What are the Advantages of Rolling Cabinet Shelves?

Katharine Swan

A popular feature in new and remodeled kitchens is the addition of rolling cabinet shelves. These are shelves that are suspended by a rolling mechanism that allows them to be rolled out partway, giving the person easier access to items stored in the back than with traditional, fixed cabinet shelves.

Woman posing
Woman posing

The standard depth for kitchen countertops and base cabinets is about 24 inches (60 cm). This means that items stored at the back of the cabinets can be extremely difficult to reach, particularly those on the bottom shelf. Roll-out cabinet shelves attempt to relieve this problem by putting the shelves on a track with rollers. Therefore, the biggest advantage of rolling cabinet shelves is that they make it easier to reach items, which is especially useful while cooking or putting dishes away.

Another type of convenient shelving that is often used is the corner cabinet known as a lazy Susan. This is a tiered, round shelf unit is placed in the corner in order to utilize the extra cabinet space there. A lazy Susan is also a rolling unit that spins so that items on the back side can be reached, which enables the space to be used without making items difficult to get to.

There are a few disadvantages with rolling cabinet shelves. First of all, in many cases the bottom shelf, which is usually the base of the cabinet, is stationary. Therefore seldom-used items need to be stored on the bottom shelves, limiting the convenience of this style of shelving. Also, because of the rolling mechanism these cabinets may not be able to bear as much weight as a securely mounted stationary shelf, which may serve to limit the amount of storage you get out of your kitchen cabinets.

In addition, the moving parts in the rolling mechanism means a greater likelihood of the cabinets breaking or needing repair, particularly in a household where they are used very often or where their maximum weight is exceeded. Combined with the greater expense of purchase and installation, rolling cabinet shelves can be considerably more expensive than standard stationary kitchen shelving.

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