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 I 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 could be that the cabinet is misaligned. Poke the upper left or right side of the unit and see if it helps the situation. If so, you will need to shim under the bottom of one corner of the cabinet. This is going to be a trial and error process to position the drive correctly. If it is placed on carpet, the culprit may be the tack strip that is installed right next to the wall.

The door closes but a corner sticks out
This particular situation usually involves the top or bottom hinge being adjusted too far in or out. If it is the top corner of the door that is sticking out, then either the top hinge should be set toward the cabinet face or the bottom hinge should be pushed away from the cabinet face.

The entire edge of the door protrudes from the one next to it
Another possible situation could be that when the cabinet door is closed it has a tendency to reopen slightly along the entire edge of the door. If this is the case, you may need to adjust both hinges toward you, away from the front of the cabinet. What happens is that the inside of the door sticks to the face of the cabinet and does not allow it to close completely.

old wooden closet doors
Many of the older style kitchen cabinets with wooden doors were designed to have magnetic latches installed to hold the doors closed. Look to see if you have them in any of the interior areas of your cabinets. Door that won’t stay closed may need a new latch or slightly adjust the existing one.

Do you hear a clicking noise?
Sometimes there is a piece of plastic that eventually itches on the inside parts of the hinges. This problem occurs on several different hinge styles. There are European concealed hinges that do this and externally mounted decorative hinges. The only way to properly fix the problem is to install new hinges. An alternative would be to install a magnetic latch. Obviously this would not remove the clicking sound.

A couple of years ago, the Blum company had a faulty part that would go bad on their concealed European hinges after about five to ten years of use. You could tell by the click that was made every 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 come with a lifetime warranty. The company has since corrected the problem.

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

Usually a limited number of tools are needed to adjust cabinet doors. All that is needed is a Phillips or flat head screwdriver. In the event that you need to install magnetic closures, an electric or cordless drill will make the task easier. If it’s a set of clicking hinges, you’ll definitely need to have a power drill handy.

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