Type to search


How To Hang Cabinet Doors With Exposed Hinges: A Must-Know Guide 


How To Hang Cabinet Doors With Exposed Hinges

Are you planning on replacing your old kitchen cabinet door or the hinges?

If yes, then you have made a laudable decision. The kitchen is one of the most-visited rooms in a home. So you might have to do some face-lifting as time goes on to make your kitchen look appealing and more hygienic.

Installing a kitchen cabinet is one of the minor renovations that can help transform your kitchen’s look. But the issue most DIYers encounter is installing cabinet doors with exposed hinges.

The process might look simple on the outside until you give it a shot. So to be sincere, installing cabinet doors that have exposed hinges may be one of the trickiest projects you would ever embark on throughout your DIY journey, especially if you happen to be dealing with tall cabinets where you have more hinges to properly install.

But then, nothing is undoable for a DIYer with the right tools and a “nothing is impossible” mindset.

By the way, we have taken out time to explain all you need to know about hanging kitchen cabinet doors that boast exposed hinges in this article.

Are you ready to find out? If yes, read from start to finish. 

Step By Step Guide On Hanging Cabinet Doors With Exposed Hinges

This guide is to show you how to hang cabinet doors that have exposed hinges. If you adhere to the instructions to the latter, you won’t have problems replacing your old hinges or changing the door completely. 

Your aim might be to change the old hinges or change the entire cabinet door. Your kitchen cabinet’s door might not be longer looking presentable any longer. It’s possible. 

So the best time to change the hinges is now. Install the new cabinet door with a new set of hinges. By doing that, you won’t be bothering about changing hinges on your cabinet door for a long time. 

Let’s discuss the steps from material to final installation. 

Step#1: Get your working tools ready:

You would need the following tools, depending on the direction the project would take. 

  • Drill: This tool is crucial for the screw and your pilot holes creation. You can choose a cord or cordless drill. However, a cordless drill boasts enough power for this project, and it would be more convenient. No card means nothing would get in your way, or you won’t be bothered about moving close to a wall socket to plug in your drill. 
  • Screwdriver: If there are already pilot holes on the cabinet door and cabinet itself, you don’t need a drill. A manual screwdriver would get the task done. Your choice of a screwdriver would also depend on the screw you’re using. You can go for a flathead or Philip screwdriver.
  • Drill bits: The drill bits will create the pilot holes and drive the screws down the holes. So, for that, you’re going to get two different sets of drill bits.  
  • Level: A one-foot or torpedo level is a good option to hang single cabinet doors. If you’re hanging double cabinet doors, choose longer levels. 
  • Plumb bob: This tool is useful in building projects. You can use it to establish vertical alignment for a doorjamb while hanging it or for a wall during construction.  
  • Ladder: Drilling at a comfortable height or eye level makes the result more accurate and super easy. That’s why you need a ladder. With it, you can reach difficult areas. 
  • Pencil: Get a pencil, not a pen or marker. With the pencil, you can ensure that the cabinet door fits in properly and create pilot holes. Pencil is also a breeze to clean whenever you make mistakes.  

Materials you need are:

  • Cabinet doors
  • Hinges
  • Screws 
  • Installed cabinet

Step#2: Check the door alignment with the frame:

The door has to align with the frame. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time. So make sure the door is the actual size. 

To know if the door is the proper size, place it on the door frame. It doesn’t matter if it’s a double or single door. 

The above tip is necessary if you’re trying to get your kitchen cabinet a new door. If the old cabinet door is still in shape, you don’t need to check if it would fit into the cabinet’s frame. It does already. 

Step#3: Fit the hinges to the door:

Now that your cabinet door is in shape, it’s time to install the hinges. You need to lay the door on the ground or a flat surface. Place a material underneath to prevent the door’s surface from any scratch. 

Get the hinge attached to the inside of the kitchen cabinet door. The next move is to mount the hinges in the position where they should be. 

If you’re mounting the hinges on a new cabinet door, make sure the hinges are in the right position. This is necessary to avoid removing and repositioning something you have already installed. 

If you’re fixing new hinges on an old door, go ahead and attach the new hinges to the position the former hinges were. You can also decide to position the new hinges somewhere new. 

A Handy Tip: Ensure your old cabinet door is in good shape before attaching the hinges. If not, change the entire door. And if it’s a double cabinet door, change both at the same time. 

A good idea on how to position hinges is to place them one or two each from both ends of the door. Assuming your door requires two hinges, place a hinge one or two hinges from the top, while the second should be one or two inches from the bottom. 

Please note that if you’re placing a hinge two inches from the top, you have to place the hinge two inches from the bottom. 

Keep in mind that cabinet door size would determine the positioning of the hinges. You might even want to place the hinges three inches from the top and bottom.  

 If you’re also dealing with three hinges, endeavor to place one of them in the middle of the others at the extremes (top and bottom). 

The hinge at the middle should be of equal distance from the bottom and top hinges. You need to do two things next. 

You need to pre-drill your pilot holes using the drill bit. The reason is to prevent the wood from splitting and make your work neater. 

Once you have the pilot holes, the next step would be to drive in your screws. Take off the drill bits and bring in the Philips head bit. 

A Handy Tip: Use your Philips head bit to drive each screw into the pilot holes 95 percent deep. The reason is to have some room for any possible adjustment later. 

Step#4: Level the cabinet door:

The next step is to check if the door aligns properly. Hold the door to your cabinet and check for alignment. 

The door has to plumb on the vertical axis and level on the horizontal axis. You need this to ensure proper storage of whatever you store in the cabinet after hanging the door. 

Take note of the reading of the bubble in the level’s middle. If it squares in the center, then you can proceed. If it doesn’t, then you aren’t there yet.  

Unfortunately, not everyone has access to plumb bob. But that doesn’t mean you can’t hang your cabinet door without one. 

In the absence of a plumb bob, hold your level vertically to see if it levels.   

Step#5: Test the door:

Now that you have aligned and screwed the door in position, it’s time to test what you have done thus far. 

The two major focuses are swing and alignment. To test the swing, try opening the door. If it appears stiff, you need to make some adjustments. 

Again, does the door stay shut when closed? Ask yourself that question. If it doesn’t, a little adjustment should fix the problem. 

The adjustment is mostly from the screw position. You can finally screw the door completely if you haven’t done so. 

A Handy Tip: There’s a chance that the outcome might not be what you want. The door might not be able to close the way you want it. In this case, don’t beat yourself up. Start the project afresh and try to examine where you made an error. 

That is, un-screw the door and start adding the screws again. You can also decide to start from the leveling part. 


Learning how to hang cabinet doors with exposed hinges might seem like a big challenge for some DIYers, but that shouldn’t be the case. With the right tool and your ability to follow instructions to the latter, you should be able to hang single and double cabinet doors. 

The double cabinet door might be tricky, but the process is similar to single doors. You need to align the doors and place the screws where they should be. 

Jacob Lindsey

Jacob is a home remodeling guru having worked over 15 years in construction in Reno, NV, mainly focused on home renovations. He likes taking ideas from his clients and making them a reality.

  • 1

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *