Your home’s door hinges are probably not something you think about on a regular basis. However, when they begin to squeak or come loose from the wall, this un noticed door hardware suddenly become a priority in your mind.
Fixing or installing high quality door hinges can seem like a simple task on the surface, but the practical application of it raises questions such as, how many hinges does my door require? What size are the hinges? Which hinges are the best quality?
We have taken the guesswork out of it for you and compiled a complete guide to finding the best door hinge to meet your needs, as well as some helpful tips on installation and troubleshooting!
What is a Door Hinge?
A door hinge is the small piece of hardware that fastens the door to the wall and allows it to swing open and closed. There are many types of door hinges that vary in the type and degree of movement that they allow. Some hinges offer door rotation up to 90 degrees whereas others may offer a full range of movement that allows the door to open fully until it is flush with the connecting wall.
What to Look for When Buying The Best Door Hinge
There are several factors that are important to look for when you are looking to buy door hinges. Whether you are installing new doors or simply updating hardware on existing doors, you will need to take note of some information and answer some questions before you start in order to find the best door hinge for your home improvement project.
Interior or Exterior Door Hinges?
Are you looking for door hinges for an interior door, exterior door? Interior doors are generally constructed of a lighter material and tend to have smaller hinges, generally in the 3.5-inch range.
Exterior doors are built of sturdier, heavier materials to protect the home’s entry and aid in insulation. They tend to have larger hinges that are around 4-inches in order to support the extra weight of the door. For a complete pocket door hardware set you can check out the article we covered to make it simpler for yourself.
How Will Your Door Swing?
Do you want your door to open and close manually with a standard one-way swing range, or do you want doors that will close on their own after opening? For standard opening and closing doors, a plain bearing hinge will work perfectly.
For doors that swing freely back and forth such as those, you may see at the entryway to a kitchen will require a double-action spring hinge. For doors that you want to have open one-way but close on their own, a self-closing hinge is an ideal option.
How Many Hinges?
Before you purchase door hinges for your door, it is important to take note of how many hinges each door has to calculate how many you need to buy. This is important when you are installing hinges on multiple doors, especially if the doors are different sizes.
If you are unsure how many hinges you need, you can simply count the number of hinges currently in place for existing doors.
If you are installing new doors for the first time, then the rule of thumb is to provide one hinge for every 30-inches of height or portion of 30-inches.
For example, if you have a door that is 90-inches high, then you will need three hinges. However, if your door is 92-inches high then you should install four hinges.
Full Mortise, Half Mortise, or Surface Hinges?
It is important to pay attention to both the door’s hinge edge and the door frame where the hinge will be attached. If there is an inset groove on both the door and frame, then you will need a full mortise hinge which is designed to be inset so it is flush with the wall once installed. A half mortise is where there is only an inset groove on either the door or the frame.
Surface hinges do not require any inset groove and generally have plates thin enough to simply screw on to both sides without any inset needed.
Removable Vs. Fixed Pins
For plain bearing hinges, the knuckles are held together with a metal pin on which both plates rotate. It is important to check the product details when purchasing a hinge to see if the pins are removable or not.
If they are removable, then you can separate the door from the wall and screw each of the hinge plates individually before putting the door up and placing the pins to secure it. If the pins are not removable then you either have to replace one hinge at a time or have somebody hold the door steady for you while you attach the hinges.
Which Finish for Your Hinges?
Door hinges come in a number of different finishes just as other pieces of hardware do. Brushed nickel, oiled bronze, matte black, chrome, and brass are just some of the finishing options that are common.
Take care in ensuring you purchase hinges that match the door handle and other fixtures in the room. Having uniform fixtures and hardware can go a long way in improving the overall aesthetic of a room.
List of The Best Top Quality Door Hinges & Brands For Exterior Or Interior Doors
Based on our market research and reviews from hundreds of individuals , find below the results on the highest positive feedback on the top door hinge.
