Are Interior Door Hinges Universal?

Doors are an essential part of life that we spend most of our waking days closing and opening doors. By now, you might think you know your doors well — what kind of doors you have, how to lock them, if they shut on their own, and so on — but if you need to repair or replace your interior door hinges today, you would want to know first if they’re universal.

Door hinges are not universal, so you must check their measurements carefully before purchasing new ones. Interior door hinges come in different types, like the double-action spring, butterfly, and more. One hinge type is sometimes better than the other, depending on your preference.

The rest of the article will discuss different door hinges to select the right one for you.

Why We Have Different Door Hinges

All doors share one thing in common: they open and close. However, they don’t always close or open in the same manner. You may have noticed some doors are “heavier” to open than others.

Are Interior Door Hinges Universal?

Door hinges play a significant role in how doors work. Some hinges make doors easier or harder to open. Some doors can quickly or slowly close on their own after you’ve opened them. 

Due to the different things door hinges can do to doors, some people end up changing their door hinges to replace them with more convenient door hinges or hinges types that suit them better. Sometimes door hinges get old and rusty and need changing. Maybe you’ve recently replaced your old door knobs or levers, so you want to replace your door hinges to ensure they have the same finish as all of your other door hardware.

Things to remember about door hinges:

  • Door hinges come in different sizes to suit different door sizes, so you want to check the dimensions of the existing door hinges you want to replace before purchasing new ones.
  • It is essential to remember that interior and exterior door hinges are not the same, so you want to know how to differentiate them before purchasing your door hinges.
  • Several types of door hinges are available on the market with different shapes to suit your needs and preferences. 

Different Types of Door Hinges

There are many types of door hinges, some for interior doors, some for exterior doors. It would help if you chose the hinges that are suitable for your doors. Door hinges come in different shapes and sizes to suit various door shapes and sizes.

While there are many door hinges available on the market today, they are not equal. Some door hinges are better than others and can work in various situations, so you want to weigh their benefits and drawbacks before purchasing them. First, you must first recognize the different door hinges to help you make the correct selection for your door needs.

Double Action Spring Hinge

One of the most common interior door hinges used in residential buildings is the double-action spring hinge. This door hinge type is also commonly known as the café, swing, sway, or saloon door hinge. The reason being is doors that use this hinge type can easily be opened as you push them and move like a swing as you close them.

The double-action spring hinge is suitable for kitchen or dining room doors. Thanks to the hinge’s design, doors can open 180° easily swing in both directions, making it convenient for people to enter and leave the kitchen. The double-action spring hinge features two cylinders combined against a square leaf, giving it a unique look that sets it apart from exterior door hinges.

You cannot use the double action spring hinge outside because this type of door hinge cannot support the weight of steel or fiberglass doors. That said, this hinge type is not suitable for heavy-duty doors. If you prefer doors that don’t swing, avoid this option.

Butterfly Hinge

The butterfly is another door hinge type that is commonly used on interior doors. Like the double-action spring hinge, the butterfly hinge cannot support heavy doors like exterior doors. Therefore, the butterfly hinge is used on interior doors.

The butterfly hinge is beautiful, which makes it popular for interior doors. Suppose you want your door hinges to look different from most door hinges you would find in other homes and get butterfly door hinges, perhaps for your bedroom. If you find a butterfly hinge too girly, don’t worry, you can customize this hinge type according to your preference.

Flag Hinge

While it is not common to see a flag hinge in people’s homes, you can usually find it on PVC doors. The flag hinge has a distinctive look, so you can easily spot it when you see one. Instead of having two hinges attached to a central knuckle, you only have a single leaf that connects to a pin, and the flag hinge can swivel around the pin at 360°.

Bi-Fold Hinge

Like the flag hinge, the bi-fold hinge is not very common, but you can still find it on doors, such as French doors or even cabinet doors. The bi-fold is ideal when you need a hinge that has multiple leaves of different lengths. Use this hinge if you want your door to open to a greater extent.

The bi-fold allows your door to open bigger, thanks to the multiple pivots it has. You can even customize the hinge’s leaves lengths if necessary. With the bi-fold door hinge, your door can swing in two directions, something you’d see on Japanese folding doors.

Take-Apart Hinge

You want to choose a take-apart hinge if you require plenty of space to move things around the house. The take-apart hinge is designed to make it easier for people to disassemble a door whenever necessary. Like the flag hinge, the take-apart hinge uses only one leaf and a central pin, making it very easy to take a door down.

Concealed Hinge

Sometimes you don’t want your door hinge to be visible, so you hide it, and this is possible with the concealed hinge, which is designed to be invisible. The concealed hinge consists of a pivot and a bracket. You place the hinge against the recess in the door, far from outside view.

With the concealed hinge, your door can open at a 90° angle. While it is not as popular as other door hinge types, the concealed hinge is commonly used on interior homes worldwide. And you can find the concealed hinge used on cabinet doors —like that of IKEA’s.

Finding the Right Door Hinge

As mentioned earlier, you must take measurements of the door hinges you want to replace before purchasing new ones. You can start measuring your door hinge from top to bottom and then from side to side. Once you get the measurements down on a piece of paper, you need to determine if the hinge has a radius corner (refers to the hinge corner’s degree of roundness) or a square corner (90° angle).

Don’t know how to determine the roundness of the door hinge corners? You can use a dime or a nickel to guide you. A dime matches up to ¼” radius, whereas a nickel matches up to ⅝” radius. 

The following sizes are common for interior door hinges:

  • 3.5-inch x 3.5 inches, with ⅝” inch radius corner
  • 3.5-inch x 3.5 inches, with ¼” inch radius corner
  • 3.5-inch x 3.5 inches, square corner

Final Thoughts

Interior door hinges are not universal. You can find interior door hinges in different shapes and sizes, and you should buy the ones that suit your door types and sizes. Make sure you measure your current door hinges first before replacing them with new ones.

There are many door hinge types on the market today, such as the double-action spring, butterfly, and more, but they’re not all equal. Some hinges are best for exterior doors, while some are meant for interior doors only. You can also find door hinges that are multi-purpose and can be used on furniture and more.


Recent Posts