply pressure on the downward stroke. Check each angle with
your finger tip to assure there are no rough edges that may later
result in cracks. Inside corners are particularly prone to cracking if
they are not filed smooth.
Installing a Hood Vent System in
hood/vent before the range or cook top so that you can reach all
1. Connect a
section of 6 or 7 inch metal ducting to the duck pipe entering the
cabinet and to the hood. If these holes are too close for a turn, you
may need to have a sheet metal box with nailing flanges made to your
2. Lift the hood
into position and trace the holes for attaching the unit with the screws
3. Connect the
wiring in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
4. Connect the
hood collar to the duct by tightening the metal collar provided or by
wrapping duct tape around both collar and duct.
VARIOUS CABINETS INFORMATION
Cabinet Doors and Drawers
cabinet door in the kitchen that keeps sagging to one side? Is that
drawer in the bathroom vanity still sticking, despite trying to
lubricate it with toothpaste? There are all sorts of little nuisances
that can occur with the doors and drawers in your home’s cabinets, and
here are some repair ideas for a few of the more common problems.
Sagging cabinet doors are a fairly common occurrence, and the larger and
heavier the door is, the more likely it is to sag. Sagging typically
results from the hinge trying to pull away from the frame of the
cabinet, and while this can occur at any of the hinges on the door,
gravity dictates that the weight of the door will make the topmost hinge
the most likely to fail.
Unscrew the hinges from the frame, and retain the screws. Using a 1/8"
drill bit, drill a clean hole into the cabinet at the location of each
of the screws, then glue in a small piece of 1/8" hardwood dowel –
larger holes and matching dowels can be used if needed. When the glue
has dried, trim the dowel off flush with the cabinet, drill a small
pilot hole into the end of the dowel, and reinstall the door with the
that will not stay closed against the face of the cabinet is another
common occurrence, and the method of repair depends on the type of hinge
you have. First, sight along the edge of the door to see if it’s warped
– if it is, adjusting the hinges probably won’t help, and you’ll either
have to have a new door made or use a cabinet door latch (see below). If
the door is straight and the hinges mount to the inside edge of the
cabinet faceframe, try loosening the screws in the cabinet and sliding
the door in or out. If the hinges mount to the face of the cabinet,
placing a thin piece of shim behind one or more of the hinges may do the
European-style cabinets, which do not have a face frame, typically
employ a sophisticated hinge that has a number of adjustments in it.
Typically, you will need to remove a small decorative cap on the face of
the hinge – pop it off with a small screwdriver – to access the
adjustment screws underneath. Turning the different screws in or out
will move the door in different directions.
Cabinets with older hinges can often be repaired by replacing the hinges
with newer, self-closing ones – the force of the self-closer spring will
usually hold the door tight against the cabinet. There are dozens of
self-closing hinges available, so look for ones that fit the style of
your cabinets and obscure the old screw holes.
all else fails, you can resort to a simple door latch. Door latches come
in many different styles and include corresponding magnets that mount to
the door and the cabinet; rollers that mount on the cabinet and grab
onto a round pin on the door; friction catches that mount on the cabinet
and grab onto a metal tab on the door; and bullet catches which have a
small, spring-loaded ball that engages into a recessed ring. Pick the
style that best suits the look and construction of the cabinets.
Cabinet Drawer Repairs
you can effectively repair the operation of a drawer, you need to first
repair the drawer itself. Remove the drawer from the cabinet, and
examine it carefully for damage. Check to see that there are no large
cracks in the wood, that the wood is not warped, and that all of the
joints are tight.
that is cracked, warped, or badly worn will need to be replaced.
Depending on the drawer’s construction and the materials used, you may
be able to separate the pieces of the drawer by tapping them apart with
a rubber mallet, and make a new piece to replace the old one. If the
drawer is in too bad of a condition, or if it won’t come apart without
damaging it further, your best bet would probably be to take it to a
cabinet shop and have a whole new one made to match – they can typically
salvage the drawer front to eliminate the problems with matching grains
and stain colors.
drawer itself is okay and you’re still having problems with its
operation, replacement or repair of the guide system should solve the
problem. Most cabinet drawers operate on metal guides, which support and
guide the drawer in and out of the cabinet, and also keep it aligned
properly. The most common type of guide today consists of a pair of
metal channels attached to the side of the cabinet, with a matching pair
of rails that are attached to the drawer. Some older styles have a
single rail along the bottom of each drawer opening, with a plastic
guide that’s attached to the drawer itself.
either style, you need to check the connection points where the guides
are attached. Check for loose or missing screws – you may need to use
the dowel trick outlined above. If parts of the guide are held by
staples, you may need to replace them with screws. For European style
cabinets, adjustments to the guides will typically need to be done by
inserting thin shims between the guides and the cabinet and/or the
drawer. If readjustment won’t work, a complete replacement of the guides
will probably be necessary.
the repair parts you need – including complete new guide systems –
should be available at any home center or hardware store.
Copyright 2002 Inman News Features. Distributed by Inman
Cabinet Refacing, Part 2: Preparing the Cases
the materials arrive, it's time to remove the contents of your cabinets
in preparation for the next stage of the process: refacing the cases, as
the cabinet boxes are called.
In Part 1, you ordered your cabinet refacing materials and completed any
related improvements and repairs. Now it's time to reface the cabinets.
You do this by applying over the cabinet face frames a veneer that
matches your new doors and drawer fronts, and by covering cabinet end
panels with either matching plywood or door panels identical to the ones
you will be installing over cabinet openings. Drawer and door
installation (covered in Part 3) can be done at your leisure with the
cabinets stocked. So if it better suits your schedule (and sanity) to
get your kitchen functioning as soon as possible, restock your cabinets
and put the still-loaded drawers back in place after completing Part 2
of the project.
