There are 4 different types of kitchen cabinets that can be purchased on the market:
- Stock cabinets: the best example is IKEA cabinets. They sell ready-to-go sets for the kitchens of different sizes, styles, and features. When you order the kitchen cabinets they pulled the pieces together and deliver home. Then at home you need to assemble it together. The price is very low because the cabinets are ready and materials are not the best quality.
- Prefabricated kitchen cabinets are sold at the big retailers or in the online stores. It is more semi-custom option. Here you have more choices in terms of materials, quality and price. After picking up the cabinets, you will receive it assembled and ready to install.
- Custom cabinets are handmade and designed based on the individual project. You can redefine the sizes, materials and finishes before order. Since the alternatives between materials and constructions are infinite, the variety of expenses for the material and labor very extensive. The prices here are usually dispersed between the choice of style and material, work, and tailored custom design.
- A tiny part of the cabinet companies still has extremely high-end built-in order cabinetry
These companies are recognized for attractive and long-lasting cabinet construction and warranties. However the budget that is to consider is obviously very high.
Good things about prefab and stock kitchen cabinets
The ready to assemble or prefab kitchen cabinets have changes drastically the opportunities that homeowners have. Particularly, for those who prefers to do things themself.
Indeed, there are cabinet “packages” that are available in the stores in almost every possible style of the kitchen cabinets. The idea is to purchase the cabinets at the shop, than go home and simply assemble it together. The installation is comparably easy and not requires any special tools or skills.
However this project requires good management and planning. Before choosing the kitchen cabinets, you should measure carefully the dimensions of the kitchen and draw a plan for the future shelves and drawers. Sometimes it may be difficult to imagine and decide the possible functions that different part of the kitchen can have. So it is going to be a good idea to get inspired from magazines or designer’s ideas at the expositions and showrooms.
How to install prefab or stock kitchen cabinets
There are 3 main steps to install prefab kitchen cabinets
- Firstly, you must measure the elevation of the cabinets and make marks on the wall for the upper shelves. Then make a line on the wall to point out where the kitchen cabinets will hang. Using a level is important to guarantee the line is horizontal. It is also useful to use stud finder. It will trace all wall studs that are essential to correctly support the weight of the cabinets. Do not forget about where the wires and plumbing will be.
- Secure a support board to the wall, attaching it to the pointed studs for the provisionally support the cabinets while installing it. Make certain the hardware and doors aren’t connected to the cabinets, like that it makes them simpler and lighter to fix.
- Now you proceed with hanging the upper cabinets.
Put together several cabinets and make sure you can lift them. Then out them on the support board. Using clamps to fix together the pieces on the facade of the cabinets. After you drill a little and secure two cabinets together with the screws at the stile, fix two bolts, one on the top and one on the bottom, in the front and back, exactly where those two cabinets met.
After you have shimmed for plumb and level, you should attach the cabinets on the wall using the studs. Continue until you fix on the wall the entire cabinetry.
In case there is a hole between the cabinet and the wall, you can apply a filler bar to fill the gap. Then assemble all the doors and hardware. Now you can get rid of the support board.
- At the final step, you can install the base cabinets
In case your floor doesn’t have the same level, you find the highest part on the floor alongside the wall, where the cabinets will be connected. However, the best decision would be to try to begin installation of the base cabinets at close as possible to the high point. It is because it will be easier to shim under the cabinets on the lower place to make them at the equal level with the first cabinet, rather than beginning on a low point and having to sleek the bases of the cabinets while moving ascending.
Measure the dimensions of the base cabinets, and using the pen and level mark on the wall the line. It’s better to do it from the highest point in the floor up until the cabinet height. Make sure you use a level to guarantee accurate horizontal line. This will be the guide to follow for future installation. Using the stud finder you can locate and scratch the studs alongside this line around all the room.
Try to fit your first cabinet into its place, then verify again for the level across the top. If necessary, shim until this level. After, drill a little through the upper framing piece to the wall studs, then put the cabinet into place and secure with screws. Re-check level after securing the cabinet. You need to repeat the process just until all the base cabinets are put in place. Assemble the doors and hardware when all the cabinets are on their places.
Other options for prefab kitchen cabinets
The ready-to-go kitchens, like those from IKEA, can work well also for other rooms. They are rather cheap and can be very universal style. To modify and finish the stock cabinets you just need to paint or redecorate them in the style you want. This way they will look as custom unique pieces.