How To: Adjust the Alignment of Cabinet Doors

Adjust the Alignment of Cabinet Doors

Poor alignment of cabinet doors will cause a kitchen to look run-down and may be embarrassing to the homeowner. Luckily, with a single screw driver and a little ambition, the door alignment can look brand new.

European-style hardware (which is pictured throughout this article) is the most common and easiest to adjust. If your cabinet hinges look similar, these steps should work for you.


Even if only one or two of your cabinet doors appear out of alignment, it is recommended to inspect the alignment of every door; starting at the end of a bank of cabinets will produce the best results.

Let's get started...

Step 1: Door Height Adjustment

Over time, doors on cabinets can tend to sag. Lifting the door can sometimes be enough to correct the alignment.

To lift the door, locate the hinge plate attached to the cabinet body. Each hinge plate should be held to the cabinet body by 2-4 screws.

Loosen, without removing, all the hinge plate screws for the door that you are working with. With the screws loose lift or lower the door to the appropriate height. Then re-tighten all the screws

Step 2: Door Tilt

With the hinge side of the door hanging at the appropriate height, use the first hinge adjustment screw (pictured below) to tilt the door.

Use these set-screw on all the hinges connected the the door. It is a balancing act between the hinges to get the desired result.

Step 3: Door Spacing

As you move on from the first door, the spacing of the doors will become important. Typically there is a 1/16" - 1/8" gap between all doors. To move a door laterally, use the tilt screws from the previous step in even increments (e.g. Quarter-turn on the bottom hinge set-screw and quarter-turn on the top hinge set-screw).

Step 4: Door Plane

The last adjustment that need to be made is to ensure that the doors are seated on a flat plane and not sitting proud on either the hinge or handle side.

Using the second adjustment screw, loosen it and either pull the door forward away from the cabinet body or move toward.

The hinge side of the cabinet door should be set away from the cabinet body the same distance as the bumper pads are thick. If any doors are missing bumpers, they should be replaced.


While the door alignment can take some time to catch on to, the result can renew the look of a kitchen.

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