PLEASE help me solve my kitchen cabinet pull out dilemma!!

March 25, 2019

Hi everyone!

I'm 90% finished with our kitchen renovation and I'm STUMPED and frustrated!! I had custom kitchen cabinets made and didn't know to specify how WIDE my trash can pull out cabinet needed to be. I DID tell both my cabinet carpenter (they were custom made - I'm told nothing was prefab so it certainly could have been done) and my designer that I wanted a full sized trash can pull out and that we use both a trash and recycling bin. I mentioned / complained in passing to both that we all hated our half sized trash cans since you can barely fit anything inside of them and was looking forward to a pull out that was larger. None of us spent too much time on the size as we focused more on WHERE the trash can pull out cabinet would go (we decided to the right of my sink was best since I didn't want to give up a drawer and half of my cabinets in my island.)

So here we are, cabinets are installed and the cabinet painters have painted, counters, sink, appliances, etc are all installed. The cabinet contractor didn't order the kit for the blind corner or the trash pull out and told me (the day they were delivered) to just pick out anything I wanted and he'd come back to install them and even gave me some links he suggested and said he could order them wholesale or I could just order them direct.

After looking at various kits online, I've learned that in order to have two full sized trash can bins in the pull out cabinet, I need a minimum of a 15" wide cabinet. Mine is only 12" wide. I can't choose a different cabinet since to the right of my sink is my dishwasher. To the left of this trash can cabinet is a bank of awesome pull out drawers housed under the cooktop. There is an 18" wide blind corner cabinet but it's on the opposite side of the kitchen. For an avid cook, that's not convenient at all - especially since we had hardwood floors installed, I'd prefer not to drip trash goo halfway across my kitchen 20 times a day.

I've called one of the main mfgs, Rev-A-Shelf and they said my only option is to get a single full sized trash bin or two 27quarts (small like we currently have). This wouldn't be an issue if I had space to house a full sized recycling bin but I literally have NO space in my kitchen, pantry or laundry room. Each space is large enough for it's function and the doors that swing open and close and to open dishwasher, oven and fridge doors.

SO now for my question...I'm looking at the mechanism for the pull out drawers...have any of you BUILT your own trash can pull out drawers??? I'm wondering if I could use the 12" base kit & bracket that attaches to the base the cans sit on and 'rig' a support arm to hold the cans in place to hold wider cans?? I don't mind if the cans are an inch or so wider than the base? I'm absolutely open to ANY suggestions that any of you could make.

I measured 35qt cans and they are only 9-10" wide (even though they aren't a full 50qt size, they are larger than 27qts which I'd be VERY thankful when we host parties).

I know that I could have the cabinet support wall moved and get new smaller drawers made but since it's all painted, it's just a bunch of extra hassle and work for all involved and I'd really like to stay the course and be done with our renovation. Thanks so much!!!

Comments (30)

  • live_wire_oak

    THIS is why you needed a Kitchen Designer.

    A 12" W cabinet only has a 9" opening. No trash is going there. With only 12" of space there, it was never going there. And why is a DW virtually next to a cooktop cabinet? That's just more bad design. You appear to have REALLY needed a KD.

    The only other spot for it would have been to take away from your drawer stack. To get 2 real full sized trash cans needs 21". If you would have given up that much space originally to devote to just trash, make them redo it.

    All of this painting on site is smoke and mirrors hokum. Cabinets should be painted in the cabinet makers clean room with a conversion varnish. On site paint with dust and debris is the worst thing possible. Your contractor should fix that too.

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen

    Post your actual layout. There may be other options.

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  • gratitude24

    I appreciate each of you chiming in, even though most of the responses haven't been in my favor. I'll clarify by saying that we 'glazed' over the details in this because when I told both the cabinet carpenter AND my kitchen designer that I was open to hearing WHERE the trash cabinet should go, I only wanted them to be sure to house full sized trash cans because we hated running out of room in our current cans and told them we had a small trash bin and a MUCH smaller recycling bin and they were awful. My cabinet guy said, "OK. GOTCHA!" My designer smiled at his response so I took that as they both 'got' that request taken care of. I've never done this before and made a point to pay my designer for a consult for her and I alone AND made sure that I paid for her to be at the initial consult for the cabinet guy AND for the first official meeting with him to go over what I'd like in the kitchen AND for the meeting when he came to my house before he started building. I mentioned the full sized trash cans again and was he had it.

