Soft close drawers refer to the type of slide mechanism used to mount the drawer to the cabinet. The slides, also called runners, have hydraulic dampeners to ensure your drawers close quietly and smoothly each and every time, even when slammed shut.
Drawers that utilize soft close technology are one of the hallmarks of high-quality cabinetry and closet systems. Everyone wants the best they can afford, so this type of drawer is in high demand. If you are buying a new closet system with drawers, you want to be sure they are all soft close. However, there are a lot of choices out there. How do you know which to pick?
Choose your drawer slides based on whether you need side mount or under mount, the weight rating, and the extension. Under Mount Drawer Slides: Under mount drawer slides are usually the preferred solution because they are hidden from view when you open the drawer. You must still screw the sliding mechanism to the sides of the cabinet. But the slides attach to the drawer using special clips mounted to the bottom of the drawer box.
The entire slide is hidden from view once the drawer is in place. This type of soft close slide also has less maintenance than the side mount slide because less dirt collects on the slide under the drawer than the exposed side mount version. They also tend to keep the drawer better aligned inside the drawer cavity, meaning fewer adjustments over time for you.
Drawer with under mount soft close drawer slides. Side Mount Drawer Slides: Although the under mount soft close drawer slides are recommended whenever possible, there are times you may need to use a side mount drawer slide system. One such situation is when there is no bottom of the drawer to attach the drawer slide to. Pull-out baskets and hybrid cloth drawer systems are two examples.
In these instances, you need a side mount drawer slide. Consciously or not, consumers always equate under mount slides with better quality. Side mount slides are a little less expensive than their under mount counterparts, but you will recoup the difference in price when you eventually sell your home.
This wire basket for closets needs side mount drawer slides to function properly. Weight Rating: Drawer slides are rated according to how much weight the drawer will be able to hold once they are installed. For everyday use, you need a slide rated to hold at least 75 pounds. Everyone ends up sticking more in their drawers than they though they originally would.
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Overweight drawers will wear out quickly or collapse entirely. Avoid the mess and buy a better-quality drawer slide to start with. Extension: This refers to how far you will be able to pull the drawer from the drawer cavity. Full extension slides allow you to pull the drawer all the way out.
Silent and self-closing, soft close drawer slides help prevent any slamming noise or damage. Choose from top, side, rear, or bottom mount soft close drawer slides well-suited for any type of application. Ready to get started? View our full line of top, side, rear, and bottom mount soft close drawer slides and accessories below! Hardware All the hardware needed to handle any job. Never be without a Tool. We've got your back.
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We will get through this together. Updated: October 16, References. Installing soft-close drawer slides is a simple DIY project that only requires a few tools. You will need to clear out the drawer and remove any existing hardware first. New slides are made up of 2 pieces. Screw 1 piece onto the drawer and the other piece onto the cabinet to set up the slide.
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Article Edit. Learn why people trust wikiHow. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Together, they cited information from 14 references. Learn moreAutomatic closing drawers work mechanically to glide the drawer back into the cabinet. There's no motor, just ball bearings that allow the drawer to slip back into the cabinet using only gravity. Self-closing drawers work perfectly for years if they are properly adjusted to begin with.
The primary reason for self-closing drawer failure is improperly installed guides or a drawer that was built out of square. This can cause the drawer to skew to one side and fail to close all the way. You can adjust this type of drawer using only a screwdriver. Shut the drawer as far as it will go without forcing it. Check the spaces between the drawer front and the front of the cabinet. One side will be spaced farther than the other side. Pull the drawer out of the cabinet and set it aside.
Lean into the cabinet. Using a screwdriver, loosen the screws holding the runner to the back of the cabinet on the side that was spaced the farthest from the cabinet when you checked it. Tap the runner as far as it will go away from the side of the drawer. There are oval-shaped holes in the runner that will allow it to move. Tighten the screws. Shut the drawer. If it's worse, loosen the screws and tap the runner the other direction and tighten to adjust.
If it still won't close, adjust the runner on the other side using the same technique until the drawer glides back into the cabinet smoothly. Adjust the drawer if it will not shut completely after adjusting the runners. Pull the drawer out of the cabinet. Measure the box of the drawer only. Measure from corner to corner diagonally both ways. You will likely see that one measurement is longer than the other, meaning your drawer is out of square.
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Stand the drawer diagonally on the corner that measured longer. Push down on the drawer with a moderate amount of force. This should tweak the drawer just enough to square it back up. Insert the drawer back into the cabinet. If it still won't close properly, take it out. Use more force on the corner. It's OK to thump it with a rubber mallet on the corner if that's easier for you. Test and adjust as needed until the drawer glides back into the cabinet easily. Don't be afraid to adjust all of the runners.
