How To Install New Drawer Fronts
Installing drawer fronts can be the most challenging part of any kitchen cabinet refacing project. You can buy the best premium cut plywood cabinet boxes and drawer boxes, but if you do not install your drawer fronts correctly you will end up with uneven spacing and crooked placements.
There are many ways to install new drawer fronts but CabinetNow has found the easiest way to ensure your drawers will turn out beautifully and you will get your money’s worth! We have curated these detailed steps and tips for installing your new drawer fronts.
Before You Install: Measure Twice, Cut Once
Before installation, you will need to take precise measurements for your drawer boxes, then you will be able to measure for your drawer fronts. Our motto is measure twice, cut once because once we have your exact measurements, our job is to cut them precisely and ship it directly to you. Once you have your drawer boxes measured out, then you will be able to measure for drawer fronts based on your desired overlay.
If you need assistance with measuring, please fill out our custom cabinetry request form to get connected with a designer who can help you with everything from measuring to ordering.
- Measuring tape
- Two-sided foam tape or clamps
Step 1: Drill Pilot Holes For Screws In Drawer Box
The first step is to predrill holes for your screws from the inside of the drawer box. You want to drill these holes on the outer edges of the drawer box face. For larger drawers, use two screws for each side of the drawer face.
If you are installing a shaker drawer front with a flat center panel, you may need to drill the pilot holes at an angle to ensure the screws bite into the rail of the drawer front and not the center panel.
Or you can use Kolbe Korners and special screws to make sure the drawer faces are secure. If you use Kolbe Korners and screws, no holes or screws will be drilled from the inside of the drawer box because these are mounting brackets that you will need to predrill through the holes of the brackets.
Step 2: Position The Drawer Front
You have two options for how to position your drawer fronts before you drill in the screws.
- Apply 2 sided foam tape to the face of the drawer box. Position the tape so that the rails of the drawer front stick to it. Press the drawer front firmly into position on the drawer box face. Ensure the drawer front is aligned exactly where you want it before applying pressure.
2. The second option is to use clamps to secure the drawer fronts, flush to the drawer box and tighten on both sides so it will not move before you start screwing.
Use a level to ensure the drawer fronts are even.
Step 3: Have Your Spacer Intact
Use at least a ⅛” spacer between each drawer front or cabinet door you are about to install. Allowing at least a ⅛” space between your drawers and cabinet doors will allow enough room to open and close your cabinets. Repeat the process for the rest of the drawer fronts making sure they stay aligned with both the cabinet door and drawer front below.
Door bumpers or wood fill strips are good options for spacers and are easy to remove when installation is complete. Repeat the process for the rest of the drawer fronts making sure they stay aligned with both the cabinet and drawer front below.
You can add more space depending on your desired overlay. Choose your spacer width depending on the desired amount of space you want between your cabinets in which you will already have decided because your desired overlay is factored into your drawer front size. The industry standard overlay is ½.”
Please consult with your designer if you are not sure what your overlay or spacing is to ensure you install your fronts correctly.
Step 4: Screw The Drawer Front Into Place
Carefully open the drawer box and drill the screw in from inside the box through the pilot hole and into the back of the drawer front applying pressure to the face of the drawer so that it doesn’t move.
As pictured, you can see I am drilling at an angle to ensure the screw goes into the rail of the shaker drawer front.
Step 5: Double Check
When finished, the drawers should be level and spaced evenly with a consistent gap between them. Use your spacers to ensure they are evenly spaced and a level to ensure they are evenly aligned. If needed, you can adjust using a screwdriver to tweak anything off.
Enjoy Your New Drawer Fronts!
Woohoo! Everything should be even and ready to go. If you are ready to start ordering new drawer fronts, contact our cabinet experts for help with everything from measuring to ordering.