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As anyone will know, door hinges are essentially the hardware that's used to attach the door to the door frame, while at the same time allowing the door leaf to pivot open and closed as required.

However, just like any with any product, wear and tear and take its toll, causing the smooth door action it provides to degrade. Needless to say, it's an important part of the structure of your door, so it needs to be rectified.

So, whether you have loose door hinges, a broken hinge plate or a door that just doesn't work as well as it used to, it's likely time to repair or replace them. That's exactly what we look at here, in this article, as we cover the basic of how to get the job done.

How to Fix Door Hinges Guide - Hiatt Hardware

Key Takeaways

  • Better understanding of the types of hinges that exist.

  • Understanding of the parts of a hinge.

  • How and when hinges can be repaired.

  • Equipment you'll need to work on hinges.

So, let's start by looking at what kind of equipment you'll need to have in your toolbox to replace a door hinge quickly and easily.

Tools You'll Need

Whether attempting to rectify broken or loose hinges, having the right gear at hand is going to make your life a whole lot easier. As such, it's typically a good idea to have the following available:

  • A cordless screwdriver & drill bit (optional)

  • A tape measure

  • A Phillips screwdriver

  • Sanding tool (optional)

  • Some wooden dowels

  • A utility knife (optional)

  • Your new door hinges (if necessary)

  • Wood glue (again optional)

  • A good, solid doorstop

  • A little oil (to prevent squeaks!)

Parts You'll Come Across

When tackling the job of replacing a door hinge, you're going to encounter a few door components that may be new to you. It's important to know what they are, so let's take a look at them now.

Hinge screws

First up, we have hinge screws, which obviously affix the door leaf to the door jamb via each screw hole that already exists.

Typically speaking, solid wood or uPVC external door hinges take longer screws than internal doors. As such, take number 9 hinge screws (4.5 mm), with interior doors requiring something a little less robust, such as a number 8 screw (4.2 mm).

Screwing a hinge in a wooden block

External door hinge screw holes need to be 3" minimum

The length of your hinge screws will need to be at least 3 inches when talking about an external door, as they need to be able to pass through the hinge plate and jamb to anchor to the door frame. So, when you drill your pilot holes, this is the ideal depth.

However, when dealing with internal hollow core doors, these hinge screws only need to be a minimum of an inch long, due to the reduced weight.

Hinge Knuckles

Hinge Knuckles

Next, we have the hinge knuckle that forms part of the hinge plate. Allowing one hinge plate to be attached to another with the hinge pin (explained below), hinge knuckles have a hollow loop on each side and you'll have a specific bottom and top hinge.

Hinge Pins

The second major component you'll encounter when fixing door hinges is the hinge pin. Hinge pins are a kind of solid metal rod that fits snugly through both sets of hinge knuckles to secure everything together.

Hinge Pin - How To Fix Door Hinges - Hiatt Hardware

How to Fix Butt Hinges

In terms of door hinges, the butt hinge is one of the most commonly used variety and it gets its name from the fact that it allows the door frame and door leaf to 'Butt' up to each other.

Over time, the continuous use of your door hinges may cause a number of issues, such as difficulty in opening and closing due to the leaf being misaligned. Here's what they typically involve and how to solve them.

  • Loose butt hinges - If your issues are being caused by what looks like all the screws have become loose, this should be a relatively easy fix.

    Tightening screws of a hinge

    If each screw has simply worked free from its screw hole, fixing your loose hinges should be just a matter of screwing them back in tightly, so you can clearly see them firmly back in their screw holes and holding everything securely in place again.

  • Stripped screw hole issues - However, if when you try and do so, you find that you've either got a stripped screw or stripped screw holes, that's a different matter.

    Screw hole caps

    What do we mean by stripped screw holes? Well, when you have stripped holes behind your door hinge, you'll be continuously turning and turning the screw into the hinge holes and getting nowhere, as there's nothing left for it to gain purchase on.

    In this instance, you'll need to unscrew all the screws holding the door up and gently support it, so you have easy access to each screw hole. Then, you're going to be redrilling these stripped old holes out and pushing a wooden dowel into each one along with some wood glue for good measure.

    After you add glue and let it dry, you'll have something new inside the pilot holes for your hinge screws to bite into. Then, if you've done it right, you should just be able to put the screws straight back in and everything will be nice and tight once again.

  • Broken hinge plate -

               broken hinge plate

 There may also be rare occasions when the problem is due to the hinge's plate becoming broken. They're pretty sturdy     pieces of hardware, but an impact on the door can damage them - which will necessitate the purchase of new door hinges.

How to Fix Ball Bearing Hinges

Ball bearing hinges

From the outside, your standard ball-bearing hinge is going to look very much like a butt hinge, as the hinge holes are all in the same place and the design is pretty much identical.

The primary difference here is that - as their name suggests - these hinges contain ball bearings inside. They're put there to reduce friction and provide a smoother closing action, as well as to stop doors needing to be oiled to stop squeaking.

the same Stripped screw hole & door sagging issues apply

When it comes to common issues with ball bearing hinges, their similarity with butt hinges means you'll typically get the same issues.

You'll get stripped screws, stripped screw holes, and general door sagging and sticking, which means you'll fix or replace them in the same way as described in the last section.

How to Fix Flush Hinges

Another type of hinge product used in the home is the flush hinge, which is typically found inside cabinet doors and other furniture.

Used only on flush surfaces, it's an option that's designed in such as way that it's not necessary to cut a recess into the wood to install it. What's more, they offer space-saving, as one leaf fits inside the other.

What about fixing flush hinges?

Due to the lightweight nature of flush hinges, they can bend or break much more easily than those used on internal/external doors.

This most often calls for a replacement, but if you're suffering from stripped screw holes, they can be solved in the same way as with butt hinges, albeit in a scaled-down way. The stripped holes are essentially the same - just smaller.

How to Fix Tee Hinges

Tee hinge on a wooden door

The last type of hinge we cover in this article is the T hinge, which typically comes in a black or steel finish. Used pretty much exclusively on wooden garden gates and garden shed doors, they're very distinctive due to their T-shaped design.

These garden gate hinges are on the heavy-duty side of things, so you won't often find them breaking unless the gate itself has also become damaged.

Typically, the problem you'll encounter is one of looseness. If the gate's movement has become impacted by it, most often a quick tighten with your screwdriver will suffice.

If the screw holes are stripped, it will just mean you have to drill new pilot holes and offset your T-hinges further up or down the gate. You don't have to drill pilot holes too far away from their original position - just enough to ensure the screws are able to bite into good wood.

Hiatt Hardware - Meeting All Your New Hinge Requirements

As we've seen here, hinges are very important to the operation of any door, as when they malfunction, it's normally very obvious.

However, what's also been seen here is that the most common issues aren't too difficult to rectify with a few tools and a bit of know-how.

If you liked this blog, it's a great idea to check out our many others that cover a range of topics relating to high-quality door locks and associated door hardware.

That's it here for this time, however. We hope you can join us again soon.