Measuring
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Measuring for Kitchen Pull Out Shelf installation

The two basic types of cabinets, framed and frameless

Traditional Framed Cabinets

Installing pull out shelves in framed cabinets

 Frameless or "Euro" style

Intsalling pull out shelves in frameless cabinets

Framed cabinets have a face frame usually made of a hardwood such as Oak. When the doors of the cabinet are closed you can still see the cabinet face frames around the doors and drawer fronts and often you can see the hinges. The interior of the cabinet is wider on both sides than the cabinet opening. The face frame usually extends into the opening about 3/4" or more. Framed cabinets are the traditional style of cabinets in the United States and they are found in more homes than the newer Euro style. Frameless cabinets do not have a face frame. The front edge of the cabinet sidewall is the front of the cabinet. When the doors and drawers are closed they cover almost the entire cabinet. The hinges are totally concealed when the doors are closed. Euro style hinges are larger than the traditional framed cabinet hinge and tend to interfere more with the cabinet opening. Frameless cabinets often use a 32mm hole system for the hinge mounting and shelf support. The interior width is the same as the opening minus the door and hinge interference. Many newer homes have frameless cabinets.

Measuring framed cabinets


There are two dimensions that you must have to order your shelves, the cabinet width and the cabinet depth

Cabinet Width

The dimension you need is the clear opening of the cabinet. This is the distance from face frame to face frame minus any reduction for the hinges or door overlap at the level the shelf will be installed. It is also important to make sure your door opens at least 90 degrees so the shelf can clear them when you slide it out. The size of the lower shelf is often smaller than the upper shelf as the hinge will not interfere with the upper shelf. We will make the actual shelf 1" smaller than the dimension you give us to allow for the sliding hardware which uses 1/2" on each side. Always refer to the clear cabinet opening when ordering shelves not the finished shelf size, we will make the adjustment. Please measure carefully, we make our shelves in increments of 1/16". Always measure your cabinet twice using an accurate tape measure. 

Cabinet Depth

Measure from the back side of the face frame to your back wall and be sure to look for wires or electrical outlets or wiring. The sliding shelves are available in depths from 10" up to 26" in 2" increments. The economy sliding shelves are 1/4" larger than the 2" increment and the rest of our shelves are 1/4" smaller. For example a 22" economy shelf is 22 1/4" deep while a 22" shelf of any other style is 21 3/4" deep. Shelves deeper than 22" are mounted on 22" drawer slides. The safest way to measure depth is from the back of the cabinet face frame to the back wall of the cabinet. Watch out for electrical wires, pipes or anything that may reduce the available depth.

Mounting style

There are four basic mounting styles, side mount, rear sockets, half shelf and base mount

Base mount

Click for larger picture.  Installing pull out shelves using L brackets on full shelf or cabinet base

Click to enlarge

Full shelf or base mounting is the simplest method of installing pull out shelves. When you choose the base mount option the slide hardware will have four L brackets attached, two on each slide. These L brackets allow you to attach the sliding shelf hardware directly to the cabinet base for the bottom shelf or on to an existing full depth fixed or adjustable shelf. The full shelf installation is not only the easiest way to install pull out shelves, it is also one of the strongest installations available.

Half shelf

Click To Enlarge - Installing slide out shelfs with L brackets on a half shelf

Click to enlarge

Note: Half shelf installation does not work the same with Full Extension Slides. 

Many base kitchen and bathroom cabinets have a short "half" shelf for the upper shelf. This shelf is usually about 10" to 12" deep. Now you can install a full depth sliding shelf where your half shelf is. If you choose the half shelf option we will send the drawer slides with an L bracket attached near the rear of each slide. This L bracket can be screwed to the existing half shelf. The front of the slides can be attached to the cabinet face frame, they can be side mounted or they can be mounted to the back of the face frame using 3/4" wood blocks. If you order full extension slides the front must use side build up or spacers as they can not be attached to the edge of the face frame.

Rear Sockets

Rear socket mounting can only be done with 3/4 extension slides. Full extension slides will not work with rear sockets. Rear sockets are plastic brackets which the drawer slide slips into for attaching the slide to the cabinet back wall. We do not recommend rear mount sockets for high load shelves in Arizona and other areas that are hot, arid and hard on plastic but for most places they work just fine. The front of the slides can be attached to the cabinet face frame, they can be side mounted or they can be mounted to the back of the face frame using 3/4" wood blocks. The rear sockets will not work with cabinets over 24 1/2" deep unless special slides are ordered.

