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DIY Kitchens - Base Units

Base units come in various configurations and are available in flat pack or rigid format. Board thickness, construction methods and accessories also highlight the differences between manufacturers. The majority have adjustable legs fitted for ease of fitting and to prevent water ingress.

Kitchen base units come in a number of configurations, from flat pack to the rigid format. Depending on the quality and manufacturer you purchase from there’ll be a difference in the board thickness construction methods and accessories too.

With a rigid format you’ll save time on installation, but they bear no structural advantages over flat pack units. And you’ll be more likely to find cheap base units if they’re flat pack.

With kitchen base units you should look to have:
18mm thickness for the carcass

9mm thickness for the back board

15mm thickness for the solid base

What tools you’ll need to fit base units

With the cheap kitchen base units, the following tools will be required:

Cordless screwdriver
Hand Tools
5mm HSS Drill bit
50mm, 25mm, 30mm and 16mm screws
Pair of clamps
Hole saws
Spirit level
Tape Measure
Power Drill
Safety Equipment - Goggles, Dust Mask etc
Extension Lead

Fitting the base units

When fitting your units you should start in the corner. Using the highest point of your floor you need to mark a level line onto the walls as a guide for positioning the units.

With corner cabinets there are two types you’re likely to see, L-shaped units normally 900mm in width and conventional corner units, usually between 900mm and 1200mm. Depending on the design of your kitchen, one or both would be suitable.

Adjust the legs to ensure the cabinet meets the line and, using a spirit level, adjust to ensure the unit is plumb and level. Continue the above method with all subsequent units and clamp together making sure all edges are flush and level.

The legs on the cheap kitchen base units can be adjusted to ensure the units remain level with the drawn line and once they’re in place, clamp together to ensure the edges are flush and level.

The clamps are usually found inside the units and adjoin at both the top and bottom. Ensure to protect the kitchen base units with hardboard off cuts.

Fitting appliances

Remember when fitting your kitchen base units and appliances that you’ll need sufficient space for the door to open 90°. You’ll also have to ensure the door handle won’t be infringed either.

One crucial detail to remember with the appliance is that you’ll need to align the extractor fan with the hob base. This must be done to allow efficient extraction of smoke and steam from the oven.

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