Wood Cabinet Door Joints - Step by step instructions for measuring your face frame cabinets for new cabinet doors. Most cabinet businesses want you to provide them the true door dimensions rather than the rough openings. Rough openings are the actual measurements of the rectangular holes on your cabinets that you want to cover with cabinet doors. You'll have to take these measurements and convert them into door dimensions until you order. Check your cabinet openings to find out whether they're square. This is easily achieved by measuring diagonally from corner to corner both ways.
If they are not, then you will want to measure the diameter at the top and bottom and take the larger of the two. Same thing goes for the elevation, measure height on the left and right sides and take the larger of the two. At this point you have the rough opening measurements. To make it easier to fit your new doors to your existing 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 considerably easier, especially if you have many doors that are near the same size. Now that you have the rough opening measurements, what do you do with them?
You now have to make a decision. How many overlays would you wish to have on 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 either require clearance to swing open without hitting another door, even if that door is open as well. The quantity of clearance is mostly a part of which hinge you're using. Check with your hinge maker to find out how much you want. Most hinges will need anywhere from zero clearance up to a quarter of a inch.
Examine the underside for any decorative moldings that may hit the bottom 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, however they do occur and are often for just a couple of doors on an old cabinet. An overlay of one-half inch is probably the most common, and also the one we will use for our cases.
For single openings, that is a opening on your cabinets that will have a door covering the whole opening, choose the width and height of the opening and add one inch to the width and height and that is going to provide you a half inch overlay on all four sides. For example, if the rough opening is sixteen inches broad and half dozen inches tall, you'll need a door 5 inches broad and thirty-three inches tall.