How to Adjust Cabinet Doors That Will Not Close

Every once in a while we have been challenged with trying to adjust a customer’s kitchen or bathroom cabinet doors that will not close. There are several reasons for this. Perhaps I can address your particular situation and offer a solution to the problem.

Freestanding Units
If you are working with a “freestanding” cupboard that is not fastened to the wall, your problem could be that the cabinet is racked out of kilter. Push on the top left or right side of the unit and see if it helps the situation any. If it does, you will need to place shims underneath the bottom of one corner of the cabinet. This is going to be a process of trial and error to get the unit situated correctly. If it is setting on carpet, the culprit may be the tack strip that is installed right next to the wall.

The Door Closes But One Corner Sticks Out
This particular situation usually involves the top or bottom hinge being adjusted too far out or in. If it is the top corner of the door that is sticking out, then either the top hinge needs to be adjusted in toward the cupboard face or the bottom hinge must be moved out away from the cabinet face.

The Entire Edge of the Door Sticks Past the One Next to it
Another possible situation might be that when the cabinet door is closed it has a tendency to slightly reopen along the entire edge of the door. If this is the case, both hinges may need to be adjusted toward you, away from the cabinet face. What is happening is the inside of the door is binding on the cupboard face and will not allow it to close completely.

Older Wood Cupboard Doors
Many of the older style wood door kitchen cabinets were designed to have magnetic catches installed to keep the doors closed. Look to see if you have them on any of the interior areas of your cabinets. The door that is not staying closed may either need a new catch or the existing one slightly adjusted.

Do You Hear a Clicking Noise
Sometimes there’s a plastic piece that finally beaks on the interior parts of the hinges. This problem happens on several different hinge styles. There are European concealed hinges that do this and externally mounted decorative hinges. The only way to remedy the problem correctly is to install new hinges. An alternative would be to install a magnetic catch. Obviously, this would not eliminate the clicking sound.

A couple of years ago, the Blum company had a defective piece that would go bad on their concealed European hinges after about five to ten years of use. It was noticeable by the clicking sound that was made every time the door was opened or closed. The doors would often be very difficult to close or open as well. Luckily for many homeowners, the hinges have a lifetime guarantee. The company has since corrected the problem.

Something Inside of the Cabinet is Sticking Out
Believe it or not, sometimes there’s a dish that is just slightly too deep for the cabinet and the door hits it.

Usually it takes a limited amount of tools to adjust cabinet doors. A Phillip’s or flat-head screwdriver is about all that is required. In a case where you need to install magnetic catches an electric or cordless drill will make the task go smoother. If you are dealing with a clicking set of hinges, you will most definitely need to have a power drill on hand.

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