We use several hinges in our day to day lives without even realizing it. They are in the doors, windows, and cabinets that we use routinely in our homes. Homeowners that wish to replace their current door or repair their existing one may be interested in learning to install or replace door hinges. This guide will take you through the various steps so that you can complete this process easily.
Understanding Which Hinge to Get
Before we get to how to install hinges, you should be aware of the right hinge type for your needs. If you intend to install a lightweight interior or exterior door, butt hinges would be a great choice.
For heavy or wide doors, ball bearing hinges are recommended for their smooth opening and closing action. If you intend to install a screen door or outward swinging door, you should consider spring hinges that swing the door back into its closed position.
The installation process for the three hinge types mentioned above is roughly the same, so this guide should be useful for installing either type.
Installing Door Hinges
Installing your door hinges is a straightforward process. For the sake of this guide, we have broken this down into a simple seven step process.
- Mark Where to Install Your Hinges
The first step is to place your hinges along the side of your door frame and mark where you will install them. Keep in mind that most interior doors require a minimum of two hinges, while other security doors may require three or hinges.
For two-hinge doors, you should set the first hinge approximately 7 inches below the top of the door. For the second hinge, it should be placed approximately 11 inches above the bottom of the door. If you wanted to install a third hinge, it should be set a distance halfway between the top and bottom hinges.
Once you have determined where these spots are, you should mark their location on the frame.
- Trace Your Hinges
To ensure your hinges are positioned correctly, you should trace their shape on both the door and the frame. Set your hinges in place and trace around them using pencil. You can then place your door in the frame and check that the hinge positions on the door and frame line up properly.
If two outlines do not match, you may need to measure the hinge positions again and line them up accordingly. Once the alignment is complete, you can use a utility knife to create a shallow outline. This will help in the next step when you are cutting the mortise.
- Cutting Out the Mortise
Door hinges are typically installed to be flush with the door surface. This is accomplished by cutting out a portion of the door and setting the hinge in the removed space.
Use a hammer and chisel to cut the mortise according to the outline made earlier. This should be a careful process, so make sure you are cutting the wood strips slowly. Remember not to cut the mortise too deep, as this will cause the hinge to be loose when fit in place.
You should then repeat this process for the door frame. If you accidentally cut a mortise that is too deep, you can use wood filler to make up the extra space. However, it is best to avoid this in the first place if possible.
- Mark Your Screw Holes
Next, you should drill holes into the mortise on both the door and the frame. You should mark the location of the holes on the hinges against the wood and double check to ensure they are accurate. Place the hinges into the mortise and use a pencil through the screw holes to mark them.
- Drill Your Hinge Holes
Then use a powered drill or a screwdriver to drill narrow holes into the markings. You can then use a screw guide to ensure the screws remain straight as they are put in place.
- Install Each Hinge
Next, set each hinge back into place and secure them using your screwdriver or drill.
- Set Your Door into the Frame
Once the hinges are installed on both the door and the frame, you can set the door into the frame. Make sure the door hinge and the frame hinges line up comfortably before sliding the hinge pins in between. Try swinging the door to ensure the fit is accurate. If your door is shaky, try checking the screws and ensuring that they are tight.
Replacing Door Hinges
The process for replacing door hinges tends to be easier than installing a brand new hinge. The steps are outlined below.
- Steady the Door
The first step is to open your door wide and expose the hinges. Then you should keep it steady by placing blocks underneath.
- Check Your New Hinges
Next, compare your new hinges against your old ones. They should be identical in size and shape, or they won’t fit into the existing hinge slots.
- Remove Your Old Hinges
You should then unscrew your old hinges starting at the top one. After removing each hinge, you should inspect the quality of the wood underneath.
- Prepare Your Frame and Door
You can then sand down the wood on the spots where you will be installing your hinge.
- Add Your New Hinges
Next, set your new hinges in place and add the screws using a drill or screwdriver. Repeat this process for the second set of hinges.
- Test Your Door
Finally, test opening and closing your door. If the installation process went correctly, the opening and closing action should be smooth.
Where to Purchase High Quality Hinges?
As you can see, installing hinges is a relatively easy process. If you want to purchase high quality hinges, check out Hinge Outlet. We offer a wide variety of hinges, and can help you find the right one for your needs.