4 drawer banks with shaker style--flat or pieced?

eks6426January 27, 2010

I am getting custom cabinets with shaker style doors/drawers. The current plan is to do the stiles & rails at 3" instead of the standard 2". On the drawer banks, my plan was to have the top drawers flat and the lower drawers pieced. This works fine on the 3 drawer banks but the 4 drawer banks, the middle drawers pieced leaves only about 1" of space between the stiles & rails. I was thinking of doing flat, flat, flat, pieced on the four drawer banks. Does this make sense? Other suggestions?

Pictures would be great.

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What about just doing them all flat? Look up shaker door styles on the finished kitchens, see if there are any examples.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 3:59PM
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All my top drawers are flat (slab) and the same size (6" high) and the lower drawers have the stiles/rails. On the 4-drawer bank, the top drawer is still 6" and the bottom 3 are about 8" each, and all are slab front.

If you had rails/stiles on the smaller drawers, it might be hard to place the handle, plus might look crowded.

Here are mine. Sorry about the phone pic :-)

But I have seen smaller drawers with the rails/stiles and they look fine, too, so it's just what appeals to you. Maybe do a mockup with a handle?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 5:08PM
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Small drawers look better flat.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 5:09PM
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I have a combination of the two. I really think it's personal preference.

Four drawers to the right of refrigerator are flat.

Island has flat top drawer and rails/stiles on larger bottom drawers.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 5:35PM
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Yes, eks, that makes sense.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 5:35PM
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Mine are all flat. I'm not crazy about pieced drawers unless the drawers are large, but that's just me.

Totally Confused

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 6:01PM
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You don't say whether the cabinets are inset or overlay. Mine are partial overlay with flat recessed panel doors and slab front drawers.

This is the only the 4-drawer stack in the kitchen. Only picture, too. Sorry. It is on the right side of the clean up sink run.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 6:13PM
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There have been many threads about this. Many people use a slab on the narrower 6" top drawer and piece the wider lower drawers

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 6:35PM
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Mine are all slab except for the large drawers (pot size).

Oh, and also the large freezer drawers are pieced as well.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 6:59PM
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Here is a photo of my only 4 drawer bank in the kitchen. Cabinets are full overlay. The stiles (is that the right word?) are 1.5 inches so I think it looks just fine. Lots of room for a handle.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 7:24PM
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Mine are going to be full overlay doors. With the 3" stile & rails, there isn't much room in the smaller drawers for a handle..it looks kind of odd. So, am I better off to do all flat in slab in the 4 drawer bank like many of you did or do the 3 smaller drawers slab and the lower drawer pieced?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 2:40PM
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I guess mine are unusual, as the top and bottom rails on drawer fronts are narrower so that I didn't have a full 3" at the top and bottom, only on the sides, and all around on the doors...I think so that where they join is the width of one rail, instead of 2. It allows for a bigger panel in smaller drawers.

Like a lot of others, I have slab smaller drawers and 5-piece bigger drawers. However, I have to tell you that after I spent a day last week cleaning out the little crevices and corners, I now look at my choices differently. We bake and cook a lot, plus a big family and pets, with a lot of movement of flour, dust, etc., ...and I'm not getting any younger...so if I had to do it again, I would do all slab drawer fronts...maybe doors, too. Not kidding, not exaggerating.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 3:58PM
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pieced? ~ I feel stupid, BUT what is a pieced drawer?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 4:45PM
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Could you get smaller rails for the shallower drawers? My drawers, while not shaker style, still have fairly substantial frames/rails and all drawers have them. However, Omega must have anticipated this issue b/c while the doors have 3" frames, all the drawer fronts have 2-1/4" frames. Is it possible your cabinetmaker has done the same thing?

My door description: 3" wide mitered moulded frame

3-drawer stack (24" wide):

4-drawer stack (24" wide), also shows a door with the 3/4" wider frame:

On a side note...and remember, this is personal preference...I had considered another door style that had slab drawer fronts. When I saw a 3-D rendering of my planned kitchen in that style, I intensely disliked the look and quickly realized it was all those slab drawer fronts. I don't even like top drawers that are slabs. To me, the slab top drawer front that's different from the lower drawers looks out of place.

