Should I put liners in for my new kitchen cabinets?

OakleyMarch 19, 2009

The new white painted kitchen cabinets are being made as I write this. Should I line them to protect the paint and wood, and if so, which liner paper would be best?

This is only for protection, not for decorating.

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I like the one that is sold at BB&B. I think it's called Life Liner. It's a clear-ish plastic w/ ribs on it. I bought a similar one at Costco, but that one was rubbery and I didn't like it.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 12:03PM
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I also used the ribbed plastic liner, although I did use the foam stuff with the holes in it for my wooden silverware tray. I got both at BB&B. I cannot see messing up my new shelves with marks or stains.
It's funny, but talking to people, lining shelves and drawers seems to be a generational thing.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 12:21PM
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I used the clear ribbed Life Liner. It is great! I just put it in my pots and pans drawers, under the sink and in my baking drawer. It is expensive, so I haven't put it anywhere else, but if it was on sale, and I had coupons, I would treat myself to more boxes, and eventually do the rest of the kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 1:12PM
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lots of people here have recommended Cushy Cupboards. I just ordered some and will put it in the pantry, under the sink, and where I store the pots and pans.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 4:40PM
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I like the Ikea liners. Inexpensive, after a few days of being weighted in the corners it stays down well. Doesn't "creep" like other liners do.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 6:44PM
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I put a non-sticky, beautiful floral fabric type liner on the shelves and the drawer that I can see, and a utilitarian rubber liner on the other shelves.....well, 85 percent complete - I lost interest in that project and got caught up in other things. I truly enjoy looking at the bright liner, when reaching for a coffee mug in the morning!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 9:34PM
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I'm only putting (rubbery) liners in the deep drawers to prevent stuff from shifting when I open and close them.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:03PM
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I used a variety based on what I read here on GW. The ribbed liners were too pricey for me to do in all the drawers so I put them only in the "most important" drawers/shelves ; used inexpensive white freezer paper (found in the aluminum foil section at the store) in some lesser- used drawers, and the inexpensive floor rug gripper thingies from the discount store and cut them to size (another tip from GW) in drawers where I didn't want things to shift around. Until I had this new kitchen I was totally unfamiliar with the concept of lining drawers!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 7:58AM
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So, I see a lot of people suggesting what liners they like, which is helpful, but I'm not sure anyone actually directly answered the original question.

Are liners necessary? Is it a very good idea to use them in order to protect the wood?

Would you put them everywhere or are there cabinets with certain things in them that would most benefit?

Are there a lot of people who use no liners as well?

1 Like    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:23AM
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I used the ribbed liners from Target in all of my drawers and cabinets everywhere in my house because I don't want any scratches. It doesn't have to be done, but it keeps the shelves nicer. I did not put them on some closet shelves in my last house and there were scratches that I wish I did not have.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:31AM
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I debated this also. I put them in our old cabinets when we moved in but never really liked them. I used the mesh ones and they eventually stuck to the bottom when I removed them they looked pretty tacky. I am going to try without this time. The only thing I worry about is that my new cabinets are all plywood and I'm not sure how they will wipe up. My old ones I think were lined with melanine.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:45AM
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I have Cushy Cupboard liners all over my house. Too bad you didn't post this last week. There was just a big sale on it.

Maybe if you called, they's still give you the sale price. I think the sale ended Wednesday. Search Cushy Cupboard and you can find the phone number.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:54AM
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yeah, I did with my new cabinets and will for my next kitchen. I don't like scratches. It's up to you because it's kinda like putting plastic on your new sofa. Definitely an old fashioned thing to do. But I do it anyway. NOT THE SOFA THING! LOL

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 12:02PM
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Just FYI, I found the ribbed shelf liners at Costco for a great price (better than at Target).

