I am new to the town of Taos, NM and need some information about hanging cabinets on adobe walls. Do I pre-drill the walls as I would regular stud walls? Should I use a masonry bit? What type and length screws should I use? Is any gluing necessary? Any information will help.
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor A:
The builder should lay either lumber nailers or wooden blocks (known as "gringo blocks") in the locations where cabinets will be hung. It helps to take a picture of the walls before plaster goes on. If there are no gringo blocks, it's important to use any kind of support you can, i.e. side walls, decorative posts etc. to support wall cabinets. The screw holding power of adobe is highly variable and unpredictable, and gypsum plaster is not much better. I have never had any problem setting base cabinets with 3" deck screws right though the plaster, since the load is on the floor, but uppers - especially with heavy loads like dishes - are a different story. There used to be an adobe anchor made that was a three part wooden wedge that expanded as it was driven into a square hole made with a piece of square metal tube, but this was still no better than the quality of the block. Also a lot of old houses and some new ones have wooden bond beams at about 7' off the floor that make for great hanging.