Updating your kitchen is a sure-fire way of increasing the value of your house – but it’s also great if you just feel like a change or an improvement to your home décor.
The great thing about giving this space a makeover is that if budget is an issue, or you don’t want the upheaval of removing all of your old kitchen units and replacing them with brand new ones – you don’t have to!
While there are many different reasons why people opt to use replacement kitchen doors rather than having a whole new kitchen installed, the savings involved are often a major factor. After all, the difference in cost between “refacing” and replacing your kitchen cabinets is significant, meaning you can afford to splash out on extra accessories or an upgrade to another room.
In most cases, if you decide against replacing whole units in favour of simply upgrading your cabinet and cupboard doors, it will still look to others as though you’ve splashed out on a complete renovation. However, in reality, you’ll have spent a fraction of what that would usually cost you.
On average, simply replacing your kitchen doors will cost you around 15-20% of the price of carrying out a full replacement of all your units. That’s a staggering 80-85% potential saving, which can be reduced further if you decide you’d like to attach your new kitchen doors yourself rather than arranging for a specialist fitter.
It is not as hard as you may think to remove the old and worn kitchen doors from your existing kitchen cabinets and install new ones!
1. Make a list of the doors you need
Once you’ve taken a look at the designs of kitchen doors that are available from Kitchen Warehouse and chosen the one you would prefer, the first thing to do is to take complete stock of all of your existing kitchen doors and drawer fronts. We recommend starting on the left-hand side of the kitchen and working your way round to the right.
As a part of the process, you should open each unit one by one in order to measure the back of every door or drawer. You should record this by writing down the height by the width in millimetres. The reason we always instruct you to measure the backs of your kitchen doors is because measuring the front – which may include bevels, moulding or other features on the front edge – is much harder to get exactly right. Getting measurements wrong may result in your new doors fitting incorrectly – something that is very likely to cost you extra time and money and create unnecessary stress. Furthermore, you will find it easier to hook your tape measure on to the flat reverse side of the door.
When you have a list of the sizes of all the kitchen door and drawer frontages you wish to replace, you should 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 – if you provide us with measurements, we can construct made to measure replacement kitchen doors in any of the colours in our Ashton Cole high gloss acrylic range. Because they will be custom built to your specifications, they will take slightly longer to be delivered and the cost is a fraction higher than the standard sized doors. However, you will still save a huge amount compared to the cost of replacing your whole kitchen.
2. Order the doors
The next stage begins when you have ordered your new kitchen doors and they have arrived with you.
The first thing you should do is check the doors for any transit damage – as items can very occasionally become damaged despite the best efforts of the courier and however well our members of staff package and protect our products. We utilise sheets of extra-padded, large bubble wrap and surround all items with cardboard as an extra precaution. We are very proud of our minimal damage rate – after all, 99% of parcels arrive undamaged. However, if any items fail to arrive in perfect condition, please notify us as soon as possible and we will arrange for new doors to be sent to you as soon as possible.
3. Fitting the doors
You can watch a quick video on how to measure your kitchen doors below – alternatively, read on!
Once you have your new kitchen doors and are ready to fit them, the first thing to do is to remove the first of your existing doors by unscrewing the hinge from the leaf, leaving it fitted to the kitchen unit for now.
When you have removed the door from the kitchen cabinet, take off the door handle and lay the old kitchen door on the worktop next to your new replacement kitchen door. Next, you should measure from the top of the kitchen door to the centre of the top hinge hole. Once you have an accurate measurement, mark the new door with a pencil at the equivalent point with a small but clearly visible line. Next, you should do the same for the bottom hole (still ensuring that you measure from the top of the door).
The next step is to measure from the hinge side edge of the old kitchen door to the centre of the hinge hole and, in the same way, create another mark with your pencil where the centre of the hinge hole will be on the new kitchen door. You should now see two crosses you have made, which will indicate where to drill the hinge holes on your new kitchen door.
This measurement should come to the same distance on every door. On average, it should be between 18-23mm from the edge of the door to the centre of the hinge hole, although this distance depends on the thickness of your existing kitchen cabinets.
Remember, you will require a special hinge hole drill bit to drill into your new kitchen doors. Kitchen Warehouse always provides these drill bits free of charge with all orders over £250 when you select from our range of replacement kitchen doors.
After you have marked out your new kitchen door, you should insert the hinge hole drill bit into the drill. It’s important to ensure it is tightly held by the drill, as this will prevent mistakes or accidents. In the centre of the drill bit end, there is a spike. For best accuracy when drilling your hinge holes, you should place the spike right on the centre of one of the crosses you have just marked on your new kitchen door. You should then start drilling.
