On a Partial Overlay or Face Frame cabinet door the door is larger than the opening and overlaps the cabinet face. The amount the cabinet door overlaps the cabinet face on any one edge is called the overlay. The cabinet face that remains visible is called the reveal. You can choose the overlay that you want. 1/2” is popular but 3/8”, 3/4”, 1” and other overlays are quite common. If you have an older kitchen and your cabinets aren’t exactly square a little extra overlay can help.
At this point you may either continue learning about how to calculate the cabinet door sizes for yourself. Or, you can skip down to the bottom of this page and use our Cabinet Door Size Calculator.
To find the width of your new cabinet doors, add 2 times the overlay to the width of the cabinet door opening.
Cabinet Door Width = 2 * Overlay + Cabinet Opening Width
Let’s use an example of a 14” wide x 20” tall cabinet opening and a 3/4” overlay. 2 times 3/4” is 1 1/2”. Add 1 1/2” to 14” and you will find you need a 15 1/2” wide cabinet door. We use 2 times the overlay because we have the same amount of overlay on both sides of the cabinet opening.
You will do exactly the same thing to find the height of your new cabinet doors. Add 2 times the overlay to the height of the cabinet opening.
Cabinet Door Height = 2 * Overlay + Cabinet Opening Height
Using our example door: 2 times 3/4” Overlay is 1 1/2”. Add 1 1/2” to 20 and you will find you need a 21 1/2” high cabinet door.
A situation you may run into is that you have two cabinet doors covering one wide cabinet opening and meeting in the middle. Calculating this is a little tricky but not bad. You calculate the cabinet door height the same way you did above so you are already half way there!
To find the width of your cabinet doors that will meet in the middle, add 2 times the overlay to the width of the opening. (Just like above). Now, subtract the amount of gap you want between the two doors. You have to have some gap so the cabinet doors can close without rubbing against each other. 1/8” is common but 1/4” may be desired if you need a little extra wiggle room for non-square cabinet openings. Take the number you have now and divide that by two. This should be the width of your new cabinet doors.
Cabinet Door Width = (2 * Overlay + Cabinet Opening Width - Gap)/2
Let’s say with our example opening of 14” x 20” we wanted to cover that with two doors instead of one. Take 2 times 3/4” or 1 1/2” and add the width of 14”. You get 15 1/2”. Let’s use a 1/8” gap. So, subtract 1/8” from 15 1/2” and you have 15 3/8”. Divide 15 3/8” by two and you will find you need 7 11/16” wide cabinet doors.
A note about hinges: There are a lot of different styles of cabinet door hinges out there. While you’re still planning your project find the hinges you want to use in advance. And make sure they have the correct overlay for your new cabinet doors. You may find some hinges you love that you can only find in one overlay. Then, have your cabinet doors made with that overlay. Now is the time to figure all this out.