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Cal

Kitchen cabinet build tips

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The last project I was planning for our home remodel was kitchen cabinets.  That project was planned for next year - but has been bumped up to this year, and like now...   So I will soon be embarking on a new project for me.  I did build a kitchen island a couple years ago, and it came out pretty decent, but this will be new ground to plow.

 

I know that some of you have built kitchen cabinets.  Maybe more than one set even.  If you were going to do a build today, what would you be sure to do, what would you do differently, what do you like best, and least about the cabinets you did?  Just looking for ideas from you if you have been there, done that...

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Use soft closing door, drawers

Have 110/115 volt Led lighting, both in ceiling and under mount with dimmers

Use pre-finished (UV) ply for the boxes

Consider building separate toe-kick

Consider having drawers instead of doors for base cabinets

If your design uses rail & stile frame construction, have the lower rail 2” wide to better hide under mount lighting.

I built a 27” deep cabinet above the refrigerator instead of 24” std.  Looks more appropriate with deep refrig and allows the counter top to butt the enclosure panel better.  Install pull out drawer.

Build 39” or 42” high cabinets.  Use molding to tie the cabinets together.

Know your kitchen people flow and have adequate room to open oven door, dishwasher door, and cabinet doors.

Consider having 39” wide sink base cabinet

Consider having base cabinet for trash & recyclables

Build upper cabinet end panel wider than cabinet and trim to fit after upper cab is installed.

 

Danl

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no composites..

utilize the base as storage...

cabinet and base separate...

rebate rabbeted and mortise joints...

build as wide a cab as you can in one piece...

engineer your cuts so there isn't any waste... see the pic.. (21LF of cabinets)

rethink the back of your cab... see the picture..

pull out shelves...

dust lip the doors and drawers...

face frame...

full extension glides...

avoid imported plywood...

don't set the base directly to the floor... hold it off the floor w low profile nylon chair glides...

in the advent of water issues the cabinets won't suffer any damage and the the floor will dry quickly under the cab...

better insect and vermin control too...

full continuous flooring under the cabinets... make the flooring under the cabs waterproof...

create a water dam behind the cabinets on/at the base of the wall...

 

SCRAP.jpg.33066273aa4b579a8e42b5c601dbb988.jpg  787427190_CABBACK1.jpg.5c2704ebf8a63fdc14b846bfeed625f3.jpg

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Great ideas Danl & Stick. 

Over the next few weeks I will be preparing the space - gutting the existing kitchen, leveling the floor and getting the layout plan done.  I have the rough idea in my mind, but I will have to draw it out to scale so that I can install new lights and renovate the ceiling, move wiring and plumbing around as needed and it will then be on to cabinets.  Oh yeah, one other "side project" will be a half bath which is just off the kitchen space.  This past week while working on leveling the living room floor I did get under the stairway and modified the floor joist to accommodate a relocation of the toilet.

 

Further info, if it will help: the kitchen will be an "L" shape, 14' x 10'3".  The 14' is an outside wall.  I will post up a rough sketch of my thoughts later this morning regarding layout.

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1 hour ago, Danl said:

I installed my cabinets by screwing a level ledger board beneath the bottom of the upper cabinets.  I installed the uppers before the lowers. 

my way too...

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On 2/24/2019 at 7:02 AM, Cal said:

Over the next few weeks I will be preparing the space - gutting the existing kitchen, leveling the floor and getting the layout plan done.  I have the rough idea in my mind, but I will have to draw it out to scale so that I can install new lights and renovate the ceiling, move wiring and plumbing around as needed and it will then be on to cabinets.  Oh yeah, one other "side project" will be a half bath which is just off the kitchen space. 

Cal, are you planning to gut the kitchen, before the cabinets are fab'd?  Danl

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10 hours ago, Danl said:

Cal, are you planning to gut the kitchen, before the cabinets are fab'd?  Danl

Yes, I have to gut the kitchen.  The floor has a big dip in it that I have to address first.  It is nearly a 1" sag in that area in front of the stove.  I plan to remove the pantry closet to the left of the existing counter today.  Then tackle the floor in the room off to the right of the kitchen in the pic and then pull the lower cabinets out and do the kitchen and 1/2 bath floor.

I expect to place the existing cabinets back into place after the floor is completed while I work on the cabinets and change/upgrade the space.

