A Comprehensive Guide on How to Adjust Old Cabinet Door Hinges

When your old cabinet door hinges don’t open smoothly, or when it starts producing an insanely irritating noise when you’re opening the cabinet doors. Probably it’s about time to read about how to adjust old cabinet door hinges before grabbing your tools.

You’re first required to figure out the hinge on the door and, later on, determine the squeaking cause.

You probably access your cabinet a couple of times during the day and, more frequently, the cabinets that hold the snacks and cutlery.

Naturally, these hinges on the cabinets are bound to develop problems either they become loose, crooked, or even start squeaking.

Luckily, most of the cabinet hinges available in the market don’t require a skilled technician to fix them. You can fix the problems with a couple of tools available in your house.

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A Comprehensive Guide on How to Adjust Old Cabinet Door Hinges Properly

Cabinet door hinges are an essential component of any kitchen or bathroom cabinetry, and they play a crucial role in ensuring that the doors open and close smoothly.

However, these hinges can become loose or misaligned over time, causing the doors to sag or not close properly. This guide will walk you through adjusting your cabinet door hinges and provide tips and tricks to help you achieve optimal performance.

Whether a seasoned DIYer or a first-time home renovator, this guide will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to tackle this project easily.

So, let’s learn how to adjust old cabinet door hinges and give your kitchen or bathroom a fresh look.

First, start with visual inspections by checking the alignment of the hinges. The other option is to look at the functioning of the door.

It should be vertically aligned to the cabinet frame’s sides, straight and even from top to bottom.

First, check the Type of Hinges Fitted in Your Cabinet

Various hinges are available in the market that allows the cabinet doors to be tweaked in somewhat three-dimensional angles; up and down, front and back, and side to side.

The adjustments are relatively easy and straightforward for the concealed type (European-style hinges).

But for the traditional hinges, some minor tweaks are employed.

Find out the Root Cause of The Problem

As we have previously stated, a cabinet door is probably the most used fixture in the house. Chances are the cabinet or the hinges will either be the problem:

  • The hinge screws on the cabinet and door will loosen over time.
  • The hinge holes become stripped and are too big for the screws.
  • The cabinet door will sag because it’s too heavy for the existing hardware.

When you have all the facts it will be relatively easy to remedy the problem.

This could help you unearth some hidden tear and wear issues with your cabinet. Which might have been lingering all along, and you probably didn’t know.

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Go for The Ideal Way to Fix and Tune-Up Your Cabinet

When you have identified your cabinet issues’ root causes, it’s time to fix them. Discussed below are a couple of recommendations to help you out.

Pro Tip: The only tool you need for adjusting cabinet doors is a standard Phillips screwdriver with a #2 screw tip (there are different sizes).

Don’t use a power drill with a screwdriver bit because the drill force can easily strip screw heads or out the cabinet wood.

You can also opt to purchase the Cremax Magnet Set.

Adjusting Concealed Cabinet Hinges

They are the European type of hinges, and they sit inside the cabinets. They consist of an adjustable bar situated between two mounting plates.

Six screws are visible from this Euro-style hinge; you can ignore the two holding the door mounting plate in place.

Two of the four screws are located on the hinge assembly ‘bar,’ and two are mounted onto the cabinet’s side.

Each of these four screws helps adjust the hinge, so the door closes properly.

The farthest screw from the door controls the ‘in and out mechanisms of the door.’ In the first scenario, the cabinet overlaps and closes on top of its neighboring door or falls short of meeting in the middle.

Remedy; loosen or tighten the screw located farthest from the door until you achieve the desired effect. Loosen the two screws holding the mounting plate to the cabinet to move the door up and down.

Maneuver the door up or down as desired and then tighten the screws again to hold it in place.

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Traditional Door Hinge Adjustment Tips

Also called ‘Butt hinges.’ Typically have three screws holding each mounting plate in place, leaving no room for adjustment.

Some “modern” traditional hinges have oval screw holes that do allow for some adjustment. Loosen the desired screw, push or pull the door into the desired position and then retighten the screw.

Where You Have the Cabinet Doors Rubbing Against Each Other

To fix this issue, you must identify the two screws on the hinge and loosen the nearest to the cabinet door.

Loosen it just a bit, only enough for you to be able to readjust the hinge either to the right or left.

Move to each direction at-a-time while checking to ensure that the doors don’t rub against each other.

If you don’t achieve the desired effect, change over to the other direction while checking to ensure that you don’t lose the doors’ alignment.

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A Case Where the Cabinet Hinges Are Stiff

Time usually affects things on earth; probably, when you installed the hinges, they worked perfectly.

Start by unscrewing the hinges and moving them to the left or right and check to see whether it will solve the problem.

If that didn’t work out, you could adjust the hinge by unscrewing the baseplate holding the hinge.

Adjust it by sliding either to the left or right while checking which direction the hinge loses its stiffness and screw it back.

In most cases, the warping of the wood might be the primary cause of the hinges’ stiffness.

Adjusting the position of the hinge either up or down will rectify this issue.

A Scenario Where the Cabinet Door Hinges Are Loose

When you find the cabinet door hanging lower than usual, it means that the screws have loosened. The aging and usage of the cabinets can lead to the loosening of the screws.

To remedy this, you must readjust the hinges in the correct position and tighten the screws again.

If the screw holes cannot accommodate the screws, you will have to drill some other pilot holes for the screws.

  1. Open the cabinet door.
  2. Tighten and adjust the screws on the cabinet door hinges with a screwdriver.
  3. Close the door to check tension and alignment.
  4. Continue adjusting screws on the cabinet and then the door until the door is no longer loose and closes appropriately.

A Scenario Where the Cabinet Doors Are overlapping on each other

You can rectify this by adjusting the hinges upwards or down if the hinges support the mechanisms.

Suppose you can also change the hinges to either slide inwards or outwards, the mechanisms supported by the hinges you have.

However, if the doors don’t solve the problem, check for other signs, take a closer look at the hinges they might be damaged, or the door might have warped, and check the cabinet’s framework is still in a good position.

A Case Where the Cabinet Doors aren’t Properly Aligned

As time passes, your cabinet continues to deteriorate in functionality and lose its shape.

A couple of years down the line, you find a door that’s out of place. Check the above options for solving it because some loose screws might be the cause.

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Conclusion on How to Adjust Old Cabinet Door Hinges

How to Adjust Old Cabinet Door Hinges

In conclusion, adjusting old cabinet door hinges is a simple yet effective way to improve the functionality and appearance of your kitchen or bathroom cabinetry.

Following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to realign and tighten your hinges, resulting in doors that open and close smoothly and evenly.

It’s important to remember that a regular maintenance schedule for your cabinet hinges will help you to prevent any future issues.

Moreover, if you’re unsure about your ability to adjust the hinges, it’s best to consult a professional.

With the proper care and attention, your cabinet door hinges will continue to provide reliable performance for years to come.

Additionally, while this is doable as a one-person job, it might help to have another set of eyes and hands for the adjustments.

An assistant can also help hold a cabinet door steadily in place so the other person can focus solely on screwing the hinge.

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