Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

All about cabinet door hinges

by Karl Fendelander
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

A good hinge does its job noiselessly, bearing the weight of hefty doors, the impact of slams and the general abuse of kitchen life without so much as a creak. It's not until a hinge starts malfunctioning that you even notice it's there. These noble workhorses are just as important to a functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen as every fixture, every cabinet door, every inch of counterspace.

The trouble, though, is that with at least two on each cupboard door, they can get expensive quickly. When these extra dollar signs start adding up in homeowner's minds, the decision to go for the cheap stuff is an easy, if disastrous, one to make. Before long these cheap hinges will show the signs of wear: creaking, swinging open, not staying open when you want, bending until doors have to be forced shut, damaging the wood or worse. When it comes time to buy hinges for those nicely refaced cabinets, do them justice and get the good ones.

Types of cabinet hinges

There are many different types of cabinet hinges to fit and fill your needs, from flashy designs to the purely functional and everything in between. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Face frame hinges have one wing of the hinge hidden and the other exposed. The exposed wing is often larger and decorative.
  • Flush hinges have both wings of the hinge hidden and only the knuckle exposed. This design is reminiscent of a standard home door hinge, though not nearly as durable or load bearing.
  • Continuous hinges, also called piano hinges, are exactly what they sound like: long, continuous hinges that run the full length of a door. These are great for heavy loads and give a distinct look to any kitchen.
  • Ball bearing hinges are great for doors that need to handle a lot of weight, like thick hardwood doors or mischievous children who like to swing on low doors. These hinges can handle the weight and high traffic and keep on swinging like new, thanks to the permanently lubricated ball bearings inside.
  • European hinges, also called cup hinges, are all the rage because of the ability to adjust how the door hangs without having to remove it or the hinge to adjust. New(er)comers to the American market, these hinges are showing themselves to be quite durable.
  • Demountable hinges allow you to take doors off of their hinges without any messy unscrewing. This allows you to swap out doors on a whim (if you keep extra sets around, anyway) and can make cleaning or refinishing cabinet doors a breeze.
  • Self-closing hinges are exactly what they sound like. They're great for homes with little ones who shouldn't be getting into the cabinets or forgetful adults who are always leaving doors open.

There are many, many more types of door hinges out there for your cabinetry, so do your research and shop around until you've found the right ones.

About the Author
Karl Fendelander cut his teeth on web writing in the late nineties and has been plugged in to the newest technology and tuned in to the latest trends ever since. With an eye for design and an ear for language, Karl has created content and managed digital media for startups and established companies alike. When he unplugs, Karl can be found biking about town and hiking and climbing throughout the West.

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