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soft close concealed hinge

Cabinet Hinges- Advice From The Pros!

When it comes to cabinet door hinges, there’s no “one size fits all”! You need to understand what hinge will work for your cabinets.

Perhaps 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. 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

rustic self close hinges

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.

Hinges for Lipped Doors

semi concealed soft close hinges on white painted kitchen

If your doors are lipped with a rabbited lip around the edge, you will not be able to use a standard European hinge. There is a special hinge that can be used, but it is pricey! Otherwise, 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.

European Concealed 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.

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.

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.

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! If for no other reason, 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.

shaker cherry kitchen

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?

Contact Raymond today at Homestead Cabinet Design for an in-depth plan of action for those new kitchen cabinet hinges! We will be happy to help you with ideas for upgrading your current kitchen cabinets! You can feel actual sample doors and hardware. Give us a try TODAY!!

For more information about our services click here.

Call or text Raymond at:

413-685-5743

Or email for a fast free quote at:

raymond@homesteadcabinet.com

Our mission is to help you upgrade your kitchen, ensuring that you end up with spectacular results for the kitchen of your dreams!!

About the Author Susanna Glick