How to Measure Cabinet Doors

A Tutorial

Measuring for your new cabinet doors is pretty simple. With a few basic tools and a few careful measurements, you'll be ready to order the cabinet doors of your dreams and you don't even need to hire a professional! Ready to get started? Let's begin.

Required Tools

  • Note Pad
  • Pencil
  • Measuring Tape

Measure cabinet openings

Now you're ready to measure your cabinet openings for your new cabinet doors. Keep your pencil and note pad handy and measure each opening at least twice to prevent mistakes.

Measure all door openings to the nearest 1/8" and record your measurements carefully on your note pad. Be sure to record your measurements as width x height. For example, you may write down something such as "width 14" x 30" height." When measuring, make sure that there is at least 5/8" clearance around all openings.

Precision is key

Precision is key, as your cabinet doors will be custom made to your specifications and incorrect measurements lead to poor-fitting, non-returnable cabinet doors. Double-check your work until you are confident that you are ordering the perfect size cabinet doors for your project.

Note: These instructions are helpful if you are installing popular concealed hinge cabinet doors. If you choose a different type of hinge, your measuring instructions may differ.

Calculate the cabinet door size you'll need

Here's the nerve wracking part of the cabinet-ordering process. It's now time to calculate the exact cabinet door size you'll need and prepare to input it into the order form. Keep your note pad handy and let's get ready to calculate.

Add 1 inch to both the width and the height of each opening size measurement. For example, a 14" x 30" cabinet opening should now read 15" x 31". This technique allows for a 1/2" overlay of cabinet door openings. If you order by cabinet order size alone, your doors will be too small.

If you are dealing with split door openings add 1" to the height. Then add 1" to the width, divide by 2, and subtract 1/16". Take a look at this example:

  • 36" + 1" = 37"
  • 37/2 = 18 1/2
  • 18 1/2 - 1/16" = 18 7/16"

This technique allows for a 1/8" gap between cabinet doors. If you are unsure whether you should order split doors, keep the following rule in mind. For any opening greater than 22" wide, order two doors.

If your cabinet doors have overlays greater than or less than 1 inch (3/4,", 2", etc), substitute that number into any of the above equations.

Show your work

Show your work. Do you remember your math teacher telling you to always show your work? Here's one case when this is actually very good advice. Keep careful record of your calculations on your notepad and be sure to double check—or triple check—your work. Make your final sizes distinct by underlining them or drawing a square around them. Carefully dictate your final cabinet door sizes as well as how many of each type you want to order.

Carefully input your custom door sizes and quantities into our Order Form. Proofread it to make sure you entered every detail error-free. When you feel confident, click Add to Cart. You're now well on your way to owning your perfect cabinets.

Questions and Answers (Q & A)

1. What do I need to know to measure for an inset cabinet door?

To properly measure for an inset cabinet door, measure the opening as instructed above and then subtract 1/8" all the way around the opening of the frame.

2. What's the difference between framed and frameless cabinets?

Framed cabinets exhibit a 1/2" gap between cabinet doors when they are closed. When framed cabinets are closed, you should be able to see the hinges. Frameless cabinets exhibit a 1/8" to 1/4" wide gap between cabinet doors when they are closed as well as no face frame.

3. How does one correctly measure for framed cabinet doors?

For a one-door framed cabinet door, add 1" to 1 1/4" to the width in order to create an overlay. For reference, framed cabinets with hidden hinges should have an overlay of 1/2" to 5/8".

For two-door framed cabinets, measure the entire opening width. Ignore the post, add 1" and divide by 2. This calculation is your true width. If both cabinet doors share the same frame, the minimum hinge stile width is 1 3/8".

For one-door framed cabinet doors with exposed hinges, add 3/4" to the width of your opening.

For two-door framed cabinets with exposed hinges and no post in the middle, add 1" to the width and divide this sum by two.

4. What about Lazy Susans?

Lazy Susans are fairly easy to measure. Measure each sides' front edge to the farthest back points — the Width — as well as from the top to the bottom — Height. Add the desired overlay and subtract 3/4" to calculate the required door width. Lazy Susans are ordered as two distinct doors and will come with a mitered back edge to create the 90 degree angle required for installation.

Please note that we do not accept responsibility for any errors in measurements based on these recommendations.

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How to Measure Cabinet Doors: A Tutorial - CabinetDoorMart Cabinet Doors© 2014