Hanging Wall Cabinets from Plaster over Block

Quick tip for attaching cabinets to plaster-covered concrete-block walls. June 28, 2007

What do you use/do when you hang wall cabs on plaster wall? Most of the old homes where I am at have this. Small row homes. The party wall is cinderblock and then scratch coat and plaster to finish. Plaster usually breaks apart when drilling.

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor K:
I have the same problem here at my testbed (home). First off, plaster in an old home is always going to crack, spider, peel, period. I always find a inconspicuous place, then drill 1/8 holes. You don't say how thick the material is, but I'm assuming it's less than 1 1/2 inches. I would try concrete deck screws to attach.

From contributor S:
We install cabinets in old houses in Washington, DC. The key we have found is to anchor 2 x material with lags, anchors and washers into plaster walls backed with brick and then install cabinet on top. Exposed ends need to have wall scribe on them or end panel to cover up 2x material. If it is just plaster wall, you still need to hit a stud, as the lath and concrete are not strong enough to hold weight of full cabinets in most cases. Remember that lath is held on most of the time only by small nails just to hold the concrete in place until the wall cures together.

The other way is to flat frame against wall and then drywall and install like a normal cabinet install. Probably the easiest of all methods.