Install Cupboard Hinges In 5 Simple Steps

Properly installing cupboard hinges ensures the right hang and fit for your cupboard doors and a great look for your new kitchen.

Step 1 – Choose Hinge Type

You have options:

  • Lift Joint Hinges allow you to remove the cupboard doors without removing the hinges.
  • Lacquered Cabinet Hinges are decorative and show on the cabinet face.
  • Pivot Hinges attach the to top and bottom and other door, but are otherwise concealed.
  • Flush or Butt Hinges show only the barrel of the hinge.
  • European Hinges are a newer concealed hinge style that is very popular.

Due to their popularity, this article discusses the installation of the European hinge. Others will be slightly different.

Step 2 – Install the Base Plate

European hinges come with three basic parts: the base plate, the hinge arm and the door damper.

The base plate installs inside the cabinet on the side of the door you want to have the hinge. There are often pre-drilled holes inside a cabinet for use with adjustable shelf pins. These holes can also be used for base plate installation.

If there are no holes or they are not properly located, use the wood screws enclosed with the hinge set to place the base plate. Measure the setback so it is the same for each door, and use a level to set the door properly.

Step 3 – Install Hinge Arm

For inset doors, measure inside the cabinet from the bottom to the center of the base plate. Subtract 3 mm.

Using this measurement, position the drilling template that came with the hinge on the door. Drill the hole as indicated on the template. You may use a hole saw or another type of drill bit to mortise out the correct size and shape of hole.

Repeat the measuring, template and drilling process for the other hinge on the door.

Once the holes are properly drilled, simply position the hinges.  They either snap or screw into place on the doors.

Finish the hinge arm installation by snapping the cover closed.

Step 4 – Attach the Doors

With the hinge arms installed, snap the hinge arms into the base plates in the cupboards. If necessary, there are adjustment screws on the hinge arms that will adjust the door left, right, up or down about 3 mm.

Step 5 – Hinge Dampers

After installing the hinges, you may want to install a soft close mechanism called a door damper.  This device sits on the hinge arm and slows the closing door so that cupboards cannot be slammed shut, even by the most enthusiastic of children.