How to fit a kitchen | rooms | how to guides | diy advice | B&Q

How to fit a kitchen

Fit a kitchen

Everything you need to know about fitting a kitchen.

Before you start: Remove the old cabinets, disconnect power and water supplies and do any preparatory work necessary on the walls and ceiling. It is a good idea to apply the first coat of paint to the walls and ceiling before fitting the cabinets. The top coat can be completed after they are in place.

Cabinets

Fitting base cabinets

1 Using a spirit level, mark a horizontal guideline on the walls level with where the top of the cabinets will be, aligning them with existing appliances. Remember to allow for the cabinet's legs when working out the height.

2 Assemble the base cabinets and move them into position, starting with a corner cabinet. Rotate the legs to adjust the height until it aligns with the pencil guideline on the wall. Use a spirit level to check that the run of cabinets is level.

3 Adjoining cabinets should be fixed together. First clamp cabinets, then use a 3mm twist bit to drill between the two hinge holes through one cabinet and 4mm into the next. Use the 25mm screws supplied.

4 To turn a corner with a run of cabinets, you need to fit a corner post or there will be an ugly gap. Screw two brackets at the top and bottom of the inside face of the central post of the cabinet that extends into the corner. Screw two 15mm screws from behind through each bracket into the corner post.

5 Screw two brackets to the top and bottom of the outside face of the adjacent cabinet. Screw two 15mm screws from behind through each bracket into the corner post.

6 Fix cabinets to the wall with two brackets. Check for pipes/cables. On masonry use wallplugs plus drill with hammer action and masonry bit; on plasterboard use plasterboard fixings. Drill a pilot hole into the cabinet and secure the bracket with a 15mm screw. On end panels, angle screws slightly downwards.

Fitting wall cabinets

The wall cabinets hook onto brackets that must be very securely fixed to the wall.

1 Use a spirit level to mark a horizontal guideline for the bottom edge of the wall cabinets (measuring up from the top of the base cabinets allowing for worktop) and another for the top. Following your plan, draw vertical lines where cabinets will meet.

2 Follow manufacturer's instructions to position wall fixing brackets. Each cabinet needs two, one in each top corner. Hold a bracket in place and mark the position of the fixing holes, then fix according to type of wall (see right).

3 Hook wall cabinets onto the brackets. Use the adjustment block to position accurately. Lay a spirit level across the top of the cabinet and turn one screw to level horizontally, then against the front face and adjust the other screw until vertical. Check cabinets are level with each other.

4 Join adjacent wall cabinets in the same way as base cabinets. Finally, decide on the best position for the shelves and push the shelf supports into the pre-drilled holes. Tilt the shelves and slide them into place.

Fixing cabinets to different types of walls

Always check for pipes and cables before drilling into any wall. If you have solid plaster walls, then use a power drill with hammer action and insert wallplugs and then screws. If you have slightly crumbling plaster, use longer plugs and screws.

If you have plasterboard walls, use hollow-wall fixings to secure the brackets. For safety you must add extra fixings to the wall cabinets. Hang the cabinet on the brackets and adjust it as described above. Then unhook the cabinet. Use a stud detector to locate a stud or nogging behind the wall. Pack out the cavity at the back of the cabinet with a length of timber, rehang it on the brackets and drill right through the back of the cabinet and packing to screw it firmly into the stud or nogging. Use two additional screws per cabinet.

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Fitting doors

1 Push each of the two hinges into the large holes in the back of the door and fix into position using the screws supplied.

2 Screw the two hinge plates to the cabinet in the correct position top and bottom using the pre-drilled holes.

3 Offer up the door (complete with hinges) to the cabinet and simply clip the hinges into the hinge plates. Fix the top one first then the bottom one.

4 Tighten the fixing screws and adjust the two adjustment screws on the hinge plate with a screwdriver to square and align the door.

5 For a neat finish, cover the adjustment screws with the finishing cap.

6 Test that the door closes easily and is aligned properly with the cabinet when closed. If not, make any further adjustments needed.

