Homeowner’s Guide to Cabinet Hinges

Surface mounted overlay hinge.
Surface mounted overlay cabinet door hinge.

Surface Mounted Overlay Hinges

Surface mounted overlay hinges have one side attached to the front of the cabinet frame, and the other side attached to the back of the cabinet door. Depending on the design, when the cabinet door is closed you may see a decorative plate on the cabinet frame or just the knuckle and pin of the hinge.

Surface mounted hinges attach with screws and don’t require drilling a mortise hole. Overlay hinges come in self-closing and free swinging varieties. One advantage of these hinges is that they can fit varying amounts of door overlay.

Uses: Face frame cabinets with overlay doors.

9 COMMENTS

    • Hi Marsha,
      Sorry about that! Our print friendly feature is a plug-in that we have little control over that doesn’t work right on multipage articles. We hope to have a fix for the problem in the future. In the meantime you can go to each page and copy and paste it into a Word document.

  1. Really like this website; it has been very helpful.

    Is there a tool that can bore the hole need for the installation of the European hinge? If so, can you recommend a good one?

  2. When using 3/8 inch surface mounted self closing hinges and mounting them to the cabinet frame, do I need to kick the spring out just a tad to make it sit flat ? If that makes sence?
    Thank you !

  3. I installed the partial semi wrap around hinge on my doors but it does not close all the way. Need help with installation. My doors used to have zek wrap around so these were similar since the ones I had are obsolete. Thanks

  4. I have 1/2 semi-wrap overlay cab. door hings. I refinished the doors and reinstalled the hings.now some of the doors they will not close all the way. I cannot figure how to correct them. HELP

  5. We repainted our bathroom vanity and changed the color of hinges to chrome or satin hinges. The doors were also repainted. When we purchased the new hinges we made sure the holes all lined up. Now we cannot get the doors to close as before because the they appear too wide. We think there is a hinge problem. Any suggestions to help us?

    • Hi, James,
      Here’s “Today’s Homeowner” host Danny Lipford’s answer to your question:
      “You may have to remove the screws on this cabinet style. Fill those holes with putty and then reinstall the doors to allow proper clearance. Touch-up painting may be required.”
      Thanks for your question.

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