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When it comes to cabinetry, hinges play an important role, providing both functionality and aesthetic appeal to your storage solutions. From traditional to sleek styles, hinges offer a wide range of options to suit every taste and requirement. 

Whether you're embarking on a renovation project or simply curious about cabinet hardware, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about the different types of cabinet hinges. 

What Type of Kitchen Cabinet Hinge Do I Need?

Concealed Hinges

Concealed hinges revolutionised cabinet hardware with their sleek and modern design. Mounted on the interior of the cabinet, these hinges remain hidden from view when the door is closed, offering a seamless and sophisticated appearance. 

Commonly used in contemporary kitchen and bathroom cabinets with overlay doors, these hinges provide a clean and minimalist aesthetic. With their versatility and reliability, they have become a staple in modern cabinetry, offering homeowners and designers alike the freedom to create sleek and stylish spaces tailored to their preferences.

Overlay Hinges

Overlay hinges play a vital role in cabinet design by allowing the door to overlay the cabinet frame when closed. Available in various overlay options, including full overlay, half overlay, and inset overlay, these hinges cater to different cabinet door configurations. 

types of overlay hinges

Full overlay hinges are specifically designed for cabinets with the door completely covering the cabinet frame. These hinges provide a clean and seamless look when the door is closed. Full overlay hinges offer a sleek and modern appearance, maximising storage space and creating a uniform design aesthetic in contemporary cabinetry.

Half or Partial overlay hinges are designed for cabinets with doors that partially cover the cabinet frame. These hinges feature a half-crank mechanism that accommodates the door's partial overlay, allowing for smooth door operation while maintaining a gap between adjacent doors. It offers flexibility in door positioning and alignment, making them suitable for various cabinet configurations.

types of overlay hinges in profile view

An inset hinge is designed for cabinets with a door that sits flush with the cabinet frame. These hinges feature a full crank mechanism that allows the door to open fully without obstruction, providing unrestricted access to the cabinet contents. Inset hinges ensure a clean and uniform appearance, making them a popular choice for homeowners and designers seeking a traditional cabinet style.

Surface Mount Hinge

surface mount hinges

Surface mount hinges are installed on the exterior surface of the cabinet, visible when the door is closed. These hinges are often used in cabinets where traditional hinge installation may not be feasible or desired. Surface mount hinges offer simplicity and versatility, allowing for easy installation and adjustment. They come in various styles and finishes to complement different cabinet designs.

Butt Hinges

butt hinge

Butt hinges represent the traditional cabinet hardware. Comprising two rectangular metal plates joined by a central pin, these hinges offer timeless simplicity and durability. Their straightforward design makes them easy to install and maintain, providing reliable support for cabinet doors. Butt hinges are particularly well-suited for cabinets with inset doors, where the door sits flush with the cabinet frame. 

Semi concealed Hinge

Semi concealed hinges are partially visible when the cabinet door is closed, offering a balance between functionality and aesthetics. These hinges are installed on the interior of the cabinet, with a portion of the hinge visible from the outside. Semi concealed hinges provide reliable support for cabinet doors while adding a subtle decorative element to the cabinetry.

Wrap Around Hinge

Wrap around hinges are designed to wrap around the edge of the cabinet door and frame, providing enhanced stability and support. These hinges are often used in cabinets with heavy or oversized doors, where additional reinforcement is required. Wrap around hinges offer durability and strength, ensuring long-lasting performance in high-traffic areas.

T-Style Hinge


T-style hinges feature a unique T-shaped design, providing stability and support for cabinet doors. These hinges are typically used in cabinets with inset or partial overlay doors, offering reliable operation and durability. T-style hinges come in various sizes and finishes to accommodate different cabinet styles and design preferences.

How to Choose the Right Cabinet Hinge

Several factors come into play to ensure the perfect fit for your cabinetry needs. From door type and construction to functionality requirements and budget considerations, each aspect plays a crucial role in determining the most suitable hinge for your cabinets.

Door Type and Construction

The type of door you have, along with its construction, significantly influences the choice of hinges. Whether you're working with inset, overlay, or partial overlay doors, understanding the door type and its construction will help you select the appropriate hinge style. For example, inset doors require hinges that fit flush within the cabinet frame, while overlay doors may require hinges that mount on the interior or exterior of the cabinet.

Cabinet Style and Design

Consider the overall style and design of your cabinets when choosing hinges. The hinge style should complement the aesthetic of your cabinetry, whether it's traditional, shaker, modern, or somewhere in between. Additionally, consider any decorative elements or finishes on the cabinet doors and choose hinges that enhance the visual appeal of the design. 

At TKDC, we have the most common Blum hinges with nickel plated finish, and Onyx 110 and 155 with a Black finish for dark furniture. These give our customers the flexibility between cabinet colours and hinges.

Functionality Requirements:

Concealed or Exposed?

Decide whether you prefer concealed hinges, which remain hidden from view when the door is closed, or exposed hinges, which are visible on the exterior of the cabinet. Concealed hinges offer a sleek and minimalist look, while exposed hinges add a touch of traditional charm.

