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 How to Measure for New Cabinet Doors
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The FIRST Most Important Thing about measuring for your doors is this: You must order the EXACT door and drawer front sizes you need.

DO NOT order doors the same size as the opening, and DO NOT assume that we will somehow know exactly what size to make the door that YOU want.
WE DO NOT MAKE ANY SPECIAL CALCULATIONS FOR YOU !! ORDER THE ACTUAL SIZES YOU NEED !!

The SECOND Most Important Thing: What TYPE of cabinet boxes do you have?

  • There are TWO basic TYPES of cabinets. "Face Frame" type (the Right photo), and "Frameless" (also called 'euro-style', on the Left). You can tell by looking at the pictures below:

 


With "Face Frame" type Cabinets, you have TWO choices:

  • If you plan on mounting your doors with your own exposed hinges, you can order the door just about any size you think will work for you.
  • If you plan on mounting your doors with Our FULLY CONCEALED HINGES, you will need to understand that these types of hinges come in many different "OVERLAYS". A hinge that will make the door 'overlay' the face frame by 1/2" will be a completely different model hinge than a hinge that will make the door 'overlay' the face frame by 3/8", or 5/8", or 3/4", or 1". The most common 'overlay' is 1/2", like the '900C' hinge that we sell. What this means is that the hinge will force the door to 'overlay' (or cover) 1/2" of the Face Frame of the cabinet on the hinge side. If you look at the picture above, you will see exactly what we mean. For nearly ALL edge profiles available for your doors, it is most common to add 1" to the OPENING size of the cabinet (height and width). The WIDTH is the important one to add the 1" to, because it is the side the hinge is mounted on, and therefore its movement will be limited by the hinge itself. Again, the 'Overlay' is the amount that the door covers the frame. A 1/2" overlay hinge, such as the '900C' will force the door to 'overlay' that side of the door by 1/2". So to keep things symmetrical, you would normally want to have the door made to overlay 1/2" on the opposite side (the 'knob' side) also. The 1/2" overlay on the hinge side and the 1/2" overlay on the knob side equals 1". That is why it is recommended that you order the doors 1" larger than the opening.

Why should I add 1" in most cases?

For Face Frame cabinets , the 1/2" overlay "900C" hinge is extremely popular. It is very easy to measure your doors for it, because 1/2" overlay on the right side and 1/2" overlay on the left side of the door equals 1". Everyone can add 1" to an opening size, even if it is an odd size, for example, 16 5/16" wide. 16 5/16" plus 1" = 17 5/16". SIMPLE..... If you were trying to use a hinge that would give you a 5/8" overlay, you would need to add 5/8" for the left side plus 5/8" for the right which equals 1 1/4", plus the opening of 16 5/16", which equals 17 9/16". You can see where the fractions can get difficult to work with when none of them has a common denominator. Many people have even forgotten to 'carry' the 1 when adding, and ordered their doors too small, not even realizing it until they go to put them up and watch as the door falls right through the opening! And you will have to order 5/8" overlay hinges, which are usually "Special Order". So It pays to use the 1/2" overlay hinges wherever possible unless you absolutely NEED a different sized door.

In rare cases, a pair of OVERLAY doors closing toward each other with a Very Narrow center stile If the stile is wide enough, opt for that 1/2" overlay on all 4 sides of the door. Treat each door individually and not as a pair as long as each door has its own 4 sided opening to cover. If the stile is extremely narrow (under 1-1/4"), consider a 3/8" overlay only on that "knob" side of the door. The hinge side will still overlay the frame by 1/2" on the frame side, but if you elect to have the door overlay less than 1/2" on the "knob" side, remember to order the door that much smaller than 1". In the case described above, 1/2" plus 3/8" = 7/8" bigger than the opening.

Face frame distance between the top of your door and the bottom of your drawer front: you have a little play here. Your drawer fronts should still measure 1" wider and higher than your opening. Remember, you do not want your drawer fronts to be a different width than the doors that they are sitting directly above.

When should I NOT add 1" to the opening to figure the size of the door?

When you have TWO doors SHARING One Larger Opening. In other words, when you have a pair of doors closing toward each other with NO center stile. Let's say your overall width of the opening is 32" and the height of the opening is 22". Make the height of your doors 23", which will give you 1/2" top and bottom overlay.
Now for the width, we want an 1/8" gap between doors so they don't pinch at the center. So, take the 32" width and add 1" = 33" then divide by 2 = 16-1/2". If the doors are 16-1/2", they will be too tight, so take 1/16" off each door and you create the 1/8" gap in the middle and keep your 1/2" overlay on the hinge side of the door. So your doors should be 16-7/16" wide.
Again, the formula is : Take the opening size plus 1" divided by 2, minus 1/16" , and order 2 doors.


Remember, 5/8" = 10/16" = 20/32", etc. Therefore, a fraction like 3/8" X 2 = 6/8" (which is 3/4"), and a fraction like 11/16" divided by 2 = 11/32". REMEMBER MATH CLASS? find the lowest common denominator when adding these fractions. (or convert it decimal, then do the math, and then convert it back to a fraction). we have a "fraction to decimal" conversion table listed on our FAQ pages.

  • Be sure to list width first. A good example of what can happen if you don't concerns the sets of doors over most refrigerators and sometimes over stoves. The openings in these two places in the kitchen are often wider than they are tall. That means, if you make the mistake of listing the height first, the wood grain will be running the wrong way and you will have to re-order.

With "Frameless" type Cabinets:

  • Normally you would simply measure the door sizes that you already have, and order the new doors the same size. If you want to use your same hinges that are on your cabinets now, you can order the new doors "bored for hinges". You will most likely have to MOVE your hinges to a new location to accommodate our 3 1/8" to-the-center-of-the-hole drilling Standard. If you do NOT want to move your existing hinges, you can carefully measure from the top and bottom of your door to the center of the hinge hole, and order the doors with "Special Boring". Both measurements MUST BE THE SAME. If the top hole is 4" down, the bottom hole must also be 4" up. Complicating things too much by making the boring different for "up" and "down", as well as "left" and right" is simply a recipe for disaster. KEEP IT AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE. This "special boring" service will add $1.00 additional for each bore hole.

If you already have concealed hinges mounted on your cabinets, and are just replacing the doors, you can measure to the center of the Hinge's center arm. It is the same as what we call the the "boring distance". All boring distances are measured to the CENTER of the bored hole. Our STANDARD boring distance is 3 1/8" to the center of the hole on the TOP AND BOTTOM of each door. The Existing Hinge Hole was Bored 4 5/8" from the bottom of the door to the center of the bore hole.

The Cabinet shown below is a "Face Frame" style cabinet.

  • Be sure to list width first. A good example of what can happen if you don't concerns the sets of doors over most refrigerators and sometimes over stoves. The openings in these two places in the kitchen are often wider than they are tall. That means, if you make the mistake of listing the height first, the wood grain will be running the wrong way and you will have to re-order.



Article Details
Article ID: 288
Created On: 21 Jun 2006 05:51 AM

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