2x4 Base Under Base Cabinets

      Constructing ladder bases. December 26, 2004

Question
Do any of you use 2x4 bases/legs under base cabinets? Level the base, then attach the cabinets and add a toe kick?

Forum Responses
Yes, we call them ladder bases. Sometimes we use plywood, sometimes 3/4 melamine. Never have used 2x4, but suppose you could, depending on your height requirement. Level it, shim, screw to wall. Easier in some situations than leveling the boxes.



Been doing ladder bases for some time now. I've tried legs, 1-piece cabinets, etc. and in my opinion, a level ladder base is the way to go. I use 3/4" ply for wall mounted bases, and 2 x 4 bases for some islands. I screw 3 1/2" square blocks to the inside of the base to the floor, leveling front base as I go. 1/4" finished toe skins (pre-cut in shop) go on last, to the floor. Skins are ripped 1/16" short, but bottom FF rail reveal hides it.


We use the ladder system as well. Works great on a long run of cabs. We cut out heels on the ladders so you only have contact in areas directly under partitions. On a long run, you get kick level, which is easier on a small 4" high piece with open back (opposed to box reaching under to adjust legs or shim), then just start dropping on your boxes and screw together. I have heard of people using CDX for the ladders in bathrooms and kitchens. Not a bad idea, although how practical I'm not sure. If you have water damage, the cabinet itself would probably have to be redone in addition to the kick box (ladder).


I typically use "ladder bases" as well. I use melamine, MDF, or plywood. I wouldn't use 2x4's if you are talking about Doug fir. There is too much shrinkage if you use green Doug fir, and you will end up with settling problems. Try a more stable material.


Plywood = good. 2X4 = okay. MDF or particleboard = risk if there is a sink or other water use in the run.

The ladder base does provide a level on which to install cabinets. Legs or levelers have advantages, but it's almost a different discussion.



Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking: Custom Cabinet Construction

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking: Cabinet Design

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking: General

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking: Installation

  • KnowledgeBase: Cabinetmaking: Residential Cabinetry

  • KnowledgeBase: Woodworking Miscellaneous

  • KnowledgeBase: Woodworking Miscellaneous: Woodworking




    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2014 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article