There will come a time when every DIY novice feels that he – or she – is ready to move on to something a little more adventurous. And what could be more adventurous than fitting kitchen units?
It may not seem particularly difficult to fit kitchen units but it is important to know where to start and here we aim to point you in the right direction.
Planning Your Kitchen
This is as important a part of any DIY project as any. You must ensure that when planning your kitchen you have measured everything and measured every again to make sure you have left nothing to chance. Likewise when measuring and planning the layout of your kitchen you must ensure that there is sufficient space for the units to ‘breathe’. This may sound like a bizarre concept but it is important to allow a small amount of space – usually millimetres – so that the kitchen units can expand and contract in the rapidly changing temperatures of your kitchen.
As with all DIY tasks one of the most important aspects is tooling. Before beginning any DIY project you should look at what you need to do and ensure you have – where possible – the correct tools for the job. Nothing slows down work on a DIY project – or indeed causes more frustration – than lacking the right tools.
To install kitchen units you will ideally need the following:
- Spirit Level
- Electric Drill / Cordless Drill (Masonry Bits for both)
- Cordless Screwdriver
- Rawl plugs and screws (selection of sizes)
- Tape Measure
Marking Out Your Kitchen Units
Before you can hang your kitchen units you need to first off measure where on the walls you want them to be positioned. Using a spirit level you should measure down from the ceiling to where you want the top of the units to be. Carry out this procedure all around the area where you want the units to be placed. Mark out the position of the holes on the rear of the units and then repeat this measure on the walls so that the position of the holes will correspond to where you will drill your holes.
You then need to mark out where the brackets should go onto which the units will be fitted. The holes you have already marked out should correspond to those of the brackets and this should be a good indicator as to the straightness of the unit hang.
Drilling the Holes
When it comes to drilling the holes for the units you should use masonry bits. Most walls are concrete covered with a layer of plaster – especially in the kitchen – so it is important to use the right bits to drill. A useful tip when drilling the holes is to drill downwardly into the hole as opposed to drilling into it in a straight line; this will give more purchase for the Rawl Plugs and screws that will fill them.
Hanging the Units
Most kitchen units now come with dedicated instructions as well as the relevant screws and fittings. However it does no harm to have a selection of screws and Rawl Plugs to hand in case of emergency.
Another good idea is to have another pair of hands present to help hold the units in place whilst you position and tighten up the screws.
By now you will have lines measured out as well as holes drilled so matching up the holes and the lines to the unit should make the job of hanging the unit to the wall a lot easier.
With another person holding the unit in position screw in the screws – having first fitted Rawl Plugs into the corresponding holes – until the unit is flush against the wall. It is best to use a manual screwdriver for this task as it is not always position to get into the tight corners of some units with a cordless one. However if possible keep a cordless screwdriver to hand just in case an awkward screw presents itself
Once you have done this use your spirit level to check the straightness of your unit. It is worth using your spirit level as not all ceilings are level which gives the impression that the walls below are not running straight; this is common in old properties.
If your level shows a straight line then you have successfully fitted your first kitchen unit and are ready to move on to the next.
Again it is worth noting that you should – where possible – follow the instructions supplied with your kitchen unit just to ensure that everything is being done as it should be.