How to Measure for Cabinet Doors

This video demonstrates how to measure existing cabinet openings to order correctly sized replacement kitchen cabinet doors with an added ½” overlay. If you’re ready to learn how to measure kitchen cabinets for replacement kitchen cabinet doors, we can help guide you through getting the most accurate measurements. Learn how to measure kitchen cabinets correctly and how to measure for a ½” overlay to ensure that you order cabinet doors that fit the way they should. 

How to Measure Cabinets for Cabinet Door Replacement

In the “how to measure for cabinets” video above, a sample face-frame is used for the measurements, while an animation illustrates how the cabinet doors will “overlay” the opening. Learning how to measure for a ½” overlay is essential for getting the right fit on your replacement cabinet doors. Watch the full video, or read on below, where we will provide the formula for calculating the size of either a single door or double doors needed for that opening.

How to Measure Cabinets With a Single Door

Understanding how to measure cabinet doors for replacement begins with understanding how to measure the opening for cabinet doors. From there, you’ll need to account for the ½” overlay.

Start your kitchen cabinet measurements by measuring both the width and height of the cabinet opening. For example, in the video above, our sample cabinet face-frame’s opening width is 11 inches and the height is 13 inches.

In the most common cabinet design, the doors are slightly larger than the opening. This is called the overlay, and the most common overlay is ½ inch. ½ inch overlay means the door is larger, or overlays the cabinet box’s opening at the top, bottom, left, and right, by ½ inch.

In the video, the animation shows the outline of a single door, sized to fit this opening. Notice the ½ inch overlay. The formula for calculating the size of a correctly sized cabinet door with a ½ inch overlay door is:

  • Door width = Opening width + ½ inch + ½ inch
  • Door height = Opening height + ½ inch + ½ inch

Once you have figured out how to measure cabinet doors with the correct formula to get the size you need, you’ll see it’s actually not so hard. If you need to know how to measure openings for cabinet doors that are double doors, the formula is slightly different.

How to Measure Cabinets With Double Doors

For cabinets with double doors, the measurements are a bit different since double doors will meet in the middle. As such, they only overlay the face frame on three sides, instead of all four sides, as with single doors. To account for this, the formula for double doors with a ½ inch overlay on 3 sides is:

  • Door width = (Opening width ÷ 2) - 1/16 inch + ½ inch
  • Door height = Opening height + ½ inch + ½ inch

You might be surprised to notice that the double door formula subtracts 1/16 inch from the calculated width of each double door. This is necessary to prevent double doors from touching in the center when high humidity conditions cause the door to slightly expand. This will allow a ⅛” gap between the doors, which is the most ideal.

How to Measure Cabinet Overlay for Your Cabinet Doors

It’s helpful to know that, although a ½ inch overlay is the most common, other overlays may be encountered. If you are replacing existing cabinet doors, you may want your new doors to have the same overlay. In that case, make sure you know how to measure existing cabinets and doors carefully first to ensure that you order the overlay you want.

If the cabinet doors you are replacing have a different overlay than ½ inch, like ⅝ inch or ⅜ inch, the formulas provided above will still work and will correctly size your new cabinet doors. Just replace the “½ inch” in the formula with the overlay measurement you intend to use.

Keep in mind that concealed hinges have different models for different overlays and the correct hinge must be ordered for the cabinet door overlay. At Cabinet Door Factory, we carry top quality, self-closing Blum Hinges, and we’re also able to drill the hinge pockets in your new doors for you to help ensure that everything fits together exactly as it should.

Learning How to Measure Cabinets on Your Own

If you thought you couldn’t learn how to measure kitchen cabinets yourself, you can see now how easy it really is to determine the exact sizes of each of your new cabinet doors. You won’t need to pay to have the big-box store take the measurements for you and knowing how to measure cabinets correctly yourself will save you time. It’ll also save you money, because you also won’t have to pay the big-box prices for your replacement cabinet doors.

When you’re ready to take your measurements, we recommend watching our “how to measure for cabinets” video a few times first. Then, measure your cabinet openings (twice, for good measure), and make sure you have your cabinet door overlay and size calculated correctly. From there, just head to Cabinet Door Factory to order your replacement cabinet doors.

Tips for Measuring Cabinet Doors

While measuring cabinet doors, accuracy is key to achieving a seamless at-home installation. Before you send your cabinet door measurements to a cabinet door manufacturer, you'll want to:

Double-Check Your Measurements

You want to always double or triple-check your cabinet door measurements before sending them to a manufacturer. Even if you're less than half an inch off, it can impact the visual appeal of your cabinet doors.

Be Mindful of Irregularities

If your cabinets are older, there may be some irregularities. Warping, water damage, and cabinet door depth can all impact the width and height needed for your cabinets. You may also need to account for skewed walls and wall thickness. 

Always Measure Twice

To minimize risk, you'll want to take multiple measurements. Consider asking a friend or family member to measure for themselves so you can compare the measurements before sending them off to your manufacturer. 

Save 30%-50% By Ordering Replacement Cabinet Doors at Cabinet Door Factory

Where you buy your replacement cabinet doors has a significant impact on the cost of replacing cabinet doors. Replace your cabinet doors through Cabinet Door Factory and save yourself 30-50% off big box store prices. Cabinet Door Factory is proud to offer high-quality, custom-sized replacement cabinet doors at the same prices enjoyed by distributors. Even better, you get your products delivered right to your door and without the hassle of navigating the retail experience!

Explore our extensive selection of cabinet doors and get inspired for your project today. If you have any questions, we invite you to contact us online or by phone at 480-545-1221. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Measuring Cabinet Doors 

What is a cabinet overlay?

An overlay is commonly referred to as a door reveal. It's the amount of the cabinet face frame that is covered by the cabinet door. The most popular types of overlays include full, partial, frameless, and inset.

How much bigger should a cabinet door be than the opening?

As a general rule of thumb, approximately one inch should be added to the width and the height of the opening size measurement. If your replacement cabinet doors are the same size as the opening, they'll be too small for your cabinets. 

How much overlap should cabinet doors have?

The standard overlap is 1/2 inch on all four sides of the cabinet door.

What is the standard cabinet door size?

The most common cabinet door measurement for a standard kitchen is 28 inches high by 19 inches wide.