Quicklist: Door Hinges
- Butt Hinge
- Flush Hinge
- Ball-Bearing Hinge
- Case Hinge
- Hospital Hinge
- Strap Hinge
- Olive Knuckle Hinge
- HL Hinge
- Pivot Hinge
- Heavy Duty Hinge
- T Hinge
- Double-Action Hinge
- Butterfly Hinge
- Bifold Door Hinge
- Concealed Door Hinge
- Flag Hinge
- Take-Apart Hinge
- Barrel Hinge
- Piano Hinge
- Inset Hinge
- Offset Hinge
- Mortise Hinge
- Bench Seat Hinges
- Scissor Hinges
- Gate Hinges
- Latch Hinges
- Overlay Hinges
- Stop Hinges
- Locking Hinges
Lately, my partner and I have had a lot of trouble sleeping at night. We couldn’t figure out what could possibly be the cause. We were being awoken by something, but no noise loud enough to be identifiable.
However, we quickly learned that the small sound was the gentle squeaking and rattling of the door. The cause? Improper door hinges! We live in an area of the country where the weather changes frequently. This leads to drafts within our home while also impacting our doors. Our doors simply do not open and close as smoothly as they should.
When we started looking for replacement door hinges, we were quickly overwhelmed by the number of options. There are so many different sizes, styles and finishes of hinges.
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Parts of a Hinge
A. Exterior Door Hinges
You might be in search of an exterior door hinge. Some of the qualities that you will want to consider with an exterior door hinge include strength, durability, and its ability to stand up to harsh weather conditions.
In addition, your exterior door hinges are responsible for keeping your house safe from criminals and intruders. If the external door hinges are too weak, they might buckle and break under pressure. Take a look at some of the options for exterior door hinges below.
1. Butt Hinge
One of the most common options for an exterior door hinge is called the butt hinge. These hinges have two identical leaves. One leaf is able to move while the other leaf is fixed in place. The leaves are attached to a curled barrel which gives the door the ability to open.
Butt hinges can support heavier doors such as those made of steel or fiberglass.
There are actually several types of butt hinges. Lift-joint butt hinges are easy to install and remove. A rising butt hinge is meant for rooms in which the floor is uneven. If you have a particularly heavy door, you might want to use a ball-bearing butt hinge. Butt hinges are among the most common hinges used for exterior doors.
2. Flush Hinge
Flush hinges are another common option, particularly in small rooms. These hinges are designed to save space. One of the leaves compresses against the other when the door is closede. Despite their small, compact size, flush hinges are still quite durable. On the other hand, they do not have the strength of butt hinges and will break if the door is too heavy.
3. Ball-Bearing Hinge
A ball-bearing hinge is one of the most durable options on the market. The hinge has been designed to support wide, heavy doors. In this hinge, a ball bearing is placed between two separate knuckles.
The purpose of a ball-bearing hinge is to reduce the friction between the two knuckles which wears down the hinge over time. These are most commonly used for entry doors which tend to be larger and see more use. Finally, a ball bearing hinge will also open and close smoothly, reducing squeaking and friction.
4. Case Hinge
Case hinges have a lot of similarities to butt hinges. They are often used for front doors which tend to be larger, wider and heavier. The biggest difference between case hinges and butt hinges is that case hinges are a bit more stylish, flashy and decorative.
5. Hospital Hinge
If you are looking for a short hinge, hospital hinges are the answer. This hinge is far smaller than a butt hinge and has been designed with small spaces in mind. There is one hinge leaf that is installed against the door frame while the other is attached to the door.
The two leaves come together at a rounded knuckle which allows the door to open and close. The small, compact, functional design makes this hinge great for small spaces.
6. Strap Hinge
The strap hinge is one of the most unique options on the market. They are a short hinge but also have long leaves. Though not the most fashionable, they are one of the more reliable types of hinges.
Anyone who wants to have an exterior door with a one-of-a-kind look should take a look at strap hinges. The longer leaf has been designed to give the door a little bit more support than usual. For this reason, strap hinges are popular for doors that get a lot of use, such as gates and the front door.
7. Olive Knuckle Hinge
The olive knuckle hinge is formed in the shape of an H. When the door is open, the hinge makes an ‘H’ shape. When the door is closed, only the knuckle is visible.
