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RE: Everything I Wanted to Know About Drawers... (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: angela12345 on 02.02.2013 at 02:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have posted this other places before, but I am going to try to consolidate it *all* in one place.

My kitchen cabinets from UltraCraft are semi-custom. LOVE them. They are Frameless cabinets that allow size modifications in 1/16" increments to height, width, and depth (or all 3) at no additional cost. So, go ahead and make your uppers 13" or 14" deep for those extra large mixing/salad bowls and charger plates, and maximize your storage space for example storing glasses 4 deep instead of 3 deep. Have deeper base cabinets. Make your toekick slightly shorter so you have an extra inch or two for more drawers height. Cut down on the fillers you need by making your cabinets the exact width you need them, instead of being forced to choose from 3" increments. I like that all my uppers are flat across the bottom (no frame/dividers between cabinets), so I could install one long plugmold and one long under cabinet light, then hide it all with lightrail at the front. Also, standard is Blum full extension soft close drawer glides, soft close doors, no charge for finished sides (like end of cabinet run), all dovetail drawers with fully captured bottoms, and bunches of other stuff is standard. 100 year warranty.
http://www.ultracraft.com/ Yep, I LOVE them !!!

Cabinet Decisions - I emailed this part to a friend recently, so am copying here ...
1. One of the first things to decide is what cabinet door overlay you want. Inset doors or overlay doors ? Inset doors sit inside of the cabinet box frame rather than attached to the front of the cabinet box. Overlay is further broken down into traditional overlay, partial / modified overlay, and full overlay and determines how much of the cabinet box/frame behind the door you want to show. The hinges can be exposed or concealed for all overlay styles except full overlay which only allows for concealed hinges. The overlay you choose will automatically knock out some cabinet options and cabinet mfgs who may not make that type of cabinet. (My cabinets are full overlay)
See ... http://www.hansoncustombuilders.com/questions3.html
And ...http://www.kraftmaid.com/learn/choose-right-cabinetry/door-overlays/

2. Then you want to decide on the cabinet boxes ... framed or frameless ? Some mfgs only make one or the other, but not both, so this will knock out other mfgs. Framed cabinets have a frame on the face of the cabinet box that the doors attach to and allows for inset doors as well as all 3 overlay styles (traditional, partial, and full overlay). On frameless, the doors attach directly to the cabinet box sides instead of a face frame. Frameless are typically full overlay, but inset is also possible. I think a small partial overlay is possible on frameless if you are using semi-custom or custom cabinets - you would order slightly smaller doors so a little of the cabinet box would show. Traditional overlay is not possible on frameless because the cabinet box sides are not wide enough to show the traditional 1"-2" of the face frame. (My cabinets are frameless)
See ... http://www.cabinets.com/FORM/THE BOX - construction.asp

The disadvantage of framed is you give up useable space in drawers/pullouts and ease of access on cabinets with doors. This is because the drawer or pullout has to clear the face frame that goes around the opening, so they are narrower from side to side and also shallower from top to bottom. In a small kitchen, the extra useable space from frameless could make a big difference. Estimates say frameless gives 10-15% more space, so 100 inches of framed would be 110 inches in frameless. To me, an extra 10 inches of drawer space is huge, especially when you don't have much to begin with !! Frameless cabinets with doors also offer easier access - there is no face frame creating a 1-2" obstruction on the left, right, and top inside the cabinet doors, also there is typically no center stile between double doors in frameless.

For full overlay doors, there is very little difference in the looks of framed vs frameless. From an exterior appearance standpoint, these cabinets will basically look alike. Because the doors are full overlay, you don't see much or any of the frame and would have to open the door or drawer to see if the cabinet was framed or frameless. For inset doors, the framed cabinets would have a wider frame around the door than the frameless cabinet would.

In the below two pics, the cabinet on the left is framed, and the one on the right is frameless. Looking only at the size of the opening, see how the drawer for frameless is wider from left to right and also has more open space from top to bottom. The useable drawer space is a couple inches more in each direction in the frameless. If they both had the same size full overlay exterior drawer face on them, they would look alike from the exterior. You would not be able to see the useable interior space until you opened the drawer. If they both had inset doors, the framed cabinets would have a much wider "frame" around the door and drawer.

