Cupboard Doors Falling Off

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Posted by: from Thornhill
4/25/2013 at 10:43:02 AM

We recently had our kitchen renovated. It was completed at the beginning of January. It looks lovely. The problem is that the hinges on the cabinet doors are screwed into the pressboard on the inside of the cupboards. The doors are solid wood but the shelves (of course) and the inside walls of the cabinets are not wood but are pressboard. I asked our contrator why the hinges moved when the cupboard was opened and he told me that was normal.

Last night one of the hinges was loose again so I tried to screw it back in and the whole thing came off. I had to remove the whole door. This has been only four months since we have had the kitchen. Quite a few of our doors are loose like this.

The contractor said that he would wood fill the holes and put the door back on. I'm not sure that will be solid enough. My sister has the same hinges but hers are screwed right into a solid piece of wood on the inside of her cupboards.

Does anyone think this will hold or is there any better way to fix this?

I am so upset. We spent thousands and thousands of dollars redoing our kitchen and it is only the surface that looks good. I can't believe what we have ended up with.

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Date/Time4/25/2013 at 12:23:39 PM

It all depends how much the cabinets cost you. High end cabinets all wood in the front panel are solid wood.

I would take wood dust mix with epoxy and fill the holes then screw the hinges back in.

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Date/Time4/25/2013 at 12:25:55 PM


Wood filler is really not the best solution for pressboard. However since it has been tightened to the point of being stripped. It might be best to have someone take a look at it before making a bad decision.

My name is Tony and I own a Furnace & Duct cleaning company. I have my years of experience in home renos.


Tony, Bourne

Northwest Furnace & Duct Cleaning Ltd.

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Tyler from Peak Glass Ltd in Langley
Date/Time4/25/2013 at 12:31:12 PM

It sounds like he used the wrong screws to hold the doors in place. I would try getting screws made for partial board that are as long as possible.

There are a few things you could try. One being using bigger longer screws. Two, try glueing dowel inside the hole letting it dry, trimming it flush then installing new screws. Three, its really bad notch out that part of the cabinet and glue in a new piece them reinstall the hinge. (easer said then done though).

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Yourhandyman in Milton
Date/Time4/25/2013 at 1:19:48 PM

First of all, all kitchens come with a minimum one year warranty. It is not normal for a door to feel loose, the hinge plate should be tight to the side of the cabinet. It is likely your contractor bought your kitchen from a kitchen company, I would go directly to them and see if they would honour the warranty.

It is quite common for cabinets to be made out of press wood, plywood and solid wood are considered an upgrade. The only times I've seen a hinge come off the cabinet is when it has been installed with wood screws, the thin ones. To install hinges you should always use the thicker machine screws.

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Date/Time4/25/2013 at 3:05:31 PM

It sounds like he stripped all the screws, probably used an impact driver to install them.

There are various ways to fill the holes and reinstall the screws. If done correctly with proper particle board screws it should be good as new. Unfortunately particle board is normal for cabinets. The next level would be plywood and then solid wood, but you would be 2 to 4 times the price you paid for your cabinets.

Let your installer try to fix them, and no they should never be loose as he stated, he's just trying to get out of fixing his mistake. Also check with the cabinet manufacturer, they might be able to help, especially if the installer is contracted through them.

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Date/Time4/25/2013 at 4:46:01 PM

Cabinets are never made with solid wood inside, most often melamine particle board and sometimes plywood.

What Brand of cabinets are they or did your contractor use custom made?

Check with the supplier where he got the cabinets but press him to properly secure the hinges. Bug him until it drives him crazy if you have to, it is his responsibility to have them installed complete.

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Date/Time4/25/2013 at 6:50:05 PM

With this type of situation, you could try using thin gauge bolts, a washer and nut, drilling a hole in the cupboard to have the bolt go right thru. Something you would normally do when the cupboards are 20 years old and a few are falling apart.

The bolts come in different sizes so take the time to get those that will fit nicely. To put the bolts in right thru the particle board even if they are very small gauge will be better than a straight wood screw that that will not work on particle board that seems to be of lower quality.

It really is the manufacturer that should be coming to your assistance. Your Carpenter possibly did not make the cupboards.

Good luck

Brian L.

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Robert from ElecTriLight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time4/25/2013 at 9:23:08 PM

Amateur error. Over tightening such small screws in particle board... maybe an apprentice?

There are professional wood products that can be filled into these holes, but first the holes need to be enlarged enough to remove the damaged wood (very sharp wood bits work nicely, then fill the holes, redrill and use proper screws. Maybe if you have 2 cabinets together, bolts and shaft inserts can be used.

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Date/Time4/26/2013 at 2:25:37 AM

Good Day,

I am truly sorry to hear that your doors are falling off, but your contractor should not have said that it's normal, because it is NOT normal.

I believe this will happen to your most used cabinet doors over time, and I am not sure what is the solution.

Perhaps you can take a few pictures of the problem areas and send them to me, so I could have a more investigative look. Upon seeing the problem areas, I may be able to offer a few suggestions.

Thank you,

Gavin Bentham

COLLVIN Home Renovations & Contracting Inc.

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