(veneer, door fronts, etc.)
countersink/pilot hole bit
#1 and #2 Phillips
1" wood screws
Trim pry bar
Wood putty and
Sanding block and
80-, 120-, and 150-grit sandpaper
Shears or utility
30" (min.) metal
Wood glue and
brads, or contact cement
or try square
drill/driver with #1 and #2 bits
Remove the Old:
Remove all doors by unscrewing the hinges from the cabinet. Lift out the
drawers. False fronts on sinks are held in place with clips or blocks
that are accessed from the back. Use a trim pry bar to remove any
molding that is to be replaced.
Clean dirt and grime off face frames and end panels with dishwashing
liquid (or other mild detergent) and water. Do not use solvents as they
may soften the finish and cause the veneer adhesive to not stick.
Cover End Panels:
Whether using plywood or a door panel to cover an end panel, it should
be installed so the front edge is flush with the front face of the
If the face frame projects beyond the side of the cabinet, plane the
wood until it is flush. If you ordered plywood at 1/4 inch wide to
allow for a scribe to the wall, make that 1/4-in. scribe as follows:
With the panel on the cabinet and against the wall, adjust it until
the front edge is exactly parallel to the face of the cabinet; and
hold a pencil or scribe against the wall and mark the profile on the
panel. Plane and/or use a belt sander to remove the wood to your line.
Attach plywood with panel adhesive and brads and sand it flush with
Whenever you use panel adhesive to glue panels to a surface, apply
beads of adhesive, press the panel into place, but then lift an edge a
few inches away from the surface and press it back in place. The
adhesive will bond better and cure faster.
Instead of planning any projecting edge of a face frame, you can build
out the cabinet sides with strips of wood lattice or plywood before
you install the door over the end panel. Attach doors from inside the
cabinets. Drill pilot holes through the cabinet wall and into the door
stiles. Make sure that the drill and screws are not too long!
Fill and Sand:
Use wood filler to fill any screw holes, depressions, and the exposed
edge grain of any plywood end panels that you installed in Step 3. Sand
to level the repair with the surrounding area. Sand the face frames with
80-grit sandpaper to degloss them and make the pressure-sensitive
adhesive bond better. To avoid rounding over the corners use a hard
rubber or wooden sanding block, not a power sander.
Treat Bare Wood:
Apply spray adhesive on all bare wood, such as the edges of end panels
and repaired areas on face frames. Some professionals like the extra
measure of protection that a bonding agent, such as a water-based
contact cement, provides.
Veneer the Stiles:
To veneer the face only: Cut strips of peel-and-stick veneer
about 1/2 inch wider and 1 inch longer than the height of your cabinets.
Use shears or a sharp utility knife and a metal straightedge. Peel back
a couple inches of the paper backing and apply the veneer centered on
the stile so it overlaps all edges. Peel off the rest of the paper as
you press it into place. With a new blade in a utility knife, score the
veneer front then back, flush with the stile on all edges; and bend it
to complete the cut. Cut horizontal notches where it meets the rails.
To veneer the
edges and faces:
Cut the strips wide enough to cover the face and edge(s) plus 1/2
inch. Apply to the face as above, but do not trim the veneer along the
front edge of the stile. Instead, make the horizontal notches where
the veneer meets the top and bottom rails; and bend the veneer around
the corner and press it onto the side(s) of the stile.
Cut similarly oversized veneer for rails and lightly press it in place
centered on the rail and overlapping the two stiles about 1/2 inch. Trim
the rail veneer that extends beyond the top or bottom of the cabinet.
Place a combination square or try square over the rail so the blade is
in line with the edge of the stile. Then using the blade as a guide, cut
through both veneer layers (called double-cutting). Peel back veneer as
needed to remove the cutoffs; and when you press the pieces back you'll
have a perfect joint. Trim excess until it is flush with the inside edge
of the face frame.
Press and slide a Plexiglas scraper all along the veneer to bond it to
the face frame. Do not use a wallpaper seam roller. Sand all corners
very lightly with a sanding block and 150-grit sandpaper.
Cabinet Refacing, Part 3: Install Doors and
it's time to complete the installation by installing the doors and
replacing the drawer fronts. If you have not already done so, you'll
need to lift out the drawers and empty the contents.
In the two previous parts of this project we've ordered parts and
prepared existing kitchen cabinets, and veneered the cases and refaced
the end panels. The time has come to finally put your kitchen back
together starting with the doors and drawers!
For a four-sided box drawer with a false front - the part you will be
replacing - simply remove any screws, pulls, or knobs to disconnect the
false front from the drawer front. For a three-sided box-type drawer,
which is built so the drawer front is the front side of the drawer box,
first remove the metal drawer slides from the drawer. Then trim the
drawer fronts with a saw so the ends are flush with the drawer sides.
Turn the drawer so the old front is the back and reinstall the slides so
they are flush with the new face.
Make a Jig:
If you're careful you can measure to locate holes for pulls and knobs.
However, a jig (a template) will make the job go faster and lessen any
chance of error. Make two jigs, one for the drawers and one for the
doors. To make a jig, attach a couple of strips of wood to the square
corner of a small scrap of plywood that is at least 3 inches longer than
half the width of your largest drawer front and 1/2 inch wider than half
of the drawer front height. Drill holes in the plywood (two holes for a
pull, one for a knob) that correspond to the desired location of the
pulls or knobs on the door and drawer front.
Place the jig over the corner of the door (or drawer front) and place a
small board behind the door. This backer prevents the bit from
splintering the wood as it exits the back side. Clamp the assembly
together and drill through the holes in the jig and through the door (or
drawer front). Use a bit slightly larger than the diameter of the
machine screws for these clearance holes.
