Installing floor cabinets in a bathroom, whether done as part of a complete refit or just an extra piece of furniture in the space, can transform a bathroom. Employing a professional installer can make this process simple, but the downside is the cost. For the DIY enthusiast or a homeowner simply looking to save a bit of money, self-installation of floor cabinets in the bathroom can be easy. Follow the steps below to safely and professionally install floor cabinets in the bathroom.
Why Install Floor Cabinets in a Bathroom
Floor, or base, cabinets are an integral storage unit in a bathroom. They can be used to store bathroom items such as cleaning chemicals or toiletries, particularly in homes occupied by young children who may gain access to them. They can also be used to house pipes and bathroom fixtures, such as sinks, to give a streamlined look suitable for a modern bathroom space. Floor cabinets for a bathroom can come in almost any style, colour, and size. Basically, if looking for a specific product, eBay is the place to find it.
Tools Required for This Job
The tools required for this job are a stud finder and a spirit level. A drill and hammer are also essential, together with a jigsaw, a sufficient number of screws and nails and shims, which are thin pieces of wood used to level the bottom of cabinets. A utility knife, and a tape measure will also be needed.
Things to Consider Before Installation Begins
Before taking any steps to install a floor cabinet, some thought will need to go into where exactly it should stand. The cabinet dimensions should be measured to ensure that it will fit into the appropriate space. This is easier to achieve if the whole room is being renovated as part of a project, but if not, extra care needs to be given to make sure other fixtures and fittings are not damaged by the installation of the floor cabinet. Always consider the slope of the floor of the room. Most, but not all, floors have some kind of slope, so installing the floor cabinet in the wrong space can ruin it. Measurements will need to be taken to establish where the floor slopes and by how much. This is done using a tape measure. Find the highest and lowest points in the room, and, using another person to help, have one person hold the tape measure at the highest point and another at the lowest. Measure this difference vertically. This is the rise. Now measure the distance horizontally between the highest and lowest points in the room in inches. This is known as the run. To determine the slope of the room, divide the number of the rise by the number of the run. This will give the overall slope of the room and give a clearer picture to the installer of what they will be dealing with.
Step By Step Instructions
- Before making any marks in walls or starting any installation, use a stud finder to locate any studs in the area of the wall. If any are found, mark them on the walls using a pencil that can be easily removed after the work is done.
- If installing more than one floor cabinet, it is easiest to start from the corner and work around, rather than from the innermost cabinet outwards. This will help to avoid any measurement errors.
- If needed, cut out any holes intended for pipe work etc before the cabinet is installed using a jigsaw. This allows the installer to check there is sufficient space around the pipes and saves on extra work later. Always use extreme caution when operating a power tool and follow all safety precautions.
- When installing a floor cabinet, use a spirit level to ensure the unit is sitting on flat ground. This is important even if the floor itself looks flat to start with. Nobody wants to use a bathroom cabinet on a slope – toiletries could easily roll and fall onto the ground. If the cabinet is not going to be level, use shims (long, thin pieces of wood) under the relevant areas and check this with the spirit level to ensure the cabinet is level. At this stage, it doesn’t matter too much if the shims stick out from the rest of the cabinet, as toe-kicks or other cabinets can be used to hide this later on.
- Drill any necessary holes into the back and, if necessary, the sides of the cabinet. Insert and drill the screws part-way, then check that the cabinet remains level. When satisfied that this is the case, fully insert the screws.
- If installing more than one floor cabinet, set the second unit in place against the one that has just installed, using a filler strip between them. This allows for the second cabinet to be secured flush against the first, without having to drill into the first unit.
- As with the first unit, check that the second is level. Continue this process until all cabinets are installed.
- Check that all cabinets are flush against each other, screws are fully inserted, and all sections are level. Once this is done, use a utility knife to trim off the end of the shims so they will not be exposed once the toe-kick is in place.
- Install the toe-kick to cover the gap along the bottom, but check first, as this may not always be needed with every style of cabinet. Use nails or screws to attach a filler strip, which is usually another piece of wood similar to a shim, in place between the cabinet and the toe-kick, and then attach the toe-kick fully using a drill and screws.
- Attach any doors and drawers, ensuring that when open they will not interfere with other cabinets, the door, or other bathroom fixtures. If items such as sinks are intended to be placed inside the cabinet, these should also be installed now. Also install any countertops if necessary.
Hints and Tips on Floor Cabinet Installation
Ideally, create drawings of the space in which the cabinets will go. Use accurate measurements in order to gain a sufficient view of that space. This has the advantage of showing the installer exactly what they are dealing with and what the finished room should look like. Then, if possible, once the cabinets have been bought, place them roughly where they are intended to go in the room. This will minimize the chances of the homeowner being dissatisfied with the finished article and allow for alterations before it is too late to make changes. If there are drawers in the cabinet, always start from the bottom one and work upwards. This will give support via the drawer below and prevent an installed drawer dropping before all doors and hinges are completed. Rubbing wood screws in beeswax enables them to turn more smoothly when installing. If the entire bathroom space is being renovated, ideally install the floor before installing the cabinets. This will reduce the need to use shims, as the ‘shims’ will be the floor itself. Alternatively, if lino flooring rather than hardwood is being used, the lino should be installed after the cabinets, as this reduces the amount of flooring needed. The lino can be laid right up against the cabinets themselves. Lino is, of course, not as strong as hardwood and not as capable of giving support to furniture units.
Where to Find Floor Cabinets on eBay
In order to find floor cabinets on eBay, head first to the homepage. From here, go to the links on the left hand side of the page, and select Home & Garden, and then Home & Garden again from the drop-down options. This will then load the Home & Garden category of eBay. Go back to the links on the left hand side of page again and select Furniture & Living and then Furniture from the options. The next page will show all the listings in the furniture category. The listings that come under Cabinets & Cupboards will include those that are suitable for a bathroom, including types, materials, and condition. Alternatively, use the search engine on the eBay homepage to look for specific listings that are desired.
Installing floor cabinets as part of a DIY job can be simple and easy if the correct steps are followed. It can also save the homeowner a bit of money. Always work methodically, starting from the corner unit (if installing more than one), and working along. Make sure all holes are made for pipe work etc before installation is done, and follow the steps outlined above when making any kind of installation. If unsure at any stage, consult a professional. Follow these steps, make a purchase of floor cabinets on eBay, and an attractive and stylish bathroom cabinet can be easily achieved at a cost-effective price.