How to Replace Exposed Cabinet Hinges for Hidden

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Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • European hinge template

  • Hammer

  • Drill with 8-millimeter and 35-millimeter Forstner bit

Too many hidden hinges look neater than traditional hinges on cabinets.
Image Credit: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Hidden door hinges, also referred to as "concealed" or "European" hinges, keep the knuckles or hinges hidden from view. Knuckles have a tendency to distract from the look of the cabinets, especially if the hinges are outdated. However, when the hinge is hidden, its age never becomes an issue. Since a hinge is a bulky component, you must hide the bulk of the part within the cabinet using a special drill bit.


Step 1

Open the cabinet door and use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws from the current hinges. Place the old hinges aside.

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Step 2

Position the European hinge template on the upper inside of the door where the top hinge is to be located. Tap the center of the template with a hammer to create the hinge and mount screw marks.


Step 3

Reverse the template to create the bottom hinge mark.

Step 4

Drill the 35-millimeter recessed hole into the middle drill mark created by the template into the inside of the door. Use a drill outfitted with a Forstner bit to create a hole big enough to accommodate the bevel on the hinge. Don't allow the hole to exceed more than 1/2 inch deep.


Step 5

Place an 8-millimeter Forstner bit on the drill, then drill into the marks on each side of the center drill mark. The 8-millimeter holes will accommodate the hinge-mounting screws. Don't allow the hole to exceed more than 1/2 inch deep.

Step 6

Open the concealed hinge and place the beveled side into the recessed hole. Place the two screws into the mounting holes created in the step above.


Step 7

Drive the screws through the concealed hinge screw holes using a Phillips screwdriver or electric drill. Then repeat the process to secure the second hinge to the cabinet door, and replace the rest of the hinges on the door.

Step 8

Place the cabinet template against the inside of the cabinet. Repeat the process to transfer the template onto the cabinet and tap or mark it. Make sure the placement of the hinge lines up with the hinges on the door. Then install the mounting brackets on the inside of the cabinet using the same steps.


Some templates don't require that you create drill holes for the mounting screws. Instead, just drive the screws in place with an electric drill after the recess has been created for the hinge bevel.



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