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The main reasons cabinet doors fall out of alignment are time and wear. We lean on cabinet doors and hang onto them for balance as we reach the top shelf. Yet cabinets are not designed to carry that extra weight, so they can fall out of alignment. Learn about common cabinet problems and how to solve them.

Loose screws in frame. If the screws in the cabinet frame are loose or you’ve tried to tighten them before and they won’t stay in, try installing longer screws of the same design. The longer screw will pass the point where the wood has gone soft and grip tighter for a strong hold.

If the screws in the doors are loose, do not install longer screws. This will cause problems with protrusion through the face of the cabinets and doesn’t leave much in the way for future maintenance or cabinet door repairs. I would recommend you pick up a can of Rock Hard Putty or Equal Putty at your local hardware store. Following the directions on the back of the putty can to apply into the existing holes in the cabinet door and allow putty to dry for instructed amount of time. Once dried, pre-drill holes and reinsert screw.

Tip: You may want to mark a spot on your drill bit slightly shorter than the length of the screw as a stopping point so you don’t over drill into the door itself. Example: If the screw travels 1/4 inch into the door, make a mark on the drill bit at 3/16.

The doors are not square to the rest of the cabinet. Hinges are now made with two screws that allow for adjustment when loosened. If the seam between the two cabinet doors are not even, or the two doors are not perfectly parallel to each other a little adjusting may solve your problem. To adjust you will need a screwdriver, level (4 foot if you have one), and a third hand.

Bad hinge. Look at the hinge to see if it’s been bent; even if it is slightly deformed it will cause problems. Make sure all plates are straight and that there is no resistance while opening or closing the hinge. You may have to take the hinge off the to test this. If a defective hinge is the cause take it to a hardware store so you can match the replacement hinge exactly. If it needs a little WD-40 I’d either tape the surrounding area to spray or just remove the hinge to spray.

  • Sanderson Ford

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