How To Add Drawers In Kitchen Cabinets

If you love cooking and kitchenware or gadgets, chances are that you run into some storage problems. Kitchens have tons of built-in storage, but it is not always easy to access. You may even want to maximize on some unused space in your cabinets. Installing drawers in your kitchen cabinets can make accessing everything easier as well as help you organize. We have done all the research, so keep reading for all you need to know about installing drawers in kitchen cabinets.

Installing drawers in your cabinets is not a very difficult process. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Remove shelves
  2. Measure cabinet dimensions
  3. Select your drawer
  4. Determine drawers mounting height
  5. Install slide mounts
  6. Slide drawer onto mounts

You will only need a few tools for this project: a drill, ruler, level, and a pencil. This simple DIY project can be done in less than a few hours. You may need to look for your ideal drawer, but luckily there is a wide variety available.

Mounting furniture with screwdriver fixing cabinet drawers roller adjustment. How To Add Drawers In Kitchen Cabinets

How do you install sliding drawers in kitchen cabinets?

Installing slideout drawers is a straightforward process. Just be sure to be precise in your measurements and leveling.

1. Remove shelves

If your cabinets have shelves, you will need to remove them. Many kitchen shelves are loose boards held underneath by supports. Lift the board and unscrew any supports to clear out the cabinet

You may find that your shelves are held in place with plastic clips. You will need to push up on the board while pressing in on the plastic clip in this case. Once one side is free, slide the shelf out of the remaining clips.

For a better understanding of how to remove these shelves, view the video below.

2. Measure cabinet dimensions

Next, after removing the shelves, you can take measurements for your drawers. You will want to find the cabinet width, depth, and height. When shopping for drawers, you want to be sure that the drawer itself, as well as its hardware, can fit inside the cabinet.

Firstly, take note of the width on the inside of the cabinet from side to side. You will also need the cabinet opening width if it is smaller than the cabinet width. Next, you will measure the height of the inside of the cabinet. Just like earlier, measure the opening height if they are different.

steel tape measure laid put on white showing metric graduations

Lastly, you will need to measure the depth of the cabinet from the back to just inside the cabinet opening. For a general look at cabinet depths, read our article on how deep kitchen cabinets are. It is important that you do not measure to the front edge of the cabinet. The cabinet door will not close if the drawer is too long.

2. Select your drawer

With the measurements, you can now determine what kind of drawer to buy. You can purchase wooden as well as metal slideout drawers.

If you are looking for a classic wooden drawer, they can be found here on Amazon.

These wire pullout drawers from Amazon would look great in a modern kitchen.

While adding drawers to your cabinets is a great way to renovate, you can also spruce up the outside. Read our article on how to restore kitchen cabinets and fix worn spots.

3. Determine drawers mounted height

The maximum width that your drawer can be is the cabinet opening width. The height of the drawer that you choose will determine how many you can fit as well as where it will be mounted. When marking for drawer mounts, align them to the cabinet front.

Measure the distance between the sliding rail mounted on the drawer and the bottom of the drawer. Add that distance to the height of the opening and mark a straight horizontal line on both sides of the cabinet. This will align the bottom of the drawer to the cabinet opening.

Use Hand Pull Open Drawer Wooden

If you would like to add multiple drawers, it is even simpler than the first. The markings will need to be at least one full drawer height apart. However, if you have items taller than your drawer, add enough extra height to clear items by at least an inch.

4. Install slide mounts

Now that there are markings for each slide mount, they can be installed. There will be predrilled holes in the metal slide that you can see your pencil mark through. You will need one last measurement for installation, then add the offset of the drawer slide to the thickness of the drawer face.

Your drawer's specific installation instructions will tell you how far from your cabinet front to mount your slides. However, if they are not available to you, the following video demonstrates how to install the drawer slides:

5. Slide drawer onto mounts

Lastly, you can slide the drawers onto the mounts inside the cabinet, and you are done. If you cannot slide the drawer onto the mounts, then your measurements may be off slightly. You can remove the slides and remeasure your markings if you run into any problems.

What are the easiest drawer slides to install?

Installation of sliding systems can sometimes be tricky. There are a few different slide styles: soft close, roller, and ball bearing slides.

Roller guides used in carpentry. Furniture accessories on a workbench

The roller slides have the easiest installation of all. Their style is simplistic and does not have many moving parts. The next easiest is ball bearing slides; this is the kind of slide shown in the previous video.

Can you add pull-out drawers in kitchen cabinets?

Yes, you also have the option of adding pull-out drawers. The process is identical to installing sliding drawers. The only difference is that there is a drawer pull and commonly a front panel. This will affect the dimensions of the drawer that you can fit.

When installing a pull-out drawer into a cabinet, remember that the drawer pull itself will need to be included in the overall depth. In addition, you will need to take width and height measurements of the drawer face instead of the actual drawer.

How much does it cost to install drawer pulls?

Drawer pulls are an item with a wide range of prices. Depending on the style and source of your drawer pulls, installing them can cost anywhere between fifteen and forty dollars. They serve a simple purpose, so more expensive pulls are crafted with more expensive materials.

Many drawer pulls are sold in packs of at least ten. That can help save on costs if you have a lot of shelves. However, if you only have a few shelves, then shopping online may be better.

You can find some simple drawer pulls on Amazon.

You can also cut back on project costs if you had shelves by converting them into rollouts. The following video will show you step by step how to make a drawer from a shelf.

In Closing

Adding slide-out drawers to your kitchen cabinets is not a difficult DIY renovation. You can also upcycle materials to make it a relatively cheap project as well. When you take on any project involving slide mounts, taking proper measurements is key. Try to be as precise as possible; always use a straightedge and check that drawers are level once installed.

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