What Screws Do I Use to Install Cabinets?

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Cabinets are an extremely useful addition to any storage space, whether it's in a garage workshop or above the counters in the kitchen. When installing cabinets you should use screws to anchor them, but precisely which screws you should use when varies depending on how you're installing the cabinets and into what material.

Wood Screws

  • Most often, when installing cabinets, you're going to be screwing them into the wall studs, or into wood blocking that's placed there to hold them up. In this case you should use wood screws, 3 inches for the studs and 2.5 inches for the wood blocking if you're using that instead.

Concrete Screws

  • If you're installing cabinets against a concrete wall, as those working in a basement or garage might do, then you're going to need concrete screws, preferably of the self-tapping variety. Make sure that you have your pilot holes drilled, and use 3-inch screws in the concrete to hold your cabinets tight.

Load Capacity

  • Keep in mind that you're going to have to hold up more than the cabinet. If you're going to be placing heavy items in the cabinet once it's installed, you should use screws that have a higher load capacity and a longer length as well. The additional length and size of the screws means they can hold onto the wall against bigger weights, but it also means the screws will be more expensive and installation will be more difficult.

Hanging Rail

  • With many cabinets there is an internal hanging rail where screw locations have already been set out for you. In this case make sure that the screws you choose fit into the pre-drilled holes, per manufacturer recommendation. For length, 3 inches is the base, and you can go up from that as you need more support.

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