How to replace your kitchen doors step by step, if budget is an issue, or you don’t want the upheaval of removing all your old kitchen units and replacing with a completely brand new kitchen then don’t!
There are many different reasons why people opt to use replacement kitchen cupboard doors rather than having a new kitchen installed, to be honest, the cost of refacing your kitchen cabinets rather than replacing them is a very small percent.
On average refacing your kitchen costs around 15-20% of the price of carrying out a full replacement! That’s a staggering 80- 85% potential saving if a replacement is possible. This can be reduced further if you are capable of changing the kitchen doors yourself.
It is not as hard as you may think to remove your old kitchen doors from your existing kitchen cabinets and install new ones!
1. Make a list of the doors you need
The first thing to do is make a list of all of your existing kitchen doors and drawer fronts. Start on the left-hand side of the kitchen and work your way round to the right. Open each door one by one and measure the back of each door or drawer, height by the width in millimetres. The reason we measure the back of the kitchen door is because it is easier than measuring the front due to most doors having a bevel or moulding on the front edge, plus you will find it easier to hook your tape measure on to the reverse of the door.
When you have a list of all of your required kitchen door and drawer frontages, check that these sizes are available on any of our replacement kitchen door pages.
If the sizes that you need are not there, please don’t worry we can make made to measure replacement kitchen doors in any of the colours in our Ashton Cole high gloss acrylic range of doors. They do take slightly longer to be delivered and the cost is a fraction more than the standard sized doors, but they will still be a small percentage of the price of replacing your whole kitchen.
2. Order the doors
When you have ordered your new kitchen doors and they have arrived with you. The first thing to do is check the doors for any transit damage as couriers can sometimes damage items no matter how well we package them, we go over the top with the large bubble wrap and cardboard around all items sent by courier. We have a very small damage rate 99% of parcels arrive undamaged but if any items are damaged please notify us as soon as possible and we will arrange replacement doors to be sent to you.
3. Fitting the doors
You can watch a quick video on how to measure your kitchen doors below – alternatively, read on!
So you have your new kitchen doors and are eager to fit them. The first thing to do is remove the first of your existing kitchen doors, by unscrewing the hinge from the door leaving the hinge fitted to the kitchen unit for now.
When you have removed the door off the kitchen cabinet, remove the door handle and lay the old kitchen door on the worktop next to your new replacement kitchen door. Then measure from the top of the kitchen door to the centre of the top hinge hole, whatever this measures, mark the new door with a pencil at this measurement with a small line. Now do the same for the bottom hole but still measure from the top of the door.
(Always measure all the hinge holes from the TOP of the door to the centre of the hinge hole then transfer these measurements to the new doors.)
Now measure from the edge of the old kitchen door to the centre of the hinge hole and do the same mark with a pencil where the centre of the hinge hole is on the new kitchen door with a small line. This should give you two crosses of where to drill the hinge holes on your new kitchen door. (Always measure from the hinge side of the door to the hinge hole.)
This measurement should equal the same distance on every door with it being on average between 18-23mm from the edge of the door to the centre of the hinge hole, this distance depends on the thickness of your existing kitchen cabinets. You will require a special hinge hole drill bit to drill these holes in the new kitchen doors; we provide these drill bits free of charge with all orders over £250 of replacement kitchen doors.
After you have marked out your new kitchen door put the hinge hole drill bit in the drill, ensure it is tightly in the drill, then in the centre of the drill bit there is a spike. Place the spike on the cross you have just marked on your new kitchen door and drill your new kitchen door. Drill about 10 mm deep into the door. Then remove one of the hinges from the kitchen cabinet and try it in the hole to ensure you have drilled deep enough. Please remember you can drill more out but you can’t put it back in, so drill a little bit out and then try the hinge until you have the correct depth to drill too. Repeat process for second hinge hole.
When you have drilled both hinge holes out, place the hinges into the holes on the new kitchen door, using a set square to ensure the hinge is square to the top or bottom of the door. Then when the hinge is square to the door, in the centre of the screw holes on the hinges do a small pilot hole with a 2mm drill bit for the screws to secure the hinges to the door.