They all have oval-shaped screw holes. Adjusting self-closing drawers can sometimes be trial and error. Have patience. In rare cases when other options fail, you can add a small wooden shim between the runner and the drawer to adjust a drawer or cabinet that was built poorly. Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine.
Skip to main content.Generally speaking, the terms "soft close" and "self close" drawer glides are interchangeable. The feature stops drawers from slamming, and gently pulls drawers closed the last few inches. This pulling motion is where the "self close" term comes from.
Soft Close Drawers
Self close or soft close drawer glides come in side mount or undermount styles. Undermount glides look elegant, since there is no visible hardware on the drawer, and they allow drawers to be slightly wider. Side mount soft close glides are easier to install. Soft close glides may be partial or full extension.
Self close glides prevent cabinet drawers from slamming, preserving the life of the drawer and the finish on the cabinetry. This feature also minimizes the noise of slamming drawers. The self closing feature means that the drawers always will be closed neatly rather than half open. Self close or soft close drawer glides are more expensive to install.
They are a desired feature for home buyers, and add to the value of a kitchen. Some people with arthritis or other joint problems may have slightly more difficulty with soft close drawers, since they require a little extra effort to open.
Her work has been published in the "American Fork Citizen" and "Cincinnati Enquirer" as well as on corporate websites and in other online publications.
Soft-Close Vs. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Soft close or self close drawers are a kitchen feature many request. Share this article. Rachel Murdock. Show Comments.Stop your drawers from slamming shut with soft-close glides. Installation takes only an hour or less!
If you've ever gotten your fingers stuck in a closing drawer, then you'll want to know this: Soft-close drawer glides are here to save the day. They are affordable and easy to use and can make your kitchen a safer, quieter space. Expect to spend roughly an hour on this project, and make sure you're comfortable using basic DIY tools like a drill, screwdriver, and level. We installed our guides in a kitchen, but they also work well in a bathroom, bedroom, or home office.
More Fixes for Common Kitchen Problems. Empty desired drawer and remove it from the cabinet. Unscrew the existing drawer glide hardware from both the drawer and the cabinet. Place the drawer on its side. Align the glide flush with the bottom of the drawer, being sure the small extending part of the glide is positioned to the front of the drawer. Mark placement with a pencil. Screw marked glide into place, predrilling holes if desired.
Repeat at the rear. Turn the drawer over and repeat on the other side. To install the cabinet hardware, pull the glide back on the drawer to release the clip and remove part of it from the drawer. Attach the mounting clips to the glide, the front face frame clip, and the back of the cabinet box clip. Attach the face frame clip to the cabinet with a screw and a screwdriver, predrilling holes if desired.
Then attach the back mounting clip to the back of the cabinet box, checking to make sure it's level before screwing it in. Measure the distance of the drawer glide at the front of the box and the back of the box to make sure they're parallel. Make any necessary screw adjustments, then repeat on the other side. Slide drawer into the glides to make sure it all fits. Make any final adjustments, as needed, then screw in the rest of the screws.
Save Pin FB ellipsis More. Image zoom. Comments 2 Add Comment. View Comments. February 13, We would suggest checking your local home improvement store or Amazon for the soft closing drawer slides.
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All rights reserved.Drawer slides are placed on almost all drawers. The set includes two for each side of the drawer, and two for the cabinet. Nylon bearings slide into corresponding guides to provide the drawer with smooth, quiet movement.
When your existing drawers are noisy, stick, bind or won't move at all, chances are that the bearings are worn out.
You can replace any type of drawer slide using only a screwdriver. They come in different lengths. Choose the right ones.
Measure from the back of the drawer-front to the end of the drawer box. Only measure the box, do not include the drawer front. Round the measurement off to the lower number on the tape. Measure the width of the drawer. Measure the width of the drawer opening in the cabinet. Full-extension guides are superior guides that can extend much farther than standard guides and support more weight. When you are replacing existing slides, remove them from the drawer with a screwdriver.
They are typically stamped on one end with the correct measurement.
When replacing drawer slides, always replace them as a set. Never attempt to replace only those parts that are defective. There can be exceptions to measuring drawer slides when installing replacements. Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine.
Skip to main content. Warning When replacing drawer slides, always replace them as a set. About the Author Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since Shaddy, Wade. How to Determine Drawer Slide Sizes. Home Guides SF Gate. Note: Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name. Customer Service Newsroom Contacts.