Install the Doors:
With hinges already attached to the doors, hold the door in place. For
an overlay-type door, make the overlay at the top and bottom equal and
screw the hinge to the stile. For an inset door, clamp a block of wood
to the face of the lower rail at the proper height to support the door
while you mark the hinge location of the stile. Screw hinges to the
Adjust the Doors:
Many hinges allow vertical and horizontal adjustment, and some permit
depth adjustment, too. Follow the instructions that come with the hinge
to adjust each door until all are level and plumb and are in line and
parallel with each other.
Position First Drawer Front:
Hold a drawer front in place, centered over the opening and with the
desired spaces above and below. Drill through the clearance holes and
into the face of the drawer box. (It may help to have someone keep some
outward pressure on the drawer box.) Install the pulls with the machine
screws provided. For an inset drawer, shim under the drawer front until
the space above and below is equal, then drill the holes. Install the
pull with machine screws provided.
If you need to adjust a skewed drawer front, remove the pull and
enlarge the clearance holes in the face of the drawer box. Reinstall
the front and the pull, but just until the screws are snug. Close the
door to adjust the front and then open it to tighten the screws.
When pulls are not
used, position the drawer front as follows: Drive two 1-inch wood
screws through the front of the drawer box so the points project about
1/8 to 3/16 inch. Position the drawer face and press it in place.
Remove the drawer front to locate holes made by the screw points.
Drill 1/2 inch deep pilot holes. Reposition the doors, and drive in
the wood screws.
Install Remaining Drawer Fronts:
Use the same method to install the remaining fronts. An alternative is
to measure the distance from the top of the front to the top of the
drawer box face on the drawer you just completed, and use it as a guide
in positioning subsequent drawer fronts.
Install Door Pulls or Knobs:
Use the machine screws provided to secure the door pulls or knobs in the
clearance holes that you drilled in Step 3.
Install Sink Front:
Position the sink front on top of the closed door and against the face
frame to mark the sides of the opening on the back of the sink front.
Reuse the false-front clips from the old sink front, attaching them
inside your marks. Alternatively, attach 3/4-inch thick blocks of wood
at your marks and install a thumb screw at the edge which will lock over
the back of the stiles when the front is placed in position.
Install Moldings (optional):
Installing mitered prefinished moldings requires considerable skill and
care. While many pieces may be precut, the ones that aren't must be
precisely cut using power miter saws with top-quality blades. All joints
must be glued and the trim fastened with brads, preferably using
pneumatic nailers, which leave very small fastener holes. Unless you are
skilled and properly equipped, consider having a trim carpenter handle
To gain convenient storage space for sponges and other sink supplies,
install the sink front tray using fall-front hinges or a sink front
Illustration provided by Rockler.com
most people think about the cabinetry for their new house, what they're
focusing on, and frequently obsessing about, is the door style.
Contemporary? Traditional? Which wood? What stain? Light or dark? Faux
blue? There's a surfeit of choices, but the first step in the winnowing
process is deciding on a price range and a cabinet grade.
three main divisions or grades of cabinets are stock, semi-custom, and
custom. There is much overlap between them; the only hard and fast
distinction is price. Custom cabinets are the most expensive, stock
cabinets are the least expensive and semi-custom cabinets are in
custom cabinets, the cabinet boxes are made with higher grade materials,
the finishes are hand applied, there is a greater choice of wood species
and stains, and the detailing is more refined. Most of the higher cost
however, is due to the custom factor--custom cabinets are made to order
in any size requested.
stock cabinets, there are fewer choices of wood species for the doors
(but they can be stained to mimic other woods), fewer coats of finish
that are machine applied, and less expensive materials are used for the
cabinet boxes. But some stock cabinet lines, such as Merrilat, now
include features that were once the hallmark of custom cabinet makers,
such as base cabinets with roll-out trays and solid wood drawers with
dovetail joints and under-mounted drawer glides (these are stronger
drawers with a tonier look).
critical distinction between stock and custom cabinets, however, is the
sizing. Stock cabinets only come in fixed sizes, so there is less
flexibility in designing a kitchen with them. Since custom cabinets can
be ordered in any size you want, the sizing issue may point you in one
direction over the other. For example, if your new kitchen will be oddly
shaped, or it's small and you want to get as much cabinet storage as you
possibly can, custom cabinets may be the way to go.
Semi-custom cabinets occupy an ill-defined, gray area between the other
two grades. Most of them are made by either a custom cabinet maker or a
stock cabinet maker that wants to increase its market share, so the
features offered depend on the parent company. If it is a stock cabinet
maker, the semi-custom line will offer more wood species and finishes
and more sizes. Conversely, if the parent company is a custom cabinet
maker, its semi-custom line will have fewer features and finishes and
there will be some limitation on the sizing.
high-end production builders use semi-custom cabinets, but these are
more often specified by semi-custom and custom home builders.
all production home builders use stock cabinets. Price is certainly a
factor in this preference, but almost as important is the easy
availability of stock cabinets. They can be delivered within three weeks
of placing an order, whereas a custom or a semi-custom cabinet order
generally takes eight to twelve weeks, at a minimum. For a home builder
on a very tight construction schedule, as all production builders are,
this is critical. If the wrong size or cabinet style is inadvertently
ordered or delivered, the problem can be quickly rectified.
end up with stock cabinets, either because you are working with a
production builder or your budget dictates it, don't fret that you are
unduly compromising. Over the last fifteen years the quality of stock
cabinets has vastly improved in appearance, detailing and durability. In
fact, stock cabinets may be the most sensible choice for you, even if
you can afford more expensive ones. Do you really care about the
costlier hand applied finishes or ball-bearing drawer glides that are
standard issue with any custom line?
