Blum drawer glides just installed--hate them!!

cindy49March 2, 2009

My lower cabinets were installed today--custom made with the Blum drawer glides and door quiet close. I like the door quiet close, but the drawers take so much to pull them out. Can they be adjusted? They even put them on the six pull outs in the drawer bases and that's even worse.

These are side undermount drawer glides and the brand is supposedly Blum, but I would never have gotten them if they were going to be like this.

So what is your experience? Can they be adjusted to loosen them or make them easier to pull out? Do they loosen over time?

This has been such a day as I love the look of my cabinets, but not the drawer mechanics. And I was the one who insisted that the cabinet maker add them.

The installers will return tomorrow and was hoping you'd have some advice.

Thanks,

Cindy

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mini_bottle

The Blum glides should be easy and quiet to operate if they were installed correctly. They should also be adjustable. Even the cheap Blum knock-offs have some adjustment.

I'm sorry that they don't meet your expectations. Ask your installer to work on adjusting them because your experience doesn't sound right for high end hardware. The installers might already be planning to make adjustments after they finish setting all of your new cabinets. The installers that I've seen usually set everything first, then fine tune.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 1:00AM
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buehl

You should only need a slightly stronger pull on the drawers to open...nothing strenuous! I really like my Blum glides.

Mini_Bottle may be correct about the "fine tuning". I know when our cabinets were first installed I noticed some drawer fronts were not straight and some doors were "wonky". I was told the final adjustments for drawers, drawer fronts, and doors was one of the last things they do...after all the cabinets & appliances are installed, after the countertop is installed, and after the molding (crown & light rail) is installed...practically the last thing done!

Sure enough, once they were done everything lined up & worked perfectly!

Talk to your installers about it tomorrow (today!)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 1:26AM
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pharaoh

Blums operate like buttah! You need to tug to overcome the initial grabbing of the self close but beyond that they are the smoothest slides i have ever seen. The self close is addictive :) A quick side tushpush and close right up.

Something seems to be wrong with yours. IKEA has them on display so you can try theirs to see if yours are working correctly.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 2:34AM
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oruboris

You do need a harder pull to get them open, but after a week you don't notice at all.

Now when I go to someone elses houses and the drawers come flying open, I think it feels odd and unpleasant: my drawers have dignity...

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:14AM
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merimom

Do you have your drawer pulls on yet? I am finding my new soft-close drawers resist a little when I first pull them open, but I don't have any hardware on them yet. I suspect they will move more easily once I have my pulls on and I break them in a bit. I LOVE that they close softly and quietly, so if they never get any easier to pull open, I am still satisfied. I am not 100% certain they are "Blum" brand...They are whatever soft-close brand that comes with KraftMaid cabinets.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 8:10AM
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cindy49

Thanks for you replys. The installers should be here soon. I'm hoping they can adjust these. And yes all of my hardware is already on (something they do at their location before installing in the kitchen).

I do love the door quiet close. No problem opening those and so nice to close.

There is now definitely nothing slight about the pulling out and as to a bump with the hip to close them, they need a shove. That part I can get used to.

I'll let you know how they are after today.
I'm sure hoping they can be adjusted; I realize the the hinges can.

Cindy

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 9:05AM
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2ajsmama

Are they Blum Tandem/Tandem Plus full extension undermount? With or without the "Blumotion"? I have Merillat cabinets, same company (lower line of Masco) as Kraftmaid. I have what Merillat calls "softclose" but not the more expensive Blumotion. My drawers really don't take much to open, they don't automatically close with a tiny push like the Blumotion (that kinda "sucks" the drawer in when you get it closed a certain distance) but you don't have to shove them either (if you did they'd bounce back). Hopefully they can adjust them. I love my Tandem Plus, just ordered more to add drawers to my kitchen island (converted vanity).

