Is 36 inches too wide for a drawer stack?

jerzeegirlJune 4, 2012

I have two 36" draswer stacks in my plan but am wondering if they are too large. Would 27" be a more manageable width? I dread the thought of things getting lost in the drawers because of their size.

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I have 27" and would have loved 36". I use them for my pots and pans. You can always subdivide the drawer if needed. I don't think 36" is too big.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 3:21PM
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I only have one 36 inch drawer stack and I don't find it too big at all. I keep pots and pans in one of the drawers and all my dishes in another. The third drawer is under the cook top so it is shallow but I use to store miscellaneous/ longer items. It would be great to have another 36 inch drawer stack. Heere are a couple of photos

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 3:26PM
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It all depends on location and how many people use the kitchen at the same time. I keep prep tools such as can openers, garlic presses, meas cups/spoons in the shallow drawer above our 39" wide pots and pans drawer. If 2 of us are prepping at the same time, both of us have to move every time either of us wants something out of one of the drawers. It would have worked better if I had divided the top shallow drawer into 2 smaller ones instead of 1 wide one.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Fori is not pleased

No, it's not.

Even 42s are good. (But maybe not in the middle of things...)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 3:50PM
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I love my 36" drawers! I have two under my cooktop that house my pots and pans and on the other side I have three sets of drawers on my long wall with 36" drawers. I love them! So much more funcitonal that cabinets and size allows me to use one for all my tupperware, one has snacks, one has dishes, one has kid cups/plates/bowls.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 3:54PM
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I have 36" drawers under my rangetop for pots and pans, but the largest anywhere else is 30". It all depends on where they are and what you want them for. I wouldn't want such large drawers for small utensils, but they're great for small appliances, baking pans, pots and pans, etc. For some wider drawer stacks we did 2 small drawers across the top to have smaller areas for smaller items.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 4:33PM
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I posted on this same subject last year when faced with 38" ish drawer stacks. I ended up going with stacks that wide, and I love them. I also have a 36" stack under my rangetop.

Back in January, another member posted about wide stacks. I'll link her thread below in which I posted a link to my old thread. Lots of info between those two threads.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wide drawer thread with a link to my thread

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 5:20PM
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I too love my 36" bank of drawers. Ours are in our island and house flat wear and dishes.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 6:43PM
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I have 30, 36, and 42 and love them all!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 7:25PM
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I have two 36 inch drawer stacks. They both have two half-width upper drawers and two full width lower drawers.

Nothing ever gets lost inside - partly because they are full extension.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 8:22PM
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Not for me! I love my 36ers!

I have two 36" deep drawers under the cooktop for pots and pans. Everything fits, and I don't have to fight handles and lids to find the pot I want. Nothing gets lost because the drawers are fully extending, which allows me to see everything.

I also have 36" wide drawers on my banquette. I think they are FAB!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 9:13PM
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Another yes vote. I have 3 36" 3 drawer stacks. LOVE them!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 9:16PM
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I have a 40" stack. So far, so good!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:32PM
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Thank you all for your input! I was a little worried because the 36" stack closest to the peninsula will open in front of the sink meaning that you can't open the drawer if someone is standing in front of the sink. But I don't think there is any way to really avoid that problem regardless of what cabinet goes there.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:37PM
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I have 2-36", 2-12" (ick), 1-27", and some miscellaneous drawers.

You can always subdivide them, but you can't make them wider or deeper.

There you go.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:47PM
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I don't remember your layout, but if you could shift a shorter drawer into that corner, something like 15-24", and keep the larger drawers farther out, less storage would be blocked by someone standing there. BTW, I love mine too.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 6:36AM
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I have base drawers that are 27" wide, 33" wide, and 36" wide.
I like them all a lot. And they all have their uses.

But I like the 33" wide the best, seconded by the 27".
Opening the 36" wide drawers just feels like a little bit more work
(in terms of stepping out of the way and using two bin pulls
instead of the one bin pull my 27" wide drawer requires.)

If you are worried that the top drawer in the 36" wide stack
is going to be too wide and will pose problems
for someone standing by the sink,
many cabinet companies can offer you a base cabinet
in which you have two 18" side by side top drawers,
with two 36" wide base drawers below them.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 6:55AM
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Here's the plan.

I think I am changing the Advantium to a 30" under counter m/w drawer, a 36" drawer stack, 30" range and another 36" drawer stack.

