If you live in a house with a lot of people you probably have experienced cabinets constantly slamming shut. It can be very annoying, especially if you are trying to concentrate on work, watching a movie, or my favorite, taking a nap.
So short of kicking everyone out of the house, what can you do to solve this without spending a fortune?
If you are looking for a real solution to this problem or simply want to upgrade your older cabinets, the most cost-effective way to solve this issue is to retrofit your cabinets with soft close adapters. The ones I installed are made by a company called Blumotion.
Let me back up a minute and explain how I initially got this idea in my head. What peaked my interest was that I was watching one of the home renovation shows on HGTV and they were installing some of those high end soft close hinges on older cabinets. I had heard of soft close built-in hardware before, but seeing them in action made me want those for my cabinets. I had no idea how much they cost though. Turns out, it was more than I wanted to pay. They may have a large budge from home improvements on those TV shows, but I do not.
After looking around on Amazon for some of those hinges, I soon discovered that it was not really an option for me because of the cost. Some of the better quality soft close hinges cost upward of $20 a piece, and at two hinges per cabinet door times roughly 15 – 20 cabinets, that got really expensive very quickly. In fact, the cheapest ones I found were a pair for $25. I am not really sure what they meant by pairs though.
Now that I think about it, you could probably get away with simply installing one soft close hinge on each cabinet door and keep the old hinge on the lower half of the door in place. The door would really only need the one dampener in place to work. But even with that, the cost was still more than I had originally planned on spending. Honestly, if I were going that deep into my pocket, I would rather get brand new cabinets with that type of hardware already included rather than retrofitting my current, less than high end looking cabinets.
DIY Project - How to Make Cabinets Soft Close
The design is simple. It consists of a dampening system that compresses slowly when the weight of the door presses on it as it closes. The entire process is completely silent and very fluid. Honestly, you will be amazed at how well these things work once you get them installed. From the reviews, and my own experience, they will work with most cabinet door types, although if you have paper thin ones with very little weight to them, you might have an issue because the dampening system compresses from the weight of the door, not the momentum from you closing the door.
Each adapter comes with a screw to drive into the corner of the cabinet to hold it in place. A screw on the bottom of the adapter allows you to adjust the dampening system so that your cabinet door properly closes all of the way.
Amazon Price: $67.50 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 23, 2015)
The only thing you need for the installation process is a power drill. If you are worried about splitting the wood, use a small drill bit to drill a tiny starter hole for the screw. If your drill is too fat to fit that close into the corner to drive the screw, you may need a flexible drill bit. That is simple a drill bit that flexes one way or the other so you can almost drill around a corner. However, I did not use one and it turned out fine. Your cabinets or drill may be different, so use your best judgement. Either way, it is not a big issue.
The installation process took about two or three minutes per adapter, so the first five that I bought took a total of 10 – 15 minutes to install total. Each adapter did require adjusting by turning the screw on the bottom of the adapter and then testing the door to make sure it closed all the way. It was not a difficult process and I was able to get a good result with only one attempt at trial and error.
I was very impressed with the result. The cabinets close very slowly and are very smooth. I liked them so much that I ordered another 10 pack to finish off the majority of my other cabinets ( I skipped the ones up really high).
Amazon Price: $19.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 23, 2015)
So if you want a really cheap and easy way to upgrade your kitchen cabinets and provide some peace of mind (and not be jarred from naps on the couch), these type of soft close adapters are really good, affordable options. If fact, they work so well, you can sling your door fairly hard but the dampener will catch it and softly close it without a sound.
You can pay more to get replacement soft close hinges (not adapters) that I mentioned in the beginning, but these adapters will do the job and are virtually invisible. However, if you would prefer the actually built-in hinges for a more polished look, the same company sells those too.
If you have a large amount of cabinets, they also sell a 25 pack of the adapters and I recommend that option because they are cheaper per hinge than the five pack or ten pack options. These are worth the cost, are easy to install and I recommend them highly as an affordable solution to slamming cabinet doors.