Base Cabinet Fillers
How small can the fillers be on kitchen base cabinets? What about when a base cabinet butts to the wall, how small can the scribe piece be? What are the industry standard sizes for the filler pieces in kitchens and bathroom layouts?
When you are installing cupboards there are certain standards that you must follow. These perimeters are set in place mostly to make sure that cabinet drawers and doors operate correctly.
Base Cabinets in Corners
The standard size of the filler in corners for cupboards that have drawers that are not sliding in the area of appliances is three inches (3”). This same increment can be used for boxes that have doors only, but in these situations they may be smaller.
In some cases where there are just doors you can reduce the scribe size to one and a half inch (1-1/2”). Where there are appliances, such as the dishwasher or range, in some cases the size will need to be at least five to six inches wide.
Why do the corner fillers need to be three inches?
This allows enough room for the drawer to miss the handle or knob on the cabinet around the corner when it is being opened. Most cupboard handles are about one inch in depth. So, the calculation including the thickness of the door is about one and three quarters of an inch (1-3/4”). The additional one and one quarter inch is an allowance for if the corner is out of square or the handle or knob is thicker than the standard size.
Why is a base scribe supposed to be five to six inches in width?
If you have an appliance in the corner, you must allow enough room for the drawers to miss the dishwasher or range. The standard size for base cabinet scribe fillers where appliances are starts at about four and one half inches (4-1/2”). In some cases it will need to be larger. At times we have had to install a seven and a half inch wide filler in order for an appliance corner cabinet design to function properly.
When can a corner base cabinet filler be one and a half inches in width?
In kitchen or bathroom cabinet designs where there are no drawers in the corners to interfere with hitting anything, the scribe sizes can be smaller. The one and a half inch (1-1/2” standard cabinetry design measurement) dimension seems to work well for allowing the base cabinet doors to open to the full ninety degree position without hitting anything. When cupboards are installed against straight walls this dimension is generally acceptable.
What is the standard size for a base cabinet filler next to a wall?
If you allow one and a half inches you should be fine. This allows enough room for the cabinet drawers to miss the door casing and for the doors to open to a full ninety degree position.
How small can a base filler be next to a wall?
The thickness of the door casing will determine the minimum size of the base cabinet filler scribe. Here again your main concern is for the drawer to be able to miss the casing. Most standard door casing are three quarters to seven eighths of an inch thick. Remember that you must allow for a certain amount of “back-and-forth” slop in the drawer’s operation when installing cabinets next to door moldings. If you are not dealing with door casing or drawers in your cabinets, your filler can be smaller than one and a half inches.
Do the base cabinet fillers in the corner need to be the same size?
If you are designing your kitchen cabinets and you must have a large filler in the corner in order to miss the range or dishwasher, it’s not necessary to make the other filler the same size. You can have a five inch scribe and a three inch piece in a ninety degree corner. This is acceptable kitchen cabinet design standard practice.
For the most part you should try to keep things symmetrical and make the fillers the same size.
If you are drawing your cabinet layout or preparing to install your kitchen cupboards always check, double check and even do a triple pass over your plans to make sure that your fillers are the correct size.
There’s nothing more frustrating than opening a kitchen cabinet drawer and having it hit an appliance because the filler on the base cabinet was made the wrong size. The same frustration is encountered when a base cabinet filler next to the door casing was made too small and the drawer hits the casing.
Take your time because “haste makes waste.”