How To Hang Kitchen Cabinets On Plasterboard Walls: A Guide With Practical Solutions




Since you are here, I guess you are having problems installing your kitchen cabinets on plasterboard or drywalls. 

Fun fact, you are not the only one. Most of my clients with plasterboard walls tried to do it but failed and contacted me instead.

How To Hang Kitchen Cabinets On Plasterboard Walls

To be honest, it is a bit difficult, but only when you don’t know the proper way. In this guide, I am gonna mention the proper ways and some helpful tips on how to hang kitchen cabinets on plasterboard walls.

It goes like this;

  • Gather all the necessary tools and materials. Locate all the studs using a stud finder.
  • Measure and mark the outlines. Install the support rails.
  • Pre-drill holes in the back of the cabinets.
  • Hang the cabinets and secure them to the wall. 
  • Add some finishing touches, and you are done.

Disclaimer: Stay tuned till the end to find out the detailed process and all the professional tips.

Overview of the project-

Estimated CostEstimated DurationSkill Level
$2505 hoursBeginners

Some main facts-

  • Attach the support rails right under the mark of the heights of the wall cabinets.
  • Pre-drill holes in the back of the cabinets before hanging to insert the screws.
  • Insert the screws all the way in only after the entire installation is over.

Tools And Materials Needed For Securely Mounting Cabinets On Plasterboard

So, can you hang kitchen cabinets on plasterboard? Anyone with drywalls or plasterboard walls has the same question when trying to hang cabinets.

If you have the same question, the answer is yes! But there’s a condition. You must follow the right method.

Now, you may ask, how to hang wall cabinets on drywall using the right method? The first thing you need to do is gather all the necessary tools and materials in one place. These are;

Tools & MaterialsUsage
Stud FinderTo locate the studs inside the stud wall.
Measuring TapeTo measure and outline on the wall.
PencilTo draw the outlines on the wall surface.
LevelerTo check if everything is leveled or not.
Support Rails (Wood Ledger, 1×4 inch)To add additional support to the hanging cabinets while installing them.
Wood ShimsTo fill the gaps between the back of the cabinets and the wall.
Power Drill To make the screw holes.
Drill BitTo make holes that are the same size as the screws.
Wall Fixings Wood screws, finish nails, etc to secure the cabinets to the wall.
Hollow Wall AnchorsTo help the cabinets hold onto the plasterboard wall.
A Piece Of PaperTo make the layout of the cabinet wall.
Wood ClampsTo help 2-3 wall cabinets or more to hold onto each other.
Filler StripsTo fill the extra gap between the last cabinet and the wall.
Wall Touch-Up Materials Patch filler, putty knife, paint, etc to add the finishing touches.

Go to your local hardware store and buy all these tools and materials before starting. It will save a lot of your time later.

How To Hang Kitchen Cabinets On Plasterboard Walls?

I know you have been waiting for this part. So, without any further due, let’s find out the right way how to hang kitchen cabinets on plasterboard walls diy;

How To Hang Kitchen Cabinets On Plasterboard Walls
  • Step 1: Measure & Mark
  • Step 2: Install Support Rails
  • Step 3: Pre-drill Holes
  • Step 4: Hang The Cabinets
  • Step 5: Finishing Touches

Step 1: Measure & Mark

After you are done gathering all the tools and materials, the first thing you need to do is measure and mark the outlines. If you are wondering how to hang cabinets on plaster walls without studs? Then this step will help you a lot.

Another thing is that if you are planning to install base cabinets, too, install them after the wall cabinets. To measure and install cabinets properly, use your stud finder to locate all the studs in the stud wall. Mark the outlines of the studs.

Measure the height and width of the kitchen wall cabinets and mark accordingly on the kitchen wall.

Pro Tip: 

  • Take a piece of paper and draw the layout of the kitchen wall. 
  • Mark the electrical outlets and other appliances. 
  • Then, draw the layout of the wall cabs. It will give you a precise idea of how to place the kitchen cabinets to utilize the space efficiently.
  • If you want to install crown moldings or other decorative pieces later, keep additional space while measuring.

