It’s a breeze to open and close a drawer that has been equipped with drawer slides. These handy fittings usually feature nylon or metal bearings to ensure smooth movement, and some have a self-closing feature that will allow you to shut the drawer with only a slight nudge. Full-extension designs let you open drawers completely without accidentally pulling them out of the cabinet.
Basic metal slides are installed on each side of a drawer, permitting you to open it to about three-quarters of its length. This still allows enough access for most projects and uses.
Typically, slides will be equal to or slightly shorter than the drawer’s length, but they should be at least 1 or 2 inches shorter than the depth of the cabinet. For example, kitchen cabinets that are 24 inches deep need to have drawers and slides that measure about 22-1/2 inches long and allow clearance for cabinet backs and braces.
Full-extension slides have an additional rail and bearing on each side to provide extra support for the entire drawer when it is open. These slides are especially useful features for drawers that have dividers for storing small items.
Good To Know
To conceal metal hardware for a cleaner, more traditional look, consider installing bottom-mount slides to the underside of the drawer.