Basic tips for installing undermount drawer slides
By John Hamlin
April 8, 2022 | 1:26 pm CDT
cabinet stock image

Smooth sliding drawers are a key ingredient in quality cabinetry and case goods, and choosing a soft-close undermount slide is not only an operational but aesthetically pleasing choice. While there are a variety of brands available in the marketplace, this article provides some basic tips for installing concealed undermount drawer slides.

First off, calculate the thickness of the cabinet and measure the thickness of the material used for the drawer. These calculations will help figure out the required thickness of the drawer slides. Having a clear picture of the thickness of each component can help paint a better picture of the final assembly. Furthermore, a lot of drawer slides come with this specification listed and so it is easy to match the requirements and figure it out.

Once the slides are ready to be installed, it is important to consider the desired look. For concealed undermount slides, the bottom of the drawer inset should be kept around half an inch, which gives a nice clean look when the drawer is opened. The actual amount of inset can be calculated using the actual dimensions of the slides and drawer, but a half-inch should work in most cases. The drawer can have it already or the old ones might need to be modified based on the requirement.

Once the drawer orientation is determined, the required modifications must occur for the drawer. First, notches need to be made at the bottom to hold the slides. Holes must be drilled next so that the locator pins at the back can function properly. Once the notches and the holes are set up, the slider pieces are mounted on the drawer.

First the front clip is attached to the drawers, which will attach to the drawer slides once it is in the cabinet. The second part is to attach the drawer slides in the cabinet. Depending on whether there is an inset drawer front or overlay drawer front, the depth till which you put the slides in the cabinet changes. This depth depends on the actual size of the slides and cabinet and needs to be adjusted accordingly. There will be a click when the drawer closes completely; that signifies the drawer has been properly set up. Another trick is to set up the front pins to mid-height so they can be adjusted either way later on.

How the drawer will look when finished is important to visualize. This helps identify any potential problems during the operation and enables them to then be tackled during the installation itself.

To view related content from the author on concealed hinges, click here.

Source: John Hamlin is with Manufacturing Platform/Industrial Quick Search (IQS). For information call  visit

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