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Do you think it possible and safe to hang this cabinet on this wall with no support below it?

It is 38 x 90 x 100cm and weighs something like 30kg, It is intended to fill it with dishes and such so it'll get even heavier. The wall is reinforced concrete.

I've looked around at videos and forums for advice but can't find anything definitive and I don't want to whole thing falling off the wall in the middle of the night.

If it is possible then what are correct type of supports to use? Thanks for any help and advice.

cabinet

cabinet interior

cabinet interior 2

cabinet interior 3

Edit after reading all the answers and comments:

I accepted an answer which I think seems good for fixing something like this to a concrete wall, but I have my doubts about the structural integrity of this cabinet floating on a wall (full of crockery) after examining it further and so I'm going to find a table or base cabinet for it instead. Thanks to everyone for your great input.

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  • 11
    Are you in an earthquake or tornado zone? If so, double the fasteners and add positive latches to the doors to hold them closed in an event. Guess how I know that.
    – Criggie
    Jan 6 at 23:08
  • Finland, by his profile, no tornadoes and no earthquakes.
    – Simson
    Jan 7 at 1:56
  • Yes, few earthquakes or tornadoes here in Finland :D
    – Ralpharama
    Jan 7 at 8:51
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    i'd use french cleats, with expansion bolts in the hanging part
    – JoSSte
    Jan 7 at 10:36
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    @Ralpharama following your last edit: I agree that with this type of old cabinet it's a good idea to put something underneath. Even if it looks to be assembled with screws/nails, the structure may not have been thought to resist shear forces. However, with this weight and depending on the stability on what is underneath, it still can be a good idea to fix it to the wall with several concrete screws you have in the answers, for a better stability (you don't want to take 30kg+ on a foot!)
    – Kaddath
    Jan 7 at 13:19
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@Ralpharama- Use concrete screws (Tap-Cons) specifically the larger diameter screws that use a 3/16th inch concrete bit. You won't have to use as many screws so less drilling.

Also use the the Tap-Cons with a hex headhex head. They are easier to drive with the proper driver and don't strip-out as much as the Philips head screws.enter image description here

Finally, you want to drill pilot holes into the frame pieces along the back of the unit (cupboard). Not the back panel, but the thicker frame. Dill 7/16ths-1/4 inch pilot holes with a wood bit. Possibly 3 on the left and right side and 1 top and bottom.

It would be wise to construct some sort of temporary support device (5 gallon buckets, crates, chairs, etc.) that you can set the cupboard on at he height you desire. It's easier to drill.

With your concrete bit start drilling through the pilot holes into the wall once you are satisfied with the location. You'll want a helper holding it to the wall. When drilling just drill enough to mark the wall. Do this for all the drill holes. Remove the cup board and than complete drilling to the appropriate screw depth.

Use a long enough screw so that at least an inch of the screw length is secured into the wall. (example: my wood frame is 3/4 inches thick so I need an 1 3/4 inch tapcon.)

Hint: wrap a pirce of tape around your tap con bit that is slightly (1/16th inch) deeper than your screw to act as a depth gauge.

Lastly (again), buy an extra tapcon bit if your drilling several holes. The quality has diminished and they dull quickly. Don't over torque when tightening screws as they can strip out.

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    There is little risk of "too many" bolts. OP should consider doing a load-test when the cabinet is hung but empty, by hanging from their hands from the top edge completely unsupported by anything else. For confidence, I'd suggest two people to replicate the weight of a full loadout of crockery which can be very heavy. There is no overkill.
    – Criggie
    Jan 6 at 22:42
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    @Criggie, overengineering is a feature, not a bug. :-) Jan 7 at 0:00
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    This answer doesn't really address the main point of the question, which is whether the cabinet can be hung safely. Looking at the images, it's built to stand (sides in compression, back possibly not carrying any significant loads, just ensuring rigidity), not to hang (back and sides loaded in tension and shear). Those are pretty much opposite situations, and as such the cabinet is fairly likely to come apart completely if not built to hang. Discussing which fasteners are best is overlooking the elephant in the room.
    – TooTea
    Jan 7 at 15:45
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    Yeah, the back panel on this kind of shelf is basically worthless for structure. It's often just a thin piece held in with finishing nails or staples. It keeps the frame square, but definitely cannot support the weight of the rest of the cabinet by itself. Cannot stress enough to attach the frame to the wall, not the back panel. Jan 7 at 16:01
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    @ojait Any evidence or arguments to support the idea that the cabinet itself can handle the loads of hanging? No offense, but "Nope. You're wrong." does not a convincing argument, make.
    – mbrig
    Jan 8 at 6:13
36

It looks like the cabinet is intended to sit on top of a base cabinet. You are right to be concerned about the structure of the cabinet. You can add a discrete support below it. In addition to the suggestions above I would add a couple of L brackets on the bottom. Cabinet bracket and wall

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  • Yes, I think it's clearly supposed to sit on top of a base. I'll see if I can argue my way into another base or table, if not then L brackets look to be a sensible addition!
    – Ralpharama
    Jan 6 at 18:58
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    Shelf brackets, the ones with a diagonal brace, might be a good idea more than plain L brackets as pictured. Of course they'd go down, not up the back.
    – Criggie
    Jan 6 at 22:38
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    Upvoted for pointing out that this is not actually a wall-mounted cabinet, but the top half of a two-piece furniture. This kind of construction was popular in the 50s to 60s. I know these from my grandma's place. A word of warning: DANGER! These cabinets are rarely glued. They are held together by the pieces interlocking in clever fashions and can be dismantled by pulling at the back or top. If you hang this the wrong way, it can fall apart (it is intended to). Definitely devise some support.
    – Hermann
    Jan 6 at 22:50
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    I think this is the only safe way to go. The fact that it is both a deep and tall cabinet means you have significant shearing and normal stress on any mounting points. The mounting bolts will be hilariously large before shearing stress becomes safe on wood. Unless you know, with certainty, the grain of the structural wood, the stress may split the wood open.
    – Nelson
    Jan 7 at 0:23
  • yeah, the vertical members in the back of the cabinet look like they are in two pieces, and the side panels may just be thin board. the sides may need diagonal reinforcement to properly support the front edge.
    – Jasen
    Jan 8 at 23:12
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@ojait's answer has good info about getting things attached into the wall (I'd rent a rotary hammer for this.)

