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Shimming Made Easy: How to Use Plastic Shims for Cabinet Installation

Installing cabinets, whether in kitchens or bathrooms, requires a keen eye for detail and precision. One of the most crucial tools in achieving this precision is the use of plastic shims. Shims are thin pieces of material used to fill small gaps or spaces between objects, and they play a pivotal role in ensuring that cabinets are level and secure. This blog post, aligned with Packers Direct’s commitment to providing straightforward and reliable construction solutions, will guide you through the process of using plastic shims for cabinet installation.

Understanding the Importance of Shims in Cabinet Installation

Cabinet installation, especially in areas like kitchens and bathrooms, demands a high level of accuracy. Uneven floors and walls are common in buildings, which can make cabinet installation challenging. This is where shims come in. They help in adjusting the height and alignment of the cabinets, ensuring that they are perfectly level and plumb. This not only improves the appearance of the cabinets but also ensures their functionality and longevity.

Choosing the Right Plastic Shims

Selecting the appropriate shims is a crucial step. Packers Direct offers a range of plastic shims (available at Packers Direct Products) that are ideal for cabinet installation due to their durability and resistance to moisture – an essential feature, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. When choosing shims for cabinet installation, consider the following:

  1. Size and Thickness: Shims come in various sizes and thicknesses. Select shims that fit the gaps you are working with, and have a variety on hand for different needs.
  2. Material Quality: High-quality plastic shims will not compress under the weight of the cabinets, maintaining their alignment over time.
  3. Ease of Use: Choose shims that can be easily trimmed or adjusted, allowing for quick modifications during the installation process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using Shims in Cabinet Installation

  1. Prepare the Area: Before installing the cabinets, ensure that the wall and floor surfaces are clean and clear of any debris.
  2. Initial Placement: Place the cabinet in the desired location and use a level to check for plumb and level. Identify where shims are needed to achieve proper alignment.
  3. Inserting Shims: Slide the shims into place where gaps exist under or behind the cabinets. For larger gaps, you may need to stack shims to achieve the desired thickness.
  4. Adjusting for Precision: After inserting the shims, recheck the alignment with the level. Adjust the shims as needed to ensure the cabinet is perfectly level and plumb.
  5. Securing the Cabinet: Once the cabinet is correctly aligned, secure it in place. If you’re screwing the cabinet to a wall, ensure that the screws pass through the shims to lock the alignment in place.
  6. Trimming Excess Shim: After the cabinet is secured, trim any part of the shim protruding beyond the cabinet edges for a clean finish.

Tips for a Successful Cabinet Installation

  • Measure Twice, Cut Once: Always double-check measurements and levels before making any permanent adjustments or cuts.
  • Patience is Key: Take your time when adjusting the shims. Minor adjustments can make a significant difference in the alignment.
  • Consider Long-Term Factors: Be mindful of factors like moisture exposure and load weight, and how they might affect the cabinets and shims over time.

The Versatility of Plastic Shims

The versatility of plastic shims extends beyond just cabinet installation. They can be used in various applications around the house or in construction projects. For instance, they are excellent for leveling furniture, adjusting doors, and even in some flooring applications. Their resistance to moisture and decay makes them ideal for use in areas prone to these issues.

Environmentally Friendly Options

In line with contemporary environmental concerns, it’s important to consider eco-friendly options. Packers Direct provides plastic shims made from recycled materials, offering a sustainable choice without compromising on quality or durability.

Shimming as a Skill

While shimming might seem like a simple task, it requires skill and practice to perfect. For DIY enthusiasts, it’s a valuable skill to learn and can save significant costs in home projects. For professionals, it’s an essential part of ensuring high-quality workmanship.


Using plastic shims effectively can greatly simplify the cabinet installation process, ensuring a professional and durable finish. By following these steps and tips, even DIY enthusiasts can achieve results that rival professional installations.

For those looking to embark on their next cabinet installation project, Packers Direct offers a wide selection of plastic shims perfect for the job. Check out our products at Packers Direct Products and ensure your installation is done right, with the precision and quality that define our brand.

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