How to Prepare for Kitchen Cabinet Installation

Cream colored kitchen cabinets
Cream colored kitchen cabinets

Are you considering kitchen renovation? A crucial part of any kitchen remodel is the choice of countertop. The right countertop can enhance the beauty of your cabinets while providing durability and functionality. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on kitchen countertop options that complement your cabinets. From custom to stock cabinets, we will explore the different types of materials, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each, to help you make an informed decision. With this guide, you can select the perfect countertop to maximize your kitchen’s visual appeal and usability.

Types of Cabinets to Choose From

When it comes to choosing kitchen cabinets to complement your home, you have a wide variety of options to choose from. From custom cabinets to stock cabinets, each type of cabinetry has its own distinct set of advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll look closer at the different types of cabinets available to help you make an informed decision for your home.

Stock Cabinets

Stock cabinets are a popular option for those looking for a quick and cost-effective solution for their kitchen renovation. However, there are several drawbacks that come with these mass-produced cabinets.

One of the notable disadvantages of stock cabinets is their limited customization options. While they may come in a range of pre-designed styles and finishes, they may not match the specific preferences of the homeowner. In addition, stock cabinets are often made using MDF (medium-density fiberboard), which can release formaldehyde into the home and potentially cause health concerns.

The use of low-quality materials in stock cabinets can also result in a less durable construction that may not withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. Additionally, stock cabinets may not fit perfectly or match adjacent cabinets due to their standard sizes and dimensions, resulting in unsightly gaps or awkward layout arrangements.

On the other hand, custom cabinetry offers superior benefits compared to stock cabinets. Custom cabinets are built to order, using high-quality materials that are chosen specifically for each individual project. This results in a more durable construction that can withstand heavy usage and last for many years.

Custom cabinetry also provides homeowners with the flexibility to personalize their cabinets to their specific preferences. From the wood species used to the exact dimensions and design features, custom cabinets offer endless possibilities for customization. Plus, their custom fit ensures a seamless and aesthetic appearance, eliminating any gaps or awkward spacing.

While there are several types of cabinets available, including stock, semi-custom, and custom, custom cabinetry is the preferred option for those looking for a long-lasting, personalized solution for their kitchen renovation. Invest in high-quality, durable construction, and flexible customization options by choosing custom cabinetry for your next project.

Semi-Custom Cabinets

If you are looking for a cost-effective way to achieve a custom cabinetry look, semi-custom cabinets may be the perfect solution for you. Semi-custom cabinets offer a happy medium between stock cabinets and fully custom cabinets by offering more flexibility and options than stock cabinets without the high price tag usually associated with entirely custom solutions.

Semi-custom cabinets are usually manufactured in predetermined sizes, which helps keep their cost more affordable than fully custom cabinets. However, they also offer the possibility of modifications, such as changes to dimensions or styles, to fit specific measurements or styles in your kitchen. This flexibility allows homeowners to personalize their cabinets to their specific preferences and create a custom look without the custom cabinet price.

The most popular semi-custom cabinet brands include KraftMaid, Thomasville, and Wellborn. Each brand has unique features such as adjustable shelves and drawer fronts, as well as different levels of customization available. KraftMaid cabinets come in over 100 different finishes and can be customized with integrated LED lighting and custom door designs. Thomasville cabinets offer different overlay styles, such as full overlay or inset, and the option to choose different cabinet depths and molding styles. Wellborn offers over 50,000 combinations of styles and finishes, as well as the option to add customized interiors.

By combining semi-custom and custom cabinetry, homeowners can create a cohesive and cost-effective design. For example, they can use fully custom cabinets in areas where a high degree of customization is needed, such as an island or a built-in bookshelf, and use semi-custom cabinets for other areas where less customization is required, such as base cabinets or upper cabinets.

Overall, semi-custom cabinets offer flexibility and options for homeowners who want a custom look without the high price tag. With various popular brands and customization levels available, semi-custom cabinets can help you create a beautiful and functional kitchen that suits your specific needs and preferences.

