Cabinet Hinges- Advice From The Pros!

Whether you’re purchasing new cabinet, installing new doors, or simply replacing your hinges, you will want to know a few basic things about cabinet hinges before making a decision on which ones to purchase. The choices can be overwhelming! Between soft close hinges, concealed hinges, semi concealed hinges, and the myriad options out there, it becomes hard to know what is the best choice for your kitchen!

in this blog, we help you know the difference between different types of hinges. Hopefully you will have a good understanding of each type and what will work best for you!

Perhaps you already know that you want to upgrade with a fully concealed European soft-close hinge. European hinges are used on most modern kitchens today. However, not all European hinges are soft-closing. Many of the lower priced ones are only self-closing, meaning they have a spring mechanism that simply holds the door in the closed position without the use of magnets or latches.

Surface Mount Cabinet Hinges

Think of using rustic hinges if you cannot use soft close hinges or it fits your home decor.
Old style rustic barn hinges look beautiful in a farm style or cottage kitchen!

Surface mount hinges mount to the outside of the cabinet frame and over the top of the door. These are usually decorative hinges for a more rustic or traditional look. If you have doors that are not lipped around the edge, this option may add some pizzazz to your kitchen!

Hinges for Lipped Doors

With semi concealed hinges, you see very little of the hinge, however you do see a little bit of it on the sides of the doors.

If your doors are lipped with a rabbited lip around the edge, you will not be able to use a standard concealed hinge. There is a special hinge that can be used, but it is pricey! Otherwise, you will need to use a semi-concealed hinge such as the one above. Semi-concealed hinges are visible on the edge of the door, but wrap around the inside of the door instead of on the face. The only other way to get around this is to get new doors made without the lip that overlay the face of the cabinet.

European Concealed Hinges

white shaker doors with concealed soft close hinges
Concealed hinges on Shaker doors

Fully concealed hinges, also called European hinges, come as either self-closing or soft-close. Be sure to note the difference before you purchase these. Most of these hinges require a 35mm hole to be bored on the back of the door for mounting the hinge to the door.

make your own pocket hole
Holes for concealed hinge

Can You Put Soft Close Cabinet Hinges On Old Cabinets?

Definitely! Check the overlap of the door on the hinge side, and be sure to order the correct hinge for that overlay. You will need to drill new holes on the back side of the cabinet doors to accommodate the new hinge.

As long as the doors are not lipped, you can add these cup holes yourself with this Kreg jig.

 Measure and drill a new hole for the new soft close hinge.

The first thing to do is determine the overlay (how much of the door sits over the face of the cabinet) on the hinged side of the door. There are few ways to do this – measure the width of the cabinet opening, and then measure the width of the door. Subtract the opening width from the door width for the total overlay for that door. Since the door overlays the cabinet on all sides, simply divide that number by 2 to get the overlay for one side. For example, if the door opening width measures 18 inches and the door width is 19 inches, you know there is a half inch overlay on each side [(19-18)/2=0.5].

You can double check this number by taking a pencil and marking where the edge of the door lies on the cabinet. Then remove the door and measure the distance from the edge of the opening to your mark.

All hinges must be ordered exactly according to their overlays. Every hinge is built for a specific overlay, so you want to be sure to order a hinge for that specific overlay.

Self Closing Cabinet Hinges Verses Soft Closing

The difference between self-close and soft-close is this; self-close uses a spring type mechanism that pulls and holds the door in place when closed. There is no need for a latch or magnet as the hinge keeps the door tight against the cabinet. However, these do not close softly. They will still close with a bang.

On the other hand, a soft-close hinge will stop the door short of completely closing, and the hydraulics inside the door hinge take over, thus softly closing the door.

With free swinging hinges (hinges without self-close or soft-close), you need to shut the door by pushing the door all the way to the cabinet. These generally have a magnet or latch installed inside the cupboard frame, to catch and snap the door shut.

Soft close hinges ensure that your kitchen doors close quietly and smoothly every single time you use that door! Your kitchen cabinet doors will never again slam shut when you upgrade to soft close hinges. Instead of banging shut as other self closing hinges do, soft close hinges glide shut to a certain point, before easing to a closed position with hydraulic mechanisms.

Adding Soft-close without changing the hinges.

Here’s a simple way to add the soft-close feature to any cabinet door. Simply add this cylinder inside the cabinet for a soft-close door. Some hinges have a clip on soft-close cylinder that can be inserted on the hinge itself.

With soft close hinges, you need not remind your children to be careful when closing your cabinet doors. Neither will they bang shut and scratch your cabinets every time you close them, thus extending the life of your kitchen cabinets.

You definitely will not regret upgrading to soft close hinges! It definitely saves on the wear and tear on your kitchen. Not to mention the lovely peace and quiet that results in a kitchen when the doors shut quietly and gently, verses banging shut every single time that you close a cabinet door!

Modern shaker style, full overlay doors use fully concealed hinges. These hinges mount inside the cabinet frame, and inside the cabinet door. Moreover, this allows the cabinet hinge to totally hide inside the cabinet door. Thus, leaving a clean smooth line of doors behind, with no hinges cluttering up the fronts of your kitchen cabinets! For more info on Shaker style doors check out our blog on Shaker doors.

refaced cherry kitchen with concealed soft closed hinges

Can Soft Close Hinges Be adjusted?

Definitely! Soft close hinges come with a three way adjustment- moving the cabinet door up and down, in and out, and left to right, to fit your cabinet. Along with that, the soft close hinge allows for a light, or heavy soft close movement. A professional can easily make these adjustments for you.

Additionally, soft close hinges come in a variety of brands. Among the best of them are Blum, Salice, and Grass. These use a heavy duty hydraulic system, and will take a maximum amount of wear and tear. Additionally, their smooth, whisper-soft closing adds grace and beauty to any kitchen!

However, if your cabinet doors are showing their age, you may want to upgrade by adding new doors. This along with new hardware beautifully updates any kitchen. For more info on refacing, check out our blog on refacing.

Do Soft Close Hinges Wear Out?

As with all things with mechanical parts, soft close hinges can eventually wear out. Especially, when you think of the thousands of times a cabinet door hinge is used even in a year’s time, it is only reasonable to think that in 20-30 years, they may eventually wear out. However, using the best of the best ensures you the peace of mind, that they last you a lifetime! You will not regret upgrading to soft close hinges- giving you the peace and quiet of soft close hinges in your own kitchen!

Bumper pads- Do They Help?

Bumper pads are those small vinyl or felt pads used on the corners of your doors to also minimize any scratching of your newly finished cupboards. They save your cupboards from any scratching or nicking from closing doors. Bumper pads help in keeping your cupboards in tip top condition!

Can We Help You Update Your Kitchen?

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