While Wednesday may have left us with an aching back and not much to show for it, Thursday left us with aching arms and CABINETS. It is amazing how the addition of a permanent fixture in a room can make all the difference. After months of looking at an empty room, this space that we spend so much time in, is starting to look like a kitchen!
If you haven’t been able to figure it out yet – on Thursday, we started to hang up our wall cabinets. Wall cabinets are shorter than base (or floor) cabinets. In order to make sure they are level and connected well to each other and the wall, they need to be put in before the base cabinets. Otherwise you would be standing in base cabinets while trying to lift a wall cabinet and screw it in – not fun or efficient.
We started with our corner cabinet. This is the type of cabinet that fits perfectly in the corner and has a diagonal door. Let me just say – I LOVE these cabinets. Having a regular cabinet in a corner is so frustrating. There is a whole half of the cabinet that is inaccessible and therefore useless. This is one of the best parts of designing our own kitchen – we get all the things we love in a kitchen.
Anyway – we started by measuring out a level line where the cabinet would end. We plan on adding a quarter molding along the tops of all our cabinets. When measuring out where the cabinets would go, we needed to add 1 1/4 in for each quarter molding. We got a 1 by 2 piece of wood and screwed it up against the wall at the level point. This helps to keep a heavier cabinet in the right spot. Of course, I still needed to hold the cabinet (the wood wasn’t enough to fight against gravity) while Jim screwed in the cabinet.
It is always best to start from a corner and move outwards when it comes to cabinets (or really anything that will be right next to each other – like tiles). Our next cabinet was the one to the left and then the one to the right. There was adjusting and readjusting to ensure each cabinet was flush with one another and level with one another. If being level and flush didn’t matter – we would have finished putting in every cabinet in one day. Alas – that is not how the world works.
After the first corner of cabinets, we did two more sections. There is one area we did not complete because we plan on building a custom cabinet for a section (more on that as we do it). Most of the day continued the same. The most challenging cabinet was the last cabinet of the night. We were installing the cabinet that will be over the microwave and stove. Since the microwave needs electricity to work, we have an outlet that needs to come through this cabinet. If you have a wall microwave, you probably will have an outlet in your cabinet above it – go check! Although that was an extra obstacle, it was not the real reason this cabinet was so difficult to get into place. The cabinet adjacent to it needed a shim between it and the wall to make it flush with the wall. This meant our above the microwave cabinet also needed to come out as far. Yet, since this cabinet will have a side that can be seen, we were not going to put a shim between the cabinet and the wall. The cabinet was also the shortest of the cabinets which meant I could not use my shoulder to help steady it but I had to use just my arm strength. Those of you who know me will understand why this was a problem. After holding cabinets up all day, I wasn’t lasting long holding this one in place. Eventually, Jim had to hold the cabinet while I screwed it in. After a lot of struggle, we got the cabinet in place. Another exhausting day in the Mai Household.