IMG_2711.jpg.fcbb4fe0ec850d80e609fca9ac6d1b1e.jpg

 

From the starting pic above, my initial plans call for removal of the pantry on the left, wall off the room to the right of the kitchen, relocate range to the new wall with a microwave/vent fan combo above it.  New upper cabinetry along the right hand wall only.  Relocate the fridge to the space where the pantry is and recenter the sink with a new and larger window on the existing exterior wall.

 

IMG_2712.jpg.e1bbfa5327d12780871e737612a092bc.jpg

 

A whole host of side/accompanying projects to complete while all this is going on.  I will call in reinforcements as necessary, but most all of this project will be me - working alone.  I have braced the wife for six months, minimum to have things tore up.  Luckily (?), she works out of town and is usually gone 4-5 days out of the week.  So that week that I tackle the kitchen floor, I can deal with no sink and no range/oven since I will be here alone.  If I get it back in place by Friday evening it's all good!

 

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2 hours ago, Stick486 said:

do you know why???

Stick just asked my question.

 

Be prepared to address some sub floor issues. Something is "rotten in Denmark". If this is the case, add another few days to the floor estimate.

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Had a friend had same issue they found the floor joist had sagged.  Got a engineering company to come in and fix with a thick steel beam and some supports.  Once done all the doors above in the kitchen and the 2nd story worked correctly again.  Now in less costly terms I have gone in a basement / crawlspace and poured a concrete form, then built a block base up so a bottle jack could be used to lift level then installed steel support columns to correct height.  MUCH cheaper.  Now the crawling around part was not fun.

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22 hours ago, JIMMIEM said:

@Cal,

What material for the counter tops?

 

Jim, subject to change - but right now we are thinking quartz.

 

 

22 hours ago, Stick486 said:

do you know why???

 

Stick & @schnewj - there have been two major water disasters since we have lived here.  The first was a water filter under the sink that put about 2-3 inches of water over the kitchen-dining area (that room off the kitchen).  The second was a hot water pipe that burst under the house.  I think it was some few days before discovered.  Then there was the water heater that leaked for a time with no pan under it, just soaked into the osb subfloor until it was discovered under the house by the bug man...

 

9 hours ago, Woodbutcherbynight said:

Had a friend had same issue they found the floor joist had sagged. 

 

In this regard, I did have two piers added under the main beam that divides the kitchen space from the living room.  Prior to taking out a load bearing wall here, I had the piers placed where new support posts where installed to hold the 2nd floor beam that replaced the wall.

 

IMG_2697.jpg.165ad424c19e1d799c796b4815ec12b5.jpg

 

As I came across the living room space, sistering joists and leveling the floor, the main beam we are referring to would be at the right edge of the new OSB underlayment in the above picture.  This main beam does sag about 5/8" in the center, right in the area of the right hand "Advantech" stamp is on that sheet of OSB.  That beam is two 2x10's nailed together and spans about 10' (best I recall) between piers.  What it "used to" hold up, was flooring on each side - 10' kitchen side & 8' LR side, load bearing wall and upstairs floor, 10' and 16'.  With the new layout this span will only have the 10' & 8' kitchen-living room flooring and whatever load (the kitchen island) that is placed on it.

 

The floor joists and the main beams in the living room have all been in good, sound condition.  The particle board underlayment was pretty "wavey".  The 7/16" OSB subfloor was "ok" in the front half and pretty weak and not good at all the closer to the kitchen and that corner where the water heater was located. 

 

Appreciate all your thoughts.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Cal said:

here have been two major water disasters since we have lived here. 

did I say add a couple of weeks...

please change that to months...

and make sure the wife is informed...

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Just a thought about kitchens and aging.  Move all your heavier items to the base cabinets.  Smaller and lighter things should go in the upper cabinets.  Having a waist high placement of heavy machinery such as mixers is the ideal.  When my wife went into a wheelchair 20 years ago,  an occupational therapist came and helped us re-arrange kitchen stuff and it is working out much better.  I hope this is not too late.

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16 minutes ago, FlGatorwood said:

Just a thought about kitchens and aging.  Move all your heavier items to the base cabinets.  Smaller and lighter things should go in the upper cabinets.  Having a waist high placement of heavy machinery such as mixers is the ideal.  When my wife went into a wheelchair 20 years ago,  an occupational therapist came and helped us re-arrange kitchen stuff and it is working out much better.  I hope this is not too late.

Good tip.  We'll all get older.  My wife had a stroke 4 years ago and a lot of her strength and dexterity has not returned so I have to start thinking about stuff like this.

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