Blum cabinet door hinges are the best in the industry. As the CEO of a kitchen and bath upgrade contracting company, I’d love to tell you that the beautiful cabinet doors we installed for you will work correctly from now until the end of time. They might. They’re that good, but if they don’t, I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss what you can do about it.
There are two major concerns with cabinet doors
First, of course, is the operation, and with our cabinet wholesalers, you’re getting the smoothest soft-close action available. The second concern is visual alignment. This may sound like a nitpicky detail, but when your cabinets are as beautiful as these, you’ll want your doors perfectly aligned. Besides, misaligned hinges can lead to edge damage from other doors.
There’s nothing to worry about, however. If you can install batteries in toys and electronics during the holidays, you’ve got the needed skills to adjust these hinges. It’s just that simple. To accomplish the task, you’ll need a #2 Phillips screwdriver.
The secret is in the hinges
Blumotion hinges from Blum are known for soft action, durability, and easy adjustability. To access that, you only have to open any of your cabinet doors and locate the hinges. There are three basic adjustments you can make.
- In and out. This adjusts how the cabinet door rests in the closed position and how it strikes the face frame as it closes.
- Up and down. This is primarily a visual alignment for doors in a long line of pairs. It allows you to adjust the height to match other doors.
- Right and left: this is the adjustment that most affects the smooth operation of your doors. By adjusting the upper, or lower hinge, or both hinges in tandem, you can tilt the door for alignment of the “reveal” (space between doors)
Blum’s adjustment hinges are designed for easy turning and threaded to prevent shifting. Once they are aligned, you should be worry-free for years to come, although rough, frequent, or jarring usage can cause them to shift slightly.
Taking stock of your door alignment
The primary concern, in most cases, is one of visual alignment. Unless you’ve noticed that one or more of your doors are crooked, you probably don’t need to be concerned about it. The other factor is the function, in which case you’ve already located the problem door or doors.
Your doors should be vertically aligned with the cabinet frame’s sides and horizontally positioned in the center of the opening. The reveal between doors should be straight and even, from top to bottom. Doors should also be aligned in height with doors on their right and left, and horizontally with doors directly above or below. A quick visual inspection is generally enough to spot other problem doors that need adjusting.
Start with horizontal adjustments
Wherever you see your doors are not “plumb” (straight up and down) or need to move right or left, you’ll need to make that adjustment first. Compare the door to the surrounding frame or the other door of a pair to determine which direction the door is tilting or needs to be shifted.
This calls for a “side adjustment”. If the door is tilted away from the hinges, you’ll need to start with the top hinge. If it’s tilted toward the hinges, start at the bottom.
- Locate the side adjustment screw at the hinge you want to start with. The side adjustment screw is located on the cabinet side hinge plate, closest to the door. Or, on an edge mount hinge, on the edge of the cabinet frame.
- Use the screwdriver to turn the screw clockwise to move the door toward the hinge, and counterclockwise to move it away.
- Continue adjusting until the door aligns. For doors that are not tilted, adjust both screws evenly to move it right or left.
- Adjust the second hinge, if needed.
Next, move on to vertical adjustments
Doors that need to be moved up or down need both hinges adjusted evenly. With your door open, locate the vertical adjustment screws. They are located on the cabinet bulkhead itself on a compact hinge or nearest the back of the cabinet.
- Locate the top screw on the mounting plate and turn it clockwise to raise the door, counterclockwise to lower it. Start with a quarter turn, then do the same at the bottom hinge.
- On doors without “Cam” action screws, loosen the plate adjustment screw, adjust the door and tighten.
- Close the door to check alignment.
- Continue adjusting, alternating top and bottom hinges as you go, until the door is aligned.
If doors are more than slightly out of line with each other, both doors in a pair may need adjusting to reach level, with one going up while the other comes down to meet it.
Finally, adjust the door in and out.
If the door is tilted out or in, it will create an uneven effect and can cause improper operation. This is the finest adjustment you’ll make. Fortunately, the screw adjustment for this one is mechanical, so that you can adjust incrementally.
- Use a yardstick, or other long straight edge to check doors for tilt. Position narrow edge of straight edge against door, spanning more than one and look along it to find the uneven doors.
- Open the door and locate the adjustment screws in both hinges.
- Turn the screw with the screwdriver, clockwise to draw the door in, counterclockwise to push it out.
- Close the door and recheck with your straight edge.
- Adjust as needed until doors sit evenly.
For best results, check all of your cabinet doors while adjusting. To maximize adjustment, tighten sliding adjustment screws firmly and check your doors every 4 to 6 months for any signs of trouble.
While you have your screwdriver out, it’s a good idea to check the mounting screws of each hinge and snug them down as needed. This will maintain optimum functionality and protect your cabinet doors from further damage due to loose hinges.
Adjusting for small, or lightweight doors
On a door that isn’t heavy enough to properly activate the “soft-close” option, locate the switch, on the hinge plate in the door, and flip it to off for just one hinge. This should reduce the resistance and allow your door to close normally.
Anytime you’re inside your cabinets for maintenance, take a look at all of the hardware screws on the unit you’re working on. Tightening a screw in a hinge, drawer or door pull, or drawer guide can save the damage to your cabinets and the trouble and expense of replacing hardware before it’s time.
”Blum hinges are the best cabinet hinges in the kitchen and bath industry.” – Explore kitchen remodeling owner, Jason Kidwell
Author: Jason Kidwell
Owner/operator of Explore Kitchens