Door hinges are tools used to suspend doors and allow for their opening and closing. Because there are so many kinds of doors, and because they are used in so many contexts, a great diversity of hinge configurations is necessary to accommodate them. Hinges are used to suspend doors on cabinets, gates, utility access hatches, and many other kinds of doors. Depending on the application, there is sure to be a door hinge that will work best no matter the size, shape, or weight of the door.
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Applications of Door Hinges
Door hinges can be selected for looks, convenience, durability, and application. They are used on doors, cabinets, gates, trunks, storage boxes, and can be found in use on many other applications.
Door Hinge Design and Customization
Materials such as steel, brass, bronze, and stainless steel are common for the makeup of door hinges. A wide range of thicknesses and durability are also available, as some door hinges will need to be more heavy-duty than others because of the varying weights of different kinds of doors. Decorative hinges are also made to add detail and flare to doors, gates, trunks, and cabinets. Important considerations when choosing a door hinge are the strength of the hinge, its visual appearance, and its handedness (the direction it swings). Door hinges may be left-handed or right-handed, or they may work both ways.
Notable Types of Door Hinges
There are many different types of door hinges, including:
- Spring Hinges
- Double Acting Hinges
- Pivot Hinges
- Butt Hinges
- Baldwin Hinges
- Wide Throw Hinges
- Swing Clear Hinges
The most common type of door hinge is the butt hinge because of its design. Butt hinges contain two leaves that are attached to two adjoining surfaces, in this case, the door and the door frame. Each leaf has bent edges that create knuckles so the two leaves can come together and be secured by a pin. Interior doors in homes almost always use this type of hinge. The design allows for the door to be taken off of the frame by simply pulling the pin out, releasing the two leaves from being attached from one another. This way, the hinge hardware itself does not need to be unscrewed from the door or door frame to remove the door. Homeowners often need to take doors down when moving large furniture or remodeling a room within the home, and this hinge allows for making door removal and attachment a simple task.
These basic hinges are composed of two machined plates joined by a pin. Generally, two butt or three butt hinges are used per door. One type of flush hinge is the tee hinge, a hinge installed on the surface of the door that is shaped like the letter T. Tee hinges are available in plain and heavy-duty versions, as well as decorative varieties. Another type of door hinge is called a butterfly hinge. These are also placed on the surface of a door. Butterfly hinges are available in a number of decorative styles and finishes. The continuous hinge, also called a piano hinge, is more commonly used for pianos and toolboxes, but they can also be used for doors. Strap hinges are among the most ornate door hinge options; they extend over the entire width of a door and can be embellished with flourishes and other decorative designs.
Each door variety requires hinges with specific load capacities, compositions, and configurations. Cabinet hinges, for example, are required to meet certain standards of functionality as well as visual appeal. Gate hinges, particularly those affixed on gates used in private homes, must also strike a balance between utility and aesthetics. Also, depending on the application, different hinge configurations lend themselves to different purposes. Spring hinges, for example, help close doors automatically and keep them closed. This can contribute to improved security and even climate control in a building. Weld on hinges are used in heavier-duty applications, in which hinges are used to suspend heavy doors. Strap hinges feature long metal plates that extend across most of the width of a door, often for decorative purposes.