Without minor changes, kitchen cabinet doors may not always fit exactly, and with time, they might become loose or misaligned. Fortunately, practically all kitchen cabinet doors have a set of screws and hinges that are simple to adjust when done correctly.

In this article on how to adjust kitchen cabinet doors, we will assist you in learning how to adjust cabinet door hinges especially on the old kitchen cabinets. They will largely apply to more contemporary hinges that have adjustment screws.

If you have older cabinets with misaligned hinges, there are a few useful recommendations at the conclusion of this article.

hinge How to Adjust Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Before You Begin

First thing to know when learning how to adjust kitchen cabinet doors on your old cabinet doors, you must adjust the kind of hinge. If the hinges have additional screws in addition to the mounting choices, they may be readily modified. If they are ancient or just simple, with only the mounting screws securing them to the cabinet frame, you will need to perform some more work with the adjustment.

Certain cabinets include movable hinges that may be adjusted in and out, up and down, side to side, and in and out. Others include merely mechanisms that allow for side-to-side or in-and-out movement of the hinges.

The only item necessary is a regular screwdriver fitted with a tip that corresponds to your cabinet screws.

Avoid using a power drill as it may slide and cause damage to the cabinet door, particularly if it is a wooden cabinet. If it makes you feel more secure, you may always ask someone to act as a second set of eyes to ensure the cabinet is screwed on properly, although this is not always essential.

Alignment Issues

cabinet-door How to Adjust Kitchen Cabinet Doors

In the majority of situations, the fundamental problem is one of visual alignment. Unless you’ve observed that one or more of your doors are misaligned, you generally have nothing to fear. The second consideration is function; in this situation, you’ve already identified the problematic cabinet door or doors.

Your doors should be vertically aligned with the cabinet frame’s sides and horizontally centered in the opening. Between doors, the reveal should be straight and even from top to bottom. Additionally, doors should be aligned vertically with the doors to their right and left, as well as horizontally with the doors immediately above or below.

A short visual check should usually reveal any more problematic doors that need adjustment.

A reveal is the visible gap along the edge of a door or drawer front. When inspecting a door for appropriate alignment, the reveals are often checked, since they create the black, obvious lines between cabinet pieces.

If desired, you may enlist the assistance of another person to check the cabinets (like you would when correcting a picture), but there is no reason this cannot be a one-person process.


Once you are certain of the issue you are attempting to resolve with the adjustment of the cabinet door hinges, it is time to go to work. The following are some of the most typical cabinet door hinge issues and how to resolve them via adjustment.

Tighten Loose Cabinet Doors

How-to-adjust-kitchen-cabinet-doors How to Adjust Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Open the cabinet doors and look inside for the cabinet door hinge screws.

Each cabinet door will have two vertical fixed door screws that secure it to the hinge. On the interior of the cupboard, each hinge is secured with two vertical adjustable cupboard screws and two horizontal screws. The adjustment screw is on the left, while the locking screw is on the right.

If the hinges on your cupboard doors are loose, do not automatically assume you need to replace them. Often, all that is required is to tighten or adjust the individual screws to re-tighten the doors.

If the locking screw is loose, completely tighten it.

The locking screw is the horizontal screw farthest to the right on the hinges within the cupboard. Screw it clockwise as far as it will go with a screwdriver to tighten it and check to see whether the cabinet doors are still loose.

If the door is still tight at this stage, there is no need to proceed. If it still loose, continue tightening the remaining screws.

Adjust the Door Up or Down

Fit-kitchen-doors How to Adjust Kitchen Cabinet Doors

When considering how to adjust kitchen cabinet doors, the initial adjustment on a backplate enables you to raise and lower the door. Typically, this adjustment is made by two screws on the back plate, and by releasing those screws and sliding the back plate up or down, the door may be moved laterally up or down.

If the back plate remains somewhat tight after loosening those screws, you may pound it very gently with a hammer to release it, enabling you to then slide the rear plate up and down. The back plate has a good deal of adjustability to facilitate this.

Adjust the Door Right or Left

Adjust the door right or left using the side-to-side adjustment to line it with its neighbor or the cabinet box’s edges. You may adjust either one or both hinges on each door, depending on the amount of adjustment required.

If the door seems to be tilting to the right, move the side-to-side screw on the top hinge until the hinge pulls closer to the cabinet box’s side, shifting the top of the door to the left. If that is insufficient, adjust the bottom hinge’s side-to-side screw to move the hinge away from the cabinet box, so shifting the bottom of the door to the right.

Adjust the Door in or Out

adjusting-cabinet-290618 How to Adjust Kitchen Cabinet Doors

As with the last adjustment, this one is necessary if the door does not shut correctly and sticks out from the tabletop. Although this is less typical than the latter, it is nevertheless necessary to have an uniform gap around the edge of the door when seen from the side.

As previously indicated, the front screw on the hinge is often utilized to adjust the alignment of the door. Begin by anti-clockwise rotating the front screw until the door separates from the cabinet. Take care not to over-loosen the hinge; if you believe it is too loose, just reverse the screw.

Avoid fitting the door too tightly or too closely to the cabinet, as this can cause the door to ‘bind’ against the cabinet, making it difficult to open or shut. If your door does not close correctly or seems to be binding, this is the modification you need to make.

Test the Door

cabinet22 How to Adjust Kitchen Cabinet Doors

If you are learning how to adjust kitchen cabinet doors or you already did it, test the doors. Close the cabinet doors to ensure that they are aligned properly. If you make the necessary changes, the cabinet doors will be symmetrical and shut correctly. Take note of any remaining misalignment, reopen the cabinet doors, and make any adjustments with the appropriate screws.

After each little adjustment, close the door to ensure you’re moving it in the appropriate direction and to see whether it need more adjustment. This is a process of trial and error, and fine-tuning is required.

Adjusting Old Cabinet Door Hinges That Don’t Feature the Additional Screws

door-fix2 How to Adjust Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Old cabinet hinges may be a bit more tricky to deal with.

Adjusting older cabinet door hinges that lack the adjustable screws found on more contemporary hinges will be more laborious, but not impossible. Begin by determining the source of the door’s malfunction. Is it uneven, sinking lower than it should, or just not completely closing?

The procedures required to repair a cabinet door after the issue has been found vary according on the nature of the issue. In certain circumstances, just tightening the screws counterclockwise may suffice. Tighten the screws gradually, and after each adjustment, verify the cabinet’s tension and alignment.

Tightening screws does not always resolve the issue. Occasionally, longer mounting screws will be required to properly tighten up to the door. Another possibility is to install a shim behind the hinges to assist in keeping the doors aligned.

Conclusions on how to adjust kitchen cabinet doors

With the correct screwdriver, adjusting ancient cabinet door hinges is a straightforward task that you can do on your own. You only need to comprehend why you’re changing the hinges and use the proper adjustment technique to get your desired outcomes.

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