    Where my inexperience as a homeowner was, is that I didn't realize that the cabinet opening had to be a certain size and that my cabinet guy wouldn't ensure that I had that minimum size...

    I'll correct my verbiage however, and say that the actual cabinet opening (including the trim around the opening) is 12" on the nose. If he shaved off some of the trim on the sides, I could get an extra 1/2" to 1" but I don't think it would help me...I need an additional 3" and not 1". When I've searched online and spoke with Rev A Shelf, I was told that what I currently have, a 12" opening IS sufficient but only for their 27qt cans BUT when I searched online, I found 35qt cans that measure 9" wide but the trash pull out kit system they come with requires a 15" opening so I'm here asking if anyone has experience with a work around.

    live_wire_oak, my trash bin is on the left, then my kitchen sink, then my DW is on the right side of my sink. We're in Texas. Trust me, my preference would have been to have the cabinets spray painted, then cured at the carpenter's shop but after speaking with several carpenters, I learned that in order to spray paint the cabinets legally, they have to have a separate room designated for spraying with proper ventilation and to have permits and built according to regulation so most no longer offered this option. They custom build their cabinets, deliver and install them, then a cabinet painter comes to prep and spray the cabinets. YES, it was NOT an easy process to live with but the painters prepped incredibly well and there was literally NO overspray anywhere.

    @The Cook's Kitchen, thank you! I'll run my kids to school this morning then post pictures. I sincerely appreciate your offer to help. I knew what colors, backsplash, counters and features I wanted my cabinets to have but I just didn't know the process and proper way to do go about it so I thought using a designer and custom cabinet designer both could help. I'll say that I do love my cabinets but am frustrated at this issue.

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen

    Just a FYI for anyone else going the route of a custom cabinet maker. Your KD should have created elevations with everything indicated for you to sign off on just like a layout using factory cabinets. Standard nomenclature can be used that indicate the cabibet measurements, and specialty details should be called out. Something like this:

  • gratitude24

    Of course, my cabinet guy needs to come back and install the upper doors, toe kick drawer under the ovens, my vent wooden vent hood and the trash & blind corner kits. You can see the 12" opening to the left of the sink. To the right is the dishwasher area. The distance between the double ovens and dishwasher to the island is just enough to open those doors and have access to the inside. My pantry is to the right of the fridge and the laundry room is beside the pantry. Both are literally large enough to have the doors swing open...pantry has shelving that gets fully utilized and the laundry room barely has enough room for a 2nd fridge, washer, dryer and for both doors to swing inside (garage door and laundry room door. I don't think I have other options but am open to suggestions...I'm hoping someone has built a trash pull out kit or has a work around for me to use 35qt bins on the smaller frame that's sold with the 27qt bins.

  • gratitude24

    I’ll post a clear pic of the trash / sink area after bfast dishes are cleaned up

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!

    That backsplash, what a gorgeous piece of art that it!

    gratitude24 thanked Zalco/bring back Sophie!
  • gratitude24

    When the home was originally built, it already had the island and had a bi-level peninsula with 2 skinny 'counters' that weren't worth having so one of the things I knew I wanted to do was to cut the bi-level / bar counter down to give me another workspace on the peninsula and am SO glad that I did! It visually opens the kitchen up so it doesn't look so cramped but is so much more functional as well.

    I met with several designers and custom cabinet builders and no one suggested getting rid of the island...I'm cook most of our meals from scratch and bake a lot so I my island is my workhorse. I'm VERY thankful and appreciative of our renovation but if money weren't an issue, I would have reworked the plumbing, gas, etc to give me a larger island :-). I don't know if getting rid of the peninsula and having a larger island instead would have been ideal in my kitchen but tearing up the concrete and plumbing to move lines wasn't in the budget. The peninsula separates the kitchen from the den & kitchen nook. If we had removed that, there wouldn't be an counter area to house the sink & dishwasher. The peninsula was actually LONGER which was awful...I had them chop off about 10" to make the opening wider should any appliances need to be replaced, etc. Had to do that and the delivery crew literally had 1/2" clearing. My kitchen is smaller than it looks in the pictures.