Slab drawer fronts:

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 5:44PM
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Here is my 4 drawer bank, plenty of room for the pulls, but I guess my rails are smaller than yours will be. From backsplash

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 5:52PM
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Phyl345...A 5-piece drawer front (what the OP meant by 'pieced') has a panel (raised or flat, but for Shaker style is flat) with stiles and rails (a frame) around it, while slab drawer front is usually one, plain, flat piece.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 5:59PM
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We are just about to launch into cabinets and I never thought about the stiles and rails for the drawers for shaker. But now reading Rhome's post (even though those drawers look really nice) I'm going to consider all slab. Never thought of the cleaning issue. (We have a very 1980's slab kitchen now and I have to admit they are very easy to clean, but perhaps that's more important a factor if you are doing white vs. wood??)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 8:04PM
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I dont have mine yet, but on the drawer stacks Im doing slabs on the top drawer, the rest will be 5-piece.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 8:46PM
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Ctreno, I have fir (natural finish wood), as well as some light gray, cream, and burgundy (painted) cabinets. The cream showed the worst, but the dirt builds no matter the color. It was actually hardest to get the wood as clean, because it was harder to see some of what was on them...Had to get the light on them at the right angle. This was more of an issue around the pulls than on the bottom rail ledge, though.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 8:57PM
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So far, I haven't had problems cleaning our drawer fronts. The only place it's even been an issue is in the baking center (mostly flour). I usually blow out what I can, dust w/a dry cloth, and then take a really wet cloth and clean what's left w/o much effort. I follow by a dry cloth b/c I don't want to leave a lot of water on the wood. The crevices haven't been a problem for me, but as you can tell, it's an issue for others. For me, I'd rather have the style of my drawers and do the occasional cleaning than have slab drawer fronts.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 2:48PM
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For what it's worth, we've found in our cabinet hunt that all-slab is cheaper, too. Not a huge amount---under $1,000---but for us that's ten percent of our overall cabinet budget, and it equals the markup for painted v. wood or inset v. frameless with one of the shops we're looking at. So, another factor to throw into the mix!

(All else being equal we will do pieced for the large pot drawers and slab for the smaller drawers---probably splitting it above and below 6" depending on how the measurements shake out.)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 3:04PM
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We only have one 3 drawer bank and they are fairly large (both width and depth) drawers, but I opted for all slab on all of our drawers throughout the kitchen. I do think it does come down to personal preference as someone else mentioned.

Kat :)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 4:19PM
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When I was researching cabinet styles, I noticed a correlation between door and drawer details. The simpler the style, the more likely you'd see slab drawers, sometimes all slab and sometimes mixed with 5-piece drawer fronts. As cabinet styles became more detailed, there was a much slimmer chance of seeing them paired with slab drawer fronts. As buehl discovered, plain fronts don't look as finished with more detailed doors. Drawers that echo door details just look better.

I think you could go either way and I'd be more inclined to aim for a balanced look of stile versus inset panel. 1" clearance between stiles doesn't seem to provide that, IMO.

Your wider stiles sound more like the contemporized Shaker cabintes that Ikea offers. Perhaps you can find some inspiration by looking at photos of Ikea kitchens. There are several in the FKB. Here's an example of a 4-drawer bank next to a 3-drawer bank from mindstorm's kitchen (link below).

You can see more photos if you click on the link to the photo album from mindstorm's FKB page.

Here is a link that might be useful: FKB - Mindstorm's kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 5:01PM
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@positano - I know this is an old thread but hopefully you're still receiving the post replies :)

I have a couple questions on your 4 drawer bank:
1) What is the height of each of the 4 drawer fronts?
2) What is the measurement of your stiles and rails? And are they the same on all four drawers (or does the bottom drawer have wider/thicker rails?)

Thank you!!!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 12:28AM
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