What is the difference between bottom mount and side mount drawer slides?

In the realm of cabinet hardware, drawer slides often fly under the radar, overshadowed by their more conspicuous counterparts. It's not uncommon for people to assume that bottom mount and side mount drawer slides are interchangeable or virtually indistinguishable. However, nothing could be further from the truth. These two types of drawer slides possess distinct characteristics that significantly impact their functionality and suitability for different cabinet designs. 

In this insightful exploration, we will unravel the various differences between the bottom mount and side mount drawer slides, shedding light on their unique features, installation requirements, advantages, and limitations.

What is the difference between bottom mount and side mount drawer slides? 1

1. Bottom Mount Drawer Slides

Bottom mount drawer slides, as the name suggests, are installed beneath the drawer and attached to the bottom of the cabinet. They provide support and guidance to the drawer, ensuring smooth and quiet operation.

The bottom mount drawer slides Installation process requires precision and careful measurement. It involves attaching the slides to the drawer box and securing them to the cabinet floor. Retrofitting existing cabinets with bottom mount slides may be more complex.

This type of slide comes with an enormous number of advantages, and we will discover with you some of them below:

Space-saving design: Bottom mount slides maximize the available vertical space in cabinets, allowing for greater storage capacity.

Enhanced weight-bearing capacity: These slides are renowned for their ability to handle heavier loads, making them suitable for storing items that require additional support.

Smooth and quiet operation: Bottom mount slides offer effortless gliding, ensuring minimal noise and a satisfying user experience.

Ease of access and visibility: With the drawer fully extending from the cabinet, items stored inside are easily visible and accessible.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that bottom mount drawer slides do come with a set of limitations such as:

Limited drawer height: The presence of the slide mechanism beneath the drawer limits the overall height of the drawer.

Potential clearance issues with flooring or baseboards: Bottom mount slides may require additional clearance space to prevent interference with the flooring or baseboards.

Installation complexity for retrofitting existing cabinets: Retrofitting cabinets with bottom mount slides can be more challenging due to the need for precise measurements and modifications.


2. Side Mount Drawer Slides

Side mount drawer slides are installed on the sides of the drawer box and attached to the cabinet walls. They provide stability and support, allowing for the smooth opening and closing of drawers. Unlike bottom-mount drawer slides, installing side-mount drawer slides is relatively straightforward. They are attached to the drawer box and secured to the interior sides of the cabinet. Adjustments can be made to ensure proper alignment.

What is the difference between bottom mount and side mount drawer slides? 2

Side mount drawer slides also offer unique and practical advantages, here are some of them:

Versatility in drawer size and height: Side mount slides can accommodate a wide range of drawer sizes and heights, making them suitable for various cabinet configurations.

Easy installation and adjustment: The installation process for side mount slides is simpler compared to bottom mount slides, and adjustments can be made to achieve optimal alignment.

Wide range of weight-bearing capacities: Side mount slides are available in different weight capacities, providing flexibility for storing items of varying weights.

Compatibility with various cabinet designs: These slides can be used in different cabinet styles, including face-frame and frameless cabinets.


And as well as bottom mount drawer slides, this type of slide have also some limitations and disadvantages: 

Reduced visibility and access to drawer contents: The slide on the side of the drawer may obstruct some visibility and access to the contents, especially towards the back of the drawer.

Increased potential for drawer misalignment: Side mount slides require precise alignment to ensure smooth operation, and there is a slightly higher chance of misalignment compared to bottom mount slides.

Slightly more noise during operation: As the drawer glides along the side, a gentle hum of movement may accompany its journey. While not obtrusive, it presents a subtle contrast to the whisper-like operation of bottom mount slides.



Lower mount slide

Side mounted slide rail

Installation Difficulty


more difficult







Load-bearing capacity





very good

Service life





Higher end


What is the difference between bottom mount and side mount drawer slides? 3

What is the difference between bottom mount and side mount drawer slides? 4



3. The Key Differences Between Bottom Mount and Side Mount Drawer Slides

We will explore and show you here the key differences between bottom mount slides and side mount slides in order to make you differentiate between the two types easily:

1-Mounting location and method: Bottom mount slides reside beneath the drawer, attached to the cabinet floor, while side mount slides gracefully cling to the sides of the drawer box, securing themselves to the cabinet walls.

2-Drawer height and weight capacity considerations: Bottom mount slides restrict the drawer height due to the presence of the slide mechanism, whereas side mount slides offer versatility in accommodating various drawer heights. Additionally, bottom mount slides excel in bearing heavier loads, providing robust support.

3-Installation complexity and retrofitting options: Retrofitting existing cabinets with bottom mount slides demands precision and potential modifications, whereas side mount slides offer a simpler installation process. Retrofitting is generally more straightforward with side mount slides.

4-Space utilization and drawer accessibility: Bottom mount slides maximize vertical space and provide complete access to the drawer contents. Side mount slides, while versatile in drawer size, may limit visibility and access towards the back of the drawer.

5-Noise and smoothness of operation:

Bottom mount slides boast whisper-like operation, gliding effortlessly with minimal noise. Side mount slides, while still offering smooth movement, may produce a slight hum during operation.



In conclusion, bottom mount slides showcase space-saving design, enhanced weight-bearing capacity, smooth operation, and ease of access. However, they have limitations in drawer height and potential clearance issues. Side mount slides offer versatility, easy installation, and a wide range of weight capacities, but compromise visibility and may require precise alignment.

When you wanna take you decision pay attention to your specific needs, cabinet design, and desired functionality. Bottom mount slides excel in maximizing space and handling heavier loads, while side mount slides offer versatility and ease of installation. Strike a harmonious balance between aesthetics, convenience, and accessibility to find the perfect drawer slide solution for your cabinets.


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