Cabinet Stile

By removing the center stile on a cabinet' face frame, and attaching it to the door you can install wider pull out shelves inside the cabinet. This can be done in less than an hour per cabinet! Please remember this is written for our product and may not work with others

What is stile on a cabinet? A cabinet stile is the middle supporting piece of wood directly in the middle of the cabinet's face frame. 


Step 1: Adding a Stiffener For Cabinets With Granite Counter Tops (if no granite tops, skip to step 2 below)

Our kitchen cabinets have granite counter tops which must be supported with a stiffener behind the drawer rails (do not do this conversion without the stiffener on cabinets with granite counter tops).

Center Stile
Our kitchen cabinet with a center stile

We used a 1 x 2 cut the width of the cabinet inside from wall to wall and pre-drilled pilot holes to attach it to the horizontal rails beneath the cabinet drawers

Cabinet Center Stile
Stiffener cut to length and ready to install

Use 1 1/4" screws to attach stiffener to cabinet. The stiffener is 3/4" thick and the cabinet face frame is also 3/4" thick so 1 1/4" screws will give solid attachment without coming through.

Step 4. Remove Center Stile Cabinet Face Frame
Stiffener board with screws attached

Apply a liberal amount of wood glue to the stiffener then using clamps to hold it in position screw the stiffener to the drawer rails.

Step 4. Remove Center Stile Cabinet Face Frame
Glue, Clamp and Screw the stiffener to the drawer rail

Step 2: Remove Cabinet Center Stile Face Frame 

The cabinet that we are installing pull out shelves in has bumpers on the door, we are going to leave them on so that we do not get banging of the door against the frame when we are finished. Close the door onto the frame and make a pencil mark on the center stile showing where the edge of the door aligns with the stile.

Drill 3-4 holes along the length of the center stile between the mark made for the door and the edge of the center stile. Drill entirely through the center stile, then close the door and from the inside of the cabinet make pilot holes into the door ( Caution: do not drill through the door, a small pilot start is all that is needed).


Drill Holes In Center Stile Cabinet Face Frame
Drill pilot holes through cabinet stile

Using a tri square set your cabinet saw or jam saw just below the drawer rail and clamp the square onto the center cabinet style using two or three clamps. Be sure the clamps are holding the square solid to prevent slipping. We leave about 1/4" of the center stile below the drawer rails but you can also cut the top square with the bottom of the drawer rails


Cut Center Stile With Jig Saw
Align Cabinet Saw or Jam Saw with Square


remove center stile cabinet face frame
Secure square to center stile using clamps

Cut the top of the center stile with the cabinet saw or jam saw. You may need to duplicate the procedure on the stile bottom also. On our cabinet the bottom of the center stile is secured to the cabinet with pocket screws. Pocket screws will have a two slanted slots that pocket screws set in. Typically pocket screws are #2 square drive. This bit can be found at most hardware stores.


cabinet center stile
Cut through the stile

Removing the pocket screws at the bottom back of the stile allows the stile to be removed from the cabinet Notice: the 4 pilot holes that were drilled earlier, the marks on the top face of the stile were where the door handle screws made marks before door bumpers were installed, disregard these holes :)

remove center stile cabinet face frame
Remove Center Stile From Cabinet

 Our Cabinet now has the center stile removed and now can be attached to the door.

cabinet stile
Cabinet with center stile removed


Attach the center stile to the cabinet door using the pilot holes drilled earlier.

Tip: remove approx 1/16" from top and bottom of the stile with a saw or sander to give a small gap to prevent binding.

We are leaving the handles on which pushes the board back away from the door, so to get a secure attachment as possible we used 1 1/2" screws with 1/8" spacers to attach the stile to the door. If your cabinet does not have handles then the spacers are not necessary.

Center Stile
Attach the center stile to the door

 Step 3: Install Your Pull Out Shelves

You are now ready to install the pull out shelves inside of the cabinet.

Kitchen Cabinet Stiles
Pull out shelves installed with center board removed

 This kitchen has two cabinets with center stiles removed to allow for wider pull out shelves (the plastic was for paint prep, nothing to do with our work).

Kitchen with pull out shelves


Removing Cabinet Stile
Wide pull out shelves increase storage area

Alternative Method of Installing Slide Out Shelves with Cut Center Stile

Move the drawer slide forward on the drawer 3/4-7/8"

Mount the cabinet slides into the middle of the face frame

 By moving the drawer slide forward on the box this allows for the door with the cut stile to be closed and not hit the drawer

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