Hinge Resource Library
There is no denying that hinges are an integral part of any door frame. They are used as a way to connect your door to the frame you have chosen and act as a pivot point that allows you to move the door in a fixed rotation axis. Though the hardware concept is uncomplicated and easy to understand, the types of hinges you use for your doors make all the difference in the world.
Whether you are hanging a new door for your remodeled home or are looking to replace your old one, selecting the right type of hinge is just as crucial as picking out the choice of your door's lockset and knob. In this comprehensive and trusty guide, we provide you with all the necessary information you need to make an informed decision.
Understanding the Anatomy of Door Hinges
Before selecting the types of hinges for your doors, it is important to understand the different components that allow your door to open and close. Having a grasp of what each part does and the purpose it performs will be useful to make the right decision for your door frame.
The pin is responsible for holding and interlocking the metal leaves of the hinge together. It usually comes in a cylindrical, rod-like shape and is inserted into the hollow opening of the knuckle. The protruding ridges of the hinge leaf are made to fit within the knuckle's hollow structure. Therefore, the pin is used to interlock the different leaves together securely.
The knuckle is a hollow, cylindrical tube located in the center of the hinge. While it may look like a separate part, it is created when the protruding ridges of the hinge leaves are interlocked and joined together, making the knuckle.
It usually comes in rectangular-shaped, moving plates, securely attached to the frame or door, and rotates with the workpiece connected. The leaf is designed and constructed with holes, where fasteners or screws are driven into these pits to connect them with the workpiece's surface.
How Much Weight Can Hinges for Doors Withstand?
Hinges can be classified into two categories –residential hinges and commercial hinges, and the part you select will depend on the purpose, setting, and frequency of use. Therefore, the weight of the doors that hinges can support will depend on these factors. For instance, standard hinges will suffice for residential doors due to their lower use frequency and lighter weight doors. In contrast, commercial doors in hospitals, shopping malls, and schools will require heavy-duty ball bearing and anti-friction bearing hinges to function properly due to the heavier weight of their doors and higher frequency of use.
To determine the ideal weight capacity your door hinge can support, you will need to consider the door's weight alongside the frequency of use. A door used over 25 times a day is regarded as high frequency, while a door used under 10 times a day is low frequency, and anything in between is considered moderate frequency. You can estimate the weight (in pounds) by multiplying the size (L x W x D) in square feet and the pounds per square foot (depending on the type of wood your door is made of and the thickness of your door). However, it is worth noting that this is just a rough estimate and does not consider any additional hardware. We recommend asking your manufacturer or supplier for more advice.
Popular Types of Door Hinges
Ball Bearing Door Hinges – One of the most commonly used heavy-duty hinges. You could buy ball-bearing hinges for business and residential use. The ball bearings are placed in the hinge knuckle to reduce friction.
Double Acting Spring Hinges – This incorporates springs that allow you to close and open a door in both ways. Also known as Bommer double action spring hinges or double-acting barrel hinges, they are brought for commercial businesses such as cafés and saloons that utilize swinging doors.
Magnetic Strap Hinges – Strap hinges usually have long leaves that securely screw the door into the gate. Also known as a magnetic garage door hinge, it instead uses magnetic force to securely adhere the door to the gate.
Plain-Bearing Hinges – Weight-bearing hinges come without anti-friction and ball bearings. Due to their affordability, they are suitable for residential doors but can produce a squeaking noise over time.
Stainless Steel Hinges – Ideal for outdoor uses due to its durability to stand up to moisture and corrosion. They are also known as spring-loaded stainless steel hinges or marine stainless hinges.
Gate Hinges – Gate hinges are usually ornate and decorative, which come in various types such as wood, vinyl, and metal. These require specific door hinges that complement the materials, but as a general rule, you will want to look for high resistance towards corrosion and rust to withstand the elements. Heavy-duty stainless steel and rod iron gate hinges are some good options.
Security Hinges – These types of hinges have non-removable pins (NRP) in the knuckle to provide added security.Security hinges also usually incorporate an alarm in the door to prevent burglary or break-ins.
Spring Hinges – Also known as self-closing hinges, they comprise single-acting or double-acting springs that work to close the door automatically when it is in an open position.Spring hinges are common in the doors in garages leading into homes as a security measure. They are also available in heavy duty sizes for Commercialapplications.
Wide Throw Hinges – The width in wide throw hinges is greater than the height and is used when more clearance than usual is needed behind the door when you open it beyond 180 degrees. You could buy wide throw butt hinges if you have doors that require more space fit to specific wall conditions and trims in commercial settings. They can be set in a wide door jam or kept flat when it is opened.
Weld-On Hinges – As these hinges are meant to be welded to a gate directly or any metal workpieces, they usually have no holes in them and will not require tools or fasteners for the hinges to hold the doors. Instead, the stainless steel weld-on or aluminum weld-on hinges are connected to the other workpiece or metal surface through a solid seal to optimize material durability.
