Types of Hinges and Where to Use Them?

Types of Hinges and Where to Use Them?

Let’s hinge them together!

What do we mean when we use this phrase? We may say, human body comprises of hinges in the form of body Joints!

Hinge is an external joint which holds two elements or facades together, permitting limited rotational movement. In Interior Design when joined by a typical hinge, the objects rotate relative to each other on an axis which is fixed.

However practically through most of its application, hinges allow movement only on one plane about the central axis.

Hinges can be formed of various materials, be it flexible or comprising of moving components. They are available in different finishes as well to suit the purpose and color options but antiqued copper, chrome, brass and black are the common ones.

The types of hinges are as per the use and where they need to be fitted to. Let’s have a look at the various types of the hinges mostly used by Professional interior designers:

  1. Butt Hinge
  2. Barrel Hinge
  3. Piano Hinges
  4. Butterfly Hinges
  5. Flush Hinges
  6. Pivot Hinges
  7. Hollow Barrel Hinge
  8. Spring Hinge
  9. Gate Hinge


1. Butt Hinge

From application ranging from doors, windows, cabinets and almost all furniture these are the most commonly used type of hinges.

butt hingesSource

These are also called Mortise Hinge. Usually, three or four number of these is mortised into the door and its frame.

butt hinges for interior doorsSource

Hinges for use in the interior doors are made of steel mostly, while when used for exterior doors one needs to take care of the risk of corrosion, so brass or stainless steel hinge are more appropriate for Interior design projects.

Butt Hinges Applications:

This category again comes in different types of hinges and they can be used in different places depending upon the type being used. 

  • The plain or the basic butt hinges are used most commonly in the interior doors that are light in weight.
  • The ball-bearing butt hinges are very durable and are used for entryway doors that are usually heavy.
  • The spring-loaded butt hinges are known to sustain tension and are great for the screen doors.


2. Barrel Hinge

Appearing similar to a barrel, this hinge is easy to install as the joint is simply a hole that is drilled into the work piece.

Barrel Hinge Application:

  • These are generally used for gates and applications having low loads on the radius.

Barrel hingesSource

  • These are also used in the manufacturing of cabinets where you do not want the hinges to be visible. 
  • Another great use of these barrel hinges is also in the manufacturing of jewellery boxes and other boxes that need to be good-looking.


3. Piano Hinges

No wonder they derive their name from the hinges that allows someone to life up the top of a piano. Since they generally run across the entire length of the piano's flat edge, they are also called as the continuous hinges.

piano hingesSource

In modern times the interior designers used hinges to cover the length of an entire two objects that needs to be joined together. It's application ranges from toolbox, folding wall partitions, shower doors apart from the obvious piano construction.

Piano Hinges Applications:

  • These are used in workbenches that are foldable in nature or can go up and down.
  • Also, these are of great use in the manufacturing of different types of desks.
  • In many cases, these hinges play a major role in the case of storage boxes too.


4. Butterfly Hinges

In the shape of a butterfly and with a finish makes butterfly hinges an interesting piece of design.

butterfly hingesSource

Butterfly Hinges Application:

  • It is best used for instances where the hinge might be visible in boxes, cabinets of general furniture.
  • It is also used in cupboards to make it swing open easily such as in the case of kitchen interiors. 
  • Butterfly hinges also find their uses in installing shutters, trunks, or any other item with a lid or a door to open. Moreover, if you are confused about the types of hinges and their application, this option can be of great use.


The design appears close to the spreading wings of a butterfly from the centre pin. Available in different textures and finishes to provide suitable color options, they contribute to the overall appearance of the hardware.

5. Flush Hinges

These are smaller hinges that take less space than butt hinges as they allow one leaf to fit inside the other.

Flush hingesSource

Couple of advantages of using the flush hinges are that they do not require a corner to be cut in the door on which they are installed and don’t leave any space or gap between frame and the door, giving a very clean consistent look.

Flush Hinges Application:

  • However, as they are quite light unlike the sturdy butt hinges they tend to be less durable and cannot be used for very heavy furniture. They are best suited for light weight cabinets, cupboards & doors.
  • But on the other hand, these hinges are also very versatile and are of great use in different furniture and boxes.

6. Pivot Hinges

These hinges are designed for overlay doors, where one part is mounted on top and the other on the bottom of the door, resulting in a concealed hinge. These are available for both light weight and heavy duty usages.

The key advantage is that this hinge doesn’t block the door to be opened in both directions and being mounted at the far ends, they allow a seamless view.

pivot hingesSource

Pivot Hinges Applications:

  • Pivot hinges are mainly used for doors that are installed in a heavy traffic zone such as in restaurants.
  • But today also there are many offices and homes where you can find doors with these pivot hinges for convenience.


7. Hollow Barrel Hinge

It consists of components like a barrel which is a hollow spherical barrel shaped section joined to a pivot for movement. So, basically a barrel hinge consists of two parts.

Hollow barrel hingesSource

This typology of hinge is simpler to fix and can be dismantled when required. Materials from which hinges are made include: coated steel, polished plated steel, chromium-plated metals, brass, bronze, and aluminium. Placement and number required varies according to door material and size.

Hollow Barrel Hinges Applications:

  • These hinges are most suitable for installing small cabinets in your home interiors.
  • This can be also used to make boxes in which you do not want the hinges to show off.


8. Spring Hinge

They act as an option of door closing devices. To get adequate force for closing the door, we generally require two spring hinges. These hinges use the property of a spring which gets the door back to the closing position on its own. Spring hinges are of different types.

spring hingesSource

Spring Hinge Applications:

  • These hinges are used mainly for doors that are made to close automatically when it is not in use.
  • But with a slight alteration, it can be also used for doors that you wish to stay open until it is not closed manually.


9. Gate Hinge

These hinges are ideal for either light and heavy duty places or gates. Designers will know that these hinges are available in stainless steel, brass, bronze and other high-tech materials.

gate hingesSource

In this an L-shaped screw is fitted into the post which is attached to the gate. They are also available as self-closing types.

Gate Hinge Applications:

  • As the name suggests, these are hinges that are specially for the gates, whether it is heavy or light in weight.
  • As currently, there are different types of doors also available, these gate hinges can be also used for doors, depending upon the type of doors.


Sizes of the hinges vary with respect to the types, as known to the professional interior designers. The data required for selecting the types of hinge are: door/panel thickness, the components weight and the space available.

But there’s a trick called the Engineer’s trick to make things simpler and that is: go with the proportion of hinge to that of the door. This factor helps us choose the right option.

A question that pops up in our mind after all the discussions and explanations as professional interior designers is:

"Which are the factors that one needs to consider before finalizing a hinge?"

  1. The look of the material and how it fits the entire interior look.
  2. From safety point of view, is it fire resistant?
  3. Due to the sudden changes in weather, is the hinge of corrosion resistant material?
  4. How much movement or angle it allows for functioning?
  5. The cost and the quality is the last but the most important criteria while opting for a type of hinge.

To cut the long story short, an ideal way for the prospective interior designers, to get a hold of the types of hinges is to go for a market survey after reading this article.

So, Hinge on guys...!! :P ;) :)

If you want any other information regarding hinges please comment below, we'll respond soon for you..!! Awaiting for the comments :D


Sravani Padmanabhuni


Base Material

Best Interior Decorators in Bangalore


Interiors Decoded


13 Mar, 2014




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