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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! Got another question on building/mounting upper kitchen cabinets. Can I use 1/2" thick nailing strips to hold the upper cabinets to the wall, instead of using 3/4" inch thick strips? For the back story on this question: In the back of our current builders grade kitchen cabinets, they have a 3/4" inch thick nailing strip from side-to-side, on the top, middle, and bottom of the cabinets (to hold the cabinets to the wall). Then there is a 1/4" back-board, which goes from the inside top of the cabinet(s) to the bottom of the cabinet to hide the nailing strips. In any event, this adds up to 1 inch of non-useable space, leaving only 11 inches of the 12 inch deep upper cabinet. One of the pet peeves my wife has is that she has some old family dinner plates, passed down from relatives long gone(so she will NOT part with them), and these plates are actually about 11-1/4" inches in diameter. As a result, we have the doors on 2 of our cabinets which don't close completely. In building the new cabinets I cut the upper cabinets 12 inch deep, without remembering the plate issue. If I had I could have just made the upper cabinets 12-1/4 inches deep. Now the only way I can think to fix the problem is to use only 1/2" inch thick nailing strips, instead of 3/4" inch thick nailing strips, to increase the usable space inside the cabinets to 11-1/4" inches. Has anyone ever done this? Is it safe to do this with upper cabinets? I can put in extra nailing strips in each cabinet if need-be, I just don't want the upper cabinets tearing themselves apart and/or pulling away from the wall (my wife has a ton of serving dishes, cups, plates, etc.) Thoughts? As always, thanks in advance to all who offer information and advice.
 

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Another option is a 1/2” thick back attached to the back (not inset). That gives even more room. If the visible edge of the back is objectionable on the end cab, cover with a moulding strip of some sort.
 

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Hello all! Got another question on building/mounting upper kitchen cabinets. Can I use 1/2" thick nailing strips to hold the upper cabinets to the wall, instead of using 3/4" inch thick strips? For the back story on this question: In the back of our current builders grade kitchen cabinets, they have a 3/4" inch thick nailing strip from side-to-side, on the top, middle, and bottom of the cabinets (to hold the cabinets to the wall). Then there is a 1/4" back-board, which goes from the inside top of the cabinet(s) to the bottom of the cabinet to hide the nailing strips. In any event, this adds up to 1 inch of non-useable space, leaving only 11 inches of the 12 inch deep upper cabinet. One of the pet peeves my wife has is that she has some old family dinner plates, passed down from relatives long gone(so she will NOT part with them), and these plates are actually about 11-1/4" inches in diameter. As a result, we have the doors on 2 of our cabinets which don't close completely. In building the new cabinets I cut the upper cabinets 12 inch deep, without remembering the plate issue. If I had I could have just made the upper cabinets 12-1/4 inches deep. Now the only way I can think to fix the problem is to use only 1/2" inch thick nailing strips, instead of 3/4" inch thick nailing strips, to increase the usable space inside the cabinets to 11-1/4" inches. Has anyone ever done this? Is it safe to do this with upper cabinets? I can put in extra nailing strips in each cabinet if need-be, I just don't want the upper cabinets tearing themselves apart and/or pulling away from the wall (my wife has a ton of serving dishes, cups, plates, etc.) Thoughts? As always, thanks in advance to all who offer information and advice.
If these are face frame cabinets you will be picking up another 3/4" with the face frames given you are using overlay doors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Unfortunately, the boss doesn't like 'face-frame' cabinets. I was just wondering if it would be unsafe to switch to the thinner 1/2" inch nailing strips instead of using the 3/4" inch thick strips normally used.
 

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Hello all! Got another question on building/mounting upper kitchen cabinets. Can I use 1/2" thick nailing strips to hold the upper cabinets to the wall, instead of using 3/4" inch thick strips? For the back story on this question: In the back of our current builders grade kitchen cabinets, they have a 3/4" inch thick nailing strip from side-to-side, on the top, middle, and bottom of the cabinets (to hold the cabinets to the wall). Then there is a 1/4" back-board, which goes from the inside top of the cabinet(s) to the bottom of the cabinet to hide the nailing strips. In any event, this adds up to 1 inch of non-useable space, leaving only 11 inches of the 12 inch deep upper cabinet. One of the pet peeves my wife has is that she has some old family dinner plates, passed down from relatives long gone(so she will NOT part with them), and these plates are actually about 11-1/4" inches in diameter. As a result, we have the doors on 2 of our cabinets which don't close completely. In building the new cabinets I cut the upper cabinets 12 inch deep, without remembering the plate issue. If I had I could have just made the upper cabinets 12-1/4 inches deep. Now the only way I can think to fix the problem is to use only 1/2" inch thick nailing strips, instead of 3/4" inch thick nailing strips, to increase the usable space inside the cabinets to 11-1/4" inches. Has anyone ever done this? Is it safe to do this with upper cabinets? I can put in extra nailing strips in each cabinet if need-be, I just don't want the upper cabinets tearing themselves apart and/or pulling away from the wall (my wife has a ton of serving dishes, cups, plates, etc.) Thoughts? As always, thanks in advance to all who offer information and advice.
I think the only way you could get away with a 1/2" strip is with a French cleat system. Cabinets are normally made with a 3/4" because there is a chance the head of a screw could tear through 1/2" material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I have heard of French cleats but never used them. I understand the principle of French cleats, but how do they work for upper cabinets? Does it mean the upper cabinets would be extended several inches out from the wall? I have heard of the "easy-Hang" cabinet rail hanging system but I can't them for sale anywhere anymore. Does anyone here know if they are still in business? or if there is a similar cabinet rail system somewhere?
 