1. AmazonBasics Rounded 18 Pack Door Hinge – Durable set of matching hinges
These door hinges come in a pack of 18 for more than one door installation or to keep additional parts handy for future repairs. Buying hinges in a set is especially helpful when you a couple of doors that need hinges, or when you want to keep hinge styles uniform throughout your living space to match home decor and style.
The matte black option offers a more modern feel that is ideal for rooms with darker accents or darker colored doors and doorframes.
These door hinges are 3.5-inches wide by 3.5-inches tall with a total of 6 holes for mounting. The set comes with all of the mounting hardware needed for proper installation, as well as an easy-to-follow installation guide.
These hinges have rounded corners that are perfect for matching with rounded hinge slots in the door frame. The hinge is small but it is constructed from durable steel to easily handle the weight of the door and keep it secure and steady for long wear.
The quality of these hinges ensures smooth opening and closing that is far less likely to squeak than hinges of lesser quality. AmazonBasics backs their product with a 1-year limited warranty to give you peace of mind in your purchase.
- Matching set of 18 hinges.
- Modern matte black color.
- 1- year limited warranty.
- It comes with instructions and mounting hardware.
- Durable steel construction.
- The Pins can get stuck inside the hinge
- The matte black is not as matte as some people prefer.
2. Kesler 3 1/2 Inch Matte Black Door Hinges with 5/8"
(Pack of 50)
Purchasing your hinges in a large set of 50 is ideal for larger projects where you are installing or replacing door hinges in the entire home, in multiple rooms, or on the whole floor of a house.
Having a matching set all from the same manufacturer ensures uniformity in aesthetics and quality throughout.
Any hinges that remain unused can be saved for any future repairs or installations so you always have matching hardware.
The matte black color of the hinge provides a striking look when added to a white or light-colored door and door frame. Alternatively, dark or black doors and door frames can benefit from using a darker hinge for a hidden hinge aesthetic.
The set comes with all of the screws required for proper installation. The screws are painted a matching matt black to fit seamlessly with the hinges. The hinge is 3.5-inches by 3.5-inches with corners that are rounded to a 5/8-inch radius.
The hinges are in a full mortise style so they sit flush with the door jamb for a smoother finish after installation. The plain bearing hinge design allows for smooth opening and closing of the door that is sturdy and durable. The hinges include the embossed Hager brand on them so you know you are getting the real deal.
- Matching set of 50 hinges for large projects.
- Modern matte black color.
- It comes with a complete set of matching screws.
- Full Mortise door hinge for a smooth finish.
- Smooth operating plain bearing hinge.
- The plates may be thicker than standard and require deepening the groove of the door frame.
- The black paint may stain objects it comes in to contact with.
3. Ilyapa Radius Corners Door Hinges 18 Pack – Excellent Value
These door hinges come in a pack of 18 so you can replace multiple doors’ hinges with one simple purchase. The satin nickel finish offers just the right amount of sheen without being too shiny.
It pairs well with brushed nickel door handles or other hardware with a satin silver color. Classic and simple, these hinges create a clean modern aesthetic and are a great addition to any room. When you order these hinges, the box comes with each hinge individually wrapped in protective plastic in order to prevent scratches and keep the hinges looking pristine
. Each set also comes with matching screws in two different sizes. 108 satin nickel screws in a ¾-inch size, and 18 flathead screws in 1 ½-inch size.
This allows you to choose a screw size that is appropriate for each door without the added hassle of purchasing additional screws.
The hinges have rounded corners at a 5/8-inch radius and measure 3.5-inches by 3.5-inches which are ideal for interior doors. The hinges function smoothly so they are far less prone to squeak as some other lesser quality hinges.They are built to last with a strong and durable design. In fact, Ilyapa is so confident in the quality of their product that they offer a free lifetime warranty on every hinge.
- Matching set of 18 hinges.
- Individually wrapped to prevent scratches.
- It comes with matching screws in 2 sizes.
- Durable quality with smooth operation.
- Free lifetime warranty.
- The pins may be very difficult to remove.
