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Tips for Adding Cabinet Doors

Doors are hugely impactful on your final project's look and functionality.  

  • We highly recommend ordering doors from an online cabinet door company.  Since the cabinet door companies buy hardwood in bulk, it's often price competitive to building your own doors, and you'll get a professional looking door that will hold up over time. There's also endless styles to choose from.

Doors for Frameless Cabinets

  • Doors on a frameless cabinet are pretty straight forward - inset or full overaly.  I highly recommend full overlay as it creates a more streamlined look and is more forgiving and easier to install than inset doors.  
  • I recommend Concealed or sometimes referred to as Euro Style hinges - the ease of installing, the options for adjustment, and the hidden look can't be beat.
  • Most full overlay hinges have a 5/8" overlay, so for a standalone cabinet, your door should be 1-1/4" bigger (5/8" + 5/8") than the opening.
  • If you have cabinets with center dividers that require hinges on both sides of the divider, you will need a Half Overlay Frameless Hinge.  Half Overlay hinges usually overlay by 1/4".
  • When in doubt about ordering the right door size, I often will draw with a pencil the doors on the front of the cabinet, and then measure and order off my pencil marks. I leave 1/4" reveal (of cabinet box) in between doors and drawers.

Doors for Face Frame Cabinets

  • For Face Frame Cabinets, we recommend Concealed Hinges for Face Frames as well. The face frame style will include a bracket that attaches to the face frame, instead of the side wall of the cabinet.
  • In addition to inset hinges and full overlay hinges, you can also do a partial overlay door.
  • When in doubt, simply pencil out your doors on the front of your cabinets and measure from your pencil marks. I leave 1/4" reveal between doors and drawers.  
  • Since Face Frame hinges come in a variety of overlays, you can also measure the overlay from your pencil marks and order the hinge needed for that overlay.  This is especially usefull when hinges might share a face frame stile.

Installing the Hinges

  • It is much easier to have a second person help with door installation.
  • I install the hinges on the doors first.
  • For frameless hinges, I will measure where the screw holes need to be placed inside the cabinet and make line parallel to the front edge of the cabinet (usually about 1-1/4" in front front edge of cabinet).  Then I just have to start my screws on the line.
  • There's quite a bit of adjustment with Concealed hinges.  Make sure you start the hinge so it can be adjusted either way.