Shopping for Semi Custom Cabinets? Understand the Different Drawer Glides

If you’re shopping for semi custom cabinets for your new kitchen or bathroom, you probably already know you’re saving money by doing so—while still getting a custom look. But did you know semi custom cabinets come in a range of prices and types of construction? That means you can still opt for semi custom cabinets to get the look you want, but save on some of the cost if your budget is just a wee bit tight.

We won’t go into all of the construction details that separate one level of cabinet construction from another. (You can find a good breakdown of those kinds of details on the Wellborn Forest Products website, if you’re so inclined.) But as an example, let’s delve into one difference, to help train your eye so you’ll know what to look for—and what it means—when shopping for semi custom cabinets: drawers.

Today’s kitchen drawers

A kitchen drawer is not just a kitchen drawer, at least not any more. If you’ve ever been in a very old house, maybe your grandmother’s, you might have noticed that kitchen drawers used to work like dresser drawers: They had no metal glides like they do today. They simply fit into the space and maybe they slide in and out and maybe they don’t. (I once had a kitchen with 1920s cabinets. It was an experience having to line those drawers up just right in order to get them to go back in! And sometimes they wouldn’t, and they’d be sticking out a little off center this way or that.)

Today’s kitchen drawers slide along on metal glides, opening and closing with ease—and always all the way. However, even those drawer glides have evolved, and you need to know the differences in order to help you spot the higher (and lower) end semi custom cabinets when you’re shopping.

At the high end, drawers that open all the way

At Wellborn Forest Products, our Elite Series is our highest quality semi custom cabinets. These cabinets are built with soft-close drawers that fully extend. You can open this drawer all of the way, as you can see in the picture on the left. A dual under-mount drawer glide makes this full extension possible, so you can see and reach everything with ease.

In the middle, drawers that open most of the way

We call our middle line the Supreme Series. These semi custom cabinets are also of the highest quality, but to keep costs down, some of the details differ, including the drawers. The drawer guides we use in this series are also soft-close, but the drawers don’t fully extend. Rather they open about seven-eighths of the way, which offers plenty of easy access. You can see in cabinet in the middle that the drawer glide is less robust when compared to the Elite Series.

At the most affordable end, side-mounted glides

Our most affordable series is called the Classic Series. As with the other two lines, these semi custom cabinets are of the highest quality and will look gorgeous in your new kitchen, but we keep costs down by using less expensive materials for the details—including the drawer glides. For the Classic Series, the drawer glides are mounted on the sides of the drawer (unlike with the other two series that use under-mount drawer glides). See the glide in the picture on the right, how it’s on the side of the drawer? That means the drawer can only open three-quarters of the way.

We hope this helps to explain the differences in the drawer glides—and quality—so your eyes now know what to look for when you’re shopping for semi custom cabinets!