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How To Adjust Kitchen Cabinet Hinges: Easy And Cheap Ways

how to adjust kitchen cabinet hinges

Sooner or later, kitchen cabinets stop closing properly due to the displacement of their doors, which certainly can not help but be annoying. To fix this problem, you can try to adjust the cabinet hinges yourself. This solution is the easiest and cheapest, so it is considered one of the best options when the budget is limited. In addition, even someone new to tools can cope with it. How to adjust kitchen cabinet hinges with your own hands – we will tell in our article.

Preparing to adjust the kitchen cabinet hinges

Before you start adjusting, you need to check the type of hinges on the cabinet. Today, most kitchen furniture comes with adjustable hinges. They can be tightened in different directions: up and down, right and left, inward and outward. Some hinges are adjustable sideways and inward, while others are height and outward. Most are aligned with the screws that hold them to the cabinet. 

You should pay attention to the number of screws. If there are two or more screws in addition to the fasteners, then the hinges can be easily adjusted. You will need only one tool to repair the cabinet – an ordinary Phillips screwdriver with a №2 tip. It is better not to use an electric drill with a screwdriver bit, as you can damage the wood and tear off the screw heads. 

How to adjust kitchen cabinet hinges: step by step instructions

Once you have made sure that the screws on the cabinet can be adjusted, you can begin the procedure of adjusting the hinges. Prepare a Phillips screwdriver and spare screws just in case. Follow the instructions below. 

Tightening loose screws

Often the problem with poor closing of kitchen cabinets is not due to misaligned doors, but to loose screws. To check this, open the cabinet and look at the hinges that secure the doors to the box. They should have two screws on top and bottom. They should be turned clockwise with a screwdriver. Turn the screws all the way through to make sure the door is secure. Try opening and closing the cabinet. If the problem persists, proceed to the next step. 

Adjusting the door down and up

If one of the doors protrudes at the bottom or top, you should look for screws that will allow you to adjust the hinges down or up. They usually have oval-shaped holes. When you have found these, proceed step by step according to the diagram:

  1. Loosen the mounting screws on both hinges slightly. Usually, it is enough to turn a screwdriver a quarter-turn counterclockwise. But do not overdo it, the screws should be a little tight. 
  2. Carefully close the kitchen cabinet door and try to move it to the desired height. 
  3. Carefully open the door and make sure it has not moved out of position. 
  4. Tighten the screws with a screwdriver if the door is at the proper height. 

The final step is to close the cabinet and make sure the door is at the correct height. 

Adjusting the door on the sides

If the door doesn’t close tightly or is skewed, you can try adjusting it to the right or left. To do this, you should use the cross hinge adjustment feature. This way you can align both doors. In doing so, you can tighten one or two hinges, depending on how much the door needs to be adjusted. Try adjusting the bottom hinge first by tightening the screws tighter. If the door does not level out, do the same with the top hinge. 

Adjusting the door outward or inward

Often, seasonal changes in humidity cause wooden doors to warp. A gap appears between them and the frame and they do not close tightly. In addition, the door may bounce when closing and opening. To correct this problem, you need to adjust the door with depth screws. 

If the door is lagging behind the box at the top, you should tighten the screws on the hinges at the top toward the cabinet. If there is a gap at the bottom, do the same, but with the bottom hinges. 

Final Tests

After each minor adjustment, you should open and close the cabinet doors. This way you can see if you are doing everything right. Adjustment is a procedure that requires patience and time. If something doesn’t work, try again and again. Accurate adjustments are necessary for this endeavor so that the cabinet can last for a long time to come. 

What to do if the closet hinges are old

Some homeowners prefer to keep antique furniture with exquisite designs at home. Typically, these cabinets have non-adjustable hinges. They are designed for surface mounting and are fixed to the front of the cabinet. Some kitchen furniture models can adjust the doors up or down, thanks to elongated holes on the hinges. 

If they are missing, the only way out is to move the hinges themselves to another location. But note that in this case, the surface of the doors will remain holes. However, this is not critical, because they will be on the inside of the cabinet and will not be visible.

What to do if a group of cabinet doors does not look flat

If you had to adjust multiple doors, your main goal is to get them to align as one. Don’t pay too much attention to getting them perfectly upright. The main thing is to make sure that the doors match up well with the surrounding elements of the cabinet. For example, match its edges, front, and drawers. 

Doors can be set up a little irregularly, but as long as they will open and close normally, it shouldn’t interfere with their use. If you still want to achieve perfect alignment, you should take a laser level that you can use to draw horizontal and vertical lines. This will allow you to adjust the hinges of the cabinet in the right position so that its doors look good in the overall interior of the house. 

If you can’t adjust the doors yourself, ask for help from experienced professionals. Still, let’s hope that our recommendations will help you cope with this problem on your own. Take your time, try different variants of adjustment and you are sure to succeed!

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