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How to Adjust Cabinet Doors That Won’t Close

Learn how to adjust kitchen cabinet doors that won't close with our step-by-step guide. Fix misalignment, loose hinges, and more for smooth operation.

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Let’s face it, kitchen cabinets are workhorses. We slam them shut, stuff them full, and generally take them for granted. But over time, those once-perfect cabinet doors can become misaligned, creaky, or worse – they might not even close properly!

The good news? These annoying problems are solvable! This guide will help you diagnose what’s wrong with your cabinet doors and walk you through some simple fixes to get them functioning smoothly again. In no time, your kitchen will be looking sharp and frustration-free.

Why Won’t My Cabinet Doors Close?

a man is adjusting the hinges of a white kitchen cabinet door to ensure it closes properly

Before we jump into adjustments, let’s play detective and figure out why those cabinet doors are misbehaving. Here’s what you need to check:

  1. Door and Hinge Inspection: Give your entire cabinet door a good once-over, inside and out. Open and close it to see if it rubs or catches anywhere. This will help you identify if the problem is with the hinge itself or the door.

  2. Hinge Check-Up: Are the hinges loose or wobbly? Are the hinge pins worn? Loose screws or damaged hinges can definitely be the culprit behind your woes.

  3. Marking the Problem: If your double doors decide to play bumper cars and keep overlapping when closed, grab a pencil and mark the problematic edges. This will help you determine if adjustments or replacements are necessary.

  4. Taking the Doors Off: Sometimes, you gotta get up close and personal to see what’s going on. Removing the doors allows you to examine areas that might be causing the problem, like spots where the door might be rubbing or catching.

  5. Confirm Your Diagnosis: Once the door is off the hinge, you should have a clearer picture of the issue. This is also a good time to check the inside and outside of the cabinet box itself for any hidden wear and tear you might have missed before.

How to Adjust Cabinet Doors that Won’t Close

  • Farewell, Rubbing Doors: Make small, quarter-turn adjustments to the screw closest to the door on the hinge to move it slightly and eliminate rubbing.
  • Hinge Heroes: Most hinges can be adjusted in three ways: up/down, left/right, and depth. Slightly unscrew the base plate to adjust up/down. Use the far screw (not for left/right) to move the door closer or further from the cabinet. Remember, hinges wear out, so replacements might be needed if adjustments don’t work.
  • Overlapping Blues: Try hinge adjustments, but in severe cases, replacements might be necessary.
  • Warped Wood Blues: Adjustments might hide warping temporarily, but replacement is the only solution for severely warped doors.
  • Dealing with Damage: Minor scratches or dents can be refinished. Extensive damage likely requires replacing the door.
  • Stripped Screw Savior: Dip a toothpick in glue, insert it in the stripped hole, fill the hole with glue-dipped toothpicks, and let it dry. Replace the hinge and screw after drying.

How To Adjust Cabinet Hinges

a person is using a screwdriver to adjust the hinges of a kitchen cabinet door to ensure proper alignment and functionality

We’ve talked about diagnosing the problem and different solutions based on what’s ailing your cabinet doors. Now, let’s delve deeper and explore how to adjust those hinges – the tiny titans that hold your cabinet doors in place!

There are three main ways to adjust your hinges, depending on the issue:

  1. Adjust the Hinge Position: This is handy if your door is uneven or sits too high or low on the cabinet box. Here’s how: Slightly unscrew the base plate where the hinge locks into the cabinet. This will allow you to move the door up or down until it’s level. Once you’ve achieved leveling perfection, tighten the screws securely to hold the hinge in place.

  2. Adjust the Screws: Most hinges have two magical screws that can work wonders! One screw adjusts the door left and right, while the other adjusts it up and down. By making small, quarter-turn adjustments to these screws, you can fine-tune the position of your cabinet door. Remember, after each adjustment, check to make sure the door is aligned and functioning smoothly.

  3. Replace the Hinges: Sometimes, even hinges succumb to wear and tear. If adjustments don’t solve your woes, or if the hinges are damaged or bent, then replacing them might be necessary.

What You’ll Need to Fix Those Cabinet Doors

Various tools including screwdrivers wrenches pliers a drill a level and a hammer arranged in a circle for cabinet repairs

Fortunately, you don’t need a whole workshop full of tools to tackle those cabinet door woes! Here’s a quick list of what you’ll likely need:

  • The Mighty Screwdriver: A good quality Phillips-head screwdriver is your best friend for adjusting most cabinet door hinges.
  • Optional Partner: An extra set of hands can be helpful, especially when taking the doors on and off or holding them in place while you make adjustments.
  • Pencil (Optional): Marking problem areas on the doors, like rubbing spots, can help you identify the culprit and ensure your adjustments fix the issue.

That’s it! With these basic tools and the information in this guide, you should be well on your way to having your cabinet doors closing smoothly once again.

