How to Hang IKEA Cabinets Without Rail

Are you ready to install your new Ikea cabinets without using a rail system? This guide will walk you through the process step by step.

Hanging Ikea cabinets without a rail might seem like a daunting task at first, but it’s entirely possible with careful planning, the right tools, and a bit of patience.

How to Hang Ikea Cabinets Without Rail

This alternative method can come in handy in situations where the wall conditions do not favor the rail system or when seeking a more traditional approach to cabinet installation.

In this guide, we will walk you through the essential steps on how to hang IKEA cabinets without rail , ensuring they are both level and firmly attached, all while bypassing the need for the standard railing system.

Whether you are renovating your kitchen, bathroom, or any other space in your home, follow along to achieve professional-looking results with your Ikea cabinetry.

Why Hang IKEA Cabinets Without Rail?

Before we jump into the steps, it’s essential to understand why you might want to hang Ikea cabinets without a rail in the first place. As mentioned earlier, this method can come in handy when the wall conditions do not favor the standard rail system.

For instance, if your walls are uneven or have pipes and vents that interfere with the installation of a rail, this alternative method can be a great solution. Additionally, some people prefer the clean and sleek look of cabinets without a visible rail.

Clean and Sleek Look of Cabinets

Overall, hanging Ikea cabinets without a rail provides more flexibility in terms of design and can be an excellent option for those looking for a more traditional approach to cabinet installation.

What will You Need?

To get started, you will need to gather the necessary tools and materials for this project. These include:

  1. Measuring tape
  2. Level
  3. Drill/driver
  4. Wall anchors
  5. Screws
  6. Brackets/metal strips (optional)
  7. Painter tape (optional)
  8. Pencil
  9. Screwdriver
  10. Cabinet mounting screws (provided with your Ikea cabinets)
  11. Helper (optional)

It is crucial to make sure you have all the required tools and materials before starting the installation process. This will save you time and prevent any unnecessary delays or interruptions.

10 Easy Steps on How to Hang IKEA Cabinets Without Rail

Step 1: Determine Cabinet Placement

Before you begin, decide on the exact location of your Ikea cabinets. Use a measuring tape to measure the height and width where you plan to install the cabinets.

Mark these dimensions on the wall with a pencil, ensuring that the area is clear of any obstacles like pipes or wiring. Using a level, draw a horizontal line across the wall where the bottom of the cabinet will align. This step is crucial for ensuring that your cabinets will be level and properly aligned.

Step 2: Locate the Wall Studs

Once you have marked the placement of your cabinets, the next step is to locate the wall studs behind your drywall. This is a critical step because the studs will provide the support needed to hold your cabinets securely in place.

Marked the Placement of Your Cabinets

Use a stud finder to identify the positions of the studs along the wall where you plan to install the cabinets. Mark the stud locations with a pencil, ensuring they align with the area your cabinets will occupy. Remember, mounting your cabinets directly onto the studs will significantly increase their stability and support.

Step 3: Prepare the Cabinet for Mounting

After locating and marking your wall studs, the next step involves preparing your Ikea cabinet for mounting. Begin by laying the cabinet on its back or side, depending on its size and your comfort in handling it.

Locate the mounting brackets on the cabinet—if your model doesn’t come with pre-attached brackets, you’ll need to attach them according to the instructions provided with your Ikea cabinets.

If your cabinet design requires additional support, consider attaching metal strips or extra brackets at this stage. Ensure all attachments are securely fastened and aligned with the cabinet’s intended orientation on the wall. This preparation is critical for a smooth and successful mounting process.

Step 4: Drill Pilot Holes

With the wall studs located and your cabinet prepared, it’s time to drill pilot holes for mounting. Hold the cabinet up against the wall, aligning it with the marks you made for its placement and the stud locations.

If you have a helper, ask them to support the cabinet while you mark the drilling points through the cabinet’s mounting brackets or directly onto the wall if using metal strips. Once marked, set the cabinet aside and use a drill to create pilot holes at these points.

Use a Drill to Create Pilot Holes

Be sure to choose a drill bit that matches the size of your screws to ensure a tight and secure fit. This step not only prepares the wall for your screws but also prevents the drywall from cracking or splitting during installation.

