How To Adjust Hinges on Cabinets

When installing new cabinets, door hinges must be adjusted to make the cabinet doors fit properly and work smoothly.  Over time, older cabinet door hinges will allow the doors to become uneven and sag.  Both instances can be corrected with little or no expertise using simple tools.

There are two common types of cabinet door hinges.  The flat cabinet door hinge can be attributed to older cabinet types.  This hinge has screws inside the door and screws inside the cabinet or screws on the exterior of the face of the cabinet, with a closing mechanism.  The hinge will be exposed to the exterior of the cabinet door.

The European style cabinet door hinges have a bar of metal with two screws attached to a plate inside the cabinet.  A bar snaps into a smaller plate attached to the interior of the cabinet door.  These types of door hinges are completely concealed from the outside.

Adjusting Flat Cabinet Door Hinges

Although the flat cabinet door hinge is the easiest to adjust, it restricts adjustment to up, down, or side to side.  With a screwdriver, slightly loosen the screws on the cabinet face, or the screws on the interior of the cabinet, at the top and the bottom of the door.

Using a tool that will not harm or damage the cabinet door surface, (such as a rubber mallet) slightly tap the door in the direction of the necessary adjustment.  Once the door has been aligned, retighten the screws. Continue working with other cabinet doors to correct misalignments.

Adjusting European Style Hinges

The European cabinet door hinges allow for depth of door placement, as well as up, down and side to side.  Depth of door placement is important since the door hinge is concealed from view.

Looking at the hinge plate mounted on the interior of the cabinet, there should be two screws attaching the plate to the cabinet.  First, try tightening these two screws to see if the misalignment is corrected.

There are two door hinge adjustment screws on the bar mounted inside the cabinet.  The rear screw allows you to bring the cabinet door into line with the vertical surface of the kitchen cabinet.

The front adjustment screw allows for adjusting up and down as well as side-to-side.

Continue working with adjustments on the cabinet door hinges until the cabinet doors are properly aligned and hanging straight both horizontally and vertically.


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