Installing wall cabinets in a new kitchen.  Cabinet Basics:

Installing Kitchen Wall Cabinets:
Part 3 Tall Divider Panel, Cabinets
Over The Fridge & Stove


In This Article:

A tall divider panel is connected to a run of wall cabinets. An over-the-fridge cabinet is attached to the divider and the adjacent cabinet.

Related Articles:

Skill Level: 3 (Moderate)

Time Taken: A While

By , Editor


Installing A Tall Divider Panel:

Installing a tall divider panel next to kitchen cabinets.

This kitchen had a divider panel on one side of the refrigerator.

I clamped the panel to the wall cabinet and the base cabinet


I located the point opposite the wall cabinet face frame, and drove in a few screws.

Down below, I pre-drilled a couple of holes in the cabinet face frame and drove screws into the face frame of the divider panel.


A small 12" deep cabinet was installed above the refrigerator, between the divider and a tall, full 24" depth pantry.

(Looking up, towards the ceiling)

I used a block of wood as a cleat, to connect the back of the cabinet to the divider panel. The front face frames were connected in the usual manner.


(Looking up, towards the ceiling)

At the other end, I slid a block of wood (ripped to width on a table saw) into the gap between the cabinets.

Another view of the over-the-refrigerator cabinet.

Installing a cabinet over the refrigerator.

This cabinet is a little unusual because it is not mounted against the wall. Wall cabinets are 12" deep and base cabinets are 24" deep. This cabinet had to be securely attached to the cabinets on each side.

Wall Cabinet Over The Range - A Tight Fit:

There were 3-unit cabinet assemblies installed in two corners of this kitchen. In between, above the stove, was a short wall cabinet. This is where the kitchen designer's assumptions caused our biggest headaches. He (or she) assumed that the room would be built to the exact dimensions on the blue print, and specified an arrangement of cabinets that fit precisely into the 108" dimension between walls.

But that is a very unsafe assumption. The room was the right size at the floor level, but not at the wall cabinet level. The plan specified a 30" cabinet above the stove. After installing the two sets of corner cabinets, I had a space 29-1/2" wide. So I did the obvious. Using a table saw I removed the 1/4" face frame overhang, so the face frame was flush with the side of the cabinet. It took only a few minutes and then the cabinet fit perfectly. Brilliant, I thought.

A few weeks later the homeowner called me. The range hood would not fit under the modified 30" cabinet. So I had to cut away a little wood from the taller cabinets on each side. Aaaugh!

Did I mention that Nothing Ever Goes As Planned.


Attention Kitchen Designers... Read This Rant !

You cannot assume a room will end up exactly at the dimension on the blue print. So if a wall has corner-to-corner cabinets, and the blue print dimension just happens to to allow a nice series of cabinets to fit with no filler strips, DON'T DO IT. You may not like filler strips, but finish carpenters need them, because the framing carpenters are not likely to care enough to ensure that the kitchen dimensions are exactly to plan. You and your customer are better off specifying a run of cabinets that includes one or two small filler strips, strips that give the cabinet installer some leeway, because nobody in the new home construction business can possibly keep dimensional tolerances as accurate as the cabinet manufacturers do.


When It Was All Done...

In spite of the minor but annoying problems, the kitchen turned out well. The homeowners are happy. Once the kitchen was loaded with appliances and all the things that occupy counters, the little flaws were hard to notice.


Photos of the final cabinet and counter installation



Tools Used:

  • Cordless Drill/Driver
  • Drill Bits
  • Table Saw
  • 4' Level, 2' Level
  • Stud Finder

Materials Used:

  • Wall Cabinet
  • Cabinet Screws
  • Shims

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Copyright 1999, 2005

Written September 12, 1999
Revised January 5, 2005