Choose Between Surface Mount or Mortised

Surface mount hinges are easier to install but may be more visible, while mortised hinges offer a seamless and streamlined appearance.

Do You Want Motion Features?

At TKDC, we have soft-close and unsprung hinges to offer and allow customers to choose one that best suits their needs. These features can enhance the usability and longevity of your cabinetry by ensuring smooth and quiet door operation.

Installation Tips and Tricks

Ensuring proper installation of cabinet hinges is essential for optimal functionality and longevity. By following these tips and tricks, you can achieve a flawless installation that enhances the overall look and performance of your cabinetry.

Proper alignment and adjustment

One of the key aspects of installing cabinet hinges is ensuring proper alignment and adjustment. Before installing the hinges, carefully measure and mark the locations where the hinges will be mounted on both the cabinet frame and the door. Use a level to ensure that the hinges are aligned correctly, both vertically and horizontally. 

Once installed, test the door's movement to ensure it opens and closes smoothly without any obstructions. If adjustments are needed, most hinges offer built-in adjustment features that allow for fine-tuning the door position.

Tools required for installation

Having the right tools on hand is crucial for a successful hinge installation. Some essential tools you'll need include:

  • Screwdriver: Choose a screwdriver that matches the screw heads of your hinges, whether they're Phillips or flat-head. If you choose Blum hinges, we also have a screwdriver, drilling plate and screws available here
  • Drill and Drill Bits: Use a drill to create pilot holes for the screws, ensuring a secure and stable installation.
  • Measuring Tape and Pencil: Use these tools to measure and mark the locations for hinge installation accurately.
  • Level: A level helps ensure that the hinges are installed straight and level for proper door alignment.
  • Hinge Jig (Optional): A hinge jig can streamline the installation process by guiding the placement of the hinges and ensuring consistency.

Common pitfalls to avoid

When installing cabinet hinges, there are several common pitfalls to watch out for to avoid costly mistakes and ensure a smooth installation process:

  • Incorrect Alignment: Failing to align the hinges properly can result in doors that don't close properly or appear uneven.
  • Over-tightening Screws: Avoid over-tightening the screws during installation, as this can strip the screw holes or damage the hinges.
  • Ignoring Adjustment Features: Many hinges come with adjustment features that allow for fine-tuning of the door position. Failure to utilise these features can result in misaligned doors.
  • Rushing the Process: Take your time during the installation process to ensure accuracy and precision. Rushing can lead to sloppy workmanship and compromised results.

By following these installation tips and tricks, you can achieve professional-looking results and ensure the functionality and durability of your cabinet hinges for years to come.

Maintenance and Care

Proper maintenance and care of cabinet hinges ensure their long-term functionality and durability. By following these guidelines, you can keep your hinges in top condition and prolong their lifespan, contributing to the overall performance of your cabinetry.

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is essential to remove dirt, dust and grime that can accumulate on hinges over time. Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe down the hinges, ensuring thorough cleaning of all surfaces. 

Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the hinge finish. For stubborn dirt or grease buildup, a mild detergent diluted in warm water can be used. After cleaning, be sure to dry the hinges thoroughly to prevent water damage.


Periodic lubrication of hinges is necessary to ensure smooth operation and prevent premature wear. Apply a small amount of lubricating oil or silicone spray to the hinge pivot points and moving parts. Be careful not to over-lubricate, as excess oil can attract dirt and debris, causing more harm than good. Wipe away any excess lubricant with a clean cloth to prevent buildup.

Tightening Loose Screws

Over time, screws securing the hinges to the cabinet or door may become loose due to repeated use. Regularly check for loose screws and tighten them as needed using a screwdriver. 

Be careful not to over-tighten the screws, as this can strip the screw holes or damage the hinge. If the screw holes are stripped, consider using longer screws or inserting wooden toothpicks or dowels coated in wood glue to provide additional support. You can check this guide for hinge adjustment.

Inspecting for Damage

Periodically inspect the hinges for any signs of damage or wear. Look for cracks, corrosion, or bent components that may affect its performance. If you notice any damage, replace the affected hinges promptly to prevent further issues. 

Protecting Against Environmental Factors

Cabinet hinges are exposed to various environmental factors that can affect their performance, such as humidity, temperature fluctuations and exposure to moisture. Take steps to protect your hinges from these factors by ensuring proper ventilation in the cabinet area and avoiding excessive moisture buildup.

By following these maintenance and care guidelines, you can prolong the life of your cabinet hinges and ensure smooth and reliable operation for years to come. Regular cleaning, lubrication, tightening of loose screws, and inspection for damage are simple yet effective ways to keep your hinges in top condition and maintain the overall functionality and appearance of your cabinetry.

High-quality hinges will not only add value to your home, but also maximise the functionality of your kitchen. Blum soft-close hinges are one of the most popular choices for cabinets. If you are keen on replacing your existing hinges, TKDC is your one-stop shop.

The Kitchen Door Company prides itself on producing high-quality, Australian-made doors at a very affordable rate. Contact us at 08 9456 3108 or where one of our friendly staff will be able to assist you.