Ideas for hanging cabinets on plaster over brick wall?

James Love
by James Love
looking for some anchors or ways to hang cabinets on a city house where walls consist of plastef over Brik
- no wood or gaps behind for toggle bolts

  4 answers
  • Holly Kinchlea-Brown Holly Kinchlea-Brown on Jul 26, 2017
    there are anchors that you can buy specifically designed for would need to use a masonry drill bit to go into the brick, but the anchors are installed in the same way as drywall anchors

  • Kate Garrett Kate Garrett on Jul 26, 2017
    Lucky you. I used to live in a Federalist era place in Lancaster, PA (capital of the USA for about 24hrs during the Revolution). If you've got real horsehair plaster, you will want to be extra careful. If it is a later era with an artificial lath, the value isn't quite as high & repairs are easier, but why make more work?

    Have you heard of "French cleats"? Basically, you take a board & cut a 45° angle lengthwise down the middle. Attach 1 side to the wall so the wedged bit is UP & away from the wall. Attach the other side to the object to be hung with the wedged bit DOWN & away from the object. Lift the object so that it's half of the cleat is higher than the 1 on the wall & lower gently. (Unfortunately, this prohibits taking your cabinets all the way to the ceiling.)

    To preserve the plaster as much as possible, measure & mark where you want your cleat's bottom edge lightly with a pencil.

    Separately, predrill pilot holes into the wall-half of your cleat along a straight line, roughly an inch from the bottom. Depending on the weight of your loaded cabinets, you will probably want them roughly 12" apart, but start only 2-6" in from the edge on the side that will eventually abutt your corner.

    With help to hold the board steady against the wall, mark where each pilot hole is (use a pencil, or a screw dipped in either paint or graphite powder).

    Remove the plaster directly under the marks from the pilot holes. Use a longer drill bit just with your hands or an old school manual drill. Do not go power here; you will only crack the plaster!

    Next, using a power drill with a masonry bit, pre-drill into the brick where you have just removed plaster.

    Once all your pilot holes are drilled into the brick, use an exterior grade, anti-mildew paint (I like Kilz) to seal the exposed edges of the plaster. Let dry. This step prevents exterior moisture from weeping trough & growing mold in your plaster. Do not skip it. If anything, get some into the holes in the brick.

    With help to steady the wall-half of your cleat, line up pilot holes over pilot holes. Then use your drill to put in masonry screws. They are designed specifically for going into brick, don't cheap out with random screws.

    Now attach the object-half of your cleat to your cabinets. Predrill holes as needed in cleat & cabinet walls.

    As an optional step, you may choose to add another piece of wood along the bottom and/or top of your cabinets. These would be spacers the same thickness as the cleat to prevent twisting once installed.

    Finally, with help again, lift your cabinets to the wall & lower until the cleat halves interlock.

  • LaViCa LaViCa on Jul 26, 2017
    Not sure how much space you have to work with or whether you need cabinets in the kitchen or bath, but consider placing your cabinets back-to-back and sitting them on the floor. Put any cool top over them and you have a kitchen island. Or, build a stilt base for the cabinets (using 2x4's or similar) and set the cabinets up on those - the weight of the cabinets will be absorbed on the stilts (instead of the wall stud/anchors) but can be reinforced minimally to the wall via the cabinet backs and the 2x4s. If you don't want to build the stilts consider purchasing an inexpensive hall table (which is narrow) and setting the cabinets on top of that - a portable and functional option.

  • James Love James Love on Jul 26, 2017
    i have thought about French cleats
    just was not sure how corner cabinet would work with
    and also if per and and indifual cabinet or entire house wall?
    thank you
    very detailed