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Drawers vs Rollouts

Dan Sadler Member

Hello folks.
I'm a general contractor who also does a limited amount of cabinetmaking. I've been experimenting with an idea and wanted to throw it out there and draw on the experience of you guys.
Rollouts seem to me that they came about as a retrofit for existing cabinets?
When designing new kitchens rollouts seemed kind of odd. I always wondered why not just build drawers? Drawers are simpler to function, simply pull as opposed to open doors then pull. Drawers will net more width as most rollout boxes have to be narrowed to fit between the hinges.
The only real downside that I could think of with drawers is the depth of the box could make it a little harder to grab handles for pots/ pans.
I've been building these drawer boxes to the sides of a range for pot and pan storage. I swoop the sides down so handles are easy to grab. I use 1/2" ply bottoms and the heavy duty slides. I used them in a remodel a few years ago then recently in a place I built for myself. So far I've enjoyed them, and I like to cook.
Comments, ideas and suggestions welcomed!

View higher quality, full size image (2448 X 3264)

View higher quality, full size image (2448 X 3264)

3/29/16       #2: Drawers vs Rollouts ...

I think the swoops are not necessary. You could have as easily made the "swoop" as shallow as your sides and arrived at the same usability. I guess the "swoop" looks cool to some people. Pull outs don't make sense in a new kitchen for reasons you have described.

3/29/16       #3: Drawers vs Rollouts ...
Dennis Bean  Member



I speak from the perspective of a supplier rather than a cabinet maker.

I think you are right on track with the current design trends.

Over the past 5 - 10 years drawers have become more popular in new kitchens. In older kitchens you will find only a couple of drawer base cabinets. Now, they are being used extensively. Wider, deeper drawers particularly are a more common occurrence.

If you look at current trends in European made cabinetry you will not see many doors in the base cabinets....practically all drawers. U.S. cabinet designers and manufacturers are definitely following suite.

Coplanar sliding doors are also becoming more widely used in contemporary cabinetry for both wall and base cabinets.

By using large, wide drawers (30 - 36") in the base cabinets and lift up doors in the uppers the overall appearance of the kitchen shifts from vertical lines to predominately horizontal lines.

The scooped sides of your drawers look great. Besides being highly functional, the design really adds a nice custom feel to the kitchen.

3/29/16       #4: Drawers vs Rollouts ...
Joe Member

I design then build my kitchens for my customers. I spend many hours with the customer designing before I make the first cut. Because of this I have realized there are many customers that are more concerned with the overall outside appearance of the kitchen then they are of function.

There are customers who just don't like the appearance of all drawers and would rather have roll outs with doors. Or some combination of both.

I have learned the hard way to let the customer decide what they want and not try to convince them that one thing is better than the other. That way if they don't like it later (usually because some friend gave their opinion) it was their choice and can't complain.

3/29/16       #5: Drawers vs Rollouts ...

While it's trending towards more drawers, and aside from overall design, pull-outs still have their place in a kitchen...

1. Sink cab (depending on plumbing set-up)
2. Pantry (mixed shelves and pull-outs)
3. Cab with specific needs (pull-out on bottom for mixer, shelf on top for griddle as one example)
4. Pan divider pull-outs (although you can make them without the pull-out feature and in this case, you can put the pull-out on bottom or top) - some like them in upper cab, some like it in base cab
5. Blind corner cabs

It really depends on how the customer uses their kitchen...

Like the swoops... different... 8^)

3/29/16       #6: Drawers vs Rollouts ...

Nice looking & functional. For my own kitchen I did all wide drawers except for one cabinet. Except for a few special use cabinets I see no reason to make rollouts.

3/30/16       #7: Drawers vs Rollouts ...

It's very simple. Aesthetics are more important than function to most clients, designers and architects. Because of this, cabinets are designed from the outside in. Configurations of doors vs drawers are decided first, based on appearance. If the result is that a base cabinet ends up with doors, THEN it is talked about what goes inside, and that usually leads to pullouts vs. shelves.

3/30/16       #8: Drawers vs Rollouts ...

I wonder what makes a door more aesthetically pleasing than drawer?

4/1/16       #9: Drawers vs Rollouts ...

Well drawers are nice, but you cannot change the spacing on drawers. With pullouts you just lower the slides.

4/3/16       #10: Drawers vs Rollouts ...
Derrek Holland

I hate pull out or ain shelves. Drawers make better function.
I like the swoop. It looks solid. A big front on a small box always looks odd and usually feels less solid. Its a great differentiator, not to many will put time and effort into it and it gives your product a custom look.

4/7/16       #11: Drawers vs Rollouts ...
Will Member

I once built an entire kitchen with drawers below. They kept glasses in their pantry. I make 2 large drawers under the cooktop, which puts pots and pans directly underneath where they will be used.

4/16/16       #12: Drawers vs Rollouts ...

I have to agree with Joe. I like drawers and pullouts, but it doesn't matter what I like. I let the customer decide what they want and build accordingly.

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