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Custom kitchen cabinets...no back panel?

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  • Jul 13th, 2021 5:20 pm
Deal Guru
Sep 2, 2008
12451 posts

Custom kitchen cabinets...no back panel?

Just had some kitchen cabinets installed and I was stunned to see the base cabinets against the wall have no back panels. It's just drywall. I can't recall if I've never noticed this before but....is this semi normal at all?
10 replies
Deal Fanatic
Nov 18, 2005
5081 posts
Even Ikea cabinets have rear panels
Deal Guru
Sep 2, 2008
12451 posts
The boxes that have drawers has a back panel.

However the cabinet which houses the sink has no back. And there are no pipes running through the back of this cabinet, they go through the side.

The one next to that also has no back, but that one does have lots of pipes coming through the back.

So strange.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
9221 posts
SW corner of the cou…
Someone forgot to tack on the panel?
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
2034 posts
I've seen a number of guys build lowers like this, well they usually have a 3 or 4" piece at the top and bottom, but basically the whole back panel is open to the wall.

Its a bit easier to move around and saves them some money.

This said, I'm a big fan of over engineering, and feel like the added cost of a bit of plywood isn't that much considering how much you can charge for custom cabinets. Also, it just looks way better. If you used prefinished birch @ $90 a sheet, it would be like $15 extra a cabinet. If you used walnut ply and finished it with a coat or two, maybe it would be up to $50 a cabinet.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 27, 2009
7835 posts
Victoria, BC
No, not normal in my experience. I've never seen that. I think that is unacceptable if you paid big bucks for custom cabinets. What did your contract say?
Deal Fanatic
Jun 24, 2015
7909 posts
when you ordered the cabinets, did the cabinet company give you a 3D render of the cabinets how they look? where you can zoom in, rotate, pinch, spin, etc and see them from all angles? if you had this opportunity you could have noticed there was no back panels. it does seem weird to not have back panels, so i would call them up and ask them to check for you
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Sr. Member
Aug 22, 2012
599 posts
Mark Town
the cheapest sink cabinet in home depot has no back panel.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Sep 1, 2005
19494 posts
No back panels in theory mean you gain 3/4 inch more space...normal or not, I don't really see the need for back panels other than it might keep the cabinet more square [structurally] over a long time. Eg even IKEA Billy bookshelves give you thin fibreboard to tack onto the back - without it, the shelf can go out of square.
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Deal Fanatic
Mar 17, 2004
5491 posts
If it's under the sink where pipes are it's pro and cons. Cons is there is no backboard. Pro is if you have to work on plumbing, now you only have to go through drywall and not have to jiggsaw the backboard
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 19, 2008
7341 posts
Eklipse cabinets Lowes has started selling have a thin 1/8 cabinet back that slides into grooves on both sides. Flip base cabinet over to install legs and the cabinet back slides out...not even a dab of glue.


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