Kitchen Cabinet Doors Only - Step by step instructions for measuring your face frame cabinets for new cabinet doors. Most cabinet businesses want you to give them the actual door sizes rather than the rough openings. Rough openings will be the actual measurements of the rectangular holes in your cabinets that you want to pay with cabinet doors. You'll have to take these dimensions and convert them into doorway sizes until you order. Assess your cabinet openings to see if they are square. This is easily achieved by measuring diagonally from corner to corner both the ways. If the dimensions are exactly the same, then your opening is square.
If they aren't, then you may wish to measure the diameter at the top and bottom and take the larger of the two. Same thing goes for the height, measure height on the left and side and take the larger of the two. At this point you have the rough opening dimensions. To make it easier to match your new doors to your current openings, you may want to produce a sketch of your cabinets and number them on paper. This is going to make mounting the new doors much easier, particularly if you have many doors that are near the identical size. Now that you have the rough opening dimensions, what do you do with them?
You now need to make a decision. How many overlays do you want to have in your face frame cabinets? Keep in mind how broad are the stiles between openings? If two doors are side by side and hinge to hinge, they will both need clearance to swing open without hitting the other doorway, even if that door is open as well. The amount of clearance is mostly a function of which hinge you're using. Check with your hinge maker to find out how much you need. Most hinges will require anywhere from zero clearance up to a quarter of an inch.
Examine the underside for any decorative moldings that may hit the base of your doors and fix accordingly. Most face frame overlay doors have an overlay from a quarter of an inch to as much as three-quarters of an inch. Rarely, you may have overlays outside this range, but they do happen and are usually for just a couple of doors on a classic cabinet. An overlay of one-half inch is probably the most common, and also the one we will use for our cases.
We will also assume that there aren't any barriers such as narrow stiles, or drawer fronts, counter tops, or decorative moldings to interfere with our half inch overlay. For single openings, that is an opening in your cabinets that will have one door covering the whole opening, choose the width and height of the opening and add 1 inch to the width and height and that is going to give you a half inch overlay on all four sides. For instance, if the rough opening is sixteen inches broad and thirty-two inches tall, you will require a door 5 inches broad and thirty-three inches tall.