Hinges play a crucial role in our day-to-day lives. They enable objects such as doors, gates, and windows to open and close easily. If you are planning to install a set of hinges in your home or elsewhere, you will need to choose the right ones for the job.
First-time hinge purchasers often have many questions about the hinge selection process. After all, hinges come in different types and sizes. To make this selection process easier, we have compiled a list of 5 things to keep in mind when choosing a hinge.
The first thing to consider when choosing a hinge is the environment it will be placed in. A hinge that will be installed on an outdoor gate should be able to withstand the elements. This is especially important if you live in a region with high humidity.
An outdoor-friendly hinge is typically made of rust-resistant material such as stainless steel, or is painted over to keep rust away. Some outdoor hinges also come coated in a weather-resistant compound such as WeatherGuard.
If your hinge is to be installed in an indoor space, you won’t need to worry about the weather causing rust in the short-run. In this case, you can go for any hinge material you prefer.
Next you should consider the hinge type you require. Hinges come in many different forms. This includes:
- Butt Hinges
- Concealed Hinges
- ⅝ Square Corner Hinges
- Spring-Loaded Hinges
- Piano Hinges
- Weld-On Hinges
- Offset Hinges
Butt hinges are one of the most commonly used hinge types used today. They feature two rectangular hinge “leaves” on either side. One of these is fixed to the stationary door or cabinet frame, while the other is fixed to the swinging door or cabinet itself.
Many butt hinges include ball bearings in their knuckle portion. These ensure smoother and quieter opening and closing action
Concealed hinges or European style hinges typically lie flush with the door or cabinet they are attached to. This design helps mask the hinge, thereby “concealing” them from view in the closed position. These are perfect hinges for cabinets and interior doors.
⅝ Square Corner Hinges
⅝ Square Corner hinges or “blind” corner hinges are special hinge types that are used for residential entry doors. They sit flush with the surface they are attached to, and are typically installed internally.
Spring-loaded hinges are hinges that contain a special spring that helps close the door they are attached to. They are also known as self-closing hinges. You can use these hinges for doors you wish to keep closed at all times, except when entering or exiting.
A piano hinge is a continuous hinge with a central pin. Such hinges are usually rectangular in shape, and are great for lockers, toolboxes, and passageway doors.
Weld-on hinges are a special type of hinge that are installed through welding. This is in contrast to other hinge types that are installed using screws. Weld-on hinges are especially useful for door or cabinet materials you cannot drill holes through. This makes them ideal for metal doors or metal walls.
Offset hinges allow you to widen a doorway without making any significant modifications. The hinge essentially moves the door away from the opening, giving it a gap of a couple of inches. Such hinges are useful for doorways that need to accommodate wide objects such as wheelchairs passing through.
Most hinge types are installed using screws through their holes. The only exception to this is weld-on hinges.
When choosing the right hinge for your needs, you should consider how many holes it contains. Many hinges feature four holes, which allow you to install them fairly easily. However, you may require a more secure and resilient type of hinge that features more holes.
4. Hinge Finish
All hinges come with a certain type of finish. This is important to consider as the hinge finish may affect your cabinet or doorway’s appearance in certain cases.
Finish is less important for concealed hinges, as they are meant to be hidden from view. Other non-concealed hinge types may be partially visible when opening or closing.
Many homeowners choose hinges that match the door or cabinet they are attached to. Others may go for bold finishes such as silver or gold. Such finishes draw attention and can spruce up the appearance of an otherwise ordinary-looking door.
As we mentioned earlier, the material a hinge is made from can affect its weather durability. However, it can also affect its strength and resilience in other situations. Some common hinge materials include:
Stainless steel is both strong and durable. Steel’s strength can be attributed to it being an alloy composed of iron, carbon, and other elements. This material is also cheap, which makes it a popular choice for hinges.
Brass is another popular hinge material. It is rust resistant and features a high quality appearance that maintains its finish for many years. Many decorative hinges are made from brass for this reason.
Aluminum lacks the strength of steel. However, it tends to be much lighter. This makes it great for applications where multiple hinges are installed. Aluminum is also rust-resistant, which means it works well in outdoor settings.
Bronze hinges offer strength and are also highly ductile. They offer great protection against corrosion and can withstand frictional forces without corroding. Bronze hinges are great for outdoor gates, cabin lockers, and for a variety of marine applications.
Where to Find High Quality Hinges?
As you can see, there are plenty of things to keep in mind when choosing the perfect hinge for your doors or cabinets. If you are interested in finding reliable high-quality hinges for your home, check out Hinge Outlet. We offer a wide variety of hinge types and materials at our online store.
Our experts can also guide you with choosing the right hinge for your needs. Please get in touch with us to learn more about our selection of hinges.