What I found is that in drawers, these liners helped to prevent things from shifting around. I have large drawers that hold bowls and casserole dishes. The liners made a huge difference in these drawers. I did not put them in the utensil drawers since I have other containers in there that protect the drawer.
I did put these liners in the cabinet under my sink so that if there was any leakage from the plumbing, the liner would catch it and hopefully spare my cabinet (of course this would not work in the cast of a bad leak).
I have not used this in my upper cabinets. So far, I've not felt the need, but we shall see.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 12:06PM
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One reason that lines aren't as ubiquitous as in earlier times is that modern cabinets often come with a melamine surface on cabinet floor.

Unfortunately that melamine surface can be very deceptive. Today it is usually very thin and doesn't hold up over time. The cabinet floor will show wear before long. Those of us guilty of putting damp dishes away are most likely to damage our cabinets, but everyone is vulnerable.

I have Lifeliner and like how the ribs allow dampness to evaporate.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 12:13PM
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I had painted cab at my old house and the paint did chip where I wasn't using the liner paper, so I definitely think it's a good idea to use it. My newly reno'd kitchen cabs are Knotty Cherry and not painted, but I'm still using liner to protect the shelves from dings, scratches and water drips . . . and the dishes and glasses from dings, too. I'm using the rubbery, waffle-looking liner that I bought at Target. It cushions nicely, but shifts too much, especially in my dish and pots & pans drawers. I'm switching to Life Liner next.
Hope this answers your questions. Your new kitchen sounds wonderful!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 2:07PM
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I'm not concerned about the way the bottom of my drawers look. :)

However, I have some of the best (read that as thickest) rubber matting I could find for other reasons than just keeping items from sliding around (and I have it in every drawer and on every shelf):

The first is water. If I put away a still dripping dish for some reason it will evaporate right off the matting and not damage the cabinets. (I particularly line the sink bases. I'd rather the water pour out the front of the cabinet if there's a leak then be sneaky...)

Secondly, it saves wear and tear on my dishes. Sometimes you can be a little hasty and it's easy to chip something. These can go a long way towards preventing little nicks.

Last, and OH SO NOT least is noise. I'll do anything to make the kitchen quieter and these are the greatest. No banging as things are put away or taken out, you shift a drawer and even if things bump around it's much quieter.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 8:38PM
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My cabinets are currently unfinished pine on the inside. Right now I have cork contact paper lining the surfaces. I love this stuff. I'm not sure if I'm refinishing (painting) the inside of the cabs or not during the redo.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 9:00PM
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I am a huge fan of the cushycupboards, especially under the pots and pans and under the sink to protect the surface. The ribbed liner will have to be cleaned with a toothbrush if you place the toaster or oils that may drip on it. I had no idea how many of my products dripped under my sink when I repalced them with CC. The rubber liners prevent sliding your items into place and deteriorate.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 10:06PM
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I just got new custom drawers made for my island - insides are lacquered maple. I noticed at BB&B the rubbery stuff said not to use on lacquered or urethaned surfaces. I emptied all my drawers out to reorganize and clean, after only 21 months the Merillat drawers (HW sides but only plywood bottoms with like a maple-grained paper laminated on inside) are scuffed, scratched, and even looking a little worn in spots. Is the rubbery stuff OK for that type of drawer? Cork is more expensive, and I wouldn't adhere it b/c then I'm afraid I'd never get it off. Rolls of cork were even more $$ at Staples than the cork self-adhesive shelf liner was at BB&B. I'm not sure about Lifeliner (even more $$$) in all my drawers though it certainly looks good for under the sink (little wet coffee ground leak through trash can liner & crack in trash can yesterday).

I really want to line my pots & pans drawers in particular b/c the pots slide around and I see where the handles have gouged the back of the drawer. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 7:08PM
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Cheaper cork liner?

The thinnest cork underlayment can be easily found for .50 cents a square foot which is pretty reasonable (in comparison).

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 7:59PM
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BBB&B came out to $1.50/sf for adhesive Contact brand cork, Staples was $2/sf for plain cork. Thanks for the link!