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 9:51AM
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cindy49

The installers just came and they were told they were not adjustable. They will have the owner talk to the rep, but what I am wondering is if anyone knows for sure that these can be adjusted. I have played with them again and they are very hard to work and really don't even glide well. Even the installers realize that something may not be right. Luckily this is a very reputable cabinet company and if they can they will make it right.

So do any of you have experience with having the Blum drawer glides adjusted? I've already searched the internet with this question and found nothing.

Thanks,
Cindy

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 10:03AM
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2ajsmama

www.blum.com

I don't think they can really be "adjusted" as they have pretty specific requirements for spacing depending on opening size, drawer side thickness, etc. I was hoping maybe they just got the drilling slightly off and the back brackets (I'm assuming face frame cabinets) were cocked and glides were binding a little? Or need to be lubricated?

If they are installed correctly using a Blum jig for notching and drilling, then maybe the drawers are a little too big for the openings (maybe 3/4" stock using glides made for 5/8"?)? They might have to remake all the drawer boxes slightly smaller. If they are a reputable company they will figure out what has to be done and make it right. Let us know how it turns out.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 10:23AM
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krissd

Sorry about the blum problems, but please post pics of your cabinets (if you haven't already)! We can rejoice in that with you.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 10:50AM
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homepro01

Can you take a picture of the drawer slides? You can easily remove the drawer and take a picture of both the slide and the drawer box. Do you have a wood or metal drawer box? This will help identify the item you have. If you go to the Blum website, you can find out which model you have because the slides have an item number usually stamped on them. I have Ikea drawers and one with original blum hardware and they don't operate the way you describe.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 10:58AM
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Babka NorCal 9b

All of the drawers in our kitchen have Blum soft closers. BUT, three 24" deep drawers in our sink island have heavy duty Blums installed (I'm guessing it was because of the additional length). They are MUCH harder to tug on than the rest. I've had them for 3 years and they haven't gotten any easier to pull open.

-Babka

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 12:31PM
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cindy49

I have wooden drawer boxes. I'm still not sure how to get a picture on here without opening something like photobucket. If I could just insert a photo like you can in an e-mail, like an attachment I could do so. Is that possible?

I talked to my KD and she said that I just need to use these and over time they will be better, but the thing is this type of glide is not typically used by this company. They feel their very good full extension side glides are best. Thus they've only installed the Blum in a few kitchens. So do any of you recall that experience; that they loosened up over time?

As to the model number, I'm not sure how this would help, but if you are sure they are stamped with it then I could look.

So far I regret putting these in and I so wanted to love them.

Cindy

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 12:33PM
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kitchenredo08

Give it a little while. I found mine quite stiff at first too, but now 3 months later they are wonderful.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 12:38PM
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clinresga

Are you SURE that your glides are really Blum? We had custom vanities made for our bathroom redo a couple years ago and specified "soft close" glides. They are an off-brand, and I hate them. They take a strong pull to get the drawer to pull open--very annoying-- and if the drawer is closed too softly, instead of soft closing, it just lodges about 1/2'' from completely closed. They have NOT improved one bit over the two years since they were installed--as we were given the same "they just have to break in" line when we complained.

Having learned my lesson, when we spec'd our kitchen cabs, our (different) cabinet maker ordered true Blum hardware (showed us exactly which ones he was ordering from the Blum catalog). It is night and day. They pull out with NO extra effort, and will glide closed with even the gentlest push. A huge difference, incredibly smooth.

I'd be suspicious that they pulled a switch on you, unless you've already looked and confirmed that they are true Blum glides. If they are, I'd suggest something is wrong and would push for a fix.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 1:08PM
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Circus Peanut

hi Cindy - you can upload your pictures for free (without an account or anything) to tinypic.com. Then copy the html code in the box next to the uploaded pic entitled "HTML for Websites", and paste that code here in the body of your message (NOT in the boxes below the message text labelled "optional link URL").

cheers,

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 1:20PM
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antss

Blum and most other undermount slides DO NOT have any adjustments in them. They do not need lubrication, or fiddling with if installed properly.