I would drill this hole also around 10 mm deep. When you have the two screw holes drilled, screw in 2x 3.5x16mm screws one into each hole. Now refit the hinges back to the kitchen cabinet. Thus installing the new kitchen door to old kitchen unit.
Now repeat this process for the rest of the kitchen doors please remember to always measure from the top of the kitchen door for both hinge holes. You will most probably find that a lot of the measurements are the same when you start to work your way around the kitchen units but always do each replacement door on its own merit in case the measurements differ from door to door as a few mm can mean the replacement door doesn’t fit into the existing cabinet. The measurement from the side of the door will most probably be the same for every door in the kitchen as all your kitchen cabinets should be made from the same thickness board 15mm or 18mm. making this measurement the same throughout the kitchen.
4. Fitting Drawer Fronts
Once you have all your new kitchen doors fitted, we will now move onto how to replace your kitchen drawer fronts.
The theory is the same we always work from the top down, (I.E on multi-drawer units always start with the top drawer and work downward)
Remove the top drawer frontage, once off remove the drawer handle and now lay the old drawer front on the kitchen Worktop next to the new one, the same as you did with the doors. Now measure from the top of the old drawer front down to the screw holes on the back, these should be the same distance from the left and the right-hand side of the drawer front. Transfer these measurements onto the new replacement drawer frontage and mark with a pencil.
Now measure from the side of the old drawer frontage to the screw holes and transfer these measurements to the new drawer front and mark with a pencil to form a cross where to drill the same as you did with your new kitchen door fronts. Again these should be the same measurements on the left-hand side and the right-hand side but do check before marking.
Now on the crosses drill a small pilot hole with a 2mm drill bit for the screws to secure the drawer frontage to the drawer box. I would drill this hole also around 10 mm deep. When you have the two screw holes drilled. Screw in 2x 3.5x16mm screws one into each hole. Now push the drawer back into the kitchen unit.
Now repeat this process for the next drawer, until you have done all the kitchen drawers.
You may need to balance your kitchen doors and drawers so they line though at the top and bottom when looking at them and so the margin is the same between all the new kitchen doors. There are three ways you can adjust your hinge. The first is up and down, the two screws that attach the hinge to the kitchen cabinet can be loosened off and the door will slide up and down.
The second way is there is normally a screw at the back of the hinge that when turned moves the door away from the kitchen cabinet or closer to the kitchen cabinet, the third is a screw at the front of the hinge nearest the door this always allows the door to be moved from left to right.
6. Fitting the handles
Once you have all your new replacement kitchen doors and drawers frontages fitted and they line though nicely. You can start fitting you kitchen door handles. We would recommend fitting new kitchen door handles to your kitchen units as new kitchen handles are not expensive, between £5 to £10 on average for a good quality kitchen door handle.
A new handle fitted to your new replacement kitchen doors will finish off the transformation of your old kitchen to a new looking kitchen making it feel fresh and completely different to before. Sometimes when you refit the old handles on the new fresh kitchen doors it can make the handles look old, tired and scruffy and you feel like it is not a new kitchen and a complete change from before.
To fit the handles, place low tack masking tape on the door front where you wish to fit the handle and do the same on the drawer fronts. Offer the door handle up to the new kitchen door and decide on the location of where you would like the handle to be positioned. When in the position you desire, drawer a pencil line against the handle down either side of the handle on the masking tape.
Now measure the distance between the two lines you have just drawn and make a third pencil line in the centre of these two lines. Measure from the edge of the door to this new line and write down this distance as this is the measurement that all your screw handle holes will need to be drilled at, every door handle wants to be the same distance from the edge of the door.
Prepare a set square to this measurement and draw a pencil line on every door at this distance from the edge of the door making sure you stay on the masking tape and the line is longer than the handle. I.E from below the desired bottom of the handle to above where it finishes vertically.
Now place the door handle on its side against this new line you have just drawn at the height where you wish it to be fitted, make sure you can see the screw holes in the handle and the new line at the same time.
