How to Install Hidden Door Hinges

Written by vance holloman
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How to Install Hidden Door Hinges
Hidden doors can blend in with panelling. (door panel cross image by PeteG from

Hidden doors are often used in panelled areas to camouflage a doorway because the building owners don't want the door used by guests or the door placement detracts from the architectural design of the space. With specially designed hinges, it is possible to place a door in a wall that appears as though it is simply part of the surrounding trim.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Template
  • Drill and bits
  • Chisel
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Use the provided template to mark the outline of the hinge holes.

  2. 2

    Use a drill and drill overlapping circles from the top of the hinge hole to the bottom. The drill bit should be of the same size as the width of the hinge hole. Check the installation instructions for the width and the depth needed. Do not drill the holes to deeply---use a piece of tape to mark the correct depth on the drill bit.

  3. 3

    Flatten the sides of the hinge holes with a chisel. Place the flat face of the chisel on the side of the hinge hole and use a hammer to drive it down, removing any material left by the drill bit.

  4. 4

    Insert the hinges into the hinge holes and fasten with the provided screws. Half of each hinge should be in the hinge holes with the other half protruding.

  5. 5

    Place the door in the doorway and mark where the protruding hinge halves meet the door jamb. Remember to hold the door off of the floor slightly to allow the door to swing open and shut freely. In most cases the jamb will be the ¾-inch face of a piece of trim but in any case the process is the same.

  6. 6

    Create the hinge holes in the jamb in the same way as the door.

  7. 7

    Insert the hinges into the door jamb, again fastening them with screws.

  8. 8

    Check to see that the door operates properly. If not the location or depth of one or more hinges may need adjusting.

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