Door Hinges - Everything you need to know

This guide provides an overview of the various types of door hinges and includes detailed insights into their operational mechanisms, installation procedures, adjustment methods, and key considerations to factor in when selecting the most suitable hinge for your specific requirements.

 

General rules to follow with Door Hinges

Typically, a standard door requires x3 hinges. The top hinge should be located 150mm from the top of the sash, the bottom hinge should be located 150mm from the bottom of the sash, and the middle flag hinge should be positioned at an equal distance centrally between the top and bottom of the sash.

Door hinge positions

 

What are the different types of door hinges, and how do they work?

The door hinge types we will explore include:

Door Hinge Types

 

Flag Hinges for uPVC Doors

Flag hinges are specifically designed to fit and function with uPVC door frames and panels.

A flag hinge typically consists of two parts; one part attaches to the door sash (the part of the door that moves/opens) and the other part is fixed onto the door frame or the adjacent structure. These hinge parts are connected by a pin or a rod that acts as the hinge's axis.

Flag Hinges

The hinge mechanism allows the uPVC door to smoothly swing open and close. When the door is closed, the flag hinge is visibly sitting against the exterior surface of the door frame and sash. This design means the hinges are not visible from the interior side or in between the door profiles, maintaining a sleek and tidy appearance.

When the door needs to be opened, the flag hinge facilitates smooth movement by pivoting around its axis. It enables the door to swing open or closed without obstruction and allows for a full range of motion.

The functionality of the flag hinge on a uPVC door is essential for providing security, weatherproofing, and ease of use while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance for the door and its surrounding structure.

 

Key measurements to consider when choosing your flag hinge.

Flag Hinge Key Measurements

  • Profile Step Height: It is important to consider this to make sure you have the right hinge for your door sash. Some flag hinges have an adjustable profile step height to help you in all scenarios, they achieve this by adding packers over the pins onto the hinge body.
  • Height: The height is measured from the bottom of the hinge body to the top of the hinge body.
  • Width: The width is measured from the end of the hinge plate to the side of the hinge body.
  • Distance between pins: The distance between the pin on the hinge plate and the pin on the hinge body that is closest to the hinge plate pin. This is important to know if you are replacing an existing hinge.
  • Sash weight per hinge: It is important to know that 3 hinges can support the weight of the door sash.

 

How do you fit UPVC Flag Door Hinges?

Flag hinges consist of 2 main parts, as described above. The hinge plate (connects to the door sash) and the hinge body (connects to the door frame).

As mentioned previously, you will need x3 flag hinges for a standard UPVC single door. The top flag hinge should be located 150mm from the top of the sash, the bottom hinge should be located 150mm from the bottom of the sash, and the middle flag hinge should be positioned an equal distance centrally between the top and bottom of the sash.

If you are not replacing existing hinges but are adding hinges to a new door, we recommend using a fixing jig to help you drill your holes accurately in position.

 

  1. Place your fixing jig in each of the marked locations on the door sash and line up the centre line of the jig with your markings. Use the jig to pre-drill the screw holes and the pin-locating holes for each hinge plate position on the door sash and the screw holes and pin-locating holes for each hinge body on the door frame. Note: Be sure to hit the steel reinforcing within the uPVC profile when you are drilling.
  2. Using packers as required, position the hinge body to the door frame with the help of the locating pins, and fix it into place – usually with 3 screws. We advise screwing the centre screw first, which prevents the collapse of the profile.
  3. Insert the frame pin, giving it a gentle tap with a rubber mallet to secure it. Check it is set to the correct compression setting if applicable. 
  4. If you are installing the door upright (onto a pre-installed frame). Fit the hinge plate to the door sash – Slot the hinge plate in position using the locating pins then secure it with screws to the door sash. The screws furthest from the frame should be fixed into plastic and steel reinforcing.
  5. With all hinge bodies installed to the frame, and all hinge plates installed on the door sash, position the door and slide the hinge plates onto the hinge body pins. You should feel a slight click as you slide this on.
  6. If you are installing a door laying flat (with frame on ground/bench). Slot the hinge plate onto the hinge body pin. You should feel a slight click as you slide this on.
  7. Rotate and press down the hinge plate, so that locates the drilled holes and sits flush with the sash. Secure the hinge plate to the sash using the screws. The screws furthest from the frame should be fixed into plastic and steel reinforcing.
  8. Make adjustments: For all 3 hinges, check the door sash is located centrally in the frame. To adjust the horizontal position of the door sash, use an Allen key to adjust the horizontal adjustment point in the hinge plate. To adjust the vertical position of the door sash, use an Allen key to adjust the vertical adjustment point located underneath the hinge body.
  9. Once you are satisfied with the door position, click the cover shut over the hinge plate.
  10. Click in the cover caps on each end of the hinge frame.
 
