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Choosing the right type of hinge for your cabinet doors can make a big difference in functionality and appearance. There are several types of cabinet hinges available, each with its advantages and uses. Here’s an overview of the most common types of cabinet hinges and their applications.
1. Butt Hinge
The butt hinge is the most traditional and commonly used hinge type. It’s a surface-mounted hinge that has two wings or leaves connected by a pin. The hinges come in various sizes and finishes, making them suitable for different cabinet styles. Butt hinges are easy to install and offer good support to the door. They’re ideal for lightweight doors or doors that don’t require much movement.
2. Concealed Hinge
Concealed hinges, also known as European or cup hinges, are hidden from sight, making them ideal for modern-style cabinets. They’re attached to the door and the cabinet using a mounting plate that’s screwed into the wood. The hinge cup is concealed in a drilled hole or a cavity in the wood. These hinges offer a clean, streamlined look to the cabinet, and are adjustable for easy door alignment.
3. Overlay Hinge
Overlay hinges are used for full or partial overlay doors, where the door covers the entire cabinet or part of the face frame. The hinges are mounted on the inside of the cabinet and the door, and the overlay determines the hinge placement. The two types of overlay hinges are one-piece and two-piece hinges. One-piece hinges have fixed pins, while two-piece hinges have removable pins for easy door removal.
4. Inset Hinge
Inset hinges are used for flush or inset doors that sit inside the cabinet frame. These hinges are mounted on the cabinet frame and the door, and are either exposed or hidden depending on the type of hinges. Exposed hinges have decorative faces and are visible from the outside of the cabinet. Hidden hinges are concealed and offer a cleaner look to the cabinet. Inset hinges are ideal for traditional-style cabinets.
5. Pivot Hinge
Pivot hinges are used for doors that rotate on a central pivot point instead of having conventional hinges. These hinges are mounted at the top and bottom of the door and offer a clean look to the cabinet without visible hinge leaves. Pivot hinges work well for small doors or doors that require a 180-degree swing. They’re commonly used for doors in commercial settings or modern-style cabinets.
In conclusion, choosing the right type of hinge for your cabinet doors depends on the cabinet style, the door overlay, and the desired functionality. Butt, concealed, overlay, inset, and pivot hinges are the most commonly used hinges for cabinet applications.
Installing cabinet door hinges is a straightforward process that requires a little patience and some basic tools. Whether you’re building a new cabinet or replacing the old hinges, installing the hinges correctly ensures that the doors operate smoothly and last longer. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install cabinet door hinges.
Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools
To install the hinges, you’ll need a power drill, a drill bit that’s the same diameter as the hinge screws, a screwdriver, and the hinges. Also, have a tape measure and a pencil to mark the hinge placement.
Step 2: Mark the Hinge Placement
Using a tape measure and a pencil, mark the hinge placement on the cabinet frame and the door. Measure the distance from the top and bottom of the door to the hinge placement, and make sure the hinges are located at equal distances from the door’s edge.
Step 3: Drill the Holes
Using the drill and the appropriate bit, drill pilot holes in the cabinet and door at the hinge placement. The hole size should match the diameter of the hinge screws. Be sure to drill the holes straight and perpendicular to the cabinet and door surfaces.
Step 4: Fit the Hinges
Fit the hinges onto the door and the cabinet by aligning the hinge leaves with the pilot holes. Insert the screws into the holes and tighten them using a screwdriver. Make sure the hinge is aligned and flush with the surface of the cabinet and door.
Step 5: Adjust the Door
Once you have installed the hinges, check if the door is aligned and level. If the door is sagging, use a hinge with adjustable tension, or shim the hinges with cardboard or plastic to level the door. Adjust the gap between the door and the cabinet by loosening or tightening the hinge screws.
Step 6: Test the Door
After installation, test the door to ensure that it opens and closes smoothly without any obstacles or rubbing against the cabinet. Check the alignment of the hinge and the screws, and make adjustments if necessary.
In summary, installing cabinet door hinges requires marking the hinge placement, drilling pilot holes, fitting the hinges, adjusting the door, and testing the operation. With these steps, you can install cabinet hinges like a pro and achieve a seamless and functional cabinet.