Cabinets are a key component of the function and aesthetic of kitchens and bathrooms. They’re subject to wear and tear and can break down over time. Simple repairs keep cabinets looking and functioning like new. You can tackle most of these projects independently unless you’re dealing with water damage, which requires a cabinetmaker or carpenter. To learn more, visit Kitchen Cabinets Dallas TX.
A damaged hinge can make your cabinet doors look sloppy and uneven. It also can prevent them from opening and closing properly. The problem is often caused by too much weight on the hinge or improper use. You can often fix the problem by squirting some wood glue on the area where the hinge connects to the door. After the glue dries, you can use a nail or screw to secure it.
It’s a good idea to use a wood glue formulated to hold moisture, such as epoxy. This type of cabinet glue has a low expansion rate and will expand slower than regular wood glue.
If the hinge is badly damaged, you may need to replace it altogether. You can buy new hinges at most home improvement stores. In addition to replacing the hinge, you should sand down the areas around it that have become swollen due to humidity or water damage and refinish them. This should help to protect the integrity of the cabinets and reduce future problems.
Reconfiguring your cabinets can make a dramatic difference in the look of your kitchen. Common reconfigurations include adding smaller cabinet doors above larger ones, removing lower cabinet doors and converting them to shelving, and rehanging upper cabinets at a higher height to allow for more storage space. If your existing cabinets are in good condition, you can save money and avoid the hassle of a complete kitchen remodel by simply repairing or refinishing them.
Over time, it’s normal for hardware on cabinets to loosen or come off completely. Regular inspections and tightening of the screws should keep your cabinets in good working order.
A cabinet’s finish can be chipped or scratched from normal wear and tear or from common items like cutlery or jewelry. Using shelf liners can also protect the finish from scratches and stains. Touch-up finishing is available at most hardware stores and is simple to apply.
If you’re looking for a more drastic change in your kitchen, you can always consider moving or removing cabinet doors and drawer fronts to give your room a whole new look. However, it’s important to understand that this will be a much more expensive and involved project than simply repairing or repainting the existing cabinetry.
A cabinet hinge that is loose can affect the door’s opening and closing motion. If the hinge is too loose, the door may slam shut and the soft-close mechanism may not work properly. If the hinge is too tight, the door may be hard to open. Simple hinge adjustments are usually possible and can be made by adjusting the resistance adjuster located on the bottom of the hinge. The resistance adjuster is usually a screw that has plus and minus signs on it, and changing its position can change the amount of pressure required to move the hinge.
Cabinet hinges can be loose due to a number of factors. The screws can become loose from normal use, or the hinges can be damaged by a power tool that accidentally hits one of the hinge knuckles. The screw holes can also become enlarged from constant movement of the hinge plate and screws. When this happens, the screw heads can pull out of the hole and render the screws useless.
If the screws are loose, the hinge plate can easily be tightened with a screwdriver. However, if the screws are loose for a long time, the constant movement can cause them to enlarge the screw holes, making it impossible to tighten them. The screws will eventually come out of the holes and break off in the hinge.
If the screws have enlarged, you can fill in the holes with wood glue. Dip the bare end of a wooden toothpick into some glue so that at least a third is covered. Push the toothpick into the enlarged screw hole and tap it with a hammer to get it as far into the hole as possible. Repeat as needed for all the enlarged screw holes. Once the glue is dry, reinstall and screw the hinges to the cabinet door. Glue-coated toothpicks act like new screw threads and are much stronger than the original screws. This method of fixing a loose hinge is especially effective with particleboard and fiberboard cabinets. It’s a good idea to avoid further tampering with the hinges, as any further tampering can lead to even more damage.
Whether or not your cabinet doors need replacing depends on how extensive the damage is and what material they’re made of. Cabinets made of engineered wood tend to get ruined more easily, while solid and plywood cabinets hold up better to moisture. Even if the damage is only to the face of the door, it’s still wise to have a professional look at the cabinets to make sure there is no hidden mold or water damage that can spread.
If your cabinet doors are rubbing together because they’ve swollen, you can sometimes fix this with hinge adjustments. Most modern European-style hinges have adjustment sets that allow you to raise or lower the hinge plate by loosening and then tightening a screw. Some have a depth screw that lets you adjust the position of the hinge in or out, which can be helpful if your doors aren’t standing square with each other or parallel to one another.
The same applies if your cabinet doors have become crooked or aren’t standing straight with the rest of your cabinetry. If you can’t resolve this problem by adjusting the hinges, you may have to replace the cabinet doors or hinges.
A damaged or stained cabinet door can also be repaired with plastic wood glue, available in a variety of colors that match most wood stains. This type of glue will bond with most materials, but it’s not a good idea to try to repair a water-damaged cabinet that has been painted over or covered in a veneer, which can swell and discolor over time.
If your cabinets have been flooded, the first thing to do is take off cabinet doors and toe kicks (the piece of wood between the bottom of the base of a cabinet and the floor). This allows air to circulate and help the affected area dry out faster from above and below. You can also use a wood moisture meter to see how much the wood needs to dry before it’s safe to work on. Once the cabinet is dry, you can start repairing any structural damage.
Cabinets are among the most critical fixtures in a home, and they perform many duties. Inevitably, they suffer from wear and tear over time. Doors and drawers can sag, hinges come loose and surfaces get dinged. It’s a good idea to inspect cabinets regularly, and promptly repair any damage. Doing so will keep your cabinets working properly and looking attractive.
Sagging drawers are often the result of worn or broken drawer guides. Fix this by removing the drawer and replacing the old guides with new ones. Most of the hardware in a cabinet is attached by screws, and you can reuse the old screw holes by purchasing new screw heads that match the original design. Be sure to use a screwdriver with a comfortable grip, because you’ll be turning the screws quite frequently.
If a drawer bottom is warped, remove the old one and replace it with a new plywood or hardboard panel cut to size. Some drawer bottoms are tacked to a piece of molding nailed to the inside edges of the sides and back, while others are set on triangular glue blocks. Remove these fasteners before disassembling the drawer.
Wooden cabinet components can also be warped by years of uneven humidity, and this can lead to a sagging effect. Depending on the severity of the damage, it may be necessary to have the entire cabinet professionally cleaned to prevent mold or mildew.
Loose drawer fronts are usually the result of loose screws. You can make micro-adjustments to the hinges that hold a drawer front using oval shaped screw adjustments found at the back of the cabinet. This type of adjustment is very easy to make, and most cabinets allow you to do it with a single tool.
Splitting drawer fronts are typically caused by missing drawer guides, but this can also be a sign of other serious issues with your kitchen. Start by repairing the guide system, and then if the crack is large, squirt some carpenter’s glue into it, and clamp the facing together with bar clamps until the glue sets.