How to Install Drawer Slides on Face Frame Cabinets!

| Last Updated: March 18, 2021

How to Install Drawer Slides on Face Frame CabinetsGuessing time! What’s that one thing you can’t exclude from a conversation that includes drawers. Something that needs to be present for your drawer to make it work.


No matter what type of cabinet you have, if it has drawers than probably, slides are also going to be necessary. Usually, there could be multiple types of drawer slides that come along. But the most common types are side or bottom mounted ones.

Depending on what application you are talking about, the slides have to be different. Today we are discussing how to install drawer slides on face frame cabinets. And this brings the need to talk more than just the actual installation step. You’ll Know Why Just Keep on Reading!

How to Install Drawer Slides on Face Frame Cabinets

Right Type of Slide to Use, Installation Process & More…

Without drawer slides, forget about opening and closing smoothly. That’s how you should visualize these little things. But also, not any drawer slide will suit your particular cabinet type.

Here we are discussing a face frame cabinet. And unfortunately, you can’t use a side-mounted slide here.

You Need Bottom Mount Drawer Slides!

If you own a face frame cabinet then probably the ideal type of drawer slide is a bottom-mount one. Simply because these types of slides come with a wide variety of measurements and styles. With a face frame cabinet, you need tolerance between the drawer and face-frame. The bottom-mounted slide will allow at least half inches of that tolerance.

And so, for replacing older wooden slides, these are pretty much popular. With frameless cabinets, you can surely pick a side-mounted slide. These are known as European style cabinet and come with close tolerance needs. This denotes that little variation in the cabinet is okay. And it needs need to be no more than 1/8-inch gap between cabinet opening’s top and drawer-top.

Tools to Get:

  1. Screw Tip Included Power Drill Machine.
  2. A Tape Measurement.
  3. Combination Square Gear.
  4. Quarter Inch Drill Bit.
  5. Level.
  6. Jigsaw.

Little Bit of Caution Before Trying.

While working with power tools, experts always suggest wearing proper safety gear. No matter how many years of practice you have, there should be no taking risk with dangerous tools, that’s the rule. And so, make sure you are not guilty of avoiding proper safety gear such as goggles and rubber gloves. Depending on what area you’ll be working on, prepare the worksite well by clearing any obstacle. So that the installation process ends up on a good note. Choose somewhere free from crowd and quiet. This is not only necessary for safe operation but also allows you to focus better on the project.

1. Understand the Basics…

Since there is a situation of little clearance between the drawer box side and cabinet carcase, we’ll be using under-mount soft-close glide. We’ll be mounting on the drawer box’s bottom and lower sides. There are some models that are installed only on the box’s bottom area. However, most versions come with a need for the raising of a drawer bottom. So that the glide assembly is accommodated properly.

2. Fixing Mount Bracket…

You need to receive the drawer glide in an upside-down position. So, turn the drawer over a worktable if possible. The positioning should be as if drawer face is opposite to your body.

Now focus on the left front mounting bracket of drawer slides. You need to place it flat on the drawer bottom. It should be on the upper left corner. Also, it needs to be against the front left side of box.

It’s time to connect the mounting bracket. Connect these to the drawer box’s front and side using four mounting screws. The screws should be provided with brackets. Now using the power drill, simply fix everything together and also use screw tip. With the mounting bracket of right-side front, you need to do same thing once again.

3. Measuring & Marking…

Using a tape measurement, you need to find out the drawer glide assembly’s width. Find out the lower-left corner of drawer box and simply place tape’s tip. On the drawer box’s back part, you’ll discover top edge which you need to measure along. Use a pencil to mark it down.

Following edge simply extend the mark. Let it go down to the drawer’s box back face. You can simply use a combination square as a reference here. Now starting from the drawer box’s edge, you need to measure distance down to its bottom. There should be around half-inch of space between the drawer’s bottom lower face and it’s lower-edge.

On both the left and right sides, you need to transcribe measurement to drawer’s backs face. The drawer back’s left edge is where you need to place square next. Now make a line parallel with the drawer’s back edge’s bottom. Do this until the line you previously made meets it.

The two lines should make a notch being perpendicular. You need to cut the drawer’s back for accommodating glide this time. For the right drawer slide, make same perpendicular mark. On the back of drawer box, simply cut these two notches. You can simply use a jigsaw for this task. The drawer bottom should get flushed with notches’ long edge.

4. Drilling Holes…

Between front bracket and notch in the drawer back, you need to place left glide. There should be a pin on the drawer glide back. Simply mark the pinhole on back of drawer. This is where you need to drill.

Using the right-side drawer glide alignment make same pencil mark for pinhole in this part. Now use a quarter-inch drill bit for drilling a shallow hole. It should be deep enough to house the pin but nothing more. The hole should be at marked locations of drawer back.

5. Placing Brackets…

We need to put the mounting bracket for left rear against carcase’s back. Make sure the bracket’s bottom edge is aligning with mark you made with a pencil. The left inset pencil mark should be aligned with bracket’s left edge.

Now with the backside of carcase you need to attach bracket’s back. You should use the mounting screws included. With the right-side rear mounting bracket, you need to repeat same step.

6. Inserting Glides…

Finally, position the glide unto the carcase. On the tab of mounting bracket, you need to push glide’s back. With the drawer opening face frame’s side, you need to attach glide’s front left edge. This is for the left drawer glide by the way. Use a pair of mounting screws to do so. Now using the same manner, you need to install right-side drawer glide.

7. Clicking Both Glides into Mounting Bracket…

From the carcase simply extend both drawer slides. The drawer needs to settle well with slides. You can simply hold the drawer by placing your left hand underneath same side. Now try to slide the part forward so that it fits into front mounting bracket.

Have a look at the under part of back edge. Check whether the pin is sliding onto hole that is located in drawer’s back part. You need to settle the right-side drawer slide onto right position using very same method.

Finally, let the drawer slide in and out. This is to test the carcase and see whether drawer slide is operating well.


And that’s how to install drawer slides on face frame cabinets all by yourself. This is not a job for someone who is absolutely clueless about screws, brackets, power toots and so on…

However, very few people actually have such a clueless situation since these are pretty regular tasks nowadays for homeowners. You can always ask for help by hiring a helper that can fix the slides well.

But if you think the job is not that hard (which is probably true) then go for it. I’m sure it’s not that complicated!