you've dealt with the preliminaries -- what's the difference between
cabinet grades, which one is the right choice for you, and you've
narrowed the field to one or two cabinet lines -- you can start
obsessing about the door styles with abandon. Custom and semi-custom
lines offer the most choices in the doors, but stock lines also offer
enough to keep you lying awake at night.
cabinet doors are wood and broadly speaking, there are two types. The
door will be either completely flat, which gives it a contemporary look,
or have a panel which can be raised or flat, which gives the door a
stock cabinets, the least expensive wood door will have a single panel
of veneered plywood (this is the standard cabinet door for many
production builders). A medium-priced stock cabinet door will have a
raised panel that is veneered wood over particle board. The most
expensive stock cabinet door will have a solid wood panel (it looks and
wears the same as the other one, but you will know the difference!).
flat-paneled stock cabinet door is fine for a bathroom. But in a high
use area such as a kitchen, try to upgrade to a raised panel type if
possible. The increased thickness of the door gives it more strength and
rigidity. The type of hinge can also affect door strength. A concealed
European-type hinge that is commonly used on a full overlay door is
generally stronger than standard hinge, which is partially exposed.
Although children hanging on the cabinet doors can weaken the hinges and
cause them to break, Debby Saling, a certified kitchen designer in
Beltsville, Maryland, observed that a more common problem is adults who
bend down to get something out of a base cabinet and then lean on the
door to boost themselves up.
semi-custom and custom cabinet lines, the wood doors will be solid wood.
The flat paneled doors can have more panels as well as more refinements
that give it a Shaker look. This type of flat-paneled door is usually
stronger than the stock cabinet type and it should work in any room in
all three cabinet grades, the size of the cabinet doors will affect both
price and appearance. Larger doors and drawers that cover the front of
the cabinet box when they're closed (the ";full overlay" type) are more
expensive. The difference is subtle, but it can give a ‘traditional
look" a more ";contemporary feel." With standard door and drawer sizes,
the front of the cabinet box is partially exposed when the doors are
Nearly all stock cabinet lines offer oak, maple, hickory, cherry, and
vinyl wrapped white doors. At the semi-custom level, birch and poplar
doors are also available, and white doors are lacquered, a more
expensive process that gives a more refined look. The number of stains,
which can affect appearance dramatically, increase. At the custom level,
tropical hardwoods such as teak and mahogany doors are also possible.
Nearly all cabinet lines, in all grades, offer wall cabinets with glass
doors, which will add an upscale look if your dishes, cups and glassware
match (if you have a hodge-podge, though, this type of cabinet will look
Some of the semi-custom and custom lines offer colored stains such as
";Sherwood green" or ";Nantucket blue." These may look intriguing, but
they're trendy and will soon look as dated as the purplish ";pickled
maple" finish that was popular in the early 1990's. You're better off to
stay with a natural wood color; a perennial favorite such as red oak is
always a good bet.
you make your final decision on the doors, try to see an entire kitchen
with the one you have selected, even if this requires some doing (ask
the cabinet dealer if you can see a completed job of a former client or
ask the builder if you can see the finished house of someone who got
them). This is especially important if you want a dark wood or stain
because dark cabinets will make a kitchen appear darker and smaller than
Copyright 2001-2002 Katherine Salant. Distributed by
Inman News Features
Install Base - Cabinet Rollouts
Improve the efficiency of your kitchen cabinets
Accessorizing your kitchen cabinets increases the amount
of storage and vastly improves convenience. But if your cabinets are
like most, they have a single fixed shelf in the base units, a couple of
adjustable shelves in the wall units, and a big empty space under the
sink. There are lots of easy-to-install wire baskets and accessories
that you can buy; or you can make your own with readily available
hardware. Since there's lots of underutilized space in base cabinets,
why not start there by installing rollout wire baskets or simple
custom-made drawers installed with drawer slides.
Drill/driver and bits
For wire rollout basket:
For custom rollout drawer:
1/2" or 3/4" plywood
Carpenter's wood glue
4d finishing nails
22" side-mount drawer
1. Remove Fixed Shelf: The fixed shelf is likely set into the sides of
the cabinet and also attached to the thin back. Be careful removing it
or you might damage the cabinet. Often it's helpful to make a couple of
cuts through the shelf from front to back with a jigsaw and then pry the
2. Install Wire Rollout Basket:
2a. Assemble the Kit: Measure your cabinet opening and
note whether your cabinets have a face-frame around the opening. Buy a
suitable rollout kit. Check that you have all the necessary parts and
assemble the unit according to the manufacturer's instructions using a
screwdriver and/or a supplied wrench.
2b. Attach the Slide Guides (Tracks): Locate the tracks
according to the measurements given in the instructions or by using a
paper template if one is provided. Mark the mounting screw locations,
drill the recommended pilot holes, and secure the tracks with screws
provided. Depending on the unit, the tracks may be side-mounted or
bottom-mounted like the one shown here.
2c. Install Assembled Kit: Fit the assembled basket into
place as directed, and check for smooth operation. (If it does not roll
smoothly, it's likely due to improper positioning of the guide tracks.)
3. Install Custom Rollout Drawer:
3a. Measure for the Rollout: The rollout must be no wider
than the space between the doors when they are open to 90 degrees.
Depending on the type of hinges this may be the same as the width of the
cabinet opening or less.
3b. Cut and Assemble Rollout: Cut the floor and sides of
the shelf. To determine the drawer bottom dimension, subtract from the
opening width 1 inch for the slides (unless otherwise specified by the
drawer-slide maker), and 1-1/2 inches for the sides of the rollout.
Subtract 1-1/2 inches from the cabinet depth for the front-to-back
dimension of the shelf. Attach the front and back first, then the side
pieces. Use glue and 4d finishing nails for assembly. Sand all surfaces
well, apply two to three coats of polyurethane according to directions,
and allow the final coat to dry completely.
