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When it comes to cabinets, a lot hinges on the hinges. Their style and functionality have a huge effect on the overall appearance and performance of your cabinets and doors, maybe as much as the choice of wood or finish. The good news is that a wide range of hinge options are available, so there’s an excellent chance there’s a hinge out there that’s right for your application. But with so many choices, how do you find it?
Probably the best place to start is to figure out what type of cabinets and doors you have because that’s typically how hinges are broadly categorized.
1. Determine cabinet type
There are two basic types of cabinets (with corresponding hinges):
Face-frame cabinets incorporate a frame (often made from 1-1/2″ to 2″ wide solid wood) that is attached to the front edges, or face, of the case. Hinges mount to this face frame. This is the most common style in American cabinets.
Frameless cabinets are essentially a four-sided box, typically made from 3/4″ thick stock. Hinges mount to the cabinet interior. Frameless cabinets also are sometimes called Euro-style cabinets.
2. Determine door overlay
This has to do with the position of the door in relation to the cabinet opening. The configurations for frameless and face-frame cabinets are slightly different.
Overlay types for face-frame cabinets
Overlay doors do exactly what the name implies: They cover the cabinet opening completely, overlapping the cabinet case or face frame on all sides.