Lateral Files

Lateral file cabinets traditionally contain two lateral file drawers, but can include styles with three or four lateral file drawers. The lateral file cabinet may contain a shared lock that secures all drawers, individual locks on some or all drawers, or non-locking drawers depending on the collection.


Fireproof Lateral File: Fireproof lateral file cabinets are tested and verified durable within the parameters set by Underwriter Laboratories and other internationally recognized safety testing organizations, usually providing insulated protection to prevent internal temperatures from rising for a specified amount of time in the event of a fire.

Freestanding Pedestal: A freestanding pedestal is one that can function fully on its own without the need to combine with an additional component.

Lateral File Credenza: A lateral file credenza typically refers to a large, often desk-like storage unit with lateral file drawers. The credenza may contain four lateral file drawers resembling two side-by-side two-drawer lateral file units in a single storage element, or a combination of lateral file drawer(s) and storage compartments.

Lateral File Open Hutch: The lateral file open hutch design usually resembles an open-shelf bookcase with one or two adjustable shelves and a fixed-height base shelf formed by combining the open hutch with the lateral file. The top surface of the lateral file unit becomes the fixed-height base shelf of the upper open hutch unit.

Mobile Pedestal: Mobile pedestals are often two-drawer or three-drawer storage and/or filing units that are set on casters to accommodate sharing and transport.

Rolling File: Rolling file units are typically two-drawer filing units that are set on casters for mobility.


Drawer Dividers: Drawer dividers are included with select pedestal and utility drawer designs. Drawer dividers are usually removable for convenient customizing.

Full-Extension Slides: Full-extension slides refer to the supportive drawer glides that connect with the drawers of a lateral file or other storage unit. The full-extension slides allow the file drawer to fully extend while remaining connected to the metal slides, providing complete access to all drawer contents without the risk of the drawer falling out of the storage unit frame or spilling on the floor.

Grommets: Grommets are holes strategically placed in the back, bottom, or sides or a storage or lateral file unit to allow cables and wires to pass through the structural panels comprising the storage unit. The grommets also help manage cables for neater setup and use.

Independent Locks: Independent locks can be found on select lateral file units, with a single lock placed on each lateral file drawer allowing independent access to a single drawer while the others remain secure.

Lateral File Crown: A lateral file crown refers to the top surface or lid designed to enclose the top of a lateral file drawer or storage unit. Sectional designs sometimes include a crown or top component and a base or stand to complete a lateral file sectional configuration.

Lateral File Drawer: Lateral file drawers are designed wider than standard file cabinets to accommodate letter-sized or legal-sized file folders with front-to-back or side-to-side folder orientation.

Lateral File Sectional: A lateral file sectional is a single lateral file drawer designed to stack for customized lateral file arrangements. Base or stand and top work surface elements are often combined with one or more lateral file sectionals to complete the configuration.

Levelers: Levelers are added to the base or legs of most lateral file and storage unit products, and many levelers adjust to compensate for uneven flooring.

Metal Runners: Metal runners are used to support later file drawers, providing durability and strength to support heavy loads of file folders and documents.

Recessed Drawer Pulls: Recessed drawer pulls are built into the fronts of drawers to allow the entire front profile to remain somewhat flat and smooth.

Removable Top: Removable tops refer to select pedestal and file unit designs that can combine with the underside of a desk surface to form a fixed-place under-desk pedestal.

Safety Stops: Safety stops prevent most lateral file drawers from coming free of the lateral file cabinet frame, reducing risk of damage or injury and preventing the drawer from falling or spilling.

Shared Lock: A shared lock is a single lock that secures two or more lateral file drawers for security.

Unfinished Top: Pedestals with unfinished tops are designed to attach under the desktop of a workstation or desk to form a hanging, suspended, or full-height under-desk pedestal for integrated storage, filing, and organizing.

Utility Drawer: Utility drawers are sometimes referred to as box drawers and provide storage space in a coordinating style to match an office collection. Most utility drawers are integrated with a pedestal design, often comprised of two upper utility drawers and a single bottom file drawer.

Construction Materials

AA-Grade North American Wood Veneers: Wood veneers are graded according to their appearance and quality, with AA-grade being the top of the line and the most common used in furniture design. North American wood veneers are those veneers made using all North American wood.