Ensure it is at the height that you wish it to be at when it is fitted. Now mark where the bottom screw hole is on the handle on the pencil line so it forms a cross. Now take the handle in your hand and measure from the TOP of the bottom screw hole to the TOP of the top screw hole. This is the same as measuring from the centre of the screw hole to the centre of the other screw hole but much easier to do. Whatever this measurement, go back to the door and from the first cross you have made for your bottom screw hole, measure this distance up and mark a second cross where the top screw hole will be.
Place the handle back against the door on its side so you can check that the screw hole handles line up with your two crosses on the door. If they do and this looks correct, position your set square to the distance of the top screw hole cross from the top of the base unit door, it will be the same measurement to the bottom screw hole from the bottom of the wall cabinet door. Now transfer this measurement to all the other doors using your set square (bottom handle hole on wall units and top handle hole on base units).
Once you have marked where the first handle hole will be on all the doors, position your set square to the second screw hole measurement and repeat this process. Now you should two crosses on every one of your new kitchen doors. Before you drill each door place the handle against the crosses on the door and just make sure they line up with the screw handle holes on your handle.
If they do line up with the holes in the handles, proceed to drill from the front of the kitchen door with a 2 mm pilot bit until you come out of the back of the door. Always try to keep the drill square to the door when drilling.
When you have drilled right through the door, use a 5mm drill bit and drill halfway through the door from the front on both the 2mm holes, now on the back of the door drill halfway through the door from the back until you meet the first half. This will stop you from splitting any of the timber or high gloss from the face of your new kitchen door.
Now remove the masking tape from the front of your new kitchen door. Place your handle screws through the door from the back and start twisting the screws into your new handle by hand. When you have both of the screws started into the handle tighten them up with a hand-held screwdriver not a cordless drill. Repeat this to process to all of you new replacement kitchen doors and handles.
You are nearly done now, only the drawer fronts left to fit the handles too.
7. Fitting Drawer Handles
I would recommend you fit the drawer handles the same distance down from the top edge of the drawer fronts as what you fitted the kitchen door handles from the edge of the door. This, however, is personal preference.
Use your set square and set to the distance of the screw handle holes on one of the kitchen doors. Now using you set square, draw a long line on the masking tape on the face of your drawer frontages.
The next thing to do is measure the width of the drawer front. Whatever this measurement is, half it and mark the centre of the drawer front on your line. If you are fitting the same handles to the drawers as you have already fitted to the doors. Half what the distances from the TOP of the bottom screw hole to the TOP of the top screw hole. This will be the distance from the centre of the drawer front to the screw hole on the left now mark at this distance to form a cross. It will also be the same distance from the centre of the drawer front to the screw hole on the right, so do the same and mark a cross. Now offer the handle up to the drawer front and check that the two screw holes line up with the two crosses you have marked on the drawer front and you are happy with the location of the handle on the drawer.
If so now repeat this process for all the drawers in the kitchen until you have marked up all the drawer fronts.
When they are all marked up drill them in the same manner as you drilled the kitchen doors remembering to check each handle against the crosses before drilling. If they do line up with the holes in the handles proceed to drill from the front of the kitchen drawer with a 2 mm pilot bit until you come out of the back of the drawer frontage. Always try to keep the drill square to the drawer when drilling.
When you have drilled right through the drawer front, use a 5mm drill bit and drill half way through the drawer frontage from the front on both the 2mm holes; now from the back of the drawer front drill halfway through until you meet the first half. This will stop you from cracking any of the timber or high gloss from the face of your new kitchen drawer frontage.
After you have drilled all the handle holes in the drawer fronts, remove the masking tape from the face. Place your handle screws through drawer front from the rear and start twisting the screws into your new handle. When you have both of the screws started into the handle tighten them up with a hand-held screwdriver, not an electric drill. Repeat this to process on all of your replacement kitchen drawer fronts.
By now you should be feeling very happy with yourself, you have transformed the look of your old kitchen cabinets by installing replacement kitchen doors and drawer fronts to the face of the old kitchen units at a very small fraction of the cost.