Overlay hinges are found on cabinet doors and have a frame wing wrapping two sides of a cabinet frame, allowing a door to overlap the frame. There are four types of overlay hinges: full overlay, half overlay, 3/8-inch inset and full inset. Determining the proper hinge depends upon whether the cabinet has a frame.
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If your cabinet door has a frame, then three types of hinges can be used: full overlay, 3/8-inch inset or full inset. If your cabinet door has no frame, then the available hinges are frameless full overlay, frameless half overlay or frameless full inset.
If your door is framed, open it and look at the top inside corner. If the door is fully overlapping and sitting on top of the frame, a full overlay hinge is needed. If the door is partly overlapping the frame, with the door snugly fitting into the face frame, a 3/8-inch hinge is required. If the door lines up directly with the face frame or connects to the face frame, a full inset hinge is the right choice.
If your door is frameless, open it and look at the interior. If the door is totally overlapping the cabinet's edge, a frameless full overlay hinge is needed. If the door is partly overlapping the cabinet's edge, with space dividing the door between the cabinet's edge, a frameless half overlay hinge is required. If the cabinet is overlapping the door and its side is visible from the outside of the door, a frameless full inset hinge is necessary.
Choosing an Overlay Hinge
Tips and warnings
- Phone ahead or visit a hardware store's website beforehand to ensure that they have the right hinges in stock.
- Inset hinges require recessing of the wood before they are placed into the cabinet's edge and attached to the door.
- Determining the number of hinges for the door requires the height and weight of each door. More hinges are needed for taller, heavier doors.
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