Enough space for pull-outs in kitchen?

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Forum topic by JonC posted 11-16-2015 08:15 PM 856 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 923 days

11-16-2015 08:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pull-out shelf cabinet

I have built a some pull-out shelves in the kitchen cabinets, but they were for fairly wide cabinets. I would like to build some for my narrower cabinets.

Here is my dilemma: The shelves are 17 inches wide. Considering the face frame clearance. drawer slides, and mounting brackets, I would lose almost three inches of side clearance. So my pullout shelves would go down to about 14 inches wide.

That seems like a lot of space to lose. I realize this is a judgement thing, but I am wondering if anybody has experience with this or opinions about it. Is there a point where a cabinet is too narrow to do a pull-out drawer?

Thanks in advance.

7 replies so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2369 days

#1 posted 11-16-2015 08:39 PM

What about an undermount slide? I’m planning my kitchen remodel and we’re going to do some pull outs. I have one planned for a 15” cabinet, and that pull-out is going to be used to hold cookie sheets and cutting boards on edge.

I think it boils down to what plan on putting in it. Pots and pans? Too thin. Cookie sheets? Could be fine. You could always just go with a standard cabinet base without pull-outs, or you could spit it up into drawers. Do you have a mixer? They sell a lift kit that installs in a narrower cabinet base that holds a mixer, and pulls it out and up to countertop level. You could also make a pull-out shelf system that holds things like cooking oils, spices, etc.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1520 days

#2 posted 11-16-2015 10:12 PM

Jon, there’s nothing that can be done about the face frames. They will be somewhat in the way whether you use pull-out shelves or not. When pull-out shelves are pushed in, you could still have the same width available, the shelves just wouldn’t go all the way to the cabinet sides.

How about putting the slides on rails attached to the bottoms of the shelves ? Still vertical in orientation, the slides would mount to rails attached to the sides of the cabinet the width of the face frames. The shelf would be nearly as wide as the width of the face frame opening and you would only lose ((the width of the face frame + the width of the slides + the width of the under-shelf mounting rails) X 2) from the height underneath. Possibly nothing you would put underneath would be tall enough or immovable enough to interfere.

View splatman's profile


586 posts in 1398 days

#3 posted 11-17-2015 03:58 AM

Not sure if this is part of your situation, but is it a cabinet that has double doors, or a single?
If a double-door cabinet, you could take out the center stile, attach it to one of the doors, and you would now have now have an opening that’s twice as wide + the width of the center stile. Build your pullouts to fit. I revamped my Mom’s kitchen island cabinet just this way for her birthday last year.
Shure, you will need to fully open both doors to pull out the shelf, but it beats wasting the space behind the center stile.

View jerryminer's profile


923 posts in 1441 days

#4 posted 11-17-2015 07:56 AM

Yes, you will lose some storage space. But you lose the same amount of space in a 17” cabinet as you do in a 30” cabinet (assuming same face frame overlay etc.)

You gain convenience and lose some storage space. Judgment call, but while I have added pullouts to many existing cabinets, to the thrill of the owners, I have never been asked to remove the pullouts and replace with a shelf for the storage gain.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View JonC's profile


6 posts in 923 days

#5 posted 11-17-2015 05:26 PM

Thanks for the feedback. All good advice. Yonak, that is a cleaver idea.

In the end, I decided that I am just being unnecessarily uptight about the lost space and will just live with it. I also realized that with the current situation cabinet configuration, we have food that goes bad, because we can’t see it in the back. So the extra space isn’t doing us any good anyway.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4139 posts in 2309 days

#6 posted 11-17-2015 08:09 PM

Can’t help with your width problem. But I’d suggest using drawer instead of pullouts. When I did my kitchen I shi* canned all my roll out shelves in favor of drawers. It has worked out well and both the wife and I are so glad we whet that way.

Here’s why.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View rwe2156's profile


2926 posts in 1480 days

#7 posted 11-18-2015 11:27 PM

Once again, I find myself agreeing with AlaskaGuy.

In my kitchen build, I used frameless cabinetry and all the drawer-over-door units have pullout shelves.

Its apparent now that its a PITA having to open the door (or doors) then pull out the shelf, especially on wide units with 2 doors.

The inside of the door gets marred from the shelf scraping, and if you’re in a hurry and close the door before the pullout is all the way in, the door gets levered stressing the hinges.

Long story short, if I had it to do over again, I would go with drawers.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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