3c. Install Slides and Rollout Drawer: Attach the drawer
slides as directed to the bottom of each side of the rollout and attach
the mating track to the cabinet wall. If you have face-frame cabinets or
the cabinet doors require that the rollout be narrower than the cabinet
opening width, you'll need spacers from the manufacturers.
Alternatively, build out the wall of the cabinet as required for the
rollout to clear the doors. Slide the rollout into its tracks. Repeat
these three steps for a second shelf.
Garbage Disposal Installation
IMPORTANT: Read this before you start
garbage disposers are designed to grind up leftovers and other food
waste so that you can flush the debris safely down the sink drain. The
sink that you are adding the disposer to should have a normal, full-size
drain opening. To power the new disposer, you should ideally run a
dedicated circuit from the breaker panel. If that is not possible, tie
into another circuit that you have access to. Garbage disposer systems
come with various options for you to choose from. For instance,
different horsepower (½hp, 1/3hp, ¼hp), reversing capability, insulated
for noise reduction and varying warranty terms. Pricing for a disposer
unit can range from $35 - $120. Choose the one that meets your needs.
Beginner - 3 hours
Intermediate - 2 hours
Advanced - 1 hour
Caution! Make sure electric circuit
is off before making any electrical connections.
Caution! Do not run the faucet during installation of the
Helpful Tips! There are products available for cleaning your garbage
disposal and the drain, which you should use every 1 to 2 months to keep
things running smoothly. You can often find these at your local grocery.
Helpful Tips! You will require an electrical connection with a
dedicated switch to operate the new disposer. Make sure this connection
is available before you start this project.
Disconnect the down drainpipe coming from the sink and the connection
that attaches it to the p-trap. Large channel-lock pliers or a pipe
wrench work well to loosen the nuts holding the pipes together. When
both connections are free, remove the parts
remove the strainer body from the sink, unscrew the large nut that
holds it in place underneath the sink. Clean off the old plumbers
putty that surrounds the edge of the drain opening
Place a ¼” bead of plumber’s putty around the drain opening in the
sink. Drop the new sink flange into the drain opening and press it
into place. From under the sink, slide the fiber gasket and backup
ring onto the sleeve. Hold these pieces in place. Next slip on the
mounting ring and snap ring.
Tighten the three mounting screws. Alternate tightening each screw a
few turns at a time until the mounting assembly is evenly and tightly
seated against the bottom of the sink.
the disposer on its side under the sink so you can make the electrical
connections. Make sure the circuit breaker is off. Remove the plate on
the bottom of the disposer to expose the wiring. Using wire nuts,
connect the white wire from the disposer unit with the white wire from
the power supply. Follow the same step to connect the black wires.
Finally, connect the ground wire from the supply to the ground on the
disposer unit. Replace the plate to cover the wires.
using a dishwasher, you will need to tap out the dishwasher knockout
plug. Lay the disposer on its side and use a screwdriver and hammer to
tap it out.
Align the disposer with the three mounting ears on the sink mounting
assembly. Holding the disposer in place, turn the lower mounting ring
until all three mounting ears are locked into the mounting assembly.
Install the discharge tube and its gasket to the disposer. Turn the
disposer until the discharge tube aligns with the drain trap. If the
discharge tube is too long, it should be cut to fit. If it is not long
enough, you need to purchase extension pieces to make up the
Connect the dishwasher tube to the disposer.
that everything is installed and in position, lock the disposer to the
sink mounting assembly using the special wrench that came with the
unit. Finally, you should test the disposer for leaks and turn on the
electrical breaker to test its operation.
Channel lock pliers
Installing Base Cabinets
IMPORTANT: Read this before you start
new cabinets in your
kitchen can greatly enhance the look and functionality
of your kitchen - plus updated kitchens are a major selling point for
homebuyers. All you need to do is select the pre-fabricated cabinet
style that you like and spend a weekend installing your new cabinets.
ready-made cabinets makes this project that much easier. The
cabinetmaker has done all the hard work by providing you with modular
cabinets that are usually pre-finished and ready for installation. In
this tutorial we will cover the installation of the base cabinets. Check
out our tutorial on installing hanging cabinets if your project includes
Caution! Do not screw the cabinets together through the thin walls
or backs. Only screw through the framing or ledger boards. They are much
Helpful Tips! Install hanging
cabinets first. It will easier to work on the hanging cabinets without
the base cabinets in the way.
Use a scroll saw or jigsaw to cut out plumbing and other fixtures that
protrude into the new cabinets.
cabinets, as well as hanging cabinets, must be anchored to the studs
in the kitchen walls. For this reason, your first step is to determine
where all the studs are in the walls. Use a stud finder or small drill
bit to locate the studs. Once you find the first one, the others
should be spaced 16" apart. Make sure you mark both edges of the stud.
After your base cabinets are installed, it is critical that they are
level and exactly the same height from section to section, otherwise
the countertop will not fit correctly and will not be level. To ensure
this, you need to determine if your floor is level. If not, you need
to find the highest point in the floor and shim up the cabinet
sections to compensate. Using a long, straight 2" x 4", place a
carpenter's level on top of it and move it along the floor next to the
wall. Identify the highest point and mark it on the wall
Measure the height of the new cabinets. Most likely this dimension is
about 34" to 35". At the high point you determined in your floor,
measure up the wall using this dimension. Mark this point. Using a
carpenter's level, create a level line along the walls where you are
installing the base cabinets.