The design of the hinge makes it incredibly versatile and durable.
8. HL Hinge
The HL is simply a bit of a sturdier option to the simple H hinge. The extra key is an extra supporting arm that attaches to the front side of the door you are fastening, which is an extra L shape that attaches to the H.
This is a great option if you’re looking for extra support for a heavy wooden door. There’s also the option of adding hinges on the bottom hinges as well, where the bottom front hinge will be G shape that attaches to the H shape.
9. Pivot Hinge
The pivot hinge has been designed to work with larger doors where it can sometimes be a challenge to keep them aligned with the wall and the floor. The hinge has been designed to pivot when the door opens, helping to keep it in place.
Read all about pivot doors here.
10. Heavy Duty Hinge
The name of this hinge is self-explanatory. The biggest difference between a heavy duty hinge and a typical hinge is that the former is thicker. It is more than a quarter-inch thicker than a typical hinge. In this sense, a heavy duty hinge can be designed to fit the shape and function of any of the other hinge types above by using thicker materials.
A heavy duty hinge is great for a large, heavy door that is used regularly.
11. T Hinge
The T hinge is a combination of a strap and butt hinges. They are most often used for applications where there is a more narrow amount of space, like on frames and posts, shed doors, and sometimes tool chests as well.
The screw holes are staggered along each leaf hinge so as to spread out the load and to protect the wood from splitting. These are most often found on gate doors and give a charming, rustic look to them.
B. Interior Door Hinges
12. Double-Action Door Hinge
This spring-loaded hinge is most commonly found in kitchen and dining rooms. Some other names for it include the café, sway, swing, and saloon door hinge.
Due to the design they allow the door to swing in both directions. There are two cylinders that come together against a square hinge leaf.
13. Butterfly Door Hinge
Butterfly door hinges are aommon on interior doors. Again, this hinge cannot lift or support the tremendous weight of an exterior door. On the other hand, their decorative design makes them popular for interior doors.
The butterfly hinge is appropriate for most home projects. If you’re looking for a new door hinge to a closet, a toy chest, or a kitchen cabinet, there’s a good chance that the butterfly hinge will fit the bill.
14. Bifold Door Hinge
The bifold hinge serves a unique purpose where a hinge with multiple leaves of varying lengths is needed. There are multiple pivots in the hinge that allow the door to move to a greater extent.
15. Concealed Door Hinge
A concealed hinge is meant to be used but not seen. There are two parts to its design: the first is the pivot and the second is the bracket. The hinge is installed against the recess in the door where it is impossible to view from the outside. The pivot allows the door to be opened at a 90-degree angle.
16. Flag Hinge
The flag hinge is commonly found attached to PVC doors. The design of the hinge is unique in that instead of having two hinges that attach to a central knuckle it has one leaf that attaches to a pin.
The hinge is designed to swivel around the pin, giving the hinge a total range of 360 degrees. There are very specific situations where a flag hinge might be needed such as in the rotating doors at malls and airports.
17. Take-Apart Hinge
This hinge has been designed with exactly that purpose in mind. In some cases, people might need to take down a door and move it somewhere else. This is common if someone is moving furniture in or out of a room. If this happens on a frequent basis, a take-apart hinge might be a good idea.
The major advantage of this hinge is that it allows someone to remove their door easily. I actually recently took advantage of these hinges when I removed the door from my child’s room. This hinge is made up of one leaf and a central pin. To take down the door, simply remove the central pin.
18. Barrel Hinge
The barrel hinge is often used for small woodworking projects like cabinets and jewelry boxes.
Barrel hinges are typically made of solid brass, are completely invisible on both sides of the door, yet can still open 180 degrees. Keep in mind they should not be used on load-bearing applications.
19. Piano Hinge
The piano hinge got its name because it was the original application used for both piano lid and piano seat doors. Nowadays they’re typically used for workbenches, desks, cabinet doors and storage boxes.
The hinge, made up of two same-sized leaves connected by a central pin, runs along the entire length of whichever door it is being applied to.
