Wrapping Cabinets for Transportation

The pros and cons of bubble wrap, cardboard rolls, newsprint remainders, shipping blankets, et cetera. March 21, 2012

We are using bubble/shrink wrap to cover cabinets for transit. It works okay, but sometimes we wrap the cabinet prematurely and the finish shows a bubble pattern. I have thought about screwing the cabinets to the sides of the trailer with no wrap, but I don't think the trailer could be loaded very efficiently this way, plus it is nice to have the old wrapping material on site to re-cover the cabinets after install. Also, the bubble wrap is pretty expensive.

What are you using? I know a lot of the factory cabinet lines are covered with what looks like brown grocery bag material on the outside with a plastic lining which contacts the cabinet. Does anyone know the cost of this material or who sells it?

Forum Responses
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor J:
Closed cell foam comes in large rolls. Worth every penny!

From contributor E:
I buy rolls of cardboard. I use the 36" wide roll, which has the paper on one side, and the corrugated paper exposed on the other side. Forget the exact term. Costs about $30 for a big roll. I drape it over the doors, then use 3" stretch wrap at the top and bottom of the cabinet to hold it in place. When loading the trailer, cabinets go back to back, and front to front, then strapped tight. Haven't had a problem since I started using this method.

The problem with the foam is it's pretty easy to tear a hole in it. Would work great if you put the foam on, then stretch wrapped over all the foam.

From contributor S:

Some people have to pay extra for bubble patterns on their cabinets. Seriously, no matter what you use, if you are wrapping them prematurely you will get a corrugated pattern. For a long time we just used newsprint, which sometimes you can get free if there is a newspaper company near you. They don't use the whole roll of newsprint so after every run, which is every day, they have off cuts basically, which around here they give away. Now we use the foam paper, which is about 1/32 thick, but sometimes it can hold the grit in if you are not careful when applying it.

From contributor R:
For years I was spending plenty of money on bubble wrap, foam sheets, etc. until I saw the light. I bought 24 moving blankets for about $250. I'd spend almost that every month on the wrap. I think it also looks more professional when you cover everything with moving blankets. They are great for putting over the floor when unloading the cabinets as well and they save a bundle of money in the long run.

From contributor M:
We use cardboard corner protectors, and stretch wrap. Handles are installed on the job so they do not scratch adjacent cabinets in transit. For some assemblies we use large pieces of cardboard to protect vulnerable edges.

About half of our cabinets are installed by other crews so blankets are not a good option for us. Also the blankets must be removed to allow easy unloading and carting into the house. With the cardboard and stretch wrap, the protection stays on until the last minute before permanent install.

From contributor G:
We invested in blankets. They work great at covering cabinets, absorbing vibrations and preventing damage from adverse driving conditions (slamming on the brakes when a snowbird who can't see out the window because her dog is on her lap obstructing her view decides to pull out in front of you). Plus, a stack of folded blankets with one or two covering the floor with your company name spray painted on the corner looks more professional than a pile of bubble wrap.

From contributor V:
We use a shrink wrap, no bubbles, just to hold doors and drawers closed. We do screw the cabinets to the side of the trailer along with using Ls made from plywood. We can haul more cabinets that way than just wrapped. When we need to, we put cardboard between them.

From contributor L:
Furniture blankets when we can get them back. Stretch film and corner guards otherwise. Corner guards get expensive. On long hauls, cardboard is abrasive enough to dull the laminate where it vibrates one part to another.

From contributor D:
I wrap doors and drawers closed, then cover the cabinets with furniture blankets and strap them in to the trailer for delivery.

From contributor S:
Furniture blankets and stretch wrap.

From contributor K:
I used cardboard the first couple years, but the last job was 2 hours away and I was worried about the travel, so I invested in about $150 worth of cargo blankets. I wish I did that 5 years ago. Get enough of them so you can cover everything and pack them in tight. I don't install doors until at the jobsite, so those I stack and wrap with plastic roll so they don't slide.