I could do 24" m/w drawer, 27" drawer stack, 30" range, 27" drawer stack, and 24" drawer stack or base cabinet with a door, which would have nice symmetry, but 27" drawer stacks might be too small.

Perhaps I should have asked if 27" drawer stacks are too small.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 7:02AM
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Hi Jerzeegirl,

How wide to go is somewhat individual based on your storage needs,
layout, whether or not you are a multiple cook kitchen, and the kind of pulls (one or two) you plan to use.

Have you tried mocking up two-dimensional drawers out of paper and seeing if your pots and pans will fit? This is a very TKO trick I learned on GW.

Here is what I have, dictated by my layout and the fact that I have a streamlined collection of pots and pans and only store in the kitchen things I use daily/weekly.

Below: the middle drawer of the 27" wide three stack to the left of my stove.
This is where I store the pots, pans, skillets, and crepe pan that I use daily/weekly
(yes, crepes every week!). The large, heavy iron/enamel Le Creuset pots I use almost daily live on open shelves in another part of the kitchen. I was afraid this everyday pots and pans drawer wouldn't be wide enough. But I think it works perfectly for my needs; others who have more daily-use pots and pans may prefer a wider drawer. I also really like the size of the top drawer in the 27" wide 3-stack:

Below: the bottom drawer in the 27" wide stack:

Below: the 33" wide drawer in my main prep/baking area.
This is a drawer I used all the time when I'm cooking because it is where I store the colanders and mixing bowls:

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 8:05AM
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Francoise: Thank you so much! Those photographs are very very helpful. I think we will be able to manage with 27"-33" stacks. Since we are going induction I will have to buy new pots and pans anyway. The only outlier is my DH's beer brewing stock pot, which won't fit in any normal size drawer no matter how large, because of its height. That will get it's own special shelf in the pantry.

Crepes every week sounds like heaven to me. I hope my old crepe pan works with induction because it is very well seasoned and I would hate to have to start from scratch with a new pan!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 9:08AM
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Like the omelet pan I bought long ago when I was new married and had never made or even eaten one. :)

Going with smaller cabinets loses some inches of drawer storage but gives you a really good work space and should also be better aesthetically. That 30" stove and hood were going to look a bit scrunched between the big boys. Now they get to be bigger.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 10:27AM
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Don't forget to allow for space at the sink run/cab run right-angled intersection for the drawers and doors to pass by the faces, and most importantly the handles, of the drawers and doors on the other side of the angle. Sometimes you need to build in a few inches of blind space for this to work.

To test whether you'd like arranging your stuff in various sized drawers, you can make mock-ups from cardboard boxes of the drawer dimensions and see how stuff fits. I found this very useful when contemplating different drawer sizes. Be sure to use the actual dimensions of the drawers, not the nominal cab size as the drawers are always small, sometimes, much smaller.



    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 12:06PM
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liriodendron: I was planning 2" fillers on either end of the cabinet run and I sure hope that's adequate. I am planning on frameless cabinets and just assumed that the cabinetmaker would not be able to do extended stiles.

I think doing the mock ups is a good idea because I don't have a very good grasp on how all my kitchenwares are going to fit these drawers!

rosie: I agree that the smaller drawers will help with the scale since already it's not a large kitchen. I am excited though because now that I am making the drawers a little smaller I think I can fit a 15" trash pullout at the end of the run (down by the sink).

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 1:15PM
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You will love the trash pull out!
I you can fit it, it is nice to have room for two trash cans in the pullout
so that one can be for can/bottle recycling.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 1:33PM
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That's what I want - the pullout with two trash cans!

I must admit that I am not thrilled about the prospect of having trash in the cabinets (we currently have a separate trash can that does take up space) but I noticed that the trash cans have covers so that makes it a whole lot better!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 2:30PM
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Ooh, congrats on a trash pullout. I love having nothing on the floor. When it's time to sweep and mop, just sweep and mop. BTW, I posted recently on how to install a nonstandard 12" pullout if that's all the room you have. We copied it from a good angel, allowing us to get our lone 15" stack in for silverware, etc., and it works very well.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:06PM
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rosie: I would love to read that thread but can't seem to find it. Would you please post a link? Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:25PM
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Huh, I didn't find it either. Maybe I forgot to hit send. In any case, a wonderful person a long time ago posted pix and a description of how she put a slim can in a 12" Ikea pullout. I copied it and have been happy ever since.

