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​How to Determine the Best Swing Option for Interior Doors

​How to Determine the Best Swing Option for Interior Doors

Posted by Amanda On 22nd Mar 2022

How to Determine the Best Swing Option for Interior Doors

Butt Hinges vs Spring Hinges vs Pivot Hinges.

Do you know the best swing option for your interior doors? Let us explain the most common hinges for interior doors, then you can determine the best hinge option for your doors. You can choose different hinges options for different doors in your home. Butt hinges are most common for bedroom doors, while double action hinges are well suited for a pantry or laundry room.

Butt Hinges

Butt hinges are traditional door hinges that are comprised of two leaves. Butt hinges mount to the door frame and to the side of the jamb. One leaf is attached to the door jamb while the other leaf is attached to the moving component (such as the door). Butt hinges have no action to the hinge, and the door will need to be closed by hand. These hinges will require a door jamb and door stops to ensure the door can only swing in one direction. The butt hinges normally are recessed into both the door and door jamb. Butt hinges come in a wide variety of finishes and sizes, but generally only one or two designs. Butt hinges will only swing in one direction and can be installed to swing either into the room or into the adjacent room. Just make sure that there is enough space for the doors to swing properly. Butt hinges are probably the most used hinges for interior homes.

Action Hinges

Action hinges will allow the doors to self-return to the center, for those doors that need to be closed these are a great option. Once you get into action hinges, there are many more variations of hinges. First determine what type of action is preferred, a hinge that swings in one direction only or a hinge that swings in both directions. Next, determine if you prefer a hold open or non-hold open feature. Once you have considered those two options then you need to ensure the hardware mounting options. There is a wide range of options with all these action hinges. The difference will be the mounting option, how the action operates, i.e. spring or gravity action, and hold open vs non-hold open. We divided the hinges based on how the mounting options giving us spring hinges and pivot hinges.

Spring Hinges

Single Action Spring Hinges:

Single action spring hinges will only swing in one direction. The single action spring hinge will also mount to the door frame and to the side of the door jamb while the location of the hinges will vary. These hinges will have two leaves, one leaf will attach to the door jamb and the other leaf will attach to the door. These hinges will have “action to them”, meaning that the door will automatically return to the center. The spring can be adjustable allowing you to make the swing faster or slower. Spring hinge will use a spring to pull them back to center and have a non-hold open feature. Single action hinges will still require a doorstop and door frame for proper installation. Single action hinge will also need to be mortised into the doors and the door jamb. Single action hinges come in a variety of finishes and a few size options.

Double Action Spring Hinges:

Double action spring hinges will allow the doors to swing in both directions. The double action spring hinge will also mount to the door frame and to the side of the door jamb while the location of the hinges will vary. These hinges have two leaves, one leaf will attach to the door jamb and the other leaf will attach to the door. When the doors swing the leaves will separate, so the hinges can work properly. These hinges will have “action to them”, meaning that the door will automatically return to the center, as well as opening in both directions. Spring hinges can be adjustable allowing you to make the swing faster or slower and these hinges will have some noise when they operate. Double action spring hinges also use a spring to pull them back to the center and have a non-hold open feature. Since the doors will swing in both directions, no jamb and doorstop are required. These hinges can also allow a door to be mounted in almost any location if the hardware can mount to a stud or trim boards are used. Double action spring hinges can be mortised into the door and door jamb, however on most double action spring hinges no mortising is required, making installation easy. Double action spring hinges will require more gap than the butt hinges. The gaping will vary depending on the size of the double action hinge used. Double action spring hinges come in a variety of sizes and finishes. The size required will depend on the door’s thickness, weight, and width. Double action hinges can allow the doors to swing in either direction and self returns to center automatically. Double action hinges allow for double swinging doors or saloon-style doors making the swinging options available quite different than that of traditional doors.

Pivot Hinges

Pivot hinges allow a door(s) to pivot from a single point at the top and bottom. The doors can still swing from one single point. Pivot hinges have a couple of options, first let’s discuss how pivot hinges mount. These hinges will mount to the top and bottom of the doors so some clearance will be required. Some pivot hinges will need to be mortised into the door, jamb, or floor. Pivot hinges offer a wider variety of hinge design options which makes the process of picking the right hinge a little tricky.

Hidden Pivot Hinges

Hidden pivot hinges are just that, almost hidden. Since the hinges are hidden, you will need to mortise the hinge into the door header and into the floor allowing the hinge to be gone from sight. These hidden pivot hinges can pivot in the center or side of the door opening. Center pivot hinges will pivot from the center of the opening. Hidden pivot hinges will take some additional work to have the doors installed and finished. These pivot hinges will only swing in one direction. The doors will also need to be pushed or puled closed since there is no action with hidden door pivots.

Double Action Pivot Hinges

Double action pivot hinges will allow the doors to swing in both directions and self-return to the center. These hinges will use gravity or spring, one great advantage to these hinges have a hold-open feature. Double action pivot hinges will hold open in either direction at around 90 degrees, then with a simple touch of the door(s) the hinge will self-return to center. If you are simply walking thru the doors will swing back and forth and return to the center, the hold open feature is engaged at 90 degrees. These are perfect hinges for many interior doors or swinging doors. Double action pivot hinges come in a variety of design options. Whether you are looking at a saloon style door or a butler door, a double action pivot hinge can work perfectly for your swinging door. These double action pivot hinges again will allow for double doors to be installed, giving you alternative swinging options over those of traditional butt hinges. The double action pivot hinges are a new trend in interior door design. Allow for ease of use, no door handles are required for the doors to open. A simple push of the hand, hip, or elbow will allow the door to open and again automatically return to the center.

These hinges mentioned above are the most common interior door hinges. When selecting your interior door hinges, make sure to order the right size for your doors. The right hinges can make your door swing with ease and provide easy access to your interior spaces. Also, consider the swing space for your interior doors when thinking about the best hinge option. After reviewing these hinge options, you will be ready to make the most informed decision on hinges for your interior doors.