How to install glass panels in cabinet doors

Upgrading your kitchen or bathroom with glass-paneled cabinet doors instead of standard wood-paneled doors is an excellent way to bring elegance and aesthetic appeal to the overall style of your home. If you choose to use transparent glass panels, they may even save you time when searching for the right dish or pan in the kitchen.

Although some homeowners may choose to complete the project on their own, it's always important to first plan the project out to determine if your skills and experience can effectively apply to the project. If you're hesitant about replacing your cabinet doors on your own, consult a local custom glass company or cabinet contractor in your area to avoid damage to your cabinets and ensure proper installation.

If you aren't sure whether you are capable of approaching the project on your own, consider the following step-by-step process involved in replacing wood-paneled cabinet doors with glass-panel inserts:

1. Determine your cabinet type
Your cabinet doors can have a significant impact on how you should approach the project.

Cabinet doors that feature a panel insert, whether the doors have raised panel frames or a flush panel frame are ideal for the project, because they make it easier to replace and add depth to the final product.  Cabinet doors that are completely solid are not ideal candidates.

Regardless of the type of cabinets you have, approach the project with caution and sound judgment – tampering with or mistakenly damaging your cabinet door can be an expensive mistake.

2. Remove the existing wood inserts or panels
Unscrew the doors from your cabinet, leaving the hinges in place on the frame. After removing the doors, measure the inside of the panel around the lip located on the back of the center wood panel on the frame of your panel door.

From here, use a router to cut through the center wood panel, while avoiding the lip that the panel rests upon. Then, cut all the way around the lip of the door frame and pop the center panel out of place.

3. Purchase custom glass panel inserts
To truly upgrade the style of your kitchen, have your glass custom made by a professional glass and mirror company. Supply the company with the exact measurements of the glass you need, including height, width and thickness.

Many professional glass and mirror companies provide homeowners with the option of choosing from a variety of different styles of glass as well, including mirrored glass, frosted glass, tinted glass, etched glass, tempered glass, beveled glass, stained glass and more.

4. Install the new glass panels
Once you’ve received your custom glass panel inserts, it's time to install them into your cabinet doors. Use a clear silicone caulk applied around the lip of the door frame to ensure that the glass panels stay secure and avoid a rattling effect. From there, simply put the glass in place and wait for the caulk to fully dry for optimum mounting.

For a more secure setting, install glass brackets or mirror clips (they can be purchased from glass and mirror companies and most hardware stores).

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