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How to Adjust Cabinet Hinges

It's Easy, and You'll Be Glad You Did It

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If your cabinet doors bump into each other, hang unevenly or don’t close properly, the hinges may need adjusting. Below, steps two through four explain how to adjust European-style hinges, and step five shows how to adjust frame cabinet hinges. Both types of hinge allow for horizontal and vertical adjustments.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 10 minutes for each hinge
What You Need: Phillips head screwdriver

Here’s How to Adjust Cabinet Hinges

  1. Determine which type of hinge your cabinets have. European-style hinges have several adjusting screws. These hinges snap into a cup on the cabinet door and then attach to a plate mounted inside the cabinet. Frame cabinet hinges are mounted to the small strip of wood in the front of the cabinet base.
  2. Open the cabinet door and look at the part of the hinge attached to the cabinet base. There should be four screws on this part of the hinge. Two screws, located at the top and bottom of the hinge, mount the hinge to the cabinet. Turn these first to make sure the door is secure. This may solve the problem. If the door is still too high or low, loosen these screws, adjust the cabinet door to the right height and retighten the screws.
  3. The remaining two screws can also be used to make adjustments. The screw closest to the back of the cabinet is the depth screw and moves the doors in and out. The screw closest to the cabinet door allows the doors to move from side to side.
  4. Unfortunately, there’s no exact science to adjusting European-style hinges. You’ll have to resort to trial and error at this point, experimenting with the depth screw and side screw to get the desired result. Turn the screw and move the cabinet door to the desired position. Close the cabinet doors to see whether the fit is good. If the doors still need adjusting, try again.
  5. Frame cabinet hinges are less challenging to adjust than European hinges but don’t allow you to make changes in as many directions. To adjust the cabinet doors, loosen the screw or screws on the cabinet base and move the door as needed. Retighten the screws.

Tips for Quick Cabinet Hinge Adjustment

  • If you bought your cabinets at IKEA, it is likely that you have European-style hinges.
  • Adjust one cabinet door at a time.
  • This is a trial-and-error process. A regular screwdriver allows for more precision than a power screwdriver or a drill with reversing screwdriver bit.
Related Video
Fix a Loose Kitchen Cabinet Door
How To Install a Childproof Lock on a Cabinet
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