be hung. This prevents the doors from binding against
the door stops. If the end of the case is to be fitted against
a wall, approximately 1/2 inch is added to the width of
the stile on that end for scribing.
Doorstops are installed on the back side of the face
all around the door openings if flush doors are to be
hung. Doorstops project about 5/1 6 inch inside the
opening and usually are made of thinner material than
the face frame. They are applied with screws and glue
because they take much abuse and a strong joint is
The case top is installed according to its location.
If it is above the line of vision, the top is cut in between
the case ends, so the ends of the top are not visible. The
top may also be lowered between the case ends. This
provides clearance between the ceiling and the top of
the case and also acts as a stop for the top ends of doors.
If the top is below the line of vision, it is placed above
the case ends.
In most cases, tops are fastened to the cabinet with
screws driven up through the top of the skeleton frame.
The standard kitchen counter top is 36 inches high,
25 inches deep, and 1 1/2 inches thick. This provides
enough room for an average-size sink and ample
working space on the surface. The counter top is held
in place by driving screws up through the top frame of
the base unit.
The counter top usually has a 3/4-inch overhang,
made of plywood or particle board. It is doubled up by
fastening a 2 1/2-inch-wide strip flush with the edges
and ends. This gives the appearance of a heavier
If a backsplash is used, it is usually 4 inches high.
It has a 1/4-inch projection on the side that goes against
the wall. This projection allows the installer to scribe
the counter top to uneven wall surfaces. Prefabricated
counter tops may be purchased and cut to any desired
length. Special fasteners hold the lengths together.
The Builder should know the proper procedures and
correct dimensions on how to build and install cabinets.
There are two basic kinds of cabinetsthe base unit and
the wall unit. The base unit sets on the floor; the wall
unit hangs on the wall.
The distance between the wall and base units is
usually 16 to 18 inches. The distance is enough
accommodate most articles that are placed on counter
tops, like coffee pots, toasters, blenders, and mixers.
The top shelf in the wall unit should not be over 6 feet
from the floor if it is to be in easy reach.
The height of the base unit must be 36 inches to the
surface of the countertop. The width must allow for the
3/4-inch overhang of the counter top. Therefore, a
standard base unit is usually 34 1/2 inches high by 24
1/4 inches deep. Toe space is provided beneath the base
unit. The back edges of the end pieces project 1/4 inch
beyond the cabinet back to allow for scribing.
Usually the base unit is constructed with drawers
just below the counter top. The drawer opening height
is 5 1/2 inches. Some base units contain all drawers or
all doors (fig. 5-8).
Figure 5-8.Typical base units.