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DIY: Replacing bottom of sink cabinet

3041 Views 7 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  kawahonda
Well, my disposal cracked sometime in the near past, and was dumping water on the cabinet floor. The cabinet floor was already in bad shape, but this time there was a 3" bow, as well as visible black mold.

Many times, bottom of cabinets are laminated particle board, which is not a good choice for this area.

I am not a carpenter and I have very limited experience with woodworking skills and knowledge. Or at least, I think I do. But so far, I'm about halfway done, and I consider this 3 out of 5 difficulty so far. If you know how to measure, cut, and have the set of basic tools, as well as patience, this is not difficult at all!

Step 1: Claw hammer time.

Step 2: With the bottom of the cabinet removed (as well as the front fascia), you now have access to the supports. Mine had water damage, so I will replace the supports. Underneath the supports is another particle board that was drilled into the subfloor. I wasn't happy with that particle board, so I choose to keep removing.

Step 3: Now we have the subfloor exposed. This subfloor is in good shape, minus a small area of mold which was cleaned neutralized after this photo was taken. I was actually quite surprised to find that the spray worked very well. Remove the water pipe brackets that fasten to the subfloor. I took a chisel to remove every bit of old particle board near the edges to have a nice square opening.

Step 4: NOW is a good time to replace all the water valves since you have the best access at this point. These valves are really not meant to last 25 years, so I went ahead and replaced all three. Don't forget to turn off your water before replacing them. :)
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Step 5: Grab a piece of board from the home improvement store. I choose to go with particle board as the bottom layer that attaches to the subfloor. This should never see water because the top layer I will choose a more water-proof board. Measure many times and start cutting the board to fit around any vents, as well as cutting out water pipe slots.

Step 6: Fit, screw, and seal the piece in. I used acrylic caulking in any gaps. For the larger gaps next to the water pipes, I used water-resistant wood filler. I'm not sure if I should slap a sealer on this or not. What do you guys think?

More to come as I further progress!
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Step 7: I sealed the particle board with Shellac. I really don't know if it would be helpful to do so, but I figured it wouldn't hurt. NOW was also a good time to repaint the wall underneath the sink which looked awful. I also installed the pipe supports. The bottom area is now finished.

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Thanks guys! There's still much more to do, so stay tuned!
Step 8: Cut the new board and at least try to fit it in as one piece. Even when I removed all I could off the face of these old crappy cabinets, there was no way this thing was going in as a one-piece ordeal. Oh well, at least I tried.

Step 9: Measure and cut your side supports. I used Liquid Nails as well as a few nails from the nail gun. I'm not a believer of using screws for cabinetry work.

I got to try out my new Dewalt jigsaw. It's great for making quick, exact cuts like this.

Step 10: For the center piece, I decided to just glue the bottom and shoot staples wherever I could since it's a compression fit.

The next steps are the finishing work...the stuff that you can actually see. We'll see how it goes....
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Step 10: Cut the boards into two pieces and do some test fitting. Likely, you'll be doing some additional trimming. The world isn't perfect.

Step 11: Shellack the bottom boards (or stain them, whatever).

Step 12: Install the boards. I used mostly my nail gun, with glue whenever I saw fit. It's exceptionally sturdy. My cat even approves.

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Step 13: The front facia is garbage, and I didn't want to just reinstall it. The vent hole wasn't cut properly, cracked, and was a poor cut. The vent was rusted brown in color. I bought a $14 oak board from Lowes, and cut it down to size.

Step 14: Cut out your vent opening. Then go ahead and throw some Shellack on it.

Step 15. I installed it, and throw the old cove molding back on it. I used a nail gun again, no glue. I blasted and painted the vent cover a satin black because I have many black appliances.

Step 16: I then replaced what caused the leak, the disposal. I could have done this first, but I preferred to have the additional room. It's all painted now, new wood, nice new smell, and should be good for a few more years until I remodel the kitchen.

Hopefully this helps! I'm glad this job is over. It certainly wasn't a small and easy cheap, and I'm sure this wouldn't have been cheap to pay someone to do PROPERLY.
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