When you say "side undermount " what do you mean exactly? Are the runners attached to the side of the drawer box itself or does the box sit on top of the runners? Are the clips on the bottom of the drawer that hold it to the metal runner grey and orange plastic?

Sounds like you have a mis sized drawer box (too wide) for the cabinet opening - or - you have ball bearing side mount slides which are stiff to open.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 2:10PM
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cindy49

To answer some of your questions:
The 2 plastic pieces underneath each drawer are green. The drawers sit ontop of the runners on each side, the runners (glides) are not mounted to the drawer box.

I have looked for the name Blum or a model number and see nothing. Where should I look?

I'll work on the picture of them. My kitchen does not have counters, appliances and looks rather dull on the photos I take so there's really not much to see there.

Thanks,
Cindy

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 3:00PM
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oruboris

It's possible the glides are out of line-- one side higher than the other.

That could cause binding, keep them from gliding back and forth as they ought.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:00PM
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justnigel

Speaking only from personal experience, the Blum Tandem undermount full extension drawer glides I used had orange plastic mounted on the bottom of the drawers. I never felt like I had to tug too hard to open them, and they didn't change over time.

Check the picture in the link... do yours look the same?

Here is a link that might be useful: Pic of Blum glides

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:07PM
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oruboris

All slides are adjustable in as much as you can unscrew and remount them.

I had touble with one of my drawers: the contractor had broken the piece of wood that that holds the 'inboard' slides for the upper drawers [framless cab with full width drawers below, two half width above]. He added a new piece of wood, but got it slightly off center causing one of the drawers to bind. We were able to add shims to restore correct function. Only the drawer where the glides were two wide was affected, the other worked fine.

Are the drawers engaging in the glides correctly? That is, do the glides on the drawers lock to the ones in the cab box smoothly and easily with no fuss? If they aren't locking in right, that's a definite sign something that should be straight, flat, or square is none of the above.

If all your drawers are equally affected, there was either a really massive screw up at the cab shop or you just haven't adapted to the motion yet.

If only a few are affected, or if some are much worse than others, it's likely that the slides are either offset, or the cab boxes aren't square.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:23PM
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cindy49

My glides do look like the one pictured in justnigel's post except the orange plastice pieces are green. Does mean they may be another style of Blum?

My appliances are being delivered in an hour or so; I'm still working on pictures, sorry.

Anyone know where to look for the model number?

Thanks,
Cindy

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:48PM
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buehl

To adjust a drawer, check to see if it is mounted properly on the glides. The easiest way to do this is to...

  1. Disengage the drawer from the glides by squeezing the orange "clips" on both sides under the drawer box (see the pictures below) [In your case, the "clips" are green]

  2. Pull the glides out from the cabinet all the way

  3. Place the drawer on the extended glides, 3/4 of the way up (so the front 1/4 is not on the glides).

  4. Now, gently push the drawer & glides in (the glides should go in as you push the drawer).

  5. Push the drawer completely closed. When they're completely in, you should hear a double "click", one for each glide, as the "clips" on the drawer box engage the glide mechanism attached to the cabinet walls.

  6. Now try them...

Here are some pics to show you my "blum Tandem Plus/Blumotion" glides:

Underside of the drawer itself:

Closeup of one of the orange "clips":

Note that it says "blum"

What the glide looks like inside the cabinet. This is the cabinet side wall w/the glide mounted on the side wall:

Note that it says "blum TANDEM plus" and "BLUMOTION"

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:49PM
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2ajsmama

I just ran down and took pics but mine are the same as buehl's, just no Blumotion. I don't know if the locks for their heavy duty glides might be green - check their website. The model number is printed (not embossed) on the outside of the drawer slide - the last picture above is the inside of the drawer slide. But I wouldn't think you'd need the actual model number (size) unless you need to reorder. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:53PM
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rmkitchen

Somebody may have already addressed this (sorry for any redundancy -- only time to skim the responses), but a KD I know who specializes in Accessible Design actively discourages self-closing mechanisms (esp. in drawers) for those who may have arthritis, carpal tunnel, (myriad) other issues affecting hand / arm strength and ability to pull.

