Kitchen cabinets without drywall

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Old 06-08-19, 07:26 PM
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Kitchen cabinets without drywall

I'm new here, found this forum when googling for solutions to my problem.

Second flood in three years (Ottawa River). This time the river level was 15 inches higher than 2017, and I had water inside my 75 year old cottage, which is supported on a few l concrete blocks around the perimeter, ie no continuous foundation, and its' pretty close to the ground, about a foot.

In 2004 when I acquired the cottage, I upgraded the kitchen and put cabinets (lower only) on part of one wall. They were mounted on drywall (and insulation). So, this year, I had about 3 inches of water inside, only for a couple of days, but I have mold. No question, I will have to remove the drywall. The drywall extends past the cabinets on both sides for about 2 feet, but both sides seems unaffected, But I guess won't know for sure till the cabinets are pulled out and drywall behind is removed. The rest of the cottage, including the rest of the wall where the cabinets are, has fake wood paneling over the exterior walls, ie no drywall. The exterior of the cottage has vinyl siding.

I def don't need insulation, as it's the only wall in the cottage that is insulated, so I can't see the point, and not sure why I had it put in. I only stay there from the May long weekend to Thanksgiving max, depending on the weather. As no one knows if this flooding is a new regular occurrence, I'm reluctant to replace the drywall and have the same thing happen again.

So, getting to my question, Can I just remove the damaged drywall and put the cabinets back without replacing the drywall. I've asked one or two people and they seem to think it's OK, I'd just like some more feedback. Fake paneling was suggested as an option too, but is that even necessary ? I found a YT video showing wood blocks (2" x 6") put between the studs to eliminate the problem of finding the studs when installing cabinets over drywall. I don't know if doing this would be helpful or necessary if I do go this route.

Thanks in advance !! By the way, I'm a girl (not a young one), so please excuse me if some of my explanations/terminology are not good
 
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Old 06-08-19, 11:57 PM
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Can it be done, sure!

Typ the cabinets are secured to the wall via the studs so the drywall isn't necessary to support them!
 
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Old 06-09-19, 02:37 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

Ideally you'd raise the cabin so water won't get in although I know that's easier said than done. Going with your proposed plan, I'd add 2xs at the top of the cabinet [between the studs] to prevent stuff from falling down into the stud wall cavity. Wood can still get mold although it should dry out quicker than and with less damage than drywall.
 
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Old 06-09-19, 06:31 AM
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Yes. I would add a 1x horizontal board to the top and bottom where the cabinets will go to aid in hanging. If you really want to get fancy you could install french cleats.
 
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Old 06-09-19, 07:11 AM
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Thanks everyone for your quick and helpful replies. Marksr. Great point re stuff falling out the back. I'm thinking maybe I could fiberglass or aluminum screen against the back of the cupboards to stop stuff falling out ? Do you think that would work ?

I know the best solution would be to raise the cottage, but it's too costly for me. Also, in the first 10 years after the initial build pieces were added, and I worry that it would fall apart. Like everyone along the Ottawa River and other rivers that flooded, I can only hope it won't happen to this extent again. And, if it does, I hope my cottage will be more mold proof with no drywall. The other walls are all OK, the floors are OK. I had to remove carpet and lino from two bedrooms, down the original wood floor, which I have painted. The other floors ok - peel and stick vinyl over the original wood, and the kitchen is ceramic tiles.
 

Last edited by eastclif; 06-09-19 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 06-09-19, 07:28 PM
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I'm thinking maybe I could fiberglass or aluminum screen against the back of the cupboards to stop stuff falling out
I would just get some 1/4" plywood and nail it on the back.
 
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Old 06-09-19, 11:32 PM
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You will want to shim the existing cabinets out buy the thickness of what already was at the base so as to not effect the clearances at the top of the cabinets and counters. They will need to be pulled to dry out so the cavity's behind can clear. Hard to hear that your get-a -way floods on a regular basis.
 
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Old 06-10-19, 08:54 AM
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Thanks for that tip Czizzi. Re the foods, we are very concerned, but not ready to accept that this is the new norm. It happened this year and 2017. Prior to that, the really high water occurred in 1979, 1960 and 1951. However, 2017 was highest ever, until this year surpassed it by 15 inches. Definitely climate change is a factor, but there are public demands for an inquiry re the way the dams were managed. City of Ottawa has requested provincial and federal inquiry.
 
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Old 06-11-19, 06:37 AM
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My vote is to add 1/2 in. OSB on the wall and then install the cabinets. It is quick, no drying time, and protects the back of the cabinets.
 
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