How to Raise Kitchen Cabinets

Holly McGurgan

Raising your wall-mounted cabinets can improve the appearance of your kitchen and increase the vertical space above your counter. If the space between your wall and base cabinets is too small or if your wall cabinets no longer line up with your new, taller refrigerator, raising your wall cabinets may be a good idea to solve your kitchen design problem. Raising your kitchen cabinets can easily be completed in several hours with the assistance of a friend or relative.

Removing the Cabinets

Raise Kitchen Cabinets
  1. Remove cabinet pulls or knobs from cabinet doors. Place the pulls and screws in labeled plastic bags to make it easy to locate these items when the cabinets have been re-installed.

  2. Detach cabinet doors from the cabinets by unscrewing the hinges. Put a piece of masking tape on the back of each door and write a number on the tape. Use the tape to place the same number on the corresponding cabinet. Label the remainder of the doors and cabinets and place the screws in numbered plastic bags.

  3. Use your electric screwdriver or drill to remove the screws that fasten the cabinets to the wall. Place these screws in bags for easy retrieval. Pull the cabinets off the wall and store them in another room until you are ready to reinstall them.

Reinstalling the Cabinets

  1. Decide how high you would like to raise the cabinets. Use a ruler or tape measure to mark the new location of the kitchen cabinets on the wall. Once you have made several marks, snap a chalk line across the marks to ensure that you will have a straight line to use as a reference when reinstalling the cabinets.

  2. Find the wall studs and mark the location of the studs on the back of the cabinets. Drill four holes in the cabinets through the marked areas that correspond to the studs. Drill two holes on the left side of the cabinets and two holes on the right side. Since you will be re-using existing cabinets and only moving them to a higher position, this step may not be necessary.

  3. Screw a temporary ledger into the wall studs, immediately below the chalk line. The temporary ledger is a narrow piece of wood that will mark the bottom of the cabinets.

  4. Hang the cabinets, starting with one of the end cabinets. Place the bottom edge of the cabinet onto the ledger and place screws partially into the wall. Ask your helper to hold the cabinet in place against the wall while you insert the screws. Use a level to check the position of the cabinets before driving the screws into the wall completely. Repeat with the next cabinet.

  5. Re-attach hinges and cabinet pulls or knobs. Touch-up painting or extension of your backsplash may be needed to cover the area now exposed by the raised cabinets.