Skip to content

Unit: Adjusting cabinets on-site

Supporting: LMFKB3004A Conduct on-site adjustments to cabinets

Section 1: Making adjustments

Image for slide 1
Audio for slide 1 (mp3 |6|KB)
There is an enormous range of hinges available for cabinet doors.

In practice, most of the cabinets you install will use a European-style concealed hinge.

Nonetheless, you may still come across butt hinges of one type or another if you're working with traditional face-frame cabinets.

hearing icon
Image for slide 2
Audio for slide 2 (mp3 |6|KB)
This picture shows the main difference between face-frame cabinets and European-style frameless cabinets.

If you need to refresh your memory on these two construction methods, go back to the unit: Processes in kitchen and bathroom projects.

hearing icon
Image for slide 3
Audio for slide 3 (mp3 |6|KB)

European-style hinges

European-style hinges are sometimes called cup hinges or concealed hinges. The hinge cup is mounted to the door, with the recess giving the hinge mechanism extra space to operate. The arm is attached to a mounting block screwed to the inside of the cabinet.

hearing icon
Image for slide 4
Audio for slide 4 (mp3 |6|KB)
There are three main types of concealed hinges - full overlay, half overlay and inset.

These names refer to the position of the door in relation to the side of the cabinet.

hearing icon
Image for slide 5
Audio for slide 5 (mp3 |6|KB)

Adjusting the door

This drawing shows a typical concealed hinge with the door in an open position. The functions of the screws are as follows:

A: fixed door screws - used to permanently fix the hinge cup to the door.

B: adjustable cabinet screws - fixes the mounting block to the inside of the cabinet, and allows the doors to be adjusted vertically (up and down).

C: locking screw - used to lock the arm in place once any sideways adjustments have been made (note that it needs to be loosened before screw D can be turned)

D: adjusting screw - used to adjust the door horizontally (from side to side).

hearing icon
Image for slide 6
Audio for slide 6 (mp3 |6|KB)
To increase or decrease the gap at the side of the door, turn screw D in the same direction on both hinges for the door.

The finished gap should be about 1-2 mm.

hearing icon
Image for slide 7
Audio for slide 7 (mp3 |6|KB)
To adjust the angle of the door, turn screw D on either the top or bottom hinge, or if you need a bigger adjustment, turn the top screw one way and the bottom screw the other way.

hearing icon
Image for slide 8
Audio for slide 8 (mp3 |6|KB)
If the door is binding (that is, touching the cabinet side as it closes), loosen the locking screw C on both hinges and slide the door outwards, away from the cabinet.

Retighten the screws and check to see whether it has fixed the bind.

Note that the gap only needs to be 1 mm between the door and the cabinet.

hearing icon
Image for slide 9
Audio for slide 9 (mp3 |6|KB)
To adjust the height of the door, loosen the mounting block screws for both hinges (screw B) and move the door up or down.

In most cases, the cabinet door should be flush with the bottom of the cabinet and down about 4 mm from the top.

This will provide clearance between the top of the door and the bench top.

The door should also line up with the doors or drawers either side of it.

hearing icon
Image for slide 10
Audio for slide 10 (mp3 |6|KB)
Always use a hand-held Phillips or pozi-drive screwdriver to make these sorts of adjustments.

Don't use a cordless drill, because it can easily strip the thread or burr the slots in the screw head.

hearing icon
Image for slide 11
Audio for slide 11 (mp3 |6|KB)
Never try to 'rack' the carcass sideways to adjust the doors.

This will simply push the cabinet out of square and make it harder to adjust the doors properly.

Cabinets should always be installed level, plumb and square, regardless of the alignment of the floor or walls.

hearing icon

Learning activity

Audio 12 (mp3 |6|KB)

What are the main hinge types that you use in your cabinets? List the three most common hinges and their manufacturer.

Choose the hinge that is most different from the concealed hinge described above, and briefly explain how you adjust the gap between doors. Share your answer with your trainer and other learners in your group. You may wish to take digital photos to help with your explanations.

hearing icon

Go to arrowGo to Drawers