Upgrading your old cabinets with soft close hinges is not only possible but also a relatively easy and affordable project. Soft close hinges allow cabinet doors to shut quietly and smoothly, creating a more comfortable and efficient kitchen space while extending the life of your cabinets.
Fitting soft close hinges onto your old cabinets is a straightforward process. Regardless of the type of cabinets you have, there are dampers available that can be easily installed and quickly transform your cabinets into soft close ones.
Moreover, soft close hinges are strikingly similar in appearance to standard concealed hinges, making them a seamless addition to your existing cabinetry.
In short, adding soft close hinges to old cabinets is an effective way to upgrade your kitchen without breaking the bank or going through a lengthy renovation process. The benefits of soft close hinges make this simple modification a worthwhile investment for any homeowner looking to add a touch of luxury and functionality to their space.
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Can You Use Soft Close Hinges On Old Cabinets?
It is absolutely possible for you to upgrade your old cabinets with soft close hinges. In doing so, you can enhance the functionality and user-friendliness of your existing kitchen cabinets.
There are two main types of cabinets that require separate consideration: Face Frame Cabinets and Frameless Cabinets.
Face Frame Cabinets
Face frame cabinets have a wooden frame that is attached to the front of the cabinet box. This frame provides support for the cabinet, but it can also make retrofitting soft close hinges slightly more intricate.
To update your face frame cabinets with soft close hinges, you may need to use an adapter plate to ensure proper alignment. Consider the following steps:
- Measure the size of your current hinges to determine if they are compatible with soft close hinges.
- Purchase the appropriate soft close hinges and adapter plates (if needed) for your specific face frame cabinets.
- Carefully remove one cabinet door at a time, starting by unscrewing the hinges holding the door to the cabinet.
- Install the soft close hinges and adapter plates (if required) onto your cabinet doors.
- Reattach the cabinet doors to the face frame cabinets, ensuring they are secured and properly aligned.
Frameless cabinets, also known as European-style cabinets, do not have a face frame. Thus, upgrading your existing kitchen cabinets to soft close hinges would typically be easier and faster.
Frameless cabinets are often designed with European-style concealed hinges, which makes it more convenient to retrofit soft close hinges.
Here are some steps you can follow to upgrade frameless cabinets with soft close hinges:
- Measure the size and type of your current hinges to determine if they are compatible with soft close hinges.
- Purchase the necessary soft close hinges for your specific frameless cabinets.
- Carefully remove one cabinet door at a time, starting by unscrewing the hinges attaching the door to the cabinet.
- Install the soft close hinges onto your cabinet doors.
- Reattach the cabinet doors to the frameless cabinets, ensuring they are secured and properly aligned.
By following these processes, you can upgrade your old cabinets to soft close hinges, enhancing the usability and overall experience in your kitchen.
Tools and Materials Needed
To put soft close hinges on your old cabinets, you’ll need a few basic tools and materials. Gather these items before you start:
- Screwdriver: A Phillips head screwdriver will be necessary for removing and attaching screws on the cabinet doors and hinges.
- Power drill: A power drill will be helpful when pre-drilling holes if needed, especially for new hinge mounting locations.
- Drill bits: Including a centering drill bit, which will ensure that holes you pre-drill are accurately placed for mounting the hinges.
- Cabinet hardware: You’ll need soft-close hinges compatible with your cabinet doors’ style and size. Ensure you purchase the correct hinges to guarantee a smooth and soft close effect. If the hinges are the incorrect size or fitment, you could end up with your soft close cabinet not closing all the way.
- Wood screws: Make sure you have appropriate length wood screws for securing the soft-close hinges to your cabinet doors and frames, otherwise you could end up accidentally ripping the hinges off the cabinet door.
- Measuring tape or ruler: For accurate measurements when locating and aligning hinge mounting locations on your cabinet doors and frames, a measuring tape or ruler will be essential.
Remove the cabinet doors from the cabinets
Unscrew the existing hinges holding the cabinet doors in place and set the doors aside. This is an excellent time to clean and upgrade any other hardware, such as cabinet pulls, if desired.
Inspect the cabinets’ hinge location
You may find that your old cabinets have mortises carved into the wood for the hinges. In this case, you’ll need to choose soft close hinges that can fit into those mortises. For overlay or inset doors, ensure you select the appropriate type of hinge.
Before installing the new soft close hinges, you’ll want to make sure they are compatible with your cabinet doors. Overlay doors cover the entire cabinet opening, while inset doors sit flush within the cabinet frame. Check the hinges you’ve chosen to ensure they’re designed for the type of door you have.
Attach the new hinges
Next, place the new soft close hinges into the mortises from the old hinges or mark new screw holes if needed. If drilling new screw holes, proceed with caution to avoid damaging the cabinet doors. Once the screws holes are ready, screw the hinges onto the cabinet doors.
Put the doors back on the cabinets
After attaching the soft close hinges to the doors, hang the doors back on the cabinets. Adjust the hinges as needed to ensure proper alignment and fit. Test the soft close mechanism by opening and closing the doors to make sure they operate smoothly.
If your cabinets include drawers, consider upgrading to soft close drawer slides as well. Remove the drawers from the cabinet and replace the existing drawer slides with soft close slides. Again, test the soft close feature by opening and closing the drawers.
Yes, you can put soft close hinges on old cabinets. Upgrading your cabinets to soft close hinges is a relatively fast and affordable project that will allow your cabinet doors to shut quietly and smoothly. This can help extend the life of your cabinets by minimizing pressure and stress from doors slamming shut.
To add soft close hinges to your existing cabinets, you will need a soft close conversion kit containing screws, dampers, and spacers. The process may require some drilling, but it is generally easy to do. Remember to work on one cabinet door at a time, so you don’t lose track of which door goes where.#
If you’re having problems, read our guide if your soft close hinge has stopped working to try to troubleshoot the issue.