How To Adjust Drawer Slides
Cabinets and drawers are often overlooked parts of the house. They need maintenance too, like your regular doors and windows. Most people only make adjustments to their drawers and cabinets when they’re being installed. Still, it’s recommended that you make adjustments every once in a while, especially after a year, since drawers have most likely shifted and expanded because of the weight it has accommodated over a certain period. Cabinets, especially wooden ones, also expand and contract due to heat and moisture.
Drawers are opened and closed by using drawer slides which are of different kinds. For example, there are the nylon plastic drawer slides, the side mount drawer slides, the under mounts, and the ball-bearing slide rails, and maintenance depends on the mechanism. So, how to adjust drawer slides?
The Adjustment Process
Drawer slides maintenance isn’t just putting oil on it to lubricate it and lessen squeaking. Here is a step-by-step process on how to adjust drawer slides.
- Take out your drawer and measure it. Buy a new set of slides depending on the type you have, so you won’t have to drill new holes in your drawer and cabinet. However, you only need to buy new ones if the old ones aren’t serving their purpose at all anymore.
- Check the slides installed on the sides or bottom of your drawer. Unscrew slightly and check if the slides are bent or misaligned. Once you’ve checked everything, put back the screws tighter and put a little lubricant on both parts of the slides.
- Tilt the drawer slightly and connect the two parts of the slides before putting the drawer in completely. This process will help you gauge if you’ve made the adjustment correctly. If the drawer still doesn’t fit well, remove it and check for the adjustment tabs or tilt adjusters, usually located at the inner end of the drawer slides connected to the cabinet. Manipulating these tabs will allow your drawer to tilt in either direction. Adjust accordingly.
- The fourth step on how to adjust drawer slides is a more complicated process. First, assess what direction you want your drawer to face. Next, adjust the slides on your drawer, which can be done by unscrewing them slightly and checking if they are bent or misaligned. Start with the slides installed inside the cabinet. Once you’re done, screw them tightly and check if they are wiggling. If they’re still moving when you handle them, even if you’ve screwed them on tighter, it’s time to check if your screws have lost their thread. Next, replace the screws that aren’t going in well. If the screws are still good, check if the drill hole has gotten bigger. This entails a more complicated process because you have to patch the hole up and drill a new one to fit the screw.
- If you have nylon plastic slides that are not working anymore, it’s time to buy new ones. Nylon drawer slides do not have replaceable parts. They’re the cheapest in the market, and it’s easier to buy new ones instead of figuring out what’s wrong with the old ones. You won’t need to drill new holes if you buy the same model because the new slides will have the same holes as the old ones. It’s also good to consider replacing your nylon sliders with steel ones, making your drawers easy to open. Drawers on steel slides can also accommodate more weight.
How to adjust drawer slides is a process you can do yourself, but if you’re not sure about what to do, there’s a professional that can handle it for you. These people are experts in cabinet and drawer installation, and adjusting your drawer slides for you is something that they do regularly for many homeowners. However, you don’t have to find a professional to make your adjustments for you forever. Instead, you can watch and learn how they do it, and you can also ask them questions so that you can do it yourself for future adjustments. They will also recommend the right tools and the proper lubricant to use and even brands you can try if you decide to change your drawer slides.