Step 2: Install Support Rails

If you are planning to install the cabinets yourself without any help, I suggest installing support rails first. It will provide additional support and make things easier for you to handle.

All you need to do is place the rails on the kitchen wall and secure them with screws.

Pro Tip: 

  • For better stability and support, use 1×4 inch rails.
  • Attach the rails right under the lines you drew earlier to mark the heights of the wall cabinets. 

Step 3: Pre-drill Holes

Pre-drill holes in the back of the cabinets for the screws. You may wonder why drilling holes before attaching the cabinets to the wall. It is because;

Well, pre-drilling holes prevent the plasterboard from cracking when you insert the screws.

Pro Tip: 

  • Drill the screw holes at the same distance.
  • Maintain a moderate distance. The distance shouldn’t be too big or too small.
  • Measure the studs on the stud wall, mark them on the cabinet, and drill the cabinet holes on top of the marked lines.

Step 4: Hang The Cabinets

Use the marks on the wall to guide you as you position the cabinets on the wall. Then, secure the cabinets to the wall using wood screws. For brick walls, use thick anchor bolts.

Attach the rest of the wall cabinets in the same way. Do not use a partition wall tap to hang it as it is not safe at all.

How to hang cabinets on plaster walls without studs? Use anchor bolts such as hollow wall anchors instead of wood screws.

Pro Tip: 

  • Don’t insert the screws all the way. Insert them enough to hold the cabinets in place.
  • Don’t keep any gaps between the cabinets.
  • Make sure the face frames of all the cabinets are at the same level.
  • Clamp the wall cabinets to one another until the entire installation is over.
  • Use shims in the back of all the wall cabinets to keep if there are any gaps.
  • Drill through the face frames and connect the cabinets using screws.
  • Use filler strips to fix any gaps between the cabinets and the wall.
  • After all the cabinets are installed, tighten the cabinet screws in.

Wondering, how to install wall cabinets without studs?  Actually, you need to use wall anchors to provide support and secure the cabinets in place for that.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

After the installation is over, remove the clamps and support rails. Touch up any spots on the wall.

If you have any unnecessary screw holes, repair the screw holes in kitchen cabinets using wood putty.

If you want to add molding or any decorative pieces, it is time to install them. Make sure to use finished nails to attach them.

Reattach the cabinet doors. You must follow the manufacturer’s instructions to adjust the cabinet door hinges. It will fix the cabinet doors that overlap.

Install the cabinet knobs and other hardware if you removed them too. And you are done. Seems easy, right? Trust me, this is not just the right way but also the easiest process of how to hang kitchen cupboards on plasterboard walls.

Things To Keep In Mind While Hanging Kitchen Cabinets On Plasterboard Walls

Can you hang cabinets on plasterboard? Though you already know the answer by now, here are some things you should especially keep in mind while hanging the wall cupboards in the kitchen.

Things To Keep In Mind While Hanging Kitchen Cabinets On Plasterboard Walls
  • Wall Strength: Plasterboard wall doesn’t have the same strength as a  solid wall. That is why I always suggest locating the studs before making the cabinet layout. The studs provide proper support and stability to the cabinets that they need, especially for the heavy cabinets. It will not only help with heavy cabinet installation but also fixing heavy cabinet to plasterboard walls.

Pro Tip: You can use any other type of toggle bolt if you want. But make sure it can hold your kitchen cabinets. This is because different toggle bolts have different weight capacities.

  • Pre-Drilling: So, How to hang kitchen cabinets on plasterboard walls without any cracking or splitting? The solution is to pre-drill pilot holes in the back of the cabinets. Do it before hanging the cabinets or inserting the screws.
  • Support Rails: Then How do you attach something heavy to a plasterboard wall? The easiest answer would be support rails. These wooden ledgers provide additional support and stability. So, if you are installing the cabinets without any help, these are a must.
  • Leveling: Whether you are installing the support rails or the cabinets, always use a leveler to check whether everything is leveled or not. As you know, leveling the support rails makes the cabinets level. But there’s also another way to do that.

