Everywhere you see a door, you will find a hinge. It’s basic concept has been borrowed from the joints found in the knees and elbows of the body. The hinge is a kind of bearing typically connecting the two panels of a door, so as to allow a limited angle of rotation allowing for opening and closing of the door.
Hinges were found in Europe, Asia and Africa in ancient times. Metal was a rarely found commodity and signified status. In ancient times they served more as status value and hence were large and chunky, mostly made of bronze. They were found on gates protecting scared structures and other places of state importance. The larger the hinge, it showed the king to be wealthier and more powerful. They have since evolved into smaller and more delicate forms.
It is an intrinsic part of a door. They are now found in different materials, sizes and rigidity of rotating angles. A typical door ordinarily has three placed at equal distances from each other. They are also placed on windows.
They are classified on the basis of their purpose. Here are a few types –
The butt hinge is the most commonly found household hinge and fits into all cabinets and doors. They are generally very sturdy. It is also the easiest hinge to be replaced by a single person without the help of any technician. However it is important to make sure the existing hinge and the new hinge are of the exact same measure and type.
Flush hinges are found on cupboards and are lightweight. They are otherwise exactly like the butt hinge. The continuous hinge is called the piano hinge because it was first used to secure the lid of pianos. It is used now on objects that require extended support. The concealed hinge is used in cupboards where the hinges are not wanted to be visible.
Pivot hinges are used in gates. The pivot ones spin form the top and bottom of the door. They are generally large and chunky and are ideal for heavier exterior doors.
They differ from one another in their configuration as well. They are found in the plain or standard type, the reverse assembly, the swaging, the one leaf half swag, the one leaf full swag type, multi leaf, unequal leaf, multi barrel and the foaming hinge. Multi barrel hinges are made to order due to the variations in barrels and leaves available.
They can be purchased in plastic, aluminium, stainless steel or brass. The hinges can be painted to compliment the décor and add to the beauty. They can be found in pretty shapes and custom made to order as and when desired. Hinges can be selected out of catalogues or found in hardware stores in all major markets.