How to Install Cabinet Filler Strips — A Step-by-Step Guide

wooden kitchen cabinet

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

Cabinetry is among the most complex kitchen DIY construction that new homeowners tend to be confused about. This dilemma includes installing cabinet filler strips, often leading to revolting gaps and malfunctioning corner doors. If you don’t want to be inconvenienced with unsightly mishaps, take a look at this brief guide put together by our resident woodworkers.  

Using Cabinet Filler Strips

If you inspect these cabinet fillers, it’s a no-brainer that these tools are wood strips meant to fill unsightly cabinet gaps after the installation. You may not know, but these wooden materials are typically used to hide spaces in L-shaped cabinet designs. There are many ways to install it, so take a look at the steps and advice our experts listed below.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Not all filler strips could fit your cabinet layout in a snap, which is why you’ll be needing some tools and materials to complete this DIY task. Let’s start with the obvious—the power tools. 

You may think that it’s too small of a task for such big equipment, but our resident DIY beg to differ. Having a miter saw and a table saw at your disposal can make things a lot easier. If you have a belt sander, it can be especially useful in the wood sanding process. 

Tools and Materials You Need

You’ll have to remember to include a scribing tool and cabinet clamps in your tool list. It will also help if you have 3/16-inch drill bits and trim head cabinet screws. 

Installing Cabinet Filler Strips Against a Wall

If you’re planning to install cabinet filler strips against the wall during your kitchen cabinet restoration project, you should first measure the space between the subjects in question. Make sure to do this on both the bottom and top of your cabinet. Our DIY team also suggests getting measurements of the entire cabinet for reference purposes later. 

Before you go and start your miter and table saws, we urge you to test it to see if it’s in good shape for additional safety precautions [1]. Once that’s all done, slice the filler strip in the same size as the cabinet. Next, use your table saw to cut strips just a little bit wider than the largest measurement you did earlier. 

And then, it’s time to clamp the filler into the cabinet with a claw and place it against the wall next to it. After removing it, get your belt sander in action and shape it to the contour of the wall. Don’t forget to place the wall side at a negative angle for easier installation later on. 

KAPAL FS331-BH Birch Cabinet Filler Strip, 6 Piece

Next on how to install cabinet filler strips against the wall is checking if your cut-down wood fits the cabinet gap. Try a little squeeze to see if it goes in. If not, the belt sander is there to come to your rescue. After confirming its fit, clamp it back and drill pilot holes into the cabinet and filler strips. 

Our resident woodworkers don’t recommend using drywall screws. Instead, go with typical cabinet screws for fastening the fillers into the cabinet box. However, if the wooden strips are sized less than three inches, you can opt for silicone or glue. 

Installing Cabinet Filler Strips Between Cabinets

For kitchen layouts with L-shaped cabinets, you’ll need to install these strips between the cabinet boxes rather than the walls. Unlike the other construction, you won’t be needing to scribe or sand strips down because the cabinet faces are straight. 

wooden kitchen cabinet

All you need to do is cut it to a similar height of cabinets and then measure the covering distance of the right angle. Keep in mind that the cabinet corner needs at least three-inch of filler. We advise keeping one filler with at least ½-inch additional width. 

With screws and L-brackets, join the cabinet box and filler together. Spread some glue to attach the edges to the cabinet sides. You can opt to install backer boards before placing the fillers if you have second guesses about the weight. 

Related pages: 

FAQ

Where do you need cabinet fillers?

You need cabinet fillers in uneven wall layouts, cabinet corners, and narrow spaces. These filler trips are crucial to any cabinetry installation as it serves as a space finisher when your cabinet box dimension doesn’t match the wall dimension. Its main purpose lies in filling openings and empty gaps.

How do you scribe a cabinet filler?

You can scribe a cabinet filler by getting the measurement of the overall gap between your wall and the cabinet box. After that, cut the fillers to a similar size and adjust the scribe distance. Once that’s done, get the scribe tool to transfer the shape into the wooden strip.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to install cabinet filler strips, our resident DIYers advise you to be extra precise with measuring the spaces. It may seem like a trivial method, but it determines the outcome of your cabinetry construction. If you have doubts, feel free to consult these steps again for better results. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen and women. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
Latest posts by Robert Johnson (see all)