In order to make things a lot easier and get a good sturdy support I would suggest creating a french cleat. It will save you a lot of trouble.

As @Criggie notes, the image below shows the holes evenly spaced and in a straight line. That is likely designed for stud framed walls with extra holes to allow for positioning. In your case, you will want to space the holes out on the wall and use the number of screws as needed per the tapcon instructions.

For the back of the cabinet, you should make sure the cleat is secured to solid structure such as the frame. You can put some (short) screws into the back but make sure you get into the frame. You should be able to pick up the cabinet by holding the cleat alone.

enter image description here

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    Picture shows all the holes on the same line, probably better to stagger them up and down a bit. Being a concrete wall, there is no framing stud/dwang/nog to target.
    – Criggie
    Jan 7 at 0:53
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    @Criggie Yeah, I just grabbed a picture off the web for this. This is actually from Amazon where, apparently, you can buy these pre-made. In this case, I think the OP should customize. Especially the piece for the back of the cabinet to ensure it is secured to the frame.
    – JimmyJames
    Jan 7 at 14:00
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    A french cleat is a good idea for mounting wall cabinets, but the cabinet in question looks like the upper part of a hutch which was designed to sit flat on a base. It will likely collapse if hung with a French cleat and then loaded. Jan 8 at 3:10
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I'm a 62 year old (2nd gen.) custom cabinet shop owner and have a ton of experience in cabinets. I strongly suggest you really look at the back of that piece before you do anything. All the fasteners in the world mean nothing if the cabinet/furniture is built in such a way where it won't support itself on the wall. I think the easiest (not the most nicest looking from the side) way to handle this is simply screw on a piece of good quality 1/2" plywood to the back of that thing. Make sure your screws go into solid wood around the perimeter of the cabinet, top and bottom, left and right sides. Unless you change your mind in the future and decide to place it back on the floor, I'd use wood glue also. Then all the fastener screw recommendations can be used here. If you simply have a 2x4 stud wall, use a good quality 3" long screw and use at least 4 of them to hold that thing up. Once you're done, try to move the cabinet with your own arms. Even try some weight on it. If it's sturdy, you'll know it. If not, the cabinet isn't built well and you should take it down and not hang it. It's that simple.

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These plastic anchors can support up to 435 pounds (green) in concrete. Just make sure to use more than one :)

enter image description here


If you choose something like a Tapcon screw then it really gets impressive:

enter image description here

Just be careful not to overtighten or else you'll turn the concrete into dust and have almost no holding power.


Whichever route you take just make sure you use a washer under the head of the screw so that you have more surface area or else the cabinet wood will fail before the screws fail. The Maxi-Set might not need a washer since the head is big enough.

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  • Thank you, I am now concerned about the structure of the cabinet itself from the above comments.
    – Ralpharama
    Jan 6 at 14:36
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What are you going to do with the space underneath that cabinet?

Throwing out another idea: if you can find a narrow table to go up against the wall that would

1: support your cabinet atop it securely. You might still attach cabinet to wall for stability but not to bear weight.

2: table will carry lines of cabinet down to the floor which would be a good look.

3: give cat protected floor space for cat food under the table.

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    Yes, it's not MY dream to have it floating in space... and I do prefer the table option, which I'm trying to argue for! Thanks :)
    – Ralpharama
    Jan 6 at 18:57
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    I wonder about the possibility of just adding legs to the existing cabinet, although I'm not totally sure what kind of bracing that would involve. It appears that the cabinet is designed to be supported at the base, though, so it might be pretty straightforward. Jan 6 at 20:45
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If you cannot find a small table to put it on securing it to the wall with a french cleat at the top and putting it on legs made out of staircase balusters might work.

I've built something similar with almost no additional framing underneath other than the balusters. It worked great. In fact, when I first installed the legs I simply put a screw down into them from inside the cabinet. That worked very well for over a year until I had time to build a bit more of a frame underneath.

These are what I am thinking of enter image description here

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@flywood has absolutely the best answer here use a piece of 1/2” Baltic birch plywood the full size of the back scrape or sand off any high spots glue it and screw it to the back from the back side. making sure the screws go through in areas where the heavier wood structure is. Was this stated this was a concrete wall? ....I did not see where this was in the original posting? Anyway all fastener options should work. A simple wood screw if this is a stud wall will hold 80 to 100 lbs four screws can get you 400 lbs therefore you should have at least 4 screws going into the wall if it is a stud wall. Again if studs the screw should be a square head so you can drive them easily. Paint the ends to match the piece. 2cnd option if you were to mount the piece you now have a dead space under the cabinet. Why not make a new piece? I lots of comments about finding something that works, but why not draw out the piece below and style it similar create it and paint it yourself. I can see open shelves door or drawers here. Sounds like a fun project!

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