Step 5: Secure the Cabinet to the Wall

Now that the pilot holes are drilled, it’s time to secure the cabinet to the wall. Lift the cabinet and align it with the pilot holes you’ve drilled in the wall. Start by loosely inserting screws into each hole on the cabinet’s brackets or metal strips. This will help keep the cabinet in place while you adjust its level. Use a level to ensure the cabinet is perfectly horizontal and make necessary adjustments.

Once the cabinet is correctly aligned, tighten the screws firmly to secure the cabinet in place. If using wall anchors for additional support in areas without studs, ensure they are installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions before attaching the cabinet. This step is crucial for ensuring your Ikea cabinet is securely mounted and safe to use.

Step 6: Install the Doors and Hardware

After the cabinet is securely attached to the wall, the next step involves installing the doors and any additional hardware. Start by attaching the hinges to the doors, following the instructions provided with your Ikea cabinet. Once the hinges are in place, hang the doors on the cabinet frame, adjusting them for a perfect fit.

If your cabinet includes handles or knobs, now is the time to attach them. Use a measuring tape to ensure that all hardware is aligned symmetrically, and mark the placement with a pencil before drilling any holes. This attention to detail will give your cabinets a professional and polished look.

Step 7: Adjust Cabinet Alignment

After the doors and hardware are installed, it’s time to make any necessary adjustments to ensure that everything is perfectly aligned. Check the alignment of the doors to ensure they open and close smoothly without any obstruction or uneven gaps.

If needed, adjust the hinges according to the instructions provided with your Ikea cabinets to correct any misalignment. Additionally, ensure that all handles or knobs are securely tightened and positioned correctly. This final tuning is essential for your installation’s functional and aesthetic coherence, providing a seamless look and optimal usability.

Step 8: Apply Finishing Touches

Once your cabinets are securely mounted, doors adjusted, and hardware in place, it’s time to add the finishing touches. This might include applying silicone caulk around the edges where the cabinet meets the wall to create a seamless transition and prevent moisture from entering. Additionally, if your Ikea model has cover panels or decorative trim, now is the time to attach them following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Make sure these elements are cut to the correct size and securely fastened, enhancing your installation’s functionality and appearance. These finishing touches not only improve the look of your cabinets but also contribute to their longevity and durability.

Step 9: Conduct a Final Inspection

Perform a thorough final inspection of your newly installed Ikea cabinets to ensure everything is in perfect order. Check for any loose screws or brackets, and make sure all doors and drawers open and close smoothly.

Pay close attention to the alignment and leveling of each unit, as even a minor discrepancy can affect the overall appearance and functionality. It’s also a good idea to clean the cabinets and remove any installation debris or dust. This step signifies the completion of your project and ensures that your installation meets your satisfaction and is ready for use.

Drawers Open and Close Smoothly

Step 10: Enjoy Your New Space

With the final inspection complete and all adjustments made, your Ikea cabinet installation project is now finished. Take a moment to appreciate your hard work and the new look of your space. These cabinets provide not only additional storage but also a fresh aesthetic that can transform the appearance of any room.

Feel free to rearrange items within the cabinets until you find the perfect organization that suits your needs and lifestyle. Now, you can enjoy the functionality and style of your new Ikea cabinets, confident in the knowledge that they were installed securely and with great care.

By following these steps and taking the necessary precautions, you can successfully mount your Ikea cabinets without any issues.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

Invest in High Quality Hinges
  1. Use a Stud Finder: Before you start the installation process, it’s crucial to locate the studs in your wall. This is because attaching the cabinets directly to studs will provide the strongest support. A stud finder can quickly and accurately help you identify these support beams, ensuring your cabinets are securely mounted.
  2. Measure Twice, Cut Once: This old saying still holds true when it comes to installing kitchen cabinets. Before making any cuts, double-check all measurements to avoid errors and wasting materials. It’s better to take a little extra time at this stage than to redo the installation later.
  3. Invest in Quality Hardware: The hardware you use for your cabinets can make all the difference in terms of functionality and durability. Invest in high-quality hinges, drawer slides, and door handles to ensure smooth operation and longevity.
  4. Use Adhesive for Extra Support: In addition to screwing the cabinets into studs, using construction adhesive can provide extra support and prevent any potential sagging over time. Apply a small amount of adhesive to the back of each cabinet before securing them into place.
  5. Don’t Forget About Lighting: Proper lighting can make a huge difference in the overall look and functionality of your kitchen. Consider installing under-cabinet lighting to brighten up your workspace and enhance the aesthetics of your cabinets.
Using Construction Adhesive

