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Tips for Hanging Cupboard Doors

Cupboard doors are one of the best inventions ever! And I would know. Currently, our clothes are being stored in a cupboard without doors, and dust is a huge problem. It is amazing how this seemingly-minor inconvenience can give you a new appreciation for something as everyday as cupboard doors. But we have started hanging some of our doors. Therefore we decided to share some tips for hanging cupboard doors. Cupboard doors are great, and if they are installed well, they’re even better.

Pot Holes

The type of hinges we use are the “pot hole” type of concealed hinge. Therefore, our first tip has to do with the “pot holes” or the hole drilled into the cupboard door, where the cabinet hinge sits.

When we order the melamine board doors from the wood suppliers, we usually order the doors to be cut and edged without the pot holes. We prefer to drill them in ourselves. However, as this is a service the wood suppliers offer, it is easier for most people to order the doors with the pot holes already added. We choose to drill our own, as sometimes the pot holes can clash with the shelves we have planned. We often build shelves in (rather than just sitting on shelf pins) to provide more stability in a large cupboard and we don’t want a hinge right where we were planning to put a shelf.

drilling pot holes in cupboard doors
This is how we drill the pot holes in the cupboard doors

This can be a particular problem if you build the cupboards sometime before you order the doors. This you might do if you are using reclaimed melamine to make cupboards, or have to wait to order the doors because of finances.

If you decide to have the pot holes pre-drilled, you may need to be a little flexible in your shelving plans. Or, give specific instructions to your supplier as to where you want the pot holes drilled. If you have large cupboard doors that you feel will require more than the standard two pot holes, you’ll also have to specify how many pot holes they should drill into the doors too.

We use a small drill press contraption to drill our pot holes in cupboard doors

Straight Hinges

Here’s a top tip for making sure your hinges are secured straight. You’ll want to do this as it will improve the life of your hinge. The hinge will be subjected to less stress.

We use another door or piece of off-cut wood, with a straight edge, to push against at least two hinges. Doing this will ensure that the hinges are 100% straight.

hanging doors with straight hinges
Bottom left: Skew hinge. Top & bottom right: Nice and straight.

How Many Hinges to Use Per Door?

There’s nothing worse than a door that is half falling off its hinges. The obvious way to prevent this, is to make sure you have enough hinges to support the weight of the door. Each type of hinge of this variety can support different weights. It depends on their function (for example, some open wider than others), and the manufacturer. So, it is difficult to know how many hinges you need without knowing the type and manufacturer specifications of your specific hinges. Therefore, if you feel you need more hinges, add more hinges.

An example: for a large bedroom wardrobe door, we will install up to five hinges.


A really excellent feature of this type of hinge, as we have been discussing, is that they are fully adjustable. Therefore, that means you can get really good results with a bit of adjustment on the hinges.

What you are looking for is:

  • The tops and bottoms of the matching doors to meet on exactly the same level. You don’t want a step between the left and right hand door on a cupboard.
  • The gap between matching sets of cupboard doors to be small and even. Ie, the gap between the left and right hand door must be the same at the top as it as at the bottom. And you want that gap to be fairly small.
  • The gap between the cupboard door itself and the edges of the cupboard sides to be minimal.

The good news is that these concealed hinges are fully adjustable.

Once the hinge is secured to the door, use the larger mounting holes on the cupboard side to attach the door to the cupboard using the appropriate hardware. As those larger holes give you a little bit of wiggle room, you can adjust the door to the exact height you require.Once your adjustments are made, use the smaller holes (and hardware) to lock the hinge (and therefore door) in place.

The other two adjustment screws found in the hinge allow you to move the door closer or further way from the cupboard itself, and to the left and right. You can make these adjustments until you feel it is perfect.

tips for hanging cupboard doors. Adjust the hinges
Making adjustments makes a big difference

A good installation along with some well-designed door handles will go further than you would expect in making your cupboards look good. Don’t forget these tips for hanging cupboard doors the next time you find yourself with a hinge in your hand!

4 thoughts on “Tips for Hanging Cupboard Doors

  1. Who knew that there was so much to think about when installing cupboard doors?

    When I moved in to my place, my brother came to visit, and then as he was leaving he paused at the door, looking agonised, and finally burst out “I KNOW it’s none of my business, but… Things must stay in cupboards, OK?”

    Apparently it’s quite trendy now to have doorless cupboards, the better to display your Cool Stuff, but I’d take “hiding the mess” over “trendy” any day.

    1. I really do like the “shelving trend”. It can look really aesthetically pleasing (if you’re good at keeping your stuff in order). But you get over the dust SO quickly. So yeah, cupboards doors for me thank you, whatever is on trend. 🙂

  2. Excellent work! …. and excellent TEAM WORK!

    1. Thank you!

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