How to Install Soft Close Drawer Slides

Part 1. Clearing and Measuring the Drawer
1. Empty and remove the drawer. Take everything out of the drawer. Pull the drawer all the way out of the cabinet and set it aside. Most drawers will pop out if you pull them back. If this doesn’t work, you may need to undo a latch or screw on the drawer’s.

The latch or screw will be located near the back end. Pull the drawer out as far as possible.
2.Unscrew the slides from the drawer and cabinet. Use a screwdriver to remove the existing hardware. The hardware will always be a couple of slide pieces attached with screws. Depending on the type of slide you have, the metal track will either be underneath or on the sides of the drawer. The other half will be in a similar location inside the cabinet.
      The slides will attach with at least one screw each on the front and back ends.
      You may need to press down clips located on the slide tracks to unlock them. These will come off when you unscrew the slides.
3.Measure the drawer length with a tape measure. Measure the length of 1 of the old slides. Drawer slides come in a few different sizes. To ensure you get what you need, measure the drawer before purchasing new slides.[2]
      If you do not have a slide available, you can measure the drawer or cabinet from front to back.
      The standard slide length is 14 in (36 cm). However, deeper cabinets will have longer slides.
Part 2.
1. Align the smaller slide against the bottom of the drawer. Lay the drawer on its side. The slide needs to be flush against the drawer’s bottom edge. The slide’s thicker, squared end should be flush with the drawer’s front edge.[3]
      Undermount slides attach to the bottom of the drawer, one each on the left and right edges.
      For center mount slides, use 1 per drawer. The slide attaches to the bottom of the drawer, running from front to back along the center.
2. Mark the slide placement in pencil. Draw directly on the drawer. Create a thick, dark line right above both ends of the slide. Also mark the spots where the slide will be screwed to the drawer.
      The slide will have a screw hole at both ends.
3. Predrill holes into the drawer. Get an electric drill with a drill bit approximately 2⁄3 in (1.7 cm) wide. Drill about 1⁄2 in (1.3 cm) into the screw spots you marked earlier.[5]
      Drilling the holes in advance prevents damage to the cabinet when you add the screws later.
4. Screw the slide to the drawer. Set the slide back on the drawer. Align its top edge with the mark you made earlier, adjusting the slide so the holes are over the spots you drilled. Place a 1⁄2 in (1.3 cm) screw in each hole. Fasten the slide in place with an electric screwdriver.[6]
      To avoid damaging the wood, tighten the screws gradually. Stop when the slide feels firmly in place and doesn’t wobble.
5. Attach the slide on the other side of the drawer. Find the other small slide piece. Flip the drawer over so the other side is facing up. Then, line up and attach the other slide the same way you did with the first one.
Part 3.
1. Set the back brackets in the slide frame. Find the L-shaped metal brackets as well as the 2 remaining slide pieces. Fit a bracket into 1 end on each slide. The brackets easily slide into the frame track. The free ends of the brackets will attach to the cabinets with screws.[8]
      To make sure the bracket is placed correctly, test the frame pieces by fitting them inside the cabinet.
2. Align the slide frames with the bottom of the cabinet. Place the slide frame pieces inside the cabinet. Push the brackets all the way to the back. The frame pieces should be flush with the bottom edge of the cabinet and rest against the side walls.
      If you are using undermount or center mount slides, place the frame pieces on the cabinet’s bottom.
3. Use a level to straighten the frames. The frames need to be level from front to back. To check this, set a carpenter’s level on top of the frame. Reposition each frame as needed until the leveling tool is even from left to right.
      When using a bubble level, for instance, the bubble will move to the center of the level.
4. Mark the position of the frames with a pencil. Mark where the frames rest on the cabinet. You can draw directly onto the cabinet with a pencil. Create the lines right over the ends of both frames. Then, mark the spots where the brackets and rails will be screwed in place.
      Each bracket has 2 screw holes to mark. The rails will have at least 1 hole at the opposite ends.
      Make sure the lines are dark enough to see as you secure the rails.
5. Predrill holes into the wood. Drill into the spots you marked earlier. These holes prevent the screws from breaking or cracking the wood. Use a drill bit about 2⁄3 in (1.7 cm) wide to create holes about 1⁄2 in (1.3 cm) deep.
6. Screw the frame pieces in place. Set 2 1⁄2 in (1.3 cm) screws in each bracket. Use an electric screwdriver to secure the frame to the cabinet. Then, set another screw in the front end of the bracket to secure the slide in place.
      Gently install the screws and avoid making them too tight.
7. Fit the drawer into the cabinet’s slide frames. Line the drawer’s slide rails up with the cabinet’s rail frames. The drawer’s slides should fit in the frames. Push the drawer in to make sure it glides smoothly. If the pieces are installed correctly, the drawer will come to a gentle stop inside the cabinet.
      If something seems off, check to make sure the slides are even and level. You may need to readjust the screws.

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Nick Wang

Hi, I am Nick, the author of this post, have been in the drawer slides field for more than 5 years. If you have any questions about the drawer slides or drawer slides supplier, feel free to send me your questions.

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