 

Butt Hinges for UPVC Doors

UPVC Butt hinges consist of two parts: the frame piece and the sash piece, joined by a pin that serves as the axis of rotation.

On the uPVC door, the frame piece is positioned on the face of the door frame, while the sash piece attaches to the profile of the door sash.

UPVC Butt Hinges

The butt hinge works by allowing the door to swing open and close smoothly around the pin/axis connecting the two hinge parts. When the door is shut, the butt hinge remains mostly concealed between the door and the frame, presenting a clean and streamlined appearance internally.

Butt hinges are often adjustable, allowing for fine-tuning of the door's position, alignment, and clearance. This adjustability helps in maintaining proper sealing and smooth operation of the door over time.

Key measurements to consider when choosing your UPVC Butt Hinge

UPVC Buut Hinge Key Measurements

  • Profile Angle: [image see pg 513] This is the angle of the flat part of the frame piece. Some uPVC butt hinges offer variations on the angle when fitted to the frame.
  • Height
  • Width
  • Distance between pins: the distance between the two pins on the hinge body. This is important to know if you are replacing an existing hinge.
  • Sash weight per hinge: it is important to know that 3 hinges can support the weight of the door sash.
 

Door Hinges for Composite Doors

UPVC Butt hinges consist of two parts: the frame piece and the sash piece, joined by a pin that serves as the axis of rotation.

The sash piece is attached to the door sash, while the frame piece is fixed to the door frame or the adjacent structure.

Composite Door Hinges

When the door is closed, the composite hinge is mostly concealed between the door profile and the frame, maintaining a tidy and streamlined appearance.

As the door is opened or closed, the composite hinge allows the door to pivot smoothly around the pin or axis connecting the hinge pieces. This rotation provides stability and supports the weight of the door.

Composite door hinges are often designed to withstand the demands of composite doors, which can be heavier than traditional doors due to their construction. They may have features like increased load-bearing capacity, adjustability for alignment, and sometimes corrosion-resistant coatings to ensure long-term functionality.

Composite door hinges play a crucial role in the security and functionality of the door. They enable the smooth operation of the door while ensuring that it remains properly aligned, sealed, and securely fixed to the frame.

 

Key measurements to consider when choosing your Composite Door Hinge

Composite Door Hinge Key Measurements

  • Height
  • Width
  • Sash weight per hinge: it is important to know that 3 hinges can support the weight of the door sash.
 

How do you fit uPVC Butt Hinges and Composite Door Hinges?

