Hinges are available in a variety of styles and finishes. Choose the type that best matches your cabinet and door style.
Check the screw on each hinge that connects to the cabinet frame. If it is hard to tighten, this indicates a stripped screw hole. To fix this, dip wooden toothpicks into wood glue and stuff them in the hole as much as possible. Allow to dry before reattaching the screw.
1. The Door Doesn’t Close Properly
Cabinet doors can become misaligned or have obstructions that prevent them from closing properly. Both of these issues can be fixed with hinge adjustments. However, if the issue persists, it may be time to consider replacing the hinge.
The easiest way to fix this problem is to loosen the screw that attaches the hinge to the door and then move it to align with the frame. This can be done using either the side-to-side adjustment or the hinge’s up/down adjustment feature.
For surface-mount hinges that mount to the face of the cabinet frame, this can be done by loosening the two screws and moving the hinge to the left or right. This will correct the door’s alignment with its neighbor or the cabinet box’s edges.
If the problem is that the door is slamming shut, this might indicate that the hydraulic buffer (the part that slows down the door’s closing speed) is not functioning correctly. This can also be corrected by increasing the resistance of the hinges’ hydraulic buffer, but if this doesn’t resolve the problem, it may be necessary to replace the hinge.
Similarly, if the door is pulling away from the frame at the top or bottom, this can be fixed by using the up/down adjustment on the hinge. This will cause the hinge to pull up or down, which will help to straighten the door’s alignment with the cabinet box.
Another common hinge problem is that the door is sagging, which can be caused by misalignment or a damaged hinge. This can be easily fixed by placing a wooden shim or folded piece of cardboard underneath the hinge to raise it up or down.
If you are able to get the hinge to align with the cabinet frame and door, but it still seems sagging or doesn’t close properly, try tightening the screws. Be careful not to overtighten the screws, as this can strip them.
Once you have reattached the cabinet door and tightened all of the screws, test it to make sure that it opens and closes smoothly and that it is aligned correctly with its neighbors. If it doesn’t, you can repeat the steps in this guide to adjust the hinge or consult with a professional for more extensive repairs.
2. The Door Is Sagging
When a cabinet door is sagging, it means that the hinge is losing its tension or that it’s not aligned with the frame. This can be due to improper installation or simply wear and tear, but fixing this issue is important so that the door closes properly.
First, you’ll want to examine the hinges for loose screws. This is a common problem that can cause the hinge to move out of alignment with the frame, and tightening these screws will usually resolve the issue. If the screw holes are stripped, however, it’s important to replace them with longer screws so that they can grip the hole more effectively.
If you find that the screws aren’t loose, but the hinge is still sagging, it may be time to use some shims to get the hinge back into alignment with the frame. Shims are thin, wedge-shaped pieces of wood that you can insert into the screw hole to alter the way that the screw grabs the hinge. Loose screws and stripped holes can also cause the hinge to shift out of alignment with the frame, so if you find that these simple fixes don’t fix the issue, it may be necessary to consider replacing the hinge altogether.
Once you’ve tightened the screw and inserted a new screw, you can tighten the other screw on the hinge, being careful not to over-tighten it. When you’re done, be sure to check the alignment of the hinge by closing and opening the door to make sure that it is properly aligned and closing smoothly.
If the door is sagging or misaligned, you may need to use shims to fix the issue. Using shims can help reposition the hinge so that it is properly aligned with the frame, which can help the door close correctly. Depending on the severity of the sagging or misalignment, you may need to install additional hinges to help support the weight of the door. It’s also a good idea to consult a professional if you notice that the hinge is out of alignment or needs to be replaced entirely.
3. The Door Is Sticking
Occasionally, kitchen cabinet hinges can become loose over time, which causes the door to start sticking. When this happens, you can usually fix it by tightening the hinge screws. This is a fairly easy project that takes less than 10 minutes. However, you should always use a screwdriver instead of a drill to avoid over-tightening and stripping the screw holes.
Before attempting to tighten the hinge screws, determine where the door is sticking. This will help you figure out what method of fixing it to best. For example, if the door sticks along the bottom, a quick and easy solution would be to place some sandpaper underneath the area where it is sticking. Then, simply move the door back and forth to smooth out the rough areas. This will eliminate the sticking and ensure that your soft close hinges work properly.
If the door is sticking in another area, the most likely cause is that the hinges are out of alignment with each other or with the frame of the cabinet. This can be due to the hinge shifting over time or caused by an obstruction that prevents the door from fitting correctly. Either way, this is an easy problem to fix by using the adjustment screws on the hinges.
To do this, open the door and look at the part of the hinge that attaches to the cabinet. There should be two screws that are located on the top and bottom of the hinge. These screws allow you to adjust the hinge up and down, as well as in and out. Simply turn these screws clockwise or anti-clockwise to move the hinge up and down until the door is aligned with the frame of the cabinet.
You can also use the side-to-side adjustment feature of the hinges to move the door right or left so that it lines up with its neighbors or with the edges of the cabinet box. Just turn the screws on the hinge in a counterclockwise direction or clockwise direction to move the door to the right or left until it is aligned with its neighbor and in line with the edges of the cabinet box.
4. The Door Is Misaligned
Cabinet hinges can be misaligned for a variety of reasons, including loose screws or a damaged or worn-out hinge. Once the cause of the misalignment has been identified, you can adjust the hinge to restore the door’s alignment. If the hinge is sagging, place a piece of scrap wood or a folded piece of cardboard under it to support the weight while you adjust it. Loosen the screws on the hinge that attach it to the cabinet frame, and then use a screwdriver or adjustable wrench to tighten them back up. Make sure you tighten them evenly so that the door isn’t unevenly supported by one side or another.
If the door is slamming shut when it closes, the soft closing mechanism may be broken or lacking in resistance. The issue could also be caused by a damaged or faulty hydraulic buffer designed to slow the door’s closing speed and prevent it from slamming shut.
Taking the doors off of the hinges can help you get a closer look at areas that are rubbing, catching, or overlapping. Mark these areas on the door and hinges so you can decide what to do next.
If your cabinet hinge is loose, you can fix it by tightening the screw that holds it to the cabinet frame and the door. Alternatively, you can replace the screw with longer ones.
Some cabinet hinges are adjustable by using side-to-side adjustment screws to move the hinge up or down, moving the door with it. For example, if the top of the cabinet door doesn’t meet the edge of the cabinet box, you can use the depth adjustment screw to adjust the hinge upward so that the door sits higher. Likewise, if the bottom of the door doesn’t meet the cabinet box at the bottom, you can use the depth adjustment screw to lower the hinge.
If you’re unable to resolve the problem with adjustments, it’s likely time to replace the hinge. You can do this yourself with the right tools and knowledge. Be sure to choose a replacement hinge that matches the style and size of the existing one for a seamless repair.