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7 Essentials You Need to Know For Custom Drawer Box Replacement

7 Essentials You Need to Know For Custom Drawer Box Replacement

Replacing your drawer boxes can be a game-changer for your cabinetry. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen, bathroom, or office furniture, understanding the essentials of custom drawer box replacement is key to achieving a flawless fit and superior functionality. In this guide, we’ll cover the seven critical elements you need to know: custom size, material, construction, drawer glides, custom options (notching, front scoop option), and drawer front. Let’s dive in!

1. Custom Size

Measuring for custom size drawer boxes

The first essential aspect of custom drawer box replacement is ensuring you get the correct size. Custom size drawer boxes are designed to fit perfectly into your existing cabinet openings, maximizing space and efficiency.

Measuring Tips for Drawer Box Replacement:

  • Width: Measure the inside width of the cabinet opening and subtract the space needed for the drawer slides. For side-mounted slides, subtract about 1/2 inch from each side. For under-mounted slides, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for spacing.
  • Height: Measure the inside height of the cabinet opening, accounting for the space required for the drawer slides. Remember to leave enough clearance at the top and bottom for smooth operation. Typically, leaving a 1/8 inch clearance at the top and bottom works well.
  • Depth: Measure from the front edge to the back wall of the cabinet, considering any necessary adjustments for the drawer slides. Ensure the depth allows for full extension of the drawer slides. For example, if the cabinet depth is 22 inches and your slides are 20 inches, your drawer box depth should be 20 inches.

Expert Tip: Double-check all measurements to avoid mistakes. Accurate measurements ensure a perfect fit, preventing issues during installation.

2. Material

drawer box material

Choosing the right material for your drawer boxes impacts both the durability and aesthetic of your cabinetry. Here are some popular options:

9 Ply Birch

birch drawer box

9 Ply Baltic Birch is a cost-effective yet durable option for drawer boxes. This material is known for its light color tones and minimal grain variation, making it an attractive choice for various cabinetry styles. Prefinished with a durable clear top coat finish before drawer box manufacturing, 9 Ply Baltic Birch ensures both beauty and resilience. 9 Ply Birch comes in both dovetail and dowelled construction.


  • Affordability: A budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on quality.
  • Durability: The 9-ply construction provides superior strength and resistance to warping.
  • Smooth Finish: The light, consistent color and smooth surface enhance the aesthetic appeal.
  • Dovetail Construction: The dovetail joints offer a stronger connection compared to typical doweled drawer boxes, ensuring longevity and durability.
  • Dowelled Construction: Dowelled joints provide a sturdy and cost-effective alternative, pinned and glued for added stability.

Expert Tip: Choose 9 Ply Baltic Birch for a cost-effective solution that offers both strength and aesthetic appeal, ideal for high-traffic areas such as kitchens and offices.


maple drawer box

Maple drawer boxes offer a clean, modern look combined with excellent durability. Maple is a hardwood known for its fine, even texture and strength. Its light color and smooth grain make it an attractive choice for a variety of cabinetry styles.


  • Aesthetic Appeal: Maple’s light, uniform appearance complements modern and traditional designs.
  • Durability: As a hardwood, maple resists dents and scratches, ensuring your drawer boxes stay looking new for longer.
  • Versatility: Maple can be stained or left natural to suit different interior styles.

Expert Tip: Choose maple for a sleek, elegant look that also stands up to daily wear and tear.


Aspen Drawer Box

Aspen is a cost-effective option for drawer boxes, known for its light, natural finish. Aspen is a soft hardwood, making it easier to work with while still providing adequate durability for most household uses.


  • Affordability: Aspen is less expensive than many other hardwoods, making it a budget-friendly choice.
  • Light Finish: Its pale color can brighten up cabinetry and works well in contemporary and minimalist designs.
  • Workability: Aspen is easy to cut and shape, making it ideal for custom drawer boxes.

Expert Tip: Aspen is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a balance between cost and functionality, especially for areas that don’t require heavy-duty drawer use.


walnut drawer box

Walnut is a premium hardwood that adds a touch of luxury and sophistication to any space. Known for its rich, dark finish, walnut drawer boxes are both durable and stunning.


  • Elegance: Walnut’s deep, chocolate-brown color and distinctive grain patterns exude high-end appeal.
  • Strength: Walnut is a strong, durable wood that can handle frequent use without showing signs of wear.
  • Versatility: Its unique appearance can enhance traditional, rustic, and contemporary designs.

Expert Tip: Use walnut drawer boxes to add a touch of elegance and luxury to high-visibility areas like kitchens and living rooms.


Melamine Drawer Box with Doweled Construction in White

Melamine is a highly durable and easy-to-clean material, perfect for functional drawer boxes. Melamine is a type of laminate material bonded to particleboard or MDF, available in a variety of colors, including white.


  • Durability: Melamine is resistant to moisture, stains, and scratches, making it ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Its smooth, non-porous surface is easy to clean, requiring minimal upkeep.
  • Color Options: Melamine comes in various colors and finishes, allowing for customization to match your decor.

Expert Tip: Opt for melamine if you need drawer boxes that are low-maintenance and highly durable, especially in environments prone to spills and high moisture.

Selecting the right material for your custom drawer boxes ensures they not only look great but also stand the test of time. Whether you choose the strength of 9 Ply Birch, the elegance of walnut, or the practicality of melamine, each material has unique benefits tailored to different needs and preferences. Consider your specific requirements and usage scenarios to make the best choice for your cabinetry. For further assistance, reach out to our team at CabinetNow for expert guidance and support in choosing the perfect material for your custom drawer boxes.

