When it comes to choosing a drawer slide, there are a variety of factors to consider. In addition to the ease of sliding and the base material, the way the guides are mounted is an important factor. This rating determines the amount of weight the drawer can hold, ease of installation, and extension length. Here’s a breakdown of 5 of the most popular types along with the characteristics of each.
Bottom mount These guides have two rails mounted to the bottom of the drawer (one on each side). The slides are hidden from view and leave the drawer sides clutter-free. They are typically used in kitchens, bathrooms, and other rooms where storage is the top priority. Since they can support more weight, they are ideal for heavier loads and are generally full extension drawers (or very close to full extension), allowing you to easily pull out the drawer for cleaning or moving. This type of slide is very easy to install, making it a popular choice with many homeowners. Blum drawer guides are popular for bottom mounting options.
Central mount These install under the center of the drawer and extend from the front to the back of the drawer. They are invisible from the top and are light to medium weight (making them ideal for smaller drawers). Usually you cannot completely remove the door with this type of bracket. Antique furniture was typically made with a center mount sliding drawer, so you may notice this on certain antique furniture. The best part about the center mount drawer runners is that they are so easy to install.
Side mount Side-mount drawer slides are a very popular type of drawer slider often used in kitchens and bathrooms. In this type of slide, two rails are installed on both sides of the drawer. They are widely available in different lengths, materials, and weights, making it easy to find the right slides for your home. These slides are highly visible when the drawers are open and slightly reduce the width of the drawer. They can be used to support more weight than other types of slides, making them useful with larger loads.
European- European drawer slides are often used with frameless or front-framed cabinets as they are easy to assemble. They have an “L” shaped frame that mounts directly to the bottom of the drawer without any problem. In this type of slide, the hinge is completely hidden from the outside, which offers a professional and more modern look. These are generally quite inexpensive, making them a popular choice for home remodelers. Hettich drawer guides are popular for European epoxy options.
Ball bearing- Ball bearing drawer guides often replace popular center mount guides. Ball bearings allow easy use with minimal interruption or noise. Some models even allow you to press on the sides of the guides to completely remove the drawer from the base, allowing for easy portability when moving or simply cleaning the drawer. Other models are self-closing.
Understanding the benefits of the different types of drawer guides is very important to the DIY enthusiast. Aesthetics and load capacity are very important factors in the decision.