  1. As mentioned at the top of this article; You will need x3 hinges for a standard door. The top hinge should be located 150mm from the top edge of the door, the bottom hinge should be located 150mm from the bottom edge of the door, and the middle hinge should be centrally positioned equally between the 2 outer hinges.
  2. Mark the 3 hinge positions on the door. (The top and bottom hinges should be 150mm away from the edge at each end, and the centre hinge should be positioned equally between the 2 outer hinges.)
  3. To fit the sash piece to the door; pre-drill the screw holes in each of the 3 predetermined hinge positions. Then screw the sash piece in place on the door profile.
  4. Fit the flag bushes into each sash piece, and use a rubber mallet to tap in. Make sure the flag bush is inserted at the top of the sash piece.
  5. Fit your frame piece to the door frame. Pre-drill your fixing screw holes to the door frame and insert the frame piece into position and secure it in place with screws. Ensure that the frame piece bush is at the bottom of the frame piece.
  6. Connect the sash piece to the frame piece, then insert the pin from the top of the hinge and tap in with a rubber mallet. Once the pin is in, tighten using an Allen key.
  7. Check the horizontal position of the door in the frame, there should be a 4mm air gap on both the left and right sides. Adjust the door hinge using the Allen key holes located at the side of the hinge. [image of the Allen key holes location]
  8. Check the vertical position of the door in the frame, there should be a 4mm air gap at the top and bottom. Adjust the door hinge using the Allen keyholes located at the top and bottom of the hinge. [image of the Allen key holes location]
  9. When you are satisfied the door is in position tighten the grub screw (positioned on the internal side of the hinge) to fix the hinge tightly to the pin.
 

Butt Hinges for Timber Doors

butt hinge is a commonly used hinge type for timber doors, providing stability and smooth operation for opening and closing. These hinges consist of two metal plates or leaves connected by a pin that serves as the axis of rotation.

Butt Hinges for Timber Doors

When installing butt hinges to timber doors, one hinge leaf is attached to the door sash edge or the door's profile (the vertical frame of the door), while the other hinge leaf is installed on the door frame or the adjacent structure. These leaves are morticed into the door and frame to ensure a flush and secure fit. The hinge leaves are screwed into place.

Proper alignment during installation is crucial to ensure that the door sits level and flush with the frame when closed.

When the timber door is closed, the butt hinge remains mostly concealed between the door and the frame, presenting a neat and unobtrusive appearance. As the door is opened or closed, the butt hinge allows the door to pivot smoothly around the pin or axis connecting the hinge leaves. This rotation provides stability and supports the weight of the door.

Butt hinges are designed to carry the weight of the door and distribute it evenly to prevent sagging or sticking. They are available in various sizes and load-bearing capacities to accommodate different door sizes and weights.

Butt hinges play a critical role in the security and functionality of the timber door. Some Butt hinges are fire rated which are essential to use when fitting to any fire door. They ensure the door remains up to fire safety standards, properly aligned, sealed, and securely fixed to the frame.

 

Key measurements to consider when choosing your Butt Hinge

Butt Hinges for Timber Doors Key Measurements

  • Size: The width and height of the hinge leaves.
  • Usage: Is the door low, medium or high usage?
  • Grade: Is the hinge grade 7 or grade 13? Grade 7 hinges are typically specified to suit light to medium-duty applications. They can support doors or panels with moderate weight, making them suitable for many residential and commercial doors. Grade 13 hinges are heavy-duty hinges with a significantly higher load-bearing capacity. They are designed to support heavy doors and panels, making them suitable for industrial and commercial applications where durability and strength are essential.
 

In this comprehensive guide, we explored various hinge types and provided detailed insights into their functionality, installation procedures, adjustment methods, and important considerations when selecting the right hinge for your specific needs.

We've discussed four key hinge types:

Flag hinges for uPVC Doors

Each hinge type comes with its unique characteristics and installation procedures, all of which we've discussed in detail within this guide.

We've also emphasized the importance of precise measurements and proper alignment during installation to ensure doors fit and function as intended. Whether you're dealing with uPVC, composite, or timber doors, the right hinge and accurate installation are key to their performance and longevity.

 

 

This blog is intended as a guide to the operation of the products in it. Whilst we may describe standards and scenarios, we cannot recommend the use of these products for a specific environment or circumstance. The specification of any product must be undertaken by the professional on-site who has knowledge of the building, its inhabitants, its intended use, and any other requirements. We cannot say that a product is suitable for a specific use case.