How To Measure For New Fronts

How To Measure For New Fronts

Anatomy of a Cabinet

Before you proceed, determine whether your cabinets are framed or frameless. Framed cabinets have a frame on the front of the cabinet, while frameless do not.

How to Measure Framed Cabinets

You’ll Need:

  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
How To Measure Framed Cabinets

This video teaches you how to measure for a 1-1/4″ / full overlay. Our examples below teach you how to measure for ½” overlay.

Choose Your Overlay
(Fig. 1)

Overlay/Hinges

Before you measure, you need to understand overlays and how they relate to hinges. An overlay is how much of the door or drawer front covers the cabinet face frame (see Fig 1). The hinges you purchase will match your desired overlay. The most common types of overlays and hinges are 1/2” (half overlay) and 1-1/4” (full overlay).

When refacing, we always recommend you install new hinges. Because your new overlay may be different than what you currently have, you always measure your cabinet openings, NOT your old doors.

All doors from Front + Center come pre-drilled for compact, knock in hinges. They will work with any overlay. You can buy them online or at your local hardware store. We recommend going with a soft close option.

Our examples below will teach you how to measure for 1/2” overlay and hinges. See Pro Tip and above video for tips and the formulas needed to achieve 1-1/4″ overlay.

Pro Tip

Many professional installers will convert the kitchen to an 1-1/4” overlay to cover up more of cabinet surface during a refacing project. They are trained to look out for unique areas where 1-1/4” hinges will not work, such as corner cabinets or a cabinet butted up to a wall. For the typical DIYer, we recommend sticking with ½” overlay to reduce the risk of errors.

Sketch the Kitchen

Start by drawing a simple sketch of the kitchen layout. This will help you keep track of measurements and easily match each new door with the correct opening during install.

Next, number the openings on your drawing. Start with the upper left doors, then the lower left doors. Then number the drawer fronts, also starting on the left side.

Write down the location of the hinges (left or right) on each door.

(See Fig. 2)

Sketch the Kitchen
(Fig. 2)
Measuring for Single Cabinet Opening
(Fig. 3)

Measuring for Single Cabinet Opening

We will show you how to measure for a ½” door overlay using ½” overlay hinges.

Measurements should always be width x height in inches. Round to the nearest 1/16″ (0.0625″).

Open your cabinets and measure the width and height of the frame’s opening.

Now add ½” to each side to account for the ½” overlay and write down the measurements on your kitchen sketch.

You’ll add 1” to your width and height dimensions:

Ex: 12″ x 20″ cabinet opening, order a 13″ x 21″ door. (See Fig 3.)

Ex: 37″ x 55″ cabinet opening, order a 38″ x 56″ door.

Ex: 14.25″ x 25.5″ cabinet opening, order a 15.25″ x 26.5″ door.

Measuring for Double Cabinet Openings

For width, measure the full width of both openings including the center portion of the face frame. Add 1″ to account for 1/2″ overlay on the outside hinge sides, divide by 2 to get to the width of your 2 doors. To ensure the doors don’t touch when closed, now subtract 1/16″ from each door.

For height, add 1″ to account for 1/2″ overlay on the top and bottom.

Example (see Fig. 4):
Width: 36″ + 1″ = 37″
37″ ÷ 2 = 18.5″
18.5″ – 0.0625″ = 18.438″
Height: 25″ + 1″ = 26″
Order two 26″ x 18.438″ doors

Measuring for Double Cabinet Openings
(Fig. 4)
Measuring Drawer + Door Combos or Bank of Drawers for New Fronts
(Fig. 5)

Measuring Drawer + Door Combos or Bank of Drawers for New Fronts

For areas with a drawer above or below a door, or a bank of drawers, measure each opening and add 1” to width and height to account for 1/2″ overlay on each side. Please note, you need a minimum 1 1/8″ rail between each opening for this formula to work.

If the rail is less than that, divide the difference between the 2 fronts and subtract 1/16″ to create a gap between them. Make sure you use the same measurements for a run of cabinets in the same configuration so your doors and drawer fronts line up.

Example (see Fig. 5):
22″ + 1″ = 23″
8″ + 1″ = 9″
Order 23″ x 9″ drawer

22″ + 1″ = 23″
30″ + 1″ = 31″
Order 23″ x 31″ door

Double check your measurements. Your fronts should align horizontally and vertically. Make sure those width or height are the same.

You always want to measure twice + order once!

Measuring Drawer + Door Combos or Bank of Drawers for New Fronts

Measuring for Lazy Susan Doors

You will order your Lazy Susan doors as a set. The hinge side will be drilled for hinges. The handle side will not be drilled.

For width, measure from inside corner to the edge of the face frame. Add 1/2″ to overlay the cabinet on 1 side, subtract 3/4″ to account for thickness of the door where they meet in the middle.

For height: Add 1” to account for 1/2″ overlay on top and bottom.

Example (see Fig. 6):
Handle Side Width: 12″ + 0.5″ – 0.75″ = 11.75″
Hinge Side Width: 13″ + 0.5″ – 0.75″ = 12.75″
Height: 33″ + 1″ = 34″
Order 11.75″ x 34″ handle side and 12.75″ x 34″ hinge side doors.

Measuring for Lazy Susan Doors
(Fig. 6)

Pro Tip

Measure (at least) twice, order once! Double-check your measurements before placing an order.

You can measure for other overlay sizes, but be sure to order the correct hinges and understand there may be areas in your kitchen where your desired overlay doesn’t work, such as a cabinet right next to a wall. Our friendly customer support staff is here to help if you have any questions as you measure.

How to Measure Frameless Cabinets

You’ll Need:

  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
How To Measure Frameless Cabinets

Sketch the Kitchen

Start by drawing a simple sketch of the kitchen layout. This will help you keep track of measurements and easily match each new door with the correct opening during install.

Next, number the openings on your drawing. Start with the upper left doors, then the lower left doors. Then number the drawer fronts, also starting on the left side.

Write down the location of the hinges (left or right) on each door.

(See Fig. 2)

Sketch the Kitchen
(Fig. 2)
Measure the Existing Doors
(Fig. 7)

Measure the Existing Doors

With frameless cabinets, there is only one type of hinge that works so you can measure your old doors. Measure the back of the existing doors and drawer fronts by finding the width x height in inches, rounded to the nearest 1/16″ (.0625).

Make sure you measure the back of the door in case it has a bevel or routed edge that could impact your measurement.

Example (see Fig. 7):
Order 18″ x 25″ door