A common goal in home design or redesign is to add storage space. Whether it’s adding cabinets or drawers, or any other general creative design measure, the aim is to make the best use of the space available.
This blog will narrow its focus to drawer space and what to look for in quality drawer design and construction. Quality-made drawers are important in every room and storage situation. The design choice determines the cost of a given project as well as long-term durability and aesthetics.
One factor to consider in drawer design is joint construction. The goal is to join corners of the drawer box itself in the sturdiest manner possible. Rabbet joints are the least costly. A rabbet is a two-sided notch, cut at the end of a board or running along its edge. Sized to accept another board that notches into it, it’s a simple way to join the corners of drawers. While popular, simple, and inexpensive, they can fail over time, causing the face of the drawer to separate from the box.
Dowel joint drawer boxes offer superior strength and durability over the rabbet joint, with wooden dowels and glue used to join corners. Dowel joints are standard in mid-range to high-end cabinet lines and may be offered as an upgrade option on other lines.
Even more durable, though, is the dovetail joint—the best option for joint construction. The strongest of the options, it has a large gluing area, is interlocking, resists being pulled apart, looks attractive, and holds together even without glue.
Drawer glides are also an essential factor in quality drawer construction.2 Glides are what allow a drawer to slide open and close. There are two main types. Side-mount drawer glides are the most basic and least expensive choice. While functional, their motion can be a little jerky and noisier than under-mount glides. Generally offered only in ¾ extension, the back section of the drawer typically remains hidden under the countertop and difficult to access. They are usually also rated for less weight than under-mount glides.
Under-mount drawer glides, in contrast, are of higher quality and are a standard feature on many mid-range and most high-end cabinet lines. Under-mount glides are quiet and smooth in comparison to side mount glides and can hold more weight. They often offer optional features including full-extension drawers that open further and soft-close drawers that shut silently.
Finally, an important aesthetic consideration is the drawer face construction. The face is usually designed to match the other drawers and cabinetry in a space. One-piece slab drawer fronts are generally found with less-expensive door styles but may include detailed edging that makes them appropriate for more elaborate designs. Five-piece drawer fronts are usually considered an upgrade and for those with higher budgets. These drawer faces provide kitchens with a significantly more decorative and distinctive look.
Regardless of visual preferences and budgets, to quantify expectations and guarantee long-term satisfaction, it’s important to enter drawer design well-armed with knowledge about quality construction.
Genesis Products believes that our clients deserve quality products. As a material and parts supplier, we want our customer partnerships to be based on the confidence that they are purchasing only the most durable and dependable products available from a company they can trust.
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