Your doors are an integral part of your home. Exterior doors provide safety and protection while interior doors deliver privacy to the rooms of your home. Door hinges play an important role in making sure your interior and exterior doors operate properly.
Whether you’re installing a new door or simply trying to repair one in your home, it’s important to understand how the hinge works, and the integral role it plays in daily operation.
To help you learn more about this small, yet essential, piece of hardware, we’ve put together a detailed buying guide. Here are the main considerations you should be aware of when buying new door hinges for your home or office.
What is a Door Hinge?
A door hinge is the small piece of hardware that fastens the door to the wall and allows it to swing open and closed. There are many types of door hinges that vary in the type and degree of movement that they allow. Some hinges offer door rotation up to 90 degrees whereas others may offer a full range of movement that allows the door to open fully until it is flush with the connecting wall.
Hinge Type and Application
Where the hinge goes determines what type you’ll need.
- Door hinges support interior and exterior doors.
- Strap or T-strap hinges are typically used on large swinging doors or gates.
- Spring hinges are used for self-closing doors, such as garages and screen doors.
- Specialty hinges include a variety of functions, such as shutters, chests, cabinets and folding shelves.
- A piano or continuous hinge runs the entire length of the two pieces joined together.
- Barrel hinges are commonly used in cabinets. They’re concealed and open a full 180 degrees.
- Commercial-grade hinges are generally thicker gauge metal for heavy-use applications, particularly mortise hinges.
Most hinges are mortise hinges, meaning they’re inserted into a part of the door frame that’s carved or cut out that allows the hinge to be mounted flush with the jamb. Nonmortise hinges are surface mounted hinges that are thin and used mostly in smaller applications. Requiring no cutout to the jamb of the two surfaces, nonmortise hinges are quick and easy to install.
Where added door security is needed, a nonremovable pin is recommended. Removable pins allow for easy door removal for furniture or appliance moving.
Factors To Consider
- Hinge Material – Door hinges come in a variety of materials, the most common being stainless steel, brass, copper, bronze, cast iron, and pewter. Where the door is located may dictate the material that you need. For example, on an exterior door, you may opt for stainless for its corrosion-resistant qualities. Strap hinges are common in bronze or cast iron, as both materials are very rigid and suitable for large, heavy doors.
- Hinge Finish and Design – While functionality takes priority, color and design are also important. Hinges are available in a broad range of finishes such as polished and antique brass, brushed nickel, oil rubbed bronze, pewter, black, and rust. Equally, hinges are also available in many different designs. You will find that hinges come in many shapes and sizes, and some may even feature ornate patterns carved into the hinge’s leaves and knuckles.
- Door Width and Thickness – The size, thickness, and weight of the door will determine the size of hinge that should be used. Use the chart below as a guide to select the appropriate size for your door.
- Height of the Door –The number of hinges needed will depend on the height of your door. Standard 60″ doors typically require three hinges, but anything taller than that may require more. The chart below will provide you with the number of hinges that are needed, based on the height of your door.
Our Top Picks
The list below narrows the field to some of the top door hinges by type. These hinges feature durable construction and work with a variety of cabinet styles.
These door hinges come in a pack of 18 for more than one door installation or to keep additional parts handy for future repairs. Buying hinges in a set is especially helpful when you a couple of doors that need hinges, or when you want to keep hinge styles uniform throughout your living space to match home decor and style.
The matte black option offers a more modern feel that is ideal for rooms with darker accents or darker colored doors and doorframes.
These door hinges are 3.5-inches wide by 3.5-inches tall with a total of 6 holes for mounting. The set comes with all of the mounting hardware needed for proper installation, as well as an easy-to-follow installation guide.
These hinges have rounded corners that are perfect for matching with rounded hinge slots in the door frame. The hinge is small but it is constructed from durable steel to easily handle the weight of the door and keep it secure and steady for long wear.
These high-quality door hinges from Brahmco are made of solid steel. Satin nickel finish on them provides a premium look. A robust double-layer paint material offers additional protection against any possible corrosion.
Brahmco door hinges are greased at the factory to ensure a silky smooth, squeak-free double door turning process with a smooth close. The hinges come with removable pins. They are coated, graded, and reassembled finely, which you won’t find in many other competitors.