C. Extra Features of Door Hinges
Inset vs. Offset Hinges
20. Inset hinge doors
Inset hinge doors are designed so that the door can fit seamlessly within the frame of the door or cabinet. This way, the door fits flush with the face of the structure when the door is closed.
This also means that the door will require a knob or pull on the front in order to open the door. This is one of the more expensive design features, though gives a very attractive and neat appearance to your space.
21. Offset hinge doors
Offset hinge doors or overlay hinge doors are very similar in appearance, though the door does not lay flush with the frame of the door or cabinet. The overlay door will lay slightly above, removing the neat flush design.
This is a cheaper option and also allows for more storage space within the compartment. It also does not require a knob or a pull, as there is enough space to pull the door away.
22. Mortise Hinge
A mortise is created in a door frame, or the door itself, allowing the hinge to lie flush with the surface of the door.
23. Bench Seat Hinges
Bench seat hinges are used on benches with an extra storage compartment underneath. Some hinges prevent slamming, while others don’t. If you would like to use the storage compartment for toys, it would be best to get hinges that don’t slam to prevent accidents.
Usually, bench seat hinges are made of heavy-duty metal, guaranteeing durability. That also means the hinges can support a heavy lid – sometimes as heavy as 30 lbs. They also have springs, which keep the lid open at an angle. While bench seat hinges are common in homes, they are also commercially used.
24. Scissor Hinges
Scissor hinges are pivoted joints that make it possible for your doors and windows to swing with ease. Most of the scissor hinges you will find on the market only allow rotation in a single direction about a central axis, usually at a predetermined angle.
They work perfectly for heavy doors and windows. You can also use them in other contexts, such as cabinet fronts, tool chests, and hampers. Notably, you must apply pressure for scissor hinges to snap back once they are open.
25. Gate Hinges
The name gives it away – gate hinges are commonly used to connect gates to a post or wall. Like all hinges, gate hinges allow a limited angle of rotation.
Their only difference from standard hinges is that they are specifically designed for gates. That means they are shorter and thicker than conventional hinges. Others might have more leafs than normal hinges.
During installation, the leafs connect to both the gate and the post or wall. Most of them come with precut holes, so all you need to do is drive bolts or screws through them to keep the leafs in place.
Gate hinges come in different types, but stainless steel is the most popular choice. That’s because of its resistance to rusting even upon exposure to rain and humidity.
26. Latch Hinges
Latch hinges include a combination of a hinge and a latch. Some have a spring release, while others don’t. Besides, some latch hinges have a single handle spring handle, while others have a pair.
These spring handles pull towards the center to release the door or window. Usually, latch hinges are installed using screws, rivets, or welding. Latch hinges have minimum end play and side play to ensure smooth operation.
27. Overlay Hinges
Overlay hinges are commonly used in cabinets. It could either be a partial overlay or a full overlay. In the case of a full overlay, the door covers the whole cabinet opening when closed.
A full overlay hinge has a completely straight arm for a greater offset. On the other hand, a partial overlay means that a part of the cabinet remains exposed when the door is closed.
28. Stop Hinges
Stop hinges come in handy for situations where the range of motion of the lid or door needs to be stopped at a specific angle. For instance, you could install stop hinges to prevent doors and lids from damaging nearby walls when they fly open.
They are common in medicine cabinets, tool boxes, and electric switch boxes. You can either get an outside stop hinge or an inside stop hinge. The former goes on the outside of a door and operates from a flat, open-angle.
On the other hand, inside stop hinges are mounted inside the door. They operate from a closed position, moving towards the open position. They stop at a specific angle.
29. Locking Hinges
Locking hinges are meant to enhance security in your home’s doors. They make the doors open outwards. They have features like non-removable pins and security tabs. They are also designed to make it impossible for other people to break in.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Door Hinges Made Out Of?
Door hinges can be made out of a variety of materials. Some of the most common materials include brass, copper and steel. One of the strongest materials is residential-grade steel, which is meant to stand up to the wear and tear that comes with routine use.
In addition, the hinges can often be finished with a plate of your choice. This means that people have the ability to customize a door hinge to meet their needs.
Hinges can also be decorated with ornamentation to meet the style of a given room. For most applications, residential-grade steel is a good choice for door hinges.
What Size Door Hinge is Right for my Door?
