A valance on a cabinet is usually made from a long and narrow piece of wood; and is used to hide or mask another feature on the cabinet. Installing a cabinet valence is a very easy job for any DIY home enthusiast to do and can greatly enhance the appearance of a cabinet.
A valance can be made from a plain length of wood or ones with highly ornate carvings; whichever is most likely to look sympathetic to the rest of the cabinet fixtures and fittings. The following considers how you might use and install a cabinet valance in a kitchen; although the principles can be applied to any room in your home.
Ideas for Using a Valance
If you’re installing or renovating a kitchen you’ll no doubt have been around some kitchen suppliers and looked at what’s new in kitchen design. One common feature these days is to have low-powered energy efficient lights shining down on to the kitchen countertop from any cabinets that are above it.
Dependant on the space available it may be possible to recess the lights into the base of the cabinets. However, it is more likely that the lights are fixed to the underneath of the cabinets; and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, it will probably result in you being able to see the light fitting and wiring at the bottom of the cabinet.
By fitting a valance along the outer edge of the cabinets you can easily hide the fitting and wires. Another common place to fit a valance on kitchen cabinets is along the top of the cabinets, if the cabinets aren’t fully fitted up to the ceiling.
A valance fitted here can hide any brackets retaining the cabinets, lights or other electrical fittings and, if you’re storing things on top of the cabinets, will help to prevent them from falling off.
How Big Should a Balance Be?
Whilst you’ll be installing a valance for a particular purpose – it should be as discrete as possible. Although a valance can be decorative, it is really there to do a specific job and should only be big enough to adequately do that job.
So, if to hide a light fitting and some wires you only need a valance that is 2 inches wide – that’s all you need; as having, say, a 3 inch wide one will unnecessarily reduce the space you have to work in between the cabinet and the countertop.
Having decided to fit a valance you are strongly recommended to fit the same valance to all the cabinets in your kitchen, even if they don’t need it all the way around the cabinets. Otherwise the design of the kitchen will look unbalanced.
Installing Cabinet Valances
If you only have cabinets along one wall of your kitchen, you will not need to make any angled joints. If you have cabinets on more than one wall you will most likely need to decide whether or not to use mitered joints. Whilst you could simply butt lengths of the valance at right-angles to each other, in order to fit it around a corner; the job will look a lot better if you use mitered joints.
To create mitered joints you should use either a miter block or, if the valance has an unusual profile, you might need a combination miter saw and block. Cut the valance to the lengths required and screw a piece in to place starting at a wall edge.
Apply some wood glue where the next piece will join to that one and butt the second piece up to it – then also screw it into place. If you need to join two pieces of valance along the length of the cabinets you could use a joining block, adding some wood glue between the two pieces of valance.