How to install a MAXIMERA drawer under non-IKEA sink

ikea maximera drawer hack

After installing a second prep sink as a non-IKEA stainless steel sink and all the plumbing (drain, waste, vent & supply lines), we wanted to maximize the storage space with additional drawers.  

To match the remainder of our kitchen cabinets, we of course were using Maximera Drawers, with either the flat white inside false fronts, or the Dark Gray Axstad drawer fronts.

In this case, it is all behind a 24″ x 30″ cabinet door, with a 135 deg. hinge.

I am very pleased with the results. Despite the annoying sound of a jigsaw cutting metal I would recommend this DIY for anyone doing an IKEA kitchen with a non-IKEA kitchen sink, and thinking the under sink space is only good for garbage cans!

IKEA item used: 

MAXIMERA drawer, medium, for the top drawer
MAXIMERA drawer, high for the bottom drawer

Other Materials & Tools:

Cordless jigsaw with metal blade
Metal file
Scraps from other white IKEA shelves with finished edges
Mitre saw
Caulking gun with construction adhesive

How to alter MAXIMERA drawer to fit under non IKEA sink

1. Verify that all your plumbing is done, and is leak free. We took extra effort to ensure the plumbing (in this case coming up from the bottom through the cabinet) was as far back in the cabinet as possible. Plan Ahead!

In our case everything was far enough back to use the 18″ depth drawer on the bottom, and the 15″ depth on the top just under the sink.

2. Next, open your drawers boxes, and assemble everything as normal – almost… 

assemble MAXIMERA drawer except for drawer front
Assemble drawer frame except for front

Wait on attaching the false fronts to the drawer boxes, but assemble everything else as per the instructions. Again — do not attach the fronts yet!

3. Before installing the slide-in drawer bottom, add a couple of blobs of construction adhesive on the metal groove of the drawer back, where the drawer bottom will pop in, as well as the little bump-ups that the cut groove slides on in the metal drawer sides. 

It’s hard to describe — see the picture. 

use construction adhesive
Adhesive along metal groove

Don’t be shy – slather it up. I use PL Premium and I like how it has a good bond. 

Then slide the drawer bottom all the way in, and clean up any glue that smooshes out. Let this set up for a good overnight.

apply construction adhesive to metal groove
After applying construction adhesive, slide in drawer bottom

4. Once the glue has cured, you can attach the false drawer fronts.

5. Based on the hinge locations, the bottom drawer slides will need to mount into the cabinet holes #4 up from the bottom. 

Dry fit the drawers

6. Measuring from the underside of the sink, the top drawer will need to clear the underside of the sink basin. This takes a bit of measuring, and is dependent on your sink. For this one, our sink is 9″ deep, and the top of the top drawer is about 21″ up from the inside bottom of the cabinet.  This may take some trial and error.  

7. Pop the drawers onto the drawer slides. You may need to reach underneath and pull the slides out so the drawers click in correctly. Push them in until you hit plumbing pipes, the sink trap, etc.  

8. Here is the tricky bit – lay on your back and get your head up in there!

You need to see really well the obstacles — what is hitting what, so you can cut away the back pieces of the pull-out drawers (the metal part), and the wood drawer bottom, as required to clear the various plumbing. 

Don’t be shy… this is IKEA HACKERS correct!

As long as the drawer slides and sides are still free to go back and forth for their full run, the drawer “pan” can be cut away accordingly. I used a pencil or a sharpie and just generously traced out what I thought would clear the pipes, etc.

9. First, I did the top drawer, then the bottom drawer, each separately, so you can see what is hitting what, marking accordingly.

CUT TIME! Make Some Noise! 

10. I started the cuts with a metal hacksaw, and then finished them with a cordless jigsaw with a metal blade. Go slow, wear safety glasses, and enjoy the banshee scream of metal cutting metal!

11. Cut any wood from the bottoms as well if required.

12. Use a file to clean up those snaggly little metal bits. Try to get it pretty snag free.

13. Go back and pop the drawers in all the way, getting that satisfying click as they make the full trip all the way back. You may need to cut more, and if so repeat steps 8-13 as required until all is good.

14. Because I had to cut a portion of the drawer bottom for the upper drawer to clear the sink drain, I used some old IKEA shelf, cut it into a fancy mitred-edge infill for the back of the drawer. Then, using the trusty PL Premium glue, slathered it up and clamped it overnight. Painter’s tape on the mitres holds them tight enough until the glue bonds.

15. Once complete, load up the drawers accordingly and enjoy!

IKEA MAXIMERA under sink drawer hack for non IKEA sink
Our under sink cabinet with drawer storage complete!

Happy Hacking!

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Drawer latch for IKEA MAXIMERA internal drawers
Maximising the MAXIMERA kitchen drawer

Jules Yap