3. Construction

The construction of your drawer boxes is vital for their strength and durability. Two common types of construction are:

dovetail drawer box

  • Dovetail Construction: Known for its interlocking joints, dovetail construction offers superior strength and durability. This method is ideal for high-usage areas like kitchens and offices.

dowelled drawer box

  • Doweled Construction: This involves gluing and pinning with dowels, which provides a solid, cost-effective option for drawer boxes.

Expert Tip: At CabinetNow, we recommend dovetail construction for its durability and superior strength, especially for custom kitchens, bathrooms, entertainment centers, and offices.

4. Drawer Glides

drawer glides

Drawer glides are crucial for the smooth operation of your drawers. There are several types of glides to choose from:

  • Side-Mount Glides: Mounted on the sides of the drawer, easy to install, and provide good stability.
  • Under-Mount Glides: Installed underneath the drawer, hidden from view, offering a cleaner look.
  • Center-Mount Glides: Mounted in the center of the drawer bottom, ideal for light-duty applications.

Expert Tip: Choose glides that match the weight capacity and usage of your drawer. For heavy kitchen drawers, side-mount or under-mount glides are recommended for their durability and support. Please note does not sell hardware. We recommend checking out for hardware necessities including drawer glides.

5. Custom Options for Drawer Boxes

When choosing custom drawer boxes, several options are available to enhance both their functionality and appearance. These options allow you to tailor the drawers to fit your specific needs and preferences, ensuring that they not only look great but also perform exceptionally well in everyday use.

Notching for Guides

Notching for Guides is a feature that allows for the seamless integration of drawer guides. This ensures that your drawers operate smoothly and efficiently.

  • Functionality: By notching the sides or bottom of the drawer box, the guides can be installed in a way that ensures they are perfectly aligned. This prevents the drawer from wobbling or getting stuck, providing a smooth glide every time you open or close the drawer.
  • Expert Tip: For kitchens and high-use areas, notching for guides is particularly beneficial. It enhances the durability and performance of the drawer, ensuring it can withstand frequent use.

Front Scoop Option

Front Scoop Option involves adding a scoop or cut-out to the front panel of the drawer. This modification can be particularly useful in deep drawers where it might be challenging to reach the contents at the back.

  • Accessibility: The front scoop makes it easier to grab and access items, especially in drawers used for storage of bulky or numerous items.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: The scoop can be designed to complement the overall look of the drawer, adding a unique and functional design element.
  • Expert Tip: Consider adding a front scoop for drawers that will be used to store items that you need to access frequently. It can make a significant difference in usability, especially in places like kitchens, bathrooms, and offices.

Other Custom Options

Beyond notching for guides and front scoops, there are additional custom options you can consider to further tailor your drawer boxes:

  • Finishing Options: Select from a variety of finishes to match your cabinetry and interior design. Whether you prefer a natural wood finish or a painted look, there are numerous choices available.
  • Divider Inserts: Custom dividers can be added to keep your drawers organized. These are particularly useful in kitchen drawers for utensils or in office drawers for supplies.
  • Soft-Close Mechanisms: Adding soft-close mechanisms to your drawer boxes can enhance the user experience by preventing the drawers from slamming shut. This feature adds a touch of luxury and extends the lifespan of the drawers by reducing wear and tear.

Expert Tip

When selecting custom options for your drawer boxes, carefully consider your specific needs and preferences. Notching for guides and front scoops are excellent features that provides that can significantly improve the usability and convenience of your drawers. Additionally, other customizations like finishing options, divider inserts, and soft-close mechanisms can further enhance both the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your cabinetry.

By thoughtfully choosing these options, you can create custom drawer boxes that not only meet your practical needs but also elevate the overall look and feel of your space. For more personalized advice and to explore all available options, reach out to the experts at CabinetNow.

6. Drawer Front

shaker drawer front

The drawer front is the face of your drawer box, contributing to the overall look of your cabinetry. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Alignment: Ensure the drawer front is aligned with the surrounding cabinet doors and drawer fronts for a uniform look.
  • Attachment: Use screws to attach the drawer front from the inside of the drawer box, ensuring a secure and clean installation.

Read our guide on How To Install New Drawer Fronts.

Expert Tip: For the best results, take your time during the alignment and attachment process. Small adjustments can make a big difference in the overall appearance. Ensuring that each drawer front is level and uniformly spaced will greatly enhance the visual appeal of your cabinetry, creating a professional and cohesive look.

By following these tips and paying attention to detail, you can achieve a beautifully aligned and securely attached drawer front that enhances both the functionality and aesthetics of your custom drawer boxes. If you need further assistance or professional advice, don't hesitate to contact our team at CabinetNow.

7. Installation

Installing drawer boxes

Proper installation is essential for the functionality and longevity of your custom drawer boxes. Follow these steps for a seamless installation:

  1. Attach Drawer Glides: Secure the drawer glides to the drawer box and cabinet, ensuring they are level and properly aligned.
  2. Insert the Drawer Box: Carefully slide the drawer box into the cabinet, checking for smooth operation and correct alignment.
  3. Attach Drawer Front: Position the drawer front and attach it securely, ensuring it is level and centered.

Read our guide on How To Install Cabinet Drawer Boxes.

Expert Tip: Use a level and clamps during installation to maintain precision and prevent misalignment.


Replacing your drawer boxes with custom options can greatly enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your cabinetry. By understanding the essentials—custom size, material, construction, drawer glides, custom options, drawer front, and installation—you can ensure a successful and satisfying upgrade. For the best results, follow the expert tips provided and take your time to measure accurately and install correctly. If you need further assistance, reach out to our team at CabinetNow for professional guidance and support.

Ready to transform your cabinetry? Start your custom drawer box replacement project today and experience the difference in quality and performance. Contact us for any assistance. Our team of cabinetry experts are here to help!