3. The third thing to consider is the cosmetics ... the door style you like, the drawer style (slab/flat/plain drawer front or drawer front that matches your door style), as well as wood species (cherry, oak, maple, etc), and stain or paint colors, glazing, distressing, finish/sheen, etc. (My cabinets are slab drawer, raised panel door, cherry with a chestnut stain, no additional finishes or glazes)
This website shows just a few of the different door styles available ... http://www.cabinets.com/FORM/THE DOOR - style.asp

4. The fourth thing to consider is stock cabinets vs semi-custom vs custom cabinet mfgs. Stock cabinets are available in 3" width increments (cabinets have to be width of 12", 15", 18", etc), filler strips fill in gaps between cabinets and wall or appliances, you have to choose from the heights and depths they offer, and there are very few options available, which can be pretty pricey to add on. Semi-custom cabinets vary by manufacturer in what customizations and options they offer, but they offer many more options than stock and allow sizing modifications. With custom cabinets, there should be no limitations including drawings for non-standard items, custom molding profiles, door styles, alternate wood species, custom stains & finishes, construction, accessories and options. (My cabinets are semi-custom)

5. Finally, you want to consider the cabinet construction. Not that this is the least important ! It is one of the most important things. Pretty much all the other stuff is just the "pretty" stuff, LOL. This has to do with how well the cabinets are made - are the drawers stapled, dowelled, glued, dovetail ? What materials are the cabinets made of ? etc, etc.

Drawer depths
My bases are 24" deep bases and are all 20" useable interior from front to back. I'm pretty sure I could have (and definitely should have!) requested the drawers be an extra 1-2 inches deep to fill up the inside of the cabinet. I *think* the full extension glides would not have pulled out that extra inch or so, but I could have lived with that !! I could have fit my 8qt stock pots 2 deep front to back in the drawer instead of having to offset them slightly in the drawer if I had even an extra 1/2".

Some people choose to have their base cabinets deeper from front to back for a number of different reasons, for example to make the front of the cabinet even with the front of the refrigerator so the standard fridge looks like a built in/counter depth. Or they may want a larger countertop work surface. This can be accomplished by using deeper base cabinets or by using standard 24" deep bases and installing them a couple inches out from the wall then covering the full space with the countertop material. If you want to do this and order deeper bases, be sure to specify the drawers are deeper from front to back as well ! Some mfgs will still only install the standard depth drawer even though the cabinet box is larger.
(in pics below, my two standard $500 ea fridges look counter depth by recessing the wall behind the fridges only)

Drawer Heights
You can get a number of different drawer combinations ... for example two drawer could be 6-24 or 15-15, three drawer could be 6-12-12 or 6-9-15, four drawer could be 6-6-6-12 or 6-6-9-9, five drawer could be 6-6-6-6-6. These are just examples of size combinations ! I have even seen linens in 8 shallow pullouts behind doors in one base cabinet.

The height of my drawer fronts do not line up all the way around the 4 sides of my kitchen, but do line up when you are looking at any one section at a time. I have 2 stacks together that are 6-12-12 separated by a stove. On the opposite corner of the kitchen are 2 stacks that are 6-6-9-9. What helps is that my stacks are caddy-cornered across the kitchen with appliances and base cabinets with doors separating them ... it would be very hard to look in any direction where you could see the "mis-matches" at one time. Some people have drawer stacks right next to each other where the drawer heights do not 'line up' and others have all the drawer bases in their entire kitchen with the exact same horizontal lines all the way around.

My one advice ... find out the interior useable height of your drawers ahead of time. My Ultracraft cabinets are frameless so have more than framed would. They have undermount glides. On the 6-12-12 stacks, the useable interior drawer height is 4, 10.5, 9.5 (top to bottom on stack). Where this becomes an issue ... I wanted to store all of my pans, pots, etc vertical on their edges in the drawers so they wouldn't have to be stacked. The middle 10.5" drawers are tall enough for all of the casserole/baking dishes and pie tins, the roasting pan, and almost all of the pans, pots, and lids to stand on edge (the 9.5" drawers are not tall enough for a couple of those items to stand on edge). Both height drawers are definitely tall enough for all of the big pots (even the 8qt stockpot) that I own, except for the huge "canning" pot which is on the top shelf of one of my 15" deep uppers.

