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Door Hinge Size Guide: How to Measure Correctly?

The most important aspect of purchasing door hinges is to get the sizing right. If not, you’re opening a plethora of difficulties. It doesn’t matter if you’re replacing the hinges on an old door or installing a new door from scratch.

No matter the situation, you need to use the right size to avoid rework. Remember, hinges make your door functional. It supports the door and also ensures a fluid closing and opening anytime.

Some people may think that replacing old hinges is more straightforward since they'll buy the same size as the old hinges. The truth is that it may not work that way if you don’t know the right sizing as you shop. So, no matter your upcoming project, follow our guide to measure your door hinges correctly.

Factors to Consider when Measuring door hinges

Before we go ahead with the method, you can use it to measure the size of your door hinges, bear in mind that some factors influence the sizing too.

  1. The height size, and width of the door
  2. How the door is constructed and the material of the door
  3. How often will the door be opened and closed
  4. Its suspended weight

All these are the important factors you must determine before you start measuring for the right size of hinges.

Important parts of door hinges you must know.

1. Hinge leaf;

This is the rectangular part that you attach to your door jamb. It is flat, and most hinges are made up of two.

2. Hinge Barrel or Knuckle

These are the circular hollow through which you insert the pin of the hinges. They are there to ensure that the hinges bend.

3. The Hinge pin

It is a rod that joins the two leaves of the hinges once you insert it into the hinge knuckles.

Terms Used in Hinge descriptions

1. The Leaf height

This term is used to describe the length of a hinge leaf. To get the accurate measurement, measure it parallel to a hinge pin

2. Hinge backset

This term describes the distance that exists between your door face and the hinge edge

3. The leaf width

The measurement from the middle of a hinge pin towards the edge of your hinge leaf.

4. Clearance

The space between your door and its frame when it is open.

5. Open leaf or hinge width

The width of a door hinge when it is fully open. This width is ascertained by measuring perpendicular to your hinge pin.

How to measure the hinge size

This process is simple and vital. So, if you want to get it right, follow the simple steps below. These steps will guide you if you're going to replace old door hinges with new ones.

Step One: Unscrewing the hinges

Open your door and unscrew the hinges using your Phillips screwdriver if possible. Start from the middle one first then get to the others. Sometimes, you may notice that there's a paint buildup on the hinges. If so, use the flat-head screwdriver and your utility knife to pry it out.

Step two: measuring the width

Take the hinge to a flat surface and lay it out, i.e., open it to expose the leaves. Use your tape and measure across the hinges, starting from one side to the other. This measurement will tell you the width of the hinge. Remember, this width is very important when purchasing your hinges.

Step three: Measuring the height

You'll need your tape to measure the height of the hinge. Most of the hinges are 3 ½ inches, 4 inches, 4 ½ inches, 5 inches, or 6 inches.

Step four: Determining the corner radius

Measuring a hinge is not complicated, but you must know how to determine its corner radius. Some corners are square, while others are not. To identify a square corner, check it to see if it forms a sharp angle that looks like a regular square shape.

If the corners are not square in shape, that means, they are curved. So, to get the size of the curved corner, get a straightedge and place it on the hinge top edge.

From the end of your straightedge, check the distance to the end of the corner. This will show you the radius of the corner, which may either be 5/8 inches or ¼ inches.

Now, that’s for when replacing the hinges of a door. So what happens when you’re worried about the right size of hinges to buy for your new door installation? We got you covered in that too. Check the following guidelines.

  1. If a new door is 1-3/8 inches thick and 32 inches wide, buy a hinge size of 3-1/2 inches.
  2. A new door of 1-3/8 inches thick but 32" to 36 inches wide, a hinge size of 4 inches will do the trick.
  3. When installing a 1-3/4 inches door that is 36inches wide, buy a hinge size of 4-1/2inches.
  4. A thick door of 1-3/4 inches with a width of 36 inches to 48inches, requires a hinge size of 5 inches.
  5. If your door is as thick as 1-3/4 inches and the width is above 48inches, get a hinge size of 6inches.
  6. For thick doors of 2", 2-1/4 inches, 2-1/2 inches and wide up to 42 inches, get a 5-inch heavy-duty hinges
  7. If the width of the door is above 42 inches, but the thickness is 2''. 2-1/4 inches, 2-1/2 inches, 6-inch commercial hinges will do just fine.

Bottom Line

Hanging a door is one project you should get right. We all know how often we open and close our doors. If you mess the process up, you're going to spend more on rework, and the inconveniences will irritate you.

So, whether you're installing a new one or replacing an old one, always measure accurately.

The best strategy is to take the old hinges with you when shopping for a replacement. But if you can’t do that, why not follow this guide to get the accurate measurement before you go to the store.

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