Drill about 10 mm deep into the door. You can then remove one of the hinges from the kitchen cabinet and test it in the hole to ensure you have drilled deep enough. A good thing to always keep in mind is that you can always drill more out but you can never replace what you have removed. The best approach is to drill a little bit out at a time, continuing to test the hinge in the hole until you have achieved the correct depth. Repeat the aforementioned process for the second hinge hole.
When you have successfully drilled both hinge holes, you should place the hinges into them. We highly recommend using a set square to ensure that the hinge is perfectly square to either the top or bottom of the door, depending on which is closer. When you are satisfied that the hinge is square to the door, create a small pilot hole in the centre of the screw holes on the hinges with a 2mm drill bit in order to firmly secure the hinges to the door.
We recommend drilling this hole around 10 mm deep too. When you have the two screw holes drilled, you should screw in two 3.5x16mm screws – one into each hole. Now you can refit the hinges back to the kitchen cabinet. Congratulations – you’ve fitted your first new kitchen door to your unit and started your kitchen makeover!
You can now repeat this process for the rest of the kitchen doors. Please remember to always measure from the top of each door for both hinge holes. You will very likely find that a lot of the measurements are the same when you start to work your way around the kitchen units, but we definitely recommend measuring each replacement door individually, just in case the measurements differ from door to door. After all, a few millimetres can mean the difference between drilling hinge holes that make the door hang perfectly or failing to fit your replacement kitchen door to the cabinet – something that can’t be rectified without ordering a new item.
The measurement from the side of the door will most probably be the same for every door in the set – as all your kitchen cabinets should be made from the same thickness of board – either 15mm or 18mm. However, it is still worth checking each in order to be perfectly sure.
4. Fitting Drawer Fronts
Once you have all your new kitchen doors fitted, you can now move to replace any new kitchen drawer fronts you have ordered.
The basic approach is the same as it is with the doors – we always work from the top down. For example, on multi-drawer units, you should always start with the top drawer and work downward.
Remove the top drawer frontage. Once you have done so, remove its handle. Next, you should lay the old drawer front on the kitchen worktop next to your new one, just like you did with the unit doors. Now you need to measure from the top of the old drawer front down to the screw holes on the back. These should be the same distance on both 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.
Next, measure from the side of the old drawer frontage to the nearest screw holes and transfer these measurements to the new drawer front. Mark the finishing point of the measurement with a pencil to form a cross, the same as you did with your kitchen unit door fronts. This will show you where to drill. Again, the measurements should be the same on the left-hand side and the right-hand side – but do check carefully each time before marking.
Now, on the crosses you have created, drill a small pilot hole for the screws with a 2mm drill bit to secure the drawer frontage to the drawer box. We recommend drilling this hole to around 10 mm deep – the same as you have done on the previous units. When you have both of the screw holes drilled, screw in two 3.5x16mm screws – one into each hole. Now you can slide the drawer back into the kitchen unit.
Now you can repeat this process for the next drawer until you have fitten all of your new kitchen drawers.
You may need to balance your kitchen doors and drawers so they line up at the top and bottom when looking at them. You should also ensure that the margin is the same between all of the new kitchen doors in order to achieve strong, even, smooth lines.
There are three ways in which 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 and moved up or down, and the door will move to a slightly different position as a result.
The second way you can adjust the position of your hinge is to turn the screw that is usually found at the back of the hinge. When you do so, the door will move slightly away from the kitchen cabinet or closer to the kitchen cabinet depending on the direction in which the screw is turned.
The final way is by manipulating a screw at the front of the hinge nearest the door. This will allow the door to be moved from left to right until it fits perfectly.
6. Fitting the handles
Once you have all your new replacement kitchen doors and drawer frontages fitted and you are satisfied that they line up nicely, you can start fitting the kitchen door handles you have chosen.
We always recommend fitting new kitchen door handles to your units, as they are not expensive and can make a huge difference to the finished look. On average, new handles cost between £5 to £10 for a good quality product that looks great.
A set of new handles fitted to your new replacement kitchen doors or drawers will finish off the transformation of your old kitchen to create a space that feels brand new, fresh and completely different to before. Sometimes when you refit old handles on the new fresh kitchen doors it can make them look old, tired and scruffy against the beautiful new surface, making you feel as though the space is not completely new.
To fit the handles, place low tack masking tape on the door front where you wish the handle to sit. You should also do the same on the drawer fronts. Try the handle carefully against the new surface and decide on your preferred position for it. When you find the position you desire, draw a pencil line down either side of the handle on the masking tape (try not to draw on the door itself).
