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.
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. The most common type of door hinge is called a butt hinge. 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.
Door Hinge Informational Video