In the past couple of blog entries we discussed the options and processes for refreshing your kitchen or bath cabinets with new knobs and pulls. Knowing that some renovators may need to take the updating of their cabinets one step further by replacing the cabinet doors’ hinges, we thought it would be helpful to provide some thoughts on selecting replacement cabinet door hinges.
Basic Types of Cabinet Hinges
Cabinet hinges are classified as either exposed or concealed. The concealed hinge is a more modern innovation where the entire hinge is mounted behind the cabinet door. Therefore, concealed hinges are hidden behind the door and only visible when the cabinet door is opened. Exposed cabinet hinges are partially visible on the front surface of the cabinet door. For centuries cabinet doors have been hung using some form of exposed cabinet door hinge. Since Shop 4 Classics specializes in antique reproduction and decorative hardware, we only offer traditional exposed cabinet hinges. Therefore, the remainder of this post will focus on the configurations and styles of exposed cabinet hinges.
Anatomy of an Exposed Cabinet Hinge
Exposed cabinet hinge consists of three basic components that are commonly referred to as the hinge's door wing, frame wing and pin. One end of each of frame and door wings are drilled with two or more holes so that it can be attached with screws to the cabinet’s frame or door, respectively. On the other end of each wing is an interlocking pattern of knuckles that when connected and secured with the pin allow the door wing to pivot.
Selecting the Proper Hinge
As a rule of thumb, replacing existing hinges is made easier the more closely the new hinge resembles and functions like the old hinge. Keep in mind that differences in the two hinges will create additional installation complications that may include drilling or otherwise modifying the cabinet’s doors and frames. If modifications are required, you may wish to rethink your hinge choice or contract with a qualified cabinet installer or refurbisher for assistance with your project.
Once you are comfortable with your understanding of the type and configuration of the hinge required for your renovation project, the remainder of the selection process becomes a matter of style preference. Since exposed hinges are partially visible, the hinge's finish should compliment the cabinet’s knob or pull hardware. Today’s brass hinges are usually offered in a variety of finishes including chrome, nickel, and oil rubbed bronze. Shop 4 Classics offers hinges by IDH which are also available in less common finishes like polished and antique copper and matte black.