How to Install Glass in Cabinet Doors: 6 Easy DIY Steps

Kitchen cabinets with glass doors show off the finest dishes and décor pieces in your cabinets while making your kitchen feel brighter and more open. Even better, you can make this look a reality all on your own. Mounting glass in cabinet doors sounds tricky, but it’s a lot easier than you expect.

You don’t need any experience or expertise to get the job done right (in most cases), and you won’t need many tools or materials either. If you are ready for brand-new glass cupboard doors in your home, this quick and easy guide explains everything you need to know about how to install glass in cabinet doors.

The Anatomy of a Glass Door

A glass kitchen cabinet door has two main components—the center panel of glass and the four-sided frame surrounding it. However, some glass-ready doors have individual glass sections called “lites,” which are four open spaces divided by a wood pane. This style of door, like the French four-lite door, makes it appear like the glass is separated into four sections but really only requires one piece of glass.

The glass pane is normally attached to cabinet doors using either silicone, wood trim, or Hafele stops, which are rubber filler pieces that fit in a groove.

Selecting Your Method and Prepare Your Materials

Before you get started with fitting your kitchen cabinets with glass doors, you will have to determine which method to follow. When you purchase glass-ready cabinet doors from a manufacturer like Cabinetdoors.com, you receive doors that are ready to have a glass panel installed, but you will have to install it yourself. Fortunately, the process isn’t too difficult to take on, even if you do not have any experience.

If you want the full DIY experience, you can buy your glass and cut it to the correct size yourself. However, many places sell cut glass, including hardware and home improvement stores as well as glass and lighting companies. All you need to do is know the proper measurements.

If you are replacing the glass on your old doors, look closely to determine how the glass attaches. Silicone is common, as is wood trim and Hafele stops, When installing glass in your new cabinet doors, you will need to decide which method you prefer. However, silicone bonding is the most straightforward approach.

Once you decide on your process, you will need the following tools and materials:

  • Your cabinet doors

  • Tape measure

  • Screwdriver

  • Straight edge

  • Safety glasses

  • Glass cutter (if you are cutting the glass yourself)

  • A 1/8-inch-thick piece of glass

  • Silicone sealant

  • Caulking gun

  • A blanket or soft towel

How To Install Glass in Cabinet Doors

Once you have all your materials set, you are ready to start the installation process. Whether you are installing glass in new cabinet doors or replacing the glass in your current cabinet doors, the process is fairly straightforward. When installing glass in cabinet doors, follow just a few steps.

1. Remove the Cabinet Doors

If you haven’t already, your first step should be to remove the old cabinet doors and hardware. To do this, you’ll need to use a screwdriver to unscrew the hinges from the door. Make sure to place your screws in a safe space so you don’t lose them.

2. Measure Your Cabinet Doors

To prepare your cabinet doors for glass installation, you’ll need to know what size of glass you need. Set your doors on top of the blanket. Measure the length and width of the opening in the cabinet door from the inside edge of one side to the other.

3. Cut the Glass Panel

Take your 1/8-inch glass panel and mark the measurements of the door opening onto the back of the glass. Place a mark in each corner of the panel. Then, line up the markings with a straightedge and run your glass cutter along the edge.

If you want to take the easier route, there is no shame in that—bring your measurements to your local hardware store or glass supplier and have them cut the piece of glass to fit your cabinet doors.

Be sure to handle the glass with care to avoid scratches. Set the glass on a blanket on a flat surface to keep it safe before installation.

4. Prepare the Door

Now that you have all the materials set, you are ready to set up the door for glass installation. Silicone is the easiest option for installing glass in cabinet doors. To use it, run the silicone around the inside edge of the opening. Use just enough to cover the inside edge.

If you are installing glass in your old cabinet doors, you’ll need to take a few extra steps first:

  • Release the old glass by either cutting and scraping out the putty, prying off the trim, or unscrewing the stops.

  • If the doors used trim, use the flathead screwdriver to gently pry up the nails attaching the trim at the corners. Once they’re sticking out slightly, use the pliers to pull them out. 

  • Finally, clear out all the broken glass and any other debris. If possible, use a shop vac to get all traces of dirt, dust, and glass away from the area.

5. Add the Glass

After your doors are prepared, drop in the section of cut glass and line it up with the inside edge of the opening. Press the glass pane into the edges so that it adheres to the silicone, and wipe away any excess silicone with a towel. Check that the glass holds firmly in place.

Allow the sealant time to dry before moving the doors. Usually, the process takes about an hour, but it is better to allow it to dry overnight for the best hold.

If replacing old doors that didn’t use silicone sealant, replace the trim, putty, or stops.

6. Rehang the Door

After the glass is set in place, your doors are ready to go back up on the cabinet boxes. Before you hang your cabinet doors, you also have the option to replace the cabinet hardware if you’d like. Once ready, you can attach the cabinet doors back to the hinges on your cabinet boxes with a screwdriver or power drill. Be sure to reinspect your work with the doors hung up to ensure everything looks even and in line.

Find Your Glass-Ready Cabinet Doors at Cabinetdoors.com

With a little bit of patience and attention to detail, anyone can update their kitchen cabinets with glass doors and enjoy a bright decorative kitchen. Whether you want to replace your current glass cupboard doors or are trying the style for the first time, Cabinetdoors.com can help.

Cabinetdoors.com has an extensive and exciting inventory with options to suit all kinds of kitchens. Replacement doors are a lot more affordable, accessible, and impressive than you imagine. Contact us today to learn more about how to install glass in cabinet doors and find the perfect kitchen cabinet doors for you.

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