How to Install Cabinets Over a Carpet

Doug Berthon

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.