Learning how to measure cabinet hinges properly is essential whether you are replacing old hinges or installing new ones. They come in different sizes and shapes, some of them are more suitable for your cabinets than others. The most common method of measuring cabinet hinges is to open up the hinge to find its width. You can also determine how much the door overlaps the frame to choose the right size of hinges. Instructions for both of these methods are discussed below.
With proper measurements, you can select the right RMG cabinet hinges and install them with ease. Furthermore, your cabinet doors will open and close smoothly and without any problems.
A. Determine the Width and Length
The first method to properly measure cabinet hinges is by determining their width and length. To do so, follow these steps:
- Remove cabinet hinges for accurate measurement.
Use a Phillips screwdriver to take out the screws on each hinge. In general, hinges have at least four screws that are loosened by turning them clockwise. Remove each hinge that you want to measure and put them on an even surface. Door hinges commonly have the same size so measuring one will give you the size of all of them.
- Even though it is okay to measure cabinet hinges without removing them, doing so will not ensure accurate measurement.
- If the hinge is stuck due to buildup of paint, use a utility knife and cut through the paint. Then, poke the cabinet hinge using a flathead screwdriver.
- Take the full measurement of the hinge to determine the open width.
Hinges have two leaves or sides that are separated with an upright pin at the center. Open the hinge all the way up so both leaves lay flat. Extend a tape measure between the outer sides of the leaves to get the measurement of the hinge at its widest.
- When measuring with your tape measure, hold it above the pin at the center of the hinge.
- If you are going to purchase replacement hinges, the open width is the most commonly used measurement. But, be prepared and take note of other measurements for better accuracy.
- Find the leaf width of each hinge.
The leaf width refers to the distance from the middle pin to the outer point of the leaf. Depending on what hinge type you have, the leaves may have different sizes, so make sure to take measurements of both. Take note that it is even more important to measure the widths when the leaves are of different sizes.
- Measure the hinge length from top to bottom.
For hinges, the tallest part is mostly the pin found in the middle. Hold your tape measure parallel to the pin to find the height. If your hinges have different sizes, measure the height of each leaf and note which measurement coincides with the cabinet size and door size of the hinge.
In uneven hinges, the leaf on the cabinet size is generally bigger. Take note that it will have the larger width and length to keep the hinge steady as the door opens and closes.
Check out this video on how to measure cabinet hinges:
B. Use the Overlay to Measure the Size of the Hinge
Another way of measuring cabinet hinges properly is by using overlay. If you opt for this method, simply follow these steps:
- Shut the cabinet door to start measuring the overlay.
The overlay refers to how much the door overlaps the cabinet frame. If you are going to install new hinges, measure the overlay to determine the size you require. The cabinet door should be fully closed so the tape used to measure will be placed properly.
- The primary cabinet door types are partial insets and overlays. Overlays are above the cabinet surface, while partial insets overlap the cabinet surface partially.
- Full-inset cabinet doors are flush with the cabinet’s surface. They are generally on end cabinets, so measure the other doors’ overlay and get more hinges of similar size.
- Attach a piece of tape to the hinged-side of the cabinet door.
Use a piece of tape to prevent leaving marks on the cabinets. Place it vertically and right next to the hinge side of the cabinet door while it is shut. Try putting it over the lower hinge. After pressing the tape to the cabinet frame, smooth and stick it out.
- Open the cabinet door to measure from the piece of tape to the frame’s edge.
When the door is already open, find the edge of the tape that sticks out. You can find it near the hinge side of the door. If the doors have not been attached yet, move them so the tape is more seeable. When measuring the overlay, hold a tape measure or ruler from the tape to the inside edge of the cabinet frame.
- Measure the lip for partial inset doors.
As mentioned, partial inset doors refer to those that are partially inside or overlapping the cabinet frame. If you have this type of door, inspect the edge of the door, especially the top area if possible. Then, with your ruler, measure the door edge to the inner edge of your cabinet.
- Use the Overlay to Find the Right Hinge Size of the Cabinet Door.
Choose a new hinge with a similar overlay size to make sure that it is suitable for your cabinet. A lot of hinges have the overlay number indicated on them. If the hinge does not contain that number, use a tape measure to find the width of the mounting plate, which comes with the cabinet or hinge. The measurement should be across the center part of the plate, then add the amount to the hinge width before you compare it to the overlay you have measured.
Here is a video on how to measure the cabinet overlay:
These are the ways you can measure cabinet hinges properly. Remember to write the measurements down or save them on your smartphone, whichever is convenient for you, before going to the hardware store. It’s also better if you bring the old hinge with you along with your measurements to further ensure that you get the right size that suits your cabinet perfectly!