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There are so many different names for hinges that occasionally get tossed around when discussing doors. The different names mainly have to do with their function. To make things a little more simple, our hinged door manager, Pat King, takes the time to explain.
What Are The Differences in The Many Different Types of Hinges?
There are several types of hinges used for residential and commercial use. There are butt hinges, ball bearing hinges, spring hinges, concealed hinges, and pivot hinges.
Butt Hinges are by far the most common type. They consist of two leaves and a barrel. They are typically found on most commodity/stock/standard size doors you find at the local home center, and are the least expensive option. They usually end up squeaking and leaving dark residue on the jamb and casing of the door. That is because the two leaves rub against each other and cause friction.
Ball Bearing Hinges are an upgrade to the butt hinge. They also have two leaves and a barrel but they put bearings into the barrel of the hinge to stop the friction between the leaves of the hinge. They generally don't squeak and don't leave a residue on the jamb or casing. They can also hold more weight, it's a more common option for solid wood and commercial metal doors use.
Spring Hinges are more of a specialty type hinge. They are made with two leaves and a barrel but they have a spring in the barrel that can be adjusted to make the door close by itself. They are required in most states for a fire-rated door. They can also be used for such things as cold storage or a door that you want to stay closed.
Concealed Hinges are not very common but have benefits that other hinges don't have. They're not seen when the door is closed. They are installed deeper into the door and jamb, and all the moving parts are found inside. Concealed hinges are usually fully adjustable which can make it nice if the opening isn't square or if the house settles. You can make adjustments so the door can function properly and maintain a clean appearance. These hinges are more expensive than the other types of hinges and they have more labor involved in the installation, but they are a great product.
Pivot Hinges are the least common type of hinge. They are only used for doors that are too heavy for the other types of hinges. They are installed on the top and bottom of the door instead of on the side of the door. They can also be used for doors that need to swing both ways.
-Pat King, Hinged Door Manager
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