    Do you know of a workaround for the pull out mechanism in a trash pull out kit would accommodate trash cans that are a bit larger? They seem to either have molded bases to house the cans or a support bar / arm that's custom for the designated cans.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    Poor design and very poor communication leads to this mess. Get over the fact you did not do your job and IMO smaller trash cans are the way to go who wants trash sitting for more than a day anytime. I run a catering biz with small trash cans because I do not want stinky trash sitting in my kitchen.

  • emho23

    I'm not sure what the specifics of your sink are, but might you be able to fit a trash can under your sink?

    As to your question...trash pull out kits are just drawers that hold a trash can or two. I actually think this is a situation where it would be best to call a local supplier and see what they advise.

  • Pam A

    I'm really sorry that the people you hired (supposed experts and professionals) did not listen to your request and you are now having to try to fix this. I think every remodel has a few moments of "that is not what I planned" so please don't feel like this is all on you - it isn't. You have a gorgeous new kitchen so let's figure out how to make this a non-issue so you can get back to loving the new space. I had a couple ideas ...

    Do you know how the bins are attached to the pullout? I'm guessing its like a metal cage that holds the small bins to the pull out. The trick would be trying to get the small pullout to hold the larger bins. This is overkill BUT if the smaller pullout is a flat platform, and it will support the larger cans, you could remove the metal cage that holds the bins. Hopefully it detaches nicely, but if not ... bold cutters are your friend. Then you would need two sets of the bins you want to use. You could permanently attach one set of plastic bins to the shelf and then nest a working set inside of those. By "permanently attach" I mean bolts, washers, and nuts. You could always undo this, but that might give you the stability you need without requiring the clearance for a metal cage. There is a risk that two nested bins are taller than your cabinet will allow, so do check that measurement.

    Another idea is to just look for the largest pullout you could find (not one specific to trash) and retrofit it to become a pullout with bins that fit.

    I don't see anywhere for freestanding trash in your kitchen, unfortunately. I hope you find a solution to this, it is a beautiful kitchen.

  • CLC

    What is your situation under the sink? Could you put recycling bin in there, and have a single trash bin in the pullout drawer?

  • cpartist

    Do you have the 2d floor plan and elevations you signed off on?

  • gratitude24

    Cpartist, yes, I do. I did mention that ot Could be me because I’ve nrver done this before but the trash bin looked small...I was told that it would be fine abd that ‘the’ pull out kit would fit in it just fine. I didn’t push to ask what exactly the dimensions would be and what sized cans he’d include. I was initially told by the cabinet guy that he’d include the blind corner and trash pull out but the day they installed it, he said they had to come back to finish it and that i could pick my own kits out. After getting online and searching, that’s when I learned that the full sized bins I asked for weren’t going to fit.

  • cpartist

    Please post the floor plans and let us see if anything can be moved or changed.

  • AnnKH

    I'm with Jan - rotate the island 180° and put your trash/recycling insert there. Make sure to get one that allows you to mount the door to the apparatus, so you don't have to open the door before pulling out the bins.

    The narrow cabinet next to the sink is a great place for cutting boards and cookie sheets.

  • PRO

    You did hire two people and this was your first kitchen remodeling. I'm going to cut you some slack. When I did my first kitchen remodel, I had already done major remodeling in two house, multiple times in the last house. So I had learned from the "school of hard knocks" that one can NEVER assume anything with a contractor. You have now also learned this.

    I agree - switch this island and get your trash in it there. It's not a great kitchen layout, but sometimes when we remodel and do not have the luxury of walls coming down right and left, we must make do the best we can.

    What concerns me the most is your saying that the painters painted these cabinets on-site. Cabinets are typically spray painted using a special catalyzed conversion varnish/paint. Can regular paint last on cabinets? Yes, but ONLY if an oil-based, high gloss enamel is used and given the proper amount of time to "cure".

