What I'm Seeing Now


Drywall Screws And Kitchen Cabinets

Drywall screws and kitchen cabinets.

Most kitchen cabinet manufacturers will state what screws should be used to install their cabinets.   Some will even include the screws they want taped to the inside of the cabinet itself.  These little screw kits will even have small collars to put between the screw head and cabinet to improve hold and strength.  The instructions will suggest stainless steel, brass or large wood screws as they have a thicker neck just under the screw head and are stronger screws overall.  And to use the little round collars under the screws in addition.

What cabinet manufacturers don't want to see is drywall, or drywall-type screws.  Click on this blog which describes the how to  and how not to  suggestions regarding cabinet installation.

So, given all that, why am I still seeing the wrong screws used by builders for kitchen cabinets in new construction?

All of the cabinets in this new house had the drywall-type screws used.

And without collars.

On this particular cabinet the installer even drilled a hole for a screw to go and then never put one in it.


Why put together a "gourmet" kitchen in a very expensive new house, and use improper screws for the kitchen cabinets?

My recommendation:  I always look into kitchen cabinets in new construction to see how they were installed.  And why not!  Once on new construction I pointed out the wrong screws that were used to install the cabinets and the supervisor said he had never seen that and that I was out of bounds.  The buyers laughed and said they had a cabinet FALL OFF THE WALL because drywall-type screws had been used.  The repair company told them not to use those screws when installing cabinets and used the right ones to repair the fallen cabinet.  They then went about replacing the wrong screws with the right screws.  Read the installation instructions that come with the cabinets!  And use the suggested screws.



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 8 commentsJay Markanich • November 18 2016 03:35AM


Good morning Jay,

I will have to check when they are redoing the kitchen this winter; thanks for making me aware.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 3 years ago

Raymond - check the instructions or which screws are included with the cabinets!  And great new avatar photo!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

I must admit that I have used drywall screws for any number of inappropriate uses. Great post!

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc.) over 3 years ago

Good morning Jay. Must admit to not paying attention to this! You have opened my eyes! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 3 years ago

Drywall screws are the new duct tape.... see them used for everything, even pull down stairs!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 3 years ago

S&N - they are available, and easy to use, so they have made their way into most every application.  I learned way after the fact that the guy who installed some curtains for us years ago used drywall screws for the rods, and they anchored into nothing.  Yes the rod came off, and I had to rehang it properly.

Wayne - to look at screw hardware close enough to see that the "neck" just under the head is very narrow is a bit geeky.  So who would blame you!?  But, on the flip side, there are reasons for manufacturer instructions.

Some things weave their way into the mainstream Fred.  I had some pull-down stairs installed the other day with only five drywall screws!  And no shims...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

This is a detail few would  notice....and terrible that high end construction does not follow high end workmansip.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 3 years ago

So very often the case, S&D!  And builders blame and brand the messenger as "incorrect," or "ignorant," or "looking for anything just to have something to put on the report," or "inventing stuff."  Not kidding.  But instructions are clear, with many cabinet manufacturers including the screws with the cabinets that they want used.  Those good screws are often pilfered by the installer, in favor of the cheap screws they use, or don't put into the given holes, as you see here.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

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