I'm renovating our kitchen and we will be installing upper and lower cabinets. My question is, should I take the time to install a horizontal brace between the wall studs to make mounting the upper cabinets easier?

What I'm thinking is installing a 2x4 between each of the wall studs at the height where the upper cabinet will hang, in effect making one big "ledger board". My thought is that this will make installing the upper cabinets faster since I won't have to find the studs again once the wall is patched.

What I'm thinking is something like this enter image description here

  • 1
    yes it makes hanging the cabinets easier and gives you more flexibility when it comes to sizes and positions. Commented May 2, 2014 at 16:14
  • If you have custom made plywood cabinets with a 3/4 inch solid back, it wouldn't be worth the effort, but if you are using commodity cabinets, then yes.
    – Edwin
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 23:13

5 Answers 5


Absolutely, install backers. I prefer 2X6 backers. This will make your life so much easier when you install your cabinets.

  • Yes indeed, a 2X4 is actually pretty easy to miss when setting the upper cabinets. That extra 2" is really helpful. When you install you can drill holes uniformly out of each upper corner inside the cabinet, no need to lay out more than that. Can eyeball them and it will still work. Easy Peasy.
    – Jack
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 1:27
  • Great suggestion. I hadn't considered 2x6 as opposed to 2x4. I had to remove a patch of lathe plaster to make room for the bracing. I will be installing the bracing today and I did open enough to put in 2x6. Anything to make this job go faster when we get to the finishing stage!
    – cigarman
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 14:07
  • Yes, definitely use 2x6's. And add blocking for attaching the lower cabinets too
    – Eric
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 22:50
  • I just happened to notice in the pics that the backers were nailed in on the front face. WRONG!! They should be screwed in, top and bottom with 2 1/2 to 3 inch screws. Commented May 6, 2014 at 23:46
  • shirlock, that pic was just an example I found in a separate question. It's not how I did my bracing. :-)
    – cigarman
    Commented May 23, 2014 at 13:04

To be honest you don't need to do this. I have been a cabinet maker for 11 years I always fit kitchens and overhead units. As long as your studs are around 600mm or less apart you will be fine. A standard overhead unit is around 700width 600height 300deep an you only really need 4 x 70mm screws

  • The key to your response is "as long as your studs are 23 inches or less". This is a really old house and the studs are all over the place basically, not even close to a standard 16 inch on center, so I can't depend on standard spacing. Even marking the stud locations won't save me as much time as having a solid backing brace.
    – cigarman
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 14:00
  • It's just a bit overkill. You could mark out where your studs are, or you could write down somewhere the position. Or just find them again after you gyprock. But any work what ever is easier for you.
    – Nathan
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 14:06
  • In the USA, 15 inch and 18 inch cabinets are very common in the whole design. At best, you might find one stud, the question is on what try? LOL. If the wall is open, block it with 2X6. Been a contractor for many years and I'd never not install them if possible. Commented May 7, 2014 at 21:59
  • You find your studs before you hold the overhead up. Every kitchen I build is a custom kitchen. Was just saying there about that size. Lol I need to get used to talking in inches. It's a lil confusing Lol. But anyway what ever makes the job easier for the person to get the job done.
    – Nathan
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 7:38

If you are installing the cabinets yourself and the walls are currently open take the 20 minutes and install the backers. I did my cabinet install without the backers it wasn't that hard but having the backers would have made it much easier.


Yeah this is an innovation that should work. Make sure the cabinets are up well use long decking screws and be certain they're in the studs. Cabinets DO fall some times over time with devastating effects and lawsuits. They hold a lot of weight so do it well....


When I removed and rehung some of my kitchen cabinets I was surprised to find purchase where there was no stud. I figured there was some kind of hanger bars back there, although I had never heard of that before, and my previous house did not have any. It really made my modifications easy.

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