Can I get drawers in 30' wide sink base cab?

pinktoesOctober 18, 2007

Before I get to the talking to the cabinet maker stage, I'm trying to plan my sink base cabinet for the bathroom. Using frameless cabinetry. One end will be up against a wall with the entry door's side trim there, so it's crowded. Maybe I do a spacer there or add a stile to the cabinet itself??

But the bigger question is this: With only 30" of length available on that wall, how can I get useful drawers in the cabinet? It's just for adults, so the countertop could go as high as 38" or 39". Self-rimming sink is 20" x 17" by 8 1/2". I have the space to go up to a 24" wide (front-to-back) cabinet.

I can't bend, so the most useful drawers would start up high and have a pull at about 28" above the floor. How/can I do this??

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It's not clear where you're hoping to put the drawer(s). If the drawer were to be next to the sink, I doubt it could be more than about 6" wide inside, and then only if the sink were shoved up against one of the side walls. A drawer under the sink is problematic (though not impossible) because of the plumbing.

Have you mocked up a surface that's 39" off the floor? That's 3" higher than standard kitchen counters. I'm 6' tall and I don't think I'd like it.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 5:13PM
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I'm thinking the drawer stack goes under the sink and to its left. And that the pipes are offset to the right at the rear. I like tall counters. We're doing the kitchen at 38". Easier on the back; I brush my teeth there now for that reason (we're old. Lordy.)

I don't know how much the pipes could be offset and what that would leave me. If the pipes could stay totally to the right of that center pipe, I've got half of the cabinet width less half of the width of that center pipe--what's that pipe, 2" diameter? Sounds like I'd have 14 inches on the left below the cabinet. 30" divided by 2 = 15"; less half of 2" pipe. So 15" -1" = 14"? IF pipes could be done that way.

As to height, clear the 8" sink bottom and I can do drawers there. Corian countertop requires no substrate. I think it's 3/4" thick. So, if I plan countertop at 38", subtract 8.5" for sink and .75 for Corian counter and I'm down to 28.75" aff. If I've got it right, frameless style requires virtually no clearance there, so space that drawer pull high on the drawer, at 1" down, and I've got a pull at 27.75" aff. And a drawer 14" wide, say lose 1 1/2" for its sides, full extension glides below it. Inside drawer dimensions of 12 1/2" by 5" high with full overlay drawer face of 7" high.

That's all I'd need. That's a real crucial drawer for a female in a bathroom.

Don't know if that's right. Don't know if it's doable in the real world.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 6:13PM
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I have a taller sink cabinet than the old sink cabinet was. I really hate it.

I hate it. It's too tall.

I hate it. I used to be able to lean over the sink to get really close to the mirror. Now I can't.

I have more trouble reaching things in my medicine cabinet, bcs I can't lean in as easily. Because the sink is so high. I hate this cabinet.

Of course, I'm only 5'2"; someone taller than me might find this fine.

I also hate that I can't sit on the sink easily. W/ the shorter sink, I could perch on the edge; now I can't. If I need to check my gums carefully, or I'm trying to see (without my glasses) whether that's really about to be a sty on my eyelid, I can't.

I hate this tall bathroom sink cabinet. I realized that I use the bathroom sink cabinet differently.

How tall is your current sink cabinet? If it's the same height and you're comfortable w/ it, then you're set. But be wary of a change in sink height here.

Also, remember that you need 1/2 inch clearance on each side of the drawer, just for side-mounted drawer slides. And what will you attach the side-mounted sldes to?

There are bottom-mounted slides that are designed to attach to the cabinet back and to a rail that goes across the cabinet--that would work in this spot. But you still need about 1/4" air between drawer wall and cabinet wall (plus, there *is* a teeny bit of clearance needed on the hinge side of the opening; the door isn't completely flush w/ the cabinet opening on frameless; it's about 1/4", not a lot, but it's there). And subtract 3/4" for the cabinet side itself.

Also, if you're thinking about storing stuff in that drawer that I'm thinking about, consider a SIDE to that cabinet that tilts out, or that a drawer pulls out of.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 7:28PM
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You know I'm just wanting that drawer real bad. I have two in the current bath cab. and even though they're only about 4" H and 4" W inside, I get all the daily grooming stuff in them. No, I need them in front; I just meant the female makeup and hair brushes, etc. (I'm long past the other needs--hallelujah!--and not yet ready for Depends. I'll use one of your back-of-the cabinet door holders when I'm ready for those. Or, maybe put a deep toilet-topper cabinet in. Funny, funny.)

I'm taller than you and carry so much length in my legs, versus torso, that when I sit at the table my chin is practically in my plate. It's quite bizarre, really. I love the kitchen sink. If I had a mirror, and some privacy, in there I'd do my makeup there now.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 9:08PM
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Even with the drawer below the sink, I think your 14" drawer is very optimistic. You haven't accounted for the sides of the cabinet, or for a vertical piece of plywood between the sink and drawer which, along with the necessary clearances, will cost you another couple of inches.