I am NOT making any assumptions about you, I'm just putting out there what I've been told. Your slides may be super-sticky, but I just wanted to share in case you do have any hand / arm issues. (I have old carpal tunnel which occasionally flares up, esp. after attacking weeds. Grr.)

Conversely, in our den / home office we had cabinetry installed with Blum self-close drawers and doors, and wouldn't you know the doors were actually hard to open. Seriously. I had the shop people come back and they did some sort of hocus-pocus and now they're a breeze to open ... but sometimes the doors don't remember to shut themselves. There is just no pleasing some people! (I'm talking about myself, of course.) But they did acknowledge that something was amiss with those self-closing pieces, although I don't know what.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:58PM
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buehl

Ahh! That orange contraption is a "lever" not a "clip"! (Duh! You'd think I would have figured that out on my own!)

If you have blum drawer glides, I think it would say it all over like on mine.

[BTW...the "Blumotion" means they're soft-close. Blum does make glides that are not Blumotion (i.e., not soft-close)...that's what AJsMama has.]

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:59PM
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clinresga

Mine look like buehl's too and I remain very suspicious that what you have are not "real" Blum glides. The different color and lack of any Blum labeling makes me really wonder. And, re rmkitchen's comment, I cannot see how in any way Blumotion glides from Blum would be a problem with arthritis, as if they work like ours, there is ZERO additional effort to open them, and the least resistance to movement of any glides I've ever had.

If you can't nail it down, I'd ask the cabinet maker to show you the invoice/source for the glides. I still think you got a "generic substitute."

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 5:17PM
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mike_lasvegas

Blum is orange.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 12:29AM
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cindy49

Well I am afraid you are all right. They do not say Blum anywhere nor is there any kind of model number. I will talk to the cabinet maker tomorrow-Ugh!!!

Thanks for all your help.
Cindy

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 12:45AM
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pharaoh

A properly built and properly installed blum slide should slide like it is floating on air!

I know because I build my own drawers and used all blumotion slides :)

If this is not the case, please post photos. The dimensions of the drawer are exacting, no scope for shoddy construction. There is no mistaking blum quality, once you have opened a blum drawer you will , forever, remember the feeling...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 1:29AM
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antss

If you're connectors aren't orange and grey - then you don't have Blum slides, sorry - probably Chinese knockoffs that were cheaper. Shop guys love cheaper. They are dense - as you are paying the bill in the end and material cost what it costs.

Everyone here that is saying these slides are adjustable, you are just playing word games. There is NO 'adjustment" if you have to shim out, unscrew and move, unclip and re-slide and engage then you are simply making up for sloppy or incorrect installation. That's not an adjustment, an adjustment would be a small screw on the damper that varied the resistance of the closing mechanism to compensate for variable loads like tupperware vs. cast iron pots. Incidently this doesn't exsist.

My guess is you have a combo of inferior runners and improper install. You mentioned that the shop doesn't use this type of slide normally, yours was probably the guneia pig.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 5:30PM
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cindy49

You are all right, these are not Blum. I went to 3 different places to try other drawers today (like Lowes) and the Blum are far superior to mine in terms of ease of pulling out and smoothness in closing and gliding overall. I'm really upset about this and not sure what to do. My cabinet maker said he'd talk to the rep of Hardware Resouces where these were ordered from. But he's not even sure if the rep will come here to look at them. The cabinet maker needs to do a final install of some upper cabinets and he said he'd have his installers look at the drawers then. He really does beautiful work, but doesn't use soft close--nor does he like soft close.

So since they can't be adjusted I'm not sure what will happen. Some definitely work worse than others--but none are great. There are 29 drawers with these on!