Custom Cabinets

Custom cabinetry is a high-end furniture solution that is uniquely designed and crafted to the exact specifications and needs of a specific space. These cabinets are created by skilled craftsmen who use superior materials and top-of-the-line techniques to produce a bespoke solution that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

One of the major advantages of custom cabinetry is the ability to design a fully bespoke solution that meets the unique needs and preferences of the homeowner. For instance, these cabinets can be designed to fit into awkward corners, maximize storage space, and complement the existing decor and color scheme. Custom cabinetry is a perfect choice for homeowners looking for a high degree of customization and a unique approach to furniture design.

Custom cabinets can greatly enhance the aesthetic appeal of a room while maximizing storage space and improving functionality. In the kitchen, custom cabinets can be designed to incorporate specific features, such as specialized storage for pots and pans or pull-out shelves for easy access. In the closet, custom-built organizers can transform an awkward space into an efficient one. In the living room, a custom media center can add style and elegance to the room while also providing ample storage for electronics and media equipment.

There are different types of custom cabinets available, including kitchen cabinets, closet organizers, media centers, bookcases, and more. Each type of cabinet has its unique features and advantages, and a skilled custom cabinet maker can guide the homeowner in selecting the best option for their specific space and design preferences.

Working with a skilled custom cabinet maker is an essential step in creating a bespoke solution for your home. A skilled professional can guide the homeowner through the entire design and installation process, from the initial consultation to the final installation. They can offer expert insights and help the homeowner make informed decisions that will result in a stunning and functional furniture solution that meets their unique needs.

In summary, custom cabinetry offers unique features and benefits that make it a perfect choice for homeowners looking for a bespoke solution tailored to their needs. By selecting a skilled custom cabinet maker, homeowners can achieve a stunning and functional furniture solution that maximizes storage space, enhances aesthetic appeal, and adds value to their home.

Preparing for Installation

Before you begin any kitchen cabinet installation project, it’s crucial to prepare properly to ensure a smooth and successful process. This involves taking proper measurements, making necessary repairs and modifications to your kitchen, selecting the right tools and materials, and enlisting the help of professionals if needed. By following these basic steps, you’ll be well on your way to achieving a beautiful and functional kitchen that meets your unique needs and style preferences.

Measuring Your Space and Selecting a Design Layout

Before beginning any custom cabinetry installation project, it’s crucial to measure your space accurately and select a design layout that suits both your visual and storage needs. This ensures that your kitchen cabinets fit perfectly, providing optimal functionality and a polished look.

To start, measure the square footage of your kitchen space to ensure you have enough room for your desired cabinet layout. Consider how much storage space you’ll need for your kitchen essentials and appliances, as well as any decorative items you may want to display.

Once you have an idea of your square footage and storage needs, it’s time to visualize the configuration that works best for you. This can involve creating an L-shape, a U-shape, or even a galley style, depending on the size and shape of your kitchen. Think about how you’ll be using your kitchen space and what kind of flow you’d like to create.

After you’ve decided on a configuration, draw a basic sketch that outlines your cabinetry layout. Include the placement of base cabinets, upper cabinets, drawers, and any other features you would like to have. Consider how you want to arrange the cabinets around any existing electrical outlets and appliances, as well as any adjacent cabinet features like islands or pantry cabinets.

Gather Materials Needed for Installation

Before beginning the installation of your custom kitchen cabinets, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials and tools to ensure a smooth installation process. Here is a comprehensive list of items you will need:

  • Custom cabinetry
  • Screws (3-inch #10 screws if attaching to wall studs)
  • Toggle bolts if attaching to drywall
  • Adjacent cabinet if needed
  • 2×6 blocking if installed on plaster walls
  • Plywood to cover the cut-out area
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Drill bits
  • Hardware handles or knobs
  • Cushions for drawer sides

It is also important to select the correct hardware based on the type of wall in the space. For example, if attaching cabinetry to a plaster wall, 2×6 blocking may be necessary for added support.

When installing the cabinets, two methods are commonly used. The first is installation on a wall stud. This involves locating the wall studs with a stud finder and screwing the hardware into the studs for added stability. The second method is drywall installation using toggle bolts. This involves drilling a hole into the drywall, inserting the toggle bolt, and then securing the hardware.

