When I built my coffee station hutch, I wanted sliding cabinet doors. It’s surprisingly difficult to find hardware for that. Have you ever looked? In my workshop, I made sliding doors using bypass closet door hardware. Those wheels are exposed and not right for my kitchen. I needed something sleek. After doing a ton of searching I found something that would work!
Sliding Cabinet Door Track
The Hafele hardware includes: plastic guide track with 35mm upper and bottom glides. (links below)
It definitely takes some planning to use this hardware. I’m sure there are other ways to going about it, but I doubled the faceframe which I cut grooves into before installing on the cabinet.
The plastic tracks require a groove sized at 7mm wide x 9mm tall. (.27″x.35″) It’s easy to run the faceframe pieces through a table saw or router table to cut these grooves. Once the faceframe is installed, the plastic tracks can be inserted into the grooves.
I used my Blum Eco Drill hinge jig to drill the holes for the glides. Of course I had to make some modifications to get the holes in the right spot. It’s meant to be used to drill cup hinge holes, after all. The jig had to be pushed away from the cabinet door in order to cut the hole in the right spot.
To push the jig away from the cabinet, I used a strip of MDF. I had to cut a bu bunch strips on my table saw, increasing by 1/16″ for each strip. Then I tried different strips until I got just the right spacing.
It probably would’ve been easier to just use a 35mm Forstner bit. I actually forgot to use the strips on one hole. Then I had to fill and repaint that mess and redrill – properly.
Upper and Bottom Glides
Each door gets a set of upper and bottom glides. The bottom glides have red markings and the uppers have black. Each glide has a tab that sits inside the plastic track, which keeps the doors centered.
The bottom glides have a wheel, in addition to the tab. This wheel rolls on top of lip of the plastic tracks. If you need to raise the door, the tab and wheel can be extended.
The top glides just have the tab that inserts into the track. This tab retracts so it’s out of the way while putting the door in place. After you set the bottom glide into the track, you tilt the door up and then extend the top tab into the top track.
These are not the easiest things to get in place. A couple of them I was able to push in with my thumbs but some of them required – more force. You can see that in my video below.
Sliding Cabinet Doors with Inset Track and Glides
The doors are bypass, so either one can be closed on either side of the cabinet. This is another thing that probably didn’t really matter, but I sized my one of the cabinet doors 1″ wider than the other. The wider one meant to be the back door, which would recess behind the faceframe stile on either side of the cabinet.
The back door can be closed on either side of the cabinet and will sit 3/4″ behind the faceframe.
I like having sliding doors on this hutch because it’s a thoroughfare from one side of the house to the other. I bought some recessed pulls that I still haven’t decided if I’m going to install or not. I like how the doors look without them.
I’m planning on selling this house as soon as it’s ready enough to sell so I really don’t think I’ll ever find out if the doors get dirty from hands pushing directly on the painted panels. I also don’t think the detail of “having” or “not having” pulls on the coffee hutch will make a bit of difference in the big kitchen picture.
But maybe I’m wrong. What do you think? Do I need to bother taking the doors down and routing in a hole for the recessed pulls? Would it matter to you if you walked into this kitchen as a potential buyer? Remember that I’m now finishing this house to sell it, not to live in it. What would you do? (No promises that I will do what you say. LOL)
Put the pulls in. White cabinets are already a bear to keep clean.
Sandy Puckett says
I think it would be better to add them. The doors will surely get dirty where people are handling them in order to open and close them, and it will make them easier to open and close.
You’ve done great job on the kitchen and your whole house! After all the work you’ve put into it, I would have a hard time selling it.
Thanks Sandy. I’m excited to get this one on the market and move on to the next adventure. At this point, I’m just finishing to sell. Not emotionally invested in this house any more.
I would add the pulls.
I’m struggling with the exact same project right now. I didn’t buy that track hardware because frankly it looked too difficult to install and it spooked me. I hadn’t thought of doubling the faceframes. As for the handles, I was going to drill small round holes for a finger- sized cup recessed pull- if you can picture that. I didn’t want to make big slots in the doors because I’m actually repurposing antique glass doors, so I was trying to think of ways to add pulls without going crazy with a router. Sorry I’m no help but I was tickled to see you post this since I’m going crazy trying to build sliding cab doors 😉
I love the idea of repurposing antique glass doors. Bet that will be super cool. I can picture the finger holes and think that can work fine. I think I’ve decided to just leave these alone. I bought pulls and held them up in all the different places they could “live” and don’t like any placement. Madison said the pulls are just ugly. Which surprised me. LOL
Yes, I’d add the pulls. They will provide a more finished look…and easier to open/close and keep clean.
Linda L Preston says
Great score on the slider system for the doors!
I guess pulls inset would help with function but not aesthetics. It’s a tough one!
Speaking of aesthetics, what paint did you use on your cabinets?? It looks great and is the finish I’m looking for on mine!
Thanks for weighing in on the big decision. Can’t believe I’m hung up on that! LOL I use Sherwin Williams ProClassic paint for cabinets. Semi gloss. The color is a custom white.
Your work is awesome- I am totally impressed by what you do- and that you even take time to write about it only adds to my amazement! The cabinet doors need the hardware.