In general, most homes are going to use the standard-sized hinge. This is a hinge that measures 3.5 inches by 3.5 inches. Measurements of door hinges are taken from the bottom edge of the hinge up to the top edge of the hinge.
Then, the other measurement is taken from the outside edge of the hinge to the inside when the hinge is open. Those who are looking for exterior door hinges usually need a four-inch hinge; however, this is not always the case.
What is the Radius of the Replacement Door Hinges I Need?
The radius of the door hinges is going to vary. In general, the 5/8-inch radius is most common; however, a quarter-inch radius is not far behind. In order for you to determine the radius of door hinge you need, follow these instructions.
First, place a quarter at the corner of the door hinge. If the radius of the quarter matches that of the door hinge, this is a 5/8-inch radius. If you do this same technique with a dime and this is a closer approximation, this is a quarter-inch radius.
If your hinges are a square shape, there is only one size and there is no need to take a measurement.
What Do I Get When I Order a Door Hinge?
What comes with a door hinge order will vary slightly from place to place; however, most door hinges are sold in pairs. Along with the pair of door hinges, there will also be mounting screws and/or a hinge pin if necessary.
In some cases, it is possible to order door hinges individually; however, door hinges typically come in pairs.
How Many Door Hinges Do I Need?
This is one of the most common questions about door hinges. To answer this question, simply take a look at the existing door and count the number of hinges that are present.
In general, doors require three hinges; however, this is far from universal. Interior doors will typically require three separate 3.5-inch hinges.
On the other hand, an exterior door is going to require three separate four-inch hinges. In some cases, you might be looking for hinges that are going to go on a set of brand new doors.
If you have questions about the number of hinges for new doors, talk to the company that is making the doors. They should be able to answer this question for you.
How are door hinges measured?
Door hinges are measured according to width when it is fully opened, height and thickness. The average door hinges measure 3.5 inches x 3.5 inches.
However, they do vary in all aspects of measurement. To properly measure a door hinge, you need to remove it from the door and measure the height, width and hinge radius. The radius is either 1/4-inch or 5/8-inch.
After laying the hinge flat, take a dime and a quarter, and place the coin inside the squared corner. This will determine the thickness. A dime indicates 1/4 inch, and a quarter represents 5/8 inch.
Are there wheels in door hinges?
Yes and no. According to woodworingskills.com door hinges are simple machines with both an axle and a wheel.
The axle is responsible for rotation, which facilitates the opening and closing of the door. The wheel’s job is to make sure that everything moves with precision.
What size of screws for door hinges?
The size of screws you use depends on the hinges and the door. The common hinge screw has 15 to 20 threads per inch. Screws that accompany doors are 3/4-inch, but this depends on the thickness of the material on the door.
If you are putting new hinges in a used door, you need to use longer screws. Most of the time, the screws are stripped. By using larger and sometimes larger screws, you are able to create a flawless fit.
Most pre-hung doors have one-inch screws and a strike plate. However, a no. 8 or no. 10 screw should suffice.
Why do door hinges squeak? What to use on squeaky door hinges?
Hinges squeak when dirt or grime gets into the crevices, causing friction. Friction happens when the hinges lack lubrication. Oil or a suitable lubricant can eliminate friction and squeaky noise.
Can you paint the door hinges?
Yes, door hinges can be painted, but most people do not recommend doing so, as it may ruin the mechanism of the hinges, and give them a shorter life span.
However, you can buy hinges containing a primer coat, which you can paint. It will not ruin the integrity of the hinges.
Can you spray paint the door hinges?
Yes, you can, but it needs to be a suitable metal-based paint, that will not damage your hinges. You cannot use regular paint to spray paint your door hinges.
Are door hinges universal?
No, door hinges are not universal. Doors open and close differently. Some doors are lightweight and require the installation of light-duty hinges.
Doors that are large and heavy require the installation of heavy-duty hinges, to uphold the weight of the door frame and the door.
Are door hinges recyclable?
Yes. You can reuse them to hang doors that fit the hinges, you can place them in metal recyclable bins, or you can donate them to a non-profit organization, like habitat for humanity.
You can create a DIY project and use the hinges to create small doors if you like woodworking.
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