Install the first cabinet section in a corner. Using wood shims, raise
the cabinet to the reference line on the walls. Using a level, make
sure the top of the cabinet is level in all directions - front-to-back
Using 2-1/2" screws, screw the back ledger of the base cabinet into
the studs in the wall. If you find gaps between the wall and the
cabinet, slip a shim in the areas you are screwing to avoid pulling
the cabinet towards the wall
Using a chisel or utility knife, cut off any protruding shims.
the next cabinet in place. Again, you need to shim it into position
and make sure it is level. Also, make sure the faces of the two
cabinets are flush with each other. Using clamps, pull the two
adjacent cabinet frames together. Using long screws, secure the
cabinets together. Screw the second cabinet into the wall
some cases, you may need to install a filler strip in between a
cabinet and a wall. Use the same technique you used to secure two
cabinet sections together. Clamp the filler strip in place and use
long screws to fasten it in place.
cover up gaps between the cabinets and the floor, install a thin piece
of molding that provide a more attractive appearance. You can also
follow our tutorial on Installing Vinyl Cove Molding to hide this gap.
you are installing a new countertop, you can usually buy a ready made
counter the matches your tastes and the style of your new cabinets.
Generally you can have your local home improvement retailer cut the
countertop to length and cut the hole for your sink. Make sure your
measurements are precise - you only get 1 chance to cut the hole for
the sink! To install the countertop, place it on top of the cabinets.
Secure it in place from inside the cabinets with screws that go
through the corner brackets of each cabinet section.
not installed already, the final step is to install the cabinet doors
and the pulls (knobs and handles). Usually the holes are pre-drilled
and ready to go.
IMPORTANT: Read this before you start
many different types of countertops, but of all those available,
post-form countertops are probably the quickest and easiest to install.
Post-form countertops consist of a laminate surface that is glued to a
particleboard base. Typically, the base is shaped so that there is a
curved front edge and an integrated backsplash with either squared off
or 45-degree angle ends available.
If there is
one drawback to post-form countertops it is that they are somewhat
fragile until they are installed. Therefore, you should be careful how
you handle and support the counters. Also, while installation can be
easy, it can also be very intimidating because errors are not easy to
correct or hide. A careful, methodical approach works best. Remember, a
little extra time with measuring and cutting is quicker that going back
to the home center for a new counter.
Caution! Make sure you have someone
to help you lift the counter. It is easy to hurt your back while lifting
and setting the counter in position.
Make sure while transporting and storing the
counter that it lies flat and fully supported. Also, be careful when
cutouts are made in the counter for sinks, etc. The counter is very
vulnerable to breakage at those points.
When using a circular saw, start your cut
from the underside of the counter so that the circular motion of the
teeth on the blade will cut into the laminate first and exit through the
particleboard above. In this way the laminate side of the counter will
not get chipped along the cut. This rule should also be followed when
using a jigsaw.
In addition to cutting from the underside,
place a strip of masking tape on the laminate side of the counter,
directly over the cut that you will make. The tape will provide
additional protection against chipping.
Paint the underside and edges of the
countertop in areas surrounding sink cutouts. Particleboard is very
vulnerable to water damage and the paint will help protect it.
Measure for any cuts you will need to make in the counter, allowing for
approximately 1-inch overhang on exposed ends and 1/16 to 1/8 inch gap
for edges that butt into an appliance. In this way it is possible to
"shimmy" appliances like stoves and refrigerators in and out without
the counter to length using the jig in the illustration. Always cut from
the underside of the counter and in one fluid motion, rotating the saw
downward as you cut the backsplash.
the counter still upside down trace the outline for any sink or cook top
that you might install. Try to use templates supplied by the
manufacturer so that the hole will be the correct size. If reinstalling
an old fixture take measurements from the old hole in the previous
you have your outline, drill a hole inside the outline and use the jig
saw to cut out the opening. Remember to support the portion being cut
out so that it does not prematurely break off along with a piece of your
Install the end cap kit by first gluing the battens into place and
securing them with C-clamps. Make sure to put a block of wood between
the laminate on the countertop and the C-clamp so that the clamp will
not scratch the surface. Allow the glue to dry for about an hour before
removing the clamps.
the C-clamps removed, sand any high points down. Do not over sand, you
want the edge to be straight and the edges sharp, it is not important
that it be smooth. Next, hold the end cap in position and activate the
adhesive by pressing an iron at medium heat against the laminate. Cool
with a damp cloth.
the edges on the end cap flush with the countertop by using a fine file.
Remember to file only towards the countertop so that you do not pull the
end cap off, or worse, chip the laminate
the countertop on top of the cabinets and check to see how the
backsplash mates with the wall behind it. If there are sizable gaps, (as
is often the case) scribe along the top of the backsplash and remove the
excess material with a belt sander held perpendicular to the backsplash.
Make sure the belt is moving down towards the countertop to avoid
chipping the laminate
attach two 45-degree edges together, first put them in position to
insure that they will mate correctly. Then spread them apart slightly
and apply a generous bead of siliconized caulk to each end and push the
two ends together.
under the cabinet insert the joint fastening bolts in their factory cut
slots. Tighten the bolts with the adjustable wrench until firm. Make
minor adjustments by tapping the counter with a rubber mallet before
making the bolts tight
the counter in its final position, gently insert shims to lift the
counter up approximately 1/4 inch above the cabinets. Next apply
construction adhesive between the countertop and cabinets. Remove the
shims and let the adhesive dry for 24 hours.
Finally, apply a bead of caulk along the joint between the backsplash
and wall and where ever else appropriate, such as along a sink or stove.
Joint fastener bolts
End cap kit
Sand paper (80 grit)
Kitchen & Bath Cabinet Cleaning FAQ
collect more grease, food spills, and moisture than most other parts of
the house. Bathroom cabinets add hair spray and toothpaste to the mix.
