Did you know that you can buy just the cabinet drawer box? Often, we live with drawers that stick or require a “special touch” to open, because replacing cabinetry can be expensive and requires a certain level of skill. However, replacing just your drawer boxes can be a more budget-friendly, and easier, solution to these frustrations.
Often, drawers can stick if their slides or glides have become damaged, or the drawer box itself is beginning to break down. The problem is then, how to determine what you need to replace and what can be kept. The first step is to go to the drawer in question and pull it open.
For example, I have a drawer at my house that gives me nothing but headaches. It is difficult to open and normally I have to lift it up in order to open or close the drawer. When I inspected the issue further, I realized that the drawer box had actually come out of its slides. This then caused the bottom of the drawer box to become caught on the cabinet box, ultimately pulling apart.
For a temporary fix, I used wood glue to reform the box, but a full fix will require a new drawer box and new hardware. And so, in this article, we are going to take a look at how you can locate the cause of the problem and a solution.
Drawer Boxes and Drawer Fronts
Before you can diagnose a problem, you need to first understand its anatomy. There are two likely configurations for your drawer. The first is that it is a separate drawer front and drawer box.
This means that the drawer front screws onto the box, which has the hardware attached to it. On the other hand, you may have a three-walled box with the drawer front acting as the fourth wall.
As you begin working, hang on to anything that is getting replaced but is still usable. There are a lot of creative DIY projects you can do to reuse your old drawer box.
Separate Box and Front
If your drawer box is separate from the drawer front, then you are in luck. This means that if you want to reface your drawer, it is as simple as unscrewing one front and attaching the other. Or, if you are upgrading your undermount drawer glides, then you would just remove the old and install the new.
Finally, if you trading out an older plywood box for a newer, dovetail drawer box, then you would follow similar steps of removing the front and hardware one box and attaching it to the new box. Granted, this is if non of the sizes change. If your box size needs to change, like if you switch to side mount slides, then you will need to do some adjustment.
Box and Front Combination
If your drawer front is acting as the 4th wall for your box, then you may have a bit more work to do. If your hardware is causing the issues, you are in luck, as the hardware can simply be replaced. When it comes to replacing the front or box, you will a bit more to do.
For the front, you will need to trim the faux “4th wall” to be flush with the rest of the box. Then reinstall the box in the cabinet, so that the former front is now the back. Then, screw the new drawer front onto the former back of the box.
Unfortunately, if the box needs to be replaced, you will need to either order a similar style drawer box or purchase a separate drawer front and box for the job.
Replacing Your Drawer Box
Once you know what you need to replace, it is time to get ordering. It is important to measure precisely so that whatever you are ordering will fit right into place. If you have the drawer box and front combination mentioned above, then you will need to measure for a new drawer front. While this may sound difficult, it is actually the same as measuring for custom cabinet doors.
This means you will need to measure the opening of your cabinet box, and then add or subtract based on if you want inset or overlay cabinets. Check out our door measuring guide for more information.
Measuring for A new Drawer Box
If you have a separate box and front and need to replace just the drawer box, then the first step is to remove the hardware and front from the box. Next, grab a measuring tape, pen, and a notepad. Remember to record your measurements to the nearest 1/8th inch in width x height x depth format.
If your replacement box will be the same size as the old one, then you will simply measure each dimension from the outside. However, if your new drawer box needs to be a different size, then you will need to do some math. Again recording measurements to the nearest 1/8th inch in width x height x depth, measure the cabinet box opening.
Be sure to check the hardware manufacturer’s recommendations for clearance, but generally, it is around 1” for the depth, ¾” for the height, and if you have ½” walls on your drawer box, ⅝” from the width. Again, it is important to check with the manufacturer of your slides or glides for their recommended clearance before ordering. To learn more about measuring drawer boxes, check out our drawer box measuring walkthrough!
Construction Types For Drawer Boxes
Now that you have your sizes down, it is time to order your new drawer box. At CabinetNow, we offer two different construction options, as well as 5 different material options. The material options are as follows:
The material you choose will likely depend on the current materials used in your kitchen and your needs for the box. For the construction methods, we offer dovetail and dowelled construction. Dowelled construction offers a budget-friendly option that can still satisfy your needs.
However, the dovetail construction offers the highest strength due to the interlocking joints. In order to make the best choice, consider the amount, weight, and organization of what will be stored in the particular drawer.
You can learn more about the specifics of our drawer boxes at CabinetNow, by watching our drawer box video on Youtube.
And just like that, you are on your way to fixing that drawer that always seems to ruin your day. The most important thing to remember as you complete this project is to measure your box or cabinet at least twice. It can be extremely easy to incorrectly measure or misread the measuring tape, which can lead to wasted time, materials, and money. And so, if you have any reservations about the sizing it is best to reach out to a professional.
If you are ready to start ordering or if you need assistance, please feel free to call us at 1-855-669-5222 or send us an email at email@example.com. Our team of cabinet experts is here to help with everything from measuring to ordering.