There are as many different styles and types of cabinet hinges as there seem to be cabinet styles. Lip style cabinet hinges were popular for many years until they were replaced by full overlay hinges. Since then, hinges have been designed to be concealing, semi-concealing, exposed, inset, overlaid, knife-style, and even self-closing, as well as numerous combinations of all of the above.
All cabinet hinges have three things in common regardless of their style or design. They all have a hinge pin, a part that attaches to the cabinet door, and a part that attaches to the cabinet front or face frame.
Not all the various hinge styles are adjustable, however. To adjust the doors with most types of hinges, you must remove the hinges, plug or repair the screw holes, move the hinge location slightly, and reattach the hinge. An exception to this is European style cabinet hinges. These hinges work well in a number of different cabinet door configurations including flush fit, semi-recessed, and fully recessed. While their adjustment can be complicated and time consuming, it does allow the installer to make minute door adjustments that result in a clean, professional appearance.
- First, remove the old hinge and compare it to new ones to determine the correct hinge style and finish.
- Always remove the bottom hinge first whether you need to replace it or not.
- Support the cabinet door and remove the upper hinge if that is the one you need to replace.
- Install the new cabinet hinge on the face frame or front of the cabinet carcase.
- Install the door side of the new hinge.
- Reinstall the bottom hinge.
- European cabinet hinges have a number of adjustment screws that move the door up, down, in, out, and sideways.
- Take the cover off the new hinge.
- Examine the opening edge of the door in relation to the adjacent one or to the edge of the cabinet.
- Determine what direction you have to move the door edge or body in order to make it fit the cabinet face frame or carcase flush, plumb, and level.
- By trial and error, move an adjustment screw a little and reexamine the door. Note which way the door moved when you moved that screw.
- If you need to adjust a different screw to move the door in the right direction, return the first screw to its approximate original position and try the next screw in the hinge body.
- When you have the doors all adjusted to match perfectly, reinstall the hinge cover on the new hinge and you are done.
Patience and attention to detail is what guarantees success in replacing and adjusting European style cabinet hinges.
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