Cabinet Doors: Hinge Anotomy Overlay vs. Inset Cabinet Hinges

cabinet doorsMeasuring Cabinet Door Overlay

The cabinet door overlay is the distance that the cabinet door extends past the door opening in all four directions in order to cover it. Some cabinet doors show none of the cabinet frame, others will have a good amount of distance. However, this distance may not be exactly equal on all four sides. So in order to accurately measure this…

  1. Close the cabinet doors.
  2. Use a pencil to make a light mark on the cabinet frame using the edge of the door as your guide. Make sure you do this on the hinge side of the door. If you’d rather not use a pencil, a piece of tape will also work. Just make sure the tape is lined up well.
  3. Open the door and measure from the mark over to the edge of the face frame.

This measurement is normally in the range of 1/4″ to 1-1/2″, and anything significantly larger or smaller than that, then you are probably measuring the wrong part of the frame.

Overlay vs. Inset

Overlay cabinet doors rest against the outside of the cabinet frame when closed and the doors are wider than the opening. The edge of the cabinet door is square around the entire perimeter as is the door flange of the hinge itself. Inset cabinet doors extend into the cabinet opening when closed. They exist as partial or full inset, however, for this purpose we are only looking at the partial inset. The edge of the cabinet door has an “L” shaped lip around the entire perimeter of the door. If you look at the door flange of the cabinet hinge, you will notice that the flange looks like a step. By knowing what type of cabinet doors you’re dealing with, this makes it easier to purchase the right sort of hardware, especially hinges, for your cabinets.

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