Hidden Cabinet Hinge Guide: Types Available and Choosing the Best One for Your Project

Cabinet hinges are not a popular material for carpentry, but they serve a significant purpose. The fact that they are widely used to make cabinets creates a chance for the manufacturers to create a wide variety of hinges.

The hidden or concealed hinge is just one type of hinge that people use to make cabinets. This category of hidden hinges has a variety of hidden hinges, and choosing the right one for your project can become a task.

This guide educates you on the types of hidden hinges and how to choose the right one for your project.

What is a Hidden Hinge?

Hidden hinges are beautiful, magical hinges. Why magical? When you are outside, the hinge is invisible, but when you open the cabinet, you will see the hinge.

They are also referred to as concealed or invisible hinges. They have also been referred to as European hinges.

Why You Should Use Concealed Hinges for Your Cabinets

If you are thinking of using the hidden hinges for cabinets, you are on the right track. Concealed hinges have several advantages that you can reap.

First, these hinges provide security because they are hidden, so they cannot be tampered with. This is especially excellent for people with children or pets like cats that like to get adventurous.

They also have an aesthetic benefit because of their inconspicuous characteristics. This means that you can use them on the more visible cabinets.

It is also super easy to install the hidden hinges, just as it is easy to correct construction mistakes.

Another advantage is that concealed hinges stay closed even without additional hardware. Hinges like the five knuckle hinges will require a magnet to keep them closed.

Concealed hinges will close at 20 degrees and stay closed. So they could also save you some extra cash that you would otherwise have purchased the additional magnets to keep cabinet doors closed.

If you don’t like the sound of slamming cabinet doors, then you should definitely go for hidden cabinet hinges. You can find hidden hinges that are soft-closing or snap-closing.

Soft-Closing Vs. Snap Closing Mechanism

Soft-closing hinges enable your cabinet door to shut gently and quietly, regardless of how hard you close it. There is no extra hardware to place on the hinge or mounting plate if your hinge cup includes this feature.

When the door is brought within a few inches of being closed, snap closing hinges incorporate a spring that helps draw the door in and hold it shut. It is also known as “self-closing.” However, technically speaking, “self-closing” is a wider term that may refer to either a “snap-close” or a “soft-close.” Soft-close hinges shut gently while snap-close hinges close quickly.

Which Type of Concealed Cabinet Should You Choose?

As we mentioned earlier, concealed hinges are just a category of cabinet hinges. This means that there are other types of hidden hinges that you can use.

Deciding what works for your cabinets will significantly depend on how you will construct your cabinets. With that said, there are different types of concealed hinges that you can choose from.

Here are some types of concealed cabinet hinges and features so that you can have a perfect pick for your kitchen cabinets.

European Two-Piece Hinge

If you are installing a frameless cabinet, then this type of hinge could be an excellent choice. For this hinge, you will note a hole at the back of the cabinet door.

You can then attach the hinge onto the mounting plate aced to a frame or on the side of your frameless cabinet door.

European One-piece Hinge

These are also known as compact hinges, and they too require a hole bored at the back of the cabinet door. It is then attached to the face frame of the cabinet door.

Knife Hinge

Also known as semi-concealed hinges, they are also a type of hidden hinges for cabinets. The knife hinge allows you to see just a small part of the hinge.

With this hinge, you can cut a 9/32″ at the top and bottom of your cabinet’s hinge side. This allows you to see a small knuckle at the far end of the cabinet door.

Mortise Hinge

This is another type of cabinet hinge that you can use for your cabinets. Thanks to its name, the mortise hinge is installed at the mortised edge of your cabinet door.

It is a perfect example of a concealed hinge since the hinge is hidden after the cabinet door is closed.

Free Swing, Soft Close, and Self Close

The free Swing hinge doesn’t have any closing or opening mechanism. Instead, it only has a touch latch that will pop open your door when slightly touched.

The touch also latches mechanically to keep your cabinet doors closed. The soft close hinge, on the other hand, minimizes the slamming of your cabinet doors.

Dampeners on the soft close hinges slow down the door and pull it to close it. If you are looking to have self-closing cabinets, then you should consider hinges with a self-closing mechanism.

The self-close hinges will wait until they are at closing and then pull the door to close it fully.

Replacing Exposed Hinges With Hidden Hinges

One sure way of updating or modernizing your cabinets is by replacing your old exposed hinges. It might seem like a daunting task, but it’s very easy to replace the hinges.

All you need is to choose the type of hinge that will be perfect for your kitchen cabinets. Then, if you are replacing, make sure that you remove all of the old hinges to pave the way for the new ones.

After removing the old ones, you can now start the process of installing new inconspicuous hinges.

Follow the steps below to install hidden hinges;

Mark Your Cabinet Doors

If you are replacing the old hinges, you will need to mark them to avoid reusing them. However, if you are installing the hinges on new doors, you will need to have a combination square to mark where you will drill the holes.

Mark a line on the back of the door parallel to the hinge-side edge and inset 7/8 inch with the combination square.

Mark this line across from the top and bottom edges. If you are going to drill a hole, then the intersection point will be the point where you can make a hinge cup.

Drill the Holes

If you are replacing the old hinges, then there is no need to drill the holes. However, if you are installing for the first time, read along.

You will need a Forstner bit to drill the holes. After drilling the holes blow out the shavings but be careful if you will be blowing using your mouth.

Installing the Hinge Cups and the Mounting Plate

Put the hinge cups into the respective and install the mounting plates. If you reach this point, you can call it a success. The only thing remaining is for you to fix the doors, and you’re all good to go.

How Many Hinges Should I Buy?

Knowing the number of hidden hinges to buy should come first before you start installing the hinges. This greatly depends on the number of doors that you intend to install. Basically, each door should have two hinges, so if you have ten doors, that means you will purchase 20 hinges. But some may have three or four.

Luckily you do not have to buy hinges separately because they are sold in pairs. Of course, this is just an estimate of the number of doors you should buy, but in reality, some factors may affect the number of hinges you should buy.

First, the size of the door will greatly matter if you need to buy two hinges or not. Sometimes the cabinet door might be big enough to require three hidden hinges.

Also, the weight of the door really matters when installing hinges. So check your cabinets and if you cannot come up with a good number, contact an expert.

Winding Up

Whether you want to consider this a DIY or want to call in an expert to complete your project, installing hidden hinges is one way to upgrade your overall cabinet look. Apart from the aesthetics, you can also reap good from other benefits of hidden hinges that we have mentioned above. Moreover, the goodness of the hinges should not scare you if you’re thinking of DIY because it is super easy to install them. People will go for different types of hinges depending on their needs. Regardless of your need, ensure the success of your project by involving the experts.