How difficult is it to install recycled kitchen cabinets?


I want to buy some used solid wood cabinets to replace my old cheap cabinets. Do most cabinets come in sections that you can just take apart and maybe rearrange them to your current kitchen layout? I would have to hire someone to do it, of course. I have a U-shaped kitchen with a wide section for the bar, no island, no pantry, and floating upper cabinets over the bar. I want to get rid of those floating cabinets and do a small island.

  6 answers
  • Jane Harkleroad Jane Harkleroad on Dec 26, 2018

    Be aware with an island you have to walk around it. If you have the sink on one side and the range on the other, it can be quite inconvenient and costs you lots of steps! (energy)

  • Gk Gk on Dec 26, 2018

    Yes Gail, kitchen cabinets come in separate units that you put together to fit your space. In other words--the width of each cabinet will vary. If you look closely at your cabinets you will see the "seams" where each cabinet butts against the other. Once you see the "seams" you will be able to measure the width of each cabinet to know what you need. Using recycled cabinets is a great idea if you can find enough used cabinets that match to fit your space. Another idea is to use unfinished cabinets that you can finish with stain or paint--they are relatively inexpensive compared to already finished cabinets, are made from wood, are solid, and functional. Be aware that replacing counter top can be a large expense.

    • Gail Simmons Hooper Gail Simmons Hooper on Dec 26, 2018

      Thank you so much. I have my stove on the left, my sink faces me and the bar on the right. Old 70’s style. The cabinets are in pretty good shape actually, but have been painted over twice. I really want to move my sink, but I know that is expensive, and my husband is a cheapskate. It is a good sized room, just not arranged well. I also lost my window over the sink when we added a room to the back of the house, so it is dark. The dining/kitchen area is 24 x 16, so there is plenty of room to work with, and there is no wall separating the rooms. if I could only make my husband understand that any money we put in it would just increase the overall value of the house if we had to sell.

  • Seth Seth on Dec 26, 2018


    Check to make sure the cabinet that will go on the end has a finished side if you will see it or you might need to add a finished panel. Also, if a cabinet was used against a wall it might have a trim piece that was scribed to fit the wall where it had been, which you might have to trim or remove.

  • Pamela R Pamela R on Dec 27, 2018

    If you change the layout (from u shape to island) the flooring will need work/replacement.

  • Amanda Amanda on Dec 27, 2018

    Hi Gail. Cabinets are all separate. When they get installed they level them and screw them into a wall stud. I would measure the ones you want to keep and then measure your wall spaces and make a drawing to make sure they will fit OK. Otherwise who ever installs them can also add a filler piece. Good Luck!

  • Lonny Reever Lonny Reever on Dec 27, 2018

    If you stay with the same layout, you could just have them refaced. This would be less expensive the a tear out and reinstall and give you the look of a new kitchen. It would also take less time and mess.