How to align a cabinet door

Written by james clark
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Proper alignment of cabinet doors is crucial both for proper operation of the doors and for aesthetics. A misaligned door looks sloppy and careless, and it may bang into the opposite door if not adjusted correctly. With a few household tools, a bit of patience and by following these steps, you can align the cabinet doors in your home.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Screwdrivers
  • Bubble-type level
  • Pencil
  • Electric drill and drill bits
  • Mounting hardware, screws and hinges for cabinet doors
  • Safety goggles

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  1. 1

    Check the opposing cabinet doors for proper operation. If either door closes at an upward or downward angle from the other, or if the two doors touch when trying to close them, you'll need to align the doors.

  2. 2

    Draw a small pencil line along the underside of the cabinet door on the cabinet itself to mark the spot where the door closes against the cabinet.

  3. 3

    Open the cabinet doors and hold a bubble level flat and horizontal against the cabinet close to the spot where you made the pencil mark.

  4. 4

    Adjust the level until the bubble reading shows that the level is perfectly parallel to the floor and ceiling, then draw a line underneath the level with a pencil. This is your reference mark for aligning the cabinet door.

  5. 5

    Close the cabinet door and take notice of where the door touches the cabinet in relation to your reference mark. If the door is at an angle or above the reference mark, it will need to be adjusted lower. If the door is below the reference mark, you will need to set the alignment higher.

  6. 6

    Open the cabinet door once more and inspect the inside hinges and screws to see if there is adjustment room in the hinges.

  7. 7

    Loosen the screws on the top and bottom hinges that attach to the cabinet, then push gently up or down on the door to align it with your reference mark.

  8. 8

    Re-tighten the screws and check alignment.

  9. 9

    If the door is still at an angle, open once more and loosen the screws attaching the top and bottom hinges to the door.

  10. 10

    Adjust the lower edge of the door to match the reference mark and tighten the screws.

  11. 11

    If adjusting the hinges still does not bring the doors into alignment, remove the screws from the hinges attached to the cabinet to detach the doors.

  12. 12

    Enlist two friends to hold the doors in the closed position against the cabinet while you set a new reference mark for level alignment.

  13. 13

    Keep the doors in the closed position in the cabinet while you mark new screw holes in the cabinet for the hinges. Mark through the holes in the hinges.

  14. 14

    Use the electric drill to make new holes in the cabinet using your pencil marks where the screws will be installed.

  15. 15

    Screw in the top and bottom door hinges to the cabinet and close the doors to recheck for alignment.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear safety goggles when working with power tools.

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