How to fix a loose cabinet door

Do your bathroom or kitchen cabinet doors scrape, bang, or are misaligned? It’s no surprise when a highly used cabinet door becomes loose or droops with time, especially those that keep food and beverages. So it’s time to fix a loose cabinet door.

When we’re in the kitchen, it’s the simple things that may drive us insane. The sloppy doorknobs nicked the door fronts and slammed the drawers shut around them. You could be familiar with any of these issues, so have a look at our collection of fast and inexpensive kitchen cabinet repairs. In this section, there are straightforward solutions to many of the most common kitchen problems, such as how to fix a loose cabinet door.

  1. Over time, the hinge screws on the cabinet and door have become loosened.
  2. Due to stripped hinge holes, the screws cannot pass through them.
  3. The cabinet door is drooping because it is too hefty for the hardware that is currently in use.

Cabinet hinge adjustment is one of the simplest and most affordable repairs you can perform to your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Even those frightened by a screwdriver and hammer may quickly and effectively remedy this annoying daily issue.

Make sure you have a second individual to assist you. One of you will twist the screws while the other holds the door in place with his or her hands. Close the cabinet door and look inside to determine which direction it has to be moved. Is it dangling in an awkward manner? What level is it at? Is it uncomfortably low or overly high? Is it possible that it does not close completely? Open the door as wide as possible to have access to the hinges.

Before You Start, Consider the Following:

Before you begin, double-check the kind of hinge you have. Most modern cabinets have completely adjustable hinges in three directions: up and down, side to side, and in and out (or depth). The screws that hold the hinges to the cabinet may be changed up and down, as well as side to side and depth. Other systems allow you to accomplish this without removing the mounting screws.

Previously, only “European-style” or frameless cabinets had adjustable hinges, but currently, almost all cabinets have them. Full-adjustable hinges include two or more screws in addition to the mounting screws on each hinge.

On the other hand, there are antique, basic hinges that are not able to be modified. This is true of most surface-mount hinges that attach to the front of the cabinet rather than the inner edge of the cabinet face frame or the inside of the cabinet box. A certain type of basic hinge features elongated screw holes for the mounting screws that facilitate upward and downward adjustment. Aside from that, non-adjustable hinges must change in order to relocate the doors.

Problems with Alignment

The main goal of adjusting or fixing a loose cabinet door is to make them seem aligned. This does not mean that the doors must be perfectly upright and level, or that they must reposition. They should match the surrounding cabinet elements, notably the doors and drawer fronts. You’ll often find yourself moving doors slightly out of line to maintain proper operation and spacing. To accomplish this, a compromise between aligning the inner border of the door with the next door may be necessary.

A reveal is a noticeable gap around the edge of a door or drawer front. When checking a door’s alignment, you’re probably looking at the reveals, the visible black lines that divide the cabinet parts. You can employ someone to keep an eye on the cabinets while you straighten a painting, but there’s no reason why one person couldn’t do it alone.

How to fix a loose cabinet door with a loose screw

The majority of the time, a loose screw arises on items that move often. Doors (including hinges and locks), kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and just about everything else that is sensitive to movement or vibration is a candidate for vibration dampening. The vibration wears away at the wood fibers over time, causing the screw to back out of the wood. Over time, the constant re-tightening of these screws causes tearing of wood fibers in the hole, resulting in the screw threads losing their ability to grip the wood. You’re dealing with a loosened screw and a shaky door or hinge.

Screws may grow loose over time if not properly tightened. If not correctly tightened, they may ultimately strip the hole out. You will be responsible for repairing the hole if this happens. If you want to achieve this, you have two options:

Solution #1:

Using four to five toothpicks, dab them with woodworking glue and insert them into the hole. Remove the toothpicks from the surface of the hole and replace them with a new screw in position. As an alternative, some individuals have used golf tees or wooden matchsticks.

Solution #2:

Drill a hole in the wall using a drill bit that has a collar attached to it. Wood glue should be used to secure a wooden dowel into the hole. Allow it to dry completely before cutting it so that it is level with the cabinet. Afterward, drill a screw hole in the dowel and screw in the hinge to secure it.

The best thing to do is to check your cabinet hinges every few months and tighten any loose screws that may have come loose throughout the process. This will keep them on an equal playing field, and you will be able to maintain your composure.


To adjust and fix a loose cabinet door, the only equipment you will need is a regular Phillips-head screwdriver with a #2 screw tip (there are different sizes). It is not recommended to use a power drill with a screwdriver bit because the force of the drill may easily peel screw heads off or strip away the cabinet wood.

Step-by-step directions:

The mounting loose screw needs to be tightened.

Open the loose cabinet door and inspect the hinge portion within the cabinet box. Two screws, one on each side, secure the hinge to the cabinet. We’ll go thru each screw and what it does in detail. Make sure the door is secure by turning these screws in a clockwise direction.

Adjust the door’s height by moving it up or down.

Find a screw that enables you to adjust the door’s height. For cabinet doors without a dedicated height adjustment screw, loosen the two mounting screws on each hinge and adjust them until they are the correct height.

Adjust the door to the right or left as needed.

Use the side-to-side adjustment to align the door with its neighbor or the cabinet box’s margins on either side. Depending on the amount of modification necessary, you may change one or both hinges per door. If the door seems to be sagging right, Thus, slide the top hinge closer to the side of the cabinet box, moving the top of the door to the left. If the door continues to tilt down to the right, replace the top hinge. However, if it isn’t quite enough, you may adjust the bottom hinge’s side-to-side screw to move it away from the cabinet box, which will shift the bottom of the door to the right.

Adjust the door’s inward or outward movement.

You may alter the door depth by turning the depth adjustment screw clockwise or counterclockwise. Seasonal humidity fluctuations may cause a door to pull away from the box rather than meet flat when closed, causing the door to bounce. Achieve a flush fit between the door and box by moving the top hinge toward the cabinet or the bottom hinge away from the cabinet. If there is a gap at the bottom of the door, do the opposite.

Check the door’s operation.

Make sure you close the door after each small adjustment to ensure that you are moving it in the appropriate direction and to determine whether or not it needs further adjustment. Trial and error are required, and fine-tuning is the name of the game in this situation.

Replace the hinge

Occasionally, the hinge may break, causing the door to hang to one side.

  • First, remove the old hinge and replace it with a new one. Make sure when purchasing a hinge, that it is rated to withstand the weight of the door. We suggest these hinges.
  • Second, after you’ve placed your cabinet doors back into place, aim to maintain your hinges clean and your screws snug.
  • Last, if you ever need extra tweaks, take toothpicks or your screwdriver and repeat the procedure.