4. Kesler Oil Rubbed Bronze Door Hinges
These genuine Kesler brand hinges are made from top quality materials that provide smooth and squeak-free movement of the plain bearing hinge so you won’t face any problems with your doors for years to come.
The plates are embossed with the Kesler logo so you know you are getting the real deal. These hinges come in a set of 50 which is great if you are looking to update the look of your home by replacing the hardware and switching up your finishes.
The oil-rubbed bronze is gorgeous and a classy and elegant design element. The full mortise style of these door hinges means you will have a smooth final result without the distraction of bulky hinge plates.
Your home project is made simple because when you order this set, it comes with matching screws for easy installation. Each plate measures 3.5-inches by 3.5-inches and has 5/8-inch radius rounded corners. This size makes them ideal for interior doors.
- Matching set of 50 hinges.
- Full mortise door hinge style.
- It comes with matching screws.
- Beautiful oil-rubbed bronze finish.
- Genuine Kelser brand hinges.
- The pins may be difficult to remove.
- Some hinges may arrive with small scratches from shipping.
5. AmazonBasics Self-Closing Door Hinge
If you have issues in your home with doors being left open when they shouldn’t be, or doors being in the way if left open, then switching to a self-closing door hinge could be the perfect solution for you.
Self-closing door hinges have an internal spring mechanism that will cause the door to close on its own after opening. These hinges are sold individually so you are able to purchase only what you need without overspending by paying for additional unnecessary parts.
This is especially helpful for self-closing hinges, as the complexity of the design makes them more expensive than plain bearing hinges. The hinge comes with the mounting hardware included as well as detailed easy-to-follow instructions for easy and fast installation.
With a matte black finish, this hinge is both functional and stylish, adding a great accent to any room and pairing especially well with matte black door handles. The hinge plates are sized for most standard interior doors at 3.5-inches by 3.5 inches with rounded corners.
The hinge itself is made from durable heavy-duty steel so you can rest assured that your door will stay securely in place. The quality is backed by AmazonBasics 1-year limited warranty, so you can make your purchase with confidence.
- Sold individually so you don’t overpay for unnecessary parts.
- Self-closing hinge style.
- It comes with mounting hardware.
- Stylish matte black finish.
- Backed by AmazonBasics 1-year limited warranty.
- Spring tension may not be enough for some doors.
- May not be able to handle heavy doors.
6. Netuera 30 Pack Satin Nickel 3.5
With smooth, squeak-free turning on a plain bearing, these hinges offer quality craftsmanship and simple straight-forward design.
The brushed nickel finish adds a subtle touch to room décor and pairs well with other brushed nickel fixtures and door handles.
Since the silvery finish isn’t too shiny, it doesn’t distract the eye and is ideal for use with white or light-colored doors and door frames.
This pack comes with 30 hinges which are very useful for larger projects when you are replacing multiple door hinges in multiple rooms. Each hinge has matching screws for simple installation without the hassle of having to find and purchase additional parts.
The hinge plates are each 3.5-inches with 5/8-inch rounded corners which is the standard size for most interior doors. The hinges are durable and are contractor-grade so you can get professional quality at a fraction of the cost.
The thickness of each hinge plate is 2.2mm so they will blend in well with the door frame without being bulky or causing issues with doors being too tight to close properly. The interior pin measures .25-inch in diameter and can be removed so you can attach the hinges without having to get another person to hold the door steady for you.
- It comes in a set of 30 for multiple doors.
- Removable pins for easy installation
- It comes with mounting hardware.
- Contractor-grade quality.
- Beautiful satin nickel finish.
- Some pins may be more difficult to remove than others
- Hinges may become scratched during shipping.
Installation Guide for Door Hinges
Replacing Existing Hinges
1. Compare new hinges to old hinges.
Make sure the new hinges match the old hinges in size and shape.
2. Prop up the door.
Place blocks under the door to keep it steady and prevent it from falling over.
3. Remove the old hinges.
Start from the top and work your way down. You can either replace them one at a time or remove them all first before replacing the new ones. Make sure you check the quality of the wood underneath the old hinge and. If necessary, repair the wood before attaching the new hinge.
