Bathroom & Kitchen Guide

Your complete guide to remodeling, design and new products.


Glass Door Panels on Kitchen Cabinets
Glass panels are worth a closer look

Gleaming glass panel doors on kitchen cabinets, a trend in the 1990s have made a remarkable comeback.  Homeowners realize glass panels do not have to be your grandmother’s kitchen cabinets since they can now incorporate more style variations into glass front cabinets.  They can easily install new pre-assembled glass panels or opt for a do it yourself project.  Most people opt for ready to go glass panels for their kitchen cabinets.  

Glass panes in doors of kitchen cabinets can change the look of not only your cabinets, but your entire kitchen. Glass panes Glass panels will allow for visual depth and for the display of showy kitchen utensils, dinnerware, or collectables. Best of all, if you are handy with a gig saw, you can complete this cabinet alteration in a weekend with substantial savings.  The vast majority of homeowners choose to install already completed cabinets with the glass panels.  Some doors come in ready to assemble form.  

You can choose plain glass panels, etched glass for sophistication, colored glass for privacy or leaded stained glass for a touch of old world class.

Clear glass panels add visual space to a small galley type kitchens since they bounce light all around the room.   

If you want to do the project yourself, get ready to do a little bit of work.   Inserting glass doors into traditional kitchen cabinets requires a few necessary steps.  

Use a router to cut out the lip that holds the glass into the frame.  

Next, you must remove the panel, and replace it with the glass of your choice. Routers may be rented if you do not own one.  Make sure the router has the proper straight bit for the project.

Remove the doors from the kitchen cabinet frame by unscrewing the hinges from the doors.  Leave the hinges attached to the frame for easy replacement.

Pre-planning for glass panel door installation

There are several types of door construction types in kitchen cabinets.
Insert is the most common.  The edges of the door are fitted around a panel.
Loose panels allow for contraction and expansion by cushioning a piece of foam rubber.
Floating panels have no cushioning
Plywood panels have easy to pop out panels.
Remove all brads, staples and clips before routing.

Measure each one of the openings before ordering your glass.  Opening sizes may be different.  You may have to order different sizes for each kitchen cabinet door.  

Stained glass
Stained glass appliqué on kitchen cabinet doors

You can turn your existing plain-pane cabinet doors into expensive-looking accents with a stained-glass appliqué kit for a touch of old world. It uses translucent colorant that adheres to the glass and simulates the stained-glass look.

The kit comes with several patterns whose elements can be combined to suit your creativity. Application is simple: create the pattern, add lead beading on the glass, and color in the areas of the pattern.

Minimal steps for installing glass in kitchen cabinets
You should have a screwdriver, some silicone caulk and a router for your basic tools.

Working from the rear of the kitchen cabinet door, set the router to the depth of the inset panel and rout out the lip on the rear of the door. Drop the wood panel out of the door. Measure the length and width of the panel recess and order glass to fit.

Run a bead of clear silicone caulk on the lip of the panel recess and set the glass in place. The caulk will help eliminate rattling. Predrill holes in the door stiles and rails at 8-inch intervals and screw mirror clips to hold the glass in place.

Glass-fronted kitchen cabinets are being seen in more and more in new kitchens.  They tend to give kitchen design a traditional country ambiance. The upper cabinets with simple flat-faced glass panel doors and open shelves mimic features of a Shaker Country kitchen with clean design lines keep the eye moving.
Having clear glass doors means that the cabinets have to be neat and if that doesn’t suit you, consider switching to etched or colored glass instead.  


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