December 15, 2023

Measuring your drawer slides is a crucial first step in a smooth installation and effective operation for years. With precise drawer slide measurements, your drawer will open and close seamlessly, fit correctly in its space and bear the correct weight. 

Whether you're an excellent DIY home improvement enthusiast or a professional contractor, measuring drawer slides requires particular equipment, tools and a specific set of steps to follow to gain accurate measurements. That's why we created this comprehensive guide to equip you with the essential knowledge and skills to drive successful installation or replacement projects. 

TOOLS YOU NEED TO MEASURE DRAWER SLIDES ACCURATELY

Measuring drawer slides starts with using the correct tools to ensure accuracy. These usually fall into two categories, namely tools you'll use for measuring and equipment you should wear to keep you safe during this process. 

ESSENTIAL MEASURING TOOLS

Let's take a look at the key tools for achieving high-precision measurements and why they're important: 

  • Tape measure: The most important tool to use for measuring your drawer slides is a reliable tape measure with both centimeters and inches to ensure you know both measurements when it's time to buy your slides. 
  • Notepad and pen: After you've taken the measurements, you'll need to remember them. Even if you have the best memory, it's probably best to keep a notepad and pen nearby so you can record these measurements for the people you work with to attain your new drawer slides. 
  • Screwdriver: In some cases, you may need to remove the drawer to take accurate measurements. A screwdriver is the best tool to help you remove the screws attaching your drawer slider to the drawer. 

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

SAFETY EQUIPMENT 

Working with hard and sharp items does pose certain risks. To protect yourself, use the following safety equipment to prevent any injuries from occurring: 

  • Safety gloves: Since you'll be working with screwdrivers, sharp screws and potentially splintered wood and sharp edges of your drawer, safety gloves may be beneficial for keeping your hands safe from harm. 
  • Eye protection: When using the screwdriver on the drawer box, it's easy for bits of wood to fly out in the most unexpected ways and harm you. Keep your eyes safe with glasses or safety goggles to avoid eye injuries. 

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO MEASURING DRAWER SLIDES

When measuring drawer slides, there are five important steps you can follow to influence a smooth installation. Here's how to measure drawer slides and determine the exact type you need for a snug fit, effective movement and longevity. 

1. IDENTIFYING THE TYPE OF DRAWER SLIDE

Before you begin taking measurements, you'll need to establish the type of drawer slide you'll need for the drawer. Different drawer slides have varying sizes and capabilities. Their most crucial aspect is the mount. Here are the most common slide types to help you determine the one you need: 

  • Side-mount drawer slides: As the name implies, this drawer slide is mounted on the side of the drawer and is among the most popular types of mounts. To ensure smooth movement, the side mount requires ample side on the sides between the drawer side and cabinet wall. 
  • Center-mount drawer slides: Center-mount slides are attached to the center of the drawer bottom. While they may be more challenging to retrofit and require more precise installation, these drawer slides help ensure support and stability. 
  • Under-mount drawer slides: This more advanced and fully concealed mount is positioned under the drawer, helping to create a sleek look and a quieter operation. Because it needs more space at the back of the slide, the under-mount drawer slide is usually an inch shorter. 
  • Bottom-mount drawer slides: These slides are similar to under-mounts because you'll find them underneath the drawer. If you prefer light to medium-duty applications, this drawer slide may be the ideal option for you and they offer minimal side clearance. 

Still undecided? If you're a beginner at measuring and installing drawer slides, the side-mount is among the easiest to measure. Otherwise, the under-mount is an excellent choice for quiet movement if you conduct accurate measurements and it offers an attractive modern appearance. 

2. MEASURING THE DRAWER LENGTH

After you know the type of drawer slides you need, there is a particular set of steps you'll need to follow to measure the drawer slides for installation. This starts with measuring the drawer itself, rather than the slides. Here's our step-by-step process for doing so: 

UNSCREW THE CURRENT SLIDES FROM THE DRAWER 

If you're planning to replace your existing slide hardware, your first step should be to detach your slides from the drawer. First, pull out your drawer and identify where the screws are connecting the slides to the drawer. 

Removing a draw near the bottom may be best. You'll also find that most slides will have screws located near each end and sometimes you may find that certain slides have screws in the middle of the hardware, too. Using your screwdriver, carefully remove the located screws one at a time. 

REMOVE THE DRAWER FROM THE CABINET 

Once you've removed the screws, pull out the drawer completely to separate it from the cabinet. Depending on the type of drawer you have, removing the drawer will take varying amounts of effort. Commonly, you'll need to fully extend the drawer and lift it up to pull it out completely. 

In other cases, you might need to remove it by guiding the drawer out a considerable amount and then lift the back of the drawer to allow the wheels to pop out of the guide. Otherwise, the drawer may release from the guides if you use a screwdriver to remove the wheels themself. 

MEASURE THE BOX 

Now, you can begin the measuring process. Place your drawer on a flat surface and use your tape measure to determine the length of the box itself rather than the entire drawer length. What this means is that you want to start your measurement from the inside of the box near the front and end your measurement at the back of the box on the inside. 

Keep in mind that the drawer's front face is there to stop the drawer from entering the cabinet. Including this measurement may be unnecessary since the drawer slide will only connect with the part that enters the cabinet. Once you've determined the exact measurement, round the amount down by one inch or 2.5 centimeters and jot these amounts down in your notepad. 

3. MEASURING THE CABINET DEPTH

Measuring how deep your cabinet is will help you further understand the length that your drawer slide brackets need to be. You may have issues implementing a drawer slide that is longer than the cabinet depth, so it's also best to use a shorter slide hardware. 

