Adjusting Cabinet Drawer Fronts
I’ve been in hundreds of kitchens and bathrooms where the drawer faces were not aligned properly. How do you realign the drawer front when it is out of adjustment? One might think this should be a simple task, but very rarely is there a quick fix for something like this.
How did the drawer get out of adjustment in the first place?
There are seven reasons why your kitchen or bathroom drawers may not be aligned properly.
- The cupboards were not installed level, plumb or square
- The original cabinet installer didn’t take sufficient time to adjust the face correctly
- The hardware is failing
- Something is loose
- The drawer slides were not installed properly
- Something is stuck behind the drawer
- The drawer is not inserted into the slide mechanism correctly
If your slide hardware is broken, refer to this article, How To Change Drawer Slides.
How can I fix an out of alignment drawer when one side of the drawer doesn’t touch the cabinet side when it is closed?
First, check to see if there are bumper pads on both sides of the drawer. Next, check to make sure there are no utensils sticking out of the back.
Usually situations like this require using cabinet installation shims between the back of the decorative drawer face and the actual drawer. This is a trial and error process. Loosen all of the screws holding the face on, but do not take the screws completely off. Wedge a shim between the drawer front and the drawer face, on the side that has been touching the cupboard face when the drawer is closed. Break the shim off and close the drawer. Repeat the process until both sides of the drawer touch the cabinet face when the drawer is closed.
How can I realign a cabinet drawer that just looks crooked?
The first place to start is with the cabinet doors. Can make adjustments to the kitchen cabinet doors that will make the decorative kitchen or bathroom vanity drawer look straight? If not, barley loosen the screws holding the front on and tap it with the rubber end of a hammer in the direction that will correct the problem.
Another thing you can do is check to see if the drawer is resting in the drawer slide properly. Sometimes one side of the drawer is seated on the slide and the other is not. To troubleshoot, while the drawer is closed, press down on the decorative front on one side and then the other. If you notice that the one side moves and is not resting on the hardware properly, adjust the slide position on the inside of the cabinet up or down.
In extreme cases, you may have to remove the decorative front altogether. If this is the case, drill new pilot holes for different lock-down screw locations. You can refer to this article, Easy Way To Install Drawer Faces.
To realign an out of adjustment drawer correctly, you should take time to study the situation before loosening anything. In some cases, fixing an out of adjustment cabinet drawer could be as simple as taking the drawer out and then reinserting it into the hardware correctly.