I made good progress on the cabinet project in office area of my art studio. I put 2-3 more coats of drywall mud over the corners, screw heads and tape joints. I sanded in between coats. The mud I used was a premixed, low dust, type and it worked wonderfully. All the sanding dust fell right to the floor making vacuuming it up an easy clean up task. Look, I’ll never be a drywaller but the job turned out nice enough. I don’t really have the patience to do a perfect job, plus I’m overly detailed so I tend to over work things, especially when it comes to wet drywall mud. Long story short I lack the skill and desire to be a dry wall guy beyond the random wall here and there. The areas where the cabinets were going I didn’t finish up completely just because the cabinets would hide any flaws. This made the work a little easier.
So once the mud was dry and sanded to the best of my ability, I applied a layer of Kilz primer to seal the raw drywall. A quart covered my “T” shaped wall assembly…about 8′ tall and ten linear feet.
Once the walls were prepared, I turned my attention to the floor where the base cabinets are going. I screwed in some 3/4″ thick furring strips to bring the floor up to level with the hardwood in the office area. In front of the cabinets I have about 5″ of floor space that needs some sort of flooring. I don’t have any wood floor left over from the build so I have to come up with plan “B”. We have a few options. I could reach out to the place I bought the flooring from and see if they have any scrap laying around. Our wood floors are a light maple so pretty much anything would do in the light maple family. I don’t think anyone would notice. I would just lay down two boards perpendicular to the existing hardwood floor boards. Another option is taking a piece of the dark walnut colored laminate flooring from the wife’s studio. Each piece of flooring is about 5″ wide I think so this could work. I have a half dozen left over pieces so I could fabricate something that would work. Lastly, I have some of the bronze porcelain tile left over (I think) from the build. I could inset some pieces of that to fill the void. Right now I think the last option is what we’re leaning towards doing. We’ll see. First things first though, I had to even up the now exposed edge of the existing hardwood flooring. I used a circular saw and plunge cut most of the boards, after scribing a line perpendicular to the wall. For the remainder pieces that the circular saw couldn’t reach I used my trusty oscillating tool.
Once the floor was prepped, I jumped onto mounting the cabinets. I set a level line across the wall to denote the bottom of my wall cabinets. My base cabinets and counter top out at around 30.5″. I then added another 17.625″ to represent the space between the bottom of the wall cabinets, and the countertop. So about 48″ up is where my line went. This matches what I did in the adjacent desk area of the office. Under that line I mounted a wood strip to provide support to the cabinets while I install them.
Also since I still had access to the back side of the wall I added some more wood blocks so I’d have something to screw my 12″ wide cabinets to when mounting them. Normally this isn’t an option with small cabinets, they usually fall between studs, but since I could, I did.
Once that was done I preassembled the three wall cabinets on the floor. I also mounted a row of spice drawers under the center 24″ cabinet. With everything clamped together I predrilled all the holes…..holes in the frame rails to attach the cabinets side by side, and holes in the mounting rails in the back of the cabinet to mount them to the wall studs. By the way, I simply measured the stud locations and transferred marks to the back of the cabinet, and drilled pilot holes….about 1/8″ holes. A flexible shaft for the drill came in handy as it’s difficult to drill holes in the face frame of small 12″ wide cabinets. The center cabinet is open (no doors) so I wanted the exposed mounting screws on the 12″ cabinets so they’d be hidden behind closed doors.
I then disassembled the cabinets and hoisted the center cabinet assembly up onto my support strip. With someone else holding the cabinet in place I drilled pilot holes into the studs, through the pilot holes I drilled previously in the mounting rails of the cabinet. Before the screws were all the way in, I checked to see if the cabinets were level. I leveled them up with some shims…actually removing the mounting screws so I could then repass them through the shims. Anyway, after much fussing the cabinet was mounted. I then repeated the procedure for the two 12″ cabinets. The one twelve incher I was able to secure sideways too as a bonus, passing a screw through the cabinet into a block I put in the wall a while back.
Once all the cabinets were installed I mounted the knobs on the spice drawers and re-installed the doors on the 12″ cabinets (I’d removed them for installation). Next I’ll install the base cabinets as well as the sink area cabinets.