Rocker has the slides. Looks similar, but seems to be a different brand. … “European Style Sliding Door Hardware …Item # 88155
But are currently “oversold… reserve yours today…”
Oh yeah, they look almost exactly the same. And the pack includes all the parts.
Jayne Zabala says
I would add the pulls — it will look finished and great practice for your next house!
LOL I am ready to move on! I’m not adding them. 🙂
Definitely add the pulls… I know it’s probably not what you wanted to hear, as you’ll be onto the next job by now !! ?
Mariele Storm says
I never, never get tired of your genius. I think this is probably the hardest working and most inventive DIY blog out there. Now… for me, pulls wouldn’t affect me one bit. I moved into my apartment that has wood cabinets and they don’t have any pulls, for the cabinets or the drawers. I like it, and wood is easy to clean. If I bought your place and saw the lack of hardware, it wouldn’t affect my decision because I know hardware is super easy to install if I need it. However–I’m guessing the average homebuyer is much lazier than I am about that sort of thing. So I’d go ahead and put some in. The biggest reason for that, though: it’s very easy to open cabinets that swing out without hardware. Sliding cabinets are a whole nother story! I accidentally took my closet doors off their track because they didn’t have hardware. And that’s something that will aggravate the heck out of a new buyer, their cabinet doors coming off the track and potentially breaking a cup or something… so I’d install some very simple knobs or something. Can’t wait to see what you do next! (this is all one paragraph because for some reason I can’t post a comment that is too many lines here)
I’m imagining the scene of you accidentally taking the doors of their tracks. LOL Really. There’s no way that can happen with these doors because they’re in upper and lower tracks. I keep thinking I’m leaving them alone. But EVERYONE is saying to add them so now I’m doubting myself… I’ll wait until Julie get’s back here and let her help me decide. I can’t think about that one, little decision any longer. LOLOLOL
What made you decide you want to sell after spending so long customizing your home? Are you going to finish the craft room space?
You’ll have to go back a few posts and ready my “New Years” post. ‘Cause there’s a lot of reasons. 🙂
Brenda Hayes says
Beautiful job. I would go to the trouble to add the pulls. It will give it a classier look and you won’t be dinging the wood with your finger nails. Just my thoughts.
Terry Brown says
Hi Sandy….long time no speak. Since I first discovered your blog (master closet days) you have become more and more amazing. It has been so fun to watch. I have to be honest I read the first 10-15 comments, on this subject, so forgive me if someone else mentioned this. I was wondering why you had to actually add hardware for your solution. Would it be possible to use a router and rout a groove in the very bottom of the doors (either vertically or horizontally) just enough to put your fingers in to either push away or pull the doors closed? I think a horizontal groove would be less conspicuous. Rout then paint the inside of the groove??? Yes? No?
Well, routing and painting won’t really be any better than just using the lip on the recessed door panel to push the doors open. The issue people are afraid of is the paint getting dingy. I haven’t done anything to them yet and think I’m going to leave them plain.
I would not add the pulls. I like the doors as is and they are simple enough to open and close. I have a piece of furniture with two large sliding doors from Arhaus. No pulls and it looks classy.
John Grills says
Love this cabinet. Do you happen to have any plans/dimensions?
Love you work too.
YES, I’m in the process of researching sliding cabinet door hardware right now and I am increasingly bewildered at how difficult it is to find the right product. I emailed Hafele directly, asked for their recommendation for my project (sent drawing and specs) and was completely dissatisfied with their service. I was quoted $772 for hardware for 6 sliding cabinet doors measuring ~24″x~24″ x 3/4″ ea. plywood. I’m thinking maybe I just got a bad representative so I might call them. I just sent the same inquiry to Hettich. Rockler has a hardware kit that looks similar to what you used. That was the first kit I found but later thought that my client wouldn’t like the plastic-ness of it. So started researching more.
I have a few questions: the doubling up on the face frame idea is interesting but I would be concerned about all that door weight hanging on the glue joint…have you seen any problems with that? Maybe you used dominoes and are not concerned? And, have you seen any problem with wearing down of the plastic material in the “hardware”? I realize you may not have lived in the house long enough to notice. I’m opting toward metal tracks and hardware as much as possible but with how difficult it is to find these kits I might just buy the Hafele or Rockler…to save my head from exploding.
Thanks a lot for this post!
I didn’t use this cabinet long enough to see any wear on the track. I really don’t anticipate that being a problem since the door part is a wheel so it rolls on the track (rather than rubbing). Honestly, if I were to use that hardware again I would just use the door part and skip the plastic. Simply route the groove the appropriate size for the wheel, rather than large enough to add the plastic insert.
As far as the double faceframe goes: That’s a lot of face surface to laminate. If we were talking end on end, I would strengthen with a dowel or tenon.
Mike Davis says
How did you find white tracks and 35 mm sliding pcs? I have looked at rockler and hafele and all I can find is brown. Did you paint them? If so wouldn’t the paint get rubbed off and the brown start to show through? Great job on your project.
I can’t remember. I searched online.
Bummer, I’ve been searching as well. I held my breath as i approach the bottom of the page just hoping someone had asked.
If it’s ok to post this:
I just found white sliding door tracks on opentip ”HDL-H404-14-701”. Shipping is pricey but its length is measured at 98”.
Just ordered all white materials from the builder supply.com