Once you have your new Canyon Creek cabinets, we suggest that you use a qualified, experienced installer who is licensed and bonded. The correct cabinet installation is the final step to your cabinet purchase, and a quality installation is essential to ensure your complete satisfaction.

Our Installation PDF explains what you can expect when you have your cabinets installed. Due to job site conditions and the individual installer’s techniques, variations on the guidelines may be necessary and are permissible with a reputable installer.

Room inspection and preparation

For new construction, all rooms should be cleared of debris, with plumbing, wiring and other mechanical “rough-in” completed. The installer needs to verify that all plumbing fixtures, vents and pipes are where they should be located in relationship to the plans.

If you are remodeling your kitchen, make sure that all existing appliances, sinks and unnecessary fixtures are removed. Kitchen walls and ceilings must be free of all obstructions. Old cabinets, baseboards, wainscoting and other items affecting the installation should be removed.

Any painting, electrical or plumbing that you have planned should be completed before your new cabinets are installed. It is also important to protect any new flooring with cardboard or tarps during the cabinet installation.

Basic tools required
  • Level
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Tape measure
  • Shims
  • C-clamps
  • Carpenter’s glue
  • Nail gun or hammer
  • Screwdriver – slotted and Phillips
  • Crosscut fine tooth hand saw or chop saw
  • Electric drill and drill bits
  • Fasteners – wood or sheet metal screws
  • Touch-up pens and putty stick to match the finish
Inspect the cabinets
Remove all face wraps and carton materials from the cabinets. The installer should have all the necessary installation tools as well as all of the mouldings and hardware on hand. The kitchen drawings should be checked against the packing list to ensure that all the cabinetry items are there, and in the correct sizes.
Determine the high and low spots

As all floors and walls will not have a smooth, level surface, it is important to locate the high and low spots. Once found, shim the cabinets to be plumb and level so that you can obtain a smooth, level surface. The cabinets need to be as plumb and level as possible, using shims on the back of cabinets if necessary, so that the doors and drawers will work as designed.

TIP: Wood shingles make good shims.

If the flooring is to be put in after the cabinets, make sure you shim the cabinets the height of the future floor, otherwise you will have trouble with alignment of the appliances.

Mark for base cabinet placement
Use your floor plan as a guide to measure and mark the walls where each cabinet is going to be installed. With a chalk line, strike a level line around the room on the walls using the highest spot as a starting point. This is your “base level” line and is the point to which you will level the tops of the base cabinets.
Locate the wall studs
You can locate the studs using a stud finder magnet or by pounding a small nail into the wall. Mark the centers of the studs. Mark the inside of the back of the cabinets that correspond to the studs.
Install the wall or base cabinets

To avoid any damage to the cabinet doors during installation, it is recommended to remove the doors before beginning the installation. Use a piece of masking tape with the corresponding cabinet written on it to mark each door and to avoid confusion when putting the doors back on.

TIP: We recommend that the wall cabinets be installed first. This will allow full access without having to lean over the base cabinets and will also help to prevent damage to the base cabinets.

Wall cabinets


The most common place to begin hanging the wall cabinets is in a corner. Determine the placement of the cabinet by using the lines that were marked previously. Mark the position of the wall studs inside the cabinets; place the cabinet in position and fasten the cabinet through the back to the wall. Using a C-clamp, attach the next cabinet, making adjustments so that the top and front edges of the cabinets are flush. Tighten the clamps; drill through one of the side stiles and part way into the other side stile; then join the cabinets together.

On frameless cabinets, use a 5mm drill bit and drill through the shelf system holes, and fasten the cabinets together using two-piece connecting screws (ordered separately).

Follow these steps for each of the remaining wall cabinets. It is the installer’s responsibility to make sure that the wall cabinets are installed level and plumb, using shims where necessary.

CAUTION: Upper cabinets not attached securely to wall studs may fall when loaded. The installer must ensure that the cabinet box is screwed (not nailed) directly into the wall studs.

For cabinets with no side support: Install blocking between wall framing prior to cabinet installation, and use an L-shaped support bracket screwed through each end of the cabinet box into the blocking. (VWH-BRKT)

Base cabinets


Choose a starting point. The cabinet placement has been marked with the “base level” line. Starting with the cabinet located in the corner, use thin wooden shims placed under the cabinet as necessary so that the cabinet is plumb, and checking that it is level with a carpenter’s level. Fasten the cabinet to the wall using wood screws, and secure the cabinets together using C-clamps.

TIP: Do not fully tighten the screws until all the cabinets are installed so that final adjustments can be made.

Shim the second cabinet until it is plumb and level, then secure it to the wall. Repeat this procedure following the floor plan until the cabinets are installed. It is the installer’s responsibility to install the base cabinets in a continuous level line.

Fillers and end panels
Standard fillers may be required, especially in wall-to-wall designs. Attach fillers to the cabinet in the same manner as used in joining cabinets together. Fillers can be attached by pre-drilling a hole from inside the cabinet box into the filler. At the end of the cabinet run, a Finished End Panel is necessary to cover the unfinished end of the cabinet. Fasten the End Panel to the cabinet with carpenter’s glue and finish nails.
Island or peninsula cabinets

Locate the ceiling joist or solid blocking in the same manner used to locate the wall studs. Mark them on the tops of the peninsula cabinets. The use of lag bolts is recommended to secure cabinets into ceiling blocking or ceiling joists. Cabinets have to be securely attached to the ceiling joists to hold a fully loaded cabinet.

Island pony walls are often not plumb so you’ll need to make adjustments before installing the island cabinet. Again, you’ll need to shim the cabinets where necessary to ensure that they are level, plumb and aligned with adjacent cabinets.

Oven cabinet installation
When an oven cabinet is used, make a cut-out in the oven panel according to the appliance manufacturer’s specifications. Install the support shelf to the End Panel with screws; making sure that the top of the shelf is level with the cut-out opening.
Tightening the installation screws
After the last cabinet has been installed, aligned, shimmed and joined together, the installation screws can be tightened. Be sure that the face frames or cabinet faces are joined together flush before tightening screws.

Now that all the cabinets are installed, it is time to align doors and drawers. This is a critical, final step to ensure perfect cabinetry lines.

All Canyon Creek cabinets have fully adjustable hinges and some have self-adjusting guides.

Our Adjustment Information page has instructions for adjusting concealed hinges and various drawer guides.

Countertop installation

A riser or build-up, available through your Canyon Creek distributor, may be required between the base cabinet and countertop. The countertops can be installed after the base cabinets have been leveled, plumbed and secured to the walls. For detailed installation instructions, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

TIP: Keep all the information regarding your kitchen installation such as business cards, customer agreements, product specifications and warranties in a folder.