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How To Fit Door Hinges

How To Fit Door Hinges: 6 Easy Steps

Door hinges are mechanical devices that allow doors to pivot or swing open and closed. They consist of two metal plates, known as hinge leaves, connected by a pin or a rod, which enables the door to rotate. Door hinges play a vital role in the functionality and stability of doors. When fitted correctly, they provide support, alignment, and smooth movement for the door.

Properly fitted door hinges contribute to the overall durability, security, and longevity of the door, making them an essential component of any functional doorway.  

Whether you are installing new door hinges or replacing old ones, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of fitting door hinges correctly.

But first, let us make a list of all the proper tools, and materials that you will require to fit your door hinges.

Tools & Materials Required

You will need - 

  • Door hinges (3 per standard door)
  • Screwdriver or drill with screwdriver bits
  • Screws
  • Chisel
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's Square
  • Door Hinge Template (Optional)

6 Easy Steps on How to Fit Door Hinges

  • Determining the Hinge Type and Size

Before selecting your door hinge, determine the type of hinge and size that will be required for your door. Most common door hinges include Butt hinges, T-hinges, Flag hinges, and Pivot hinges. Also, the size of the hinge will depend on the door you have. The standard hinge size available in the UK is 3.5 inches. You can find this information in the manufacturer’s instructions or by measuring the existing door hinges (if replacing).
The number of hinges needed for your door depends on its size and weight. As a general rule, doors up to 60 inches high require two hinges, while taller and heavier doors may need three hinges. Measure the height of your door to determine the appropriate number of hinges.
  • Mark the Hinge Placement on the Door

Using a tape measure, mark the desired height for your hinges on the door frame and the corresponding locations on the door itself. Typically, hinges are placed 5 to 7 inches from the top and three inches from the bottom and edges of the door. Ensure that the hinge placements on the door and frame align.
  • Prepare the Hinge Mortises

A mortise is a recess or cavity in which the hinge will be fitted. To create the hinge mortises, follow these steps:
  • Position the hinge against the door or door frame at the marked locations. Trace the outline of the hinge on the surface using a pencil.
  • With a sharp chisel, score around the traced outline. This will prevent any splintering when chiselling out the wood.
  • Using the chisel, carefully remove the wood within the scored area to create the mortise. Take your time and work slowly to ensure accuracy. Check the depth of the mortise by placing the hinge in it. The hinge leaf should be flush with the surface.
  • Repeat this process for all hinge mortises.

    Note: If you have a door hinge template, you can use it to guide your chisel and create accurate mortises.

    • Install the Hinges

    Once the mortises are ready, it's time to attach the hinges to the door and frame. For installing door hinges:
    • Hold the hinge against the mortise on the door frame and align the screw holes.
    • Insert the screws into the holes and tighten them using a screwdriver or drill. Be careful not to overtighten, as it may cause the wood to split.
    • Repeat this process for all hinges on the door frame.
    • With the door in place, align the hinges on the door with those on the frame. Ensure that the hinge pins are inserted into the hinge knuckles for smooth operation.
    • Insert the screws into the hinge holes on the door and tighten them.
    • Mount the Door

    With the hinges attached to the door, position the door in the doorway, aligning the hinges with the recesses on the door frame. Enlist the help of a friend if needed, as doors can be heavy. Ensure that the door is level and plumb using a carpenter's square. Once aligned, secure the hinges to the door frame using screws.
    • Test the Door & Make Necessary Adjustments

    After mounting the door, test the door automatically for its movement by opening and closing it. Make any necessary adjustments to the hinge screws to ensure smooth operation. If the door is sticking or not closing properly, you may need to adjust the hinges slightly.

    Tips to Fit Hinges to a Door

    Fitting hinges to a door requires careful attention to ensure proper alignment and functionality. Here are some additional tips to help you fit hinges to a door effectively:

    • Level the hinges

    It's crucial to ensure that the hinges are level when installing them on both the door and the door frame. Use a spirit level to check the alignment and make adjustments as necessary. This step is essential for the door to operate smoothly and prevent any binding or misalignment.
    • Use a quality chisel

    Investing in a good quality chisel is important for achieving clean and precise hinge recesses. A sharp and sturdy chisel will make it easier to remove the wood and create accurate recesses for the hinges. Dull or low-quality chisels can lead to rough or uneven recesses, compromising the hinge fit.
    • Use a self-centering bit

    When drilling pilot holes for the hinge screws, consider using a self-centering drill bit. This type of bit automatically centres itself on the hinge screw to drill pilot holes for, ensuring that the screws go in straight and true. It helps prevent the screws from drifting off course and improves the overall stability of the hinges.
    • Use the right hinges

    Choosing the appropriate hinges for your door is crucial. Consider factors such as the weight and size of the door to determine the suitable hinge type. Additionally, ensure that the hinges you select are of good quality and designed for the specific application. Cheap or poorly made hinges may not provide the necessary durability or smooth operation.

    Taking your time and being meticulous in the installation process will help ensure a proper fit and functioning door.

    How to Measure Door Hinges

    To measure door hinges, follow these steps.

    • Close the door and locate the hinges on the side where the door swings open. Measure the height of the hinge by placing a measuring tape vertically along the edge of the hinge leaf, from top to bottom. This will give you the overall height measurement.
    • Measure the width of the hinge by placing the measuring tape horizontally across the widest part of the hinge leaf. This will provide the overall width measurement. Note that some hinges have rounded corners, so if that's the case, measure from the outermost points of the rounded corners.
    • If you're replacing existing hinges, you can match the measurements of the old hinges to ensure a proper fit.

    For detailed instructions on measuring door hinges, check out our complete article on How to Measure Door Hinges.

    Final Thoughts

    Fitting door hinges requires precision and careful attention to detail. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can ensure that your door hinges are installed correctly, allowing for smooth operation and a secure fit. Remember to take your time during the process, and don't hesitate to make necessary adjustments for optimal results. 

    An alternate option would be to invest in Internal doors & External doors with high quality hinges attached. Check out Emerald Door’s wide collection for all your door needs.

    FAQs on How to Fit Door Hinges

    • What is the correct way to hang door hinges?

    The correct way to hang door hinges is by aligning them with the hinge mortises on the door frame. Securely attach the hinges to the door and frame using screws, ensuring they are level and the door swings smoothly. Double-check alignment and test the door's movement before installing the hinge pins.
    • Do you install hinges on door or frame first?

    Hinges are installed on the door frame first. The hinge recesses are chiselled into the door frame, and the hinges are attached to the frame using screws. Once the hinges are securely in place on the frame, the door is then aligned and attached to the hinges.
    • Do door hinges go inside or outside?

    Door hinges are installed on the inside of the door. This means that when the door is closed, the hinges are not visible from the outside. The hinge pins, which hold the door and hinge together, may be visible on the inside or outside depending on the hinge design.



    Shabana Kauser is the dynamic owner of Emerald Doors, the famous door-selling company in the UK with immense knowledge and experience in working with architecture, interior design, and home decor. She continues to share tips and technical know-how of balancing interior elements, door fittings, room aesthetics, and the like. Personally, she loves coffee, always dabbling with several blends.

    Author: Shabana kauser

    Shabana Kauser, the Director of Emerald Doors, brings over 20 years of invaluable expertise in the door industry. Her visionary leadership has steered the company to new heights, offering an extensive range of internal and external doors while prioritizing quality and customer satisfaction. The website's glowing reviews stand as a testament to her commitment to excellence. To learn more about Emerald Doors, connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.