How to Maintain Your Cabinets

Keeping your cabinet doors functioning smoothly for years to come is all about a little prevention! Here are some easy tips to make those doors happy:

  • Seal and Protect: Adding a sealant or clear finish to your cabinet doors is a budget-friendly way to prevent warping and moisture damage.
  • Invest Wisely: Don’t skimp on the hinges! Choose high-quality hinges that are the right size and weight for your cabinets. Flimsy hinges can cause misalignment over time.
  • Soft Touch: Consider replacing your current hinges with soft-close ones. These hinges prevent slamming and minimize wear and tear on your doors.
  • Humidity Matters: Living in a humid climate can make cabinets more prone to warping. Try to maintain stable temperature and humidity levels in your home for happy, unwarped doors.
  • Clean with Care: Avoid harsh cleaners on your cabinet doors. Instead, use gentle cleansers and wipe down your doors regularly to prevent dirt and grime buildup.
  • Sun Safety: While natural light is great, direct sunlight can discolor your cabinets. Consider window treatments like blinds or curtains to protect your cabinets from sun damage.

Considering Your Cabinet Door Options

Even with our best efforts, sometimes those cabinet doors just won’t cooperate. Here are some alternatives to consider:

  • Living With It (Not Ideal): While this might seem like the easiest option, it can lead to further frustration and potential damage to your cabinets. Misaligned doors can snag or scrape, and loose hinges can cause unwanted noise.

  • Replace the Entire Cabinets: This is a more drastic option, and can be expensive and time-consuming. However, it can completely transform your kitchen and give you a fresh, new look.

  • Replace Your Cabinet Doors: This is a more affordable option than replacing the entire cabinet. You can find replacement doors that match your existing cabinets, or use this opportunity to update your kitchen with a different style or color. Replacement doors can also be a good option if your cabinets are structurally sound, but the doors themselves are damaged or outdated.

How To Replace Cabinet Doors

a person is adjusting the alignment of a kitchen cabinet door to ensure it closes properly

Sometimes, even the best efforts at fixing cabinet doors won’t do the trick. If you’re considering your options and replacement seems like the way to go, here’s why choosing new cabinet doors can be a great choice:

  • Budget-Friendly Refresh: Replacing cabinet doors is a significantly more affordable option than replacing your entire cabinets. It allows you to update your kitchen’s look without breaking the bank.

  • Style Switch-Up: Don’t like the current style of your cabinets? Replacing the doors allows you to transform your kitchen’s aesthetic. You can choose doors that match your existing cabinets, or opt for a completely different style or color to create a whole new look.

  • Damage Solutions: If your cabinet doors are damaged beyond repair, replacing them is the perfect solution. New doors will restore the functionality and beauty of your cabinets.

Looking for Replacement Doors?

Consider! They offer a wide selection of high-quality replacement cabinet doors in various styles, finishes, and materials to fit your needs and budget. Here are some of the benefits of using

  • Easy to Find the Perfect Fit: Our website allows you to search for doors by brand, style, and size, ensuring you find the perfect match for your existing cabinets.
  • Great Quality: They use high-quality materials to ensure your new doors are durable and long-lasting.
  • Fast and Affordable Delivery: offers fast and affordable shipping to get your project started quickly.

Ready to Get Started?

Maintaining and adjusting your cabinet doors is essential for a functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen. Over time, frequent use can lead to misaligned, creaky, or poorly closing doors. Fortunately, with the right tools and knowledge, you can diagnose and fix these common issues.

By thoroughly inspecting your doors and hinges, making necessary adjustments, or even replacing worn-out components, you can restore your cabinets to their former glory. Preventative maintenance, such as sealing and choosing high-quality hinges, can extend the life of your cabinets and keep them functioning smoothly.

If repairs are not enough, consider replacing your cabinet doors to refresh your kitchen’s look without the expense of a complete renovation. Platforms like offer a wide selection of high-quality replacement doors, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your needs.

Remember, a well-maintained kitchen not only enhances the beauty of your home but also ensures that your cabinets remain functional and hassle-free for years to come.

FAQs Related to Cabinet Doors that won’t close

1.How do you fix kitchen cabinet doors that won’t close?

Tighten any loose screws on the hinges. Adjust the hinge screws to align the door properly. Check for obstructions and ensure the door isn’t warped. Replace worn-out hinges if needed.

2.Why won’t my self-closing cabinet hinges close?

Self-closing hinges might not close due to loose screws, misalignment, or wear. Tighten screws, adjust the hinges, and replace them if they’re worn out.

3.How to fix a door that won’t close properly?

Tighten hinge screws and ensure they are secure. Adjust the hinges for proper alignment. Check for warping in the door or frame and sand down any problem areas. Replace damaged hinges if necessary.

4.What helps keep cabinet doors closed?

Properly adjusted hinges, magnetic catches, and soft-close hinges help keep cabinet doors closed. Regular maintenance, such as tightening screws and checking alignment, also ensures doors stay closed.


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