Is cork suitable for drawer liners (I don't put away wet pots, just looking for something to pad again shifting, scratching)?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 12:17PM
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I only need about 20sf so not cost-effective to order from website above. Anybody else have recommendations for drawer liners that won't damage the drawers?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 1:47PM
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Can you use the cork and not have to glue it down? I wouldn't want to glue anything down in the cabinets. The cork sounds like something I would like to try, but only if it's not affixed permanently.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 11:42AM
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Here is another country heard from: the slob country...

None of my drawers are lined. Things look OK to me. The insides of my cabs/drawers are birch plywood I think...the ones that have very heavy traffic, like my two pot drawers and the cookie sheet cabinet, have scuff marks. Some of it wipes up but not all. If I had liner down there though it would look awful, and/or I would have had to replace it multiple times by now. I spend enough time keeping the things you can see looking clean!

that's just me, though. I bet all of you with lined drawers have the kinds of houses that make me sigh with envy and pleasure, they're so neat, clean and organized.

Over and out from Slobistan :)

1 Like    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 1:27PM
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Circus Peanut

LOL holly - I'm the same way. I've never lined any drawer or shelf ... it must be a generational thing; to me it does indeed seem like putting those rolled plastic walkways on top of the carpet like my great-aunt used to have -- saves wear, but looks like heck.

I could possibly get behind cork liner, but doesn't it just absorb any residual moisture and get all moldy and spongey?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 1:34PM
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AHem. The "generation" idea: I'm thinking not! Lol. I'm just 30. For me it's not about looks, but function. I spent a billion dollars, roughly, on the drawers in my kitchen. The extra couple hundred bucks to make things quieter is a tiny, tiny, amount to me. It's worth noting that I live in a "super insulated house". The upshot of that is that outside noise no longer drowns out inside noise... so you combat the inside noise more.

Spongey Cork: Cork is naturally waterproof (think of the wine bottles with cork poppers).

Tacking down: Totally not necessary. It may tend to "hump up" for the first few days just because it comes in a roll but after a few weeks with pans on it will relax and lay flat. Just make sure you get a good fit and it will sit there quietly for the next 20 years.

Buying: You can normally get "a little" square feet of rolled cork underlayment like the link at a place that stocks standard cork flooring. They often need a piece of a roll to do a room.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 1:56PM
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I went out to Walmart yesterday and bought some clear (not cushy) non-adhesive Contact paper, unrolled 1 roll and put it (18" wide) in my drawer near the stove where I keep pot holders, trivets, removable handles for my pans. I'm going to see how it works (that cabinet back was broken by installer so stuff wiggles when I close the drawer - not softclose) and maybe put it in all my drawers. That drawer was getting a little worn after only 18 months with stuff in it. My deep drawer in island has a scratch through the paper maple-grain laminate on top of the plywood. Other top drawer near stove has a chip in the laminate (not melamine). These are Merillat's "Deluxe" drawers - not sure if you can get lacquered solid maple bottoms along with the plywood sides if you go with their "Masterpiece" line, but I know the two solid maple dovetailed drawers I ordered online have a much better finish on them than the doors and drawer fronts on my Merillat cabinets! I don't want those drawer bottoms to get scratched either, but at least I know if they do I can refinish them. I've got dish towels in them now.

If the clear Contact paper (says it's safe for all finishes, unlike the cushy ones made by Duck I saw in Walmart and BB&B) doesn't work out I'll try the cork. Nothing should be put away wet (unless a recess where the handle attaches on my pots is holding water, but I put those in the dish drainer after taking them out of the DW so they can dry thoroughly), and I'm getting plastic silverware organizers for my cake spatulas, kids' pencils, markers, etc. b4 I put them in new drawers so just need them to keep things from shifting or scratching - esp. things like our collection of chargers that is currently sitting in a ziploc bag near the MW.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 2:32PM
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