Obviously, neither drawer is tall enough for my 12" pans/skillets to stand on edge (arrggh!). I have really been struggling with how to store these. Right now I have them flat in the bottom of the 9.5" height bottom drawer. Big waste of real estate !! I wish I had a shallower drawer I could put the big skillets in, like 6-6-6-12 so the frying pans were flat in drawers 2 & 3 and the pots were in the bottom drawer. Or even better(?!) if I had made my drawer heights 6-9-15 that would have given me 4, 7.5, 12.5 useable. My tallest 8qt pots are 7" tall, so all of them could have gone in the middle drawer and everything on edge could have gone in the bottom drawer (including the 12" skillets!). Google for images of drawers with pans on edge.

On the other side of the kitchen with the 6-6-9-9 stacks, the useable interior drawer height is 4, 4.75, 6.75, 7 (top to bottom). I use the top 6" drawers all around the kitchen for silverware, spatulas and all the other kitchen gadgets, in-drawer knife block, foil wax paper cling wrap and plastic baggies, potholders, dish towels, etc. All of those things fit with no problem in these drawers including the ladle and the box grater. The 3rd drawer holds all of the tupperware and is the perfect height for this - 6 would have been too shallow and 12 would have been too deep. The bottom drawer is where we currently keep the paper and plastic grocery bags until we carry them for recycling.

(note: the interior drawer heights listed above vary slightly for the bottom two 12" drawers, the top two 6" drawers, and for the bottom two 9" drawers because of an interior cross support and space to clear the granite without scraping at the top)

ALSO: the drawer face to interior useable space ratio will be DIFFERENT depending on if your drawer face is inset, partial overlay, or full overlay, and depending on if you have undermount glides or sidemount glides as catbuilder says above. For example on my 6-6-9-9 four drawer stack ... 1.5" counter + 6 + 6 + 9 + 9 + 4.5" toekick = 36" finished height. My useable heights are 4, 4.75, 6.75, 7 = 22.5" total useable height. I lose 1.25-2.25" useable height for each drawer.
Compare to quiltgirl above inset drawers ... 1.5" counter + 5.5 + 5.5 + 6.25 + 6.25 + 4.5 toekick (assumed) = 29.5". Are her cabinets shorter than mine ? No ! Add in between each of her drawers approx 1.25" face frame. She has undermount glides as well so her useable heights are 4, 4, 4.75, 4.75 = 17.5" total useable height. She only loses 1.5" useable height for each drawer face showing so it sounds like she is losing less, but she is also losing useable height in the face frame between each drawer which is why her total useable space is less.
This is FINE !! Nothing at all against her cabinets. They will be beautiful. And she knew she was going to lose space with the inset when she chose them, but chose to do it because inset is the look she loves.

Drawer widths
The maximum cabinet width my manufacturer will do for drawer bases is 36" wide. I have 4 drawer bases at 21", 32", 17", and 36" wide. The interior useable width of these drawer bases are 18, 29, 14, 33 wide, so 3" less than the exterior width in each.

Going around my kitchen ... first I have a 6" wide pullout broom closet. Next are two 30" wide fridge/top freezers. There are full depth cabinets above the fridges with an adjustable shelf. Then a 24" full height cabinet with pantry space at the top, MW, a single oven, and 6" high drawer under oven (4.5" useable height).

The 21" 3 drawer 6-12-12 is to the left of my stove. Top drawer holds knife block, sharpener, scissors, trivets, potholders. 2nd drawer holds baking dishes on their edge. Bottom drawer is basically empty - it has one 8qt stockpot. If my drawer heights had been 6-9-15 instead (did I say grrrr?), I would have used the middle drawer as a bread drawer and stored the bakeware on edge in the bottom drawer.

Next is the stove (Whirlpool GGE388LXS Electric Range w/Dbl ovens).