Now you can measure the distance between the two lines you have just drawn and make a third pencil line exactly in the centre of them. Next, measure from the edge of the door to this new line and write down this distance. This represents the point at which all of your screw handle holes will need to be drilled. Every door handle should be the same distance from the edge of the door.
The next step is to prepare a set square to this measurement and draw a pencil line on every door at this distance from the edge of the door. Always make sure that you stay on the masking tape and the line is longer than the handle. For example, you should draw from below the desired bottom of the handle vertically up to above where it finishes.
You should now place the door handle on its side against the line you have just drawn at the height where you wish it to be fitted. Be careful to ensure that you can see the screw holes in the handle and the new line at the same time.
Ensure that your handle is at the height at which you wish it to sit when it is fitted. Now mark where the bottom screw hole will be so that the pencil lines form a cross.
Next, 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 one screw hole to the centre of the other, but much easier to achieve with superb accuracy. Once you have 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. This will help you to check that each of the holes line up with the two crosses you have made on the door. If you feel that this looks correct, you should position your set square to the distance of the top screw hole cross from the top of the base unit door. This should form the same measurement to the bottom screw hole from the bottom of the wall cabinet door.
Next, transfer this measurement to all the other doors using your set square (apply it to the bottom handle hole on your wall units and the top handle hole on your base units).
Once you have marked the location of the first handle hole on all of your doors, you should position your set square to the second screw hole measurement and repeat this process. After this, you should two mark crosses on every one of your new kitchen doors.
Before you drill each door, remember to place the handles against the crosses you have drawn and carefully make sure that they line up with the screw holes on your handle.
If you’re confident that they line up exactly as you want, you can proceed to drill from the front of the kitchen door with a 2 mm pilot bit until you come out of the back. Always try to keep the drill square to the door when drilling.
When you have drilled right through the door, you should use a 5mm drill bit and drill halfway through the door from the front on both the 2mm holes. Next, on the back of the door, drill halfway through the door from the back until you meet the first half. This technique will stop you from splitting any of the timber or high gloss on the face of your new kitchen door.
The next step is to remove the masking tape from the front of your new kitchen door. Place your handle screws through the door from the back and carefully start twisting the screws into your new handle by hand. When you have started inserting both of the screws into the handle, you can tighten them up with a hand-held screwdriver. For safety reasons and to prevent damage, you should never use a power-assisted cordless drill. Repeat this process with all of your new replacement kitchen doors and handles.
You are nearly done now – only the handles of the drawer fronts left!
7. Fitting Drawer Handles
We always recommend that you fit the drawer handles the same distance down from the top edge of the drawer fronts as you fitted the kitchen door handles from the edge of the door. However, whether you do this or not is down to personal preference.
Use your set square and position it to the distance of the screw handle holes on one of the kitchen doors. Now, draw a long line on 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 comes to, divide it in half and mark the centre of the drawer front on your line.
You should now halve what the distance is from the TOP of the bottom screw hole to the TOP of the top screw hole, just as you did previously. This will give you the distance from the centre of the drawer front to the screw hole on the left. You can now mark this distance, forming a cross. This distance should come to the same length as can be measured between the centre of the drawer front and the screw hole on the right. Make sure this is the case, then mark a cross.
After this, you should try the handle against the drawer front and check that the two screw holes line up with the two crosses you have marked. Make sure that you are happy with the location of the handle on the drawer.
If this has gone well, you can repeat this process for all the drawers in the kitchen until you have marked up all of their facings.
When all of your drawers are marked up, drill them in the same manner as you drilled the kitchen doors. It’s important to remember to check each handle against the crosses you have drawn before drilling. If they do line up with the holes in the handles, you can 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, you should use a 5mm drill bit and drill half way through the drawer frontage from the front on both the 2mm holes. Now you should repeat this step from the back of the drawer front, drilling halfway through until you meet the first half. Again, we ask you to do this in order to prevent the cracking of any of the timber or high gloss from the face of your new kitchen drawer frontage.
After you have drilled all the handle holes into the drawer fronts, remove the masking tape from the face. Place your handle screws through drawer front from the rear and start to twist them in by hand. When you have both of the screws inserted partway into the handle, tighten them up with a hand-held screwdriver, not an electric drill. Repeat this process on every one 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 of a full renovation!
For more guidance regarding our products and how to install them, simply get in touch with a member of our team one the phone – by calling 01765 640 000 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be more than happy to give you a hand!