You know I find myself ogling (door) hardware frequently.  And this is especially true with commercial spaces.  And I know, I know — we are “generally” a site dedicated to residential construction, but when Ginny, an expert with commercial hardware, offered this — All About Door Hinges. Much of it applies to the residential setting as well.  Enjoy.  ~jb


A hinge is probably the most versatile piece of hardware in the building industry.

The most common commercial hinge for a “standard” 3’0” x 7’0” x 1 ¾” wood door is a ball bearing 4 ½” x 4 ½” butt hinge in brushed chrome. Very basic but does the job. We no longer stock non ball bearing hinges as we learned during door installs the majority of installers didn’t understand the difference and non ball bearing hinges would end up on doors with closers. Not a good thing.

Hinges are as varied as the doors that hang from them. While most building products are measured width x height, door hinges are measured height by width; and the width is the total opening measurement of both leaves of the hinge.

Specifying & Sizing Hinges

To determine the height of the hinge this graph is helpful:

Graph on Sizing Hinge HeightsThe general rule for the quantity of hinges for a door leaf is one hinge for every 30” of door height. A typical 7’0” door would require 3 hinges; an 8’0” tall door – 4 hinges.

Large Industrial HingeKeeping this in mind on the lead side of a-fabco’s business we manufacture vault doors that can weigh 22,000 lbs. This handy dandy hinge from Brookfield Industries is so heavy I could barely move it in order to take pictures.

There are also many hinges to solve special door opening dilemmas. Lori Greene just wrote a great blog post explaining 4 different types of hinges and the application in which you would use them.

Being on the commercial side, I don’t often get into the sexy hinges but had to throw in a few for good measure because I know how JB loves sexy hardware.

Hinge Styles

Like these strap hinges that can be used on gates or shed:

Strap Hinge ExamplesOr a decorative hinge:

Decorative Hinge Example

Making sure a door is hanging from the right hinge will prevent all sorts of future issues.

I also want to say thank you to JB for asking me (about 100 years ago) to write a post for this blog. I am sorry it took so long.


Note from the hosts:  And thank you right back Ginny!  Ginny can be found on twitter @GinnyPowell — look her up.  And thanks for reading. For more from our collection of Home Improvement Guides, please see our series – Guides. ~jb