After a few weekends of rest from our exciting Colorado white Christmas, we are back at the barn again. Last week, I laid the floor up to the point where it’s close to the cabinets, and Mr. Code Junkie and I worked on installing base cabinets.
I know this picture above just looks like we put the cabinets next to each other and against the wall but there’s way more involved than I had first anticipated!
First, I did some shopping around the local stores for cheap cabinets but they are all quite expensive for quality cabinets. The only thing cheaper we saw looked like it was made with paper and I might accidentally punch a hole in it by just touching. So we went back to the big box store – Home Depot and Lowes.
I personally would not recommend shopping at Lowe’s ever again because their customer service was pretty horrendous. One of the cabinets came a little damaged and getting them replaced was a nightmare. Next time, I would drive 4 hours to an Ikea to get the cabinets I really want (SEKTION). Ikea cabinets would’ve been a total of $512 after tax (30 inches $153, 24 inches $172, and 18 inches $143) plus renting a truck and drive 8 hours round trip.
Here are the three cabinets we got from Lowes, from left to right they are 30 inches, 24 inches, and 18 inches. The total trip to Lowes was $601 which is more expensive than Ikea. Since I’ve never had Ikea cabinets so I can’t compare them but I would’ve liked the smooth finish of the Ikea cabinets better.
These Cabinets from Lowe’s are called Diamond Now Acadia cabinets. They are made of particleboard but covered up nicely. Although because it is made with particleboard, it’s very easy to break. We almost damaged a drawer moving these cabinets. They are fairly cheaply made but they are the most economical and ok-looking cabinets I can get my hands on, so they will do for this project.
We also bought a new stud-finder since our last one was from Home Depot and it was not accurate. When I was trying to find the stud for installing the A/C mini-split, the plumber happened to be here to help me find the stud and he just used a super strong magnet to find the nails that were in the stud. At first, I thought this method was like trying to find a needle in the haystack, but after he let me try to find the stud with his magnet and I found it, I felt pretty good about this new method instead of the beeping machine I used to have.
Because of the way the cabinets are, we had to add a piece of wood in between to cover the gap and screw it to the wall.
We also screwed the cabinets to each other using these screws below. These came with a little flat (almost washer-like) collar that prevents the screw going into the particle board – another trick I learned from watching this youtube guy.
Overall, this whole experience was a bit stressful because I didn’t know exactly what I was doing in terms of leveling the cabinets and screwing them in. The first cabinet is the hardest and they gradually got easier as we went along. There was no turning corners or upper cabinets to install which I am very thankful for!
I also had a hard time cutting the shims after leveled the cabinets. I saw online people used a multi-tool to cut the excess but since we don’t have that, we leveled the cabinets first, then carefully mark the shims, take them out by tilting the cabinets (and not moving it). We then cut the shims with a miter saw and put the shims back. This required me to check the levels, again and again, each time the cabinets were moved which was tedious but we got the job done in the end.
Alas, let’s enjoy these lovely leveled cabinets one more time before I get back to laying the rest of the floor.