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Left tabA Layman's Guide to the Correct Specification of Hinges Around the HomeRight tab

A Layman's Guide to the Correct Specification of Hinges Around the Home

Black Ironmongery | Quality Butt Hinges |  A Layman's Guide to the Correct Specification of Hinges Around the Home

Why can't I use any old Hinge?

You can, if you want to, but...

Hinges are the most important ironmongery component of any door. Select the correct Hinge type and your door will provide you with years of trouble free service.

Selecting an incorrect hinge will inevitably lead to failure of the door which, in turn, may cause damage to the door and frame and other ironmongery components such as Locks and Latches. It may also cause injury to persons using the door and, in worse case scenarios, may prevent the door from carrying out it's designated function. This is especially relevent when selecting hinges for Fire Doors.

This not too technical guide can be used to help select the correct hinges for most domestic, residential applications.

For more detailed technical advice, or for advice in selecting hinges for Public Buildings or Commercial applications, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.
What do I need to Consider?

When selecting Hinges, consideration should be given to all of the following factors:

Door Construction;
"Butt" Hinges are designed to be cut into the edge of doors and the corresponding frame so that only the Hinge knuckle is showing when the door is in the closed position. You should ensure that the door is of adequate thickness to accept this type of Hinge. Important - these Hinge types are not suitable for fixing to standard ledged or ledged and braced doors. Hinges to suit this type of door can be found in the T Hinges Section of our catalogue.

Door Weight;
Most "Butt" Hinges have a maximum weight carrying capacity normally based on fitting 3 Hinges per door (1 1/2 pairs) on standard door sizes. The final Door Weight used for the selection of Hinges is the actual door weight plus ironmongery plus any additional factors such as Door Width and Door Closers - see below.

Note: For Windows and Doors fitted with only 2 Hinges the carrying guideline will need to be reduced by one third.

Door Width;
This is not normally an issue for residential properties as it normally relates to doors over 1000mm wide. However, it is worth mentioning just in case. Extra wide doors increase the pressure and bending movement exerted on the Hinges and this should be allowed for by selecting Hinges with a higher load capacity or by increasing the number of Hinges used. For example - if your door weighs 40kg but is 1100mm wide select Hinges with a load of 50kg or use 4 Hinges (2 pairs) with a load of 40kg.

Door Closers;
Door closing devices, whether concealed (Perko type) or surface mounted, excert additional pressure on Hinges and the door weight should be adjusted by an additional 20% to compensate for this. For Door Closers with a backcheck facility the adjustment required is an additional 75%.
Door Closers work best when used in conjunction with Hinges that have a low level of friction between the Hinge knuckles. Therefore, Washered or Ball Race Hinges should normally be used.

Frequency of Use;
Entrance doors to houses are generally used more than internal doors and, as a result, the Hinges fitted will experience more wear. In these cases, and to avoid the problems associated with excessive wear, select Hinges that are referred to as being either Medium Duty or Heavy Duty.

There are many considerations in deciding which finish to select for the right purpose:
Appearance - to match other door ironmongery components.
Location within the Building - internal or external doors and the direction of opening.
Location of the Building - coastal situations and high humidity can breakdown certain finishes.
Building Function - for example, swimming pools which create a very hostile atmosphere.
Door Timber - most door and frame timbers are acidic to some degree. Oak, Chestnut and Douglas Fir are the worst due to the presence of volatile acetic acid which will attack metals and electro-plated finishes in contact with the wood or in certain atmospheres.

As a Rule of Thumb the following should be applied:

Mild Steel Hinges - in Self Colour, Bright Zinc or Electro Brass plated finishes should only be fitted to internal doors. For external applications Sheradized or Spelter Galvanised finishes should be used.

Cast Iron Hinges - suitable for internal applications. However, they can be used for some external applications if properly maintained.

Brass Hinges - in Self Colour, Polished Brass, Polished Chrome, Satin Chrome or BMA (bronze) finishes can be used for both internal and most external applications. Note that most Polished Brass Hinges are supplied with a Lacquer Coating which will eventually breakdown when fitted externally. Note that Brass Hinges fitted with Steel Pins or Steel Washers are not suitable for external applications.

Stainless Steel Hinges - can be used for both internal and external applications. For extreme coastal conditions select Hinges manufactured from Grade 316 Stainless Steel.
Projection Hinges and Parliament Hinges

Where doors are required to open a full 180 degrees consideration should be given to the use of either Projection Hinges or Parliament Hinges.

These Hinges are designed to allow adequate clearance of architraves, window boards and down pipes etc.

Parliament Hinges are generally considered suitable for light weight doors and shutters only.

For heavier doors, especially fully glazed external doors, Projection Hinges should be used.
A Brief Note Regarding Fire Doors

Doors that are designated as Fire and/or Smoke Doors should be fitted with Hinges that have a melting point over 800 degrees Celsius. Hinges containing or manufactured from Aluminium or Nylon should never be used.

For most Residential applications hinges manufactured from Steel, Brass or Stainless Steel are generally regarded as being acceptable as long as they are capable of carrying the adjusted weight of the door - refer to the notes above regarding Door Width and Door Closers.

Fire Doors in multi-occupancy dwellings, commercial properties and public buildings should be fitted with Hinges that have been tested and approved for use on fire doors. The best way of determining this is to select hinges that are CE marked and Certifire approved.

For FD30 and FD60 fire door applications we would strongly recommend that the Hinges are fitted in conjunction with Intumescent Hinge Liners to fully comply with test requirements.

Fire Doors should always be fitted with Three or more Hinges.
Fixing Positions

Once you have chosen your Hinges it is important to ensure that they are positioned correctly on the door.

Figure 1 - this is standard practice and provides maximum resistance to warping.
Figure 2 - normally used on doors fitted with overhead door closers to reduce the lateral force on the top hinge.
Figure 3 - Where the door width is more than 1000mm or the door weight exceeds that allowed for three Hinges, an additional Hinge can be fitted and spaced as shown to provide maximum resistance to warping.
Figure 4 - this is basically a mixture of Fig. 2 and Fig. 3 and is recommended for wide or heavy doors fitted with overhead door closers to reduce the lateral force on the top Hinge.
Still Confused?

If you're still none the wiser and need further advise please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

Back to General Ironmongery - Butt Hinges.

Black Ironmongery | Quality Butt Hinges |  A Layman's Guide to the Correct Specification of Hinges Around the Home

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