Fitting kitchen unit cornice and pelmet

Cornice and pelmet are simply decorative options for finishing the top and bottom edges of kitchen wall units. If you are fitting under unit lighting, pelmet can be helpful in hiding the fittings and wiring. Similarly if you are fitting lighting inside the top of units (commonly done with glass fronted units), again the cornice can help to cover up any wiring, transformers and junction boxes.

cutting and mitring kitchen cornice or pelmet 1. Both cornice and pelmet require mitring at the corners of wall units. A mitre block is the essential tool for creating neat and accurate joints.
fitting cornice to kitchen unit 2. Lengths of cornice should be fixed with screws into the top edge of units. Make sure the screws are long enough to penetrate into the unit, but not too long so as to break the surface inside the unit.
gluing mitre joints of kitchen pelmet 3. Joints should be glued with a couple of lines of wood adhesive. Press the mitred edges together firmly and remove any excess with a damp cloth.
clamping kitchen pelmet for fixing 4. Much the same technique is used for pelmet except the process is made much easier if you clamp the lengths in position before fixing. Some manufacturers may supply custom made joining blocks to fix pelmets in place.
kitchen pelmet and cornice fixed in place 5. Again, make sure that any screws inserted along the underside of the pelmet are long enough to fix into the unit, but not so long that they will come through the surface of the unit inside.

Some cornice and pelmet tips

  • When measuring lengths make sure that you allow for the unit doors. The apex of a pelmet or cornice corner will always extend further than the unit edge – some are designed to protrude further than the front edge of doors, and so take care to check the correct positioning of your chosen design. The kitchen manufacturer’s guidelines will help here.
  • Similarly, if your kitchen units will have side panels, make sure these are fitted before you fit cornice or pelmet. Otherwise you risk fitting the side lengths of cornice/pelmet too far back from the edge of the unit.


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