Hinges are generally small movable hooks, fasteners or joints that enable a door to be fastened to a doorframe or a lid to a box. Hinges are the pivotal points on which the door or lid turn when opened or closed. There are two basic types of hinges which are concealed and exposed and these two types are further divided into several styles. Concealed hinges are also known as European hidden hinges. The most important factors for perfect hinge installation are making sure that you select the proper hinge selection and be certain to take accurate measurements.
Hinges come in reversible types and right-hand and left-hand position vertically mounted types. If you stand on the outside of the door and it opens from you to the right, you need a right-hand hinge and if it opens to the left, you need a left-hand hinge. Loose-pin hinges will let you change the handing of the hinge by taking out the pin, inverting the hinge and putting the pin back in.
Hinges are available in a wide variety of sizes and types. Many of them are made from fire, water and corrosion-resistant materials and finishes such as steel, cast iron, brass, and aluminum, etc. Exposed hinges come in 3/8" inset and variable overlay. The 3/8" inset hinges are designed to hold lip-mold doors where the door fits 3/8" into the cabinet hole. The variable overlay hinges make sure that the door covers the hole completely with some overlap. As far as concealed hinges are concerned, one must be aware of the overlay or the inset. The ½" overlay is most common type that is used.
A butt hinge is the most commonly used hinge to hang doors. The projection and parliament hinges are used when the door opens very wide (approximately 180 degrees) and clears a projection. The screw holes on these hinges are placed towards the edge of the hinge flap and they help to increase the angle of the opening. The tee hinge, band and gudgeon hinges are lightweight and weather-resistant types that are generally used on garden gates, wooden entrance gates and garage doors.
Hinges should ideally be fixed with screws that match the hinge material. For example, if the hinge is made of brass, it should be fixed with a brass screw and not an aluminum screw. Otherwise, the contact between the two dissimilar metals will cause the hinge to corrode.