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How to Replace Your Cabinet Doors

Posted by Donovan Thornhill on Mar 6th 2024

how to replace kitchen cabinet doors

Do you have cabinets in your home with damaged or outdated doors? It’s easier than you expect to replace cabinet doors. Our guide will explain how to replace cabinet doors along with tips and advice on how to install them properly. We've been in business for over 30 years and have a proven track record of providing quality products to our customers. Once you've received the perfect replacement cabinet doors for your project, it's time to install them. Replacing cabinet doors is a simple project that anyone can do with some expert knowledge.

First, you need to ensure that the doors you order are the right size for your cabinets. If they are too small or too large, they will not fit properly. Second, you need to decide what type of cabinet door style you want. Different types of cabinet doors are available, so you need to make sure you choose what suits your home. Third, you need to install the cabinet doors properly. If you feel confident in your ability to install the cabinet doors yourself, then follow the steps below:

Step 1: Remove the Current Doors

To remove the current doors simply open them up and detach the hinge from the mounting plate attached to the inside of the cabinet. Typically, you do this by pinching the portion of the hinge that is the furthest inside the cabinet, but some hinges are different. Once the current doors are removed, unscrew all the hardware from the door and the cabinet itself.

Step 2: Measuring your Doors

If you’re reusing your existing hinges, then you’ll want your new replacement cabinet doors to be the exact same size as your current ones. You can do this by measuring the exact width and height of each door. If you are measuring the current doors, skip straight to step 4. If you’re ordering our hinges with your doors, then follow step 3.

Step 3: Add the Overlay

Your cabinet doors are slightly larger than the actual cabinet opening. This is called overlay. Standard cabinet doors overlay the edges by a ½ inch on all sides. If you’re ordering a new door, add one inch to the width and height measurements of the cabinet opening to account for the overlay on both sides. If you’re using double doors, simply divide each measurement (with the one inch added) by 2. Then subtract 1/16th of an inch to account for the small space between the opening edge of each door.

If your current cabinet doors have a different overlay, simply substitute that amount instead of a ½ inch. Be aware that cabinets with unusual overlays will require a different hinge, and possibly an adjusted borehole.

Step 4: Order the Doors and Hinges

After you have the correct measurements, you’re ready to explore our inventory of custom-made cabinet doors. Just type in all your dimensions and your new doors will be cut to that exact size. You have the option to have us cut hinge boreholes into the door at our factory for a small additional charge. These holes make it simple to install the hinges and proceed with the installation. We sell easy-to-use Blum hinges that perfectly fit the pocket holes. You have the option to cut the boreholes and find hinges yourself, too.

Step 5: Install the Hinges

Each hinge borehole is actually three holes – a large one called the hinge cup and two smaller holes that help ensure perfect alignment. Start by attaching the hinge mounting plate to the hinge. Then lift the locking flange at the base of the hinge and insert the hinge base into the hinge cup. Rotate until the holes in the locking mechanism align with the smaller boreholes. After the locking flange is pressed down, your hinge is firmly in place.

Step 6: Mount the Doors

The easiest way to mount the doors is to attach a straight piece of wood to the base of the cabinet opening. Use strong clamps to hold it in place 1/2-inch below the bottom edge to account for the overlay. Hold the door in place so that the mounting plates are against the face frame of the cabinet, then make marks through the screw slots so that you know where to drill the pilot holes.

Finally, remove the mounting plates from the doors, screw them into the face frame with a Phillips head screwdriver and the included screws, then reattach the hinges to the mounting plate. It helps to have an assistant for the last part.

Step 7: Adjust the Doors

The Blum hinges we sell have four screws around the mounting plate. Each of these allows you to adjust the positioning of the cabinet door. The two screws that actually hold the door to the face frame can be adjusted up or down so that all your cabinet doors align perfectly. The screw farthest from the hinges lets you adjust how far the door sits from the face frame, which is helpful if you have sound-reducing “bumpers” installed on the closing side of the door.

Lastly, the center screw lets you adjust the door left or right so that double doors close together perfectly. Take some time to adjust each door until it looks and functions perfectly.

What Tools You Need

Before you learn how to replace cabinet doors, you'll need to make sure you have the right at-home setup and tools. There are a number of tools that are needed to complete the job. The most common tools for replacing cabinet doors include:

  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Tape Measure and Level
  • Sandpaper

Don't forget that hinges and hardware are sold separately. To install your cabinet doors, you'll need to invest in both or double-check the integrity of the old hinges and hardware to see if they can be reused. At CabinetDoors.com, we have various hinges in different sizes and hardware you can add to your custom order.

Things to Consider When Replacing Cabinet Doors

Replacing cabinet doors is an affordable alternative that can help you save time and money in the long run. Before you make the investment, there are three things you'll need to consider. This includes:

1. Style

Cabinet doors come in all sorts of styles and colors; before replacing them, think about what kind would look best in your home: flat-panel, raised-panel, simple, or more detailed. Glass-ready cabinet doors are another option and give your kitchen a more modern look.

The style will play a key role in the aesthetic of your kitchen or bathroom design. We recommend weighing the pros and cons of the different styles to find one that will complement your stylistic choices for the next 20 or more years.

The most popular replacement cabinet door option is the shaker style. Shaker is versatile, sleek, and simple. So it can be styled to complement various kitchen aesthetics. Shop online and explore our selection to get inspired or browse through common types of cabinet door styles.

2. Material

There are a ton of materials to choose from. When exploring the options available, you'll want to consider the aesthetic you're trying to achieve and what material is the most suitable. The two main options you have available are solid wood and paint-grade wood. Paint grade is the best option if you decide to paint your cabinets. Solid wood is ideal if you plan to add a stain or a clear varnish.

3. Cost

Before you learn how to replace your kitchen cabinet doors, you'll want to take some time to set a budget. Your budget will give you a better understanding of what you can and can't afford for your project.

Taking the DIY approach to replacing cabinet doors is a cost-effective way to save on your next home renovation project. It's important to remember that if you decide to purchase replacement cabinet doors from a big box retailer, the installation cost is usually incorporated into the overall cost. When choosing an order from an online, custom-made retailer like CabinetDoors.com, you can cut out the middleman and invest in a high-quality solution built to last.

Choosing Replacement Cabinet Doors

Beginning to end, it takes less than 10 minutes to replace each cabinet door (plus the time for fabrication and delivery). If you are unclear about how any of the steps above work, we encourage you to watch this quick video. It breaks down the entire process in detail and illustrates just how easy it is to replace your own cabinet doors. If you want more information on how to replace cabinet doors or drawer fronts, check out this article. If you still have questions before, during, or after the project, our team is here to help. Feel free to contact us when you’re ready.

FAQs

Can I just replace my cabinet doors?

Absolutely. If your cabinets don't show any major signs of wear and tear and you like your current layout, replacing just the cabinet doors is a cost-effective way to elevate your kitchen.

Is replacing cabinet doors on your own challenging?

No, replacing cabinet doors is a relatively straightforward, step-by-step process that will take 30 minutes or less to complete. If you order unfinished cabinet doors, you may need to paint or stain the cabinets, which may require a few extra steps in the installation process.

Is it cheaper to replace just the cabinet doors?

Absolutely. Replacing cabinet doors is the most cost-effective solution. You also don't need to worry about hiring a contractor for a complete kitchen makeover, which will save you time and money in the long run.

Is it better to paint your cabinet doors or just replace them?

If your cabinet doors show no signs of wear and tear, painting them instead of replacing them is a great alternative. However, you'll want to ensure you take the proper steps to prep and prepare the cabinet doors before adding a fresh coat of paint.

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