Closets come in various shapes and sizes, which is why the same construction materials can’t be used for each unit. Hinges play a significant role in the “open/close” functionality of the closet, and closet owners have a range of options to choose from. This post walks you through the common hinge terminologies and types of hinges that are most suited to closet design.
The first step is to determine the type of design you want for your closet – it becomes easy to put things together with the right hinges. Next, you should understand the basic design and anatomy of a door hinge.
Anatomy of a Hinge
A hinge consists of a frame wing, door wing, knuckle and a pin. Frame wing attaches to the closet’s frame, door wing attaches to the closet’s door, knuckle attaches both wings together, and the pin holds these parts together. The parts look different but perform the same function in any type of hinge.
Common hinges use the following mechanisms to function:
- Wrap Around
- Face Frame
- Surface Mounted
- Reverse Bevel
- Flush/Full Inset
We have hand-picked some hinge styles that not only function well but also look great in closets. Let’s take a look.
Types of Hinges
A decorative hinge can either be exclusively decorative or both decorative and functional. The first type holds the closet door steady but also shows from the front. With the second type, there’s a visible hinge at the front of the closet while a practical hinge holds the door in place from the inside. It is also known as a faux hinge that makes your closet look pretty but also provides space for the practical hinge to do its job.
People choose faux hinges when they want to give their closet a specific look but cannot find a decorative hinge which is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Faux hinges also go on cabinets that are only for decoration; thus, they do not need to be functional.
Demountable hinges allow you to detach the closet door for cleaning or fixing things easily. Such hinges usually go on kitchen cabinets or other spaces that need to be cleaned frequently. However, every enclosed space (including closets) can benefit from the room expanding benefits of demountable hinge doors.
Demountable hinges come in both single and double versions based on the style of a closet. You do not need to unscrew or move any big piece of hardware when fixing doors with demountable hinges. Single demountable hinges can go on the closet frame while the other end goes on the door. Just slip the door off when you have to remove it. In double demountable hinges, the slots go both on the closet frame and door without screws.
Also known as concealable or invisible hinges, hidden hinges help homeowners design the perfect look for their wardrobes and closets. When secured with these parts, a cabinet door appears as if it’s floating in mid-air. And, as the name suggests, you can’t see hidden hinges from the outside of the cabinet.
Spring-loaded or self-closing hinges allow the closet door to close on its own. These hinges are typically made with springs, but some use a hydraulic design as well. Self-closing doors are common in every part of the house, especially in kids’ rooms as children often forget to shut their closet doors. They’re a practical hinge option that gives a neat look to your closet space.
One drawback of self-closing hinges is that the mechanism wears over time so they might have to be frequently replaced. Otherwise, the closet door will jam until you remove the hinge and replace it with a fresh pair.
Soft-closing hinges are like self-closing hinges, except that they come in a different design. Self-closing hinges close the door for you, but they’re not a quiet affair. You’ll always hear a little thud when the door closes. Soft-closing hinges improve upon this by allowing the door to close without a slam or a bam. Soft closing hinges use hydraulic technology to create a vacuum that closes the door. The drawback of this kind of hinge is that it requires manual effort to shut the door securely. Alternatively, you can wait until the door reaches a certain angle and shuts itself.
Heavy-duty hinges are more commonly used in industrial environments than in houses. However, an industrially designed home can benefit from a heavy-duty hinge. These hinges can hold more weight and provide greater support to doors. If your closet doors are heavy, you can pick these hinges to provide them with a longer lifespan. Barrel and pivot hinges are heavy-duty hinges that hold a lot of weight but also feel smooth while opening/closing the door.
Types of Hinge Finish
Many people are not concerned with the way a hinge looks, as long as it does its job. However, it is weird to see a golden hinge on a silver-finished closet. The safe bet is to choose a hinge finish beforehand that does not make you question your decisions later. Hinges come in a lot of finishes and styles, so you can buy a few samples and try putting them next to your closet doors.
Common hinge finishes are made of copper, brass, chrome, nickel, steel and stainless steel. Some hinges are painted—usually black or white. As you seek for a custom closet system, hinges provide one more way for you to achieve just the look you want.