Buying Euro Hinges Salem NH
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Buying Euro Hinges
Buying Euro Hinges
Confused by all the variations? Here's how to find the hinges you need.
by Tim Johnson
Euro hinges have revolutionized the way American cabinet shops mount cabinet doors. Originally developed as part of the European frameless cabinetmaking system, Euro hinges work equally well in traditional face-frame cabinets. Also called concealed or cup hinges, these high-tech marvels offer several advantages over traditional hinges.
They’re really easy to install. You simply drill holes and pop the hinges and mounting plates into place. Cabinet shops use sophisticated boring machines for production work, but all you really need is a drill press, a 1-3/8-in. flat-bottom boring bit (see Tool Tip, below) and a 3/32-in. twist bit. They make doors mountable in seconds. You just snap Euro hinges into place. Removal’s a snap, too. You can dial in a perfect fit. Euro hinges have adjustment screws that allow you to move the doors up or down, side to side, and front to back after they’ve been installed. There’s a Euro hinge for almost every door: Thick doors, bi-fold doors, glass doors, doors with narrow stiles or profiled edges. Self-closing hinges are most common, but free-swinging versions are also available.
They don’t show. Euro hinges mount behind the doors and inside the cabinet, so they’re hidden when the doors are closed. They’re cost-effective. Euro hinges cost more than traditional hinges, but they make installation go a lot faster. Some pro shops charge $100 more per door to install traditional hinges. If Euro hinges have a drawback, it’s that there are so many variations it’s hard to figure out which ones are right for your project. Catalogs and Web sites commonly present diagrams and charts to help you choose. Unfortunately, they’re almost always loaded with dimensions, unfamiliar terms and installation details that just make things worse. The fact is, you don’t have to know a lot about Euro hinges to choose the right ones.
Euro Hinge Basics
Euro hinges vary widely in appearance, but they all share the same basic two-part design and they’re all installed the same way. The best Euro hinges are loaded with user-friendly features.
Euro Hinge Anatomy
Euro hinges have two parts: a hinged cup-and-arm mechanism and a baseplate. The cup mounts in a flat-bottomed hole drilled in back of the door. The arm locks onto the baseplate, which is fastened to the cabinet wall or face frame.
Cup-and-arm mechanisms come in several variations for different opening capacities. Baseplates come in several thicknesses, to work with different door and cabinet styles.
Mounting-hole locations also vary, depending on the application.