I have to fix a top cabinet with no floor support to the wall.

What is the difference if I were to place the screws which hold the cabinet to the wall at the 4 corners inside the cabinet (diagram 1) vs having 2 of the corner screws shifted to the centre of the cabinet (diagram 2)?


  • 4
    Can you share dimensions and details about the cabinets and/or attach pictures of the cabinet so that we can see how it's built? Also, it would be helpful if you could tell us a bit more about how the wall is constructed.
    – gnicko
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 12:57
  • Hi, welcome to Woodworking. Just as a generic FYI, top cabinets are frequently held by only two screws. Also, as I've noted in the Comments in some previous Q&As, if fastening to a standard drywall/plasterboard wall while fastening to studs sure doesn't hurt it's actually not mandatory because of the pull-out resistance of even some inexpensive anchors. Now re. your query, what's the difference between the two screw placements? More than likely nothing. Unless the cabinet is unusually wide and/or unusually heavy (particularly if weighted much more on the right) it'll make no diff.
    – Graphus
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 15:13

2 Answers 2


The difference between the two placements is torque. In diagram 1 all forces act downwards (at least the ones that matter, there might be other components to it, but these are negligible). All weight is more or less equally distributed on all 4 screws.

In the second diagram, you basically built a lever. Without knowing dimensions or weight distributions, this might or might not be a problem. The weight on the far right pushes down and if there is no equal force on the left, you are inducing a rotational force around the middle screw. Again depending on dimensions etc. this might cause the left screws to not be loaded at all (or even upwards) and all the weight is sitting on the middle screws.

For fastening systems that rely on downward force, like a french cleat, this might be a problem. Also consider that depending on the unsupported width of the right part, the force exerted on the middle screws can be significantly higher than just the wight of the cabinet (you know... levers).


In very general terms, for the best support, you'll want the fasteners to attach to the studs in the wall. If you have to shift the location of them to achieve this, as is suggested by your second diagram, it's worth doing. If you can fit in a third set of fasteners tied to another stud, even better.

  • 1
    I think it's premature to provide an Answer given we don't know the wall construction yet, unless you go ahead and actually cover the bases. Obviously the assumption is that this is going to be a standard drywall/plasterboard wall :-) And re. that, while what you've written is undeniably true, I feel we do people a disservice if we don't acknowledge the fact that cabinets can be safely hung with screws hitting no studs.
    – Graphus
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 15:19

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