Installing side mount drawer slides into an existing cabinet is a bit of a challenge. Follow these steps to make the job a bit easier.
Step 1: Measure the width of the drawer and the cabinet opening to ascertain that the cabinet opening is 1 to 1-1/6 inches wider than the drawer. If the opening is too wide, a board can be installed along the full length of the cabinet to compensate for the difference.
Step 2: Measure the length of the drawer and the depth of the cabinet. The drawer should be 1/2 inch shorter than the depth of the cabinet.
Step 3: Purchase drawer slides that are equal to or slightly shorter than the length of the drawer.
Step 4: Use a metal square and a level to draw a line along both sides of the cabinet where the drawer slides are to be mounted. Make sure the lines are level and parallel.
Step 5: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and separate the drawer portion of the left-hand slide from the cabinet portion of the slide.
Step 6: Position the cabinet portion of the slide over the left-hand guide line drawn inside the cabinet so line shows through the screw holes of the slide.
Step 7: With the front portion of the slide flush with the front portion of the cabinet, screw the slide into position.
Step 8: Repeat the process with the opposite slide, confirming that the slides are both level and flush with the cabinet front.
Step 9: Insert the drawer portion of the slides into the mounted cabinet portion of the slides. Confirm that they slide freely.
Step 10: Place two 3/16-inch-thick shims on the lip of the drawer opening and set the drawer into position. The shims should hold the drawer above the base of the cabinet, centered and in proper position.
Step 11: Slide the drawer and the drawer portion of the slides out a few inches. Position the fronts of each drawer slide 1/16 inch back from the cabinet face.
Step 12: Install the first screw through each drawer slide, into the drawer side.
Step 13: Pull the drawer out to expose the second set of screw holes and install the second screws.
Step 14: Remove the drawer and finish installing the rest of the screws.
Step 15: Reinsert the drawer into the cabinet and make any necessary adjustments to ensure smooth operation.