Side Mount

As the name implies side mounting uses your cabinet sidewalls to mount your sliding shelves. Side mounting usually requires more work than the full shelf installation but it is the most space efficient. If your cabinet has a large difference between the opening size and the inside dimension side mounting may not be the right choice. As the distance from the sidewall increases so does the leverage on the mounting screws. Make sure you check your sidewall thickness before placing any screws. Side mounting can be done with spacers or you can provide wood strips to build up the space as needed. The standard spacers are available in 1/8", 3/8" and 1/2". There is a Euro spacer that measures 1" and can be used on framed or frameless cabinets with a 32mm hole system. On tall cabinets such as pantries, wood strips mounted vertically can provide excellent support, even with large build up areas. The advantages to the vertical wood strips are much of the load is transferred to the cabinet base and the shelves can be mounted at whatever height needed. Make sure to measure the cabinet in several locations, up and down and front and back. If the cabinet size varies you will need to adapt the shelf size paying attention to what size build up or spacers you will be using. 


Measuring Frameless Cabinets 


There are two dimensions that you must have to order your shelves, the cabinet width and the cabinet depth

Cabinet Width

The dimension needed for width is the clear opening. On frameless cabinets with one door this will be the measurement from the inside edge of the sidewall to the hinge on the other sidewall. If the cabinet has two doors you will measure between the hinges. If the hinges are more than 2 1/8" above the cabinet base you can add 3/8" to the shelf size for each hinge as the hardware will clear the hinge. The size of the sliding shelf may vary depending on the installation type. Please determine the mounting type before measuring the cabinet. 

Cabinet Depth

The sliding shelves are available in depths from 10" up to 26" in 2" increments. The basic sliding shelves are 1/4" larger than the 2" increment and the rest of our shelves are 1/4" smaller. For example a 22" basic shelf is 22 1/4" deep while a 22" shelf of any other style is 21 3/4" deep. Shelves deeper than 22" are mounted on 22" drawer slides. The safest way to measure depth is from the front of the sidewall to the back wall of the cabinet. Subtract about 3/4" from this dimension to allow for set back and hinge clearance. Watch out for electrical wires, pipes or anything that may reduce the available depth.

Mounting style

There are four basic mounting styles, side mount, rear sockets, half shelf and full shelf or base mounted

Full Shelf

Click for larger picture.  Installing pull out shelves using L brackets on full shelf or cabinet base

Click to enlarge

Full shelf or base mounting is the simplest method of installing pull out shelves. When you choose the full shelf option the slide hardware will have four L brackets attached, two on each slide. These L brackets allow you to attach the sliding shelf hardware directly to the cabinet base for the bottom shelf or on to an existing full depth fixed or adjustable shelf. The full shelf installation is not only the easiest way to install pull out shelves, it is also one of the strongest installations available. On frameless cabinets you will need to either deduct 1/4" for cabinets with one door to allow for the L brackets or you can use the L brackets to mark the height and then mount the slide directly to the cabinet sidewalls. On cabinets with two doors you will not need to make any deduction as the brackets can sit behind the hinges. 

Half shelf

Click To Enlarge - Installing slide out shelfs with L brackets on a half shelf

Click to enlarge

Many base kitchen and bathroom cabinets have a short "half" shelf for the upper shelf. This shelf is usually about 10" to 12" deep. Now you can install a full depth sliding shelf where your half shelf is. If you choose the half shelf option we will send the drawer slides with an L bracket attached near the rear of each slide. This L bracket can be screwed to the existing half shelf. The front of the slides can be attached to the cabinet sidewall either directly or with spacers as needed for clearance. See side mounting for more details. 

Rear Sockets

Rear socket mounting can only be done with 3/4 extension slides. Full extension slides will not work with rear sockets. Rear sockets are plastic brackets which the drawer slide slips into for attaching the slide to the cabinet back wall. We do not recommend rear mount sockets for high load shelves in Arizona and other areas that are hot, arid and hard on plastic. The front of the slides can be attached to the cabinet sidewall either directly or with spacers as needed for clearance. See side mounting for more details. Rear mount brackets are not usually used with frameless cabinets. 

Side Mount

As the name implies side mounting uses your cabinet sidewalls to mount your sliding shelves. Side mounting usually requires a little more work than the full shelf installation but it is the most space efficient. Make sure you check your sidewall thickness before placing any screws. Side mounting can be done with spacers. The standard spacers are available in 1/8", 3/8" and 1/2". There is a special Euro spacer that measures 1" and can be used on framed or frameless cabinets with a 32mm hole system (about 1 1/4" apart). There are special screws that go into the pre-drilled holes in the cabinet. These screws are included with the Euro spacers. To determine the shelf width when using the 1" Euro spacers simply measure inside width of the cabinet and subtract 1" for a single door cabinet and 2" for a double door cabinet. If your have a small 3/4" center style in the middle of the cabinet it may be best to remove this style and install one wide shelf per level. Make sure you pay attention to what size spacers you will be using and adjust the shelf size accordingly.

 

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