Another related lefty-righty question is: Does it really matter if you mix up right- and left-hanging cabinet door hinges? Not usually. Most door and cabinet door hinges can masquerade as each other if you rotate them 180°. The pins will drop in the same way and everything. In rare cases, the pin only goes in one way, the cabinet door hinges plate is shaped or decorated to only look right on its right (or left!) side. If in doubt, ask a contractor or cabinetmaker. Tip: If you are going to take your old doors or cabinet doors off, refinish them, and put them back on, I suggest labeling each of the cabinet door hinges as you take them off. In your kitchen for example, the top left-hanging hinge on the first cabinet on the east side of your kitchen could be marked: TLE1. That way everything will line up exactly as it did before you took them down.
Unlike the old days when door hinges were made of iron, brass or steel, todays hinges come in an array of materials and finishes. Thanks to modern manufacturing techniques, most of these finishes are maintenance free. Left alone, they wont tarnish, rust or fail over time. What do begin to fail are the screws that hold the door hinges on the door and the frame. The stresses and strains of everyday openings begin to loosen the screws. This is particularly true on heavier doors that are either left open a lot or bear lots of traffic.
Pivot hinges are made for overlay doors which are doors that rest over the door frame. One is attached to the top and one to the bottom. Portions of each are then folded over and recessed into the door and frame resulting in a concealed hinge. If open cabinets are a pet peeve of yours then the ever popular spring-loaded or self-closing hinge is for you. Built with a small spring inside the door automatically closes after it is opened. Youll never be annoyed by open cabinets again.
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