The 32" 3 drawer 6-12-12 is to the right of the stove. Top drawer holds spatulas, spoons, ladles, wood spoons, basting brushes, meat thermometer, etc - things that are used at the stove. 2nd drawer holds frying pans, the smaller pots (1qt 2qt 3qt), and lids all on their edges. Bottom drawer holds 8qt pots. Also, the 12" skillets with lids, splatter screens, and griddle are all stacked in one stack flat in bottom of drawer, Grrrrrrr. If they were in the drawer with the other frying pans instead of taking up real estate here, that lone 8qt pot in my other cabinet would have been here with the other pots.

Turn the corner and next is the first dishwasher and then a 36" sink base with Ticor S405D sink (70/30 double bowl). LOVE !!! <3
Turn the corner and next is a 36" wide all door base cabinet (no upper drawer) with full depth adjustable shelves. I use this base cabinet for all my small appliances - blender, beaters, toaster, George Foreman, elec can opener, etc. Next to this base cabinet is the second dishwasher, followed by an 18" prep sink base with a Ticor S815 14x15x8 sink, and an empty space for an ice maker which is where the trash can currently resides.

The 17" 4 drawer stack 6-6-9-9 sits between the trash area/future ice maker and the peninsula and is on the opposite corner of the kitchen from the other drawer bases. The top drawer holds foil, wax paper, cling wrap, plastic baggies, chip clips, and restaurant menus. The 2nd drawer is our "junk" drawer and has some of everything including screwdrivers, clothespins, matches, flashlights, sewing kit, lint brush, etc. The 3rd drawer holds medicine, bandaids, alcohol, peroxide, as well as dish towels and plastic utensils from takeout restaurants in a tub. The bottom drawer is for "tupperware without partners" - bowls and lids with no matches (haha!).

The 36" 4 drawer stack 6-6-9-9 forms the peninsula. The top drawer holds all eating utensils (silverware and kid utensils), serving utensils, chopsticks, handheld can opener, wine opener in a strategically easy-to-access location : ), etc. The 2nd drawer holds all the other kitchen gadgets that aren't to the left and right of the stove like shrimp deveiners, graters, whisks, rolling pin, pizza rolling cutter-thingy, mashers, salad tongs, etc, etc. The 3rd drawer holds tupperware with their matching lids. The bottom drawer holds paper and plastic grocery bags until we carry them for recycling.

I don't like lazy susans or corner cabinets, so in the blind corner is a 26" all door base cabinet that opens out the backside to where the barstools sit.

Handles
We went with the same size handle for all of our drawers and also only one handle in the center for all of the drawers, no matter what the width of the drawer. They are 4" wide. We maybe would have used different widths, but the ones we liked in the finish we wanted did not come in a bunch of widths. The cabinet guy said they would look fine and they do. We have slab drawer fronts and the pulls are centered top to bottom and side to side on each drawer. We used round knobs on all doors.

Drawer Organizers
We ordered the drawer divider channels from Lee Valley so we could completely customize the interior of our drawers. They often have free shipping on orders over $40.
www.leevalley.com/us/hardware/page.aspx?p=40168
Google for images - lots of gardenweb members have used these.
http://www.google.com/search?q=lee+valley+dividers+site:gardenweb.com& tbm=isch
Take inventory of the things you will be storing in the drawers & doors. Measure it all and plan ahead where things will go. From the FAQs that Buehl put together ... http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg010523449014.html

These are not my cabinets ... examples of pans stored vertically ...

This is my kitchen ...
 photo 4-5-11-kitchen.jpg
A note on our kitchen ... this home is a vacation rental oceanfront beach house with 8 bedrooms, 6 baths, that sleeps 26. Hence the 2 fridges, 3 ovens, 2 dishwashers. We had a large portion of our family here at Thanksgiving (32 people) and had like 7 or 8 women working to prepare the feast all at one time. Thank you Gardenweb for helping design a kitchen that WORKS !!!

This post was edited by angela12345 on Sun, Feb 3, 13 at 14:36

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clipped on: 04.30.2013 at 02:44 am    last updated on: 04.30.2013 at 02:44 am