Can You Use Side Mount Drawer Slides As Undermount
Perhaps you are at home, working on a drawer construction project, and you only have side mount drawer slides, but you want your drawers to look seamless. You are thinking of using your side mount slides as undermounts instead, but you are not sure if it will work.
If you are wondering if you can use side mount drawer slides as undermount, the answers are yes AND no. Of course, if you are a professional who installs cabinets and drawers, you would say that using side mount drawer slides as undermount is not recommended. They are called side mounts for a reason because they are used on the sides of the drawer. Additionally, side mounts are built to carry a limited load, and if it is used as an undermount, there is a huge possibility that it might bend and malfunction. So for these professionals, the answer to the question “Can you use side mount drawer slides as undermount” will always be no.
However, DIYers would say that it is possible, and some have even posted proof of their DIY work online. They have been discussing this question on online forums, and a large part of the community agrees that it is a possibility. Some are sharing how they applied fundamental physics and used their side mount drawer slides as an undermount instead. Many projects have been successful, but a select few are saying that their projects failed after a few uses. Of course, it also depends on the weight you apply to the rails.
If, for example, your side mount drawer slides can only accommodate 100lbs, and you use it as an undermount, you would have to make sure that the drawer will not accommodate weight that would exceed 100lbs. Otherwise, your side mount drawer slides will fail to work.
Another factor that you might want to consider is that side mount drawer slides and undermounts have different opening capacities. Side mounts will allow you to open your drawers fully and even give you a little space to see the back of your cabinet where the drawer is installed. On the other hand, undermounts do not open fully since they are not made to carry a heavy load. Therefore, if you use side mounts as undermounts, there is a possibility that you might overestimate the weight it can hold. In addition, since it opens your drawer fully, the remaining bit of the slide rail at the end where it no longer supports the drawer might give up because the bulk of the weight is already in front.
Slide rails can be used as either side mounts or undermounts, but they are rare in the market. So your only choices are side mounts, undermounts, and the occasional centermount, which does not come with a pair. Instead, it is installed underneath the drawer, right in the middle. It comes with a small weight limit and is usually used for small drawers, rarely pull-out cabinets.
If you are still asking if you can use side mount slide rails as undermounts, you might want to consider a few things. First, go online and check the weight capacity of the side mount drawer slides that you have. Since you have to drastically reduce that if you decide to use them as undermounts, your next step is to do a little calculation. There is no need to worry since it is not rocket science, just a little basic Math for you to determine whether your side rails can function fully as undermounts. Third, you would have to install them properly and adjust your calculations to allow space underneath your drawer. You will need to allow a few millimeters to accommodate the slide rails since its thickness is designed for drawer sides, not drawer bottoms.
There are more things to consider when you decide to repurpose side mounts as undermounts. Keep in mind that the entire aesthetic of your project will change, and functionality will most likely be affected, especially if you forget that there is a weight limit. Still, the answer to using side mount rails as undermounts can always be a yes, if you can work around your considerations.