How To Adjust European Cabinet Door Hinges for Home Improvement

European cabinet door hinges, also known as hidden hinges since they don’t appear when the cabinet doors are closed, are easy to adjust when the doors are out of alignment. The hinges can be adjusted along three directions: vertically, horizontally and forward-backward. You may need a Phillips screwdriver for this operation.

Here are the steps for adjusting European cabinet door hinges:

  • Determine which way the doors are out of alignment. Close the cabinet and check for gaps or overlap. Wipe the cabinet surfaces as well as the surrounding area so you have a clean repair environment.
  • Gain access to the hinges. Open the doors and check the edge nearest the cabinet body. Remove any cabinet content that is blocking the hinges. Pop off any hinge cover using a flat screwdriver. Start with the bottom hinge first to make sure the door doesn’t fall off by accident. Better yet, have someone hold the door while you are fiddling with the hinges to prevent it from falling off. A low-lying cabinet door can also be propped up with several books while loosening its hinges.
  • Determine the hinge style. Some European cabinet door hinges have one screw that attaches both parts of the hinge while others have a sliding bar with two screws, one for vertical repositioning and another for horizontal repositioning.
  • Adjust the screws on the hinge plate. The hinge plate is attached inside the cabinet body with two screws. By loosening these screws along a counterclockwise rotation, the cabinet door can then be adjusted to the proper height. Secure the screws after your adjustment. Work slowly and firmly to avoid damaging the screw head, preventing you from establishing a firm grip with your screwdriver. New models have snap-on mounting covers for convenient adjustments.
  • Locate the other screws. The back screw determines the nearness of the door to the rest of the cabinet. The front screw adjusts the door from side-to-side. Rotate them with a screwdriver to adjust the door along these directions. Use your eyes to judge the correct fit as well as trial-and-error.
  • Check the door alignment. Continue adjusting until the door is adequately aligned. After finishing with one door hinge, move on to the next one. After finishing with one door, move on to the counterpart door. If the hinges have covers, replace them.
  • Call for a repairman when you’re having difficulties. If you find yourself unfamiliar with the cabinet hinge or the cabinets themselves are in a hard-to-reach area, ask your building maintenance personnel for help. They will most likely have the necessary tools to fix the problem for you. Assist them with holding the cabinet door or holding the flashlight.

Replace your tools back to their proper storage. Make sure the screwdriver doesn’t damage the cabinet surface. If you want to replace damaged hinges, start with the bottom hinge first and work with one door at a time. Have someone hold the door while you loosen the hinge screws.


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