Baked-On Enamel Finish: Baked-on enamel finish is a paint finish that is baked to cure or set the paint. The result is usually a glossy finish and the enamel comes in a variety of colors, with standard color or color options available for different furniture collections.

Biedermeier-Style Design: Biedermeier-style design refers to a historic Austrian and German furniture design from the early half of the 19th century, characterized by a calming of the typically extravagant French furniture designs under Napolean I and the integration of Romanesque details for a simpler but attractive wood furniture design.

Cherry inlay: Cherry inlay is a cheery hardwood band or strip applied in a custom-made groove around the surface or other component of a lateral file or storage unit. The groove allows the band to fit with a flush surface profile and the top is finished with protective lacquer or other protective topcoat, leaving a smooth feel.

Closed Box Base: A closed box base is a box-style base platform designed to raise the bottom drawer or shelf off the floor slightly for easier reach and lasting use. The box-style base resembles a short stage or platform, in contrast to an open-style base which is more like a shelf or storage compartment and typically larger in size.

Damage Resistant Finish: Damage resistant finishes include high-pressure laminate and thermofused melamine, which are designed to provide scratch-resistance, stain-resistance, and damage resistance to heat and typical cleaning products. These finishes are also relatively impact-resistant, standing up to regular use in busy workspaces.

Distressed Detailing: Distressed detailing is a finishing process that includes a range of decorative hand-done touchups to create the look of antique furniture with modern flair and quality design. Distressed detailing includes sanding to create highlights in the wood stain or paint finish, dry brush highlighting, knockdown, worm holes, indents and watermarks, as well as decorative wood carved moulding and edges.

Double-Lacquered Finish: A double-lacquered finish typically refers to a double coating of lacquer topcoat to protect and seal the surface finish.

Dovetail Joints: Dovetail joints are a wood working connection design that uses a fan-like dovetail shape cut out of the edges of two adjacent wood components. One half features the cutout shape along the edge while the other half has the matching cutout inward from the edge, and the two pieces are slid together from the side, like a puzzle piece connection so the joint cannot easily be pulled apart.

Eco-Friendly Powder-Coat Finish: Eco-friendly powder-coat finish is a dry powder-coat paint finish applied to many metal or steel furniture components to protect from the elements and regular use. The finishing process is environmentally friendly, adding to the green features of that product line, and the finish is usually scratch-resistant for long-lasting quality look and feel.

Front-Only Moulding: Lateral file cabinets with front-only moulding have base or crown (top) moulding along the front surface only, with sides that remain flush or even to accommodate side-by-side positioning of matching storage units for larger organizing needs.

Full Base Moulding: Full base moulding is decorative moulding along the front and sides of the base of a lateral file unit or other storage furniture. These products are designed to stand alone, without coordinating products lined up side-by-side.

Hand-Rubbed Antique Stain: Hand-rubbed antique stain is a classic-style wood stain finish in traditional or antiquated wood tone colors. The wood stain is applied by hand, for classic-style attention to detail and rich lasting color. Distressed detailing may be combined with antique wood stain for a classic look.

Hardwood Construction: Lateral files with hardwood construction have solid hard wood elements forming the panels of the frame and other components of the lateral file unit.

Hardwood Drawer Front: Hardwood drawer fronts refer to the front visible portion of lateral file drawers composed of solid hard wood and finished with wood stain and protective topcoat, wood veneers, or other finish options.

High-Gloss Finish: High-gloss finish is a protective seal or topcoat that adds durable, brilliant shine to the surfaces of the furniture or storage unit components.

Lacquer Topcoat: Lacquer topcoat provides a protective seal over wood veneers or wood stained surfaces, adding shine and durability to the overall design.

Laminate Finish: Laminate finish is a durable, long-lasting multi-layer finish applied with heat and pressure to the surfaces of core furniture panels for a permanent bond. The laminate finish comes in a variety of colors and styles, including patterns and textures depending on the furniture collection design. Laminate finish is usually scratch-resistant, as well as damage and heat resistant.

Metal-to-Metal Connections: Metal-to-metal connections refer to the use of threaded metal inserts in wood product panels to form all metal-to-metal connections for a secure, reliable assembly of lateral file and storage furniture.

Mitered Corners: Mitered corners are the corner angles of two conjoining core panels or drawer pieces, with the connecting edges cut at a 45° angle allowing them to fit neatly together for a 90° corner.

