Last edited 18 Feb 2021


T-hinge-pixabay 640.jpg
A traditional T-hinge


[edit] Introduction

A hinge is a fitting which, when fixed to a door leaf (or window) and its frame, allows the door (or window) to open and close (or swing). Hinges are the means by which opening doors and windows are connected to their frames. Hinges form part of the set of door ironmongery that is required to ensure the proper functioning and security of a door.

An internal domestic door usually requires a minimum of two hinges:

  • The upper one fitted typically 175mm from the door’s top edge.
  • The lower one fitted typically 250mm from the bottom edge.

These dimensions may vary according to the door size and the number of hinges required. Larger and heavier doors can require three or four hinges, as may doors and windows in commercial, industrial and health applications.

Traditional butt hinges (sometimes called lift-off hinges) typically comprise two halves: each flap is joined to the other through a central pin about which each of the plates can rotate. The flap with the fixed pin is screwed to the door frame, while the other flap screwed to the door leaf has a fixed knuckle (or female socket) which is hung – or dropped – onto the pin of the frame hinge-plate. This type of hinge allows the door to be lifted off without having to unscrew any components. The hinge flaps are fitted into recesses so they are flush with the door and the frame; this allows complete closing with no catches or gaps.

Hinges can be supplied in a variety of metals including mild steel, stainless steel, chrome-plated, nickel-plated, aluminium and brass. They are usually fixed to both door and frame with screws.

[edit] Other types of hinge

There are many types of hinge depending on the application.

  • Butt hinges allow a door to simply open and close in the same plane. A variation is the ‘rising butt’ hinge which lifts the door as it is opened. This is useful where there is a thick floor finish, such as thick pile carpet, as the door when lifted slightly does not drag on the carpet when opened and closed.
  • Because rising butt hinges can only be fixed one-way up (the pin always goes onto the frame), they are supplied specifically for left-hand or right-hand opening.
  • Ball bearing hinges – incorporate ball bearings to reduce friction on the swing and are said to give a smoother action. They can be more durable and less noisy than other hinges.
  • Double-action spring hinges – seen on swing doors, allowing the door leaves to open both ways in a 180° action.
  • T-hingestraditional hinges found on rustic and agricultural doors.
  • Euro-style hinges – typically found on doors to fitted kitchens. There are usually complex and allow for vertical and horizontal adjustment.
  • Architectural hinges – these offer more applications and finishes for buildings, are normally of a higher quality and may be guaranteed for up to 25 years.

[edit] Durability

Many of the hinges and other ironmongery available in the UK are tested to British and European standards and are expected to provide greater durability, a more professional specification and longer warranty periods.

BS EN 1935:2002 is the standard to which hinges made and sold in the UK should comply. It specifies requirements for hinges of light duty use, medium duty, heavy duty and severe duty use. Durability is measured in thousands of test cycles according to the duty rating of the hinge. For example, medium, heavy and severe duty hinges on doors should be able to achieve 200,000 test cycles.

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