Garage Cabinet Details

Pros discuss ways to fit cabinet bottoms and kicks to the sloping concrete floor of a garage. June 12, 2005

I was recently asked about making garage cabinets for a client, and I was a little concerned about the slope of the floor. Obviously the slope runs from the house to the driveway and I was wondering what the standard is for kick boxes with this severe of a slope.

If the mud-sill runs level, do you put a ledger on top, and then use leg levelers for the front of the cabinets? Does anyone have a simple solution for this problem?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor J:
Here are my suggestions - providing there are no kicks installed on your 30" tall Base Cabs.

Install a Level 2"x4" Ledger Board the entire length of proposed Base Cabinet Installation using 3" #10D Screws.

Keep the top of the Ledger Board at 4 1/2" off the high side of the Garage Floor, the bases will be sitting on this Ledger. Lay each Base in succession, screwing the backs of the bases to the appropriate studs, screw the sides of the box faces together, then deal with the fronts with either Leg Levelers or Pressure Treated Supports.

The Ledger Board and screwed Base Cab. Backs will provide a strong hold, (providing the Bases are adequately assembled). Trim the fronts to suit after they all are level and square.

From contributor F:
For a garage, I would use exterior grade plywood for the cabinet bases. With a water level, (an easy to self make tool) find the difference in elevation from side to side of your cabinet run or runs.

Your kick faces will be tapered, so you will need to make a decision as to its tallest and shortest dimensions based on the difference in elevation in the runs. When you make your decision, rip enough plywood to the narrow dimension and build the kicks. Take the kicks onsite along with some extra sleeper material.

Locate the kicks on the floor and using your level/water level, shim the kick’s level. Now glue and staple in an extra sleeper that touches the concrete floor to all your existing kick sleepers and
you can remove the shims.

You can add as much of these extra legs anywhere you like on the inside faces of the kicks. Screw the kicks to the framing.

Back at the shop, build your cabinets kick-less. After you set the cabs (or before for that matter) using a pencil compass and some over width toe kick skin, scribe the quarter inch skin to fit the shape of the garage floor. Nail the scribed toe kick skins on and you are finished.

These instructions are for cabs that run in the house to driveway direction. For cabinets that are perpendicular, just modify the method.

From contributor R:
Both suggestions so far are very well thought out and feasible. We’ve found that sometimes garages can slope 4" or more, creating a very tall toe kick if you were using a ledger. Using exterior grade ply is a good idea here, although we always used pressure treated lumber first and cut the ply only on the external perimeter.

After scribing the ply to the floor (making sure the top edge is level), you can easily apply plastic cove molding (as found in commercial buildings) or plastic laminate - to give it a finished look.
As far as the mud sill goes - in a majority of the cases, I found that it is never more than 1/2-5/8" thick. By placing 3/4" nailers behind your backs, you can easily jig saw away the backs of your cabinet sides where the sill would push them away from the wall.

So many variations exist here though too. You can let the sides stand off the wall the thickness of the sill, and apply scribe molding or an applied finished end. Or, you can cut only the external sides to finish for the wall. All internal sides/partitions are cut to the inside of your backing material.