How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

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Why is it important to use cabinet screws to mount the upper cabinets in the kitchen?

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Upper kitchen cabinets are called “wall cabinets” to differentiate them from the lower ones, which are “base cabinets.” Wall cabinets stacked high with dishes carry tremendous weight and, if not mounted securely, they can fall off the wall when heavily loaded. 

    Failure can be due to snapping off (shear) of the screws because they were not designed to carry the weight, which happens if drywall screws are used for mounting. Also, even if the screws are sturdy, the cabinets can rotate off the wall, coming loose first at the top, and pull out of the screws if the heads are not big enough and/or screws are over-driven deep into the the wood.

    There are screws specifically manufactured for mounting wall cabinets, which have an oversize pan head and are made from high-strength metal. Professional cabinet installers always use them, but handymen and weekend warrior kitchen remodelers tend to grab whatever screws are laying around nearby and look like they’re long enough to do the job.

   Here’s what a cabinet screw looks like in side view. Notice the oversize head with flat backside and aggressive screw threads.

   And shown below is what a cabinet screw looks like when installed, along with a pic of what appears to be a repurposed deck screw that was countersunk deep into the back of the cabinet.

    Visit our SAFETY page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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