Thanks,
Cindy

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 7:08PM
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lamguy

If you payed for blum, get blum!!!!!!!!! or don't pay for them if you still owe anything

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 7:40PM
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budge1

Well no wonder he doesn't like them - he's been using the cr@ppy ones he gave you.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 8:02PM
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antss

Easy enough to test out. Order a set of blum runners (about $30) install them, and see. If designed correctly and installed properly you will quickly tell if the sliders are the culprit. This assumes what you've got is a direct knockoff of the blum- big if

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 8:14PM
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candibarr

You said you wanted Blum, and you didn't get it. Hardware Resources is a knockoff. I suspect the specs are the same, and you can change them out. Even if the specs are different and your custom cabinet maker has to re-order the drawer boxes, so be it. One maybe, though. Hardware Resources seems to have an OK reputation as a knockoff (going by Woodweb.com comments). Maybe you got a bad batch if they changed factories in China, or maybe your boxes are out of square. Can you check that?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 10:38PM
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cindy49

He makes the drawer boxes, doesn't order them he makes actually everything as far as I know. My husband and I discussed ordering some Blum and seeing if there was a difference. Is it easy to just order a couple sets? How will we be able to tell which ones to order? Is it by length and size of drawer box?

We can check if the boxes are square.
Cindy

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 12:30AM
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pharaoh

I made the mistake of using a blum knockoff from ebay. Total junk. Had to remake the drawer. wasted more time doing that. Went back to blum :)

The self closing soft closing hinges I bought were also made in china, they work really well.

If you paid for blum, demand that they replace them with blums.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 1:19AM
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cindy49

The bottom line is these are definitely inferior and do not compare to Blum. Last night when I started to put back my kitchen I closed one drawer and couldn't even get the one above it open until the one below had completely closed--and they are slow to close. Another example besides how hard they are to work, is that I had planned to store bottles in one of the pull outs and to get it open you have to tug so hard the bottles all fall over. This not something I can live with, I wish it were.

My husband is a good fix it person but never has dealt with drawer glides. If we try a couple of Blums will it just be a simple situation of replacing one with the other--unscrew these and screw in the Blums?

What a mess. Thanks for your support and replys.

Cindy

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 8:37AM
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2ajsmama

Don't have DH try to replace all the glides - make the cabinet shop do it! Even if they have to remake 29 drawer boxes b/c re-notching and drilling for Blum would make a mess of them!

Sorry, I was hoping that the back brackets were cocked a little and binding and needed to be "adjusted" (remounted), or dust in the glides need to be cleaned out or something. Sounds like they didn't build/order to your specs, so it's their responsibility to fix.

My Blums aren't Blumotion but still when you get the drawer closed far enough it catches and pulls it the rest of the way in. B/c of that there is a *tiny* bit of resistance when pulling out. BTW, I just got the ones I ordered for my custom drawers, the P/N was correct (562H457) for 18" drawer but had a -01A after it instead of -02 my Merillat ones have. They seemed a couple inches shorter but the 457 is the drawer length. So 8AM I called Blum in SC, they assured me the -01/-02 was just a production run and I had ordered the right things from A&H Turf, and they should work in my vanity. The mounting brackets are slightly different, maybe they've changed in the past few years (2 yr old cabinets and possibly older HW if Merillat stockpiles). But the Blum customer service rep was very nice.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 9:23AM
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homepro01

The Blum drawer glides come in different lengths and with different weight requirements. Once you know the length and I am assuming you used the Tandem mechanism not tandembox, you should be able to order a drawer glide to sample. My first inclination is to get the cabinet maker to fix this. There is another problem, if these are not Blum glides, they are probably not installed like Blum glides. The Blum system has a jig that is used to drill the holes where the glides are to be installed. I don't know if this would be a challenge or not depending on how different the current hole drills are from the blum! The cabinet maker needs to fix this and it may or may not be simple. If you have not already checked it out, visit the blum website and they show the drawer glide and where the holes are supposed to be based on the length for the drawer glide.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 9:25AM
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growlery

Yes, Don't have your husband touch them! (Though I'm sure he's capable.)

