Attaching Island Cabinets to Concrete Floors

Advice on securing an island cabinet to a concrete slab floor, with attention to the issue of moisture. August 13, 2007

I have a job where the bases are on concrete. I live in the northwest where there are not a lot of installs on concrete. There is an island and I was thinking of putting a nailer inside the kick to fasten the cabinets to unless there is a better solution?

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor A:
Most of the installs in my area (S. California) are on concrete slabs. I usually layout the toe kick dimensions with a chalk line or pencil after the perimeter bases are set. This gives me some something to square off of. I typically use a ramset with a 2-1/2" ramset nail (the kind with a washer head) through a 3/4" plywood nailing cleat. After the first cleat is nailed in place I screw a second cleat on top of it to give me more material to bite into from the outside of the kick. Once the kick is set and leveled I will screw through the kick into the nailer. On some occasions the nails won't grab well into the concrete in which case I break out the hammer drill and screw the cleat down with 2 /12" tapcon screws.

From contributor B:
We do similar to contributor A. Beware of radiant floor heat.

From contributor C:
This is off the subject, but do you who do these installs ever experience moisture problems stemming from the concrete? If so, what do you do? If not, do you do something special to prevent it? I am just curious. I could see there an extreme amount of moisture under the cabinets in the toe kick area. Maybe moisture isn't a concern at all.

From contributor D:
Moisture is definitely a problem on concrete installs. I always build my toeboards separate from the cabinets. There are two reasons for this. One, the installer can set and level the ladder framed toeboards first. Second, I use a moisture resistance material such as marine grade plywood. I will also add that I mainly do this because we deal with commercial restaurant franchises and I have seen the way they mop the floor, but concrete does have condensation.

From contributor E:
All base materials and blocking should be marine grade on concrete and you will have no problems with moisture.

From contributor F:
We just screw down a piece of green 2 x 4 to the concrete, and then fasten the kick to that. The treated 2 x 4 will never rot, even if water makes it way through the slab. Itís probably overkill, but itís easy and cheap, and the island feels very stable.

From contributor G:
Itís the buildersí problem - they provided the concrete floors. Damage caused by the builder-provided concrete floors is no different than the plumber provided water supply pipes.

From contributor H:
When you shoot the nailer down to the concrete, glue it down also with Bostic Best urethane adhesive. It will become water barrier, and overcome any failed nails.