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mike44
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Unfortunately, the boss doesn't like 'face-frame' cabinets. I was just wondering if it would be unsafe to switch to the thinner 1/2" inch nailing strips instead of using the 3/4" inch thick strips normally used.
Use 1/2" hardwood plywood for French cleats. 2" wide with a 45° bevel on each piece works fine. One or two screws into the studs and glue and screw into the cabinet back. Will hold more weight than you would normally put in an upper cabinet.
With French cleats you need room to raise the cabinet above the cleat and then lower it down.
If you can slide the cabinets in from one end then only enough room is needed to clear the ceiling.
There are metal versions of French cleats, I used them on a commercial job and have not used them since.
If I recall they were less than 1/2" deep when mated.
If you go with 1/2" plywood no need to worry about strength. The only difference between 3/4" & 1/2" thick cleats is the slight bearing surface when installed together. You can test it if you want. Screw a test piece to the wall. Screw another piece with an ell shape and load it up with whatever heavy stuff you have. Maybe pull yourself up by holding the scrap ell.
You will then know it is safe to use 1/2" hardwood plywood for cleats.
mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks. I saw a video of the "Easy-Hang" rail system, which I now believe is called: "Hang-It Yourself", and this system didn't seem to add more than a 1/2" inch (or less) behind the cabinets. I though one of the best features is that you screw the hanging bracket to the back of the cabinet, instead of cutting holes in the cabinet back to mount the hanging bracket inside. Using an 8 foot long hanging rail also helped find out if there were any hills and valleys in the wall, which could be shimmed. However, I am a senior on a fixed income and can't afford the amount they want for their system.
 

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Bit confused here. Question ... can I use 1/2?

If your concerned about the depth . Make the cabinets deeper..

You don't have to have a bottom nailer in your cabinet.. Just use it on the very top.
 

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mike44
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I have heard of French cleats but never used them. I understand the principle of French cleats, but how do they work for upper cabinets? Does it mean the upper cabinets would be extended several inches out from the wall? I have heard of the "easy-Hang" cabinet rail hanging system but I can't them for sale anywhere anymore. Does anyone here know if they are still in business? or if there is a similar cabinet rail system somewhere?
The French cleats extend only by the thickness of the cleat. EG. 1/2" plywood cleat installed on a flush back would extend 1/2" . I found the metal cleats that I mentioned in another post. Very expensive, do a search for metal French cleats
mike
 

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Kitchen cabinets don't need french cleats. They need be secured to the wall.

1/2 back
3/4 nailers
1/2 with backs
3/4 with backs
Or
Just make the cabinet deeper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've seen aluminum French cleats & 'Z' clips but they were made for individual cabinets. The benefit of 1 long rail (8' feet long, or more) would be to help see the dips/valleys and hills in a wall. Then I could shim as needed. Plus I'm not to sure about aluminum being strong enough. My guess is that I will just hang them the old fashioned way
 

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Why would you use z clips on permanent fixtures? We usually use z clips for wall panels because we can't use a visable screw..
 

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mike44
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Kitchen cabinets don't need french cleats. They need be secured to the wall.

1/2 back
3/4 nailers
1/2 with backs
3/4 with backs
Or
Just make the cabinet deeper.
French cleats are especially handy if the walls are wavy. The cleats are shimmed to a straight line. Cabinets go up easier and props not needed to hold cabinet up to fasten.
mike
 

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I installed cabinets for 7 years straight for Regency cabinets in BatesCity, Missouri. Let's see.....Too be fair. 9 sets a week × 52 ×7 years =350+.. If they had used french cleats I would have found a better gig..

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If you have backs on the cabinets, shimming them out 1/2 inch will not change the depth inside. Unless you take the backs out. and no good way to fasten them.
 
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