Hinge Size and Frame Dimensions for Full-Overlay Face Frame Cabinets

Wider frames need bigger hinges; there's choice with regard to both. April 16, 2009

Iím building my first kitchen with full overlay doors. What is the best hinge to use for this application? Also, are there any wise tricks out there?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor W:
Are you talking face frame with full overlay doors? If so, there needs to be 1/4" from the edge of the door to the edge of the frame. So if you use 1 1/2" frames then use a 1 1/4" overlay hinge. If you have cabinets against a wall, leave enough room for base molding to terminate on the cabinet (either a filler or extended stile on the frame). The same goes for a cabinet against a wall having clearance for drawers to open fully past a door or window casing. Angled corner cabinets can also have trouble with doors hitting adjacent cabinets so you will need to have less overlay on those.

You will also need to be careful with Lazy Suzan or easy-reach corner cabinets. You may have a hard time attaching drawer fronts if you are using five piece fronts. The drawer screws will hit in the panel and not the stile/rail of the drawer front. You will need to be more careful about placement of cabinets in a corner next to an appliance (a drawer or door that opens against an oven, stove or dishwasher handle). If you are using crown and light rail then you will have to leave room on the frame (or use deadwood) to attach the molding to the cabinet face. These are some of the scenarios you will come across and there are many more that you will inevitably learn about the hard way.

From the original questioner:
Yes I am using fraceframes at 2" so that would mean a 1 3/4 ovelay hinge?

From contributor W:
I would guess that someone makes a 1 3/4" overlay hinge. I sell factory cabinets and built custom cabinets. I have the advantage of not having to re-invent the wheel every time someone wants an oddball cabinet. I just pull the spec book and see how they do it. Most manufacturerís use 1 1/2 - 1-3/4" frames max. The reason is so that the accessories from other suppliers (like Rev-a-shelf and KV) fit inside of standard width cabinets.

From contributor R:
If you are doing a full overlay door what are you going to do with such a wide face frame? The only places I could see you doing that would be as stated above - in corners and against appliances or along the top to provide nailer for moulding along the ceiling. Why can't you use 1-1/2" everywhere else or even shrink the face frame a bit since it is going to be covered anyway? That would open up more options as far as hinges are concerned.

From the original questioner:
I have always used the 2" face frame but I guess it's time to re-evaluate. I can shrink the faceframe down to 1 1/2".