Anchoring Cabinets to Concrete Floors

      May 6, 2007

I have my first cabinet job that includes securing a peninsula to the concrete slab. There is a 13-foot section of cabinets against a wall and then each end has a 5-foot peninsula, including 24" blind corner. The blind corner cab is 43.5" wide and will be anchored to the wall and adjacent cabinet. Then there is a 16.5" 3-drawer cabinet at the end of the peninsula. I was considering placing 2x4 pieces in the sections of a ladder toe kick and then securing the kick to the slab with Liquid Nails. Is this a good idea or is there a better way?

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor J:
Since there is a drawer base in the peninsula, which will put a good amount of torque on the base when open, I think I might add a couple of lag shields into the floor. I usually try to overbuild, though.

From contributor E:
2x4 blocking with:
1. Hot melt globs on the corners for immediate set.
2. Construction adhesive for long term adhesive strength.
3. Concrete anchors to improve the quality of your sleep.

From contributor D:
For ladder-type kicks I use 3/4" plywood scrap, construction adhesive and tapcons to hold it down. Use 2" L-brackets inside the kick if you need to hide the fasteners.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. The tapcon screws (hadn't seen them before) and 2x4 look like a great solution.

From contributor K:
When using tapcons, just make sure they don't have in-floor heat.

From contributor M:
I used to use bolts or screws into slabs in this application. But I learned over the years that if you are using a separate toe kick network ("ladder"), and it lays down with fairly continuous contact with the slab, it is plenty to just use a continuous thick bead of silicone or other adhesive caulking on the bottom edges of the toe ladder.

Make sure you lie the prepared ladder in the exact place where you want it and walk on it to press down the caulking. If possible, do this before you mount the cabinets on the ladder by at least an hour or two.

Believe me, when the caulking is dry, the cabinets will never come loose or wobble. The countertops, when applied over the cabinets, will actually reinforce the ends of your peninsulas against tipping by locking the top of your assembly with what is essentially a right-angle clamp.

From contributor T:
When using tapcons, what kind of drill are you using? The bit that came with the tapcons went dull after 1 hole, so I got another bit - same result. Should I be using a hammer drill or was the cement so hard it dulled each bit?

From contributor J:
Yes, you definitely need a hammer drill! The bits that come with tapcons are not so hot. I like using the bits Bosch makes myself. But none will do anything without the hammer action provided by the drill. The bits don't actually cut the concrete as much as they pulverize it.

From contributor U:
On that note, if you are expecting the need for a hammer more often, my first was a small B&D cheapo hammer drill. I was still frustrated with the speed into concrete and brick. A while back I picked up a Hilti rotary hammer and no comparison! You don't need a big breaker hammer - I think something like their TE 16 is a good size. It's not cheap, but a Hilti will be the last one you buy. It will last forever. And not only for tapcon holes - poke conduit through masonry walls, insert a bull point or flat chisel and with the chipping action, you send tile just flying.

From contributor V:

From contributor O:
Easy and simple: mark cabinet on ground, drill your holes in concrete, stick two solid wood slivers in hole, screw first 2x4 down, then stack second one and screw it down, set your cabinet over your pieces, screw cabinet down from inside with 4 inch screws. This really holds your cabinet down and won't move even if you run into it.

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