Door Clearances for Cabinets by the Fridge

Advice on a door swing clearance problem next to a refrigerator. February 13, 2009

I have two end doors that are going to be in the upper section between the fridge and the pantry. Are the two end doors going to be an issue for opening? Normally I do inset – I don't have a lot of experience with European full overlay. Is this ok the way it is or do the cabinets need to be made less wide and put spacers on the ends? There will be knobs on the doors. The hinges will be Grass series 3000, 110* opening hinges.



Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor H:
They will work just fine.

From contributor E:
It will work. Some things to keep in mind though (rt and lt doors only): will the knobs hit the side panels in full open position? Or, is the door wide enough for the knobs to miss the panels?

From contributor R:
I agree with contributor H - you will be fine but watch your clearance over the fridge. Don’t forget to allow for the hinges and hinge covers on top of the fridge doors. I may be the only one to have fallen into that trap - just felt I should mention it. I caught the top of the hinges by about 3/16 of an inch - luckily it was on my own kitchen.

From contributor K:
If the two doors are deeper that the difference between the face frames from one cabinet to the other so that the knob won't hit the sides of the frig or pantry cabinets you’re ok. If the difference is say 13" and your door is also 13" wide then I go to a 2.25" stile at the ends of the cabinets so that most doors will open up at least 90 deg. when the knob hits the cabinet. If this happens, I have changed the size of the sections so that the doors are wide enough for the knobs to miss the sides of the other cabinets. Make the two doors in the middle narrower and equal and the two outside doors wider and equal as much as needed for the knobs to clear.

From contributor D:
I'm going to go ahead and be the only one to say yes you'll have a problem since they're full overlay. The hinge side will rub if you don't leave enough of a gap between the doors and the adjoining deeper cabinets. 1/4" should be plenty and you could probably sneak by with a little less.

From contributor R:
How long would it take you to take a sheet of particle board and drill for your grass hinges, take a ripping of scrap for the stile and another piece of PB to simulate the frig cab side and mock it up in the shop? Then you would really know.

From contributor P:
Don't worry - it'll work fine with a standard 3mm gap assuming you're using a standard-thickness door. I don't know the grass hinges, but I'm assuming it's a stick-type hinge rather than a compact-style.

From contributor A:
Are these frameless cabs or full overlay doors on framed cabs?

From the original questioner:
Frameless with 3/4" sides.

From contributor M:
It won't be a problem as long as you make the proper size door width which should be 1/8" less than the cabinet width (single door) ex: 24" wide cabinet is to have a 23 7/8" door.

Also, the drawing appears to have the two middle cabinets about 42-48 inches together, have you considered a single door for each? Your knobs for the uppers will clear the pantry and refrigerator.

From contributor C:
By looking at my Blum book, I don't know if you use those hinges, with a 19mm thick door in a full overlay application, you only need 1.9 - 2.0 mm of side clearance. If you are really worried, you could use a half overlay on the two ends.

From contributor D:
The 2mm for side clearance is a trap. If the doors swell or something else gets off a little you're in trouble. I suggest a 1/4" for those reasons.