What’s the #1 mistake people make with cabinets?

What’s the #1 mistake people make with cabinets?

Have you ever been in a kitchen where the doors or drawers hit each other or hit against the wall? The doors and drawers would be working properly if fillers had been used. So let’s get to know our friend the filler. A filler is a ¾” thick piece of finished wood. Fillers come in 3” or 6” widths and will be cut to desired widths on site.

Typically, you can get your fillers in 30”, 36”, 42” or 96” lengths and cut to your desired lengths on site. Fillers will come with either the 1 side the front matching your exterior cabinet color or with 3 sides the front and edges matching your exterior cabinet color. You need the edges to match in color when installing horizontal for either risers for crown or for a band on the backside of an island.

When designing your kitchen use fillers whenever you have differing depths between your cabinets. This will keep the doors and drawers from hitting adjacent cabinets of deeper depth. Fillers will be needed whenever you have cabinets next to a wall. This keeps the doors and drawers from banging the wall when opening and also keeps the doors and drawers from hitting the door casings and the baseboards. Your minimum width for this use of fillers is 1”, but make sure you have enough to clear any obstructions. You could also use a filler horizontally across the top of your upper cabinets to create a riser for your crown. Look at the upper cabinets and if the design has cabinets going to the ceiling than you can utilize fillers horizontally to act as a riser for which the crown molding can sit.

What other reasons could you use fillers? Let’s look at your island. If you have a large overhang and need legs to support the countertop then you can use the fillers with 3 edges finished to act as a band. Fillers used in this way will connect at the top corner of the outer edge cabinets and connect to the legs at the desired length of your overhang. These fillers will create a rectangle formation from the back of the island around the legs on which the countertop should sit. Upon completion, the band and legs will provide support to the top and give a professional look when finished.

Another time to use fillers would be when a fridge is close to a side wall. If you do not have a minimum of 6” space between the fridge and the wall, then the fridge door will not open all the way. This will be problematic if the client needs to swing the refrigerator door completely open to remove the shelves. Let’s not forget the blind corner or dead space corners. When in a corner you may use fillers on the perpendicular cabinet so that the doors and drawers will open properly. Your filler needs to be wide enough to pass by the hardware on the cabinet. Minimum width of the filler typically will be 4” -6” in this situation.

In addition, fluted fillers that are grooved or “fluted” offer an extra design touch as well.

Most custom cabinetry guys will tell you they don’t use fillers. They all do, they just refer to them as “stiles” instead.