4. Install the new hinges.
Once the wood is repaired (if needed), carefully screw the new hinges into place.
New Door Installation
1. Find the correct location for your hinges.
If you are installing a new door, then the top hinge should be 7-inches from the top of the door frame, and the bottom hinge should be 11-inches from the bottom of the door frame.
Then, place any remaining hinges evenly spaced between the top and bottom hinge. The general rule for the number of hinges required is 1 hinge for every 30 inches and every portion of 30 inches. i.e. a 90-inch door requires 3 hinges, the 92-inch door requires 4.
2. Trace the hinge.
Place your hinge in the correct location on the door jamb and door and trace it with a pencil. For surface hinges, trace the screw holes at this time as well.
For mortise hinges, go over your pencil lines with a utility knife to score the edges.
3. Cut the mortise if using a mortise hinge.
If you are installing a mortise hinge, then use a sharpened chisel to cut a recess into the wood that follows the shape of your hinge that you traced. Be careful not to cut too deeply, you want the hinge to be flush with the wood. Check out this video for further instructions on installing a mortise hinge.
4. Mark the screw locations.
Once you have cut your mortise, place the hinge and trace the screw location holes then remove the hinge.
5. Cut pilot holes.
Use a drill or screwdriver to drill narrow holes into the circles you marked on the door jamb. Make sure you do not drill holes that are too large. They are for guides only.
6. Install the hinges.
Place each hinge into the corresponding mortise and drill into place.
7. Connect the door.
Line up the two hinge plates on the door and jamb and insert the pins. Have somebody help you with this if needed or use blocks to prop up the door if it is heavy.
What are the different types of door hinges?
There are many types of door hinges. Here are some common ones.
Mortise: A hinge where one or both plates of the hinge are inset into the wood.
Surface: A hinge where the plates of the hinge sit on top of the door jamb and door surfaces.
Self-Closing: A hinge with an internal spring mechanism so the door automatically closes after being opened.
Plain bearing: The knuckles of each hinge plate are joined by a single pin around which they rotate.
Double-Action Spring: The hinge has a dual spring mechanism that allows it to freely swing open from either side and is automatically pulled back to the closed position.
Ball Bearing: The hinge has ball bearings between each knuckle to reduce friction.
Should interior doors have 2 or 3 hinges?
Interior doors generally have either 2 or 3 hinges. The main determining factor is the weight of the door and the height of the door. As a general rule, there should be one hinge for every 30 inches of height. However, hollow-core doors only require 2 hinges due to their extreme lightweight.
What is the best lubricant for door hinges?
There are two great options for lubricating door hinges. The first is silicone spray which is less messy and fairly long-lasting. The second is plumber’s grease which is odorless and lasts a long time.
Are ball-bearing hinges better?
Ball-bearing hinges reduce friction and are less likely to cause squeaking after long periods of use. For commercial applications, this is almost always the better choice. However, for most interior residential doors, standard plain bearing hinges work well and are recommended.
What is a plain bearing hinge?
A plain bearing hinge is a hinge where the knuckles of each plate are linked together with a pin that goes through the center.
How is a hinge measured?
The proper way to measure a hinge is to measure the full width from one edge of the leaf to the far edge of the knuckle, and height from one edge of the leaf plate to the other.
What does Full Mortise Hinge mean?
A full mortise hinge is where both the plate that attaches to the door and the plate that attaches to the door jamb are inset into the wood so they lay flush when installed.
What is the best door hinges brand ?
The best door hinge brand is controversial. But based on our research the best sellers with the most positive feedback at the best price are to Amazon Basics & Kesler.
For interior doors, I believe the best hinges to use are half mortise plain bearing hinges.
My reasoning for this is that the half mortise gives you the clean look of having the hinge flush with the door jamb without having to damage the door by creating an inset there. This also allows you more options for indoor material since you do not have to chisel it.
Plain bearing hinges are simple to install and are easy to replace or to fix with lubricant if they squeak.