How NOT to Install a Kitchen Cabinet

Each and every day, we innocuously open and close our kitchen cabinets without thinking twice. However, property inspectors around the country routinely find major flaws and critical dangers in improperly installed cabinets.

These lackluster installations create major safety hazards for adults, children and pets. A cabinet that unexpectedly falls, especially one from a high position, could easily injure or kill anyone standing in its way.

At Inside and out Property Inspectors, we care about your safety, that’s our job. So, here’s how NOT to install a kitchen cabinet.

Don’t Trust an Anchor

Many people make the mistake of using anchors instead of locating wall studs. While an anchor can hold a heavy picture, or a speaker, they’re not suited for the weight of a wall cabinet.

Use a stud finder and locate the wall framing. Cabinets should always be secured into the 2×4, or 2×6 framing to ensure it will hold.

Splurge on the Screws

Drywall screws are commonly available and relatively cheap. However, they are not recommended for cabinet installation. These screws were designed to hang light pieces on drywall, along with 30 of their friends.

Wall Cabinets have limited real estate for screws, so use the strongest ones you can find that penetrate at least 1.5 inches into the wall framing.

Remove the Shelves

When you’re installing kitchen cabinets, it can become a lengthy process. Many make the careless mistake of not removing shelves to get to hard to reach areas.

This oftentimes results in not enough screws being used to secure the cabinet. Screws should be placed at least every six inches running vertically. The extra time you take to access the entire cabinet could save a life one day.


Depending on the style of the cabinet, you may not have a frame rail to drive the securing screws through. While you should be using a washer on the screws regardless, if you have to use the back material of the cabinet to secure it to the wall, this is imperative.

A large, thick, heavy duty washer will prevent the screw head from being pulled through the back of the cabinet, something than can result is a devastating fall.

Cabinet Height

If you have high ceilings in your kitchen, it can be tempting to raise the wall cabinets higher than you normally would to expose more backsplash area. Simply, don’t.

Cabinets that are mounted too high often require some type of step stool to access the upper shelves. Not only is this inconvenient, it also drastically increases the chances of you falling from a high point while trying to get into them.

Children are also notorious for climbing on countertops when a parent isn’t looking, to grab a quick snack. Placing cabinets even higher just encourages them to do so.

Find Out How Safe You Really Are

Home inspections aren’t just for new home buyers. Even if you’ve been living in your home for years, a home inspection by Inside and Out can educate you on any potential dangers you’ve never known about.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment and visit our main page for more information on keeping your home and your family safe!


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