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How to adjust cabinet doors

If your cabinet doors are too high, too low, tilted, or to close together, they can easily be adjusted! This post will show you how to adjust cabinet doors!

How to adjust cabinet doors - Charleston Crafted

Have you ever looked at your cabinet doors and realized they didn’t line up?

Maybe one side is lower than the other or maybe one door is crooked. It could even been that one of the doors doesn’t close properly and looks like it’s sticking out.

Cabinet doors being misaligned can happen over time with wear and tear or were never lined up properly when they were installed.

Luckily, adjusting cabinet hinges is a really easy fix for how to fix a misaligned cabinet door.

We had to adjust a lot of the cabinet doors when we installed 10 cabinets in our DIY home office renovation.

If you have unfinished cabinets like we did, here’s how to paint them!

How to adjust cabinet door hinges

Adjusting cabinet door hinges in your kitchen, bathroom or office is an easier fix than you might think. Obviously, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably never tried before and might think it’s harder than it is.

Just because your cabinet door is loose or isn’t lined up right doesn’t mean you need to replace the hinges. They probably just need a little hinge adjustment.

Misaligned cabinet doors

Knowing how to adjust cabinet door hinges is a little skill that you can pick up here through this post that will hang with you for a lifetime and always come in handy when you need it.

Before adjusting the right screws, always make sure that the mounting screws are tight and in place attaching the hinge to the cabinet frame or on the door itself. That will always cause an issue.

Attaching cabinet doors with hinges

Here’s a way to keep your cabinet door from opening too far!

3 screws to adjust cabinet door hinges

Adjusting cabinet door hinges is as simple as adjusting one of three screws. Each hinge on each cabinet door is going to have screws to adjust your door in one of SIX different directions.

There are three types of screws on your kitchen cabinet door hinges that will adjust the door either up or down, left or right, or in and out.

Cabinet door open on office

The best thing about this small home repair is that the only tool you need is a Phillips head screwdriver. Literally anyone can do this!

Older cabinets with older hinges might not have all three of these screws to adjust. However, the door probably isn’t out of position in a way that doesn’t have a screw to adjust.

If one of these is your problem and there isn’t an applicable screw to adjust, you probably need to adjust the mount of the hinge, or your could always replace it.

Remember when trying these methods, you might need to just adjust the top hinge or the bottom hinge but sometimes need to do both. Learn how to adjust each direction below!

While you’re adjusting the doors, try replacing the hardware!

Adjust door up or down

The most likely way a cabinet door will be misaligned is that one will be higher than the door next to it. You’ll need to take a look at the two cabinet doors and see which one seems like it is in the right spot (probably by seeing which one is most centered on the cabinet opening) and then adjust the other one up or down as needed.

Screws to adjust cabinet doors up and down

To adjust a cabinet door up or down, slightly loosen the two vertical adjustment screws on the cabinet hinge that are directly screwed into the cabinet frame.

The vertical adjustment screws are located in two vertical slots on the hinge, so when you slightly loosen the screws, you can slide the door up and down the frame to the extent of the length of the slot.

Move the door up or down as needed and then tighten the screws back to keep the door tight.

If you have adjusted as high up or low down as possible with the size of the slots and you still need to move the door more, you’ll need to remove the screws entirely, adjust the cabinet door where it should be, then reattach the screws in the new place.

Don’t forget to organize your cabinets!

Adjust door left or right

Another way you might need to adjust your cabinet door is to move either the top or bottom (or the entire door) to the left or right to either minimize the gap between the doors or add some space if they are touching. This screws will help you move the door side to side to get it where you need.

Screw to adjust door left or right

The screw farthest to the back of the hinge lets you make that adjustment. Tightening the screw clockwise will push the door toward the frame whereas loosening it counterclockwise will move the door toward the middle of the frame.

This adjustment is great and requires several times of trial and error if you want the gap between the doors perfect, and you might even need to adjust both doors to get it right.

Adjust door in or out

If the top or bottom of your cabinet door is set too far out from the frame so that there is a gap between the door and the frame, you’ll need to adjust the inner screw on the hinge.

Screw to adjust cabinet door in and out

The screw on the folding hinge mechanism closest to the door extends and contracts the hinge itself, which pushes or pulls the door from the frame. Turn the screw clockwise to pull the door closer to the frame or counterclockwise to push it away.

This adjustment probably only needs to be done on one of the two hinges on the door because either the top or bottom is further out, but you can do both until it’s lined up perfectly.

Check your adjustments

When you’re trying to adjust cabinet door hinges, you’ll probably have to do several bouts of trial and error. It’s really easy to do too much with these adjustments because it doesn’t take much to make a big move on the door.

Checking cabinet door alignment

In between each adjustment, close the door and step back to take a look at where it’s at. Then open the door and make any additional corrections you need.

Summary of how to adjust cabinet doors

Overall, adjusting cabinet doors is a really easy DIY project. You might need to just tighten the mounting screws, otherwise you can use one of the three adjustment screws on the hinges to move the door up, down, left, right, in or out.

You likely only need to adjust one screw to solve a problem, but if you’re installing new doors, you’ll have to make sure everything is lined up. This is an easy fix so you don’t need to be bothered anymore!

How to adjust cabinet doors - Charleston Crafted

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