Hinges are used all over the home and office, yet they go mostly unnoticed to the untrained eye, that is until one brakes, or you need to choose hinges for a new kitchen. This article by Ryan Hirst of Euro-Fit Direct looks at the full range of options available.
There are many different hinges available for a variety of opening motions; however, the usual choice for kitchen, office and bedroom furniture is a concealed hinge. A concealed hinge acts as the name suggests - it is hidden from view behind the cabinet door. Another advantage of the concealed hinge is that they allow adjustment for varied fitting patterns and drilling.
Clip on or slide on?
You will have two different options available when selecting how your concealed hinge will attach to the cabinet - either clip on, or slide on. This simply means how the door attaches to the carcass of the piece of furniture – or in other words, how the hinge piece attaches to the mounting plate.
Clip on hinges
The clip on hinge is the easiest and quickest to fit, without any tools. It is ideal for doors requiring multiple hinges to be fitted – large storage cupboards for example - this is because you simply line the hinge up with the mounting plate and push it on in one simple movement, it will then clip on to be connected to your mounting plate. They require very little alignment and make the job much easier when you have a few hinges to fit. One thing to remember is to line all your hinges up before clipping the first one in place.
Slide on hinges
When it comes to slide on hinge applications, it is a little bit more hands on as you need a screwdriver to finish the job. You will need to place the hinge on top of the mounting plate, in position and secure it with the screw on top to finish. You should make sure you align all of the hinges before securing the first one.The overlay of your door
There are three common overlay options available when you’re choosing your concealed hinge. They are; full overlay, half overlay and inset. Explanations of what all of these mean is in detail below - but the overlay simply means how your door sits on the carcass when closed.
Full overlay concealed hinge
A full overlay is the hinge needed when the cabinet/cupboard door sits flush over the front of the unit when it’s closed. This style of hinge is very popular with furniture manufacturers as it completely conceals the cabinet which the doors are attached to.
The hinge will have a straight arm and it allows your cupboard door edge to be completely in line with the edge of your cabinet. One major advantage of a full overlay concealed hinge is that is fully adjustable due to three little screws which it has. They can be fine-tuned to ensure the door frame is totally concealed and fits together perfectly.
Half overlay concealed hinge
A half overlay hinge is very similar to the full overlay hinge however it allows for a door to be mounted either side of a central carcass panel therefore it covers only half of the carcass, allowing a 2nd hinge to cover the other half. The half overlay hinge will have a bend in the arm which will allow the cupboard door edge to cover half of the side panel, leaving the other exposed. You will usually find this sort of hinge in bedroom wardrobes.
Inset concealed hinge
The inset concealed hinge looks very different to the half overlay and full overlay hinges. When the door is closed it sits inside the carcass, as appose to in front of, like the full/half overlay options do. It has a large crank/bend in the arm and this will allow the cupboard door to be inset within the cupboard. The usual place in which you will find this particular hinge would be on solid wood furniture; they will expose the wooden frame around the cupboard door. They are also used on glass doors which you usually see in kitchen display cabinets.
Hinge cup hole sizes
There are 3 common cup hole sizes to think about for your concealed hinges. Your cup size is the size of the circular hole which you will cut in the door of your wooden furniture to allow the hinge to sit flat and attaches the hinge to the door with screws. The 3 sizes usually found are 26mm, 35mm and 40mm.
Ø26 -The 26mmØ is usually found in domestic furniture in the home, eg bedrooms, bathrooms – often on hinges refered to as ‘mini’ as they are smaller than regular hinges.
Ø35 -The 35mmØ cup hinge is the most commonly used furniture hinge, eg kitchens – this is generally the hinge of choice for most concealed hinge needs.
Ø40 - 40mmØ a cup holes would be found on extra thick or large doors – this is not a hinge found often, and a lot of suppliers will only have a few options available.
NON-STANDARD CONCEALED CABINET HINGES
Sometimes, to maximise on storage, furniture manufacturers may need concealed hinges that work within non-standard cabinets, often they are named after the specific solution they are designed for. Here are 3 commonly found non-standard concealed cabinet hinges for the UK:
Bi-Fold corner hinge
Found in corner cupboards, this hinge is designed for double doors in kitchens and allows the first door to be attached to the carcass side with a 170° hinge and then a second door can be attached to the first door using a specific Bi-Fold hinge. It is the hinge of choice for corner cupboards that use carousels, as it allows full access to the cupboard when its open.
Blind corner hinge
Again found in corner cupboards, often in kitchens, this specific hinge is found when you have no cabinet panel to fix to but do have an inline fascia, as you can see in the image (eg a piece of cabinet/door acting as gap-filler). These then allow the cupboard door to open over 90° to gain full access to the cupboard when open.
You would find an angled hinge in a corner cupboard or a cupboard that comes out at an unusual angle, usually they are 30-45° when closed. These particular hinges are usually found in a corner cupboard on something like a kitchen island where the cupboard isn’t flush with the corner of the island worktop.
Whatever the concealed hinge you need, it will be connected to the cabinet side with a mounting plate; the mounting plate will usually be screwed to the side panel of your cabinet and they are available in various types.
When choosing your mounting plate you need to work out the thickness of your carcass; they are usually 15/16mm or 18/19mm, but there are other options available. Here at Eurofit Direct we are a hinge specialist and will be able to answer any further questions you may have about the mounting plate or hinges.
There are usually 3 mounting plate options to choose from, they’re as follows:
37mm cruciform mounting plate
This cruciform mounting plate is fitted 37mm in from the front edge of your carcass and is usually fitted using 2 screws, this is the usual style for a UK hinge.
28mm cruciform mounting plate
Like the mounting plate above this is a cruciform mounting plate; the name cruciform is down to the shape and it is a 28mm one due to the fact it sits 28mm in from the edge of the carcass.
In-line mounting plate
The in-line mounting plate is named literally because of its shape, it’s all in-line (as shown in the photograph above). This will also sit 37mm in from the front edge of your carcass and is the mounting plate of choice for some manufacturers across the world.