The thermal properties of the 14 nonmagnetic cubic metals through the 4d transition series are derived from first-principles electronic-structure calculations coupled with a Debye treatment of the vibrating lattice. Debye temperatures and Gr̈neisen constants are derived from an analysis of the compressional characteristics of rigid-lattice binding curves and are used to define the contribution of the lattice vibrations to the free energy. A minimization of the resulting free energy with respect to volume yields temperature-dependent lattice separations and coefficients of thermal expansion. Theoretical values of cohesive energies, equilibrium lattice separations, bulk moduli, Debye temperatures, Gr̈neisen constants, and coefficients of thermal expansion are derived directly from computed electronic-structure results. Good agreement with experiment is found for all computed quantities. © 1988 The American Physical Society.