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.
If dealing with cabinet doors the type of hinge you use will depend on the door type. There are three door types; lipped, flush and overlay. A lipped door has a lip cut around it and works well with most hinges. A flush door rests within the frame and works well with butterfly hinges. A butterfly hinge works like a butt hinge but is hung on the outside and is more ornamental ranging in styles from colonial to art deco. The pivot hinge is made for overlay doors. One is mounted on the top and the other on the bottom with portions of each bent over and mounted to the frame and door resulting in a concealed hinge. Perhaps the most popular hinge is the spring mounted hinge. Fitted with a small spring inside this door hinge allows the door to close on its own, automatically.
Another way to tell if it is a good idea to replace your doors with pre-hung replacements is if the rest of the doors already cant in their frames. You can square them yourself, but if you are planning to replace these doors, go for the pre-hung. They take much less time to replace and come in pre-finished or raw wood. One last thing, is your door a left- or right-hanging door? Hmmm...you think for a minute. Nope, you are sure you havent heard that one. Dont worry its easy. When you are buying any type of hinged door; storm door, entry door, and even cabinet doors, OR when you are buying hinged door hardware; hinges especially and sometimes latches, the salesperson will eventually ask you whether it is a right- or left-hanging door. The way you figure it out is, when you pull open the door; does it open to your left or to your right? Whichever way it opens is the answer.
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