How To: Measure, Install Hinges, and Hang Cabinet Doors

How To: Measure, Install Hinges, and Hang Cabinet Doors

If you’re purchasing new cabinet doors for your home you might be wondering how to measure, install hinges, and hang cabinet doors in your kitchen or bathroom.  While professional cabinetry companies know this process inside and out your average homeowner might be a little scared to take on this kind of job.

Step by Step Cabinet Door Installation Guide

Here we guide you through each step of how to install your own cabinet doors.  This is a great guide for savvy consumers who purchase their own cabinet doors and want to install the doors themselves.  More and more consumers are buying their doors online to save hundreds of dollars on the doors and a good portion of them want to save even more by installing them on their own.  For a step by step video on how to do this, refer to the bottom of this page.

Step 1: Measuring

The first step of installing new cabinet doors is measuring.  You need to consider how the door will fit over the opening and “overlay” the area.  This is a reference to how wide and tall the door is in relation to the size of the opening in the cabinetry.

Single Doors – Measure the width and height of the opening.  When you list the size of cabinet door you need each of the edges should be ½ an inch wider than the opening of the door.

Double Doors – The exception is when you have double doors covering one opening.  In this case you will want to make sure you subtract 1/16th of an inch from the width of each of the doors which will meet in the center.  This reduction in width is designed to compensate for swelling of wood due to humidity.

Larger Overlays – In the event that you’re cabinet doors have been hung with a different overlay size, simply measure for those add those overlay sizes to the doors and remember to subtract for the center gap if you’re installing double doors.

Step 2: Installing Hinges

Most reputable sellers of cabinet doors offer to drill for hinges at the factory before shipping out your doors.  This means that if you’re ordering your doors to be hung with Blum hinges the holes will be drilled at the correct position and depth.  The hinge will come with the hinge, mounting plate, and all screws needed to secure it to the door and cabinetry.

Hinge Mounting Steps:

  1. Attach the mounting plate to the hinge:
    1. Slide the mounting plate into the hinge
    2. Rotate the plate and it will snap into the attached position
  2. Mount the hinge to the cabinet door:
    1. Notice that there are 3 holes for each hinge
    2. The large hole is for what’s called the hinge cup
    3. The two smaller holes are for alignment
    4. Fit the hinge into the hinge cup
    5. Rotate it until its indentations drop into the 2 alignment holes
    6. Press the locking flange down and the hinge is secure in the door

Step 3: Hanging A Door

With both the hinges mounted you’re ready to start hanging your doors.

  1. Use a straight edge to find the right position for the door in reference to the overlay at the bottom of the opening. You can clamp your straightedge ½ an inch or whichever measurement of overlay you’re using below the bottom edge of the cabinet opening.
  2. Next we sit the door with hinge and mounting plate attached onto the straightedge. This puts the door at the right height for the top and bottom of the door.
  3. Now you’ll want to use a pencil to mark the face from through the slots in the mounting plate. This will be where you drill pilot holes for the screws that will secure your hinge and door.
  4. Remove the door and drill pilot holes in the center of these markings.
  5. Use a #2 phillips screwdriver attach the mounting plates to the face-frame. Don’t screw the plate completely down as you will want to be able to make finer adjustments once the door is in place.
  6. Snap your door into the mounting plates, a helper at this stage is really useful.

Step 4: Aligning The Door

With the door and hinge attached to the cabinetry you’re ready to align your door and tighten the screws.

  1. Install the rubber bumpers that came with your hinges. They dampen sound of the hinges while they are being opened and closed.  Make sure each hinge gets one at  the top and one at the bottom.
  2. While the blum hinge along with factory drilled holes should result in perfectly aligned doors, you can make adjustments as needed. The blum hinge allows for adjustments on a 3 axis plane.  This allows homeowners to get that perfectly plumb and level cabinet door installation look that typically only comes from professional installers.
  3. The elongated holes you used a pencil to draw run vertically and are used to adjust the height of your doors. If you clamped your straight edge a little too high or low, this is the way you compensate.  You can loosen these screws to raise or lower your cabinet door.
  4. Next you can custom adjust the distance from the cabinet door to the cabinetry face. This is done by loosening the screws on the hinge which are furthers from the door.
  5. Left and Right adjustments are made by loosening the screws closest to the door.

Methodically go through these steps to compensate for doors that hang too high, low, left, right, or are installed too far out or close to the cabinet frame.  Once everything is perfect ensure that all of your screws are tightened down and you’re done!

Cabinet Door Installation Instructional Video

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so a video about how to install hinges and hang your cabinet doors must be worth a million.  If you’re unclear about any of these steps, refer to this video of how to mount hinges, hang your doors, and align them like a pro.

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