So you want to know how to install your own kitchen under cabinet track lighting trim. Please do not attempt installation unless you possess some basic carpentry skills. You will also need some power and hand tools. Don’t attempt this phase of your kitchen cabinet installation without enough time. Manual miter box cutting is NOT allowed! You need to achieve the highest quality installation possible.
Tools and materials needed:
- chop saw
- Electric drill
- Three clamps (I prefer Jorgensen clamps)
- correct length screws
- countersink bit
- 1/16″ pilot hole drill bit
- 3/16″ drill bit
- hand screwdriver
- Yellow carpenter’s glue
- Matching Wood Putty
One of the most popular questions that people ask is; “should the trim be installed flush or recessed with the face of the cabinet?” I always recess the light rail no less than eight (1/8″) of an inch. This just looks better than trying to get it to be perfectly flush with the front frame. Note that the light rail should be flush with the end of the cabinet next to where a space-saving microwave is installed.
Measure approximately the length of each piece of trim you will need, adding four inches to each piece. Hopefully you thought about ordering a bunch of extra in case you make a mistake. Cut all the pieces you need over size first.
Now cut some “small” practice miter pieces at forty-five degrees. These should be used to verify that cabinet corners are at true ninety degree angles.
Now when you start cutting the actual trim pieces from the light rail, only cut the angles one piece at a time. The key to installing trim correctly is getting the details right, one piece at a time and one miter joint at a time.
Before making the cuts, drill holes from the inside of the cabinet down with the 3/16″ drill bit. Then, countersink the holes from the inside of the cabinet. These are the holes that will secure the molding to the cabinet
The finished pieces of trim will be attached to the cabinets with ¾” x 1″ X 8-1/2″ blocks. The blocks are attached to the short pieces of trim and then screwed into the cabinet from below. The reason for doing so is because they cannot be attached from inside the cabinet.
Kitchen Cabinet Track Light Installation:
- Decide which part is best to install first (consider working from largest to smallest)
- make your cuts
- Apply yellow glue sparingly to miter joints
- Clamp the part in place using Jorgensen clamps
- Drill the light track through the countersunk holes with the 1/16″ drill bit
- Secure the trim in place with screws.
- Clean access glue immediately with a damp cloth.
- Repeat these steps for each piece of light rail.
The three-sixteenth-inch hole you drilled should be larger than the screws you are installing the trim with. If you need to adjust the trim a bit, loosen the screws with a hand screwdriver. Align the light rail accordingly, then secure firmly in the perfect position.
If you start to get frustrated, take a break. This is tedious work. The joints in the kitchen cabinet track light should be as tight as possible.
The final step in the installation process is to fill the miter joints with the appropriate wood filler. Wipe away any excess putty with a dry rag.