If you’re looking into custom cabinets for your home, you have most likely wondered what problems you could encounter. Over the years at Holmes Cabinet Specialties, we have developed a wide understanding of possible issues and ways to avoid them. Luckily, these issues are rare and mostly avoidable, but at the very least, fixable!
The most common custom cabinet problems and solutions
- Hardware failing (solution: ensure quality materials)
- Drawers not sliding smoothly (solution: level drawer slides)
- Cabinets dent/ screws strip out easily (solution: use a harder wood species)
Problem #1: Hardware Failing
One of the most common problems we see involves faulty hardware. Often, drawers will be off track, not adjust adequately, or doors will break off their hinges. Every cabinet builder has a preference on hardware brands and ones they typically use; there are many to choose from. However, hardware is not created equal, and you often “get what you pay for”.
What is the solution?
To lower the risk of failing hardware, you should look for quality drawer slides and hinges. If you feel you need to replace existing hardware, we recommend looking into Blum, as they are considered the best quality.
At Holmes Cabinet Specialties, we use Blum slides and hinges. Blum hinges offer a wide range of adjustability, they’re very well made, and they last a long time. Blum has the widest selection of hinges for any scenario you could encounter with custom cabinets.
Problem: Hardware failing
Solution: Use quality hardware, such as Blum
Problem #2: Drawers not sliding smoothly
If a drawer is giving you a tough time, typically the issue lies in the drawer slides. We see this most commonly in side-mount drawer slides. Side-mount drawer slides typically are ball bearing slides which are mounted to the side of the cabinet and the side of the drawer box. When these slides are mounted off level, it causes the drawer to “stick”.
When mounting these slides, cabinet builders construct wooden runners on the inside of the cabinet. These runners must be leveled out along with the drawer slides themselves, allowing margin for human error.
What is the solution?
Consider installing quality undermount drawer slides and hire a reputable cabinet builder.
At Holmes Cabinet Specialties, we have created a process in which we predrill holes with our CNC machine for the mounting system and our undermount drawer slides. This removes an opportunity for human error and provides more precise placement for the slides.
An undermount drawer slide mounts to the underside of the drawer and typically has a wider range of adjustability. Allowing for adjustment up/ down, left/right, and front/back, which can help the drawer near perfect alignment.
Problem: Drawers not sliding smoothly
Solution: Ensure slides are mounted level, use undermount slides
Problem #3: Cabinets dent/ Screws strip out easily
Some types of wood are more prone to dents and/or screws stripping out. This is a common problem in softer woods such as poplar or pine. Doors are mounted onto the cabinets before the finishing process takes place. Often the finisher will remove the doors to paint or stain and then re-screw the hinges back through the hinge plates. When using a softer wood, you run a higher risk of the screw hole stripping out when re-attached.
What is the solution?
Once the cabinets are built, the only way to fix this issue is to take the screw out and replace it with a longer screw. Over the years of building custom cabinets, we have found that using a harder and denser wood, such as brown Maple, greatly reduces the likelihood of dents and screws stripping out. Maple also paints better than popular, making it a better investment.
Problem: Cabinets dent/ screws strip out easily
Solution: Ensure cabinets are built with a harder wood, such as maple or beech
Most of the issues we have addressed come down to the construction methods of different builders. Every custom cabinet builder has his or her own unique way of building their custom cabinets. At Holmes Cabinet Specialties, we strive to build the best custom cabinets available, and strive to improve our design any chance we get. If you are interested in investing in custom cabinets, click here to get started! Fill out our estimate form and we will get the ball rolling!