By Zack DelVaglio

Few people are familiar with cabinet inserts and what they can do for your kitchen cabinetry.  We’ve written this blog to help you understand and choose the inserts that will work best for you.

What is a cabinet insert?

A cabinet insert is any accessory added to a cabinet that serves a practical purpose for the user. These inserts serve a variety of utilities, ranging from trash storage to spice organization. Inserts are a valuable asset in cabinetry because they provide the customization that you are looking for to fulfill your cabinetry needs!

What do inserts do?

Cabinet inserts serve various purposes that depend on the specific insert you purchase.  Some of these various purposes include collecting trash, storing knives, providing easily accessible corner cabinet storage, and organizing utensils.  The idea behind cabinet inserts is to fulfill a cabinetry need that might not be met by a standard cabinet with drawers or adjustable shelving.  

cabinet insert

Knife block pullout insert

The knife block pullout insert that you see above, for example, provides easy access to copious amounts of knife storage. If you cook often and use knives regularly, adding a knife block pullout insert might be perfect for fulfilling your kitchen cabinetry needs!

What are the different types of inserts?

Categorizing the different types of cabinet inserts can be difficult.  The truth of it is, there are thousands of variations of inserts and numerous manufacturers across the world.  They do, however, fall into some generally accepted categories.  These categories include:

  • corner cabinet inserts 
  • drawer inserts 
  • waste solution inserts
  • base organizer inserts
  • vanity/closet inserts  

Generally, most cabinet inserts will fall into one of these five categories.  The silverware storage insert you see below, for example, falls into the category of drawer insert. It’s an accessory added to a standard, empty drawer box.  

Silverware storage insert
Standard drawer box

What are inserts made out of?

Insert materials depend on the type of insert and producer of that specific insert.  Generally, wood, metal, plastic, or a combination.  Trash pullout inserts, for example, come in two styles, distinguishable by their materials.  In general, every cabinet insert has different variations derived from different materials, as this allows flexibility with price, as well as look and style.

Do inserts require any sort of maintenance?

The simple answer is no, most cabinet inserts are designed with the intention of never needing any maintenance or repair if installed properly. With that being said, these inserts typically do allow for adjustments that are meant to make the install process a bit easier.  It is not uncommon for these inserts to inadvertently adjust out of position over time. This will require re-adjustment to correct.  These adjustments are unique to each different type of insert and manufacturer.  

Our experts here at Dean Cabinetry have dealt with and installed numerous different brands and types of cabinet inserts and would be happy to answer any questions you have about your cabinet insert(s).  For more questions regarding cabinetry maintenance, we invite you to check out our complete guide to cabinetry maintenance! 


How much does an insert cost?

The price of a cabinetry insert depends on the type of insert, as well as the quality of the accessory you choose.  If you wanted to simply buy an insert from us, the price could range anywhere from $700 to less than $75, depending on the insert you wanted.  A base organizer insert like you see below on the left will typically cost around $400. Whereas a spice organizer drawer insert like you see below on the right can cost as little as $75. 

For custom projects, we do things a little differently here at Dean Cabinetry. We believe that cabinetry customization is a key aspect of building the kitchen of your dreams.  This is why we factor insert costs into the per linear foot cost of our John Dean Custom Cabinetry line.  We do this because we understand that new cabinetry is a big purchase that our clients don’t take lightly. And we believe that not allowing for the flexibility that comes with cabinet inserts would be a failure in our mission to build our clients the cabinetry space of their dreams!