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Deciding on Shelf and Drawer Options for Custom Cabinets

Deciding on Shelf and Drawer Options for Custom Cabinets


When building custom cabinets, storage is definitely something you want to think about before going any further with your project. Both shelves and drawers play a significant role in organizing items and maximizing space. To build your cabinets, you’ll need to know what sizes you need for shelving and drawers alike.

Cabinets in The Kitchen

Custom kitchen cabinets require drawers for small utensils like silverware and measuring cups, while bigger drawers can come in handy for bowls, cleaning supplies, and more.

Cabinets in the Bathroom

For custom bathroom cabinets, shelves work great for towels and rags, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, etc. while drawers add convenient and concealed access to items you choose.

Access and Space Considerations

By determining what you need to store and how you want it to be stored, your new custom-built cabinets can keep the room clean and organized for faster access. That definitely comes in handy in thebathroom during the morning rush or perhaps during dinnertime in the kitchen. 

Here’s some helpful information to get you going on your custom-made cabinet adventure.

Wood Cabinet Shelves

Wood shelves have many material options so it is important to know what items will be placed on them and how much applied weight you’ll create. For lighter weight capacities, laminated shelves are more affordable since they are made from particle or fiber board and then covered on the surface with a laminate design. However, solid wood shelves in oak, cherry, walnut, etc. handle higher weight levels and resist moisture better.

When it comes to wood strength, oak and hickory are two of the strongest woods that you can choose from for cabinet shelving.

Wood Options for Custom Cabinet Shelves include:

  • Red oak
  • White oak
  • Cherry
  • Hickory
  • Maple
  • And more
  • Wood shelf depth also plays a big role in strength and durability so choose your custom cabinet depths carefully. The deeper the shelves go, the more they are prone to bending, warping, and breaking. To bend and warp, shelves don’t need much weight on them, if any. They can also break if someone climbs on them so consider that if you have children in the household. You’ll want strong wood shelves to handle the applied pressure, as well as the temperature changes.

    Custom Cabinet Drawer Styles and Options

    When it comes to cabinet drawers; the material, design, and size are big determining factors in how your custom cabinets will be built. Bigger drawer depths are nice for extra space, but can lead to function failures earlier than drawers that are less deep. The bigger sizes require more force and effort, but they do hold more items. In addition, their width carries the same factors.

    Depending on what you plan to use your custom- made cabinet drawers for, it may be better to split the cabinet space into 2 smaller drawers.

    Using solid wood materials is typical for custom made drawers and the same options for shelving apply here too. Hickory and oak are the strongest over many other hardwoods and particle board is cost efficient, but less reliable and much less durable.

    For lightweight storage—and maybe small drawers—the particle board will work because it won’t have as much weight in it and won’t require as much effort or strength to open. However, it still won’t last as long so you want to take that into consideration.

    For more ideas and material options on drawers and shelves, has plenty of images and products to help get your custom cabinet design rolling. Feel free to have a look and enjoy. We’d be glad to answer any questions you have too.