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.

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Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about SAFETY: 

Is the door between an attached garage and the house required to have a closer (self-closing device)?

Can the smoke sensors in a home security/fire alarm system replace the smoke alarms required by the building code?

Should I get a lightning rod system to protect my house? 

What are the "Aging In Place" features to look for when buying a retirement home?

What is aging in place? 

How do I safely remove a dead rodent (rat, mouse or squirrel) from the attic?

Does pushing the test button on a smoke alarm test the smoke sensor device inside? 

What is the minimum height of a ceiling fan above the floor?

Should a smoke alarm be installed in the kitchen? 

Why is a double cylinder deadbolt lock on an exterior door a safety hazard? 

Why are rubber washing machine hoses a safety risk?

What can I do to avoid kitchen accidents and injuries?

Where are smoke alarms required to be located? 

Are carbon monoxide alarms required to be installed in homes in Florida?

Are old vinyl tile floors dangerous?  

How can I use safety checks to limit my tenant liability for a rental house?

Do you inspect for trip hazards around the home? 

When should I replace my smoke alarms?

• Why is an anti-tip device now required behind the range? 

• What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic? 

    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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