Cabinet and Millwork Installation

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Cabinet Hanging Rails- Best practices

John McGinnis

We have always installed our cabinets by simply screwing them to the wall. Recently, I have been looking into the hanging rail system but I have a couple of questions for those of you who use them frequently.

1) Do you precut your rails to length or run them long and then cut them once the cabinets are hung?

2) if you precut them, do you find that this limits your ability to slide them left and right? Also, do you find it difficult for your installers to place them on the wall precisely?

3) if you run them long, how do you cut them flush with the side of the cabinet without making a huge mess?

4) Do you also use rails for your base cabinets?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

7/18/21       #3: Cabinet Hanging Rails- Best practic ...
Bruce H

I used rails for years however unless you are doing the install the contractors screw it up. (they all know more than I do) The one issue is the end of the cabinet run. If there is no stud to screw the rail to then it is molly bolted to the sheet rock. Not the best. I have a contractor that likes five foot tall uppers eighteen inched deep. Because of potential weight they don't hang very well on a rail. Finally gave up and went with a 3/4" back. It can be screwed anywhere and will support the cabinet. In a kitchen situation where there are base cabinets under it is easier to install. Somewhere like over a washer/dryer the rail was easier.

7/25/21       #4: Cabinet Hanging Rails- Best practic ...

If there is no stud or blocking for the rail there is also nothing for any other installation method. Get the builder to put in blocking in every kitchen for the rest of his houses. If you have to cut the wall and put in a piece of blocking then bury it. I can't imagine hanging anything off of a wall anchor.

The cleat works great when working by your self. It works if you use the right ones and build your cabinets to work with it.

10/11/21       #5: Cabinet Hanging Rails- Best practic ...
Nate Cougill  Member


We don't do this on every job, but did one a year ago with a full-length cleat, short point to the wall, and the mating cleat cut out of the carcass sides, 3/4" deep, and tall enough fit over the cleat. Carcass got a 1/4" back in a dado 3/4".

If you already CNC your sides, just a quick detour from your tool path. We were miter-folding long end panels, so our mess-ups became cleats. May be worth a shot. If you're table sawing your sides, a quick router jig works.

The key is to string line and carefully shim behind your cleat.

10/13/21       #6: Cabinet Hanging Rails- Best practic ...
Richard Vullo

Hi John,
I'm Richard Vullo with Hafele America Co.

Typically a wall rail runs the length of the span where cabinets are to be hung. Cabinets sides are notched except for the finished ends. Weight ratings for brackets are published, and some will accomodate very heavy cabinets (like floating bathroom vanities).
Running the rail continuous means all available studs are reached and only the ends may need a toggle bolt.Toggle bolts may be added between studs at the point of cabinet suspension as well.

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