Pro Tip: While you are measuring and marking the studs, do it for both horizontal studs and vertical studs.

  • Manufacturer’s Instructions: If you want to ensure a proper installation, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Different kitchen cabinets have different requirements. I can only provide you with a general guideline.  If you want to learn about the needs and requirements of your kitchen cabinets, there’s only one place where you will find the right answers. It is the manufacturer’s guide. Follow both the instructions and my guidelines, and you are bound to get amazing results.
  • Finishing: If you are thinking about ignoring the finishing touches, think twice. Finishing touches will make your kitchen cabinets look seamless. Now, you make the call whether you want to do that or not.

I know most of these things were already mentioned during the process. However, I wanted you to understand their importance even more.

What Is The Best Fixing For Kitchen Wall Units On Plasterboard?

As you know, plasterboard isn’t as sturdy as a solid wall. So, you must use the best fixings to help the kitchen wall units to hang on the plasterboard walls properly. These fixings are;

What Is The Best Fixing For Kitchen Wall Units On Plasterboard

Wall Anchors

Are you planning to store heavy plates or other kitchen items inside the cabinets? Good news! Wall anchors are the perfect fix for your kitchen wall unit. 

These are heavy-duty screws which are capable of holding heavy cabinets on plaster walls. These are also great for fixing heavy items to plasterboard walls.

Plastic or metal toggle anchors, as well as expansion anchors like hollow wall anchors, are commonly used for this purpose.

Wall Studs

How do you fix a heavy cabinet on a plasterboard wall? Secure the cabinet on the wall studs.

If you want a stable wall unit, attach it directly to the wall studs. The wall studs provide maximum strength and stability.

Combination of Methods

If you are not sure about the stability of your cabinets, use a combination of both methods. In fact, most people do the same thing. 

If you are unable to decide which one is the best for your situation, feel free to contact a professional to seek assistance.

What Plasterboard Fixings Are the Best | Drywall Fixings Tested

If you want a proper kitchen cabinet installation, there are some measurements for the different spacings that you must follow. These are;

Recommended Spacing For Hanging Kitchen Cabinets On Plasterboard Walls
  • Spacing from the Ceiling: Leave a gap of at least 18 inches between the upper cabinets and the ceiling.
  • Spacing from the Floor: Basically, it should be about  54 inches.
  • Spacing Above Countertops: Hang upper cabinets approximately 18 inches above the countertops.
  • Spacing Between Cabinets: The standard space between the upper and base cabinets is 18 to 12 inches.
  • Spacing Between Wall Units and Appliances: Make sure to leave a gap of at least 15 inches between the wall units and the appliances.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Are There Any Special Considerations For Installing Upper Cabinets Versus Lower Cabinets On Plasterboard Walls?

Yes! For upper cabinets, you must consider weight distribution, spacing from the ceiling, and accessibility. For lower cabinets, these are weight capacity, spacing from the floor, and base support.

Can Drywall Hold Kitchen Cabinets?

Yes! Drywalls or plasterboard walls can hold kitchen cabinets but only when installed properly. 

Should You Put Plywood Or Drywall Behind The Kitchen Cabinets?

Yes! You can definitely put plywood or drywall behind kitchen cabinets.

What Should I Put Between Walls And Cabinets?

You can use filler strips to fill any gaps between the walls and cabinets.

Final Thoughts

Now you know how to hang kitchen cabinets on plasterboard walls. The process is quite easy and shouldn’t be taking much time.

However, I will suggest you take enough time and perform all the steps precisely. If you want the best results, you must follow all the pro tips that I mentioned.

So, don’t worry and break a leg!

Richard Journey

Written by

Richard Journey

Meet Richard Journey, the Antique Furniture Maestro. With a Fine Arts degree in Furniture Restoration and Conservation, he’s a guardian of historical craftsmanship. His accolades include the Golden Chisel Award, and he’s your guide to discovering and restoring antique treasures.

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