MEASURING THE CABINET DEPTH

Have your tape measure start from the back of the cabinet's inside and put out the body to reach the cabinet's front frame to measure the distance. Round this number down to the next inch and then record these amounts in your notepad. Something you can keep in mind is that side- and bottom-mounts are usually 22 inches in a standard kitchen, while undermounts are generally 21 inches in a kitchen cabinet. 

4. MEASURING THE DRAWER'S WIDTH AND THE OPENING OF THE CABINET 

Next, you'll need to measure the drawer's width and the opening in the cabinet. The point of this is to help you understand what the thickness of your drawer slides should be if you plan to install side-mount drawer slides. Write down both widths and determine the difference to identify the length of the space between your drawer and the cabinet. 

Depending on whether they measure more or less than an inch, you may need to do some carpentry work to ensure the new slides fit well. However, if you work with a reliable company that offers quality replacement cabinet components, you may receive a custom hand-crafted drawer box measured to the exact size you need for the drawer slide to fit. 

5. EXAMINING THE OUTSIDE OF THE DRAWER AND THE INSIDE OF THE CABINET 

If you're doing drawer slide installations because you're replacing an existing pair, you'll have to check your cabinet and drawer to see if you have any issues with them. Sometimes drawer slides can wear faster due to poor design or improper installation. Adding another pair of slide hardware over this may only repeat this cycle. If there is damage to the cabinet or drawer, you may benefit from replacing these components to help ensure your slides last. 

HOW TO MEASURE DRAWER SLIDES FOR CUSTOM CABINET COMPONENTS

Do you have unique cabinet parts? Are you planning to create custom cabinet components? When you have custom-sized drawers or cabinets made, you may find it challenging to calculate the correct measurements for the appropriate drawer slides right away. Here, we'll talk about how to ensure you get the measures right the first time around. 

MEASURING THE CABINET DEPTH

UNDERSTANDING THE SPECIFICATIONS OF CUSTOM CABINET COMPONENTS

Having custom cabinet components made makes it increasingly important to make accurate measurements. If you're looking to enhance your project, Cabinet Doors ‘N’ More has the materials and cabinet components to complete your customized cabinet project whether you need a new cabinet, drawer box or drawer front. 

Of course, you'll need a quality pair of drawer slides along with the new components to provide maximum longevity and durability. Cabinet Doors ‘N’ More provides under-mount door glides for smooth movement and these slides are concealed to place the focus on your custom cabinet depth instead. 

To ensure that you get the correct measurements for your slides, follow these steps: 

  1. Determine the size of your cabinet: When calculating the size you want your custom cabinet to be, make sure that it has enough space to fit the drawer and drawer slides either on the sides or bottom. 
  2. Determine the dimensions for your custom drawer box: Establish the size drawer you need based on the cabinet size you decided on. The drawer's depth should be shorter than the cabinet's depth to make space for the slide's brackets and mechanical components. 
  3. Conduct slide measurements based on cabinet and drawer size: Next, take into consideration the drawer's length, the cabinet's depth and the widths of both the cabinet and drawer to determine the size your slides should be. 
  4. Choose the right under-mount slide for your custom cabinet: Some guidelines to follow for choosing the correct size include that the drawer box length should be equal to the drawer glide length and that Blum recommends choosing slides three inches less than the custom depth of your cabinet. 

COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN MEASURING DRAWER SLIDES

Sometimes, even experienced contractors can forget to follow the basic rules of measuring drawer slides and install the wrong slides. That's why it's important to remember the common mistakes of measuring drawer slides to avoid errors like drawers that close incorrectly, wobble and get stuck. Here are some common mistakes to keep in mind. 

NEGLECTING TO MEASURE BOTH SIDES OF THE DRAWER

To choose the correct size of drawer slides, you need to measure the width and depth on both ends of your drawer and cabinet. Many assume that drawers and cabinets are equal on all sides and this can lead to inaccurate measurements. This is particularly common with custom cabinet components. To avoid this issue, take thorough measurements of the components and ensure they are in the correct position. It can also help to double-check measurements. 

FORGETTING TO ACCOUNT FOR THE SLIDE CLEARANCE

Slide clearance is the space between the cabinet's inside and the drawer's exterior. A step that some forget to follow is measuring the drawer's width and the cabinet's interior width. As we've discovered before, these measurements are essential for determining the size of the drawer slide you should implement. Without it, you may end up with too little space for the drawer slides. 

This is particularly important to remember when measuring and installing soft close drawer slides. These require ample space to move correctly. When you forget to account for the slide clearance, the slide or drawer may be unequal or misaligned and scrape against the cabinet wall, leading to accelerated wear. To clear up this issue, individuals installing the drawer may have to reduce the drawer size so there is enough space for the slides. You can avoid this situation by remembering to include your width measurements for accurate installs. 

PLACING YOUR ORDER FOR CUSTOM COMPONENTS WITH CABINET DOORS ‘N’ MORE

Following our guidelines will allow you to conduct precise drawer slide measurements that help influence a smooth installation with parts that fit into each other correctly and enable smooth gliding and maximized functionality. All it requires is taking accurate width, length and depth measurements on each end of the drawer and cabinet. To reap all the benefits, make sure the drawer slides you choose include durable materials from reputable brands. 

Cabinet Doors ‘N’ More offers a wide range of quality custom cabinet components for smooth opening and closing while preventing damaging movements. We offer a streamlined ordering process that consists of either calling or placing an order online. Simply provide your measurements and once our experts receive the order, we will verify and place the order with our factory and ship your hand-crafted cabinet components directly to you within 10 business days. We also offer free shipping to save you from including any additional costs. 

Whether you require reliable drawer slides or custom-made cabinets or drawers, browse our selection of products and contact Cabinet Doors ‘N’ More today for high-end cabinet components you can trust. 

PLACING YOUR ORDER FOR CUSTOM COMPONENTS WITH CABINET DOORS ‘N’ MORE


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