Monday, January 25, 2021

How to Install Concealed European Hinges on Cabinets


Installing hinges sounds like it should be easy.

Indeed it can be, as long as you don't get bogged down in the details.  Strap hinges, butt hinges, spring loaded, concealed and piano hinges.  These are just some of the different types of hinges you could easily find at your local home improvement store.

I haven't even scratched the surface.  There are a wide range of styles depending on the type of project you intend to work on as well as where that project will be.

This post will be focusing on European hinges or otherwise called concealed hinges for cabinet doors.  

More specifically kitchen cabinets.  Why?  Because even within this one subcategory there are a plethora of things to consider. 


1.  The construction of your cabinet and whether it has a face frame or not will be the biggest factor in deciding which hinge is right for you.  


 2.  Are your doors inset or overlay style doors? 

The overlay on framed and frameless cabinets describes the amount of the cabinet door that lays on top of the cabinet opening.  

In order to determine your overlay simply measure the width of your cabinet doors from end to end (both doors together) and subtract the width of your cabinet’s opening. Divide that difference by two to get each door’s overlay length.

If you only have one door on your cabinet then don't divide by two.  Simply take each measurement and subtract one from the other.

The most common overlays on cabinets here in the U.S. are partial overlays.  They leave some space between doors. Most common overlay lengths that I have come across are 1/2-inch and 1 1/4-inch.  

Full overlays leave little to no space between doors.

This brings us to the third question to ask which is:

3.  If you do have an overlay style cabinet then how much is that overlay or how much of a one do you want?

4.  How far do you want those doors to open?

Some will open ninety degrees.  Some only eighty five.  Others one hundred and five.  If your cabinet is in a corner where a wall could be hit and damaged by a swinging cabinet door then you'll probably want to keep the degree the doors open to a minimum.

No matter what type of hinge you have chosen the hinges are mounted on the door first.  The mounting plates go on the actual carcass second.  

The cup hole which is the large hole that the hinge drops into is usually 1-3/8" diameter.  That is 35mm if you are across the pond.   You’ll need a Forstner bit for this part.  The el cheapo set costs around $20 at my home improvement store.

 

You have to offset the location of the cup hole by 3/16".  I use a combination square and set it to that measurement.  Then I slide the square down the door and mark out the edge of where the cup hole should be.


 

Then I align the side of the Forstner bit with the line I just marked and drill away.  That same combo square can be used to make sure the hinges are installed flush.

 

If your cabinets are already mounted to the wall then you can just stack scrape lumber or books to a height that will allow you to set your door on top.

This acts as a second pair of hands so you can properly and accurately mark out the location of the mounting plates.


 

If you are a visual learner then be sure to check out the video I did on this subject at the top of this post.  If you're interested in learning how to reface kitchen cabinets from start to finish then check out these videos and posts.

Don't forget to visit my YouTube channel for more videos on simple and easy DIY projects.  Be sure to hit the subscribe button and click the notifications bell so you don't miss a new project.

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Happy DIY'ing!

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