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How to Install Cabinets Over a Carpet

Installing cabinets over carpet is not recommended, but there are circumstances where cutting the carpet is undesirable. Carpet and carpet pads compress over time. A bookcase reaching from floor to ceiling will settle and produce a gap at the ceiling. Cabinets which do not attach to the ceiling will settle, but are not as noticeable, and additional shims can be installed to level them again. The actual installation steps are really no different than installing cabinets on a solid floor.


Carpet compresses over time from the weight of cabinets.
    Always level your cabinets.
  1. Set the cabinets in place and level them with shims.
  2. Pre-drill your holes.
  3. Predrill a 3/16-inch hole in the back of the cabinets at the stud locations and attach them to the wall with 2 1/4-inch cabinet screws. If the screws are exposed, they can be dressed up with trim rings. Trim rings are decorative washers that allows the screws to sit inside them and is much more appealing to the eyes. Level and install the rest of the cabinets as you would any other cabinet.
  4. Install shoe molding or a wider molding at the bottom of the cabinets to hide the gap between the carpet and the cabinets. Usually, there is a gap at the front of the cabinets because the back of the cabinets are sitting on a tack strip and the front is not. The tack strip is a wood strip nailed to the floor with sharp points sticking up to grip the carpet.

Things You Will Need

  • 4-foot level
  • Shims
  • 3/16-inch drill bit
  • 2 1/4-inch cabinet screws
  • Trim rings (washers)

Tip

  • To install cabinets without installing a molding at the base, cut the base of the cabinet to fit the floor instead of installing shims. This is difficult due to carpet compression.

Warning

  • There are two main reasons not to install cabinets over carpet. The first is reason is cabinets will settle over time. The second reason has to do with water. If the carpet gets wet, it will hold a lot of water which wicks into the cabinets, damaging them.

About the Author

Doug Berthon is an enrolled agent and owns ProActive Tax & Accounting LLC. He earned his Bachelor of Science in accounting from Metropolitan University in St. Paul, Minn.

Photo Credits

  • woolen carpet texture image by Tolbxela from Fotolia.com
  • level image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com
  • drill image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com