Mortise and Tenon Joinery: Mortise and tenon joinery refers to a key-like fit between two wood components of a furniture product. A box-like shape is usually cut along the edges of one piece, with a matching shaped hole cut into the corresponding wood piece, allowing the two components to fit neatly together with a secure connection, often reinforced with a bit of wood glue and/or other connectors.

Multi-Step Hand-Rubbed Finishing Process: Products with multi-step hand-rubbed finishing processes have been finished by hand, for classic detailing and bold penetrating wood stain colors. The stain is applied using multiple steps for lasting quality appearance.

Oven-Dried 100% Gypsum Insulation: Oven-dried Gypsum is a typical heat-resistant insulation material. The oven-drying process removes moisture from the Gypsum, enhancing its protective qualities.

Particleboard Core: Particleboard core is a core panel designed with sawdust, wood chips, and other wood particles that are mixed with a resin or bonding adhesive, pressed into panels with uniform thickness, and used to support the structural design of lateral file cabinets and other furniture and storage elements.

Phosphate Pretreatment: Phosphate pretreatment usually refers to a protective coating applied to metal components for a clean, corrosion-free surface prior to finishing with paint or other finish. This process is often used in automobile painting.

Plywood Core: Plywood core is a structural panel design made of slices or sheets of real wood, bonded together with wood grain patterns alternating between layers to enhance strength. The panels are pressed to bond in a dense, compact, and uniform panel for finishing with laminate, melamine, or veneers and forming the structural elements of a furniture or storage product.

PVC Edge: PVC edging is designed with a plastic PVC strip or band, in matching or coordinating color to accompany the laminate or melamine finish of the furniture design. The band is applied along the raw edges of furniture core panels, conceal rough edge surfaces, protecting the seam where the laminate or melamine finish meets the core panel surfaces, and providing an all-around attractive look and feel to the furniture design.

Radius Edges: Radius edges are edges along the top, front, and/or sides of a storage unit, cabinet, or frame that have been smoothed and rounded for a softer look and feel, and a safer design for bustling high-paced work environments.

Semi-Finished Back: Semi-finished back refers to a backside or back panel of a lateral file unit or other furniture product that has been finished along the upper portion of the back panel but usually not below the halfway point. This semi-finished back can be placed in an office with the upper portion visible and the lower portion concealed by other furniture products.

Solid Wood Edging: Solid wood edging consists of hardwood pieces added around the surfaces of a frame or worktop, with finish over the entire top surface for a flush appearance.

Solid Wood Moulding: Solid wood moulding is similar to edging, but typically located around the top, base, and often the top and bottom sides of a furniture unit. Moulding is often set on top of the surface or panel component, creating a three-dimensional layout, and usually features a decorative design such as carved wood details or fluted line decorations.

Solid Wood 5-Piece Drawers: Solid wood 5-piece drawers are lateral file drawers composed of five real wood pieces, forming the sides, back, front, and bottom of the drawer for a completely wood design.

Stained and Sealed Interiors: Stained and sealed interiors are the finished interiors of wood drawers that have been stained using wood stain, often applied by hand using a multi-step application process. The finish is sealed for protection, usually with a clear topcoat, varnish, UV-cured topcoat, or lacquer.

Thermofused Melamine Finish: Thermofused melamine finish is a laminated finish with durable surface available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures. Melamine uses fewer layers than traditional high-pressure laminate, but is applied under pressure and heat like laminate to form a long-lasting bond to the core panel surfaces. The finished melamine surface is generally scratch-resistant, stain-resistant and resistant to damage from heat.

Unfinished Back: An unfinished backside or back panel is typical of furniture design, with the intention to arrange the furniture so the unfinished backside is concealed along a wall or with two units back-to-back.

UV Topcoat: UV topcoat refers to either a clear topcoat set by UV light for a hard, durable finish, or protective topcoat that resists fading and damage from UV light exposure.

Walnut Edge: Walnut edge is a hardwood walnut edge component added around the surface core with a finish applied, usually veneer, over the entire surface, for a single panel look. The edges may be smooth, rounded, or decorative depending on the furniture design.

Wood Cleats: Wood cleats are used to reinforce a structural component, sometimes reinforcing the strength of the drawer slides to enhance support of heavy filing, or to reinforce the back panel for stability.

