How to align kitchen cabinet doors

The Euro style hangs on a reader’s kitchen cabinet doors. (Reader photo)

Question: In my 80s kitchen, some cabinet doors are lined up at the lower edge, but are not vertically flush at the bottom. The gap is small, only 1/8 of an inch. I tried tightening and loosening the screws with no success. Maybe I’m doing it wrong

– Alexandria

Answer: It can be seen from the picture you sent that your cabinets have what are known as Euro-style hinges. The part attached to the door fits into a cup-shaped hole, and the arm attached to the cabinet has screws that allow the door to move up or down, in and out. Each manufacturer’s design is slightly different, but usually the screw or screws that mismatch with the link arm move the door up and down, while screws that line up with the arm move the door both inward and sideways.

Since the bottom edges of the doors in your cabinets are already aligned horizontally, first adjust the screw that matches the connecting arm and protrudes the furthest into the cabinet. Some hinges are designed so that when you turn this screw clockwise or counterclockwise, the door moves in or out. Other hinges require loosening the screw, knocking the door in or out, and then tightening the screw again. First adjust the bottom hinge only. If that doesn’t work, adjust the top and bottom hinges at the same time. However, work with a helper who can support the door while you play around with the screws.

If the doors are still uneven, adjust the other screw to line up with the arm. This screw normally controls the horizontal adjustment. However, you can also use them to compensate for the cabinet not being plumb if you move a door a little to the right at the bottom and the counter flap a little to the left. Turning the screw clockwise will normally move the door to the right, and turning it counterclockwise will move the door to the left. If you thought adjustment meant loosening and then tightening, you may have made a mistake. You may have canceled any changes you made.

If that doesn’t work, add plastic bumpers (available at home centers and hardware stores) near the bottom of the doors that are closest to the cabinets. When the bumpers prevent these doors from closing completely, you get the neat look you are looking for.

Question: Someone who should remain nameless, heated food wrapped in aluminum foil on the black glass / ceramic hob of my new oven. Foil stains are now sticking to the hob. How can I remove the foil?

– Vienna

Answer: Ted Wegert, Technical Director at Schott North America, a leading manufacturer of hob glass, suggests using a hob cleaner and razor while keeping the blade as flat to the surface as possible. If that removes much of the film over time and extra cleanings, you may be able to remove even more.

When asked if various other remedial measures suggested in Internet posts might work, Wegert asked a Schott crew to burn a piece of foil into a piece of cooktop glass and try other methods. Nothing attacked the foil or dissolved it better than the razor and cleaner. “Probably more damage and not suggested for the kitchen,” he wrote in a follow-up email.

If the scraping technique works, consider yourself lucky. Wegert said if foil is left on a very hot cooktop, “it is generally a catastrophic mistake – a 90 percent chance it will be toast.” The soft aluminum rolled in thin foil melts, and if this molten film remains on the glass as it cools, the two materials combine. The bond is stronger than the bonds in the glass. So if you try to scrape off the foil, small pieces of the glass ceramic will come with it. “You can feel the pits with your fingers,” said Wegert. Foil that sticks to a hob that is not so hot can peel off more easily and without damaging the glass.

Once divots have formed, there is no way to smooth the glass again. But as long as the glass isn’t cracked, you can safely continue to use the hob, Wegert said. If you think it’s too ugly, call the manufacturer and ask if it is possible to just replace the glass. Or get yourself a nice teapot and park it where it covers the damage.

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