How to Install Inset Kitchen Cabinet Doors

What You'll Need
Kitchen cabinet
Measuring tape
Screwdriver or drill
Door stops

Inset kitchen cabinet doors are a rare variation on doored and framed cabinets. The doors on this type of cabinet are somewhat different to the normal framed kitchen cabinet doors. You must fit inset doors carefully in order for them to look correctly. You usually see inset cabinet doors on framed cabinets, although they can also appear on nonframe or overlaid cabinets, where the doors fit closely into the edges to give the appearance of an inset door. You can install inset kitchen cabinet doors by following these instructions.

Step 1 - Measure and Cut the Doors

In order to get the right fit for your inset kitchen cabinet doors, you will first need to carefully measure the inside of the kitchen cabinet. You are trying to fit the door inside the frame, and this task needs a much more accurate alignment of the doors and the frames than you would normally need. The door must fit precisely.

Cut your kitchen cabinet doors to fit the measurements of the inside of the frame. Sand the edges down to produce a smooth finish. You should leave enough of a gap to accommodate any swelling of the door during winter.

Step 2 - Apply the Hinges

Install base plates for the hinges. Use the holes designed for shelf pins.

Then measure the length from the bottom of the cabinet's inside to the middle of the lower base plate. Subtract 3 mm from the total measurement.

Use the new amount to drill the hole which will be the center of the hinge on the door. Attach the hinge arms and adjust to fit the door into the frame. Repeat with the top hinge on the door.

Step 3 - Make Adjustments

You should now be able to lift the door onto the hinge plates set in the cabinet frame. Join the two parts of the hinge together. Make sure that the inset is not pressing upon any part of the door frame, as this may prevent the door from opening if the wood swells. Brush away any sawdust or debris caused by your attaching the hinges.

Step 4 - Fit a Door Stop

Door stops are not necessary in the more traditional frame doors, but with an inset, you will need some way of making sure that the door does not bend too far into the cabinet. A door stop fulfills this purpose.

You can add specially designed door stops to the space between the hinges on the side of the frame, or you can add them just inside the door at the bottom of the cabinets. If you choose the latter, you will need to measure carefully to be sure you don't end up with part of your door sticking out.

You should also check the range of the hinges, as a door stop too far into the cupboard can put a lot of pressure on the hinges and actually damage them.

As an alternative, you can screw a small picture-hanger into the top of the cabinet and use this to keep the door closed.