How to Measure for Cabinet Doors

Have you decided to update your kitchen by replacing the doors on your cabinets? Perhaps the old doors are worn out or you just want a new style. While changing cabinet doors sounds like a straightforward project, properly measuring for new doors can seem daunting if you’ve never done it before. With so many options for door styles, materials and colors, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the choices.

In this blog post, we will break down the simple steps of how to measure for cabinet doors so you can order doors that will be a perfect fit. Knowing the right measurements will save you a headache down the road and money from returns due to mistakes. Let’s get started with covering the basic tools you’ll need and the key areas to focus on for each cabinet.

Why May You Want to Measure for Cabinet Doors?

1 . To Replace Existing Cabinet Doors

One of the main reasons for measuring cabinet doors is to replace existing ones. Often, homeowners want to update the look of their kitchen or bathroom by changing out the cabinet doors with something more modern or stylish. However, it’s important to measure carefully before ordering new cabinet doors to ensure a proper fit.

2 . To Customize Cabinet Doors

Another reason for measuring cabinet doors is to customize them. Some homeowners may want a unique size or style of cabinet door that cannot be purchased pre-made. In this case, precise measurements are necessary to ensure the new doors fit properly and function correctly.

3 . To Ensure Proper Functionality

Measuring for cabinet doors is also essential to ensure proper functionality. Cabinet doors that are too big or too small can cause issues with opening and closing, as well as potential damage to the hinges and other hardware. Accurate measurements are crucial for a smooth operating cabinet.

Measuring for Cabinet Doors

4 . To Save Time and Money

Taking precise measurements before ordering new cabinet doors can save both time and money. By ensuring the correct size, homeowners can avoid costly mistakes such as having to reorder doors or hiring a professional to make adjustments. Accurate measurements also help prevent delays in installation and potential damage to the cabinets themselves.

How to Measure for Cabinet Doors in 5 Easy Steps

To measure for cabinet doors, you will need a measuring tape, pencil, paper, and possibly a helper. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Measure the Cabinet Opening

Start by measuring the height and width of your cabinet opening. Be sure to record both measurements in inches. If you have any shelves or drawers inside the cabinet, you should also measure their dimensions.

Step 2: Determine Door Size

Once you have measured the cabinet opening, it’s time to determine the door size. A standard rule is that cabinet doors should be 1 inch larger in both height and width than the cabinet opening. This extra inch allows for a ½-inch overlay on all sides of the door. However, this rule may vary depending on your personal preference and style.

Step 3: Measure Hinge Placement

Next, measure where you want the hinges to be placed on the door. Typically, hinges are 2 inches from the top and bottom of the door. Mark these measurements with a pencil on both sides of the door.

Step 4: Calculate Overlay

Overlay refers to how much of the cabinet frame is covered by the door when it is closed. To calculate overlay, subtract the width and height of your cabinet opening from the dimensions of your doors. For example, if your cabinet opening is 20 inches wide and 30 inches high, and your doors are 22 inches wide and 32 inches high, then the overlay for each door would be 1 inch.

Cabinet Frame is Covered by the Door

Step 5: Double Check Measurements

Before finalizing your measurements, make sure to double-check them. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to ordering cabinet doors. If possible, have a helper double-check your measurements as well to ensure accuracy.

Extra Tips to Measure for Cabinet Doors

1 .  Know Your Cabinet Type

First and foremost, it is important to know what type of cabinet you have. There are three common types of cabinets: face-frame, frameless or European-style, and inset. Each type requires a different method for measuring door sizes. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the specific measurements needed for your cabinet type before proceeding.

2 . Take Precise Measurements

When measuring cabinet doors, precision is key. Small inaccuracies can result in ill-fitting doors and cause problems during installation. Use a tape measure to get accurate measurements of the height, width, and depth of your cabinet openings. When measuring the width, be sure to measure from one inside edge to the other.

Use a Tape Measure

3 . Consider Door Overlay

Overlay refers to how much the door covers the cabinet opening. It is important to consider this when measuring for doors as it can affect the size of the door you need. There are three types of overlays: full overlay, partial overlay, and inset. Full overlay doors cover most of the cabinet frame, while partial overlay doors leave some space between the door and frame. Inset doors sit flush with the frame. Make sure to factor in the desired overlay when measuring for cabinet doors.

4 . Account for Hinges and Hardware

When measuring cabinet doors, it is important to account for any hinges or hardware that will be attached to the door. This can affect the overall size of the door you need. If using existing hinges and hardware, measure the door as it is currently installed. If installing new hardware, make sure to factor in their size when measuring for the door.

5 . Double-Check Your Measurements

Before finalizing your measurements and placing an order for cabinet doors, be sure to double-check all of your measurements. It is always better to catch any mistakes or discrepancies before ordering a custom-made door that may not fit properly. Taking the time to double-check can save you time and money in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Precautions to Take when Measuring for Cabinet Doors?

When measuring cabinet doors, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure accurate measurements. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always use a tape measure that is in good condition and properly calibrated.
  • Measure twice and double-check your measurements before placing an order.
  • If possible, remove the old cabinet doors before taking measurements.
  • Use a pencil to mark the measurements on the cabinets, as it is easy to erase if needed.
  • Measure from edge to edge for width and height, rather than from the center of the cabinet doors.
  • Take into account any hardware or trim that may affect the size of the cabinet door opening.

How to Measure for Cabinet Doors?

Measuring for cabinet doors requires a few simple steps:

  1. Measure the height of the cabinet opening from top to bottom.
  2. Measure the width of the cabinet opening from left to right.
  3. Subtract 1/4 inch from both measurements to allow for proper clearance and movement of the door.
  4. If you are ordering multiple doors, measure each individual opening as sizes can vary slightly.
Measure the Height of the Cabinet

How to Measure for Inset Doors?

Inset doors are designed to fit inside the cabinet frame, rather than on top of it. To measure for inset doors, follow these steps:

  1. Measure the height and width of the cabinet opening.
  2. Subtract 3/4 inch from both measurements to account for the thickness of the door.
  3. If you are ordering multiple inset doors, measure each individual opening as sizes can vary slightly.

How to Measure for Overlay Doors?

Overlay doors are designed to overlap the cabinet frame. To measure for overlay doors, follow these steps:

  1. Measure the height and width of the cabinet opening.
  2. Add 3/4 inch to both measurements to account for the overlay.
  3. If you are ordering multiple overlay doors, measure each individual opening as sizes can vary slightly.


Overall, learning how to measure for cabinet doors is the first steps in making sure you receive the right-sized cabinet doors. Considering all aspects of measuring height, width, and depth beforehand can save you time, money and a lot of headaches down the road. The results of these measurements can provide an accurate blueprint for beginning any DIY project such as replacing your cabinets with brand new ones.

With the help of this article, you will undoubtedly be able to tackle this task with ease! Now that you know how to measure for cabinet doors properly, why not get started today? Start taking your measurements and soon enough you’ll be on your way to achieving that breath-taking kitchen renovation that will wow everyone who enters it!

Photo of author

Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

Leave a Comment