When fitting a kitchen, your units need fixing securely in place. This will ensure that they remain fixed in the correct position without any movement.
On most surfaces, 5mm x 60-80mm screws will be enough to get a good strong fixing. If you are fixing kitchen units to a solid wall, you will need to drill into the masonry and install brown plugs to screw into.
If the walls are dot and dab, you will need to use special plasterboard fixings in order to fit the units securely.
Best fixings for kitchen base units
During the installation, the base units need to be levelled. This is usually done by winding the legs to adjust the height of the units.
The same level should run across the tops of all your base units and can be done with a spirit level. You can also use a laser level to make the job a little easier.
Units should be level on their front and back edges. They should also be level from front to back. If this is done correctly, the units will also be plumb, and they should all line up perfectly together.
Once you have adjusted your units so they are level and in the right position, you can fix them in place.
Base units are often fixed with small L-brackets, these screw into the sides of the unit at the back. This allows you to fix to the wall, through the bracket, holding the unit securely in place.
To attach the units, you will need to mark through the brackets, where the fixings will be placed. Following this, you should carefully remove the units to pre drill holes for your fixings.
Fixing base units to solid walls
When fitting base units to a solid wall, you will need to drill holes and insert plastic wall plugs. The plugs should be hammered into the holes, so they are sitting flush with the wall. Following this, the units can be returned and screwed in place. Make sure to double check everything is still level and plumb.
Fixing base units to stud walls
When fixing your units to a stud wall, you could get lucky in some cases, and hit a stud. This will mean you can screw straight into the wood and get a solid fixing. However, more often than not, there will be a void behind the plasterboard.
When a void is present, you can use a standard self drilling plasterboard fixing. You can see an example by clicking here
The base units are not putting any weight on the screws, so this will give a perfectly strong fixing.
Fixing base units to dot and dab walls
Dot and dab plasterboard is becoming more and more common in modern properties. Just like a stud wall, this will have a void behind the plasterboard. Therefore you will need to use a plasterboard fixing.
If you find yourself needing to fix through a dab of drywall adhesive, you will need to drill and plug, with the same method as a solid wall.
Best fixings for kitchen wall units
Wall units are fitted roughly 500mm above the base units. This height can be adjusted, based on full height units, such as larder units. When you do have this type of tower unit, the tops of all your other units should be set at the same height.
The obvious difference with wall units, is the fixings are subjected to more force due to gravity. For this reason, you may need to adjust the fixings you use to hang the cabinets.
In most modern kitchens, wall units are fitted using hanging brackets. These are a small adjustable bracket that are fixed inside the cupboard. This is combined with a metal wall plate that is fitted to the kitchen wall behind the unit.
The bracket hooks over the wall plate to fix it in place. Following this, it can be adjusted to pull it back to the wall. This is done via an adjustment screw from the hanger inside the cupboard.
There is also a second screw, that can adjust height up and down to get the perfect level.
Both of these screws will usually have an adjustment range of around 10-15mm.
Fixing wall units to solid walls
Fixing to a solid wall is probably the easiest option when fitting wall units. The combination of plug and screw is very strong, so the wall units can be fitted with the same fixings as the base units.
Firstly, you need to work out the height of your metal wall plate. Next, mark through the holes with a pencil. Once marked, you can remove the metal plate, drill holes, and insert the plugs.
Following this, simply return the wall plate and screw into the plugs. This will give a very strong fixing, meaning your units can be lifted and hooked on the metal plates via the hanging brackets.
Finally, use the adjustment screws to move the wall unit into the perfect position and you’re done.
Fixing wall units to stud walls
Fixing to a stud wall with the standard fixings can be more difficult. It is very likely you won’t be lining up with a timber stud. This means you will need to fix into the plasterboard. Once wall units are full, this could add significant weight to a fixing that is just anchored in the plasterboard.
One option is to a add a timber batten to the wall. This can be fixed to the timber studs, resulting in a solid fixing. Then the units can be fixed to the batten.
A method I personally prefer, is buying longer wall plates. These can be purchased in one-meter lengths and are easily cut with a metal blade jigsaw, or a hacksaw.
The beauty of these longer rails, is they can be cut to a length. This means they can be fixed directly into the studs for a very strong fixing.
Once the long brackets are fitted in place, you can simply hang and adjust your units in the normal way.
To see an example of these brackets click here
Fixing wall units to dot and dab
Again just like a stud wall, dot and dab is mostly plasterboard with a void behind it. As we already mentioned, this doesn’t provide the best fixing.
We also can’t guarantee where adhesive dabs will be. This means the long rails used on the stud wall example are not really an option.
For a dot and dab wall, you will need a special kind of plasterboard fixing, that anchors in the solid wall, without pulling through the plasterboard.
The best option for this, is Corefix dot and dab wall fixings. These are a specialist plug and screw, designed specifically for fixing to dot and dab plasterboard.
The plug is designed to finish flush with the face of the plasterboard, bridging the void behind the board. The plastic plug has a reinforced steel core, which means it creates a completely solid anchor behind the plasterboard, which won’t bend and pull through the board.
By using Corefix dot and dab fixings, you can easily fix your metal wall plates securely and hang the cabinets in place.
You can learn more about Corefix dot and dab fixings by clicking here
As you can see, the best fixings for kitchen wall cabinets can vary. This will depend largely on the surface you are fixing too. You also need to pay extra attention to securing wall units, as they are carrying the most weight. Therefore, they need strong fixings to avoid future issues.
Luckily, there are simple, effective, and affordable solutions for all scenarios. If you use one of the methods mentioned above you will have solid well fitted kitchen units.