Grime builds up fastest around handles of doors and drawers, which are
constantly opened by sticky hands. Greasy soil comes off more easily if
it isn't allowed to build up too long.
metal, laminated plastic or wood-grain vinyl surfaces can be cleaned
with detergent and warm water solution. Rinse with a cloth or sponge
dampened in clean water. Using a dry cloth or paper towel to wipe the
surface dry prevents streaking. Most all-purpose household cleaners may
also be used; read the label to be sure it can be used on that surface,
and follow directions exactly. Test inside a door to be sure it will not
harm the finish.
wood cabinets may be cleaned with a variety of commercial products,
usually sprays, made for this purpose. Read the label to be sure it can
be used on the finish, and follow directions exactly. These have a
solvent base, so read and follow carefully cautions about ventilation,
and make sure there is no spark or flame or pilot light burning in the
area that could cause a fire. Dispose of cloths used in a tightly sealed
container, again not near a spark or flame. Test inside a door to be
sure the cleaner will not harm the finish before starting on other
surfaces; they can damage some. Be careful with overspray, they can
make a floor slippery.
Refurbish Kitchen Cabinets: Shelves and Hardware
kitchen cabinets, even inexpensive ones, work well and look good for a
few years, but eventually daily wear and tear takes its toll.
Self-closing doors don't. Shelves made of particleboard warp under the
weight of heavy dishes or canned goods. Plastic shelf supports break or
the holes they fit in become enlarged and no longer hold the supports
glassware shelves become water-damaged. The cumulative effect of all
this wear may lead you to believe that you need new cabinets, but in
fact you can restore or even improve on the original beauty and
functionality of your cabinets without spending a great deal of time or
money. The fixes here focus on shelves and hardware.
1/2-in. grade "A-B" or better plywood
Plywood blade or thin-kerf carbide blade
Paint or varnish
Brushes, paint pad, and related painting
Paper or plastic shelf liner
Straightedge and C-clamps
Iron-on wood veneer
100-, 150-, and 220--grit sandpaper
Twist drill bits
Self-centering drill bit
Door/window stop molding
Foam or rubber door bumpers
Material for jigs/guides
Drill depth gauge
Cam-action saw guide (optional)
Refurbish or Replace Shelves
1. Replace Warped Shelves:
over warped particleboard shelves may help for a while, but for a
permanent solution replace these shelves with edged, 1/2-in. plywood
ones. Mahogany, birch, and fir plywood is widely available in full,
quarter, or half sheets. Using the existing shelves as templates, cut
new shelves with a circular saw that is equipped with either a plywood
blade or a smooth-cutting, thin-kerf carbide-tipped blade. Plan your
cuts so that the direction of the wood grain parallels the long edges
and clamp a straightedge to the plywood to guide your cuts. Edge the
front and back edges with iron-on wood veneer. Use a sharp utility knife
to cut/trim the veneer and follow the simple instructions on the
package. Sand all surfaces with progressively finer-grit sandpaper
(100-, 150-, and 220-grit) before applying a finish.
Make a reusable guide for your circular saw. Glue and screw a strip of
door/window stop molding to a 12x48-in. piece of 1/4-in. plywood about
2 inches from one long edge. Guiding your saw against this, cut the
plywood. To use the guide, align the cut edge with your cut line and
clamp or tack the guide to your workpiece.
If you do a lot of plywood cutting with a
circular saw (for this or other projects) you might also invest in a
commercial straightedge. Quick-locking/releasing cam-action
straightedges are available in hardware stores and woodworking
Remove shelves and sand them with medium and then fine abrasive paper to
smooth surfaces roughened by water. Similarly sand the floor of the
cabinet. Vacuum and then wipe off all dust with a solvent-dampened
Shelves and Cabinet Floors: Unless you are replacing all shelves and can match the wood veneer
on the cabinet floor, you'll probably want to paint all the shelves and
the floor to achieve a consistent look. Mask the cabinet walls with
painter's tape to protect them when you are painting the floors. Protect
the refinished shelves with any of a variety of paper or plastic shelf
Replace or Refurbish Hardware
1. Replace Hinges: If self-closing hinge springs are weak,
replace the hinges. To avoid difficult refinishing work, choose hinges
with mounting holes that match those of the existing hinges, or at least
hinges that will cover the old holes. To swap identical hinges, replace
one for the other, one at a time, while the door is in place. If
necessary, fill the old holes with wood filler and drill new pilot holes
in the doors and cabinet frames.
Take care. Although most hinge types allow for some vertical
adjustment, measure carefully and locate hinges at precisely the same
position on each door and frame. Use a self-centering bit to
accurately locate the holes, and be very careful not to drill too
deeply in doors or you may come through the face.
Replace any worn or missing self-adhering bumpers
that cushion doors as they close against the cabinet faces.
If instead of self-closing hinges you have old-fashioned magnet or
spring catches on cabinet doors and they do not work, adjust them.
Mounting holes are slotted to allow for adjustment. Simply loosen the
screws and move the catch in or out as needed, and tighten the screws.
Test, and repeat if necessary.
3. Clean or
Replace Pulls/Knobs: Remove all door/drawer pulls or knobs for cleaning. Usually, just
detergent and water and perhaps some help from a mild abrasive will
restore the original look of wood, porcelain, plastic, and metal
hardware. Of course, if you want a new look, replacing pulls or knobs is
easy, provided that you choose hardware that fits (or at least covers)
existing mounting holes.
To consistently locate and drill the mounting holes for pulls/knobs,
use a jig similar to the one shown. There's no one right way to make a
jig. Any setup will work that allows you to accurately locate the jig
on the door so that its holes will be in precisely the same location
on any door. This one fits over a door corner, and because the stops
extend beyond both sides of the face, the template can be flipped over
to guide holes for a door hinged on the left side, too.
