How to Install a Spring-Loaded Hinge

The step-by-step procedure for installing a hinge on a door is basically standard. Because hinges are interchangeable, you can change a hinge from left-handed to right-handed by simply turning it over. A spring-loaded hinge is equipped with a built-in spring that pulls the door shut after it has been opened, and keeps the door closed. Adjustments to the tension in the hinge can be made through the adjustment hole on the hinge top and the tension pin on the side of the hinge. Installing hinges can appear to be an intimidating home maintenance job, but it is actually simple.

Stand the door on edge, with the door's hinge stile up. This is the side of the door on which the hinges will be placed. Measure the correct placement of the hinges on the edge of the door. The upper hinge is normally set about 7 inches from the top of the door. Measure 7 inches from the top of the door, and mark on the door edge with a pencil. The lower hinge is normally set about 10 inches from the bottom of the door. Measure 10 inches from the bottom of the door, and use a pencil to place a mark on the door edge.

Insert a hex wrench into the adjustment capstan on the top of the spring-loaded hinge. Remove the tension pin from the side tension hole. Turn the hex wrench clockwise to loosen the spring tension enough to open the hinge. Place the tension pin in the tension hole.

Align the open hinge with the marks on the door edge. Make certain that the hinge knuckle projects from the edge of the door when you align the hinge. Using a razor knife, trace the hinge outline on the edge of the door. Do not cut deeply when outlining. Tilt the blade, and use light strokes directly along the hinge edge. Make just enough depth to create a guideline in the wood. Remove the hinge from the door edge.

Gauge the thickness of the hinge. Steady a wood chisel, bevelled side down, on the door edge where you will install the hinge. Tap the chisel head with a hammer to cut a depression of the correct depth within the hinge outlines on the edge of the door.

Clear the wood splinters from the door edge. Place a spring-loaded hinge on both of the recesses, checking to make sure they rest at the proper depth. Make certain the adjustment capstans on the hinges face the top of the door. Install screws in the hinges. Tighten the screws with a screwdriver, being careful not to overtighten.


Adjust the tension in the spring-loaded hinges only after you have installed the door and the door is closed. Open the door, and allow it to shut on its own to observe the closing force.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • 2 spring-loaded hinges
  • Razor knife
  • Wood chisel
  • Hammer
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Christopher John has been a freelance journalist since 2003. He has written for regional newspapers such as "The Metro Forum" and the "West Tennessee Examiner." John has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Memphis State University.