    I'm so sorry this is happening to you. It's a lot of money and hassle and you should be thrilled right now, instead of beating on yourself

  • loobab


    I think your kitchen is lovely, and don't make yourself crazy because everything isn't perfect.

    I will try to describe what a trash looked like in an office where I worked, and I am not so mechanical, so please forgive me if I sound not so intelligent.

    The door had a platform "floor" attached at 90 degrees to the door and the front of the door swung on a chain attached on either side of the cabinet frame.

    The trash bin sat on the platform floor.

    There was a handle on the front of the door.

    When you opened the cabinet door, it opened in an arc down towards you as far as the chain length, and the bin length sat alongside the length of the door.

    (But you only needed to open the door enough to throw in your trash.)

    You could just remove the plastic bag when it was full, or remove the entire trash bin.

    It was a fairly large plastic trash bin.

    If you cabinet is deep enough back to the wall, you could make the platform floor long enough to hold two plastic trash bins, one for trash and one for re-cycling.

  • gratitude24

    Thank you so very much for your kind words, loobab and for that creative solution!!! I'm going to see if that and the other suggestion above to patch two different kits together would work.

  • gratitude24


    Thank you also for your kind words! It's certainly very much appreciated! You are right, there wasn't enough money in the budget and honestly, wasn't justifiable for the cost considering it's not our forever home to move walls and move water, drainage and gas lines. IDEALLY, I actually would have gotten rid of the peninsula, move the fridge on the back wall, created a large, working island with a sink & dishwasher & seating and made a short depth utility closet and / or extended pantry where the fridge is and a small kitchen desk where the small counter is next to it but when I touched on the ideas with contractors and the designer, everyone told me that I wouldn't have enough money to do all that I wanted and my husband and I simply didn't want to sink that kind of money in that type of overhaul when we didn't know if we would only be here for 2 or 5 more years (we only bought it 4yrs ago) but I didn't see a point in noting that above since I didn't inquire about if my kitchen layout was right or wrong. :-)

    Everyone swore it was overkill but I did let the cabinets cure for 4 weeks before using them and the finish on it is rock hard now...I tried to dig a nail on the inside of a cabinet and it was really hard, it's nothing like furniture paint where it's easily scratched?? I wish I could remember the type of paint they used...I know they said it was oil based but it's not a glossy's a satin finish so I hope it's right. They smelled awful and still have a faint odor but is fading, thankfully so I'm glad I waited for them to cure for that reason alone :-).. I can't recall the type of paint they used but it wasn't standard wall paint...I've 'followed' this company's reviews for about 3 years and asked friends and designers acquaintances who have used them and they're still happy with the results so I HOPE that they used the right kind.

    My island is 50" kitchen looks a bit larger in the photos than it is. I agree that visually it would look better sideways but then I'd only have 18" inches clearing on each side (from fridge to island and cooktop to island) so there wouldn't be enough room for someone to pass through or get something if I was cooking and it would be really tight with the fridge if someone fully opened the door. As it stands now, I have a 34" clearing on one side and 36" on the cooktop side. I WISH either the cabinet guy or designer would have suggested this option so I could have at least explored it...we could have made the island not as long and narrow, turned it sideways and it wouldn't look so teeny from this angle but no one mentioned it at all.

    This is actually our 3rd major remodel (rentals in other houses) but honestly those were SO much easier because they were facelifts and we wanted to true up and update the houses but they weren't personal. This is our first lived in, personal home renovation and OH MY GOODNESS, there was SO much to process, so many choices, so many questions - most of which I didn't even know to ask. I've learned a TON and am sure there are many aspects that I could have done better on that I'm not even aware of but I am quite proud of it as I picked out and decided on 98% of the design & color choices myself before engaging with the designer and contractors...I needed them for checks and balances, process of what was to take place first and to catch me and give me suggestions / correct me if I made wrong decisions. I learned a lot from them and although I am disappointed that everything didn't turn out perfectly as there are definitely several areas I wished I had known to choose differently but overall, I am really proud of the work and really excited to get it all finished so I can put my home back together :-). I just hope that by the time we're ready to move into our forever home and we do this again, that I can hopefully avoid annoying and difficult to cover dilemmas such as this one! I KNOW I'll make dang sure that my next trash cabinet is a solid 32"!!! LOL It's NOT to keep stinky trash in for days as someone suggested but in a 30qt trash bin, a box of cereal and a juice bottle fills it up. We take our trash out nightly but for parties and gatherings, it's REALLY nice to have large trash cans so we don't have to deal with constantly having to swap out the trash bag.

