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Can You Put Cabinets On Uneven Floors? (How To)

Installing cabinets is not an easy job but it is one that can be done if you have the right tools and enough patience. Is it also possible to install cabinets if you have uneven floors?

You can install cabinets on an uneven floor but you must ensure that the base cabinets are level and that any low spots are shimmed. In most cases, it is not necessary to level the floor before you install cabinets.

Man fixing the cabinets

The real key to installing cabinets on an uneven floor is to find the highest point along the section where the cabinets are being installed. Identifying the peaks gives you the beginning reference point so you can install all the cabinets and shim any low points.

In the end, you will find that it is not only possible to install cabinets on uneven floors but you won’t even notice that the floors are uneven after the cabinets are installed. Everything will be hidden behind the base and the cabinets will be just as sturdy as if they were on a solid floor.

Can You Put Cabinets On Uneven Floors? (How To)

In this article, we are going to talk about the process of installing cabinets on uneven floors. We are also going to identify some of the problems that are associated with doing it and how to overcome them.

Professional cabinet installers will tell you that there are rarely times that a floor is level. There is always going to be some degree of adjustment that needs to be done because of the floor.

As long as you start the job properly at the high point, you can install the cabinets and be happy with the finished product.

Should You Put Cabinets On Uneven Floors?

Man fixing the cabinets

Although it is possible to install cabinets on uneven floors, that doesn’t mean that it is without problems. Sometimes, there may be issues but when you do things properly, many of those issues can be dealt with successfully.

Low Points – Some of the biggest problems are associated with not installing the cabinets from the high point. If you don’t identify the high point first, you’re going to run into an area where you have to trim the bottom of the cabinets so they fit on the floor.

Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on September 19, 2022.

Remember, it’s not just the front of the cabinet that is being installed but the entire cabinet will make a difference. You need to identify the peaks and valleys at every portion where the cabinets are being installed, both in the front and the back.

Cabinet Strength – Another issue can occur if you don’t properly shim the cabinets as you are installing them. When you shim the cabinets properly, it will be as if they were sitting on the floor directly.

Not shimming them properly means that you are relying on the strength of the wall where the cabinet attaches. It will be strong, and you will have the strength of the other cabinets that are attached, but you will not have as much strength as shimming the bottoms at the low points properly.

Extreme Peaks and Valleys – One other potential problem is for a low or high point in the floor to be extreme. When that occurs, you are going to end up with an unusual situation where you will either have all of the cabinets installed off of the floor or some of them so far off of the floor that you will have to use too many shims.

If you find that there are extreme peaks and valleys where you are installing the cabinets, you may need to float the floor if at all possible. You can always use multiple shims, but it’s not the best choice in some cases.

Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on September 19, 2022.

What Tools Do You Need To Put Cabinets On Uneven Floors

Confused man standing

Having all of the proper tools gathered in advance will help you to get the job done and to ensure that you don’t have any unnecessary delays. The tools that are necessary for installing cabinets on uneven floors are very similar to those used for installing cabinets in any situation.

  • 6 Foot Ladder
  • Laser Level
  • 4 Foot Level
  • Short Level
  • Clamps
  • Belt Sander
  • Circular Saw
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits
  • Screwdrivers
  • Tape Measures
  • Stud Finder

There may be other tools that you will want to use for installing cabinets. Some of these are a personal preference and you can have them on hand to help get the job done.

What Preparations Do You Need To Install Cabinets On Uneven Floors?

Confused man standing

In any DIY project, preparation is going to be one of the most important parts. When you prepare the job in advance, you will be much happier with the finished product. Here are some of the things that must be finalized before you begin the installation process.

Assembly – Prior to the time that you begin installing the cabinets, you should assemble them fully. Doing so allows you to get the measurements you will need to get the job done. You can also put the cabinets in place temporarily to get a visual of how it will look.

Plumbing and Electrical – It is important to ensure that any electrical or plumbing work is finished before you begin installing the cabinets. This will allow you to have everything in place so nothing needs to be moved as the cabinets are being put in place as well.

Walls – If there is any damage to the wall, it should be repaired before you install the cabinets. It is not necessary to fix every hole and patch every imperfection, but having the walls solid and ready for installation is important so you don’t have to work on it as you go.

Floors – Everything about the floor has to be prepared. In addition, you should install the cabinets on subflooring because installing them on the finished floor could come back and haunt you in the future.

Cleaning – If anything is on the floor as you are installing the cabinets, it is going to throw the entire job off. You will be using shims for low points, but if there is a piece of debris on the floor, it can cause an imbalance in the cabinet and instability.

Uppers – As a general rule, you should install the upper cabinets before you install the base cabinets. It is much easier to install the upper level of cabinets while you have the ability to stand directly underneath them. Otherwise, you will be working around the lower cabinets that have just been installed.

The more you can prepare the project for the installation of cabinets, the better off you will be. It will help you to get the job done and to be happy with the finished project.

How To Install Cabinets On Uneven Floors

Confused man standing

Now that you have the area prepared, it’s time to start installing the cabinets. If you’ve already established that the floor is uneven, here’s how to get it done.

1. Laser Level – Put a laser level somewhere in the room so it throws a line at the height of the base cabinets. You can adjust the laser level according to the level of the floor.

Using a sturdy tape measure, measure down from the level line to the floor level. You are looking for any high or low points that may exist. Don’t rush this part of the job. You want to identify the highest area of the floor so you can begin at that point.

Typically, measuring every 12 to 18 inches will help you to identify the highest point of the floor. At the same time, you will be identifying the valleys and it will give you an idea of where you may need to shim the cabinets.

Once you establish the highest point of the floor, you should use that as the finished floor level. Set the laser level again to the height of the base cabinets and work from that line.

2. Studs – Use your stud finder to locate the studs behind where the cabinets will be installed. Use a 4-foot level as a straight edge and mark the vertical line of the stud with a pencil. You should also establish the point of the highest screw.

3. First Cabinet Box – Hold the first cabinet box against the wall in the area of the highest level of the floor. You will want to establish that point, because everything else will be at a lower finished floor level, making it possible to install everything without having to trim the bottom of the cabinets.

Attach the first cabinet to the wall with screws. You should screw directly through the cabinet and the drywall into the stud. After you have the first cabinet established, you can begin working on the others.

4. Additional Cabinets – After you establish the cabinet at the highest point of the floor, work your way to the second box and make sure that it is level with the first. As you do so, there will be some places where the cabinet does not touch the floor. Use shims in that area to stabilize the cabinet. Continue to install all the cabinets, keeping the tops level until you have them all set and ready for the countertop.

It is possible to install cabinets on an uneven floor but you have to establish a high point and install the first cabinet in that area. All other cabinets can then be installed at that level using shims to stabilize them with the floor.

ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on September 19, 2022.

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