An innovation from centuries past, the center drawer slide continues to perform a crucial function—retaining a drawer in the cabinet while allowing access to its rearmost panel. Learn below how to install center drawer slides easily and effectively wherever you may need them in your home.
Key Measurements to Take
Measure the length of the drawer from its front inside frame to the rear panel. Measure the width of the cabinet frame as well, so you can center the drawer slide precisely in the frame. Mark the center point of the drawer front and back on the cabinet frame pieces. Lay the center drawer slide piece on these two marks and draw its width on the frame pieces, outlining both sides with a pencil. These are your alignment marks to install the center drawer slide.
Full-Length Drawer Slide Catch
The full-length drawer slide catch is made of the same kiln-dried wood as the drawer slide itself, and fits along the full length of the drawer slide. It supports the entire drawer much better than a slide catch mounted only at the back of the drawer. If it is made from the same high-quality wood as the center drawer slide, it will travel smoothly along the slide and last for generations. If it is poor-qualilty wood, it will swell and contract differently than the slide, making the drawer stick.
Rear-Mounted Drawer Slide Catch
You can also choose the plastic, rear-mounted drawer slide catch. Its advantages are its small size and ease of mounting onto the drawer. Many of these catches will support only a small amount of weight, however, so be cautious about the strength of the drawer to which you attach it. If the drawer is packed too full, the rear-mounted catch can pop off the slide or pull loose from the drawer bottom, damaging the drawer and its contents when they are pitched to the floor. If the center slide wood swells, this type of drawer catch can stick easily in any drawer position.
Installing the Center Drawer Slide
Once you have taken all your measurements and cut the center drawer slide to the correct length, you need to place and secure it in the exact center of the cabinet frame. Align the slide between the parallel pencil marks showing its width, at both the front and back of the drawer. Secure the drawer slide with screws every 4 inches. For a 22-inch drawer you will need five screws.
Installing the Full-Length Drawer Slide Catch
Mark the location for a full-length slide catch at the front and back of the drawer. Align the slide catch precisely with the center drawer slide, and fasten it snugly to the bottom of the drawer using 3/4-inch screws.
Installing the Rear-Mounted Plastic Drawer Slide Catch
Mark the rear drawer panel to install a plastic inverted catch just inside the rear cabinet frame. Line up the catch's wings with the grooves on each side of the center drawer slide. Mark the outside edges of the catch on the bottom of the drawer. Affix the plastic slide catch to the drawer with 1/2 or 3/4 inch screws as is suitable for the thickness of the drawer bottom. Make sure no screw points pierce through the drawer bottom or the rear of the cabinet frame.