Understanding Hinges
posted on May 14, 2013 by Rockler

Hinge Styles Depend on Cabinet Design

Adding new hardware and hinges is the secret to a spectacular kitchen update. The style of hinge you choose, however, is dependent upon the type and style of your cabinets. To fit your exact needs, Rockler has a large number of styles from which to choose. In this article we'll discuss the options and differences so that you can become "hinge wise," and add a dazzling new touch to your cabinetry design.

Step 1: Are your cabinets Face Frame or Frameless?

Frameless Cabinet

The style of hinge you choose will be largely determined by how your cabinets are made.

Face Frame Cabinet

First determine if your cabinet has a face frame or is frameless.

Step 2: Determine the overlay of your doors:

For Face Frame Cabinets:

Most traditional cabinetry will require face frame mounted hinges for doors that overlay their face frames. Overlay is the relationship of your cabinet doors to the cabinet faces. The amount of overlay will determine the type of hinge you will need. There are three kinds of face frame overlay:

Overlay

Overlay - If your doors completely overlay face frames (lie on top of the cabinet faces), and there is no rabbet on their back edge, you will need an overlay hinge.

3/8' Inset Hinge

3/8" Inset Hinge - If your doors partially overlay their face frames and have a rabbet cut along their back edges, you need a 3/8" inset hinge.

Full Inset

Full Inset Hinge - If your door fronts are flush with their face frames and are inset within the frames, you will need a full inset hinge.

For Frameless Cabinets:

On European style cabinets, hinges are attached directly to the side of the cabinet. The amount of overlay (how far your doors overlap the cabinet sides) will determine the type of hinge you will need. European cabinets have three kinds of overlay:

Full Overlay - If your doors completely overlay your cabinet sides (lie completely on top of the cabinet side edges), you will need a frameless overlay hinge.

Half Overlay - If your doors partially overlay the side edges of your cabinets (usually about half way), you will need a frameless half overlay hinge.

Full Inset - Frameless cabinets with door fronts that are flush with the side edges of cabinet faces and are fully inset within the side edges will require frameless inset hinges.

Overlay or Inset - what's the difference?

Here's something to consider when selecting hinges

Look at your cabinet design before selecting hinges. On Eurostyle cabinets, hinges are attached directly to the cabinet side. This gives you the option of fully overlaying, half overlaying or insetting the door within the opening, as shown below.

Overlay applications

If you decide to use an overlay cabinet design, select full overlay hinges for the ends and half overlay hinges in the middle of a row of cabinets.

Inset applications
Inset doors are recessed into the cabinet carcass to create a completely flush, clean-lined look.

Other Styles and Functions

Rockler has a large selection of additional hinge types available including:

Flipper Door Systems (For sliding, hiding doors)

Clip on Hinges (For wider opening doors)

Cross Corner Hinges (For doors closing at a 45-degree angle)

Fully Concealed Hinges (For doors concealing pull-out shelving)

Surface Mount Hinges

Wraparound Hinges (No mortise for Euro-style applications)

and many more...

How Many Hinges Per Door?

How Many Hinges Graph

The number of hinges you require will be contingent upon the height and weight of your doors. Use this chart to determine how many hinges you will need. For instance, a 43" high door weighing 14 lbs would require 3 hinges.

Installing Your Hinges

Accuracy is crucial to the successful installation of hinges and to assure proper door alignment. Rockler recommends using the appropriate installation jig or the guide of your choice. See our line of installation Jig-It's, and self-centering drill bitsfor more information.

posted on May 14, 2013 by Rockler
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Comments

14 thoughts on “Understanding Hinges”

  • John Gagnon

    Is there a euro style hinge for face frame overlay style cabinet doors that will allow the door to fully clear the face frame when open, to allow clearance for slide out shelves?

    Thanx!

  • bruce blodget

    I have a knife rack mounted under my upper cabinet. I have a broken hinge and cannot find one anywhere, can you help?

  • Todd

    Is there a concealed 3/8" inset hinge, or better yet a soft-close, concealed 3/8" inset hinge available for face frame or frameless cabinets? I can't seem to find any. Thanks.

  • Justin Stokes

    You want something like this:
    http://www.rockler.com/blumreg-110deg-soft-close-blumotion-overlay-clip-top-hinges-for-face-frame-cabinets-hinges

  • richard yager

    I have the same question as above. I need euro style face frame full and half overlay hinges for cabinets with slide out drawers.

  • Kevin

    Help, I need to replace a hinge on a cabinet that is in the corner. Where most hinges are in a straight line when the door is open this one would be in a straight line when the door is closed so it needs to swing in the opposite direction of most hinges. ( if that makes any sense). The cabinet is framless. Can anyone assist?
    Thanks

  • Jaime Cantu

    I have the same question: Is there a euro style hinge for face frame overlay style cabinet doors that will allow the door to fully clear the face frame when open, to allow clearance for slide out shelves?

  • JACK LEECH

    DO I NEED TO INSTALL TWO SOFT CLOSE HINGES ON EACH DOOR OR WILL THE TOP ONLY SUFFICE? HOW DO I MATCH THE SOFT AND NONSOFT HINGE MODELS?

  • Walter Stubbs
    Walter Stubbs May 2, 2014 at 7:18 am

    I am putting a 3/4x 18x69 inch door into a face frame opening. It will require a full inset hinge. The distance
    in the inside of the face frame is 1/2". Can I use a Blum hinge for this application? If so which one?
    Thanks,
    Walt

  • Greg

    My face frame is 1&3/4" wide and I'd like the door overlaid enough to cover as much of the face frame as possible. Is there a hinge that is wide enough to cover 1&1/2 inch of face frame?

  • Ken Schotsch

    I have a cabinet with a mirror mounted on it. So I can't fit the standard full overlay hinge on the door. It does not have the thickness for the cup of the hinge. So, my question is could I use a hinge for a full inset door mounted in reverse; with the cup end of the hinge mounted on the side and the long part mounted on the door?

  • Lillian Travers
    Lillian Travers June 17, 2014 at 2:34 am

    How do I adjust the hinges on my kitchen doors so they will close all the way. I do not know what screw to adjust so the doors will close all the way.

    Thanks

  • Neil Volk

    Have searched your website for replacement hinge I need.

    I do not see one.

    Can I email you a picture of the hinge I have, so you might sell me the right one?

    Thanks

    Neil.

  • Genell Renshaw
    Genell Renshaw July 14, 2014 at 2:20 am

    Neil, please send it to support@rockler.com. One of our product specialists should be able to help you. You can also call 1-8oo-260-9663 (Monday-Friday, 7:00am - 6:00pm CST) or use the Live Chat feature on our website.

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- Orval - 08/07/2012

What People are Saying:

I have been ordering from Rockler for almost 20 years and have found their products to be very inexpensive and of high quality. Shipping is fast even when an item is back ordered. The best prices I have found anywhere."

- Orval - 08/07/2012
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