In some cases, it may be necessary to cut away a section of drywall and install 2×6 blocking behind the wall studs. This provides added support for the cabinetry and ensures a secure installation.

Properly mounting cabinets is crucial for ensuring safety and functionality in your kitchen. It’s important to follow manufacturer instructions and use the appropriate hardware, screws, and wall studs or toggle bolts for a secure and lasting installation.

Selecting the Right Hardware and Accessories for the Custom Cabinetry

Choosing the right hardware and accessories is crucial in complementing the overall look and design of custom cabinetry. The hardware and accessories should not only add to the visual appeal of the cabinets but also provide functionality and longevity.

When selecting hardware and accessories, it is important to consider the overall style and design of the cabinets. If the cabinets have a contemporary flair, sleek and minimalistic hardware would be a great addition. Alternatively, if the cabinetry is more traditional, ornate and decorative hardware may complement the design better.

Knobs and pulls are essential hardware options to consider when accessorizing custom cabinetry. Knobs come in varying shapes, sizes, and finishes, and can transform the overall look of the cabinets. Pulls can be selected to match or contrast the knobs and are available in handle or bar styles. Hinges are another hardware option that can be chosen to blend seamlessly with the cabinetry style or add a contrasting element through color or finish.

Other accessories to consider for custom cabinetry are drawer pulls, shelf brackets, and decorative molding. Drawer pulls come in various styles, and it’s important to choose those that offer ample space for use. Shelf brackets are ideal for adding additional storage to custom cabinets, and come in a wide variety of styles and finishes. Decorative molding can add a unique touch to the cabinetry and can be selected based on the cabinet design and style.

When selecting hardware and accessories, it is also crucial to choose high-quality options that will last as long as the custom cabinetry. Durable materials such as stainless steel, brass, and bronze are great choices for hardware and accessory options. Quality finishes such as chrome, matte black, brushed nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze can bring elegance and style to the custom cabinetry while ensuring the longevity of the hardware.

Prepping Walls and Studs Before Installation Begins

Before installation begins, it is crucial to ensure that the walls and studs are properly prepped for the new custom cabinetry. This process is vital to ensure that the cabinetry is mounted securely and will last for many years to come.

One of the first steps is to locate the wall studs and mark them with plumb lines. This will ensure that the cabinetry is installed evenly and straight. It’s also important to make sure that cleats are installed for upper cabinets. The cabinets should be mounted between two or more studs to ensure proper placement and stability. If a cabinet doesn’t cover the distance between studs, a horizontal metal plate should be used to support it.

The surrounding walls also need to be prepped for the new cabinetry. This includes getting the walls drywalled, primed, and painted for an easier installation process. Drywalling is an essential step since it provides a strong base for the cabinetry to be mounted on. Priming and painting are also essential as they make it easier to see any imperfections in the walls and make it easier to touch up any areas that may have been damaged during the installation process.

Another important consideration is the surrounding trim for any new windows or doors. This trim must be installed before the cabinetry since the cabinetry will be mounted next to it. Not installing the trim first could cause problems later, such as gaps between the trim and the cabinetry.

In conclusion, prepping the walls and studs are essential steps before installing custom cabinetry. By following these steps, you’ll ensure that your cabinetry is mounted securely and will last for many years to come. Be sure to locate wall studs and mark them with plumb lines, install cleats for upper cabinets, get the walls drywalled, primed, and painted, and install any surrounding trim before mounting the cabinetry.


Installing custom cabinetry is a great way to add style and storage to any space. When selecting hardware and accessories, it is important to choose high-quality options that will last as long as the cabinetry. Additionally, prepping the walls and studs are essential steps before installing custom cabinetry, such as locating wall studs and marking them with plumb lines, getting the walls dry-walled, primed, and painted, and installing any surrounding trim.

Bella Duckworth

Bella Duckworth

Total posts created: 2114
“Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space… On the one hand, it’s about shelter, but it’s also about pleasure.” – Zaha Hadid

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