The Cabinet Guy
Benefits Of Sliding Shelves
The main benefit of sliding shelves is that they bring the contents from the back of your cabinets to the front.
This prevents you from having to remove things from the front to get to things at the back. Although this
sounds simple, most kitchen dwellers know that this is one of the biggest nuisances of their kitchens. It is
worse for cabinets located at floor level. Many kitchen owners find themselves on their hands and knees to
get things out of the back of their cabinets. This is no fun.
Shelves that smoothly slide out of kitchen cabinets can solve many of the access problems of kitchen items.
Here are some of the specific benefits to well-designed shelves and things to look for as you choose your
sliding shelf system.
Most agree that the most important property of a sliding shelf is its strength. When the shelf is completely
inside the cabinet, its ability to hold heavy objects is straightforward. The load of heavy items like dishes or
cooking pots is distributed into the four corners of the shelf, and supported smoothly in a balanced fashion.
However, when the homeowner withdraws the shelf, the entire load becomes completely distributed at only
two points toward the back of the shelf. In addition, the weight at the front of the shelf forms a lever that
puts a huge pressure on these two points. Improperly designed shelves can easily come crashing down in this
Many homeowners compensate for this problem by avoiding filling the shelves with heavy items. However,
this defeats the purpose of the shelves in the first place. The heavy items are the ones that you most want to
make convenient. Others compensate by holding the front of the shelves themselves, but that leaves them
with only one hand and often in a position that is uncomfortable or unwieldy.
For these reasons, it is a good idea to choose your shelves to be able to stand the weight of whatever you
would like to store. Let the shelves do the work they were intended to do.
To Lip or Not to Lip
Many shelves are designed as purely flat surfaces. These are the most efficient in not taking up precious
vertical area, but can be enhanced with at least a small lip. A small lip can provide a way to draw out the
shelf as well as provide a barrier to having items slip out off the shelf during movement. Of course, the most
important part is to keep items from falling into the back of the cabinet.
Look of the Shelves
A standard shelf design is white rubber over steel mesh. This is usable, but not particularly attractive. It is
often a good idea to choose shelves that match the look of the surrounding cabinets. This will help preserve
the aesthetics of your kitchen.
Standard shelf sizes are the most cost-effective choices, but for non-standard cabinets, improperly fitted
shelves can waste a lot of the cabinet storage area. Most homeowners find that it is worth the expense to
specify shelves that are customized to fit the area of each cabinet.
are mechanical devices that must operate often, generally with heavy loads. You should expect them to be
designed to last a long time. Be sure to choose a shelf designer with a reputation for high quality so that you
can benefit from their use for the lifetime of your home.
Document Tags: cabinet drawers, pull out shelving, slide out cabinet shelves, sliding shelves,
replacement cabinet doors
The Cabinet Guy