If you’re looking to redo your own cabinets or replace your existing hinges, one of the most important pieces of information you’ll need to have is the door and drawer front overlay. This gets you the information to find the right kind of hinge to hang the door. These tips will work with Euro or also referred to as concealed hinges and also decorative or exposed barrel hinges.

What exactly is overlay?

The overlay is how much the cabinet door or drawer front extends over the frame of the cabinet. The most common type of overlay application is ½”. However, with the euro style hinge, or concealed hinges, you can mix and match different hinges and plates to create a wide variety of overlay sizes.

Measuring the Overlay

  1. All that’s needed for this is a tape measure and a pencil. Facing the closed cabinet, mark where the door overlaps the frame on the hinge side.
  2. Open or remove the door and measure from the mark to the cabinet opening. This will be the overlay distance. This is the overlay you will also use on drawer fronts.

Full Overlay vs Half Overlay: What’s the difference?

Full overlay only means that the door covers the frame of the cabinet completely, with very little gaps or spaces between the doors. This type of overlay gives the space a more modern, custom feel. Half overlay, or standard overlay, leaves more of the frame showing between doors or edges. It’s the most commonly used in the industry and gives the space a standard, traditional look.


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