How To Fit Door Hinges
Because there are so many different types of hinges, it can be difficult to know the best way to install each type. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide of installation instructions for each of the most popular types of hinges to help you find out the information you need quickly and easily!
If you’re looking to install a certain variety of hinges, click on the list below to go to the relevant area.
- How to fit a concealed hinge
- How to install a continuous hinge
- How to install strap hinges on a door
- How to fit tee hinges
- How to fit and adjust ball bearing door hinges
Used mostly for cabinets, concealed hinges are hidden from view when the cabinet door is closed. This allows for a smooth and sleek finish to the cabinet installation.
To install a concealed hinge, follow these steps:
- Place the face down on a flat surface, making sure that the side where the hinges will be installed is facing you.
- Using a tape measure, measure 3 ½ inches from the top and bottom of the door and mark using a pencil.
- Place each hinge on the door over the marks you have made, ensuring that they are in line with one another, and mark around the perimeter of the hinge using a pencil.
- Attach a 35-millimetre Forstner bit to an electric drill and set it to ½ inch depth. This is what you’ll use to bore a hole into the wood.
- Hold the drill bit on the centre of one of the markings you made in step 5 and bore a hole to the depth line. Do this again for the other marking.
- Insert the hinge cup into one of the holes you have bored and secure it with woodscrews. Repeat this process with the other hinge.
- Shim the door against the cabinet and measure the gap between the door and cabinet. Make sure to be really precise here!
- Measure 2 ¼ inches in from the outside edge of the cabinet wall. Mark with a line running down the length of the cabinet wall.
- Add the gap measurement you took in step 7 to the 2 ¼ inch measurement from step 8 – make sure that you’re adding measurements that are taken in the same unit of measure!
- Measure the distance from step 9 from the top & bottom of the cabinet and mark. Your markings should intersect with the line you marked in step 8.
- Drill the aligning plate into place over the markings you made in step 10.
- Finally, hook the hinges over the mounting plates and snap them in place! They’ll make a clicking noise when they’re correctly in place.
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Continuous hinges, also known as piano hinges, are designed to match the height of the entire door, which allows the weight of the door to be spread across a wider area.
To install a continuous hinge, follow these steps:
- Measure the entire height of the door frame from the bottom edge of the top of the frame to the floor. Subtract 7/8” from this measurement.
- Mark this measurement onto your hinge using a pencil.
- Using a metal saw, cut the hinge to the required length. Make sure to file the edges of the hinge to make them smooth!
- Fix the hinge to the frame, ensuring there is a 1/8” gap between the bottom edge of the top of the door frame and the top of the hinge. Make sure that there’s also a 1/16” gap between the frame and the barrel of the hinge.
- Line up the top of the door with the top of the hinge and affix the hinge to the door.
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To install a strap hinge, follow these steps:
- Mark on the door or gate where you’re going to install your hinges using a pencil – make sure that the hinges are placed 30cm away from the top and bottom of the door.
- Fix the hinges onto the door using an electric drill or screwdriver.
- Put some scrap wood onto the floor and position the door within the frame. Using a tape measure, check that the gap between the frame and the door is equal all around the door, taking the scrap wood into account for the bottom measurement.
- Then fix the hinges onto the door frame or gate post.
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Tee hinges are asymmetrical – they feature a short rectangular leaf as seen on a butt hinge on one side, and a long triangular leaf as seen on a strap hinge on the other side.
To install a tee hinge, follow these steps:
- Place your hinges on the door and the frame where you will be installing them and mark through the screw holes with a pencil.
TOP TIP: Make sure you have the right side of the hinge on the door – the rectangular leaf should be installed on the frame or gate post to anchor the door, and the triangular leaf should be installed onto the door itself.
TOP TIP: It’s also important to ensure that the hinges will sit evenly on the door and frame so that the gaps between the door and frame are equal on all sides.
- Drill pilot holes in the places you have marked – this will stop the wood from splitting as you install the screws.
- Fix the hinge onto the door frame first with screws.
- Then fix the hinge onto the door.
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As the name suggests, ball bearing hinges feature lubricated ball bearings within the knuckles of the hinge. This prevents friction when used with heavy doors and prolongs the life of the hinge.
To install a ball bearing hinge, follow these steps:
- Place the hinge on your door where you want to install it and use a pencil to mark around the outside of it.
- Cut around your outline using a utility knife – this will allow you to remove the wood smoothly.
- Using a chisel, create the mortise in the door. Make sure that you do not cut the mortise too deep, and that the hinge fits snugly into the mortise without being forced into place.
- Once you’re happy with your mortise, lay the hinge inside it and use a pencil to mark inside the screw holes.
- Drill pilot holes where you have marked using an electric drill.
- Replace the hinge and secure it into place with screws.
- Align the door with the frame in an open position, lining up the unattached leaf of the hinge to the edge of the frame so that the door can operate smoothly.
- Mark around the outside of the hinge using a pencil.
- Repeat steps 2-6 on the door frame.
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