You will get eight screws with each hinge. Six of them are standard size (3/4-inch). The rest two are large screws (1 and3/4 inch) provided for deep anchoring. Extra-long screws are effective when you want to replace the existing hardware with the same hole pattern.
The screws exactly match the color of the door hinges. There’s no deviation, so if you are uptight about aesthetics, you will not be disappointed with Brahmco.
Replacing standard hinges in a kitchen or throughout a home can be a less costly endeavor with these partial overlay hinges. This set includes enough quality hinges for upgrading 10 cabinet doors at one of the lowest prices on the market.
Similar to higher price options, they feature stainless steel construction with a nickel-plated finish and offer three adjustment options for easy installation. They also include door bumpers, making them a good choice for new cabinet installations. Konigeehre hinges fit a cup size of 35 millimeters in diameter and 11 millimeters deep, and they have a ½-inch overlay on the cabinet frame.
These door hinges come in a pack of 18 so you can replace multiple doors’ hinges with one simple purchase. The satin nickel finish offers just the right amount of sheen without being too shiny.
It pairs well with brushed nickel door handles or other hardware with a satin silver color. Classic and simple, these hinges create a clean modern aesthetic and are a great addition to any room. When you order these hinges, the box comes with each hinge individually wrapped in protective plastic in order to prevent scratches and keep the hinges looking pristine.
This allows you to choose a screw size that is appropriate for each door without the added hassle of purchasing additional screws.
The hinges have rounded corners at a 5/8-inch radius and measure 3.5-inches by 3.5-inches which are ideal for interior doors. The hinges function smoothly so they are far less prone to squeak as some other lesser quality hinges.They are built to last with a strong and durable design. In fact, Ilyapa is so confident in the quality of their product that they offer a free lifetime warranty on every hinge.
Dynasty Hardware includes 24 high-quality steel door hinges in this package. These bronze door hinges are oil rubbed from the factory. They’ll make your door open and close smoothly without causing any disturbing sound or squeak. They can fit in doors featuring 5/8-inch radius corner hinge spaces.
The hinges are made of high-quality and robust steel to protect them from damage and last a long time without any hindrance. When you install them, you can stay worry-free of changing door hinges only after installing them.
Featuring removable pins, these hinges come with oil-rubbed wooden screws included with the pack. We recommended you use these on interior doors. They will indeed work as a meticulous detail that changes the whole look of your home. The perfect bronze color will grant a classic look to the doors. You can easily install them by yourself. You only have to attach them using the screws.
How to Replace Door Hinges
Probably the easiest way to replace the hinges on an existing door is to leave the door hung on the jamb (frame). Start at the top and remove the first hinge on both the door and the door jamb. Install the new door hinge in its place. Do the same on the middle and bottom hinge. If you remove the door and remove all hinges and then replace them while it is not hung, it will be much more difficult to get the job done and harder to get all the hinges to align and work properly.
If you are replacing a house full of hinges to get rid of the old brass or painted over hinges, you’ll want to consider using a cordless drill with a screwdriver tip. At 6 screws per hinge on average and 2-3 cabinet hinges per door, your wrist will be tired by the time you are done without the use of a drill. If a screwdriver is all you have on hand, it is still a good way to perform the task. Upgrading your old door hinges can help your door operate smoothly but can also give your home an upgraded look.
If you still have questions about how soft-close hinges work or how to install them, read on for answers to these and other questions about this type of hinge.
Can you put soft-close hinges on old cabinets?
Yes, it’s possible to put soft-close hinges on old cabinets. To do so, you must drill a cup 35 millimeters in diameter and 11 millimeters deep in the back of the cabinet door to mount the new soft-close hinge. The best way to accomplish this is to use a jig, such as this model from Kreg.
Should interior doors have 2 or 3 hinges?
Interior doors generally have either 2 or 3 hinges. The main determining factor is the weight of the door and the height of the door. As a general rule, there should be one hinge for every 30 inches of height. However, hollow-core doors only require 2 hinges due to their extreme lightweight.
What is the best lubricant for door hinges?
There are two great options for lubricating door hinges. The first is silicone spray which is less messy and fairly long-lasting. The second is plumber’s grease which is odorless and lasts a long time.
Is WD-40 bad for door hinges?
Not at all. WD-40 has been a tried and true lubricate for years! Even on their official website, WD-40 offers instructions on how to use their product to resolve squeaking doors. You can read more here.