A Complete Guide to Cabinet Hinges

By Martin Hart on Wed 29 September 2021

There's a massive range of cabinet hinges available to choose from, and with so many different styles and sizes, it may be difficult to know which hinge to choose for your cabinets. Hinge shape and functionality can have a massive effect on the performance and appearance of cabinet doors, and the style of cabinet you are building or working with will influence the type of hinge you can use.

Today, we're going to take a closer look at the variety of cabinet hinges on the market and where they can be applied most effectively.


What Kind of Cabinets Are You Working With?

Before choosing a hinge, you need to know what kind of cabinet you're working with, as this will help determine which type of hinge is suitable for your application. There are two main types of cabinet construction:

Face Frame Cabinets

These cabinets incorporate a frame that is attached to the front of the cabinet. Your hinges – and, subsequently, your doors – are mounted to the face frame. This style of cabinet is very common in America.

Frameless Cabinets

These cabinets are a box with an open front. The hinges are mounted to the walls of the cabinet interior. This style is prevalent in Europe, and you may hear them referred to as Euro-Style cabinets.

Now that you know what style of cabinet frame you are working with, it's time to consider the door overlay. There are generally three types of cabinet door overlay:

Overlay Door

This door style extends beyond the open face of the cabinet, overlapping the sides of the face frame. Full overlap doors cover all or almost all of the front edges of a cabinet, and half overlay doors cover roughly half of the sides of the cabinet.

Full Inset Door

These doors, often referred to as 'inset doors,' fit within the cabinet opening, sitting flush with the face of the cabinet or frame when closed.

3/8" Inset Door

Sometimes referred to as 'lipped' doors, this style has a rabbet around the edge that sits halfway inside the cabinet. You will usually find this style on face framed cabinets.




Hinge Closing and Opening Options

Once you've determined the style of cabinet you're working with, you can start to consider your options for cabinet hinges. Hinges are available in various finishes, including stainless steel, polished brass, and satin chrome. Aside from how far the hinge allows for the door to open, there are multiple options available for the opening and closing functionality of the doors:

Soft-Close Hinges

These hinges allow for doors to be opened and closed smoothly and silently through features integrated into the cup of the hinge.

Snap-Close Hinges

Sometimes called self-closing, this style uses a spring to snap the door towards the cabinet frame when it is brought close to being closed.

Free-Swinging Hinges

This is a style of hinge that is allowed to move freely between open and closing with no assistance or added design feature helping to close the door or keep it closed.




Popular Types of Cabinet Hinges

Once you've determined the style of cabinet and door you are working with, you can select the correct furniture hinges for your project. There are hundreds of hinges available out there. Here are some of the most popular styles:

Butt Hinges are a traditional hinge style considering two pivoting plates held in place by interlocking fingers and a pin. Most styles of butt hinge require a mortise in the door to prevent an excessive gap from forming between the door and the cabinet frame.

Flush Hinges operate in a similar style to butt hinges but can fold in on themselves as the door closes, reducing the thickness of the hinge to one leaf. This allows for surface mounting of the hinge without having to mortise the door or the cabinet.

Concealed Furniture Hinges are very popular on frameless cabinets. As the name suggests, these hinges cannot be seen when the cabinet door is closed. This style usually consists of a mounting plate secured to the cabinet's inner wall and a circular cup that sits inside a mortise drilled into the back of the door. This hinge style often allows for multiple directional adjustments to be made, providing ease when fine-tuning the door placement on the cabinet frame or face.

Blum Hinges are an excellent choice for wall mounted cabinets where practical use of space is a concern – like in a corner cabinet of a kitchen. Their specialist angle hinges allow for fitting wall mounted cabinets into awkward spaces, and they produce a range of supporting accessories like restriction clips and cover caps.

Continuous Hinges, sometimes called piano hinges, are an elegant hinge style not too dissimilar to a butt hinge in design. The difference is that continuous hinges run along the entire length of the cabinet door rather than being split into two or three separate units. Continuous hinges provide alignment along the full length and offer even distribution of the weight of the door.




We hope you found this guide to cabinet hinges useful. Every type of hinge we've discussed today is available through Hart Wholesale, and if you're still in any doubt over which type of cabinet hinge is right for your application, don't hesitate to contact us today on 01702 614044


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