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Sliding Shelves Measuring Guide

Shelf Width

The dimensions we use are your cabinet's clear opening size. This is the clear space minus any intrusions such as hinges or door overlap. If you need a sliding shelf for a cabinet opening larger than 24" go to shelvesthatslide.com  Please measure your cabinet very carefully as we make the pull out shelves in 1/16" increments to exactly fit the dimensions that you provide. We will adjust your cabinet dimensions to allow for our sliding shelf hardware. If you are ordering two or more shelves for one cabinet note that the shelf size may vary. If your bottom slide out shelf needs to be smaller for hinge clearance the upper sliding shelf will probably be larger since the hinge will not interfere at the higher location. If you have frameless "Euro" style cabinets please see the Special Euro instructions

 Shelf depth

Sliding shelves come in depths from as small as 12" ( actual size 11 3/4" ) to as large as 26" (25 3/4") in 2" increments. As you can see from the previous examples the actual sizes for the roll out shelves are 1/4" less than the listed size. A standard kitchen cabinet uses a 22" sliding shelf and a standard bathroom takes a 20" pull out shelf. To measure for pull-out shelves simply check the depth from the inside edge of the cabinet face frame (the back side) to the back wall of the cabinet. Watch out for any protrusions such as pipes or electric wires or outlets and adjust the size accordingly. Sometimes it is better to make a pullout shelf that is not as wide but can then be full depth rather then a sliding shelf that is full width but 3" to 4" shorter. If you have a no shelf (see below) installation (rear socket) and there is an obstruction such as a pipe that means a shorter shelf you can request that we use longer slides on a shorter shelf so that the sockets will reach the back wall. The maximum difference in size is 4", in other words we can mount a 16" deep sliding shelf on slides up to 20" deep but not any deeper. 

Existing Shelf Type

There are three potential mounting types for a sliding pull out shelf. The most common and easiest installation is on to an existing full shelf. You can also use an existing half shelf (the 6" to 12" shelf that is in the back of most newer cabinets). The final installation type is when you have no existing shelf to mount to and there are two options for mounting a sliding shelf in this situation.

Floor Mount - 4 L brackets    08020003.JPG (1258218 bytes)

The floor mount option is pretty much as it sounds. It is mounting to an existing shelf either permanently mounted or on adjustable hardware, or when you are mounting to the bottom of the cabinet. This is perhaps the easiest installation available and also the strongest. When you order the floor mounting option the drawer slides that we send will have four "L" brackets attached and these "L" brackets are secured to your existing shelf or cabinet floor. We use a specially made bracket that is designed for pull out shelf installation. If your cabinet has adjustable shelves any plastic support hardware should be replaced with metal hardware. You should be able to find metal support clips for your cabinet at any home improvement or hardware store. It is also necessary to secure the back of adjustable shelves so that they can not tip up when the sliding shelf is extended. This is accomplished simply by inserting a couple of screws in the back or side walls of your cabinet with the heads of the screws protruding enough to hold the shelf down and prevent tipping when the slider is extended. 

Half Shelf - 2 brackets    08020013.JPG (1226301 bytes)

Many newer cabinets come with a half shelf. This is a shelf that is usually 6" to 12" deep at the back of the cabinet. You will use this half shelf to secure the back part of the sliding shelf while the front of the sliding shelf hardware will attach to the cabinet face frames. This option is only available with the standard 3/4 extension slides. The slides will have two "L" brackets in the rear to attach to your half shelf. If there are doors or hinges that protrude into the cabinet be sure to let us know the difference between the cabinet face frame dimension and the clear cabinet opening so we can include the proper spacers. In other words if you have a 15" opening and the shelf needs to be 14 7/8" because the hinge sticks out 1/8", we can include a 1/8" spacer for you to put between the slide and the cabinet face frame. The spacers are available in 1/8", 3/8" and 1/2". This installation is very solid as long as the face frames are a hardwood and not a particle board. We suggest reinforcing particle board face frames with a hardwood piece placed vertically or installing a full stationary shelf to mount the pull out shelf to. Make sure the half shelf is secure so that it will not tip up when the sliding shelf is extended. See full shelf section for tip on screws in the back wall.

No Shelf

Just as it sounds the no shelf installation is for locations where you want to install a Pull Out Shelf and there is no existing shelf. We do not recommend no shelf installations for locations where a significant amount of weight is involved such as pantries with the exception of Euro style cabinets. It is a very acceptable installation for bathroom cabinets where weight is not a factor. There are two types of no shelf installations. The first is with rear mount sockets. Plastic sockets are mounted to the end of the sliding hardware and are attached to the cabinet's back wall. The front of the slide is attached to the cabinet face frame as with the half shelf installation. The plastic socket method is only available with the standard 3/4 extension slides. The second method of installing with no shelf is to side mount. Spacers are used to attach the slides directly to the cabinet sidewalls. The sidewalls must be thick enough so that the screws do not protrude to the outside. If you are installing a series of shelves in one cabinet it may be better to cut a piece of wood the same thickness as the fill needed. If this wood is mounted vertically from the base of the cabinet up the installation can be very sturdy and support higher weight items such as canned food in a pantry. The same requirements for measuring apply for the no shelf install as they do to the half shelf installation. Make sure to order the spacers that you need when placing your order.

Slide Type

There are two types of slides available with our shelves, 3/4 extension and full extension. In our daily business of installing pull out shelves it is very rare that we recommend full extension slides. We look at it as money wasted. The standard 3/4 extension slides extend far enough to bring the items in the back of the cabinet out to where the front items usually are. The only time we recommend  full extension slides is for canned foods in a cabinet with the shelves spaced so tightly that the full extension slides are the only way to access the back cans on the shelf.

Euro Cabinets

Commonly referred to as frameless cabinets, Euro style cabinets do not have the cabinet face frame that is so common to American cabinetry. With Euro style cabinets the cabinet sidewall is covered by the closed door instead of being trimmed out with a hardwood face frame. With no face frame there is no space for the standard L bracket on the side of the cabinet opening that does not have a door. The easiest installation for Euro style cabinets is with special 1" spacers and screws. Theses spacers are designed to attach to the predrilled holes in your cabinet sidewall used for adjustable shelves. If you have two doors on the same cabinet measure the exact inside width of your cabinet and subtract 2". If your cabinet has one door subtract 1" from the exact inside cabinet dimension. Order your shelves as side mount and request the Euro spacers and screws for a one or two door cabinet. If you want you can use the L brackets for the bottom shelf or on top of a full shelf. Either order the shelf 3/16" smaller than the opening on cabinets with one door or remove the brackets from the slide and attach the slide directly to the cabinet sidewall on the no door side. If you have a cabinet with two doors there will not be a problem because there will be space for the brackets because of the door overlap and hinge clearance. 

Last modified: March, 2017  Copyright  2017 sliding shelves
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