Suppose, you’re busy one day and you open your cabinet to get something. Everything looks fine inside. Well, until you see a rotten bottom.
We know, it’s going to give you an extra headache today. Well, don’t worry that’s why we’re here for you.
We can probably guess the first question you’re going to ask yourself. How to do the cabinet bottom repair all by myself? Fortunately, we promise that we’ll put an end to that question today.
For that, we made easy 7 steps that’ll help you to do all the work easily and by yourself. All you have to do is follow these easy steps and you’ll be able to set your new cabinet bottom.
We’ll show you the reasons why your cabinet bottom needs repairing. Also, how you can do it the easiest way yourself. These 7 steps will surely cover it all for you.
Without further delay, let’s get started.
- 1 Rotten Bottoms- That Much of An Issue?
- 2 What Do You Need to Start?
- 3 Repair Your Cabinet Bottom
Rotten Bottoms- That Much of An Issue?
We know your closed cabinet looks beautiful, you can hide your things in there and etc. But let me ask you something. Do you know the downside of owning a closed cabinet?
Well, by now you should know the downside. As you are facing an issue with your vulnerable plywood bottom.
Here’s a fact.
Plywood is vulnerable to moisture. But unfortunately, your bottom is made of it. Also, it’s in a place where it’s more likely to face water.
Besides, water can damage your cabinet doors too at times. In that case, you’ll need to know how to repair water damaged cabinet doors
Water can save your life, but it’s going to end your cabinet bottom. Like, sweet for some, poison for others.
How would you know your bottom is rotten?
You’ll know when the bottom swells and crumbles. Besides, over time it’ll be in no condition to be called the bottom of any cabinet.
However, you’ll need to remove the bottom cabinet as soon as you acknowledge swelling and crumble. Then, replace it with a new and better plywood.
What Do You Need to Start?
You’ll need the correct tools and materials for the work. We’ll start with the tools you need.
You see, the correct tools will let you do your work perfectly without any hassle. You’re gonna have to make sure that you get quality tools. Here are the tools that you’ll need.
- Caulk gun
- Circular saw
- Cordless drill
- Countersink drill bit
- Framing square
- Pipe wrench
- Safety glasses
- Slip joint pliers
- Tape measure
- Thick rubber gloves
- Dust mask
- Safety goggles
The materials are the most important. You’ll need to make sure that your materials last longer in the future. So, make sure to collect the quality materials.
Here are the materials.
- Caulk or Epoxy
- 1/2″ plywood (cabinet-grade)
- 1x2x8 trim pine
- Wood stain
Now, let’s start fixing your cabinet bottom.
Repair Your Cabinet Bottom
We promised to show you the easy way to do it. Well, the method we’ll show you is also an effective one.
Most of the carpenters will tell you to remove the whole bottom when your bottom is damaged. But it’s going to cost more and it’s really hard to do without professional help.
In this method, you’ll put another layer of plywood on the ones that you already have. So, if this layer gets damaged in the future, you’ll just have to remove it and put another layer.
If you’re set with your tools and proper materials, here are the steps you must follow.
Step 1: Start With Your Plumbing
Here’s the thing,
We’re pretty sure that your cabinet bottom needs a repair because of plumbing failure. You see, this is a crucial problem.
It’s better if you get a qualified plumber to fix your sink. But if you have small leaks, you can seal it off using caulk. Simply take your caulk gun and put the caulk in, then seal off the leak areas with the caulk gun.
Anyhow, if you call a plumber for checking your sink, make sure to keep it checked periodically. Because proper maintenance can save your bottom plywood in the longer run.
Step 2: Measure Your Cabinet
Now, you’ll have to measure your cabinets inside first. Most of the cabinets’ interior measurements are about 24” deep and 32” wide approximately.
Then, you’ll need to apply the measurement on your new plywood. Remember, your plywood should be big enough to fill the space on the cabinet bottom.
Therefore, you’ll need the new floor in two separate pieces. Measure half of your width for your first piece. Usually, it’s better to set the first piece and then measure the for the second piece.
Here’s the deal.
This method may seem complicated because you won’t be able to fit a full-sized replacement. But if you did get a full-sized replacement, in that case you’ll need to detach the whole sink. However, it would be more complicated then.
Step 3: Cut Your First Piece Marking the Pipes
Now, grab your saw, and let’s do some carpentering.
So, you’ll have to use a table saw or circular saw. Then, cut the first piece to the length and width of your cabinet interior. After that, you should work it roughly into a position inside the cabinet.
Remember, if it meets with any plumbing lines at the back of the cabinet, then you won’t be able to lay it down flat right away. It won’t fit at all.
Now, you must reach into the cabinet with a pencil and mark the plumbing locations on the panel. Make you have the right measures or it won’t fit properly.
Step 4: Cut Holes for Pipes
Well, there are two ways for you to follow here. The easiest one is using a hole saw bit.
These are circular, saw-toothed bits that chuck into your drill and spins like a normal drill bit. However, these have different sizes.
Luckily, if you have a hole saw bit, you’ll need the ones that are about a 1/2″ bigger than the diameter of your pipes.
However, if you don’t own a hole saw bit, then you’ll have to cut these holes using a jigsaw.
That’s a lot more difficult.
How will you do it with a jigsaw? Well, you’ll need exact circular objects and use them as tracing templates for laying out the holes.
One thing you must be aware of. You’ll need a straight line from the holes to the back edge of the panel. Or else the plywood won’t sit in place.
However, if you’re finished, you should test the piece to make sure that you’ve set everything perfectly.
Step 5: Measure And Cut the Second Panel
After you’re done with the first piece, get started with your second piece. First, measure the rest of the place that you have left after the first piece is set.
Then, you’ll need to use a similar cutting process as the first piece. Once you have the perfect cut, you should set the panel and see if it really fits.
Another thing, remember about the doors. If your panels are too large the doors won’t close later on. Also, you can use a thin strip of trim at the door, it’ll make it look less exposable.
Step 6: Attach Panels And Ensure Fit
Now, you’ll need to attach the panels with strong adhesive or epoxy resin.
First, you must mix some epoxy resin and apply it on the previous floor. Then, put the panels inside the cabinet. Remember to put some epoxy resin between those two panels.
You see, epoxy resin is very strong adhesive and helps to hold plastics, woods and etc. In order to have high hold, make sure that you have the finest epoxy resin of the market.
Step 7: Use Paint or Stain
To give it a finishing touch, you can paint your panels. If the bottom layer was painted before, you should paint it. On the other hand, if it was stained, you should stain.
Before that, remember to hide the gap around the edge of the panel with a similar-colored caulk or adhesive. All you have to do is, run a bead just large enough to hide the gap around the full perimeter. Then, smooth it into place with a fingertip.
You’re all good! Just let everything dry now for some time before you put everything back in your cabinet.
You have no reason to think that this method is different than how the carpenter does a cabinet bottom repair. However, just because you do something differently, doesn’t mean it can’t be an easy way for you.
Also, if you want to fix your wood rather than replacing it, you can do a structural wood rot repair.
Moreover, be aware of the sharp objects you’re using. Don’t forget to wear your gloves, goggles and a dust mask. Your safety should be your first priority.
However, it’s always the best solution if you call in the professionals. It’ll cost you money but you’ll have it perfectly done and less things to worry about.