You're not quite trying to get blood from a stone here, but there are so many little details in play - the shape of the sink, the position of existing plumbing - that it's not really feasible to come up with clear answers in an internet discussion. I think you'll be better off finding a cabinetmaker willing to think creatively, and put it in his hands. Keep in mind that making the best of the space available is going to be much more finicky than typical cabinet work, and will cost you accordingly.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 7:03AM
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This is for a new house, so there's no existing plumbing to consider. I know the pipes could be offset, like they do for wheelchair users, but that doesn't even seem necessary. All our cabinetry will be built by a local shop; our GC usually builds higher-end houses than ours, which I've seen, so I'm confident he has some cabinetmakers who can handle this.

So, let me check my figures. If my 14" to the left of the center pipe is correct, we remove 3/4" for plywood carcass on that side, let's say a generous 1" on the left side of the drawers for their sides and clearance. And 2" on the right side for the drawer sides, 3/4" plywood vertical piece , and clearances. Frameless cabinetry, with undermount drawer slides. I've got 9.5" left as the interior drawer width. That is HUGE in that space. (Remember, I have 2 drawers now totally 8" and it's sufficient for my needs.) I think for sure I could have 8" interior dimension. And I'll have a stack of them. The ones below can be used by other people, since I can't reach them.

jon: No offense here, but I don't understand why it would be difficult for a competent cabinetmaker to make this simple cabinet. What am I missing here? He doesn't have to make shaped drawers, like Blum's sink wraparound drawer. He just has to measure correctly. And he'll charge me more to measure accurately? Custom cabinet shops are surely used to building things a little different than what I can buy off the shelf.

I guess if they want too much money, then DH, who is a relatively new cabinetmaker, can make it himself for a lot less money. He just finished one for another bath. I have furniture for him to build, so I don't want to sidetrack him on this project, but I can. And I can do the design work. This cannot be that hard. Also, the cabinet shop is getting the work for the entire house, with built-ins in kitchen, laundry, mudroom and 3 baths, including medicine cabinets and wall cabinets there. They should be able to make us a reasonable price on this.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 10:13AM
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If it's a new house, you've got more flexibility than I imagined. I think it's likely to be more expensive, though not earth-shatteringly so, for several reasons. A lot depends on how big the shop is, but anything unconventional means departures from the way they usually do things, which means extra time and cost. I agree it shouldn't be hard, but even "custom" cabinetry is made more efficient by repetition of similar parts.

I don't mean to suggest it's not doable, just that you'll pay a bit of a premium and should be sure it'll work for you before you place the order.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 12:21PM
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jon: thanks. I just want to make sure it's feasible before planning the rest of the bathroom, which is dependent on that storage. We'll work out the cost, if DH has to build it himself.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 2:04PM
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If you're having a whole house built, I don't think the extra cost of one slightly odd cabinet will even be noticeable; I was initially imagining a smaller project where the extra cost would get your attention. That said, if you're building a whole house, why not tweak the bathroom shape so you have more than 30" to work with?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2007 at 6:25AM
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jon1270: LOL. I wish! I've "tweaked" myself into a budget deficit and already took a ruler and pencil to the plan, slicing in 2 places through its length and depth to remove square footage. This bath will just have to suffer, in order to get even reasonable space elsewhere. It's one of the "lesser" rooms and I'm just trying to squeeze it as best I can.

I did design a wall cabinet, 8" front to back, for over the toilet. Goes from the wing wall there all the way over to the wall mirror over the sink. One closed cabinet and 4 small cubbies. I think we can meet our storage needs with it and the drawer in just the right place in that sink base.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 10:30AM
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they're only about 4" H and 4" W inside, I get all the daily grooming stuff in them

I hear you on this! My favorite drawer in the kitchen is about 4" wide inside--it's the one right next to the stove. (9" frameless cabinet; subtract 1.5" for cabinet sides, 1" for drawer sides, 1" or so for gap between cabinet and drawer--well, maybe it's more like 5" inside. )

It holds all the spatulas, slotted spoons, and tongs I really need. But no MORE than that, so it's always ultra usable (in fact, I think I need to take out one pair of tongs)

In the right spot, even small storage is tremendously useful.

And being SO small can be an advantage, bcs it forces you to discipline yourself.

I'm living vicariously through you, w/ all these cabinet manipulations.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 5:17PM
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A vanity cabinet at the Expo home store may have the answer you're looking for - the one pictured in this url - has three full sized drawers (the top one is false). The manufacturer accomplishes this simply by changing the shape of the back of the drawers to accommodate the plumbing. There is a about a 5"x5" space removed from the middle back of each drawer so that the drawer resembles a "C" shape where the open portion of the "C" is the back of the drawer that has been removed to avoid the plumbing. I thought it was a very clever design and it might be worth a trip to the store to see how its done.

Good luck on your project.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vanity with Full Drawers

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 12:39AM
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ann123: thanks so much. I need to go to Expo for this and other eyes-on things too. Blum uses this concept in their wraparound sink drawer, but no reason why it needs to "wrap". I'm sure if I can conceptualize it, a good local shop can build it.

t-sue: absolutely with you on the right storage in the right place. All the drawers in the world on the opposite side of the bath do me no good at all!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 7:53AM
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