I am planning on doing built-ins on either side of the utility door in the image below:

Current area

This is a crude mockup of the cabinets I'm going to build:

Mockup of Cabinets

What I'd like to know is whether it's customary to build these cabinets over the carpet?

If it's good practice to remove the carpet under cabinets like this, is there any magic to tacking it back down properly?

  • Check your local building codes, in my area you cannot hide a live receptacle or junction box.
    – Handy Man
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 13:26
  • @Handyman: It normally needs to be "accessible". Inside a cabinet would count as accessible. This is a fairly standard way to install an outlet for a built-in microwave, e.g. Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 16:10

2 Answers 2


You should cut away carpet. The cabinets will last longer than the carpet and will just be a mess when it's time to install new carpet. I'd want the cabinets secured directly to the floor, not through carpet/pad.

When you pull up the carpet and baseboard, you'll see the tack strip. If you are careful, you can re-use it, but it is cheap to replace. You'll probably want a tool called a knee kicker carpet stretcher to properly re-attach the carpet to the tack strip. You can rent them or cobble one together yourself.

Edit: It looks like you are working on a slab. In which case you'll need special tack strip with concrete nails and removing the old tack strip will be more of a chore.

In a pinch, or where the carpet is hidden from view, I have used large headed button-head screws.

  • 2
    If you have a harbor freight or another cheep tool place nearby, consider purchasing a carpet kicker there. Some of these places are good for purchasing an one off tool that is cheaper than renting. Just don't expect the tool to last long.
    – diceless
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 17:29
  • Thanks @paul these are very helpful hints. Yes, this is in the basement, and there is concrete underneath. :-) Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 17:40
  • 1
    @AndrewTheken You are welcome. you might want to look at what is required as a moisture barrier between the slab and cabinets.
    – Paul
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 18:20
  • @Paul - I'll look into that. Those are actually false walls, and the basement has been finished and bone-dry for more than two years. Commented Aug 1, 2014 at 13:35

I wouldn't call it a "built-in" if built over carpet. What will be supporting the bottom as the carpet compresses?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.