The average homeowner gives little consideration to the hardware connecting the doors in their home to the cabinets and the walls. That is, at least, until something falls apart, looks wonky, or gets overused. Whether you are fixing a current problem or looking to avoid them altogether, here are some tips for choosing the right hinge for your home project.
Choosing The Right Hinge For The Room
Choosing the right hinge is not only a matter of decor or cabinet construction, it can also greatly impact one’s environment. While the type of hinge used in a seldom-opened bookcase might not warrant much consideration, the same household should be duly concerned about the type of hinges used in commonly-used cabinetry. Soft-close hinges are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms where cabinet doors are opened several times per day and where care is not always exercised in closing them. In addition to preserving the surface of the cabinetry and the integrity of the hardware, soft-close hinges prevent users from slamming doors shut and inadvertently creating unnecessary noise in the home.
Making Sure A Hinge Works For Its Purpose
A hinge is of little use if it fails early in its operation, so it is imperative to consider the hinge’s purpose before contemplating more aesthetic options. For example, does the door open bottom-to-top or swing open side-to-side? Is the door or base composed of material that naturally weathers and warps over time? Of course, the most important consideration is the door’s weight. While a heavy-duty hinge might be used with a light-weight door to add a modern industrial feel to an interior design, the converse does not apply. It is imperative that you select a hinge appropriate for at least the weight of the door and, ideally, for additional weight that could be placed on it during usual (and unexpected) types of use.
No-Show Hinges For Modern, Minimalist Spaces
If you’re the less-is-more type when it comes to your visual space, no-show hinges are an obvious choice. Unfortunately, no-show hinges are not always the simplest choice. Hiding the hardware altogether is a safe design move when creating a generic space for an unknown or future occupant, as it keeps cabinetry clean-looking and free of exterior materials that could scratch or snag clothing or furniture. From an installation perspective, no-show hinges can be challenging, as they require mounting while the door is open, leaving room for error and requiring more careful adjustment. When the hardware is mounted to the outside, fine adjustments and good eyesight are all one needs to properly align the hanging door. When the hardware is fully inside the cabinet, however, extra care must be taken to ensure the door not only aligns properly on closing but is smooth in its operation when both hinges are attached.
Exposed Hinges For Full-Throttle Design
Exposed hinges are a popular choice for those seeking an alternative look with the flexibility of easy mounting. Exposed hinges do not typically require grouting or other augmentation to the door or cabinet since they do not interfere with the natural fitting of a closed cabinet door. The biggest appeal, however, is the variety of available styles once you decide not to hide your hinge. Whether your look is more modern or traditional, a carefully chosen exposed hinge can add an element of authenticity to any decor.
Semi-Concealed Hinges For Projects Without Specifications
Semi-concealed hinges are commonly used on cabinetry where style is not a primary concern. With semi-concealed hinges, the hinge barrel is typically exposed on the outside of the cabinet or doorway, and the hinge leaves are concealed between the abutting faces of the door and jamb (or cabinet wall) when closed. These hinges are relatively inexpensive and straightforward to mount.
Spring Hinges For Secure Spaces
Spring hinges are most commonly used for doors or gates that respond to the flow of foot traffic. Take, for example, the front door of a corner shop. It is easy enough to hold open, even for a small or average-strength person, yet it closes on its own when released. This keeps traffic flowing while also keeping out the elements when movement is slow. Likewise, spring hinges can be used to ensure either the complete opening or closing of barriers, such as passenger gates used in place of turnstiles.
Hinges For Adding Color To A Basic Space
Whether you are looking to update an older space or jazz up a drab room, colorful hinges and complimentary handles can bring big change for few bucks. And the transformation can go both ways. Rooms in need of a little pop can benefit from swapping out concealed hinges for bold-colored exposed hinges or simply taking a little paint to the existing hardware. Conversely, rooms with outdated style can be modernized by exchanging exposed for concealed hinges or even by painting over, say, gold or bronze hinges with a metallic gray or matte black paint.
Other Considerations When Choosing A Proper Hinge
How far should the door open? If you need the door to open greater than 90 degrees, your options will be more limited, but it is better to keep this factor in mind early in the selection process.
Does the cabinetry require assisted operation? Whether you want a cabinet door to open or close on its own, there are options ranging from simple spring-loaded hinges to smart hinges that work with motion or light sensors to automate opening and closing.
Should you use another hinge? The average home mounting project should require two hinges, assuming they are appropriate in type and strength. Certain projects, however, may warrant use of a third or even a fourth hinge for added support. In a house full of children, for example, it might be worth adding an extra hinge to any cabinet where kids play and could plausibly use the door as a makeshift swing.
Where to buy hinges for your home?
If you’re looking for hinges for your next project, you can find and buy hinges in our home improvement section. We also have complete gate hardware kits that you can buy as well.
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