Throughout 20+ years of experience with kitchen remodeling and cabinet installation we’ve certainly seen it all, so we love passing our wisdom and warnings onto homeowners so they can avoid costly mistakes.   

While there are always possibilities for minor hiccups when working with a home renovator, one major installation mistake stands out from the crowd:


It seems like a no-brainer, but a level foundation is the make-or-break first step to a successful cabinet installation and long-term enjoyment of your remodeled space.  An incorrect level for your cabinet installation can result in a slanted countertop, uneven cooking surfaces and countertop appliance storage space, and major roadblocks with flooring and finishing.


Here’s what you need to know and how you need to solve it.

  • Accurate first measurements go a very long way. Let’s say you are standing in your kitchen and facing your wall.  Because homes shift over time, no floor, wall or ceiling is perfectly straight even when they appear even at first glance.  With this said, the far left and the far right of your walls might be over an inch in difference – no big deal for everyday use, but a huge deal during installation.
  • Ask your contractor where your top leveling point is.  To account for the shift mentioned above, an experienced installer will begin installation at the highest point to allow for the cabinets to fit in either direction.  When installing a standard 34 ½ inch cabinet height, your contractor must allow for that measurement all the way across – leaving a small margin of space at the highest point and ending up flush at the lowest point.


  • Factor in flooring. A level top surface is extremely important, but the space left below your cabinets can make or break your final kitchen design.  If installing your cabinets prior to your flooring (this decision should be make prior to installation and be based on your choice of flooring materials), an experienced contractor should shim your cabinets during installation so there is enough room at the bottom to complete your flooring process.  Without this step, your flooring options will be limited to what is already there and/or fixed only after backtracking your installation process in a very costly way.  



Getting started with quality cabinets and the right knowledge are the first steps to a successful kitchen cabinet installation.  Connect with an iCabinets design expert now to begin your remodeling process on the right foot!