Through-drilling can cause break-out or wood
splintering on the backside, so always drill into the face of the
door. Apply very little pressure as the drill begins to penetrate.
Alternatively, clamp a block of wood over the backside of the door
where the hole is being drilled.
Faulty Shelf Supports:
Unless a shelf support fits snugly in its hole, it's likely to fall out.
Typically the shelf is positioned where you want it to be, so moving it
up or down to a new set of holes is not usually an option. Instead you
need to plug the existing holes with wood putty and redrill new ones.
Test several bits until you find one that is just the right size.
Tighten Drawer Slides: Typically, drawer slides do not require
lubrication or any maintenance aside from tightening the screws that
secure them to the drawer or cabinet. Lift out the drawer, pushing
release catches if necessary, to access the screws.
If turning a screw does not seem to tighten it, then the hole is
probably stripped. Remove the screw and install it in a nearby
mounting hole. Alternatively, dip a toothpick or sliver of wood in
glue and break off the tip in the stripped hole, then reinstall the
You'll Find Cabinetry in More Places Than the Kitchen and Bathroom
As today's kitchen has grown in importance, it has also grown
in size. Many kitchens today include an adjacent entertainment area.
The area can be as
elaborate or as simple as space will allow. Its planning requires
careful consideration and extensive discussion between yourself and a
designer. Often the homeowner has a visual image in his mind of the
complete project, and the designer must balance the client's ideas with
good taste and attractive functional space usage.
For example, will
the area be incorporated into the kitchen? If so, the placement of a
second sink in the kitchen must be
carefully selected when it will supply water for multiple activities.
According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, the second sink
should be placed in the mixing center of the kitchen. When guests
arrive, most food preparation has been completed and the cook is now
centering his/her activity around the cooking area. The bartender can
then station himself/herself in the mix center without disturbing the
cook. Such a design should also place the bartender near the
refrigerator for ice.
If the entertainment
area will be a separate center, then it should be located where guests
will gather in the home. The family room or living room seems to be the
most popular selection.
The most important
elements of this area include a sink with at least a cold water faucet.
Adding a slide-out towel bar under the sink will prove
most useful. In addition, an icemaker or under-the-counter refrigerator
should be installed.
Types and sizes of
beverage bottles normally purchased by the homeowner will determine what
kind of liquor storage
cabinets will be designed. A
roll-out shelf with an insert designed to received the different size
containers is a handy way to keep the most used bottles.
Utensil storage for
stirrers and cocktail napkins, as well as glass storage, are also
necessary. Open glass shelving with brackets can be very attractive, and
decorative lighting will accent the storage. If you're planning a full bar,
then a mix area and a seating bar will be necessary to design.
Reprinted with permission from the
National Kitchen and Bath
Steps to a Safe Kitchen
Safety is priority number one when it comes to
designing your brand new kitchen. More building codes cover the kitchen
than any other room in the house. That's because so many accidents occur
some suggestions when designing for safety:
Use proper lighting. Good general
lighting, supplemented with proper task lighting that's
clearly focused on a work surface, an greatly decrease your chance of
injury while preparing a meal. Also, the lighting should not produce
any glare or shadows on the surface.
Use slip-resistant flooring. Falling with a hot
or a sharp
in your hand can have serious consequences. A
slip-resistant material on your floor, such as matte-finished wood or
laminate, textured vinyl or a soft-glazed
ceramic tile, will do the trick. If you select tile, try using
a throw-rug with a non-skid backing for added precautions, especially
around areas that get wet.
Keep a fire extinguisher handy. NKBA recommends
that a fire extinguisher be visibly located near a room exit, away
from cooking equipment and 15"-48" above floor.
Keep electrical switches, plugs and
away from water sources and wet hands.
Building codes require that every electrical receptacle be grounded
and protected with ground-fault circuit
interrupters, which shut off the room's electric current is
there is a power surge or it moisture is present. In addition, NKBA
recommends that all wall-mounted room controls be 15" - 48" above the
Consider appliance lock-out options. Many of
today's appliances, particularly ranges, ovens and dishwashers, allow
you to "lock out" little hands so no one can use them when you're not
in the room. This can be done either with lock-out covers or a
programmed lock-out system.
Regulate water temperatures and devices. Install
faucets with anti-scald devices that
prevent water temperature from rising to dangerous levels, or buy
pressure-balanced valves that equalize hot and cold water. Faucets
also are available that can be preprogrammed to your desired
Find a safe cooktop. Avoid being scalded by steam
from boiling pot by staggering burners on your cooktop or have one
straight row of burners. And never choose a unit with control along
the back of the appliance; controls should be along the side or in the
Use the space safely. Think about how traffic
will flow through the kitchen and make sure no one will interfere with
your space when cooking. Locate microwaves 24" to 48" above the floor
to avoid reaching to retrieve food. Slide-out trays and bins in base
cabinets make storage items more
accessible so you don't have to bend. And lastly, avoid sharp corners
on the ends of countertops, especially islands and peninsulas, by
having them rounded.
with permission by the
National Kitchen and Bath Association
Feng Shui in the Kitchen
Feng Shui in the
kitchen is considered to be extremely important.
Cupboards must be spring cleaned regularly and
need to be well organized, uncluttered and easily accessible.
Get rid of all unnecessary clutter. Clutter
attracts stagnant chi. Only have items which are used regularly and do
not get in the way.
Fit cupboards and shelves with rounded corners to
avoid cutting chi into your body while preparing and cooking your
Cork and wood
surfaces are ideal for kitchen floors. Stainless steel and ceramic
tiles can create fast moving chi. This may not be ideal if you want to
spend a lot of time in your kitchen. It may leave you feeling drained
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