Parliament Door Hinges – These are another iteration of the wide throw hinges. You can buy parliament door hinges for the doors, shutters, and windows in any official government building. The hinge comes in an "H" shape that allows the door to be set in a wide jam that lays flat while swinging beyond the wall's trim.
Pivot Door Hinges – You could buy these heavy-duty pivot door hinges if you require them for commercial settings. These are ideal for high-traffic locations that will have high-frequency door use. Therefore, they can support heavier doors than the standard hinges as they are fitted on the top of the frame and in the floor while being supported with the bottom leg to reduce excessive pressure on the structure.
How Do You Know Which Door Hinges to Get?
Before purchasing a door hinge for your door, you will need to understand the different sizes of hinges available and various types of hinges suitable for the respective exterior and interior doors. One easy way to start and gauge which type you will need is to take note of the type and size of hinges your existing doors use.
You can first estimate the size of the hinge by measuring from side to side and then top to bottom. Then, you can determine the type of corner your door hinge has by measuring the radius. For this, you can use a quarter which will fit into a ¼" radius of a square corner, while the dime will fit into a 5/8" radius, with more of a rounded corner.
Next, you will need to understand the hole patterns found in the different types of exterior and interior doors so that you will have the correct screws and fasteners. For residential applications, exterior doors such as entry doors, garage doors, and backyard doors will tend to have holes on the leaves that form a zig-zag pattern.
On the other hand, interior doors that include the bedroom, bathroom, closet, and basement will have an arch-hole formation. Understanding these patterns and types of radius corners of your door hinge is key to helping the store associate from your home depot or hinge supply store point you in the correct direction.
How Many Door Hinges Do You need?
The number of door hinges you will need, relies on the material, type of door (exterior or interior), and the setting in which it will be used. For example, heavier-duty doors with a solid-core exterior will usually require three hinges or more, while lighter-weight doors with a more hollow core may only require two hinges. Therefore, it is wise to do all the trimming and fitting work before indicating all the connection points of the hinges to get an accurate idea of the number of door hingesyou will need.
As a point of reference, these are the number of hinges you will need for the following measurements of doors:
- Doors measuring up to 60" will require at least two hinges
- Doors measuring up to 80" will require at least three hinges
- Doors measuring up to 90" will require at least four hinges
- Doors measuring up to 110" will need at least five hinges
- Doors measuring more than 110" will need at least six hinges
How Do You Install Door Hinges?
The door's stability is determined by the placement of the door hinges. As a rule of thumb, the first hinge should be placed at least 5-inches below the door's top part. This is because gravity exerts more pressure on the door's top hinge and should be placed near the top of the door frame to prevent sagging and warping. Next, there should be a 10-inch gap from the bottom point of the door for the lowest hinge, while the hinges in between should be spaced out equidistantly. Additionally, a small space should be left between the frame and the leaf edge, measuring around 5/16" to 3/8" depending on the hinge's width and the door's thickness. This is vital in ensuring that the door can be fully closed.
Before drilling the holes, you should visualize the hinge's position on the door jamb and the door's edge. Estimate where the location should be and that should give a great estimate of where the wood should be mortised and chiseled. Once you are ready, install the leaves individually on the jamb and the door piece. Then, you can join and interlock the hinges together and secure them with a hinge pin.
You can follow the step-by-step instructions below for a general guideline of how you can install your T-shape hinge:
- Indicate and mark out the location of the hinge. As it usually comes in a T-shape, the longer side of the hinge will be attached to the door, while the short part will be attached to the door jamb.
- You will have to ensure that the hinge is parallel to the vertical edge of the door, and mark out the locations of the screws. It is wise to drill a small, pilot hole first to prevent the wood from chipping or splitting
- Next, align and secure the hinge pins while keeping the straps parallel. Lastly, attach the screws to the door jamb, followed by the door piece.
You can follow the general instructions on how to install a double-action hinge below:
- First, release the tension on the springs by inserting the tension rod into the adjustment holes along with the tension lug. Then, you can twist it to remove the tension pin easily.
- Mortise the hinge leaf on the door while centering it between the centers and axial point of the double action hinge.
- Align the door's centerline with the frame by attaching the flange of the jamb to the door casing's surface. A shim or space may be required to fill in the excess room under the jamb flanges for more precise door alignment.
- Lastly, the hinges can be securely mounted at the marked height locations, while the axial points of both hinges should be aligned vertically.
Your One-Stop-Destination for Durable and Reliable Door Hinges
Hinge Outlet, Inc. is your most trusted source for your hinges and hardware needs. Since 2005, we have been committed to bringing you the top-tier, best-quality hinges at the most affordable prices, both residential and commercial. Our online catalog carries some of the top names in the hinge manufacturing business in the market today. We also work hard to manufacture our very own top-quality line of hinges that are well-loved by many of our customers today. Furthermore, we are open to building long-term partnerships with companies looking for short to long-term door hinge supplies.
If you are interested in finding out more about our selection of door hinges, feel free to contact us or call us at 888-250-8133 today.