Installing full overlay cabinets under soffit.

I am planning on redoing my kitchen soon. I have a soffit in my kitchen which I must keep due to plumbing pipes. I also have to bring my soffit down a little to accomodate a 6" duct inside that will vent my range hood. So once the soffit is done, there will be exactly 48" from the bottom of the soffit to the countertop. In order to maintain the 18" between the countertop and the bottom of the cabinet, I pretty much have to butt the 30" cabinet right up to the soffit, which means there will be no crown molding since this is a full overlay cabinet. I was just wondering if this is whats normally done in this situation, or if anyone has any suggestions. Thanks.
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alt.home.repair:

Given what you've said, that sounds like the only solution. I've seen a lot of cabinets with soffits above, and they usually have a piece of 3/4" stop molding to hide the crack. You can apply a band of decorative flat molding at the seam in place of the crown molding.
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Steve B.
New Life Home Improvement
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Mikepier wrote:

1. How wide is the soffit?
2. You don't *have* to have 18" from countertop to upper cabinets. In fact, I find that excessive. I hung mine at 16" and in the past have used 14". The lower they are the more useable they are.
3. I wouldn't use the soffit as the "liner upper" - I'd hang the cabinets so they are horizontal. That may result in them being parallel to the soffits or not so I'd also hang them so there is space between soffit and cabinet. I cover that space with a molding which is why I asked how wide your soffits are...gotta have space for the molding.
4. What do full overlay doors have to do with using a crown molding? Are you saying there isn't enough exposed space on the top of the face frame for molding?
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The new soffit will run the entire length of the kitchen, 11 feet. As I've said, because of a duct, it will be 12" high (from bottom of the soffit to the ceiling)

That's what I was thinking of. I don't know how critical that 18" rule is. It's just what I've read as the standard

Full overlay cabinets are designed so the door covers the entire frame of the cabinet. Which means if you look at a cabinet sideways, the top of the door and the top of the frame are almost even. Putting on molding is a little more involved.
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Mikepier wrote:

I wasn't interested in either length or height, just the width. Not important since you can't use molding anyway since you seem to have "European" style cabinets which are a box with doors; i.e., no face frame.

I've never heard of "full overlay cabinets". Full overlay *doors*, yes; cabinets, no. Full overlay doors are "full overlay" because they are on the outside of the face frame instead of being recessed either fully or partially. There is normally a reveal with full overlay doors - an inch at least and that inch would accommodate a molding. Your box cabinets won't, good luck in hanging them.
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Well , that's what I meant, full overlay doors. Kraftsmaid cabinetry sells 3 versions of overlay: Full overlay 1" overlay ( meaning 1/2" of the cabinet frame is exposed) 1/2" overlay ( meaning 1" of the cabinet frame is exposed)
To accomodate a molding for full overay doors, there is a piece that goes on top of the cabinet, like a bullnose, which extends past the frame and the door so you can put the crown on this "bullnose" piece.
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I like the euro boxes better than the American center mullion type because there is no center mullion blocking the opening. Does Kraftmaid make a cabinet with no center mullion now?
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RickH wrote:

No cabinet *has* to have the center stile (mine don't). It is there so that the doors on cabinets that are too wide for a single door have something to close against (and space to swing open without hitting the other door). As an alternative, the doors can be made with an overlapping rabbet on the inside edges. The disadvantage is that the overlapped door can't be opened without opening the other. No big deal IMO. Another alternative is a center vertical divider in the cabinet itself. I prefer the door overlap.
The disadvantage of European style cabinets is that they have no face frame and the face frame - done properly - adds much strength and rigidity.
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Dont worry about the 18 inches, my wife is short so I lowered the cabinets to 16 inches for her benefit, so you could fit a small 2 inch drop crown and make it appear bigger by getting a crown profile with a longer projection instead (that is if soffit depth to wall allows it). Modern cabinet designs are often staggered too, with some cabinets going higher or lower than 18, or some even set on top of the counter in places.
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Abit off topic, but I am also getting ready to redo my kitch. I will be removing soffits and hanging new cabs. I will leave measuring and installing granite countertops to the pros but I'l be doing removing/ rebuilding some interior walls, new electrical and plumbing. I am not a professional remodeler. My wife and a few others are telling me to get the cabs installed by someone else, but I can't believe its all that difficult. Awkward maybe yes (esp the hanging cabs), but not difficult. And not worth $1000 to have someone else do it.
I've redone bathrooms, built a deck, and a gazebo. Please tell me that with good carpentry skills, a level, and some extra hands, installing floor and hanging cabs ain't that hard.
--Jeff
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JB wrote:

You're right, it isn't rocket science.
Easiest thing to do is install the uppers first. Easiest way to do that is to rest them - one at a time - on a pair of narrow 2x4 crutches built for the purpose. Once the uppers are up, the lowers are easy.
The cabinets are screwed to the wall studs from the cabinet inside through the nailing strip(s). However, don't lock the screws down real tight until all are up. At that point, align the front edges of the cabinets and hold them that way with handscrews. Assuming the cabinets have face frames (and that you took off the doors prior to hanging) screw the cabinets to their neighbors through the edge of the face frame. If the hinges mount on the face frame then under the hinge is a good place to put the screws. Once the cabinets are all screwed together, take off the handscrew clamps and tighten the screws holding them on the wall...easy does it, because walls aren't flat and you don't want to rack the cabinets.
The fact that walls aren't flat is the only real PITA when hanging cabinets. For example, it may be that the center cabinet is against a vertical drywall seam which means the sides of the end cabinets won't be flush to the wall. Two possible fixes...if the back edge of the side allows it, you can spile it to the wall; if not, use molding.
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Thanks. This is exactly what I thought from watching DIY-er shows and some reading. I figured a one or more 2x4 "T" braces would hold it in place against a level line on the wall while I level up, align, screw in, etc.
Re wavy walls, I get your point about a drywall seam. But can't you/ shouldn't you shove a shim board behind the cab from the bottom up where there is a gap (in your example, on both ends)? Even if its just a narrow piece of 1/8" plywood, that way there is no bending pressure on the back of the cab once you tighten up the screws?
--Jeff

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JB wrote:

Sure. Especially if the screws happen to be where they would exert considerable pressure such as (in same example) near the ends.
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dadiOH wrote:

An article in Fine Homebuilding suggested aligning the whole run of cabinets on the ground and screwing them together (with spacers at the back if they have face frames at the front). Then the whole run is lifted up to the wall as a unit. You then shim behind them before screwing them to the wall. That way you're guaranteed proper alignment along the front, and the shims give proper support at the back.
Chris
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on 9/18/2007 1:54 PM JB said the following:

I've done it many times. The secret is knowing how to measure and level the cabinets. I've installed hanging cabinets, by myself alone, by screwing a length of 2x board along the wall where the bottom of the cabinets should be located, and then just raising the cabinet and setting the bottom of the cabinet on this 2x, and while holding the cabinet against the wall at the top, screwing it into the wall.
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Bill
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Install uppers firs, with temporary firring on wall to hold them level. Clamp/screw the mullions (or adjacent sides if full open euro box type) together before final screwing to wall, this will ensure that the fronts look tight even if the wall is bowed or cupped.
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