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Hinges Fact File - What hinge will do the job for you?

How to Choose Hinges

Investing in the best quality cupboards for your kitchen remodelling or stunning external or internal doors is great. However, their appeal will be lost and their function impaired if you don’t choose the right hinges to attach them to their frames. If you decide on the wrong hinges for your cupboards, you will soon start to experience problems. These include the hinges wearing out, the cupboard doors becoming droopy or coming loose altogether.

This can be avoided by investing in the best quality hinges that you can afford. After all, if you are going to invest in quality cupboards and spend the money and time to have them fitted, you might as well do it properly and invest in the correct hinges.

For more essential information read our blog Hardware Hinges - Top Trade tips

Hinges Fact File Infographic

Hinges Fact File Infographic

Did you know we have a really interesting blog on the history of the hinge? Read it here

What is a Hinge?

A Hinge consists of two wings or flaps held together using a pivot pin.

When choosing the correct hinges for your cupboards, there are a few a number of options to choose from including:

  • Loose-pin butt hinge: Loose-pin hinges are designed to allow you to remove the door without the need to completely remove the hardware as well. Simply pulling out the pin will allow you to remove the hinge completely.
  • Ball bearing hinge: Ball-bearings are incorporated between adjacent knuckles and help reduce friction. They are ideal for heavy cupboard doors. The bearings have been lubricated for a lifetime’s smooth and easy use.
  • Flush hinges: The use of flush hinges is appropriate for lightweight doors. They are surface mounted and won’t leave a gap thanks to its incredibly low profile.
  • Piano hinge: The piano hinge is used on furniture flaps like that of chest lids or table wings. With this specific hinge you can cut it to the required length and have it recess or surface mounted. For more about piano hinges check out our bog
  • Box hinge: You will find that this type of hinge only opens to a 90 degree angle. For larger chests, heavy gates and doors the box hinge will be fitted. These also come widely available in decorative or plain styles.

Read all about butterfly hinges on our latest blog

Can you name 21 types of hinge? We can and do in our blog here

These are only some of the choices you have when it comes to choosing the correct hinges. When choosing the hinge for the specific application, you will need to ensure that it is designed to withstand weather exposure if it is to be used outside. Rust and other issues resulting from wind, warmth, moisture and humidity can quickly shorten the lifespan of hinges if they were not designed to specifically withstand such elements.

A brief guide to hinge finishes

You’ll find there are plenty of choices when it comes to finishes on hinges. Before deciding which to choice consider the following advice:

  • View as many samples as you can by visiting suppliers or checking online sites. If you order the wrong finish make sure it can be returned or swapped without a problem. The appearance of a metal finish can be very different when viewed online or in print compared to its actual appearance.
  • Aim for consistency. It has never been easier to create a consistent look across all your door hardware and furniture – including hinges. There are many period and antique styles to match existing door hardware and you can easily replace hinges that look out of place against your current furniture and interior design.
  • Consider the impact of weather on your choose of hinges. Many finishes, including steel and brass, can rust or corrode due to rain or other exterior elements. For interiors that will be installed on exterior doors, choose galvanized steel, aluminium or chrome. These metals won't rust, even after years of use.
  • Understand the maintenance requirements for each type of finish. Polished finishes are more difficult to keep clean but high quality hinges should last for the lifetime of the doors.
  • Remember not all finishes are equal – poor quality finishes are a false economy as they will soon tarnish and may loose functionality

If you need a hinge to fix a problem door then check out our How To Fix A Door blog

Basically all finishes have the aim of ensuring the finished surface have a longer life against corrosion and wear but there are many different types and methods:

  • Galvanization is the process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel or iron, in order to prevent rusting.
  • Zinc coatings prevent corrosion of the protected metal by forming a physical barrier
  • Polished brass finish is solid brass that is polished and lacquer coated to prevent tarnishing over time.
  • Nickel and brass plating is a process that deposits a thin layer of nickel onto an underlying metal. Some of the benefits to the metals include increased resistance to corrosion or rust.
  • The Sherardising process is a method of applying a zinc coating to the surface of ferrous components. The process has been developed into a reliable and accurate coating which, when correctly specified and applied, gives a tough resilient defence against corrosion of the base material.

We've a great HOW TO blog on fitting a door frame and door here