What Are The Different Types of Cabinet Hinges?

Written by: 
Gary Thorton

Types of Cabinet Hinges

Before looking at the different kinds of cabinet hinges, you should familiarize yourself with the types of cabinet doors.

  • Inset Cabinet Doors: Sit flush with and on the same level as the cabinet frame. These work best with butt hinges, concealed hinges, and inset hinges. 
  • Full Overlay Cabinet Doors: Cover the entire cabinet opening and frame. These tend to use full overlay hinges.
  • Partial Overlay Cabinet Doors: Cover most of the cabinet frame but leave a space between the doors. These typically use partial overlay hinges.

1. Butt Hinges

Butt hinges are one of the most traditional types of cabinet hinges. They are comprised of two metal leaves that allow the door to open and close using central interlocking barrel pins or ball joints. Butt hinges are durable and sturdy, making them ideal for heavy doors. This style of hinge requires wooden recesses (mortise) to be cut into the door – and often, the cabinet too – to accommodate a flush close. 

2. Concealed Hinges

Concealed (seamless/frameless) hinges, also known as European hinges, are the easiest style of hinges to mount because they typically don’t require a mortise to be cut. These concealed hinges are hidden from view when the door is closed, providing a sleek and modern aesthetic. Additionally, concealed hinges offer adjustable features such as the ability to adjust the door inwards, outwards, vertically, or horizontally. 

3. Inset Hinges

Inset hinges, also known as flush hinges, are used for cabinet doors that are set flush with the cabinet frame. They attach to the door on one side and the inside of the cabinet or frame on the other – you can choose between a hidden or surface mount. If you choose the visible surface-mounted inset hinges, it is best to call in professionals, as they require precise installation skills to ensure a perfect fit. At Classic Cabinetry, we commonly use these in high-end custom cabinets.

4. Overlay Hinges

Overlay hinges are designed for cabinet doors that overlay the cabinet rather than fitting inside. There are two different types of overlay hinges to pick from (full and half overlay) based on your cabinet and the door mount position. 

Full Overlay Hinges: These are smaller overlay hinges that are typically used for cabinets that share a partition, usually in the middle of a row. The hinges are mounted on opposite sides of the partition so the two doors can open without hitting one another. With these hinges, the cabinet doors are positioned slightly out of the cabinet face so the door can pivot without rubbing against the face of the cabinet.

Partial Overlay Hinges: Partial overlay hinges mount to the inside of the cabinet and the back of the cabinet door, which leaves the barrel exposed when the door is shut. Since the hinge wings overlap, the doors typically sit outside the face of the cabinet, which makes it easier to open the doors without any hardware.

5. Continuous Hinges

Continuous hinges – or piano hinges – are long, narrow hinges that run the length of the cabinet door. This design provides continuous stability and support to the door, making it ideal for heavy or oversized cabinet doors.

6. Other Hinge Types

There are many additional – but less popular – types of cabinet hinges available.

  • Wraparound: Wrap around the cabinet frame.
  • Corner: Provide a wide-angle opening, making them good for corner cabinets.
  • Friction (torque hinges): Designed to slow down the pivoting movement of the door.
  • Butterfly: The entire hinge is visible when the door is closed.

Contact Classic Cabinetry Today

Classic Cabinetry is here to help you create the cabinets you’ve always dreamed of. Whether for your home office, bathroom, kitchen, pantry, or garage, we have experience with all types of cabinet design and we are committed to providing our customers with the highest levels of service and craftsmanship. 

So, if you’re looking for the ultimate in custom cabinetry and closet solutions, look no further! Contact us today at (256) 423-8727 to schedule a consultation and let us bring your vision to life.


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