Guide To Installing Drawer Slides

Drawer slides are in high demand among residential, corporate, retail, and industrial markets due to their need for efficient cabinets and storage furniture. However, customers have different requirements, and drawer slides come in different sizes. Some clients require one that can handle heavy such as power tools, while others require one for compact drawers. 

Below is our guide to finding suitable drawer slides for business requirements. We also provide a complete installation guide with a step-by-step guide to help any business team with the process. There will also be several informative tips when installing any drawer slides. 

Select The Right Type of Drawer Slides 

Aligning a drawer slide to a cabinet
Source: Maxave

To address the needs of various clients, managers must choose suitable drawer slides. Here are three factors to consider: 

Different Types Of Drawer Slides

There is a wide range of drawer slides despite having the same function. Below are the most common ones you will see in any hardware store: 

Side Mount Drawer Slides

Side drawer slide
Source: Maxave

Side mount drawer slides are the most common and versatile hardware for any drawer. The furniture hardware suits cabinets in homes, garages, workshops, and retail stores. Their versatile load capacity range allows them to open drawers for heavy equipment or small items. 

These are installed on the drawer and cabinet’s body in a horizontal position. The hardware’s position allows side-mount drawer slides to handle high loads without modifying the furniture. 

Center Mount Drawer slides

Center Mount drawer slide
Source: Maxave

Center-mount drawer slides are installed at the bottom center of the drawer and cabinet. This type of drawer slide requires only one mount installed at the bottom, making this a feasible solution for cabinets with no space on the side. 

Being a single rail, center mount drawer slides have a limited weight capacity. However, these are economical options for projects or clients with tight budgets. 

Undermount Drawer Slides

Undermount drawer slide
Source: Maxave

Undermount drawer slides have locking components installed underneath the drawer and cabinet. Its orientation hides the drawer slides from view when opening, conserving the furniture’s aesthetic. 

This type of slide is suitable for electronics such as digital pianos or TVs thanks to the max weight capacity of the furniture hardware. In addition, undermount drawer slides are suitable for drawers that lack side space.

Different Drawers/Cabinet Applications/Needs

Drawer slides come with different functions or features to address specific requirements. One of these features is a self-closing hinge where the drawer slider returns to its original position when not held. Offices tend to utilize this feature for drawers with essential documents. Another common feature is soft-closing slides that prevent the drawer from forcefully closing to protect its content. 

How To Measure For Drawer Slides

The drawer slides’ depth, length, and height are relevant measurements for any drawer. To get suitable drawer slides, you need to measure the drawer and the width and length of the interior opening. These measurements will ensure the drawer slide will fit specific furniture for a smooth closing & opening operation.

Prepare Drawer Slide Installation Tools

drawer slide installation tools
Source: Amazon

Installing a drawer slide requires several tools: 

Power Drill

Power drills with the proper drill bit size create mounting holes on the furniture or the drawer box. The power tool can also install mounting screws with ease for drawer channels. 

Choosing the right drill bit is essential when making mounting halls for specific furniture. Bits made to drill wooden and metal surfaces suit specific projects. For the correct drill bit size, the diameter of the slides are accurate references as these will tell you how large a mounting hole is required. 

Auto Center Puncher

While optional, center punchers ensure drawer slides are installed correctly by imprinting a physical mark on the installation site. The mark lets the worker know if the drill bit or screwdriver is hitting the center.

Drawer Slide Installation Jig

Professional installers tend to use drawer slide installation jigs for any project by providing a level and accurate reference for all mounts. The jig provides support for the cabinet mounts, showing the installer the optimized location to incorporate the drawer slide. Installers can cut the guesswork, effort, and time thanks to installation jigs. 

Install Drawer Slides Steps And Tips

Installing drawer slides to metal cabinets
Source: Maxave

Below is a step-by-step guide to installing drawer slides. 

Install The Cabinet-Mount Member

Disassembling and taking measurements of the cabinet’s interior is the first step to installing a drawer runner. Depending on the type of drawer slide rail to install, it is recommended to place the furniture in a position that makes it easy for the installer to take the measurement. 

Using a pencil, make a level line across the wall from the back to the front of the furniture. The line ensures the cabinet-mount member is correctly aligned to the furniture wall for a smooth installation. Consider the thickness of the drawer front by marking an allowance on the line from the front edge.  

Set the cabinet-mount member on the interior side where it will be installed. While firmly holding the mount, drill through the screw holes on the unit and install the mount screws. The depth of each hole should be shallow since this will act as a guide for the screws. Repeat the above steps if there is a second cabinet-mount member, which is the case for side drawer systems. 

Attach The Drawer-Mount Member

Find and mark the diagonal center of the removed drawer box with a square or tape measure. Draw a line along the center mark from the front to the back of the drawer. Make sure the line is leveled across the drawer. 

Detach any slides on the drawer-mount member before aligning them to the drawn line on the drawer. While holding the mount, drill shallow holes onto the screw holes and drive the screws onto each hole. To make this easy, lay the drawer on its side or front to have the mount facing upwards. If you are installing a side drawer slide, repeat the same step for the second mount. 

Assemble Drawer

After attaching the cabinet-mount & drawer-mount members, the drawer box can be installed onto the furniture. If properly installed, the drawer will slide easily forward onto the furniture. Align the box at a level in front of the cabinet and have the slides connect. 

Note that this step can take time and effort since you must align the two mounts. This step can be even more complicated with a side drawer slide since two slides need to connect. Once you can connect the slides, closing the drawer should be easy.

Adjustment

Mistakes can happen to anyone when installing cabinet drawer slides. These mistakes become noticeable when assembling the drawer where the box does not close, or the mounts will not connect. Misaligned mounts or mounts that are not leveled when installed onto the cabinet and drawer are one of these mistakes. Another mistake is not entirely securing the screws, which can loosen the mounts and make it hard to connect them.

Adjustments are required if the drawer is not closing correctly. This step involves checking for any screws not thoroughly drilled into the drawer and cabinet. Installers must also check the mount’s alignment to see if they are leveled. If they are not, they will need to be removed and installed with the correct measurement.

Conclusion

Installation of drawer slides starts by knowing which hardware addresses a client’s requirement. Numerous types of furniture hardware, such as heavy-duty drawer slides, can handle power tools or bulk objects. Clients may require soft close drawer slides that prevent noises when closing a cabinet.  

The proper tools, including a power drill and square, allow for an efficient installation of any drawer runner. Finding the center of the drawer and keeping the mount’s level can make the process faster. Should the drawer fail to close or have difficulty connecting the mounts, it is alright to make adjustments when necessary. 

When you need professional consultation in finding the right drawer slider for your clients, contact Maxave today to receive professional help. We also offer hassle-free OEM/ODM solutions.

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