Woodgrain Laminate Finish: Woodgrain laminate finish is a high-pressure laminate finish with decorative pattern and color that resembles traditional wood stained furniture finishes. The result is the appearance of a woodgrain pattern in classic wood tones, but with increased durability, scratch-resistance, stain-resistance, and heat-resistance.

Wood Products: Wood products refer to solid wood as well as wooden components such as plywood, particleboard, fiberboard, MDF core, and wood veneers.

Wood Veneer: Wood veneer finish is composed of very thin sheets or slices of real wood, finished in classic-style wood staining, often with a multi-step hand-rubbed wood stain application process, and protected by a topcoat of lacquer, varnish, or other protective finish. The veneer sheets are laminated or otherwise bonded to the surfaces of furniture panels and components for a real hardwood look at a lower cost and with enhanced durability.

NC Lacquer Finish: NC lacquer finish is a nitrocellulose lacquer topcoat used as an organic finish to seal and protect wood and wood product furniture and veneer finishes. The NC lacquer contains no plastic to reinforce the durability so it can breakdown when exposed to significant moisture, or overtime.


ANSI/BIFMA: ANSI is the American National Standards Institute; an organization that works to ensure standards are met for products and services. BIFMA is the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association; another organization that works to ensure standards are met for furniture design to keep quality consistent, reliable, and safe.

Cable Management: Built into virtually every furniture and storage product, cable management allows cables, wires, and power cords to run through side or back panels for easier access and neater setup. Cable management elements vary between product collections with some including integrated cable channels, storage bins, and work surface grommet holes for computer or other technology support.

European-Sized Filing: European-sized filing is a filing system that can accommodate the non-US, European paper and file folder sizes such as size A4, which is approximates 8.27” by 11.7” in size.

Green Features: Green features refer to any environmentally friendly design or material features of a product or product line, including the use of eco-friendly powder-coat paint finish or recycled materials.

HIPAA: HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a legal system of regulating the minimum security and privacy measures and standards for maintaining and managing healthcare, health insurance, and patient records. Many locking lateral file cabinets and storage units are designed to meet HIPAA standards.

Impact Resistant: Impact resistant furniture and finishes refers to those typically finished in high-pressure laminate, thermofused melamine, with protective PVC edge, self-edge, matching edge, or vinyl edging depending on the collection. These products can endure everyday bumps, contact, and impact with lasting quality performance.

ISO Standards 9000/9001: Lateral file units designated as meeting ISO 9000/9001 standards have been verified to meet the minimum standards for consistent quality design and production, supporting customers’ needs with the intended use of the storage unit, and showing continued improvement in design by the manufacturer.

Legal-Sized Filing: Legal-sized filing refers to files designed to hold 8½” by 14” paper sizes.

Letter-Sized Filing: Letter-sized filing involves file folders sized to hold standard 8½” by 11” copy papers.

Positive Interlocking System: A positive interlocking system refers to a locking configuration that allows only one lateral file drawer to open at a time, reducing risk of unbalanced weight distribution that could result in the lateral file unit tipping forward.

SEFA: SEFA, the Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association, works to ensure standards are set and met by manufacturers of science lab and classroom furniture and storage design for safety, reliability, and quality.

UL Listed: UL listed refers to those products that are tested and verified safe and up to standards by the Underwriters Laboratories, often referring to fireproof or fire-resistant and electrical design features.

Weight Capacity: Weight capacities are given for many furniture and storage products, indicating the maximum safe amount of weight a shelf, drawer, or structural frame can support, with weight evenly distributed. The weight capacity is tested for safety and exceeding the weight capacity can cause damage to the furniture products, injury to users and passersby, and void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Fireproof Lateral File
Fireproof Lateral File

Freestanding Pedestal Cabinet
Freestanding Pedestal

Lateral File Credenza
Lateral File Credenza

Lateral File Open Hutch
Lateral File Open Hutch

Lateral File Crown
Lateral File Crown

Lateral File Drawer
Lateral File Drawer

Recessed Drawer Pulls
Recessed Drawer Pulls

Cabinet with Utility Drawer
Utility Drawer

Cabinet with Closed Box Base
Closed Box Base

Dovetail Joints
Dovetail Joints

Mitered Corners
Mitered Corners