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Will Two Hinges on a Door be Enough or Should I Use Three Hinges?

Here's a detailed guide on the number of hinges you should be using on a door. Check out the factors that affect the use of hinge and see how you can install it properly.

Close-up of a wooden door with two hinges.

Unless you have a really small door, such as a cupboard or a super light one, two hinges on a door are never enough. The average door is 80 inches high and approximately 36 inches in width. Therefore three hinges are typically the right number and if the door is between 90 and 120 inches high, four hinges will suffice.

It’s important to note that hinges are not one size fits all. Different doors and uses call for different types and hinge sizes. Two main factors to consider when buying hinges are the door’s thickness and width.

The thicker and wider the door gets, the higher the inches of the hinge up to five and six-inch commercial grade.

You can install or replace hinges of any skill level with ease, but locating the proper one can be a little more difficult. Conserve time & expense by learning how to identify the right hinge for the task.

Type of Hinge and Purpose

Door hinges in different types and colors.

Depending on where the hinge goes, you’ll need a specific style of hinge.

  • Inside and outside doors are supported by door hinges.
  • Large swinging doors and gates commonly use a strap or T-strap hinges.
  • Self-closing doors like garages and screens benefit from spring hinges.
  • Shutters, chests, cabinets, and folding shelves are just some of the many uses for specialty hinges.
  • To attach the two sections, a piano or continuous hinge is used.
  • In cabinetry, barrel hinges are a typical feature. They’re hidden and can be opened all the way around.

For heavy-duty uses, commercial-grade hinges, particularly mortise hinges, are made of heavier gauge metal. Since they’re fitted into a carved or cut-out portion of the door frame, mortise hinges can be positioned flush against a jamb. 

When it comes to compact and lightweight applications, non-Mortise hinges tend to be more popular. They’re fast and straightforward to install because there’s no need to cut off the jamb of the two surfaces.

You should utilize a non-removable pin if additional door security is required. Pins that can be removed for moving furniture or appliances make door removal a breeze.

Use one hinge for every 30 inches of the door, as a general rule:

  • Two hinges are required for doors larger than 60 inches.
  • Three hinges are required for doors above 60 inches, but not over 90 inches.
  • The number of hinges required for a door exceeding 90 inches but under 120 inches is four.

You Can Measure the Hinge Radius Using Coins

A 5/8-inch radius is equal to the outside curve of a 25-cent coin (a quarter).

An outside curvature of the hinge corner with a 1/4-inch radius can be measured using a dime (ten-cent coin).

Material and Finish of the Hinge

Stainless steel hinge fitted on an aluminum door panel.

Once you’ve decided on the type of hinges you’ll require, the next step is to design the hinge. However, the design of the hinges can either improve or detract from a room’s overall aesthetic. To ensure that your hinge has a professional appearance, you should pay attention to the finish and metal it is made from.

Applying a bright brass or glossy chrome hinge to a plain door can make it stand out and look like a completely new door. On the contrary, a bright cupboard would benefit from a more modest finish that blends in with the door’s color scheme.

Zinc, white, prime coat, nickel, chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, brass, stainless steel, and steel, are among the materials and finishes available.

Loose door

Look up at the top of any door that appears to be sagging or hanging unevenly, and you’ll see that it always begins that way. The upper part of the doorknob begins to catch the door. This is why you need to set the hinges on the higher end of a door; gravity works this way.

How to Position Your Door’s Hinges

Hands installing hinge on the door with screwdriver.

The top hinge must be five inches from the top of the door, while the base hinge has to be ten inches from the bottom of the door. Only using two hinges on a hollow-core, the lightweight door is an option in some cases.

For solid-core or external doors, you must use at least three hinges at the very least. Before you begin marking the location for your hinges, it’s a good idea to fit and trim the door.

How to Estimate the Number of Door Hinges You’ll Need

Carpenter measuring the width of the door.

To help you figure out how many hinges the door needs, here is a guide:

  • You’ll need two hinges if the door is at least 60″ wide.
  • Three hinges are required if your door is 60-90 inches in width.
  • You will need four hinges if your door is between 90″ and 120″.

Size of the doorway

An additional hinge can be used if your door is broader than 37 inches or reaches 48 inches. Due to the door’s increased width, it will put more strain and weight on the frame, which will be alleviated by the second hinge.

How to Mark the Location to Position the Hinge

Carpenter marking the location of hinge using a pencil.

After you’ve measured the door with a ruler or a tape measure, draw 10 inches from the base with a pencil. To achieve this, set your hinge on top of the door, ensuring sure that its bottom matches the pencil mark.

Another mark can be made on the door by using the center screw hole of your hinge. Trace the hinge’s pattern with your pencil so that you can easily mortise it afterward. Take a ruler and measure 5 inches from the top of the door.

To attach the top hinge to the door, align the upper edge with the mark you drew. Use the middle screw hole to outline the hinge on your door again. Measurement is complete if you intend to use only hinges.

Divide the total distance between the top and bottom marks of the screw hole by two to get the answer. Your halfway point is now marked on your screw hole marking template. The third hinge should be placed on the door’s side so that the third mark can be centered in the middle hole and traced.