Walk into any home and you’re bound to find multiple types of stationary and freestanding cabinets. Every cabinet features a combination of open shelves, drawers, or doors. In this article, we will focus on the door, specifically the hinges that allow you to open and close those doors.
There are many types of hinges. So, how do you choose the hinge that is right for your cabinet door? We’ll walk you through the process. When it comes to replacing old hinges or installing hinges in a new cabinet. The first consideration is the construction of the cabinet
There are Two Main Types of Cabinet Construction:
1. face frame
Face Frame cabinets feature a frame that is attached to the front or face of the cabinet box. This frame typically overhangs the inside faces of the sides and top of the cabinet by around three-quarters of an inch.
Frameless cabinets feature a cabinet box with no frame face. The edges of the cabinet top, bottom, and sides form the front of the cabinet. The next consideration is how the door fits in the cabinet? There are a few options. Inset doors fit inside the face frame or cabinet box and are flush with the face of the face frame.
Overlay doors are mounted over the face frame or cabinet box. Overlay doors can fully or partially overlap the cabinet sides. You can also have a door that features a rabbet along the inside edge that partially fits inside a face frame opening and partially overlaps the face frame.
Next Considerations are Related to How the Hinge Operates:
First, consider the range of door swings or the distance you want the door to open. If you have no interference then you might want the door to swing wide open to 170 degrees, but if you have a wall or other object in the way then you may want the hinge limited to 90-degrees to stop the door from hitting the object. You can also choose the closing action.
There are 3 Main Options:
1. Slow Close
2. Snap Close
3. Free Swing Close
Snap Closing hinges feature a closing mechanism that pulls the door fully closed in the last couple of inches of being closed with a forceful snap action.
Slow Closing hinges feature a closing mechanism that slowly and gently pulls the door fully closed in the last couple of inches of being closed.
Free Swing Close:
Free-Swinging hinges do not feature a closing mechanism. These swing freely throughout their motion and must be pushed shut.
There are 3 Main Categories of Cabinet Hinges:
European hinges are mounted inside the cabinet and are fully concealed behind the door. The main benefit of these hinges is their built-in adjustments. They can be adjusted up and down, side to side, and in and out from the face of the cabinet. Compact style European hinges are one-piece hinges and are available for face frame cabinets with doors that overlay the face of the cabinet. Long-arm style European hinges have two pieces.
A cabinet mounting plate and a door section are commonly called the arm. These hinges can be used in a wide range of applications on both face frames or frameless cabinets. They are also available for inset doors. Both styles feature a cup or round body that is inserted into a hole drilled in the door. The cup is typically 35 millimeters in diameter. This is why European hinges are sometimes referred to as cup hinges.
Semi-Concealed Hinges are used on face frame cabinets and are partly visible from the outside of the cabinet when the door is closed. Semi-Concealed hinges are available as surface mounted or partial wrap hinges.
Butt Hinges are the most traditional type of hinges used on cabinets and are almost always used on full-size doors and buildings. A Butt Hinge has two rectangular leaves with knuckles in the middle joined together by a pin.
You can avoid the work of creating mortises for butt hinges, and still minimize the gap between the door and cabinet by using no mortise hinges. One of the leaves of these modified butt hinges is smaller than the other so that it nests within the other leaf when closed. This allows the hinges to be surface mounted and reduces the effective thickness of the hinge to the thickness of one leaf.
Whether you’re replacing old hinges or installing hinges in a new cabinet, it’s important to choose the right hinges so that your cabinet doors fit and operate the way they should.