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Fitting drawer fronts

1 Make up the drawer box using the two metal sides, back and base. Screw through the base to fix the sides and back using the screws supplied.

2 Screw the drawer runners into place inside the cabinet and slide the open-fronted drawer box into them.

3 Screw the plastic clips to the back of the drawer front using the pilot holes for position.

4 Line up the plastic clips with the corresponding fastenings in both sides of the drawer box and simply push in until they clip into place.

5 Use both adjustment screws in the sides of the drawer box to square and align the drawer front before fixing the finishing cap.

6 Glide the drawer box in and out on its runners to check everything is properly aligned. If not, make any further adjustments needed.

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Fitting worktops

Use a panel saw to cut laminate board to the right length before you begin fitting. Factory-cut edges will inevitably be more accurate than those you cut yourself, so position factory cuts where the edge will show and hide your own cuts against wall junctions or under a joining strip.

1 Choose where to make the fixing positions for the worktop: three screws at the back and front of each cabinet will usually be about right. Using a 4mm gauge bit, drill clearance holes through the support panels on each cabinet.

2 Use a panel saw to cut laminate worktop. Factory-cut edges will be much neater, so if possible position home-cut edges where they won't show. Put the laminate worktop in position, checking it fits tightly against the wall, and that edges butt up snugly.

3 A specially profiled aluminium joining strip is needed to join worktops on a corner. Use a hacksaw to cut to length. Apply silicone sealant along the cut edge of the worktop before fixing with 16mm (3.5mm gauge) wood screws. Apply more sealant and slide the two sections together.

4 Fix the worktop to the cabinets from underneath. Wrap masking tape 38mm from the end of a 2mm gauge drill bit as a depth guide. Drill through each of the clearance holes into the worktop. Stop when you reach the tape. Fix using 38mm (5mm gauge) wood screws.

5 Apply matching laminate strip to exposed worktop edges; this will be supplied with the worktop. Cut the strip to the right length. Apply contact adhesive to both the back of the edging strip and the worktop edge. Leave for the recommended time and then stick into place.

6 Once the glue has dried completely, trim the edge with a craft knife and file off rough edges with a fine file.

Cutting a laminate worktop to fit the sink

1 Use the template supplied, or turn the sink upside down on the worktop and trace around the edge in pencil. Draw onto masking tape if pencil doesn't show on the worktop. Make sure it's centred on the worktop width and the bowl will fit underneath.

2 Take the sink away and measure the overlap required for the sink edge to rest on the worktop. The manufacturer's instructions should give you this measurement. Use a ruler to draw another line at this distance inside the first.

3 Using a 12mm gauge flat bit, drill a hole through the worktop at each corner of the inner line to enable you to insert the blade of a jigsaw. Be extremely careful that you don't stray over the line.

4 Cut along the inner line using a power jigsaw with a laminate blade. Stick masking tape on the jigsaw plate to avoid scratching the surface. Support the piece you are cutting out as you get to the end, to prevent the worktop splitting.

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Fitting the handles

1 Measure the width and depth of a drawer front and mark the centre point very lightly in pencil. Centre the handle on your mark, ensuring it is level. Mark the fixing points. You can rub the guidelines out later.

2 Support the drawer front on two pieces of wood and drill clearance holes right through it for the handle screws. Make sure the drill is at exactly 90 degrees to the surface or the handles won't fit properly.

3 Push the screws supplied through the holes from the back, and screw them into the handle.

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Fitting the plinth

1 Measure the distance of the run of cabinets corner to corner, and cut the plinth to fit. Lay the plinth on the floor by the front edge of the cabinets and, using a try square, draw lines level with either side of each leg.

2 Hold a fixing bracket between the two lines and use a bradawl to make a starting hole. Fix it parallel to the bottom edge, using the screws supplied. Fit the rest of the brackets in line with each leg along the entire run.

3 Slide the plinth clips into the brackets then clip the plinth into place by simply pushing each bracket onto the legs of the cabinet.

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