Space Between Cabinet Doors

Cabinetmakers weigh in on the proper gap between doors. November 11, 2005

Question
When making a cabinet that has two doors without a center post between them, how much space should there be - 1/32, 1/16, 1/4"? How much of an air gap should there be? Is there a standard?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
Inset doors get 1/16" all the way around and in between. They also get a chamfer for clearance. Overlay doors get 1/16" - 1/8" between depending on the edge profile (some look better closer together and some look better further apart) and whether there is a stile attached to the back of the left door or not. If it's just a gap, go with 1/16" and adjust if needed.



From contributor B:
Solid wood doors typically get 3/32" all around and between doors unless they are excessively wide, and then 1/8". With plywood, MDF, etc. you could possibly get away with a 1/16", but maybe not with the swing. The doors might get jammed.


From contributor C:
The standard is 3/32".


From contributor D:
I use 3mm between the pair of doors you described (Frameless cabinetry with full overlay, 1.5mm reveal).


From contributor E:
I've made pieces where closing the doors good and hard would open the mostly empty drawers. I guess a bigger gap was needed, but I thought it was kind of cool.


From contributor F:
3/32" is standard.


From contributor G:
I put a fake stile on the back side of one of the doors, because I build face frame cabinets, and that way they match the rest of the job. I only do this on sink bases to allow for easy access.