This may turn into a long dispute.

And if it turns into "No, they were fine until your husband started messing around with them," then it will not help anything.

And in the end, it really doesn't tell you anything you don't know already.

Let their work be the only work on the drawers, so nobody can say you replaced it or broke it.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 12:01PM
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buehl

I haven't heard this specifically stated by the OP but since many people use "Blum" or "Blumotion" as a general term for soft-close, we need to know...

Did you specifically state that you wanted "Blumotion" or at least "Blum" hardware with soft-close (which is Blumotion)? Is it in writing?

Or, did you just tell your cabinetmaker "soft-close" or "quiet-close"?

If the former, then you have pretty much an open & shut case...you specified Blum but did not get Blum...case closed...cabinetmaker must replace them at his cost & whatever it takes to replace them (purchase/installation/new boxes if needed). [If he says they cost more, that's too bad...you stated Blum & he gave you a price for the cabinets based on your specs so that's the price you pay. If he didn't follow the specs or bid to the specs, again, too bad, that's what the contract says.]

If, however, the latter is the case, I think you will have a much more difficult time getting the Blum hardware installed w/o paying for the new drawer hardware and the new installation. If it also requires rebuilding some or all drawer boxes they may also make you pay for that.

This may or may not be what you want to hear, but you need to know it.

HTH!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 4:37PM
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buehl

I should have also mentioned that if you did not specify "Blum/Blumotion" that doesn't mean your cabinetmaker doesn't need to fix the drawer glides if they really are not working properly...and it sounds like they are not (or else the drawers themselves are messed up.)

If the drawers or drawer hardware are messed up, they still should fix them at their cost...but if you didn't specify "Blum/Blumotion" they don't have to replace the current hardware w/"Blum/Blumotion" at their cost.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 4:40PM
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natschultz

This thread is old, but I found it when googling custom cabinet BLUM drawer.

FYI for anyone else wondering about this: All Blum Glides are ORANGE - it is actually the lock that is orange, not the glide itself.

You CANNOT just install Blumotion bottom-mount soft-close glides onto any drawer box - the bottom / back of the box must be CUSTOM notched to fit the glide! EVERY SINGLE variety of glide on the market requires DIFFERENT notches to fit the glide! This includes different styles of Blum as well as the cheaper (of which that green glide is one) glides.

Custom wood drawer boxes notched for Blum soft-close undermount Blumotion glides will cost AT LEAST $100 a piece - and that is for small, shallow drawers! The glides themselves are not very expensive, but unless you have a well-equipped woodwork shop do not even bother trying to DIY these!

If you do decide to get custom Blum drawers, make sure the cabinet maker NORMALLY uses BLUM, and preferably ONLY Blum!

I'm just trying to find 12" deep Blum drawers made of solid wood with 1/2" thick bottoms for a shallow dish cabinet, and having trouble finding 3 drawers for less than $400 - and I'll be building the actual cabinet to fit them! I'm almost considering buying Ikea, using the drawer as a template, ripping out the glides and making my own out of wood. For some reason the Ikea entire cabinet is less than just a drawer!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 11:43AM
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woodperfect

As a custom cabinet maker, I can confidently say that the original problem here was the drawer boxes were built slightly undersize and resulted in binding on the drawer members. The tolerances required to get these to work correctly are very tight, you HAVE to know what you are doing to get them to work correctly.

One thing to note... the closing/opening force is not adjustable so you should expect small drawers to be harder to open. Since this does not appear to be limited to the smaller drawers it means that the drawer boxes themselves are the problem.

It is not a Blum or Hardware Resources issue, both produce exceptionally high quality products and should be expected to last a lifetime. They are a great upgrade to your kitchen and are well worth it. Enjoy them. (assuming they are made correctly) :)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 10:21AM
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