Would you like to give your kitchen a little update without spending thousands of dollars? There are little projects that you can do on a weekend that make a big impact on the look of your kitchen. Mark and I took on one of those projects this past weekend! We changed our existing cabinet door hinges to new hidden hinges.
In newer home builds, you will find that the cabinet door hinges are hidden (or concealed) and have a soft close feature. But, with a little time and effort, we can update the kitchen cabinets in our homes with these concealed hinges. I’m going to show you, step-by-step, how to install hidden cabinet hinges to your kitchen cabinets.
The first thing you want to know is what kind of cabinet you have. This will determine the type of hinge you will need. Rockler has a great page to help you choose the right cabinet hinge. I found it so helpful in determining the kind of hinges we needed to buy. It’s called: Choosing the Right Cabinet Hinge for your Project. I learned that we have face frame cabinets with overlay doors and semi-concealed hinges. Here is a look at our kitchen cabinets before with the black, “semi-concealed” hinges. Stick with me to the end for the after!
For our kitchen cabinets, we determined the cabinet hinges that we needed. I was able to save some money by purchasing the hinges in a bulk package of ten at The Home Depot for $24.98. We needed a total of 30 hinges, so I purchased three packages of ten. So, the cost to change out all of our kitchen hinges was about $75. Now, if you want the soft close feature, the price almost doubles. A set of ten soft close hinges is $46.48. The soft close feature is nice, but I’m thrifty and didn’t want to spend the extra money!
cabinet hinge installation template
There is one other thing that you will need for this project, this cabinet hinge installation template, also from The Home Depot. The kit includes a template and special pocket hole drill bit. Another important tip – you will need an electric drill. Mark first tried using our battery operated drill, but it just wasn’t powerful enough.
Now, let’s change out those hinges! Mark started with the two small cabinets that are above the refrigerator. When you are doing something new, it’s a good practice to do a test in the least noticeable spot! The first thing you want to do is remove the cabinet doors and existing hinges. If you remove them all at once, put a piece of painters tape on each door with the door location written on the tape. You want to make sure they all get back in the right spot!
Once the hinges are removed, it’s time to install the new ones. Position the template where you want the hinge placed on the cabinet door. In the photo below, you can see the template with the round circle. The two dark spots at the top and bottom of the circle are the holes from the previous hardware screws. Those holes fell nicely within the circle template, which worked out perfectly. This large circle is what you will be drilling to “inset” the hinge. In other words, you won’t see the previous hinge placement once the new hinge is installed. In the very center of the large circle on the template, there is a small hole. Take a pencil and make a mark on your cabinet door through that hole.
Next, you need to make a pilot hole where you made that mark. Use a 3/32 drill bit and place a piece of tape 5/16 inch from the bottom of the bit. That’s how deep you need to drill the pilot hole.
DRILLING THE POCKET HOLES
Now that you’ve made the pilot hole, you can attach the drill bit that came in the cabinet hinge installation template kit to your drill. There is a pointy center tip on this bit and you want to place that point into the pilot hole you just drilled. Now, you are ready to drill the pocket hole for the hinge.
Drill until the top of the round part of the drill bit is level with the cabinet door. As you can see, there will be a lot of wood shavings! And, if you can work outdoors, that would be preferable! As you can see, we were working on top of the dining room table and by the time we finished the rug was completely covered with wood shavings!
Now, you can place the hinge into the hole and attach it with the provided screws! But, you will need to pre-drill holes for the screws first.
Now, it’s time to hang the door back up by attaching the other end of the hinge to the cabinet. Make sure the door is lined up with the cabinet opening.
Whew!!! That sounds like A LOT – right? Once Mark had the first two small cabinet doors finished, he did all of the drilling for the rest of the doors and then attached them to the cabinets. It took about three hours total, making this a great weekend project. I hope this tutorial helps you understand the process for installing hidden cabinet hinges.
And, now for the after photo reveal! No black hinges showing!!! And, you get a peek at the new cabinet pulls, farmhouse sink, new faucet, quartz countertop and pendant light over the sink! The final kitchen reveal is set for next Monday, February 24!