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Top Tips for Adjusting Your Cabinet Drawers

Mar 17, 2021
drawer knob

Over the years, kitchen cabinet drawers will need a bit of adjustment. This is normal “wear and tear,” and with all the pulling and pushing, kitchen cabinet drawers may become misaligned.

Instead of living with the aggravating rubbing and awkward closing or crooked drawer fronts, with a little knowledge you can adjust the drawers that are giving you a hard time. In a matter of minutes, you’ll have drawers that glide with precision and close properly!

modern kitchen with gray island and white cabinets

Issues with Your Kitchen Cabinet Installation

After your kitchen cabinets were installed, all drawers were adjusted in place by the cabinet installation team.

If you installed the kitchen cabinets yourself, you realized that, once the cabinets were hung and screwed in place, not all the drawers worked properly.

Or perhaps when you installed the cabinets tight against the wall and against one another, they were no longer square.

This is because not all kitchen walls are level and floors even. The cabinet installation slightly twisted the openings for the drawers. 

The other issue with kitchen cabinets is that, over time, drawers and other parts of the cabinet expand and contract due to moisture in the air and the weight of drawer contents. This will cause things to misalign as well.

For these reasons, kitchen cabinet drawers come with hardware that can be adjusted. Most of the time, with a few simple adjustments with a screwdriver, all these issues can be made right.

How to Adjust Drawers

Drawer guides mount a drawer to the cabinet.

There are different styles, but most drawer guides consist of a metal outer piece and inner metal piece with wheels that slide inside the outer piece and come standard on affordable kitchen cabinets.

The drawer guide is screwed to the back of the face frame and near the back of the cabinet. This helps the drawer to slide easily and supports the weight of the drawer and its contents.

Adjusting Crooked Drawer Fronts

Let’s say you notice a drawer front is crooked, like the left side is lower than the right side.

Pull the drawer a few inches out from the face frame of the cabinet to where you can see and get access to a small screw. Loosen the screw just a little. Don’t remove the screw.

With the screw loose, you can slightly raise or lower the left side of the drawer front until it’s level with the right side.

Holding the drawer front level, tighten the screw.

You may need to loosen screws on both sides of the drawer to set it level. If this is the case, ask someone to hold the drawer front level, and then tighten both screws on either side of the drawer.

Then shut the drawer and ensure that it’s straight.

cabinet drawer installation closeup of workers hand and furniture details.

Adjusting Drawer Tilt

Another issue with drawers is tilt.

If the tilt is off, the top of the drawer box could rub on the face frame when opening and closing the drawer. Sometimes the tilt can be just on one side. Most drawer guides control the forward or backward tilt of the drawer.

To make this adjustment, you need to fully pull out the drawer and adjust the screws that connect the drawer slides to the back of the drawer.

If the drawer is rubbing only on the right side, for example, loosen the screws and slightly lower that side of the drawer and tighten the screw. Then slide the drawer in and out to ensure you’ve properly made the adjustment correctly.

Keeping drawer fronts and drawers adjusted properly will make for a better working kitchen. Once you’ve learned the ins and outs of adjusting cabinet drawers, it will become second nature to you.

For more information on adjusting your kitchen cabinet drawers, call iCabinetry at 877 800-0420, or submit an inquiry through our contact form.

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