This post comes out the "Things I never expected to hear" file. Thirty years is a long time, and we all get to the point in our careers that we start to feel confident thinking that we have pretty much heard everything. For the most part thats true. Day after day...the same old routine. Granted you hear some ridiculous things, and people never cease to amaze me...well for that matter I even amaze myself with some of the stupid things that come out of my mouth on occasion. Thats another story altogether. But when I heard this I was definitely caught entirely off guard. I was left speechless actually, it's been probably a week and I still haven't formulated an answer for this guy. It is such a strange thing for him to believe that I don't really feel that anything I could say would enlighten him.
The circumstances: I was installing a set of semi-custom kitchen cabinets. Business as usual, but in this case I was having trouble finding studs to screw the wall cabinets to, as there were some smaller sized cabinets. The framing carpenters had neglected to install the solid wood blocking in between the studs. Installation of cabinet blocking has been pretty standard in the industry for as long as I can remember. Back in the day, during the framing stage, we installed blocking at the top and bottom of all the wall cabinets and at the top of all the base cabinets. The top blocks we doubled up to also act as fireblocking into the soffits.
You need the blocking in order to properly hang some smaller cabinets. Most 2x4 studs these days are either 16" or 24" on center. So if your are hanging say a 12" thru 21"" wall cabinet...and the design happens to place them in between the studs you have nothing to screw the cabinet to at all. Even if the cabinet does hit one 2x4 stud, that only allows you one place to secure the cabinet to. I always try to place at least 2 screws at the top and 2 at the bottom of all cabinets under 21"... any cabinets over that we try to place 3 or 4 top and bottom.
The statement: The person in charge of the project came through, and I happened to mention to him of the lack of cabinet blocking. And that I was unable to get enough screws into a couple of the cabinets. He looked at me and said that he did not install any cabinet blocking in his homes... because if he did... the installer would use them...and then the cabinets would fall off the wall.
Is this guy right? Are there any installers or builders that think this? Let me know if there are. Correct me if I'm wrong. Where have I been all these years? Have I been installing literally thousands and thousands of kitchen cabinets to blocking that is going to fall out of the walls?
I don't think so! How can a person think that a small wall cabinet that hits one stud with just a couple screws be more secure than a cabinet that is secured in all four corners to solid 2x4 blocking nailed between the studs? How in the world can blocking fall out of the wall? If you take 2x4 blocks and nail them between the studs with framing nails...how can this just fall off?
Now granted, I have installed hundreds & hundreds of kitchens where there was no extra cabinet blocking...both in renovations and new construction. We measure & layout all the studs. But to neglect to install the blocking on purpose, when you are framing up the walls?
Forgive my exasperation, but that kind of logic escapes me, big time.
This is something I never expected to hear...and something I hope I never hear again!
I guess it goes to show, that no one has heard it all!