I have to pay modest attention while peeling something into it since the peels can go flying when you're laughing or whatever; otherwise, it's plenty wide for all uses without any more attention than standard sizes.

As for how, with Ikea you purchase the 12" cabinet with pullout apparatus but only use the bottom shelf. Set a tall slender can in it. Super easy, and it turned out to be very stable just standing in the shelf/tray.

I made mine full height, so the can pulls out just below the counter edge, because there were no 12" wide drawers available. If a 12" drawer were available with whatever cabinet line was used, you could do a shorter can with a drawer above.

The only issue is finding the right size plastic can, since it's not a standard size. The one I purchased, a standard-brand "Slim Jim" that we cut down to just the right height, may not be made any more.

However, check the SimpleHuman link below for at least one possible source for a can. It's to a complete pull-out apparatus and can that will fit in a 12" cabinet. I found a reference to it in just now, posted by someone who said (a couple of years ago) that they also sold just the can. I don't like this apparatus, though, because the can doesn't slide out WITH the door attached to it, not the cabinet (one pull open, one push closed), which mine does.

BTW, I also hung a wide rod-style handle on it, which holds our sink-side hand towel. The door never gets dirty.

Here is a link that might be useful: SimpleHuman link

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 7:06PM
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Thanks rosie. That was very helpful. In my previous kitchen I had a trash can under the sink. It was not large but I didn't mind because it forced me to empty the trash on a daily basis or every two days (which is a good thing!). If I could figure out how to get the recycling can in there too, I might put it under the sink after all and use the extra 15" cabinet for other things. Now I'm confused again, lol.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 8:25PM
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badgergal & nhbaskets - love the way you have stacked your chinaware in the drawers

Could you kindly let me know what the "trees" inside the drawer are called? Did they come with the drawers or did you buy them separately?

Many thanks.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 2:09PM
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Gemcap, that was going to be my question
In one of the photos it looks like an insert with a "notch" to remove.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 2:27PM
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Gemcap and Terri_pacnw, the system in the drawers in just called drawer peg organizer. It does have a notch to remove it. Mine is the Rev-a-Shelf brand. It looks nice and keeps everything organized but I found out after the fact that it really isn't necessary if you have good soft close drawers. There have been a number of threads on these organizers which you should be able to find with a google search and the terms gardenweb + dish drawer organizers or peg dividers. Most GWers agree that you can stack dishes in drawers without the pegs and that the pegs actually waste some drawer space. Some posters did say they used some type of liners like cushy cupboards in their pegless drawers. Nothing really moves when I close my soft close drawers. So while the pegs look nice, I say save the cost. I am sure you can find something else to spend that extra money on.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 5:15PM
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Thanks badgergal :-) Rev-a-Shelf has so very many nifty little things which are verrrrry tempting and its so good to get balanced feedback.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:15AM
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Do these 36" wide drawers that will hold plates or pots and pans have to have extra heavy duty hardware?

Thank you everyone for sharing your input.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 3:27PM
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We have "regular duty" soft-close hardware on the drawers that hold our dishes. I would recommend heavy-duty as they will close better (we have to keep the heavier items to the back of the drawer for balance).

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 4:05PM
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I had to have the hardware on my 36" dish drawer changed to the heavy duty hardware. The excessive weight caused the soft close feature to stop working. My 30" cabinets are fine. I'd recommend heavy duty for any drawers over 30".

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:11PM
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Thank you Sjhockeyfan and Romy718 for your input. This is what I was thinking also that I would need to upgrade the hardware to heavy duty for any drawers over 30".

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:51AM
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I had the 42 inch drawer failure and we all learned from the experience.
1. The weight of the drawer and insert counts as total weight. My glides were rated for 75lb. The drawer weighed 30 and the dish pegs weighed 8. My dishes weighed 75.
2. Standard installation was 3 screws into the glides - full extension puts a lot of stress on the front screw.

For large drawers consider heavy duty glides and extra screws for support.

I still love my big drawers but the one 42 was modified into a drawer inside a drawer with heavy duty Blum glides. The others had more screws added.
I have 42, 37, 30 as my main drawer banks.

See my old post - recipe for disaster for pictures and final solutions.
The only. Drawer with heavy duty hardware is the dish drawer.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 6:30AM
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