Adding Cabinets to Your Log Cabin

log cabin kitchen photo
Photo by Tim Evanson

You have a stunning log home laid out for building. One issue keeps coming up though. Since you don’t plan on smoothing the interior walls of your log cabin, you need to figure out how to attach cabinets and shelves to them. Fortunately, there are a few simple solutions.

The Problem

The biggest problem with cabinetry is that the square back does not line up with the rounded logs on your wall. There simply are not enough contact points between your log cabin and the cabinet. You certainly don’t want to cut out part of your log cabin wall just to put in a kitchen.

The other major issue is settling. Log sizes will fluctuate as they settle into place throughout their first season or two. This depends on several factors from the moisture content to the surrounding environment. If you’re putting natural wood cabinetry into your log cabin, you should be doubly concerned about settling. Should it happen, you could end up with off-kilter cabinets and cracks in backsplashes. You don’t want to clean that up.

Installing Floating Frames

Floating frames are a simple solution to your quagmire. Instead of worrying about the shape of the wall, these remove your log home walls as a factor. These frames sit on top of the logs, rather than cutting into them. This limits the amount of settling affects how your log cabin cabinetry.

To create floating frames for your log home, you’ll need some additional lumber and the cabinets in question. The other lumber should be 2×4 sized. You’ll need to measure the cabinets before buying. The end aim is to end up with enough 2×4 that’s as tall as the cabinet and can be spaced every 16 inches or so along the log home wall. You’ll also need any plumbing and electrical fixtures you want behind or inside the cabinets.

To start, secure the 2×4 strips to the wall. Remember, these will be holding the full weight of the cabinet, so they need to be in solid. Then, add any plumbing or electricity you want. Next, it’s time for you to put up your new log cabin cabinets. For this part, you want to make sure you use screws that will only penetrate through the 2×4 and not into the wall of the log cabin.

As a rule with cabinetry, it’s best to secure only the top screws first. You’ll need to make sure that the cabinets line up before doing the final securing. It’s also vital that you only secure the cabinets to the 2×4 strips. Otherwise, your log home’s settling could damage the cabinets. Once you have everything set up the way you want it, secure the rest of the screws.

This may seem like a lot of work, but it beats you having to redo your kitchen or office in a couple of years because the log cabin settled a little oddly.

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