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What to Expect Series: Session 13: Cabinetry Installation

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

One of the quickest transformations that can happen in a renovation is the cabinetry installation. If you have a good cabinetry installer, the process can be completed in as little as 1-3 days of work. One of our favourite custom cabinet makers/installers is Waygood’s Kitchens Inc. Whether you are going fully custom, partially custom, or getting cabinetry from a big box store, the installation process is usually similar.


As designers, we will almost always recommend custom cabinetry when budgets allow because the options are quite literally endless in what we can create. When you break down pricing, custom is often more but better quality. The look can be fully customizable (traditional or modern, matte or glossy, wood or glass) and the inner workings can be created as well to fit your items, create intuitive storage, or hide away aspects you don’t want to see. We have designed custom cabinetry to fit a client’s favourite blender, coffee machine, and even have a customized waste management system installed! If you can dream it, we can do it!


Most of the preparation for cabinetry installation will happen at the time of demolition. Your contractor can arrange to demo all of the kitchen cabinetry and countertops if they are not in reusable shape. If they are still in good condition, they can often be donated to non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. This can not only help a family in need, but it helps keep the items out of our landfills. Your contractor can also take care of moving out the appliances (whether you are replacing or keeping them, they will need to be out of the way). During this time you will also need to make sure all furniture and drapery is moved away from the work area. Basically, you should aim to have a clean and empty space for the installation to take place. 

The cabinet maker will bring all the cabinet boxes to site for an efficient install. Once the boxes are installed they work through all the details such as fillers (gap between wall and cabinet) and interior fittings. The custom trim pieces, doors and hood fan covers finish it all off beautifully.


While it seems like an obvious request, we still feel it needs to be mentioned that children and pets cannot be present during installation. If you are currently living in the home and you have pets, we suggest either kennelling them, closing them off in a room for the day, or taking them out of the house for the installation. The installers will be coming back and forth from outside, which means the door may be open for a while. In addition to not wanting your pets to escape, the loud noises and many people may also be scary for them.

Installers will often request a secondary workspace where they can make cuts and adjustments as necessary. This can sometimes be a garage, or even outdoors if the weather permits, however they will need access to power. While the installers will do their best to minimize dust using containment methods, there will still be some dust as well as noise, debris, and limited access during installation.

If you are reusing any of your trim and mouldings, they will be removed and great care will be taken to not damage them, however please expect that they may need some touch up paint.


Once all the base cabinets are installed the countertop supplier can measure for counters. If you are living in the house, you can have a temporary counter installed (plywood) to use in the meantime as counter installation typically takes at least 3 weeks from measure. 

After installation of your cabinetry and countertops (which is next week’s topic!) your kitchen will be ready to use again! You may need to do a quick all over dusting from some of the dust that may have escaped and settled throughout the house. You could also request for us to coordinate a cleaner to come and do this for you if necessary. While there may be some deficiencies that need to be looked at after the installation, the overall impact is extraordinary and is often one of the most exciting days for our clients!


Next week we are discussing what happens during a countertop installation. We will discuss the different types of counter materials, the benefits and drawbacks of each, and what to expect on the big day!


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