How To Replace Kitchen Drawer

We regularly replace the internal drawers when we refurbish a kitchen. The new drawers are constructed with metal sides and runners, with a contibord base and rear. It’s a straightforward task. You can either buy drawers ready made, with the base and rear already fitted, or you can just purchase the metal sides so that you can supply and fit your own base and rear. The drawers will come with runners.

Ready made drawer

Drawer kit

First thing to do is to measure the height of drawer required – new drawers are available in a variety of heights. The available space in the photo on the right is about 140mm, so we could fit a drawer about 115mm high, giving us a gap of 12mm top and bottom (you need to leave a gap above and below so that the drawer doesn’t catch anything).
Remember, the replacement internal drawer will be less high than the actual drawer front (which in this instance is 160mm).

Next, we need to find the width of the drawer, so firstly measure the carcass, in this case 600mm.
Now it is possible to buy a ready made drawer for a 600mm carcass, but if you’re going to do this there’s one more thing to check.

Measure the carcass to see whether it’s a 15mm or 18mm carcass – this is important because it alters the internal width of the carcass (see photo below). A 15mm carcass will be 6mm wider internally than an 18mm (because there’s a difference of 3mm a side).
So, a drawer made for a 15mm carcass will be too wide for an 18mm, and  a drawer made for a 18mm carcass won’t be wide enough for a 15mm carcass.
Measuring the internal width of the carcass.

Once the drawer is constructed, the fitting is straightforward.

  1. Remove the old drawer runners.
  2. Fit the new runners to the carcass. Be careful when fitting the runners to use screws with heads that fit flush – if the screw heads stick out, they’ll catch the drawer as it slides in and out.
  3. Finally, refit the drawer front.

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