Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cabinet Hinges in a Nutshell...

As promised, here's a quick jot on Cabinet Hinges - not very entertaining, but if you are renovating your kitchen, you are going to run into this.  Took me DAYS to work all this out.

If you are trying to keep your existing cabinets (as I was) you need to know the different styles of cabinet before you go off shopping for hinges.  Here are the two different styles:

You can see that the cabinet on the bottom takes a hard right and hard left when it comes to the front.  The door has to be mounted onto this frame,  determines what choices you have on your hinges.

My cabinets are "Face Frame Cabinets":

My doors sit on top of the Face Frame - they don't go out to the edge, and they aren't centered inside the opening.  They OVERLAY the frame.

So now I knew what kind of hinge configuration I overlay hingeOnly an overlay hinge will work in this configuration - not a full or partial inset hinge.  That narrowed the choices considerably.   I wanted little or no hinge visible, and the cabinet maker and job foreman firmly suggested that I go with a European hinge rather than a partial overlay hinge.  The reason?  The good ones are adjustable 3 different ways.  That means you can always go back and loosen the set screws and adjust them if your house settles and the cabinet doors start looking like they aren't on straight!  

So, I used a 5/8" European overlay hinge in brushed nickel.  And, many of the decisions were made for me before I even went shopping...  You can buy these in "Contractor Packs" of 10 at The Home Depot.  Comes out better on the budget that way.

The hinge will be invisible from the outside, allowing my hardware to be the stars of the show!
The reason I had to go with the 5/8" was because my oak frames are what carpenters call "one-by".  That means the frame is 1" by 2".  Only it isn't totally 1" thick - for some reason in this industry, if it says it is 1" thick, it is only 5/8".  That is a mystery I am not willing to spend time on to figure out.

Now, my fairly simple hardware will be the only metal showing on my doors:

Cup pulls for the drawers.
 Okay, I know how boring that was, but trust me, this is info you can use if you are updating your kitchen any time soon.  You won't spend days and days picking out your hinges, and have to return them all because they won't work!

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