How to Adjust Cabinet Doors That Won’t Close

From time to time we have been faced with the challenge of trying to adjust a client’s kitchen or bathroom cabinet doors that won’t close. There are many reasons for this. Perhaps you can address your particular situation and offer a solution to the problem.

Independent units
If you are working with a “freestanding” cabinet that is not attached to the wall, your problem might be that the cabinet is not aligned. Press on the top left or right of the unit and see if it helps to improve the situation. If so, you will need to place shims under the bottom of one corner of the cabinet. This will be a trial and error process to position the drive correctly. If it is placed on a carpet, the culprit may be the strip of tacks that is installed right next to the wall.

The door closes but a corner sticks out
This particular situation generally implies that the upper or lower hinge is set too far out or inwards. If it is the top corner of the door that is sticking out, then the top hinge should be adjusted toward the face of the cabinet or the bottom hinge should be away from the face of the cabinet.

The entire edge of the door is glued past the one next to it
Another possible situation could be that when the closet door is closed, it tends to open slightly along the entire edge of the door. If this is the case, it may be necessary to adjust both hinges toward you, away from the face of the cabinet. What happens is that the inside of the door gets stuck in the face of the closet and will not allow it to close completely.

Older Wood Closet Doors
Many of the old style wood door kitchen cabinets were designed to have magnetic latches installed to keep the doors closed. Look to see if you have them in any of the interior areas of your cabinets. The door that will not stay closed may need a new latch or the existing one slightly adjusted.

Do you hear a clicking noise?
Sometimes there is a piece of plastic that eventually forms a peak on the inside of the hinges. This problem occurs on several different hinge styles. There are European concealed hinges that do this and decorative hinges mounted on the outside. The only way to fix the problem correctly is to install new hinges. An alternative would be to install a magnetic closure. Obviously, this would not eliminate the clicking sound.

A couple of years ago, the Blum company had a faulty part that would break down on its hidden European hinges after five to ten years of use. It was noticeable by the clicking sound that was made each time the door was opened or closed. The doors would also often be very difficult to close or open. Fortunately for many homeowners, the hinges have a lifetime warranty. Since then, the company has corrected the problem.

Something inside the cabinet sticks out
Believe it or not, sometimes there is a plate that is a little too deep for the cabinet and the door hits it.

Generally, a limited number of tools are needed to adjust cabinet doors. All that is needed is a Phillip or flat head screwdriver. In the event that you need to install magnetic latches, an electric or cordless drill will make the task easier. If it is a set of clicking hinges, you will definitely need to have a power drill on hand.

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