  • gratitude24

    Anglophilia, I AM really happy with my cabinet guy and my designer...they were really sweet and great in so many aspects but in fairness, I did bring up the trash topic 2-3 times and was done, "DONE!" and "GOT IT!" so I happily moved on. What did I learn from this? ASK nicely but ASK the details if they aren't offered to me...clarify...just how large are full sized cans? What's the dimensions of said cabinet? Will it fit this exact kit? etc. I've learned that it's all in the details and what's sufficient or nice for one person, doesn't translate to being sufficient or nice for the next person.

  • gratitude24

    Pam A, you are a GEM!!! I was hoping that someone would help me brainstorm in trying to work a solution with this 12" opening cabinet! I'm ordering 2 different kits today to see if I can rig one of them to work or combine parts to make it work. Thank you, thank you!!!

    There isn't an ideal free standing trash option in this last one was stored behind the island, in front of stove and everyone hated that option -especially's awful because it's so far away from the sink. Yes, the trash kits I'd like attach to the door and the cans are on a platfrom that comes out.

  • gratitude24

    Thanks everyone! I appreciate you chiming in! I'm going to try Pam A's suggestion first of seeing if I can rig one or two kits together to retro fit the 35qt cans in a kit intended for the 27qt cans.

    I appreciate the offer to look at plans and rework cabinets and the kitchen but as I had mentioned, the cabinets are painted. I don't think it's worth the hassle of cutting into the cabinet walls, getting smaller drawers, getting them repainted or the other suggestion to move the position of my island is 50" long. If I did that, I'd only have about 18" clearing on each side for walk and workspace. As it stands now, I have 34" on the fridge side and 36" on the cooktop side. I know now to be sure that I need a 21" cabinet for our next home! :-)

    PS - someone mentioned stinky trash and assumed I'd let it stay and stink up for days which is not the case. We take our trash out nightly. I wanted it for parties and hosting so we didn't have to empty the trash several times when we've got a decent sized crowd and for a larger recycling it stands now, we've got a 30qt bin and as I had mentioned, one cereal box and one juice container fills it up with not much other space.

  • gratitude24

    CLC, yes, thank you. My last resort is to put the 'trash' in a small bin under the sink as that could be bagged and taken out several times a day if needed and use a full sized recycling bin in the trash cabinet but I'd REALLY prefer to have it all in one area.

  • gratitude24

    One more post in case someone else is reading that has this dilemma (I've posted on other boards and so far, 4 people are having the same issue so I know I'm not the only one!)

    I appreciate the suggestion of just housing it in the island but then I'd be giving up one drawer on top, a cabinet AND a toe kick drawer underneath so I'm not willing to give up those features. I'd prefer to figure out a solution in the rinky dink 12" cabinet if I can. :-) Thanks though!

  • gratitude24

    Zalco/bring back Sophie,

    THANK YOU!! I'm loving the backsplash and so glad I went with it. It's a thassos white and Carrara marble tile in an art nouveau type of pattern. I was a bit nervous at first but I have no regrets now at all and am loving it with quartzite counters. I have a custom white painted vent hood that will be hung up so it'll break up some of the pattern in the backsplash.

  • mainenell
    Have your cabinet installer treat it as a drawer. Install a drawer box at the floor using under mount drawer hardware. Then a frame for the widest wastebasket that will fit into the 12” opening. Much like this one. That will allow you to maximize the opening. Wastebaskets are narrower at the bottom. Use the width at the top.
  • gratitude24


  • Rawketgrl

    Gorgeous backsplash. Check out this link...solves your probs.

  • gratitude24

    Awesome, thanks, Rawketgrl!!!

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