By following these additional tips and tricks, you can ensure a successful and efficient installation of your kitchen cabinets.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Skipping the Planning Phase: Only jump straight into hanging your cabinets with a detailed plan. Failing to lay out your design, measure accurately, and consider the placement of each cabinet can lead to unnecessary adjustments and a less functional kitchen space.
  2. Ignoring the Leveling Process: Not taking the time to ensure that each cabinet is perfectly level can result in a visually unappealing and impractical installation. Sloped cabinets can lead to misaligned doors, and uneven surfaces, and can affect the overall stability.
  3. Using Insufficient Fixings: Relying solely on the wall material to support your cabinets without the right anchors can be a critical mistake. Appropriate wall anchors, especially in the absence of a rail system, are essential to support the weight and ensure safety.
  4. Overloading Cabinets Before Securing Them: It’s crucial to load your cabinets only once they are properly secured and tested for weight capacity. Overloading cabinets too early can strain the mountings, leading to potential collapses.
  5. Neglecting a Professional Opinion: Even if you decide to DIY, consulting with a professional before you start the installation can save you time and money. They can offer valuable insight, especially when you’re installing cabinets without the traditional rail system.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a successful and hassle-free installation of your kitchen cabinets.

How Do You Install IKEA Wall Cabinets Without Studs?

While it is highly recommended to install kitchen cabinets by attaching them directly to studs, there are situations where this may not be possible. For those using IKEA wall cabinets, which typically do not come with a traditional rail system for mounting, here are some tips for installing without studs:

  1. Use Wall Anchors: Just like when installing with studs, it’s important to use appropriate wall anchors to support the weight of the cabinets. These can include toggle bolts, molly bolts, or heavy-duty drywall anchors.
  2. Find Alternative Support: If you cannot locate any studs on your wall, consider using alternative support methods such as adding a plywood backing or using adjustable legs at the bottom of the cabinets for added stability.
  3. Utilize A Rail System: Although IKEA cabinets do not have a traditional rail system, you can purchase one separately for installation. This will provide more support and make the process easier.
  4. Seek Professional Help: If you need help with how to install your cabinets properly without studs, it’s always best to seek professional help. They can offer advice and ensure that your cabinets are installed safely and securely.  Overall, while it may be more challenging to install IKEA wall cabinets without studs, it is still possible with the right tools and techniques.
Use Appropriate Wall Anchors

These additional tips and tricks, along with things to avoid, can help you successfully install your kitchen cabinets.

Can IKEA Base Cabinets Be Wall Mounted?

Yes, IKEA base cabinets can be wall-mounted if they have a suspension rail system installed. This rail system provides the necessary support for the cabinets’ weight and allows for easier installation.

Without this rail, it is not recommended to wall mount IKEA base cabinets, as they may not be able to support their own weight without studs.

To install IKEA base cabinets on the wall, follow these steps:

  1. Assemble the Cabinets: Assemble the cabinets according to IKEA’s instructions before mounting them on the wall.
  2. Install Suspension Rail: Measure and cut the suspension rail to fit along the length of your cabinets. Attach it securely to studs in the wall using appropriate screws.
  3. Attach Cabinets to Rail: Once the suspension rail is secured, lift the cabinet onto it and attach it using cabinet screws.
  4. Level and Secure Cabinets: Use a level to ensure that the cabinets are straight and adjust as needed. Once they are level, secure them into place by screwing through the back panel of the cabinet into the wall studs.
  5. Repeat for Additional Cabinets: Repeat this process for any additional cabinets, leveling and securing each one before moving on to the next.

By following these steps, you can successfully mount IKEA base cabinets onto your wall. However, if you are still deciding whether to complete this task on your own, it is always recommended that you seek professional help. 


How to hang IKEA cabinets without rail might seem daunting at first. Still, with careful preparation, the right tools, and a methodical approach, it is entirely feasible and can lead to a beautifully organized and functional kitchen space.

By ensuring that you find the studs, measure accurately, use quality hardware, and do not neglect the possibility of using adhesives and professional advice, you can securely install your cabinets.

Additionally, steering clear of common pitfalls, such as skipping the planning phase or ignoring leveling, ensures a visually appealing and durable setup.

This guide aims to empower homeowners to confidently tackle their kitchen renovation projects, achieving professional-looking results even without the conventional support rail. Remember, success lies in the preparation and precise execution of each step.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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