A magnetic cabinet latch is simple to install with common home-repair tools. Magnetic latch kits typically include two working parts, plus mounting screws. Depending on your cabinet door configuration, a magnet is mounted onto the frame of the cabinet and a steel strike plate is mounted onto the door. When the cabinet is closed, the steel plate comes into contact with the magnet, keeping the door closed. When the cabinet is closed, the installed magnetic latch is not visible.
Close the cabinet door. Use a pencil to draw a small horizontal line that crosses the edge of the door and the cabinet frame. You'll use this reference line to install the to components of the latch to ensure their alignment when the cabinet door is closed.
Position the magnetised component of the latch on the vertical portion of the cabinet frame, so its centre is aligned with the reference mark and the exposed magnet is flush with the edge of the frame. Pass the tip of a pencil through each screw hole to mark their positions on the frame, then remove the magnetic part of the latch.
Align the tip of an awl to the screw-hole mark, perpendicular to the frame. Push and twist to make a pilot hole, about 1/4 inch deep. Repeat to make pilot holes through each screw-hole mark. Reposition the magnetic portion of the latch on the frame, aligning the screw holes and pilot holes. Attach with screws.
Position the strike plate on the inside of the cabinet door, centred at the same vertical level as the reference line. Use a 6-inch-long piece of duct tape to temporarily affix the strike plate on the inside of the door at approximately the same horizontal level as the magnet. Close the cabinet to see if the latch works. Reposition the strike plate if necessary and recheck. When the strike plate is in the proper position, use the awl to puncture the tape over the screw hole(s) in the plate. Push hard enough to indent and mark the cabinet door. Remove the strike plate and tape. Use the awl to deepen the screw holes in the door.
Reposition the strike plate on the door. Use screws to securely attach the strike plate to the door.
Precise positioning of the strike plate is not critical for effective operation of the magnetic latch.
Tips and warnings
- Precise positioning of the strike plate is not critical for effective operation of the magnetic latch.